If you have organized your Nepal travel with your agencies and booked your hotel, it is very unlikely to not have facilitated with airport pickups and that too inclusive in your budget. But if have not, no worries! There are pre-paid and non pre-paid taxis waiting hungry in the airport areas that take you to your desired destination.
Soon you land the Tribhuwan international airport (TIA) in Nepal, the young city taxi driver will be trying to get you in their small Suzuki Maruti car, lined up outside the entrance. Be aware, not all taxi service in the airport areas are prepaid taxi. The driver may trick you saying so, but better not go direct to the driver that approach first.
After the jet-lag, no one prefers to bargain on a short ride to hotel room and that is why most drivers try to take advantage of this. In Nepal, the taxi fare is fixed by government but not all taxi follows the rate neither do they charge in meter based. You can complain about it to the traffic or police station if you want but it is better to decide the fare before you get in the ride than making a fuss later. The average taxi fare from TIA around Kathmandu is $5 maximum, 3-4 $ average. Though some peripheral Kathmandu corner may need high charge, the central Kathmandu like Thamel, Baneshwor, Kathmandu durbar square, Patan (lies in lalitpur district which lies within Kathmandu valley), Lalitpur Durbar square etc can be easily managed within this rate. But in Nepal the fuel shortage can occur anytime and rate are increased without prior announcement.
Nepal bandh which means country shut down due to protest is also a frequent incidence in Nepal. In such cases, no means of transportation are available except rickshaws. However, some protests are tourist friendly allowing tourist bus/car/taxi to run freely.
Travelling around Kathmandu is an unique experience. Amidst the concrete jungle, the city is still guarding its century’s old architectural treasures and religious faith that stand as Paupatinath and Boudhhanath and many others.
Once you are in Kathmandu, you can’t miss to hop around the city for which taxi is best choice. Buses in Kathmandu are crammed with passengers and conduct in route only. Many transportation means like, mini-bus, micro vans etc are also aimed for public and direct to fixed route.
A city tour in a reserved taxi can cost up to 10-20$. However, the taxi driver won’t agree on this rate at the first place. A little bargain is always needed. There are number of taxi drivers waiting and you will always find next one. If you are lucky, your taxi driver can be your guide as well, taking you to hidden corners and interesting place of the city.
Taxi ride to Bhaktapur:
Bhaktapur is smallest district of Kathmandu valley. Rich in architecture and culture, it is a most visits travel destination for any tourist in Kathmandu. Most tour packages in Kathmandu have Bhaktapur and Lalitpur visit included but if you choose to travel on your will, you can just take a 20 minutes ride to Bhaktapur city. The taxi fare to Bhaktapur can cost up to 5-6$. Most of the taxi driver will charge extra cost if you reserve them. So it is better to take one way ride to the city, roam around or may spend a night and return back in new taxi. Remember there is no lack of transportation in tourist areas in Kathmandu.
Instead of taxi, you can choose to rent private car in kathmandu. The cost per head is some 10-11$ per day. Sometimes your hotel can arrange such service but it depends on your budget and hotel as well. Hotels arrange taxi or private vehicle on high price than that available in market.
Negotiating with taxi driver is recommended before getting into the vehicle. Don’t get inside the taxi without fixing the rate or you will end up paying a lot more than actual cost. You can also check the taxi rate per km within Kathmandu in airport, or ask the general people. That can be help too.
Bus ride can be little difficult, but it is not that bad too. Also, it cost way less than taxi and hotel vehicle.