- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
High Degree of Caution
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens require a visa to enter Nepal.
A valid passport is required for travel to Nepal. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of six months. Passport cards cannot be used.
There are no COVID-19 travel restrictions in place for travel to Nepal, however this may change at short notice. For the latest information on entry requirements and visas, you should consult the Department of Immigration’s website.
The monsoon season normally runs from June to September and often causes flooding and landslides. All means of travel can be hazardous, particularly in rural areas, and we recommend Irish citizens exercise caution when travelling, monitor local news sources, and plan alternative routes before travelling.
Earth tremors are common across Nepal and the country is considered to be at high risk of a major earthquake. Nepal experienced two very strong earthquakes in April and May 2015 resulting in extensive damage to various parts of the country. The earthquakes caused infrastructural damage, caused landslides and left many roads in a fragile state.
Some towns, including Kathmandu, are often subject to severe levels of air pollution during the winter months, which can have short-term and long-term health implications for residents and visitors. We advise citizens to monitor air pollution levels, follow the advice of local authorities and to reduce their exposure to air pollution where possible by staying indoors and avoiding strenuous outdoor activity. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about the impact of pollution on your health, we advise you to seek medical advice before travelling to these locations.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about Nepal before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you are in Nepal, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
Specific emergency numbers in Nepal are:
- Police: 100
- Fire brigade: 101
- Ambulance: 102
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
As there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Nepal, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in New Delhi.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
There’s a risk of terrorist attacks in Nepal, particularly in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. There continue to be isolated incidents of bomb attacks (small improvised explosive devices), shootings and political violence across Nepal, including in Kathmandu. The most recent attack took place on 26 May 2019 in Kathmandu and caused four deaths. You should be cautious in public places and follow local advice.
Most visitors to Nepal experience a trouble-free stay. However, there are regular reports of crimes such as assault and theft against foreigners in Kathmandu and throughout the country. You should take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place – never leave them unattended in your hotel room
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Consider exchanging money only at banks and hotels
- Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common in Kathmandu, particularly in tourist areas
If you lose your passport in Nepal, most travellers can get an emergency travel document to allow them to travel back to Ireland. If you are not resident in Ireland, you will have to apply for an emergency passport at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi. This can take 7 to 10 days to arrange. If you lose your passport in Nepal, you will have to get an exit visa which can take some time. E-mail copies of your passport and visa to yourself. This can help speed up the process if you do lose your passport.
Airports, buses and hotel rooms are targeted by criminals and the number of bag-snatchings by motor-bikers, particularly in relatively quieter areas of Kathmandu Valley, is on the rise. There are also increasing reports of foreigners being injured during these incidents.
Assaults and robberies often take place in the evening in areas that are poorly lit, so you should be very cautious at night.
You should exercise caution when entering ‘dance bars’ as some foreigners have been swindled or harassed in some of these places. Always be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers, and don’t leave your drinks unattended.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Nepal, report it to the local police or the Tourist Police in Kathmandu on (+377) (0)1 4700750 or the Tourist Police headquarters on (+377) (0)1 4247041. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in New Delhi if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Nepal, you should be extremely careful. Traffic drives on the left, as in Ireland, but road travel in general carries risk. Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit. If you stay longer than 15 days, you’ll need to apply for a local licence
The general standard of driving throughout the country is poor and badly regulated. Roads in Kathmandu are very congested, many drivers are not properly licensed, trained or insured and vehicles are poorly maintained. There are few pavements outside central Kathmandu and motorists don’t yield right of way to pedestrians.
During the monsoon season (June to September) many roads outside the Kathmandu valley are prone to landslides and become impassable.
Bus travel is particularly hazardous and fatal accidents are common. You should avoid travel on overnight buses.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Domestic air travel in Nepal can be dangerous due to the mountainous nature of the country, difficult approaches to airstrips and unpredictable mountain weather. There have been several fatal accidents involving a number of domestic airlines in recent years in Nepal. Your travel insurance may not cover you for internal domestic flights in Nepal due to the poor safety record of local airlines. Check with your travel insurance before you travel.
Check weather conditions before travelling with domestic airlines. Bad weather conditions can increase the risk and cause lengthy delays.
All carriers from Nepal have been refused permission to operate air services to the EU due to safety concerns.
Information on global airline safety is available from the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s audit of aviation safety oversight and the Aviation Safety network.
We strongly advise you to remain on established routes, and to walk in groups. Don't trek alone and avoid becoming separated from your group.
Trekking in Nepal often involves travelling to remote areas, where internet and phone services are extremely limited. Treks often take longer than expected by several days, and family and friends often become worried if they don’t hear from a trekker when expected.
If you’re planning to trek in Nepal it’s extremely important that your insurance covers you for the altitude that you are due to be trekking at.
Always use a reputable trekking company as there are a number of rogue guides who have reportedly robbed trekkers. Hire a guide and ensure that your trekking guide or company is registered with the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal, and that they have registered your trek with the Trekkers Information Management System.
Give a copy of your itinerary to a friend and/or family member, as well as to the Irish Embassy in New Delhi. Never venture from your scheduled itinerary without first advising a friend/family member of your new plans. Make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS).
There have been reports of trekkers being robbed. Isolated incidences of rape have also been reported on trekking routes, and female travellers in particular should be vigilant.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
You should respect local customs and dress conservatively. Women should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops in public places where this might be seen as inappropriate. Shoes should be removed before entering certain holy places. Non-Hindus are not permitted in certain temples.
Penalties for drugs related offences are severe. Possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of five years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process.
The Supreme Court of Nepal has issued an interim order to immediately halt commercial surrogacy services in Nepal. We strongly recommend that commissioning parents not consider surrogacy in Nepal.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Travel in the rural areas during the Monsoon season (June - September) can be dangerous and you should be careful. Monsoon rains cause flooding and landslides that can cut off some towns and villages for days at a time. You should check access routes before setting off on a journey.
Earth tremors are common in this region and can cause landslides and avalanches in hilly and mountainous areas. In 2012, an avalanche/landslide caused flash flooding on the Seti River in the Kaski district north of Pokhara resulting in fatalities. Be alert to the risk of landslides and flash floods in mountainous areas and alongside river banks.
Nepal is considered to be at high risk of a major earthquake. In the event of a large scale earthquake the assistance that can be given to Irish citizens would be extremely limited. If major roads and the international airport are damaged, it may not be possible for people to be evacuated for several days.
If you are travelling to Nepal, we advise that you check with your insurance provider the details which govern your policy cover in the event of an earthquake in the country.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens need a visa to enter Nepal and can apply for a tourist visa from the Embassy of Nepal in London, or avail of the tourist visa-on-arrival service.
Please consult the Nepal Department of Immigration website for details of the requirements to avail of the visa-on-arrival service, which may change at short notice.
If you have any immigration queries, you should contact the Embassy of Nepal or the Department of Immigration directly.
Passports must be valid for at least six months from date of entry into Nepal.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Nepal.
Medical treatment is expensive at western travellers' clinics in Nepal, while healthcare is poor in most places outside the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara.
Food and Water
Travellers to Nepal should be aware that food and water hygiene standards are not comparable to Ireland. Water-borne and food-borne diseases can cause serious illness and simple precautions include avoiding ice cubes; not drinking tap water; avoiding uncooked and undercooked food, especially from street vendors; and drinking boiled water or bottled water with intact sealed caps.
We do not have an Embassy in Nepal, please contact Embassy of Ireland India.
Embassy of Ireland
C17 Malcha Marg
New Delhi 110 021
Monday to Friday 09:00-13:30 and 14:40-17:00
Honorary Consulate Contact
Mr Manoj Shrestha
Honorary Consul of Ireland
G.P.O box: 1665
New Everest Construction PvT. Ltd.
Naya Baneshwor, Kathmandu
Tel: +977 1 4780518
Email: Email us
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.