Kathmandu is a lively and buzzing city, the go-to place for trekkers, travellers and culture seekers. Whether you are looking for a budget backpackers hostel or fancy treating yourself to a spot of luxury, there is a lot to choose from and hard to know where to start when planning your trip to Nepal. Here are top recommends of the best places to stay in Kathmandu by travel bloggers around the world. Now time to get packing…
BEST HOSTELS IN KATHMANDU
Shantipur Kathmandu Hotel
For budget backpackers ‘Shantipur Kathmandu Hotel’ in Kathmandu is a fabulous recommendation. It’s located a few blocks away from Kathmandu’s Thamel, far enough away to avoid the noise and crowds on the street. The hostel is 6 stories tall, with a lounge space and restaurant on the 5th floor, and a rooftop with an incredible view over Kathmandu on the 6th floor. When I’m in Kathmandu, you’ll find me chilling on the rooftop with the other guests, where there are plenty of power strips, low tables and cushions, a refreshing breeze, and a small garden. You can even order food or beers from the restaurant downstairs and the staff will bring it to you on the rooftop!
Shantipur has one big dorm room (350 NPR per night or $3.20 USD), and several smaller rooms including female-only dorms (450 NPR or $4 USD) and private rooms. You won’t break your bank by staying here! I love wandering through the local alleyway right next to Shantipur which opens to a larger street filled with local mom-and-pop shops, where you can find Nepali dishes for 100 rupees each. If you want to eat at Shantipur, their Western or Nepali breakfasts are also amazing, as are their lunch and dinner options. The cherry on top is the amazing staff who you’ll become friends with immediately!
One of the best places to stay in Kathmandu, Nepal is Zostel Kathmandu. Zostel is a brand of Budget Hostels located throughout India and Nepal. Each are independently owned but follow all the same rules and design. Zostel recently moved to Kathmandu to start setting up some budget friendly accommodation options.
Zostel Kathmandu caters to backpackers and people looking to be social and travel on a budget. It is a great place to stay if you are traveling alone or want to have a cheap but clean and nice place to stay. Zostel is located in the Thamel district, which hold a lot of great shopping.
In addition to creating a warm and inviting environment, Zostel has its own cafe and restaurant for meals and a rooftop bar for evening get togethers. This accommodation offers guests a choice of staying in a dorm or booking a private room with either a twin or double bed. Prices range from the cheapest at $7.50/night (staying in an 8 person mixed dorm) – $32.00/night (staying in a deluxe double bed private room). Overall, Zostel offers travelers a home away from home. It is very clean, full of beautiful wall art and the staff help create a safe and comfortable environment.
Alobar 1000 hostel
My friends from the yoga teacher training in Kathmandu Valley basically insisted that we stay in Alobar 1000 hostel in Thamel. I didn’t know what the fuss was all about, having never been to Kathmandu at all. It didn’t take much convincing – the location was just in the right neighborhood of Kathmandu (Thamel), prices were affordable and I could book online. I was expecting my husband Nace to arrive in Kathmandu later, so when I saw they offer private rooms as well beds in dorm rooms, the deal was sealed.
What we liked about Alobar 1000 hostel was the absolutely chill and cool vibe in the common areas and restaurant tables – you can have your meal, drink tea with friends, work, read, play board games. Sometimes they organize group activities like movie nights. It was fascinating how many interesting people we met there while being able to keep our privacy in our room when we wanted to.
I highly recommends Alobar 1000 to everyone who wants to enjoy the relaxed international vibe in the heart of Thamel at quite the affordable price.
Monkey Temple Backpackers
If you’re staying in Kathmandu, chances are you’ll book your hostel close to Thamel, the tourist hub for foreigners. They have all the bars, trekking equipment stores, book stores, pharmacies and everything there. While having all of these convenience do make your shopping and nightlife less hustle, it can get too noisy or loud at night. So if you’re looking for a backpacker hostel at the outskirt of Thamel, Monkey Temple Backpackers is the place you should consider staying at.
Located 10 minutes walk from the main street of Thamel, this hostel offers clean dorm beds, spacious double rooms, and rooftop bars to chill at. In the morning, you can wake up to see the snow mountains on the horizon on a clear day. The friendly hosts and convenient location made me extended my stay of 1 night to 4 nights in Kathmandu.
The only downside to this hostel is that it might not be safe for everyone to walk back from Thamel after their drinks in the bar. There are not many street lights, but I’ve found that it’s generally very safe to walk around in Kathmandu. If you’re worried about this, that’s what the rooftop bar is for! Grab your drinks there, the views are really amazing because of the 4-story apartments. You’re basically standing taller than all the surrounding buildings. And there are a lot of seats to accommodate all the guests.
BEST HOTELS IN KATHMANDU
The Omana B’n’B is a unique B’n’B with a social cause. The boutique hotel founded by local female entrepreneur Prakriti Mainali, a woman who has gained recognition for her work in uplifting marginalised women and promoting female empowerment. Prakriti opened Omana B’n’B under the social enterprise model so that profits from the hotel business could be used to fund women’s development projects including skills training, education projects and micro-loans for women.
The B’n’B is a small scale luxury accommodation, with modern fittings and western facilities. The homely ambience is apparent in the decor of the rooms designed and planned according to the Vastu Shastra, an ancient Hindu knowledge that prescribes the layout and positioning of objects to align with universal forces in harmony. The property also features a tranquil garden and an exclusive fair trade gift shop, showcasing products hand-crafted by women in Nepal.
Really there’s not a whole lot to be said about this hotel that isn’t in the name. Traditional. Comfort. The building itself has been designed in the traditional Newari style. Warm earthy tones, intricate carvings and a sense of freedom as you walk around. From the lobby to your room and all the way through to the rooftop bar.
One of the perks of staying in the luxury of Traditional Comfort is their well trained baristas. Each and every morning as our group sat down to enjoy breakfast the barista would craft us a delightful coffee. Not only great in taste but latte art. Faces, happy sayings to start our day or just adorable round animals. It’s the little things that really add to the charm of a place.
Now the comfort part is within the privacy of your room. Each room is spacious, has a western style toilet and regular hot water. A rarity in Nepal! But the icing on the comfort cake is the small touches. Filtered water bottles on your desk. Fruit basked on arrival. Super soft blankets that are made by a local women’s cooperative. You won’t need additional blankets as these are super warm and super comfortable.
I’ve been to Nepal twice, stayed at over a dozen different hotels and will be sure to return to Traditional Comfort when I visit again in 2020.
Kantipur Temple House
Kantipur Temple House is a traditional eco-hotel hidden away down an alley giving you a quiet stay away from the noise of Kathmandu life. The rooms are tastefully decorated rooms and the hotel is built to a high standard in the native Newari architecture of Kathmandu Valley.
The boutique hotel has a zero plastic policy so there’s no bathroom samples such as shampoo. They compost and recycle non-biodegradable materials, they don’t supply bottled water but refills and they use solar panels for energy – just a few of their contributions towards protecting the environment. The Thamel location makes this easy to be able to walk to the main tourist sites in Kathmandu.
Breakfast is all organic and locally produced and they even have their own farm in Bhaktapur. If you’re happy with no TV in your room, free yoga in the morning and a peaceful environment then this is the place for you, I loved it!
Hotel Mulberry is tucked away in a quiet corner in the center of the most popular Kathmandu neighborhood for travelers: Thamel! This is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in Kathmandu and yet it seems very underrated. It has an infinity pool on the roof, a fitness center on the top floor, impeccably clean and state of the art amenities and a wonderful staff that take care of you from the moment you walk through the door.
Although currently ranked as a 3 star hotel, Hotel Mulberry is easily at least a 4 star hotel. I spent a week here and felt like royalty. There’s nothing I have to say to improve the hotel. It’s a stone’s throw from some of the best restaurants, shopping venues, bars, massage parlors and cafes and yet it retains a quaint, quiet and luxurious atmosphere. If you can afford the $100-$150 price tag, I say go for it!
Kathmandu Guest House
Kathmandu Guest House is a calm oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of Thamel. The converted Rana dynasty mansion is proud of the many celebrity guests as their names are etched into the paving stones similar to the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
Breakfast and meals are served in the beautiful Dream Gardens with a fabulous selection of tasty dishes. The rooms are well decorated and have have a great ambience especially with the windows open, listening to the relaxing music outside. If you really want to stay at Kathmandu Guest House but are on a more restricted budget, don’t worry, they have cheaper rooms too. The staff were super-friendly, the location is 10 out of 10, definitely on the recommended list!
If you’re a history buff and love to experience the past during your travels, then the Hotel Shanker is the perfect place to stay! The hotel itself is built around a building dating back to 1894 with historical architecture scattered throughout the hotel, including it’s 200-year-old windows. An add on to the historical adventure you’ll go through, right next to the hotel is the Narayanhity Palace Museum. So, it’s an even better choice if you’re an avid museum goer.
As a plus, this luxury heritage hotel also has very affordable rooms for the budgeting traveler, making it a perfect option in all aspects. You can also choose the pricey option and truly splurge on luxury with a large room and king bed. Whatever your preference, the Hotel Shanker is the best place to stay for luxury, price, and historical significance.
Park Village Resort
On my recent trip to Nepal, I stayed for three days at Park Village Resort in Kathmandu. Park Village is a beautiful and expansive property by KGH chain of hotels.
Away from city, everything about Park Village screams but in a good way green, there are so many trees and shrubs covering the ground and the only sound you hear here is of chirping birds and breeze. It feels like you are staying in a small but truly green sanctuary. There are various cottages and wings which are in earthy colours and with interesting names which are picked from everything related to nature, I stayed in Hamilton wing. The rooms are big and luxurious with fabulous amenities. Nonetheless, view is impeccable. I was stoked when I discovered that my window offers me the views of Shivpuri Nagarjun National Park and Sakya Stupa.
Nearby, you’ll find many places of interest including the famous temple, Budha Neelkanth. Food here is great as well so is the staff. Every inch of Park Village oozes freedom; freedom from stress, monotony & city; I loved my stay.
FIND YOUR PERFECT STAY IN KATHMANDU
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