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Thimphu Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1 day

Best Time: September - November, March - May Read More

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"Third Highest Capital of the World"

Thimphu Tourism

Sprawled over a valley in western central Bhutan, the capital city of Thimphu is famous for its numerous Buddhist sites, mountainous Himalayan landscape, rich culture, and pious locales. In Thimpu, you can explore blue alpine forests and peaceful lakes up to Jili Dzong via Druk Path Trek, admire cave murals at the 800-year old Changangkha Lhakhang Temple, and buy kukri knives and traditional garments at Weekend Handicrafts Market.

Thimphu is the stronghold of Bhutanese art, history and architecture. Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu’s most massive monastery, government palace and fortress, is blessed with ancient Ta-dzong architecture and gold-leaf roofs. National Memorial Chorten, devoted to World Peace, is a whitewashed monument with a gold spire. Another masterpiece is Thimphu’s 51-metre-tall gold-plated Buddha Dordenma statue. Thimphu’s other important attractions include Gangtey Monastery, National Bhutan Library, Royal Botanical Garden, Simtokha Dzong, and National Folk Heritage Museum.

On your Thimphu tour, you can also climb the 9,400-feet-tall Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower for panoramic city views, visit Jungshi Paper Factory to learn how paper is made traditionally, go on exciting safaris of Motithang Takin Reserve Forest and Tango Goemba and Deer Park, relish beef noodles at Norling Market’s eateries, and cruise along the scenic Wang Chu river.

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Currency in Thimphu

The primary currency utilised in Bhutan is Bhutanese Ngultrum. This currency is utilised all over Bhutan including the areas such as Thimpu and Paro.

To know more read about the Currency of Bhutan.

Shopping in Thimphu

In Bhutan, you would be able to mainly find three categories of products - books, hardware and handicrafts. Reflecting Bhutan’s rich culture and arts, Thimphu has an excellent selection of handicraft shops selling high-quality paintings, ready-made and handmade ethnic kiras and khos, textiles, jewellery, masks and carpets. From scaling vibrant bazaars, exploring phenomenal indigenous designs, to collecting priceless antiques, here is how to enjoy shopping in Thimphu -

  • Pick up cotton, silk, bura, kushithara fabrics, upscale evening bags, silk pillowcases, pashmina shawls and textiles from Adang Village, Druk Trin Handicrafts and Sephub Gyeltsen Tshongkhang.
  • Make a stop at Thimphu’s shopping malls, including Gaa Phel Shopping Centre, Thimphu Plaza and Shearee Square.
  • Collect Bhutanese handicrafts, bamboo baskets, masks, paintings and gems from the National Handicrafts Emporium, Street craft stalls, the philatelic shop at Thimphu Post Office, and Lungta Handicrafts.
  • Purchase fresh fruit, metal and woodwork, hand-made garments, trinkets and snacks from Thimphu Weekend Market and Centenary Farmers’ Market. The Weekend Market in Thimphu is open on all Saturdays and Sundays selling everything from postal stamps to accessories.

Pro Tips -

  • Always carry cash while shopping in Thimpu.
  • For items without price tags in local markets, humble bargaining for reasonable 10-30% discounts is common.

Read more about Shopping in Bhutan.

Nightlife in Thimphu

The Bhutanese culture may not have been too much affected by modernisation, however, you would still find a good nightlife here. The city is known to be a bit small however the clubs over here have witnessed stars such as Cameron Diaz etc. gracing their parties. You can easily find numerous clubs as well as pubs over here some of the prime ones being Vivacity, Mojo Park and Club Ace.

Read more about the Nightlife of Thimphu

History of Thimphu

Thimphu wasn't the capital or the largest city since the beginning. Initially, it used to be a small hamlet which consisted of very few houses. Gradually, this city grew alongside the river as well as on the mountain cliffs. Over the years this city has seen rapid development and you would find it to have the most modernised facilities as compared to any other city present in Bhutan.

Read more on History of Bhutan.

Language of Thimphu

Dzongkha is the national language in Bhutan and hence you would find most of the people conversing in this language. The educated people of this city can also speak English as this is the language which is used for the purpose of education in Bhutan. You would also be surprised to find some people to be able to speak in Hindi, although not as fluently.

Read more about the Language of Bhutan.

Thimphu Customs

  • Being one of the traditional nations located in and across the world, Bhutan has been known to follow a very refined etiquette.
  • People here are normally dressed in the traditional Bhutanese dress where men wear a knee-length robe which is called Gho, while the women are known to wear what is known as Kira.
  • Also, certain etiquettes are observed while speaking, eating in public, while sending as well as receiving gifts and hence at many such occasions. 

Religion of Thimphu

You would find most of the people in Bhutan following Buddhism as their religion. However, over time there has been a considerable increase in the levels of people who follow Hinduism.

Read to know more about other Religion in Bhutan.

Daily Budget for Thimphu

On average you would be spending BTN 350 per day, which includes meals as well as basic travelling. However, in case you are shopping and travelling to nearby places, this cost would rise up to BTN 700 - 800 per day. These charges do not include any alcohol or any other luxury expenditures.

Exchanging Money in Thimphu

You can get your currency converted into the local Bhutanese currency easily at the Airport. Also, it is advised to carry cash all the time as there are times when ATMs won't work or you wouldn't be able to find one in some parts. Indian currency is widely accepted in Bhutan. 

Exchange Rate
The exchange rate for the Bhutan currency works similarly to that of India's. The currency value is floating, rather than being fixed. It depends on various factors such as demand and supply of the Bhutan currency, demand and supply of foreign currency, interest rates applicable etc.

Currently, BTN 69 is approximately equal to USD 1. In the 1990s, USD 1 approximately equated BTN 26.
Approximately BTN 80 exchanges for 1 Euro.

Best Time to Visit Thimphu

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Thimphu, Bhutan
Thimphu Bhutan
Thimphu Valley
Buddha Dordenma, Thimphu

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FAQs on Thimphu

What is the best way to reach Thimpu?

What are the places near Thimpu?

The top places near to Thimpu are Paro which is 22 km from Thimpu, Punakha which is located 27 km from Thimpu, Wangdue phodrang which is located 25 km from Thimpu, Phobjikha valley which is located 57 km from Thimpu, Trongsa which is located 85 km from Thimpu

What are the things to do in Thimpu?

The top things to do in Thimpu are Buddha Dordenma, Tashichho Dzong, Changangkha Lhakhang, Memorial Chorten, Thimphu Weekend Market, Folk Heritage Museum of Thimphu. You can see all the places to visit in Thimpu here

How much does a package cost for Thimpu?

The packages for Thimpu start at INR 17952 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What is the local food in Thimpu?

Rice is the main component of the numerous meals cooked in Bhutan. Here you would find rice being served along with two or one type of side meals, including meat as well as vegetables. Some of the common vegetable eaten or consumed in Paro are tomato, spinach, pumpkin etc. There are a number of Bhutanese dish such as Ema Datshi, Phaksha Paa and everyone's favourite Dimsum or Momos which you should definitely try.

Read more about Bhutanese Dishes

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What is the best time to visit Thimpu?

September - November (Spring) March-May (Spring) is the best time to visit Thimphu. This is the time when the skies are clear, the Weather in Thimphu is pleasant and feasible to travel. This is also a great time for adventure activities and trekking.

Paro Tsechu is also celebrated during the spring season and it is one of the best times to be in Bhutan. The end of November could turn out to be cold so don't forget to pack woollens. During the months of summer, the weather turns out to be extremely wet as well as humid and hence there are high chances of rain. During the months of winter, it is excessive cold as well as dry weather.
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Popular Questions And Answers on Thimphu

Q. How to reached Thimpu from Guwahati?

Mikul's Vlog

4 years ago
Take a bus to Coochbehar. It will take 6-7 hours. After that take another bus to Jaigaon from Coochbehar. It will take 2-3 hours. From Jaigaon cross the border gate and reach Phuentsholing and do nec (Read More)essary documentation at Immigration office. After that take taxi or coaster bus to Thimphu which will take another 6-7 hours.
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