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Kathmandu Durbar Square, a World Heritage Culture Site in Kathmandu Valley, served as capital in Nepal Kathmandu Durbar Square, a World Heritage Culture Site in Kathmandu Valley, served as capital in Nepal

How to Get to Nepal - Travel to Nepal by Flight or by Road

Located in the southern Himalayas and bordering Tibet (China) in the north, Nepal, awarded as one of the best value destination by Lonely Planet, is an international hotspot destination abundant in various tourism resources. Every year, tourists worldwide visit Nepal to explore its ancient history, unique culture of religious heritage sites and old architectures, view splendid natural scenery of the Himalayan Range and Mount Everest, experience awesome local activities like trekking, rafting, paragliding, jungle safari and mountain climbing, etc…Under the super convenient “Nepal On Arrival Visa” policy, travelling to Nepal is very simple and convenient, even a last minute trip is doable.

Before you go, please check all available transportation to get to Nepal below and select the most suitable one based on your own itinerary and travel plan.

Take Flight to Nepal - The Fastest and Most Convenient Way

Flying to Nepal is definitely the most convenient, time-saving and comfortable way to get to Nepal. It usually takes you to reach Nepal within hours from neighboring countries. If you prefer a speedy air travel, or have a tight schedule, depart from a distant country, carry huge luggage, you’re recommended to get to Nepal by flight. Continue reading on to find cities and airlines fly to Nepal.

How many international airports are there in Nepal?

Located about 5 KM from Kathmandu City center, Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (IATA: KTM, ICAO: VNKT, commonly called TIA) is the one and only international airport in Nepal. Thus, all air travelers always take Kathmandu as the gateway city to visit Nepal.

The airport not only has domestic flights to Chitwan, Pokhara, Lukla and other cities in Nepal, but also operates over 30 international air routes between Nepal and many Asian and Middle East countries, such as China, India (Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata/Bengaluru...), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore, United Arab Emirates (Dubai/Sharjah/Abu Dhabi), Qatar (Doha), Oman (Muscat), South Korea (Seoul), Turkey (Istanbul) and Saudi Arabia (Dammam), etc. After landing, most travelers can get Nepal Visa on arrival at Kathmandu Airport quickly.

Useful Link: Flights to Nepal

Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal
International Terminal of Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport in Nepal

What are the airlines that fly to Nepal?

So far, there are over 30 airlines having international flights to Nepal, including Nepal Airlines, Buddha Air, Himalaya Airlines of Nepal, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Tibet Air and other Chinese airlines, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines of Bhutan, Air India, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and many other airlines in South Asia, South East Asia and Gulf.

Option 1: Take Direct Flights to Nepal from China (Lhasa, Chengdu...)

Bordering Nepal in the southwest, China is one of the popular portals to fly to Nepal with multiple choices of departure city and diverse tourism resources. You’re advised to make a China discovery tour before flying to Nepal.

By now, there are about 10 cities in China (including Lhasa in Tibet, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, Hong Kong, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guiyang and Changsha) operating direct flights to Kathmandu, Nepal. Air journey is usually a few hours short. Among them, Lhasa-Kathmandu Flight takes less than 2 hours (the shortest) and flies across world’s highest mountain - Mount Everest en route. Connected flights to Kathmandu, Nepal from Beijing, Shenzhen and Changsha need more than 10 hours separately. So, it's highly suggested making a China Tibet Nepal tour to explore great and gorgeous landscape, history and culture, holy Buddhist belief in Tibet and then travel further to Nepal.

Top Recommended China Tibet Nepal Tours:

√ 11 Days China Tibet Nepal Highlights Tour with Panda Visit

√ 13 Days China Tibet Nepal Classic Tour from Beijing

Flights to Nepal
Everest View from Chengdu Lhasa Flight

Major China to Nepal Direct Flights Schedules:

Air RouteDeparture AirportArrival AirportFrequencyDuration
Lhasa Kathmandu (Nepal) Flight Lhasa Gonggar Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 4 flights per week about 1 h 50 min
Chengdu to Kathmandu (Nepal) Chengdu Shuangliu Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 1 ~ 2 flights per day about 3 h
Chongqing to Kathmandu (Nepal) Chongqing Jiangbei Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 2 flights per week about 4 h
Kunming to Kathmandu (Nepal) Kunming Changshui Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 1 daily flight about 3.5 h
Guangzhou to Kathmandu (Nepal) Guangzhou Baiyun Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 2 flights per day about 5 h
Hong Kong to Kathmandu (Nepal) Hong Kong International Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 2 flights per day about 5 ~ 5.5 h

Option 2: Take Flight to Nepal from Indian Cities (from New Delhi, Mumbai…)

India bordering Nepal in the north, west and east is also a favored entry to Nepal. There are over 10 cities in India offering flights to Nepal within several hours. New New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru has direct flights to Kathmandu while other Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dehradun, Dehradun, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jammu, Kochi, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Marmagao, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Port Blair… provide connecting flights to Nepal with at least 1 stopover.

India to Nepal Flights
Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India

India to Nepal Direct Flights Schedules:

Air RouteDeparture AirportArrival AirportFrequencyDuration
New Delhi to Kathmandu (Nepal) Indira Gandhi International Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 6 flights per day about 1.5 ~ 2 h
Mumbai to Kathmandu (Nepal) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 2 flights per day about 2.5 h
Kolkata to Kathmandu (Nepal) Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 26 flights per week about 1.5 h
Bengaluru to Kathmandu (Nepal) Kempegowda International Airport Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport 3 flights per week about 3 h

Tips: The above flight schedules are listed for reference only. It is subject to change due to seasonal adjustment.

Option 3: Take Flight to Nepal from Bhutan and Other Countries

There are more cities in Asia and Middle East you can take flight to get to Nepal, including Paro (Bhutan), Shajah, Dhaka, Dubai, Muscat, Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, Doha, Singapore, Bangkok, etc. If you happen to visit one of the cities, or can book cheap connecting flight ticket, you can choose your departure city to Nepal based on your own travel schedule.

Nepal and Bhutan are both located in the southern Himalayas, famous for natural wonders, religious and local culture. It’s quite popular to travel the two kingdoms together for an once-in-a-lifetime Himalayan exploration. And so far, there are about 10 non-stop flights flying to Nepal from Bhutan every week. The air travel is just less than 1.5 hours. Select from our most popular Bhutan Nepal Tour Packages or contact us to customize a dream tour to Nepal!

Recommended Bhutan Nepal Tours:

√ 24 Days Bhutan Nepal Tibet Pilgrimage Tour

Bhutan to Nepal Flights
Paro International Airport in Bhutan

Drive Overland to Nepal from Tibet and India - A Long but Scenic Journey

Due to the opening of land border ports between Tibet and Nepal, India and Nepal, making a cross-border journey by road is another option to get to Nepal. An overland trip costs more time indeed, but you enjoy more flexibility and freedom to discover more spots off the beaten track and beautiful scenery along the road.

1. Travel Overland from Tibet to Nepal

Overland Route: Tibet → Gyirong Port → Nepal

In Tibet side, the Zhangmu-Kodari Port was severely damaged and remains closed now due to the Nepal earthquake in April 25, 2015. However, Gyirong-Rasuwa Port has reopened as international land port for foreign travelers since August 2017. That means, except taking a Lhasa Kathmandu Flight to Nepal, you can also have an overland driving journey from Tibet to Nepal via Gyirong Port (about 160km away from Kathmandu) with picturesque scenery along the way. After crossing Gyirong Port, you're in Nepal, and later you can take a bus or car to Kathmandu, costing about 7~12 hours depending on the road condition. Roads can be dangerous in rainy season, so better pay attention to the weather before you take the overland ride.

Most Popular Tibet to Nepal Tours (by Road):

√ 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest

√ 13 Days Tibet to Nepal Overland Tour via Mount Everest & Kailash

√ 13 Days Beijing Xian Lhasa Kathmandu Adventure Tour

Gyirong Port
Gyirong Port at China-Nepal Border
Tibet to Nepal
Drive from Lhasa to Kathmandu Nepal via Gyirong

2. Travel from India to Nepal by Road

Overland Route: India → one of six Border Ports → Nepal

If you don’t want to take Indian to Nepal flight, you can travel to Nepal by overland car driving via one of the six opened land ports at India-Nepal border area. The ports are Kakarbhitta-Jhapa, Birgunj-Parsa, Balahia-Bhairahawa, Jamunaha-Nepalgunj, Mohana-Dhangadi, Gaddachaudki (BANBASA)-Mahendranagar. Immigration Offices along the Nepal-India borders issue On Arrival Visa of Nepal conveniently as Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport does. This kind of journey is more recommended for Indians, slow-paced travelers who plan to reach Nepal from India by road.

India to Nepal
Nepal India Border Ports

★ The easiest and hassle-free overland route to get to Nepal from India is via Gorakhpur from Sonauli (India) - Belahiya (Nepal) Border Port. The buses to Belkahita from Sonauli runs all day, starting around 6 am, until evening and takes approximately 9 hours to Kathmandu.

★ The border Panitanki (India) - Kakarbitta (Nepal) located on the east side of Nepal is the best option to travel to Nepal overland from India with the best travel experience.

★ If you are in Darjeeling or in nearby places in India, you can get to Nepal via Karkarvitta.

Cycle to Nepal from Tibet - Supreme Himalayan Biking Adventure

Best Cycling Route: Lhasa → Gyantse → Mount Everest → Gyirong → Kathmandu

Estimated Time: more than 2 weeks

Bike enthusiasts can find another special way to travel to Nepal besides the flight and drive mentioned. With a rough distance of about 1,100 kilometers, the Tibet to Nepal cycling trip starts from Lhasa to Kathmandu, Nepal via Gyantse and Shigatse, top destinations in Tibet. Having a mountain bike tour on the high altitude plateau is truly an ultimate challenge of both mental and physical, but the breathtaking beauty of Himalayas and exotic Tibetan culture and religion and such an once-in-a-lifetime experience make it all worthwhile.

Roads in Tibet are mostly well paved and you can easily get daily supplies like drinks, food and accommodation during stopover. You will camp when necessary. If you're planning a mountain bike tour from Tibet to Nepal, find more guide and tips in our Lhasa to Kathmandu Cycling >>

Cycling from Lhasa Tibet to Nepal Kathmandu
Lhasa Kathmandu Biking Travelers

Take Train to Nepal - Future China Nepal Railway

Planned Railway Route: Lhasa → Shigatse → Gyirong → Kathmandu

At present, there is NO train directly connecting Nepal and India and China, or any other nations. China and Nepal are good neighbors with close connections in multiple fields, and the first international railway between China and Nepal - the China Nepal Railway (Tibet Nepal Railway) is going to be built through Gyirong Port in the future. China will extend the Lhasa Shigatse Railway (branch of Qinghai Tibet Railway) from Shigatse in Tibet to Gyirong Port at China-Nepal border area. And meanwhile, China will help Nepal build railways in Nepal from Gyirong-Rasuwa Port to Kathmandu with Nepal Government. Now, the most concerned sections between Shigatse to Gyirong Railway and Gyirong to Kathmandu Train are still in the planning stage. It is reported the Lhasa Kathmandu Railway construction will start and be completed in recent years. Tibet Discovery will keep updating for you.

China Tibet Nepal Railway
Future China-Nepal Railway Route
(click to enlarge)

Useful Tips for Getting to Nepal

1. Plan Your Nepal Tour Early. Lots of works need to be done for your Nepal tour, such as booking air tickets, hotels and make day-by-day itinerary and so on. And it’s quite difficult to but ticket during high season. Hence, you’re recommended to do the preparation ahead of time. Learn More about How to Plan a Nepal Tour >>

2. Change Bus at Border Port. There are no international buses or trains available now. Foreign travelers taking overland driving have to change to another bus at Gyirong Port, or India-Nepal border ports after get entry permitted. Travel with Tibet Discovery, you can enjoy worry-free transfer from Tibet to Nepal, with licensed driver and local vehicle.

3. Road Condition from Gyirong to Kathmandu. During the rainy months, the roads between Gyirong and Kathmandu and among many popular destinations in Nepal will be muddy, which upgrade difficulty for transfer driving if it rains a lot.

Tibet to Nepal by Road
Change Bus to Kathmandu at Gyirong Port
Tibet to Nepal by Road
Congested & Sludgy Kathmandu-Pokhara Road in July

How to Plan a Nepal Tour

Best time to visit Nepal: March to mid-June and mid-September to November

How to get to Nepal: overland driving from China (Tibet) and India, flights from China (Tibet, Chengdu…), India (Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata/Bengaluru...), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore, etc.

Nepal Visa: you can get Nepal Visa on arrival at Kathmandu Airport and border entry ports, or apply for it from Nepal Embassy abroad before departure, which takes about 1 to 3 working days.

Tourists always start a Nepal tour from Kathmandu - the capital city and tourist distribution center. 4 days is enough to enjoy the world heritage sites and Himalayan views in Kathmandu Valley (Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Nagarkot). For those travelers who won’t want to miss the most astonishing nature of Nepal, spend 1 or 2 more days visiting lakeside Pokhara. For more experience, Chitwan is a good choice to offer Nepal’s oldest wildlife (various mammal and birds species) as well as a variety of excursions in 2 days usually. If you are a Buddhist follower or fan, travel Lumbini and other Buddhist sites in 3~4 more days. If you are a trekking enthusiast, there is a bucket of trekking routes, like Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit, Poon Hill, etc.

☞ 4 Days Classic Kathmandu Valley Tour
☞ 5 Days Kathmandu Pokhara Leisure Tour (by Flight)
☞ 8 Days Nepal Holiday Tour (Kathmandu - Pokhara - Chitwan)

It is strongly recommended to take a Tibet Nepal overland trip, so you are able to have Himalayan landscape savory and special culture encounter in one go. Or you can extend your trip to tiny Bhutan to find the mystery of happiness. Tibet Discovery is specialized in providing Nepal Tibet Bhutan Tour Packages and you are also welcomed to customize your unique experience.

☞ 7 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland Tour via Mount Everest
☞ 15 Days Tibet Nepal Bhutan Himalaya Exploration In-depth Tour

Nepal Travel Photos
Adam's Family from USA visited Kathmandu with Tibet Discovery

Recommended Nepal Tour Packages

Following are some of our most recommended Nepal tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our tour packages are classic itineraries, and can be tailor-made to meet your personal requirements. You can get more Nepal Tours, or contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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