The Art of shopping in Nepal: A Guide to Local Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Feb 17 . 2023, Hop Nepal

A South Asian Himalayan Paradise, Nepal is well known for its enchanting mountain ranges, scrumptious gastro and fascinating cultural practices. Enriched with a long-standing history of prosperity and self-sustenance, Nepal delivers an impeccable overview of foraged, hand-crafted arts and architecture that has become a tabular display of its identity.

Nepali handicrafts are the reflection of rich Nepalese culture and tradition, which traces the cultural legacy and its significance. These oriental architecture and crafts are well recognized in the international market, while the techniques have been passed down for generations.

Along with the practice of crafting, the products have their unique social, cultural and religious values serving a fine texture of mystery, charm and anecdote to travelers from all around the globe.

Where to Go Shopping in Kathmandu, Nepal

If you are visiting Nepal or are already here and wondering what souvenirs you should grab from this mystical land, shopping in Nepal is a cost-friendly and pleasing experience, where you can analyze the market exhibits and interact with friendly shopkeepers.

You will receive warm smiles accompanied by our cultural greeting "Namaste" and assistance in choosing among a range of versatile local handicrafts, designs and souvenirs.

In this article, we are serving you insight into Nepalese products' souvenirs' that can be purchased in the Shopping District of Kathmandu, Thamel.

From small shops and thrift venues to a library of in-house products, the most abundantly exported and skillfully designed sophisticated goods, Thamel is packed with handicrafts, embroidery items, jewellery, arts, textiles, metal and stone statues that are treasured by foreigners and would fill your void of Nepalese memoirs encryption for your endeavours.

Top 10 Nepali Handicrafts and Souvenirs you should consider Buying

Thangka Paintings

Thangkas are Tibetan Buddhist paintings made from cotton or silk applique. It has cultural significance since the art is based on depicting a scene, mandala or a Buddhist deity. The most renowned Thangka Painting is The Wheel of Life, a visual showcase of the Art of Enlightenment.

Thangka paintings are stored in a dry place away from hovering moisture and have the potential to last a long time. These art pieces are commonly used for decoration and devotional purposes and are known to serve as powerful teaching tools.

One can find these paintings in numerous shapes and sizes in the shopping district of Kathmandu. The marked price of Thangka painting is budget-friendly, beginning from 20 dollars to 1000 dollars, depending on the work of the production. 

Nepali Papercrafts

The introduction of Nepali Handmade paper came primarily from the Tibetan Travellers who came to reside in the elevated regions of Nepal. The making of Nepali papercrafts follows an antique traditional pattern which uses the inner barks of Lokta or Dayshing, a Himalayan plant.

One of the most distinguishing factors of handmade Nepali papers is their invincibility from moth, resulting in a long-lasting permissibility in writing.

Nepali paper and paper products are vastly in demand in the international market as they are used in numerous ways. There are plentiful shops in Nepal that sell eloquent paper paintings, sheets, lampshades, greeting cards, and Lokta notebooks made from handmade paper.

Woodwork products

Located in the Himalayan foothills, Nepal is a country blessed with evergreen forests that serve as a valuable timber source. Likewise, these timbers are an impeccable source for craftsmanship in the Nepali handicraft and architectural spectrum.

One of the most astounding architectural pieces of wooden carvings is the Kasthamandap shrine, located in Maru, said to be one of the most ancient wooden buildings in the world.

Just wandering in the narrow streets of Thamel, you can come across several shops exhibiting woodcraft items such as bracelets, decorative boxes, musical flutes, decors and wooden windows, to name a few.

These are some of the most extravagantly applied products in high demand in international markets such as China, the USA and India.

Likewise, Bhaktapur is infamous for fascinating wooden pottery and handicraft items in Nepal. Typically, the price of wood-crafted souvenirs ranges from INR 500 to INR 5000 in the market of Nepal. 

Baghchal (Game of The Jumping Tiger)

Bagchal is a puzzle board game that originated in Nepal and comprised four tiger pieces and twenty goat pieces. This intelligence puzzle game is played by two players, where if the goats surround the tiger, the goats win and vice versa.

One of the unique board games, Baghchal can be your most unfamiliar piece of souvenir you can take home and play with your friends and family. It also serves as an element in forging relationships between people.

To get the most out of the experience, Baghchal boards are handcrafted by skilled artisans, coppersmiths, and woodcarvers made entirely with wood or brass.

The price of wooden Baghchal ranges between NPR 3000 to NPR 5000, while the one made from brass can be more extravagant yet worth the value.

Textile Products

Symbolizing the unique significance of Nepalese culture, Nepali Textile products are one of the world's most highly demanded and exported gears. Some of the well-renowned Nepali Textile products include Dhaka and hand-embraided carpets.

Since the commercial market of Nepali carpets has gained a highlight on the international spectrum, approximately 70$ million USD worth to over 60 countries have been sold, making it one of Nepal's most significant exports as of 2023.

Nepali handwoven carpets comprised of wool and silk is renowned for their high pile density, eco-friendly built process and double-knotting technique, which makes up for their high quality.

Other textile products in which the Nepali markets are affluent include shawls, handkerchiefs, table mats and ties made in Palpali Dhaka, a cotton fabric industry based in Palpa.


Pashmina or Cashmere is the best top-notch quality wool fibre embroidery made with the outer fur of the Himalayan goat (Chyangra) that herds on the higher plateaus of Nepal.

Are you coming to cloth shopping in Nepal? Then, Pashmina is a must check-list item on your shopping list in Nepal. Generally, Nepal's Pashmina accessories comprise 70% pashmina and 30% silk and are well known for warmth and softness.

Pashmina items are suitable to gift for all age groups and are excellent souvenir pieces you can take from Nepal. The price of Pashmina accessories in the shops of Kathmandu ranges from 5 dollars to over 400 USD.  


Nepal carries a high religious and cultural significance in Jewellery items as it reflects the nation's traditional arts. Nepalese jewellery products are designed by trained artisans, including bracelets, brooches, Payels, Phuli, Kalli, pendants, necklaces and earrings forged from elements of Gold and Silver.

Silver and Gold are remarked as one of the holiest metals by the Nepalese community. They are highly exported to countries like the USA, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Canada and Saudi Arabia, to name a few.

Moreover, Nepal harbours several valuable and semi-valuable stones, including Sapphire, Aquamarine, Crystal quartz, topaz, beryl, corundum, ruby, tourmaline and others easily accessible in the markets of Thamel. 

Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls are an exciting piece of souvenir which incorporates a metal bowl and a mallet, when struck, resonates meditational or relaxing sound vibration offering positive physical, mental and emotional effects on those who hear them.

Singing bowls are mainly used in invoking pleasant sound effects during spiritual or religious settings by the monks, the disciples of Gautam Buddha. This traditional Buddhist item dates a thousand years back and is required on several occasions to date.

Singing Bowl can be easily found in the Thamel and Durbar Marg areas of Kathmandu, and the price of these products can vary from NPR 500 to 50,000.

Khukuri (The Gurkha Sword)

One of the most exquisite pieces of Nepali craftsmanship, the Khukuri is a traditional Nepali sword worn by the Gurkha soldiers, commonly found in every region of the country.

Be it for safekeeping, or actual combat usage, Khukuri is a token centrepiece of the Nepali soul, symbolizing the bravery of the Natives and has been one of the dominant Souvenirs for foreigners.

The Khukuri designs are unique and renowned for their distinct slashing edge. One can buy Khukuri as a Nepalese souvenir on the walls in the street markets; however, a popular place to buy this fascinating product is Gorkha Zone Khukuri House, located in Thamel.

Hemp Products

The Nepali market is flourishing in the eco-friendly and low-impact production of hemp material and weaving products.

The fibres of Hemp are durable and recyclable, offering a massive range of goods, including Wallets, Slippers, Clothing, Twine, Hats, backpacks, Guitar bags, Laptop Bags and Accessories. Hemp product stores are abundant in the streets of Thamel, Khusibu Sadak area and in Amrit Marg.

Guide to Shopping in Nepal

If you are shopping in Nepal, it is acceptable to bargain and haggle over the price of items. You will find delicate items that are sure to be kept under conditioned spaces, so remember to ask the vendor to wrap the goods before they hand them to you.

Moreover, the market of Nepal is mixed and comes with Chinese and other national affiliations. Hence, you should check and ensure that you buy products exclusively made in Nepal as they offer better quality than Chinese ones. 

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