Bhutan Travel FAQ and Do’s & Don’ts

Here we have listed frequently asked questions (FAQ) when you are planning to travel to Bhutan.

Where is Bhutan?

Bhutan is a small country between India and Tibet, just east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh. Bhutan is known for its natural beauty, forest conservation, gross national happiness, great culture & heritage.

How to reach Bhutan?

By Road through Phuentsholing (Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport) Direct flight to Paro

Do we need a visa to enter Bhutan?

Yes, Visa is required For Indians Rs 1200/- Per Night (SDF) For Other Country Citizens $100 Per Night (Approx 8,500/-)

What documents will be required to get a permit to travel to Bhutan for Indian Tourists?

For tourists above 18 years of age either a Passport with a minimum of 6 months of validity or a Voter ID card is required.
For tourists below 18 years, passport or a birth certificate along with a school/college ID would be valid for a permit.
Note: Aadhaar card is not valid for a travel permit to visit Bhutan.

What is the procedure of applying for a tourist permit to travel to Bhutan?

Indian Tourists coming by Road to Phuentsholing Border.

Tourists can apply for a travel permit at the Phuentsholing Immigration office.
Need to submit the Travel Itinerary you will follow in Bhutan on a registered travel agent's Letterhead.
Hotel reservation booking voucher.
Present Passport or Voter ID Card.
Licensed Bhutanese Cultural Guide is mandatory to travel in Bhutan
Travel Insurance
Payment of SDF or Visa Fee of Rs 1200/- Per Night

What are the timings of Phuentsholing Immigration office?

Phuentsholing Immigration office opens from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM on all 7 days. Immigration offices might remain closed on Bhutanese National holidays e.g. festivals, elections etc.

As Phuentsholing is in Bhutan then how can we enter Phuentsholing without a permit?

Don't worry! You are not required to have any permit to enter Phuentsholing in addition you can roam around up to 5 KM in Phuentsholing without a permit. Phuentsholing is a border area in southern Bhutan. It is a very unique and great experience crossing the Bhutan border by walking.

Is a passport required to Travel Bhutan?

Passport is Not Mandatory Voter Card work for Indians. Birth Certificate is Valid for Indians below age 18.
Note: Aadhaar Card is not valid

Can I Travel to Bhutan Independently Solo?

Yes, You can travel but to Travel Bhutan. But it's always better to join a group. As 3 Star Hotels, Licensed Bhutanese Guide, Travel Insurance, Travel Itinerary are mandatory due to which the cost for Solo Travel is significantly high.

Can we stay in Phuentsholing without a permit?

Yes! You can stay in Phuentsholing without a permit. In fact, we suggest you keep a night halt in Phuentsholing when you are coming from Bagdogra Airport. The reason for an overnight stay in Phuentsholing is that most of the flights land at Bagdogra airport in the afternoon and therefore by the time you reach Phuentsholing from Bagdogra airport, there are high chances that the Immigration office will be closed. So it's better to keep a night halt and apply for the permit the next morning. You can explore Phuentsholing and try some delicious food.

Is Bhutan safe for Female Solo Travellers?

Bhutan is one of the safest places to travel and it's a paradise for solo travellers. Additionally, Bhutanese people are known for being friendly, welcoming, and respectful towards visitors.

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Indian currency is widely accepted in Bhutan and its equivalent to Bhutan's currency 'Ngultrum'. No need to Exchange.

Do Indian Networks work in Bhutan?

We suggest you get a local sim card. Some Indian networks provide international roaming services in Bhutan.

What languages are spoken in Bhutan?

Hindi & English are commonly spoken in major towns.

Is smoking allowed in Bhutan?

It is allowed in Bhutan.

Is alcohol allowed in bhutan?

Alcohol is highly available in Bhutan. Ara and Peach Wine are quite popular alcoholic beverages in Bhutan.

Is it possible to travel Bhutan Independently solo?

It is suggested to travel in a group of 2 or more. Phuentsholing Immigration office may refuse to give permits for travelling solo.

Is Bhutan a safe country to Travel?

Yes!! Bhutan is one of the safest countries to travel to. The crime rate is very low in Bhutan.

What languages are spoken in Bhutan?

Dzongkha is the official language, mainly spoken in the west. Hindi & English are commonly spoken in major towns, also commonly used in education in schools in the country.

Is there any dress code in Bhutan which we need to follow?

Always wear a proper dress when you are visiting government offices or any religious monuments. Please do not wear skirts, sunglasses or hats while visiting any religious place.

What time zone does Bhutan use?

Bhutan's Time zone is GMT +6. Bhutan time is 30 mins ahead of India Time e.g. at 7:00 PM IST = 7:30 PM BST

What currency is used in Bhutan?

Indian currency Rupee is widely accepted in Bhutan. Bhutan's national currency is Ngultrum. There is no need to exchange Indian Rupees for Bhutanese Ngultrum.

What is the price of Indian Rupees in Bhutan?

Indian National Rupee (INR) is equivalent to Bhutanese Ngultrum (Nu).

1 Rupee = 1 Ngultrum

Which indian currency notes are accepted in Bhutan?

All Indian currency notes are accepted in Bhutan except Rs 500 & Rs 2000 Notes. However, as per our practical experience Rs 500 notes have worked at all places except Punakha Dzong Monument.

Are ATMs available in Bhutan?

We suggest you do not rely on the ATM at Phuentsholing please carry sufficient cash.

Can we make payment via Credit Cards or Debit Cards in Bhutan?

Credit or Debit cards are accepted at very few shops in the main regions of Bhutan. Bhutan has a very basic infrastructure and most of the shops don't have card payment machines. We advise you to carry sufficient cash for your trip.

Note: Rs 2000 Notes are not valid in Bhutan.

Power Plugs and Sockets in Bhutan.

In Bhutan charging sockets are the same as in India. No need to carry plug converters.

What local food options are available in Bhutan?

The local cuisine has been able to maintain its unique character. It's less oily than Chinese or Indian food and spicier than most Tibetan dishes.

Six must-taste foods to sample at least once.

Ema Datshi – (Chilies and Cheese) – Veg
Jasha Maroo or Maru – (Spicy Chicken) – Non-Veg
Phaksha Paa – (Pork with Red Chilies) – Non-Veg
Momos – (Dumplings) – Veg & Non-Veg
Red Rice – Veg
Drink Specialties- Ara (or arag), a fermented drink made from rice, maize, millet, or wheat. Ara tastes a bit like extremely, extremely strong sake. Cheers! – Alcohol

Which Bhutanese Sim Card should we buy?

In Bhutan, there are 2 Network operators i.e. Bhutan Telecom & Tashi Cell. Both networks are good in connectivity and coverage. Both have similar plans and pricing.


  • Always use Zebra crossing while crossing the roads otherwise you might be in trouble and local police can punish you.
  • Always ask for permission if you are photographing a person.
  • Respect Bhutanese cultures and learn about local customs. Locals are very sensitive, you may don’t want to sound rude.


  • Refrain from passing negative comments on religion, the royal family and the chief abbot.
  • Do not carry any drone camera, it is strictly prohibited in Bhutan.