Thamel is the heart of Kathmandu which is located in the Northern region of Kathmandu. It will take you 20 minutes to reach Thamel from Tribhuwan International Airport. It is like heaven for tourist. There is one saying ‘Things you don’t in the world will get here in Thamel’. Thamel is a place where you can get each and everything related to travel, trek, and tourism. During 1970’s it was the hub for hippies, many celebrities and artists have visited Thamel during that period including Bob Marley. Now it has developed and become a commercial area. It is distinguished by narrow streets crowded with various shops and vendors. Commonly famous for selling goods including food, fresh vegetables, trekking gear, walking gear, handicrafts, souvenirs, woolen cloths and many more.
You can also get many travel agencies, small grocery stores, budget hotels and lots of restaurants. In the line of streets, you can get cycles, rickshaw, cab along with hundreds of pedestrians. It is easy to walk in the streets of Thamel since vehicles are not allowed in the streets of Thamel. You can say, Thamel is pre Basecamp for mountaineers that include wide range mountaineering gear shops, foreign money exchange booths and lots of ATM booths. It is famous for its nightlife as there are numbers of pubs and clubs in Thamel.
Is it safe to walk around Thamel at night time?
Yes, it is very safe to walk around Thamel at night time. An active number of police patrols around Thamel to ensure any kind of wrong happenings or accidents. There is also tourist police which works very nicely in accordance to the issue related to international tourists. Very few crimes have been reported in Thamel police during Night as well as in daytime. Most importantly, people of Thamel are very friendly which reduces the chance of crime.
Are there good places for nightlife?
Thamel is famous for nightlife. There are many pubs, bars, and clubs in Thamel which will make your nightlife very amazing. In Thamel area, some of the well-known and recommended bars and pubs are Reggae Bar, Sam’s Bar, Taj Bar, Everest Iris Bar, The Electric pagoda, Paddy Foley’s Irish Pub, Shamrock Irish Pub & Rooftop Cinema, House of Music, Purple Haze Rock Bar, Shisha Terrace Café and Bar, Tom and Jerry’s Bar, Tamas lounge, and many more; clubs are Fire Club Disco Theque and Longue Bar, Ibyza Lounge and Disco Theque, Buddha Bar, and many more. There are many family restaurants as well and some of them are Family Restaurant, Rosemary Kitchen and Coffee Shop, OR2K, Dechenling Garden Restaurant, Hotel Utse, Roadhouse Café, Revolution Café and Restaurant, Gaia Restaurant & Coffee Shop, Blueberry Kitchen &Coffee Shop, The Ship Restaurant Bar & Lounge, Thamel Doner Kebab, Sarangi Vegetarian Restaurant, French Bakery, and many more. Live music played by National and International Artists will make you very relaxed.
What are some tips for shopping in Thamel?
It is better to go to different shops and ask price of the goods which you want to buy. You should bargain before buying anything in Thamel because people can cheat you on price since you are a foreigner. It’s better to go with your local guide to a shop but it won’t affect much if you will go alone also. Some of the popular and recommended shopping stores in Thamel are Best Shopping Center, S.K. Handicrafts Export, Pilgrims Book House, Friendly Pashmina Export, and many more.
Where are ATM centers in Thamel?
Almost every street in Thamel consists of ATM booths. It’s not that difficult to get ATM booths. Every here and there you will get ATM booths of different banks from where you can extract money from your international or national bank accounts. Some of the banks of which the ATM booths has stood up are Nepal SBI Bank, Himalayan Bank, Mega Bank, Nepal Investment Bank, Nepal Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, NABIL Bank, Himalayan Bank, Everest Bank, Janata Bank Limited, Bank of Kathmandu, Bank of Kathmandu Limited, Rastriya Banijya Bank, Everest Bank Limited, Prabhu Bank, Civil Bank Limited, Nabil Bank, Siddhartha Bank Limited, NMB Bank Limited, and Himalayan Bank. All the services are provided for 24 hours a day so that you can easily withdraw a certain amount of money within the money limits, as per your wish.
What are the main attractions around Thamel in walking distance?
Thamel is the place known for its beauty in and around. Besides, the beautiful temples, restaurants, hotels, pubs, and bars inside the area, it is also famous for the places around where you can roam and spend quality time. As every beautiful place pays for its beauty, all these places demand a certain amount of money. You can buy things, enjoy the natural, historic and artificial beauty and relax in the lap of nature all at the same time. Some of the places are mentioned as below:
Garden of Dreams
Garden of dreams also known as (Swopna Bagaicha) was built in 1920 and was neglected until the 2000s which were restored with the help of Austrian Government. It is also known as Garden for six seasons. This place or garden is located in Kesar Mahal and is near Thamel and king’s way (Durbarmarg) at the walking distance of 5 minutes from the center of Thamel. Garden of Dreams is famous for its scenery and the environment. The environment is so quiet and silent that everybody loves to be there and sit in quite a place. In order to get inside Garden of Dreams, one must pay Rs. 100 to enter an entry fee and can stay for as much time as they want. The place consists of various chairs and resting places. The grass cutting is so perfect that anyone can come and sleep on the floor as well. In the middle of the garden, there remains a small pond. Inside, there are few cafés and restaurants where people can enjoy delicious national and international food. It will take you 5 minutes to reach garden of dreams from the center of Thamel. It gives you an unforgettable experience of peace inside the city.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Also known as Basantapur Durbar Square or Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square is an old palace of the former Kathmandu kingdom (Malla and Shah Dynasty) before the residents shifted to Narayanhiti palace. The name fell in its place because of the huge statue of Hanuman (biggest devotee of Lord Ram) at the entrance of the square. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is famous for its temples, monuments, and museum which have equal historical and religious importance and fall in national heritage site of Nepal. In the southern end of Durbar, there is the home of only living Goddess in the world, Kumari. This place is famous for many festivals, as many festivals are celebrated in this area (especially Holi). The people living around with their own cultures, festivals, dances, religions, local hotels with local foods and drinks, make the site more attractive. The place is at the walking distance of 19 minutes from Thamel.
Asan is famous for its market; almost everything related to our day to life can be available here. Many shops are there on both sides of streets. It is very crowded before festivals and occasions because it is very famous for local people. Asan is a market and residential area in central Kathmandu having a big history. This place is also called Asan Bazaar or market due to its history and present status. The place is also known as the home for Newars residing in Kathmandu since ages. Asan Bazaar served as a trading hub between India and Tibet during old days. In history, this place also served a huge marketplace and still has the same status. This place is also popular among tourists due to its cultural value as there exist many historic monuments and temples which makes it the wonderful place to visit. There are also celebrated different festivals of Newar people which make it more attractive as anyone can visit there and enjoy the festivals and enjoy many new foods which are made and baked during festivals. The arrangement of various goods and services is also the major attraction of the place.
Swayambhunath - Monkey Temple
It is the biggest holy place for both Hindu and Buddhist. It is at the walking distance of 30 minutes from Thamel. You can see a clear view of Kathmandu from Swayambhunath. It is placed in National Heritage site of Nepal by UNESCO in 1953. The place is also popular as ‘Monkey Temple’. The chorten, shrines, temples, ponds, statues and the lighting of Diyos make the surrounding of this place more beautiful. The Vajra (vast, round, white dome) and two giant Buddha eyes look out over the peaceful valley which is the beginning of coming alive. It is the major attraction for both national and international tourists for the scenic view, photography, modeling and video making too. You can visit this sacred place make your soul feel free with the very beautiful peregrine falcon view of the serene valley.
Durbar magra - Kings Way
It is home to branded and fashionable product in Kathmandu. One can find luxury restaurants, Durbar Marga. It is a just 10-minute walk from Thamel. All kinds of national and multinational companies related to fashion industry are located there. Also, the restaurants and electronic companies located here own international recommendations and certification. Here also exist the very famous and beautiful Narayanhiti Palace Museum and Garden of Dreams, which are the packed tourist places of Kathmandu valley with their own historic and natural values.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum
Narayanhiti palace is also known as Narayanhiti durbar or raj durbar because Kings used to live there in the past. It was the residency palace the of the king of Nepal. Right now it has been converted into the museum and is opened to all the public from Nepal and worldwide tourists. Narayanhiti Palace is located in Kathmandu and is in King’s way (Durbarmarg) near Thamel. The building and area are guarded by armies and police and there is the entry pass system according to the category of people from kids to the elderly. The palace is open for almost 5 days a week for the tourist to see the building and the palace as well and nearby surroundings. It helps to know the history of Kings of Nepal and their living lifestyle in the past. It will make them feel connected to the past of the country.
Restaurants in Thamel
Restaurants are the places where we go for refreshment and to enjoy the outside life of the area. There you can have the taste of various delicious foods different from which we have been eating in the home. Some of the restaurants that provide you the best food in Nepal with the pleasant environment are named below:
Hello kitty Restaurant - It is famous for its food especially Thai food. You will enjoy best Thai food at this restaurant as well as other Nepali and continental food.
Ace Cafe and Bar - Located in west Thamel, Ace cafe and bar is famous for its good mix of Indian Nepalese and western food. It is near Peoples’ college. It’s a friendly place to hang-out with service at reliable cost. It has a whole world inside. One should try the environment and food inside here if you are in Kathmandu.
Alchemy - Newly opened restaurant is famous Italian food. It provides just Italian food. It is 100m before from Chetrapati chock. It is well known for its excellent pizzas, pasta, salad, and soup. It has a full-service bar with a wine selection that pleases every plate. It always has something to offer everyone.
Al-Madina Halal Food - Famous for its Tanduri food, this restaurant lies in the north of Thamel. Foods found here are tasty and hygienic. Chicken tandoori and biryani are very much popular for its taste. One must try the food out here if you are in Kathmandu.
Thamel House Resturant - it is a renowned and popular restaurant with distinctive service. Especially, it’s Newari food as well as local Nepalese wine. One must try Nepalese wine out here which is really very good.
Nightlife in Thamel
Thamel is famous for its nightlife where one can find many pubs, bars, and center for live music. One can enjoy the disco and parties, spend a good time at tequila bars and beer bars. All along the streets of Thamel, you will find many clubs with music played by many international and local artists. Rum Doole has never missed the place in Thamel. It is the place where trekkers from all over the world who have climbed or have attempted to climb Mt Everest comes to celebrate their achievement and milestones. Thamel has numerous clubs including Irish pubs, a Mayan Thamed Bar, Dixieland New Orleans style jazz. In many pubs and bars, they play Kollywood and Bollywood film music while drinking local wines. Nightlife in Thamel starts early around 10’clock and also ends around 1’oclock so male sure you on time. Gambling is illegal for Nepalese citizens but it is legal for foreigners. There are few Casinos in 5star hotels.
Shopping in Thamel
Commonly famous for selling goods including food, fresh vegetables, trekking gear, walking gear, handicrafts, souvenirs, woolen cloths and many more. You can say Thamel is pre Basecamp for mountaineers which include wide range mountaineering gear shops. You can get each and everything related to trekking in Thamel. In 10mins walk from Thamel, there is a place called Asan where you get almost everything for your day to day life with a minimum price. That place is famous for providing quality goods at the minimum price.
Hotels in Thamel
In Thamel, you will get almost every kind of hotels from 4star hotels to Hostels. Every hotel gives you good service with free WIFI in Thamel. Following are some list of good Hotels in Thamel.
Yatri suites and spa - It is 4star hotel located in Amrit Marga, Thamel. It offers you A.C. rooms with free WIFI including free private parking. You will get a 24hrs front desk. Guests can enjoy the meal at on-site restaurants followed by drinking at the bar.
The Malla Hotel - It is another 4star hotel in Thamel. It offers you 125 refurbished rooms, 50 executive rooms, and 20 apartment suits. Every room is attached with shower AC and heating along with the mini bar along with Direct dial Telephone. It offers you coffee shops, Italian restaurants, swimming pool and Luxury cocktail club.
Hotel Vaishali - It is one of the grandeur colossal hotels in Thamel. It is the 4star hotel where one can get all sort of Modern luxurious as well as Nepali tradition and culture rooms as per demands of guests. It offers you 24hours room service with free WIFI, swimming pool, meeting rooms, Business centers, luxury Bars, Shopping Arcade and many more.
Hotel Manang - It is one of the oldest, well known as 3star hotel in Thamel. It is situated at Paknajol which is 8 km away from Tribhuwan International Airport. It offers you deluxe rooms, super deluxe rooms and family suite rooms which include TV, AC, free WIFI, Minibar attached and 24hours hot water.
Hotel Marsangdi - The 3-minute walk from nearest bus stop will lead you to this hotel. It has cozy rooms which give you a high speed of internet and satellite TV. Upgraded rooms including minibars, with 24hrs room service, is offered. It has the open-air restaurant in a garden with a low-key cocktail bar and unpretentious cafe.
Samsara Resort - Just like the oasis in the desert, Samsara resort lies away from hustle and bustle of the traffic in Kathmandu. It has 30rooms altogether classified as Deluxe and suite. It is a 3star hotel with restaurant serving healthy food since last 10 years. It offers you free WIFI along with AC and minibars as well.
De Hotel Veda - There are 12 rooms in this 3star hotel featured with TVs and free Wi-Fi, sitting areas and free newspaper. It offers you a business center and a rooftop terrace as well as coffee shop/cafe, spa service, and free Airport picks up service.
Kathmandu Eco Hotel - It is one of best 3-star hotels in Thamel. It is easy to get around due to its location. It is also famous for its good service and its friendly staffs. It offers you rooms with free Wi-Fi with AC as well as free Breakfast. It has its own restaurant.
Gaju Suite Hotel - It is a 3.8-star hotel which welcomes you with the sleek, warmly decorated rooms, with flat-screen TVs, wooden floors and en-suite marble bathrooms with mood lighting. It offers you 24hours room service with free Wi-Fi.
Hotel Mums Home - It provides you 19 Air-conditioned rooms featuring Flat-screen TV along with wireless internet access, private bathrooms with toilets and hairdryers. It offers you 24hrs room service free Wi-Fi, as well as desks, coffee, and tea maker. It has a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a view of Kathmandu. It also offers you Luggage storage, free airport pickup, and free parking.
Hotel friends Home - It serves you the mixture of modern amenities and service with the distinct warmth of Nepalese hospitality. It offers you 20standared and deluxe rooms designed for your comfortable stay in Kathmandu. Rooms offer you with Air-conditioner, free Wi-Fi, and 24hrs room service. The hotel has its own restaurant where good food is served.
Tibet peace Inn - It is a new budget hotel in Thamel which offers you inexpensive bed and breakfast service along with warm hospitality. It offers you free Wi-Fi, Internet access, free breakfast, free airport pickup, First aid kit, doctor/nurse on call, laundry/dry clean as per the demand of guest.
Things to do in Thamel
Shopping and Marketing
Thamel is a shoppers’ paradise. One can satisfy by doing shopping out here in Thamel. It offers you the mystified number of stuff. No one can take their eyes from local handicrafts. Thamel is heaven for those who love hemp cloths and hemp products. There are many shops who sell hemp cloths. It is paradise for trekkers as you will get everything related to tourism and trekking as well. It is also home to many ornamental shops where you can’t keep yourself falling for those ornaments.
Entertainment and Nightlife
Live it up in Thamel! You will get a lot of stylish bars and clubs as well as casinos in the street of Thamel. It is considered as most happening part in Kathmandu where you have always something to do. It is considered to be main entertainment part in Kathmandu. You can experience a magical night in Thamel. There are some cinema halls in Thamel where you can enjoy Nepali, Hindi as well English movies.
Spa and fitness
Treat your body with the pleasure of relaxing massage, shiatsu, aromatherapy, beauty treatment and many more in Thamel. It offers you wide range of spa and fitness center. One can pamper their body for an hour or a day at spa and fitness. One can continue their regular exercise and fitness since Thamel offers you many gym clubs. And most importantly one can pay on daily basis in the gym.
One can experience delicious cuisine at stylish restaurants since it offers you numerous restaurants. You can find almost each and everything to eat from German styled Wannabe bakeries to local item momos. Most of the people prefer Nepalese and Indian food also. There are dozens of restaurants serving Italian, French, Israeli, Tibetan and other which is famous for foods they serve. Cafes like Himalayan Java, Red house cafe are famous for its coffee and bakeries.
Almost every day there is something happening in Thamel. Many local carnivals take place on special occasions. Almost every day you can see a concert in the streets of Thamel. It is also famous for its street festivals such as street food festivals and carnivals.