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Essential Tips for Arriving at Kathmandu Airport, Nepal

Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially for first-time visitors to Nepal. To streamline your entry and make the most of your arrival, here are practical tips for navigating the Kathmandu airport efficiently.

Obtaining a Nepal Visa

You can secure a Nepal visa prior to your travel from your home country or opt to obtain an entry visa upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport or at the border immigration posts. For convenience and cost reasons, many travelers choose to get their visa directly at the airport upon arrival.

Visa and Customs Forms

Upon landing, you will need to fill out the customs form and the visa application form. Visa forms are available on the airplane or at tables inside the terminal building. Carrying a pen will save you time and help you fill out the form promptly as you walk into the terminal.

Visa Queue and Processing

After filling out the necessary paperwork, proceed to the visa queue. The wait time can vary; it may be longer if multiple flights arrive simultaneously during peak tourist seasons. Ensure you have your visa fee, a passport-sized photo, and a valid passport handy. Before leaving the arrival terminal, check that your passport has been stamped.

Duty-Free Allowances

For those entering Nepal by air, the following items can be brought in duty-free:

  • Cigarettes (200) or cigars (50)
  • One 1.5-liter bottle of liquor
  • Up to 15 film rolls
  • Personal items such as binoculars, a movie camera or video camera, a laptop, a computer, and a portable music system, with the condition that these items must be taken back when you leave.

Prohibited Exports

It is illegal to export items from Nepal that are over 100 years old, such as holy images, paintings, and cultural or religious manuscripts. Exporting antiques requires a certificate from the Department of Archaeology at the National Archive Building in Kathmandu.

Baggage Claim and Missing Baggage

After clearing the visa process, head down the escalator to the baggage claim area, which has two conveyor belts. If your baggage does not immediately appear, do not panic. Sometimes, due to short intervals between connecting flights, baggage may not be transferred in time and could arrive on the next flight. If your baggage is missing, keep your baggage claim ticket handy, and report to the authorities located against the wall behind the desk. Obtain a contact number to inquire about your bag status and updates on subsequent flights.


By preparing for your arrival and understanding the processes at Kathmandu Airport, you can ensure a smooth start to your journey in Nepal. Keep these tips in mind to navigate the airport effectively and begin your adventure with ease.

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