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

A complete guide on where and how to apply for a TIMS card and other trekking permits, such as the ACAP permit, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Update: It is apparently not required to get a TIMS card anymore. Check the comment section for more info or contact the Tourist Service Center.

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 vary in cost based on the region. The most popular permits are the ACAP permit and the permit for the Everest Base Camp Trek.

 

Exterior of the Nepal Tourism Board office

The exterior of the Nepal Tourism Board office

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

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

Permit options and opening times posted on a peace of paper

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.

Still looking for a place to stay in Kathmandu? Check out these options in Thamel and elsewhere!

Looking for fun things to do in Khatmandu, but short on time? Check out these tours to get a real feel for Nepal’s bustling capital!

 

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 an estimate)
  • Entry and exit points for your trek
  • Route/itinerary for your trek
  • 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 the 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!

Interior of the TIMS card office in Kathmandu

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

Annapurna Conservation area permit application forms

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 ACAP 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.

So there you have it, a complete guide on getting a TIMS card, ACAP permit, and other trekking permits in Kathmandu. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

 

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

 

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Alex Reynolds

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

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

    Steve says:

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that TIMS cards are no longer issued to individual trekkers: now it is compulsory to go with a guide…Unfortunately.

    Thanks for letting me know. Is this a permanent measure, or because of Covid?

    Sourav Routh says:

    Can we not do it by ourselves, do we have to take guide with us as on September 2021?

    It depends on the trek you want to do, but many treks can be done without a guide. However, you still need a TIMS card, whether you go with a guide or not.

    Jakub says:

    Hello, I would like to go Annapurna trek next week without a guide, is it possible?

    Ewan says:

    Hi just a further update since this is the top Google search. Just visited the tourism office in Kathmandu. Tims card is not being issued and is not required. It is also not required to go with a guide contrary to the post above, I specifically asked them about this.

    This has been the case since the start of the pandemic.

    Thanks

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