Nepal’s budget: exploring the prices and expenses associated with traveling in Nepal!

What is the cost of going to Nepal? That truly depends on how you like to travel, what kinds of activities you enjoy doing, and how long your trip is going to be. But we’ll share our experiences and offer you an approximate idea of what to expect in this stunning country to help you understand the costs. We’ll go into detail about our travel expenses in Nepal in this blog article. We’ll also include a reasonable daily budget for those on a tight budget as well as those seeking a more luxurious experience. You can also find information on basic travel expenses in Nepal, such as food prices.

Is Nepal a decent choice for low-cost vacationers?

Of course! Nepal is one of the most reasonably priced places we have ever been to, with really reasonable prices. Hostels, dorms, and guesthouses are affordable and widely available forms of lodging. The cost of the food and beverages is likewise extremely affordable. Public transport is a cost-effective and efficient mode of transportation. Additionally, you’ll discover that the activities are reasonably priced; for example, parasailing starts at just 40 euros. All things considered, Nepal is an excellent choice for those trying to stretch their restricted funds.

Here’s a tip: If you embark on multi-day hikes in Nepal independently, it can be incredibly economical! During our two-week trek, the two of us spent no more than €40 per day (excluding permits), covering our accommodations and meals.

How much did we spend during our time in Nepal?

Well, before I delve into the specifics, it’s worth noting that everyone’s travel style and priorities are different. What worked for us might not necessarily be the same for someone else. So, while our expenses can offer some insight, keep in mind that your costs might vary.

During our four-week journey through Nepal, we dedicated a significant portion of our time to hiking, with about half of it spent on multi-day treks. We chose to organize these treks independently, without hiring guides or porters. However, if you opt for assistance, expect your daily expenses to rise, with guides typically charging around €25 per day and porters €15 per day.

In terms of transportation, we predominantly used public options, and for accommodation, we mostly stayed in guesthouses. While we usually booked private rooms, we occasionally shared bathroom facilities.

Budget and Spending in Nepal

Number of days in Nepal: 29
Total spending in Nepal: NPR 211.628/ €1.664,49/ $1.833,80
Expenditures per person in Nepal: NPR 105.815/ €832,25/ $916,90
Average daily spending in Nepal: NPR 7.298/ €57,40/ $63,24
Average daily spending per person in Nepal: NPR 3.649/ €28,70/ $31,62
Our daily budget for Nepal: NPR8.900/ €70/ $77,12
Did we stay within budget: yes!

All costs mentioned are for two individuals (unless otherwise specified) and are calculated using exchange rates applicable during our trip. These figures do not include the cost of our airfare to Nepal. The currencies used are NPR (Nepalese Rupee), Euro (€), and US Dollar ($).

How costly are accommodations in Nepal?: they account for 19.2% of the total budget in Nepal.

Total expenses amounted to NPR 40,595 / €319.29 / $351.77 for 29 nights.
The average price for an overnight stay for two people was NPR 1,399 / €11.01 / $12.13.

Hotels, guesthouses, and tea houses are remarkably affordable in Nepal. Paying just 11 euros per night for a double room is quite budget-friendly. We primarily stayed in private rooms with our bathroom facilities, except during the Annapurna circuit hike, where we occasionally shared a dorm and lacked private bathroom access.

Tip: At certain tea houses along the Annapurna Circuit, you may be able to stay for free if you dine (both dinner and breakfast) at the establishment. For instance, we enjoyed six nights of complimentary accommodation in this manner.

Transportation costs in Nepal accounted for 13.8% of the total budget spent in the country.

  • Total expenses: NPR 29,131 / €229.12 / $252.43
  • Taxi: NPR 6,409 / €50.41 / $55.54
  • Bus: NPR 5,638 / €44.35 / $48.86
  • Jeep: NPR 16,527 / €129.99 / $143.21
  • Boat: NPR 555.62 / €4.37 / $4.81

During our time in Nepal, we primarily relied on public transportation for our travels. There’s a variety of bus companies operating between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan, offering what are known as “tourist buses.” These buses are generally larger and more comfortable compared to the local ones.

While smaller buses are also available across the country, resembling the crowded vans seen in Africa, we opted against using them due to safety concerns. Unfortunately, Nepal sees a significant number of bus accidents each year, often involving local buses whose drivers tend to take more risks. In contrast, drivers of tourist buses prioritize safety, even if it means slightly longer travel times.

In cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara, taxis are readily available and convenient for short trips, without being too expensive. For journeys into the Himalayas, we occasionally rented jeeps with fellow travelers. This option provided a safer, faster, and more comfortable mode of transport compared to others available.

Food expenses in Nepal made up 46.4% of the total budget spent in the country.

  • Total expenses: NPR 98,136 / €771.86 / $850.37
  • Dining out and drinks at restaurants: NPR 86,133 / €677.45 / $746.36
  • Groceries: NPR 12,004 / €94.42 / $104.02

Indeed, a significant portion of our expenditures during our journey through Nepal went towards food, which is hardly surprising given the deliciousness of Nepalese cuisine! It’s worth noting that most hotels and guesthouses lack kitchen facilities, so dining out becomes the norm. However, this remains quite affordable. Whether enjoying a cheap street meal or dining at one of the many charming restaurants, there’s something to suit every budget. While it was possible to spend less on food, we savored every bite and found it to be well worth the expense!

Activities in Nepal accounted for 10.4% of the total budget spent in the country.

  • Total expenses: NPR 22,017 / €173.17 / $190.78
  • Hike permits: NPR 10,085 / €79.32 / $87.39
  • Yoga: NPR 3,922 / €30.85 / $33.99
  • Other: NPR 8,307 / €65.34 / $71.99

The majority of our activity-related spending went towards permits for the Annapurna Circuit. To embark on this hike, two permits are required: a TIMS card and an ACAP permit. Additionally, we participated in a food tour, visited some temples, and took yoga classes.

Other expenses accounted for 10.3% of the total budget spent in Nepal.

  • Total expenses: NPR 21,746 / €171.04 / $188.44
  • Calling credit: NPR 1,210 / €9.52 / $10.49
  • Visa: NPR 11,865 / €93.32 / $100
  • Clothes: NPR 1,251 / €9.84 / $10.84
  • Other: NPR 7,420 / €58.36 / $64.30

 Obtaining a visa to enter Nepal isn’t inexpensive, costing $50 per person. Additionally, we incurred expenses for laundry services, purchased new facial products (I’m particularly fond of Himalaya’s products), and bought some hiking gear.

Here are the prices for food and general travel expenses in Nepal:
  • 1 kilo of apples: NPR 150 / €1.18 / $1.3
  • 500 ml of olive oil: NPR 550 / €4.33 / $4.77
  • 1 bag of chips: NPR 245 / €1.93 / $2.12
  • 1 kilo of bananas: NPR 100 / €0.79 / $0.87
  • Yogurt (0.5L): NPR 70 / €0.55 / $0.61
  • 1 loaf of bread: NPR 100 / €0.79 / $0.87
  • 1 kilo of avocado: NPR 350 / €2.75 / $3.03
  • Milk (1L): NPR 240 / €1.89 / $2.08
  • Bottle of coke (0.5L): NPR 70 / €0.55 / $0.61
  • 500 grams of Nutella: NPR 1150 / €9.04 / $9.96
  • Bottle of water (1L): NPR 25 / €0.20 / $0.22
  • Bottle of wine in supermarket (750 ml): NPR 1700 / €13.37 / $14.73
  • Beer in the supermarket: NPR 335 / €2.63 / $2.90
  • Bottle of shampoo: NPR 300 / €2.36 / $2.60
  • Cappuccino: NPR 200 / €1.57 / $1.73
  • A glass of wine in a restaurant: NPR 500 / €3.93 / $4.33
  • Local beer in a restaurant: NPR 500 / €3.93 / $4.33
  • Simple lunch/dinner (1 person): NPR 500 / €3.93 / $4.33
  • 1 liter of diesel: NPR 107 / €0.85 / $0.93

What would be a practical daily budget for Nepal?

A practical daily budget for a backpacker in Nepal typically amounts to around €25 per person. This budget allows for traveling by public transport, staying in guesthouses or tea houses with private rooms, and primarily dining at local restaurants and enjoying street food, which is renowned for its deliciousness. It also accommodates the possibility of embarking on multi-day hikes within this budget, although hiring a guide and porter(s) is not included.

For those who prefer a bit of luxury and are willing to indulge in occasional treats like massages, quality coffee, or dining at upscale restaurants, a budget of €30 per person per day would be suitable.

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