This post outlines the estimated cost of travel in Nepal. Read on for our suggested shoestring and more comfortable Nepal backpacking budgets for this fascinating country sandwiched between two regional giants – China and India. We also have some sample prices and info on using money while you are there.
Nepal Cost of Travel in 2023
Nepal on a Budget – How much do you need?
- $20/day | 2,600 Nepalese Rupee
For anyone backpacking Nepal on a low budget, plan on spending around 2,600 Nepalese Rupee per day. This shoestring budget should be enough to cover all your basic daily travel expenses including the cost of accommodation (hostel dorm bed), transport and meals. This sort of budget may be suitable for anyone who just wants to see the country without doing any very adventurous hikes that may require the services of a guide or need you to join a tour group.
Our Nepal backpacking budget of just $20 per day may not sound a lot but it’s perfectly manageable if you’re an experienced shoestring traveller. Dorm beds and potentially even budget private rooms shouldn’t set you back much more than the equivalent of $5 per night. Local restaurants and local transport are also very cheap by global standards, so you should have a bit left-over every day for day-time activities or the odd drink in the evening if that’s your thing.
More Comfortable Nepal Backpacking Budget
- $30/day | 3,900 Nepalese Rupee
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, some of which require special permits and fees.
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 that. The best things to do in The Himalayas can be quite expensive and to reach some of the highest points in the Himalayas, it can take many days.
If adventurous 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.
Nepal Travel Costs
|Approximate Price (in US Dollars)|
|Minibus from Kathmandu to Pokhara (roughly 5 hours)||From $7.50|
|Meal in an affordable local restaurant||$1.50-2.50|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||$1.50-2.50|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From $3/night|
|Budget private room||From $6/night|
|Visit to Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu||$3|
|Travel insurance for backpacking Nepal||Depends on age, length of trip & other factors – Get a quote from Heymondo in less than a minute!|
Compare Nepal backpacking prices with the cost of travel in India or our suggested Sri Lanka backpacking budget for an idea of how costs compare to other countries in the region. Overall, South Asia is great value for travellers but there are subtle differences between the countries when it comes to costs.
The price of travel insurance is also something to factor in for Nepal, as you may want pretty extensive cover if you’re going to be doing a lot of hiking and potentially riskier activities. Read more on how it can benefit you here: Do you need travel insurance to go backpacking?
Money – Nepalese Rupee
£1 = 160 NPR
€1 = 140 NPR
US$1 = 130 NPR
All exchange rates are correct as of April 2023. Nepal has a mostly cash-based culture, although contactless payments are accepted in some settings. ATM’s are plentiful in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but harder to find and less reliable in other towns. Carry plenty of cash if you’ll be heading off into more remote areas of Nepal.
This Nepal backpacking budget was last updated in April 2023.