First Time in Kathmandu! How to Prepare & What To Expect in Your First Time Visit

  1. Hiking plan.

Kathmandu offers excellent hiking opportunities near the city, less than an hour’s drive. These rides are ideal for day trips. Below I list my four favorite excursions in Kathmandu:

* Trek Phulchowki (Godawari – Godawari): this full-day trek will take you through some typical lowland landscapes, including the rhododendron forest. On a rare clear day, you can see all the way to the Annapurna range. The botanical gardens of Godwari are worth a visit.

Nagarkot Area: There are some great walks around Nagarkot. With a fairly early start, you could reach Kathmandu and return. I think it is better to explore the town, watch the sunset from one of the upper hills of the region and return to Kathmandu the next day.

* Shivapuri National Park: approximately one hour by car from Kathmandu is Sundarijal. From there, you can take a 4 to 5 hour walk through the National Park.

Nargarjuna Jamacho: a steep course, 5 kilometers long, to a beautiful stupa with an excellent observation point (depending on the fog and weather conditions).

  1. Best time to go to Kathmandu

For most backpackers, the best time to visit Kathmandu is the best time to be in the mountains. From September to November, the sky is clearer and the view of the mountains is the most beautiful. Of course, it is also better to explore Kathmandu with this backpack during this time.

I will remain real with you anyway. Today, the smog mist in Kathmandu improves only slightly in the fall. Since the 2014 earthquake, it was built and rebuilt massively, so that the fog situation does not improve. March to May is also a good time to visit Kathmandu (and also the Himalayas).


Spring and autumn are the tourist seasons of Kathmandu. Prices tend to be higher and there are generally more backpackers. If you come to Kathmandu in the winter, you may not find many backpackers, but you are also quite limited in terms of the rough trips you can make in the mountains.

The conclusion is that autumn is the best time to visit Kathmandu. Such views from the Kathmandu valley are increasingly rare, as pollution continues to increase.

Getting in and out of Kathmandu

  1. Getting in Kathmandu

The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the main international airport of Nepal. If you do not travel by land from India or Tibet, you will definitely pass through Kathmandu airport. Upon arrival, you should go to the city center, which is about 20 minutes, depending on traffic, 1 hour away.

There are bus services to the city center, but do not take them. The public transport system in Kathmandu is in ruins and is much more difficult than it is worth. It is best to hire a taxi. From the airport there are two types of taxis: fixed-rate taxis and normal city taxis (only one type and one car). The fixed price of taxis costs around USD 7 (Rs 750).

The normal taxi could cost more or less; It all depends on your abilities as a haggler. Twice I have bargaind the price in 500 rs (share with a Nepalese person too). Keep in mind that while taxi drivers try to overload it, they also try to make a living. Paying some taxi drivers desperate for a trip to / from the airport is not a fair deal. 400-600 rs are fair to all.

You can take a cheap taxi at any time of the day (to travel at night or early in the morning you will have to pay a higher rate). To return to the airport, just call a taxi or ask your hostel to help you organize one.

For buses to Pokhara or Chitwan and other parts of Nepal, you must go to the main bus stop, it is not a train station, just a long line of buses on the road. The bus stop can be easily reached on foot in about 10 minutes from Thamel. Prepare to represent your heart.

  • How to get around in Kathmandu

If it is not running, taxis or rickshaws are the way to go. You can achieve anything you want to achieve in the city for less than $ 10 if you do difficult business with taxi drivers at all times.

Again, it is recommended not to use the public bus system, as it is a nightmare in such busy traffic. I would not recommend renting a motorcycle unless you are a very experienced and experienced driver. Wear a helmet and pay special attention. Nepalese drive like maniacs. For short trips rickshaw bikes are great.

  • Long distance buses from Kathmandu.

For the average Nepalese, bus trips are the main means of transportation to get around the country. The same applies to backpackers. Kathmandu is the main artery from where all buses in the country seem to flow.

By bus or with connection through Kathmandu, you can get away from the highway almost anywhere in Nepal. Here, too, is the main place where buses travel long distances, just outside Thamel. It is called the Kathmandu Bus Terminal or simply “new bus parking.” There is no real way to know which buses go where without asking anyone.

Most people who work in and around the place where buses meet can help you, even if they don’t speak English. Simply say “Pokhara” and they will indicate the correct address. Never pay a person other than the bus driver or his assistant.

Usually, bus companies collect money when the bus is already driving. Don’t give money to any guy just because he asks for it. I hope you have more luck with the buses.

  1. Security in Kathmandu.

Sunset protection is mandatory. While I’ve never had any serious backpack problems in Kathmandu, there are some things you should keep in mind.

  1. Traffic: Traffic in Kathmandu is crazy and pedestrians do NOT have the right immediately. I saw several people in Kathmandu driving my vehicles and motorcycles. Take special care when crossing busy highways.
  2. Pollution: While the presence of garbage throughout the city and the toxic Bagmati River are major problems, poor air quality has received the most attention in recent years. You should be more aware and not try to move in a particular area where there is a lot of traffic.
  1. Make sure before exploring Kathmandu with the backpack.

Even if you are only traveling with a backpack in Kathmandu for a short time, you should always travel with insurance. Have fun with your backpackers adventure, but buy insurance; Take it to someone who has already charged tens of thousands of dollars for an insurance claim, you need them.

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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