To gain access to Nepal all travellers from foreign countries, apart from India, need to obtain a visa. These can be got at Nepali embassies overseas. More conveniently though, they can be got on the spot when you enter the country.
The currency used in Nepal is the Nepali rupee (Rs). This is divided into 100 paisa (p). Notes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000Rs. Coins in circulation are 5, 10, 25 and 50p.
The official language in Nepal is Nepali, although it’s diverse minority ethnic groups speak various other languages.
December to February are the coldest months. The warmest part of the year is spring, between March and May when the weather is warm, but there are showers also. Summer months from June to August are the monsoon months and September to November are cool, but the skies are clear and these are generally seen as the best months to go trekking.
When going to Nepal it is strongly advised that you take out travel insurance that will cover you medically as you could injure yourself while trekking. You can now purchase travel insurance on Hostelnepal.com. Click here for further details.
Vaccinations for a number of diseases including polio, tetanus and diphtheria are advised. Check with your local doctor before travelling.
Nepal is 5 hours and 45 minutes ahead of GMT, and 10 hours 45 minutes ahead of EST.
Government offices, Nepal banks, public banks and post offices are open from 10am-5pm (Sun-Thurs) and 10am-2pm (Friday only). They are closed on Saturdays. Shops generally open from 9am-8pm from Sunday to Friday. They are also closed on Saturdays. These times are relevant mainly for Kathmandu.
Promoting tourism in Nepal isn’t as big as in other countries. The national tourist board operates from an office in Kathmandu and you won’t pick up loads of glossy brochures.
The tax levy on goods in Nepal is 10%.
Money can be changed at banks and hotels as well as government run money changers which can have a lower rate of exchange than the banks. The ÙS dollar, pound sterling and Indian rupee are widely accepted as currency.
When making international calls from Nepal, dial 00 plus the international access code, area code (dropping the 0) and then the number.
When calling Nepal from abroad, it's international access code is 977. Then drop the 0 before the area code and then the local number.
Shops usually have public telephones, but some of them might not facilitate international phone calls. The best way to ring overseas is from a private call centre.
The postal service in Nepal isn’t the most reliable service in the world so don’t be surprised if your postcards don’t make it home. If what you post does get sent to it’s destined address it will take anything between 7-14 days to get there.
Tipping isn’t custom in Nepal but if you decide to, between 50Rs-100Rs should be enough.
Public holidays in Nepal are Prithvi Narayan Shah’s Birthday (10th January), Basant Panchami (January/February), Maha Shivaratri (February/March), Democracy Day (18th February), Biset Jatra (Nepali New Year – 13th/14th April), Janai Purnima (July/August), Teej (August/September), Indra Jatra (September/October), Dasain (September/October), Tihar (October/November), Queen’s Birthday (7th November), Constitution Day (15th December) and King’s Birthday (28th December).