• Bhutan Thimphu Travel Guide 2020/2021
  • Bhutan Thimphu Travel Guide 2020/2021
  • Bhutan Thimphu Travel Guide 2020/2021
5 Days Bhutan Classic Tour (Paro & Thimphu & Punakha)
Not-be-missed Essence of Bhutan
6 Days Last Shangri-La Highlights Tour
Impressive Bhutan Treasures
9 Days Bhutan In-depth Natural and Cultural Tour
Deep Exploration to Central Bhutan

Thimphu Travel Guide - Tourist Attractions, Transportation, Weather, Hotels, Restaurants

Located at Thimphu Valley with an average elevation of 2,500m (8,202 ft), Thimphu in Western Bhutan is the largest and the capital city of Bhutan after replacing the ancient capital - Punakha. The 3rd King of Bhutan led a reformation and moved the capital from Punakha to Thimphu in 1955. Population here is less than 100,000. It is more like a small countryside town without tall buildings and traffic lights but only one policeman directing flows. Probably you think it’s less prosperous and huge than other capital cities, but numerous tourists from worldwide are attracted to Thimphu to explore its authentic history and culture in the reclusive Bhutan.

Seat of Royal Family, Top Modern Center in Bhutan

Normally Thimphu is arranged as the second tourist destination after Paro, because Paro has the only international airport in Bhutan and the world-famous monastery Tiger’s Nest and some landmark spots. As the most modern city in Bhutan, Thimphu is the best place to experience Bhutan's local culture mixed with modern atmosphere. You can stroll inside sacred monasteries, witness breathtaking natural landscapes and learn about different Bhutan’s traditional art and heritage, taste local food, see special Bhutanese style costumes etc. Discover Thimphu to get the essence of Bhutan!

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu

Searching for mystery of happiness? You’ve got the right place. Thimphu will always present you the best beyond your expectation, including beautiful natural scenery, peaceful Buddhist temples, interesting folk customs, special dresses and much more. Surely, you can’t miss the great Himalayan views and sacred National Memorial Chorten. Exploration of local Bhutanese flavors and daily life in Weekend Market is pleasant surprises in the short trip. Read more about >>places to visit in Thimphu.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Dochula Pass - Great Balcony to the Himalayas

Type: Viewing Deck of Nature, History

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Located on the driving way from Thimphu to Punakha, Dochula Pass (3,140m) is one of the highest points in Bhutan, where offers spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of the Himalayan mountains on clear days. Except the scenic beauty, the 108 Stupas (Druk Wangyal Chortens) aligned on the hill nearby, which were built in memory of soldiers died in war is an important religious site for locals. Enjoy your cozy time in the café during the stopover.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Tashichho Dzong - Seat of Government & Religious Center

Type: Religion & Politics

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong) serves as the seat of government and a summer palace for Je·Khenpo (supreme leader of Bhutan's Buddhism) from Punakha. It suffered severely damage and got several reconstructions with over 800 years history. Immerse yourself in the grandiose architecture, flying pigeons, echoing prayer wheels and highlight your trip to witness more history of Bhutan. Public visiting in the courtyard and monatsery areas is only available after office hours.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

General Post Office - Museum of Stamps with Customization

Type: Post office & Culture

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

Want to keep your Bhutan trip meaningful and memorable? It's a good idea to customize your photos and deliver them to your family or friends worldwide here. Bhutan is a world famous “Kingdom of Stamps” that produced the first Record Stamp in the world in 1962. Even nowadays it is an acknowledged leader in designing, printing diverse gorgeous stamps. Large collection of beautiful stamps, cards and souvenirs and impressive innovation are displayed here for the philatelist.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Buddha Dordenma Statue - Guardian Buddha Overseeing the Land

Type: Monument & Religion

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

Lying on the hilltop in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the 51.5m tall Buddha statue of Sakyamuni is one of the largest effigies of Bhutan in the world. The interior temples with delicate carvings, small sculptures and the huge size make it a must-visit site in Thimphu. Travelers can get a breathtaking view of the entire Thimphu city during clear weather. More interesting, the giant Buddha is visible from the anywhere in Thimphu.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

National Institute of Zorig Chusum - Traditional Painting School

Type: Education, Art

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hr

This institute is a small school where students can learn 13 different traditional skills, including the stone and clay sculpturing, woodwork, Thangka painting, embroidery, weaving, paper making and other artistic heritage. Imagine how interesting it would be to visit the live teaching class when students are concentrating on making art items. Art fans can buy souvenirs and handicrafts made by the students at reasonable prices from a small but nice shop nearby.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

National Textile Museum - A Window into Bhutan’s Textile Culture

Type: Culture & History

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

Curious about how the locals make their traditional Bhutanese clothes? You can start from the visit to this museum where houses a great exhibition of various textile products and real time textile process. Besides, there are maps showing the various colors and patterns worn in different regions in Bhutan. A short trip to the Textile Museum helps you learn more about the weaving techniques and unique local style of dress, a superb way to know more about the history and culture of Bhutan.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

National Memorial Chorten - Peace in Bhutan, Peace in the World

Type: Monument & Religion

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

The white landmark monument is built in central Thimphu to honor memory of his majesty, the 3rd king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck of Bhutan and pray for world peace. It is also the most sacred stupa where elderly locals gather to make prostrations, kora walking and twirl pray wheels. Literally means Mind of Buddha, this iconic Buddhist chorten is a gorgeous traditional Buddhist architecture with precious religious paintings and Buddha statues inside.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Motithang Takin Preserve - Home of Bhutan’s National Animal

Type: Nature, Wildlife

Recommended Length of Visit: 1~2 hours

Takin is to Bhutan what Panda is to China. The nature preserve is a small zoo and the home to the national animal of Bhutan - Takin, a kind of featured animal between cattle and goat. You only need a short drive to catch a glimpse at the rare animal exclusively in Bhutan and the Himalayan views, which is definitely worth a visit. It would be amazing to watch the Takin care center and other mountain animals like deer, unusual to see outside. Prepare for the long walk to reach the preserve.

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu Bhutan

Simtokha Dzong - The Oldest Dzong in Bhutan

Type: History, Religion & Culture

Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hour

The ancient historical monastery is a well-maintained Dzong, a beautiful and quiet place with amazing view of the golden Buddha Statue, but less tourist visit. Walk inside, you can enjoy the impressive wooden structures, exquisite wall paintings, beautiful garden, sacred Buddha statues that deliver the spiritual power of your mind. If lucky, you can observe over 100 monks doing morning route, like chanting in unison and reading books, a spectacular sight and event.

Top Featured Activities in Thimphu

Praised as “A Happy Kingdom Kissed by Buddha” and “the Land of Thunder Dragon”, Bhutan is endowed with magnificent Buddhist culture. Meanwhile, isolation from chaos, perfect harmony with nature, positive value of development, traditional way of living, all those cultivate an abundant local culture and happiness of Bhutanese. To help you catch a glimpse of the long history and colorful culture of Bhutan, we select three top local activities and festivals below in Thimphu for your trip, and you can read more about >>things to do in Thimphu.

Featured Activities in Thimphu

Thimphu Tschechu

Date: Late September or Early October

Location: North of Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong)

Tshechu Festival is the most famous and grandest religious event in Bhutan, which is celebrated for the birthday of Guru Rimpoche. The two most popular Tshechus are the Paro and Thimphu Tschechus held in spring and autumn respectively. During the big feast, the locals will attend the Thimphu Tshechu to watch colorful Bhutanese mask dances (Cham Dance) to receive blessings and purification, see the exhibited huge Thangka and enjoy other entertainment activities. Meanwhile, it’s a good time for tourists to join in this characteristic, colorful and hilarious holiday combined with traditional Bhutanese culture.

Featured Activiteis in Thimphu

Weekend Market

Date: Saturday & Sunday

Location: North of Changlimithang Stadium & Archery Ground

Many local farmers in the nearby villages will assemble in this big Contenary Farmers Market to sell organic farm products at weekends. Walking around and looking at how local sell goods and buy products is a local way to explore the local life and culture. The great variety of colorful vegetables, fruits and fishes and funny items like saffron, cordycep, area nut organized in different sections provides visitors a wonderful experience to enjoy. A good idea is to bring your camera to photograph interesting things while visiting and try some fresh fruit.

Featured Activiteis in Thimphu

Druk Path Trek

Recommended Dates: Mar ~Jun/Sep ~ Nov

Trekking Route: Paro ~ Thimphu

Prefer a unique way to make your trip in the Bhutan more fun? Trekking is a fabulous idea to record the whole journey by footsteps. This six days’ Druk Path Trek begins from Paro and ends in Thimphu. Being a relatively easy hike route, the path leads you to walk from elevations ranging between 2,400~4,200m, passing by the stunning natural landscape of peaks, pine forests, beautiful lakes, country villages and traditional style monasteries. In Bhutan, the Druk Path Trek is the most popular one that can easily stretch your body and view various kinds of scenery both.

Useful Bhutan Thimphu Travel Notes

  • 1. How to Plan a Bhutan Tour
    A classic Bhutan tour usually takes about 6 days involving Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Apart from the arrival and departure days, you get 4 full days to explore the landmarks in Bhutan - three days in the towns of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha, and another day in Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). If you want an in-depth tour to central Bhutan, you are suggested to spend extra 4 days to Bumthang via Wangdu Phodrang and Trongsa. Many travelers prefer an overland tour in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan to discover the Himalaya Kingdoms. If time permits, you can take a one-hour flight from Bhutan to Nepal, where you can admire the medieval architectural wonders and marvelous landscape of Himalayan Peaks. After that, take an overland driving journey to the holy city Lhasa via Mount Everest, Tibet.
  • 2. How to Get a Bhutan Visa
    Except Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivians, all foreign tourists wishing to travel to Bhutan are required to obtain Bhutan Visa Clearance Letter prior to departure. It is a single-entry visa that can only be applied by licensed Bhutanese tour operator and their international partners (like Tibet Discovery). If you travel with us, you only need to send us a clear scanned copy of your passport for a minimum one week visa processing. Once issued, a Visa Clearance Letter will be emailed to you for taking flights to Bhutan. After arrival in Paro Airport, the immigration officer will stamp the Bhutan Visa on your passport after checking the Visa Clearance Letter. Then you can start the dream trip in the kingdom of Bhutan.
  • 3. How to Get to Bhutan
    There are two choices to get to Bhutan – by international flights from connected Asian countries (Nepal, India, Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh) and by overland driving from India. Since Paro is the only international airport, all the flights to Bhutan lands on Paro. Meanwhile, there are three accessible land ports connected Bhutan and India, including Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu. Phuentsholing is the primary one which connects Chhukha of Bhutan and West Bengal of India. From Phuentsholing, it takes about 6 hours to drive to Paro or Thimphu. The other two ports are located in central and eastern remote area of Bhutan.
  • 4. Useful Bhutan Thimphu Travel Tips
    1.) Other Tourist Destinations in Bhutan. Apart from Thimphu, there are many other destinations worthy of your visit, including Paro, Punakha, Phobjikha, Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa, Bumthang etc. Special theme Bhutan tours, like trekking, bird watching and local festival sightseeing can be customized based on your needs. 2.) The north region of Bhutan is located at southern Himalayas with elevations of 3,000m and above, but Thimphu (altitude: around 2,500 m) located at Wang Chhu Valley is a destination generally tourists don’t need to worry about high altitude sickness. 3.) Packing & Wearing Ideas. Thimphu generally enjoys a moderate climate all year around. But temperature will vary widely between day and night, and it can drop to below zero at night during spring and winter. Also Bhutan is a religious country full of monasteries, Dzongs (fortresses) and sacred religious sites, therefore, long pants and long sleeved tops should be worn to show respect while visiting those places. Better dress in layers and prepare warm clothes for winter tour and high-altitude destinations

Most Recommended Thimphu Tour Packages

Following are some other recommended Thimphu tour packages that you may be interested in. All of our Tibet tour packages are customizable to meet your personal requirements. You can also contact us to customize a trip if you want.

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