Nepal is a mesmerizing country that can be traveled solo or in a group. The nation is tamer than its neighboring country, India.

Nepal is surrounded by challenging trekking routes, magnificent glaciers, and picture-perfect valleys that leave every traveler in awe. The country is very welcoming to its visitors and has one of the most friendly locals who will try and help you in whatever way they can.

There indeed are many things to know before traveling to Nepal. Thus, I have curated this article to give first-time travelers the complete idea of things they wish they’d known before traveling to Nepal.

Here is an ultimate guide to everything you need to know before you travel to Nepal:

Seasons

The appropriate season is the first thing to know before traveling to Nepal. It is best to travel to the country according to what you’re planning to do and which season is reasonable to carry out the activities.

Winter Season: December – February

Coldest yet best time for sightseeing as the skies are clear and there is no rainfall. Even though it is warm during the day, it is cold at night. Winter is an excellent time for jungle walks and safari expeditions.

What to Wear?

Fleece jacket, raincoat, windproof jacket, sweaters, woolen gloves, thermal tops and pants, thermal socks, and caps.

Spring Season: March-May

There is no better time to travel to Nepal than the spring as the weather is stable. The days are long and transparent, making them ideal for hiking, trekking, and peak climbing.

Spring is also the best season to explore wildlife in Chitwan and Bardia.

What to Wear?

Cotton and linen clothes, Dri-FIT tops, windproof jackets, thermal tops and pants (just in case), scarves, trousers, sweatpants, and hats.

Summer + Monsoon Season: June – August

things to know before traveling to Nepal: Phoksundo lake

The monsoon downpour makes the trail muddy, slippery, and full of leeches. As a result, there is a risk of landslides, avalanches due to which the highways may be closed, and flight delays/cancellations are more prominent.

Accommodation prices are low this time of the year.

What to Wear?

Cotton and Dri-FIT t-shirts, raincoats, windproof jackets, sandals/flip-flops, loose trousers, flowy skirts (for females).

Autumn Season (High season): September – November

Autumn is the best season as it rewards you with clear skies and fresh air due to monsoon rains.

The walk will be pleasant as you will see breathtaking landscape views. It is also the time for Nepal’s prominent festivals like Dashain and Tihar, so this is a great time to learn about Nepali culture.

What to Wear?

Cardigan, cotton t-shirts, Pashmina shawls, windproof jacket, fleece jackets, trousers, sweatpants, warm socks, hat.

Also read: Best season to travel in Nepal

Budget

Budget is the most important thing to know before traveling to Nepal, as you do not want to be broke in the middle of your trek or tour. Therefore, you must plan your trip according to your budget.

Less than $40 per person

  • Accommodation in budget hotels and hostels ($5 – $20)
  • Dinner/Breakfast in trekking lodges ($10 – $12)
  • Trekking Porter / Guide ($13 / $20 per day)

Mid-Range ($40 – $100) per person

  • Camping trek: $50 – $80
  • Meal: $7 – $10
  • Accommodation in hotels: $20 – $80

High Range ($100+) per person

Five-star hotels in Kathmandu? Pokhara:$150 – $250

Meal: $10-$20+

Mountain Flight: $171

Money

Upon arrival, you can easily change your currency in money exchange centers at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. In addition, there are plenty of ATMs in Kathmandu, Pokhara, and other cities from where you can withdraw money before commencing the trek.

Visa

Tourist visas are available at the Tribhuwan International Airport upon arrival.

At the Tribhuwan International Airport, a valid passport with six months validity is required, as well as a passport-sized photograph.

There are three types of visas available: a 15-day visa ($30), a 30-day visa ($50), and a 90-day visa ($125). There are electronic visa machines and staff to help you with the form proceedings.

If you want to add your stay in Nepal, you have to go to the Central Immigration Office, fill out the forms, and pay. For example, an extension for 15 days costs $45. You can add your stay in Nepal up to 180 days per year.

You can get a free visa if you are a citizen of China or any other SAARC nation. However, before arriving in Kathmandu, citizens of Nigeria, Ghana, Swaziland, Somalia, Cameron, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Liberia will have to obtain one. Therefore, it is best to correspond with your local Nepalese embassy before booking the flight to Kathmandu.

Sim Cards

Ncell and NTC SIM cards are readily available at the airport. You can also get these SIM Cards at Ncell centers and NTC branch offices.

Moving Around

Since Nepal has only one international airport (Tribhuvan International Airport) in the capital city, Kathmandu, you will be visiting this city.

Here are some of the options on transportation that you must know before traveling to Nepal:

Local Buses / Minibuses

These are inexpensive ways to travel around the country as they go pretty much everywhere. In addition, you will only have to pay $1 per hour until you reach your destination. 

On the other hand, local buses take a very long time to get to your destination as they wait until the seats are filled, then pick up and drop off passengers along the way.

Also, they stop for lunch. Their loud music plays non-stop for hours, which can be annoying. Nevertheless, it is an experience you will never forget.

Tourist Bus

You can reach your destination much more comfortably and quickly by taking a tourist bus. They are, however, a bit expensive, costing $3 – $4, but undoubtedly quicker.

It would be best to get around the country on tourist buses as they are more convenient.

Flight

Flying is the fastest and easiest way to reach your destination. It is, however, quite costly. On the other hand, traveling by flight will give you a glimpse of mountains in the country.

For example, A one-way ticket from Kathmandu to Lukla for Everest Base Camp costs $160. Furthermore, Lukla Airport is listed as one of the world’s most dangerous airports. Wouldn’t it be worth the experience?

Taxis

Taxis are suitable for trips within a city.

Transport facilities around the most visited sites of Nepal

DestinationTransportation
KathmanduPublic transportation: Local bus, Micro-bus, Tempo (electric rickshaw), rickshaw
Hire: bicycle, scooter, bike, car
Online services: Tootle, Pathao
No train service
PokharaTaxi, local bus
Hire: bicycle, scooter, bike, car
Online service: Onver, Rhino ride
No train service
LumbiniPublic transportation: electric rickshaw, tuk-tuk, rickshaw
Hire: bicycle, electric rickshaw
No online service
No train service
MustangHiking
Hire: jeep, bike
No online service
No train service
ChitwanPublic transportation: tanga, belgaadi (driven by an ox), tuk-tuk, taxi
Hire: cycle, jeep, car
No online service
No train service
JanakpurPublic transportation: bus, cycle, rickshaw, electric rickshaw, tempo.
Train service: Janakpur – Siraha
No online service
IllamPublic transportation: Bus, taxi, tuk-tuk,
Train service: Siliguri – Darjeeling (India)
Hire: taxi
No online service
DharanPublic transportation: bus, temp (electric rickshaw), taxi
Hire: taxi, private car
No online service
No train service
SolukhumbuPublic transportation (only till Salleri): bus, jeep, cars
On the trails: Yak, Hike
Air transport: Helicopter, flight at four airports (Kangeldanda, Lukla, Solu Dushkunda, Syangboche
No online service
No train service
Shuklaphanta National ParkTourist bus and private cars only
RolpaNo transportation. The roads have deteriorated.
BirgunjPublic transportation: bus, electric rickshaw
Hire: Jeep
Train service: Raxaul – different parts of India
No online service
BardiyaPublic transportation: bus
Hire: Tourist bus, jeep
No train service
No online service
Koshi Tappu Wildlife ReserveHire private vehicles like Jeeps, boats, and tourist buses.
Public transportation is scarce.
No online service
No train service

How to get to Nepal

Plan how you will enter the country before traveling to Nepal. There are two ways to enter the country:

Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)

After you arrive at TIA, you can get a travel visa at immigration. Then, you can get inside the terminal. However, if you have booked a hotel, few will even pick you up from the airport. Therefore, it is best to confirm with the hotel before booking.

Sunauli (Indian Border)

If you want to travel to Kathmandu or Pokhara, take a direct bus from the Indian border. If you’re going to any other destination, you can take a rickshaw or a jeep to Bhairahawa and take a bus too.

Exchange rates

  • Australia: AUD 1=Rs 90.43
  • Canada: CAD$1=Rs. 92.56
  • China: Y1=Rs. 18.10
  • Europe: Euro 1 put symbol=Rs. 140.08
  • Japan: Yen 1=Rs 1.08
  • India: Rupee 1=Rs 1.61
  • UK: Pound Sterling 1=Rs 162.67
  • US: US $1=Rs 117.18

*Check www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Important numbers

  • Country Code: +977
  • International Access Code: +00
  • Police: 100
  • Tourist Police: 4247041
  • Tourism Hotline: 4225709
  • Ambulance: 102
  • Fire: 101

Always carry

  • Face mask
  • Earplugs to avoid noisy local buses, the turbo sound of airplanes, and sometimes hotel rooms.
  • Lip Balm and sunscreen while trekking.
  • Hiking boots.
  • Padlock.
  • LED Torch in case of power cuts and for nighttime trips to the washroom.
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof teeshirt and shorts for swimming, rafting, canyoning, rafting, and elephant washing.
  • Reusable water bottles and water purification tablets
  • Hand Sanitizer

Also read: Top 10 Best Trekking Destinations in Nepal

Hence, these are all the things that you need to know before traveling to Nepal. I hope this article was helpful for you.

If you have any queries on traveling to Nepal, feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

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