For seasoned expats, moving to Kathmandu is an exciting new challenge. Where else can you experience ancient culture amid the highest peaks on earth? Kathmandu boasts a diverse expat population of academics, scientists, adventurers, tour guides, aid workers and educators.
Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and sits towards the east of the country, in the verdant Kathmandu Valley. However, despite being a ‘valley’, the city has an elevation of 1,400m, making it one of the highest cities in the world. In fact, for decades, Kathmandu has been used as a starting point for Himalayan trekkers and would-be Everest climbers, and on a clear day you can see the iconic peaks of Everest and K2 from certain points of the city.
Kathmandu is an ancient city, steeped in Buddhist and Hindu culture, but in 1950 it opened its doors to the international community and it has rapidly become one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the Tibetan Plateau.
Nepali and Nepal Bhasa are the official national languages of Nepal, but English is widely spoken and understood by both locals and expats. Kathmandu has a large and well-established expat community which includes people of many different nationalities.
Tourist visas are available for 15 days, 60 days or 90 days, and cost 25, 40 and 100 USD, respectively. These are available at the airport or any border crossing, and they must be paid for in cash. Indian nationals do not require a visa to visit, live and work in Nepal, but they must show formal identification at border control.
Business visas, marriage visas, student visas and residential visas must be obtained through the Nepalese Department of Immigration. Working visas automatically cover the spouse and children of the applicant, and must be reissued every year. For more information, please refer to our article on Moving to Nepal.
Kathmandu is not an easy place to get to by land. During the rainy season, many of the southern border roads are impassable, making entry from India very difficult. Entry from the north is near impossible, as it involves a treacherous trek across the Himalayan Mountains.
In order to get to Kathmandu, you are going to have to fly. The Tribhuvan International Airport connects the city with the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as offering regional flights to other nearby destinations in Nepal, India and China.
Due to the catastrophic damage caused by the Nepal earthquake in April 2015, which might take years to rebuild, we cannot ensure that the factual information in this article series is up-to-date for the entire country. It is yet unclear for how long, or in which way, issues like health and safety, transport, or the national economy will be affected. Thank you for your understanding!
InterNations Content & Communications Team