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Money and Banking in Nepal

General Information

Payment in hotels, travel agencies, and airlines are made in foreign exchange. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some of the International Banks have their own offices in Kathmandu. Almost all foreign currencies along with credit cards such as American Express, Visa and Master Card, etc. are accepted in Nepal at major hotels, shops and restaurants.

Remember: Check your credit card expiration dates if you are leaving for an extended journey.

All visitors are required to exchange their money through the bank or authorized agents. In Kathmandu banks have money exchange counters. These facilities to change money are quick and convenient. We are told it is necessary to ask for receipts when money is changed. On the return journey, if you are left with Nepalese rupees, they can exchange 10% against exchange receipts to about 10 or 12 different kinds of foreign currency at the Tribhuvan International Airport Kathmandu.

Note: Retain Rs. 1100 for airport tax when departing Nepal by air.


Major banks, hotels, and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport provide services for exchanging foreign currency. US dollar traveler's checks can be purchased from American Express at Durbar Marg and other major banks in Kathmandu. Banks typically charge 1% of the face value to cash traveler's checks.

When traveling around Nepal, change large bills whenever you can. Taxis, Bicycle Rickshaws and small shops seldom have small bills. Do not be afraid to ask local shops for change, but expect to ask three or four before someone can/will change your large bill.

ATM

Standard Charted Bank (used to be Grindlays Bank) is offering ATM service in it's different branches in Kathmandu and Pokhara. You can get cash advances on both Visa and Master card. These ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day. One is located down the drive to the Kathmandu Guest House in Thamel, another one is next to the Roadhouse Cafe in Thamel, another one is located in the bank's head office - New Baneshwor and one at the branch on Kantipath.

Banks

Banks are open 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday, Nepal Bank Ltd. on New Road (Ph: 4221185) is open 7 am to 7 pm all days of the week. The Kantipath branch (Ph: 4227375) is open 9 am to 3.30 pm Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, and closed on Sunday. Rastriya Banijya Bank exchange counter at Bishal Bazaar (Ph: 4223776) is open 9 am to 3 pm daily except holidays.

Nepal Bangladesh Bank at Kathmandu Plaza (Ph: 4258308) is open 9 am to 3.30 pm, and its branch at New Road (Ph: 4256734) is open till 7 pm. Standard Charted Bank (used to be Grindlays Bank) on Kantipath (Ph: 4228474) is open 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. There is also an ATM here for Visa and Mastercard access. Counters of Himalayan Bank at Thamel (Ph: 4227749) open 9 am to 3.30 pm and New Road (Ph: 4243107) are open 9 am to 5.30 pm, closed on Saturdays. Other banks are Nepal Arab Bank, Kantipath (Ph: 4226786); Nepal SBI Bank, Durbar Marg (Ph: 4225326); Everest Bank, New Baneswar (Ph: 4482578); Nepal Indosuez Bank, Durbar Marg (Ph: 4228229); Nepal Sri Lanka Merchant Bank, Bagh Bazar (Ph: 4227555) and the Bank of Kathmandu, Thamel (Ph: 4430640). The counters of licensed money changers are open 12 hours a day.

Currency and exchange rates

Exchange rates are published in English daily newspapers such as The Rising Nepal and The Kathmandu Post. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 250, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 paisa. One rupee equals 100 paisa.

Note: Indian rupees are excepted and freely convertible in Nepal. 100 Indian Rupees = 160 Nepali Rupees. Do not worry about exchanging your Indian currency when traveling north into Nepal.

Wiring money

Money can be wired through Western Union (costly, but efficiently), MoneyGram - fast, safe, easy and cheaper (Ph: 4417775 or 4418508) or through banks (very tedious and sometimes timely). Major Nepal banks use the SWIFT system, in place of the older telex systems, to negotiate wire transfers. The major banks also have accounts in New York and other world banking centers to expedite transfers.