To help out our fellow nomads in search of a place to work and caffeinate, here’s a list of our favorite cafes with fast wifi for digital nomads around Kathmandu, Nepal.
After several months of traveling through the remote reaches of Northeast India, arriving in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu, Nepal was like entering a theme park of modern amenities. Working wifi! Dank coffee! Delicious momos!
Though our honeymooning mentality quickly wore off—No, I do not want a trekking tour, Tiger Balm, or gemstones. Okay, I’ll look at your hash.—there was no denying Kathmandu is a great place to sit down and get some serious work done for a few days. The same goes for nearby Patan city (locally known as Lalitpur), which we moved to to escape the tourist traps after a time.
There is a plethora of cafes and restaurants in both places where you can sit with a laptop for hours without issue, and enough food varieties to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds.
But is there good wifi in Kathmandu and Patan?
Now to the important matters: wifi. Since you’re reading this, I assume you’ve realized not all wifi was created equal in Kathmandu and Patan. Virtually every restaurant, car, and hotel in the neighborhood advertises free wifi… whether it has it or not. While fast wifi can be found, there’s also plenty of wretched connections that will only waste your time and money.
If you’re a digital nomad or remote worker looking for a good place with free wifi to crank out some work, here is a list of our favorite places to work with decent wifi in Thamel neighborhood in Kathmandu and neighboring Patan city.
Cafes with fast wifi in Thamel neighborhood, Kathmandu
Café with No Name
If you’ve been craving internet in South Asia, this is the place to get your fix. My jaw almost dropped when I saw the results of the speed test.
It’s hidden in an alley off one of Thamel’s most strolled streets, so street noise isn’t an issue. Their music can get a little loud on occasion, but the playlists are all tastefully chosen by one of the café’s music-loving owners, so it’s not the end of the world.
The food is nothing to write home about, but their coffee is delicious and well priced for Thamel standards, at 100 Rs for an Americano. 5% of their profits also go to an NGO geared towards helping street kids in Kathmandu. It’s not a selling point for me, nor have I researched the NGO, but if that’s your kind of thing, you can rest easy knowing some of your money is going to a cause.
- Pros: Fastest wifi in Thamel, good cheap coffee, craft beer
- Cons: Not many outlets, mediocre food
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Though Café with No Name’s wifi was addictive, we eventually switched gears and made Palpasa Coffee our go-to workplace. Their wifi isn’t as fast as the former (only 8 Mbps download speed), but their staff makes up the difference.
A group of friends started the (literally) underground café only three months before the time of writing. Subas, one of the founders, was super vocal about making sure I was comfortable, that everything was to my liking, and asking if there was anything to be improved. He treated us to a free baked good each day, saying he’s trying to attract more digital nomads like us who need a place to sit and work for the day.
If you’re in the neighborhood, we highly recommend checking out and supporting their young business!
- Pros: Friendly staff, decent wifi, good cheap coffee, tea, and drinks
- Cons: Not many outlets, limited food options, dirty toilet
Places Restaurant & Bar
Places is the perfect space to sit and chill/work for the day. Pillows are scattered all about low tables, there are outlets everywhere, and there are two levels of wifi: a free network and a (faster) paid network. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll be satisfied with the creative menu here.
Admittedly, this place wasn’t really our jam. Mains start at around 400 NPR, and coffee and drinks start at around 150 NPR. We’re happy to shell out for good coffee—which Places is not particularly known for—but the food was a bit too pricey for our liking. Still, who are we to deny good wifi?
- Pros: Outlets, ambience, good wifi, creative menu
- Cons: Pricey food, floor seating (for those with bad backs)
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We found this place to be the best value for money when it comes to western food. Their sandwiches are decadent, and most of them come with a side of fried potatoes and salad. The coffee, though a bit more costly than the other places mentioned (around 120 NPR for an Americano), is some of the best in Thamel. If it’s not to your liking, the owner of the joint will be more than happy to try and make your drink again—he’s quite a coffee enthusiast! Some of the other staff are also quite sweet, and happy to talk if given the chance.
No one seems to really mind if you sit and work for a few hours, and they’ll happily bring you a steady supply of (often chilled) filtered drinking water without the need to order anything, so long as the café isn’t bursting at the seams.
- Pros: Good value food, good coffee, bright seating area, Vegemite (for the Aussies)
- Cons: Mediocre wifi, not much seating space
Last notes on Thamel
A few other places we didn’t get around to trying in Thamel that reportedly have good wifi connections: Revolution Cafe, Himalayan Java (chain)
And in the name of clearing up misinformation, people proclaimed Pumpernickel Bakery to have good wifi, but we assure you the connection was shit.
Cafes with wifi in Patan (Lalitpur)
It’s easy to forget you’re in Nepal at this place. While we were there, it was primarily frequented by groups of Americans and other expats staying in Nepal for volunteering or NGO work. That can be a good or a bad thing, but regardless of your opinion, Kairos Cafe is the place to be—their wifi is excellent! I could upload photos while downloading other files and surfing the web without any kind of delay. They also offer a separate and more quiet working space upstairs if you need to focus.
Beyond that, their coffee is pretty competitively priced (70 NPR for an Americano), their burgers are tasty and also well priced (according to Sebastiaan), and they bake the dankest muffins fresh daily, offering a new flavor every day. If you’re on a budget, there’s also a momo place around the corner where you can get a fill of buff momos for less than 100 NPR.
- Pros: Fast wifi, friendly staff, cheap coffee, separate working space, indoor and outdoor seating
- Cons: Can get busy, closed on weekends
This was our grudging second choice on the weekends when Kairos Cafe is closed. The wifi here works well… sometimes. This seems to be the place to be for people to work on their laptops for the afternoon, so there can be quite some competition for bandwidth. However, their food menu is much more extensive and interesting than Kairos Cafe’s (pancakes are a hit), so if you like to have a bite while you work, this is the place to be in Patan.
- Pros: Extensive food menu, lots of outlets, indoor and outdoor seating
- Cons: Temperamental wifi, gets crowded quickly
Last notes on Patan (Lalitpur)
Another place we didn’t get around to trying in Patan that reportedly has good wifi and coffee is Top of the World Coffee.
And in the name of clearing up misinformation, here’s a list of places in Patan which seemed workable based on reviews, but proved to be unsuitable for working:
- Red Mud Coffee – Slow wifi
- Karma Coffee – Has wifi, but no outlets!
Where to stay in Kathmandu and Patan
If you’re still looking for a place to stay in Thamel (Kathmandu) or Patan and need a cheap place with a decent wifi connection, here are our recommendations:
Thamel, Kathmandu: Hotel Pomelo – The staff are all up for a good chat, and the wifi worked well enough to Skype and upload photos without issue. Not all rooms have decent signal (look for a router on your floor), but you can always sit at the tables in the lobby if your room isn’t well connected. We paid 750 NPR for a double room without breakfast in the off season.
Patan (Lalitpur): Sanu’s House Homestay – We can’t recommend this enough! It’s a homestay run by the sweet and ever-smiling Sarita on the ring road in Patan. The wifi works well, and there’s a nice little library area where you can sit and work. It’s a bit of a walk (20 min) from our cafe recommendations, but it’s worth the trip. It’s close to Durbar Square, and Sarita’s vegetarian cooking is a breath of fresh air from restaurant food. We paid 1400 NPR for a double including breakfast, and all-you-can-eat dinner is 200 NPR per person.
And that’s a wrap! If you have any other suggestions for cafes with fast wifi for digital nomads around Kathmandu, let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to the list. Bonus points if you can tell us what their wifi speed is!
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