Hanuman the monkey God, Kathmandu, Nepal

Best time to visit Nepal

Nepal’s weather varies according to season and geographical location, both of which should be borne in mind when planning the best time for your holiday. Most visitors choose to avoid the monsoon months of June to September, although this time has its attractions.

Hot, cold, wet, dry, Nepal has it all

Nepal has a broadly temperate climate punctuated by the monsoon when about 80% of the annual rainfall occurs. Away from June to September you can enjoy warm spring and autumn conditions and cooler winters.

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Swayambhunath in Kathmandu, Nepal © GQMarks

Nepal's seasons

Nepal has four seasons which affect its climate, spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring and autumn tend to be milder while winter can be very cold and summer coincides with the monsoon.

Excellent birdlife in Nepal © Shutterstock

Spring

By March the weather is starting to warm up and flowers begin to bloom continuing into April. These are good months for wildlife viewing. May can be hot in the valleys and lowlands and this is a pleasant to visit the hilly regions if you want a respite from the heat. In Himalayan regions daytime temperatures can reach double figures in April and May.

Womena crossing a river in Chitwan, Nepal © AGMarks

Summer

The monsoon arrives in June and temperatures rise approaching 40°c in the valleys and 30°c in the hills. You can expect downpours every day in July and August with lighter rainfall in June and September and when the rain stops it is usually sunny and hot. Blocked roads and cancelled flights are not uncommon during the monsoon. This is not a god time for trekking and climbing in the mountains.

Hiking near Bandipur, Nepal © AGMarks

Autumn

October and November are ideal for trekking and climbing in the mountains, warm with clear skies. This is also an excellent time of year to go for walks to enjoy the greenery of the valleys after the monsoon rains, although temperatures are still hot. It’s cooler up in the surrounding hills, ideal for hiking and taking in the views, wonderfully clear after the monsoon. Many festivals take place during these months which you can witness.

Entering a Nepali village on the Annapurna Trek, Himalayas, Nepal © MNataliya,Shutterstock

Winter

December and January are the coldest months throughout the country but temperatures start to pick up in February and this can be a lovely month to come to Nepal. Even the coldest time has its charms, with bright sunshine and clear skies providing excellent photo opportunities and good conditions for experienced trekkers.

Nepal's weather by region

The country splits neatly into three climate regions based on geography and altitude. Each has its own best times to visit and highlights around the year.

Near Everest Basecamp, Himalayas, Nepal © Canit,Shutterstock

Himalayas and the north

By March snowfall lessens making hiking and climbing easier than in winter, April is the most popular month for Everest base camp and the Annapurna circuit and by May you may experience rain. In monsoon season the Himalayas are effectively closed for trekking and while It is possible to trek in the Annapurnas, conditions are tricky and visibility limited by cloud. Autumn’s dry sunny days are great for mountain pursuits. Winter is extremely cold and heavy snowfalls can render roads and trails impassable so these months are best avoided.

Degrees in Celsius
  • -8 J
  • -8 F
  • -5 M
  • -1 A
  • 4 M
  • 8 J
  • 9 J
  • 9 A
  • 7 S
  • 2 O
  • -2 N
  • -5 D
Rainfall in mm
  • 0 J
  • 0 F
  • 0 M
  • 0 A
  • 10 M
  • 34 J
  • 114 J
  • 127 A
  • 42 S
  • 0 O
  • 0 N
  • 0 D
Architecture in Kathmandu, Nepal © AGMarks

Central hills and valleys

Spring and autumn weather conditions are similar, sunny and dry with warm to hot days, perfect for walking and hiking in the valleys. Temperatures are always cooler as you ascend the hills, making these areas increasingly popular in the months preceding and just after the summer rains. Most people elect to avoid the hot and humid summer when it rains almost daily. Be prepared for cold days in winter and you won’t be disappointed, but the skies are usually blue and if you wrap up warm you can enjoy exploring the towns and villages of the valleys.

Degrees in Celsius
  • 9 J
  • 12 F
  • 16 M
  • 20 A
  • 22 M
  • 23 J
  • 22 J
  • 22 A
  • 22 S
  • 20 O
  • 15 N
  • 11 D
Rainfall in mm
  • 13 J
  • 14 F
  • 10 M
  • 29 A
  • 70 M
  • 129 J
  • 325 J
  • 239 A
  • 175 S
  • 67 O
  • 7 N
  • 8 D
Asian rhino in Chitwan National Park, Nepal © AGMarks

Lowlands and the south

Known as the terai, this area is warmer than the valleys. By March temperatures may reach 30°c and then build over the next few months to the 40s°c in May and June. Humidity increases in the summer and monsoon rains peak in July and August, though rainfall is concentrated in just a few hours each day. Temperatures are a little cooler in the autumn months of October and November and winter days are mild and sunny. Wildlife viewing in Chitwan National Park is best between October and March before it’s too hot. If you can take the heat in April and May you should be rewarded with excellent sightings of animals at waterholes at the end of the dry season.

Degrees in Celsius
  • 23 J
  • 27 F
  • 32 M
  • 36 A
  • 38 M
  • 37 J
  • 33 J
  • 33 A
  • 32 S
  • 31 O
  • 28 N
  • 24 D
Rainfall in mm
  • 18 J
  • 27 F
  • 22 M
  • 52 A
  • 181 M
  • 511 J
  • 868 J
  • 778 A
  • 363 S
  • 63 O
  • 6 N
  • 10 D
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