Annapurna Circuit Budget & Nepal Cost Of Travel

Here is a guide to much things cost in Nepal and how to travel on a budget.
 

Everything you need to know about the cost of travel in Nepal and how to trek the popular Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas on a budget. Nepal is a budget-friendly country and we spent less than $21 per day during our 4 weeks Nepal visit.


Nepal, in general, is a budget-friendly country and it's possible to travel and stay there without breaking the bank.

Our spending in Nepal was a bit specific as we primarily hiked the Annapurna Circuit Trek, so our options regarding food and accommodation were relatively limited.

Nepali government set a price range for all lodges on the trek, which means, the cost is very similar everywhere, there is only one rule, the higher you climb, the more expensive service you can expect.

Depending on your bargaining skills, owner's mood and the season you can try to get a better price. 

Also, it is unwritten rule hikers have dinner and breakfast in the same lodge where they sleep so usually we were asked only to pay for food and host waived our accommodation fees.

We spent almost 4 weeks in Nepal, and it was one of our best travel experience we've ever had.

Nepal is an amazing country, and we created this extensive Annapurna Circuit, Pokhara and Kathmandu travel itinerary to inspire your trip.

Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Nepal, in general, is one of the cheapest places in the world, which makes it great for budget travelers. If you want to go and eat out, you can find a local eatery where you will be served a handful of momos for a $1, night in a dormitory will cost you no more than $5, for $50 you will sleep in something really nice. Probably the most expensive item on your shopping list will be a flight ticket, but you can knock the price down by shopping around and looking for first or last minute deals.

We also put together our detailed Annapurna Circuit guide, where you will find all the information you need.


COST OF TRAVEL

In total, we traveled 23 days in Nepal and spent 102 424 NPR = 4453 NPR per day = 2227 NPR per person, which is approximately 21 USD per person per day.

This sum is without the flight tickets and additional gear we purchased before the trek.

TOTAL: 970 USD


Flight tickets

Return flight tickets from Prague, Czech Republic, with one layover in Dubai cost us approximately 800 USD per person. We could have probably acquired it way cheaper but were so excited about the idea going finally to Nepal, that we bought tickets straight away. We also needed the flight tickets for exact dates, so our searching options were limited.

TOTAL: 1600 USD


VISA AND PERMITS

30 days visa costs 40 USD per person, and you can pay the fee at the airport after filling out the arrival card. For Annapurna Circuit you must obtain TIMS & ACAP permits, it costs 2000 NPR each.

We went to the tourist Nepal Tourism Board office directly from the airport and arranged our visa straight away as we wanted to get to Besisahar the next day and started trekking.

TOTAL: 160 USD


Accommodation

When hiking Annapurna Circuit, the expected price range for accommodation with breakfast and dinner varies from 250 NPR to 800 NPR for a room for two. We usually slept in private rooms with shared bathroom, only a few times we had a room with attached bathroom. You can expect slightly higher prices in larger cities as Kathmandu or Pokhara.

Keep in mind, that accommodation in Nepal is extremely affordable, and whatever your budget is, you don't have to spend a fortune to stay in something nice.

TOTAL: 184 USD


WHERE TO STAY IN KATHMANDU

Check out our picks for the best hotels in Kathmandu.

BUDGET: Kathmandu Mantra Home - Hospitality, great location to wander the streets, rich breakfast, and fast Wi-Fi.

MID-RANGE: Kathmandu Grand Hotel - Great value for money, perfect location, clean rooms, and tasty buffet breakfast.

LUXURY: Kumari Boutique Hotel - A quiet boutique hotel features clean rooms, excellent location, and a delightful breakfast.

You can also search for all hostel options using HostelWorld.


TRANSPORT

Taxi from Airport to the Thamel cost around 750 NPR, the ride itself will cost you another few years of your life.
Bus from Kathmandu to Besisahar cost 430 NPR per person.
Jeep from Kagbeni to Jomson cost 350 NPR.
Jeep from Jomson to Pokhara cost 1690 NPR per person.
Bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu cost 700 NPR per person.

TOTAL: 65 USD


EATING OUT

Food and drink prices rise proportionally to elevation. Breakfast is 250 - 400 NPR, lunch and dinner 500 NPR - 700 NPR per person. We always ordered local vegetarian food which is cheaper than western food or meals with meat. We did not buy any alcohol while trekking. Firstly, it gets expensive, around 500 NPR for 0.33l beer bottle and secondly, it is not recommended to drink alcohol at this altitude.

It is also not safe to drink tap water in Annapurna area. Tourists should use purifying tablets, drops or buy water in ACAP stations along the road and it usually cost one-third of water in plastic bottles.  In lowland, you can buy 1 liter for as little as 25 NPR, at the altitude around 3000 m it costs approximately 160 NPR.

In the cities, you can buy a dinner from 80 NPR. For first-time visitors, here are 5 meals you can't miss in Nepal.

TOTAL: 406 USD


GROCERY

On Annapurna Circuit we only bought freshly made snacks in bakeries along the trek for 100 - 150 NPR. Prices in local restaurants are cheap so no need to go grocery shopping. When we were longing for fresh fruit, we bought it in Kathmandu or Pokhara from street vendors.

You must bargain as there is no set price and no one will tell you how much it should approximately be.

TOTAL: 25 USD


ACTIVITIES

You can book a guided tour with a travel agency which will take care of everything on your behalf in advance, or you can hire guide and porter in Kathmandu, Pokhara or at the beginning of the trek. We decided it wasn't necessary to hire a guide as the trail is well-marked and we were also willing to carry our own backpacks. We paid entrance fees only in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

If you are looking what to do in the cities, check out our Pokhara - Top Things To Do and Kathmandu Best Places To Visit guides.

TOTAL: 30 USD


GEAR

Before leaving, we bought down jackets, water purifying drops, medications and trekking poles. It cost around $700, but we didn't purchase this gear only for Annapurna Circuit and will use it in future.

You can buy all the trekking gear you need in Kathmandu, though be prepared that the high-quality stuff is expensive and difficult to find. Therefore we would recommend you to look for discounts and buy all things before the trip.

The cheap stuff you will see is in the stores is made from low-quality materials despite having Goretex and other labels.

TOTAL: 700 USD


EXTRA COSTS

When going abroad, we always purchase travel insurance. Always.

Annapurna Circuit is the trek at high altitudes so make sure your insurance covers rescue by helicopter above 5000 meters (Thorong La lies at 5416 m). Our insurance cost around $50 per person for the whole stay.

TOTAL: 100 USD


TRAVEL INSURANCE - SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE

We never leave our home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip.

World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover your trip essentials.

Travel smarter and safer!


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