How to get a tourist visa on arrival in Nepal.
How long does it take to get a Visa on Arrival in Nepal?
Is there an easier way?
Yes there is. You can go into a Nepalese office in your country of residence and apply in person. OR you can complete the form online, which means you avoid the crappy kiosk line. I do strongly recommend that you do this prior to entering Nepal. The trick here is that the online application can only be done 15 days before your arrival. The form is super simple, and you will need to upload a photo of yourself. There’s no online payment required. So you will need to print off the form and completed steps 2 & 3 above. This can easily save you up to 90mins of waiting time.
The cost of a visa on arrival for Nepal;
Getting Nepal Rupees in the airport.
You can easily exchange money in the airport. Prior to leaving the immigration area there is an official exchange desk and an ATM if needed. We found his rates to be significantly lower, then the exchange desk in the baggage hall.
No longer do you need US $ to travel around Nepal. It’s not necessarily a bad idea to have some hidden away incase of an emergency, but in all honesty it’s just a pain in the ass to get it exchanged. There’s plenty of places in Kathmandu and Pokhara to get it exchanged, but unless it’s your home currency just use an ATM. You might have to try one or two before the money is given but it’s easier then the hassle fo buying US $ and then exchanging. Most of the major currencies are accepted at the exchange counters anyway.
Getting into Kathmandu from the airport
Congratulations on getting out of the airport, with your luggage hopefully and into the great wonder that is Nepal. If you haven’t prebooked a transfer – we reccomend you use Klook – then you will need to engage the services of a taxi driver. The cost of a taxi to Thamel in the city centre is set at a fixed price of 700 RS. If anyone quotes you more, walk past the hordes of drivers and see the official price board. If you don’t have cash on you, then the drivers will help you find a working ATM. You may find that you driver speaks zero english but has a little friend in the front seat who will speak English and be able to help you.
Pro tip – Book yourself a private car. We arrived after midnight and didn’t want the hassle of haggling with taxi drivers. For $15 AU we had a driver waiting who took us directly to our hotel and even rang the front desk to make sure someone was there for us before we got out of the taxi.
Now you have your Nepal visa, are out of the airport, where should you stay?
Kathmandu is a fun city, but it is loud and dirty. I’d suggest after a day or two you hit the road and explore more of Nepal. The touristy area of Thamel is perfectly fine and fun to stay in. During the day it’s hustle and bustle but at night it’s rather quiet and peaceful.
If you can bounce through Kathmandu and go explore Chitwan National Park and the wonders of Pokhara.
Quick tips for travelling in Nepal
Here’s some random but helpful tips for when you’re travelling around the wonderful Nepal.
Cash is vital. Very few places take credit card.
Take tissue/toilet paper with you. Very few public places have toilet paper available.
Hand over money with your right hand. The left hand is for wiping your bottom.
Coffee is amazing. In Kathmandu search out Hub in Thamel for the best coffee in town. Remember to BYO reusable cup.
The air quality in Kathmandu and even Pokhara can be terrible. To avoid a chest/throat infection grab yourself a dust face mask.
Have any questions on travel in Nepal? Drop them below and I’ll do the usual respond with helpful advice
Side note – there are no photos of inside the Kathmandu airport immigration area. Like all airports you’re not supposed to use your phone prior to passport control
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