The best time to visit Nepal will depend on what you are planning to do in the country. Whether you want to go trekking in Nepal, check out the wildlife, or go sightseeing, this guide to the best time of year to visit Nepal should help.
Best time to go to Nepal
Nepal is well known as a haven for beautiful plants and wildlife and is a popular place for hikers and adventurers. However, when you travel to the country for these activities is very important, so you must check before you plan your trip. Certainly, you want to avoid the monsoon season when trekking!
This guide will go into detail about the best time of year to visit Nepal based on factors such as activity, month and season. If you would like to find out more general information about visiting Nepal, check out my guide to visiting Nepal.
Best season to visit Nepal
The majority of visitors head to Nepal during one of the three main tourist seasons: high season, low season and the shoulder season.
The high season, between October and November, is generally the best time to visit Nepal. You can expect clear skies and warm temperatures. At this time, popular trails will be very busy, and prices for accommodation will be high so plan and book in advance if possible.
The shoulder season is March and April and can be an excellent time to visit because during the spring, the weather is warm, and flowers will be blooming.
The low season, between June and September, brings monsoon rains at night which can deter tourists from coming. However, one advantage of coming to Nepal at this time is that accommodation will be cheaper.
Any months not included above need more careful consideration before booking a trip to Nepal.
Nepal by season
Nepalis actually consider there to be 6 seasons. These are:
- Basanta Ritu (Spring) – Mid-March to mid-May.
- Grishma Ritu (Summer) – Mid-May to mid-July.
- Barsha Ritu (Rainy) – Mid-July to mid-September.
- Sharad Ritu (Autumn) – Mid-September to mid-November.
- Hemanta Ritu (Pre-winter) – Mid-November to mid-January.
- Shishir Ritu (Winter) – Mid-January to mid-March.
As with many countries around the world, climate change is making the seasons less and less predictable. As such, rainy season can start as early as May.
Due to this, and that most people from the west think in terms of four seasons, I've listed some information on the seasons in a traditional four season format below.
Spring in Nepal
The spring season in Nepal runs from March to May. This is a great time to hike along the mountain trails in Nepal, as the colourful flowers and plants come alive during this period. The famous Rhododendron (Gurans) comes into bloom at this time, and a good trek to see this magnificent sight is the Poon Hill – Ghorepani trek.
Summer in Nepal
The summer season in Nepal runs from June and August. For people from the northern hemisphere, summer is associated with the best weather.
Alas, in Nepal it is monsoon season! It rains pretty much everywhere, but not necessarily all the time. I wouldn't recommend hiking in Nepal during the summer, as there are literally billions of leeches out there!
Autumn in Nepal
The autumn season in Nepal runs from September to November, and this is the most popular time of year for tourists to visit Nepal. You can expect great mountain views and ideal hiking conditions in Nepal. Booking in advance for treks (if you want organised treks) is advised.
Winter in Nepal
The winter season in Nepal runs from December to February. There might be snowfall at the higher elevations, so lower level treks in Nepal are a better choice during the winter. The day's might be sunny and warm, but it can be cold at night. bring a fleece!
Best time to hike in Nepal
Nepal is one of the best places in the world for trekking. The best time to hike in Nepal is in autumn and spring. In particular, late September, October and November are good times to go trekking because the weather is dry guaranteeing clear visibility and firm conditions underfoot. If you go at this time, the monsoons will have cleared leaving fresh air and beautiful views.
The Nepal trekking season is also good between February and April. At this time, spring is arriving, and you will see more flowers and wildlife than in the autumn.
While trekking at other times of the year is possible, it is not the best time to trek in Nepal. In winter it can be too cold and snowy while in summer, monsoons are problematic.
Best time to visit Nepal for Chitwan National Park
The best time to visit the Chitwan National Park is in autumn, winter and spring between October and March. At this time, you will enjoy clear skies and comfortable temperatures of around 25 degrees.
If you visit Nepal for the Chitwan National Park between late January and March, you stand the best chance of seeing lots animals including elephants and tigers because villagers cut down tall grasses behind which they are often hidden.
If you are a keen birdwatcher, visit between September and November or February and April as these are the times to watch them as they migrate.
Best time to visit Nepal for sightseeing
Although trekking during the summer months from June through August is inadvisable, travelling to Nepal at this time can reap other benefits. As these are the months when many tourists stay away, it can be cheaper.
This is possibly the best time to visit Nepal for sightseeing, particularly in the cities, because they will be less busy than at other times of the year. Check out my guide on fun things to do in Kathmandu for more information.
However, if you are keen on seeing other sights, such as Nepal’s famous temples and heritage sites, travelling in the winter is an option. Although it is cold at night, daytime temperatures are warm and it stays dry.
Nepal in May
I've now visited Nepal twice in May. This can be something of a risky month to visit, as the weather can affect travel.
For example, we had to cancel flights to Lukla in the end where the plan was to undertake an Everest view trek. The weather was simply too bad. Instead, we headed to the Ghorepani – Poon Hill trek area which was more predictable.
Travel in May in Nepal means that there are far less people on the hiking routes. You can actually get rooms quite easily at the tea-houses in Nepal in May!
The flip side, is that heavy rains can and do occur, and if you are trekking in forest areas, you'll be attacked by leeches leaping up out of the soaked ground.
Nepal weather May
Unpredictable in nature. The weather in Nepal in May can be quite hot, which is unexpected for first time hikers in Nepal expecting cold conditions! As the month goes on, the rainy season can set in early. Best to travel to Nepal in the first two weeks of May I think.