No, there are no restricted nationalities in Bhutan.
Visitors from Bangladesh and the Maldives requiring a visa can apply either online before travelling or in person upon arrival in Bhutan.
Visitors of all nationalities, except those from India, require a visabefore entering Bhutan. For all visitors, except those from Bangladesh and the Maldives, this visa must be applied for and approved in advance of travel. Visitors from Bangladesh and the Maldives also require a visa, but this can be applied for and approved either in advance of travel or upon arrival in Bhutan.
Visitors from India are able to apply for a permit but are required to hold an Indian passport or an Indian voter ID card. For Indian nationals under the age of 18, a passport or a birth certificate can be used to enter and they must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
Nationals from Switzerland and Thailand holding diplomatic or government-official passports are eligible for a visa at their port of entry.
Before travelling, visitors from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives can apply for a permit (Indian nationals) or visa (Bangladeshi or Maldivian nationals) here. You may also apply at the point of entry, but please be aware that there may be a long wait depending on the number of applicants at the time. We recommend arranging your permit/visa beforehand.
A correctly input visa application can take up to five days to process.
There is a one-off fee of US$40 for the processing of your application. This is payable at the same time as your Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), as part of the process of submitting your visa application.
The visa allows you to remain in Bhutan for a maximum of 90 days from the date of entry.
Yes, provided the extension is applied for before the original visa or permit expires.
Visitors can extend their stay via the online visa application portal, using the same log-in details that were used to process their original visa.
The fees for processing your extension application, and daily SDF for the duration of your extended stay, will be payable via the same portal.
Yes, it is possible to use your credit card to pay for your visa and SDF online. However, we strongly recommend that you notify your bank prior to making the credit card transaction to ensure that the payment is processed successfully. If they are not informed in advance, sometimes international banks will block online payments to Bhutan as part of the bank’s online security measures.
Yes. All visitors must have full, valid travel insurance for the duration of their visit. For all visitors except those from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, it is required to be in place when you make your visa application.
Visitors from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives have the option to purchase domestic travel insurance at their port of entry.
No. In the past, all visitors needed to book their travel to and within Bhutan through an accredited tour operator. Any visitor travelling to Bhutan after our reopening on September 23rd 2022 can now book all aspects of the journey independently. Still, we warmly recommend our many accredited tour operators for their expert knowledge and excellent service.
If you would like to book completely independently, there are plenty of online resources for inspiration, research and booking – including this website. There are lots of experienced, accredited tour operators that can help you too.
Our host team is also on hand to help provide you with information as you plan your journey.
The country has one international airport located in Paro. Flights operated by Drukair and Bhutan Airlines arrive and depart from destinations including Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodhgaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati and Singapore. Private jets or charters can fly into Bhutan after obtaining the relevant approvals.
There are also domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.
There is a charge of Nu. 4,500 per car, per day. A guide is also mandatory and will be at an additional charge.
If guests want to bring their own car, the cars must meet the requirements of Bhutan’s Roads Safety and Transport Authority, and must also have a valid driver’s license, insurance documentation, pollution control documentation, an entry permit, and a vehicle in reasonable condition. A valid Indian driver’s license is accepted for self-driving within Bhutan. The same fees and rules apply for motorbikes.
In case the vehicle is not owned by the guests travelling to Bhutan, an authorisation letter is required. For more information on this subject please contact our Hosts team.
Face masks are no longer required to be worn at any venue or at any time in Bhutan, except in hospitals and health centres. However, guests can choose to wear face masks at their convenience should they wish. Also, it may be mandated by the government that face masks need to be worn in the future if the number of COVID-19 cases go up, therefore it is recommended that guests always travel with a face mask in their luggage as a precaution.
Although we recommend all visitors stay up to date with vaccinations against covid-19 to help stop the spread of the disease, there are now no covid-19 vaccination requirements for adults or children to enter Bhutan from September 23rd 2022. There is no quarantine requirement either.
No random covid-19 testing will be undertaken at any port of entry into Bhutan, however this may be done if a guest is showing symptoms or asks for a test.
If a guest tests positive for covid-19 during their stay in Bhutan, they will be admitted entry into the country without any quarantine period, however will be required to wear a face mask at all times and maintain other precautionary measures until they test negative again.
There will be no covid-19 protocols to leave Bhutan, unless the country the guest is travelling to requires them.
You can take a taxi from the taxi rank outside the airport or organise an airport transfer with your hotel or tour operator. There is no other public transport available at the airport.
The most convenient way to travel in Bhutan is to hire a vehicle and driver from a car rental company or a tourism service provider. It is not possible to hire a self-drive vehicle in Bhutan.
You can also book a local driver or transport service provider (as well as airline tickets and tour operators) using the Druk Ride app. Your hotel may also be able to provide or arrange transport for you.
If you are travelling with a tour operator, your transport will be arranged for you.
Domestic flights are often the fastest way to travel longer distances within Bhutan. Domestic airports operate flights to and from Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.
For special itineraries, helicopter services can be arranged. For more information about helicopter services, visit the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services page or contact your travel partner.
All treks must be undertaken with an accredited tour operator or guide. Your tour operator will assist you with all the necessary logistics and safety precautions.
Please contact our hosts for the Department of Tourism’s list of approved tourism services.
Bhutan offers a wide range of accommodation, from luxurious five-star hotels to cosy homestays in traditional village settings.
Please contact our hosts for the Department of Tourism’s list of approved accommodation.
You may only stay in accommodation or campsites approved by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
Please contact our hosts for the Department of Tourism’s list of approved accommodation.
There is some very good content in the form of SHINE Tourism Attraction Books that list activities and helpful information available to download at the following link: https://shine.grat.at/photos/
The tour operators in Bhutan would also be able to provide you with good on the ground knowledge about the highlights of each regional district (Dzongkhag).
A local guide will help you see the best that the country has to offer and will ensure your safety when exploring unfamiliar terrain and altitude. It is mandatory to be accompanied by a guide for any journey or any trek beyond Thimphu and Paro. Guides are also mandatory for visitors who enter Bhutan via our land borders and plan to travel beyond the border towns.
Guests no longer require a Route permit to travel around the country, so long as they are accompanied by a guide certified by the Department of Tourism. Please contact our hosts for the Department of Tourism’s list of approved tourism services.
While guides aren’t necessary for all experiences, such as dining out and shopping, we strongly recommend that guides accompany visitors for experiences such as visiting temples and local places of interest. It is mandatory to have a guide when visiting monuments such as dzongs, for instance.
If you are following an itinerary or taking part in a trip organised by your hotel, you will not need to book a guide as one will be arranged by the hotel.
Bhutan is a very safe place to visit, even if you’re travelling alone. There is very little crime experienced by locals or visitors, although we advise you to take care of yourself and your belongings. In some areas you may encounter stray dogs – please be cautious around them as they are not domesticated. They normally keep their distance, but please stay away from them as much as possible, especially if travelling with children. Please don’t feed or pat these or any other wild animals.
Bhutan’s physical environment presents occasional safety hazards, including flooding and landslides. From June to September the monsoons can affect transport and services. Check with your hotel or tour operator for possible disruptions.