When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Kathmandu?
It is likely that if you are visiting Kathmandu you will want to check out the trekking routes of the Everest and Annapurna circuits. If so, the best seasons for trekking are between October and November or January and March. However, September is often a much quieter month, and best for cheap flights to Kathmandu, while still allowing you good weather for trekking.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Kathmandu?
Flights to Kathmandu get very busy during the peak trekking months, so book as far in advance as possible to secure the best deals on airfare. Be flexible with your travel dates and let netflights.com compare the best prices on return flights to Kathmandu. Check in regularly for last-minute flights too, as you never know what you might find!
Flying to Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)
KTM airport is about four miles from the centre of Kathmandu. Originally called Gauchaur Airport, it was renamed in 1955 in memory of the king’s father. It is currently the country’s only international airport.
Airlines that offer flights to Kathmandu include Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and the national carrier Nepal Airlines. There are no direct flights available from the U.K. so these airlines will require a layover in another city, often Gulf states such as Qatar or Abu Dhabi, or cities such as Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. You can fly from Aberdeen Airport, the George Best Belfast City Airport, Cardiff Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow Airport, London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick and Manchester Airport, among others.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
The airport has two terminals, one for international flights and the other for domestic. They are within close proximity of each other. The airport has amenities including two currency exchange kiosks and ATMS upon arrival, as well a post office, free Wi-Fi, souvenir shop and business and executive lounges. There are tea shops located just outside the airport. The Nepal Tourism Board also has an information counter in arrivals where you can find out more information about the area and a hotel desk where you can book accommodation.
Getting to the City from Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)
To make the short trip into the city centre there are a few options suited to any budget. Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall. To use the official government-run taxis, you must prepay for the journey before entering the vehicle. Prices are listed on a board to ensure you pay a fair price. Taxis with black number plates run on a meter and are not regulated by the government- they are often cheaper, but make sure to agree upon a rate with the driver before you enter the vehicle. Hotel shuttle can also pick you up from the airport, or you can take a public bus (route 3) into the city centre.
Why Visit Kathmandu?
As you step off the plane in Kathmandu, prepare for a sensory overload as you dart down traffic-jammed streets lined with historic temples, in this city that is a gateway to the mountains. Nepal’s capital city remains one of the most popular destinations for backpackers and trekkers alike, and you are likely to find those seeking spiritual enlightenment swapping stories with enthusiastic trekkers over sumptuous Nepalese food. Kathmandu is not for the faint of heart, but it is hard not to fall in love with this thriving city before setting out to explore the “real Nepal”.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, the city centre is a living testament to Buddhist and Hindu cultures, and although many sites were extensively damaged in the 2015 earthquake, you can still appreciate the scale of its vast ancient buildings. Tour the famous Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath before making the ascent to the “monkey temple” of Swayambhunath. Festivals abound in Kathmandu; be sure to take part in the lively, colourful and joyous Holi Festival if you’re visiting in March (the 1st and 2nd in 2018).
Don't Forget Before you Fly
You will need a visa for Nepal. You can apply in advance from the Embassy of Nepal, or buy one on arrival at KTM airport. You will need a passport picture and cash to pay for the visa – the cost depends on the length of validity – and any major currency can be used at the airport. Your passport must be valid for six months from the day you submit your visa application. Nepali rupees are not available in the UK, but you can exchange money at the airport or in other exchange bureaus, and ATMs are available for cash withdrawals.