Founded by Pravin Chitrakar with a long-term mission to improve the quality of Nepali handicrafts, this urban artisan village includes a gallery, café, arts residency and handicrafts workshop. Visitors can hang out with a cool drink in the leafy courtyard, before browsing the knitwear, jewellery, paper products and other crafts on display.
When it comes to quality, Nepal’s very own coffee shop chain can compete with the big-name international brands – and Patan’s branch at Mangalbazar exceeds all expectations with its unique location and ambience. In a heritage building protected by the Department of Archaeology, the café is just around the corner from the famous Unesco-listed Patan Durbar Square and overlooks a large golden Buddha.
Spicy, lavish Newari cuisine – from the indigenous Newa people of Kathmandu Valley – is on the menu at this relaxed multi-level restaurant. Diners can opt to sit on cushions around low tables, or enjoy the views north towards the Himalayas from the rooftop. Get one of the set meals to sample several different curries with rice. The kitchen also serves other traditional Nepalese dishes as well as a Western selection comprising sandwiches, pastas and pizzas.
As well as contemporary gold, silver and gemstone creations, you can browse a range of Tibetan-inspired jewellery and objets d’art at this store that is just a 3-min walk from the Patan Durbar Square. The mandala pendants decorated with rubies and emeralds are particularly striking, as are the gold, silver, bronze and jade Buddha amulets encased within lockets. Swotha Square
This gallery, studio and art school preserves and promotes the spirituality-themed Paubha style of painting. Founded by master artist Lok Chitrakar – a member of the Pun painter caste – the studio’s display of paintings is colourful, highly detailed and represents Buddhist and Hindu gods, goddesses and their related symbols. Visit for a crash course in this traditional art form.
This boutique hotel is tucked away on a quiet lane, just steps from Patan Durbar Square. Lovingly converted by conservation architect Rohit Ranjitkar, the Newari brick building is exquisite, with intricately carved windows and door frames. Each of the 10 rooms is individually designed, and decorated with the earthy tones of natural wood and handwoven, un-dyed textiles. Service is friendly, and guests can hang out in the cobblestone courtyard.
This cosy bohemian cafe with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves is perfect for bibliophiles to simply chill and sip a cuppa. Its delightful ambience extends to its al fresco area, which is strung with fairylights. If you’re peckish, its menu offers a selection of burgers, sandwiches and western mains such as fish and chips. If you are there bright and early, there’s also eggs benedict, a full breakfast platter and pancakes to go with your morning joe.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published in the October 2018 issue of Silkwinds magazine and updated on 9 June 2021.