- Explore Kathmandu
- Top attractions around the Woodapple Hotel and Spa
- Central Thamel
- Swoyambhunath, or Monkey Temple
- Garden of Dreams
- Narayanhiti Palace Museum
- MoNA (Museum of Nepali Art)
- Ason Bazaar
- Kaathe Swoyambhu or Shree Ghah Chaitya
- Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Skywalk Tower
- Other must-visit attractions in Kathmandu
- Boudhanath Stupa
- Pashupatinath Temple
- Patan Durbar Square
- Uku Bahal
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square
- Changunarayan Temple
- Narayanthan or Budhaneelkantha Temple
- Kopan Monastery
- Central Zoo
- Helpful Tips
Location is crucial when selecting a hotel for your stay. As a tourist, you would want to stay at a place that is conveniently placed close to tourist attractions and business hubs. Kathmandu's Woodapple Hotel and Spa ticks all the boxes. The hotel has one of the best locations in the city, and if you have booked a stay here, thumbs up to you!
Located close to the business hubs and Thamel, the city's tourist district, you will find it easy to move around the city during your stay at Woodapple. Restaurants, convenience stores, shops, and some of the major tourist attractions lie within walking distance of the Woodapple Hotel and Spa. Transportation is also readily available, as local taxis park outside the hotel. You can be sure that transportation won't be an issue when you stay at Woodapple Hotel and Spa.
If you are interested in knowing more about the Top attractions around the Woodapple Hotel and Spa, we have listed out the popular as well as not-so-well-known tourist attractions that can be easily accessed from the hotel. For those who would love to explore Kathmandu in depth, we have also added places that lend charm to this ancient city.
Kathmandu is like a living museum. Apart from the six prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city, there are innumerable ancient shrines and monuments that are worth exploring. There are also some modern landmarks that add a modern touch to the city.
Top attractions around the Woodapple Hotel and Spa
So, are you ready to explore? Dress up for the weather, don a comfortable pair of shoes, grab your purse and camera, and let's get going!
You cannot miss out on exploring Thamel if you are staying at the Woodapple Hotel and Spa. Once you get out of the hotel and navigate your way through the narrow streets of Kaldhara and Paknajol, you will arrive at the heart of Thamel. This is the most popular place for tourists to stay and hang out.
Filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, bookshops, and trekking and mountaineering gear shops, Thamel has a chaotic but lively vibe. The restaurants here offer cuisine from all over the world. Be it Japanese, Korean, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Irish, vegan, middle-eastern, or Halal food, it's possible to find your choice of food in Thamel.
There are pubs and nightclubs where live music and concerts happen every other night. Except in the early hours, the streets of Thamel remain busy day and night.
Narsingh Chowk, Amrit Marg, Chaksibari Marg, and Satghumti are the streets where you will find all the action happening. If you feel tired, you can take a rickshaw ride to go around. Rickshaws are only allowed to ply inside Thamel and some of the neighboring areas in the city.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa: Less than 1 km/ 12 minutes walk, 5 minutes by vehicle
Swoyambhunath, or Monkey Temple
Woodland Hotel and Spa offers a glorious view of Swoyambhunath, the hilltop shrine, from its rooftop as well as from the south-facing rooms. This ancient temple is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that lies close to the hotel.
According to local legend, this temple was ‘self-created..' The story goes that Majushri, a Boddhisattva, was meditating when he had a vision of a divine lotus blooming in the middle of the lake. Manjushri traveled to the lake and drained its water to get close to the lotus. After the water was drained, the lotus transformed into the Swoyambhunath Stupa. The dried lakebed became the Kathmandu Valley. The first human settlements in Kathmandu were formed at the foot of Swoyambhu Hill.
The temple is also known as Monkey Temple for the large population of monkeys that live on the hill and the temple. As the road doesn't go all the way to the top of the hill, one needs to climb a long staircase to reach the stupa.
The Swoyambhunath stupa is a big white dome topped by a gilded square with the eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides. The eyes are of the Amitava Buddha, who looks out at the world with compassion. A golden spire tops the stupa. Surrounding the stupa are several ancient Hindu temples, a Buddhist monastery, and a museum. One can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the entire city from the temple's grounds.
If you are spending a couple of days in Kathmandu before a long trek or mountaineering expedition, a walk or jog to this hilltop shrine can serve as a warm-up for your Himalayan adventure. The stupa is a popular place for local joggers and fitness enthusiasts, and you will meet a lot of them if you make an early morning jog to this beautiful heritage site.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa: 2 - 2km/ 10 minutes by vehicle (from the parking lot, one needs to climb a long staircase to reach the shrine) or 1 hour or more on foot (from the hotel).
Entry Fee – NPR 50 for SAARC nationals and NPR 200 for other foreigners
Garden of Dreams
Located at the entrance of Thamel, the Garden of Dreams, or Swapna Bagaicha, is a beautiful neo-classical garden created by a Rana aristocrat more than a century ago. Designed in the style of an Edwardian garden, the Garden of Dreams is decorated with pavilions, pergolas, an ornamental pond, fountains, and balustrades. The beautifully landscaped garden is divided into six sections that are named after the six Nepali seasons. The manicured lawns of the garden offer a perfect spot to escape and chill out from the chaos of Thamel. There's a posh café inside the garden.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 1.6 km/ 15 minutes walk and less than 10 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee- NPR 400 for non-Nepalis.
Narayanhiti Palace Museum
A straight road leading out of Thamel's Narsing Chowk brings you to Durbar Marg and the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. The palace, which used to be the residence of the Shah kings, has been converted into a museum. The Narayanhiti Palace was the site of the gory royal massacre in 2001, which saw the deaths of the late King Birendra Shah and his entire family.
The last king of Nepal to reside in Narayanhiti was Gyanendra Shah. He and other members of the royal family had to vacate the palace in 2008 after the country was declared a federal democratic republic and the monarchy was abolished. The rule of the Shah dynasty in Nepal lasted for more than two centuries.
The attractions at the Narayanhiti Palace Museum include the throne room, the assembly hall, the Gold State Coach gifted by Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Nepal, the Shreepech or the King's Crown, etc.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 2.3 km/ 25-30 minutes walk, 11 minutes by car
Entry Fee- NPR 500 for SAARC nationals and Chinese, NPR 1000 for other foreigners
Note: The museum is closed on Wednesdays
MoNA (Museum of Nepali Art)
Located inside the Kathmandu Guest House in Thamel, the Museum of Nepali Art, or MoNA, showcases paintings by renowned local artists. This is a gem of a place if you are an art lover and interested in Nepalese traditional art and painting. The museum remains open to visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa: 700 meters /10 minutes walk
Entry Fee – NPR 1000/-
Ason Bazaar is the oldest market in Kathmandu. This market used to be a major hub when the Tibet salt trade route was active. Traders from Tibet, China, and India used to stop at this market to replenish their supplies and trade their wares.
There are several arterial roads (or alleys) that lead to this old bazaar from Thamel. The streets are lined with shops selling clothes, food, fresh produce, meat, tea, groceries, utensils, and incense.
At the center of the bazaar is a splendid pagoda-roofed temple dedicated to Annapurna, or the Goddess of Food and Nourishment. Right across is a smaller shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesh, the Hindu god who removes obstacles.
The sights and sounds of this ancient market are amazing. But those who are not used to the hustle and bustle of Asian markets may find the Ason Bazaar experience chaotic and a bit unnerving.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 1.4 km/20 minutes walk, 5 minutes by vehicle (walking is recommended as the market remains crowded)
Kaathe Swoyambhu or Shree Ghah Chaitya
This is a hidden gem in the middle of Thamel. Kaathe Swoyambhu, a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists, is not listed in most of the guidebooks. Located in Thahity, an old merchant settlement, the Kaathe Swoyambhu (also known as Shree Ghah Chaitya) is a smaller version of the Swoyambhunath stupa. It is believed that the stupa was built from the leftover materials found near the Swoyamnbhunath stupa. Dating back to the seventeenth century, the Kaathe Swoyambhu is an important pilgrimage site for followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Decorated with prayer flags and miniature stone chaityas, the Kaathe Swoyambhu is a sacred spiritual spot in busy Thamel. There's a small Buddhist monastery right next to the stupa.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa– 1 km/15 minutes’ walk, 5 minutes by vehicle
Kathmandu Durbar Square
Kathmandu, or Basantapur Durbar Square, is one of the three medieval palace squares in the city. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, the history of Kathmandu Durbar Square dates back to the third century (Lichhavi era). Most of the buildings on the square have been rebuilt and redesigned over the centuries. The Malla Kings are credited with the building of the artistic temples, palaces, and courtyards that the Durbar Square is famous for. A powerful earthquake in 2015 destroyed most of the ancient structures on the square. However, the buildings are in the process of being rebuilt and restored by a dedicated team of experts.
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is a huge palazzo filled with pagoda-roofed Hindu temples, palaces, and a museum. The major attractions inside the Kathmandu Durbar Square include the Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum, the House of the Living Goddess, Kashtamandap, the stone statue of Garuda, the temple of Taleju Bhawani, etc.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 1.6 km/ 30 minutes walk, 10 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee- NPR 500 for SAARC Nationals and NPR 1000 for other foreigners
The Skywalk Tower is one of the newest attractions in the city. Located in Kamaladi, the tower rises to a height of 78.5 meters and features a Skywalk Point with a glass floor at the top, a restaurant with a 360-degree view of the city, a club, and high-speed elevators. Only a limited number of people are allowed to enter the Skywalk Point at a time. One can spend only 30 minutes at the top. .
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 2.8 km / 30 minutes’ walk, less than 10 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee for Skywalk Point– NPR 1000/-
Other must-visit attractions in Kathmandu
Apart from the above-mentioned sites, the cultural landmarks listed below are also worth exploring.
The Boudhanath Stupa is a centre of Buddhist spiritualism in the valley. The large white dome sitting on a stone plinth designed like a mandala looks arresting. Dating back to the fifth century, the Boudhanath Stupa is believed to hold the remains of Kasyapa Buddha. This iconic landmark is a center of Tibetan Buddhism, and every day hundreds of pilgrims visit this sacred stupa. The white dome is surrounded by prayer wheels and prayer flags, while a gilded cube (with the beautifully painted eyes of Lord Buddha) and a tower cover its top. Buddhist monasteries, souvenir shops, art galleries, and cafes line the periphery of this grand stupa.
There are Tibetan colonies around the stupa, which offers you an insight into the lives of Tibetan refugees in Nepal.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 8km / 18 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee- NPR 100 for SAARC Nationals and NPR 400 for others
Pashupatinath Temple is the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is one of the three chief gods in the Hindu pantheon, Pashupatinath has been a place of worship for hundreds of years. The pagoda-roofed temple has silver doors on four sides and tiered roofs covered with copper and gold leaves. Inside the temple's inner sanctum is a huge stone linga with a silver yoni.
The Pashupatinath Temple complex spreads over a large area and is dotted with other temples, shrines, and ashrams. The sacred river Bagmati flows beside the temple. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple. Non-Hindus are allowed to view the temple from the outside. One gets a good view of Arya Ghat (which lies below the temple), a cremation site of the Hindus, from the eastern bank of the river.
The temple's evening 'aarti' or fire worship ceremony, which is held on the banks of the Bagmati, is a spectacular affair. Brahmin priests perform puja on the river bank, holding lighted oil lamps. To witness this ritual, you can visit the temple right before sunset.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 5.4 km/14 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee- NPR 1000 (Free entry for Indians)
Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square lies in the southern part of the city. The Durbar square was built by the Malla Kings, who ruled over the three kingdoms in the valley: Kantipur or Kathmandu; Lalitpur or Patan; and Bhaktapur, during medieval times. The Patan Durbar Square has some of the finest collections of traditional buildings and temples in the valley. The sophisticated and beautiful designs carved on wood, stone, and metal adorning the buildings are testimony to the high level of artistry of the native Newari craftsmen and artists. The Patan Palace Museum, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple, Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk, etc. are the attractions of the royal palace square.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 7.3 km /25 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee – NPR 250 for SAARC nationals and NPR 1000 for other foreigners
One of the oldest Buddhist viharas in the city, Uku Bahal, is filled with ornately carved brass dorjes (thunderbolts) and Buddhist mythological creatures. Located south of the Patan Durbar Square, this Buddhist monastery is an interesting place to visit if you are in Patan. The genesis of this vihar, or monastery, dates back to the sixth century, during the time of King Shivadeva of the Lichhavi dynasty. Uku Bahal has served as a sacred space for the local Newari Buddhist families. It is an active place of worship and is pretty well preserved.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa: 7.6 km/28 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee- NPR 50
Bhaktapur Durbar Square
Of the three durbar squares in the valley, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is the largest and most well-preserved. Bhaktapur was a separate kingdom during the medieval era. Known as the 'City of Devotees', the old city of Bhaktapur was designed in the shape of a conch. Compared to the other two durbar squares, you will find the ambiance at Bhaktapur more authentic and traditional. While there are modern constructions, they have not yet completely overtaken the old city.
There are four squares within the old city: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square, Dattatreya Square, and Pottery Square. The first three squares are filled with ornately designed palaces, temples, and stone sculptures. The Palace of 55 Windows, Nyatapol Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Bhimsen Temple, Golden Gate, Pujari Math, Peacock Window, etc. are the major attractions of these squares.
The Pottery Square is where the valley's potters live. You can observe them working on terracotta and clay pots and figurines while walking through this square. Some of the potters offer tours of their workshops and a chance to dabble with pottery-making.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa 17km/30 minutes or an hour by vehicle
Entry Fee - NPR 500 for SAARC Nationals and NPR 1800 for other tourists
The Changunarayan Temple is one of the oldest heritage sites in the country and a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pagoda-roofed temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the major gods in Hinduism. Inside the temple's grounds, one will find representations of Lord Vishnu's many avatars (manifestations). There are exquisite carvings on wood, stone, and metal. A stone tablet placed outside the temple has the oldest written inscription found in the valley. The inscription dates back to 464 AD and is written in Sanskrit.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 21 km/ 40 minutes or more by vehicle
Entry Fee – NPR 100 for SAARC Nationals and NPR 300 for others
Narayanthan or Budhaneelkantha Temple
Budhaneelkantha holds one of the most beautiful stone sculptures of Lord Vishnu. The grand stone sculpture sits in the middle of a concrete pool. Also known as the Sleeping Vishnu, the statue lies in a reclining pose. The statue, which dates back to the Lichhavi period, is exquisitely carved. The giant figure of Lord Vishnu sleeping on a bed of coiled serpents looks awe-inspiring.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa – 5.6 km/ 15 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee: No
Towards the north of Kathmandu, Kopan Monastery sits on a green hill far away from the maddening rush of the city. Set in a serene area, Kopan Monastery is an important Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Home to several monks and nuns, the monastery offers meditation and spiritual courses and retreats for visitors who are interested in Buddhism.
The monastery has a delightful garden, from where one can enjoy splendid views of Kathmandu.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa- 9.4km/22 minutes by vehicle
Entry Fee: No
Khokana is one of the Newari heritage villages that lie on the outskirts of the city. It is an ancient village with a rich past. The villagers of Khokana are involved in farming and the production of mustard oil. Lined with traditional brick buildings and temples of local deities, a stroll around Khokana will offer you an insight into the lives of the villagers. An interesting fact about this village is that it was the first locality in Nepal to receive electricity in 1911.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel - 10 km /22 minutes by vehicle
Bungamati is another charming Newari village that is located close to the city. The village is known as the home of Rato Macchendranath, the valley's 'Rain God'. The residents of Bungamati are mainly woodcarvers and metal sculptors. You can hear the tapping of wood and metal as you walk down the narrow alleys of the village. Life moves at a relaxed pace here and you will find groups of villagers and elderly folks sitting out in the street or outside their homes chatting or doing their chores.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa - 14.3km/ 35 minutes, or an hour by vehicle
A visit to the city's Central Zoo in Jwalakhel can be a fun experience if you are on vacation with kids. The local zoo is home to 105 different species of native as well as non-native animals, birds, and reptiles. The zoo also has a small lake inside where you can enjoy boating.
Distance from Woodapple Hotel and Spa: 7 km
Entry Fee: NPR 500 for SAARC Nationals and NPR 1000 for other foreigners
- Always carry with you the contact number of the hotel.
- The vehicle number plates in Nepal are written in the Devanagari script. So if you are planning to use local ride-sharing apps like Pathao, take time out to learn the Nepali numbers from 1 to 10. You will find it easier spot your ride.
- Try to learn basic Nepali phrases. This will come in handy if you plan on exploring the city on your own.
- Don't wear revealing clothes while visiting temples and monasteries.
- Respect the local customs and traditions.
- Last but not the least, don't forget to carry a positive mindset and enjoy every moment of your vacation.
- Do note that the duration and time given to reach the tourist attraction are tentative and subject to change. The time taken to reach the site depends on the prevalent traffic conditions, the speed of the vehicle, and your pace (if you are walking). During the day, there's heavy traffic on the road, and more often than not, it takes extra time to reach one's destination.
- Fees cited above were applicable at the time of posting this guide (November 2023).