Swayambhunath Temple
Swayambhunath Temple
4.5
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
4:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Thursday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Swayambhunath is a glorious ancient religious architecture, located in the middle of Kathmandu city. It is center of faith of both Buddhist and Hindus.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
See what travelers are saying
  • KentuckyGirlAtHeart
    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates150 contributions
    Beautiful temple and nice views
    We decided to walk to this temple from Thamel and it's not a bad walk. Unless you want to pay the fee to pass thru Durbar Square, you will need to walk a few extra blocks to bypass the square. Once you arrive, there are a lot of steep steps to climb before reaching the temple. The ticket booth is a the top of the stairs. The temple itself is made up of several different areas. It wasn't overly crowded when we were there so it was pretty easy to explore the various buildings. There are lots of overpriced souvenir stands here. The views of the city are probably amazing on a clear day, but I think more often than not it's extremely hazy. You do get a feel for how truly big the city is. One thing we found slightly amusing was in the area by the toilets. There was a girl sitting on the bench by the toilets with a box and telling anyone who used the toilet that they needed to pay. I'm not exactly sure if this is legit or if she was simply trying to make a few rupees. My guess is the latter. Obviously, one of the draws here is the monkeys. They seemed to be more prevalent at the bottom of the steps to about halfway up. They are not afraid of people, but don't be fooled into thinking they are friendly creatures. They are entertaining to watch.
    Visited December 2019
    Written March 29, 2020
  • Rohit Chugh
    Hyderabad, India38 contributions
    Good place for shopping and food
    Don't misunderstand me here . It's a holy place but I enjoyed the sushi served at one of the restaurants and the view offered by the roof top restaurants is truly beautiful. You can see a lot of people praying on the lower levels. A windy place and the eyes of the Buddha reach out to all the four directions . This is a good place for shopping and the market is on the outer periphery of the stupa. Entry fees for Indians is 50NPR
    Visited December 2019
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 1, 2020
  • Maryam
    Doha, Qatar122 contributions
    Picturesque view of the temple worth climbing for
    A.K.A. the Monkey Temple, u can literally see monkeys and humans living in harmony at this place. People going there should have strong legs to climb more than 413++ steps from the bottom to top, and I tell u guys, it's a rewarding view on the top. We went on a weekday early morning to avoid the crowd and the photo bombers. Indians and Nepalis were to pay 50 rupees and other foreigners pay 200 rupees for the entrance to the temple. It's well maintained and clean, touts and sellers were all around selling different sorts of souvenir items, but just respectfully refuse them. Worth every step u climbed going there. If u like more photos, then u need a good 3 hours for this stop, selfie stick and a powerbank for backup. Cheers!
    Visited September 2019
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 5, 2020
  • Rebecca
    Adelaide, Australia1,711 contributions
    Dirty and full of vendors and disease carriers.
    It’s a pity, it would be a nice place to look at, but there is nothing super special about the temple that makes it worth the pushy sales tactics and rabid dogs and monkeys. People who were taking photos near the monkeys are clearly unaware that sometimes they scratch and bite - which if you do some quick research online you’ll find is common enough in Nepal that tourists have lots of stories of going to the hospital to get their rabies shots. Inside there is a Thangka school which is nice but they sort of pressure you to buy their lovely expensive paintings at inflated prices. You could probably do better with a street vendor if you haggle. I liked these schools initially but it got old after spending a few days in Kathmandu (they constantly try to take you to one of these schools or art houses).
    Visited January 2020
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 28, 2020
  • Jon N
    2,614 contributions
    Excellent view of Kathmandu city
    Entrance fee is 200 Nepalese rupees each for foreigners here. This is one of the best places to have a panoramic view of the Kathmandu city. It’s an easy climb up to the top and there’s lots of photos opportunities here. There’s a big stupa at the top and is best to take photos during sunrise or sunset. We took a cab here from Thamel for 300 rupees and after visiting the place we took a leisure 30mins walk back.
    Visited May 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 29, 2022
  • BowensBandB
    Fownhope, United Kingdom74 contributions
    Quick visit
    Had an hour or so here. Lovely, spiritual temple with lots of monkeys and many steps to climb! Just watch out for the guides. I had one and he was lovely and very informative; a bit too much information actually! But of course they get commission on sales so I was taken into a souvenir shop and felt obligated to buy something. And then he asked for a ‘donation’ but requested $20. Seeing as I was planning on visiting 4 temples that day it was going to get expensive. My tip: if a guide approaches you tell them you’ll have them for $10 or whatever you’re willing to pay and you do not want to be taken in a souvenir shop (Thangka paintings particularly). Unless you do of course...
    Visited February 2020
    Written February 22, 2020
  • Roddek
    Melbourne, Australia533 contributions
    Beautiful sights and hospitable people.
    When I visited Kathmandu, one of the highlights was the Swayambunath Stupa Buddhist pilgrimage site tour. It is a vast complex that consists of a central stupa, several temples, shrines, and the enormous, mysterious Buddha eyes on top of the dome that stares over the entire valley. There were numerous guides at the site, and I did not hesitate to sign up for one to guide me around. I was informed that Swayambunath is more than an ancient religious site, but an active living one with pilgrims performing clockwise circumambulations around the stupas. The stupas are hemispherical structures, focal points for worship and meditation. I did climb the long flight of stairs, despite the monkey's erratic behaviour at every corner along the way, which most visitors found to be a pest. Still, one is rewarded once you reach the top and view the thirteen golden pinnacles that symbolise the thirteen enlightenment stages of Buddhahood. The four million residents in this city rub shoulders amongst the different religions and seem to abide in good spirits. A vast majority of the population is Hindu, followed by Buddhist and small followers of other faiths. Once out of the main drag the outlying districts are choked with motor vehicles, motorcycles, plenty of garbage and heavy pollution, plus cattle and stray dogs that seem to roam around at free will. Apart from the general chaos all day, the people are kind, generous and extremely hospitable. We walked around soaking the views, inhaling the incense, watching pilgrims making donations, and praying to the enlightened one. Apart from being the hopping off point for many trekkers to the Himalayas, Kathmandu is an essential cultural experience not to be missed.
    Visited March 2020
    Written February 22, 2021
  • Asra
    Nepal32 contributions
    Heaven on Earth
    Words fall short if I try to describe about this amazing world heritage site of Nepal. When you personally visit this pilgrimage site, you realise the importance of the place. I am just in love with its alluring beauty, peaceful surrounding & scenic view of the crowded city from its height. The stupa is located atop of the hill having two entry way; a long tiring staircase & the car road entrance. We decided to step up all 365 steep stairs to reach at the top of stupa, however it was exhausting experience. We had enjoyed very much hovering around the stupa, & seen a number of small other temples, shrines & souvenir shops around it. We saw the countless monkeys inside & around its periphery, that's why it is also popular as monkey temple. Here, I got myself calm & serene even for a moment from the chaos of city life. I mean there is a positive vibration that brings your mind & soul together in a peaceful rhythm. I felt completely different for a time being inside the stupa.  Highly recommend to everyone...
    Visited July 2019
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 10, 2020
  • Julia L
    Columbia, Missouri120 contributions
    monkeys and tantric buddhism
    You climb up a long staircase past guardian statues and live monkeys to the stupa and its surrounding structures. Tantric Buddhism is very different from far East, and fascinating. Don't buy from the overpriced vendors up here, buy down in Kathmandu.
    Visited January 2020
    Written January 9, 2020
  • terezapoctova
    Prague, Czech Republic7 contributions
    Worth the climb
    After you climb hundreds of stairs, you’ll get an amazing view of the city of Kathmandu...you can buy some souvenirs, have a coffee...also, you can meet a lot of monks to who you can donate some money to rebuild their temples after the earthquake. And beware the monkeys! :)
    Visited November 2019
    Written February 21, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
6,305 reviews
Excellent
3,920
Very good
1,892
Average
429
Poor
39
Terrible
25

Rebecca
Adelaide, Australia1,711 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
It’s a pity, it would be a nice place to look at, but there is nothing super special about the temple that makes it worth the pushy sales tactics and rabid dogs and monkeys.

People who were taking photos near the monkeys are clearly unaware that sometimes they scratch and bite - which if you do some quick research online you’ll find is common enough in Nepal that tourists have lots of stories of going to the hospital to get their rabies shots.

Inside there is a Thangka school which is nice but they sort of pressure you to buy their lovely expensive paintings at inflated prices. You could probably do better with a street vendor if you haggle. I liked these schools initially but it got old after spending a few days in Kathmandu (they constantly try to take you to one of these schools or art houses).
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jon N
Singa2,614 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Entrance fee is 200 Nepalese rupees each for foreigners here. This is one of the best places to have a panoramic view of the Kathmandu city. It’s an easy climb up to the top and there’s lots of photos opportunities here. There’s a big stupa at the top and is best to take photos during sunrise or sunset. We took a cab here from Thamel for 300 rupees and after visiting the place we took a leisure 30mins walk back.
Written May 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BowensBandB
Fownhope, UK74 contributions
Feb 2020
Had an hour or so here. Lovely, spiritual temple with lots of monkeys and many steps to climb!
Just watch out for the guides. I had one and he was lovely and very informative; a bit too much information actually! But of course they get commission on sales so I was taken into a souvenir shop and felt obligated to buy something. And then he asked for a ‘donation’ but requested $20. Seeing as I was planning on visiting 4 temples that day it was going to get expensive.
My tip: if a guide approaches you tell them you’ll have them for $10 or whatever you’re willing to pay and you do not want to be taken in a souvenir shop (Thangka paintings particularly). Unless you do of course...
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roddek
Melbourne, Australia533 contributions
Mar 2020
When I visited Kathmandu, one of the highlights was the Swayambunath Stupa Buddhist pilgrimage site tour. It is a vast complex that consists of a central stupa, several temples, shrines, and the enormous, mysterious Buddha eyes on top of the dome that stares over the entire valley. There were numerous guides at the site, and I did not hesitate to sign up for one to guide me around. I was informed that Swayambunath is more than an ancient religious site, but an active living one with pilgrims performing clockwise circumambulations around the stupas. The stupas are hemispherical structures, focal points for worship and meditation. I did climb the long flight of stairs, despite the monkey's erratic behaviour at every corner along the way, which most visitors found to be a pest. Still, one is rewarded once you reach the top and view the thirteen golden pinnacles that symbolise the thirteen enlightenment stages of Buddhahood.
The four million residents in this city rub shoulders amongst the different religions and seem to abide in good spirits. A vast majority of the population is Hindu, followed by Buddhist and small followers of other faiths. Once out of the main drag the outlying districts are choked with motor vehicles, motorcycles, plenty of garbage and heavy pollution, plus cattle and stray dogs that seem to roam around at free will. Apart from the general chaos all day, the people are kind, generous and extremely hospitable. We walked around soaking the views, inhaling the incense, watching pilgrims making donations, and praying to the enlightened one. Apart from being the hopping off point for many trekkers to the Himalayas, Kathmandu is an essential cultural experience not to be missed.
Written February 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Asra
Nepal32 contributions
Jul 2019 • Friends
Words fall short if I try to describe about this amazing world heritage site of Nepal. When you personally visit this pilgrimage site, you realise the importance of the place. I am just in love with its alluring beauty, peaceful surrounding & scenic view of the crowded city from its height. The stupa is located atop of the hill having two entry way; a long tiring staircase & the car road entrance. We decided to step up all 365 steep stairs to reach at the top of stupa, however it was exhausting experience. We had enjoyed very much hovering around the stupa, & seen a number of small other temples, shrines & souvenir shops around it. We saw the countless monkeys inside & around its periphery, that's why it is also popular as monkey temple.
Here, I got myself calm & serene even for a moment from the chaos of city life. I mean there is a positive vibration that brings your mind & soul together in a peaceful rhythm. I felt completely different for a time being inside the stupa.
 Highly recommend to everyone...
Written June 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julia L
Columbia, MO120 contributions
Jan 2020
You climb up a long staircase past guardian statues and live monkeys to the stupa and its surrounding structures. Tantric Buddhism is very different from far East, and fascinating. Don't buy from the overpriced vendors up here, buy down in Kathmandu.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

terezapoctova
Prague, Czech Republic7 contributions
Nov 2019
After you climb hundreds of stairs, you’ll get an amazing view of the city of Kathmandu...you can buy some souvenirs, have a coffee...also, you can meet a lot of monks to who you can donate some money to rebuild their temples after the earthquake. And beware the monkeys! :)
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heartsutra
England270 contributions
Aug 2019
This is a must see, it is beautiful.....there are shops in a circle around the temple where you can see the painting of the Buddhist mandalas...shops selling prayer flags, singing bowls and all beautiful Nepalese wares. It is peaceful even though there are many people about....loved it.
Written July 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

a SiD Mgr
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates10 contributions
Aug 2019 • Couples
The worlds peaceful. I felt like i am in heaven. We steped in stairs from the kathmandu city's roads and then suddenly everything is like a dream. We play like a kid in a pond where everyone is throwing coins. And the best part is the monkies. Even the monkies are so good. Haha. I will visit next month if this covid-19 will finish.
Written May 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dr.jth
74 contributions
Sep 2019
I realize that each stupa has its own character, but this one is unique while being much like you would find at every stupa in Nepal. The interesting part if the face painted to represent Buddha's eyes (with eyebrows) atop of the shrine. It is surrounded by many other smaller shrines. You cannot enter, but you can walk around. And there is a museum on the site.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 4,735
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu

Frequently Asked Questions about Swayambhunath Temple

Swayambhunath Temple is open:
  • Wed - Wed 4:00 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Thu - Tue 4:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Swayambhunath Temple tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 255 Swayambhunath Temple tours on Tripadvisor




Swayambhunath Temple Information

Excellent Reviews

3,920

Very Good Reviews

1,892

Swayambhunath Temple Photos

6,564