Located just before a junction between Thamel and Kantipath the Garden of Dreams is open to the public. Built in the early 1920s but was extensively renovated in the early 2000s.
Today the Garden of Dreams offers people a pleasant environment away from the traffic, noise, pollution and hassle of Kathmandu city. Inside is an ornate garden split into several pavilion areas.
There's a small museum, an amphitheater and a cafe all within the walled in garden area.
The big debate is whether the Garden of Dreams is worth the entrance fee or the interest for the average tourist. Read on and find out ...
Did you know?
The gardens inside measure 74,220 sq ft and are broken into 2 large sections and is lesser known as the Garden of Six Seasons.
The Garden of Dreams was built by Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana and designed and constructed by Kishore Narshingh in the 1920's. It was built as a private garden and known as the Garden of the Six Seasons.
As a historic garden in Kathmandu it was like no other. Inside the walls were pavilions, fountains, ponds, elaborate garden furniture along with European neo classical inspired features including verandas, pergolas and birdhouses.
Each of the six pavilions inside the garden are dedicated to one of Nepal's six seasons: Basanta (spring), Grishma (early summer), Barkha (summer monsoon season), Sharad (early autumn), Hemanta (late autumn) and Shishir (winter).
After several decades of neglect a renovation project began in 2000 and completed in 2007 with the aid of the Austrian Government, the Nepalese Ministry of Education and Eco Nepal. The chief architect was Götz Hagmüller who helped renovate both Patan Museum and Chyasalin Mandap in Bhaktapur. The aim was to show that sustainable development could work in Kathmandu.
In 2016 the Garden of Dreams integrated a small museum, library (needs renovation) and improved its WiFi throughout. However between 2017-2019 it seems the museum has once again fallen into a state of disrepair whilst entry fees have increased.
Within the Garden of Dreams you'll have several leisurely things to do. First and foremost come the gardens. There are numerous seats throughout the gardens that you can sit and relax on or read a book. Or for those that like to people watch the garden usually has more local people than tourists.
From students, whose wealthy parents can afford the entrance fees, to courting couples looking for some privacy the garden's walls hold many a whisper and coy smile. The gardens were well tended in 2018-2019 and improved which has boosted the overall appearance of the area.
There's the Kaiser cafe where you can order a meal or simply a coffee. You sit under the shade of one of the many pavilions. Visit the Kaiser Gallery or if it's open the tiny museum / library. The Barkha bar has ice cream and cakes while the Tea Salon serves up some rather exclusive Himalayan teas.
Special events are often held in The Garden of Dreams with the small ground level Greek styled amphitheater often used for plays, singing and contests.
The current entrance fee to the Garden of Dreams is 400 rupees for a non-Nepali person while the Nepali price is 150 rupees. The price last increased in 2019.
There's also a yearly membership which offers minimal parking, 10% discount at the Kaiser Cafe and entrance into the garden year round. Membership fees are 5,000 rupees for foreigners and 3000 for Nepali (membership is really only for those with long-term plans of staying in Kathmandu).
If you purchase 10 tickets there's a 25% discount.
Address: Kaiser Mahal, Tridevi Marg Kathmandu, Nepal
Walking directions: On the roadside opposite Fire & Ice restaurant at the junction between Kantipath and Thamel.
Map to the Garden of Dreams
This is a very common question from tourists. Generally speaking there are two ways to answer this. Give the Garden of Dreams a skip if you are only in Nepal for a short visit. For many it's just a nice small garden with a hefty (by local standards) entrance fee and nothing more.
For longer stays in Kathmandu then the Garden of Dreams certainly can be a haven away from the noise and pollution of the city. Kathmandu city lacks green belts and this makes up for it.
At the end of the day the Garden of Dreams remains an ornate small garden with an overpriced cafe and WiFi that you need to pay extra for which sometimes doesn't work. It's unique to Kathmandu but won't impress many people other than those looking for some peace and quiet!
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