Take a day trip to Bhaktapur, an ancient Newari city situated about 13km from the capital. While many of its historic temples were destroyed during the April 2015 earthquake, reconstruction efforts are now in full swing, with traditional artisans painstakingly rebuilding each structure by hand.
SEE & DO
Siddhartha Art Gallery
A former Rana palace, Baber Mahal Revisited has since been converted into a series of shops and eateries. Among them is this gallery exhibiting contemporary Nepalese art that looks to address sociocultural and political issues.
Social Tours organises socially responsible experiences around Nepal. Its “Rise of the Artisans” day tour takes participants to Bhaktapur and Boudhanath to learn more about the restoration efforts at these heritage sites.
Wake up at sunrise and climb the 365 stairs leading to this Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage site, otherwise known as Monkey Temple. Wander around its stupas and shrines, and admire the romantic, pastel-tinged views over the Kathmandu Valley.
Cruise through the narrow alleys of Kathmandu on vintage Vespas alongside local guides. Sign up for a foodie tour around the city or venture out into the surrounding villages of the Kathmandu Valley.
EAT & DRINK
Dine on a mélange of authentic Newari and Indian delights, such as khasi ko hyakula (mutton ribs), rich masala curries, dhals and naan, at this homely restaurant.
Bhumi Restaurant dishes up excellent Newari and Indian cuisine in a homely setting. Try the samay baji set, which includes a black lentil patty, dried fish and potato and bamboo shoot curry, served up on a single plate.
Gaia Restaurant and Coffee Shop
Tucked away along a side street, this garden restaurant is an oasis in the heart of busy Thamel. Dine on soups, salads and sandwiches; Nepali, Thai and Indian dishes are available, too.
This Kathmandu institution has been open for 18 colourful years and counting. Climb the four flights of stairs to this rooftop bar to catch local and visiting live bands performing every Wednesday and Saturday.
La Sherpa Farmer’s Market
Head here on Saturday mornings (8am to 12.30pm) to sample Himalayan yak cheese, spicy Nepalese pickles, floral mountain honey and other seasonal local produce. Then, brunch in the sun at the recently reopened La Sherpa Restaurant.
Blue Note Building
This funky Art Deco building offers an eclectic mix of shops and eateries under one roof, including a fine German bakery, a Korean kitchen, a wine bistro and several small souvenir boutiques.
Sunapati Thangka Painting School
Take home a traditional Tibetan thangka (a Buddhist painting usually rendered on fabric) framed with colourful silk brocade. You can commission bespoke paintings, too.
1905 Suites and Restaurant
1905 Suites and Restaurant is housed in a neoclassical building that functioned as an artistic hub in the early 1900s. Today, it has been converted into a boutique hotel with four elegant rooms and a garden restaurant.
This beautiful five-star hotel offers 87 luxe rooms, a spa, a library lounge and an outdoor pool. However, most notable are its preservation efforts – much of the property is constructed from traditional woodcarvings salvaged from old buildings across the valley.
The Inn Patan
Situated off the architectural treasure that is Patan Durbar Square, this boutique heritage hotel was once a traditional brick and timber Newari house. Touches like ancient chain-latched windows and carved pillars add to its charm.