|Frequently Asked Questions: Travelling to Nepal
It varies. You can always choose to make your trip expensive by staying at
fancy luxury hotels and dining in their restaurants. But then you may as
well be in New York. But if you are looking for a unique Nepali
experience, you can do it for a lot less money. Outside the main tourist
centers, $7-$10 will take you through the day even if you throw around
money lavishly. In the main tourist areas, expect to spend about $20-$25
per day for everything including accommodation, food, and other travel
expenses. Read the FAQ on Accommodation, the FAQ on Drinking and Dining,
and the FAQ on Trekking for more details on specific cost approximations.
Traveler's checks are the best and safest option. US dollars are the most
widely accepted form of money, but banks also accept other major
international currencies. One such bank is Nepal Bank Limited For a listing of currencies accepted in Nepal
check the daily exchange rates listing in The Kathmandu Post.
All major Banks In Nepal exchange convertible hard currencies into
Nepalese rupees. There is an exchange counter in the Kathmandu airport for
you to start off. The US dollar is the most widely accepted currency.
Don't exchange more money than is necessary for usage in the next couple
of days because exchanging Nepalese rupees back to hard currency is not
easy: it can be done only at the airport before you leave, and only a
certain fraction of what you originally exchanged into Nepalese rupees can
Besides banks, there are licensed money exchangers in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Sunauli. These money exchangers have rates marginally better than banks, but the commissions are higher. So check before you exchange your money. The advantage of having these money exchangers to banks are that they open for long hours, typically from 9am to 7pm.
Exchanging your US dollar bills in the black market may
fetch a slightly higher rate than what banks would offer you, but the
premium has diminished significantly over the past couple of years after
the Nepalese government liberalized its foreign currency regulations.
It is important to retain your exchange receipts in order to apply for
visa extension and re-conversion of left-over Nepalese rupees when you
The Nepalese rupee tends to devalue steadily every couple months against
other hard currencies. To get the most recent rates check the exchange
rate section of The Kathmandu Post.
Many tourist related businesses have started accepting payments in credit
cards. It is, however, a fairly recent phenomenon, and cards other than
Visa and Mastercard may not be accepted in most places. Remember that
usage of credit cards in Nepal can cost you an extra three to five percent
in transaction costs.
Commercial Banks such as Himalyan Bank and Nabil Bank have installed ATM machine's in some places of Kathmandu but you may or may not be able to draw money from these machines depending upon the type of machine.
You can draw funds against your American Express, Mastercard or Visa cards through any Banks In Nepal. The service premiums for doing this, however, is pretty
steep. You can also have money wired directly to Kathmandu through any
major bank within two to three working days.