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1 week across amazing Nepal backpacking: How much does it cost to travel from India?

Nepal Backpacking in a Himalayan country which is known as the mountaineering capital of the world. Backpacking is something which has always been a part of the travel culture of Nepal. A lot has changed in the travel world post the Covid-19 pandemic and Nepal is no stranger to this change. Pre-Covid Nepal was an extremely backpacker friendly country in terms of budget. It’s still budget friendly when you compare it to the neighbouring Himalayan country of Bhutan. 

So when it comes to the cost of living and travelling across Nepal backpacking in a mid-range shoe string budget for a week, ideally 6N/7D we will break it down into seven areas you need to budget for properly 

Before we dive into the numbers and Maths of travelling and living in Nepal for a week. If you think INR ₹20,000/pp ($250 USD)  is enough you might be caught on the wrong side, since that’s pretty much the approximate round trip flight cost from Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta. It’s life post-Covid and inflation is at an all time high world wide. 

#1 Best Season to Travel 

Never ever decide to go to Nepal backpacking in the monsoon, last week of May to end of September when it’s raining cats and dogs. The bad road condition leads to daily land slides which will return be assured roadblocks. Leaving aside the monsoon months which is all of Q3 calendar year, the rest of the dry season including peak winters, it’s a great place to go backpacking. Kathmandu, Pokhara, Lumbini and Chitwan are great to visit even in winter.  

#2 Travelling to Nepal Backpacking

Nepal Kathmandu streets

The best way to reach Nepal is to take a flight and fly in and out of the country. Daily flights from New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai is around a two to three hours direct flight. Flights cost approximately anywhere between INR ₹6000-13000/pp ($75-150/pp) with Kolkata being the cheapest and the shortest flight time. You can enter Nepal using a passport or voter ID if you are an Indian citizen. Carrying a passport is the fastest way to enter. 

The second option to enter Nepal backpacking is though the road which is via a bus that leaves from various places in India including: 

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New Delhi – A 30-34 hours bus journey and costs anywhere between INR ₹3500-6000 for a seat in a direct air condition bus. 

 Kolkata – An 18-22 hours bus journey costs anywhere between INR ₹2500-4000 for a seat in a direct air condition bus. 

Taking the bus isn’t for everyone, it’s a back-breaking long journey which you have to sit through. 

So the flight will cost you anywhere between INR ₹15,000-24000 ($185-294) for a round trip. While the bus will cost you around INR ₹6000 to ₹10,000 ($75-122 USD). You’ll take three hours in a flight and around 18-30 hours in a bus depending on where you are boarding the bus from in India. 

Personally book in advance and take the flight as the bus is an endurance challenge. 

#3 Accommodation 

Nepal Kathmandu accommodation

Nepal has a variety of stay options ranging from hostel beds to star hotels and home stays and hippie guest houses. So in short there is accommodation to suit the budget of everyone and anyone.  

A decent single room will cost anywhere between INR 800-1500 ($10-18) per night depending on the kind of stay you decide to take and city or village you are living in. The capital city of Kathmandu being the costliest. While in Nepal backpacking

So let’s do the Maths: how much would you spend on a single room. Nepal Backpacking

6 nights X INR ₹1000 ($12 USD) = ₹6000-8000 ($75-100)

A double room which can it 2 adults will cost INR ₹1500-3000 ($18-40) per night depending on the category of stay you’ll opt for. 

For 6 Nights X INR ₹2000 ($25 USD) = ₹12,000-15,000 ($150-185) 

If you are travelling in a group of three to four, you can always opt for a family room which will range anywhere between ₹2000-5000 ($25-62) for a day. 

For 6 Nights X INR ₹3000 ($40 USD) = ₹18,000-21,000 ($220-260) 

#4 Internal Travel 

Three options to travel around Nepal: the first is to take a flight which is extremely cheap at times and extremely overpriced at other times.  But it’s always worth having a look at the cost just in case you get a great deal. 

Taking a tourist bus which will cost anywhere between INR ₹1000-1300 ($12-16 USD) for one way depending on the distance and the bus class. Taking an AC bus is the best way to reach from city to city within Nepal. 

Hiring a private car is a costly affair in Nepal backpacking. It can range from anywhere between INR ₹6000-10,000 a day ($75-125 USD). Unless you are in a group of four to seven humans, taking a car is a costly expense since you will need to even keep the car on days when you can just walk around and explore the town or village on foot.  

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The most economical way to travel across Nepal backpackingis to use a combination of transportation when you’re backpacking. Taking buses, tuktuks and taxis is the way around.  This is the most cost effective way for a backpacker to travel. 

To explore Kathmandu and Pokhara, you can always hire a four seater taxi for a day which will cost anywhere between ₹1500-3000 INR ($18-40) depending on the area and the sights you want to cover.  

For a week, a budget of INR 3500-6000 is more than enough to travel around Nepal backpacking, if you are okay travelling in the travel combination mentioned in the paragraph above.  

#5 Entry Fee 

Nearly every thing in Nepal backpacking has some kind of an entry free ranging from INR 30 to INR 1000. 

Kathmandu entry will cost around INR 300-500 to see everything. Pokhara will be around INR 150-300. Lumbini is INR ₹30 while Chitwan forest permit is INR ₹650-700 based on the conversion. It’s NPR ₹1000 for Indians to get the permit to the national park. 

If you are just travelling across Pokhara and Kathmandu, then it will cost you around ₹500-600 on entry fee per person. Covering Lumbini and Chitwan in one week is near to impossible.  

#6 Food and Drink 

Nepal backpacking

Alcohol is sold all over Nepal in every nook and corner. You will get unlimited alcohol options in every store, cafe and restaurant. A cost of bottle of beer 650ml is around ₹150-300 depending on the brand you opt for. Coffee shops are in plenty with excellent machine made coffee being sold all over. 

Eating options are unbelievable in Nepal backpacking, no matter where you travel, the food will blow your mind away.  We have a whole series of blogs covering food in Nepal. From momos to fine dining and Kati rolls to pan Asian, you can expect to spend anywhere between INR ₹100-500 per person for each meal depending on what you want to eat. For a meal for two adults, expect to spend anywhere between INR ₹1000-1800 depending on what you eat – veg or Non veg. 

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As a solo veg traveller, your food budget daily should be INR 750-1000 which will easily cover your three meals and a few drinks be it coffee or cold drinks.

For 7 days X INR ₹800 = ₹5600-6000 for a week if you are a vegetarian who does not drink alcohol.

As a non veg eating person and alcohol drinking backpacker, your food budget will be around INR ₹1000-1500 per day, all depending on what you eat and drink.  

So 7 days X INR ₹1200 = ₹8600-₹1000 for a week, if you are someone who loves eating and drinking then even the above budget will fall short.  

#7 Shopping

Nepal backpacking is full of souvenirs to take back home to remember you backpacking adventure around the country. From T-shirts which have Nepal, Kathmandu, Everest and the list is unlimited. A T-shirt will cost anywhere between INR ₹150-800 depending on various factors size, T-shirt design and fabric.  

A must have souvenir is the Nepal fridge magnets which start at INR ₹60-300 depending on the make and size.  

So if you are the kind who does not like to shop much, the above two things are an absolute must to take home after a trip. 

The combining will cost you not more than INR ₹500 for a T-shirt and a magnet which will be of good quality.  

Now coming to those who love shopping, for them Nepal backpacking is paradise. Shopping options are unlimited and the quality depends on how much you are ready to spend.  You will get everything from hiking and mountaineering gear to soft toys and puppets, hemp bags and clothes, silver and gold ornaments the list is unlimited.  

Conclusion 

How much would it cost in all for one week Kathmandu and Pokhara?

When you plan on coming to Nepal backpacking this is how much you will end up spending.

Without including your travel to Kathmandu, it will cost anywhere between INR ₹12,000-15,000 ($150-185 USD),  if you were travelling solo and really keep things on a shoestring budget. The above cost won’t include your daily meals. Just stay + travel + entry fee will cost around $150 for a week. With food and drink a budget of INR ₹20,000 ($250 USD) per week for a solo traveller to live and travel without having any money stress on holiday.  

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