Money in Nepal
The currency is the Nepalese Rupee. 100 Paisa equals 1 Rs. Nepali notes are 1000, 500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupees, and coins are rarely used. You can check the current exchange rate on xe.com.
Take some cash as a backup and for emergencies (either in dollars or pounds – dollars are likely to be more widely accepted in the event of an emergency but both dollars and pounds can be changed for Nepalese rupees in Kathmandu).
It is a good idea to have some small denomination dollars with you as you can buy things with these in Kathmandu, use them for tips etc.
Cash withdrawal from ATMS are available in Kathmandu and Pokhara in the form of Nepalese Rupees. Finding the correct ATM to accept your card can present a bit of a challenge in Nepal. If a machine does not take your card, simply try another. ATMs are typically found in clusters, with a guard overseeing them. Please note that ATMs only operate during normal business hours in Nepal. Most ATMs only allow 10,000Rs at a time, although you can make multiple transactions with the same ATM. It's important to consult with your bank before travel to check whether your card will work.
International credit and debit cards (Master Card, Visa Card, etc) are accepted in all leading hotels, shopping centers, bars and restaurants in Nepal. Keep in mind, as most credit card transactions happen via paper, fraudulent charges can be a problem in Nepal. It is best to use cash whenever possible.
Banks and credit card companies charge every time you make a transaction so a good option is to have a traveller card, which won’t charge you when you withdraw money. You can load up the card online in pounds so you only have to go through one exchange rate, and they offer a competitive exchange rate when you withdraw cash. This is also a good option to protect your credit and debit cards and means your bank won’t presume your debit or credit card has been stolen and stop your card. Some credit cards also offer good deals when using them abroad.
Once you have left Kathmandu to go to the villages you will not be able to withdraw or change any money, so you will need to change or withdraw enough in Kathmandu to cover you for your time in the villages. All food and accommodation are included in the price of your trip, however you may want extra money for soft drinks, snacks and to charge electrical items. On your trek lodges will sell soft drinks and snacks and charge for electrical charging. Once you are in Bumburi there is nothing to buy and you will not have to pay for charging. In Bupsa you can buy soft drinks and snacks, but you will not have to pay to charge your electrical items. You may also like to bring some money to tip your porters – Lhakpa can advise you regarding the amount before you leave Kathmandu. Please read Adventure Alternative's local price guide for more information about costs in Nepal.
Due to the difficulty getting soft drinks and snacks up to the lodges you'll be staying in on your trek they are quite expensive. You may therefore want to buy some snacks before leaving Kathmandu to take with you, if you think you will want/need some.