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Patan. Ancient city in Kathmandu Valley. Nepal.

Exploring the Himalayas: What currency does Nepal use?

Are you ready to explore the vibrant world of Nepalese currency, nestled in the heart of the Himalayas?

Whether you’re planning your next adventure, fascinated by the diverse currencies of the world, or looking to exchange money, you’ve come to the perfect place!

Let’s dive into the colourful world of Nepalese currency. From its historical roots to its unique banknotes and handy coins, we’ve got everything covered.

What is the currency of Nepal? 

The currency of Nepal is the Nepalese rupee, abbreviated as NPR. It uses the currency symbol “रु” for the rupee.

Each rupee is divided into 100 paisa, making handling small and large transactions easy. 

Whether you’re shopping in the bustling markets of Kathmandu or paying for a scenic trek, the Nepalese rupee is your go-to currency. So, if you’re heading to Nepal, be ready to exchange your pounds for some rupees!

Let’s dive in and uncover the unique aspects of Nepal’s national currency!

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LUMBINI, NEPAL - NOVEMBER 15 : Pilgrims visit the birthplace of Buddha during Buddha Jayanti Young monk prayer

A brief history of Nepalese currency

The history of Nepalese currency is as fascinating as the country’s stunning landscapes. It all started with the Nepalese mohar, introduced in the 17th century during the Malla Dynasty. This coin served as the backbone of Nepal’s economy for centuries.

In 1932, the nation introduced the Nepalese rupee, symbolised as Rs, aligning more closely with global currency standards.

The rupee not only reflects Nepal’s economic landscape but also its rich cultural heritage, featuring various gods, goddesses, and notable landmarks.

Can I use other currencies in Nepal?

Indian rupees banknote series

Indian rupees:

You can use Indian rupees in Nepal! In many places, especially near the India-Nepal border, shops and services accept Indian rupees quite readily.

However, it’s important to know that larger denominations, like 500 and 2000 rupee notes, might not be accepted everywhere, so keeping smaller denominations with you is handy. This makes it super convenient for travellers crossing over from India.


Tibet and Nepal are neighbours in the Himalayan region of Asia. Tibet, known as the “Roof of the World,” is an autonomous region of China. It lies north of Nepal, with the Himalayas forming a natural border. 

Chinese yuan banknote series

Chinese yuan:

In Tibet, the official currency is the Chinese yuan (CNY), also known as Renminbi (RMB). If you’re travelling between Nepal and Tibet, make sure you have both currencies.

Quick reminder: Having a mix of Chinese yuan and Nepalese rupees is useful at the border. 

Nepalese rupees banknotes

Nepalese banknotes 

The Nepalese rupee comes in a variety of colourful banknotes that are both practical and full of cultural significance. The currency is issued by the central bank, the Nepal Rastra Bank. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll find in circulation:

  • Denominations: The banknotes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 rupees.
  • Designs: Each note features prominent figures from Nepal’s history, typically kings or political leaders, and showcases iconic landmarks or symbols significant to Nepalese heritage. For example, the 100 rupee note depicts Mount Everest!
  • Colours and sizes: The notes vary in colour and size, making it easy to distinguish between them. The larger the denomination, the bigger the note.

Nepalese rupees coins

Nepalese coins 

Nepalese rupee coins are practical and reflect the country’s culture. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Denominations: Coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 paisa and 1, 2, 5, 10 NPR.
  • Designs: Each coin features symbols significant to Nepalese heritage, such as Mount Everest, traditional art, or historical figures.

Behind the rupee: Fascinating facts about Nepal’s currency

Name origins: The name “Nepalese rupee” comes from the Sanskrit word “rupyakam,” meaning “wrought silver” or “a coin of silver.” As the concept of the rupee spread across South Asia, Nepal adopted this familiar system and name for its own currency, linking it culturally and economically with its neighbours.

Coins made from rifle cartridges: The brass four paisa coins from Nepal are far more unique than you may think. They’re made from flattened rifle cartridges used by the Nepalese Gurkha soldiers during World War II.

The coins commemorate the Gurkha’s victory and were only minted for one year, making them a rare collector’s item!

Distinctive designs: The currency often showcases national pride through designs of Mount Everest, famous temples, and unique wildlife like the one-horned rhinoceros and Bengal tiger.

Exchange rate: The exchange rate between the Nepalese rupee and other currencies fluctuates. It’s always a good idea to check the current rates before making any exchanges. Historically, the Nepalese rupee has been pegged to the Indian rupee at a fixed rate.


Because the currency in Nepal isn’t as well known as the euro or the US dollar, many people don’t know what to look for when they need to buy currency.

People often search for Nepal country currency, but what they are looking for is Nepalese rupees.

Need to exchange your pounds for Nepalese rupees? You’ve come to the right place! Changing currencies is a breeze. Just order your travel money online today!

We’ll ensure it gets to your home or office quickly and securely via Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®.

And if you’re near Heathrow, feel free to drop by our bureau to pick up your rupees in person. We’re dedicated to making your currency exchange smooth and easy!

Got leftover currency from your trip to Nepal? No worries, we’ve got an easy fix for that! Converting your Nepal currency to GBP is straightforward.

Here’s what to do: Head to our page and click the ‘sell currency’ button. Choose ‘NPR Nepalese rupee’ from the dropdown menu.

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