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The official currency of Nepal is the Nepali Rupee(NPR or Rs).
One rupee is divided into 100 paisa.
Coins come in denominations of: 1 and 2, rupees as well as 5 and 10 (rarely used).
Paper Notes come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000. (Rs 25/250 are also available but are rarely used)
Exchanging cash in Nepal is Easy and Safe
Travelers Cheques are no longer generally accepted at banks
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are plentiful in most cities and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.). The majority of ATM's currently have a maximum withdrawal amount of 10,000Rs (although you can make repeated withdrawals). The expection to this is NABIL bank ATM's which have a maximum withdrawal amount of 35,000Rs. When withdrawing from ATM's be aware that cash withdrawal charges will be made by both the Nepali Bank and (usually) your own bank at home.
Major Credit Cards such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and AmericanExpress, are readily accepted at most tourist class hotels, restaurants, airlines, and major tourist merchants. Again there is always a transaction fee for processing the cards (this charge is enforced by the banks and not the merchants so please don't ask for a discount to remove this) and this is usually around 4% (although American Express Fees are considerably higher at around 7%)
Money Exchange offices are very common in tourist areas and all clearly post their daily exchange rates on a white or an electronic notice board. The exchange rate offered by these offices is not the government rate which is printed daily in the papers but is an adjusted rate which allows the offices to make their cut on your currancy exchange. Currency exchangers accept ALL MAJOR currencies however bank notes will only be accepted if they are in good overall condition.
Hotels and major tourist merchants do offer cash and T/C exchange facilities, however the rate offered is usually very POOR compared to that offered by Banks/foreign currencyexchangers.
There are NO customs charges or limitations in bringing your home currency into Nepal (although if you do not use one of the major currancies (USD, GBP, EURO, YEN etc) it will be better to exchange in your home country first). So this is often the easiest, and in most cases the cheapest way to fund your stay in Nepal, but this has obvious risks associated with loss. It is not generally recomended to carry around large quantities of cash on your person, even using hidden money pouches (Pick-pockets and muggers are now fully aware of the likely locations of hidden money pouches and you won't be fooling anyone!). When exchanging your home currancy for Nepali notes you do not have to present ID (unless you are local and exchanging from a bank). Make sure you count your money for clerical errors BEFORE you walk away from the exchange counter. Exchanging cash at the bank is often better than from private currency exchangers.
Officially Nepali Rupees cannot be taken out of the country, and notes cannot be exchanged at banks in your home country. If you are caught attempting to export large quantities of notes you could end up with a fine and the money being confiscated. However, for small quantities (a few thousand or so) a blind eye will be turned. This can be particulaly useful if you are intending to return to Nepal in the future as you can make sure you have enough to pay for your taxi from the airport when you next arrive! When leaving Nepal there are currency exchangers in the airport but the rates they offer are notoriously poor so you will be better off changing your money back into your own currancy before you go to the airport. Dollars and euro are accepted as readily as the rupee, as mentioned in the recent ebook, Nepal On a Budget, be sure to bring 20 one dollar bills to get you away from the airport and you will be fine.