Home Features Thamel: Tourist hotspot of Kathmandu
September 24, 2019

Thamel: Tourist hotspot of Kathmandu

  • Sushant Lama

Situated in the heart of the Kathmandu valley, Thamel is the must-visit place if you are visiting Kathmandu. It is a lively place filled with pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, and shops like trekking shops, tattoo shops, Thanka art shops, clothes shops, etc specially dedicated to foreigners. Tourists from different parts of the world can be seen in Thamel wandering here and there.

Located in the northern region of Kathmandu, Thamel is an easy walk from anywhere in central Kathmandu. It is about a 20-minute taxi drive from Tribhuvan International Airport or you can take a local bus from Ratna Park.

Veronica B from New Zealand says, “We recently stayed in the heart of Thamel during a visit to Kathmandu. The area is lively and energetic. Many different shops selling everything you could think of. Also lots of great restaurants and little eateries. A very interesting area of the day.”

Thamel used to be overcrowded with peoples and vehicles before due to narrow roads, but after the government declared it as a vehicle-free zone, walking around the Thamel area has become so much easier. Now you can relish the beauty of Thamel in full potential with no disturbances.

Thamel: Photo-Raju Tuladhar
Thamel: Photo-Raju Tuladhar

Thamel is the best place for a home base if you want to explore Kathmandu valley along with the surrounding areas. There are many things to do in Thamel which you will definitely like.

“See this neighborhood of Kathmandu to believe it! Cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and people going both ways on streets narrower than some trekking trails. Temples at every turn. The electrical wires in the street are downright scary. Everything seems to run smoothly, though. The people are friendly and welcoming.” says Pierre M from Canada.

Thamel Shopping
Thamel Shopping


Thamel is the shopping Mecca of Nepal where you can find shops of every kind. If you are here in Nepal for adventurous trekking, then Thamel is the place where you can find everything you need for good trekking experiences. Trekking agencies, Trekking shops providing every equipment you need for trekking like a jacket, shoes, trekking gears, goggles, etc. There is a pharmacy dedicated to tourists willing to go trekking where you can find medicines according to need. Overall It is heaven for shopping trekking equipment.

If you are leaving Nepal and want to keep the memory of your Nepal visit alive, then buying a souvenir is an excellent idea. There is an ample number of souvenir shops where you can buy different Mementos.


There are many hotels in Thamel from five-star hotels to cheap hotels and prices ranging from US 150$ in five stars to US 5$ in cheap hotels. So, Accommodation is not the problem here and you can choose hotels according to your needs.

Jeffrey H from Australia says,” This is such a remarkable place to visit & if you have a guide to show you around it’s even better to make sure you visit this place.”

Thamel vendor
Thamel vendor

Food and Drinks

Because of the presence of Dozens of hotels, restaurants, and cafes, the variety of food you can experience here is amazing. You can order anything from the menu like Continental, Chinese, French, Japanese, Italian foods, etc. But the main dishes are typical Nepali and Newari foods which you must try if you Wanna get typical Nepali flavor. You can order drinks like Beers, Whisky, Rum, and local hard drinks.

Massage Centers

There are lots of message centers in Thamel where you can get a top-quality massage from qualified individuals. It is the best place to relax from the boredom of journeys, recover from fatigue and pain, and banish jetlag.


Thamel nightlife
Thamel nightlife: Photo-Pallab Ghosh

If you enjoy hanging around in the Bars at night, then Thamel is the best place. There are many Bars and Pubs around the Thamel area where you can enjoy dancing, drinkings, singings and enjoy live music performed by popular music bands. Thamel is the best place to be if you are a fan of nightlife. You can not get a better nightlife elsewhere in Nepal than this place.

“This place has got like everything! Amazing food, lively Ambiance..just ask for what you’re looking for and you have it! The nightlife is amazing for people like me who are night people. I didn’t get enough of this place so definitely coming back soon!!” says Smriti from India.

 Things to remember

Be careful in various areas as lots of scams happens around this place. You may lose lots of money due to carelessness. Scams like someone offers to guide you around the city and later demanding lots of money, shops charging double to triple the amount than the actual price on various goods, beggars begging at various places, and people offering to take you to the bars and then robbing you. Though it is a safe place, always be careful and stay away from these kinds of scams.

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