Travel Tips Nepal
Travel Advice Nepal | Travel Tips NepalMoneymatters
The currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). This is fixed to the Indian Rupee and is a soft currency, which means it cannot
be changed outside the country. It is fixed to the Indian Rupee at 100
IPR to 160 NPR.
It is best to bring a mixture of cash and travelers’ checks in major
currencies – USD, CAD, EUR, AUD – and ensure you have a mixture of large
and small denominations.
Exchange – Money may easily be exchanged at Kathmandu airport on
arrival and banks and licensed moneychangers in the cities (shop around
as at money changers, a small amount of bargaining can sometimes get a
more favorable rate). Bank rates and commission tend to vary. There are
many licensed moneychangers in Thamel and Pokhara, though anywhere else
is more difficult. The rates at the money changers is slightly lower
than banks, but their opening hours are longer and usually you don’t
have to queue. There are a number of banks that can provide money
transfers and foreign exchange. Standard Chartered is the only
international bank in Nepal and has several branches in Kathmandu and
Pokhara. Outside of Kathmandu and Pokhara however, banks are unlikely to
be able to provide these services.
Credit cards and ATMs – Credit card cash advances and ATM withdrawals
are in NPR only. ATM machines can be found in Kathmandu and Pokhara,
and other larger towns, but not in smaller places. Outside these places,
in general credit cards are not widely accepted and invariably payment
is processed using the paper slips, often with an additional charge of
How much you will need for shopping is difficult to predict, but most
people buy more than they plan to. If you want to buy quality art works
including hand-painted thangkas, carpets or traditional jewelry you can
easily spend USD200+ for top quality items.
All the major cities have internet access either in hotels or internet
cafes. In smaller places, you are unlikely to find the internet, though
at places like Manang, Namche Bazaar and at Tengboche – for a price –
you can access the internet (satellite connection). Expect connection
speeds to be slow.
International calls can be made from nearly all the centers you are
likely to visit except for when you’re rafting and trekking in the
remote regions. In Kathmandu, there are many ‘communication centers’
where you can call, send faxes and emails. A few places have internet
phone services that are much cheaper.
Mobile phone coverage is available but is very unreliable. Apart from
the sometimes patchy coverage (especially in the hilly and mountainous
areas), the network is overloaded, so its often very difficult to get
It is easy to get a Nepali SIM card in Kathmandu or Pokhara (bring a
photocopy of your passport and two passport photos). However coverage is
poor in many of the areas where you might go trekking. Even traveling
on the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara, there are many areas where
there’s no coverage.
Global roaming agreements exist with some international phone
companies. Check with your provider before leaving home if you wish to
Receiving post is not convenient as you are normally doing something or traveling during the opening hours of most post offices.
When posting mail to international addresses, it is best to leave
your mail at the post office rather than in a post box. In Kathmandu,
some bookshops sell stamps and will take your post to the post office
for you. Most hotels can also help you post your mail.