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Money and costs

Currency
Ngultrum (BTN)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated January 17, 2019 11:48AM UTC
Daily Costs
Fixed Daily Rate:
US$250
  • All tourists must pay US$250 per person per day (US$200 a day from December to February and June to August), with a US$40/30 surcharge per person for those in a group of one/two. This covers accommodation, transport in Bhutan, a guide, food and entry fees.
  • Possible extra charges include hot-stone baths, cultural shows, horse riding, rafting, mountain bikes and tips.
  • Children under 12 years are exempt from the royalty component (US$65).
Budget (up to)
US$150
  • Only Indian tourists and foreign residents are able to set their own travel budgets.
  • Budget hotel: US$20–40
  • Restaurant meal in Thimphu: US$5–15
Top end (more than)
US$500–1750
  • Luxury hotel: US$250–1500 above the daily US$250 tariff

Tours are prepaid so you'll only need money for drinks, laundry, souvenirs and tips; for this, bring cash. There are ATMs in most main towns, but it would be wise not to rely entirely on being able to use plastic. Credit cards are accepted in some hotels and souvenir shops, but only in major cities or well-touristed areas.

Tipping

  • Tour guides You will usually be accompanied throughout your visit to Bhutan by the same tour guide and probably the same driver. Though it's against the official TCB policy, these people expect a tip at the end of the trip. Many leaders on group tours take up a collection at the conclusion of the trip and hand it over in one packet. With a large group this can be a substantial amount and the practice has created high expectations on the part of Bhutanese guides. If arranging tips yourself, hand them over in individual envelopes the evening before you leave, as things get rushed and easily forgotten on the day of departure.

  • Trekking guides If you've been trekking, it's appropriate to tip the guide, cook and waiter. Horsemen also expect tips, but this can be minimal if they are the owners of the horses or yaks and are making money by hiring out their animals. The stakes go up, however, if they have been especially helpful with camp chores and on the trail.

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Taxis