Kathmandu Airport To Thamel

If you are travelling to Kathmandu,  of course, the first thing every traveler should know is how to reach their hotels from Tribhuvan International Airport? Thamel is the main backpacker’s destination in Nepal and this is probably where you would want to start your journey and where your hotel would likely be located!  It has virtually everything a traveler would be looking for from a one-star (or none at all!) guesthouses to luxurious 5-star hotels, groceries, local food stalls and restaurants, laundry facilities, local markets, hair salon, spa centres and many more!  

Below are some ideas on how you can reach Thamel from Kathmandu Airport. If you are backpacker and want to save some money (and doesn’t mind a bit of adventure), there are many options available to you, depending on what type of traveler you are. Based on the year 2019 we are here to update you all new price and the information you need to know about Kathmandu Tribhuvan International airport.  We believe this article will be helpful for you,  to plan your next holiday in Nepal. so please read on.

1. BY TAXI - from Kathmandu Airport to Thamel 

For those who prefer the easiest way and the least hassle, this is for you! Probably the Kathmandu city is one of the smallest cities, and public transportation is not the best in the world. You have the option only of a bus, a mini-bus, or a taxi.  There are no trains, or trams here!  

If you are travelling from Kathmandu airport to any area in ‘downtown’ Thamel, the easiest way is to take a cab.   From the airport, the city centre is only 20 - 30 minutes of driving distance.  When you exit the airport, you will see a lot of taxi outside waiting for clients or you could also pre-book inside the airport.

How to deal with Taxi in Kathmandu Airport?

As they say, Nepalese are one of the best and kindest people in the world as you can find after your trip, but of course, there might be some exceptions! There is no complete hassle in finding a taxi driver in the airport (they will find you!); the issue is how do you deal with them and agree on cost? 

There are two types of taxi in Kathmandu Airport:
  • Prepaid Airport Taxi
  • Local Public Taxi

Prepaid Airport Taxi

Kathmandu International Airport management committee has committed to providing 24-hour prepaid taxi counter in Tribhuvan International Airport.  You could find this just before you exit the airport building, past the tourist information centre.   They charge at a fixed rate and will provide a receipt.  As they are government regulated, they are committed and will ensure your safety and anything else that goes with you! Note however that they are on a slightly more expensive side than a local public taxi. 

Just a heads up, if you are travelling to Kathmandu for the first time and using the prepaid taxi, note that a member of the taxi counter or any of their recommended person might travel with you in the same taxi.  Likely to see if he could recommend any travel packages you might be interested in and also provide additional information about the country and what it offers to tourist.  So, it is not bad at all but this may put off some backpackers who prefer to do it on their own or find their own local agency.  If you would like to find out more, they will bring you to a travel company in Thamel.  In a positive sense, you are actually getting free information about travelling around and where to go to, whether you buy their packages or not.  And this is perfectly understandable for these travel companies. Or simply if you want to avoid them you can tell, I have already booked my tour with someone else. So they will quickly understand you are out of their sights. 

How much is the Prepaid Taxi Cost to Thamel?

From Kathmandu Airport to Thamel, or with a distance closeby Thamel (e.g. Durbar Marg, Lazimpat), the prepaid paid taxi will charge you 750 Rs, which is around US$ 6.5 per taxi (rate as at February 2019). If you are travelling at night time meaning after 21:30, there is a surcharge of  100 Rs (almost US$ 1).  

The list of the Prepaid Taxi cost from Kathmandu Airport to city full in PDF

NOTE: The cost above is updated in January 2019

2. Local Public Taxi

Any other taxi you could find when you exit the airport is a local taxi.  You could easily spot them, just make sure you exit the airport building and past the pre-paid taxi counter.  Keep heading outside (about 2-3minutes walk and keep ignoring all the travel agents waiting outside who might try to speak to you), past a roundabout, and until you are sure you are outside the first airport gate, where you could see a number of Maruti 800 model hatchback car!

For some, it is worth the hassle and could save you 200 Rs – 300 Rs easily! If you are trained in bargaining, this is probably for you! Average cost to Durbar Marg or Lazimpat is roughly 450 Rs to 550 Rs.  With a bit of persistence, you might be able to bring it down even more!!  

You should know about local taxi in Kathmandu  

  • Make sure your driver knows your destination address, including the name of the hotel or street name 
  • Obviously, agree on the rates first.  Often the taxis in Nepal do not run by the meter, especially with tourist. so you will have to agree on the total cost immediately.
  • It is a generally safe country and people are trustworthy, but we would recommend that you remember the taxi number or plate numbers.  This could prove helpful in case of emergency situations or if you happen to forget anything inside the car. 
  • Be gentle and nice as they are very nice people! They may not speak the best English but they know for sure the best local places! and no problem with basic English.  

BY LOCAL BUS:  Kathmandu Airport to Thamel

Still, as many backpackers are used to public transport all the time, they will expect to do the same in Kathmandu.  Many travellers from all around the world try to look for As we can say Kathmandu City, is still a very classical city in the world, and most of the roads are still under construction.  It seemed to have been frozen and kept from influences for a long time and just opening itself to the world. As expected, transportation here remains underdeveloped! 

local transportation from Kathmandu Airport to Thamel. Most of them gave up as there is not any such bus which would bring you directly to Thamel. This will involve a combination of walking and maybe several minutes of waiting for the bus! But it exists and yes, you can reach your destination, but this not the easiest option, but this is the cheapest!  A 20-minute journey to Thamel could easily take you over 60 minutes and likely more, but for fraction of the price!
Before you ride a local bus, here a couple of tips which might be helpful for you: 
  • Make sure you know your destination and speak to the driver so you know where you are going and that the bus is heading in that direction!
  • Make sure you carry enough change (in Nepali currency) before you ride the Local bus.  The fare is cheap and they usually do not have enough change for your 1,000 Rs.
  • Always look after your valuables, such camera, passport etc. 
  • Stay close to the driver if you can, so they could assist you where to get off and request that they inform you if it is already your stop.  

How do we find the local bus from Kathmandu airport to Thamel? 

Option 1. Airport to Jamal (Best and easy) 
In the year 2019, There are (Sagha Yatayat) big green public bus available from Kathmandu airport to the city.  Please reminded this bus also doesn't go straight to Thamel (A tourist hub). However, the stop is close enough to walk to Thamel. If you take the Sagha Yatayat to Thamel from Kathmandu airport please make sure you get off in "Jamal" It is the North East border with Thamel. It is less than 10-minute walking distance to Thamel. As of 2019, it will cost NPR 20 which is equivalent to USD 0.2.  There are more options available from Sagha Yatayat please visit this page to find more route from Sagha Yatyat

Option 2: Airport to Ratnapark and walk to Thamel 
Just go outside the Kathmandu Airport gate, again this is past the roundabout and by the main road.  From there, you will see a bus station. Make sure you listen well, as they will only call out their destinations.  Look out for buses calling to “Ratnapark”. Or the easiest would be to simply ask locals where to find buses to “Ratnapark” and they will easily give you the bus number and company name.  Just catch the bus to Ratnapark and get off at the last station. 
From Ratnapark, it’s just a further less then 10 minutes walking distance to Thamel.  Or can also take another mini-van to Thamel from there. 

Option 2. Bus to Narayan Gopal Chok
Instead of taking a bus to Ratnapark, take the bus that goes to “Narayan Gopal Chok”.  From Narayan Gopal Chok you need to change again to another bus that goes to “Lazimpat” and from there you can walk to Thamel for 10 Minutes. 

How much does the Local bus cost?
Each destination the cost of a local bus is 15 - 20 Rs. Let's say if you are travelling from Kathmandu airport to Thamel via Narayan Gopal Chok, It will cost you 30 - 40 Rs. which is less than USD 0.5 

Bloggers Related Post 

Here are some bloggers post, you may find reading interesting

www.thelongestwayhome.com How to Survive Arriving in Kathmandu Airport 
Trip Advisor forum: Taxi Cost Kathmandu Airport to Thamel
Lonely Planet forum: Bus from Airport to Thamel Katmandu
www.tripsavvy.com: Guide to Arriving in Kathmandu
Happy Passport: Kathmandu airport to Thamel 

If you are Travel Blogger who recently travelled to Nepal, have written article related to this post, please send a link at nestadventure@gmail.com We are happy to link your thoughts. (We only accepts a related post from a non-profit travel blogger, Vlogger, or YouTube artist)

We always respect your valuable thought about this post, If you have any travel tips travelling between Tribhuvan Internation airport to Thamel or any parts of the city center please do not hesitate to share with us. We really hope we were able to include all the major questions you have regarding the different options to reach the city center or Thamel. If you didn't find what information you are looking please leave us a comment below. We will try to dig in and updates the information. Or answer your personal questions. 

If you enjoy reading this article, we would appreciate if you leave us rating as appropriate as you think on the right corner side of the box. This will inspire me to write a more depth article like this one. 

********************************************* Happy Journey**********************************************

About Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Rajendra Khanal (Raj) Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide to being a guide/leader to being a manager and finally a founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say, I know my way well enough in the Himalayas especially in some of the off-the-beaten trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga or Mustang

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!).  I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central Americas USA and Canada, one-third of Europe, Caribbean Island and  Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had an opportunity working with multinational companies which taught me, how to deliver quality customer service in the business? As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert of Nepal Himalayas, I started writing about my own country.  Incase, If you required free information about Nepal, please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.  Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from about 200 satisfied customers. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor.
If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me. at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  
4 + 9 = ?

Hello Raj,  I'm Raghbir an oldy, and along with my wife, coming to Kathmandu to visit Sikh temple in Kupondol area across the river. I wish to know if I can get a taxi for this area for about Rs 300 Nepalese currency. I would also like to meet U at ur convenience. Tks. Raghbir
- Raghbir Singh

Hey Raghbir singh, Thank you for the comment. I am afraid NPR 300 for Kupondol might be a little small amount. But If you huggled to the local taxi (Not an airport taxi) they might bring you for NPR 500. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need anything while you are in Kathmandu. happy to help. 


- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Great info. I land in Kathmandu at 22:30. Are there any restaurants/cafes in Thamel that are open late to purchase “Nepal’s finest”?
- Vincent Diaz

Hi Vincent, 

Thank you so much for the comment. Most of the cafe and fine dining will close before 12:00 midnight. Yes, there are some window sandwich and coffee shop opens until midnight 1:00 am - until 2:00 am. If you are living around Thamel just look for a late night opening shop around central Thamel where most of the nightlife, bar and restaurants are located. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

i loss my passport and qatar id card on april 8 i come from qatar by oman airless if any one find please contact me 9842080466 Anil pathak 
- anil pathak

Really good information!! Thanks a Lot. 
- Laura Sommer

Nice advice 

Information solved my worries



Glad to hear that! I hope you will have a good time in Nepal. 
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Thank you for all the information. Unusually, we will be arriving at Kathmandu airport with our own mountain bikes. anyone know he beat route into the city and place to stay with a bike?!? Thanks
- Rachel

Hi Rachel, Thank you so much for the comment. Yes, you can bike all the way from the airport to city centre. and most commonly travellers find it a comfortable home in Thamel which is roughly 10km from Airport.  
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Thanks awesome informations
- Abdul rahman Zia

Wow! Incredible beautiful site with great informative content. thanks for sharing this............post...........
<a href="http://www.himalayaguide.com">Everest trekking</a>

- Sarena Wilson

Thanks a lot for provide us such like helpful information that will be easy to traveling In Nepal for any one with a simply English language , Thank you again .

- Sadia Haque

Thank you so much, We try to keep as simple as possible that we can cover up all kind of level's people. 
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Hi...I need some information although you have provided enough . I am an Indian citizen, have all identity documents except passport right now. Although Bureau of immigration of India mentioned that we can travel to Nepal without passport but with Voter ID/DL, I would like to know if I can board Nepal airlines flight from Delhi to Kathmandu? Since I have not traveled to any other country , I would like to know the process of customs, immigration check in Tribhuvan International airport? Secondly, as u mentioned that we Indians are treated as locals, Can I use Indian currency directly over there, Can I use Indian SBI ATM card in  Nepal, Can I bring Rs 500 or Rs 2000 notes? I want to experience Everest Sightseeing flight of Buddha air and Experience of Fishtail Ultra Flights in Pokhara plus 2 days trekking in Pokhara. I will be very much thankful if you can help me out with best options of trip plan. I am so much excited to visit Nepal that I am planning to come next month itself or latest by January.

Thank you.


Gulap, Thank you for spending a time writing a long comment. Yes, you literally don't need to bring the passport to travel Nepal If you are an Indian citizen. As long as you will carry a government authorised ID that shows you are an Indian citizen you are allowed to get inside the Nepal immigration from the Airport border. We will be happy to assist if you need any help to do Everest flight and Pokhara. Do not hesitate to contact us again. 
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Dear Sir,

Please tell me if I can use my Indian ATM card there. Please suggest me one day hiking or trekking package in pokhara and its cost? Also please let me know price of Everest flight for Indian nationals.

This is an excellent post which is a great guide for people who wish to make their own itinerary and still get to fulfill their dreams with less budget.The tips are very useful and must make note of points. Thanks.

- Valli

Hello Valli, 

Thank you so much for stopping by our page and for the comment. Coming from the first world country, especially first time traveller in Nepal probably don't have any imagination on how to deal with taxi local buses and people. Just to give a piece of mind we create this post. We have some other cool post with other categories please don't forget to read them and share with your friends. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Hi, my flight arrives at 8pm and will probably be out of the airport by 9pm. Are there any local buses available around that time? OR what is the safest way to get to Thamel in the evening? -solo female backpacker
- ayn

Hello, Ayn

I am afraid, local buses are probably not anymore on the road by that time. You might have to go with a local taxi. I know how the budget is important during backpacking. In my experience the best way is the book some cheap hotel (USD 12- 15 a night) in advance and check with them, most of them provides a free pickup service. or take the taxi. 
I hope this will help you to make your journey safe to travel Thamel at night from Kathmandu Airport. 

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Really helpful info. I was wondering if it is possible to get a taxi from Dakshinkali to Nagarkot...how long it takes and what would be the price. Thx
- Miguel Garcia

Hello Miguel, 

Certainly, you will be able to deal with a local taxi, You need to negotiate probably if you offer 2000 to 3000 Rs you might able to get them.  

- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

How long is the drive from kathmandu airport to pokhara in a private car?
- Gemma Vm

Hello, Gemma ---- Driving from Kathmandu airport to Pokhara is roughly 5-6 hour without stopping in the middle and it also depends on road traffic. If it has more road traffic it might take longer than your expection. Thanks for stopping by our page, I hope this is helpful for you. let us know if you required anything. ----- Raj NEST Adventure
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Good afternoon, ---- I arrive at Kathmandu airport Saturday at 14pm and I would like to go straight to Pokhara. Can I get a tourist bus at this time?? There are many different companies, none of them offer the option of departing in the afternoon? Do I have to book in advance the ticket? Thank you, ----- Carolina
- Carolina Saraiva

Hello Carolina, ---- Thank you so much for your warm inquiry about drive street to Pokhara from Kathmandu Airport. I am afraid to tell you that there are not any tourist buses in the afternoon. Tourist bus only leaves in the morning. at 07:00. The cheapest option at this time is to take a local bus. or take a private car in 120USD pickup from the airport and drop to Pokhara. For more detail please visit this page. http://www.nestadventure.com/blog/70/kathmandu-to-pokhara-bus.html Let us know if you want anything further. I hope this message will help you. ---- Raj
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Really, it is a wonderful content. Overall discussion about Kathmandu International Airport is more helpful. I am pleased to see this post as I am planning to travel Kathmandu next month. It will definitely help me more.
- Sunitha Markose

Hello Sunitha, Thanks for liking our content! and welcome to Nepal. I hope you will find everything easy in Nepal. Don't forget to share your opinion about Nepal after you back to your country. mean time Let us know if you required anything in addition.
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Could you pls tell me the hole name at Thamel, which is very close to Kathmandu to Pokhara bus stand/counter. thanks, Mizan.
- Mizanur Rahman

Dear Mizanur, There are plenty of hotel near by Kathmandu Pokhara bus station. such as Hotel Blue Horizon, Red Planet Guest House, Choice Hotel, Magnificent View Hotel. I hope this is helpful for you! Let us know if you required anything in addition.
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Hello.we find your site very helpful.we r going to visit Nepal. If we take prepaid Taxi to nagarkot.,how much will b charged. ?and how to come back from nagarkot to kathmandu. Are there taxis in nagarkot. Thanks lalitha
- Lalitha Umraskar

Hello, Lalitha! Thanks for stopping by our page, we are glad to hear from you that you found our article helpful . Prepaid taxi to Nagarkot charges 2500 NPR (USD25) one way. There are not any taxi stand in Nagarkot. but possible to transfer back to Kathmandu via Local bus. or if you wish to come back to Kathmandu via taxi or private car you should book in advance! Thanks, I hope this is helpful for you! Let us know if you required anything in addition.
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

After read all your experience I feel it’s very useful for the first time traveler. On top of that I would like to share my experience in your blog as a comment, I hope you will approve it. My self I am Nepali and I live outside the country. I would like to share some of my experience how I feel about the baggage and porter in side airport. All most every year I go to see my family. I am always excited to be in my birth land but makes me feel like irritated in Kathmandu Airport. I am not saying Nepal airport is not safe and people are bad but I just feel It shouldn’t be like this. My experience inside the airport is, you supposed to get free baggage trailer but some one will ask you and assist you until the airport exit point in his trailer. I understand that he expecting some money for his work. I am happy to give him tips But he will bargain from the highest money and he always makes me to pay high. Secondly when you finally exit from the main gate, there are another team who fallow my baggage trailer seems they just fallowing me and asking me taxi, at the end their will be 5 of them or even more. Ask me money because they said airport porter no job. For forever those kind of group should kick out from the airport. Passenger should feel hassle-free.
- Roshan

Dear Roshan Jee, Thank you so much for approaching us and liking our post. I am very happy to see your post. As I have experience of Katmandu airport I will give you some of my experience and idea to avoid those kind of Issue. Issue no 1 .> about the baggage trailer. You should always look for your own baggage trailer. Which is left corner of the baggage section. Yes off course they will look for money if you trying to be like a “LAHURE” (A person who spend his time outside the country for long time and feeling proud when he get back his own country) then those porter will think you have money, you will be happy to pay them. Better if you do your own work they will not force you. Or if you want to use them better deal in advance. The second issue I am really agree with you the porter who fallow you until your taxi and asking money for nothing. Probably this is the big issue. Most of the time when myself go to pick my client they do the same. Just easy way is to avoid them and say “NO” “NO” “NO” I am also not sure about them how they will allow to do that in airport. If you complain police they will just pretend that’s they punished but next time it is the same. It’s all government and civil aviation policy.
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

Hello my name is Jon, I am Travelling to Nepal coming October, and I am staying Nagarkot for couple of days. I found your article, which is very good; I saw the rate of Taxi from Kathmandu Airport to Nagarkot. I am backpacker and I love to travel as much as I can save. I travel all around the Asia in budget. I know Nepal is one of backpacker’s destinations, as it is my second time in Nepal. I arrive in Kathmandu airport quite early I want to go to Nagarkot by Local bus. Could you please give me some idea, how should I get to Nagarkot by Local Bus? Because I don’t want to go by taxi. As I know there is two buses from Airport. Is that correct? I would be very Happy If you specify the bus No. or name.
- Jon

Hi Jon, Thanks for your wonderful comment. At first you are most welcome in our country and feeling very glad it helpful our article to you. I completely understand about your travelling mode. As you can see the list of the prepaid taxi cost from Kathmandu Airport to anywhere around in our article. But I am sorry I don’t mentation the local bust to Nagarkot and Bhakatapur. Let me go street to your question, How to get Nagarkot from Kathmandu Airport by using local bus? As above I mentation about how to get Thamel. The process is almost the same. After your complete exit from the Airport, you need to be outside until you will be in the main road. Left side from the airport gate, there is bus station that is goes to Bhakatapur. The assistance drivers announce the name call “Bhakatapur,” so you just need to listen carefully. Either if you are going to Bhakatapur or Nagarkot you need to find this bus anyways. There is not any direct bus to Nagarkot, as you need to go Bhakatapur first. After Bhakatapur bus station you can find another bus to Nagarkot. Basically you might be little confused to deal with bus but take it easy you just need to ask Local people if you confused anyways. The bus cost you around 20 Rs each way.
- Nepal Explore Summit Treks Pvt. Ltd.

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