I have to admit that Nepal is one of my favourite countries in the world. It perfectly marries ancient history with urban bustle, amazing scenery and nature and the absolute most kind and friendly people I have ever met.
When you are planning a trip to visit Nepal you will want to know when the best time is to go. Although I would argue that there never is a “wrong” time to go to Nepal, depending on what you have planned it might pay off to go during a certain season or time of the year.
So, when is the best time of year to visit Nepal? Let me explain.
Nepal has 6 seasons
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Although most of us are used to only having 4 seasons – countries and people around the world actually have more or less seasons. In The United Arab Emirates for instance we only really know winter and summer. In Nepal – there are 6 seasons each season is about 2 months long.
Spring in Nepal
Spring in Nepal spans over 2 months from mid-March to mid-May. This is when the new buds grow into the trees and when it is not too cold and not too hot. It can be quite windy in spring, but overall the temperature and weather are nice.
Summer in Nepal
Summer in Nepal spans from mid-May to mid-July. Summer in Nepal is the hottest season. Summer and spring are the best seasons to visit Nepal for sightseeing.
Rainy season in Nepal
The rainy season in Nepal runs from mid-July to mid-September. During the rainy season you can experience monsoons and heavy rain in Nepal. Travelling outside of Kathmandu might get difficult as it is often very muddy and small rivers can turn into swirling rivers in minutes.
Autumn in Nepal
From mid-September to mid-November it is Autumn in Nepal. In this season you will see most of the festivals in Nepal take place. If you want to discover Nepal and want to take in the culture, you can best come in Autumn to experience festivals such as Deepwali.
Pre-Winter in Nepal
In Nepal Pre-Winter runs from mid-November to mid-January. Pre-winter in Nepal is a bit like winter in those months in Europe where it is technically winter, but the coldest months will be January and February.
Winter in Nepal
Winter in Nepal will run from mid-January to mid-March and is the coldest season of the year. You won’t see any snow falling in Kathmandu but up high and in the mountains it will snow a lot.
Best time to visit Nepal for Sightseeing
When you want to visit Nepal for sightseeing like Joshua and I did, you can visit Nepal at any time of year except for the Monsoon season – in fact I would not recommend anyone visiting Nepal during monsoon season.
Joshua and I visited Nepal in April which is considered to be the best time for sightseeing. The air in spring and summer is the cleanest and clearest which means you can enjoy the panoramas better. Nepal has quite a large problem with smog and air quality in the colder months.
In Kathmandu it stays reasonably dry during the spring and summer. If you go early spring you can hit the tail-end of a late monsoon, but overall it shouldn’t rain that much overall. Josh and I did not have any rain and liked it that way.
Other parts of the country such as Chitwan and Mustang are very different from the Kathmandu valley and will overall have different weather. Chitwan for instance has quite a wet climate while Mustang is very dry.
Best time to visit Nepal for trekking
When you want to go trekking in Nepal Spring and Summer are the best seasons to visit Nepal for trekking. You will have better views, warmer weather in the mountains and less rain.
Trekking during the Monsoon season can be quite dangerous. In fact, I would not recommend doing it. A lot of water comes from the mountains and it can make streams turn into swirling rivers and cause massive mudslides that catch you by surprise.
When visiting Nepal for trekking always take an experienced guide with you. Especially when you decide to trek or hike for more than a day.
Always take a small rain jacket with you as it can rain quite suddenly. Also install a good weather app on your phone so you can get up to date weather information. This is especially important when trekking outside of the trekking season in spring and summer.
Best time to visit Nepal for sports and adventure
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This cheeky monkey took a handful of noodles off the plate of the woman behind us and kept harassing her! Okay so, we were sitting on an improvised "roof terrace" - it actually wasn't much bigger than my bathroom (which is small) looking out over #Swoyambhunath when this little monkey comes up to the three tables cramped on the roof of this tiny bar. The woman behind us ordered a plate of noodles and is looking through the pictures she took earlier that morning. We hear a bit of a ruckus behind us when the monkey - literally in the blink of an eye - dragged away more than half of her noodles in his little wrists. I love monkeys. They are such cheeky little bastards!
If you are looking to head to Nepal for extreme sports and adventure you are in for a treat. Josh and I went white water rafting and it was amazing! In Pokhara you will be able to go paragliding and flying an ulm.
If you are a lover of extreme sports, you will want to go in any season except for Winter. In Winter the winds can be strong making the weather unfit for paragliding and the rivers are swollen with water which makes them incredibly dangerous for rafting.
The best season for adventure and extreme sports in Nepal is summer because of the lovely weather and the good visibility. Prices do take a hike in summer and early autumn. If you are travelling to Nepal on a budget it is best to go in early spring or late autumn. This way the weather is good but you won’t be paying peak prices.