When choosing where you are going to stay in a city, there are a few things that you need to consider. You will want to be staying in a safe area that is close in proximity to some of the places you want to visit in the city and that is comfortable for you to stay.
This can be difficult to narrow down a list of places that you can stay in some cities, and we found it especially difficult finding where to stay in Kathmandu, Nepal. This was a city that we did not have a lot of knowledge about before visiting in 2014 nor did we know many people that had traveled here.
Thankfully our trip to Kathmandu went wonderfully and you can learn more about what you can do with your time in Kathmandu here. In this post, we are going to discuss the best place to stay when you are in the city and what you should consider when booking a place to stay.
Kathmandu: Where to Stay
Accommodation is one of the most difficult things to book when we are traveling. It is difficult to find a balance between the things that we expect and are looking for in a place to stay. Especially when we are staying in a city that is not completely developed. This just complicates things even more so.
Do you want a place to just be able to lay your head at night? Are you wanting to have a place to stay that will offer you a little bit more than a roof over your head? What is the length of time you are planning to stay? Perhaps if you are staying longer than a week you are going to to want to stay somewhere that is more comfortable than just a shared room in a hostel.
There is a lot to consider when looking for the perfect place to stay, but when we are choosing where to stay in a city we consider three things:
This is the number one most important thing for us when booking a trip. We want to know that the place we booked is in a safe area of the city so that when we are leaving our accommodation in the morning and returning late at night that we are not questioning our safety. This is the number one thing we need to consider when booking a hotel and this comes down to knowing the best area or areas to stay within a city.
Finding the best place to stay within a city also has to do with proximity to the places that you want to visit within that city. If you plan to do a lot of day trips, perhaps there is an area of the city that is nice and close to the bus terminal that will take you to these different locations. Maybe the city has a lot of attractions located in specific part of town and you know that you can stay in an area close to them. This will save you money in transportation costs, as well as time in getting lost or confusion on how to get from one point to another.
Last, but certainly not least in our search for the perfect place to stay, is finding a place that will be comfortable. You do not want to enter your room and find unsightly things that will haunt you during your stay there. We have heard too many horror stories from couples on our Travel Couple Podcast where they booked a place and it was nothing like they had imagined it to be. This forces them out looking for another place to stay last minute which causes many more headaches and pains during your travels. Finding the right place the first time is incredibly important in planning a successful trip.
We take all of these three factors into consideration in the following post to bring you a list of places you should consider when staying in Kathmandu, Nepal. First, we need to take a look at what area you should be looking for a place to stay.
Best Area to Stay in Kathmandu
When it comes to looking for the right area to stay when you are in Kathmandu, there is one such area that comes to mind and is the number one area for anyone traveling to the city. This is Thamel.
Thamel is the travelers district in Kathmandu known for the many backpackers that stay in the many hotels, hostels, and guest houses that this area has to offer. It is also known for many bars, restaurants, and the nightlife of Kathmandu all rolled into one. If you are looking to eat, drink, and explore local markets during your time in Kathmandu, then this offers it all within a one or two kilometer radius. You can even escape the noise and pollution of the city by visiting the Garden of Dreams, a walled area of the city with a beautiful green space, restaurant, and bar.
Thamel is also close to a few major attractions within the city and within walking distance to Durbar Square where you can find a palace, markets, and many more things to do. In addition to all of this, Thamel is also the area where you can catch buses to neighboring cities for your day trips or even to Pokhara.
Best Place to Stay in Kathmandu
When considering the best places to stay in Kathmandu, we stuck to the Thamel area. Though there are some other nice areas and places that you can stay in Kathmandu, Thamel trumps them all in our opinion. The following places have been reviewed with great performance in terms of what they offer guests, and of course safety and comfortability have already been taken into consideration as they are all in a great location.
Best Hotels in Thamel, Kathmandu
There is no shortage of hotels to stay at in Thamel. We broke this down into three different categories: 3, 4, and 5 star hotels. If you are looking for a less expensive place to stay during your time in Kathmandu, then the 3 star hotels will provide you a roof over your head and they are the highest reviewed hotels available. The 4 star hotels will provide a little bit more comfort for a slightly pricier stay. There is only one 5 star hotel available in the Thamel area as considered by Booking.
3 Star Hotels in Kathmandu
- Kumari Boutique Hotel
This hotel has a terrace, concierge services, free private parking, a restaurant with a continental breakfast available daily, room service, free WiFi, and rooms with air conditioning, TV with satellite channels, fridge, electric tea pot, private bathroom, and some rooms that include a balcony and city view.
Rooms start at around $50 USD and this hotel has a 3 Star rating and an impressive 9.6 rating from 1,076 reviews.
4 Star Hotels in Kathmandu
- Apsara Boutique Hotel
It has a terrace with views of the mountains, free WiFi, and free private parking if you decide you want to drive while you are in Kathmandu (we would not recommend it). Rooms have TVs, private bathrooms (bath robes, slippers, and free toiletries included), free airport shuttle service, and an on-site restaurant and bar with room service and packed lunches available to guests.
This hotel has a 4 Star rating and an 8.8 rating with 386 Reviews from guests. This hotel will cost about $80 USD per night depending on the season and availability.
5 Star Hotels in Kathmandu
- Aloft Kathmandu Thamel
This hotel offers you the most during your stay in Kathmandu. With a bar, restaurant, fitness center, lounge, casino, pool, room service, and tour organization for guests, this hotel has a lot more comfort to provide for your stay. Rooms have air conditioning, a TV with satellite channels, private bathrooms with free toiletries, closet, coffee machine, and an electric teapot. There are continental and buffet breakfasts available daily. In addition, you can take advantage of the shuttle service from the airport that it offers its guests.
This hotel holds a 5 Star rating and an 8.7 rating with a small amount of reviews currently. Rooms start at about $125 USD.
Best Hostel in Kathmandu
- K Hostel
- 4 Seasons Hostel
If hostel living interests you, you can save a significant amount of money by sharing a room with others. These hostels offer similar facilities with a 24 hour front desk, restaurant, tour desk and currency exchange, shared bathroom and shower, breakfast included, and a terrace.
K Hostel holds an 8.8 rating with a small amount of reviews and beds starting as low as $5 USD per person.
The 4 Seasons Hostel does not have a currency exchange service but has an ATM Machine, while also having a private bathroom in the full room bookings. You can book from one to four people in these rooms which offer some savings if you are traveling with a group of people but want to have your own room. They also offer an airport shuttle.
4 Seasons Hostel holds a 9.0 rating with 61 reviews and rooms beginning at just $20 USD.
Cheap Guest House in Kathmandu
- Suitable Home in Kathmandu
Though not yet rated on Booking, this place has rooms with beautiful views of the mountains from the balconies, air conditioning, free WiFi, and a bar. Continental breakfast is available every morning here.
This has yet to be reviewed and is not rated. Rooms start at $30 USD.
We definitely recommend that when you book your accommodation that you reach out to the host or owner and request an airport pick up. Double checking before you book that the place you are staying offers this we feel is important. When you arrive in Kathmandu airport for the first time, you will understand.
It was an overwhelming experience for us. As soon as you leave the airport you are mobbed by swarms of people wanting to take your luggage to your vehicle in order to get a tip. And they are more aggressive than anywhere we have ever been before. This was definitely the most negative aspect of our stay in Nepal.
We had scheduled an airport pick up through the place we were staying and they found us right away. Still, people were trying to grab our luggage to take it to the vehicle and I was constantly having to pull it away from people. When we got to the car, they were still trying to grab our luggage to pass it up to the people on the roof of the van to strap it down for our drive. They managed to take it away from us despite us telling them that it was not necessary, we could pass it up. After they demanded a tip for this, we got into the van and shut the door. At this point, somebody forcefully opened the door and aggressively demanded a tip.
Our driver told us it was better to give some money so that they stopped bugging us and we were able to leave the parking lot. With only large bills provided by the currency exchange, I had to give them a large tip for this service that was extremely negative. We tell you this story to prepare you for what you will experience at the airport. Kathmandu was a lovely city besides this and we had a great time here. However, it is best to prepare for the airport and have a vehicle ready there to take you to your accommodation. We could not even think about how difficult that experience could have been if we also needed to figure out where to grab a taxi and get to our place.
Have you ever been to Kathmandu? What was your experience like here? What area and place did you stay while you were there? If you have any questions about staying in Kathmandu, feel free to leave a comment below.