Nepal, the land of the Himalayas and home to Everest, the highest peak in the world, is a magnificent place to visit. It is a popular destination among tourists, especially trekkers. Though small, the country does not run short of beautiful views and things to do. While making travel plans, there are some things that you should know beforehand so you know what to expect. Especially if this is your first time visiting Nepal, this information might be very useful to make the most of your trip. First timers, this is Nepal 101:

The language 

The national language is Nepali, but it is not the only language spoken. According to the 2011 national census, there are 123 mother tongues spoken in Nepal. You can breathe a sigh of relief because the locals, especially in tourist-heavy places, usually understand English.

The People Whenever Nepal is mentioned, people automatically think of Sherpas, the mountain climbers. The majority of the population is of Indo-Aryan or Mongolian descent. These ethnicities are further divided into castes and sub-castes. Such vast ethnic and cultural diversity is one of the interesting things about Nepal, and it is something that the Nepalese are proud of.

People mainly follow Hinduism and Buddhism though there are numbers who follow other minor religions as well. Kathmandu is the cultural melting pot of Nepal – you will find people of all sorts of castes and religions, which is why the capital city gives off an exotic impression. No matter what, the Nepalese are known for their calm and welcoming natures, and you will easily find a helping hand if you ever need one.

Social Conventions 

People join hands, usually accompanied by a slight bow, and say ‘Namaste’ to greet. ‘Namaste’ literally means ‘I bow to the divine in you’ so can’t help but feel that everything relating to Nepal has a serene and spiritual aura. Handshakes are also acceptable. Do not use your left hand to give or take anything, it is considered impolite. Another thing considered rude is sharing defiled or ‘jutho’ food. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. You are charged some fees to enter the major temples. Take your shoes off while entering temples and do not carry leather items when you visit temples. Ask for permission before taking pictures, whether it is people you photograph or temples. The Nepalese rarely display a public display of affection. You shouldn’t too.


Public transportation in Nepal is not very dependable, owing to the roads and how there is always some sort of construction or maintenance going on somewhere. You can expect bad traffic jams, especially in the mornings and evenings. Buses, microbuses, and electric tuk-tuks are the major forms of public transport and these are usually very cheap. However, you might find taxis to be the most convenient even though they are comparatively more expensive. Long-distance routes have buses or flights depending on what you’re comfortable with. You can also rent cars or bicycles in major cities.


Nepal can cater to all ranges of accommodation depending on what you want to spend. There are abundant high-end hotels and eateries in the Kathmandu Valley, which you might find pricey. You will also find motels and lodges that cost as low as $4 a night. You could also arrange to stay in a homestay to immerse in the local culture. Most hotels and lodges have hot water and functional toilets, but you might have to use squatting toilets in cheap lodges. Also if you are trekking in remote areas, you will have to stay in tents or teahouses. Make sure that you bring strong luggage locks so that no matter where you choose to stay, your belongings are safe.

When to Visit Nepal. 

The best time to visit Nepal is around October to November when autumn comes knocking. The clear skies give way to clear and pristine views of the Himalayas, and thousands of tourists make their way to hit the trekking trails. This usually means that the prices for accommodation spike. The springtime (March-April) is the second-best time to trek. Rhododendron flowers are in full bloom and this adds a touch of color to your travels. The monsoon (June-September) is when there is the least number of tourists, as trekking becomes risky because of the weather. However, this does mean that you will get the cheapest rates around this time.


Whatever inspires you to come to Nepal, you will not leave disappointed. The rich history and culture of the place coupled with the splendor of the Himalayan views and friendly smiles are sure to make your trip one to remember. Each place has a story to tell, and every place you go, you will make memories. 

The above information can be helpful, but be sure to buy a proper guidebook before your arrival so that you have more details at your disposal!