Nepal is a landlocked country situated in South Asia, bordered by India to the south and China to the north. It has a population of approximately 29 million people and its capital city is Kathmandu. Nepal is known for its diverse geography, including the Himalayan mountain range, which includes Mount Everest, which is with a height of 8,848 meters the highest peak in the world.
Nepal is also home to the deepest canyon on earth at 4,375 meters called Kali Canyon. Over the last few years, Nepal invested in telecommunication and you can find good wifi even in unexpected places.
For digital nomads, Nepal is a great destination due to its easy visa process, stable internet connectivity, growing tech community, low cost of living, as well as peaceful and diverse culture.
🌱 Travel health insurance for Nepal
🇳🇵Entry requirements for Nepal
- Valid visa: Nepal offers visas on arrival for up to 90 days. A 90-day visa costs 125 USD and is extendable with an extra fee for another 15 days.
✈️ How to get to Nepal
- Plane: Currently Nepal has only one international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) which is located in the Kathmandu valley. The airport offers direct flights to major Asian hubs such as Delhi, Tokyo, or Bangkok. The only direct connection from Kathmandu to Europe is via Istanbul. The city of Kathmandu center is around 5 kilometers from the airport. You can choose to take a taxi (3 Euro) or the bus (0.15 Euro)
🏡 How to find a place
- Hotels: Depending on which country you are coming from, Nepal provides a pretty affordable range of hotels. You can get decent accommodation for 20 Euro per night.
- Airbnb: You find good rentals on Airbnb, but it's a limited list when it comes to quantity. Prices can vary but are generally around 500 Euro per month for a modern and private apartment.
- Coliving: When you consider coliving, check out Pokhara Coworking and Coliving.
🚌 Public transport in Nepal
- Buses: Buses are the most common form of public transport in Nepal. They are cheap and run frequently, making them a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. However, buses can be crowded and uncomfortable, and they may not always run on time.
- Microbuses: Microbuses are smaller than regular buses and typically run on shorter routes. They are generally faster and more comfortable than buses, but they can also be more expensive.
- Taxis: Taxis are widely available in major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. They are more expensive than buses or microbuses, but they offer greater comfort and convenience, especially for longer journeys.
- Rickshaws: Rickshaws are three-wheeled vehicles that are used for short trips within cities. They are slower than other forms of transport, but they are also cheaper and provide a more local experience.
- Motorcycles: Especially for exploring areas outside of major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara it's also common to rent motorcycles. Keep in mind, that Nepal's roads can be quite challenging to navigate, with steep mountainous terrain, unpaved roads, and unpredictable traffic. It's crucial to have experience riding motorcycles and to exercise caution when riding in Nepal.
🏘 Where to stay in Kathmandu
- Thamel: Thamel is the most popular tourist area in Kathmandu, known for its lively streets, vibrant atmosphere, and diverse range of accommodations. There are many hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in Thamel, as well as numerous restaurants, cafés, and shops.
- Lazimpat: Lazimpat is a residential area located to the north of Kathmandu, known for its upscale hotels and restaurants. It is a quieter area compared to Thamel but still offers easy access to the city center and major tourist attractions.
- Patan: Patan is a historic city located to the south of Kathmandu, known for its ancient temples, palaces, and courtyards. It offers a more traditional and quieter atmosphere compared to the bustling city center, and there are several hotels and guesthouses in the area. The area is family-friendly with cafes, boutiques, and international schools, but also coworking spaces and nightlife venues.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Kathmandu
- Work Around: Work Around is a popular coworking space located in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. It offers high-speed internet, ergonomic chairs, private meeting rooms, and free coffee and tea. Work Around also organizes networking events and workshops for its members. The price for a dedicated desk is 43 Euro per month.
- Communitere: The coworking space is located in the Patan area of Kathmandu. It offers a spacious and modern workspace, high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and an onsite cafe. Communitere also hosts community events and workshops. The monthly rent for a hot desk is 43 Euro.
- Chez Caroline: Chez Caroline is a charming French-style café located in the Jhamsikhel area of Kathmandu. They offer free wifi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxed, making it a great place to work or study.
- Himalayan Java: Himalayan Java is a popular cafe chain with several locations in Kathmandu. They offer high-speed wifi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The atmosphere is relaxed and conducive to work, making it a great option for digital nomads and freelancers.
- Northfield Cafe: Northfield Cafe is a spacious and airy cafe located in the Lazimpat area of Kathmandu. They offer free wifi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The cafe also has a separate area for working and studying, with plenty of power outlets.
🏘 Where to stay in Pokhara
- Lakeside: Lakeside is the most popular area for tourists in Pokhara, and it's also a great place for digital nomads. The area is located by the scenic Phewa Lake and has a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and accommodation options. Lakeside has good internet connectivity and a laid-back atmosphere, making it a great place to work and relax.
- Damside: Damside is a quieter area located just a few minutes walk from Lakeside. The area is more residential and less touristy, but still has a good selection of cafes and restaurants. Damside has good internet connectivity and a peaceful atmosphere, making it a great option for digital nomads who prefer a quieter environment.
- Pardi: Pardi is a quieter area located on the outskirts of Pokhara, around 15 minutes drive from Lakeside. The area has good internet connectivity and a peaceful atmosphere, making it a great option for digital nomads who prefer a more rural environment. Pardi has a few cafes and restaurants, although the selection is more limited than in Lakeside.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in Pokhara
- Pokhara Co-Working: Additionally to a coliving space, you can enjoy their modern and professional coworking space with single cabins, group rooms, or hot desk solutions. The monthly price for a hot desk is 56 Euro.
- Gyan Hub: The modern and professional coworking space offers comfy seating, an innovative interior, outdoor areas, and regular events and meetups. Membership for one month costs 71 Euro.
- Browndesk co-working space: The community focussed coworking space is centrally located and in close distance to cafés and restaurants. They offer fast and reliable wifi, fully furnished workplaces, a nice roof-top, a mini library, and an on-site café. A monthly membership costs 29 Euro.
- Himalayan Java: The popular cafe chain has several locations in Nepal, including one in Lakeside Pokhara. They offer high-speed Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The atmosphere is relaxed and conducive to work, making it a great option for digital nomads and freelancers.
- Karma Coffee: Karma Coffee is a cozy and welcoming cafe located in the Lakeside area of Pokhara. They offer free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The cafe also has a small library and a rooftop terrace with a great view of the city.
- OR2K: The vegetarian restaurant and café are located in the Lakeside area of Pokhara. They offer free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a range of food and drink options. The atmosphere is relaxed and bohemian, making it a great option for working or studying.
- Caffe Concerto: Caffe Concerto is a stylish cafe located in the Lakeside area of Pokhara. They offer free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a range of coffee, tea, and snacks. The atmosphere is modern and chic, making it a great option for working or studying.
🚊 How to travel around
- Domestic flights: Domestic flights are a quick and convenient way to travel long distances in Nepal. Nepal Airlines, Yeti Airlines, and Buddha Air are some of the airlines that connect major cities such as Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, and Nepalgunj.
- Buses: Buses are the most common mode of transportation in Nepal, and they connect almost every part of the country. There are local buses, tourist buses, and deluxe buses that operate on different routes. Local buses are the cheapest option, while tourist and deluxe buses are more comfortable and offer better amenities.
- Motorcycles: Motorbikes and scooters are popular types of transportation. Both, locals and tourists alike drive scooters. They offer the freedom to explore remote areas and scenic routes. You can rent motorbikes and scooters in major tourist destinations such as Kathmandu and Pokhara. On average you can expect to pay a daily fee between 10 and 15 Euro.
- Mount Everest: The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest is a popular attraction for adventure seekers and mountaineers. You can take a scenic flight from Kathmandu to see the peak of Mount Everest or trek to the base camp. From Kathmandu, you can also take a flight to Lukla, a small town in the Khumbu region, which serves as the gateway to Mount Everest. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla takes around 30 minutes and offers stunning views of the Himalayas. Once you reach Lukla, you can start trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp. The trek to base camp takes around 12 to 14 days, depending on the route you choose and your fitness level. The trek passes through remote villages, lush forests, and high mountain passes, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas. Have in mind that the trek to the base camp requires some planning and preparation.
- Kathmandu Durbar Square: Located in the heart of Kathmandu, Kathmandu Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular attraction for tourists. The square features several temples, palaces, and shrines, showcasing the Newari architecture and culture.
- Pokhara: Pokhara is a scenic city located in central Nepal and is known for its stunning views of the Himalayas and tranquil lakes. It is a popular destination for adventure activities such as paragliding, trekking, and mountain biking.
- Chitwan National Park: Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to endangered species such as the Bengal tiger, the one-horned rhinoceros, and the Asian elephant. The journey takes around 6 to 7 hours by car from Kathmandu and 4 to 5 hours from Pokhara. For foreign visitors, the entrance fee is 30 USD for a single-day visit, 50 USD for a two-day visit, and 100 USD for a seven-day visit.
- Lumbini: Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The site features several monasteries, temples, and historical landmarks, making it a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims and history enthusiasts. The nearest airport to Lumbini is Gautam Buddha Airport, located in Bhairahawa, which is around 22 km from Lumbini. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Lumbini. There is no entrance fee to visit Lumbini, but some of the temples and monasteries may charge a small fee for entry or donations.
- Bhaktapur Durbar Square: The UNESCO World Heritage Site is around 13 kilometers east of Kathmandu and is a popular attraction for tourists. The square features several temples, palaces, and courtyards, showcasing the Newari architecture and culture. The entrance fee for foreign visitors is around 11 Euro.
💡Good to know
- Internet: The average internet speed in Nepal for fixed broadband is 50,64 Mbps download and 47,16 Mbps upload.
- Sim cards: As a tourist in Nepal, you can purchase a prepaid SIM card from one of the major mobile network providers which is Nceel. Nepal Telecom or Smart Telecom. You can purchase a prepaid SIM card at the airport or any mobile network provider's store by providing a copy of your passport and a passport-sized photograph to complete the registration process. Generally, you can expect to pay between NPR 100 to 500 (approximately 0.80 Euro to 4 Euro) for a basic SIM card with a nominal amount of credit.
- Currency: The Nepalese rupee (NPR) is the official currency of Nepal. 1 Euro is around 141 NPR.
Socket types: Types C, D, and Type M.
- Digital Nomads: The digital nomad community in Nepal is still relatively small. The small community is friendly and welcoming and supportive to new arrivals. With the growing popularity of remote work and the increasing number of infrastructure developments in the country, Nepal is likely to attract more digital nomads in the future.
- Climate: Nepal has a diverse climate, ranging from tropical in the southern plains to alpine in the mountainous regions. The best time to visit Nepal is during the dry season, from October to May.
- Health: It is important to take precautions when traveling to Nepal, including getting vaccinated and taking appropriate measures to prevent altitude sickness if trekking in the mountains. It is also recommended to avoid drinking tap water and to only consume bottled or filtered water.
- Etiquette: Nepali culture values politeness and respect. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering someone's home or a temple and to use your right hand when greeting or eating. It is also considered impolite to point your feet towards someone, as they are considered unclean in Nepali culture.
- Trekking and mountaineering: Nepal is home to some of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. The country is a popular destination for trekking and mountaineering, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
🚧 What to avoid
- Political demonstrations: Nepal has a history of political instability, and protests and demonstrations can occur. It is best to avoid political gatherings or demonstrations.
- Wildlife: Nepal is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers and rhinoceros. It is important to avoid getting too close to wild animals and to follow instructions from park rangers and tour guides.
- Public displays of affection: Nepali culture values modesty and public displays of affection, such as kissing or hugging, are not common. It is best to avoid such behavior in public.
- Religious sites: Nepal is home to many sacred religious sites, including temples and shrines. It is important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering religious sites.
- Street food: Street food is popular in Nepal, but it is recommended to be cautious when consuming food from street vendors. Make sure the food is cooked thoroughly and only drink bottled or filtered water.
- Drugs: The use and possession of drugs are strictly prohibited and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment.
🚴🏻♀️ How to stay healthy
- Trekking and hiking: Nepal is known for its spectacular mountains and trekking trails, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Popular trekking routes include the Everest Base Camp trek, Annapurna Circuit, and Langtang Valley trek.
- Yoga and meditation: Nepal is home to many yoga and meditation retreats, offering a chance to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body.
- Cycling: Cycling is a popular way to explore the Kathmandu Valley and other scenic areas in Nepal. There are also many mountain biking trails in the country.
- Healthy food: Nepal offers a variety of healthy food options, including vegetarian and vegan dishes, lentil soup (dal), and momos (dumplings). You can also find organic food and fresh juices in many restaurants and cafes.
- Stay hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated while in Nepal, especially at high altitudes. Make sure to drink plenty of water and carry a reusable water bottle.
- Water Quality: No, you should not drink tap water in Nepal.
- Air Quality: The air quality in Nepal is unhealthy for sensitive groups.