Let’s be honest, how many of us have gone to museums outside of school trips? Not many of us, we’re guessing. That’s fine though because museums don’t get much attention in Nepal outside of a social studies class. It’s really a shame too because Nepal is a country that’s rich in history and culture. We have some really cool museums in our country. Even apart from art history, there are interesting things to see in Nepali museums. Here, we’ve compiled a list of museums in Nepal you should consider visiting.
If you’re looking for fun things to do during weekends in general, check out this article Fun Weekend Activities To Do In Kathmandu
1. International Mountain Museum
Mountaineering buffs will really enjoy the exhibits at this place. Although popular with tourists, many Nepali people themselves have not visited this museum. As a country that sits on the lap of the Himalayas, this is a great place to go if you want to learn about mountaineering and the history surrounding it. All the exhibits are accompanied by notes and cards that explain the exhibit in detail and illustrate the history pertaining to it. There are also photographs that were taken by mountaineers in various points in time so one can really see how the environment and the process of mountaineering in general has changed over the years. The different costumes and gears also illustrate how people lived in those times and the culture present. There is a model of Mt Manaslu in the yard that is 31 feet high and free to climb and take pictures of.
Talking about culture, there is another museum in the premises called the Living Museum and it shows the real setting of the culture of indigenous people of different tribes and clans of Nepal and their homes and culture in real models. Overall this is a fascinating place to visit if you’re interested in mountaineering and the culture surrounding it.
Location │ Rato Pairo, Pokhara
2. Gurkha Memorial Museum
This museum does not look fancy, but is a must visit to those who are interested in Nepali, British, Indian or general military history. Spread in 3 floors, this museum showcases the history of the Gurkha regiment. Displays also include uniforms they wore, items they used and medals they won. Details of the Gurkha Victoria Cross winners, the highest bravery medal with their citations can also be viewed. Photos and stories of hundreds of soldiers are exhibited in this museum.
You can also get a history sheet from the staff if you want to read about the events that took place. Although a bit off road, this place should be on your bucket list. Visiting this museum makes it obvious it was created by people passionate about military history and determined to preserve it. For people interested in military history and Gurkha Militants of Nepal, this museum can be a fun visit.
Website │ https://gurkhamuseum.org.np/
Location │ Lamachaur Road, Pokhara
3. Sherpa Museum
This is a small museum that many people have probably not heard of. Most people wouldn’t expect to find a museum located at a remote part of the mountains. But this museum is worth a visit should you find yourselves at Namche Bazar. This museum is completely dedicated to preserving and displaying the Sherpa culture. Even the architecture and design of the building is very reminiscent of Sherpa style. They hold rare Sherpa artifacts that would have otherwise been lost to time and resemble the lifestyle of Sherpas before their native lands were crowded by tourists.
This is also a great place for research if you’re studying about lost cultures. Overall, it’s a place worth visiting if you’re trekking in the area and want to learn about the typical Sherpa lifestyle throughout the years.
Location │Namche Bazar, Solukhumbu
4. Narayanhiti Palace Museum
This museum is in the middle of the city and most of you have probably visited it but it’s still worth raving about. Narayanhiti Palace Museum lies within what used to be the Royal Palace of Nepal and is a great glimpse into what kind of life and luxuries the royal family had. This place is also worth visiting if you’re interested in what is considered the darkest mystery in Nepal’s history; The Royal Family Massacre. There are still bullet holes and bloodstains which serve as a grim reminder of that tragedy.
Apart from that, it also contains a lot of things that previously belonged to the Royal Family. There are a lot of taxidermy, tigers and leopards especially, that were hunted by the previous kings. There are way too many rooms in the building and are named after the previously 75 districts of Nepal. The chandeliers and decorative pieces are extravagant and reflective of what was considered attractive at the time. This museum is an integral part of Nepal’s history and we recommend everyone visit it at least once.
Website │ http://narayanhitipalacemuseum.gov.np/
Location │Durbar Marg, Kathmandu
5. Aviation Museum
Located near the airport, this is a fun place to visit for plane enthusiasts. Here, you can find parts of planes and helicopters and see them up close. We recommend this place if you have kids who are into planes, or are a teenager who is interested in pursuing a career in aviation. This place is really informative and has a lot of reading material regarding the history of aviation in Nepal. There is also an airbus which you can get in and watch videos about the history of aviation. Overall, while this museum might not appeal to everyone, it’s a great place to visit for aviation nerds and people who want to learn more about it.
Website │ http://nepalaviationmuseum.com/
Location │ Sinamangal, Kathmandu
6. Patan Museum
Listed under the UNESCO World heritage sites, Patan Museum is considered to be one of the best museums in Asia. This place is a must visit if you’re even a little bit interested in traditional Nepali art and culture. The building used to be inhabited by the Malla Dynasty and the architecture is reflective of both the time and status of its residents. The exhibits include priceless artifacts that cover a long span of Nepal’s history. This museum is not just fun but also informational as you can learn about the lifestyle of people in the past and how different things are today. It also contains valuable artifacts relating to hinduism and buddhism. You can visit this museum to see artifacts from as far back as the 14th century.
Website │ http://www.patanmuseum.gov.np/
Location │Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur
7. Natural History Museum
Situated next to Swayambhunath Temple (which is a heritage site on its own), this museum is one of the best Nepal has to offer. If you’re interested in taxidermy, animals, and flora and fauna; you’ll have a blast here. Like the museums above, this one is also very educational and contains detailed descriptions next to the exhibits. Some of the exhibits are protected and even inaccessible sometimes due to its delicacy which is one drawback, but the staff are usually accommodating and will give you a guided tour if asked. This museum also features some endangered animals of Nepal which you might have not even known about so visit them if that interests you!
Website │ https://nhmnepal.edu.np/
Location │Chhauni, Kathmandu