Kathmandu to Pokhara is a beautiful journey from the busy capital to a peaceful paradise amidst the Himalayan foothills.
Kathmandu is a mesmerizing destination that blends ancient traditions with modern influences smoothly. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant streets, and breathtaking landscapes.
Many tourists worldwide visit Nepal’s capital for its captivating beauty. Cultural enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and adventure lovers come to explore the historical site and local traditions. They also visit the city to embark on a Himalayan adventure.
The city is a haven of religious and spiritual enlightenment. It is home to numerous sacred sites, including Swayambhunath Stupa, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath Stupa, and more.
Pokhara is famous for its natural beauty, serene lakes, and stunning mountain vistas. The majestic snow-capped peaks, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre, surround the area. Phewa Lake is a centerpiece of the city’s charm.
The city has captivated the hearts of national and international travelers through its adventure opportunities and cultural richness. It offers a perfect blend of mesmerizing experiences. You can go for outdoor adventures, spiritual exploration, or a peaceful retreat.
Kathmandu to Pokhara: Distance
The distance from Kathmandu to Pokhara is approximately 204 km by road.
It takes around 6 to 7 hours if you travel by bus. But the traffic conditions and the mode of transportation might extend the time.
While on the way, you will pass through scenic landscapes. You will also witness the beautiful views of hills, rivers, and mountains.
You also have the option to reach Pokhara through domestic flights. Flying through airways is the quickest and most convenient way to travel between the cities.
Transportation Options from Kathmandu to Pokhara
There are many options available to travel from Kathmandu to Pokhara. You can choose one as per your preference and budget.
Traveling by bus is the most economical way to reach Pokhara. Most people choose to travel by bus for its convenience.
Busses operate regularly through the road. It takes approximately 6 to 7 hours, based on road conditions and traffic.
There are various options of buses you can choose from:
Public bus: Public buses are the cheapest means. There are options for you to choose to ride a full-size bus or a small microbus.
Bus Stops: Gongabu Bus Park or Kalanki Bus Stop in Kathmandu.
If you are at Thamel, you can reach Gongabu Bus Park in 15 to 30 minutes. You can walk or choose another local bus or taxi to the bus park.
Travel Time: The buses leave every 30 minutes. There is no fixed time for arrival and departure.
It also has the service of several stops throughout the journey. They can pick up the passengers or let them off at any lane or local bus stop.
Cost of tickets: The fare for public buses is very cheap. It costs only around 3 USD to 4 USD.
These buses have less space and small compartments for legs, so they might not be comfortable.
The drivers play loud music to entertain the travelers. They also stop at a few places for food and toilet breaks.
Tourist bus: Tourist buses are the best choice if you are an international traveler and seek comfort.
Around 50 different companies operate the Kathmandu Pokhara bus service every day. They offer many facilities, including air conditioners and WiFi.
Bus stops: You can find a tourist bus station at Sorakhutte, North/West of Thamel.
Travel time: All tourist buses depart from Sorakhutte at 7:00 a.m.
Unlike on public rides, travelers must be on time while riding a tourist bus. They should be at the bus station 30 minutes before departure time.
If you miss the time, you might have to travel by private car or local bus. Or you can wait for the following day to have a comfortable ride.
Cost of the ticket: The fare of tourist buses varies based on their provided services.
A standard tourist bus costs approximately 8 USD to 12 USD. It costs 15 USD to 25 USD for a deluxe bus.
The deluxe ride offers lunch, WiFi, TV, and air conditioning. They might also serve a bottle of water and a bag of crisps.
You can book the tickets through travel companies in Thamel. Or you can also ask the hotel you stay at to book a ticket.
Taking a flight to Pokhara is the fastest way of transportation. It is the best option for travelers with limited time to explore the city. If you fly, you can have a Pokhara city tour in one day.
Fight stop: To fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu, you must take a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport.
Travel time: It takes around 30 minutes to reach Pokhara from Kathmandu by flight.
Cost of ticket: The ticket prices for flights differ for locals and foreigners.
The cost for a one-way ticket for Nepali and Indian citizens is 45 USD per person. However, it costs 125 USD per person for travelers from other countries.
You can also book your flights while the travel agencies offer discounts.
How to buy the tickets: You can buy a flight ticket from any travel agency in Kathmandu. Buddha Air and Yeti Air are a few of the many agencies that sell flight tickets.
If you want to witness the beautiful landscape while traveling to Pokhara, you should go on a cab/private vehicle ride.
If you have your vehicle, you can use that for the ride. And if you don’t own a vehicle that can take you to Pokhara, you can rent one at a car rental company.
Travel time: If you go on a private vehicle ride, It will take around 5 hours to reach the destination. It is much faster than tourist and public buses.
Average cost: Hiring a private car for a one-way ride costs around 90 USD to 120 USD. Hiring a 7-8 seated jeep will cost 250 USD for a way ride.
Private vehicles come with their driver. So, while taking a private car, you can ask the driver to stop whenever you like for lunch or toilet breaks.
Best Time to Visit Pokhara
You can visit Pokhara during any season. But if you want to participate in fun activities in the city, you must learn about the weather conditions beforehand.
Spring (March to May): The most popular time to visit Pokhara is during Spring. The weather is mild and pleasant during this season.
You can enjoy your time under a clear sky. The blooming flowers and lush greenery add beauty to the surrounding hills and mountains.
Furthermore, Spring is an ideal time for outdoor activities and trekking.
Summer (June to August): The temperature during summer is warmer and more humid. You will feel hot during the daytime, but the flights bring a bit of relief.
There will be rainfall during this season. Likewise, there will also be possibilities of landslide. So, participating in outdoor activities or starting your trek will be challenging during the summer.
Autumn (September to November): If you are looking forward to visiting Pokhara, you must set your dates during Autumn. You can expect clear, dry, and pleasant weather.
If you are a nature lover, the skies full of beautiful clouds and the majestic view of the mountains will leave you in awe. Furthermore, it is also an ideal time for paragliding.
Winter (December to February): The temperature of Pokhara is cooler during winter. This season is excellent for sightseeing. The city is less crowded. You can also witness snow-capped mountains.
Places to Visit in Pokhara
There are many places that you must visit while you’re at Pokhara.
Phewa Lake: Phewa Lake is Nepal's second-largest lake. It reflects the surrounding Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri ranges on its surface.
One of the fascinating things to do while at Phewa Lake is to rent a traditional wooden boat called a doonga. You can paddle across the lake to visit the Tal Barahi Temple on its island.
Davis Falls: The exceptional beauty of Davi’s Fall attracts numerous tourists and locals.
The waterfall originates from Phewa Lake and disappears into an underground tunnel.
It was named after a Swiss woman named David. She went swimming, but an overflow led her to drown in a pit in 1961. After discovering her body in river Phusre, her dad wished to name it David's Falls, which later became Devi’s Fall.
Its Nepali name is Patale Chango, derived from Paatal Ko Chango, which means Underworld's Waterfall.
Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave: Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave is opposite Davis Fall. The water from the waterfall emerges from above and disappears into the cave.
Adventure enthusiasts must visit this place as it offers various mysteries. You will pass through narrow passageways and explore hidden chambers.
You will also witness natural limestone formations created by the dripping water over centuries. There is also an inhabitant of a colony of bats.
Furthermore, it has many shrines, and the largest one is dedicated to Lord Shiva. So, many devotees visit to seek blessings and pay their respects.
World Peace Pagoda: World Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist monument better known as Shanti Stupa. Shanti means peace in Sanskrit, Nepali, and Hindi languages. Thus, Shanti Stupa means Peace Pagoda.
The stupa is famous for the panoramic view of the Annapurna range, Fewa Lake, and Pokhara City. A peaceful stroll around the pagoda's premises will offer much-needed respite from bustling city life.
International Mountain Museum: The International Mountain Museum was inaugurated on 5 February 2004. By 2019, 2.1 million tourists visited the museum since its opening.
The Hall of Great Himalayas, the Hall of World Mountains, and the Hall of Fame are the three main exhibition halls in the museum.
You can learn about the culture and lifestyle of the mountain people. There are descriptions available about famous peaks and mountaineers.
Sarangkot: If you are a sunrise and sunset lover, you must head to Sarangkot.
If you are an early bird, you can witness the sunrise from the hilltop viewpoint. You will also get to observe Mount Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manaslu.
Sarangkot also serves as one of the best paragliding spots in the world. So, if you have had paragliding on your bucket list, you can tick it off while at Pokhara.
Tips for Traveling from Kathmandu to Pokhara
1. Transportation Options:
You can travel by flight, tourist, or public bus based on your budget and preference.
If you take a plane ride, you’ll reach Pokhara in only 25 to 30 minutes. In contrast, public and tourist buses take 6 to 8 hours to get to the city.
2. Road Conditions:
While riding from Kathmandu to Pokhara, the road can be winding and occasionally rough, especially during the monsoon season. You will have to ride through bumpy sections. Sometimes traffic and road construction will result in delays. If you are prone to motion sickness, you must carry sufficient motion sickness medications.
3. Scenic Stops:
You can spend lovely moments at several scenic stops during your journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara
- Manakamana Temple
- Trishuli River
4. Essential Items:
Some of the essential items that you should carry during your Pokhara visit are listed below:
- Identification documents, including your passport or a copy of your passport.
- Snacks, water, and energy bars
- Comfortable outfits according to the seasons and weather
- Camera to capture the beautiful landscapes along the way
5. Safety Precautions:
- Follow the guidance of your transportation provider
- Make sure you keep your belongings secure and within reach if you are using public transportation
- Always check the weather forecast during monsoon
- Always be prepared for possible delays or road closures
If you are searching for a destination to visit on your vacation, a journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara will be worth your time.
Besides the places mentioned above, you can also go on bicycle rides or a late-night walk. If you want to have fun, there are clubs where you can enjoy music and chill. You can have a lively break from your hectic life.