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What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Kathmandu

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Relocating to Kathmandu

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.

About the City

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.

Visas for Nepal

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.

Getting to Kathmandu

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.

Dear readers,

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

Nov 27, 2021, 6:45 AM
12 attendees
Dear members, I hope you are all well and back to your respective work or business. Its been almost two years since we last met up and although the COVID is not all gone, we are all mostly vaccinated
Dec 13, 2019, 2:15 PM
25 attendees
We are organizing a pre-Christmas celebration with some delicious Christmas meals with roasts, yorkshire pudding, interactive pasta stand, soup, mull wine, range of dessert and exciting door prizes at
Sep 20, 2019, 2:45 PM
24 attendees
InterNations is turning 12 this month and this year we’re celebrating our brightest stars: YOU, our amazing members! Your support has made InterNations truly sparkle and shine in every corner of the g
As monsoon comes to an end, we are excited to invite our members to catch up with old members and new members alike. We have a few new members and through this posting we would like to encourage you t

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  • Henrik Olsen

    The high quality of information provided by fellow expatriates was very helpful to me and I can only recommend joining InterNations.

  • Melissa Wood

    I've found great people who helped me a lot when I moved to Kathmandu. I now also give tips to others who want to move to Canada.

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