This is the essential guide to shopping in Kathmandu. This list includes many fair-trade, quality, and upscale boutiques with handmade items.
This is not going to be a guide to Thamel (the largest commercial district in Kathmandu). Thamel is a backpacker’s haven and fun to walk through for a few hours.
Baber Mahal Revisited
By far one of the most interesting (and calm) shopping experiences in Nepal is found at Baber Mahal Revisited. It’s a former stable of one of the Rana residences that have been repurposed into shops and restaurants.
Inside Babar Mahal, there are stores for handmade paper products, watches, antiques, felt animals and wall hangings, clothes, and linens. Make sure to stop by Chez Caroline for lunch!
Some of our favorite shopping is actually across the river in Lalitpur (Patan). It’s a little calmer than central Kathmandu and has plenty of great restaurants and shops.
Dhukuti sells some of the most modern, well-designed handicrafts in Nepal. Their multi-story shop sells pottery, linens, children’s toys, holiday decor, and brass items for reasonable prices.
Mahaguthi (Craft with Conscience) is full of handmade paper products, pottery, and textiles. It’s also a multi-level store and has a similar mission to Dhukuti (and bonus, they’re almost right across the street from each other).
Lokta Paper Craft
Lokta Paper Craft is a sprawling store with lots of fun handmade paper items, brass, pottery, and textiles. The star of the show is the multitude of paper items – bags, gift boxes, wrapping paper, notebooks, cards, lampshades, and stationery. It’s cheap and cheerful and a great place to load up on lightweight gifts for friends and family.
If you like handmade carpets, you will love Master Weaver. Some of our favorite carpets have come from this store with Tibetan-Nepali designs.
Master Weaver exports the majority of its carpets to designers around the world – so you’re getting a great price when you shop at their store in Nepal.
If you have recommendations for other places to shop in Kathmandu – let us know in the comments.