If you are looking for a budget destination with all the trimmings then you'll find no better than Nepal's capital Kathmandu. With ancient temples, narrow old streets, rustic open squares, a mix of cultures all resting below the snow capped Himalayas there's nowhere else on earth quite like Kathmandu. From budget backpackers looking for five dollar rooms to trekking and culture enthusiasts looking for private hotels you'll have no problems finding value for money accommodation near all the top attractions.
Stay in Thamel which is commonly referred to as the heart of tourist Kathmandu and use it as your base to get started. Or stay in the quieter Paknajol area right next door with easy access to the monkey temple at Swyanbunath. For culture enthusiasts you might want to consider staying out of the immediate city near one of the world's largest stupas in Boudhanath. Wherever you choose to stay in Kathmandu there will always be something to do for all budgets.
Since the 1960's Thamel has had an incredible reputation for providing some of the cheapest hotel rooms in the world. Not much has changed as this bustling area truly is the heart of Kathmandu's tourist district. Thamel is a maze of small winding streets between three main roads dividing them all up and linking you to popular tourist spots throughout the city. From Thamel it's a mere 10 minute walk to the city's stunning Durbar Square or former Royal Palace which is now a museum. Lined with trekking stores, handicraft shops, hotels, restaurants and cafés, Thamel is a favourite budget accommodation location for hundreds of travellers every year.
If you are looking to avoid the hustle, bustle and noise of Thamel yet still be close to the all the action of Kathmandu then the Paknajol area is a great place to find budget hotels. Literally located right next to Thamel, Paknajol is a long street that links to walkable roads leading to the must see attractions of Swyanbunath (monkey temple), Thamel and Kathmandu Durbar square. A quieter alternative to Thamel, guest-houses here often fill up so book early!
As one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu, Boudhanath does have some luxury hotels situated nearby but still has several great budget accommodation options available. Located via a short 15 minute taxi ride outside of Thamel, Boudhanath offers a true old world experience without the throngs of tourists. Most of the budget accommodation is located off the side streets that lead to Boudhanath stupa, one of the world's largest and most impressive.
Technically Bhaktapur is a city in its own right located 30 minutes outside of Kathmandu city. However for budget accommodation that's got easy access to the capital few could go wrong with choosing Bhaktapur as a location to stay. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site Bhaktapur's centre offers the unique status of being traffic free. With temples, museums, cafés and relaxing streets it makes for a great place to find a perfect budget hotel and stay a while in Nepal.
For more information about Kathmandu, have a look at the Travellerspoint guide
This content was contributed by David Ways.