Transportation in Kathmandu

Many international tourists may not be familiar with transportation in Kathmandu. They may wonder that what the means of transportation in Kathmandu are. Also, some people ask what is the most convenient and reliable means of transportation in Kathmandu? How much is for a taxi in Kathmandu? How much is for a private car in Kathmandu? These are the most frequent questions by the people who come in Nepal or Kathmandu for the very first time.

Can we use the train in Kathmandu? Also is a frequently asked question by the international tourists? 

Kathmandu is the largest city and the capital of Nepal. The only international airport, Tribhuvan International Airport is located in Kathmandu. Kathmandu also abodes to magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites include Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swyombhunath Stupa/ Monkey Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Patan and Bhaktapur are neighboring districts of Kathmandu.

Even the tourists do not know how to get to their hotel from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Majority of the tourists stay in Thamel, the most popular tourist hub in Nepal. Now, let’s see how to get Thamel from Tribhuvan International Airport?

There are 6 major ways to get Thamel from Tribhuvan International Airport.

Hiring a Taxi

We can hire a taxi in two ways to get your hotel in Thamel or any places in Kathmandu. We find two types taxis: prepaid and local. Prepaid taxis are waiting in the queue just outside of the airport at arrival. We can pay the bill to the counter and you will be given a receipt. Then, you show the receipt to the taxi driver and tell your destination where you need to go, Thamel or other places in Kathmandu. The prepaid taxi from Kathmandu Airport to Thamel costs USD 7. If you need to go farther, you may have to pay some extra like USD 2-3. And the other way of getting Thamel from Kathmandu airport hiring local taxi. Local taxi charges around USD 9 to get Thamel from Kathmandu Airport. We get a local taxi just outside of Kathmandu airport. We really do not recommend the international tourists to use a local taxi because you need to bargain and also need to walk out of Kathmandu airport. If you choose to go with a local taxi to get Thamel or your hotel from Kathmandu airport, take good care of your personal belongings.

Hiring Taxi for Kathmandu City Tour

If you hire a taxi for your Kathmandu City Tour, the cost ranges between USD 30-35. One taxi can be shared by 3 or 4 people. The cost also will be divisible. This cost doesn’t include your food and drinks. This cost is for visiting four places of Kathmandu city: Pashupatinath Temple, Swyombhunath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bouddhanath. The heritage entrance fees are excluded in this cost.

Private Car/ Jeep

We also can hire a private car/Jeep for your airport pick and drop in Kathmandu. If you are making your trek or tour through a trekking or travel company, your airport pick up and drop is, normally, included. Or, if you are traveling independently, you can ask any travel company to provide you private car/jeep to get Thamel from Kathmandu airport and anywhere in the Kathmandu valley. Hiring Private car/jeep from Kathmandu airport to Thamel costs USD 10.

Bigger Buses

If you are traveling in a big group, you need a bigger bus. The bigger city bus can be shared by 15-20 people. These buses will be arranged by local travel companies. You need to ask them to arrange it for you while you are in Kathmandu airport. Hiring a bigger bus from Kathmandu airport to Thamel cost USD 20. The cost will be divisible to each individual traveler.

Local Bus

Some travelers really want to experience a local bus ride in Nepal or in Kathmandu. If you are thinking so, you need to walk out of the Kathmandu airport and get the bus. We do not get a direct bus from Kathmandu airport to Thamel. We need to change two different buses. First, you need to catch the bus to Chakrapath and board on the bus going to Lainchour or Thamel. Lainchour and Thamel are very close. The local bus in the city cost Rs. 15 from one to another station. If you are changing tow buses, it costs Rs. 30 to get Thamel from Kathmandu airport. It is cheap to use the local bus in Kathmandu city going from one place to other. Also, we get the local buses going to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

However, tourists rarely use local buses in Kathmandu. First, it is not convenient and the sending thing is that it is unsafe. If you make sure that it will be safe and convenient, you can use it. Truly speaking, we do not recommend you to use the local bus in Kathmandu.

Tootle and Patho ( City Bike Riding)

Tootle and Pathao are completely new transportation service in Kathmandu city. Actually, Tootle and Pathao are bike riding in the valley and expanding its services to other cities in Nepal.

We can call either Tootle or Pathao to drop and pick you up from Kathmandu airport to Thamel or to any place you want to go. We can also do Kathmandu City Tour with Pathao and Tootle. Tootle and Patho costs USD 2-3 to get Thamel from Kathmandu airport.

Doing Kathmandu sightseeing tour with Tootle or Pathao costs USD 30. It takes you 4 places: Pashupatinath Temple, Swyombhunath Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Bouddhanath. You can visit Patan and Bhaktapur and also Nagarkot with Pathao and Tootle.

Unfortunately, Kathmandu doesn't offer the train as a means of transportation in Kathmandu. Hopefully, we will get it soon to escape from heavy traffic in this valley. 

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