Nepal has distinct climates related to its elevations with its subtropical jungle in the south and the world’s highest peaks in the north. We suggest you also learn about the seasonal variations before going there so that you can choose the optimum time to visit.
Nepal's climate is divided into two seasons: the rainy season (May to August) and the dry season (September to April). October to December is the best time to visit Nepal as the skies are generally clear and the views are spectacular. However, the best time to visit Nepal depends on what you plan to do while in the country.
- The ideal time to visit Kathmandu is from September to November when numerous cultural events are held.
- Late September to early December is the best time for photography in Nepal.
- October to April is the best time to see wildlife. Chitwan National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Nepal.
- The best time to visit Pokhara is September to November.
- The autumn months (October and November) are the most popular for trekking to Everest Base Camp.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Nepal?
The best time to visit Nepal is from October to December as the weather is stunning during this period. The average temperature is 22℃ (72°F) by day and 12℃ (54°F) at night.
Trekking, jungle safaris, and outdoor activities are all enjoyable during this period. Dashain is the most auspicious festival in October. Domestic flights are in high demand during the lead-up to it so it is advised to book your tour as early as possible.
March and April are also good times to visit Nepal as the weather gets warmer and the plants come alive with new growth. Most parts of Nepal are hot in these months. Kathmandu and Pokhara can reach 28℃ (82°F). The average temperature is 25℃ (77°F) by day and 10℃ (50°F) at night.
Trekking is ideal during this period, including the route to Everest Base Camp. Many hotels charge a peak season rate. The Holi festival falls in March and is a great opportunity for photos. Domestic flights between Kathmandu and Pokhara can fill up quickly.
January and February are recommended after the months mentioned above. It can be very cold, especially at night. The average temperature is 18℃ (64°F) by day and 2℃ (36°F) at night.
Enjoy viewing the snowcapped mountains. It’s a good time to look at the wildlife in the jungles of Chitwan in the south of Nepal as these lowlands experience moderate temperatures. The Losar and Basant Panchami festivals are often, but not always, held in January. Many hotels offer special winter rates. This is a good time for travelers who are looking for deals.
The monsoon season is from May to September. Heat and humidity levels increase and the clouds make the mountain views seem mysterious. Some travelers don’t enjoy this time in Nepal but it doesn’t mean you can’t travel during this period. The average temperature is 29℃ (84°F) by day and 18℃ (64°F) at night.
City sightseeing is interesting at this time. Getaways to Pokhara, Kathmandu, and the surrounding regions are welcome possibilities. During these months, you are likely to find discounts on accommodation and tours.
Here are the average temperatures and rainfall amounts for Nepal:
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Visiting Nepal in Spring — from March to May
Spring is one of the most popular seasons to visit Nepal as temperatures climb steadily and the weather tends to be more stable. The valleys are fabulously beautiful, especially after all the ice has thawed and the flowers have bloomed. This is a great time to go trekking in Nepal.
March: Temperatures on the Terai can be above 32°C (90°F) while Kathmandu and Pokhara can reach 26°C (79°F). Areas at high altitude are still cold, especially at night.
April: Most parts of Nepal are pretty hot. Kathmandu and Pokhara have temperatures reaching 32°C (90°F). The Terai can often be hot.
May: It is very hot in hillside cities – usually above 32°C (90°F) in the daytime – and even hotter on the Terai.
What to See
Spring is a peak season for trekking. Cross high passes, such as the Annapurna Circuit (ABC), which is located in the middle section of the Himalayas. This is the most popular trekking tour in Nepal. Starting at Nayapul, just a short drive from Pokhara, the standard route requires 10–11 days to reach Annapurna Base Camp and return to Pokhara.
During the tour, you will see fantastic glaciers and the peak of Hiunchuli.
This trek is not difficult and any fit person can manage it, even if you do not have any hiking experience.
The Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC) is consistently regarded as the finest in the world and is suitable for most trekkers with a medium level of fitness. The adventurous trek begins with a half-hour flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, which offers the best views of the Himalayas.
Start there and go through dense green forests to reach Everest Base Camp. It takes about 12 days to return to Lukla.
During the trek, you’ll visit mountain villages and have the chance to visit some of the most renowned monasteries in the country, such as Tengboche Monastery.
Festivals and Events
- Holi: This an exciting festival of color celebrated in Kathmandu in early March. People smear colored powder on each other and throw colored water and water balloons — it’s a great opportunity for photos.
- Bisket Jatra: This is Nepali New Year, which is a major holiday in Nepal. Celebrations take place at Bhaktapur in Kathmandu and children offer sweets, fruits, and gifts to their mothers to show their respect and gratitude.
What to Avoid
- Kathmandu is particularly dusty in March because it’s the time for crop burn-offs. It's best to head out of the city.
- To avoid the crowds, choose a lesser-known trek or visit in early/late spring.
- Mountain views can be obstructed by haze and low clouds.
- It is recommended to wear pants, T-shirts, and breathable clothes.
- In the evenings, wear suits, jackets, a windbreaker, and other warm clothes.
- Domestic flights to popular destinations, especially between Kathmandu and Pokhara, can fill up quickly. Early booking is suggested.
- The Holi festival takes place across many cities and smaller towns in March so it’s very crowded.
Visiting Nepal in Summer — from June to August
The arrival of the monsoon season sees fewer tourists in Nepal, especially in July, making it the least visited month of the year. The weather is hot and humid and it tends to rain on most days.
Although July is not an ideal month for many outdoor activities, traveling in the city is a good idea, such as visiting temples, museums, bars and restaurants, and shops. Kathmandu and Pokhara are the best places to go in summer.
This season has great deals, which is ideal when traveling on a budget.
June: The monsoon season sweeps up from India.
July: The monsoon season has truly arrived. Temperatures stay over 26°C (79°F) in Kathmandu and Pokhara. High-altitude areas are somewhat cooler but with heavy rainfall.
August: This is the final full monsoon month so temperatures remain hot and humid around the country.
What to See
It is the perfect time to discover Kathmandu’s historical heritage without the crowds. The Pashupatinath Temple is a must-see attraction. It is one of the representative Hindu temples in Kathmandu,and is where Hindus hold open-air cremations.
You can visit the world's largest round pagoda in Kathmandu: Boudhanath. It was founded in the 6th century and was the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. It has one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
Kathmandu Durbar Square is the most famous square in Kathmandu and a good place to see marvelous temples. There are more than 50 temples in the square — the whole scene is like an open-air museum filled with ancient architecture.
Pokhara is divided into two parts: the old part and the modern part. It is recommended to visit the old part because it is the same as it was before the development of tourism. Old houses are everywhere and the shops and stalls are full of local life. You can experience the locals’ simple, slow pace of life.
In Pokhara, you can enjoy the stunning view of the beautiful Fewa Lake from a lakeside café.
If trekking is your main purpose in Nepal, the Mustang Trek to the north of Pokhara is a better choice in the monsoon season. It lies within the rain shadow of the Himalayas so it doesn't experience the monsoon-like weather that falls on the rest of the country.
Festivals and Events
- Rato Machchhendranath: Celebrations are held all over Nepal for the August full moon, especially in Patan in Kathmandu, which includes dancing with shamans. Thousands of devotees gather in Kathmandu Durbar Square.
What to Avoid
- It’s not a good time for epic mountain views and photography.
- It’s not a good time for treks because the monsoon weather makes overland travel difficult. With wet weather, landslides, and muddy or flooded roads, many mountain regions become inaccessible.
- It is not advised to arrange a tight schedule as there is a larger possibility of flight delays and cancelations.
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are suggested to protect you from leeches in some areas.
- Take an umbrella as the weather is usually too warm to wear a rain jacket.
- With flight delays and cancelations, check your flights before you venture out.
- Visit the Pashupatinath Temple in the morning to see cremations or visit in the evening from 6pm to see the aarti (worship with fire).
Visiting Nepal in Autumn — from September to November
The monsoon rains last until mid-September but it only rains every few days. The sky generally remains clear with fresh air, providing amazing views all around, making October and November lovely times to visit Nepal.
This is the most popular season for trekking in the Himalayas and provides you with opportunities to join in with various festivals.
September: The humidity subsides by late September. Temperatures reach 20°C (68°F) and 26°C (79°F) in Kathmandu and Pokhara but is higher on the Terai. Mountainous areas, as always, are cooler.
October: It rains occasionally but not very much. Temperatures in Kathmandu and Pokhara seem comfortable with a high of 20°C (68°F) and a low of 26°C (79°F). The Terai is still a little bit hotter.
November: It is quite warm in many parts of Nepal although temperatures can be cold at night. Daytime temperatures are in the low 20°C (68°F) in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Temperatures become more comfortable in the Terai.
What to See
As well as the Annapurna Base Camp and Everest Base Camp treks, which are popular in spring and autumn, the Langtang Valley trek is recommended. It is 62 kilometers north of Kathmandu. The Langtang Valley is the third of the great trekking areas in Nepal after the two treks mentioned above.
Starting at Syapru Besi, an 8 to 9-hour drive from Kathmandu, the moderately difficult trek can be done within a week.
During this cultural trek, you will see several ancient Buddhist monasteries, beautiful valleys, and majestic views of mountains and will pass through local villages where there will be a good chance to interact with the local Tamang people.
Festivals and Events
- Dashain: which always falls in late October, is the most important festival for Nepali Hindus. It is a celebration of good prevailing over evil. Local people gift goats, ducks, chickens, eggs, and coconuts to the goddess Durga. People return to their hometowns and stay with their families during the 15-day holiday.
- Tihar : is Nepal’s second most important festival. It is normally held in mid-November. The celebrations last for 3 days. Local people light up their houses with oil lamps and candles. From the highland, you can see the beautiful scenery of the whole of Kathmandu.
- Chhath : is the most important festival observed in the Terai region and it falls on the seventh day after Tihar. Devotees fast and make offerings to the sun by gathering at riverbanks. The best place to experience the festival is in central Kathmandu.
What to Avoid
- If you prefer to avoid crowds, don’t travel during Dashain.
- Popular trekking trails are crowded — please get advice from your travel consultant to select the best trail.
- There are higher costs due to the higher demand during this peak time.
- In the daytime, a light jacket or cardigan is advisable in case it gets cold. You can also buy beautiful pashmina scarves everywhere to help keep you warm by covering your shoulders.
- At night, a warm jacket is suggested. If you are trekking, please take hiking shoes and casual clothes.
- Book your domestic flights as early as possible. If traveling during Dashain, flights fill up very quickly in the lead-up to the festival.
- If you wish to get some trekking tips, please ask your travel consultant.
Visiting Nepal in Winter — from December to February
Winter isn't the peak season but there are still clear, sunny skies and mild temperatures in many places. There is practically no rain throughout the country during this season. The pleasant aspect of traveling in this season is that there are fewer visitors.
December: The skies are clear. In Kathmandu, average temperatures reach highs of 20°C (68°F) and lows of 4°C (39°F). Fog is common in the Terai. Daytime temperatures reach as high as 28°C (82°F) in Chitwan. Trekking trails in the Himalayas are much colder.
January: This is the coldest month of the year. In Kathmandu, daytime highs can reach 18°C (64°F). Pokhara stays a bit warmer than Kathmandu. Daily temperatures in Chitwan can still be as high as 25°C (77°F). Snowfall in the Himalayas makes trekking trails much harder.
February: The climate varies in this month. In Kathmandu, the average high is 20°C (68°F) with Pokhara being a few degrees warmer. The Terai can be very hot with temperatures reaching as high as 32°C (90°F).
What to See
If you are an adventurer who wishes to experience the harsh Himalayan winter, see the above-mentioned hiking trails without any crowds.
This is the best time for spotting wildlife in Chitwan National Park. It is unique for its wildlife safaris, bird watching, and tiger tracking activities in Nepal. The elephant safari there should not be missed!
The jeep safari is another popular program that you can enjoy during your stay in Chitwan. Compared to other safaris around the globe, Chitwan National Park has a wide range of wild animals.
Winter is also a great time to relax in Kathmandu. For example, you can sit in a café in Thamel and enjoy a glass of Nepali tea or a cup of Nepalese coffee.
Spending a few days in Bandipur is a good idea in the cold season. This is a unique, charming town with traditional wooden architecture, markets, and temple trails. It is about 5 hours’ drive from Kathmandu.
If you enjoy hiking, it’s also a good time for short treks in the Kathmandu Valley and a Nagarkot sunrise trek. Near Kathmandu, this is one of the best destinations for a short trek. It is considered a popular place for a sunrise view of the Himalayas. The trek can be done in one day.
Festivals and Events
- Losar: is the first day of the new year and is celebrated by Nepalese minority people. The best place to experience Losar is to seek out a Tibetan monastery in Kathmandu. The minority people will wear traditional dress for Losar.
What to Avoid
- Trekking in the high mountainous areas can be risky.
- It is not advised to reach higher elevations due to the occasional snowfall.
- A down jacket is recommended as it can still be fairly warm during the day, even in winter.
- As it is the off-season period, you don’t have to book too far in advance.
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