How to Get From Kathmandu to Pokhara

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Kathmandu to Pokhara

Pokhara is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Nepal, and thankfully, one that is easily accessible. From Kathmandu, the lake city is only about 206 km away, which means you can be there in 6 hours via road or in 30 minutes via air. Here is a break down on both options.

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Kathmandu to Pokhara by Air

Every day, from 8 am to 3 pm, there are 13 flights (on average) taking off for Pokhara from Kathmandu. The 27 to 30 minutes long flight is short and convenient, availing you to a majestic view of rolling hills and snowcapped mountains on a clear morning. If you are running short on time, this is the transportation mode that will allow you to visit the city and perhaps return to Kathmandu on the same day. Nepali airline companies like Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, and Simrik Airlines, provide daily services.

Pro tips:

  • The airfare is constant throughout a year, except for when there is an unforeseen fuel crisis.
  • The airfare differs from airlines to airlines. On average a one-way flight ticket to Pokhara costs USD 145.
  • The best way to book a flight ticket from Kathmandu to Pokhara is via a local travel agent, who can avail you discounts depending on the season and occasions.
  • There are higher chances of discounts during off-season i.e. January – February, May – August, December), but these seasons don’t offer the best view.

Kathmandu to Pokhara by Road

Reaching Pokhara by road is fun but comes with its share of challenges. The journey can be unpredictable during rainy season due to landslides which can elongate the normal duration of six hours to nine. The mode of transportation you choose, whether a tourist bus, a local bus, or a private car, also affects the experience. However, the journey beside the postcard-perfect scenes alongside the Trishuli River is every bit worth it.

Pro Tips for Tourist Bus

  • You can book tourist buses from local travel agents, or ask your hotel to do it.
  • Tourist bus ranges from standard to super deluxe, which is priced from USD 8 to USD 30.
  • All of the tourist buses for Pokhara leave from Kantipath, near Thamel, at 7 am in the morning.
  • For most of the buses in Kantipath, you won’t even require booking a ticket. However, without a booking you are not guaranteed a seat of your choice.
  • The more expensive the ticket, the more facilities you will have.
  • The bus journey comes to an end at Pokhara tourist Bus Park.
  • Popular tourist bus providers include Greenline Tours Pvt. Ltd (USD 25), Global Vacation Travels & Tours Pvt. Ltd (USD 8 to 12), and Pokhara Jagadamba Travels (USD 30).

Pro Tips for Local Bus

  • Local buses are an experience in itself, where you get to travel with the locals and their livestock.
  • The buses leave for Pokhara from Gongabu New Bus Park or Kalanki Bus Stop every hour.
  • The cost is slightly cheaper than the tourist bus at USD 5 to USD 6, but comfort and safety can be an issue. Do try if you are up for the thrill!
  • The local bus stops about almost anywhere to accommodate a passenger, even when there is no room, the travel time can take from anywhere near 8 to 10 hours.
  • Journey on a local bus ends at Prithivi chowk, so you will have to take a taxi to reach the lakeside or the hotel.

There are perks of travelling either by plane or by bus to Pokhara. The only thing you have to keep in mind when making the decision is the amount.

Published by Rasmus Juul Olsen, updated on September 7, 2022

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2 COMMENTS We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
  1. A
    Andrew Anderson Jul 07 2017 REPLY
    Is it safe to travel Pokhara from Kathmandu by bus? I heard that the luggage must go on the top of the bus. Is that true?
    1. R
      Rasmus Bookmundi Staff Jul 09 2017
      Hi Andrew, Thanks for your good question. Yes, I'd say that it's reasonably safe to travel by bus, except for perhaps during monsoon season where you have to be more careful due to the risk of landslides. We recommend tourist buses as they are more safe. If you take a tourist bus your luggage won't be put on the roof. If you go by a local bus or micro van, your luggage could indeed be hatched to the roof.
  2. R
    Ruk Poudel Jul 07 2017 REPLY
    Hello, is there any car rental car/jeep services from Kathmandu to Pokhara? Thanks in advance.
    1. R
      Rasmus Bookmundi Staff Jul 07 2017
      Hi Ruko, Thanks for your good question. There are not per say jeeps running between Kathmandu and Pokhara but you can easily contact a local tour operator and they can hire a jeep for you. I hope this helped. Best Rasmus
    2. R
      Ruk Poudel Aug 17 2017
      Thanks a lot. :)