Advice on how to get to Nepal and getting around Nepalby Luz Prada | November 1, 2022
Nepal is a magical country that is full of sacred temples, mountain villages and endless rice fields. The Himalayas mountain range offers amazing snowy peaks to keen mountaineers and the bustling towns provide impressive buildings and buzzing markets for you to explore.
If you're travelling to Nepal to explore your spiritual side in the Buddhist and Hindu temples, or you're more inspired by nature, there are plenty Nepal tourist places to visit. If you are planning your Nepal trip, here we are going to tell how to get to Nepal and ways of getting around in Nepal.
How to get to Nepal?
If you are traveling to Nepal, you might be wondering how to get to Nepal? The easiest way is by plane. The largest airport in Nepal is in the capital, Kathmandu (KTM). However, there aren't many direct international flights to Kathmandu. It can often be cheaper and easier to fly to an airport in India and take a bus over the border to Nepal. You can fly to cities such as Delhi and then travel to reach Nepal.
There are many connecting options between India and Nepal, so you could visit both countries at the same time.
If you are travelling during the peak season of trekking in Nepal, between October and November, make sure you book your flights well in advance as there is a lot of touristic demand. When you land at the airport, you will have several options for getting into the city of Kathmandu.
How to get to Kathmandu from the airport?
Pre-Arranged Airport transfer
Many hotels and accommodations offer airport pickup services. If you have arranged this service in advance, a representative from your hotel might be waiting for you at the airport with a signboard. Always ask your hotel if they offer this service and how much will they charge you.
The bus company that runs from the airport to the city center is called Sajha Yatayat and they run every 15 or 30 minutes. Tickets are 20 rupees each way and can only be paid in cash. Buses operate until 18:00. The bus can get extremely crowded at times so if you have a lot of luggage avoid taking the bus.
There is a taxi rank outside the arrival terminal where you can book prepaid cab services. There are also other cabs on the other side of the road. It will take about 10-15 minutes to get into the city center and the cost is usually around 200 rupees.
Getting around Nepal
There are multiple options of getting around in Nepal. Here we offer you the most common ones and some tips to bear in mind.
In Nepal, the bus is the main form of transport, which is easy and inexpensive. Because of that, buses are often very crowded and can be a bit uncomfortable. Before getting on the bus, make sure you know how much the journey might cost and where you need to get off.
In Nepal foreigners that do not hold a Nepalese driving license cannot drive their own rental cars, they must book a car with a driver. This will always be easier than driving your own car, as the traffic is chaotic and the roads can be in bad condition. Nepalis drive on the left, so it's worth bearing this in mind.
Foreigners are allowed to rent motorbikes in Nepal. Make sure you rent from a serious company and that the motorbike is in good condition. You will also need to take out your own insurance as rental companies don’t usually insure their vehicles, and you would be liable for any damage or accidents. Do not forget to check out all Nepal travel requirements during your trip.
Be very aware that traffic is very chaotic and you may encounter cows and other animals and people in the middle of the road.
If you are going to drive a motorcycle in Nepal it is best to take some lessons even if you have been driving for some time. Do not forget your helmet, it is mandatory in Nepal and will protect you in case of an accident.
There are tuk-tuks everywhere in Kathmandu, as they are a popular way to get around the city. If you want to take a tuk-tuk you must get the driver's attention to stop and you can haggle over the price and then agree on a fixed price and the route you want to take.
Moving between cities in Nepal
Long distance buses are a good way of getting around Nepal. Buses are usually air-conditioned and are quite safe. If you're planning on travelling by bus, it is best if you travel during the day, as at night drivers are more daring and accidents can be common.
During the rainy season the roads can be dangerous as there may be landslides or falling trees, so be patient if the bus stops in the middle of the road. You can either book the trip online or through a travel agency.
If you want to travel between Kathmandu and Pokhara or other cities in the country, you can hire a cab with a driver for a day. It is a comfortable way to travel, but you may encounter delays on the road. It will usually cost about 2200 rupees per day, but make sure you negotiate the price before getting into the cab and that the driver knows the exact route you want to take.
More tips on how to get to nepal
- In Nepal there can be strikes for political reasons. If you come across any during your trip it is best to not get involved.
- Cows are sacred animals in Nepal, so you should be respectful if you come across any of these animals and be particularly careful if you are driving around.
- Make sure you negotiate and agree on the price of any ride before you start in order to avoid scams and problems.
- You can find more Nepal travel tips with our guide dedicated to all kinds of advice.