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.
If you must do all your shopping in Thamel, we recommend Shona’s for trekking gear and Pilgrim’s for books. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best shopping in Kathmandu:
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!
Here’s the Google Map Location of Baber Mahal Revisited.
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.
They care about their artisans and their commitment to fair trade makes you feel good about shopping with them. Plan to spend at least half an hour exploring the whole shop.
Here’s the Google Map location of Dhukuti
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).
Here’s the Google Map location of Mahguthi
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.
Here’s the Google Map location of Lokta Paper Craft
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.
Here’s the Google Map Location of Master Weaver
If you have recommendations for other places to shop in Kathmandu – let us know in the comments.