Cheap Flights to Kathmandu
Set like a jewel amid a ring of tall, snow-capped mountains, the city of Kathmandu is considered the gateway to Mount Everest but also possesses a wealth of cultural attractions from stunning temples to beautiful gardens. Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) is located strategically close to the city, allowing visitors to dive into their Nepalese adventure immediately upon arrival. Flights to Kathmandu that land at the airport aren't far from the edge of the city where intricately designed temples and Buddhist stupas dot the skyline and beckon visitors to explore their mysteries.
Tribhuvan International Airport
Flights to Kathmandu enter the country via Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) located just 4 miles from the Thamel district, which is popular among visitors for its many shops and restaurants. Major airlines servicing Kathmandu include Air India, Korean Air, United Airways, Air China and Pakistan International Airlines. The airport offers basic passenger facilities, including shops, snack bars and currency exchange. There are two public terminals that passengers can move between on foot.
A taxi from the airport to Thamel will cost between $5 and $7 depending on whether you are willing to negotiate a lower rate. Some hotels and tour companies offer complimentary airport transfers using private transportation. Buses are also available to bring passengers into Kathmandu, and tickets cost the equivalent of just 10 cents.
Attractions in Kathmandu
The ornate Swayambhu Monkey Temple is a popular attraction not only for the ubiquitous monkeys but also for the fascinating Hindu and Buddhist iconography and beautiful views of Kathmandu from the temple's hilltop position. Visitors will find refreshments for sale at the top of the 350-step climb as well as souvenirs of their visit. In the heart of Kathmandu, Durbar Square is an enormous space graced with numerous temples, shrines and statues. There are also shops selling a range of souvenirs, and visitors can purchase a multiple-day pass to the area if they wish to return.
The Narayanhiti Palace Museum is housed in the stately palace used by the former royal family although some areas are still used by government officials. Visitors can wander through the ornate rooms and enjoy the palace's peaceful setting. The nearby Garden of Dreams is a serene walled area that includes beautifully designed buildings and blooming flowers. The Boudha Stupa is a site sacred for Tibetan Buddhists and is one of the largest stupas in the world.
Hints and Tips for Visiting Kathmandu
While Nepal's mountain peaks are permanently covered with snow, Kathmandu's valley location offers a somewhat temperate climate with summer highs in the 80s and winter highs in the 50s. June through August is the wet season, so visitors should always carry waterproof protection from the elements.
Curries, dumplings and spiced teas are Nepalese staples and can be found throughout the friendly restaurants in the Thamel district. Couples can expect to pay around $6 for a meal for two in most of the area restaurants. In early November, Nepal celebrates Deepawali, a colorful, light-filled festival with fireworks and traditional sweets to enjoy.