How to Get from Kathmandu to Pokhara: By Flight or By Bus?
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal is a city of temples and pagodas. There, you can enjoy many cultural wonders of Nepal, and get to learn about Nepalese architecture and religions. About 200km to the east of Kathmandu lies the paradise for nature lovers, Pokhara. It is located in the geographic heart of Nepal, with breathtaking Himalaya views and picturesque lakes where you can go boating, paragliding.
As Kathmandu is the location of Nepal’s only international airport and international tourists always choose it as their first stop to visit Nepal, to combine both cultural and natural explorations in this Himalayan country, you are recommended to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
▶ Which Way Is the Best to Reach Pokhara from Kathmandu?
At present, there are 3 ways to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu, namely taking a flight, bus, or a private car. Taking a flight, you can go by air and get there fast; chartering a private car is private and safe, and you can take your time and go wherever you want; Going by tourist bus, you can enjoy nice AC, comfortable seat and beautiful scenery passing by your bus window; Going by local bus, you can reduce the ticket cost and get close to the local people. So there are plenty of possibilities, but what is best for you? only you will know. Check the following detailed information to make your perfect decision.
Option 1: Kathmandu to Pokhara by Flight
Taking a flight is the fastest way to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Along your way there, you may fly over the erecting magnificent Himalayan peaks among clouds on the backdrop of a blue sky, which can be seen from your window on a clear day.
• Flight Route: Kathamndu Airport (KTM) to Pokhara Airport • Travel Time: about 30 minutes
▶ Kathmandu Airport (IATA: KTM)
• Location: Ring Rd, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
It is also known as Tribhuvan International Airport, which is a sole air entry port applicable to Nepal Visa on Arrival. It is about 6km to the city center, Durbar Square and Thamel. It operates flights to the nearby cities in India, China, Bhutan, etc. It can be considered as a starting point to visit Nepal. Domestic flights can reach many cities in Nepal, including Bhadrapur, Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Nepalgunj, Pokhara, Tumlingtar, etc.
▶ Pokhara Airport (IATA: PKR)
• Location: Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Pokhara airport is a small regional airport, serving mainly domestic flights in Nepal. It is located in the southeast of Pokhara, close to the Damside. During the peak season, there are about 20 flights to Kathmandu per day. The ticket price is about USD 80 per person and you may get the discounted tickets by ordering from your agent. It is also close to the lakeside and taking a taxi there may cost you about 200 rupees. Buddha Air and Yeti Airlines are the major airlines there, serving flights to Bhairahawa, Bharatpur, Biratnagar, Kathmandu. Soon in the future (around 2021), another Pokhara International airport will be built to serve more direct international flights.
• Popular Kathmandu to Pokhara Tour (by Flight): ✔ 5 Days Kathmandu to Pokhara Leisure Tour by Flight
Kathmandu to Pokhara Non-stop Flights Schedules for your reference:
|Airline||Departure & Arrival Airport||Departure & Arrival Time||Frequency||Duration|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||06:45 - 07:15||daily||30 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||08:00 - 08:30||daily||30 minutes|
|Yeti Airlines||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||08:10 - 08:35||daily||25 minutes|
|Yeti Airlines||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||09:40 - 10:05||daily||25 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||10:30 - 11:00||daily||30 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||11:30 - 12:00||daily||30 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||12:00 - 12:30||daily||30 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||13:40 - 14:10||daily||30 minutes|
|Yeti Airlines||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||14:00 - 14:25||daily||25 minutes|
|Buddha Air||Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport to Pokhara Airport||14:30 - 15:00||daily||30 minutes|
Option 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara by Bus
Except for taking a flight to Pokhara, if you have time and want to slow down your travel pace to witness the country’s inner highlights on your way, taking a bus is the best and only way to reach your destination. You can either choose to take a tourist bus or a local bus. According to the road condition, it may take about 6 to 8 hours to get to Pokhara.
▶ Choose Tourist Bus or Local Bus?
For most of the foreign travelers to Nepal for the first time, you are recommended to take a tourist bus. A standard tourist bus costs you around USD 8 to USD 12, and a deluxe bus costs you around USD 15 to USD 25, and the deluxe one includes your lunch, Wifi, AC, water, and sometimes snacks as well. Some even have a toilet and washroom inside. It usually departs in the early morning at about 7 am and the recommended bus companies are Jagadamba Travels, Greenline Travel & Tours, Travel Nepal Bus, Mountain Overland Tour, and the Jagadamba Travels is the most recommended one for it even operates a one-night bus to Pokhara. However, what if I failed to get on the tourist bus? You can try the local bus, and it departs every 30min and the ticket is only around 500 rupees. However, the driver sometimes may drive really fast and stop randomly for the local passengers to get on and off, which takes a longer time to reach your destination. To have a safer and more comfortable traveling experience, we recommend you to take a tourist bus unless you have missed it.
▶ Where to Get on a Bus to Pokhara in Kathmandu?
Bus Station for Tourist Bus to Pokhara: The tourist bus departs from Sorakhutte, the north/west of Thamel within 10min walking distance from central Thamel, Kathmandu Guest House. If you have reserved a ticket from Jagadamba Travel, your departure site is round Annapurna Hotel Darbar Marg, while the Greenline is from Trideve Marga Thamel. Please make sure your departure sites before booking your tourist bus ticket.
Bus Station for Local Bus to Pokhara: The local bus usually departs from Kalanki Bus Stop or Gonggadu New Bus Park which is about 3.5km from Thamel, 10 to 15min by taxi, 30min on foot.
▶ Where to Get off in Pokhara?
Tourist Bus: The last stop of the tourist bus will be the Pokhara Tourist Bus Station, which is very near to the Lakeside.
Local Bus: You need to tell the driver that you would like to get off in a local area called “Prithivi Chok” and take a taxi to the lakeside.
• Popular Kathmandu to Pokhara Tour: ✔ 6 Days Kathmandu to Pokhara Highlights Tour by Private Car
Option 3: Pokhara from Kathmandu by Private Car
The most flexible traveling way is to charter a private car, especially you have many travel companions with you and under the condition that you have a local experienced travel companion to drive and guide you. Otherwise, you are not recommended to just rent a car for the road condition is complicated and it is not safe for first-time visitors, and the company will charge you two-way fare and the car need someone to drive back. Therefore, we recommend you to travel Pokhara with a skillful local driver or join a private Pokhara tour, and contact us and let us help you with booking the transportation service by private car.
• Popular Kathmandu to Pokhara Tour: ✔ 9 Days Nepal Ghorepani - Poon Hill Trekking Tour
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.
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.
Adam's Family from USA visited Kathmandu with Tibet Discovery
Nepal Travel Guide
Recommended Kathmandu Pokhara Tour PackagesFollowing are some of our most recommended Nepal tour packages with Kathmandu and Pokhara 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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