What to Do in Paro?A Visit To Kyichu Lhakhang, Savouring The Local Cuisine Of Bhutan, Shopping At The Paro Craft Market, Visiting Drukgyel Dzong, Watch The Cultural Performances, Trek to The Tiger’s Nest, Drive to The Chele La Pass, Visit the National Museum of Bhutan, and more.
There are many things to do in Paro, which is considered the Valley Town of Bhutan. It is due to its unique culture along with the wide variety in terrain that there are a lot of activities to do in Paro. From visiting the different age-old monasteries like Kyichu Lhakhang and Tiger’s Nest Monastery to taking part in the amazing river rafting experience, one can enjoy a lot of activities in Paro. Additionally, you can also take relaxing walks in the numerous rice paddies in the region, or enjoy a food walk while savouring and indulging in the lip-smacking one-of-a-kind Bhutanese cuisine when you are on a visit to Paro.
When thinking of what to do in Paro, you are faced with a lot of options. Be it trekking to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery or enjoying the adrenaline-pumping Laya Trek, travelers can indulge in hiking in and around Paro. Additionally, kayaking in the Po Chhu River, which ranks amongst the top adventure activities in Bhutan. Camping and Mountain Biking follow close behind as some of the most adventurous activities in the town. However, if adventures don’t tickle your soul, there is always the option of shopping to your heart’s content or visiting the many pilgrimage sites in Paro.
Things to Do in Paro
People Also Ask About Paro Things To Do
What are the best things to do in Paro?There are many things to Do in Paro, which can make your holiday to this place a very memorable one. Of all the exciting things to Do in Paro, the following are the best ones:
1. A Visit To Kyichu Lhakhang: This is probably the most beautiful of all monasteries in Paro. Coloured in a vibrant shade of blue, the Kyichu Lhakhang will absolutely take your breath away. Best for culture as well as nature enthusiasts, this Buddhist temple is one of the oldest temples in all of Bhutan. Therefore, a visit to this place should undoubtedly be on the top of your list.
Location: Lango Gewog, Paro, Bhutan
2. Savouring The Local Cuisine Of Bhutan: When you are confused as to what to do in Paro, food is your best bet. Moreover, relishing some of the mouth-watering local cuisine comes at the top. From piping hot momos and soup from the local street vendors to indulging in the top restaurants in town, such as Tou Zaiga Restaurant for Ema Datshi and Bukhari Restaurant for healthier options, there is lots to eat in Paro.
Location: All over the town
3. Shopping At The Paro Craft Market: One of the most important things to Do in Paro is paying a visit to the Paro Craft Market and shopping till you can’t anymore. Known for locally made handicrafts, such as clothes, lanterns, and even handbags, this market is a shopper’s paradise.
Location: City Centre, Paro, Bhutan
4. Visiting Drukgyel Dzong: Literally translating to the Fortress of Victory, a visit to this important historical and archaeological place is amongst the offbeat things to do in Paro. Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fort used to serve as the defense spot of the country.
Location: Upper Paro District, Bhutan
5. Watch The Cultural Performances: For those interested in the rich culture of this land, don’t fuss too much about what to do in Paro. Rather, head to the Festival Ground in Paro, and enjoy the traditional Bhutanese folk dances performed by dancers in masks.
Location: Paro Dzong, Paro, Bhutan
6. Trek to The Tiger’s Nest: Known as one of the most important monasteries in Paro, the Tiger’s Nest is located atop a cliff, surrounded by lush green valleys and mountains on all sides. A trek to the top takes a couple of hours, offering travelers breathtaking views of the valley.
Location: Taktsang trail, Paro, Bhutan
7. Drive to The Chele La Pass: Known as the highest motorable pass in the country, a drive to Chele La is amongst the best activities to do in Paro. A drive to this place will take you through several dense forests while offering you views of ancient roadside paintings and the rich Bhutanese lifestyle and culture.
Location: Chele La, Paro, Bhutan
8. Visit the National Museum of Bhutan: A visit to the National Museum is one of the important things to do in Paro. Built in 1968, the museum is home to some of the best art in Bhutan, along with other ancient paintings and bronze statues.
What are the adventure activities to do in Paro?When in Paro, there is a lot that travellers can do. From trekking to mountain biking and hiking, Paro offers many activities to awaken the adventurer in you. Some of these activities are:
1. Trekking At Samtengang: When confused about what to do in Paro, try trekking at Samtengang. This trek is a long one, wherein travellers can get to soak in the immense beauty of the region.
2. Paro Ta Dzong Biking Trail: Biking is amongst the more offbeat things to do in Paro. This trail is set against the beautiful valleys and mountains in Paro, with gradual climbs and steep descents to enrage the adrenaline in you.
3. Rafting in Paro Chhu River: Rafting is one of the most fun and adventurous activities to do in Paro. The Paro Chhu River in Bhutan is considered quite popular for this activity. Having several rapids, both high and low, this river is located in a serene setting with mountains surrounding it.
4. Kayaking in Paro Chhu: Kayaking is an amazing adventure sport in Paro. The Paro Chhu river has various points where the river flow is perfect for you to explore the scenic country along with its wilderness alone on a kayak.
5. Hiking: Some of the most fun and exhilarating things to do in Paro include hiking. From day walks to long, overnight hikes, hiking in Paro is something that will complete enlighten your soul.
Which are the best trekking trails in and near Paro?Paro is known for being a place with many trekking trails, catering to the trekking junkies. From short, one-day treks to the longer, more difficult ones, there is a wide variety of scenic trails in Paro for the trekker in you.
1. Lingshi: Trekking in Lingshi is amongst the most fun things to do in Paro. It is one of the most popular treks in the country, located at the northern end of the Paro Valley. This is a trek with an elevation ranging between 2280 to 4930 meters, boasting stunning views of the Himalayas.
2. Laya: The Laya Trekking trail is the most beautiful trail in all of Bhutan, in addition to being the most long-distance trek in the country. Trekking here is one of the most recommended things to do in Paro. You will enjoy passing through various beautiful alpine meadows tucked cozily amidst the high mountains.
3. Lunana Valley: Of all the treks in the country, the Lunana Valley Trek is the most difficult trek and activities to do in Paro. It is also the trek with the longest duration. Here, trekkers get to witness the picturesque mountain views and alleys of the Himalayan region.
4. Paro to Bumthang: Trekking from Paro to Bumthang is one of the easiest and most offbeat things to do in Paro. You get to soak in nature at its best while passing through beautiful valleys and pristine rivers. Additionally, there are many ancient temples along the trekking trail, which offer you a glimpse into the rich culture and history of the land.
5. Druk Path Trek: For a short yet beautiful trek in Paro, along with being one of the free things to do in Paro, your best choice is the Druk Path Trek. This is a fairly easy trek which most people can easily partake in, while on their way to the Chele La Pass.
6. Tiger’s Nest Trek: The Tiger's Nest Trek is one of the most breathtaking treks in Paro. The climb to the top ends at the Tiger's Nest Monastery, perched atop a granite cliff almost 3000 metres above the sea level.
7. Bhutan Taktsang: Starting about 6 miles north of Paro, this trek takes you to an elevation of almost 10,000 metres above the sea level. Along with beautiful views of the valley, the trail is also full of twists and turns present in the rugged terrain which challenges your fitness capabilities.
How far is Paro from Thimphu?
Paro is located approximately 51 kilometres away from Thimphu. It usually takes around an hour to reach this beautiful city from Thimphu, excluding the traffic. However, the road from Thimphu to Paro is extremely beautiful, with the Pa Chhu River flowing alongside. Additionally, you also cross many villages, along with small shops, rice paddies and apple orchards on your way to Paro.
Which are the best biking routes in Paro?Paro is known for its varied terrains, be it the smooth, comfortable roads, or the rough, mountainous regions, with sharp twists and turns. And it is because of this that it has some of the best biking routes in the country. Some of these routes are:
1. Bumthang: Biking in Bumthang is amongst the most exhilarating and free things to do in Paro. This is a popular area for biking enthusiasts who enjoy passing through the many rice paddy fields here. Moreover, the rugged terrains and spiraling descents make it very convenient for biking in Bumthang.
2. Druk Path Trek: In addition to being a famous site for trekking, the Druk Path Trek is also great for biking activities to do in Paro. Passing over several mountain passes, it is a great region for mountain biking due to its rugged, yet comfortable terrain. You also get to bike across clear mountain lakes, orchards, dense forests, as well as high ridges, which intensifies the adrenaline rush during the ride.
3. Lunana Valley: When looking for free things to do in Paro, you should definitely try biking in Lunana Valley. While biking in the Lunana Valley, you might also come across quite a few beautiful monasteries, along with ancient ruins, which are generally inaccessible by foot.
What can you buy in Paro?
When you are confused about what to do in Paro, the easiest option for you is shopping. Some of the things you can buy in Paro are:
1. Kiras: These are the traditional Bhutanese dresses for women. Not only are these extremely beautiful, but they are also available all across Paro in different shops.
2. Prayer Wheels: These are other famous keepsakes from Bhutan. They are considered very religious and are extremely peaceful.
3. Traditional Bhutanese Handicrafts: Paro is known for being the cultural center of Bhutan. Here, you can visit the Chencho Handicrafts store to shop for local handicrafts, beautifully embroidered cloth as well as weavings.
4. Other things you can buy: Dried yak cheese, Incense, Silver jewelry, Ceramics, Antiques, Wood-carved masks, Local paintings and much more.
Where can I go for wildlife safari in and around Paro?
Availing a wildlife safari is one of the most fun things to do in Paro. Some of the places you can go for a wildlife safari in and around the city are:
Jigme Dorji National Park: This national park is also home to many endangered species of wildlife. On a safari here, you can see kin, blue sheep, snow leopard, musk deer, red panda and even a serow, along with other animals.
Royal Manas National Forest: This is the oldest secured area in Bhutan. You can catch a glimpse of various different animals like rhinos, gaurs, leopards, elephants and many species of deer.
Which are best places for camping in Paro?Whilst trekking in Paro, you also come across many regions which are great for camping. Moreover, camping is one activity which helps you get one to one with nature, while enjoying the time spent under the starry night sky in Paro. Some of the best places for camping here are:
- Bumdra camping: When thinking of what to do in Paro, try camping at Bumdra, located high above the valley of Paro. Fully equipped with traditional dome-shaped tents, camp beds and pillows, along with a bathroom tent and dining tent, this campsite is located quite close to the Bumdra Monastery. This immensely beautiful campsite offers stunning views of the snow-capped mountains surrounding the region.
- Druk Path Trek: This is a popular 6-day trek in Bhutan, which passes through the verdant valleys, lush green forests and pristine lakes in the country. While on your trek, you get to rest in many different camps scattered throughout the trail, amidst fir, rhododendron and blue pine forests.
Where can we go for river rafting in Paro?
River rafting is one of the most fun things to do in Paro. The Po Chhu River, located in the Punakha Valley, is undoubtedly the best place to go for river rafting here in Paro. The river has class 2 and 3 rapids, which are considered the best for this adventure sport.
Which are some of the most romantic things to do in Paro during a honeymoon?
Spending your honeymoon is one of the most Offbeat Things to Do in Paro. It is an unconventional romantic destination with snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys and tranquillity all around. Some of the most romantic things you can do in Paro during a honeymoon are:
Climb The Tiger’s Nest: Climb to the top of the Tiger’s Nest with your significant other, at 3000 feet. Once on the top, you can get scintillating views of the surrounding mountains.
Stay At A Rustic Farmhouse: Staying at a colourful yet rustic farmhouse in Paro is the ultimate romantic thing to do here. These farmhouses are built in a traditional style and reflect the rich Bhutanese culture.
What is the best time to visit Paro?The best time to visit Paro is between the months of March to May, during the spring season in Bhutan. This is the time when the entire region comes alive with vibrant flowers and trees growing in abundance. Moreover, the weather is also pleasant, with a cool breeze blowing and the sun is not that hot. Additionally, it is during this time that you can explore Paro without having to worry about a lot of crowd. This is especially because travelling in Paro is comparatively cheaper during these months. Also, you can partake in a lot of adventurous activities throughout the town.
June to September is the monsoon season in Bhutan, when the weather is at an all-time high, with extreme humidity and heavy rainfall everywhere. October and November are the months of autumn in Paro. These months are usually sunny. However, you can experience snowfall in the regions located higher in the mountains. Following this, from mid-November to early March, Paro experiences the dry season as well as the greatest number of tourists. Winter comes in Paro during December and lasts until February.
Which are some famous pilgrimage sites to visit in Paro?Paro is a place full of temples and monasteries with immense religious importance. These places are important pilgrimage sites, scattered around the town. Some famous pilgrimage sites in Paro are:
- Taktsang Palphug Monastery: This is a prominent sacred site of the Himalayan Buddhists, along with being one of the most venerated pilgrimage places in the country. The monastery is steeped deep in legends which add to its religious importance.
- Tiger’s Nest Monastery: One of the greatest places of religious significance in Bhutan, this monastery is also an architectural wonder. Touring here is amongst the few free things to do in Paro. This monastery was visited by Guru Rinpoche, also known as the “second Buddha.”
- Rinpung Dzong: Amongst the finest architectural marvels in Bhutan, this monastery has illustrations which portray the life of Buddha. It is also home to the colourful annual Paro Tshechu festival.
- Kyichu Lhakhang: This 7th-century monastery is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. It has the blessings of many great Buddhist saints, along with special prayer wheels which offer peace and serenity.
Where can you experience nightlife in Paro?
One of the most common yet fun activities to do in Paro is to enjoy its nightlife. Some of these are:
1. Club K: This club defines the nightlife in Paro. Located in the basement of a restaurant, you can indulge in some really amazing drinks here.
2. Uma Paro Bar: Located in close vicinity to the Paro International Airport, this is one of the best bars and lounges in the city, having the best collection of international liquor.
3. Millennium Club: This place is a local favorite. In this place, you can let go of your inhibitions and dance the night away to some really great music.
Where to experience the art and culture of Paro?In addition to being a place full of important religious centres, Paro is also quite rich in art and culture. Some of the best places in Paro to experience the art and culture of Bhutan are:
1. Paro Dzong: A visit to this fortress-monastery is amongst the most artsy things to do in Paro. The structure of this tenth-century monastery portrays the art as well as the culture of the country, as evident in its magnificent arches and vibrant colours. Moreover, you can get stunning views of the Paro Valley from here.
2. National Museum: Located above the Paro Dzong, the National Museum was formerly a 17th-century watchtower. It is home to some of the most intricate pieces of Bhutanese art, bronze statues as well as paintings.
3. Druk Choeding: This is a magnificent monastery in Paro, which was built in the early 15th century. Also known as Tshongdoe Temple, the main attraction here is the seated statue of the Future Buddha.
4. Zuri Dzong: Dating as back as 1352, this dzong was built as a fort, with double walls and a bridge protecting it. This is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan.
5. Gonzaga Lhakhang: This beautiful monastery is one of the must-visit places when you are in Paro. It offers views of the meditation cave of Pha Drung Drung, along with panoramic views of the valley.
6 . Chorten Lhakhang: The most famous part of this monastery is its tall white tower. It has a chapel with a statue of Jowo Shakyamuni in the middle.
Which are some of the best road trip places in Paro?
Road tripping is one of the most fun things to do in Paro. Driving in this land of exotic and pure mysticism is a one-of-a-kind surreal experience. Some of the best road trip places in Paro are:
Chele La Pass: Located at 13,000 feet above the sea level, between Paro and Haa, this is the highest motorable road pass in all of Bhutan. A road trip to Chele La Pass is full of adventures, with crazy winding roads to scintillating views of nature.
Tachogang Lhakhang Bridge: A road trip to this Iron Chain Bridge is a must when you are in Paro. The bridge was built in the late 1300s, using wood and iron. Once you reach here, you are presented with amazing views of the mountains and the pristine blue river.
- Thimphu City
Translating to "Temple of the hill of the excellent horse", Tachog Lhakhang is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Paro that sits calmly perched at the foothills beside the Paroo river. The old bridge was built by Thangtong Gyalpo after he dreamt of a spiritual horse while meditating at that place.The old iron bridge that takes us to the temple was washed away in the 1969 flood and was restored back in 2005. Today, it is decked with colorful prayer flags, and walking on this timeless architectural extravaganza which is as many as six centuries-old is indeed an exhilarating experience.Entry fees: Restricted entryTimings: 8.00 AM - 5.00 PM Mon-Sun
The Ugyen Pelri Palace is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Paro because of its relevance today and its rich historical significance as well. Today it serves as the residence of the QueeN Tahoe n Mother of the current king of Bhutan. However, it has existed since the 1900s and is an example of the beautiful Bhutanese architecture and handicrafts. The structure is a replica of the Zangto Pelri, which used to be known as Guru Rinpoche’s Paradise. Even though the public is not allowed inside the palace, they can always observe it from outside and visit the nearby attractions of the Five Chortens of Paro. Location: Paro, Bhutan Price: Free entry
Paro is home to some of the most spiritual temples in the country. Most of these temples serve as attractive tourist places in Paro apart from centres of spirituality and a testimony to the vibrant history of the place. Gonsaka Lhakhang is also no different, located at a slight elevation from the main town of Paro. It is from this temple that you can get a view of the famous meditation cave of Pha Drun Drung who was the founder of the Dzong. Another irresistible reason you should visit the Gonsaka Lhakhang is that it offers unparalleled views of the Paro valley and is at a very convenient walking distance from the famous Zuri Dzong. Location: Paro, BhutanPrice: Free entry