Kathmandu, Nepal's charming capital

Much of Kathmandu is serene and calming, with temples like Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple) and Boudhanath Stupa, and the Garden of Dreams. In contrast, the Thamel area is noise and bustle. Durbar Square has unique architecture.

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Best time for travelling to Kathmandu

A good time to visit is during the dry season (October to April). The wet monsoon season is fromJune to early October when there is likelihood of flooding and landslides. For visiting during holiday time, in March the colourful Holi festival and the Ghode Jatra festival, with horse parades, are held. The Nepalese New Year takes place in April. The festival of cows (Gai Jatra) is celebrated in August. The 8 day Indra Jatra festival, honouring the goddess Indra is in September, with processions and dances. The 2 week Hindu Dashain Festival takes place in October. There’s the Jazzmandu, international Jazz festival in November.

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Tips before leaving for to Kathmandu

A visa is necessary. Apply at the Nepalese Embassy in London - please note that passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the application date.

there are some recommended vaccinations - these include Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Typhus and Tetanus. When there, travellers should use only official tourist buses for tours overland and it is not recommended to hike alone. Hikes are best done in an organised tour. Power cuts in the city are frequent. To keep healthy follow some basic hygiene recommendations: don’t drink the tap water; drink boiled or bottled water only and use this for brushing your teeth to be extra sure.

Living costs in Nepal and Kathmandu are low: a restaurant meal costs about 200 to 400NPR. Non- alcoholic drinks are around 45NPR, while beer is about 320NPR. Try some of the traditional food like Dal Bhat (rice and lentils with vegetables). Popular street food is Tibetan dumplings (momos).

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Kathmandu local information

For airport transfer to the centre, a fixed charge pre-paid taxi costs around 800NPR or it's about 500NPR for a normal taxi. The journey takes around 25 minutes. Buses are often full and aren’t regular, cost around 10MPR and take about 30 minutes.

Backpacker hostels in Kathmandu will cost from about 365NPR. Guesthouse prices start at around 850NPR per person for one night. A 3 star hotel costs from about 1200NPR per person and a holiday apartment starts from about 2100NPR per night. For getting around use the Tempo Microbus and buses. The Tempo fare is about 15NPR and the bus around 15 to 20NPR. Negotiate the price before boarding rickshaws (around 60 to 100NPR) Taxi fares start at about 200NPR for 3km and then about 60NPR per kilometre. It’s often quicker to walk as the roads are very busy.

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