20 of the Top Tourist Places to Visit in Bhutan – How to Create Lasting Memories?

20 of the Top Tourist Places to Visit in Bhutan – How to Create Lasting Memories?

Places to visit in Bhutan are quite an interesting topic to talk about . With its rich culture, ancient architecture and mesmerizing nature & landscape views, Bhutan is a perfect tourist’s destination. Here are top 26 places to visit in Bhutan that are rich with amazing natural beauty, culture, temples etc.

Bhutan is one of the most sought after destinations for tourists nowadays. This small Himalayan country has much to offer to its visitors when it comes to natural beauty and cultural heritage. Moreover, Bhutan’s hospitality and the pristine environment makes it one of the most amazing tourist destinations in the world.

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Top 20 Tourist Places to Visit and Attractions in Bhutan

1) Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Tiger’s Nest | Image Source Pinterest

This is perhaps one of the the most popular places to visit and a major tourist destination in Bhutan. The monastery is close to Paro Valley and is on a cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. It is a popular fact that Guru Rinpoche, who came with Buddhism to Bhutan, arrived here on the back of a tigress. This monastery is now a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world.

Where to Stay

You can stay at the nearby tourist lodge or camp in tents.

Things to do

Hiking and photography are the main activities here.

Best Time to Visit

The monastery is one of the great places to visit and is possible throughout the year but the best time to visit is from March to May and from September to November when the views are at their best.

How to Reach The monastery is a 10 km hike from the town of Paro. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the foot of the hill and then start hiking.

2) Thimphu

places to visit
Thimpu | Image Source Pinterest

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan and is a modern city with all the amenities of a developed country. It is also home to many interesting places to visit including Tashichhodzong, Memorial Chorten, Changangkha Lhakhang, Buddha Dordenma and several other temples.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of hotels and guest houses in Thimphu. You can also find homestays here.

Things to do

Tashichhodzong This is the seat of the Bhutan government and houses a temple with a statue of Buddha.

Memorial Chorten This is a stupa from 1968 as a memorial to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan. The four faces inside represent the king and three key events of his life.

The most popular activity in Thimphu is a walk around the city and visiting the various temples and monasteries around town.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Thimphu is from September to November when the weather is cool and the skies are clear.

How to Reach

You can fly into Paro Airport and then take a taxi or bus to Thimphu. It is about an hour’s drive.

3) Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong | Image Source Pinterest

An ancient monastery and fortress, this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bhutan. The Dzong houses a huge statue of Buddha and a beautiful scenery surrounds it making it an ideal place for meditation and prayer.

Where to Stay

There are many hotels in Punakha that offer budget accommodations. You can also find homestays here.

Things to Do

Visit the Punakha Dzong and go hiking around the region surrounding it. Photography enthusiasts will love clicking pictures of the lush green view from here.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from January to March when there’s not much rainfall and you may get warm sunny days in between if its winter time in Bhutan.

How to Reach

Punakha is about an hour’s drive from Thimphu and can also be reached by bus.

4) Paro Valley

Paro Valley | Image Source Youtube

The Paro Valley is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bhutan. It is home to many ancient temples and monasteries, including the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The valley is also surrounded by snow-capped mountains making it a perfect place for hiking and photography.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of hotels and guest houses in Paro. You can also find homestays here.

Things to do

Hiking and photography are the main activities here. There are also several ancient temples and monasteries that you can visit.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit is from April to June and September to November when the views are at their best.

How to Reach

Paro is about an hour’s drive from Thimphu and you can also take a bus here.

5) Trongsa

places to visit
Trongsa | Image Source Youtube

Located in central Bhutan, Trongsa is surrounded by beautiful hills and lush forests. Hence it is amongst the best places to visit in Bhutan. There are three Dzongs in this town which were all built during medieval times and it has its own share of interesting history attached to it. Considered to be one of the most important towns in Bhutan, Trongsa has many ancient temples includingangri Zampa Monastery.

Where to Stay

There are several hotels in Trongsa. You can also find homestays here.

Things to do

Visit the town of Trongsa, go hiking around the areas surrounding it and visit its many ancient temples. The Trongsar Tshechu is a local festival that takes place in September each year and this festival brings together monasteries from all over Bhutan for celebrations that last five days.Trongsa is also home to some popular coffee plantations where you might just get lucky enough to spot the rare Himalayan Black Bear while enjoying your cup of warm coffee!

Best Time to Visit

The best time frame to visit this area is from April to June when there won’t be much rainfall and the skies are usually clear.

How to Reach

Trongsa is about a four-hour drive from Thimphu and can also be reached by bus.

6) Mongar

Mongar | Image Source Youtube

Mongar is located in eastern Bhutan and is the district capital. It is home to many interesting temples, including the Tamshing Lhakhang that was built in 1501. This makes this one of the highly demanding places to visit. This temple is said to house a tooth of Buddha and is one of the most important temples in all of Bhutan. There are several ancient buildings here that date back to the 17th century.

Where to Stay

Mongar has a few hotels and guesthouses which provide accommodations for its visitors.

Things to do

Visit the Tamshing Lhakhang, visit the local monastery, go hiking in surrounding areas and check out Kuru village which is home to some monasteries from Tibet.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from April to June during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Mongar is about a four-hour drive from Thimphu and possibly reachable by bus.

7) Ura

Ura | Image Source Pinterest

Ura is in central Bhutan and it houses the famous Cheri Monastery which is from1620. This monastery has a rich history attached to it and many visitors come here to get an insight into how life used to be in ancient times.

Where to Stay

This place doesn’t have any accommodations for tourists so you might need to stay outside of this area if you want to spend some time here. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses available around Bumthang which is just an hour away from this town.

Things to do

Visit the Cheri Monastery, visit Ngang Lhakhang which is one of the oldest temples in all of Bhutan, go hiking around the surrounding areas and check out local festivals that are present throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Ura is about a two-hour drive from Thimphu and you can reach there by bus or taxi.

8) Trashiyangtse

Trashiyangtse | Image Source Youtube

Trashiyangtse is located in eastern Bhutan and it is close to borders of Tibet (China). It houses many monasteries from centuries ago including Tamshing Lhakhang that is from the 16th century. There are also several hot springs here that attract many visitors each year and is popular as one of the major places to visit.

Where to Stay

Trashiyangtse has a couple of hotels and guesthouses which provide accommodations for its visitors.

Things to do

Visit the Tamshing Lhakhang, visit Punakha Dzong which is one of the best examples of Drukpa architecture in all of Bhutan, go on a hike around surrounding areas and attend local festivals that are popular throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

This place is reachable by bus or car.

9) Bumthang

Bumthang | Image Source Pinterest

Bumthang is located in central Bhutan and it is the home of Jakar Dzong which was built in 1647 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The dzong was strategically built to balance the monks, who were fighting for power at that time. It’s also called Yolkar Dzong because of its golden roof beams.

Where to Stay

This place doesn’t have any accommodations for tourists so you might need to stay outside of this area if you want to spend some time here. There are plenty of hotels available in Mongar which is just an hour away from here and there are also a few guesthouses in Jakar town.

Things to do

Visit the Jakar Dzong, visit the local markets which are open every morning, go on hikes around surrounding areas and attend local festivals that are held throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Bumthang can be reached by bus or car.

10) Wangdue Phodrang

Wangdue Podrang | Image Source Pinterest

Wangdue Phodrang is located in central Bhutan and it is close to the border of India It is home to several ancient monasteries including the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong which was built in 1638. It’s also known as the “fortress of the thunder dragon.” Hence it is one of the ideal places to visit and must include in your bucket list.

Where to Stay

There are a few hotels and guesthouses available here for tourists.

Things to do

Visit the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, visit the local markets which are open every morning, go on hikes around surrounding areas and attend local festivals that are held throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Wangdue can be reached by bus or car.

11) Gasa

places to visit
Gasa | Image Source Pinterest

Gasa is located in the far north-west of Bhutan and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s home to several monasteries including the Druk Choeding Monastery which was built in 1705.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay here but they’re all quite basic so it might be best to stay in nearby Thimphu if you want some more luxury.

Things to do

Visit the Druk Choeding Monastery, hike around surrounding areas and attend local festivals that are held throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Gasa can be reached by bus or car but it takes about 10 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

12) Phobjika Valley

places to visit
Phobjika Valley | Image Source Pinterest

Phobjika Valley is located in the eastern side of Bhutan and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. It’s home to several monasteries including the Damphu Gomang Stupa which was built in 1820.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay here but they’re all quite basic so it might be best to stay in nearby Thimphu or Paro if you want some more luxury.

Things to do

Visit the Damphu Gomang Stupa, hike around surrounding areas and attend local festivals that are held throughout the year

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is from October to December during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Phobjika Valley can be reached by bus or car but it takes about 3 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

13) Thrumshingla National Park

places to visit
Thrumshingla National Park | Image Source Pinterest

Thrumshing La National Park is located on the east side of Bhutan and covers an area of about 330 square kilometers. Here you’ll find several peaks including Mount Jomolhari which has an elevation that reaches up to 7,329 meters above sea level. The name Thrumshing La is derived from the Tibetan word ‘Thrumshing’ which means ‘Throne of the Gods’.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay here but they’re all quite basic so it might be best to stay in nearby Thimphu or Paro if you want some more luxury.

Things to do

Hike around, take in beautiful views when scaling Jomolhari and attend local festivals that are held throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Thrumshingla National Park can be reached by bus or car but it takes about 5 to 6 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

14) Laya Gasa Holy Cave

Laya Gasa | Image Source Pinterest

Laya Gasa Holy Cave is in the deep within the forest near a place called Yonggye and it’s a popular pilgrimage site for locals who come here to pay homage to Guru Rinpoche & Dorje Pakmo – a female deity whose name means ‘Vajra’. This cave contains ancient paintings which were by masters from Nyingma school of Buddhism between the 9th and 13th centuries. Check this out as it is amongst the best places to visit.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay here but they’re all quite basic so it might be best to stay in nearby Thimphu or Paro if you want some more luxury.

Things to do

Hike around, take in beautiful views and attend local festivals that are present throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

The ideal way to reach Laya Gasa Holy Cave is by bus or car but it takes about 8 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

15) Prakar Village and Wetlands

places to visit
Prakar Village | Image Source Pinterest

Prakar village is in Eastern Bhutan and is near a place called Lhaming Karpo which has an elevation that reaches up to 13,400 feet above sea level. The area consists mostly of wetland vegetation such as lilies, willows and water reeds which grow along the banks of the Prakar River.

Where to Stay

There are a few places to stay here but they’re all quite basic so it might be best to stay in nearby Thimphu or Paro if you want some more luxury.

Things to do

Take a nature walk, bird watch and visit the local monastery.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during winter season when it’s not too cold and there isn’t much rainfall either.

How to Reach

Try reaching the Prakar Village and Wetlands by bus or car but it takes about 6 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

16) Chele La Pass (3,800 m/12,467 ft.)

Chele La Pass | Image Source Pinterest

The Chele La Pass is one of the highest passes that connects India and China and offers spectacular views out into other mountain ranges such as Pare Chu and the Black Mountains. are a couple of different routes that can be taken to get to the top of this pass and some even stopover at a small local village where you can have a rented room for very cheap.

Where to Stay

There’s not too many places where you can stay near the Chele La Pass but there is a few guesthouses located in nearby Thimphu that offer affordable accommodation, especially if you’re traveling on a budget.

Things to do

Visit Khaine Lhakhang Monastery was by Lama Drukpa Kuenley back in the 1600s and enjoy spectacular views of mountains from different angles.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during summer season when it’s warm and dry with barely any rainfall.

How to Reach

You may reach Chele La Pass by bus or car but it takes about 5 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

17) Dochu La Pass (3,088 m/10,130 ft.)

Dochu La Pass | Image Source Pinterest

The Dochu La Pass is a mountain pass that’s in central Bhutan and is well popular for the 108 chortens (stupas) that are at the summit. The area is also popular for its many rhododendron trees which bloom during spring season and make the entire area look like it’s in pink snow.

Where to Stay

There are quite a few places to stay around here but if you want more comfort than most choose to stay at one of the resorts inside the town of Wangdue Phodrang.

Things to do

Take a nature walk, visit the 108 chortens, watch locals dance during festivals & enjoy some relaxing time at cafes or restaurants.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during summer season when it’s warm and dry with barely any rainfall.

How to Reach

Reaching the Dochu La Pass can be by bus or car but it takes about 5 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

18) Black Mountain National Park (2,500 m/8,200 ft.)

places to visit
Black Mountain National Park | Image source Pinterest

The Black Mountain National Park is located in central western Bhutan and has a few different eco-systems that offers various unique species of wildlife and vegetation. There’s also a few different cultural and heritage sites in the area which makes it worth visiting while trekking.

Where to Stay

There’s not too many places where you can stay near the Black Mountain National Park but there is a couple guesthouses located in nearby Thimphu that offer affordable accommodation, especially if you’re traveling on a budget.

Things to do

Visit different eco-systems & cultural sites, go hiking through trail routes & enjoy some relaxing time at cafes or restaurants.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during summer season when it’s warm and dry with barely any rainfall.

How to Reach

Reaching the Black Mountain National Park can be by bus or car but it takes about 5 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

19) Motithang Takin Preserve (2,400 m/7,940 ft.)

Motithang Takin Preserve | Image Source Pinterest

Motithang Takin Preserve is the only place in Bhutan where you can see takins in their natural habitat. This rare animal species is also popular as the National Animal of Bhutan and was first discovered by westerners in 1956. You must visit this park as it is one of the greatest places to visit.

Where to Stay

There’s not too many places where you can stay near the Motithang Takin Preserve but there are a couple guesthouses located inside Thimphu that offer affordable accommodation, especially if you’re traveling on a budget.

Things to do

Visit the Motithang Takin Preserve when animals are roaming freely, visit other cultural attractions & enjoy some relaxing time at cafes or restaurants.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this area is during the winter season when the animals are more visible and there’s barely any rainfall.

How to Reach

You can reach Motithang Takin Preserve by bus or car but it takes about 5 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

20) Lhuentse Dzong (2,800 m/9,180 ft.)

Lhuentse Dzong | Image Source Youtube

The Lhuentse Dzong is a Buddhist temple and fortress in the eastern part of Bhutan and is from the15th century. Besides being an important historical landmark it is also an administrative center for the local district. This is one of the amazing places to visit when you are in Bhutan.

Where to Stay

There are quite a few places to stay near this town but if you want more comfort than most choose to stay at one of the resorts inside the town of Mongar.

Things to do

Visit temples & monasteries around Lhuentse Dzong, go hiking through trail routes & enjoy some relaxing time at cafes or restaurants

Best Time to Visit

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit this area as the weather is mild with barely any rainfall.

How to Reach

You can travel to Lhuentse Dzong by bus or car but it takes about 4 hours from the capital city of Thimphu so it might be best to stay overnight in one of those towns if you want more comfortable travel conditions.

Now that you know the top 20 tourist places to visit in Bhutan and attractions in Bhutan, which ones would you like to visit first? Please let us know by leaving a comment below. Moreover, do not forget to check out Bhutan tourist visa and regulations if prior to visiting Bhutan.

Lauren De Almeida

Lauren De Almeida

I am a passionate author. I like traveling and hence contribute to this travel blog with interest. Moreover, I enjoy writing articles on travel, cuisine, lifestyle, and culture. For me, this is an interesting art to explore new places, meet new people and learn about their lifestyles. All my publishing on this site contributes to encouraging everyone out there to get out and explore the world around you. Through this site, I intend on delivering the latest travel news, updates, and other interesting information to readers. Enjoy!

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