Top things to do

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 ChoiceInternational in Thimphu

Cloud 9

If you're tired of bland hotel buffets, this stylish restaurant serves the best international menu in town. Come for sourdough pizzas with authentic Italian toppings, fat gourmet burgers with all the trimmings,...

Top ChoiceIndian in Thimphu

7th Restaurant

The elegant restaurant at the Hotel Druk elevates the hotel buffet to high art. The spread of dishes roams from Europe to Bhutan and China, but it's the finely crafted Indian dishes that stand out above the pack....

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...

Top ChoiceBhutanese in South of Thimphu

Babesa Village Restaurant

About 6km south of Thimphu's centre, this charming restaurant offers traditional Bhutanese cuisine in a rammed-earth village home, one of four still standing incongruously next to the Thimphu–Babesa Expressway....

Top ChoiceArts & Crafts in Thimphu

Tarayana Rural Products

Bhutan's Queen Mother Dorje Wangmo (the fourth king's wife) established this NGO to support rural communities across Bhutan through the marketing and selling of traditional crafts. These include paper products...

Top ChoiceCafe in Thimphu

Ambient Café

A warm, friendly bolthole above Norzin Lam, used by many expats as a de facto office. Drinks include good espresso coffee, juices and smoothies, and the food menu runs to vegan breakfasts, buckwheat waffles,...

Top ChoiceJapanese in Thimphu

Hayate Ramen

It's ramen noodles all the way at this inviting, calm Japanese restaurant. Bowls come topped with everything from roast pork to ebi (battered prawns), and you can finish off the dish with a suite of condiments,...

Top ChoiceLive Music in Thimphu

Mojo Park

Thimphu's premier live-music venue and bar, strong on blues, rock and reggae, and friendly to boot. Beers on tap include Amber Ale and Dragon Stout from the Ser Bhum brewery, and Red Rice lager and wheat beer...

Top ChoiceCafe in Thimphu

Brusnika Russian Cafe

One of Thimphu's most welcoming cafes, Brusnika is run by a charming Russian-Bhutanese family and looks out over a small park towards Trashi Chho Dzong. It's a fine place to hole up with a book, and the menu runs...

Top ChoiceInternational in Thimphu


This expat favourite feels a bit like a small-town American diner, with a Bhutanese twist. The menu runs to burgers and fries, ice cream, ribs (including yak), pizza, momos, hot dogs, and fish and chips. The...

Top ChoiceKorean in Thimphu

San MaRu

A little slice of Seoul, transported to the centre of Thimphu, this wood-lined Korean restaurant serves excellent soups, stews and, for groups of two or more, delicious beef bulgogi, barbecued at the table, with...

Top ChoiceInternational in Thimphu

Clove Bistro

There's a pan-Asian flavour at this upmarket bistro serving dishes that draw influence from China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. It's a calm, grown-up space for lunch or dinner, and the set meals with rice and...

Top ChoiceSports & Outdoors in Thimphu

Bhutan Traditional Archery Shop

This traditional bow and arrow maker at the Changlimithang Archery Ground sells bamboo bows, lacquered and strung to order. Expect to pay Nu 1800 for a bow, Nu 800 for a hand-spliced string, and Nu 800 for a pair...