Everest Base Camp

10 Days of Backpacking in Nepal (2024)

Embark on the ultimate adventure with this Backpacking in Nepal experience! Discover the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas, ancient temples, and vibrant local cultures. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or a first-time adventurer, our expert guides ensure a memorable journey filled with awe-inspiring moments. Unleash your wanderlust, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let Nepal’s majestic beauty captivate your soul. Book your backpacking expedition with us for an unforgettable trek through the heart of the Himalayas!

The 10-day backpacking journey through Nepal holds a special place in my heart, marking the early days of my travels when I ventured beyond my comfort zone. During this adventure, my friends and I meticulously planned an incredible backpacking trip, exploring three cities in Nepal. These were the early stages of our careers when our budgets were tight, prompting us to rely on walking or cycling for most of our travels.

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Nepal as a Backpacking Destination

Nepal, a mesmerizing country of natural beauty and cultural richness, is an unparalleled backpacking destination and one of the cheapest countries to live and travel in the world. Nestled in the heart of the majestic Himalayas, this enchanting country offers a 10-day adventure that transcends the ordinary. As you leave your comfort zone, you embark on a journey where soaring mountain peaks, ancient temples, and vibrant local cultures converge.

The preparation for a backpacking trip through Nepal begins with the thrill of obtaining permits and immersing oneself in the rich region of diverse landscapes. From bustling cities like Kathmandu to the serene lakeside haven of Pokhara and the medieval charm of Bhaktapur, each stop unfolds a unique chapter of Nepal’s allure.

Beyond the scenic views, Nepal’s attraction lies in its warm and welcoming locals, eager to share their traditions and stories. Culinary adventures await with diverse flavours, reflecting the country’s culture. Whether trekking through the Annapurna Circuit or exploring ancient Durbar Squares, every step reveals a new facet of Nepal’s beauty. Nepal’s timeless landscapes and warm hospitality invite those seeking adventure and spiritual solace, making it an unforgettable destination for the intrepid backpacker.

Best Time to Visit Nepal

Nepal experiences four distinct seasons:

  1. Autumn (September to November):
    • Considered the best time to visit Nepal.
    • Pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and excellent visibility.
    • It is ideal for trekking, cultural tours, and wildlife safaris.
  2. Spring (March to May):
    • Another favourable period for visiting Nepal.
    • Warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and lush landscapes.
    • Excellent for trekking, sightseeing, and mountain expeditions.
  3. Winter (December to February):
    • Winter offers clear skies in many regions.
    • Cold temperatures, especially at higher altitudes.
    • Suitable for low-altitude treks, cultural tours, and wildlife safaris.
  4. Summer/Monsoon (June to August):
    • Monsoon season with heavy rainfall.
    • It is challenging for trekking due to muddy trails and leeches.
    • Suitable for those interested in lush landscapes and cultural experiences at lower altitudes.

Depending on the activities you want to get involved in, consider the below seasons:

  • Trekking in the Himalayas: Autumn and spring are the prime seasons for trekking, providing clear views of the mountains and comfortable temperatures.
  • Cultural Tours: Autumn and spring are also excellent for cultural tours, as the weather is generally pleasant and festivals are celebrated.
  • Wildlife Safaris: Autumn and winter are ideal for wildlife safaris in national parks, as vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot animals.

How Many Days Do You Need for Nepal?

Despite its size in comparison to India, I recommend dedicating a minimum of 10 to 12 days to explore Nepal thoroughly. This compact nation offers a spectacular and diverse range of experiences, from the cultural richness of the Kathmandu Valley to the awe-inspiring Himalayan landscapes.

Allotting this time allows for an immersive journey, providing ample opportunities to delve into the unique charm of Nepal, encompassing vibrant traditions, breathtaking trekking routes, and encounters with warm locals. Embracing the essence of Nepal requires more than just a brief visit, ensuring a deeper connection with its captivating beauty and culture.

Tourist Visas for Indian and Australian Citizens

Indian citizens enjoy visa-free entry into Nepal. As one of the visa-free countries, a valid passport along with flight tickets is sufficient for entry. Additionally, an alternative option for identification is using an Election Card issued by the Election Commission, eliminating the need for a passport when traveling within Nepal. This streamlined entry process facilitates a hassle-free experience for Indian travelers, allowing them to explore the beauty of Nepal with ease using either their passport or an Election Card as a valid form of identification.

Australians are required to obtain a visa for entry into Nepal. Visa on arrival is available, and the application process involves presenting your passport, along with flight tickets and accommodation details. The visa fee for this process is approximately USD 20, providing a straightforward and convenient method for securing entry into Nepal. Travelers from Australia can easily navigate the visa application on arrival, ensuring a seamless experience by presenting the necessary documents and completing the nominal fee payment for their visit to this captivating destination.

For the latest and comprehensive information, please refer to the Department of Immigration (Nepal).

Backpacking in Nepal Itinerary

Backpacking through Nepal revealed the unpredictability of travel, where numerous aspects deviated from our initial plans. Despite having a tentative itinerary, various factors disrupted our journey, including public transportation delays and weather-related setbacks that forced the cancellation of many planned activities.

Our rough itinerary includes:

  • Days 0:
    • Flight from Bangalore to Delhi.
    • Train from Delhi to Gorakhpur.
    • Taxi from Gorakhpur to Nepal border.
  • Days 1-4:
    • Exploration of Pokhara city.
    • Engaged in whitewater rafting.
    • Embarked on a sunrise trek.
    • Visited Phewa Lake.
    • Bus journey from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
  • Days 5-7:
    • Exploration of Kathmandu.
    • Visited Swayumbunath temple.
    • Explored Bhaktapur.
    • Visited Pashupatinath temple.
    • Bus journey from Kathmandu to Chitwan.
  • Days 8-10:
    • Exploration of Chitwan.
    • Village tour in Chitwan.
    • Visit to Chitwan National Park (elephant sanctuary).
    • Engaged in a jungle safari.
    • Taxi journey from Chitwan National Park to Gorakhpur.
  • Day 11:
    • Train from Gorakhpur to Delhi.
    • Flight from Delhi to Bangalore.

Transportation to and within Nepal

Primarily, we relied on taxis and public transportation during our journey, opting to arrange most of our transportation spontaneously as the need arose.

  • Flights between Bangalore and Delhi – The flight lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes and was pre-booked with Jet Airways. As Jet Airways no longer exists, check for Indigo or Air India flights.
  • Trains between Delhi and Gorakhpur – The train voyage spans approximately 16 hours, provided the train adheres to its schedule. Tickets for the train can be acquired through the IRCTC website.
  • Taxi from Gorakhpur to Nepal border – The distance from Gorakhpur to Nepal is approximately 190 kilometres. Taxis are available for hire just outside the Gorakhpur train station. Remember to negotiate the fare before entering the cab.
    • Ensure to haggle before getting into the taxi.
  • Buses from Pokhara to Kathmandu and Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park – After consulting with locals, we reached the local bus depots and opted for overnight buses. These arrangements were not pre-booked.
  • Taxi from Chitwan National Park to Gorakhpur – The distance between Chitwan National Park and Gorakhpur is approximately 160 kilometers.

Hostels in Nepal

Nepal offers a diverse range of hostels catering to the preferences and budgets of backpackers. From bustling urban areas to serene mountain retreats, these accommodations provide an affordable and communal lodging experience. Popular hostel destinations include Kathmandu, Pokhara, and other trekking regions.

Hostels in Nepal often feature dormitory-style rooms, communal spaces, and opportunities to connect with fellow travellers. Notable options include the lively Thamel district in Kathmandu, lakeside hostels in Pokhara, and those strategically located along popular trekking routes.

Whether you seek cultural immersion, adventure, or a budget-friendly stay, Nepal’s hostels present a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere for global wanderers.

Places to See on Backpacking Trip in Nepal


Pokhara rests in Central Nepal beside the picturesque Phewa Lake, serving as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit hiking trail. As Gandaki Province’s capital, Pokhara is Nepal’s largest metropolitan city.

Renowned for its hiking trails, exhilarating rafting with challenging Class 5 rapids, and scenic boating experiences, the city attracts adventure enthusiasts from around the globe. A dedicated street in Pokhara hosts numerous tour agencies and shops, orchestrating the array of thrilling activities available, making it a vibrant hub for those seeking natural beauty and adrenaline-fueled adventures.

Plan to spend a minimum of 3 to 4 days exploring the attractions in Pokhara. This enchanting city marked our initial destination during our travels, and we chose to stay for three nights. Among all the places we visited, Pokhara holds a special place as my favourite, offering a captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences that made our stay truly memorable.

10 days backpacking in Nepal Pokhara

Things to do in Pokhara

Tip: Avoid hiring a taxi for exploring tourist attractions in Pokhara. Many places recommended by taxi drivers may be overrated and not worth the expense. We made the mistake of hiring a taxi on our first day in Pokhara and regretted it after visiting a couple of disappointing locations. Consider alternative means of transportation or seek local recommendations for a more authentic and rewarding experience in exploring the city’s attractions.

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting is an outdoor adventure activity wherein participants utilize inflatable rafts to navigate through the rapids of rivers or water bodies. Rapids come in various degrees, with 5-plus being the most challenging. It’s important to note that white water rafting is entirely safe for non-swimmers, as participants are provided with necessary safety equipment and guided by experienced professionals, ensuring an exhilarating yet secure experience amidst the thrilling currents and rapids of the water.

Embarking on white water rafting in Pokhara is an extraordinary experience, especially for adventure enthusiasts. The 5-minus rapids on the Upper Seti River offer an optimal thrill for those seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Rafting durations in Pokhara range from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, catering to various preferences.

Opting for a 30-minute session, we chose the services of Extreme River Rafting, a provider we discovered while strolling along the street adorned with agencies and shops. At that time, the cost of the 30-minute rafting experience was approximately USD 40.

Sunrise Trekking to Sarangkot

Renowned for its breathtaking sunrise, Sarangkot is a must-visit destination in Pokhara. Located approximately 11 kilometres away, a mere 30-minute taxi drive from the city, this hill offers unparalleled views of Himalayan peaks like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu.

Additionally, Sarangkot is celebrated as a prime location for paragliding enthusiasts. The trek up the hill incurs no entry fee, making it an accessible and rewarding experience for those seeking stunning mountain panoramas and the thrill of paragliding adventures.

Regrettably, during our visit to Sarangkot, persistent rainfall obscured the sunrise from view. However, despite the weather setback, the trek to the hill’s summit proved delightful and entirely worthwhile, showcasing the beauty of the surroundings even in less-than-ideal conditions.

Phewa Lake

Phewa Lake, a vast freshwater expanse providing picturesque mountain vistas, is a captivating destination. Also recognized as Phewa Tal or Fewa Lake, it is highly recommended for a visit. While purportedly suitable for swimming, we opted not to partake in this activity. It is advisable to consult with locals before swimming in the lake to ensure safety and adherence to local guidelines.

We rented motorcycles to tour Pokhara and discover the city and the lake.


Kathmandu is the gateway to the Himalayas and is Nepal’s most renowned destination. As the capital city, it is celebrated for its proximity to Mount Everest, approximately 100 kilometres away. Rich in history, Kathmandu boasts many historical sites and ancient temples, making it a captivating and culturally significant hub in Nepal.

Things to do in Kathmandu


Approximately 13 kilometres from Kathmandu city, Bhaktapur, also known as Khwopa, was founded in the 12th century by Raja Ananda Malla. Renowned for its myriad temples, this city is a captivating historical gem.

Notably, no entry ticket is required to explore the wonders of Bhaktapur, allowing visitors to immerse themselves freely in its rich cultural and architectural heritage.

10 days backpacking in Nepal Bhaktapur
Swayumbunath Temple

Swayambhunath Temple, an ancient religious site in the Kathmandu Valley, derives its name from “self-existent.” Believed to date back to 460 AD, this sacred complex was constructed in the 13th century by Raja Mandeva.

Accessible through two routes, visitors can reach the stupa either by ascending a staircase or by taking the road. This revered temple holds significant historical and cultural importance in the region.

10 days backpacking in Nepal Swayumbunath Temple
Pashupatinath Temple

The Pashupatinath Temple counted among the Jyotirlingas, stands as the sacred abode of Lord Pashupatinath, making it a revered Hindu site.

This temple is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and holds profound religious significance. Notably, visitors have no entry fee to enter the temple premises.

Jotirlingas symbolizes the manifestation of the Hindu deity Shiva, emphasizing the divine reverence associated with these sacred sites.

10 days backpacking in Nepal Pashupathinath temple
Note: I do not possess a photograph from the initial visit to the Pashupatinath Temple during the 10-day backpacking trip. The image presented here captures a moment from my subsequent visit.


Chitwan, situated in the southwest corner of Bagmati Province, Nepal, is one of the nation’s 77 districts. Nestled within the lush landscapes, Chitwan District is renowned for its biodiversity, encompassing the Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The region boasts diverse ecosystems, including dense forests and the serene Narayani River, attracting nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. Beyond its natural wonders, Chitwan is celebrated for its vibrant Tharu culture, providing visitors with a unique blend of nature and tradition in this picturesque district.

10 days backpacking in Nepal Chitwan

Things to do in Chitwan

While exploring the Chitwan National Park is a primary attraction, there are numerous other activities to enjoy in Chitwan. Check out the Top 10 Things To Do in Chitwan to ensure you don’t overlook the diverse range of experiences this region offers beyond the wildlife sanctuary. Engage in various adventures and immerse yourself in the rich culture of Chitwan, ensuring a well-rounded and memorable visit beyond the renowned national park.

Chitwan National Park

Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is Nepal’s inaugural and oldest national park, earning recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Renowned for its rich biodiversity, the park is particularly famous for housing the elusive one-horned rhinoceros. This pristine conservation area spans vast landscapes, featuring diverse ecosystems, dense forests, and the tranquil Narayani River.

Sunset at Chitwan National Park
Sunset at Chitwan National Park

Visitors to Chitwan National Park are treated to an immersive experience in nature, where encounters with various wildlife species, including the iconic one-horned rhinos, contribute to the park’s significance in ecological conservation and wildlife tourism.

Jungle Safari to See Rhinos

Chitwan National Park offers two safari options: an elephant and a jeep safari. Despite choosing the elephant safari during my visit, I now refrain from riding elephants due to ethical concerns. Unfortunately, we didn’t encounter any rhinos.

An alternative destination to spot one-horned rhinos is the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in India, renowned for its diverse wildlife, including the majestic rhinoceros.

Adventure and Trekking

Nepal is a mecca for adventure and trekking enthusiasts, drawing thrill-seekers from around the globe. Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, this enchanting country boasts an unparalleled range of trekking routes that cater to various skill levels and preferences. The renowned Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base Camp trek, and Langtang Valley trek are iconic trails offering breathtaking landscapes, challenging terrains, and cultural encounters.

Adventure in Nepal extends beyond trekking, encompassing many activities such as white-water rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, and mountain biking. The diverse topography, ranging from lush valleys to towering peaks, provides an ideal playground for these exhilarating pursuits. Nepal’s rivers, including the Trishuli and Seti, offer thrilling white-water rafting experiences, while the Annapurna region is a haven for paragliders seeking awe-inspiring aerial views.

Trekking and adventure in Nepal also provide an immersive cultural experience. Trekkers traverse ancient trade routes, encountering remote villages adorned with vibrant prayer flags and hospitable locals. Teahouse accommodations along the trails offer a glimpse into the warmth and traditions of the Himalayan communities.

Whether conquering challenging peaks or embracing the tranquillity of alpine meadows, Nepal’s adventure and trekking opportunities create lasting memories, forging a deep connection with the awe-inspiring landscapes and diverse cultures that define this Himalayan haven.

Backpacking in Nepal Budget

It might sound unbelievable, but our entire 10-day backpacking adventure amounted to just INR 20,680 per person (approximately USD 284 / AUD 367). Although I don’t have a comprehensive breakdown, this cost covered:

  • Round-trip flight tickets (INR 15,072).
  • Train tickets.
  • Accommodation in hotels.
  • Whitewater rafting.
  • Entry tickets.
  • Meals.
  • Expenses related to cabs and public transportation.
  • Water bottles and miscellaneous items.
  • Safari charges.

This budget-friendly journey showcases that with strategic planning and a sense of adventure, exploring Nepal doesn’t have to break the bank, providing an enriching experience at an affordable cost.

Is Nepal Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

In my experience, Nepal emerges as an exceptionally welcoming destination for tourists. With iconic treks like the Mt Everest Base Camp and many adventurous activities, it attracts travellers from across the globe, making it inherently safe. Despite my two visits being with friends rather than solo, I haven’t encountered any significant issues.

10 days backpacking in Nepal

Nonetheless, exercising caution remains prudent, especially during nighttime and in remote areas. Nepal’s tourist-friendly atmosphere, rooted in its stunning landscapes and warm hospitality, generally ensures a secure and enjoyable travel experience, provided one remains mindful of surroundings and takes basic precautions.

Closing Notes

Nepal holds a special place in my heart, and as mentioned at the start of my post, this journey has ignited a profound passion for travel within me. The allure of Nepal is magnetic, and I yearn to revisit its captivating landscapes. With a few more items on my bucket list, I am sure that I will return to Nepal, driven by the desire to explore new adventures and immerse myself in the unique charm that this Himalayan gem unfailingly offers.

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    PIN for later reference – Backpacking in Nepal

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