Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal, and for the most part is within the price range of the rest of Nepal.
Before planning your trip, you should remember that the standard of living is quite low here, and the style of life rather simple, compared to other countries.
Just like everywhere else in the world, this city can be expensive for those who like to splurge and are living on a high budget, but for those who function well within the normal standard of living or have a tighter budget, the city offers the cheapest options possible.
The cost of a meal in Nepal depends on where you want to eat and if you want to be thrifty, but generally speaking, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Nepal costs around 2$ which is rather cheap. Kathmandu, in general, is not too cheap nor too costly and you could survive with 5$ per day. And there’s always the option of fast food restaurants like KFC!
Food in Kathmandu can either be home-grown and many people actually do that – for a living – or imported through India, which makes it much more expensive. Buying groceries and cooking at home saves much more money than going out and eating in restaurants regularly. Most basic groceries cost less than a dollar, and you can always visit any of the open markets that offer fresh fruits and veggies for low prices!
Transportation is a huge issue in Kathmandu. The roads are winding and long, risky and boring, and public transport is very badly organized, overcrowded and dangerous – though, truth be told, very cheap. For example, a one-way ticket to anywhere costs only 0.18$, while a monthly pass costs as little as 8$. This is a rather low price for tourists. Taxi starting tariff costs less than 2$.
In Kathmandu, you should get used to power cuts that last around twelve hours a day. There’s a general lack of basic utilities like electricity, water, power, communication, etc. even in the capital city. They are, hence, very cheap: all basic utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling and water, for a larger apartment of about 85m2, amount to a little bit over 30$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
You won’t need to cash out huge amounts of money to spend quality leisure time in Kathmandu. You can go to a movie for a fairly low price, and if you’re into sports – pay a monthly fee for a fitness club, which is just a bit more than 20$. Of course, an hour of renting a tennis court remains expensive for the local standard, as in most countries of the world.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Shopping in Kathmandu is very affordable. You can buy a pair of quality jeans for as low a price as 26$, while you can buy other types of light clothing like shirts and dresses in known chain stores for around 30$, which is unusual, as in most countries jeans cost much more than shirts and dresses. Of course, sneakers and shoes of known brands like Nike remain more expensive, costing almost 50$.
RENT PER MONTH
When it comes to renting an apartment, it is noticeably cheaper than in most countries of the world. Of course, it does depend on the neighborhood where you want to rent, but regardless of the area, it is noticeably cheap to rent an apartment anywhere in Kathmandu, be it in the center or the outskirts. An apartment in the city center costs 160$ a month.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Kathmandu
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$2.22|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$2.66|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$0.21|
|Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.71|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$0.51|
|Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$0.18|
|Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$33.20|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.02|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$17.64|
|Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$23.06|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$11.90|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$3.55|
|Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$26.78|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$31.80|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$50.91|
|Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$166.16|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$109.77|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$305.33|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Kathmandu?
Naturally, the biggest bulk of money in Kathmandu is spent by its citizens in markets and supermarkets – where people spend on food for a living.
The interesting thing is that the second place in the pie chart of money spending in Kathmandu goes to expenses of transportation, since it is unusual for most cities that transportation is such an important part of their people’s everyday life.
Renting expenses are next on the list, followed by restaurants and basic utilities because – like it or not, bills have to be paid.
As is usually the case, more money is spent on sports and leisure than on shopping for clothes.
Kathmandu: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
With an extremely low minimum wage of just above 100$, all the necessary costs for a normal life in Kathmandu cannot possibly be covered.
Even though the average salary is a bit higher, it is still hard to make ends meet for citizens of Kathmandu.
If you’re planning on visiting this city for a longer amount of time, count on cashing out at least 500$ a month so that you could live in normal conditions.
The average salary in Kathmandu is twice the minimum wage, but it is still not enough to cover the rent expenses, bills, utilities, food and clothing.
Cost of Living by City in Nepal
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|