Nepal Backpacking Budget

cost of travel in Nepal

(Map of Nepal from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Nepal on a Shoestring Budget

US$20 | 215 Nepalese Rupees

Our Nepal backpacking budget of just $20 per day may not sound a lot but it’s perfectly manageable if you’re a shoestring traveller not looking for much more than to travel around the country whilst experiencing the local culture. Dorm beds and even private rooms shouldn’t set you back more than the equivalent of $5 per night and with local restaurants and local transport also dirt cheap, you should have a bit left-over every day for day-time activities or a few drinks in the evening.

See where Nepal ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable Nepal Backpacker Budget

US$30 | 325 Nepalese Rupees

Nepal’s tourism is largely centred around trekking and it does attract a fair amount of wealthy visitors as well as backpackers. As a result there are facilities to cater for them in some areas, which can provide you with some temptation to stray above $20/day. By extending your budget to $30 you can add a little bit of luxury into your trip by staying in nicer hotels and dining out at more tourist-geared restaurants from time to time. It will also give you more room to do extra trips and visit more of the best trekking trails, which typically cost $20 to enter.

However if you are looking for more organised trekking expeditions, which is highly recommended if you’re not experienced, then even this budget won’t cover for that. The costs can be quite high for guided trips and to reach the highest points in the Himalayas, it will take many days, which clearly is going to be quite expensive.

If trekking is likely to be the main or a major focus of your trip then use these budgets for the days you won’t be trekking and find a good company for the days you will and research the costs in advance. Here are 10 of the best treks in Nepal along with an idea of the pricing.

Sample Prices in Nepal

Minibus from Kathmandu to Pokhara (roughly 5 hours) – $3.50

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – $1.50

0.5 Litre local beer in a bar or restaurant – $2

Dorm bed in Kathmandu – from $4

Typical room in a guesthouse across the country – $5 (slightly more in Kathmandu)

Trekking permits for most trails – $20

These prices are as of December 2016.

Compare Nepal prices to the cost of travel in India.


Currency – Nepalese Rupee

£1 = 135 NPR

€1 = 114 NPR

US$1 = 108 NPR

(All exchange rates are correct as of December 2016)

MFT Recommends

Definitely get some travel insurance as the risk of getting ill here is higher and public healthcare facilities are of a questionable standard! We suggest using World Nomads.

Street art in Nepal

street art in Kathmandu, Nepal (via Sharon and Peter KomidarCC BY-NC 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Nepal recently, help your fellow travellers out by sharing your typical daily costs in the comments section below 😉

This article was published in December 2016.

Sri Lanka Backpacking Budget

Sri Lanka Backpacking Budget

(Map of Sri Lanka from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Daily Travel Costs in Sri Lanka on a Shoestring Budget

US$25 | 3700 Sri Lankan Rupees

Most travellers in Sri Lanka have been or are going to go to India so it’s useful to compare it to the cost of travel in India. The general consensus seems to be that Sri Lanka is marginally more expensive than India but not by an enormous margin. One of the reasons for that is that Sri Lanka hasn’t traditionally been viewed as a big backpacker destination and as such doesn’t really have as much to cater for them. For example budget hostels with dorm beds are less plentiful so you may end up spending a slightly more on accommodation in Sri Lanka. The cost of other things is fairly similar although entrance fees to major sites do also tend to be higher. A realistic Sri Lanka backpacking budget might therefore be considered to be around $25.

See where Sri Lanka ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

More Comfortable Sri Lanka Backpacker Budget

US$35 | 5000 Sri Lankan Rupees

Sri Lanka does have a big tourist industry so there are lots of things that cost a little bit more that might get you tempted to stray from a shoestring budget. For $35 you can stay in better places on the nicer beaches and eat in some really very good restaurants. It will also allow you to visit more sites and temples, a few of which have ridiculously high entrance fees, which most tourists in the country won’t think twice about paying but budget travellers might find them to be a real nuisance.

Sample Prices in Sri Lanka

Train from Colombo to Kandy (4 hours) – $2 for 2nd class seat, $4 for 1st class AC seat

Dorm bed in budget hostel – from $5

Cheap private twin or double room – from $10

Meal in a budget restaurant – $2

3 course meal in a decent restaurant (mid-range) – $6

Large local beer in a bar/restaurant – $1.50

Entrance to the Sigiriya Rock – 4200 LKR ($28)


Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee

£1 = 216 Rupees

€1 = 165 Rupees

US$1 = 148 Rupees

(All exchange rates are correct as of June 2016)

MFT Recommends

Get some travel insurance! World Nomads specialise in providing cover for backpackers.

street art in Galle, Sri Lanka

street art in Galle, Sri Lanka (via KenC1983CC BY-ND 2.0)

Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Sri Lanka recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉

This article was published in June 2016.