Attraction and Landmarks
A large stupa, highly revered in Nepal, and one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. It's a around 30 minute walk from Thamel, or take a taxi. Pay Rs 100 to enter at the front steps or slip in free on the ramp on the south side. As with the Baudha Stupa, there's no shortage of Buddhist and Tibetan-inspired trinkets for sale. For those that have their own transport of have difficulty climbing stairs there is a parking lot at the back entrance that significantly reduces the amount of stairs that need to be climbed to gin access to the main compound.
An important temple to Shiva in the form of Lord of Aminals. It's called as Gold Temple because of external appearance covered gold. See monkeys, cremation, sadhus and a holy cave. Morning is a great time to go. You can meet people who want guide for you in front of an entrance.
Kathmandu Durbar Square
The heart of Kathmandu this ancient square crowded with palaces and temples, including the current incarnation of the Kasthamanap or Wooden house that gives the city its name. The square has been in active use since the construction of a palace around 1000 AD. This site is the most popular UNESCO world heritage site in Nepal.
There are dozens of tourist restaurants clusered in the Thamel distric serving everything from middle eastern to mexican food. Indian and Nepali dishes are always the best tasting and best priced.
The South Asian word for cashmere scarves and shawls can be purchased for a fraction of the price of those in Europe or North America. Look for those produced by the Tibetan refugee camp just outside of Patan or other charitable organizations.
Kathmandu is a great place to stock up or trade in reading material. Used bookstores cover everything from backpacker favorites, to classics, to local history and cluture.
Note that jewelers from Bangkok come to Kathmandu to buy wholesale silver with Indian-processed semiprecious gemstones. The wholesale price of silver is published on the front page of the Himalayan newspaper so buyers can get an idea of the metal cost of the piece, apart from the labor cost. Silber is almost invariably near the stamped 2.5% sterling, as claimed.