Kathmandu Airport – Insider Tips

Airport security rules prevent us from coming inside to help you with your arrival and departure so we have prepared this tip sheet to help you through. You may like to print this out to carry with you.

Pre-Departure (optional):

Complete the visa application form in the 2 weeks before you arrive. Completing the form in advance does not give you a visa, but allows you to skip one step at the at airport and head straight to the payment desk.

Here’s the link to complete your visa application form online: https://nepaliport.immigration.gov.np/on-arrival/IO01


It’s as simple as following the crowds to the arrivals hall and your next step depends on the method you chose to get your Nepal visa.

If you obtained a visa prior to leaving home then proceed to the immigration counter signed ‘with visa’ and present your passport – it can save time to have it open at the visa page.

If you applied for a visa online prior to arrival (remember it’s only valid for 15 days):

1.      Have your application printout and passport ready

2.      Take your printout to the payment counter to pay your fee – we recommend paying the correct amount in USD, however major currencies are accepted and there is an exchange counter available if you do not have one of the currencies accepted at the payment counter;

3.      Present your printout and payment receipt along with your passport to the immigration counter signed ‘visa on arrival’.

4.      It’s sensible to check that the validity dates on your payment receipt and your visa sticker to be sure there’s no error.

If getting your visa on arrival:

5.      Complete your visa application on one of the electronic kiosks in the arrival hall

6.      Take the submission receipt to the payment counter and follow steps 2, 3 and 4 above.

While there are various payment methods now available in the airport along with the visa application kiosks, malfunctions can occur and we strongly recommend that you carry the correct money (US$ is recommended) and a passport photo with you just in case.

No matter which visa method you’re planning to do, be sure to keep your boarding pass with you until you’re outside the airport as you may be required to show it with your visa forms and your luggage tag receipt before exiting.

When you have passed through immigration, proceed downstairs and through a security check to baggage collection. There is usually a wait for the bags to arrive and patience is a virtue. Baggage trolleys are free. You may need to show your baggage tags when leaving the airport so it’s a good idea to have them ready.

After you’ve collected your luggage you’ll go down a long corridor and have to choose to take either a lift or escalator down one floor. Do not attempt to take your luggage trolley down the escalator – luggage often rolls off because of the angle. Opt for the lift, especially if you’re travelling with large or awkward items (such as bike bags/boxes).

As you leave the building you will see a vibrant crowd of people, most of whom are eager to take your bags, get you into a taxi and to their favourite hotel. Don’t worry – we will be there waiting for you with a sign. Across the road look for our blue and white Himalayan Trails ‘Buddha eyes’ logo and go to meet the person holding the sign, who will help you through the crowd to your vehicle and whisk you out of the madness to your hotel to RELAX after your long journey!

To be prepared for the very unlikely event that we are not outside with a sign, please have our local contact details with you:

Himalayan Trails Adventure Travel and Tours, Lazimpath, Kathmandu

Office phone: +977-1-4510661 (please ask for our Office Manager, Mr Raj Rijal)

Backup mobile: +977 9841 960 442 (you will get our Office Manager, Mr Raj Rijal)

People are very nice about lending mobile phones (and it costs about only about 5rupees to make the phone call) so don’t feel shy to ask to borrow a phone, if someone hasn’t noticed you waiting and offered to help already!


You should arrive at the airport 2 ½ to 3 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart – depending on where you are staying you should allow about 1/2 an hour to get there. If you have booked your airport departure with us, then please double check the time that the car will come to meet you at your hotel.

As with your arrival, we cannot escort you inside due to airport rules, so we will deliver you to the departures area and must bid farewell there. There may be people there who will offer you a trolley for a fee but you can obtain your own trolley and we suggest that you leave the bags in the car, get your trolley and then load up before saying goodbye to your driver.

You then queue up to get inside the airport (to check which line you should be in, check the signs above the entrance doors). You will need to show your ticket/printout/e-ticket on your phone and your passport to get inside the building. Your bags will be scanned; check that you get a baggage tag stamped by security for every bag. The check in counters are straight ahead as you pass through security.

After you have checked in, go upstairs to proceed through Immigration passport control and then relax in the departure area with a cuppa and a snack or do some last minute shopping.

As you emerge from Immigration you’ll see the sign to the business class lounge and the Radisson restaurant to the right and upstairs. Everyone can use the Radisson restaurant, it’s a nice space to relax in a quiet spot, have a drink or one last meal while you’re waiting for your flight.

When they call your flight (you will need to keep track of the time in case you don’t hear the call – make your way down about an hour before your flight time), you then go through the final security check. There are lines for men and women and they will search your bags by hand after sending them through the scanner and stamp your boarding pass. There’s not a great deal of consistency about what is allowed, so basically the less you carry on with you the easier it all is.

Proceed to the final departure lounge and wait until your flight is called for your last walk/bus ride across the tarmac… for now.