Currency, Credit Cards and Changing Money in Nepal

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If you're planning a holiday in Nepal, this is what you need to know about currency, cash and credit cards.

Nepal’s official currency is the Nepal Rupee which is divided into 100 paisa. Commonly circulated coins are of 5, 10, 25 and 50 paisa, and one-rupee denominations. Paper notes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees.

Taking cash & cards to Nepal
It is not really worthwhile trying to obtain rupees before entering Nepal as you can obtain local currency on arrival at the airport, or make use of the ATMs in Kathmandu. Bear in mind that although it will be easy to obtain rupees in Kathmandu, once you travel into the countryside it will be much more difficult - so it is worthwhile ensuring that you have adequate cash with you before setting out from the capital.

Credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa & American Express are accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants, however please note use of a credit card may come with a fee to cover charges. When travelling in rural areas or trekking then it will become more difficult to find places which accept payment by card, so we recommend carrying cash with you outside the major cities and tourist destinations. 

If you travel regularly it will pay to apply for one of the specialist credit cards for travellers that offer excellent rates of exchange and charge zero “load” fees when purchasing items. For up to date information on the best specialist credit cards for travellers we suggest visiting one of the price comparison websites such as or  

Prepaid cards
Prepaid credit cards are now the safest way to travel with "cash", and are much more cost effective and convenient than Travellers Cheques which are now becoming obsolete. We recommend the Caxton FX Global Traveller card which offers a fixed exchange rate at 2.75% below the prevailing interbank rate when spending overseas and withdrawing local currency from ATMs. Unlike credit cards the application process is straightforward, but you need to allow 7 days for delivery of the card. For more information please visit

If you have less time there is the Travelex Cash Passport which can be applied for up to 24 hours prior to departure, then picked up at branch in a number of airports (including London Heathrow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, and Newcastle)