How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal

A quick guide on where and how to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

If you’re headed to Nepal, there’s a big chance you’re going to do some trekking. Before you head out to the mountains, though, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared.

One of the things you need is a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) card. A TIMS card is a basic trekking permit you need for all treks in Nepal. You’ll also need trekking permits for specific areas, which can vary in cost based on the region.

 

How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal - Exterior of the Nepal Tourism Board office - Lost With Purpose

The exterior of the Nepal Tourism Board office

Where to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu

The most convenient place to apply for a TIMS card in Kathmandu is at the Nepal Tourism Board office. Not only can you apply for a TIMS card here, you can also apply for other area permits, such as the Upper Mustang or Annapurna Sanctuary permits.

How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal - Permit options and opening times - Lost With Purpose

Some of the permit options available

The Nepal Tourism Board’s office is located on Pradarshani Marg, a 15-minute stroll from the backpacker district of Thamel. The office is open from 10:00 until 17:00, but hours can fluctuate. There’s an unofficial lunch break between 13:00 and 14:00.

 

Before you apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu

TIMS card

Before you apply for a TIMS card in Kathmandu, you need to know the following:

  • Trekking entry and exit dates, can be estimate
  • Trekking entry and exit points
  • Trekking route/itinerary
  • Emergency contact info for Nepal (can use a tour agency as a contact)
  • Emergency contact info for someone in your home country
  • Your insurance policy number, their phone number, and what your policy covers

You also need the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport
  • 2 passport-sized photos

For more information on the TIMS card, check out the website of the Nepal Tourism Board.

Trekking permits

As for trekking permits, we had to submit the same information and photos as for the TIMS card, with a couple of additions:

  • Name of trek route. Options include:
    • Annapurna Sanctuary Trek
    • Jomsom Trek
    • Jomsom Muktinath Trek
    • Everest Base Camp Trek
    • Annapurna Circuit Trek
    • Sikles Eco Trek
    • Mardi Himal Trek
    • Upper Mustang Trek
    • Dhampus Trek
    • Kharpani (Tatopani) Trek
    • Chandrakot Trek
    • Ghandruk Circuit Trek
    • Machhapuchhre Model Trek
    • Ghorepani Trek/Poon Hill Trek
    • Ghorepani Ghandruk Circuit Trek
    • Khayar Tal Trek
    • Tilicho Tal Trek
    • Tatopani Trek
  • Name and address of trekking company (if relevant)
  • Name and contact info of your guide (if relevant), and whether or not the guide underwent official guide training

You can find more on permit requirements for each area on the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) website, and information on permits for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) here.

Trekking in Nepal during monsoon? Don’t forget to check out our monsoon travel packing list!

How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal - Interior of the TIMS card office - Lost With Purpose

The interior of the TIMS card and permit office. TIMS stuff to the left, permits to the right.

How to apply for a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu

The TIMS and permit office is on your left hand side when you enter the Nepal Tourism Board building. Here, you can find the forms you need to fill out.

How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal - Annapurna Conservation area forms - Lost With Purpose

Once you’ve filled out the TIMS and permit forms, hand them over together with your passport photos and fees at the relevant desk. TIMS cards are  2,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re doing an independent trek, or 1,000 Nrs per applicant if you’re part of a group. The Annapurna area permit is also 2,000 Nrs per applicant if going independently.

You’ll need to pay in Nepali rupees, not foreign currency. If you need a top up, there’s an ATM just outside the tourism board building. Once you’ve applied, you’ll get your permit roughly five minutes later.

Heading to Kathmandu and in need some some R&R? Check out our article on digital nomad cafes in Kathmandu for tips on the best coffee and WiFi in town!

 

Sebastiaan

Just another Dutchie. Extrovert with introverted tendencies. Some say I'm lazy, I say I'm masterfully inactive.

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25 thoughts on “How to get a TIMS card and trekking permits in Kathmandu, Nepal

    Tasmiyah says:

    This is quite informative! Thanks for sharing. Hope you enjoyed in Nepal. Looking forward to read more about the country from your perspective! 🙂

    Sebastiaan says:

    Hi there. Glad it’s useful. We were surprised there wasn’t much info on getting the permits. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to trek due to unforeseen circumstances, and used most of our time in Nepal to work on the blog and several other projects. Long form articles on our experience will have to wait for a next visit 😉

    Paulo Haroldo says:

    Thanks for the info!

    Sebastiaan says:

    You’re most welcome!

    Radu says:

    Hey man. Quick question. I’ve been at the Nepal tourism board to apply for a TIMS card and they adviced me it’s better to get it on trek.
    Is it true?

    Sebastiaan says:

    As far as we know, getting them on the trek is more expensive. It’s probably best to get all of them ahead of time.

    Ines says:

    Hi.
    We want to start tomorrow morning.
    We missed out the opening hours today.
    Is there a point in Dhampus to apply for tims and make the pictures? We know it’s more expensive. But we have opportunity to get there for free. So its same same.

    Sebastiaan says:

    As far as we know, there’s are application centers in Dhampus, only in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

    david says:

    really great info! if you donot have time to make permits by yourself , you can ask for trekking agencies for make your trekking permit but most of the trekking agencies refuse to make permits if you are not taking guides for the trek.

    Leakhena says:

    Hello, is insurance compulsory to get the trekking permit? My friend went to Nepal earlier this year and she did not bought any insurance. Yet, I just want to make sure about this before going at the end of this month.

    Sebastiaan says:

    The application form does ask you to fill out your insurance details, but they don’t check whether or not you actual have any. So theoretically, you can just make something up. However, we strongly recommend you get travel insurance if you go trekking in the mountains. If something happens to you (and plenty of people have to be helicoptered out every year), and you don’t have travel insurance, it’s going to cost you.

    stefano says:

    Can i get my Tims card and pay the fee in Monjo?

    Alex says:

    I’m afraid I don’t have experience there!

    Jonas says:

    Does anyone know, whether it is possible to get the TIMS card in Lukla or Namche Bazar. I will arrive in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and fly to Lukla early the next morning. Thus I don’t know whether I can be at the tourism board in time. Thanks in advance for the advice 🙂

    Chien Zhuang says:

    Hi Sebastian!
    I intend to trek the ABC route without a guide but worry about the permits application process and if I am able to get it same day upon arrival in Kathmandu. Also I am not so sure if I can fill up the forms correctly especially the itineraries for the ABC route. What would you advise?

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Chien

    Cosmin says:

    What does “group” mean? Is 2 persons a group?

    Akash says:

    Hello Sebastian,

    Thank you for this little piece of critical information. I’ve been surfing the net since ages & finally crashed on to your article.

    Alex says:

    Glad this article was of help!

    voidt says:

    Hi!
    I am not really smart from the photo with opening hours of the office.
    Is it possible to buy TIMS on sunday?

    thanks a lot!

    V

    Robert says:

    What do you fill out at ‘Emergency Contact’ in Nepal, if you are intending on trekking without a Trekking Company or a guide?

    Kris says:

    What type of insurance are they talking about? Travel insurance? I just want to be sure so I know what kind of fake insurance information I have prepared………………..

    Kris says:

    Nevermind, I know.

    Navneet says:

    HI,

    I was planning to go for ABC trek with a friend of mine. We will be reaching Pokhara on saturday around 5PM, and wanted to start the trek on the immediate next day.

    Is it possible that the hotel that we stay in shall arrange the TIMS and ACAP if we provide all the requisite details.
    Or does the offices remain open even on saturdays and sundays?

    We have a stringent timeline to cover it.. Any info shall be helpful.

    Michael says:

    TIMS is no longer needed in Sagarmata national park in this season. Just the local permit which you can get in lukla.

    Natalie says:

    Hi, Does any body knows if we need a park permit for the peaky peak trek. Also does any body knows if the office in Kathmandu is open on Saturdays?

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