Get the lowdown on how to access your holiday cash while in the mountainous towns of Nepal.
Nepal is a cash country so you can't land without knowing the best ways to access your cash.
While credit and debit cards are still possible to use there are not always facilities readily available in the country for you to use your plastic, like when you're in smaller towns in rural areas.
Compare travel money options for Nepal
Cash is king in Nepal but credit and debit cards are typically accepted at larger hotels or restaurants.
It's recommended using your no-fee debit card for cash withdrawals at ATMs and for purchases when available. Use cash for any purchases you can't make with a debit or credit card as you backpack up and down the country. Traveller's cheques are a thing of the past, even in Nepal.
Should I bring a prepaid travel card, credit card or debit card to Nepal?
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What's the Nepalese currency?
The money used in Nepal is the Nepalese rupee (Rs), which comes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 500 and 1,000. Rupee coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10, while 1, 2, 25 and 250 rupee notes also exist but are rarely used.
Rupees are divided further into 100 paisa (p) which come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 but are rarely used along with the 5 and 10 rupee coins. You will likely only see the 1 and 2 rupee coins.
Travel money tips for Nepal
- Exchange after you arrive and before you leave. The Nepalese rupee is not a freely convertible currency so you will have to exchange money once you get to Nepal.
- Use an ATM. You will find the best exchange rates withdrawing cash from an ATM or exchanging money at a Travelex.
- Check exchange rates in advance. It's smart to check exchange rates before getting cash exchanged to make sure you aren't getting ripped off.
- If exchanging dollars into rupees, bring crisp notes. Exchange offices may not accept damaged foreign notes. Keep an eye out when receiving Nepalese rupees after an exchange too because if the notes are damaged shopkeepers or other exchange offices may not take the notes back.
- Charge your card in local currency. Some services promise to give you good exchange rates and display the charge in your local currency but the rate is oftentimes worse than the mid-market rate.