Travel to, from & within Nepal...

This page explains the options for overland travel between India, Nepal & Tibet/China.  It's easy to travel overland between India & Kathmandu, although foreigners who want to travel onwards from Nepal into Tibet currently need to use a group tour, they cannot travel independently.

  Europe to Kathmandu overland by train

  Delhi to Kathmandu by train+bus

  Varanasi to Kathmandu by bus

  Calcutta to Kathmandu by train+bus

  Kathmandu to Lhasa (Tibet, for China) by bus

  Travel within Nepal

Useful country information

Train operator in Nepal:

There are no trains in Nepal, other than an obscure

branch line from India of limited interest to travellers.


Time zone & dialling code:


GMT+5hours 45 minutes all year round.  Dial code +977.



1 =  134 Nepalese rupees.  $1 = 107 Nepalese rupees



All except Indian citizens need a visa.  Tourist visas can be bought at all official frontiers for around $25 (15 days) or $40 (30 days).  The visa fee must be paid in US$ cash, and you'll need 2 passport photos.  Alternatively, visas can be bought from Nepal embassies - The Nepalese London embassy website is

Tourist information:     Tripadvisor Nepal page

Page last updated:


15 September 2018

Europe to Kathmandu overland

How to travel overland by train from Europe to Nepal...

India to Nepal overland

Delhi to Kathmandu by train + bus...

It's quite easy, cheap, and an adventure to do this journey overland.  For travel in the other direction, just reverse the process.

Gorakhpur station   Bus Gorakhpur to Nepal

Gorakhpur station...


A bus to Sunauli...

Indian border   Nepalese border

Indian border at Sunauli...


Nepalese border archway at Sunauli / Bhairawa...

These photos courtesy of traveller Alberto Maio.

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Robert Marten reports:  "We travelled AC2 overnight to Gorakhpur booked in London through S.D.Enterprises (  The train was 3 hours late due to fog(!?), arriving after midday.  Then we took a very crowded ordinary bus from Gorakhpur to the Indian border town, Sunauli.  We paid Indian Rp.55 each though I was told by another local that the normal fare was Rp. 45.  We were also nearly taken in by what we decided was a scam - two different people offered us "tickets" from Gorakphur to Kathmandu for Rp.450 - saying that we could pay Rp.225 in Gorakhpur and then another Rp.225 once we crossed the border - we concluded that in effect all they were doing was charging us Rp.225 for the bus from Gorakhpur to the border. Our bus to the border took about 3 hours.  Then we easily negotiated the Indian & Nepalese Immigration.  So we found ourselves in Nepal at about 4pm.  After a bit of shopping around we booked tickets on the 5pm overnight bus to Kathmandu for Indian Rp.230 per person and arrived in cold Kathmandu shortly after 5am."

Varanasi to Kathmandu by bus...

Calcutta or Darjeeling to Kathmandu by train + bus...

Kathmandu to Lhasa by bus

There's no railway from Nepal to Tibet through the Himalayas, at least not yet, but the Kathmandu to Lhasa journey can be done by road, on an organised tour.

Update 2017:  The earthquake in 2015 reportedly blocked the Kathmandu-Lhasa road but it's believed the road is now open again.

Weekly bus service between Kathmandu & Lhasa? 

Since around 2005, the internet has been full of reports of a weekly Kathmandu to Lhasa bus service starting, then being withdrawn, then starting again.  However, the most reliable information says that there is currently NO such bus, as all attempts to keep it going have so far failed.  So if you want to travel from Kathmandu to Lhasa, you'll need to sign up to one of the organised tours, see below.

Organised tours between Nepal & Tibet...

Currently, the only way foreigners are legally permitted to travel between Lhasa & Kathmandu in either direction is with an organised tour.  The cheapest tours take 8 days, 7 nights for the 955 km journey and cost about $400 (ask for a budget tour, there are more expensive options with better accommodation).  For journeys from the Nepal end, try Tashi Delek Nepal Treks & Expeditions ( who do tours leaving Kathmandu for Lhasa every Tuesday & Saturday March to November, and every Saturday  November to March.  For journeys starting at the Tibet end, try Tibet International Travels & Tours (  Allegedly, these companies operate the tours, although you'll find other agencies reselling those tours, for example, (recommended by one seat61 correspondent), (departing Kathmandu every Saturday April-October, $450 + $100 Tibetan permit) or do a Google search for other agencies.

Once in Lhasa, there are trains onwards to Xian, Beijing or Shanghai.  If you have any feedback or recommendations, please email me!

Travel within Nepal

There are no trains in Nepal, other than the end of an obscure branch line from India which is of limited interest to travellers.  However, regular buses link most centres.

Find hotels in ...


Favourite hotel search & price comparison: checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

Travel insurance



Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!


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