Nepal is a country with rich history, culture, tradition, and a plethora of natural wonders. With a diverse landscape, it has something for everyone. It is an adventure that you can’t miss, from the mystical Himalayan Mountains to the lush valleys of the Annapurna range.
Nepal attracts thousands of tourists every year. With its exotic nature and warm people, it is a beautiful destination to visit. It is a land of many different cultures and offers a massive variety of activities for its visitors.
Here’s another fact that would make you happy- Nepal is one of the budget destinations in Asia. It is one of the cheapest countries in the world where the prices of accommodation are pocket-friendly. You will find standard hostels, dorms, and guesthouses at a very affordable rate.
In addition, food, drinks, transportation facilities, and activities are also cheap.
Nepal houses some of the best climbing, hiking, biking, and rafting spots in Asia. For example, you can visit the Boudhanath stupa, one of Nepal’s most spectacular temples. Also, you can take a rafting trip down the Trishuli River or go on a Patan Durbar Square and Swayambhunath Temple bike tour.
Nepal truly is the best destination to visit. Here are the top 10 activities you should include in your itinerary to get the most out of your trip.
1. Visit sightseeing in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, the capital city, is a diverse city that boasts the country’s history, art, and economy. It is an urban area mixed with beautiful ancient values and culture. Explore the city by booking a sightseeing tour or stroll around yourself. You can check out the excellent heritage sites and monuments. Its exquisite architecture consists of carved wooden windows, bronze sculptures, and pillars.
Kathmandu has three Durbar Squares in its vicinity: Basantapur (Kathmandu), Durbar Square, Patan (Lalitpur), Durbar Square, and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. The entrance fee on each of these durbar squares is $10-$15 per person. Also, visit the holy sites like Swoyambhunath Stupa, Boudhanath stupa, and Pashupatinath Temple.
You can have a glimpse of the lifestyle of the past royal family by visiting the Narayanhiti Palace Museum. It has a collection of various items used by Royals back in those days.
2. Take a cooking class
Taking a cooking class when you’re in Nepal is a must. Kathmandu and Pokhara offer several cooking classes to learn how to make Nepali delicacies like Dal Bhat and curry, rice pudding (kheer), and dumplings (momo).
The price for cooking classes is $10-$45, depending on the type of class you’re taking.
3. White Water River Rafting
Trekkers and rafting enthusiasts alike can enjoy white water river rafting in Nepal. Nepal has many rivers that have excellent currents. The rapids are graded on a scale from one to six, with the higher numbers being more complex. Rafting and Kayaking are some of the best activities for serious adventure seekers. National Geography has recognized the Sun Koshi river as one of the world’s top 10 white-water rafting journeys.
You will love the feeling of being swept by the fast-moving waters of the Nepalese river. Some of the other best spots for rafting are Bhote Koshi, Lower Seti, Kali Gandaki, Trishuli, and Marshyandi rivers. Going to raft and kayak on these places not only satisfies your adrenaline rush but also lets you explore the villages, forested areas, and white river banks of the country.
You will indeed have the most thrilling yet beautiful experience as you move with the water currents alongside the view of the splendid hills and terraced paddy farms and villages.
These rivers are also great for canoeing. No wonder Nepal is known as one of the best destinations for white water rafting and Kayaking globally.
Prices: The prices of White Water Rafting varies from $37 to $120+ depending on the number of days and destination.
4. Rock Climbing at Nagarjun Hills, Shivapuri Hills and Hattiban
Rock climbing is another adventure activity for travelers on a budget in Nepal. This activity is best for outdoor lovers who love a good challenge. There are lots of rock climbing opportunities in the capital city, Kathmandu itself. Three of the best places for rock climbing are Nagarjun Hills, Shivapuri Hills, and Hattiban.
Nagarjuna’s cliff is located to the northwest of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Swoyambhu Stupa. This cliff is best for beginners as well as pros.
Shivapuri, on the other hand, is located in the north of Kathmandu. It is Kathmandu’s second-highest mountain and a great place to hike too. Rock climbing here will give you a fantastic view of nature and the city.
Lastly, Hattiban is another good place for rock climbing. Located near the Kathmandu valley, it takes a 20-minute hike to reach the rock climbing spot. You choose between 10 beginners to advance single-pitch climbing routes.
Prices: It costs $120 for a one-day trip. The company will escort you to and from the destination on a private vehicle.
5. Jungle Safari at Chitwan National Park
Nepal’s first national park, Chitwan National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers the best jungle safari in the country. It houses a deciduous forest that covers the Shivalik Range.
The Chitwan Jungle Safari includes adventurous activities like nature walks, boating/canoeing trips, a visit to the elephant breeding center, snd a Tharu village excursion. You will spot wild elephants, tigers, monkeys, crocodiles, and lots of birds.
Price: $33.54 per person
6. Bungee Jumping from the world’s third-highest bungee spot
Imagine free falling from a height of 160-meters with a view of the magnificent hills and rivers. Beautiful yet adventurous, right? Dare to enjoy the most thrilling experience in Nepal as it houses the third highest bungee jumping spot in the world in the Bhote Kosi River.
Bungee jumping at Hemja, Pokhara is also a great idea as it is the only tower bungee of Nepal.
Price: Bungee or Swing Day Trip costs $108. Bungy and Swing Day Trip costs $137. So if you want to add a Canoeing Day trip with bungee, expect to pay $150.
7. Wander Pokhara
Pokhara is a beautiful lake town and a central tourist hub. It hosts everyone, be it an adventure seeker, a yogi, or a party goer. This city lives for tourism and offers everything from religious sites, sightseeing spots, wellness retreats, and thrilling adventure sights.
Hire a bicycle and wander around the lake city. Besides, you can also get on public transport such as a bus and explore the city’s major attractions as a fraction of the cost of the taxi. Some of the major attractions to explore in this city are the Phewa Lake, World Peace Pagoda, Devi’s Fall, Gupteshowr Mahadev Cave and Bat Cave, and Begnas Lake.
I also suggest you take a taxi and drive to Sarangkot View Point, located 30-minutes away from the lakeside. Here, you will see mesmerizing views of the lake, city, the hills, and the mountains. It is even better if you watch a sunset here.
8. Paragliding in Sarangkot, Pokhara
Nepal houses one of the best paragliding spots in the world in Sarangkot, Pokhara. Paragliding in Pokhara is the best way to take in the views of the lake city while feeling the thrill of soaring up in the air.
The flight lasts for 25-35 minutes, and if you want more thrill, you can ask your pilot to do some tricks too. What makes paragliding in Pokhara one of the best in its suitable take-off and landing zones, mesmerizing scenic views, stable thermal current, and experienced pilots.
You can book your paragliding trip with any of the twenty companies operating in Nepal.
If you know how to paraglide and are skilled enough, you can ask for permission at the Aviation Office of Pokhara.
Price: Book a tandem flight for $125 from a paragliding company such as Sarangkot Paragliding and High Ground Adventures Nepal. It includes transportation to and from the destination, paragliding fees, and photos and videos.
9. Ziplining in Pokhara and Kathmandu
Sarangkot is not just a great spot for paragliding, but it is also one of the most fantastic ziplining experiences. The paragliding destination is located amidst the hills of the western region, which is at an elevation of 5400 meters. Ziplining down the hills will give you an adrenaline rush and an ever more enchanting view of the Phewa lake and its surroundings.
Sarangkot ziplining is famous among tourists because of the safety and comfort provided by professional trainers. Recently, ziplining has also opened in Dhulikhel, Kathmandu. You will see beautiful views of Dhulikhel valley along with the mountains like Langtang, Dorje Lakpa ad Phurbi Chyachu.
Price: Ziplining in Pokhara is operated by High Ground Adventures Nepal, and you can book a zipline with them for $41.69. The sum includes hotel pick and drop, photos and videos.
Ziplining in Dhulikhel is operated by Nepal Trek Adventure & Expedition, and it costs $35 for a classic zipline, $45 for a superman zipline, and $60 for a couple of ziplines.
10. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is an easy water sport where you row on a SUP board at the Phewa Lake. It is a chill activity where you can relax and enjoy the views while being adventurous as well.
Price: You can rent SUP board for $5.85 per hour, $20.88 for half a day, and $29.24 for a whole day.
11. Eat street food
Nepal has various unique ethnic cuisines. You must try them when you’re here. The cuisines range from Newari, Thakali, to Tibetan. Go to the restaurants and enjoy a meal for less than $5.
I also suggest you try the street food while you’re in Nepal. They are cheap and delicious.
Some of the best street foods to try are Laphing, Bara, Thukpa, Sel Roti, Samosa, Pani Puri, Momos, Sekuwa, and more.
Also, try Newari streetfood like Bara, Juju Dhau (curd), Chatamari, Choila, and Samaye Baji.
All of these food comes in less than $10, some even less than $5.
12. Mountain Biking
Kathmandu and Pokhara are renowned for their biking routes as well. You can hire a mountain bike and hit off to the trails on your own or book a trip with an excursion company. Booking a cycling tour will get you a good-condition mountain bike, a cycling guide, gloves, helmet, repair kits, and lunch pack.
It is a great way to enjoy the trip without the hassle of managing everything on your own.
Price: Mountain Biking Tour around Pokhara (Sarangkot/World Peace Pagoda)starts from $75 for a day. Mountain Biking Tour on Kathmandu (Bugamati/Godavari/Chapagaun/National Park) costs $33.54 or more, depending on the bike.
Kathmandu World Heritage tour takes you to four of the most important sites of Kathmandu, like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Swoyambhunath, and costs $85.34.
13. Go on short treks
Trekking in Nepal is cheaper than other international destinations. It is because the cost of accommodation and transportation is relatively cheap. The only costly things to take care of during your trek are food, guides, and porters.
You can also opt to trek independently if you are confident. Hotel rooms and guesthouses cost $5 per night, and it includes dinner too. If you are traveling with friends, you can split this amount too. In terms of snacks, it is costlier on higher elevations. So it is better if you buy your snacks when you’re in lower elevations.
How much should I expect to pay for a trip to Nepal?
Besides the airlines fare, expect approx. to pay NPR 27906.54/$234 for a week in Nepal. If you are exploring the country for a month, expect to spend about approx NPR 119,258/$1000
So these are the top activities in Nepal you can do on a budget for travelers and backpackers.