Adventurers, nature lovers, and cultural explorers will find Nepal one of the most fascinating places to travel in the world. This mountainous, jungled, and spiritual destination is even better when you know the best time to visit Nepal.
Whether you’re planning to summit Everest, explore traditional villages carved into the mountainsides, or wander through the jungle on safari, there are certain times of year that offer excellent conditions for exploring the whole of Nepal.
We’ll show you a few reasons to visit and the best, cheapest, and least busy times to go. Plus, see the worst time of year to visit so you can avoid seasonal extremes and experience the best Nepal has to offer!
Why You Should Visit Nepal
When you want to experience some of the world’s most iconic mountain scenery, dense jungles, and traditional villages untouched by modern times, Nepal is the place to go.
It’s a nature lover’s paradise. Soar to new heights with incredible rock climbing and challenging paths, like the classic Annapurna Circuit trek, that ascend into the clouds in the Nepal Himalayas. It’s the world’s highest mountain range and most of it is located in this diverse and scenic country.
Nepal’s traditional villages are practically carved into the hillsides and mountains. These are excellent places to see and learn about the country’s cultures and customs up-close while experiencing the hospitality and welcoming nature of the Nepalese people on mountain treks.
The Khuzjung Sherpa village in the Everest region of northeast Nepal, known as “the hidden village,” is packed with small, green-roofed homes and a monastery said to contain the scalp of a yeti. Chhusang village in the Mustang region of northern Nepal boasts rugged cliffs, castle ruins, and ancient cave dwellings and petroglyphs as old as time.
Venture into the leafy, steamy jungles on safari at Chitwan National Park and Bardiya National Park in Nepal’s wild western and south-central regions. Wild Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, rhinoceros, and over 50 mammal species make their homes in these lush jungles.
In fact, the jungles and wildlife are so ingrained in the country that villages live side-by-side with the wildlife — including those majestic and dangerous tigers that are thriving and almost tripling in population — along the Khata Corridor at the edge of Bardiya National Park.
Travelers can ride down the Narayani or Karnali rivers in a traditional dugout canoe to glimpse wildlife, including rare river dolphins, or ride on an elephant through the greenery for an unforgettable experience that completely immerses you in the natural beauty and biodiversity of Nepal.
Adventurers will find Nepal the ultimate destination for thrilling experiences like white water rafting, kayaking rivers that teem with life, paragliding through the mountains, or rock climbing and mountaineering some of the world’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest.
UNESCO World Heritage sites like Kathmandu Valley make excellent tour stops for history lovers and appreciators of ancient cultures. You’ll find the mountain views at Tengboche Monastery in the Khumbu region fascinating to visit in Sherpa territory.
With so many reasons to plan your visit here, let’s take a look at the best, cheapest, least busy, and worst time to visit Nepal.
Overall Best Time to Visit Nepal
The best time to visit Nepal is October through February. These months offer dry conditions, warm weather with lower humidity, and excellent opportunities to hike, climb, go on safari, and explore Nepal.
Clear skies make a visit to Nepal so much more enjoyable, and with cooler conditions between October and February (a good portion of the dry season), you might only see 0.1″ to 1.8″ of rain this time of year throughout the country.
Temperatures hover between comfortable highs from 65F to 89F this time of year (generally on the warmer end in October and November), though highs can hit the mid-90s in the southeast near the border with India and overnight lows can drop to the 50s, 40s, and upper 30s in high altitudes.
This peak period brings lots of tourists to Nepal. You can expect slightly higher hotel prices during some of these months (2-5 star hotels):
- October: $48-$646/night
- November: $28-$496/night
- December: $26-$519/night
- January: $26-$642/night
- February: $14-$135/night
If you’re coming to Nepal to hike in the Himalayas, attempt to summit Everest, go on safari in the jungles, or explore the charming mountain villages, October through February is the prime time to visit.
You’ll find the best prospects for wildlife viewing (especially big game, like tigers and elephants) is between late January and February. Locals hack the tall elephant grass in January and that makes it much easier to spot wildlife lurking in the leafy jungles of Chitwan and Bardiya National Park.
The dry, mild conditions are also ideal for hiking, mountaineering, and climbing in the Himalayas, especially in October and November (the peak climbing season). You’ll avoid the hottest and most humid weather that arrives around March and avoid the torrential monsoon season that begins in June and continues through August.
Visiting in late fall or winter means you’ll get to enjoy some of Nepal’s most popular festivals, holidays, and events:
- Dashain (September/October) is one of the biggest Nepalese festivals, lasts 15 days, and includes colorful decorations in the streets with parades, animal sacrifices, red powder applications, and amazing kite displays.
- Tihar (October/November) is called the Festival of Lights and lasts 5 days as locals worship nature and animals (cows, dogs, crows, farmland, etc.) with a special Bhai Tika ritual involving colorful flower garlands and lots of candles and oil lamps to create a lovely glow.
- Udhauli (November/December) is a harvest festival thrown by the Limbu people marked with traditional dancing, singing, dress, and sacrificial offerings to deities and ancestors.
- Sweta Manchhendra Snan (January) is a 1-week festival at the Kathmandu temple by the same name where the goddess Kumari is said to visit and watch the music, offerings, and rituals to decide whether to deliver ample rain in the coming summer season.
- Swasthani Puja (Janaury/February) celebrates the goddess Swasthani with locals reading her scripture every night during the months of January and February in hopes of bringing communities together, gifting people with blessings, and removing curses.
- Maghe Sankranti (January) marks the holy month as locals feast, bathe in the rivers, make their way to deity shrines and temples to worship, and present food, flower, and incense offerings as they read the Song of the Gods and oil their bodies.
- Basanta Panchmi & Saraswati Puja (January) sees people crowd into Durbar Square in Kathmandu to greet the King with live music, dancing, and offerings related to the upcoming springtime and the start of a new season of growth.
- Losar (February) is when the Tibet and Sherpa people officially welcome the new year with traditional dancing, costumes, songs, and gifts of jewelry and clothing. Monasteries and temples are decorated with prayer flags and people throw roasted barley flour in the air like confetti.
Overall, any month between October and February will be great for a visit to Nepal, but many people see October and February as the absolute best months to go.
Cheapest Time to Visit Nepal
The cheapest time to visit Nepal is February through April. While it’s a busy season for tourism, prices on hotels and accommodations drop as they compete to attract travelers at the end of the peak season.
This is an excellent time of year to visit Nepal if you want to enjoy the weather while it’s dry and spend less on your accommodations, tour tickets, and daily expenses.
You’ll appreciate the mild weather between February and April across much of Nepal, though it’s hot and humid in some areas. Highs range from a comfortable 69F in Kathmandu to a scorching 101F in Biratnagar in April. Rainfall is minimal with no region seeing more than 1.3″ of rain in a 30-day period this time of year.
The average nightly rate drops all the way to $14-$16/night for budget 2-star hotels and hovers around $135-$144/night for luxury 5-star hotels and mountain lodges. Here’s a look at what you can expect to pay nightly between February and April:
- February: $14-$135/night
- March: $15-$142/night
- April: $16-$144/night
While it can be a real test of your fortitude to head into the hot, steamy jungles this time of year, you’ll be rewarded with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities as the elephant grass is shorter and it’s easier to see big cats, elephants, rhinos, and birds. With so little rain, you won’t have to worry about mud or impassable trails.
This is one of the peak times for mountain climbing, too. The months of March and April are especially nice for treks up into the Himalayas. This is one of the reasons Nepal is so popular to visit this time of year (besides the cheaper prices).
Near Everest region are the high-altitude, holy Gokyo Lakes in a gorgeous valley you shouldn’t skip!
There are several religious festivals and cultural events that take place between February and April:
- Maha Shivaratri (February) is when people crowd the Pashputi Temple in Kathmandu to worship Lord Shiva so tightly that it’s said there’s not enough room for a sesame seed left. Ash is rubbed on bodies, people pray to Shiva and hear lectures, bonfires and feasts happen, and people join in music and dance together in the streets.
- Holi or Fagu Purnima (March) sees Nepalese people decorate a chit pole with colorful prayer flags on Durbar Square in Kathmandu and don old, worn out clothes because colored powders and water balloons will fill the streets this week and no one can avoid being splashed or doused in red powder!
- Chaitra Dasain (March-April) is another colorful festival, this one celebrates Ram and his victory over an evil king with help from the Mother Goddess Durga with offerings, sacrifices, and red vermillion powder dousing in the streets.
- Ghode Jatra (April) celebrates the defeat and burial of a demon centuries ago with a parade of horses over the supposed burial spot, which locals believe will prevent the demon from rising again. Dancing, singing, and gymnastics performances are how locals celebrate the victory.
While the cheapest time of year to visit is very busy with tourists (except April), you’ll save a considerable amount on your hotel and have opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty and culture of Nepal during this time.
Least Busy Time to Visit Nepal
The least busy time to visit Nepal is during the months of April and May, just ahead of the looming monsoon season.
April and May are the two slowest months of the year for tourism in Nepal, making them ideal months to visit if you’re hoping to sidestep the biggest crowds and enjoy Nepal’s scenery and towns with fewer people around. You’ll appreciate low prices on hotels, wide-open availability for hotels and flights, and more affordable tours and attractions this time of year.
If you come in April or May, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most incredible weather and conditions for hiking, mountain climbing, and wildlife viewing in the jungle regions.
The weather isn’t quite as prime as it is earlier in the year, getting warm, hot, or downright miserable in some areas of Nepal by the time April and May roll around. Expect daily highs from 81F to 101F this time of year with oppressive humidity around the country.
Hotel rates reflect the massive dip in tourism in April and May, dropping as demand dwindles ahead of the summer monsoon season:
- April: $16-$144/night
- May: $18-$160/night
The soaring temperatures and humidity can make venturing into Nepal’s jungles and national parks a lot more challenging, but there’s no better time of year to spot some of the most iconic wildlife wandering through the leafy underbrush and gathering along the rivers. Adventure tourism is nice this time of year with shorter lines and smaller groups on guided hikes and climbs.
Worst Time to Visit Nepal
The monsoon season from June to August is the worst time to visit Nepal with heavy rains, high winds, and incredibly muggy conditions.
The summer monsoon season in Nepal is far from hospitable for outdoor adventures and recreation. The jungles are steamy, wildlife is harder to view with tall grasses offering camouflage, and many areas of the national parks are inaccessible due to heavy rains.
Even mountaineering is difficult during the monsoon season with torrential downpours, high winds, and the possibility of dangerous landslides making the trek more challenging. Many mountain passes are closed this time of year to help climbers avoid these risks.
The wet weather brings hordes of mosquitoes to Nepal, increasing the risk of mosquito-borne disease including dengue fever and malaria. The risk of contracting cholera, transmitted by tiny crustaceans in freshwater, also rises during the monsoon season.
The only real upside to visiting during the summer monsoon season is the drop in hotel prices this time of year:
- June: $18-$158/night
- July: $19-$158/night
- August: $20-$156/night
Still, you can find even cheaper nightly rates during the milder, drier, and busier season between February and April without the rain, heat, and humidity of summer.
Things to Consider
The prospect of heading to Nepal is exciting, but you’ll always have a better visit when you know what to expect and have some tips from seasoned travelers in mind. Here’s what you should consider before you go!
- The weather varies widely. Depending on the time of year, Nepal can experience dry, mild weather that’s prime for hiking and jungle expeditions to torrential rain and miserable humidity in the summer monsoon season. The highs in peak season can reach 100F+, while the lows in the dry season can hit -4F. Pack accordingly!
- Your budget should dictate when you visit. While October through February is the best time to visit Nepal, prices hit their highest point from October to January. February through April is the cheapest time to go and still offers nice (if a little hot and humid) weather with great chances for wildlife viewing and mountaineering.
- Always put safety first. Nepal’s wondrous natural beauty is as rugged as it is scenic, and real dangers lurk in the jungles, along the mountain paths, and even in the villages and towns here. Always put safety first and don’t head into the jungle or up into the mountains without a trusted guide. Protect yourself from disease with insect repellant and avoid swimming in floodwaters. Avoid political rallies and gatherings, where violence has been known to occur.
- Stay open-minded for festivals and holidays. Visiting during festivals or special events can be a great way to experience Nepal’s culture and traditions, but Nepal’s religious festivals can be a bit different for Westerners who aren’t used to seeing animal sacrifices or the worship of animals like cows and dogs. Stay open-minded when you visit and see how fascinating the Buddhist traditions and Nepalese culture can be!
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning the best time to visit Nepal is the first step to planning your visit, but you’ll have an easier time when you have the answers to travelers’ most frequently asked questions!
Which is the best month to visit Nepal?
The best month to visit Nepal is the month of February. This is a month of overlap where you can experience prime, mild weather, excellent wildlife viewing opportunities in the jungles, great conditions for mountaineering, and tons of cultural festivals and holidays.
The entire periods from October to February and February to April are ideal for great weather, with the latter period bringing lower prices and slightly hotter temperatures.
What is the best time of year to go to Kathmandu?
The best time of year to go to Kathmandu is during the fall and winter, between September and February. You'll find ideal temperatures in the 60s and 70s, very little rainfall, and lots of religious festivals and holidays taking place.
Conditions are perfect in the fall and winter for climbing, hiking, visiting the high-altitude lakes, going on safari, and touring the mountain villages in Nepal.
How many days in Nepal is enough?
Plan on spending at least 7-10 days in Nepal to give yourself a chance to explore a few different regions and parks. If you can, spending 10-14 days is even better.
You'll want a minimum of 2-3 days to take a safari jungle tour, 2-3 days to hike and climb in the mountains, and a little time to stop into mountain villages, explore Kathmandu, visit temples, and check out monasteries.
Which months are very wet in Nepal?
The wettest months in Nepal are June, July, and August, which make up the summer monsoon season. As the wettest months of the year, June-August see anywhere from 4.3" to 10.5" of rain in each 30-day period. Temperatures and humidity levels rise considerably during the monsoon season, bringing highs from 82F-93F with muggy conditions near 100% humidity each day.
Is Nepal cheap for tourists?
Nepal can be a very affordable place to travel for tourists, especially those arriving from the US. For example, 100 Nepalese rupee is roughly equivalent to $0.75 in US dollars, making the exchange rate very favorable for US travelers.
Nepal's hotels can be as cheap as $14/night in the low season, though more luxurious lodges and resorts in tourist areas can still be around $600/night during peak season.
What is transportation like in Nepal?
Public transportation in Nepal is relatively limited, but can be a great option for getting around towns and villages. The most common form of transportation is by bus -- usually crowded and slow, but fairly cheap.
Taxis are also available in Nepal, though they tend to be more expensive. For longer distances, catching a quick domestic flight through Buddha Air tends to be the most convenient option.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Nepal?
The best time to visit Nepal is October through February for dry, warm, and low-humidity conditions that are prime for hiking, mountaineering, exploring villages, and venturing into the jungles on safari. For budget-minded travelers, February to April, though a little hotter and more humid, is ideal with cheaper hotels.
The least busy time to visit Nepal is April and May when tourism drops just before the heavy monsoon season hits in the summertime. It’s a peaceful time to be in the mountains, jungles, or historic sites of Nepal.
If you can, avoid visiting during June, July, or August in the summer monsoon season. You’ll face high winds, heavy rainfall, and oppressive humidity that makes it harder to enjoy Nepal’s many treasures.
With these travel guidelines in mind, you’ll be able to plan your trip to Nepal to optimize your sightseeing and adventures in this stunning country.