Known as Kathmandu's tourist hub, Thamel is just as popular with the locals for its unique blend of restaurants, bars, shops, music venues, tour and travel offices, and activity centers. While you can spend quite a few days exploring every nook and cranny of this densely packed neighborhood, don't forget to step outside and experience Kathmandu's other attractions. Here is Parakhi's recommendation of places to go near Thamel:
Garden of Dreams
Listed in Time Magazine's 24 of the World's Best-Kept Secrets, The Garden of Dreams, a neo classical historical garden, is located in the midst of Kathmandu, Nepal. You will notice the tall white structure walls that surround the Garden of Dreams when you enter Thamel from Darbarmarg. Within the Garden walls, late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher created an exquisite ensemble of pavillions, fountains, decorative garden furnitures and European inspired features such as varandas, pergolas, blustrades, urns and birdhouses. Garden of Dreams is a place of peaceful oasis full of unique architecture and varieties of flowers and fauna brought from different countries. It also hosts Kaiser Cafe, a restaurant and coffee shop known for its quality dishes and Austrian cuisine. For more information on the Garden of Dreams, visit their website here.
Darbarmarg, or commonly known as King’s Way, is a hot attraction for tourists and locals alike. Darbarmarg boasts luxury hotels, Sherpa Mall, restaurants, designer stores, travel agencies and airline offices. Hotel Annapurna and Hotel Yak & Yeti are situated in the middle of Darbarmarg, giving their guests a close access to Kathmandu’s shopping center. If you're in the mood to gamble, Yak & Yeti's Casino Royale is the place to be. One of the cleanest and most well-maintained areas in the city, Darbarmarg is just a 5-10 minute walk from Thamel.
Lazimpat has designer shops, hotels, embassies and plenty of restaurants. Some of the hotels that are located in Lazimpat are Hotel Radisson, Hotel Shangri-La, The Shanker Hotel, and Hotel Ambassador. In Lazimpat, you can go from shopping for luxury ayurvedic products at Laavanya to grabbing Newari food at Votoo. Lazimpat Gallery Cafe, a popular spot for local volunteers, hosts film screenings. A stroll to Lazimpat from Thamel takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Source: Wikipedia: Lonely Planet
Image source: Garden of Dreams