Practical Information about Nepal
Please read the following information before your departure to Nepal
If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected] or visit our contact page
Passport and visa
All travelers must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months after your expected date of departure from Nepal. Visa can be obtained either in advance from your nearest embassy or upon arrival in Nepal. Visitors willing to get visa on arrival should fill out an online visa-form and take cash money. Most foreign currencies are accepted. Children under 10 are not charged a visa fee. Visas are also available at the road borders of Kakarvitta, Birganj, Sunauli, Nepalganj, Mahendranagar Dhangadi and even the Kodari checkpoint on the road to Tibet and shall be granted for a period of maximum 150 days in a calendar year. For the most recent information check the department of immigration Nepal. www.nepalimmigration.gov.np. Here you can also find the visa-form.
Visa extensions are available with single and multiple entry facilities from the immigration office in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Payable in rupees.
USD 30 for 15 days visa
USD 50 for 30 days visa
USD 125 for 90 days visa
Note: Check the immigration website https://www.immigration.gov.np for the most recent information about visas and prices
You can travel by taxi or by bus. Taxis can be found anywhere on the street. Make sure you discuss the price beforehand. Hotels can also provide a taxi or private car for you. Tourist busses are available for Kathmandu-Pokhara-Chitwan. You can also take a local bus. These run pretty much everywhere and will stop for anyone. Bicycles and motorbikes can be rented from shops or hotels.
Electricity is 220V. Travelers from USA will need a transformer. Sockets usually take plugs with three round pins, but also with two round pins. Eventhough there are a lot of improvements, load shedding is still common in Nepal, although just very short periods of time.
Food and drinks
There are plenty of restaurants in Kathmandu and Pokhara, where you can get any kind of food. The traditional Nepali meal is Dal Bhat, which is lentil soup, with rice and curry. Most Nepali people are vegetarian, so you can get delicious vegetarian food, but also you can get chicken, pork, buffalo, goat, and even fish. Cows are sacred and are never eaten. Nepalese usually eat using their right hand, but in every restaurant you usually get cutlery.
You should not drink the tap water in Nepal. You can get cheap bottled water everywhere. Most hotels also offer a cheap refill. Tea is safe to drink. People mostly drink milk tea, which is tea leaves boiled with milk and sugar (and spices). You can also get normal tea, coffee, softdrinks and several alcoholic beverages.
Internet and communication
Most restaurants and hotels offer free Wi-Fi. Also, there are several internet cafes, which are not expensive, where you can use the computer, print and copy.
Also, a good standard telephone and fax machine are available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and some others cities. You can buy a Nepali SIM-card from a local shop, but you need to bring a copy of your passport, visa and a passport size photo.
The national currency is the Nepali rupee (Rs). There are coins for one, two, five and 10 rupees, and bank notes for 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Many small businesses and taxi drivers usually don’t have enough change if you pay with 1000 rupees, so make sure you have some small notes.
ATMs and money exchange
There are several 24-hour ATMs in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Don’t forget to inform your bank that you will be using your bank card abroad, otherwise it might not work. Also, there are several moneychangers in Kathmandu and Pokhara, where they accept almost all foreign currencies. Make sure you get a good exchange rate.
Bargaining is a daily business in Nepal, so you can always try to get a better price in souvenir shops, hotels, or for taxis. Make sure you agree upon a price for a taxi before you get in.
Tax and tipping
Most hotels and restaurant add a 13% value added tax, as well as a 10% service charge, which is calculated after the tax, resulting in a 24.3% surcharge to your bill. Some budget places charge only VAT or service charge.
Nepal is five hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT. There is no summer/winter time in Nepal.
Make sure you have a sufficient health insurance. There are some good tourist hospitals, you will find these mostly in Kathmandu.
You do not officially require any vaccinations, unless you have come from an area with yellow fever. It is best to seek medical advice at least six weeks before travelling, since some vaccinations require multiple injections over a period of time.
Antimalarial tablets are recommended if you will be spending long periods in the Terai, like Chitwan, particularly during monsoon. Take measures to avoid being bitten, to prevent malaria or dengue.
Above 2,500 meters, the concentration of oxygen in the air starts to drop, which makes it harder for you to get sufficient oxygen. Also decreasing air pressure has the effect of causing liquid to leak from capillaries into the lungs and brain, which can be fatal. The human body has the ability to adjust, but this is a gradual process. You can avoid this threat by limiting your rate of ascent. If you have symptoms, descend immediately. Make sure you take enough rest and drink plenty.
The national language is Nepali. However, in the cities and towns, English is widely spoken, particularly among those serving tourists; but in villages and other more remote areas, the local people you encounter probably will not speak English.
Nepal is a safe country, but don’t take risks. Valuables should be protected. Always carry your passport, airline tickets, and other valuables with you, or lock them in a hotel safety box. We recommend leaving valuable jewelry at home, and using lockable baggage.
Nepal has a dry season, starting from October till May and a wet season, Monsoon, from June till September. In summer the temperatures in Kathmandu go up to in the 30s. Even during winter the sunny days often reach 20 degrees, but with temperatures near freezing in the night. Pokhara is generally warmer and more pleasant in the winter, but warmer and wetter in the monsoon.
The climate varies greatly depending on the region, latitude, wind and position of the mountains.