Skip to Content

Top 12 Things To Do Thimphu (Bhutan´s Capital)

Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon´s capital, Thimphu, is home to approximately 100,000 inhabitants, including the Royal family.

It´s called the beating heart of the country, its the commercial hub of the nation and by far the most modern city in the country, the only place in the country where you will see foreign business people, but it still gives you the natural small-town feel with its charm and history.

However, the mix of old and new remain part of Thimpu’s charm.

The complete guide of things to do in Thimphu Bhutan

The city offers a lot of sights, surprisingly, from the Tashichho Dzong, the home to Bhutanese government, to the newly built sitting Buddha that will become the world´s biggest sitting Buddha statue when completed.

Thimphu is also the place to check out the local nightlife at The Mojo Park and the place to go if you are tired of the local food and want a real gourmet hamburger at one of few foreign-run restaurants in town, the Australian-run restaurant Cloud 9.

There are really a lot of great things to do in Thimphu.

Top 12 Things to do in Thimphu.

Visit the TashiChhoe Dzong.

Tashi Chhoe Dzong,Thimphu,Bhutan
Overview of TashiChhoe Dzong, the home to the Bhutanese government.
In the western part of the Dzong, the King’s office is the second to the right on the top floor, the room where you can see that the lights on.
The main temple
The main temple.

TashiChho Dzong is known as the “Fortress of the glorious religion” and is the seat of the Bhutanese government; the king’s office is also here.

It´s possible to visit after 4 pm when the government has gone home for the day. It´s one of the most impressive buildings anywhere in the world, and like all other Dzong´s in Bhutan, built without any use of nails. It´s entirely made in the traditional way.

The famous  Tshechu festival is held here every year.

People were watching at The National Memorial Chorten.

The National Memorial Chorten is one of the most famous landmarks in one of the most famous landmarks and sites in Thimphu; it was built in 1974 to honour the third king of Bhutan.

It´s probably the best place to go people-watching in the capital because it´s always people doing the kora around the stupa.

Some devoted Buddhist doing the kora around the stumpa.
Some devoted Buddhist doing the kora around the stupa.
The National Memorial Chorten as seen direct from my hotel room window.
The National Memorial Chorten as seen directly from my hotel room window.

Visit The world’s biggest sitting Buddha statue.

The world's biggest sitting Buddha statue is currently being constructed in Bhutans capital Thimphu. The Buddha statue will be 51,5 high and accommondate 125 000 smaller Buddha's inside.
The world’s biggest sitting Buddha statue is currently being constructed in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu.

This massive statue of Shakyamuni is currently being built at the hill surrounding Thimphu called Buddha Point. The hill offers a panoramic view of the valley.

When the statue is done will it measures at the height of 51.5 meters, making it the largest statues of the sitting Buddha in the world.

The statue is made of bronze and is gilded in gold. 125,000 smaller Buddha statues have been placed within the Buddha.

Watch a Game of Archery in Bhutan.

A game of Archery being played in central Thimphu.

Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and can be seen playing all around the country; it´s worth trying to watch a match or at least parts of it since a match can last for hours.

Just be sure to stand a bit of the line of arrows since it’s not uncommon that people get hit by an arrow.

Each time a competitor hits the target, he and his teammates will celebrate with a small dance.

Hangout at the Clock Tower Square.

Clock Tower Square
The Clock Tower Square, seen from my hotel room window at Thimphu Tower on a rainy morning.

Clock Tower Square is one of the main meeting points in Thimphu, at least when it´s not raining, like when this photo is taken. You can see the youth of the capital hanging out here in the evening; the most popular coffee shops in the city are also located here.

Visit Simtokha Dzong.

Simtokha Dzong.Thimphu,Bhutan
Simtokha Dzong on the outskirts of Thimphu, Built-in 1629 as the first dzong to be built in a unified Bhutan,

Simtokha Dzong is a small dzong located approximately 5km outside Thimphu on the way to the Dochula pass.

Built in 1629 by the 18th Drukpa (or throne holder) who unified Bhutan, the dzong was the first of its kind built in the country.

The name “Simtokha” in Dzongkha (the local language) means “stop a demon,” for the legend associated with the dzong’s construction mentions that the fortress was built to subdue a demon that was harassing travellers in the region.
This Dzong is one of the most important historical monuments in Bhutan.
Being a former Buddhist monastery, the fortress houses a lot of old statues and paintings of Buddha.

Need more travel tips for Bhutan?

Admire Thimphu, the city with no traffic light.

The human traffic light in Thimphu
The human traffic light in Thimphu

A short video of the human traffic light in Thimphu.

Bhutan is the only country in the world that doesn’t have a single traffic light in its capital city. Instead, a policeman is standing at the city´s busiest intersections in the city and direct traffic manually.

There was actually a traffic light installed here back in 1995, but it was removed after a few days after the locals were complaining it was too impersonal and ugly, so they went to the “dancing policeman instead.”

Go shopping at the craft market.

Local handcraft from all over Bhutan
Local handcraft from all over Bhutan

The Thimphu Craft Market is several hundred meters long bazaars that offer handmade craft from all over the country; there are almost 100 shops here selling every handicraft you can imagine. If it´s not here, is it not in the country.

The perfect place to buy souvenirs and gifts from Bhutan.
Wondering what the best Bhutan craft and art is?

Visit the farmers market.

Just a small part of the Farmers market
Just a small part of the Farmers Market.

The farmers market is an explosion of colours and smells; this is where the locals come to buy the freshest local produce from all over the country, as well as a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and other products imported from India.

Hike the surrounding hills around Thimphu Valley.

Thimphu as seen from one of the higher points around the city.
Thimphu as seen from one of the higher points around the city.

Since Thimphu is located in the middle of the valley, are there tons of hiking opportunities in the surrounding hills.

You can do short hikes up to viewpoints like the photo to get an overview of Bhutan´s capital, or you can do a 3 hours hike to one of the many Monasteries that´s located around the valley.

Want to Experience the local nightlife at The Mojo Park.

Mojo Park

Want to experience the local nightlife in Thimphu? Then Mojo Park is the place to check out. It´s the capital’s premier live-music venue and bar, with laid-back rock, blues, reggae music.

There´s no annoying trance music here, just good music. The staff is super friendly, and it´s the perfect place to meet locals. It´s not gone take many minutes before you get invited to a table if you arrive alone here.

NB. It´s also a popular hangout place for the local actors, artists, member of the Parlament and even some members of the Royal family, one of the princes from the Royal family came by when I was there.

Enjoy a proper burger at Cloud 9.

One of the burgers at Cloud 9
One of the burgers at Cloud 9.

No offence to Bhutanese food, but after almost two weeks of rice, chilli, and chicken/pork in various styles, was it great to have a Hamburger at one of the few Foreign-run restaurants in Thimphu.

Cloud 9 offers one of the top 3 burgers I have tried in Asia and the best coffee in the capital. The Australian owner had bought a few tricks with her from the land down under.

Like it? Share it! Pin It!

Travel Guide on Things to do in Thimphu Bhutan´s capital
Travel guide to Thimphu Bhutan´s capital
The complete guide of what to do in Bhutan´s Thimphu
The complete guide of what to do in Bhutan´s Thimphu


Saturday 12th of September 2020

wow, what a beautiful place Bhutan is mesmerizing, I will definitely plan my trip to Thimpu in upcoming years.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Bhutan. | Unusual Traveler

Wednesday 25th of April 2018

[…] sets an environmental benchmark as the only carbon negative country in the world. A fact about Bhutan as a carbon sink that is overwhelmingly impressive is that the nation emits only 1.5 tons of carbon […]

sarah lee

Wednesday 21st of June 2017

hi, cloud nine closed down. i just came back form Bhutan. it was said that the owner fell ill.

Kinley Wangchuk

Thursday 1st of March 2018

They are relocating it. It's going to be on the same street as Mojo Park.