According to Nepal government statistics, just over 800,000 foreigners traveled to Nepal in 2011. Though the exact figure is not available, every year thousands of foreigners travel to Nepal to work and live. Living cost in Nepal is very cheap. You can get a hotel room in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, for as little as US$15 per night, breakfast costs US$3, and you can get lunch or dinner for as little as US$5. However, this does not mean you don’t get quality service. International hotel chains like De La, Le Meridian, and Hyatt operate hotels in Nepal.
Nepal government offers different types of visa.
Diplomatic Visa is offered to the employees of foreign embassies.
Tourist Visa is granted to any foreigners who wish to visit the country.
Non-tourist Visa is granted to the foreigners who wish to work in the social and economic developments projects, those who are representatives of international media, or foreigners who work in the international agencies.
Business Visa is offered to the foreigners who intend to do business in Nepal, and those who have obtained license to make investment in Nepal.
Residential Visa is granted to the foreigners who intend to stay in Nepal, persons with international reputation, or person who has invested minimum of one thousand dollars.
Non-residential Nepali Visa is granted to any foreigners with Nepalese origin.
Study Visa is granted to the foreigners who have obtained approval from Nepal government to study in Nepal.
Transit Visa is offered to the foreigners who are willing to use Nepal's airport to visit another country.
How to get visa to Nepal
It is easy to get into Nepal. You can obtain visa upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, or Nepal-China and Nepal-India land border crossings. Make sure you have photos and US dollars to pay for visa fee. Your passport must have at least six months of validity and a free page for the stamp. Nepal government grants different types of visa. You can download visa application form from Nepalese embassy in Washington DC (www.nepalembassyusa.org) or London (www.nepalembassy.org.uk)
Visa fees for the tourist visa
If you are from the SAARC countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, and Bhutan), and China you do not have to pay visa fees. Children below the age of 10 need a visa to travel to Nepal, but the entry is free.
US$ 25 for 15 days stay
US$40 for 30 days stay
US$100 for 90 days stay
You can change your single-entry visa to multiple-entry visa (if you are considering to visit Nepal’s neighbors) by paying additional US$20.
Note:charges vary for other types of visas.
When your visa expires, you can extend visa for fifteen days from immigration offices in Kathmandu and Pokhara at the cost of US$30 (payable in local currency), and plus US$2 for every day you stay in Nepal.
If you are planning to stay in Nepal for a long time, it is advisable to get 90-day visa. Nepal government does not allow foreigners to stay for more than 150 days on a tourist visa in a single calendar year. For the initial 120 days, you can simply extend visa by paying the extension fees, but to stay more than 120 days, you are required to show the return air ticket.
To extend your visa you need your passport, visa fee, one photo and application form. You can apply for visa extension in the immigration offices, Sundays through Friday (Sunday is working day in Nepal) 10 am to 4:30 pm. If you apply before 2 pm, you can get the extension on the same day.
Immigration offices are located at Exhibition Road in Kathmandu, and Ratna Chowk in Pokhara. There is no provision to apply online for visa extensions.
According to 1950 Nepal-India Friendship Treaty, Indians do not need a visa to travel to Nepal, and Nepalis do not need visa to get into India.
You can also directly apply for visa in Nepalese embassy in your country. If there is no Nepalese embassy in your country, you can visit the embassies in other countries.
For visa details log on to www.immi.gov.np
How to travel to Nepal via air
Traveling to Nepal could be relatively expensive because Nepal is not on the major transit routes. There are no direct long distance flights from Europe, Americas or the Australasia. You have to stop in East Asia or Middle East.
From Asian countries
The most popular route to Nepal is from Thailand. Thai Airways and Nepal Airlines, Nepal’s flagship carrier, operates daily flights from Bangkok to Kathmandu. Other convenient flights to Nepal are from Honk Kong, Kuala Lumpur (Indonesia), Singapore, Seoul (South Korea), Guangzhou (China), New Delhi/Mumbai (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Islamabad (Pakistan), Qatar and Dubai.
Flying to Nepal from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can cost as little as UD$120, whereas air tickets to Nepal from East Asian countries cost approximately US$500.
From Australia and New Zealand
You can fly to Nepal from Australia and New Zealand through Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul, and New Delhi. Air tickets from Australasia costs around US$1000.
From Canada and USA
Nepal is just on the opposite side of the globe from North America. You can either choose eastern or western route. However, taking the western route is relatively cheap. If you want to travel to Nepal from Canada, make East Asia as your transit point. Flying from Vancouver to Kathmandu via Europe and Middle East is relatively expensive compared to East Asia transit. When you are flying from the United States, you can make a change in New Delhi, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore or Seoul. Jet Airways can take you from New York with stops in Brussels and New Delhi. Air tickets to Nepal from North America cost around US$1200.
Etihad, Gulf and Qutar Airlines operate easy flights from the UK to Kathmandu with a change in the Middle East. However, the most convenient flight from London to Kathmandu is via Jet Airways with a stop in New Delhi. Etihad, Gulf and Qatar and Jet Airlines operate convenient flights from Paris, Frankfurt and other cities with a stoppage in Middle East and New Delhi. Air ticket costs approximately US$1000.
How to travel to Nepal via land
You can get into Nepal from India through five border crossing. And there is only one land route to Nepal from Tibet. Nepal government allows foreigners to bring their own vehicles but they are required to show international driving permits to the officials.
If you look at the map of Nepal, you can see the country is brick shaped. India is on the three sides and Tibet is on the northern side.
Following are the border crossings between India and Nepal. The amount you pay to reach Kathmandu from these border crossings range from US$8 to US$25.
Sunauli is the most popular border crossing between Nepal and India. Lots of foreigners who get into Nepal through land choose this crossing point. If you are in New Delhi, you have to travel 22 hours in a train to Gorakhpur, from Gorakhpur Sunauli is three hours drive. Sunauli is close to Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. From Sunauli you can either go to Bhairawha, which is one hour drive, and then take 35 minutes flight to Kathmandu; or board a bus that will take you to Kathmandu in 8 hours.
Kakarbhitta is the eastern border crossing which connects Nepal to Indian cities like Darjeeling, Kolkata and Sikkim. Karkabhitta to Kathmandu is 17 hours bus drive. But it is advisable to make stoppage at Narayanghat and then go to Chiwtan National Park.
Mahendranagar, the far western town in Nepal, is the most convenient border crossing if you are in New Delhi and want to travel to Nepal. There are regular buses from New Delhi to Mahendranagar. Mahendranagar to Kathmandu is 15 hours in a bus. If you want something exciting, you can stop at Bardiya National Park on the way to Kathmandu.
Nepaljung is another border crossing. The nearest Indian town from Nepaljung is Lucknow. From Nepaljung regular day or night buses are operated. If you want to fly to Kathmandu, it will take you 45 minutes.
Raxaul-Birjung border crossing is an easy route if you are entering Nepal from Kolkata or Patna. Patna to Raxual is eight hours bus drive, from Kolkata it is 16 hours. You can board a day or night bus service in Birjung and reach to Kathmandu in eight hours.
Getting into Nepal from Tibet can really be challenging because of high altitude and volatile political situations in Tibet. From Lasha in Tibet to the Tatopani border crossing in Nepal is a difficult journey and the highway is often closed during rainy season (May-August). On the way to Kathmandu from Tatopani, you can stop at Bhote Koshi River for lifetime experience of bungee jump over the Bhote Koshi gorge.
Traveling inside Nepal
Nepal is a mountainous country. Though the cities in the hills and plains are well connected with roads, settlements in the mountains are isolated. However, Nepal has intricate network of air routes. You can not only fly over Mount Everest, but also land on Tenzing-Hillary Airport, which is one of the world’s most dangerous airports.
Aviation in Nepal is heavily depended on weather conditions, sometimes foreigners are stranded for weeks in the mountains. So, you should be careful while flying in rainy season and during the winter.
You can also hire motorbikes or cars, but remember to drive on the left hand side of the road.
There are no Trains inside Nepal.
Olivia on January 20, 2013:
I have volunteered in Nepal, it was a wonderful experience.
Rose on January 20, 2013:
Very useful article on travelling to Nepal.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on October 02, 2012:
I'm glad that you found this hub helpful. Thanks for appreciating my photos.
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on October 01, 2012:
This is really helpful information on visiting Nepal, and as always, beautiful photos. I always want to travel to the places in your photographs! Voted up and shared!
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on September 12, 2012:
Hi agusfanani, 8 of the worlds 14 highest mountains are in Nepal.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
agusfanani from Indonesia on September 09, 2012:
the pictures you present in this hub give me impressions that Nepal is a very beautiful country. I hope I can visit Nepal someday.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on July 01, 2012:
Thank you my dear fellow writers for reading and leaving substantial comment. I'm grateful and honored to have you as my readers.
Nell Rose from England on July 01, 2012:
Hi Vinaya, this was absolutely beautiful, the photos were stunning, I especially liked the one with the lady and the rice, and the information is really good for travelers, I really enjoyed reading this, in fact I wanted to read more! lol! voted up and definitely sharing, thanks nell
Debby Bruck on July 01, 2012:
Hello Vinaya ~ Superb and excellent Hub, as usual. Well written, informative, beautifully illustrated photographs. Many more people will want to visit Nepal after reading this travel article. Blessings my friend, Debby
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on July 01, 2012:
Hi Anil, Nepal is predominantly Hindu, but the country is also the birth place of the Buddha. Most of the temples in Nepal are constructed in pagoda style.
Thanks for visiting my page.
Anil from Kerala on July 01, 2012:
Very good work,I like to visit Nepal,because Nepal is a beautiful country.It's culture is related to Buddism.We can see different 'Pagodas'here. am i correct?
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 29, 2012:
Christy, thanks for reading and leaving a nice comment.
Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on June 29, 2012:
What great details you include in this article Vinaya. I do like that you include travel from Canada, I actually live close to Vancouver which you mention in the article. I like your photos, beautiful sights. I vote up and will share here and on Twitter too.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 27, 2012:
My photo is recent and I have not trekked much. I'm so much delighted to read your comment.
Andy Aitch from UK & South East Asian Region on June 27, 2012:
Ref: Maybe we could trek in Annapurna Circuit together.
Ha, ha, LOL :) I might be fit for my age Vinaya (I walk in the mountain jungles of Thailand most days these past months), but if you're photo is recent, you're a spring chicken compared to me, and I feel i would hold you back big time.
But you never know ;-) Watch this space.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 26, 2012:
Hello Andy, I'm delighted to know that you have already traveled to Nepal. Maybe we could trek in Annapurna Circuit together. Cheers
Andy Aitch from UK & South East Asian Region on June 26, 2012:
What a beautiful collection of photos Vinaya, especially your opening shot of mount Everest.
In November 1990 i spent just under a month trekking through the Khumbu Himalya (also known as the Everest Region), and this blog has had me question why i haven't returned in so long.
I'm over 50 now, so a big trek for Nepal's Annapurna circuit is now on my bucket list :)
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 25, 2012:
@Audra, I'm glad that you like my style. Tradition of Kumari is more than two hundred years old. I hope to tell this legend someday. Thanks for reading and commenting.
@yash, it is monsoon time in Nepal. Since there will be plenty of rainfall at this time of the year, I recommend you to visit Nepal October to May. Thanks for your comment.
yash1957 on June 24, 2012:
Hello Vinaya you have provided very good information about tourist places and how to reach there I would like to visit . Pl inform which is the proper time to visit Nepal and your contact details Vinay Mishra Bilaspur CG INDIA 919407995434
iamaudraleigh on June 24, 2012:
Vinaya, I like your writing style. However, I really enjoy your pictures! My favorite one is of "A girl dressed as Living Goddess Kumari. Nepali culture is rich and vibrant. "! I would love to see a story about that picture! Voted that up for sure!
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 22, 2012:
Hi unknown spy, thanks for your compliments.
Life Under Construction from Neverland on June 21, 2012:
Voted up useful and interesting.. Very informative hub especially for those people who wants to travel to nepal.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 21, 2012:
Hello lovedoc, thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
lovedoctor926 on June 20, 2012:
This is very good information and well-researched. I'm surprised at how affordable everything is up there.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 19, 2012:
@tirelesstraveler, thanks for stopping by.
@Vellur, thanks for reading and and leaving appreciative comment.
@mckbirdbks, you are a wonderful community member. Thanks for always being around.
mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on June 18, 2012:
Very beautiful hub; you have this packed with valuable information. Your hubs are very diverse.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 18, 2012:
A beautiful hub. You have made it very easy for people who want to visit Nepal. Nepal is really beautiful, great photos.
Judy Specht from California on June 17, 2012:
Photo of Everest is amazing.
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 17, 2012:
@always exploring, thanks for your comment.
@teaches, I'm glad that my hub made you want to visit Nepal. Thanks for your comment.
@Troyangeluk, thanks for your appreciative comment.
Troyangeluk from UK on June 17, 2012:
This is very helpful, always wanted to go to Napal and plan to someday. Great pics, many thanks for sharing :)
Dianna Mendez on June 16, 2012:
This makes me want to visit there some day. Great post on how to make the best visit to Nepal. Your sharing of the best routes is a great add to the content. Well done!
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 16, 2012:
You are such a diplomat for your beautiful country, Thank you...
Vinaya Ghimire (author) from Nepal on June 16, 2012:
@Kelley, I'm glad that you consider this useful. perhaps we could meet in Kathmandu. Thanks for your comment.
@Suzie, thanks for your generous compliments.
@chef-de-jour, Nepal is basically agrarian economy, but tourism, industries, hydropower and many other also contribute to the economy. Life of people is very diverse, when you travel to village from cities, you will be hurled into 200 years back. Thanks for reading and taking interest in Nepal.
@Jackie, thanks for consedering this hub useful. Thanks for your comment.
@Rajan, thanks for reading and commenting.
@Angel, you can fly to Bangkok or Singapore form your country and take a direct flights.
@Radha, people in the US can board flights to new Delhi, and form New Delhi, Nepal is just one hour flight.
@tirelesstraveler, I'm glad that you consider this hub worthy to share. Thanks
Judy Specht from California on June 16, 2012:
Friends are going to Nepal next month. I will pass this information on. I believe they have been there before.
radhapriestess on June 16, 2012:
Excellent article on the topic. Beautiful photos and country. So people in USA need to fly to Canada to get there.
Angelme566 on June 15, 2012:
Oh my i admire you having that spirit of nationalism , patriotism !! Your country must be proud of you , promoting your tourism ! May i write your government requesting them to give an accolade for such deed ! You deserve a recognition for this.. Great hub brilliant , patriotic writer !
p.s. so its not difficult to enter your country and am amazed so many visitors visiting your country , that means such a beautiful , peaceful place..Would you care to invite ?
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 15, 2012:
Vinaya, very informative and useful hub. The photos are awesome.
Voted up, useful and interesting. Shared it too.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 15, 2012:
This is a wonderful hub; there is so much to know when traveling and we want to know all we need to know not to run into any complications. Nepal is so beautiful, I would love to visit there.
Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on June 15, 2012:
Wonderful. Many thanks for this.
Nepal must have so many mountain communities but how do they survive?
Are they still basically farmers with goats and cows and some crops? Are there many leaving the mountains for the city life?
It would be good to know there are some still living in the old ways and not being too pressurised by the advance of the modern world!
I know the families are strong in Nepal. Does this mean the remote villages are too?
Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 15, 2012:
Your Comment... excellent article, really enjoyed it. Fantastic photos add to the interesting and well researched subject! Voted up!
kelleyward on June 15, 2012:
Vinaya, this is an excellent hub on how to get a visa and so much more! Nepal looks like a beautiful place. I hope I get to visit there someday. Voted up, beautiful, and shared! Kelley