Imagine dark rooms filled with Tibetan carpets and larger-than-life Buddhas at every corner; hidden shops with hanging wooden masks and spinning prayer wheels; narrow streets that echo ancient chants, and flute-filled music wafting like a ghostly echo throughout its stone buildings. Here a magical kingdom comes to life, and a coronation of sorts begins when you book your flight to Nepal.
Located along the Himalayas, Nepal boasts spectacular scenery featuring hiking trails that put the Rocky Mountains to shame. Flights to Nepal arrive in a country steeped in history and rich in culture. With dozens of different ethnicities, religions and languages, it’s easy to see why travelers book Nepal flights; everyone is welcome.
When your flight to Nepal arrives, take time out for a visit to Kakani. In what seems like a world away from the churches, monasteries and temples that line the streets in Nepal’s city center, Kakani is a simpler place. Many travelers book flights to Nepal for a trek through Kakani’s hiking trails and a glimpse of the spectacular mountain views.
Nepal has a variety of climates, depending on the altitude you’re visiting. Summer temperatures range between 67 and 81 degrees while winter temperatures climb from 36 to 68 degrees with intermittent rain.
The dry season of October through May is the best bet for tourists to experience clear mountain views on their travel to Nepal, and allows for outdoor activities and trekking. Pack comfortable clothes and hiking shoes if you plan to trek through the mountains—you might consider leaving these items in your carry-on luggage on your flight to Nepal, as many places won’t allow you to trek without the necessary garments. Nepal’s most important festivals also take place across these months so if you have any desire to go you’ll definitely need to secure your flight tickets as early as you can to avoid overpaying. March is home to the festival of colors and can be an incredible experience where everyone throws colored water or powders.
Monsoon season lands between June and September, and are usually too hot for pleasant Nepal travel, anyway. Harsh winters also deter tourists with freezing temperatures at high altitudes. But, if you want to brave the rain and snow, cheap flights to Nepal are easily found during the off-season.
From November to March the temperatures can reach freezing as well as carpets of very heavy snow take over the mountains. You’ll find the cheapest flights to Nepal around then but your experience will be completely different and rather more limited than if you go at other times of the year. May to June also offer cheap flights to Nepal but the weather is the opposite of cold and snowy. You’ll find it can be very unpleasant, very hot and very wet. Avoid May to June if you can unless you are well travelled and enjoy humid heat.
Ideally you’ll want to book your flights to Nepal as early as you can as the price of flight tickets increase drastically as the peak seasons draw closer. You’ll also need to take into consideration any festivals or events as these will also drive up the cost of your flight tickets making cheap flights to Nepal harder to come by. The weather during the off season means that whilst you can find the cheapest flights to Nepal, you’ll also find it either unbearably hot or locked in snow. Being flexible with your travel dates will help you find the cheapest flight tickets. If your flights to Nepal have a connection in Delhi then you’ll want to try and sit on the left hand side of the plane from there onwards for amazing views of the Himalayas.
The trip to Nepal takes a little longer than other destinations, but the experience when you arrive is worth the time in the air. Expect a trip from New York City to Kathmandu, Nepal to take about 15.5 hours. The same trip from Los Angeles takes a little over 16 hours, and flying from London to Kathmandu takes just under 10 hours.
Flying to Nepal means landing just east of Kathmandu at the Tribhuvan International Airport. It’s the only international airport in the country, although plans are in the works for more. Expect to have at least one stop during your flight in Asia or the Middle East. The airport sees traffic from many airlines, including Air India, Nepal Airlines, Qatar, Jet Airways, Air China and Oman Air.
Your specific destination within Nepal influences what you should pack. Summer temperatures range from the high 60s to the low 80s, so pack a mix of warm and cool clothes with the option to layer. For winter trips, pack warm clothes and rain gear, along with hats and gloves. It can get rainy in certain areas of the country. Quick-drying clothes are ideal for any time of year. If you plan to tackle the many hiking trails in Nepal, pack appropriate footwear and gear. If your trip involves camping, pack long underwear for warmth at night.
Another option is to buy some of your clothes when you land. Buying clothes in Nepal helps you fit in with the locals, and the clothing doubles as an amazing souvenir. While the country is very diverse, clothing is generally on the conservative side.
If your plans include trekking across the county, pack all of your gear in a durable backpack that is easy to carry instead of traditional suitcases. Bring a smaller day pack for side trips.
The airport in Kathmandu is the largest airport in Nepal and the only one that charters international flights. The best way to get to the city is to arrange airport transfers with your hotel once you’ve booked your flights to Nepal. Most hotels do offer transfers so make sure to check with them before securing a room. Taxis can be very expensive and be prepared to haggle and negotiate a lot to get a reasonable price. The only other option is to take the bus. Whilst this is the cheapest option, there is no set timetable and they are extremely overcrowded making the buses very difficult to board with lots of luggage.
Royal Nepal Airlines are great for domestic Nepal flights if you book them a week in advance. Unfortunately for on-land Nepal travel, the options are few and far between. Buses, although cheap, are slow and dangerous. Daily “almost accidents” occur, as well as fatal accidents on paved and unpaved roads. The metro is off-limits to tourists, and no car rental options exist for foreigners. Biking will sometimes prove quicker than bus routes, and walking is a reliable method, especially in Kathmandu.
Stepping off the plane in Nepal immerses you into a world full of diverse culture. From ancient architecture and temples to gorgeous lakes and mountains, Nepal offers some of the most unique travel opportunities anywhere in the world. Since you land in Kathmandu, start your explorations there. The city is full of pagodas, temples, carvings and shrines. Hire a tour guide to see the best parts of the city, and give yourself time to sit back and watch the bustling city.
Nearby Patan is another breathtaking city, with many temples to explore. Follow the brick roads to discover beautiful squares throughout the city. A rooftop cafe is the perfect spot for checking out the city from above. The Patan Museum is worth a visit. Inside, you can check out over 200 statues of Hindu and Buddhist deities.
Trekking through the Himalayas is a popular activity in Nepal. You don’t need climbing experience to trek through the pristine Nepalese surroundings. Book your trekking trips while in Kathmandu. If you prefer a less intense way to see the Himalayas, take a flight over the mountains. You’ll see unforgettable panoramic views of the peaks without breaking a sweat.
Chitwan National Park makes the list of top places to see in Nepal. The 332-square-mile park gives you the chance to see a range of animals, including rhinos, Bengal tigers, bears, crocodiles, elephants and hundreds of species of migratory birds. For a less commercialized experience, visit Bardia National Park. Grasslands and forests in the park serve as the home for tigers, rhinos, elephants and birds.
After experience Nepal to the fullest, fly the friendly skies to explore other parts of the world. CheapFlights can help you find great deals on departing flights from Tribhuvan International Airport on Air Arabia, Nepal Airlines, Air China and other carriers.
The airport in Kathmandu isn’t known for being efficient, and it has limited facilities. Get there early, so you have plenty of time to figure out where to go. Read signs carefully to ensure you get into the correct lines. You save a lot of time by getting into the correct line the first time. All luggage goes through a X-ray machine, and you need to have baggage labels stamped by customs officials. If you take your time and pay attention to your surroundings, you’ll make it through the airport just fine.
(prices quoted are from London)