Kathmandu Street Art: A Photoessay

And the award goes to...

Over the years, I’ve grown to love street art – the quirkier and more thought-provoking, the better. I admire how it can completely transform an otherwise dull urban space. I also love how some pieces are a reflection of the city you find yourself in.

I didn’t realise when I visited Nepal last year that Kathmandu (and neighbouring Lalitpur) is teeming with great street art, so I guess I wasn’t there long enough to come across it. When I returned in March and walked around the city over the three months that I was there, I located more and more of it.

It was everywhere.

I was quite surprised – it’s not like Kathmandu is famous for its street art scene in the way that, let’s say, Berlin or Melbourne is.

It made me happy because I love nothing more than stumbling across yet another piece of street art when I’m somewhere new – it always makes me feel like I’m unlocking a new level of the city, discovering another layer of it.

Finding all of this street art as I walked around also reconfirmed for me what I’ve come to understand about Kathmandu – it’s a city teeming with hidden gems that can only be found if you walk the streets. Don’t expect to find the best of what the city has to offer online. You have to get out and explore to find it.

So I decided to put together a collection of the best street art that I found while I was there.

Some of it was just incredible and ‘popped’ out of the scene, like this totally boss elephant design in Patan Dhoka…

Elephant power

And this one that takes up an entire wall near Bhat Bhateni supermarket, off Pulchowk.

Incoming: elephant.

And this of a totally groovy hairstyle in Sanepa Chowk…

“Because I’m worth it…”

This trippy creation in Patan Dhoka…incredible!

Smokey…I ain’t trippin’

And this…which, I assume, is from the same artist (and that I cannot actually decipher)…

Yeah, I’m not really sure what this is either…

This wall for thought…

A wall full of hope

This giggly boy near Jhamsikhel Marg always made me smile…

Smile like you mean it…

This playful scene in Patan…

Drop it like it’s hot…

And this honourable mention which is actually in the lakeside town of Pokhara and was painted by a well-known Canadian street artist called Chris Dyer

kathmandu street art

Colourful fun in Pokhara

This swaggy dude in touristy Thamel…

kathmandu street art

Swag

And last, but not least, my favourite piece of Kathmandu street art. I found this just off Pulchowk on my last full day in Nepal and I absolutely love it. It’s vibrant, it’s colourful, it’s chaotic. It’s my Nepal.

kathmandu street art

And the award goes to…

There we have it: Kathmandu street art in a nutshell. I’m looking forward to being back in the city and uncovering more gems later on this year. If you’ve been to Kathmandu and found some other murals, please post photos of them in the comments below!


Which is your favourite city for street art and why?