Last Updated 17/01/2023.
Many people are unclear on where Nepal is located.Where is Nepal, what is Nepal? Nepal is a country in the Himalayas, it is in the continent of Asia and shares borders with India to the south, east, and west, and China (Tibet) to the north. Being part of the Indian Subcontinent, it is considered to be in the region of South Asia. Nepal is not in Southeast Asia but is a popular tourist destination for many reasons. This post covers Nepal, its location and facts related to Nepal’s location and geography.
Nepal is one of our favourite countries in the world and we have visited many times, we can share first-hand experiences with you as well as information and interesting facts about Nepal.
The Himalayas mark the northern extent of the Indian subcontinent. They divide the Tibetan plateau from the alluvial plains of India. As Nepal lies on the southern slopes of the Himalayan ranges, it is usually considered part of this subcontinental region.
Indeed, some parts of Nepal, in the south, lie on this flatter Indian plain region. This area is sometimes called the Terai.
Where is Nepal?
Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know where Nepal is on the map, it’s very common to not know. Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet are a mystery to a lot of people, I’ve met many who don’t know.
Nepal is in The Himalayas, as are Tibet and Bhutan, but the Himalayas are a huge mountain range stretching west to east for 1,550 miles or 2,500 km. Nepal lies on the southern side of the Himalayan mountain ranges
Nepal is a small country, landlocked, fully enclosed by India on three sides, and the huge mass of China to the north. West to east, Nepal is approximately 800 Km or 500 miles across. Nepal’s width is in the range of 90 to 150 miles.
Where is Nepal on the Map?
We made this map of Nepal for you to use. You can scroll around, zoom in and out. Nepal is north of India, south of China.
Nepal is a Country
Nepal’s full name is the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and it is a sovereign country.
The capital city of Nepal is Kathmandu. This city lies in the Kathmandu valley at the confluence of the Baghmati River and Vishnumati River. Kathmandu is at a fairly low altitude for Nepal, but still a long way above sea level at 4,344 feet or 1,324 metres approximately.
Mount Everest reaches an elevation of 8,849m. Its height changes fractionally with time as the Himalayan region continues to evolve.
Nepal and Bhutan Location
Nepal and Bhutan are separate countries and lie close to each other in the Himalayas to the north of India, but they do not share a land border. The distance between Nepal and Bhutan is just 433 Km as the crow flies.
It is possible to fly to Paro, Bhutan, from Kathmandu, or travel by road through India to reach Bhutan.
Both Nepal and Bhutan are geographically in South Asia.
Nepal and Tibet
Nepal and Tibet share a border and it’s possible to travel north into Tibet from Kathmandu Nepal by road or by air. This is a popular way to travel in Tibet for many tourists.
The earthquake in Nepal caused damage to the usual road to Tibet but other routes are available, they simply take longer.
Tibet used to be a country in its own right, today it is part of China and is known as the Tibet Autonomous Region. Years ago Tibetans established themselves in parts of Nepal, and constitute one of several ethnic groups of native Nepalis.
Nepal is in South Asia, Tibet (China) is geographically in East Asia.
Crossing To Nepal By Land
Although Nepal is a very mountainous country, yes, it is possible to cross into Nepal by land from both India and China. In fact, there are multiple border entry points where buses, jeeps, and other vehicles can transport passengers and goods to the border, or even over the border into Nepal.
There are no railway lines in Nepal currently, so travelling to Kathmandu from India by train is impossible. However, there is talk of extending Chinese rail links into Nepal.
Is Mount Everest in Nepal or Tibet?
Mount Everest is in both Nepal and Tibet (China). The most popular Everest Base Camp trek is in Nepal, the usual starting point is Lukla airport, however, there is an Everest base camp trek on the Chinese side of the mountain too.
The summit of Mount Everest sits on the border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region, it is visible from the road on the Chinese side, the Nepali side is far less accessible.
In Nepal, the approach to Mount Everest is via Sagarmatha National Park, one of several National Parks in Nepal.
Is Nepal in Southeast Asia?
No, Nepal is not in Southeast Asia, Nepal is to the north and to the west of Southeast Asia. The western limit of the countries that make up Southeast Asia is Myanmar (Burma). Nepal is in South Asia.
South Asia is a sub region of Asia comprising 8 countries, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Some sources argue that there are only 5 countries in South Asia, excluding Maldives and Afghanistan.
Southeast Asia is another subregion of Asia, made up of the countries, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), Brunai, Tymor-Lieste, Cambodia, Phillippines and Indonesia.
Is Nepal in Africa?
No, Nepal is not in the continent of Africa. A lot of people do ask if Nepal is in Africa or Asia, which is quite hard to believe! Nepal is in the continent of Asia, specifically, South Asia.
Nepal is The Oldest Sovereign Country in South Asia
Nepal is not part of India. Parts of Nepal have been in India over the years, as borders have shifted. Nepal is the oldest independent sovereign country in South Asia, older than India in fact. Nepal was not colonized by the British when neighbouring countries in South Asia were. (source)
Nepal From Europe
Nepal is not part of Europe although back in the days of the hippie trail, it was common for travellers to take the bus overland from Europe, terminating in Nepal. These buses used to arrive in Freak Street, Kathmandu. You can still drive to Nepal from Europe today. I’ve even met somebody who cycled to Nepal from Europe.
Top Places to Visit in Nepal
Now you know where is Nepal, you may want to know which cities, attractions and other places of interest are in Nepal. Nepal is a huge tourist destination country, of course, many visit for the numerous world-famous trekking routes in Nepal. Popular routes include Everest Base Camp, The Annapurna Circuit and Poon Hill. Kathmandu has plenty of famous places to see, such as Swayambhunath, Freak Street, the Thamel area and Boudhanath. Near Kathmandu, you will find Bhaktapur and Nagarkot, explore deeper and you could reach Pokhara, Lumbini or Chitwan in the south of Nepal, famous for tigers. Click any of these links to learn more about these famous places in Nepal. You may also be interested in food in Nepal. Lumbini is where Lord Buddha was born and is home to a huge international Peace Park. Chitwan is famous for tigers, rhinos and elephants. Yes, there are rhinos in Nepal! Bhaktapur and Kathmandu have incredible ancient buildings, they are well worth visiting on your Nepal vacation.
Nepal was formerly home to the Nepali Kings and Royal Family. Today it is home to Prime Ministers. Kumaris, child goddesses, are still to be found in Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley.
There are many things to do in this wonderful country.
Where is Nepal?
Need more information on Nepal?
- Food in Nepal
- The Everest Base Camp Trek, words and photos
- Need a visa for Nepal?
- Best Places to See in Nepal.
Is Nepal in Southeast Asia?
No, Nepal is not in Southeast Asia. If you’d like to find out which countries are in Southeast Asia, visit our post.
I hope you found our post explaining where Nepal is located useful. Did we fully answer your question? Where is Nepal located? Geography is a passion of ours, we travelled with our kids in part, to demystify the world’s locations. If there’s anything more you’d like to know about Nepal or any of the Himalayan kingdoms and countries mentioned above, you should be able to find it on our website. If not, ask in the comments.