Nepali is the official language of Nepal, but English is widely spoken in Kathmandu. More than 90 other languages are spoken in the country. Contact the Australian Government for up-to-date travel warnings. For more on Kathmandu before you go, here’s our must-know info.
Australians travelling to Nepal require a visa. It is possible to obtain a tourist visa on arrival, but please note this is susceptible to change. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nepal. Always make sure your passport has at least 6 months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Nepalese Rupee changes constantly so keep an eye on the exchange rate and buy Rupees when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
Like most Nepali cuisine, the food in Kathmandu has a strong Indian and Tibetan influence. Popular food districts in Kathmandu include Thamel, Durbarmarg and Jhamsikhel where restaurants are affordable, have a higher level of hygiene than other areas and often feature traditional song and dance performances while you eat. The most popular snack food in Kathmandu is momo; a steamed or fried dumpling stuffed with meat or veggies and washed down with a beer. The national meal of Nepal is a filling and healthy dish with dhal, rich curry (meat or vegetable) and served with chutney pickles and yoghurt. For a warming drink, try chiya – a spiced tea similar to the Indian chai.
Kathmandu has some of the most colourful nightlife in Nepal. The most popular entertainment district in Kathmandu is Thamel where there’s heaps of hotels, live music, bars, clubs and nightclubs catering for tourists and local partygoers alike – even Irish pubs! There’s also a few casinos should you wish to try your luck. Clothing is relaxed, but modest by Australian standards. Be warned, an 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants exists in some areas. For local beers, try Everest, Gorkha and Nepal Ice, or try the local spirits, raksi or Nepali wine, and chang, also called Nepali beer.