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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
x The average starting price for a place to stay in Kathmandu is £14 per night.
sfy I live here almost one week, and I love this house so much. The lady here is so nice, helpful and friendly, her cooking is wonderful. The house is very clean and confortable, 24 hours hot water, the location is nearly by the airport, and not far from the kathmandu downtown. The most important, you can live here very well as the real nepali
babyblueda We recently stayed at the Elbrus Home and never in all the 54 countries I have traveled to have I had service like what is given here by Khem and his staff. Where else does the manager/ owner make himself available to the guests at all times? It may be a small budget hotel but the service is most definitely 5 star. The rooms are clean, the breakfast is very good (and served "whenever you get up"), Khem after a few minutes seems like a personal friend and will give information, help with travel plans , book reservations or help with any needs that arise. The location is also excellent and they will arrange airport pickups and drop offs. His little dog who lives on the premises is so friendly and cuddly that he just adds to the fun of staying there. The outdoor eating and sitting area is beautifully decorated with plants and flowers and has great views. There is an indoor sittting area with a small library and if you didn't bring your own computer Khem will let you use his. I cannot say enough good things about Elbrus Home. We plan to return to Kathmandu and would not even consider staying anywhere else. Thank you Khem, Raj and Ali for all you did for us and making us feel like very special guests!
Thamel, KathmanduAwesome 89%
marshe58 For true basic traveler types it is perfect. I enjoyed the staff, the site is fine also. Great rooftop view for picture taking at sunsrise also,
kevinth70 Trekkers Home is awesome. I emailed Raj, the manager, asking for help to organise my trek to base camp before i arrived in nepal and when I got to kathmandu airport there was someone waiting to pick me up and I soon found everything had been organised for me and there was no hassle what so ever. I also left my bags here when I went trekking and they were kept safe and secure. Upon completing the trek to base camp, I arrived back to lukla airport early but with one quick call to Raj he changed my flight and actually got me on the first flight back to kathmandu while everyone else up there was waiting for days! The staff here are redicuolosly friendly, constantly offering me tea, asking how my day was, offering advice where to go and were just happy to talk to me and ask me about my home country. Some days when me and my friends wanted to go a bit out of Thamel, raj organised a driver to drive us in his own car...its things like this that make you realise you are staying at a great place. I highly recommend this Trekkers Home above all others.
Kathmandu ThamelAwesome 88%
sunilpradh wonderful place to stay in the center of Kathmandu. very welcoming staffs...well managed rooms.....and economically excellent place.....
meganlmorton This quaint guest house has friendly & helpful staff, and is located just a stones throw away from the noisy Disneyland known as Thamel! Which is helpful when trying to escape all the honking! Wifi works even during notorious 16hr power cuts & each room has solar powered light for constant lighting. Nice rooftop with good views of the city. HOT water showers! All in all a good choice for your stay in Kathmandu!
Thamel, Jyatha-30,Kathmandu, NepalAwesome 87%
mvilimova Good location,very friendly,helpful staff,clean but a bit dark room,problem with electricity(as almost everywhere in Kathmandu)
Swoyambhu -15 Kimdole Kathmandu, Buddha ParkAwesome 86%
four_j4 I was allmost 1 month in The sparling turtle an was like a 5 Star Hotel in a hostel. The people was and are One of The greatest on my travel. And The Food is just delicius... Like a Restaurant in france or italy or any Good cuisine in europe also nepali Food is there very very Good. I just say forget all other hostels in kathmandu because u Miss somthing Wehen you are Not in The sparkling turtle. Thank you Team for make it possible:-) Love Jerome
ecaemail The room was bright and spacious and the staff were friendly and helpful, but the bathroom was certainly not the cleanest I've ever seen, and the bathroom ceiling leaked when it rained.
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