Luxury holidays in Thimphu

Tradition and modernity collide in Thimphu, Bhutan’s spirited capital, where monarchy and monasticism come up against a new wave of bars, nightclubs and internet cafés. Those looking for time-honoured tradition you’re after will find plenty in sights like the Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in the valley, and the vast Tashichho Dzong, the seat of Bhutan’s government and royal family. Thimphu is also the country’s religious and cultural centre, with many locals still wearing colourful national dress and partaking in the many festivals that fill the calendar. That said, it’s also where you’ll catch a glimpse of Bhutan’s more modern face – Thimphu is the only city in the country with any real nightlife or something that resembles rush hour. Not that it's got any traffic lights: all the traffic control is done by white-gloved policeman, a sign that this captivating capital has lost none of its small town charm.

When to go

October to December are considered the best months to visit, bringing clear skies and plenty sunshine. From May, things get hotter and more humid; the monsoons arrive from June to September.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Thimphu doesn’t have its own airport, so you’ll likely be flying into Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport. Most people get there by flying to Delhi, Bangkok or Calcutta, then hopping on a Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines service. The drive from Paro airport to Thimphu takes around 90 minutes.
  • Automobiles

    Bhutan’s strict tourism laws make it essential to arrange your transport through in advance, so it’s unlikely you’ll be doing any driving of your own.