Nepal Travel Information

FAQ’s – Travel information about Nepal

Please read the following information which covers mostly asked questions of travelers before they travel to Nepal and basic things to follow while traveling in Nepal.

Is Nepal safe to travel?
Nepal is safe for foreigners to travel any time throughout the year. After the end of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal and the continuous peace process, Nepal is quite stable country to travel for vacation, work and business or to volunteer. There are rumors about Nepal in some international media regarding safety but it is not the reality. Nepal is safe to travel and we suggest you to go through all the information’s in this site and from some other sources to be ready for your Nepal experience.
I am a single female traveler going to Nepal. Would it be safe for me to travel alone in Nepal?
Nepal is a safe country for foreigners. During the decade long Maoist civil war, there were not any cases heard about foreigners being killed, kidnapped or harmed. Nepal is a poor country but it is a developing country and tourism being one of the main contributors for the government’s revenue in Nepal, there lots of things have been done to boost tourism. Thousands of Nepalese people are earning their living directly or indirectly through tourism in Nepal so Nepali people welcome tourists as guests. You can go from one place to another, walk freely on the streets and even go for trekking. There is always certain thing you need to keep in mind and follow while traveling. We suggest not to walk alone during night time after 9 pm. Nepal has been a safe travel destination for solo female travelers.
What is the currency of Nepal?
The currency of Nepal is called Nepali Rupees or Nepalese Rupees.
Do I have to carry lot of cash or are there any ATM’s in Nepal?
ATM’s are open 24 hours in Kathmandu and some major cities. Every major card like Visa, Master card, American express and others are easily accepted and can be used to withdraw money from ATM's in Nepal. You may also do shopping with your credit or debit card in selected outlets in Nepal.

Tips for using ATM’s in Nepal: When you withdraw money from ATM, you will get money in Nepali Rupees. Please check if your bank charges some service charge for using ATM’s from foreign locations. There is maximum withdrawal limit which varies at different ATM’s of different banks in Nepal.
How and where can I exchange my currency in Nepal?
Major currencies like US $, Canadian $, Euro €, Australian $, British Pound £, Japanese Yen ¥ and some other currencies can be exchanged into Nepali rupees in Money exchange counters. The money exchange counters are located at major tourist locations where you can see the exchange rate of your currency and Nepali rupees outside on the board. You may also read the English national daily newspapers like The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post or Republica to see the exchange rates.
Can I take Travelers check to Nepal?
Traveler’s check can be easily exchanged into Nepali Rupees as well. You will need to show your passport to the money exchange while exchanging travelers check.
I am a British traveler. Which is the better currency to take to Nepal?
The major currencies can be easily exchanged in Nepal but as United States Dollar is widely accepted so you can take US dollars with you. It would also be easy to pay in dollars while taking a visa at the Kathmandu airport.
Is Indian Rupees accepted in Nepal?
Indian Rupees is not widely accepted so you will need to have Nepali Rupees. Indian rupees are taken in some places only so better you have Nepali currency and US Dollars or any major currency.
Do I require a visa to travel to Nepal and where can I take a visa for Nepal?
Yes, all foreign nationals except Indian nationals need a visa for traveling Nepal. You will require a tourist visa to visit Nepal and you may take visa at respective Nepalese Embassies in your country if there is a Nepalese Embassy. The best way is to take a visa at the Tribhuvan International airport in Kathmandu after arrival in Nepal. Most tourists get visa for Nepal after arrival at the Kathmandu airport.
What documents would I require for getting a visa for Nepal?
You will need your passport and a passport size photograph of yours which you will need to attach in the visa application form when applying for a visa in Nepal.
How long is the visa for Nepal valid?
You can take the following tourist visa for Nepal according to your requirement.
- Multiple entry for 15 days at US $ 25
- Multiple entry for 30 days at US $ 40
- Multiple entry for 90 days at US $ 100
How long can I stay in Nepal with a tourist visa?
You can stay in Nepal for a maximum of 150 days with a tourist visa in a year. If you want to stay longer as a tourist then you would need to travel back next year to Nepal. You may take a student or working visa in case you are living longer in Nepal but those visas can be expensive.
What will happen if incase my visa expires when I am still in Nepal doing trekking?
You may extend your visa beforehand. You can go to the Immigration office located at Kalikasthan, Dillibazar in Kathmandu to extend your visa. Please check the following website of Department of Immigration of Nepal government. Click here
What is the visa extension fee for Nepal?
The visa extension fee in Nepal is US $ 2 per day.
I am traveling to Nepal by bus through India. Where can I take a visa for Nepal?
You can take visa at different entry / exit check points. Please check the following website of Department of Immigration of Nepal government for further details. Click here
I am traveling to Nepal through Tibet. Where can I take a visa for Nepal?
You can take visa at border check point. Please check the following website of Department of Immigration of Nepal government for further details. Click here
How far is the city center from Kathmandu airport? I am arriving late in Kathmandu; will there be taxis to go to hotel?
The city center is not far from the international airport in Kathmandu. There are lots of hotels all around Kathmandu and the city center might be about 8 – 10 kilometers away from the airport. There will be taxis available at the airport.
Is it necessary to book a guest house or hotel before arriving Nepal? Is there a budget hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal?
If you are traveling Nepal in a non tourist season then you can get rooms without booking before as well. It is always better to book a room before. There are lots of guest houses and hotels which can offer you rooms for cheap at about US$ 5 a night in Kathmandu and if you are looking for a five star hotel then it may cost you around US $100 a night.
How much cash should I have when I first arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal?
Please have about US $ 200 – 300 cash with you when you first arrive and you can use it to pay for your Nepali visa and exchange it into Nepali rupees at the airport to pay for your taxi if you haven’t booked a hotel.
I have been traveling in Asia. What if I run out of money while traveling in Nepal?
In this situation you may ask your parents or friends to send you money to Nepal and you can use the method of money transferring which is ‘Western Union’. Through Western Union you can receive money in Nepal from anywhere. Please visit Western Union site. www.westernunion.com
How is the weather in Nepal? What is the best time to travel Nepal?
Nepal’s weather varies according to the geographical locations and the altitude. Nepal has a pleasant weather. It is possible to visit Nepal throughout the year. We are providing you information according to the four main seasons in Nepal. You can also get an idea about the best time to travel Nepal and the best time to do trekking in Nepal below.
  • 1. Winter season in Nepal

    December – February is the winter season in Nepal. The winter temperature in Kathmandu may go below 1 degree Celsius and in some Himalayan regions of Nepal to minus 5 degree Celsius or lower. The weather is very cold. There might be occasional snowfalls at higher elevations while there is no snowfall in Kathmandu city. The mornings and nights are colder while the days are warm if it is sunny during the day.

    There can be sometimes a brief winter rainfall in January lasting for a day or two. The sky looks clear and the mountains can be seen.

  • Travel advice for travelers traveling to Nepal in winter.

    The winter can be very cold and generally Nepalese houses do not have a heating system while those who can afford may have a gasoline heater. The hotels may have an air condition. So you will need good warm clothes. There can be long power cuts known as ‘load shedding’ in Nepal during this time so always carry a good flashlight with you.

  • Travel advice for travelers trekking in Nepal in winter.

    It might be challenging to trek in Nepal during this season because of snow and cold. If you are going to trek in Nepal during winter then a good sleeping bag and specially a down Jacket is a must. You need to get thermals, gloves, warm caps, sun glass and a good trekking shoe.

  • Things to pack while traveling Nepal in winter.

    Take warm clothes, warm jacket, wind proof jacket and thermals etc. Other things you may bring is a torch, face mask for dust and pollution, ear plugs, a sleeping bag if you have a space in your luggage and hiking or trekking shoes if you are going for trek or hike in Nepal. You can bring a laptop for internet and a cell phone.

  • 2. Spring Season in Nepal

    March – May is the spring season in Nepal. It is warm in the beginning while after March, it becomes hotter. There is greenery in the whole country and it is also the special time to see the National flower of Nepal, Rhododendron blooming colorful in the higher altitude.

  • Travel advice for travelers traveling to Nepal in spring.

    The Holi festival also known as the festival of colors falls on the month of March which is celebrated throughout Nepal. So check the dates if you want to see this festival. In March, you might need light wind proof jacket and long sleeve cloth as morning and nights would be cold. The Nepalese New Year falls in Mid April. During March - April, the power cuts still exists so carry a good flashlight with you.

  • Travel advice for travelers trekking in Nepal in spring.

    Spring is a good season to travel and trek in Nepal. March – April is considered the nice time to do trekking or hiking in Nepal. The weather is warm this time and starts to get hotter later.

  • Things to pack while traveling Nepal in spring.

    In March, the mornings and evenings are cold so take long sleeve clothes. Take light clothes like t-shirts, shirts, shorts, jeans etc. Other things you may bring is a torch, face mask for dust and pollution, ear plugs, insect repellant and Hiking or trekking shoes if you are going for hike or trek in Nepal. You can bring a laptop for internet and a cell phone.

  • 3. Summer Season in Nepal

    June – August is the summer season in Nepal. The summer temperature may reach to 30 degrees or more in Nepal depending on the geographical locations. The southern ‘Terai’ part of Nepal which is near India is hotter during the summer than other parts of Nepal. June – August is also the Monsoon season in Nepal. Sometime the monsoon may start early or late. The rainy season in Nepal may continue up to mid September. Generally the rainy season in Nepal gets over before the start of the great festival of the Hindus of Nepal called ‘Dashain’ which falls in late September or early October.

    Generally in the monsoon, it rains every day and lasts for some hours. Sometimes it may rain most of the day. Generally it rains in the afternoon which clears up the dust and pollution. There can be thunderstorm or hail shower occasionally.

  • Travel advice for travelers traveling to Nepal in Monsoon.

    It is recommended to carry a rain jacket every time during the rainy season. Sometimes during the monsoon, the drainage system in the streets of Kathmandu gets blocked and the street gets flooded with water. It is advised to walk carefully during this time as there might be ditches on the ground covered by the rain water which might be difficult to see for pedestrians.

    Travelers traveling to Nepal in rainy season also take an insect repellent with you and a mosquito net. You may buy a mosquito coil either electric or incense type in Nepal if you haven’t got a mosquito net. If you are traveling in Terai regions of Nepal then protection from mosquito is a must. During the monsoon, the main highways of Nepal might get blocked due to landslide or soil erosion. This might obstruct the traffic for hours.

  • Travel advice for travelers trekking in Nepal during Monsoon.

    Monsoon is not the best time to do trekking in Nepal. When it rains the trekking trails become muddy and difficult to walk. The monsoon clouds might block the view of the Himalayas so you might not see the mountains clearly. During the rainy season, you might get irritated by the leeches which are found in many numbers on the paths. Take some salt with you while trekking or hiking in Nepal during monsoon and if you find a leech on your skin then put some salt on it. It will fall off quickly.

  • Things to pack while traveling Nepal in Summer or Monsoon.

    Take light clothes like t-shirts, shirts, shorts, jeans, rain jacket etc. Other things you may bring is a torch, face mask for dust and pollution, ear plugs, insect repellant, a mosquito net or mosquito coil and Hiking or trekking shoes if you are going for hike or trek in Nepal. You can bring a laptop for internet and a cell phone.

  • 4. Autumn season in Nepal

    September – November is the autumn season in Nepal. October – November is considered as the best season to trek in Nepal and it is also best time to see the two big Nepalese festivals, Dashain and Tihar or Deepawali.

  • Travel advice for travelers traveling to Nepal in autumn.

    If you travel to Nepal between these time (late September – early November) then you would get a chance to witness the two great big festivals of the Hindus of Nepal known as Dashain and Tihar or Deepawali which falls respectively. The festivals are culturally and traditionally significant. The mornings and evenings start to become cold from late October so take some long sleeve and warm clothes with you. If you are visiting Nepal after October then take good flashlight with you as the scheduled power cuts starts every day.

  • Travel advice for travelers trekking in Nepal in autumn.

    October – November is considered as the best season to trek in Nepal when the views of the Himalayas are very clear and breathtaking. Take a sleeping bag, down jacket, warm clothes if you are doing trekking.

  • Things to pack while traveling Nepal in autumn.

    If you are traveling from late October to Nepal then take warm clothes, warm jacket, wind proof jacket and thermals etc as the season starts to get cold. Other things you may bring is a torch, face mask for dust and pollution, ear plugs, a sleeping bag if you have a space in your luggage and hiking or trekking shoes if you are going for trek or hiking in Nepal. You can bring a laptop for internet and a cell phone.

Is Internet easily available in Nepal? Where can I use the Internet in Kathmandu, Nepal?
Internet is available in most cities in Nepal. In Kathmandu, some restaurants and cafes offer free Wi-Fi. Internet can also be used in cyber cafes in Kathmandu and other cities. The cyber cafes may charge Rupees 30 – Rs 50 per hour for internet.
What places would you recommend for eating in Kathmandu?
We would recommend you the following cafes which also offer free Wi-Fi in Kathmandu.
  • Café Kaldi at Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Himalayan Java at Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • G café at Boudha, Kathmandu.
  • Flavors café at Boudhanath, Kathmandu.
Is it safe to eat in restaurants in Kathmandu, Nepal? Where can I find a cheap restaurant in Kathmandu?
There are different big and small restaurants in Kathmandu, Nepal which you can find at most of the places. The small cheap restaurants offers water but it is better to buy bottled drinking water. The small restaurants can be so cheap to believe for some westerners whereas the big cafes and restaurants can be over priced or charge additional service charge.
Can you recommend any good bars or clubs in Kathmandu, Nepal?
There are many bars and clubs in Kathmandu while most of them mainly in tourist areas.
  • Buddha Bar at Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Reggae Bar at Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Fire club at Thamel, Kathmandu.
  • Factory at Thamel, Kathmandu.
Where is the best place to do shopping in Kathmandu, Nepal?
The tourist areas of Kathmandu, Nepal like Thamel, Boudha, Kathmandu Durbar Square area, Patan area, Durbar marg etc are comparatively expensive for shopping so you will need to bargain before buying something. Most Nepalese people do shopping at New road or Ason where there are lots of different shops and can be cheaper than the tourist areas. There are big shopping malls and departmental stores in Kathmandu in most places which mainly offers imported goods where you can do some shopping. Mostly tourist use Thamel area for souvenir shopping.
When does the long hour’s power cut starts in Nepal and how does it work?
The long power cuts in Nepal starts from November and lasts until the monsoon starts. The power cuts also known as ‘load shedding’ in Nepal are scheduled to occur between different parts and areas of the country at different times in a day. There can be certain hour power cuts in the morning, during the afternoon or during nights.

The power cut schedule for Thamel and the power cut schedule for Boudha in Kathmandu differs. You can ask for power cuts schedule to someone who stays at your place or download it from the internet. It is always recommended to carry a flashlight with you. When there is power cut, the electricity is cut off for certain hours so people use candle or some other sources of light. Generally big guest houses and hotels run generators to have electricity during power cuts.
I am traveling to Asia first time. Am I likely to get culture shock in Nepal?
The culture and daily lifestyle in Nepal is so much different from that of western countries. You would need some days or weeks to adjust to the new environment. You might notice something that you have never seen as soon as you get out of the airport. Cultural shock is likely.
Can I buy food from the street vendors in Nepal?
We recommend you first check the cleanliness of the place. You can buy fresh fruits or vegetables from the street vendors but do not buy any cooked snacks from the street vendors as the cleanliness cannot be guaranteed.
How are the toilets like in Nepal?
Depending on the place, there are two types of toilet system found. Mostly in restaurants, hotels and now a day in many houses, western style toilet is used. If you go to public places, small cities or villages then there is likely that the toilet will be an old style toilet also known as a squat toilet.
Is drinking water easily available in Nepal?
Yes, you may buy bottled water easily at the local shops or restaurants. It should cost Rupees 20 for a bottle of drinking water.
Is there any dress code for foreigners traveling to Nepal?
You can wear modern clothes but please do not wear short and transparent clothes. The skirt for girls should be at least knee length and the clothes worn by men or women should not be revealing type.
Cow is holy in Nepal. Is this true?
Yes. Cow is worshipped by the Hindus of Nepal and killing a cow in Nepal is seen as a criminal offence. The Hindus believe cow to be their mother and worship cow as a form of goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. Beef is mainly imported in Nepal from some other countries.
What do I need to know about religious and cultural practices while traveling Nepal?
Some society in Nepal may be very conservative. Religion holds much importance in Nepalese people. Accept the religious and cultural practices. Please follow these etiquettes while you are in Nepal.
  • Take off your shoes before entering someone’s house. Do not wear the shoes which you have worn outside inside the house. You can use a separate slipper for inside the house.
  • When using the toilet in Nepalese house, do not use your shoes. There might be some other shoes outside the toilet which is to be worn while using the toilet.
  • Public display of affection like kissing may be offensive in public places.
  • It is considered rude to touch women by male, specially married women.
  • There may be lots of dogs in the area where you would stay as Nepalese people keep dogs as pets. So if you get disturbed by dogs, use earplugs while sleeping.
  • Nepalese drivers beep horn while driving. It is common in Nepal. It disturbs others but accept this culture.
  • You might see same sex people walking together on the streets hand to hand or arm to arm. This can be a friendly gesture in Nepal. Do not take it otherwise.
  • Bargaining is common in Nepal while buying things from the local shop like souvenirs, fruits, vegetables, gifts or even boarding a taxi.
  • It is considered disrespectful if you cross over a person or walk over a person. You can say ‘Excuse me’ and let the person know that he/she needs to give a space to let you go.
  • While you take off your shoes or flip flop, never keep it upside down. It is considered bad luck. So never leave your shoes in upside down state.
  • Spitting in Nepal is common. Especially you may see men spitting on the streets. They spit after chewing ‘pann’ which is beetle leaf or ‘khaini’ which is a kind of tobacco.
  • When women have their menstruation, they do not go to temples or worship at home. It is considered impure if a woman in her menstruation goes to ‘puja kotha’ which is a worshipping room in any Nepalese house.
  • When traveling in Nepal, you might get constant staring from people around you. This is natural when seeing someone different people stare at you.
  • While walking through the tourist areas in Nepal, there might be lots of street vendors who might hustle to sell you their products. Please just ignore them if you do not want it and say ‘malai chaidaina’ which means ‘I do not need’.
What about dining etiquette in Nepal?
While eating with Nepalese people, take care of few things.
  • While taking more food when eating, do not touch your plate with the serving spoon. It might be considered as ‘jutho’ which is impure.
  • When you sit to eat with a Nepali family, they may repeatedly offer you to take more food. This is a respect that they are showing to the guest by offering you more but you can say ‘Thank you’ by saying “pugyo” which means “I am full or I have enough” if you do not want more food.
  • Do not blow your nose while eating. If you have to then take a side and blow your nose.
  • In Nepal, people are not used to sharing the same utensil or bottle while eating and drinking.
What is the national dress of Nepal? Can foreigners wear it?
The national dress of Nepal for girls is ‘gunyo cholo’ and for boys is ‘daura surwal’. You may see men wearing a special kind of cap on their head in Nepal, which is called ‘dhaka topi’. There are over 100 ethnic groups in Nepal and different ethnic groups like Newars, Sherpas, Tharu etc have their own ethnic wear reflecting their culture and traditions.

Because of modernization, Nepali people also wear western clothes but there is other common Nepali clothes as well. If you want then for girls you may try to make a Sari, Kurta Surwal or any other ethnic Nepali costume for you. For boys you may wear a Dhaka topi.
Do I need to tip in restaurants in Nepal?
It is not needed when you eat in big restaurants. Most restaurants charge you with 10% service charge on the bill. While eating in small restaurants you may leave Rs 10 – Rs 20.
Can I bring my phone from my country while traveling Nepal?
Yes, you may bring your cell phone or smart phone but make sure that if your phone company has locked the phone. You can get a Nepali SIM card by paying Rs 100 and use it for local as well as international calls, SMS and mobile internet. Generally phone companies in the USA and some other countries lock the phone which makes it difficult to use abroad. In this case you can bring an ordinary cell phone or buy an ordinary cell phone in Nepal which you can get for Rupees 2000 more or less.