Attention! This is probably the most updated writing you could ever find online. This article contents all available travel options between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Enjoy reading!
210 KM west from Kathmandu, the Pokhara city is known as the City of Paradise.  A complete destination surrounded by full nature of Himalaya, and with a lake in the middle of the town, some waterfalls, gorges, etc.  Pokhara is also the gateway to many popular trekking routes, like Annapurna Base CampPoon Hill Trek, and some village hikes. Ideally, Regardless if you are beyond the limit of high altitude trek Kathmandu Pokhara tour highly recommended. In this article we are giving you some idea on how to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu, there are a few options to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu:Kathmandu to Pokhara Travelling Options infographics

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Flight

Every day in the morning from 08: 00 AM to until 03: 30 PM, different airlines fly to Pokhara.  As one of the most popular touristic city in Nepal. Buddha AirYeti Air, and other companies operate more than 10 flights a day.  The duration is roughly 25 minutes of flying time from Kathmandu. This is by far the fastest and easiest way for the city.  If you wish, Pokhara City Tour can then be done in even one day from Kathmandu if you chose the flight option.

For some travelers with limited time in Nepal and looking to go to Pokhara, the good news is, you can actually fly there.  And it will probably be the shortest flight you may have experienced as it is not even 30 minutes!! A mere 26 minutes to be exact.  The waiting at the airport and probably the time to find a cab and drive to the airport would take much longer.Pokhara tour, Pokhara from the top of Stupa Hills

The domestic airport in Kathmandu

Before we dive into the details about the Pokhara flight, let me first orient you with the aviation capabilities of Nepal. There is only one international airport in the whole country, Kathmandu, and it is likely one of the smallest in the world.  You could maybe say it is only half, as it needs to share the runway with domestic flights too.  The airport is very simple yet functional.  The good thing about this is that you don’t have to walk miles and miles to get to your gate, and I could assure you that you will not be lost.

The airport may be tiny, but there is always someone to assist you everywhere.  It is also very cultural, and I like that upon arrival, the airport bus takes you directly to the immigration section where travelers get their visa, one escalator down, and you are in the baggage area, and then 5 minutes walk after, and voila, you are outside!! Yes, there isn’t much inside the airport, which is a good thing! Anyways, who wants to spend time at the airport when there is so much to see and experience outside!  Now, back to Pokhara flight.

How to connect to a domestic flight from an international trip to Nepal?

If you just arrived in the country and has to take a domestic flight within a short timeframe, you are in luck because as mentioned above, the local airport is connected to the TIA (short for Tribhuvan International Airport).   When you exit the main arrival gate and head north towards the coffee shops, ATM and a Western Union bank (this should be on your right), you will see one small red building – this is the domestic terminal. It is only about 7-10 minutes’ walk from the international flight’s arrival gate.

How much is the Kathmandu to Pokhara flight fare?

Unlike in other countries, the flight fare in Nepal is fixed, meaning it doesn’t vary on a daily basis.  An exception to this would be when the fuel cost is unstable.  They do allow for some inflationary increases year on year, but you should generally find it the same any day of the year.  Although the cost is supposed to be ‘fixed’, the ticket prices could vary in the market if you buy from an agency.  I think I am being too honest here.

Okay, let me explain the standard cost first.  There are 2 different types of flight costs –  local and foreign.  The standard local cost for a one-way ticket is USD 45 per person and this cost applies to all Nepali and Indian citizens (Note:  Indian tourists are treated as locals in Nepal).  Any other country has to pay the standard one-way cost of USD 125 per person.  However,  different agencies provide varying offers and discounts based on the season.Kathmandu Pokhara by flight

How to book a Kathmandu Pokhara flight at a cheap cost?

I will share with you the secrets of the trade.   If you go through online, for example, Buddhaair.com, you have no choice but to pay the full amount of USD 125 (USD 45 for Nepali / Indian) to get a one-way ticket.  But if you wish to get the same flight at a much lower cost, then you should approach a local travel company.  The reason is that airlines keep track of how many flight tickets each travel company like us purchased from them annually.  Based on that, we get roughly 10-15% discount and we pass on the discount to our clients.  And usually, the discount is much higher during the offseason (January-February, May-September, December)

How and with who to book the flight ticket to Pokhara?

Every travel company in Nepal could sell a flight ticket to you.  But the question is, how much discount can they offer?  Of course, not everyone can provide discounts of 10% – 20%. We advise that you do your research and check with them how much the price would be.  Please also note that very few companies in Nepal have online payment facilities.  Please don’t expect a booking platform such as Expedia.com or Skyscanner.com.  By online, this means you can inquire to them by email and they could process your order – (assuming you provide some form of payment through PayPal or bank transfer). As far as I know, only Buddhaair.com can offer online ticket reservation using major debit and credit cards.

How can we offer a 10 – 15% cheaper flight ticket to Pokhara?

We are not a big company but because of the number of ticket sales we have throughout the year (and our outstanding partnership with the flight companies), we are able to provide 10-20% discount on a round trip flight ticket to Pokhara from Kathmandu, and also in the easiest and safest payment gateway.  We are available by USD bank transfer for the USD account holder. GBP account transfer for the GBP account holder and. PayPal for the rest of the world on a 0% service fee. If you think this is the easiest gateway to reserve the flight ticket, please send us your requirements via email and we could agree on the best way for the payment.  We will also be able to confirm your ticket in a couple of hours and send your ticket by email.

Note: The discount offer only applies to the foreign traveler, It doesn’t apply to the local passenger including Indian citizen. The discount It may also vary by season and month of the year. Kathmandu Pokhara Tour | Pokhara Kathmandu Tour Package

What to see and how many days to spend in Pokhara?

As mentioned above, Pokhara is less than 30 minutes by plane. Although it is very short to fly, traveling there by road could take up to 8 hours depending on road and traffic conditions.  Of course, the most cost-efficient way to get there is by bus. However, if you have a  short timeframe, and do not have the full day to allocate to traveling, then the flight option is probably the best for you.

In season time (March-April and October-November) when the weather is clear, a one-day Pokhara tour from Kathmandu is possible and worth a try.  The mountains are usually visible in the morning and covered by clouds in the afternoon. Having said that, we would still recommend spending a minimum of one night in Pokhara. This allows you to see more of the city including short hiking and trekking around Pokhara,  sunrises (which it is famous for) and a panoramic view of the Himalayas. The sunset in Phewa Lake or Stupa hill and a visit to the temple in the middle of the Phewa lake are some of the things you shouldn’t miss in Pokhara. If you want us to suggest an itinerary for you depending on how many days you may have, please feel free to Contact Us (nestadventure@gmail.com) or provide your comment below.

Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara

If you are traveling to Pokhara from Kathmandu, probably the Tourist bus is the best option economically speaking without compromising comfort, especially if your hotel is somewhere near Thamel. More or less 50 different companies every day operates the Kathmandu Pokhara bus service. Here are some general facts you should know about this optionKathmandu Pokhara Tourist Bust Station

Where is the Tourist Bus station in Kathmandu?

If you live around Thamel or somewhere nearby Thamel, the tourist bus station is within walking distance.  North/West of Thamel the place called Sorakhutte, this is where all tourist bus departure, which is only 10 minutes by walk from Kathmandu Guest House (Central Thamel).  If the street name confuses you, you can request a guesthouse a free city map, which might be easier for you. Or get the taxi or Rixswa (Tourist bus departure point used to be on the road called Kantipath, but please note this point is no longer a departure point. If you made a reservation with Jagadamba Travel, the departure point is Annapurna Hotel Darbar Marg and Greenline from Trideve Marga Thamel.  While Travel Nepal departures from Kantipath Kumari Bank parking. Please make sure of the departure point from your travel agency while booking a bus ticket.

What time the Tourist Bus departs from Kathmandu?

If you chose a tourist bus option to go to Pokhara from Kathmandu, the essential thing you shouldn’t forget is time.  Although there are many companies operating tourist buses, they all depart at the same time. The bus leaves at 07:00 AM, but you are required to be at the tourist bus station 30 minutes before departure time. If you miss, this time, you may have to travel by private car or local bus, or perhaps wait until the following day if you still prefer this option.

How much is the bus fare from Kathmandu to Pokhara?

This might be the first question you may want to know. There are different fares for different buses. The cost depends on the service the bus provides to tourists.  For example, a standard tourist bus costs approximately US$8 – US$12.  Note that this has only natural air condition (i.e. open your window if you want some fresh air). Deluxe bus costs US$15- US$25, which includes lunch, WiFi, real air condition this time and maybe a bottle of water and a bag of crisps as well.  If I were you, I would go with the standard bus fare to save some money.

Here is the list of companies for your reference (note that prices are subject to change):
Standard tourist bus company (8USD- 10USD) 

Deluxe Tourist Bus Company (15USD – 25 USD)

Super Deluxe Tourist Bus Service (USD 25 to USD 30)

How to book the bus ticket or with whom? 

It is not difficult to book a tourist bus.  You will find many options upon arrival.  It is also not necessary to book in advance either. There are many travel companies selling bus tickets especially in Thamel where you will likely stay as it is the backpackers’ haven in Kathmandu.  You can also ask your hotel to arrange your bus ticket if you wish. Or if you can’t find anyone else, feel free to email us at info@nestadventure.com and we will be more than happy to help arrange this for you.

How long is traveling time to Pokhara from Kathmandu?

Pokhara city is only 210km far from Kathmandu by distance, but due to the hilly road condition, it will take more time than you expected.  Travel time is about 6 to 7 hours.  However, it is worth noting that the view is simply breathtaking and you get to experience the road of Nepal and drive around the mountain area for a scenic view.

Kathmandu Pokhara Super deluxe buses in operation!
If you are willing to travel Kathmandu Pokhara, using a super deluxe bus then, Jagadamba Travels brought another good news. Adding one other 21 sisters super deluxe bus. The company claims as they are the, best ever bus service in Kathmandu Pokhara in history.  The bus has fully fitted mini-bar along with extra legroom and fully remote controlled seat and also expected to be as comfortable as in bed, where passengers can travel with comfort asleep.  The company’s authorized website provides an online reservation facility at the cost of USD 25 for the Tourist and USD 20 for local tourists (one-way). The cost includes minibar soft drinks Lunch and popular newspapers on the way.  The bus departure Kathmandu Darbar Marg journey end at Pokhara tourist Bus Park.Jadamba Travel Super Deluxe Bus in Kathmandu Pokhara Sector

Super Deluxe bus Travel Nepal Bus in operation

A year ago, Jagadamba Travel, a bus company in Nepal, brought a new super deluxe bus in the Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu sector.  This bus was the first of its kind to provide the most higher level of comfort to its passengers.
Very recently, another bus company, Travel Nepal Bus, also started the operation of a similar type of deluxe tourist bus with its limited seating (one with 10 seats and another bus with 16 seats), inside the toilet/washroom and reclining sofa-like seats.  It even features a minibar for guests who would like to enjoy the ride with a few sips. This super deluxe bus from Travel Nepal Bus also comes with a separate smoking room on board.
Currently, the ticket priced at USD 25 per person for tourists and NPR 2,000 for Nepalese.  Considering the service, this price is cheaper compear to Jagadamba Travel. If you a person who would love extra adventure on the road of 6-7 hours ride we recommend taking these buses instead of comfort.

How to make a reservation? 
There are three ways to make reservations for the Travel Nepal Bus ticket:

  • Walk into the office locations of Global Vacation Tour and Baba Adventure.  Please note that these two tour companies jointly own the Travel Nepal Bus.
  • Ask a travel agent in Nepal to arrange this for you.
  • (For Nepalese only) If you have the e-Sewa account, the ticket can be purchased online from the bus company’s website.
For tourists, the best way to purchase a ticket would be the first two options mentioned above.  If you are short on time, however, and need to ensure the availability of the tickets, we recommend finding a local travel agent as suggested in the second point above.
Super Deluxe Bus Travel Nepal in Kathmandu Pokhara Sector image

Night Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Most of the tourist buses departures early morning as the approximate journey time could take up to 8 hours. While the scenery is indeed worth it, you could lose a whole day by taking the morning buses. Travelers may want to save time (and money) and may want to take night buses instead.  And the good news is that this is possible. Jagadamba Travel operates a one-night bus departure every 8 PM from Balaju (this is roughly 2 km away from the city center Thamel).  While this is not the same super-deluxe bus mentioned above with limited seating, it is still a comfortable bus.  The bus is equipped with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, toilet and washroom inside, drinks and snacks along the way. The bus company also provides blankets for better sleep for the night journey.  Balaju is a local area and may be difficult to find.  We recommend taking a cab to the bus station instead.

Tourist buses to Pokhara with toilet and washroom inside

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions from travelers and clients if there are buses to Pokhara from Kathmandu with a toilet and washroom inside.  The answer is Yes, and these bus companies are
  • Jagadamba Travel
  • Travel Nepal Bus/Global Vacation Tour
  • Debit Travel
However, please note that due to road conditions, the toilets/washroom may also be out of service sometime.  The bus company assured us that they do try their best to make these amenities available to the passengers, where possible (without causing health hazards to everyone on board!). There are just times that due to the bumpy roads, it not possible, unfortunately.  Whether or not there may be a toilet/washroom inside the bus, there are also regular stopovers and bathroom breaks along the way.
(Updates: As of 12th March 2019 washroom and toilet in Travel Nepal bus has suspended due to hygiene reasons. However, only one super deluxe sofa bus has a toilet and washroom on board. if you particular required washroom please make a reservation of Super Delux with washroom.)

Tourist bus with a smoking room on board

In 2019 There are few bus company’s buses which also comes with a smoking room on board. Such as Travel Nepal recently offers bus with smoking facilities on board. Especially the route like Kathmandu to Pokhara or Kathmandu to Lumbini involves at least 8-9 hours of journey. Having smoking facilities onboard may sound fancy for the smoker but may not pleasant sounds for non-smokers. However, the separate chamber for smoker allows enjoying their smoking while others enjoy the facilities such as a washroom, mini bar, Wifi, etc.

(Updates: Travel Nepal Bus has recently suspended smoking facilities onboard until the further notice.)

How to make a reservation? 
For non-Nepalese, the easiest way to book a bus ticket might be through a travel agency. It is important to note that none of those buses has a secure online booking system and some information may not be available from the company websites such as the physical office location (but please see tip below on how to find them!).  A vast majority of tickets are purchased through a local travel agent.

By coincidence, it happens that two of these companies, Travel Nepal Bus (operated by Global Vacation Tour) and Debit Travel, are just right next to our office, NEST Adventure.  If you want to visit their office location to book a ticket, you can follow the Google map of our company, NEST Adventure.  Debit Travel is on the right side of our office and Travel Nepal Bus/Global Vacation Tour on the left side.  Of course, we are also more than happy to assist if you need our help in making the reservations for you.

Local Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Local buses to Pokhara also depart every hour from New Bus Park station or Kalanki Bus Stop in Kathmandu. It will be a different experience for you to try local bus in Kathmandu as it does it allow you to mingle with friendly local Nepalese (and some chickens and goats if you are lucky!).  Again, some facts about local buses to Pokhara:Local Bus Ride

Where is the Local bus station in Kathmandu?

Gonggabu “New Bus Park ” is the local station to Pokhara.  If you are staying in Thamel, Gongabu New Bus Park is not very far; by taxi is about 10-15 minutes, or by another local bus is approximately 20-30 minutes. The taxi ride will cost around 200 – 250 Rs and by local bus 15 Rs only.  If you insist on walking, it might be difficult to find your way and be prepared to walk for roughly 30 minutes (so yes, it is possible to walk it!).

What is the departure time schedule of the Local bus?

Generally, buses leave every 30 minutes.  This is a good option if you miss the Tourist bus in the morning! Or if you are like me who prefers to sleep as much as possible and leave Kathmandu whenever I want.  But make sure you get there before 5 PM.

How much is the local bus fare to Pokhara?

The cost of the local bus to Pokhara is 500 Rs to 600 Rs which is slightly cheaper than the tourist bus. But of course, it is not as comfortable as a tourist bus and sometimes safety could be an issue too for tourists.  For example, they generally drive faster or less safe than a tourist bus.  It is also smaller and has less space. But it still worth to experience – you will be mostly joined by locals, so expect to listen to local music and stop by more authentic local places for lunch and this ride in itself will give you a different taste of Nepal. I would highly recommend it if you are up for an adventure and would like to experience the real Nepali way of traveling.
How long is the drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara using the Local bus?
That’s difficult to answer as the road conditions and the number of stopovers will vary.  The bus can stop anywhere to allow local passengers to get off. Also, as the road condition is not very smooth, it is slightly longer.  You may want to allow about 8-10 hours for sure.
Where is your last stop when you reach Pokhara?
It really depends on which bus you took.  The easiest way is to stop at Prithivi Chok (you may want to ask the driver to let you off at this stop) and get a taxi or another local bus to Pokhara lakeside or wherever is your destination. Lakeside is about a 20-minute walking distance from Prithvi Chok or 150 – 200 Rs by taxi (or 15 Rs by local bus).
What is the difference between the Tourist Bus and Local Bus?
The answer is simple.  The tourist bus is generally for tourists so more expensive and more comfortable than a local bus.  But to help you decide, we are sharing our experience:
In Tourist Bus:
1.    Departure is on time (always around 7 AM).  Passengers are not allowed to get off anywhere in the middle of the journey.
2.    There are stopovers for lunch and breakfast only, in tourist restaurants, so costs are higher than in local places.
3.    The seat is more comfortable and has more legroom
4.    As a tourist bus, it is mostly (if not all) tourists.
5.    The last stop is the Pokhara tourist bus station very near Lakeside.
6.    More expensive than a local bus, but faster and hassle-free travel.
7.    Wi-Fi and air condition also available on some buses.In Local Bus
1.    Departure and arrival time is not certain. As it has several stops throughout the journey either to pick up the passenger or to let them off.
2.    They also have stopovers for food and toilet breaks.
3.    The local bus seat is very small and probably not enough leg room if you are tall.
4.    You can taste the real local food and can mingle with local people.
5.    You will have to get off in a local area called “Prithivi Chok” and have to travel again by bus/taxi or on foot if you wish to get to “Lakeside”.
6.    Cheaper than the Tourist Bus, but could take about 1-3 hours longer
7.    Don’t expect Wi-Fi or air condition.

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Private Car

This is probably the next easiest way to get to Pokhara if you decide not to fly. You can simply find a car rental company.  The cost depends on the car model and capacity. If you are traveling in a group and need to get back Kathmandu just in a couple of days, renting a car might be a good idea. Typically, a drop off from Kathmandu to Pokhara will cost around US$ 90 to US$120. Note that companies generally charge a two-way fare as the car would need to drive back to Kathmandu on the same.
If you are looking for a one-day tour only of Pokhara and return the same day to Kathmandu, this should be the full trip cost. It is also possible to request the car to stay overnight in Pokhara. But this will require an overnight surcharge. This is still a cheaper option if you are returning to Kathmandu the following day instead of hiring a different car.  If you travel by car to Pokhara, it is much faster than the tourist bus. Approximately in 5-hour time, you will reach Pokhara.Driving Pokhara By Private Car

Train from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Travelers in Nepal trying to find ways on how to get a train from Kathmandu to Pokhara. One thing to note in Nepal is that there is no longer a train service anywhere in the country. The capital Kathmandu or any other major city like Pokhara has no railway connection at all.  A couple of years ago, there was a 59km railway service from Janakpur to Jayanagar, a village near the Indian border.  This section is currently under construction but is believed to be open again in 2017.  Nepal, India, and China have serious proposals to also build a train link from Lhasa (capital of Tibet) to Nepal and potentially also connect to India.  Hopefully, in the future, tourists can travel all over Nepal by train and can feel the Switzerland of Asia.
Dhampus Sarangkot Hike From Pokhara
Traveler’s opinion LonelyPlanet- Tripadvisor- and VirtualTourist explains about the Journey Kathmandu Pokhara with some side trip to BandipurGorkha, and White water rafting in Trishuli River. This post might be helpful if you are looking for some side adventure before Pokhara.

There is another popular post from virtualtourist.com; probably this post has more topics about the journey to Pokhara. The traveler’s writing about a different topic like Pokhara airport. Pokhara tourist Bus Park, flight ticket and cost from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara-Kathmandu. If you just want to stroll around Pokhara this post gives you some idea on how to rent a bike. Trip advisor Travel forum question of  “riding the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara” by BEACH LOVA1 from Texas question about the cost and Journey to Pokhara. There are many travelers giving their opinion and recommendation. Although the cost and pricing are not updated the opinions from travelers could be always your inspiration for your traveling.

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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, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the 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 and 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 America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of 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 for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called 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. 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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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