Pokhara is a beautiful city of lakes and the starting point of trekking to Annapurna Himalayas. Perhaps, you don’t want to skip this beautiful city which sits right on the edge of calm Phewa lake to get into the much cleaner surroundings and relaxed ambience after a hectic Kathmandu valley.
Kathmandu to Pokhara is one of the most popular routes of Nepal for both domestic and international travellers. Wondering ‘How to get from Kathmandu to Pokhara’? Here’s our travel guide including different options of transportation and information you would require to get between two of Nepal’s most famous tourist hubs and biggest cities.
Pokhara lies 200 km/124 miles away from Kathmandu and is easily accessible through air or by land.
Travelling to Pokhara by land
The easiest and affordable choice to get to Pokhara would be going for a Tourist Bus from Kathmandu. On average, tourist bus normally takes 7-8 hours to Pokhara, except delays in some exceptional cases. There are many tourist bus companies which provide the same level of service and quality to their passengers. But keep in mind that “Tourist Buses” in Nepal are not new. Usually, all bus companies have the same model, 32 seaters and quite old buses.
But few of these companies provide modern buses with good comfy seats, charging points, air-conditioning, WIFI service (rarely works) and also include buffet lunch service at a resort en route. Premium tourist bus services like Greenline, Mount Overland etc. cost around NPR. 2,500-2,800 (USD 21- USD 24 for one way) whereas, normal bus companies charge around NPR 700-800 (USD 6 to 7 for one way). Travelling by normal bus service providers is just OK and premium buses are pretty GOOD and comfortable. Both take the same amount of time for travel but their services differenciate them from each other. Which one would you prefer? – the choice is yours!
Here is the link for Greenline bus ticket booking:
After you pick your bus, the next question would be “What’s the bus journey like?”
It is certainly the most asked question from tourists. 7-8 hours of tiring journey in a bus when you realize the distance between two cities is just 124 miles (200km). Sounds crazy, right? Well, what else can expect from a mountainous country? WELCOME TO NEPAL, it is what it is, adventure everywhere! The bus will pass through hustle and bustle of Kathmandu and make its way out of the valley up to the top of Nagdhunga hill. Then you will slowly go down into the valley through narrow corners and steep descents. Travelling in Nepal for the first time?? Then get ready to test your nerves. The bus passes through hills, tiny villages and agricultural fields through the bank of Trishuli River. The scenery of this route during a clear sunny day is astonishing.
Note: Make sure to carry a small bag with some snacks and a bottle of water/drinks because your bag pack will go to back storage of bus. And try to ask for a seat on the right-hand side from KTM, you will get a chance to see the beautiful scenery of hills, mountains and river.
Traffic jams are expected throughout the whole trip but, things are getting better. The highway is getting wider and some parts have been upgraded. To be honest, it is now pretty good. You can get out of the bus if you get stuck for a long time but don’t trust the traffic of Nepal’s highway, it can take off quickly. From Dumre, the road is pretty much straight and you will reach Pokhara in no time. The bus will stop at Pokhara bus park. Grab a cab or walk if you have some energy left after your tiring journey in the bus, Lakeside is just 15-20 minutes of walking distance from Pokhara’s tourist bus park.
Departure time and Leaving Spot for tourist bus at Kathmandu
Usually, all tourist buses depart at around 7 am from Sorakhutte, Thamel in Kathmandu every day. Sorakhutte tourist bus stop is just 10-15 mins away from Thamel. Whereas, Greenline bus leaves from just outside of Thamel (opposite North Face Showroom near to Garden of dreams at 7 am each morning.
Recommendation: Always book your Kathmandu to Pokhara bus ticket one or two-day before your journey. It’s always a good idea to get your tickets a few days earlier during peak season or travelling with a big group.
Travelling by a Private car or Jeep from Kathmandu to Pokhara
If you are willing to spend more money, hiring a car or a jeep for the journey would be the best idea. Travelling by private vehicles is a comparatively expensive but comfortable way of travelling to Pokhara. One way travel by 7-8 seater jeep will cost around $250. If you are travelling on the group, Jeep ride becomes fairly cost-effective. Co-ordinate with one of the travel agencies at Thamel if you want to jump into this option.
Kathmandu to Pokhara by Air
Do you have a tight schedule or prefer the convenient way of travelling?? Then, the quickest and easiest way to get Pokhara from Kathmandu is by plane. A short flight of 25-30 mins takes you to Pokhara. Usually, there are over 15 flights every day from Kathmandu and around 20 flights per day during peak tourist season.
Try to catch an early flight of 6:45 am or 7:00 am, for a clear and scenic view of mountains and beautiful landscape of Nepal, if you are lucky enough to get a right-hand window seat of the plane. The last flight to Pokhara leaves around at 3 pm or 4 pm depending on the flow of passenger and weather. A one-way ticket price of a flight to Pokhara costs around $125 to $130 for tourist. These rates keep on changing. You can book the flight online or through any travel agency. The flights depart from the domestic terminal of Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu.
Note: The flights can be delayed in some cases due to poor weather conditions
It’s no doubt that Pokhara is worth visiting and staying for a couple of days even if you are not going for a trek to Annapurna Himalayas as Pokhara is one of the beautiful cities in Nepal which have everything you need.