30 Places to Visit in Thimphu City & Top Tourist Places

Places to See in Thimphu

Buddha Dordenma, Semtokha Dzong, Sangaygang (BBS Tower), Zilukha Anim Dratshang, Gangtey Monastery, Royal Botanical Garden, Ludrong Memorial Garden and many more.

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan where mountains speak peaceful music with nature. Not only being magical with Buddhist culture but lots of places to visit in Thimphu makes it a favorite spot for travelers. Taking down the roads in Bhutan, you can enjoy both western and traditional Bhutanese culture. Love for history is restored at Trashi Chhoe Dzong, where you can explore the ancient culture of the Bhutanese past. Moving further, the beautiful architecture of buildings, stunning colorful wall paintings, clean and crowded markets will add to your travel experience.

A small city yet a lot many beautiful places to see in Thimphu Bhutan makes it a top pick for travelers. Revamp your feelings for arts and artifacts at Simtokha Dzong, a place where you get a moment to appreciate art. If you want to experience something thrilling then you can opt for trekking at Tango Goema.

Here is the list of places to visit in Thimpu:

Image Credit : Photo by Pema Gyamtsho on Unsplash
Tashichho Dzong is a gorgeous Buddhist monastery and fortress on the bank of the Wang Chu river in the northern edge of Thimphu city in Bhutan. In Bhutanese language the Dzong refers to a“Fortress” and every district in the country is blessed with this unique architecture.

Tashichho Dzong is decorated with an illustrious history, glorifying architecture, and peaceful atmosphere. Tashichho Dzong is one of the prime places to visit in the capital city of Bhutan. The  Tashichho Dzong is one of the most beautiful dzongs to have graced Bhutan. 

Also famous by the moniker “Thimphu Dzong”, this elaborate structure takes you back in time. Located beside the Wangchu River, it looks like an attractive painting out of a textbook. The impressive structure is in its full glory all throughout the spring season, when all the blossoms decorate the entire place.

This serene palace also houses a monastery and temple. Currently, it also acts as the chief administrative building, housing the Bhutanese government. Offices of other departments are set across the building. The Dzong also serves as the summer residence of His Holiness who also is the Chief Abbot of the Religious Body.

With so much to uncover within its perimeter we are sure that a visit to this place will be a rewarding experience, that you will treasure forever.
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Built in the memory of the third Druk Gyalpo (Head of Kingdom) of Bhutan, the National Memorial Chorten is devoted to World Peace. The Chorten started gaining popularity amongst the localities when various major Buddhist religious festivals started taking place at the Chorten and it is one of the best places to see in Thimphu Bhutan. The word “Chorten” literally translates to “Seat of Faith”, and the structure itself has become an important part of the Bhutanese culture. You can spot various Buddhists circumambulating around the Chorten all throughout the day. The Memorial also attracts a lot of tourists from around the world due to its architectural and deep connection with Bhutan’s rich culture.

Situated well within the capital city Thimphu. the Stupa was initially built in the year 1974 and thereafter, witnessed a massive renovation in the year 2008. The Chorten is also famous as the “most visible religious structure of Bhutan.” 

Unlike other traditional Stupas, this monument does not enshrine any of the human remains. It holds only one photo of Druk Gyalpo in traditional Bhutanese dress in the massive hall on the ground floor.


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Changangkha Lhakhang is a 800-year old temple, constructed in the 12th-century in Bhutan which is visited by a large number of locals daily. The Changangkha Lhakhang temple is entrenched profoundly into the native culture and levies and is a crucial part of the local community. There are magnificent prayer bells in the outer region of the temple scripted with black and gold manuscripts. Along with two beautifully embedded gigantic prayer wheels adds to the appearance of the temple and it is one of the best places to visit in Thimpu.

The wonderful temple firms the statuette of thousand-armed Avalokitesvara and great holy scriptures. The local people visit the temple to seek out the sanctifications of deity Tamdrin for their kids and request the monks to title a name to their newborn baby. You can bido Ngultrum, snacks, biscuits, incense, and whiskey as an offering.  

This beautiful temple is just 2.5 km from the Thimphu clock tower. The temple offers a glorious view of the town straggle all over the place; the temple trail is also called the “back kora”.  The locals practice back kora when they visit the pilgrim. The town people loop around the temple on the traveler path during the sunset time. 

If you are in the mood to 
get adventurous while exploring, Bhutan will not disappoint you at all.
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Also known as Phelchey Toenkhyim by the locals in Bhutan, the National Folk Museum was established to preserve and showcase Bhutan’s folk culture. Took its shape in the year 2001 as an initiative by the Queen Mother of Bhutan, the purpose it was to connect visitors with Bhutanese rural culture and traditions through antique exhibits, educational programs, demonstrations as well as documentation. The Museum itself is situated in a 150-year-old establishment that perfectly enshrines the cultural essence of Bhutan and it is one of the best places to visit in Thimpu.

If you really wish to dive into Bhutan’s true culture and history, the National Folk Heritage Museum is the best place to start from as it beautifully preserves and flaunts the centuries-old folk traditions of the country.

This unique Heritage museum preserves traditional Bhutanese dishes, farming tools, household objects, and as well as important traditional trees. The surroundings of the establishment in which the museum has been constructed have beautifully preserved some of the most authentic folk elements of the historic Bhutan. From traditionally important flora and fauna to the authentic Bhutanese hot baths and water mills, this museum has been preserving Bhutan’s culture in the best way possible. If you visit this place, you will also get a chance to explore through unique and authentic historical Bhutanese furniture too, including chairs, benches, flooring, and other goods. No other tourist place can provide you with a better insight into the lives of the folk people of Bhutan.

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Dechen Phodrang Monastery, located in the north part of Thimphu. The meaning of Dechen Phodrang is “Palace of Great Bliss”. For the people who are interested in history and paintings, the monastery has paintings that date back to the 12th century and it is one of the amazing places to see in Thimpu.

The monastery also houses a statue of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who was popularly called the ‘Bearded Lama". Since 1971, the Dechen Phodrang Monastery is a monastic school where around 300 monks seek education. Located in the north end of Thimphu, Dechen Phodrang is situated on the site of a 12th century dzong. 

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For the animal lovers who want to see the diverse wildlife of Bhutan, Motithang Takin Preserve is one of the places to visit in Thimphu. The Motithang Takin Preserve was built as a small zoo but later it was converted to an animal preserve center. The national animal of Bhutan, Takin lives in the Motithang Takin Preserve. With many places to see in Thimphu, Motithang Takin Preserve distinguishes from other places.

With animals like the red pans and the rare Himalayan serow living in it, the reserve is one of a kind among all the places to see in Thimphu.

Location: Motithang, Thimphu

Highlights: A perfect way to capture endangered species as photographers are allowed to click pictures of the wilds from close proximity. This preserve is most suitable for wildlife enthusiasts.

Timings: Early mornings are perfect to spot and capture Takins as that is the hour they come out;

Price:
30 BTN for SAARC nationals & 50 BTN other foreign tourists

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Located in the heart of Thimphu, the Clock Tower Square is amongst the popular tourist places to visit in Thimphu. The Clock Tower consists of four clocks facing in four different directions. The tower resembles the Bhutanese architecture pattern of wood engraving. The tower has some beautifully carved patterns, flowers, paintings and much more. The eye-catching thing in the tower are the dragons facing each clock. The dragons are sacred to the culture of Bhutan and they represent the freedom of the kingdom.

The Clock Tower Square comprises of several water fountains and ‘mani lhalhor’ or prayer wheels. They enhance the beauty of Clock Tower Square. Various trade fairs, musical events and other activities take place near the square. 

Location:
 Norzim Lam, Thimphu

Price:
 Free

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Simply Bhutan is a living museum that is a successful initiative to conserve the culture and traditions of Bhutan. The majestic infrastructure of this museum is an epitome of ancient Bhutanese architecture, which lost its essence in the modernization era. Apart from its aim of preservation of the rich culture of Bhutan, this project was also aimed at creating employment for many people.

The museum is abode to distinct astonishing things that would leave one awestruck. It houses the old equipment that were once used by the ancient Bhutanese for distinct works. Traditional cooking wares and old styled kitchen offers one excellent knowledge about the lifestyle of people in Bhutan from decades.This museum itself is created with the reuse of old timber, door and window frames that were once a part of ancient and traditional demolished houses.

Every visitor at this place is greeted with a shot of rice spirit called local arra. Once the exploration of the museum is done, the visitors are guided through the mocked-up village scenes to get them acquainted with the story of its several parts. One can get their pictures clicked in the traditional attire of Bhutan while strolling here. Visitors also try out a hand at archery and sing some classic songs with the Bhutanese women as they carry out their daily chores.

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National Library of Bhutan or NLB was established in 1967 and possesses a wide collection of 6100 Bhutanese and Tibetan books, xylographs and manuscripts as well as 9000 printing boards and wooden printing blocks for religious books. It has one of the largest holdings of Buddhist Literature in the entire world and it is one of the best places to visit in Thimpu.

It has a dedicated collection and promotes religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan in the form of ancient printed resources related to history, religion, traditions, and culture of Bhutan.

Highlights
: The building is two-storied with staff accommodations, administrative offices along with technical equipments like computers, microfilm section, separate room for wooden books and much more.

Located in: 
Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

Open from :
9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday) in March to October and 9:30 am to 4:00 pm in November to February and remains closed on government holidays and weekends. It is a complete representation of Buddha.
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Things to do in Thimphu City Explore All (14)
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Simtokha Dzong or Sangak Zabdhon Phodrang is a small castle monastery that is famous among tourists because of its architecture and location and is one of the best places to visit in Thimphu. The Dzong is located on a hilltop that is the strategically secure location from where one can see the whole Thimphu valley below.

The beautiful and mesmerizing Dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is the first of its kind in Bhutan which has historical importance and was a former Buddhist monastery. Now, it serves as one of the leading institutes to learn the Dzongkha language( a Sino-Tibetan language that is widely spoken in Bhutan).

Location: Semtokha, Bhutan

Price: 300 INR

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This is one of the go-to places to visit in Thimphu to spend some good time in the evening with family and get beautiful pictures clicked. The Royal Botanical Garden is the first-ever botanical garden in Bhutan offering immense and beautiful flora. If you are into plants and flowers and embrace their beauty, you must visit this place. There is also a Children’s Park in the Botanical garden that makes it a quite famous place among locals here.

As a matter of fact, the training about flora and fauna is also given here. You can also find monkeys taking baths in the pond here.

Location: Serbithang, Babesa-Thimphu Expressway, Bhutan

Price: 50 INR

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The Gangtey Monastery is one of the places to see in Thimphu Bhutan and is also one of the significant sites here. This Monastery is related to Saint Pema Lingpa, the rebirth of the Guru Rinpoche. The Guru Rinpoche is the one who introduced Buddhism to the country and unwrapped the hidden treasures.

It is said that the black crane’s circle this beautiful and large Monastery three times when they come and three times when they leave. Festivals such as Gangtey Tsechu and the Black Necked Crane Festival are also celebrated here. In these festivals, children dress up as black cranes to welcome their arrival.

Location: Wangdue Phodrang District, Central Bhutan
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Thimphu City Tours Explore All (19)
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This is no ordinary school, but this institute teaches underprivileged children from different backgrounds and ages. The school was established by Dasho Choki Dorji in memory of the 4th King of Bhutan. The school teaches skills like weaving (ThagZo), Sculpting (Jinzo), Lhadri (Painting), Carving (Pap), and embroidery (Tshem Zo). Bhutan nurtures its culture and heritage with care and passion and it is one of the famous places to visit in Thimpu.

Choki Art School is an example of this kingdom’s fine tradition. The dedication and harmony the school management portrays is worth praising. The school runs mainly on donation and the education, food and lodging are free.

Location
: Thimpu

Highlights
: you can observe how the handicrafts are being made; the students there act like guides and tours with you around the institute. It also has an authentic gift shop, where art products made by the students are sold.

Working hours
: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday), 8:30 – 4:30pm (Saturdays)
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When talking about massiveness then Buddha Dordenma defines its true meaning as it is a 51 meters tall gold-plated statue of Buddha. This place looks eye-pleasing during the night time when it gets illuminated with sparkling lights which get blended with natural moonlight.

Buddha Dordenma is one of the most visited spots to see in Thimphu, having a 3-storey tall construction. It also has a dedicated meditation hall, where you can make yourself resonate with peace and calm. This beautiful place holds around 125,000 spectacular smaller buddha statues which look exactly like Buddha Dordenma.

Location: Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan
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National Institute for Zorig Chusum or as it is commonly called “the painting school” teaches students the 13 tradititonal arts of Bhutan. The institute is a symbol of ancient art of Bhutan which encompasses of paintings, statues, hangings and much more. Students here learn about the history and art of their country through the mediums of paintings, woodcarvings, sculptures, etc. 

National Institute for Zorig Chusum is one of the finest
places to visit in Thimphu. The Bhutanese people have kept their art alive for centuries and now this institute enlightens that art in the future generation. 

You can buy for yourself some wonderful handmade things from the souvenir shop located in the facility. 

Location: Geypheling, Kawajangsa, Thimphu.

Price: 100 BTN (Entry Fee). No other charges (except the souvenirs)


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One of the largest Buddha statues in the world, Buddha Dordenma is a masterpiece of architectural wonder. The massive bronze statue is more than 50 meters in height and is gilded in gold. Apart from this it also houses 125,000 other Buddha statues that are placed surrounding the Buddha Dordenma statue. Sitting royally atop a great meditation hall, this Buddha statue exudes peace and tranquillity.

The project has been believed to be prophesized as early as eight century in a sacred treasure kept by Guru Padmasambhava. It is a representation of manifestation of human faith and everlasting peace and happiness for all human beings.

Location
: The Statue is on top of a mount in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and marks the southern entrance to the valley of Thimphu.

Best time/season
: The early morning light makes it best for clicking photographs and enjoying the beauty.

Approx Price
: N/A

Difficulty Level
: N/A
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If you want to visit something peaceful and spiritual, it can just energize your soul. The Zilukha Anim Dratshang, one of the oldest Monasteries also known as Druthob Goemba is one of the places to see in Thimphu. There are around 60 nuns living on its premises which makes it the biggest nunnery in Bhutan. There is also an interactive session with nuns which can help you gather a lot of knowledge and information about their lifestyle and experiences.

If you are into photography or just want to capture some beautiful photos for your album, this location offers you all.

Location: Gaden Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
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Are you among those who love to wander among the mountains? If yes, this place will take your heart away.

Druk Path Trek takes you through some amazing landscapes and rich flora. It is the most popular trek in Bhutan. The journey of this trek is mesmerizing as it passes through the gorgeous blue pine forests, unsullied lakes and mountainous ridges. Druk Path trek offers some mind-blowing sights of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the tallest unscaled peak of the planet. 

The trek is among the easiest trek in Bhutan and is the perfect trek for beginners. Fall in love with the beauty of nature and snow-clad Himalaya mountains and explore the unexplored.

Location: Between the cities of Paro and Thimphu

Price: Rs. 52,000 - Rs..61,000

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Making use of the traditional methods of producing paper, The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory manufactures the most authentic and the best quality Bhutanese paper, which is popularly known as Deh-sho. The raw material used here for making paper is the bark of two species of trees i.e. the Daphne tree as well as the Dhekap tree.

Another interesting fact to know is that the entire process making this handmade paper is done with ancient traditional procedures that are being practiced since ages. The visitors have an advantage to try their hand on the paper making craft and make some paper of their own. Other than Bhutanese paper, this factory also produces greeting cards and stationery.

Highlights
: This factory also produces lampshades, cards, watermark paper, envelopes, and calendars, all made from the traditional Bhutanese paper and is located in Khuju Lam, Thimphu.

Open from:
8:30am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday.
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The handicrafts market of Thimphu is also known as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar. The shops crafted from bamboo are lined neatly in row at a mile’s stretch, selling colourful and beautiful authentic handicraft of Bhutan. There are almost hundred shops in the market selling various souvenirs, authentic handcrafted apparels, bags, masks and many more items.

The shopkeepers mostly are Bhutanese women who welcome you with a warm smile. The products are all procured from the local villages. The market aims to preserve the Bhutanese culture and promote their traditions and handicrafts.. It is a market where you can spend hours in shopping.

Highlights
: Look for beautiful attires with embroidery, souvenirs like carved wooden items, scroll painting, decorative items woven from bamboos, and beautiful jewellery made of gold, silver and precious stones.

Location
: The market is located at the centre of Thimphu below Norzin Lam.

Timing
: N/A

Price
: N/A
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The weekend market in Thimphu is a great place for shopaholics who are travelling to Bhutan. It is a great market where you can get an extensive variety of local goods and souvenirs, making it a must-visit places in Thimpu. This market is situated on the north side of Changlimithang Stadium, on the Western Bank of the Wang Chu river and it runs every Friday to Sunday. The vendors from all parts of Bhutan flock to this market every week to provide the people with supplies. Starting from Thursday, the marker buzzes till Sunday night with hundreds of visitors. Not only shopping, but the Weekend Market in Thimphu is also a place for socializing for a lot of people.

In this market, tourists will find a wide range of products and items that hail from all parts of Bhutan and the neighbouring territories. From exotic handicrafts to delicious food items, you will get them all under one roof. There are different sections in the market, each of them dealing with a certain category of products. For instance, if you want to shop for aromatic products, then head to the incense area.

Some of the most popular products that people tend to buy here include dried fish, oranges, soft cheese and wild honey. All these food items are fresh and locally produced which makes them absolutely authentic. Other commodities include products and accessories that the people require on a daily basis at their home.

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The Ludrong Memorial Garden was found in the memory of Late Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji. The Garden is best suited if you wish to relax and enjoy nature, as it has an immense number of trees, shrubs, and flora. It is one of those places to visit in Thimphu that are great for exploring flora.

There is also a small fish pond on the premises which is just an add-on to this extremely beautiful and calm place. Located nearby the royal palace, the Ludrong Memorial garden is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city.
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The BBS Tower or the Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower is located at a height of around 9400 feet, offering a magnificent view of the whole Thimphu Valley from above. Offering such a lash of beauty to the eyes, this is also known as Sangaygang Viewpoint. This point is very famous among tourists as it offers such a panoramic view of the whole valley which also makes it one of the best places to visit in Thimphu.

There are many spots just made for clicking some beautiful pictures but make sure you don’t click pictures of the Tower. Also, the trek to Wangditse Goemba which starts from here is a favorite trail among hikers and mountain bikers.

Location: Thimphu, Bhutan
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Among the  places to visit in Thimphu, Tango Goemba is one of the oldest places. Tango Monastery is located close to the scenic mountains of Cheri in the north part of Thimphu district. The Tango Goemba is one of the holiest places in Bhutan where many saints meditated for months. The foundation of this monastery was laid way back in the 12th century. 

Tango Goemba is one of the largest
Thimphu tourist attractions. Many international tourists visit the place to embrace the legendary history of the kingdom of Bhutan. The annual Yarney festival attracts monks from all around the country. The festival lasts for more than a month and follow the buddhist sacred vows.

Location: Thimphu Valley, Thimphu 

Price: Free

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Thimphy Tshechu is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of Bhutan. Celebrated for 3 days, this festival first got introduced Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 which later suffered some changes by the third Bhutan king in 1950. Usually celebrated in Tendrel Thang, in front of Tashichhoedzong this is a festival which is attained by masses of people from all parts of the country. Even the farmers take a break from their farming life and join hands to worship night and day and play rituals to invoke God.

During this festival Cham dancers perform and provide great details about Buddhism and marks the right way towards honest living and blissful life. It is believed that these dance performances increases good luck and removes misfortune. It is also a social gathering for the people of Bhutan where they celebrate with fine clothes, jewellery and good cuisine

Festival time
: In the month of October
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Deer Park is one of the places to see in Thimphu that offers meditation classes. The park is a center of art and contemplation which came into being in 2007. 

Deer Park marks the beginning of the glorious event in the Indian City of Sarnath. One can learn about the art, history, and culture of Bhutan. Deer Park is a place of solace that reminds people, the importance of peace and selflessness in their life, Alongside, Deer Park also offers some of the beautiful sights of the wonderful nature of Bhutan. 

Location:
 Genyen Lam, Thimphu

Price:
 Free. The officials at Deer Park invite one and all to participate and learn the sacred teachings of Buddha.

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Established in 2001, The Folk Heritage Museum is a three-story timber building that looks like a traditional farmhouse and seems like it has been furnished about a century ago. It provides the tourists, an insight into the Bhutanese lifestyle and material culture and it is one of the best places to visit in Thimpu.

For the ones who are keen to have a glimpse of interesting rural life of Bhutan, this place is probably the best for them to visit.This almost living museum is included in the guided tour and has many interesting facts that one might love to be familiar with.


Highlights
: Brokpa yak-hair spider hats, antique noodle express leopard skin bags and the restaurants serving Bhutanese cuisine.

Located in: Pedzoe, Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan, it opens from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm (Monday to Friday) and 10:00 am to 1 pm (Saturday and Sunday).

Price
: It costs Nu 25 for SAARC nationals and Nu 150 for adults.

If you are planning to Visit Bhutan here are the Breathtaking places to visit while in Bhutan.
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Thimphu City Travel Guides

People Also Ask About Thimphu City

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Thimphu for couples?

    1. Buddha Dordenma: The 51m tall statue of Buddha Dordenma is an amazing place in Thimphu. The statue is completely made of steel and has been gold plated from above. The best time to visit this is at night when the moonlight falls on this massive statue and it glitters.

    2. Memorial Chorten: The Memorial Chorten which is also known as Thimphu Chorten is the tallest monument in Thimpu.  It is one of the prominent landmarks in the city and has golden spires and bells.

    3. Thimphu Weekend Market: To understand and know more about the culture and heritage of Bhutan and also to interact with the locals, the Thimphu Weekend Market is the place to visit.

    4. Folk Heritage Museum of Thimphu: The Museum flaunts all kinds of folk Heritage of the country under one roof. If you are a history buff then a visit here is must.

    5. Clock tower square: This is a stunning tower with 4 clock faces and is built it Bhutanese style. The architecture of this tower and craving on it will leave you breathless.
  2. Which are the best historical places to visit in Thimphu?

    1. Trashi Chho Dzong: It is one of the most beautiful places where carving and sculptures speak about the Bhutanese past. The fort is known for its traditional white-red-golden built-up in colors making it the perfect spot for Bhutan’s biggest annual festival.

    2. Changangkha Lhakhang:
    The Buddhist Temple is the oldest and the most visited place by tourists where people come to seek blessings for their newborn child.

    3. Tango Goemba:
    Unleash the thrilling experience to Tango Goemba, as it is located in the uphills of mountains where you can study Buddhism. It was founded in the 12th century.

    4. Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory:
    The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory runs on the traditional way of papermaking. One can also learn how to make paper there.
  3. What is the best time to visit Thimphu?

    The best time to visit Thimpu is during the spring season that is mainly during March-May and September - November. The sky this time is clear and also the weather is pleasant which is perfect for traveling.
  4. How far is Paro from Thimphu?

    Paro is around 65 km away from Thimphu city. You can hire a cab from Thimphu to reach Paro easily and at about 1 hour.

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