Kathmandu is a magical city in Nepal that is stacked with ancient sites and temples. Located in Kathmandu Valley, the central figure of this enchanting city is the ancient Kasthamandap or Wooden House within Durbar Square, which has been in use by Kathmandu residents and worshippers since 1000 AD. There are a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal, including this famous square. There are no modern facilities here; tourists come for the ancestry, magic and mysticism. Getting to Kathmandu may be done by plane or on land. No matter how one does it, it is about time to know how to get to Kathmandu.
Getting to Kathmandu by air involves a number of flights from Asia and Europe but not from North America. The Royal Nepal Airlines, official carrier of Nepal, travel regularly from London and Paris, passing through Dubai in the Middle East. Lufthansa also travels direct from Frankfurt to Kathmandu. Other airlines that fly from Europe to Nepal are Pakistan International Airlines, Bangladesh Biman and Aeroflot, with a layover at Karachi, Dhaka or Moscow. There are also direct flights from Bangladesh and Bhutan on board Druk Air.
From Asia, flights to the capital city of Nepal come from Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. Thai Airways from Bangkok to Kathmandu is always almost full since this is a major religious and cultural destination. There are also several flights from India, and they are also always fully booked with Indian tourists. Indian Airlines and Royal Nepal Airlines travel to Kathmandu from Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Patna and Varansi.
North America to Nepal through Asia is the best way to get to Kathmandu for most American tourists, but not through India. Indian flights are much more expensive and the ways Indian airlines operate are very chaotic, most especially for Western tourists. Delhi is only an hour-flight away to Kathmandu, though. Australian travelers also take the Asian route, typically through Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok (which by the way are home to some of the most modern and gorgeous airports in the world). Flying from Australia to London is a bit expensive and will take a longer time.
Where is Kathmandu exactly? Kathmandu is the urban core of Kathmandu Valley in the Himalayas. It is 1,400 meters about sea level and with coordinates 27°42’N, 85°20’E. Nepal is a landlocked country between India and China to the north.
Getting to Kathmandu by land from India is possible from a number of Indian cities, which are Patna, Gorakhpur and Lucknow. Nepali buses regularly service these routes, but these local buses are known to be the slowest and in the poorest conditions in all of South Asia. They also travel to and from Tibet. The central bus station is found at the northern part of the city on Ring Road, Balaju. The bus terminal is huge and very confusing even to locals. Buses travel long distances to several destinations around the country. Backpackers make their way to Kathmandu on other routes either by car or on foot. Getting to Kathmandu may not be the most comfortable travel experience, but visiting this enchanting city is definitely worth it.