Welcome to the beautiful eastern Himalayan country of Bhutan which still preserves its rich culture and traditions and has not let modernization overshadow its heritage. A nation, which believes in happiness instead of economic prosperity. This is evident from the friendliness and warm heartedness of its locals. Because of its unspoiled beauty, it has been termed as the last Shangri la.

So, pack your bags for an unforgettable journey to Bhutan where you will be greeted with picturesque landscapes, delicious cuisines and sacred monasteries. Find out everything you need to know about planning your trip to Bhutan from India in this travel guide.

Travel Bhutan from India (visa requirements)

If you are an Indian passport holder Bhutan offers visa free facility. It is a small country, and the main attractions can be traveled by hiring a taxi. It is mandatory to take a local guide to travel Bhutan which is chargeable and also pay a Sustainable Development fee of Rs 1200 (per person per day for Indians). Hence it is better to travel in a group to share the costs. You can visit the country’s tourism website for updated information about visa requirements (Home | Tourism Council of Bhutan)

No self-drive or rental vehicles are available. You are required to show hotel bookings for each day in order to enter the country. Find out more in this one-week itinerary

Day 1-2: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro

You will reach Paro whether arriving by flight or road. On stepping our foot to Bhutan, we realized how culturally rich this country is by looking at the airport building. It has proudly preserved its ancient style of architecture that’s why every common houses, offices and monasteries make use of colorful wooden framework. This uniformity in the architecture influenced by Tibetan Buddhism makes the cities and towns very picturesque.

You can choose to stay here for one night two days, take rest after the journey and hike to the famous Tigers nest monastery next day.

The Tigers nest or Paro Taktsang is a sacred Buddhist monastery in the Paro valley where the deity of Bhutan Guru Padmasambhava meditated and taught. The monastery has an entrance ticket and involves a moderate level hike of around 45 minutes to reach. In your free time you can also shop for souvenirs at Paro market and afterwards spend time on the banks of Paro Chu River admiring the breathtaking landscapes.

Day 3-4: Travel to Thimphu

Thimphu, capital of Bhutan is a one-hour drive from Paro and my favorite city. We loved walking and exploring this place watching the friendly locals and their relaxed pace of living. At least two days are required to explore the amazing things this city has to offer. You can choose to visit many attractions near Thimphu like the Buddha Point,National memorial Chorten and Changangkha Lhakhang temple.

Buddha Dordenma Statue

It is a beautiful bronze Buddha statue in Bhutan from where you can enjoy stunning views of Thimphu city!

Tashichho Dzong

Another place of interest is Tashichho Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and fortress on the northern edge of Thimphu. It has been the seat of the head of Bhutan’s civil government. You can witness the flag lowering ceremony held in evenings.

Explore the city and try local food

Being a small city, you can easily explore Thimphu on foot. Moreover, the organised traffic and neat roads makes walking a pleasant experience. You can try local delicious cuisines like red rice and Ema Datshi.

Day 5-6: Visit Dochula pass and Punakha

After exploring Thimphu, head towards Punakha, which is yet another integral part of the main attractions. Punakha is a 2-hour drive from Thimphu. On the road from Thimphu to Punakha there is a mountain pass known as Dochula where there are 108 ‘stupas’ built in honor of Bhutanese soldiers. This place offers magnificent views of the mighty Himalayan ranges.

Finally, after reaching Punakha visit the spectacular Punakha Dzong located between the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers which was the previous administrative center of Bhutan. Additionaly, you can also do river rafting in Punakha.

Day 7: Travel from Punakha to Paro

After one night stay in Punakha, you can drive back to Paro and return to either Sikkim or West Bengal the same day.

Best time to travel

Bhutan is a year-round destination however the natural beauty of the country is at its peak during spring season of March-April when there are blooming cherry blossom trees. Monsoon begins from July till September and is not a good time to visit.

How to reach Bhutan from India

As of now (2023), the flights from Delhi to Paro have become infrequent and expensive. Therefore, it is better to travel Bhutan from India via road from either Sikkim or Bagdogra (West Bengal) by reaching Bagdogra airport from major cities of India. Bagdogra to Paro distance is 313 kms taking around 8-9 hours to reach.

Trip budget

Traveling to Bhutan has become expensive as the country is focusing on high quality tourism. The total cost of trip could be around INR 50,000-60,000 per person. However, the budget can go higher depending on the choice of hotel stays, duration of trip and shopping. Citizens of other countries except India have to pay a daily fee of $250/ day.

Hotel: INR 1500-2500/ night

Transport/ Taxi: INR 1000-1500/day

Food: INR 400-500/ day

Sustainable development fee: INR 1200/ day

Also read : How to travel on a budget


Bhutanese Ngultrum is equal to INR however, Indian currency is widely acceptable all over the country. Carry enough Indian currency notes because there is a surcharge on using debit and credit cards.

2 responses to “Travel Bhutan from India: One-week itinerary”

    1. Ishita avatar

      Thank u so much