Nepal is an incredibly diverse and beautiful country located between India and China. Prepare to be captivated by the awe-inspiring Himalayan Mountains and immersed in the vibrant tapestry of its culture.
Begin your exploration in Kathmandu, the country’s capital, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modernity. Wander through bustling markets teeming with colorful textiles, aromatic spices, and tantalizing street food. As the sun sets, the city comes alive with an eclectic nightlife.
Venture beyond the city’s boundaries, and you’ll discover the true essence of Nepal in its hillside villages. Immerse yourself in the warmth of the local communities as you engage in their unique traditions and age-old customs. The Nepalese people’s genuine hospitality will embrace you, making you feel like an honored guest in their enchanting land.
Nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts will find Nepal an absolute paradise. Embark on exhilarating treks in the Himalayas, where every step leads you closer to majestic peaks and panoramic vistas that will leave you breathless. Challenge yourself to conquer legendary trails, such as the Everest Base Camp trek or the Annapurna Circuit, and bask in the glory of these awe-inspiring mountains.
So, if you’re planning a journey to Nepal, let us be your guide. In the following sections, we’ll provide you with invaluable insights on the best time to visit, must-see attractions, thrilling activities, and much more. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable vacation that will take you on a transformative journey through the wonders of Nepal.
What is the best time to visit Nepal?
The best time to visit Nepal is from April to May, and October to December. These months offer the most comfortable temperatures, with average highs of around 77°F and lows of around 50°F. Average temperatures in the Himalayas range from about 20°F – 45°F during these months.
Spring and fall are generally the two dry seasons in Nepal, but rain and sometimes snow are possible at any time of year. Mountain weather is unpredictable, so those visiting Nepal should be prepared for temperatures as low as -5 to 5°F at night.
What is the best way to get to Nepal?
From the mainland United States, travelers will usually fly into Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city. Direct flights are not common for this region from the US due to long flight times. Most travelers will connect to Kathmandu through Doha, Qatar, Delhi, India and Istanbul, Turkey. Flights from the United States to Nepal take between 16-22 hours, depending on your departing airport.
How to get around Nepal?
The best way to get around Nepal is by using a combination of public transportation and private vehicles.
Public transportation in Nepal includes buses, microbuses, and jeeps. Buses are the most common form of public transport, and are usually the cheapest option. They are available to most cities in Nepal, and are relatively comfortable and reliable. Microbuses are smaller than buses and usually carry fewer passengers. They are a good option if you are travelling to more remote areas. Jeeps are the most expensive form of public transportation, but they are the best option for travelling to mountainous areas.
If you are looking for more flexibility and comfort, you can hire a private vehicle. Taxis, cars, and motorbikes are all available for hire. Taxis are the most convenient option, and can be hailed from the street or booked in advance. Cars and motorbikes are a great option for those who want to explore more rural areas.
Finally, if you are looking to explore the mountains, then trekking is the best option. Experiencing the stunning landscape and culture of Nepal up close on foot with local expert guides, who know the terrain, is the most immersive way to travel. There are a range of trekking routes to suit all levels of experience.
Do I need a visa to visit Nepal?
US citizens need a visa to enter Nepal. Citizens of other countries should check with their local embassy for their entry requirements. To obtain a visa on arrival, travelers will need to fill out and print the tourist visa application in advance. The visa form is also available on arrival at Kathmandu Airport, but we recommend filling it out before you depart to save time, as the visa on arrival line can be long. Travelers will also need to bring a passport photo and the visa fee in USD. A 15-day visa is $30, and a 30-day visa is $50.
How many days should I spend in Nepal?
There is so much to see and do in Nepal and you’ll enjoy it most if you plan on at least 14 days, especially if you plan on trekking. Since the flight times to Nepal are rather long, you will want to spend some time here.
What are the top 5 places to visit in Nepal?
1. Sagarmatha National Park
It wouldn’t be a trip to Nepal without trekking through the Himalayas and catching glimpses of Mount Everest, or even trekking to Everest Base Camp! While this is a bucket list destination for most trekkers, Sagarmatha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with several of the tallest and most beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks in the world. Besides Mount Everest, some of our trips to Nepal will take travelers to other lesser-known yet beloved areas of Sagarmatha National Park, including Ama Dablam Base Camp, Gokyo Ri, and the Buddhist Tengboche Monastery, offering stunning views of Mount Everest and its surrounding sister mountains.
2. Tengboche Monastery
Tengboche Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the Khumbu region of Nepal. It is the largest gompa in the region and lies at an altitude of 12,694 feet. The monastery is known for its stunning views of the Himalayan Mountains, including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. It is also known as the gateway to Everest Base Camp. Tengboche Monastery is the spiritual center of the Khumbu region and a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers heading to the Everest region. The monastery is home to some of the most important statues and religious artifacts in the region.
One of Nepal’s hidden gems, Bhaktapur is an ancient city located in Nepal, just east of Kathmandu. As one of three royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley, it is rich in cultural and architectural heritage. Bhaktapur is especially known for its intricately carved, terracotta-tiled temples, and is also home to a large number of traditional streets and squares, courtyards, and shrines. The city is a treasure trove of traditional art, architecture, and culture, and is a popular tourist destination. The city’s historic Durbar Square, with its array of ornate temples, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other notable attractions in Bhaktapur include the Bhairavnath Temple, the Nyatopola Temple, and the Dattatreya Temple. The city is renowned for its traditional Newari cuisine and handicrafts, and attracts visitors from around the world.
Swayambhu is an ancient religious site located in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is considered one of the holiest sites in the Buddhist world. The site is believed to have been established around the 5th century BCE and is home to a large stupa, a white dome-shaped structure that symbolizes the enlightened mind. The stupa is said to contain the remains of the historical Buddha, and is a popular pilgrimage destination for Buddhists around the world.
5. Boudhanath Stupa
The Boudhanath Stupa is a Buddhist shrine located in Kathmandu, Nepal. Built in the 14th century, this grand stupa is one of the largest in the world, standing at 118 feet and with a diameter of over 328 feet. It is a symbol of peace and harmony to Buddhists and Hindus alike, and is a popular pilgrimage site for pilgrims from around the world. The stupa is surrounded by prayer flags and colorful prayer wheels, and is home to many monasteries and temples.
What are the best adventure tours in Nepal?
1. Nepal Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking in the Himalaya is a lifelong dream for many avid hikers, and what could be better than a pilgrimage to its greatest mountain – Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha, the “Peak of Heaven.” This 19-day adventure is nothing short of a true quest and, with more than 50 years’ experience leading the pack in Nepal, MT Sobek is the best company to get you to Everest Base Camp at 17,600 feet elevation. Our peerless, top-notch guides – all of whom are seasoned mountaineers – guarantee your trek will be a memorable experience! This is our ultimate signature trek to the base of the world’s highest mountain.
2. Nepal Everest Lodge-to-Lodge Trek
MT Sobek pioneered trekking and hiking in Nepal. Our Khumbu region experience has delighted trekkers since 1969. We also established longstanding ties to Sherpa villages here, adding an unforgettable human element to this classic Everest experience. Perfect for first-time Himalaya travelers, this trek showcases high mountain villages, ancient Buddhist monasteries, and the warm hospitality of the local people. From the famed Tengboche Monastery, behold Mt. Everest as well as a stunning panorama of other Himalayan peaks. This Everest lodge-to-lodge travel allows for extra comfort and nourishing meals at the end of a long day’s hike.
3. Nepal Ancient Passes Trek Tour
This amazing Nepal adventure is a modern-day classic combining the magic of lodge-to-lodge trekking with the challenges of topping Gokyo Ri (17,575′) and Renjo La Pass (17,585′). Take in breathtaking views of Everest and other iconic Himalayan peaks as you trek among high mountain villages filled with warm Sherpa hospitality. Enter Sagarmatha National Park and explore Gokyo Valley, with its turquoise, glacier-fed lakes, then soar to Gokyo Ri’s summit for spectacular panoramic views. After crossing Renjo La Pass and returning to Kathmandu’s cultural riches, you’ll agree that exploring this magical land is, indeed, the trip of a lifetime.
4. Nepal Mystical Mustang Trek Tour
Tucked behind the legendary Himalayan peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, the forbidden kingdom of Lo was isolated for centuries. This region of Nepal, now called Mustang, is the off-the-beaten-track getaway of your dreams. Our trek journeys through this remote land, where vast monasteries stand guard over pocket-sized villages and every ridge offers another arresting vista. With two days in the walled city of Lo Manthang, nearly untouched since the 14th century, you’ll be one of the few to discover this magnificent, well-preserved treasure. Enjoy comfortable camps in the heart of Mustang and a five-star hotel experience in Kathmandu.
Where are the best places to stay in Nepal?
Nepal is a stunning country with a rich cultural history, and there is an abundance of amazing places to stay. Whether travelers are looking for luxury accommodations or budget-friendly options, there is something for everyone.
Most of our trips include scenic and comfortable mountain accommodations in Nepalese inns and lodges, plus nights at the comfortable Yak & Yeti Hotel in Kathmandu.
1. Yak & Yeti Hotel – Kathmandu
A five-star oasis in the heart of Kathmandu, the Yak & Yeti is the perfect blend of contemporary international standards and time-honored Nepali tradition. Guests will find refuge among antique fountains, gilded temples, and emerald gardens while enjoying a state-of-the-art gymnasium, spa features, shopping arcades, atrium, tennis courts, and swimming pools.
2. Everest Summit Lodge – Lukla
Lying at the very gateway to mighty Mount Everest, the Everest Summit Lodge in Lukla has spacious, comfortably furnished rooms with en-suite facilities. The natural stone facade is complemented by a lovely sunny garden, and its traditionally appointed interior makes for a very warm welcome to arriving guests.
3. Dwarika’s Hotel – Kathmandu
Dwarika’s Hotel is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of Kathmandu, Nepal. With its exceptional service, warm hospitality, and modern amenities, it is the perfect place for visitors to unwind and experience the city. The hotel offers elegant guest rooms and suites, and a range of on-site restaurants, spa treatments, and recreational facilities.
Things to know about Nepal
Nepal is a small landlocked country tucked away in the Himalayas, between India and China. It is known for its majestic mountains, including the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. Nepal is home to over 125 ethnic groups and has two official languages, Nepali and English. Its culture is a mix of Hinduism and Buddhism.
What is the language in Nepal?
Nepal is a multilingual country with over 123 languages spoken by its citizens. The official language of Nepal is Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language, but other languages are also widely spoken throughout the country. These include Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Magar, Tamang, and Newar, all of which are Indo-Aryan languages, as well as Tibeto-Burman languages like Sherpa and Tamang. English is also widely spoken in Nepal, particularly in Kathmandu, the capital city, and is used as a lingua franca among speakers of different languages.
What to eat in Nepal?
The cuisine of Nepal is an amalgamation of various cultures and traditions. It is a unique blend of spices, flavors, and ingredients, reflecting the diverse climate and geography of the country. Common ingredients in Nepalese cuisine include rice, lentils, and spices such as cardamom, cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Meat, fish, and vegetables are also commonly used, and dishes tend to be mild in flavor.
What is the currency in Nepal?
The local currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Check out www.xe.com for current exchange rates. Money can be exchanged at the airport upon arrival or can be withdrawn from ATMs throughout Kathmandu. Please keep in mind, however, that technology failures are common. Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are accepted at hotels and larger shops, but less so at smaller shops.
What is the electricity in Nepal?
Nepal is on the 230V system. Check the voltage on your personal electronics chargers to determine if you need a voltage converter. Nepal uses Type C, D and M outlets. A good resource to see images of plug types is www.power-plugs-sockets.com.
What is the time zone in Nepal?
Nepal is located in the Nepal Time Zone, which is a 545-minute offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This time zone is also known as NPT (Nepal Time). Nepal Time is observed throughout the country and is used to calculate the official time in the country. It is located in the north-central part of the continent, and is bordered by India in the south and China in the north.
What to wear in Nepal?
Dressing in layers is the key to staying comfortable throughout the day in Nepal, especially while trekking. Your innermost layer should be your base layer (long underwear), if necessary. “Expedition weight” base layers are recommended for early spring and late fall departures. The middle layer should be your shirt and hiking pants. The outermost layer should keep you warm and dry – such as a fleece/down jacket and waterproof, breathable rain jacket and rain pants. We suggest that you layer with synthetic clothing. Synthetic fabrics are the most effective barriers against cold and wet weather conditions. They provide the best insulation, are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and dry quickly if wet. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable. We strongly discourage the use of cotton garments in cold or wet mountain conditions. On hot, sunny days, cotton is acceptable, but you should always have synthetic or wool/synthetic layers with you, in case the weather changes.