How to go to Thamel from Kathmandu Airport?

How to go to Thamel from Kathmandu Airport

Visiting Nepal for trekking adventure is for most people a once in a lifetime experience. There is only one option for an international flight to get into Nepal. Nepal’s only international airport is in capital city Kathmandu.

The majority of visitors come to Nepal via the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. This international airport is situated four miles (6 km) east of Kathmandu.

If you’re traveling for the first time and don’t plan well then it can be little complicated and stressful.

Thamel has been the center of the tourism industry in Kathmandu for over four decades.

You’ve no clue about how to go to Thamel from Kathmandu Airport. While this may sound easy getting to the Thamel area.

After landing in International Airport, your number one priority is getting to Thamel area.

As you might’ve booked your hotel already which is located in that particular area. Or you may have to meet your trekking crew in the head office which is also located in Thamel area.

Getting to Thamel on your own it quite easy but it does require some advance planning.

Thus, reaching Thamel might be your a big necessity after reaching Kathmandu airport.

In this article, I’m going to explain how to go to Thamel from Kathmandu Airport for international travelers.So, that you can get to your destination with ease.

Various taxis, buses, and private cars are provided from airport to help passengers travel to Thamel area.

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Taking taxi is the easiest option for a tourist as it prevents from all the hassles while using crowded public vehicles.

It takes only 20 to 30 minutes to reach Thamel but if you might not stuck in the traffic jams of Kathmandu. Both prepaid taxis and normal taxis are available at the airport.

Prepaid Taxis

A prepaid taxis are run and regulated by Nepal Government and are available 24hrs of a day. A prepaid taxi service is operated immediately from outside the arrival gate of the airport. Rates are exhibited on a board and the fare must be paid in advance.

Pre-paid taxi will cost you around $8 in the daytime and one or two dollars more at night time.

Normally, prepaid taxis are more expensive than regular taxis. But there is an additional benefit that person from taxi counter will travel with you in a taxi up to your destination.

He’ll take your complete safety responsibility in this short trip. He might share some useful information of Nepal that might help you in your future journey.

If you’re not being picked up by your hotel, then use this services to avoid unnecessary hassles. Airport taxis have green license plates.

Normal Taxis

Normally, these normal taxis are much cheaper than the airport taxis. But they’ll not ensure your safety and might charge either less or more.

Most of the local taxis don’t run by the meter in Nepal so prices may vary from taxis to taxi.

As you get out of the airport, you’ll find many of taxis waiting for their clients. The local taxi will cost you around $4-5 in the daytime and one dollar more at night time. These normal taxis have black license plates.


Taxi drivers often try to overcharge passengers, so only pay when you’re at your destinations. Before getting into the vehicle you need to fix the rate.

Private Vehicles arranged by your travel company

Many hotel and guest houses offer complimentary pickup and delivery services from the airport. Even if they charge you $8 to $10 for the service it is well worth it to avoid crowds.

This is the most convenient way to reach your destinations. As you’ll have to carry heavy backpack or suitcase with you from the airport.

These private vehicles used by your hotel have the green license plate on their vehicle. This means the vehicle is specifically used by tourists.


The vehicles with red license plates are private vehicles. Even though they’re not 99% safe as they’re not licensed to carry tourists. So, it’s best to avoid any future unnecessary complications.

Public Bus

If you don’t want to ride taxi then, in that case, I’ll suggest you take a local bus to Thamel. It’s not so much complicated as it sounds.

Make sure that you need to look out the bus that will take you to Ratna Park area. And after reaching there, it just takes about 15 minutes to reach Thamel by walking. The entire ride will cost you only around $0.31 which is pretty cheaper than the taxi.

Another option for the local bus is the Sajha Bus. It is a big green bus that comes to the airport. But it doesn’t take you directly to the Thamel.

The normal route this bus takes you to Raton Pool. From here you can change bus to Ratna Park or Jamal (Jamal is the southeast border of Thamel) and then walk to Thamel.

As this bus is run by Nepal Government this bus costs only $0.23 and you can easily get these buses on Sajha Bus route.


Traveling around Kathmandu is a unique experience and it is quite easy and pretty cheap. Just you need to be aware of all the route to your destinations.

Taking a taxi is much easier though not faster and cheaper as compared to the public buses. If you really want to look the real side of the city and travel like a local person does then the public bus might be a perfect option for you.

Thus, I’ve explained each of these travel options in detail. Hopefully, you’ve got the full idea of how to go to Thamel from Kathmandu Airport. Also, you’ve got the full idea on the cost and planning considerations of each method of transport.

Finally, choose any type of transportation that you think suits you.

Happy Travelling !!!!

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details

About Author

Mukti is is the founder and CEO of Himalayas on Foot. He started Himalayas on Foot in 2008 after working as a trekking porter, guide and then a sales manager for a decade.

He has done most of the treks in Nepal such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Poon Hill, Langtang Trek, Annapurna Circuit, etc. Apart from Nepal, he has also travelled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Finland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, France and USA.

Mukti was also secretary of Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) for the year 2015-2017. TAAN is an umbrella association of trekking agencies in the Nepal.

He speaks fluent English, Japanese and Nepali.

Mukti is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.

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