Life Hacks to Survive in Kathmandu

As the most populated city in the country and as the third most expensive city in South Asia, we are always looking for ways to make our lives in Kathmandu easier and more comfortable.

Like Bear Grylls said it, “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome,” here are a few life hacks to live in this city:

  1. 1 Know the Bus Routes


    Kathmandu has big and small vehicles, coming and going everywhere, but believe us, taxis will burn a hole through your wallets way sooner than you realise. Thus, learn each and everything there is to know about the bus and microbus routes, along with the main bus stops.

    Trust us, the only thing worse than being confused is being confused, worried and lost.

  2. 2 Talk to Locals


    Locals are the goldmines to your broke life. 

    Not only are they extremely helpful, but they also have the best stories and hacks. From the best restaurants to the cheapest shop, they are a vault full of information. So gear up with your charm, and get talking!

  3. 3 Explore Market Before Making Purchase


    In the streets of Kathmandu, you will find the same products priced from Rs.100 to Rs.1000. So before opening the doors of your wallet, visits few more shops around and explore. This way you will end up saving more than you intended to.

  4. 4 Find Places to Buy Second-hand Books


    If you are one of those lovely bookworms, there are plenty of places especially around tourist areas like Thamel where you could find places they sell second-hand books in one-third of the price. This way you can read in the comfort of your warm bed.

  5. 5 Make Use of Your Student ID Card:

    Sofia Pradhan

    Student ID cards aren’t just an identification, they’re also a portal to discounts in many places and ventures. From the Bhrikuti Mandap’s Fun Park to many historical places that are scattered in Kathmandu, tickets for dramas, the entree fees cost a lot less for students, you name it and your ID will surprise you. 

    Make good (and wise) use of your IDs.

  6. 6 Carry Entertainment With You


    We’ve heard of it, laughed about it and nodded along as people talk about the ‘Nepali Time’.

    And why wouldn’t we?

    Everywhere you go, you’re either too early or too late, mostly being the former one.

    So, having your newest fantasy book or just a few episodes of The Office in your phone will help you survive the boredom more than you realise. 

  7. 7 Carry A Sanitizer


    Sanitizers are your best friends in Kathmandu.

    As great as the city is, one thing that constantly stalks you everywhere is germs. Stop them from getting into your system! Keep your hands clean when you eat, when you bite your nails and when you facepalm yourself as you wait for an appointment that ain’t happening.

  8. 8 Find Food Places You Can Afford Always:


    We’re all gigantic foodies at heart with peanuts in our wallets. Thus, you will often find yourself speechless in restaurants that demand a part of your kidney. So, ask around while you are at it; your friends and locals will have hacked the code to amazing places with great food and smaller bills. Also, the use of Instagram and YouTube can give you enough clues as well!

  9. 9 Find a Place to Unwind:


    Living is great, but you know what makes it greater? A special place that’s just yours in the simplest way.

    Some of us love the bustle of a crowd, some need something quieter while some can love either with an additional touch of water or wind to them. Find a place which gives you exactly that. And make it your comfort. 

    It could be a restaurant, a library, or a place high up in the hills; find it, savour it.

  10. 10 Install Useful Apps


    They might not be always reliable, but phones sure are very useful. 

    Some of the most useful among them in Kathmandu are Tootle (getting a ride inside the valley, #wearewithtootle), eSewa (online payment service) and Google Maps (finding a place). 

    Install these useful apps and make your life in this city more comfortable than what it was.

  11. 11 Know Your Hotlines


    Hotlines are poignant for survival, not just yours, but also of the people you come across.

    From ambulances, police to APF and fire department, be informed on how to contact them. Save all the emergency numbers in your cells if you’re a tourist or aren’t informed. In fact, memorize them as soon as you can because you never know when you might need them. 

    While living Kathmandu does have its perks, it ain’t as easy as some people make it out to be. We hope that some of these hacks help you make your life a little easier. We also know that a lot of you have more such things that you’re following regularly. Share some of those with us!

    Comment and let us know if you have anything to add! 

    SHARE to let people know how they can live in this heavy, bustling city without losing their minds!

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Written by Kumudini Pant

Full name's in the Bio but you can call me Kumu.

I live and breathe books, movies and TV shows. So, recommendations for an awesome one of those is wholeheartedly welcome. If anyone wants recommendations, just get me your preferred genre and I'll have a list prepared.


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