The country’s capital and most populous city, Kathmandu is nestled in a valley and surrounded by the magnificent Himalayas. Colourful yet chaotic, it is a melting pot of cultures, brimming with UNESCO-listed Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines alike.
When in Kathmandu, delve into Nepalese history and heritage with a tour of its sacred sites. Located in the outskirts of the city is the Boudhanath Stupa – a Buddhist temple where the air is filled with the calming chants of Tibetan monks and the whir of prayer wheels spun by devotees from all over. Crowning the massive dome, the temple’s golden spire features a pair of Buddha’s eyes silently watching over the city. Another significant Buddhist shrine is the Swayambhunath Stupa – a hilltop temple complex populated by monuments and monkeys alike. Closer to the city’s centre lies the 5th-century Pashupatinath Temple, divided by the Bagmati River and dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.
The capital of Nepal is home to the Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares, each the erstwhile palace complex of an ancient kingdom. They are rooted in tradition and showcase stunning Newari architecture through temples, statues, fountains and historic monuments. These include Hanuman Dhoka – the city's former royal palace – standing proud on Kathmandu Durbar Square. Also set aside some time to experience the buzzing district of Thamel, packed with hotels, restaurants, shops and bars. While here, sample local street food such as Nepalese momos – plates of steaming dumplings served with a fiery dipping sauce.