Capture the best memories and enjoy an enthralling vacation by trying the most amazing things to do in Bhutan. Bhutan, a country that boasts of its vibrant culture, traditional festivities and some breathtaking landscapes is a must visit to explore the hidden bounties of nature in this world.
Tucked beautifully amidst the Himalayas, Bhutan offers a number of things to do from visiting ancient monasteries to climbing the steepest hills to see the impressive fortresses (dzongs). These amazing activities in Bhutan are a great way to escape the mundane life of the cities and see the pristine side of nature and people.
If you are wondering what to do in Bhutan on your getaway, don’t worry as Thrillophilia has curated an exhaustive list of activities for you. It may be a small country but it offers an extravaganza of experiences for all the travellers who are visiting here for the first time. Suiting the interests and preferences of each kind of traveller, there are various offbeat things to do in Bhutan.
For those who are craving for a laid back experience, living in a homestay is most recommended. History lovers can look forward to visit places like the National Museum, Paro Dzong, National Memorial Chorten etc. Bhutan is a wonderful tourist destination for the adventure seekers as there are a number of pulse racing activities to partake in.
Some of the thrilling activities which you can enjoy in Bhutan are archery, mountain biking, river rafting, kayaking etc. There are also some astounding treks which allows you to explore the breathtaking Himalayan terrains. Some popular treks to enjoy in Bhutan are Druk Path trek, Diet Hot Springs trek, Samtengang winter trek etc.
One can also enjoy an exhilarating wildlife safari at Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary or hike to the Tiger's Monastery for an unforgettable experience when they are in Bhutan. The varied experiences in Bhutan are sure to offer you memories that will last a lifetime which you can enjoy with the personalised list for things to do in Bhutan by Thrillophilia.
Places to Visit and Things to Do in Bhutan
People Also Ask About Bhutan Things To Do
What are some of the best things to do in Bhutan?
For the first time travellers searching for what to do in Bhutan, the best activities to indulge yourself in are:
Visit Punakha Dzong:
One of the most impressive buildings of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong is the winter residence of dratshang (official monk body). The beautiful dzong is an important part of Bhutanese history and boasts of a stunning architecture that spellbinds the tourists. Taking a stroll along this prominent monument is one of the most remarkable activities to do in Bhutan.
Attend a traditional festival:
In a country boasting of a vibrant local culture, attending the traditional festivities is one of the most fun things to do in Bhutan. There are popular festivals like Punakha Drubchen which celebrates the victory of Bhutan over Tibet, Paro Tsechu which is celebrated in spring and Haa summer festival which colourfully displays the nomadic and traditional lifestyle of the people of Bhutan.
Celebrated as the national sport of Bhutan, learning archery is one of the most spectacular and offbeat things to do in Bhutan. The locals here organise events on the traditional grounds and it is a festive extravaganza for everyone. This is one of the most fun things to do in Bhutan and a must try whether you have prior experience or not by learning to shoot with bamboo arrows.
Trek to the Himalayan Hills:
When you are visiting Bhutan, trekking to the lofty Himalayan peaks is one of the most enthralling activities to do in Bhutan. Replete with some surreal lakes, scintillating landscapes and breathtaking forests, trekking is counted among the most amazing things to do in Bhutan. Some of the popular treks to enjoy in Bhutan are Jhomolhari trek, Druk Path trek, Snowman trek, Duer Hot springs trek, Dagala Thousand lakes trek, Bumthang owl trek etc.
Gorge on Bhutanese delicacies:
Exploring the food trail in Bhutan is one of the most fun things to do in Bhutan if you are a foodie. The traditional dishes of Bhutan are known for their spiciness and enchants the tourists with rice as one of the major ingredients in almost all of the dishes. Some of the popular dishes that you must try on your holiday in Bhutan are Ema Datshi, Momos, Phaksha Paa, Jasha Maru, Goep, etc.
Have an adventure with river rafting:
Get your nerves racing as you go along the gushing waters in an inflatable kayak over the Pho Chu river in Bhutan. This rafting experience takes you along 16 km with class 2-4 rapids. One can try river rafting in Bhutan even if they don’t have any prior rafting experience. This is one of the most engaging and fun things to do in Bhutan which can be availed either as a private or group tour.
Mountain biking through the thrilling landscapes:
Bhutan offers many adventurous outdoors which makes it a must visit for adventure lovers. Some of the popular places where one can enjoy mountain biking in Bhutan are Paro Valley, Phobjikha Valley, Punakha, Tongsa, Wamrong, Wangthang La etc. These trails are supposed to give you a pulse racing time while enjoying rugged terrains of Bhutan.
What are the best things to do in Bhutan?
Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas is much known for its exquisite landscapes that vary from mountains to valleys, streams and rivers. It is also an architectural hub owing to its wondrous monasteries called Dzongs that are built usually over the cliffs covered by forests.
Punakha Dzong and Taktsang Dzong are among famous monasteries in Bhutan. Bhutan is a great destination for adventurous activities like rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and also trekking. Some infamous treks that start from Bhutan are Bumthang Owl Trek, Oomta Lake and Mt. Jomolhari among many others.
The towns of Paro, Thimpu and Phuntsoling offer varied entertainment and sightseeing options for its tourists.
What are the best adventure activities to do in Bhutan?
Bhutan is a great destination for adventure sports fanatics as it is a thriving hub for various adventurous activities like rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, biking and also trekking. Some infamous treks that start from Bhutan are Bumthang Owl Trek, Oomta Lake and Mt. Jomolhari among many others.
Rafting is quite popular in Bhutan and takes place in the rapids of Po Chu River and Mo Chu River. Bhutan also offer great camping escapades and tourist can avail a camping in the wilderness tour visiting Paro, Thimpu and proceeding on to the serene landscapes of Punakha via Dochu la pass
Which are some of the most romantic things to do in Bhutan during a honeymoon?
If you are looking at what to do in Bhutan to make the most of your romantic escapade, the following are the most recommended things to do in Bhutan:
Hike up to Tiger’s Monastery:
Boasting of a steep climb, hiking up to the Tiger’s Monastery is one experience that you will remember forever as a couple. Leading up to this breathtaking monastery, this trek is one of the most romantic things to do in Bhutan.
Enjoy a homestay experience:
Known for its refreshing and exotic homestays, all couples must look forward to have a homestay experience in Bhutan. It's also an amazing way to interact with the locals and get to know more about them.
Get lost in bird watching:
A haven for nature lovers, bird watching is one of the most astounding activities to do in Bhutan with your significant other. Here one can see some of the rarest species of avifauna like black necked crane, white bellied heron etc. Moreover, it is also one of the best free things to do in Bhutan if you like to admire wildlife.
Which are the best places for river rafting in Bhutan?
Bhuatan offers adventure water sports like rafting to its tourists which gives one an enthralling experience. Rafting down the rivers of Mo Chu and Po Chu river lets tourists soak in the surrounding beauty while moving through some modest yet exhilarating rapids. Rafting through these rivers, one also gets to witness the imposing 17th century Punakha Dzong and also frequent some of world’s rarest birds. The 16 km rafting route of Po Chu River with moderate rapids and 10 km rafting route of Mo Chu River are most popular rafting courses in Bhutan.
What are the fun things to do in Bhutan?
Promising you a wonderful escape, some of the most fun things to do in Bhutan are:
Enjoy shopping in the local markets:
When it comes to local markets of Bhutan, one can have a delightful time shopping here. Bhutan is most famous for its textiles, handicrafts, postal stamps, Buddhist sculptures, wooden products etc. Some of the popular markets to visit in Bhutan are National Handicraft Emporium, Thimphu Post Office, Norzin Lam Craft Stalls etc.
Have a thrilling wildlife safari:
For the adventure junkies, wildlife safari is one of the most exciting things to do in Bhutan. For nature lovers, the must visit places for wildlife safari are Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary, Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Royal Manas National Park etc.
Explore the rugged roads and adventurous trails of Bhutan on your next vacation with mountain biking. The nicely paved roads combined with the refreshing ambience of the Bhutanese landscapes makes it one of the most refreshing things to do in Bhutan. One can enjoy mountain biking in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
Which are some famous campsites in Bhutan?
Bhutan is still an unexplored territory and there are many areas which are still pristinely secured much away from the reach of tourists. There are several campsites that are frequented by both locals and tourists. Punakha located at an elevation of 1350m, offer great campsites and is surrounded by fertile Punastangchu valley and many little villages.
Phobjikha falls in Wangdue Phodrang located at 2900m is also known as rhododendron garden, and offers spectacular camping experiences. Among other popular camping places, the valley of Bumthang which is also a sacred site has an average altitude of 2650m and is colloquially referred as “Second Switzerland”, is apt for four season camping. Haa Valley also offers good camping spot for all seasons.
What are the best places to see in Bhutan?
The capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu is famous for its beautiful temples and revelling nightlife. Some of the prominent places to visit in Thimphu are Changangkha Lhakhang, The National Memorial Chorten, The National Folk Heritage Museum, Trashi Chhoe Dzong, Thimphu Centenary Farmers Weekend Market etc.
One of the famous valley towns of Bhutan, Paro is an excellent getaway to enjoy the quaint vibes and explore the lush green landscapes. The most notable places to see in Paro are Tiger’s Nest, Chele La Pass, Rinpung Dzong, Drukgyel Dzong etc.
Punakha is known for its beautiful landscapes surrounded paddy fields and often called the ancient capital of Bhutan. The most popular places to see in Punakha are Punakha Dzong, Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, Ritsha, Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang etc.
What is there to do in Bhutan at night?
The most dazzling aspect of the nightlife in Bhutan can be best witnessed by the tourists when they are in Thimphu over the weekends. Experiencing the nightlife in Bhutan is one of the most offbeat things to do in Bhutan since this side of the country is comparatively less explored.
The city has a number of nightclubs and hosts a number of live and traditional dance venues. One of the most popular aspects of Bhutan’s nightlife is ‘Drayings’ which is a traditional Bhutanese dancing experience that must not be missed if you are travelling to Bhutan.
It is known to enthral you as there are girls dancing in traditional dresses while singing on whichever song you request for.
Which are the most adventurous places for trekking in Bhutan?
Trekking in Bhutan has always been a pleasure for seasoned trekkers, until recently more and more adventure enthusiasts have treaded into Bhutan to venture out exploring Bhutan’s breath taking nature trails and trekking routes.
Bhutan offers spectacular treks, the much popular high altitude treks are Jumolhari Trek, Laya Gasa Trek and Druk Path Trek whereas the Snowman Trek that commences in Bhutan is known to be one of the most difficult treks in the world. The pristine beauty of Bhutan along with its verdant forests and abundant natural treasures of high passes, snow- capped mountains and ice-fed gushing streams is best explored by treading on the Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek where the trail runs through many high altitude lakes.
Which are some best locations for rock climbing in Bhutan?
Bhutan is blessed with the Himalayas but not until recently in 1998 that an adventure sport like Rock Climbing has been introduced in Bhutan by a private club called Vertical Bhutan Climbing Club. The “Nose” is a climbing rock situated just above Bhutan's capital Thimphu. The rock face offers 13 safely bolted climbing routes and is a great spot for bouldering and other climbing related activities like Rappelling, Zoomering and Overhang Climbing.
Is Bhutan safe?
Bhutan is one of the safest countries to visit for any international traveller. It is not prone to any incidents like scams and theft that could affect your tourist experience. The only things for which you need to keep an open eye while travelling to Bhutan are altitude problems, motion sickness and the cold weather.
What are the free things to do in Bhutan?
Bhutan is a budget friendly destination for all the tourists and one can have a great amount of experiences without lightening your pockets. Some of the popular free things to do in Bhutan are:
Known for its cultural grandeur, one can visit a number of temples and dzongs in Bhutan without spending any money.
Visit the local villages:
Offering a unique experience, the holiday goers should try interacting with the locals to know more about their culture and lifestyle in Bhutan while visiting the local villages.
Go for a trek:
Known for its admirable landscapes and sustainable tourism, going on a trek is one of the most memorable and offbeat things to do in Bhutan that does not involve a lot of money.
Which are the best destinations for a wildlife safari experience in Bhutan?
Bhutan has the world’s largest region of protected natural areas in the country and the country has a wide system of national parks, protected areas and forest corridors which homes to endangered animals, birds and plants. The most rewarding parks are the Jigme Dorji National Park and the Jigme Singe Wanchuck National Park in the Black Mountains where one can find several animals only if they choose the right season to go.
In Bhutan leopards are found in high altitude locations and Royal Bengal Tigers are also found at the altitude ranging from 3000 to 4000 meters. TrumshingLa National Park, Royal Manas National Park, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary are great destinations for a wildlife safari experience in Bhutan where one can see animals like Takin, Red Panda, Langur, Himalayan Black Bear, Sambar, Wild Pig, Barking Deer, Blue Sheep among many others.
Where can I do Kayaking in Bhutan? When is the best time for it?
Kayaking activities are quite common in Bhutan and is mostly conducted by the tourism council of Bhutan. The most popular places where one can try their hand in Kayaking are the rivers of Paro Chhu, Upper Pho Chhu, Mo Chhu – Tashitang Devil’s Gorge Section and Mangde Chhu. The best months to enjoy Kayaking in Bhutan are March – April and again between October – November
Which is the best time to visit Bhutan?
It is the most favourable time for tourism in Bhutan and spans from the month of March to May. It is a good time to be spellbound by nature admiring the green valleys and colourful flower laden trees. The popular Bhutanese festivals to see at this time are Paro Tsechu, Punakha Tsechu, Chhorten Kora etc.
The monsoon season in Bhutan is during the month of June, July and August. This time is nice to visit the heritage places in Bhutan but not suitable for trekking. The popular cultural festivals during this season are Nimalung Tshechu, Kurjey Tshechu, Haa Summer Festival and Matsutake Mushroom Festival.
During the month of September, October and November, the autumn season is witnessed in Bhutan. It is known for its scintillating landscapes, cool climate and attracting an influx of tourists. The Thimphu Tshechu festival is one of the best attractions of visiting Bhutan this time of the year.
Winter season is witnessed from the month of December to February in Bhutan. It’s a good time for indulging in wildlife photography and see the prominent attractions like Thimphu, Paro, Haa and Punakha.
How to reach Bhutan from India?
Bhutan can be reached from any of the major cities in India like Delhi, Bagdogra, Guwahati and Mumbai by landing at Paro which is the only international airport in Bhutan. One of the popular ways is to take a direct flight from Kolkata to Paro.
The tourists can opt for Druk Air which is the national airline of Bhutan. There is also the option of travelling via Nepal as there are direct flights which connect Kathmandu and Paro.
Which are the best sites for fishing in Bhutan?
Bhutanese Rivers are abundant of fishes where Brown Trouts and Golden Masheers are commonly found in its rivers. Fishing is allowed in most of the rivers of Bhutan on special permit to be obtained from local forestry department. Best River for fishing is Tang chhu in charming Tang valley where valleys come down to meet with the flowing water.
Haa Valley is also a great fishing spot but winters there get severe, fishing is best done on the months between March-May and September-October. Other notable fishing sites in Bhutan are Sankosh River, Manas river and Mangde chhu.
Which are some amazing routes for biking in Himachal Pradesh?
Bhutan is a land locked country bearing stunning landscapes comprising of majestic mountains, beautiful architecture and deserted regions and the rough terrain makes the country a great place for adventure. Experiencing the spirit of Bhutan is best done via bike rides. Routes like Phuentsholling to Thimphu via Chunka and Phuntsholing to Paro are the most popular biking routes in Bhutan where either one rides to the capital of Thimpu or to the quaint little town of Paro, visiting the Rinchending Monastery and Gedu University on the route.
The route of Thimphu - Punakha – Phobjikha takes one across breath taking sceneries of lush vegetation, towering cliffs and blooming flowers, making the route one of the most fascinating biking routes in Bhutan. One can also go up till Bumthang by taking the beautiful Phobjikha – Bumthang valley route.
Which are some best road trip places in Bhutan?
If you are wondering what to do in Bhutan to see the most authentic side of the country, then hitting the road is one of the most offbeat things to do in Bhutan.
Paro to Thimphu:
This is one of the best road stretches in Bhutan over an expanse of 50 kms. It offers a smooth highway for the ride and passes through some nice landscapes.
Thimphu to Punakha:
This road trip in Bhutan passes through DochuLa pass and offers some stunning views of the Himalayas. Other popular places on this route are Lobesa Village, Lam Drukpa Kuenley etc.
This is a short drive where you pass through Yotungla Pass perched at a height of 3400 metres above sea level. This stretch is a must visit to enjoy the green valleys and fresh air of the mountains.
Where can I enjoy hot springs in Bhutan?
In Bhutan one can find abundant hot springs known as Tshachus, all over the Kingdom. These hot springs usually contain great medicinal properties and are frequented by both locals and tourists during the winter months. There are three bath houses at the Gasa Tshachu that can be reached after a short trek from the valley floor. Among other hot springs, the popular ones are Chubu Tshachu in Punakha, Dur Tshachu in Bumthang Dzongkhag, Duenmang Tshachu located by the banks of Mangde Chu River and Gelephu Tshachu in Southern Bhutan.
Which are best places for pub hopping in Bhutan?
Some of the best places for pub hopping can be seen in the city of Paro and Thimphu when you are in Bhutan. The popular spots where you can tap a feet or two while listening to some spectacular music in Bhutan are:
This place is frequented by the youth in Paro and known to enthral you some nice EDM music. The entry fee here is INR 250.
This place is a favorite among the music lovers as there are live bands who keep performing here. It is also famous for offering mouthwatering dishes in American and Bhutanese cuisine.
With a dazzling dance floor, Space 34 is one of the most famous places for pub hopping in Bhutan. People can also find live bands and karaoke performances being organised here.
What should you not miss in Bhutan?
One of the prominent Buddhist sites, Paro Taktsang is believed to be the place where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. A scenic trek leads the tourists to this temple which is one of the unmissable attractions of Bhutan.
Known for its splendid architecture and spiritual vibes, Rinpung Dzong is one of the most famous places in Bhutan. The dzong is also known to celebrate the popular cultural festival called Paro Tsechu.
National Museum of Bhutan:
Witness the remnants of stone, glimpses of Royal Bhutanese history and a collection of relics of Buddha at National Museum of Bhutan. Built in 1968, National Museum of Bhutan is located in Paro in Bhutan.
Currently the home to the throne room, secretariat and other houses of the king and secretariat. Tashichho Dzong is a must visit in Thimphu. Also called ‘fortress of the glorious region’, this place is an important landmark in Bhutan.
Which are the some famous places to visit for a spiritual experience in Bhutan?
Bhutan is an amazing destination to find many mediation retreats that gives one respite from the cares and stress of everyday life. Many tourists visiting Bhutan come specifically for meditation and retreat tours. Start your spiritual journey from Rinopung Dzongs and Kichu Lhakhang temple and get acquainted with the teachings of the Buddha as delivered by learned Lamas.
The Bumda Monastery offer incredible sceneries that can take one on a spiritual journey, enough to revive and rejuvenate the body and spirit. One can also embark on a spiritual self-trek to the infamous Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery that fall between Bumdra and Paro.
Is alcohol allowed in Bhutan?
Yes, alcohol is allowed in Bhutan. One can get all kinds of liquor brands in the duty free shops of Bhutan. In the capital city of Thimphu, there are many bars where you can enjoy cocktails. In many hotels, one can enjoy numerous varieties of local and imported beer. However, it is to be noted that the bars remain closed on Tuesdays in Bhutan.
Which are some famous markets to shop in Bhutan?
Bhutan is a place much characterised by its traditional roots that defines its cultures and aesthetics to an extreme that till today Bhutanese ensemble, arts and crafts bear intrinsic details of the country’s rich cultural flavours.
The capital town of Thimphu is a great place for shopping that houses a bevy of markets like Hong Kong Market, Norzim Lam Street and Bhutanese Crafts Market that sell exquisite Bhutanese souvenirs and artefacts like Dzi beads, colourful masks, hand woven bamboo items, Walt Disney characters Bhutanese stamps and German unification stamps.
The main market at Paro and its town square also houses row of shops selling apparels and souvenirs. There are also umpteen number of shops in Phuntsheoling Main Market which sell t shirts, tops and other apparels at affordable prices.
Which are the places to visit for an art and culture experience in Bhutan?
Bhutan, the country famous for its great monasteries, Dzongs and the great Himalayas, offer differebtial experiences to its tourists. For a cultural experience, head to the small town of Paro that is lined with painted wooden shops, housing a town square by the banks of the river Paro Chhu. One can take a hike to the much revered Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
The cultural experience would remain incomplete if one misses visit its incredible Dzongs or fortresses that still tell stories of its bygone era. Staying at a local farm in the Paro Valley or valley camping and indulging in local authentic flavours of Bhutanese Cuisine will give one a great cultural experience.
The best way to experience the flavours of art and culture in Bhutan is by attending one of its most famous festivals, the most known among them are Paro Tshechu and Thimphu Tshechu.
What are the best places to eat in Bhutan?
Bukhari at Uma by COMO:
Located in Paro, Bukhari is one of the prominent places to help you enjoy a Bhutanese meal. It is known for its stunning ambience, welcoming staff and lets you enjoy a hearty meal with your loved ones.
Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant:
This restaurant in Thimphu allows you a traditional Bhutanese food experience on your vacation. Some of the popular dishes to try here are Datshi and buckwheat pancakes.
Babesa Village Restaurant:
Serving authentic non-vegetarian food, Babesa Village Restaurant allows you a unique experience with its comfortable and authentic setting. Located in Thimphu, it is a must visit for the foodies in Bhutan.
What is Bhutan famous for?
Bhutan is famous for offering a holiday where you can escape the urban life and enjoy the peace and serenity. It lets you bask in its serene landscape where you can enjoy the quaint vibes and admire the peace at Buddhist monasteries.
It is one of the smallest economies in the world. It is renowned for its rich cultural diversity and hailed as the only country in the world which has 72% forest cover. The people here are known for their welcoming nature and offer you an authentic experience whether it comes to food, shopping or participating in traditional festivities.
When can I visit Dochula Pass in Bhutan? Is it open throughout the year?
Dochula Pass is an infamous mountain pass in the Himalayas of Bhutan which fall on the way to Punakha from Thimpu where 108 memorial chortens or stupas known as "Druk Wangyal Chortens" are built. The pass is situated at an elevation of 3,100 metres and offer beautiful views of snow clad peaks only if the weather is not to misty.
Though the pass is open throughout the year, only between the months of October and February can on see panoramic views of the Bhutan Himalayas.
How many days should I spend in Bhutan?
To enjoy the most enthralling places of Bhutan, one should plan a trip for about five to seven days. To plan it well, one can take assistance of a travel agent to figure out the itinerary. This duration of the trip is good to visit the temples and enjoy a number of activities in Bhutan.
Which are some must visit monasteries in Bhutan?
Bhutan is filled to its brim with monasteries but there are a handful of them which you muct visit on your trip to Bhutan. The Taktsung Palphug Monastery in Bhutan is popularly known as the Tigers Nest is one of the famous monasteries of the world. The much known festival of Paro Tshechu takes place in Ripung Dzong, also known as the Paro Dzong is located amidst nature and offer breath taking views.
The Tango Monastery located near the Cheri Mountain is a very peaceful place for all spiritual seekers and the Gangteng Monastery is one of the 2 main centres of the Nyingmapa School of Buddhism. Among other famous monasteries in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and second largest monastery of Bhutan and Kurjey Lhakhang situated in the Bumthang Valley offer incredible spiritual and cultural experiences.
Where can I head for cycling in Bhutan?
The rugged, rough and mountainous terrain of Bhutan is a much revered adventure sport destination. And it lends itself well to both on-road or off-road mountain biking which is quite popular among both local and visiting cyclists. One should start cycling from Thimpu after visiting Paro, and head east to Punakha. On the way cyclists will frequent dzongs (fortresses), monasteries and temples.
Cycling is a best method of absorbing the Buddhist culture. Another beautiful cycling route goes till Bumthang from Paro, where cyclists can visit the remote Haa Valley on the way while crossing several passes over 3000m that delivers spectacular views of the Himalayas.