Patnitop is well connected to Jammu and Srinagar by national highway and can be reached by a local bus or taxi. Share taxis are available from Ghantaghar near Lal Chowk in Old Srinagar. One-way fare from Srinagar to Patnitop is Rs. 150 (March 2008) and the journey is completed in 5-6 hours. Origin of the name Patnitop is a distortion of the original name of "Patan Da Talab" meaning "Pond of the Princess". In olden times a pond existed in the meadows and the kings princess often used to have her bath there. Part of the pond still exists near the youth hostel.The Britishers probably couldn't get the name correctly in their revenue records , and over the years it changed from "Patan Da Talab" to Patnitop.
The nearest civil airport is at Jammu. The distance between Jammu airport and Patnitop is around 110 km and it takes around 4 hrs to cover the distance by road. Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet and other airlines have direct flights from Delhi and few other major cities to Jammu. Cabs and buses are easily available to reach the destination from the airport.
Patnitop is connected to all major cities of Jammu and Kashmir by state road transportation. Buses are frequent to Patnitop, especially from Jammu. Taxis and private coaches are also available for hire. The road network is quite good with stunning mountain landscape. However, hiring an experienced driver is recommended as the terrain is hilly with sharp turns. There are also bus services from Shimla, Srinagar and Chandigarh to Patnitop.
Closest railheads are also located in Jammu (Jammu Tawi) and Udhampur. There are many trains running from Delhi and Chandigarh to Jammu Tawi. There are trains from other parts of the country to Jammu Tawi as well.