You can choose the mode of transportation as per your travel style and budget. You will get a wide range of options to travel to Pokhara. Taking a chartered helicopter to a public transportation and anything in between is entirely your choice.
Leave the bustling city of Kathmandu for Pokhara situated on the lap of mountains. Read more to find out about various travel options from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
A short flight of 25 to 30 minutes takes you to Pokhara from Kathmandu. Buddha Air, Simrik Airlines, and Yeti Airlines are prominent airlines among others that fly from Kathmandu and Pokhara.
There are over 10 flights a day connecting these two cities. You can catch a flight as early as 6:45 am. The last flight leaves at around 4 pm.
The flight fares from Kathmandu to Pokhara and vice versa depends on the season and availability. During peak season tourist seasons and festivals the fare maybe more than during off-seasons. Further, the fare quoted by domestic airlines is different for locals, Indians and other tourists.
A one-way flight ticket from Kathmandu to Pokhara costs around the US $125 for a tourist. Moreover, tourists need to pay in US Dollars. The flight fare for an Indian and Nepali is around NRS 5,000 per person. You can fly at a cheaper price if you book in advance. Keep in mind that these flight rates change frequently.
Here is a tip. While flying to Pokhara, try to get a seat on the right-hand side to enjoy the Himalayan ranges from your window. Also, reach Tribhuvan International Airport an hour before your respective flight.
Try not to book a domestic flight and an international flight on the same day. The chances of flight delays or cancellation cannot be omitted, which increases the chance of you missing your international flight. It will be wise to have the option of travel by road open in case of delay or cancelation of your domestic flight.
Flying in a chartered helicopter is the quickest and most comfortable way to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Also, choose a chartered flight when you are short of time as there are fewer chances of delays or cancellation of flights.
Enjoy a cozy helicopter ride and bask in the stunning view of snowy mountains, verdant hills, and an aerial view of the cities. Breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape will be etched in your memory forever.
It takes around 25 minutes to fly in a helicopter from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You can get a chartered flight on request and your Travel Company or agent can arrange it for you. The maximum capacity of most helicopters is 5 people. You will be charged on a charter basis. It costs around the US $2500 to book a one-way helicopter ride. If you are flying alone, then you can join a group at a cost of around US $500 per person.
Take a ride on the meandering hilly road from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You will be taking Prithivi Highway and driving past small villages and rural towns. The views of fast-flowing rivers and verdant hills from your window will entertain you during the trip.
Regardless of any vehicle you take, it takes more or less 6 to 8 hours to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu. The main factor determining the time duration is traffic around the Kathmandu valley.
Download some movies or shows or keep your playlist ready to tune into during the long bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Carry some snacks for the trip.
The various modes of transportation from Kathmandu to Pokhara are tourist bus, local bus, private car, or private jeep.
Traveling by a tourist bus is considerably comfortable and safer than traveling by local buses. Tourist buses stop more frequently and at better restaurants and restrooms. You will be traveling in an air-conditioned bus with onboard Wi-Fi.
Tourist buses mostly charge around US $7-10 per person. The bus departs around 7 am from Thamel every day. You do not need to pre-buy a ticket from the company or a local travel agency. But it is a good idea to get tickets if you are traveling in a peak season or traveling in a big group.
Among tourist buses, the service provided by Greenline Bus stands out. It is expensive, as a one-way Greenline ticket is priced at around US $25 per person. But the bus fare includes buffet lunch at a resort en route. Besides traveling in an air-conditioned bus with Wi-Fi you will get charging points for your device as well. You will get comfort stops along the way at better quality places.
If you want to travel like the locals then choose a road trip by a public bus. It is also the cheapest way to travel and costs around US $4-5 per person for a one-way trip. The choice of traveling by bus with a capacity of 40 plus seats or a 14-seater microbus is yours.
Public buses leave from Gongabu Bus Park or Kalanki daily at an interval of half an hour. Be prepared for a long bus ride without air-conditioning, loud music, and aisles filled with luggage.
Traveling by a public bus is attractive from price point but be prepared to compromise in terms of food stops and restrooms.
A long drive to Pokhara in a car is comparatively expensive. Expect to pay $115 to $130 for a car and around $150 for an SUV for a one-way trip. Expect to pay extra for an air-conditioned car. It is a comfortable way to travel and you can stop whenever and wherever you want.
When you hire a car for traveling it comes with a driver and his wage. The common models of car are Swift Desire, Ford Classic, Fiat Linea, Volkswagen, and Skoda Rapid. Some of the SUVs that you can use for Pokhara travel are Scorpio, Mahindra, and Avanza.
The most comfortable way to travel Pokhara from Kathmandu is by a private jeep. Hop into a jeep with 6 to 7 seats and enjoy a scenic drive. It cost around $200-240 for a one-way trip.
Make most of your travel on a private vehicle by visiting interesting places on your long road trip between two or more popular cities of Nepal. Visiting the following places will enrich your trip.
Visit the sacred temple of Manakamana dedicated to the Hindu goddess Bhagwati. The goddess is known to fulfill wishes and attracts many devotees. Enjoy a scenic cable car ride with the view of verdant hills over the Trishuli River to the hilltop temple. Savor the scenic vista from the hilltop temple.
Bandipur is a Newari town situated on a hilltop. The iconic cobblestoned street lined with houses built in Newari architecture is the highlight of the town. The vehicle free main street with front porch seating gives off a European feel. The magical town Bandipur possesses the power to transport you into a different century.
Historically significant place Gorkha is the ancestral home of the last ruling monarch of Nepal. The ancient palace called Gorkha Durbar is located on a ridge. On a clear day, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the Himalayan range stretching from north to west. Savor the amazing views of mountains like Manaslu and Himalchuli.
The advantage of traveling in a private vehicle is that you can take a break from the long bus ride. One of the best ways to avoid a long bus ride is by rafting in River Trishuli.
You will be rafting for 2 to 3 hours from Charaudi to a charming village of Kuringhat. Enjoy rafting in the thrilling river featuring rapids like Upset, S-bend, Surprise, and Ladies’ delight. Rafting in the wilderness in the shadows of verdant hills will be an experience to cherish for a lifetime.
Enjoy an outdoor lunch by the sandy beach. Resume your drive back to Pokhara lying in the lap of the Himalayas.
The natural beauty of Pokhara will overwhelm you and give you lots of photographic opportunities. These are the activities that you can enjoy in Pokhara.
Pokhara is the gateway to many treks in the Annapurna region. Popular treks of Nepal including Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, and Mardi Himal Trek begin and end in the beautiful city. The city is a favorite among trekkers to unwind after trekking in the Annapurna region.
Pokhara also offers one-day hikes and some of the popular day hikes are Pokhara Peace Pagoda hike and Sarangkot Naudanda Hike. The hilltop of Sarangkot is famous for its magical sunrises and sunsets. Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the lush green hills and breathtaking views of snowy mountains.
Don’t miss to go boating in the Fewa Lake surrounded by jade hills and snowy mountains. Also, visit the island temple dedicated to Hindu goddess Barahi. Stroll around the lakeside featuring shops with local products. Visit famous sightseeing places in Pokhara including Davis Fall, Gupteswhar Cave, Bat Cave, Mahendra Cave, and International Mountain Museum.
Moreover, Pokhara offers adventure activities like paragliding, mountain flights, and bungee. Soar in the sky of Pokhara like a bird and enjoy the aerial view of the city by paragliding. Feel the adrenal rush as you jump off a tower during a bungee jump. Take a memorable mountain flight that takes you closer to the snowcapped mountains and marvel at its spell biding beauty.
Relax and enjoy the chilled out vibe of Pokhara and create everlasting memories!
*Note - The fares and rental charges quoted above were applicable at the time of writing this article. The prices are not guaranteed and are subject to change without prior notice.