Stupa, Nepal
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Stupa, Nepal

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Nepal Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles).

Population

28,850,717 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

214.4 per sq km.

Capital

Kathmandu.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari since 2015.

Head of government

Prime MinisterSher Bahadur Deuba since 2021.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz. There are frequent power cuts. Plugs usually have two or three round pins.

Officially the highest country on Earth, lofty Nepal is commonly referred to as the “roof of the world.” That seems like a fitting moniker for this Himalayan nation, where soaring, snow-capped mountains disappear into the clouds like stairways to heaven.

Mount Everest is the star attraction. Tourists come in their droves to climb, hike and admire the world’s tallest peak, which flirts with the stratosphere at 8,848m (29,029ft). But this charming country is much more than just mountains.

The birthplace of Gautama Buddha, Nepal is an important pilgrimage site for millions of Buddhists, who come from far and wide to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lumbini, a temple complex where Buddha once lived.

Holy places abound in Nepal, but not just of the Buddhist variety; Hinduism has a strong foothold in the country and there are many Hindu temples scattered across the country (though some have been severely damaged by the 2015 earthquakes).

Also hit hard was the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, which is encircled by soaring mountain ranges. A beautiful, bustling city it stands at a cultural crossroads between India and China, whose influences can be seen in the architecture and tasted in the cuisine. Meanwhile, a Western vibe prevails in the lively Thamel district, which is lined with bars.

Kathmandu is a good starting point for travellers venturing into the jungle at Chitwan National Park, which is home to Bengali tigers, crocodiles and one-horned rhinos, plus myriad bird species. Phewa Lake is another draw for tourists, as are the hiking trails in the Himalayas.

Wherever you go though, wide smiles will be there to greet you; Nepalese people are amongst the friendliest in the world and it’s not uncommon to be invited into a stranger’s home for tea.

Sitting atop the world, Nepal is just one step away from heaven – and for those who have discovered the country’s many charms, it feels like it too. 

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Nepal on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

The Government of Nepal has announced it will permit weekly flights by some major carriers; these will connect to major hubs, but may be heavily oversubscribed. You should liaise with your airline or travel provider for additional information or for re-booking. Alternatively, contact one of the following travel agents: President Travel, Megabyte and Everest Miracle Travel. These should be able to tell you upcoming flights and availability. Only some tickets allow you to travel all the way through to the UK without entering immigration in any of the transit countries on your route. You may want to speak to your agent to ensure you are getting one of these options.

When inward flights resume, the Government of Nepal may continue to require specific conditions of entry for all passengers originating from or transiting the UK. Those seeking to enter Nepal were previously required to present certain documentation:

  • a certificate showing a negative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, taken within 72 hours of flight of first departure or a record of complete vaccination against COVID-19
  • a visa or prior approval document
  • a travel insurance document which covers health, immediate crisis, or rescue for the duration of your travel
  • a hotel booking, or a guarantee of accommodation, that allows at least ten days’ quarantine in Nepal (if not vaccinated)

The Department of Immigration has fuller information.

Many carriers now require valid COVID-19 negative PCR tests, taken within 72 hours or less of the flight, for international flights departing Nepal, as well as for some domestic flights. You should check with your carrier, and make appropriate arrangements.

The Government has announced that foreigners will not be able to transit Nepal to other onward destinations until further notice.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Nepal.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Nepal

The Nepali authorities have imposed temporary restrictions to control the COVID-19 outbreak, including requiring public and private transport services to cease operating, and limiting other non-essential movements. Non-essential services are partially closed, and restrictions may be introduced or extended at short notice. The current lockdown is in effect until at least 21 June. You must wear face masks to access essential services (including access to medical care, to shop, and to access the airport for outbound flights). There are penalties for people who do not observe these rules, which will be rigorously enforced.

Accommodation

Although some hotels in the Kathmandu valley are open, this can change at short notice. Local administrations in other districts are free to adapt a different model, and more restrictive lockdowns are still in place in other parts of the country.

  • public spaces and services are now currently operating a restricted service in the Kathmandu valley to control outbreaks of COVID-19, and other districts may operate more restrictive models. The lockdown is in effect until at least 21 June. Shops and services when open will only serve customers wearing some form of face mask. Shop openings may vary by location, as local administrations in other districts are free to adapt a different model, and more restrictive lockdowns are still in place in other parts of the country.
  • people are required to maintain social distancing and wear masks in public, and there is a ban on large gatherings.
  • entertainment centres such as cinema halls and dance bars, health clubs and swimming clubs, salons, beauty parlours, spas, libraries, zoos, and museums are currently closed.

There have been reports of some incidents in parts of Nepal of foreign tourists being threatened or intimidated by locals, allegedly in relation to coronavirus. Such incidents are rare. If you experience such problems, return immediately to your accommodation (if safe), or to the local law enforcement agencies (phone 100), or contact the British Embassy at +977 (0)1 423 7100.

Healthcare in Nepal

If you need medical attention and/or if you think you have any symptoms of COVID such as a fever or persistent cough please avoid contact with others if possible and go to a medical facility. For those who have health insurance cover, or are willing to pay then Mediciti and Norvic Hospitals can isolate and take a test to be sent to the national laboratory. Otherwise, go to Patan Hospital. Many of these facilities are experiencing pressure due to COVID-19, and you should allow for this.

Make sure you have sufficient medicine, if required. The British Embassy has a list of pharmacies and hospitals that dispense in Kathmandu.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Testing and isolation for COVID-19 is limited to certain government hospitals, where services are basic. View Health for further details on healthcare in Nepal.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Nepal

As information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.

British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccines page.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Additional useful information may be found on the British Embassy social media channels.

Trekking in Nepal

The Government of Nepal has announced that it will give foreign nationals permission to travel to Nepal for the purpose of mountaineering and trekking from 17 October 2020 onwards. This will be subject to providing a valid PCR test, within 72 hours of travel, demonstrating you did not have COVID-19 at the time of testing or a record of complete vaccination against COVID-19. This may change at short notice.

See Entry requirements for more information before you travel.

We are receiving reports of some incidents in parts of Nepal of some foreign tourists being threatened or intimidated by locals, allegedly in relation to coronavirus. Such incidents are rare, although have increased in recent days. If you experience such problems, you should return immediately to your accommodation (if safe), or to the local law enforcement agencies (phone 100), or contact the Embassy at +977 (0)1 423 7100.

Never trek alone. Use a reputable agency, remain on established routes, and walk with at least one other person.

Always observe national park regulations and follow your guide’s instructions.

Altitude sickness is a risk, including on the Annapurna, Langtang and Everest Base Camp treks. Read the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s advice on altitude sickness.

Accidents happen due to insufficient information, inappropriate equipment or overestimation of your own capabilities. Follow the advice given by local authorities and guides. Ignoring such advice could put yourselves and other mountain users in danger.

The following hazards exist throughout the year, especially above 3,000m:

  • sudden weather changes
  • avalanches and snow drifts
  • landslides and flooding
  • glacial crevasses and hollows
  • rockfall
  • thunder storms and lightning
  • altitude sickness
  • sun exposure

You should:

  • take note of weather forecasts and conditions
  • make sure you’re physically fit and have the necessary experience
  • be in a team of at least 2
  • inform someone of your plans
  • take warm clothes and wet weather gear
  • use sun block (SPF20 or higher) and sun glasses

Make sure your insurance covers you for your intended activity, including travel above 3,000m, mountain rescue services and helicopter costs.

The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) provides live updates on trekking conditions in Nepal. Online weather forecasts are available on the website of the government of Nepal Department Of Hydrology and Meteorology.

Treks can take longer than expected. Flights across Nepal, particularly in high mountain areas, can be delayed due to poor weather conditions. Keep your tour operator, guide and family informed of your situation and travel plans. In remote areas, including long stretches of the Annapurna Circuit trek, mobile phone coverage and internet services are extremely limited. Consider renting a satellite phone.

A valid permit and Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card are needed to enter Nepal’s main trekking regions. See the Naturally Nepal website

Volunteering and adventure travel

If you’re planning to volunteer or undertake adventure travel in Nepal you should research any organisation or company you’re planning to use thoroughly before committing yourself. Read these information and advice pages on gap year travel and safer adventure travel and volunteering overseas.

The Social Welfare Council of the government of Nepal maintains a list of registered volunteer organisations; you can ask for a copy by sending an email to: info@swc.org.np.

The British Embassy has received reports of volunteer opportunities at orphanages which are profit orientated organisations rather than charities. If you’re volunteering at this type of organisation, you could be contributing to child exploitation. Contact the Nepali Central Child Welfare Board for confirmation before signing up to volunteer for one of these organisations.

Crime

There’s a low rate of serious crime in Nepal. However, you should take sensible precautions.

Watch out for pick-pockets and bag-snatching, particularly in airports, on buses and in areas popular with foreign nationals like Thamel, Sanepa and Kupondol in Kathmandu.

Take care when walking around at night. Assaults and robberies are more likely to occur in the evening in poorly lit areas. Avoid walking on your own and don’t carry large sums of cash. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible.

Sexual assaults against foreign nationals, particularly women, have been reported in tourist areas, including Thamel and Sanepa in Kathmandu. Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers, don’t leave drinks unattended and exercise caution, especially when alone after dark. See our advice page for women travelling abroad.

There were reports of some incidents in parts of Nepal of some foreign tourists being threatened or intimidated by locals, allegedly in relation to coronavirus. Such incidents are rare. If you experience such problems, you should return immediately to your accommodation (if safe), or to the local law enforcement agencies (phone 100), or contact the Embassy at +977 (0)1 423 7100.

Victims of crime should call the Tourist Police in Kathmandu on 01 4700750 or the Tourist Police headquarters on 01 4247041.

Bars and restaurants may be closed as part of the Government of Nepal’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When operating, they close at midnight. Foreigners remaining in bars and clubs after hours have been detained by the police. Take care when entering ‘dance bars’ as some foreigners have been swindled or harassed.

Road travel

Non-essential road travel in Nepal is not currently permitted, under a lockdown that will be in place until at least 21 June.

Road conditions are poor, especially during the monsoon season or in mountain areas. The 2015 earthquakes affected many roads and reconstruction work is still ongoing, making conditions worse.

If you’re travelling during monsoon season, see Natural disasters

Bus accidents are common in Nepal and there are a number of accidents resulting in fatalities every year. Buses are often overcrowded, poorly regulated, poorly maintained, and driving standards are low. Avoid travel on overnight buses. Don’t travel on overloaded or overcrowded buses. Tourist buses usually offer a higher standard of comfort and safety.

General driving standards are poor. Many drivers are not properly licensed, trained or insured and vehicles, including taxis, are often poorly maintained. There are few pavements outside central Kathmandu and motorists don’t yield right of way to pedestrians.

Other road users often ignore motorbikes and bicycles. It’s the law to wear a helmet when driving a motorbike. You should also wear a suitable helmet when riding as a passenger, and when riding a bicycle.

If you’re planning to drive in Nepal, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended. UK driving licence holders are not eligible to drive in Nepal without a Nepali driving licence or an IDP. There is no time limit for the use of IDPs in Nepal. You can get IDPs over the counter from 2,500 UK Post Offices. You will not be able to buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel. Carry your IDP with you at all times as well as any vehicle registration documents.

Air travel

The Government of Nepal will permit weekly flights by some major carriers; these will connect to major hubs, but may be heavily oversubscribed. You should liaise with your airline or travel provider for more information and for re-booking. Foreign travellers are not permitted to transit Nepal to a further destination until further notice.

Some airlines are operating commercial flights to take people to international hubs, which may enable people to connect to other international destinations. You should monitor social media or register interest with travel agents if interested.

When inward flights resume, the Government of Nepal may continue to require specific conditions of entry for all passengers originating from or transiting the UK. Those seeking to enter Nepal previously were required to present certain documentation:

  • a certificate showing a negative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, taken within 72 hours of flight of first departure or a record of complete vaccination against COVID
  • a visa or prior approval document
  • a hotel booking that allows at least ten days’ quarantine in Nepal (if not vaccinated)
  • a travel insurance document which covers health, immediate crisis, or rescue for the duration of your travel

The Department of Immigration has fuller information.

We understand that many carriers now require valid COVID-19 negative PCR tests, taken within 72 hours of the flight, for international flights to depart Nepal, as well as for domestic flights. You should check with your carrier, and make appropriate arrangements.

Check weather conditions before travelling. Bad weather conditions in mountainous and hill regions could further increase the risk to your safety and cause lengthy delays. Airfields such as Lukla’s are among the most remote and difficult to land on in the world and are a challenge for even the most technically proficient pilots and well-maintained aircraft.

There have been a number of air accidents in Nepal over the last ten years including:

  • on 12 March 2018, a US Bangla Airlines flight from Bangladesh with 71 passengers on board crashed on landing at Kathmandu International Airport. Fifty one passengers were killed
  • on 26 February 2016, an Air Kasthamandap plane with 11 passengers on board crashed while flying between Nepalgunj and Jumla. Two members of the crew were killed
  • on 24 February 2016, a Tara Air plane with 20 passengers on board crashed while flying between Pokhara and Jomsom. Twenty-three passengers were killed
  • on 28 September 2012, a Sita Air Dornier aircraft flying from Kathmandu to Lukla crashed south-west of Kathmandu shortly after take-off. Nineteen people were killed, including 7 British nationals. The Air Accident Investigation Commission of Nepal issued a report of the accident and made a number of recommendations aimed at improving safety

A list of further incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network

All carriers from Nepal have been refused permission to operate air services to the EU due to safety concerns.

In 2017, an International Civil Aviation Organisation audit of aviation safety oversight found that the level of implementation of several critical elements of safety oversight in Nepal was below the global average.

The FCDO can not offer advice on the safety of individual airlines, but the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

A number of tour operators have decided to stop using certain airlines due to safety concerns. Specific safety concerns about Sita Air have led a number of tour operators to stop using them.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Nepal. Attacks can be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Be vigilant in public places and take local advice.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Penalties for drugs related offences are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence of over 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. An increasing number of people are being caught smuggling drugs in to and out of the country.

Bringing precious metals into Nepal is strictly regulated. Foreign nationals are permitted to carry gold ornaments up to 50 grams and silver ornaments up to 100 grams. Undeclared gold or silver will be subject to a fine equivalent to the value of the goods and imprisonment from one month to five years depending upon the value of the goods, in addition to the confiscation of the goods. They may be also taken into judicial custody (detained) during the proceedings. For more information, contact Nepal Immigration.

It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any wild animal or trade its parts without a license. Nepal is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which bans trade of wildlife products without a permit. Those caught purchasing or trafficking such goods as well as accomplices who knowingly assist anyone in committing any offences against the law will be prosecuted and receive prison sentences or fines or both.

The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). If you are visiting Nepal, you can bring cash or travellers’ cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw US dollars or Nepalese rupees from ATM machines in Nepal.

Scottish and Northern Ireland bank notes are not accepted in Nepal.

There are ATM cash machines in most large towns, cities and hotels in Nepal.

You will have to declare any amount exceeding US$5,000 in bank notes, or US$10,000 in notes and travellers’ cheques combined on your Customs Declaration when you arrive in the country. When you leave the country, you need to present the receipt for the exchange you made during the entry into Nepal. The airport desk will then help convert your Nepali currency back to the foreign currency.

Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops where this might be seen as inappropriate, eg temples and other holy places. Remove shoes before entering certain holy places. Non-Hindus are not permitted in some temples.

Nepal is generally open and tolerant to LGBT issues, and same-sex relations are not criminalised. A Supreme Court ruling in 2007 ordered the government to end discrimination against sexual minorities and to ensure equal rights. However, all public displays of affection, irrespective of sexuality or gender identity, tend to be viewed as inappropriate in Nepali society and may therefore attract negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

You should carry your passport with you at all times. Leave a photocopy in a safe place or with friends and family in the UK.

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Nepal

When inward flights resume, the Government of Nepal may continue to require specific conditions of entry for passengers originating from the UK. Those seeking to enter Nepal were previously required to present certain documentation:

  • a certificate showing a negative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test, taken within 72 hours of flight of first departure or a complete vaccination against COVID-19. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’)
  • a visa or prior approval document
  • a hotel booking that allows at least ten days’ quarantine in Nepal (if not vaccinated)
  • a travel insurance document which covers health, immediate crisis, or rescue for the duration of your travel

The Department of Immigration has fuller information.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status

Nepal has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK solutions for demonstrating your COVID vaccination status. You should follow guidance for alternative entry requirements. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

At present, it may not be possible to get a visa on arrival. You are advised to contact your nearest Embassy of Nepal before your departure for Nepal. Please refer to this notice regarding visa services.

Passport validity

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months when you submit your application for a visa.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, transit and exit from Nepal with a valid visa.

If you’re issued with an ETD in Nepal to use to exit Nepal, you will need to get an exit visa stamp from the Department of Immigration Office in Kathmandu.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Medication

If you’re planning to take medication into Nepal, you should bring the prescription with you. For further details contact the Embassy of Nepal.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Nepal on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Nepal.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

There are seasonal outbreaks of dengue fever, especially in the southeast of Nepal. If you’re travelling in this area, take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For up to date information visit the TravelHealthPro website.

There have been confirmed cases of scrub typhus in Nepal.

There have been confirmed cases of cholera in Kathmandu, Nepalganj city in western Nepal and in Doti, Bajhang and Gorkha districts.

There have been some cases of avian influenza (bird flu) among birds and poultry in parts of the country. The risk to humans is believed to be very low, but as a precaution you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with birds, and make sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.

Local medical care

Medical treatment is expensive at western travellers’ clinics in Nepal. Healthcare is poor in most places outside the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara. It may be difficult to get rapid helicopter evacuation if you fall ill or suffer a serious accident in a remote area of the country. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, repatriation and evacuation by helicopter (currently costing between £1,000 and £2,000 per flying hour).

There is no central public ambulance service, though some private providers operate in the main cities. In an emergency, you should call the local hospital.

You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Earthquakes

Major earthquakes on 25 April 2015 (epicentre Gorkha district) and 12 May 2015 (epicentre Sindhupalchok district) caused extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure particularly in northern parts of Gorkha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchok and Dolakha districts. These include the Manaslu and Langtang national parks.

Reconstruction work is underway following the earthquakes and most of the country is fully open for tourism, including most trekking routes, though some trails are still affected in Langtang, Manaslu and Helambu. Check with your tour company before trekking in these areas.

Earth tremors are common across Nepal. Lack of adequate emergency preparedness, medical facilities and emergency equipment will increase the impact that an earthquake could have.

The British Embassy would only be able to offer limited Consular assistance in the days immediately following a severe earthquake in Kathmandu Valley due to the likely impact on local infrastructure and inaccessibility of many places. The British Embassy would be unable to provide food, water, shelter or medical assistance in a crisis.

Check with your tour operator to find out what contingency plans the operator may have in place in the event of an earthquake. The British Embassy would seek to help British nationals to leave as soon as possible following a major natural disaster. However, Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) may be unusable following a large-scale earthquake, as will Nepal’s road network. It could take some days for it to become operational.

The National Society of Earthquake Technology - Nepal (NSET) provides advice on what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Monsoon season

Travel during the monsoon season (June-September) can be hazardous. Flooding and landslides often occur and can cut off towns and villages for days at a time. British Embassy staff avoid travel across the country during this period where possible. If you travel by road during monsoon season, take care, plan your journey carefully (including checking access routes before setting off) and be prepared to change or cancel your plans at short notice. Make sure any vehicle you travel in is equipped to deal with the risk of landslides (eg winches, ropes) and you have sufficient supplies for any delay to your journey.

The government of Nepal Meteorological Forecasting Division provides weather updates (in English) and flood forecasts during the monsoon. The Department of Hydrology and Metrology also provides daily updates.

The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). If you are visiting Nepal, you can bring cash and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw US dollars or Nepalese rupees from ATM machines in Nepal.

Scottish and Northern Ireland bank notes are not accepted in Nepal.

There are ATM cash machines in most large towns, cities and hotels in Nepal.

You will have to declare any amount exceeding US$5,000 in bank notes, or US$10,000 in notes and travellers’ cheques combined on your Customs Declaration when you arrive in the country. When you leave the country, you need to present the receipt for the exchange you made during the entry into Nepal. The airport desk will then help convert your Nepali currency back to the foreign currency.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.