Reaching Pokhara is simple since there are convenient road and flight connections to the rest of Nepal. Once in Pokhara, you can get around in a number of ways. There are scooters, bicycles and motorcycles for rent, and boats to get you around the lake. There are also smaller local buses that link the lake area to the airports, Mahendrapul and the bus stands.
Pokhara has plenty of places that hire out scooters, cycles and motorbikes. Most are found in the Lakeside area.
Our Pokhara transportation guide below will give you information on getting to and getting around Pokhara. To help you see this peaceful town and its surrounds we have many Pokhara tours on offer. We also have some useful general information if you want to know more about travelling to and within Nepal.
Pokhara Transportation Guide
Getting to Pokhara
Since Nepal is in the midst of the Himalayas, the easiest way to get around is often by plane. There are also other operators like Everest Air, Nepal Airways, Asian Helicopters and Necon Air which have charters and regular scheduled flights to different parts of Nepal.
Flight connections to countries abroad are mainly to Kathmandu. The Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation as well as some private operators offer shuttle flights to connect Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Gorkha Airlines and RNAC have flights direct to Jomsom on the Annapurna Circuit trail. To catch the direct RNAC flight to Manang, you will require a permit from Kathmandu. To go to the Terai area, you have a choice of four flights each week operated by RNAC. Airline offices are all located across the road from the airport in the Mustang Chowk area.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.
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The bus routes tend to be governed by security conditions in the country. Reaching Pokhara by bus is easy and there are three bus stations in the area. The main bus stand in Pokhara is in the northeastern end of the city, and is quite noisy and dusty. This bus stand has services to and from towns in Terai, as well as Kathmandu.
When the security situation is under control and there are no Maoist rebel problems, night bus services also operate. Always check on how security is in the country and whether there are any political issues or foreseeable problems before embarking on any bus rides in Nepal.
There are also mini buses that whisk you away to Kathmandu in a flash. These are available at the highway outside the public bus station. To catch special tourist services to Royal Chitwan National Park or Kathmandu, go to the Mustang bus station in Mustang Chowk.
Buses to the Annapurna Conservation Area start at the Baglung bus stand (Bhairab Tole) in the north of the city centre on the main highway. Connections for the Annapurna Circuit leave from a different point - Besisahar.
Getting Around Pokhara
Buses in Pokhara get you to places further on like the airport, the public bus stations and Mahendrapul. Buses here don't have a lot of space for luggage so plan accordingly. If you'd like to explore the area towards the north shore of Phewa Tal, then take the hourly buses from Camping Chowk to Pame Bazaar. Bus services end by afternoon, so leave early and return by lunchtime.
There are taxis that can take you from the bus stop in Mustang Chowk to your accommodation, but be prepared to have hotel touts to ride in the car with you. Be firm with them and say you already have a booking.
This form of transportation is becoming popular in the country as more and more tourists opt for this quick and easy way to get around between sights. Time strapped tourists with deep pockets get to see more of the country even on a short trip and the thrill of seeing the mighty Himalayas from high above is unmatched. Domestic airlines, too, have diversified into offering helicopter services in some areas.
By Car & Motorbike
Motorcycles and cars are available for rent in Pokhara. You will need to have a valid driving license (from your home country) and a passport to rent a vehicle. It is easier to find bikes on rent, although there are plenty of chauffer driven car services available. Most cars usually have drivers who will take you around and this is a comfortable way to travel.
Two seater tricycle-like vehicles called rickshaws are handy for trips over short distances within Pokhara. They can weave in and out of narrow alleys and make their way through thick crowds without much trouble. Fix on a fare before getting on. A ride on one of these is as much about fun as it is about transportation!
Like the rickshaw, the autorickshaw is good for travel inside Pokhara. Autorickshaws operate like cabs and ferry people around the city. However, finding one after dark can be a challenge. Taxis, autorickshaws and tempos marked with black plates and white numbers are available for hire.
There are boats for hire that can take you around the lake.