Nepal Travel: Money Matters and Basics

Exchange your money in banks and with authorized money changers only and do not forget to ask receipt of the exchange. 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. Before you return, if you are left with any Nepalese currency, they can get it exchanged for 10% against exchange receipts to about 10 or 12 different kinds of foreign currency at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. Nepal has modern banking facilities and some of the International Banks also 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 most of the major hotels, shops and restaurants.
Remember to: Check your credit card expiration dates if you are leaving for an extended journey.
Major banks, hotels and the exchange counters at Tribhuvan Airport provide services of 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, rickshaws buses 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.

ATMs
All major commercials banks of Nepal including Standard Charted bank, Nabil bank, Nepal Investment bank etc, Himalaya bank are offering ATM service in its different branches in Kathmandu and in different cities. You can get cash advances on both Visa and Master card. These ATMs are accessible 24 hours a day and also the tourist area Thamel is now flooded with ATMS.

 Banks

  • Banks are open from 9 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday.
  • Nepal Bank Ltd. at 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 on 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 Chartered 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 Investment Bank, Durbar Marg (Ph: 4242530)
  • Nepal Sri Lanka Merchant Bank, Bagh Bazar (Ph: 4227555)
  • 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, The Kathmandu Post and The Himlayan Times. Nepalese Rupees are found in denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are found in denominations of 10, 25 and 50 paisa also one rupee and two rupee. One rupee is equals 100 paisa.