If you’re in the process of planning a trip to Nepal, then lucky you! Nepal is a beautiful, dynamic, and exciting destination with something for everyone, especially those interested in adventure tourism, ecotourism, and wellness practices like yoga and meditation.
Most people recognize Nepal as the home of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain peak globally. But when is the best time to visit Nepal? It depends on what type of activities you want to do and the kind of weather you’d prefer.
We’ll share the best, worst, and “grey area” times to visit Nepal depending on your trip goals, weather preferences, budget, and more. Plus, we’ll share tips and recommendations for planning the best trip to Nepal and answers to commonly asked questions.
Why You Should Visit Nepal
A visit to Nepal is like a visit to no other place in the world, and there are many reasons you should consider it your next vacation destination. Nepal is home to some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery and diverse wildlife.
Trekking opportunities abound, whether trekking up an easy mountain trail or tackling the classic Annapurna Circuit trek. There are so many opportunities that many people consider this home to some of the best hikes in the world.
You’ll find yourself immersed in some of the world’s most inviting and spiritual cultures, and you may even have the opportunity to participate in some of their traditional spiritual practices.
Plus, Nepal is home to many outdoor adventure opportunities, from white water rafting and kayaking to paragliding, canyoning, and even bungee jumping. No matter what type of activities you’re interested in, you’ll find something to love about Nepal.
Overall Best Time to Visit Nepal
For those looking to trek in Nepal’s Himalayas, spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the best times to visit.
During these months, the skies are often clear, with great views of the Himalayas, and the weather is mild and pleasant. For some, the best time to visit Nepal is March-May, because September, October, and November are the busiest months.
Getting great weather but avoiding the crowds in the springtime is ideal. Additionally, these months are the best time to visit Nepal for festivals and special events.
Visit in late April or early May, and you’ll be able to experience one of the largest Hindu festivals in the world, Bisket Jatra. If you’re lucky enough to be there at this time, you’ll experience a range of colorful and exciting traditional celebrations.
In autumn, Nepal celebrates Dipawali, the festival of lights, with much fanfare and joy. During this time, you can also experience a range of traditional dances, music performances, and other events.
Cheapest Time to Visit Nepal
The cheapest time to visit is June to September, which overlaps with the monsoon season. Because there are fewer tourists and less demand, it tends to be cheap for flights, accommodation, tours, and attractions.
The weather during this time is not ideal for hiking, climbing, and other outdoor adventures. The average rainfall is higher, and there are often clouds that obscure the stunning views of the Himalayas.
However, if you’re looking to experience Nepal differently, this can be a great time to visit. The monsoon season is also the perfect time for visiting Nepal’s cultural and spiritual sites.
There are several festivals and special events held during this time, such as:
That said, if you go during the cheapest time, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience some of Nepal’s amazing spiritual practices and traditions. This time can be exciting for getting off the beaten path and exploring fewer tourist parts of Nepal.
Least Busy Time to Visit Nepal
The least busy time to visit Nepal is similar to the cheapest, around June to September, which is the monsoon season. During this time, there are fewer tourists and less demand for flights, accommodations, tours, and attractions.
Not only is this time great for saving money, but it’s also ideal if you are not interested in adventure tourism but are looking for a more relaxing, peaceful, and quiet time in the mountains.
It would be a great time to visit if, say, you’re looking to do yoga every day, write a novel, or visit cultural and spiritual sites.
The weather during the monsoon season is not ideal for hiking, climbing, and other outdoor adventures. So if you plan on trekking in any way, it’s best to avoid the monsoon season.
Worst Time to Visit Nepal
The monsoon season is generally considered the worst time to visit Nepal due to the heavy rains and strong winds.
This season typically runs from June to August, with some areas experiencing monsoon rains as late as September. Most trekking routes will be closed during this time due to the risk of flooding and landslides.
In addition to the wet weather, the monsoon season can also bring a high risk of diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and cholera. This is why it’s best to avoid visiting during this time.
However, if your budget is tight and you don’t mind dealing with the wet weather, the monsoon season can be a great time to visit Nepal. You’ll find better rates on hotels and flights and fewer crowds at tourist attractions during this time.
The monsoon season is also a fantastic time to visit the cities, as many of them experience cooler temperatures during this time. It can be a nice time to visit for spiritual reasons, such as meditating, yoga, or visiting religious sites.
Things to Consider
When planning a trip to Nepal, here are some key factors to take into consideration:
- Weather. Depending on the time of year, the weather in Nepal can be either wet or dry. The highs in peak season can reach up to 30°C (86°F), while the lows during winter can drop down to -20°C (-4°F).
- Budget. Prices for flights, accommodation, tours, and attractions can vary depending on the time of year. The monsoon season is generally considered the cheapest time to visit.
- Crowds. During peak tourist seasons, attractions can become crowded, and prices can be higher.
- Safety. During the monsoon season, there is an increased risk of flooding and landslides. It’s also crucial to be aware of the potential for malaria, dengue fever, and cholera.
- Cultural experiences. Visiting during festivals or special events can be a great way to experience Nepal’s culture and traditions.
- Adventure. For trekking, climbing, and other outdoor activities, it’s best to avoid the monsoon season.
- Spiritual. If you are looking for a more peaceful, spiritual time in Nepal, the monsoon season can be a great option.
- Transportation. Keep in mind that some roads may be closed due to landslides or flooding during the monsoon season.
Activities to Consider
Now that you’ve gotten the low-down for major points of consideration, it’s time to talk about the fun stuff!
Here’s a list of the top activities you can do while in Nepal:
- Exploring temples and monasteries
- White-water rafting
- Cultural sightseeing
- Bird watching
- Elephant safari
- Shopping in Kathmandu Valley
- Visiting tribal villages
- Mountain biking
- Attending festivals and events.
Specific Attractions to Consider
No matter when you decide to visit, there is no shortage of activities to partake in on a trip to Nepal. Here are specific attractions to consider, encompassing both adventure and non-adventure options:
- Nagarkot. Nature strolling and expansive views
- Bhaktapur. Temples and heritage monuments
- Boudhanath Stupa. Renowned Buddhist temple
- Chitwan National Park. Bengal tigers and rhinos
- Phewa Lake. Stunning lake with mountain views
- Mount Everest. The highest peak in the world
- Kathmandu Valley. UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Pashupatinath Temple. Hindu pilgrimage site
- Mustang. Untouched Tibetan kingdom
- Annapurna Circuit. Mountain trekking route
- Swayambhunath Stupa. Buddhist temple in Kathmandu
- Langtang Valley. Picturesque mountain valley
- Begnas Lake. A popular place for boating, fishing, and swimming
- Asan Bazar. Lively food market in Kathmandu
- Gokyo Lakes. Holy lakes in the Himalayas
- Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. Wildlife and nature preserve
- Tengboche Monastery. Tibetan Buddhist monastery in a gorgeous mountain setting
Best Hiking Destinations and Treks in Nepal
Whether you choose to go during the peak season or low season of Nepal, there are so many amazing attractions and activities to explore.
However, since many people visit for hiking and trekking, we decided to compile a list of some of the most well-loved hiking destinations and specific treks throughout this gorgeous country.
Sagamartha National Park / Everest Base Camp Trek
Sagarmatha National Park is known for being the home of Mt. Everest and is one of the most popular areas to go hiking in Nepal. There are a variety of trails available, ranging from beginner to advanced.
The Everest Base Camp Trek, in particular, is undoubtedly a popular trekking route in Nepal. It takes you through a variety of stunning landscapes and offers fantastic views of Mt. Everest, plus the chance to explore Sherpa villages and Buddhist monasteries.
The Annapurna circuit is one of the most well-loved treks in the world and offers stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. It is a multi-day trek, with most people taking between 10 to 20 days to complete the circuit.
Bandipur is an ecologically fascinating area where you can partake in a variety of outdoor reaction, including hiking, paragliding, and rafting. It is also home to a unique blend of Hindu, Buddhist, and Newari cultures.
Gokyo Lakes Trek
The Gokyo Lakes Trek is a multi-day trek that follows the Dudh Kosi River and passes through gorgeous Buddhist villages. It provides stunning views of Mt. Everest, as well as the stunning turquoise-colored Gokyo Lakes.
Poon Hill Trek
The Poon Hill trek is a highly rated trek in Nepal due to its stunning mountain views, picturesque villages, and diverse flora and fauna. It is a relatively easy trek compared to others and can be completed in a few days.
Langtang Valley Trek
The Langtang Valley Trek offers a moderate hike and is perfect for those who want to experience the Himalayas’ beauty without extreme altitude. The trails offer stunning views of Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, and the Langtang Valley.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is quite challenging and goes through several alpine valleys, thick forests, and traditional villages. The route also passes by the historic Tsum Valley, which is home to some of the oldest monasteries in Nepal.
Kopra Ridge Trek
The Kopra Ridge Trek is a relatively easy trek that passes through lush forests and alpine meadows. It is a great option for those who want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas while staying safe or trekking with young ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Nepal:
What should I avoid in Nepal?
Here are some things you should avoid doing when visiting Nepal:
- Eating beef
- Littering plastic (or anything)
- Wearing revealing clothes
- Wearing shoes inside temples
- Taking photos without permission
- Ignoring local customs or traditions
- Traveling to restricted areas without prior permission
How many days are enough for Nepal?
Nepal is a varied country offering a host of activities for adventure seekers, history buffs, cultural-interested nomads, and more. That said, it’s best to carve out at least three weeks to have enough time to hike, learn, explore, eat, and more.
What is the hottest month in Nepal?
The hottest month in Nepal is generally April or June, although temperatures can climb high throughout the summer months. The best time to visit for cooler temperatures and better visibility is from October to April.
Is it cheap to visit Nepal?
The flights to Nepal might be a bit pricey depending on the season you wish to visit, but once you’re there, you should be able to stick to a budget. Accommodations and food tend to be relatively cheap, while you might spend more money on excursions and guides.
Is Nepal friendly for tourists?
The country is friendly and safe, with relatively low crime rates.
Is Nepal safe for solo travelers?
Yes, Nepal is a generally safe destination for solo travelers. Though, as with any destination, it’s always important to exercise caution. As long as you practice common sense and stay aware of your surroundings, Nepal is a safe and friendly tourist destination.
What is the currency in Nepal?
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Most establishments accept credit and debit cards, but it’s always a great idea to have some cash on hand in case of emergencies.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and towns, but they may not be as accessible in rural areas. It’s recommended to exchange money at a currency exchange office or bank rather than at the airport.
What is transportation like in Nepal?
Public transportation in Nepal is relatively limited. The most common form of transportation is by bus, which is usually crowded and slow but fairly cheap.
Taxis are also available, though they tend to be more expensive. For longer distances, catching a quick domestic flight tends to be the most convenient option.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Nepal?
Overall, when choosing the best time to visit Nepal, consider your priorities and budget to decide what works for you. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, so take your time to research and plan your trip based on what is most important to you.
No matter when you decide to go, Nepal will be sure to surprise and delight! Have a safe adventure!