many beaded and metallic bags
The Best Souvenirs For The Best Prices

Shopping In Nepal

The local markets in Nepal offer more than just traditional items and jewelry. You'll find a plethora of unique souvenirs here, including prayer flags, incense, handmade paper, tea, spices, and pottery. With these tips and an open mind, you are sure to have a fantastic shopping experience in Nepal!

Swikar Jaiswal
Author | Swikar Jaiswal Date Published:
different masks and statues for sale

Shopping in Nepal is an experience like no other, where the markets are bustling with unique and traditional items that are perfect souvenirs or gifts to take home. From the colorful and intricately designed fabrics to the exquisite metalwork, woodcarvings, and pottery, you'll be spoilt for choice. And the best part? You'll likely get a great deal since bargaining is a common practice in Nepal. So, get ready to haggle and explore the many shopping options Nepal offers!

If you're someone who is fond of traditional clothing, the markets in Kathmandu are the place to be. The fabrics here are a treat for the eyes, with silk, cotton, and wool materials used to make saris, kurta suruwal (traditional Nepalese clothing), and shawls. And if you want to take it up a notch, you can even get a custom-made outfit tailored to your measurements, making it a unique and personalized souvenir to take back home.

Apart from traditional clothing, Nepal has much more to offer for those looking for unique and handcrafted items. The country is known for its exquisite metalwork, woodcarvings, and pottery, and you can find some unique pieces here. Singing bowls, statues of Hindu gods and goddesses, and intricate thangka paintings are some of the beautiful items you can find here. Thangka paintings are a traditional Tibetan art form that depicts Buddhist deities or mandalas, often painted on silk or cotton and framed or rolled up for easy transport.

Jewelry enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Nepal is home to a wide range of exquisite pieces. The intricate designs and craftsmanship of Nepalese jewelry are truly unique and can be found in gold, silver, and semi-precious stones like turquoise, coral, and lapis lazuli. From simple earrings to elaborate necklaces and bracelets, there's something for every taste and budget.

The local markets in Nepal offer more than just traditional items and jewelry. You'll find a plethora of unique souvenirs here, including prayer flags, incense, handmade paper, tea, spices, and pottery. Exploring the local markets of Nepal is a fun and exciting experience, and you may even get to try some of the local street food while you're shopping!

Shopping in Nepal is not just about the items you buy, it's about the experience you have while doing so. You'll get to interact with the locals, learn about their culture and traditions, and witness the craftsmanship that goes into making these unique items. Shopping here can also be a way to support local businesses and communities, making it a socially responsible choice.

Table Of Content

Table Of Content

    Popular Shopping Choices In Nepal

    In the coming paragraphs, we will dive deeper into the many shopping options available in Nepal, including the bustling markets of Kathmandu, the traditional crafts of the mountain villages, and the luxury boutiques of Pokhara. So, get ready to explore the shopping scene in Nepal and find some amazing treasures to take home with you.




    • Beaded Bracelets

    • Bead Necklace

    • Metal jewelry

    • Handmade rings and anklets


    • Dhaka Topi

    • Daura Suruwal

    • Sari

    • Pashmina Shawl


    • Thangka Paintings

    • Woodworks

    • Metal statues and idols

    • Singing Bowls


    • Khukuri

    • Masks

    • Food items like Gundruk, Timur ko Chhop, Varieties of Pickles, etc.

    Beads and Jewelry

    beaded accesories

    Beads and jewelry are among the most popular souvenirs that tourists can purchase in Nepal. The markets of Nepal sell a variety of locally made or Indian jewelry, and you cannot miss buying Nepalese ethnic jewelry, which is a centuries-old art that has been passed on from generation to generation and is still preserved by the Newar people, the indigenous group of Nepal. Yak bone jewelry, with its unique engravings and designs, is also a hit among tourists. Additionally, you can even buy beads from the market and make your own necklace.

    One of the most important things that separate beads from silver or gold is that many beads have a meaning behind them. For example, a birthstone or a stone that is meant to help with a problem. In Nepal, buying beads usually means purchasing a necklace, pendant, wrist or ankle bracelet that is ready-made. Nearly all are made by hand in Nepal, though not all actual beads come from Nepal per se. Many also come from India, China, and even Pakistan.

    The most popular beads in Nepal are made from stone (semi-precious or otherwise), glass, yak bone, plastic, and seeds. It can be challenging to tell the difference between them for the untrained. However, many of these beads have a meaning behind them, which can be just as interesting as the design itself.

    Some of the popular types of beads that you can buy in Nepal include Onyx beads, which are jet black and highly polished. It is said that black onyx is a “separator,” meaning it can take sorrow or grief away from you. Another type of bead that is popular among Buddhists and Chinese tourists is Bodhi Seeds. These unpolished seeds have become incredibly popular since the Dalai Lama spoke of them. They are written in Sanskrit as “enlightened,” which comes from the fact that while Prince Siddhartha (Buddha) was sitting under a Bodhi tree meditating, he became The Buddha through enlightenment.

    Lapis lazuli beads are also popular in Nepal. This universal symbol of royalty, honor, wisdom, and truth is one of the more expensive beads found in Nepal. Its wonderful blue marble-like coloring nearly mimics the earth without land. You can also find Nepali-designed beads, which are a host of Nepali-style bead jewelry available in Nepal. These beads come in different designs, and my favorite is the red and turquoise/green vajra beads made from ruby dust, emerald dust, and brass.

    souvenir shop

    Another popular type of jewelry in Nepal is yak bone jewelry. These bracelets, keyrings, and necklaces made from bone are commonly sold everywhere, although whether they are actually “yak” bone or “buffalo” bone is often disputed. Despite this, many people enjoy unique carvings and designs made from bone.

    One of the reasons why Kathmandu is an excellent place to get beads and jewelry is that you can get custom pieces made easily. From stones to bone or metal and seeds, you can essentially have your own designs made or have unique designs made for you. The shops and stores in Thamel, Asan market in Kathmandu, and Baidam lakeside market in Pokhara are great places to start shopping for these beautiful pieces. The cost of jewelry starts at NPR 500 onwards, and the variety is endless, so you are bound to find something you love.

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Thamel, Asan market in Kathmandu, and Baidam lakeside market in Pokhara

    NPR 500 onwards
    (USD 4.25 onwards)


    Nepal is famous for its traditional clothing, and it is one of the most popular items that tourists purchase as gifts. Garments such as Nepalese woolen hats, sweatshirts, petticoats, gloves, and shoes made from yak and sheep wool are affordable and available in markets such as Thamel, Bhotahity, new road, or Asan tole. Tourists can find the cheapest shopping in Kathmandu on their city tours, but those who are looking for variety should visit the best clothing stores in Kathmandu. The country's traditional attire is easily recognizable by its high durability, warmth, and bright colors.

    Amongst the various traditional clothing items, Dhaka Topi, Daura Suruwal, and Sari are the top three traditional dresses that represent Nepal's rich culture and history. Let's take a closer look at each of these traditional dresses and what makes them unique.

    Dhaka Topi

    dhaka topi

    Dhaka Topi is a traditional Nepalese hat made of cotton and is popular among Nepalese men. It is a significant aspect of Nepalese culture and is worn on special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other cultural events. The hat is made of Dhaka fabric, which is a handloom cotton fabric that is woven with traditional Nepalese patterns. The fabric is lightweight, comfortable, and perfect for the Nepalese climate. Dhaka Topi has a long history in Nepal and represents Nepalese culture and identity. Tourists should buy Dhaka Topi as a souvenir because it is an essential part of Nepalese culture and will help them to connect with the local people.

    Daura Suruwal

    Daura Suruwal is a traditional Nepalese dress for men, and it consists of a knee-length, wrap-around skirt (Suruwal) and a tunic-style shirt (Daura). The dress is made of cotton or silk fabric and is worn on special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other cultural events. Daura Suruwal has a significant historical and cultural significance as it represents the Nepalese identity and the unification of Nepal. The dress was introduced in the late 18th century during the reign of King Prithvi Narayan Shah and has been an essential part of Nepalese culture since then. Tourists should buy Daura Suruwal as a souvenir because it represents Nepalese culture and identity and is comfortable to wear.


    Sari is a traditional Indian dress that is also popular in Nepal. It is a long piece of cloth that is draped around the body and is worn with a blouse (Choli) and a petticoat (Underskirt). Sari is made of silk, cotton, or synthetic fabric, and it is worn on special occasions such as weddings, festivals, and other cultural events. Sari has a significant historical and cultural significance as it represents the Nepalese identity and the influence of Indian culture on Nepal. Tourists should buy Sari as a souvenir because it is a beautiful and elegant dress that represents the cultural diversity of Nepal.

    In conclusion, traditional Nepalese clothing is essential to Nepalese culture and identity. With various garments such as woolen clothes, Dhaka fabric, and traditional clothing, tourists will undoubtedly find something to buy and take home as souvenirs.

    Pashmina shawls

    If you're a tourist looking for something cozy, warm, and luxurious to bring back from your trip to Nepal, then Pashmina shawls should definitely be on your list. These shawls are made from the fur of mountain goats and are soft, lightweight, and extremely comfortable to wear.

    pashmina shawls

    Pashmina shawls come in a variety of fabrics, from 100% Pashmina to silk or cotton blends, and you'll find a large selection in the markets of Nepal. However, due to the prevalence of counterfeit goods, it's important to have a sharp eye when shopping for authentic Pashmina products. We suggest shopping from stores that only sell Pashmina or visiting a factory in Thamel to ensure you're getting the real deal.

    Pashmina is equally popular as Cashmere, and its fabrics exude a sense of class and elegance. Nepal is one of the few places in the world where Pashmina is originally woven, making it cheaper here than in most other places. So, not only are you getting a luxurious product, but you're also getting it at an affordable price.

    You can find Pashmina shawls, stoles, and scarves in a variety of styles and colours, making it easy to find the perfect one for you or as a gift. Pashmina products are ideal for gifting as they are a symbol of luxury and warmth.

    When shopping for Pashmina shawls, you can find 100% pure Pashmina products, but they can be quite expensive. We suggest going for a 70/30 mix of Pashmina silk, which is more durable and less expensive. You can find Pashmina/silk blends ranging from NPR 2000 to NPR 5500, depending on the quality.

    As you can see, buying a Pashmina shawl in Nepal is an excellent choice as it's a luxurious and affordable item that exudes elegance and warmth. You'll have plenty of choices to choose from and can be sure to find a quality product if you shop from reputable stores or factories. So, don't forget to add Pashmina shawls to your shopping list during your stay in Nepal!

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Stores that only sell genuine Pashmina or visit a factory in Thamel

    NPR 2000 to NPR 5500 or more for pure Pashmina

    llam Tea (Nepali Tea)

    If you are a tea lover, then Nepal is the perfect place for you to indulge in the taste of exclusive and authentic teas. The love for tea is deeply ingrained in Nepali culture, and getting your hands on a pack of local Chiya or Nepali tea is a must-do activity while vacationing in this beautiful country. Among the different types of tea available, llam Tea is the most popular one in Nepal.

    ilam tea garden

    llam is a beautiful district in eastern Nepal, located in the Mahabharata hilly range of Province No. 1. The region is famous for its tea estates, and llam Tea is known for its distinct aroma and flavor. You can choose from various flavors of Nepali tea, including Orthodox tea, Crush, tear, curl tea, green tea, and, of course, llam tea. The taste of the tea also varies based on the time of picking the tea leaves, known as flushes. The four flushes include the first, second, monsoon, and autumn flushes.

    You can purchase authentic Nepali tea from shops in Thamel, particularly Thamel Chowk. The tea comes in beautifully packaged boxes, making it an ideal gift for your friends and family back home. Not only is Nepali tea delicious, but it is also loaded with health benefits. The tea is known for its antioxidant properties and can boost your immune system, reduce stress, and improve your overall health.

    Moreover, buying Nepali tea helps to support the local economy and the tea farmers who work hard to produce high-quality tea. By purchasing tea from Nepal, you are not only getting a delicious product but also supporting the Nepali people and their livelihoods.

    In terms of the budget required, the price of Nepali tea varies depending on the type of tea, flush, and packaging. A pack of llam Tea can cost anywhere between 500 NRS to 1000 NRS (roughly 5 USD to 10 USD). So, don't miss out on the opportunity to taste the unique flavor of Nepali tea and take some home with you to relive the experience.

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Thamel, particularly Thamel Chowk

    NRS 300 to NRS 1000
    (USD 2.5 to USD 8.5)

    Singing Bowl

    If you're looking for a unique and meaningful souvenir to take home from Nepal, a Singing Bowl could be just what you're looking for. These beautifully crafted bowls can be found all over Nepal, and come in a range of different styles, sizes, and materials, so you're sure to find one that resonates with you.

    The origins of Singing Bowls can be traced back to ancient Tibet, where they were traditionally used by Buddhist monks for meditation and spiritual practices. Over time, their use has spread to other parts of Asia, including Nepal, where they have become an important part of the country's cultural heritage.

    singing bowl  set

    The sound and vibrations produced by Singing Bowls are said to have a range of therapeutic benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving concentration, and promoting deep relaxation. Whether you're a seasoned meditator or simply looking for a way to bring a little peace and tranquillity into your life, a Singing Bowl could be just what you need.

    When shopping for Singing Bowls in Nepal, you'll find a wide variety of options to choose from. Handmade bowls are generally more expensive than machine-made ones, but they often have a more unique and authentic feel. Engraved bowls can also be found, featuring intricate designs and patterns that add to their aesthetic appeal. And of course, there's a range of different metals to choose from, including brass, copper, and bronze.

    Two of the best places to find Singing Bowls in Nepal are Thamel and Durbar Marg. In Thamel, you'll find a vibrant market filled with stalls selling all sorts of handmade crafts and souvenirs, including Singing Bowls. Durbar Marg is a more upscale shopping district, where you'll find a range of high-quality Singing Bowls at a slightly higher price point.

    If you're curious about Singing Bowls but aren't sure where to start, consider visiting a local meditation center or attending a Singing Bowl workshop. This can be a great way to learn more about the history and significance of these beautiful instruments and to experience their healing vibrations for yourself.

    Here's a table to help you plan your budget for buying a Singing Bowl in Nepal:

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Thamel or Durbar Marg

    NPR 300 to NPR 2500

    Overall, a Singing Bowl is a unique and meaningful souvenir that can help you bring a little piece of Nepal's rich cultural heritage into your home. Whether you're a meditation practitioner, a music lover, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful and meaningful crafts, a Singing Bowl is sure to be a cherished addition to your collection.

    Khukuri (The Gurkha knife)

    When it comes to souvenirs, nothing compares to the Khukuri or the Gurkha knife. A traditional Nepalese machete, this iconic weapon carries with it centuries of history and culture. Its durability, functionality, and unique design make it a must-have for tourists visiting Nepal.

    The Khukuri (also known as the Gurkha knife) is a knife with a recurved blade, originating from the Indian subcontinent and associated with the Nepali-speaking Gurkhas of Nepal and India. This knife has been used for centuries and has a unique and compelling history. Believed to have existed 2500 years ago, it is thought to have originated from the Greek "Kopi" and was used by Alexander’s troops to invade northwest India in the fourth century BC.

    khukuri knife machete

    The Khukuri knife's exact origins are unknown, but there are many theories. One of the most convincing is that it is a direct descendant of the Kopis version. The Machira or Machaira, an ancient Macedonian cavalry sword, is also thought to be similar to the Khukuri. Some people claim that the Kiratis, who ruled Nepal before the Lichchhavi era in the 7th century, first used the Khukuri. Others believe that the Khukuri originated from a type of knife used by the Mallas, who came to power in Nepal in the 13th century. Regardless of its origins, the Khukuri has become a national symbol in Nepal and holds a special place in Nepalese society.

    The Khukuri is a type of machete, a recurved traditional knife that evolved in Nepal. These blades are powerful and durable, which is why they are still widely used in rural Nepalese households. They hold symbolic values as well as practical purposes. They are mostly used as a tool for chopping wood, clearing bushes, cooking, slaughtering, and processing meat. Some households even keep Khukuris for security reasons.

    Tourists visiting Nepal can buy Khukuris as a souvenir of their trip. These knives are sold in many shops and markets throughout Nepal, and they come in a range of prices depending on their quality and size. Tourists should look for reputable shops and be aware of counterfeit products. Khukuris are unique and practical souvenirs that can be used in daily life or as decorative pieces in the home.

    Below is a table that provides an estimated budget range and places to buy Khukuri in Nepal:

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Ason, Thamel, Bhaktapur, Pokhara


    Thangka Paintings

    These Tibetan Buddhist paintings on cotton/silk applique are mounted with textiles and covered with silk, usually depicting a Buddhist deity or scene, and are often used by practitioners in meditation for forging a link between themselves and the deity. Each painting holds its own message and offers its own spiritual benefits for the household in which the painting resides.

    Thangka paintings were first created around the 15th century by the Chitrakar caste in Nepal, which is a small subgroup of the Newar caste found predominately in the Kathmandu Valley. "Chitrakar" literally translates to "image maker." Since castes were divided by their profession, Chitrakars were responsible for creating paintings and masks. In modern-day Nepal, anyone can learn the art of thangka regardless of their background by attending schools that teach this sacred art form.

    an artisian finishing off a thangka painting with gold outlines

    The thangka painting that you purchase may hold a specific deity that is known to help in different areas of life. For instance, if you need to finish a project at work and have been procrastinating, you would worship the god Mahakala by praying and leaving offerings. On the other hand, if you’re under a great deal of stress, you might want a thangka of White Tara who is known for her compassion. For every problem, there is a god or deity who holds the answers.

    An original thangka is painted using the coloring of gemstones and is finished with gold. Each painting takes months to complete, and the eyes are painted on last since they are believed to be the way into the soul. Once the gods receive their eyes, the painting goes from being an object to being alive and, therefore, is treated with the utmost respect. A thangka painting offers the most benefits if a few rules are followed once the painting is placed within the house. 

    The more someone is able to please the god, the more powerful the thangka. With each god comes a different set of rules. For instance, a god who is vegetarian shouldn’t be given an offering of meat. In addition, the artist who paints that god may not consume meat until the artwork is completed. Other gods might have rules where the artist can’t smoke, lay with their wife, or even wear clothing while painting their image. These are very traditional rules that are only followed by those who want the painting for extremely religious purposes and want to uphold the traditions at their purest.

    If you're interested in bringing a piece of Nepalese culture back home with you, a thangka painting is a great way to do so. You can find them in markets all over the country, and they make for a perfect souvenir. Below are some details on where to buy and what you can expect to spend:

    Where to buy

    Budget required

    Ason, Thamel, Bhaktapur, Pokhara

    NPR 2,000 - 50,000
    ($20 - $500 USD) |

    Tips for Shopping In Nepal

    Nepal is a shopper's paradise with an abundance of unique handicrafts, textiles, and traditional souvenirs. Shopping in Nepal is not just about buying souvenirs, it is also an opportunity to experience the country's rich culture and heritage. Here are some shopping tips to make your shopping experience in Nepal more enjoyable and rewarding:

    Bargain for the best price:

    Bargaining is a way of life in Nepal, and it is expected that you will bargain when shopping for items. Vendors usually set prices higher than they expect to receive, so be prepared to negotiate for the best price. But remember to bargain politely and with a smile on your face.

    Protect your purchases:

    Most of the items you will find in Nepal's markets are delicate and fragile, such as pottery, thangka paintings, and jewelry. Be sure to ask the vendors to provide bubble wrap to protect your purchases during transport.

    Buy authentic Nepali products:

    When shopping in Nepal, make sure that the products you buy are actually made in Nepal and not imported from other countries. Nepali handicrafts are renowned for their intricate designs and high quality. Be wary of products labeled as "Made in Nepal" but are actually made in China or other countries.

    Explore local markets:

    Nepal is home to a variety of markets, each with its unique specialties. Some of the popular markets include Asan Bazaar, Thamel, and Patan Durbar Square. Exploring these markets will give you an insight into the daily lives of Nepalis, and you can find some unique and traditional items to take back home.

    Respect local customs:

    When shopping in Nepal, be respectful of the local customs and traditions. Dress modestly and avoid haggling too aggressively. Remember that the vendor's livelihood depends on their sales, so always be fair in your bargaining.

    Be cautious when buying antiques:

    If you are interested in buying antiques, be cautious as there are many fake items in the market. Ask for documentation to authenticate the item, and be prepared to pay a higher price for genuine antiques.

    Try local cuisine:

    Shopping in Nepal is not just about buying souvenirs, it's also an opportunity to try the local cuisine. Most markets have food stalls selling traditional Nepali snacks such as momos, samosas, and chaat.

    If you are unable to identify authentic Nepalese products or find it challenging to follow the shopping tips mentioned above, don't worry too much. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your shopping experience in Nepal. The country has a vast range of souvenirs to offer, and you are sure to find something that will remind you of your time here. So, immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with the locals, and don't hesitate to ask for help or recommendations. With these tips and an open mind, you are sure to have a fantastic shopping experience in Nepal! HAPPY SHOPPING IN NEPAL!!

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