India – Bhutan With Kids: Itinerary | Stay Recommendations| Tips & Travel Hacks


Bhutan has been on my bucket list for a whole year and that’s where my family and I headed this year.

People often wonder and ask me if is Bhutan child-friendly – and my answer is all destinations are child-friendly. Other kids are being raised there. How you plan and execute your trip is what will make all the difference.

I’m sharing questions I have been asked after I shared stories about my trip. We visited Thimpu, Punakha and Paro in Bhutan. Hope this along with the detailed video helps.

No. Indians don’t need a visa for Bhutan. But there is a SDF charge levied. We paid the SDF in Rupees. It’s currently at Rs 1200 per night for Indian adults and 50% for kids under 12. Check the website for SDF applicable for your country.

Indian currency is accepted everywhere. However, the change returned will be in NU, the currency of Bhutan.

The best time to visit Bhutan is anytime between October -December. January & February are cold and if you enjoy it can work well or skip to March – June.

Getting to Bhutan can be by flight from Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra or get to Siliguri and then travel by road. Since we were travelling from Mumbai, we chose to stay overnight at an airport hotel in Kolkata.

Pro Tip: When you choose to fly via Bhutan Airlines or Drukair choose the seats on the left side of the plane facing the pilot to see the best views of Mount Everest. 

Choose hotels that are centrally located or have a great heritage. Don’t just go after a popular name but choose the hotel for what appeals to you. In Thimpu, we stayed at the Norkhil Boutique Hotel & in Paro at the Zhiwa Ling Hotel.

  • After selecting hotels, if you are travelling with a tour operator/ hotel, they can arrange a guide and car. Most tour operators/ hotels in Bhutan offer packages that include transportation and a guide. Please provide details about your preferences and interests to the tour operator/ hotel, so they can match you with a suitable guide.
  • When selecting a guide, it’s recommended to go through verified and certified tour guides in Bhutan. Or else one can seek help from certified and verified tour operators since these operators often have experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the country’s culture, history, and attractions. You can get the list of certified Tour Operators here and the list of certified and verified Tour guides here.
  • Certified and validated service providers usually plan and arrange experiences such as monastery visits, rafting, and other activities. Please discuss your interests with your service providers, and they can tailor an itinerary to suit your preferences.

Meeting the King and Queen of Bhutan is a rare opportunity and is generally reserved for official or diplomatic events.

  • You do not need a permit to visit Tiger’s Nest. However, you need to pay Nu. 1000/- to visit the monastery.
  • Car booking, Guide booking and other experiences booking details/websites. 
  • The trek to Tiger Nest was difficult but breathtaking. It is moderately difficult and will take 4-5 hours if you are not an experienced hiker.

Bhutan offers some wonderful cultural experiences rooted in its rich traditions. One must-try cultural activity is watching traditional Bhutanese dances. These dances are a significant part of Bhutanese celebrations, and here are a few you might enjoy:

  • Mask Dance: Witness monks performing sacred masked dances during religious festivals. The colourful costumes and intricate masks represent various deities, creating a visually captivating experience.
  • Zhungdra and Boedra: Experience traditional Bhutanese folk dances that showcase both slow, graceful movements (Zhungdra) and lively, faster ones (Boedra). These dances often tell stories from Bhutanese folklore.
  • Rigsar Dance: For a more modern touch, check out Rigsar Dance, blending contemporary music and dance moves while maintaining a Bhutanese cultural essence. It’s a unique fusion of tradition and modernity.
  • Plan your visit around major festivals like Tshechu for a broader showcase of traditional dances. Please check the festival calendar here

Watch the full video about tips and recommendations about where you should eat, which dzongs/monasteries are a must-visit and how to make the most of your family trip to Bhutan.

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