A Stroll Down Freak Street
Just a few steps from Durbar Square, you can simply enjoy your time strolling and exploring the lanes of Freak Street. Worth a quick stop if you are around.
Freak Street is famous for its glorious past as a hippy paradise. It has changed a bit since its heydays in the mid 70's. Wander around the area, and you can tell you're on Freak Street from the shops. It is a great place to find strange masks, hippy-style clothes, tattoo parlors, restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc. There’s always a chance that you will discover a never-noticed-before eatery or shop while walking through. The prices here are relatively low when compared to Thamel, but the place has become a parking lot for most people. A nice place to hang out, if the traffic situation is taken care of. A few picks from Freak Street to get you started.
Secrets Hookah Lounge
This can be your favorite go-to hookah spot. It's a cool place to hang out with friends when you want to chill and enjoy some hookah, drinks, and food. They don’t charge you for additional coal. Also, you can change the flavor,adding a little amount. The music is really loud, and you will feel that you are in a club. Don’t miss trying out Grilled Chicken, chicken breast grilled in a pan and served with sautéed vegetables, grilled tomatoes, onion, and mashed potatoes. So, come quick and stir up your soul at Secrets.
Freak Street is dotted with lodges and guest houses, and you probably wouldn't know where to start. But, if you want to relive the bygone hippyera of the 70s, Annapurna Lodge can be one of the best options. It is simple, yet cozy, and probably the best budget option in Freak Street. You will hardly hear honking bikes, particularly in the morning. Some of the rooms have attached bathroom. They offer delicious daalbhaat, and then, there is this Mandarin Restaurant on the ground floor, where you can try multi-cuisines.
Tibetan Mask Shop
Tibetan Mask Shop, located next to La Casa Lodge in Freak Street, sells fine Tibetan hand-painted antique masks.Standing in front of the mask shop, visitors can directly catch glimpses of these very unusual carved wooden masks hanging on the walls and doors. The masks are crafted from different materials, such as wood, steel, and clay, and come in various sizes. You will be enthralled by the unique beauty of these masks.
Hidden in an alley, behind a shabby and nondescript exterior, Snowman is a family-owned cafe that has been operating continuously since 1965. The room is dimly lit, with just a handful of tables. You can’t stop admiring the walls covered in graffiti and psychedelic scrawls. Make sure to try their Black Forest, Coconut, and Choco-Banana cakes, to name a few. You will be quite amazed by how well they've preserved the taste of their cakes. Snowman Café attracts both locals and foreign customers.
Whether it is the cozy low sofas that rest your feet comfortably, the old-school matted tables that get you super prepped up, or the rooftop with its breezy atmosphere, Jessy Penny will never fail to set you in the right mood. Try the Jessy Penny Mixed Platter, Mexicano Chicken served with butter rice, or Shanghai Prawn Fried. It is a famous restaurant and bar on Freak Street with several floors, each floor having its own unique atmosphere.
Run by Prahlad Maharjan and his wife Sabita Maharjan (one of the few female tattoo artists in Nepal), Tik’eJhya Tattoo is ranked among the top tattoo parlors in the country. Whether you're looking to get a giant piece of a fantasy battle scene, a classic black and grey portrait, or a tribal lizard behind your ear, the artists are thrilled to help you. Prices start from Rs.1500 upwards.
1. Recommend visiting while you are strolling around Kathmandu Durbar Square.
2. Be sure to duck when entering the five-foot-high doorways
3. Take a peek at the fascinating scenes behind the small windows of the eateries.