Local and Official Currency
Exchange Rate in NepalThe exchange rate of NPR with respect to hard currencies like US Dollar, Euro and Pound Sterling for 26th June 2018 are given below:
For USD 1, you will get NPR 109
For EUR 1, you will get NPR 127.32
For GBP 1, you will get NPR 144.62
These rates are market determined so you can expect them to vary from day to day.
However, if you are coming from India and have to exchange INR, then you must know that Nepal has a fixed exchange rate concerning INR. So, INR 1 exchanges for NPR 1.61 at all times.
Places for exchanging Foreign Currency
The Tribhuvan International Airport also offers you the benefit of changing your money with your arrival in the country. You will find two money changing centres inside the airport at the arrival lounge. While leaving the country also if you need to exchange your money, you will find a bank counter at the departure lounge which will offer you the service.
Currency to Carry to Nepal
Most of the large hotels, restaurants and malls accept debit cards and credit cards like Visa, MasterCard or American Express but for shopping in local markets and other smaller transactions you require cash. If you are travelling to other smaller towns of Nepal from Kathmandu or going for a trek, carry lots of cash in NPR as you won't find ATMs or money changers in these places, and cards will seldom be accepted. It's better not to rely on traveller's cheques as they are hardly usable in Nepal - if at all, to use the cheques you have first to encash them with the authorised forex dealers.
Some Useful Tips
- Avoid changing your currency at the airport as they give the lowest rates. Change them from the money changing centres or banks after you arrive in the city. It at all, change only very small amounts from the airport which you might require for immediate transactions like say, paying for transport fares.
- In all probability, NPR will not be accepted in any other country, so if you have excess remember to change them before you depart.
- There are only slight variations in the rates offered by different forex centres and banks, so you can save time by skipping on the task of comparison of rates. Also, changing bulk amounts and notes of larger denominations generally earn better rates than smaller amounts.
- Preserve your currency exchange receipts always and carry your passport if you are planning to change money through banks.
- Bank transactions require more time as you have to deal with some paperwork; so it's better to rely on forex centres.
- Make prior enquiries with your banks and credit card companies regarding the usage of their cards in Nepal because sometimes they may not allow you to do so or impose hefty charges.
Prices of goods in KathmanduThe current rates of some useful products and services in Kathmandu that you might find helpful.
A 1.5-litre bottle of water: Between NPR 30-50
A three-course meal for 2 people (at a mid-range restaurant): NPR 550-2000
A 500-gram loaf of bread: NPR 40-100
A 2-litre bottle of soft drink (Coke, Pepsi etc.): Around NPR 180
A 500ml bottle of domestic beer: NPR 175-375
A single one-way ticket via public transport: NPR 15-25
Taxi fare per kilometre: NPR 35-100
So as can be understood, Nepal not a very expensive place to visit.
That was all about currency exchange in Kathmandu. All in all as long as you stay in the capital obtaining the local currency is not a problem - cards can also be used, so there's no need to move around with large amounts of cash in NPR.