Nepal Travel Guide

Nepal Prayer Flags and Mountains

Sometimes referred to as the “roof of the world”, Nepal is famously home to the snow-capped Himalayan Mountains. The country boasts a vibrant culture made up of the world’s friendliest people, and is home to both spiritual and ancient wonders. 

The geography in Nepal is made up of mountains, jungles, deep gorges, glacial rivers, lakes, and the world’s friendliest people. With a wide array of outdoor activities, Nepal is the perfect place for adventure seekers like us!

We’ve put together this ultimate travel guide to help you plan your perfect Nepal itinerary.

Travel Guide Contents

Important Info  |  Best Time to Visit  |  Things to Do   |   What to Eat   |   Typical Budget

Travel Tips   |   What to Pack   |   Nepal Articles   |   Book Now

Nepal Travel Guide | Important Information

Important Information

Nepal at a glance: When you think of Nepal, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Mount Everest. Every year, hundreds of people from all over the world flock to the country to attempt to reach this famous summit. But this country offers more than just the world’s tallest peak and we’re here to share it with you!

Most popular places to visit in Nepal: 

  • Kathmandu – This is Nepal’s capital city offering tons of adventures, ancient sites, markets to peruse, and foods to try.

  • Pokhara – Pokhara is Nepal’s second largest city and is well-known for its laid back vibe.

  • Everest Region (Khumbu Region) – If you want to get up close and personal with Mount Everest, this is the place to be. Whether you’re attempting the summit or simply trekking to Base Camp, you won’t want to miss this region on your Nepal itinerary.

  • Annapurna Region – This is the second most popular trekking region in Nepal. With tons of different trekking options at different levels of difficulty from the Mohare Danda to the Annapurna Circuit. 

Currency in Nepal: Nepalese Rupee | 2020 Conversion Rate: 100 NPR = $0.88 USD

Tipping in Nepal: If a service charge isn’t added to the bill, 10% is an acceptable tip at restaurants. If you’re coming to Nepal to go trekking, it is expected that you tip the porters and guides. A tip of 20 rupees is sufficient for anyone who helps carry your luggage, such as a porter or bellboy.

Language & Helpful Phrases: Nepali

  • Hello = namaste (this can also be used to say good morning, good evening, welcome or goodbye), namaskar

  • Thank you =  Dhanyabaad

  • Sorry = Maaf pau

  • Porter = Bhariya

  • I’m vegetarian = Ma sakahari hun 

  • Beer = Biyar

  • It was delicious = Mitho tcha

  • Beautiful = sundara

  • How much money? (shopping) = Kati paisa?

Religion and Culture: The two most commonly practiced religions in Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism. You’ll often find Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples wherever you go. When visiting temples and holy sites, make sure your shoulders and knees are covered in a show of respect. 

Transportation around Nepal: The best way to get around Nepal is to ride buses. However, it will take you hours to get to places that are just a hundred miles away because of the rough roads and constructions. If you’re traveling between Pokhara and Kathmandu, it’s best to book a flight. Lastly, you won’t find any Uber in Nepal so you’ll have to use a taxi when getting around bigger cities like Kathmandu.

Nepal Travel Guide | Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

Nepal has four main seasons with different weather. Depending on what you’re planning to do in Nepal, the weather can affect your trip.

Weather in Nepal

  • Winter: December to February

  • Spring: March to May

  • Monsoon: June to August

  • Autumn: September to November

Peak Season for Tourists is from September to late November. 

Times to avoid traveling in Nepal:

Avoid traveling during the monsoon season especially if you’re hoping to do some trekking. The leeches, daily rains and cloudy skies are recipes for an unpleasant trekking experience. 

Major festivals in Nepal

Dashain, October: This 15-day celebration is Nepal’s most important festival where the locals celebrate good conquering evil.

Tihar, late October: Tihar is a 5 day celebration honoring cows, dogs, crows, and Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and luck. You can find candles and festive lanterns lit as an offering to the goddess. 

Holi, March or April: During Nepal’s festival of colors, people throw water balloons, and colored powder at one another to spread happiness.

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Nepal Travel Guide | Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

Top Things to Do in Nepal

Hike to Everest Base Camp

Let’s start the list with the most obvious thing to do in Nepal – a hike to Everest Base Camp! We’ve written a 16-day trekking itinerary if you want to get up close and personal with Mount Everest. And no, you don’t need a guide to reach the Base Camp, we’ve mapped it out for you to do entirely independently.

Take a Cooking Class

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture and the country’s culture is to take a cooking class. If cooking isn’t your thing, try going on a food tour instead! You won’t regret it.

Take a scenic flight over the Himalayas

Don’t have time to hike? Consider taking a scenic flight over the Himalayas to take in the stunning views and vastness of the mountain range.

See Wildlife

You might be surprised to find out that Nepal has a wide variety of wildlife including bears, rhinos, tigers, elephants, crocodiles and even dolphins! Head to Chitwan National Park or Bardia National Park to get your fill of wildlife sightings.

Visit Kathmandu’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here’s a fun fact: Nepal has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country. Here are a few sites you shouldn’t miss:

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square

  • Patan

  • Bhaktapur

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Nepal Travel Guide | Best Food to Eat

Best Food to Eat in Nepal

Being near China and India, Nepal’s cuisine is similar to that in other parts of Southern Asia, but with a twist of their own. Here are some foods that we’d recommend trying while traveling in Nepal: 

  • Momos: steamed dumplings served with a peanut or tomato-based dipping sauce

  • Dal Bhat: papadams (thin, crispy crackers), rice and a bowl of lentils

  • Thukpa: veggie noodle soup perfect for cold days

  • Aloo Dum: potatoes seasoned with ginger, coriander, cumin, chili, and turmeric

  • Juju dhau: yogurt made from buffalo milk served in clay bowls

  • Masala Chai (Milk Tea): tea – best after a long day of trekking or during cold mornings

Vegetarians Traveling in Nepal: If you’re vegetarian or vegan, Nepal’s veggie momos and dal bhat will be your favorite! You’ll find it is quite easy to stick to a vegetarian diet in Nepal.

Nepal Travel Guide | Travel Budget for Nepal

Typical Budget for Nepal

If you’re a budget traveler, Nepal is a great destination that won’t break the bank. Basic food, transportation and accommodation can be very affordable.

How much to budget in Nepal per day

Budget traveler: If you are on a tight budget and watch your spending closely, $20-$30 per day could be a sufficient budget. 

Mid-range traveler: If you want to have a few splurges and stay in nicer or private accommodation, plan to budget $35-$50 per day.

Travel Guide | Two Wandering Soles

Dorm bed = $4-$5

Guesthouse= $5

Budget private room = $10-$25

Mid-range hotel = $35-$90

Luxury hotel = $100+

Travel Guide | Two Wandering Soles

Street food = $0.5-$1

Mid-range restaurant = $1-$3

Fancy restaurant = $3.5-$6

Local beer = $2.25 – $3.15

Travel Guide | Two Wandering Soles

Domestic flight = $100-$200

Bus = $5-$15

Cab fare around Kathmandu = $2-$4

Travel Guide | Two Wandering Soles

Trekking permits = $20

Cooking class = $20-$50

River rafting = $50

Entry fees for heritage sites: $1-$10

Nepal Travel Guide | Responsible Travel Tips

Responsbile Travel Tips for Nepal

We are passionate about sharing tips anyone can use to travel more responsibly. Here are some easy ways you can travel sustainably in Nepal.

1. Say no to plastic

Most of Nepal’s water is not safe to drink. This means you’ll most likely purchase bottled waters. Avoid single-use plastic by packing a Steripen to purify your water in 90 seconds. We’ve used ours during the entire Everest Base Camp trek. 

Related Article: Eco-friendly Travel Gear Packing List

2. Bring all your trash with you

If you’re going trekking, be mindful of your waste. Carry a bag where you can collect all your garbage and even pick up some of the trash scattered around the trails.

3. Be considerate

Before you go to Nepal, read up on the traditions, culture, religion and customs of the country so you know what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Dress appropriately and cover your shoulders and knees in temples and holy places. 

4. Support locals

Support locals by eating at small restaurants and purchasing handicrafts created by local artisans. Book with locally operated trekking and tour companies. 

5. Always ask permission

When you’re taking photos, be sure to ask for permission before training your camera on someone, especially when it comes to children.

6. Avoid elephant rides

In Chitwan National Park, it’s very common to see elephant riding. We know this is detrimental to the animals as they are not meant to be ridden. Instead of the elephant rides, opt to walk or take the jeep safari. 

Related Article: 36 Responsible Travel Tips

Nepal Travel Guide | What to Pack

What to Pack for Nepal

One of the most important things that you should know when packing and planning for Nepal are what activities you’ll be doing, as well as the weather. This way, you can prepare and pack easily.

Here are some Nepal-specific items we’d recommend packing:

  • Insulated water bottle
  • Steripen: sterilized a liter of water in 90 seconds. Saves money and plastic.

  • Electrolytes: Use these to stay hydrated on your trek. We think the Nuun brand tastes the best.

  • Sarong: Can be used as a multi-purpose cover up.

  • Quick-dry towel

  • Chacos / Hiking Boots: If you’re trekking in warm weather and low elevations, we love hiking in Chacos. But if there is snow expected on your hike, you should bring boots.

  • Portable battery pack: Charging your phone on treks can cost by the hour. Bring your own battery that lasts up to 7 phone charges.

  • Motion sickness bands: Relief for the bumpy roads in Nepal

  • Vitamin C tablets: Give your immune system a boost

  • Charcoal Pills (and stoppers/goers)

  • Insect repellent balm (solids are the way to go!)

  • Sleeping bag liner / pillow case

  • Kindle Paperwhite: much lighter than carrying a guide book

  • Camera & extra batteries

  • Power Converters & Adapters

  • Eye mask and ear plugs

  • Fitbit: Track your steps and how high you climb

Note: You will also be able to rent certain equipment such as sleeping bags and heavy down jackets in Kathmandu or Pokhara if you don’t want these items to take up space in your luggage.

Long-term travel packing guide | Two Wandering Soles

Nepal Articles

Find all kinds of information on traveling to Nepal to help you create the perfect itinerary. From trekking guides to amazing things to do that you won’t want to miss, we got it all!

Mohare Danda Trekking Guide: 5-Day Annapurna Trek

If you’re looking for a hike that is off the beaten path in Nepal, the Mohare Danda Trek is a great option. This 5-day trek through the Annapurna Region brings you through picturesque villages, fruit orchards, and remote farms. You’ll spend the nights in teahouses and homestays, and it’s likely...

10 Best Things to Do in Nepal

With the iconic Himalayas Nepal is known for trekking and adventures, but there are far more things to do in this country than hiking and mountain sports. We’re walking you through the very best things to do in Nepal for all types of travelers. Whether it is your first trip...

Ultimate Nepal Travel Guide: Everything to Know for your Himalayan Adventure

With iconic Himalayan peaks (like Everest!), a vibrant culture, friendly people, and endless adventure activities, Nepal is a dream travel destination for many. We’ve visited this beautiful country 2 times and have put together some important information, personal stories, and handy travel advice in this Nepal travel guide to help...

Ultimate Guide to Trekking Everest Base Camp Independently

Trekking to Everest Base Camp is an experience of a lifetime, and getting there is easier than you think. If hiking to EBC is on your bucket list, we’ve got everything you need to make this dream a reality (even if you’re not rich or a world class athlete!). We've...

Perfect Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

This 16-day itinerary will bring you to Everest Base Camp, across the infamous Cho La Pass, and to the beautiful Gokyo Lakes. Follow this DIY route for EBC that you can hike on your own. No need for a guide, we got everything you need for a self guided trek...

How Much Does Everest Base Camp Trek Cost?

How much does it actually cost to hike to Everest Base Camp? The highest trek in the world doesn’t have to come at a high price. We’ll breakdown all our expenses throughout our 16-day trek to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes and show you how inexpensive it really is...

Perfect Everest Base Camp Packing List

Having the right packing list is essential to surviving the the trek to Everest Base Camp. We've got you covered with what to pack for Everest Base Camp, everything from trekking gear to clothes to snacks to electronics to toiletries. It's loaded with tons of packing tips you'll want to...

Everest Base Camp Trek Video Diaries

Follow along and watch our videos of our trek to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes. We hiked independently without a guide or porter and describe what life is like on the trail. Watch as we pass through the villages, encounter yaks, battle sickness, hike through challenging routes and reach...

Photographic Journey to Everest Base Camp

Stories are great, but sometimes pictures speak louder. This photo diary documents our entire trek to Everest Base Camp. Take a peek into what life is like on the EBC trail. Come along for the ride!

Stories from 5,000 Meters: To Everest Base Camp and Back

Ever wonder what it's like to trek in the high altitude Himalayas? Come along with us as we describe each step of the journey to Everest Base Camp. We'll tell you what was going through out heads on the trail and our feeling about the Everest Base Camp trek.

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Nepal Travel Guide
Nepal Travel Guide

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