Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Thimphu

Trashi Chho Dzong

Trashi Chho Dzong

This splendid dzong, north of the city on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, dominates the valley, looking out over a cascade of terraced fields. It's Thimphu's grandest building by far, and served as the official...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Thimphu

Changangkha Lhakhang

Changangkha Lhakhang

This traditional Bhutanese temple perched like a fortress on a ridge above central Thimphu hums with pilgrim activity. It was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drukgom Shigpo,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Thimphu

National Textile Museum

National Textile Museum

Thimphu's best museum is part of the Royal Textile Academy. It features a stunning display of ancient and modern textiles, and explores the rich traditions of Bhutan's national arts of thagzo (weaving) and...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in South of Thimphu

Simtokha Dzong

About 5km south of Thimphu on the old road to Paro and Phuentsholing, the handsomely proportioned Simtokha Dzong was built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The site is said to mark the spot where a demon...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in North of Thimphu

Tango Goemba

Tango is the residence of Gyalse Rinpoche, recognised as the seventh reincarnation of Gyalse Tenzin Rabgye, founder of Taktshang Goemba. The original monastery was founded in the 12th century but it was the...

Top ChoiceMarket in Thimphu

Weekend Market

Weekend Market

Thimphu's Weekend Market fills a maze-like pavilion on the west bank of the Wang Chhu, just north of Changlimithang Stadium. Vendors from throughout the region start arriving on Thursday and remain until Sunday...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monument in Thimphu

National Memorial Chorten

National Memorial Chorten

This large chorten is one of the most visible landmarks in Thimphu, and for many Bhutanese it is the focus of daily worship. The Tibetan-style stupa was built in 1974 as a memorial to the third king, Jigme Dorji...

Top ChoiceArts Centre in Thimphu

National Institute for Zorig Chusum

National Institute for Zorig Chusum

This institute, commonly known as 'the painting school', operates four- to six-year courses that provide instruction in Bhutan's 13 traditional arts. Students specialise in painting (of both furniture and...

Buddhist Monastery in North of Thimphu

Cheri Goemba

From the river confluence at Dodina, a steep trail climbs for 45 minutes through a forest adorned with prayer flags to Cheri Goemba, established by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620 as the home for Bhutan's first...

Buddhist Monument in Thimphu

Buddha Dordenma

Buddha Dordenma

The huge 51m-tall steel statue of Buddha Dordenma commands the entry to the Thimphu valley. The massive three-storey base houses a large chapel full of thousands of donated Buddha statuettes, while the body...

Stadium in Thimphu

Changlimithang Archery Ground

Most days of the week you'll find arrows flying at the city's most important archery ground, just down from Changlimithang Stadium. Teams compete to hit targets over a distance of 145m, while their competitors...

Buddhist Monastery in Thimphu

Dechen Phodrang

Beyond Trashi Chho Dzong at the north end of town, Dechen Phodrang stands on the site of Thimphu's original 12th-century dzong. Since 1971 it has housed the state lobra (monastic school), providing an education...

Buddhist Monastery in North of Thimphu

Pangri Zampa

Founded in the early 16th century, this riverside monastery complex houses Bhutan's most important college for traditional astrology. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal stayed here after he arrived in Bhutan in 1616...

Buddhist Monastery in South of Thimphu

Talakha Goemba

Poised high above Simtokha Dzong at 3080m, this 15th-century goemba offers spectacular views over the peaks to the north and south of the capital and along the Thimphu valley. The interior is unusually well lit,...

Zoo in Thimphu

Motithang Takin Preserve

Motithang Takin Preserve

Off the road leading to the BBS Tower, this preserve for Bhutan's curious national animal was originally established as a zoo, but the fourth king decided this was not in keeping with Bhutan's environmental and...

Buddhist Monastery in Thimphu

Wangditse Goemba

Perched high above Trashi Chho Dzong, this hillside goemba was founded in 1750 and is being painstakingly reconstructed by a team of traditional craftspeople and graduates from the National Institute for Zorig...

Museum in Thimphu

Simply Bhutan

Simply Bhutan is an interactive 'living' museum that gives a quick introduction to various aspects of traditional life in Bhutan. Visitors are greeted with a shot of local arra (rice spirit), before being guided...

Buddhist Monastery in Thimphu

Chhokhortse Goemba

The views are spectacular on the approach to this peaceful monastery (3010m), reached via a prayer-flag-choked trail climbing above the BBS Tower. The path cuts straight up the ridge to reach a tidy new chapel,...

Museum in Thimphu

Folk Heritage Museum

Set in a small orchard, this restored rammed-earth and timber building is furnished as it would have been about a century ago, providing a glimpse into rural Bhutanese life. Details that jump out include the...

Workshop in Thimphu

Goldsmiths Workshop

This government workshop, behind Thimphu's long-distance bus station, is a good place to see metalworkers producing repoussé work (with designs hammered into metal panels set into resin blocks) in copper, silver...