Planning a trip to Nepal, and want to know where to stay in Kathmandu? Here, I list five of the most popular areas to stay in Kathmandu along with hotel and hostel suggestions for every budget.
Choosing the best area to stay in Kathmandu
Most travellers will want to spend at least a couple of nights in Kathmandu after arriving in Nepal, and probably another night or two after they have finished trekking or touring the country.
There's a few different areas to stay in Kathmandu you can choose from, each having their own pros and cons.
Some, for example, might put you in the thick of the chaotic action in central Kathmandu. Others will be a little oasis of peace and quiet, which might be most welcome after a few weeks travelling through Nepal.
Which part of Kathmandu you choose to stay in might come down to what type of traveler you are. Thamel is known for it's affordable hotels, but it can be busy, crowded and noisy. You'll avoid transportation hassles when it comes to sightseeing though.
Lazimpat on the other hand is a good area for nicer hotels. It's just outside of Thamel, but you can still walk there quite easily.
The accommodation in Kathmandu itself also varies. Most people know there's plenty of budget hotels in Kathmandu for backpackers, but there's also a surprising amount of 5 star hotels in Kathmandu.
In this guide on the best place to stay in Kathmandu, I list five popular areas to stay, along with a few hotel suggestions. I've also got a map below which shows the best hotels in the Katmandu area.
Kathmandu best places to stay: Thamel
Thamel is a commercial neighborhood in Kathmandu, and is considered the most visited by tourists. This area has no street signs or street names, so navigating can be a bit tricky. Google maps works…. kind of.
But knowing where you are in Thamel is hardly the point. This is an area to just walk and explore. You're never really lost – just somewhere you hadn't planned to be!
The entire neighborhood is a maze of interconnecting streets lined with vendors selling anything imaginable.
When you begin to get hungry, there are numerous restaurants providing traditional, as well as modern, dishes.
Coffee shops, cafes, and nightclubs are also scattered throughout Thamel, making it the perfect choice for active tourists to stay.
Hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu
Thamel is the home of cheap hotels, but there are also plenty of 4 star hotels tucked away down quiet streets. Here's a few suggestions of where to stay in Thamel, Kathmandu.
Hostels in Thamel
Prices range from $2 to $10 a night for dorm beds in these Thamel hostels. Single and double rooms may also be available. For more details on each of these cheap Kathmandu hostels, use the links below.
Cheap Hotels in Thamel
The prices of these cheap and mid range hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu range from $10 to $30 per night. More details can be found on each of these hotels and bed and breakfasts in using the links below.
Upmarket hotels in Thamel
These Thamel hotels are priced at $30 a night and above. In this price range, you can find great value for money, and also a degree of luxury. Use the links below to find out about each of these upmarket and boutique hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu.
- Kathmandu Guest House by KGH Hotels and Resorts
- Nepali Ghar Hotel ** My number one recommendation!!**
Best places to stay in Kathmandu: Freak Street
In the 1960's, marijuana sale and use was still legal Nepal, and ‘Freak Street' was the nickname given to this area due to the high number of hippies who use to frequent it.
The street is now ebbing toward being called by its original name, Jhochhen Tole, and is a modern-day backpacker's paradise.
Although the street itself is fairly short, it is full of accommodations for those on a budget. There are also several trendy cafes and restaurants offering local fare, along with interesting shops full of hand-carved masks, secondhand books, and souvenirs.
Budget Accommodation in Freak Street
The accommodation along Freak Street is of the budget variety. Take your choice from these Freak Street hotels listed below. Only one is available to book online, and you can use the link.
- Third Eye Hotel
- Eden Hotel
- La Casa Lodge
- Annapurna Lodge
Places to stay in Kathmandu: Lazimpat
Lazimpat is one of the most well-known Kathmandu neighbourhoods for tourists to flock, and has numerous luxurious hotels for those looking for high-quality accommodations.
Although Kathmandu is full of countless restaurants offering delicious foods, Lazimpat is set up for a more fine dining experience than other neighborhoods.
Many restaurants here offer live music on top of their delectable delicacies. The hotels in this area are often decorated with Tibetan artisan touches, and contain soft beds in quiet locations, away from the hustle and bustle of larger areas such as Thamel.
Hotels in Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Many of the Lazimpat Hotels fall into the boutique or luxury range. There's not really much in the way of hostels in Lazimpat, Kathmandu, so accommodation choices begin in the ‘cheap hotel' price range.
Cheap Hotels in Lazimpat
These budget hotels in the Lazimpat area of Kathmandu fall between the $15 and $30 a night price bracket. Check more details by clicking on each one.
Upmarket hotels in Lazimpat
These luxury hotels in Lazimpat provide travellers to Nepal with unparalleled comfort when staying in Kathmandu.
Kathmandu places to stay: Boudha (Bodhnath)
Boudha can be quite a busy place, as it is the site of The Stupa, which is the most revered Buddhist monument outside of Tibet.
There are hotels to fit every budget in this area, ranging from plush to economy.
Numerous cafes and restaurants are within easy access to all of the hotels, all serving traditional foods, as well as vegan dishes.
Traveling around this area by foot is fairly easy, and the preferred method.
If you're going to go upmarket in Boudha, then look no further than the Hyatt Regency. This luxury hotel in Boudha has perhaps the largest swimming pool in Kathmandu, and service which goes above and beyond. Take a look here for more details – Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
Where to stay in Kathmandu: Patan
Patan is the third largest city in Nepal, and is famous for its ancient Durbar Square. There are several temples here including the Uku Bahal, which is one of Nepal's oldest Buddhist Monasteries.
This area contains hotels ranging from high-end to budget, so everyone is able to enjoy staying in this historic section.
Even if you choose to stay in a hotel in other areas of Khathmandu, Patan is only a short taxi or bus ride away. Aside from the beautiful temples, Patan also offers museums, spas, and hiking tours.
Pin this guide on the best area in Kathmandu to stay for later
Read more about Nepal
- Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
- 10 Random things I learned from my trip to Nepal
- Fun things to do in Kathmandu
Visiting Kathmandu Nepal FAQ
Readers planning a trip to Kathmandu often have similar questions to ask such as:
Is Kathmandu worth visiting?
The capital city of Nepal is certainly worth visiting for a few days. There is plenty to see and do within the city center itself, and the markets are a good place to buy any last minute items needed for a trekking trip.
Why is Kathmandu Durbar Square important?
Kathmandu's Durbar Square is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Here, you can find the site of the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Complex, which was the royal Nepalese residence until the 19th century.
How do I get from Tribhuvan International Airport to Kathmandu city center?
The quickest method to get to the Thamel district or center of Kathmandu is by taxi. The city center is just 20-30 minutes by car from the airport. When you leave the airport, several taxis will be waiting for passengers or you may pre-book online ahead of time.
How many World Heritage Sites are there in Nepal?
Nepal has four World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO list; Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park are Natural World Heritage Sites, while seven sites in the Kathmandu Valley are part of one cultural World Heritage Site. Lumbini, where Lord Buddha was born, is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site.