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Can I travel to Bhutan? Entry requirements explained


Bhutan has relaxed Covid restrictions, but entry into the country still requires British nationals to jump through a few hoops.

Here’s what you need to know about the entry rules and Covid tests required if you're planning a trip to Bhutan.

Can I go to Bhutan on holiday?

Yes. Bhutan is open to British travellers arriving by air at Paro International Airport. However, entry requirements are changing frequently so it is important to always check with your tour provider or the FCDO’s travel advice page for Bhutan for up-to-date information on the requirements.

What are the Bhutan travel restrictions for Covid?

As of Friday 23 September 2022, you no longer have to provide a negative PCR test or undergo quarantine to visit Bhutan, regardless of vaccination status. However, these entry requirements can change at a moment's notice so it is important to check with your tour provider or sponsoring organisation before travelling.

There are no test or quarantine requirements upon returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as the UK lifted all Covid travel restrictions earlier this year.

Can you travel to Bhutan unvaccinated?

Yes. British nationals are no longer required to provide a negative PCR test or undergo quarantine, regardless of vaccination status.

What are the passport requirements?

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months following your intended departure from Bhutan.

Do I need a visa to visit Bhutan?

Yes. You will need a visa, which is issued on arrival but you must apply in advance through the Bhutan website and receive visa approval before travelling. 

For more information on acquiring a visa and identifying a tour operator to visit Bhutan, please refer to FCDO’s travel advice page for Bhutan .

Lit up by a beam of sunlight a monk ascends a stone stairway at Punakha Dzong.

Is it safe to travel to Bhutan now?

Travelling to Bhutan comes with difficulties. While it is technically considered safe, the country requires complex entry rules with little to no consular support.

In Bhutan, Britain is represented by an Honorary British Consul , who can provide some guidance. British nationals can also receive consular support from the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India .

It is also very important to take local law and customs seriously in Bhutan. If you’re ever in doubt – be sure to speak to your tour guide.

23 essential things to know before visiting Bhutan

Erin  Levi

Feb 2, 2024 • 15 min read

Two buddhist monks at Punakha Dzong, Bhutan

You'll want to observe proper etiquette at Bhutan's Buddhist sites, such as Punakha Dzong © Kateryna Mashkevych / Shutterstock

Perched in the Himalayas between India and China, tiny Bhutan , with cliff-hanging monasteries, golden-roof temples and colorful prayer flags strung along trails and peaks, stands as the last Buddhist kingdom on earth.

Its careful tourism policy has allowed it to slowly open to the outside world without compromising its culture and traditions or degrading its pristine natural environment – two pillars of  Gross National Happiness (GNH), a unique philosophy that guides the government of Bhutan. 

Having traveled extensively in Bhutan on assignment, I’ve come to embrace its diverse seasons and activities, from horse trekking in Bumthang to rafting down the purple-jacaranda-lined Punakha River to learning how to make hoentey (a specialty buckwheat dumpling eaten during Lomba, the New Year) in the semi-remote Haa Valley.

This quick guide navigates Bhutan's cultural landscape, highlighting its local customs and quirks, as you plan your journey to the country known locally as Druk Yul, the Land of the Thunder Dragon. 

1. Independent travel is finally possible, but a tour operator is still the way to go

Since reopening in 2022, Bhutan has scrapped its all-inclusive tour-package minimum, and initially raised the Sustainable Daily Fee (SDF) to US$200 before reducing it to US$100 , valid now through September 2027. There is a 50% discount for kids ages six to 11, with no SDF for those under six. A one-time US$40 visa-application fee  also applies.

Fees are significantly lower for travelers from India, who can visit with a special permit. Indian travelers need to have a passport or voter ID card. Indian Aadhar cards are not accepted. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi and Maldivian nationals are  eligible for visa upon arrival , but must pay the SDF.

The good news is that adventurous travelers planning a trip can now independently book accommodations, guides (mandatory for any journey beyond Thimphu and Paro) and transportation. You can also, for the first time ever, extend your visa while you’re there, and you can even drive your own car – for a fee. 

However, for activities like trekking, attending festivals or engaging in more specialized interests, such as birding, horse trekking or cycling, using a tour operator will undoubtedly enhance your overall experience – and is generally required. Lists of certified tour operators, guides and accommodations, including hotels and homestays, can be found on the official Bhutan Travel website .

A resting area by a pool in Thimphu, Bhutan, on a bright day, with the clouds overhead reflected in the water.

2. Book early for festivals and trekking in the high season

Since reopening, there are no longer incentives for offseason travel, except for occasional hotel deals. This means you may as well time your trip with autumn and spring, when the most famous tsechus (monastic festivals) take place and the leaves change or rhododendrons bloom, respectively. Book far ahead if you’re considering attending a celebration or going trekking.

That said, locals argue that anytime of year is wonderful to visit Bhutan – and that summer and winter are just as wonderful, with plenty of lesser-known festivals. But these seasons are not ideal if you’re planning a multiday trek, due to muddy trails and chilly camping.

Still, the winter holiday season is auspicious, offering crisp air, clear skies and perfect light for photography, with few travelers. Plus, if you go for the December 17 National Day celebrations at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu , you may even get the chance to meet the king! 

3. Travel insurance is mandatory 

Per Bhutan’s Tourism Rules and Regulations 2022 , you must have travel insurance that covers accidental death, permanent disability due to accidents, emergency medical evacuation and hospital charges in case of sickness. You’ll need your proof of insurance coverage – in English – in order to apply for your visa. 

If you do find yourself feeling unwell during your trip, consider a visit to Thimphu’s National Institute of Traditional Medicine . A doctor will assess your pulse, temperature and ask about your bowels. In turn, you’ll receive a prescription for ayurvedic medicine crafted from local plants, all at no cost. (A small donation is appreciated.) Another moniker for Bhutan is “Menjong,” which aptly means “Land of Medicinal Herbs.”

Alternatively, head to the nearest hospital or health clinic for treatment geared towards Western medicine. The Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital , also known as the National Referral Hospital, is the biggest in Bhutan and located in Thimphu. 

Close-up of an airplane wing with a full plane in the distance and people on the tarmac at Bhutan International Airport, seen during daytime in winter.

4. Only two airlines fly to Bhutan

Bhutan is served by two national airlines: Drukair and Bhutan Airlines . Because of the challenging landing conditions at Paro International Airport, surrounded by peaks as high as 5500m (18,000ft), only a select few pilots are authorized to fly there.

Direct flights to and from Paro connect you to various destinations, including Bangladesh (Dhaka), India (Bagdogra, Guwahati, Kolkata and New Delhi), Nepal (Kathmandu), Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok) and, from March 2024, the UAE (Sharjah). While Bangkok and Delhi are common entry points, Kathmandu promises the most epic route, with glimpses of Mt Everest on clear days. Request a window seat on the left-hand side when flying to Bhutan. 

Note that it’s not possible to check your luggage through to your final destination, so you’ll have to claim it before boarding your Bhutan connection. 

You can also reach Bhutan overland via India. (Bhutan has border disputes with China. Transit is not possible.) 

5. Bhutan is the world’s first carbon-negative country

Bhutan gained global attention for being the world's first carbon-negative country. Aside from its relatively underpopulated and underdeveloped status (being roughly the same size as Switzerland with only 10% of its population), a key factor in sustaining this achievement is a landmark constitutional mandate requiring the country to maintain a minimum of 60% forest coverage at all times. This is further supported by the environmental conservation pillar of GNH. 

Plastic has also been banned since 1999, though it's not regularly enforced. Nevertheless, do your part to keep the environment clean. There’s plenty of signage to remind you along the way: “Clean & beautiful environment is a feast to the soul,” says one placard en route to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery . 

6. Bhutan is exceptionally safe

Bhutan, a happy and devout Buddhist nation, maintains a low crime rate, with violent crime being scarce. One of the safest countries you’ll ever visit, it’s ranked the 25th-least-corrupt nation out of 180 countries by Transparency International. 

As a single woman, I never felt unsafe on any of my trips to Bhutan. I was also never truly “alone” since I was always under the watchful eye of my guide or local friends. In recent years, the number of female guides has increased, which is more good news for solo women travelers . 

7. Save the hike up to Tiger's Nest for the end

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can occur when travelers are above 2500m (8202ft). Given that the most commonly visited cities Thimphu and Paro are just 200m to 300m below that threshold, and that several treks in the Bhutanese Himalayas traverse mountain passes reaching heights of 5000m, AMS is a risk in Bhutan.

Ascend slowly, take rest days when needed, and if you begin to feel ill, stop. If it's not managed carefully, AMS can develop into life-threatening forms of altitude sickness, so pay close attention to how you're feeling. If your symptoms don’t ease, descend right away. Helicopter rescue is always an option in case of emergency.

Note: Due to the altitude, acclimatization may be necessary. I recommend waiting a few days or until the end of your trip – saving the best for last! – before embarking on the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery trek , which ascends about 1000m (3000ft). Make sure to schedule a traditional hot-stone bath afterward as well.

8. Stay current on your vaccinations

No vaccines are required for entry into Bhutan. This includes the COVID-19 jab, although you may need proof of it if you’re traveling via India.

That said, you should stay up-to-date with your vaccines and consult a healthcare professional at least eight weeks before your departure in case you need any boosters. Standard recommendations include vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, and typhoid, in addition to childhood vaccinations for measles-mumps-rubella and polio.  

For longer trips, including travelers who are moving to Bhutan, you may wish to consider vaccinations for Japanese encephalitis and rabies. Rabies is particularly noteworthy since friendly animals, like monkeys and dogs, can all transmit the virus, and untreated infection is fatal. If you are bitten by an animal, such as a stray dog, immediately go to the nearest health clinic and get a postexposure prophylaxis shot (you’ll need a total of four). 

9. Pack a few medical essentials

Be wary of mosquito-borne illnesses when visiting in the summer months and in the southern regions. Because of climate change, Bhutan had its first nation-wide dengue epidemic in 2019. Dengue is deadly, and there is no vaccine to protect against it. (Malaria, which can be prevented with drugs, is rare and – fingers crossed – anticipated to be eliminated by 2025 .)

You’ll need sunscreen too. Bhutan's average elevation is 3280m (10,760ft), making it one of the highest countries in the world. It also shares the same latitude as Texas, Egypt and the Bahamas, so the sun is strong. Protect your skin – and your eyes. 

There are no tunnels in Bhutan, which means the mountain roads are windy. You may want to consider bringing Dramamine for car sickness and Diamox for altitude sickness – consult your healthcare provider before you travel to discuss whether they're right for you. Pack your own diapers and tampons, if you use them; you can, however, find menstrual pads in stores and at select hotels and restaurants. And don’t forget earplugs – at night, howling dogs can be disruptive to sleep, especially in downtown Thimphu. 

A top-down view of pan of chilies and cheese, or ema datse, the national dish of Bhutan

10. Bhutanese food is surprisingly delicious – and spicy!

For decades, Bhutanese cuisine suffered in reputation because travelers were mostly exposed to mediocre buffets at their three-star hotels, featuring Indian, Chinese and continental dishes tailored precisely to their palates.

Thankfully, those buffets are slowly being phased out. The local cuisine, emphasizing fresh and seasonal ingredients, is on the up and up and proving to be extremely tasty, if you know where to go. Ask your tour operator or guide for recommendations. 

And while Bhutanese cuisine is defined by hot chili peppers, such as with ema datse (chilies with cheese) and kewa datse  (potatoes, chilies and cheese), dishes can be modified according to your taste if requested in advance. Still, you may need antacids. 

11. Don’t drink the tap water

Tap water isn’t safe to drink in Bhutan unless it has been boiled or purified. Ask your hotel or guesthouse for boiled water, or purchase bottled water to have on your person. 

Do, however, drink the local whiskey and lager (Bhutan has a flourishing craft-beer scene). 

12. Learn local etiquette

“ Kuzu zangpo la ” means “hello” in Dzongkha, a Sino-Tibetan language and the national language of Bhutan, most commonly spoken in the western part of the country. Recite this while bowing (shaking hands is less common). The deeper the bow, the greater the respect. 

Aside from Dzongkha (and the many other local languages and dialects), English is widely spoken because it is the language of instruction in schools. When Bhutanese converse in English, it is common to hear the word “la” at the end of a sentence or question as a sign of respect; for example, “Thank you, la.” Feel free to reciprocate. 

If you find yourself invited into someone’s home and offered food, tradition dictates that you say the words “ meshu meshu”  while covering your mouth with your hands. After two or three offers, it is customary to accept. Similarly, if you are the one making an offer, or even giving a gift or tip, expect similar resistance. (Do consider giving a small tip if someone has invited you into their home and served you food or arra, a local spirit distilled from rice.)

13. Tipping is appreciated (but not mandatory) 

Even if you’ve paid in advance for your all-inclusive trip, show appreciation to your guide and driver by tipping them at the end. On a trek, extend this gesture to the crew – ie the cook, any helpers and the horsemen. While 10–15% is normal, the amount and currency are up to you. 

Tipping is not necessary at restaurants and hotels. A 10% service charge is already added to your bill when you dine out. 

14. Bhutan has nightlife

While most people are drawn to Bhutan for its serene landscapes, peaceful Buddhist monasteries and imposing fortresses ( dzongs ) such as  Punakha Dzong , the country is hiding a buzzing nightlife and music scene that is equally worth exploring. 

Thimphu's nightlife centers around Chang Lam near the stadium, featuring diverse options like the Zone (a popular bar hangout), Mojo Park (a fantastic music venue, where the band Misty Terrace got its start), the Grey Area (Bhutan’s first gastropub) and nightclubs Space 34 and Viva City, which are open to the wee hours.

Note:  Bhutan has ended dry Tuesdays and bars ars are now open throughout the week. 

15. It is finally legal to smoke in Bhutan, but be discreet

Bhutan was long known for its drastic yet visionary health law that forbade smoking and the trade of tobacco products. While the law was recently reversed, smoking must be done “out of sight,” ie behind buildings. The same goes for vaping.

Despite cannabis growing prolifically throughout the country, it remains illegal. Possession can land you in jail for up to one year. The only “drugs” produced in the country are traditional medicines. 

Note: While vaping products are sold in a few places in Thimphu, they’re not widely available. It’s advisable to bring your own. 

16. Keep an open mind

Whether it’s migoi  (yeti) sightings in Bhutan’s wild east, the significance of phalluses as symbols of protection or the flying tiger bringing Guru Rinpoche to the cave where the gravity-defying Tiger’s Nest Monastery now stands, folktales, myths and legends are an integral part of Bhutan’s culture and national pride – and believed to be true.

Approach Bhutan with an open mind. Westerners may find it challenging to suspend logic and reason, but be kind when pushing back, and consider setting aside your own preconceptions. Do as the new tourism tagline says: Believe. 

17. Pack layers

You’ll want layers for fluctuating temperatures and varying terrains, and modest clothing for entering temples and monasteries, including socks for cold temple floors. Aside from a good pair of hiking boots, bring a nicer shoe to wear with a gho  or kira  (Bhutanese national dress for men and women, respectively), should you decide to buy an outfit  – highly recommended if you’re attending a festival or meeting with a dignitary. For inspiration, follow Bhutan Street Fashion on Instagram or Facebook.

18. Carry small change

Cash is necessary for buying souvenirs, leaving small donations at monasteries, nunneries and temples (particularly if you’d like a blessing from a monk), and giving tips to your guide, driver and trekking crew, as mentioned earlier. 

If you’re an independent traveler, you’ll want to have small bills on hand to pay for entrance fees to sites and museums. Few – as in almost zero – businesses accept credit cards.

19. Stay connected

SIM cards used to be challenging to obtain, but now you can easily get them upon arrival at Paro International Airport. You can also rent a pocket Wi-Fi device there – useful if you’re planning to visit remote regions and need to be online. 

20. Bring cash and download these apps

It’s easier to bring your own money (make sure the bills are crisp) rather than rely on and seek out ATM machines in the country. The official currency in Bhutan is the ngultrum, which is pegged 1:1 to the Indian rupee. Do exchange at a bank or hotel so that you can have some small ngultrum notes for butter-lamp offerings and such. 

Most Bhutanese businesses accept cash or payments through either goBoB or the  BNB MyPay app . Foreign visitors can activate the app by downloading it from Google Play or Apple's App Store, inserting a local SIM purchased at the airport and funding the digital wallet with their credit or debit card. While goBoB is more popular among locals, some tour operators argue MyPay is better for foreigners because it is linked to more international card networks and is powered by Stripe.

A woman and three young children spinning a prayer wheel at the Tibetan-style National Memorial Chorten, one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu.

21. Spin prayer wheels clockwise, and other temple tips

When visiting Buddhist monasteries, nunneries and temples, observe proper etiquette: remove shoes and hats, wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, refrain from photography in altar rooms, avoid pointing, never lean against a stupa and consider leaving a small donation on the altar or with a monk. If seeking a blessing, it's customary to offer a small donation.

Be it in a car or on foot, circumambulation of a Buddhist temple or shrine, such as a stupa or chorten, must always be clockwise. To go counterclockwise, whether it’s out of ignorance or on purpose, is seen as offensive, culturally insensitive and unlucky. Similarly, prayer wheels, which help purify karma, should be spun in a clockwise direction. 

22. Don’t bargain hard

Unlike some other places in Asia, like India or Vietnam, where you’re expected to haggle, Bhutan’s market scene is a lot more straightforward. You typically pay the price that’s listed – aggressive negotiating tactics are a foreign concept. 

That said, be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you plan to shop. Your eyes will be undoubtedly drawn to abundantly colorful textiles crafted from natural fibers, like silk and cotton. These can take months to assemble, and the prices – which can top four figures – reflect the meticulous work and cultural richness woven into each piece, often done by women.

Note: Geometric yathras , textiles made of yak wool and commonly found in central Bhutan’s Bumthang region, are more budget-friendly.) 

23. Consult the lunar calendar

The Bhutanese calendar is based on Tibet's, which follows the lunar calendar. Buddhist festivals, like tsechus, follow the lunar calendar, meaning the dates change from year to year. There are other cultural festivals, like Bhutan National Day and the Black Necked Crane Festival in Phobjikha Valley, that follow the Gregorian calendar and therefore stay the same.

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Pinpoint Travel Health


Foreign Travel Advice Bhutan

Table of Contents

  • Coronavirus
  • Safety and security
  • Entry requirements
  • Local laws and customs
  • Natural disasters


Travel Advisory: Summary Latest update: Inclusion of information regarding global terrorism risks to British nationals abroad on all FCDO travel advice pages.


If your journey involves transiting through another country, check the travel advice specific to that country.

Obtaining appropriate travel insurance is essential, particularly in today’s circumstances. Refer to FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance to ensure adequate coverage.

Note that arranging any visit to must be done through an authorized travel agent well in advance. For further details, refer to Entry requirements.

British nationals are represented by an Honorary Consul, as consular support is not directly available from the British government in Bhutan. However, the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India, can offer consular assistance.

Be mindful of road safety as car and motorbike accidents are significant causes of injury and fatalities overseas. Avoid nighttime travel whenever possible, and ensure you travel in well-maintained vehicles equipped with seatbelts. Refer to Safety and security for more information.

While there’s no recent history of terrorism in Bhutan, remain vigilant as attacks cannot be entirely ruled out. See Terrorism for further details.

Respect for local laws and customs is crucial in Bhutan. When uncertain, seek advice from your tour guide. Refer to Local law and customs for guidance.

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and any specific travel advice that applies to you:

  • women travellers
  • disabled travellers
  • LGBT+ travellers
  • solo and independent travel
  • volunteering and adventure travel

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

About FCDO travel advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Bhutan set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, see the Bhutan government’s visa entry page or contact the Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Bhutan.

Passport validity requirements

Your passport must have an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you plan to leave Bhutan.

Visa requirements

You must have a visa to enter and exit Bhutan.     

You must apply for your visa in advance, The authorities will pre-approve the visa and issue it when you arrive in Bhutan. 

Visas can be arranged through a Bhutanese tour operator, through a Bhutanese hotel or directly through the Department of Immigration’s website . A non-refundable, one-off visa application fee of 40 US dollars is also payable.

If you’re travelling for business or other non-tourism reasons, you must arrange your visa through your sponsoring organisation in Bhutan.

You must have permits to travel to some states in Bhutan. Your tour guide will help to get these.

If you want to extend your stay in Bhutan, go to the Department of Immigration in Thimphu to make a request.

Entry and exit points

You can enter or exit Bhutan via air through the international airport in Paro, or via the land entry point in Phuentsholing

Vaccination requirements

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and certificates you need in TravelHealthPro’s Bhutan guide .

Sustainable development fee

All visitors must pay a  daily sustainable development fee ( SDF ) of 100 US dollars per night (per adult; concessionary rates apply for children) 

More information about the SDF can be found here.

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Bhutan (PDF) . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.   

It is illegal to export antiques. Customs officials may inspect items that appear to be antiques.    

Taking tobacco into Bhutan

You can bring a small supply of tobacco for personal use. You will need to pay taxes and duties and be able to show proof of tax and duty payments if asked to when you are in possession of the products. 

Taking money into or out of Bhutan    

You can take up to 30,000 Bhutan ngultrum into or out of Bhutan. 

You must declare foreign currency worth 10,000 US dollars or more if you plan to take it into or out of Bhutan and get clearance from the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan.

Indian rupees are widely accepted in Bhutan.

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in Bhutan

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Bhutan, attacks cannot be ruled out.      

Crime levels are low across Bhutan, but you should take the same precautions as you would at home.

Keep a copy of your passport’s photo page and visa, and your flight ticket separate from the originals when travelling.

Laws and cultural differences

Bhutanese people take their customs and traditions very seriously. Respect them at all times to avoid giving offence, particularly avoid criticising HM The King of Bhutan. If in doubt, ask your tour guide.      

Dress respectfully when visiting temples and fortified buildings, so that you do not cause offence. Your tour guide will be able to advise.

Alcohol laws          

Alcohol is legal in Bhutan, but there are restrictions on how much alcohol tourists can buy at one time. Check with the vendor what the limit is.

Smoking and e-cigarette bans

It was illegal to sell or buy tobacco products in Bhutan until 2020. It is currently legal, but smoking is still frowned on. Be mindful of where you smoke – for example smoking near religious locations may cause offence. 

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

There are strict penalties for possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs. If convicted, you could get a prison sentence and heavy fine. Sentences range from a minimum of 3 years to a life sentence depending upon the type and quantity of drugs.

LGBT+ travellers  

Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in Bhutan in 2020, and there are no censorship laws restricting the discussion or promotion of LGBT+ topics. Same-sex marriages are not recognised. There is no legal recognition of transgender individuals.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers .  

Wildlife, animal products and souvenirs 

Environmental conservation is critically important to Bhutan. You could be imprisoned for harming protected species. It is illegal to litter anywhere in Bhutan.     

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

You need to use tour guides when visiting places of interest. Otherwise, you may be refused entry.

Mountaineering and hiking

Mountaineering is banned in Bhutan, but there are trekking options across the country at a wide range of altitudes. Take advice from your tour guide.

Transport risks

Road travel.

If you are planning to drive in Bhutan, see information on driving abroad .

Car rentals come with a driver. If you want to drive your own vehicle, you must hire a guide to travel with you.

Any car you bring into Bhutan must meet the requirements of the Bhutan Road Safety and Transport Authority . You must have a driving licence, insurance documents, pollution control documents and an entry permit. You will need to pay a daily charge of 4,500 ngultrum. The same fees and rules apply for a motorbikes.   

For a stay of more than 90 days, apply for a Bhutanese driving licence from the Bhutan Road Safety and Transport Authority. You must show your UK driving licence.

Driving conditions

Car and motorbike accidents are one of the biggest causes of injury and death in Bhutan. If possible, avoid travelling at night. Always travel in a well-maintained vehicle with seatbelts.

Road conditions can be dangerous, particularly in monsoon season. There are no traffic lights in Bhutan.

Air travel  

Weather conditions regularly affect domestic and international flights.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Find out what you can do to prepare for and respond to extreme weather and natural hazards .

Monsoon rains can cause landslides that cut off some roads for days. Always check your route before setting off and take care extra care during the monsoon season.


Several parts of Bhutan lie on active fault zones. Limited emergency vehicles, equipment and medical facilities are likely to increase the impact of an earthquake. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake .

There is high risk of wildfires, particularly in central and southern areas of the country. You will be fined for causing a wildfire irrespective of whether it is accidental or intentional. The level of the fine increases if the wildfire is caused intentionally.

Bhutan is exposed to monsoon flooding and glacial lake outburst floods. Both urban and rural areas are vulnerable to flooding.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company quickly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

  • the latest information on vaccinations in TravelHealthPro’s Bhutan guide
  • where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Go to TravelHealthPro to see what health risks you’ll face in Bhutan .

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Bhutan. Read more about altitude sickness on TravelHealthPro .

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

If you’re carrying a large amount of medicine or medicine that’s not for your personal use, check with the Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels .

Healthcare facilities in Bhutan

Healthcare facilities vary in quality across Bhutan. One hospital in Thimphu can provide surgery and emergency treatment. Outside of Thimphu, hospitals generally provide only basic healthcare. Treatment for more complex issues is not available in Bhutan and you would need evacuation to India or Thailand for treatment.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance that covers the cost of medical treatment abroad, emergency helicopter evacuation and repatriation.

English is widely spoken in Bhutan and doctors are likely to speak some English.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro .

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Bhutan

Ambulance: 112

Police: 113

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans , including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • dealing with a death abroad
  • being arrested or imprisoned
  • getting help if you’re a  victim of crime
  • what to do if you’re  in hospital
  • if you’re affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online .

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Bhutan and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India , who provide consular assistance to British nationals in Bhutan.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges .

Bhutan announces new tourism incentives - click here to read more

Covid-19 and health care services

Last updated: 16 September 2022

Coronavirus (Covid–19)

Although we recommend all visitors stay up to date with vaccinations against covid-19 (coronavirus) 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 period. 

All individuals (12 years and above) entering Bhutan may be subjected to random RT-PCR testing at the points of entry or at the worksite to maintain covid-19 surveillance for new variants. No fee shall be charged for the RT-PCR testing for surveillance.

If a guest tests positive for covid-19 during their stay in Bhutan, they will be required to quarantine in their hotel until they test negative. The cost for the additional quarantine nights and PCR tests will be borne by the guest. The Sustainable Development Fee will be waived during the quarantine period. 

There will be no covid-19 protocols to leave Bhutan, unless the country the guest is travelling to requires them.  

There are currently no community infections in the country. The few cases detected are primarily in travellers who tested positive when entering Bhutan. Additionally, the country’s excellent health-surveillance and detection services make Bhutan safe to visit.

Bhutan began its vaccination efforts on March 27th 2021 and inoculated its population within two weeks. Bhutanese citizens are currently being offered a fourth dose of the covid-19 vaccine, and a vaccination programme for the country’s children is under way. The country has had a relatively low mortality rate from the disease.

Health care Services

Bhutan places human capital at the core of its policymaking. As a result, it enjoys well-developed primary health-care services. The Constitution of Bhutan guarantees free education and primary health care to all its people.

Visitors to the kingdom have access to the same excellent medical provision. Primary health-care services are available in all the country's 205 gewogs (county). Additionally, there are hospitals in all 20 dzongkhags (districts), including one national and two regional specialist hospitals.

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Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Bhutan.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Bhutan. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Bhutan.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Japanese Encephalitis

Recommended for travelers who

  • Are moving to an area with Japanese encephalitis to live
  • Spend long periods of time, such as a month or more, in areas with Japanese encephalitis
  • Frequently travel to areas with Japanese encephalitis

Consider vaccination for travelers

  • Spending less than a month in areas with Japanese encephalitis but will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets
  • Going to areas with Japanese encephalitis who are uncertain of their activities or how long they will be there

Not recommended for travelers planning short-term travel to urban areas or travel to areas with no clear Japanese encephalitis season. 

Japanese encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for US Children

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Bhutan. However, if you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Bhutan, rabies treatment is often available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Bhutan. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Avoid bug bites.

  • Mosquito bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites

Airborne & droplet

Avian/bird flu.

  • Being around, touching, or working with infected poultry, such as visiting poultry farms or live-animal markets
  • Avoid domestic and wild poultry
  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Counsel your patients on actions they can take on their trip to stay healthy and safe.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Bhutan. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Bhutan include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Bhutan. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Bhutan’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in some parts of Bhutan. If you are going to a risk area, fill your malaria prescription before you leave, and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Bhutan may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Bhutan, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Bhutan.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Remind your patients to pack health and safety items. Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Bhutan for a list of health-related items they should consider packing.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

Map Disclaimer - The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Approximate border lines for which there may not yet be full agreement are generally marked.

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Bhutan Travel Restrictions

Traveller's COVID-19 vaccination status

Travelling from the United Kingdom to Bhutan

Open for vaccinated visitors

COVID-19 testing

Not required

Not required for vaccinated visitors


Not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

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Can I travel to Bhutan from the United Kingdom?

Most visitors from the United Kingdom, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Bhutan.

Can I travel to Bhutan if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United Kingdom can enter Bhutan without restrictions.

Can I travel to Bhutan without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from the United Kingdom can enter Bhutan without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter Bhutan?

Visitors from the United Kingdom are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Bhutan.

Can I travel to Bhutan without quarantine?

Travellers from the United Kingdom are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in Bhutan?

Mask usage in Bhutan is not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in Bhutan?

Restaurants in Bhutan are open. Bars in Bhutan are .

Update April 12, 2024

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Travel Advisory June 23, 2023

Bhutan - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

 Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise normal precautions in Bhutan.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Bhutan.

If you decide to travel to Bhutan:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Bhutan.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Embassy Messages

No current Alerts.

Quick Facts

 Six months from date of arrival 

One page required for entry stamp

Embassies and Consulates

U.s. embassy new delhi.

Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110021 India

Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000

Emergency Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000

Fax: +(91) (11) 2419-8407

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

The Tourism Council of Bhutan sets a non-negotiable minimum daily tariff for all visitors to Bhutan.  The rate includes all accommodations, all meals, transportation, services of licensed guides and porters, and cultural programs where and when available. The rate is the same for both cultural tours and treks. Travelers should contact the Tourism Council for the latest daily tariff. 

  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months following the date of your arrival to Bhutan.
  • You need a Bhutanese visa to enter and exit Bhutan.  All visas are approved in the capital, Thimphu, and are only issued to tourists who have booked travel with a local licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent.  Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the local tour operator.  
  • All visitors, including those on official U.S. government business, must obtain visa clearance from Thimphu before travelling to Bhutan.   Visa clearance takes at least 7 days to process and airplane tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance.
  • At your point of entry into Bhutan, immigration authorities will stamp a visa into your passport upon payment of $40 U.S. or Nu.2500.  You will also need to provide two passport photos. Tourist visas are usually granted for the scheduled travel period.
  • More information, including a list of authorized tour operators in Bhutan, may be obtained from the Tourism Council of Bhutan , PO Box 126, Thimphu, Bhutan, telephone 00975-2-323251, 2-323252, 2-337098, fax 975-2-323695, email: [email protected]

For the most current information on entry and exit requirements, please contact the Bhutan Mission to the United Nations (Consulate General), 343 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 682-2268, fax (212) 661-0551. 

Dual Citizens:  For information related to dual citizens traveling to Bhutan, please see our page on dual nationality .

HIV/AIDS : Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Bhutan. For stays longer than two weeks, applicants must present the results of an HIV/AIDS test completed within the six months prior to their visit. The test can also be administered by Bhutanese officials upon arrival. Travelers should verify this information with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations before they travel.

Customs:  For information related to customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page .

Information about or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. 

Safety and Security

CRIME:  There is relatively little crime in Bhutan. Reasonable precautions should be taken when visiting major towns and, in particular, when going out at night. 

  • Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and purse snatching is occasionally reported though crime is uncommon. 
  • Burglaries, theft, robbery, stolen vehicles, and assault related to skin color, ethnic origin, and religion have increased in recent years. 
  • Police report an increase in the number of drug/alcohol abuse and marijuana-related arrests.
  • Police report an increase in the number of reported rape cases. 
  • Tobacco sale is unlawful. Foreigners caught selling tobacco products to Bhutanese nationals can be charged with smuggling and the tobacco seized treated as contraband.

VICTIMS OF CRIME:  If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. 

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line for Bhutan police in Bhutan is 113. The emergency number for ambulance service is 112.  

For more information:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
  • Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook .
  • Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website , which contains the current Travel Advisories  as well as the Worldwide Caution .
  • In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
  • Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad .

The U.S. Embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police, but only local authorities can investigate and prosecute crimes
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport. However, because there is no U.S. Embassy presence in Bhutan, getting your lost or stolen U.S. passport replaced can be complicated and costly, and U.S. citizens are advised to take extreme care with their passports. To replace a passport, you must gain permission to exit Bhutan, and also obtain permission to enter a receiving country that has a U.S. Embassy without a passport. Immigration authorities may not grant permission. If permission is not granted, a consular officer from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the receiving country may be able meet you at the receiving country airport, at significant additional cost in addition to passport fees.

More info: See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

Please see our information for victims of crime , including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:  You must obey all Bhutanese laws while you are traveling in Bhutan.

  • If you violate them, even without knowing you did, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bhutan are severe, including long jail sentences and heavy fines, or death.
  • You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings.
  • Driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail.
  • Some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see the Department of Justice website. 
  • Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States .

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Currency Issues:  

  • Visitors are advised to carry cash or travelers checks, though credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in Bhutan.
  • Indian rupees are usually accepted for purchases in Bhutan, although most shopkeepers and businesses do not accept Indian rupees in denominations above 100. A limited number of ATMs are available in Bhutan’s main cities.
  • Bhutanese customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Bhutan of items such as firearms, ammunition, explosives and military supplies; narcotics and drugs (except medically prescribed drugs); tobacco products; wildlife products, especially those of endangered species; and antiques.
  • It is advisable to contact the Bhutan Mission to the United Nations (Consulate General), 343 East 43 rd Street, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 682-2268, fax (212) 661-0551, for specific information regarding customs requirements.  Please see our Customs Information page.

Women Travelers:  If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers .

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .

LGBTI Travelers: Although there are no laws that explicitly prohibit consensual same-sex sexual activity, laws against “sodomy or any other sexual conduct that is against the order of nature” exist. Under the penal code, a person can be imprisoned for as long as one year for engaging in such acts.  There have been no reported cases of such charges. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and our Human Rights Report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: While in Bhutan, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Persons with physical disabilities living in or traveling to the country may find that Bhutan lacks the necessary infrastructure to accommodate their disability.  

Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan covers you when you are outside of the United States.

  • We cannot pay your medical bills.
  • U.S. Medicare does not pay overseas.
  • Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services.
  • We strongly recommend  supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation, since medical transport out of the country can be prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible.
  • Tuberculosis is a serious health concern in Bhutan. For further information, please  consult the CDC's information on TB .
  • See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Medical Care:

  • Medical facilities in the populated areas in Bhutan such as Thimphu and Paro are available but may be limited or unavailable in rural areas.  
  • U.S. citizens in need of urgent medical care should try to get to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in the capital city, Thimphu.  For emergency services in Thimphu, dial 113 for police or 112 for ambulance. 
  • Medical services may not meet Western standards, and some medicines are in short supply. Certain emergency medical services are provided free of charge to all tourists.

Trekking in Bhutan:

  • We strongly urge you to ensure that your medical insurance covers evacuations, which can be extremely expensive. 
  • Visitors planning to trek in Bhutan should pay special attention to the risk of altitude illness. Altitude sickness is a risk above 8,000 feet and travelers to that altitude should consult an appropriate health care provider 4 to 6 weeks before their trip.
  • Treks in Bhutan can take visitors days or weeks away from the nearest medical facility. Limited helicopter evacuation from remote areas in Bhutan is available at the U.S. citizen’s expense. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi can also help arrange evacuations through private companies at the U.S. citizen’s expense.


  • Be up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations, per CDC’s information.
  • The Government of Bhutan recommends that visitors obtain tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis A inoculations before traveling to Bhutan. Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, and rabies vaccines are recommended for prolonged stays for people at risk. The influenza vaccine is also recommended.

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the  CDC website . For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the  World Health Organization (WHO) website . The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including  detailed country-specific health information .

The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan has initiated a travel and medical plan solely for visitors to Bhutan. When booking your trip, you should get detailed information about the insurance plan from your travel agents in Bhutan. You may also visit their website at www.ricb.bt .

Travel and Transportation


Road Conditions:

  • General road conditions outside urban areas are poor, and emergency services generally are not available. Because of the mountainous terrain, roads tend to have steep drop-offs and blind curves.
  • During heavy rains there is a risk of falling rocks and landslides which can block roads.  Because Bhutan requires tourists to arrange their trips through registered tour operators and travel in groups with experienced drivers, most U.S. tourists will not drive themselves.
  • Please refer to our Road Safety page , Tourism Council for Bhutan , and Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:   As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Bhutan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Bhutan’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .

  • Flights into and out of Paro Airport are restricted to daylight hours and are dependent on weather conditions.
  • Flights can be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions, particularly during the monsoon season between May and September.
  • Passengers are advised to allow at least 24 hours' transit time for connecting flights to and from Paro Airport and to travel on non-restricted air tickets so that they can be rebooked on the first available air carrier if a connecting flight is missed.
  • Passengers transiting through India will need a transit visa if they intend to leave the airport or spend a night in India.

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
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  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

For additional IPCA-related information, please see  the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA)  report.

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Latest update

Exercise normal safety precautions in Bhutan.


Bhutan (PDF 207.86 KB)

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Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, traffic police, for road accidents.

For emergencies, call 113.

Advice levels

Exercise normal safety precautions  in Bhutan.

  • Bhutan's crime rate is low. Violent crime is rare. Petty crime happens, such as burglary, theft, pickpocketing and bag snatching. Look after your belongings. Use licensed tour operators.
  • Flooding and landslides happen. Transport and services can be affected in the monsoon season, from June to September. Earthquakes can happen at any time. Follow the advice of local officials.

Full travel advice:  Safety

  • Altitude sickness is a risk above 2500m. It can be life-threatening. It can affect anyone, even people who are physically fit. Discuss your travel plans with a doctor if you plan to travel to high-altitude areas. Ensure your travel insurance covers medical evacuation from altitude.
  • Outbreaks of dengue and malaria occur. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent. Consider taking anti-malarial medication.
  • Hospital and medical facilities are below Australian standards. Facilities outside of Thimphu are limited. If you're seriously ill or injured, you may need medical evacuation to another country, such as India or Thailand. Make sure your travel insurance covers this.

Full travel advice:  Health

  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Severe penalties include lengthy jail terms and heavy fines.
  • The amendment of the Tobacco Control Act of Bhutan 2010 legalises the import, sale and buying of tobacco and tobacco products in the country. 

Same-sex activity has been decriminalised. There is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Consider limiting public displays of affection.

  • Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative, especially at religious sites. Dress modestly. Long pants are best for men and long skirts for women.

Full travel advice:  Local laws

  • Bhutan has introduced several new entry requirements, including a 'Sustainable Development Fee'. See the  Tourism Council of Bhutan  for more information.
  • Flights to and from Paro Airport only occur in daylight hours and depend on suitable weather conditions. Contact your airline or tour operator to find out if your travel has been disrupted.
  • You must have permits to travel to some areas in Bhutan. Your tour guide can help arrange these permits.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • Australia doesn’t have an embassy or consulate in Bhutan. For consular assistance, contact the  Australian High Commission in New Delhi, India .
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission's social media accounts.

Full travel advice:  Local contacts

Full advice

Bhutan's crime rate is low.

Violent crime is not common.

Incidents of petty crime include:

  • pickpocketing
  • bag snatching

Arrests related to drug and alcohol abuse have increased in recent years.

The  Tourism Council of Bhutan  warns against travellers booking through unregistered tour operators. The council advises that it's not responsible for any complaints about tours booked through unregistered operators.

Only use licensed tour operators.

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth. 

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media. 

More information:  

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas  

Demonstrations and protests

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.

Avoid demonstrations.

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

  • Terrorist threats

Trekking and tours

Trekking can be dangerous.

Plan carefully and use reputable trekking companies with professional guides.

Check your travel insurance covers:

  • all activities you plan to do
  • emergency evacuation by helicopter or other means

Before you leave, ask your trekking company about:

  • the security situation
  • weather conditions

Let family and friends know where you will be trekking.

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes adventure activities, such as:

If you plan to do an  adventure activity :

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • check your tour operator's credentials
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

  • Tourism Council of Bhutan trekking section

Climate and natural disasters

Bhutan experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather .

Flooding  and landslides can occur with little warning. They are more common during the monsoon season from June to September.

If you travel during monsoon season, ask your tour operator if services at your destination have been affected.

Bhutan experiences  earthquakes . Seismic activity can occur at any time.

If a natural disaster happens, there are likely to be severe disruptions to transport and damage to essential infrastructure.

Avoid unnecessary travel to affected regions.

To stay safe during a natural disaster or severe weather:

  • keep your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • monitor local media and weather reports, as well as the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • keep in touch with family and friends
  • Department of Disaster Management  

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)


Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Bhutan. Take enough legal medicine for your trip. 

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating: 

  • what the medication is 
  • your required dosage 
  • that it's for personal use 

You may need to get medical documents  authenticated  by DFAT before you leave.

  • Emergency Contact Numbers in Bhutan

Health risks

Altitude sickness.

You're at risk of altitude sickness if you travel above 2500m. The risk is higher the quicker you ascend.

Altitude sickness can be life threatening. It can affect anyone, even people who are physically fit.

You're at higher risk if:

  • you've had altitude sickness before
  • you exercise or drink alcohol before adjusting to the altitude
  • you have health problems that affect your breathing

If you plan to travel to high-altitude areas:

  • ask your doctor for advice
  • check your travel insurance covers you for altitude sickness and medical evacuation

Insect-borne diseases

Outbreaks of  dengue  and  malaria  happen.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
  • Infectious diseases
  • Bhutan Ministry of Health

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Hospital and medical facilities vary in quality throughout Bhutan and are below Australian standards. Outside of Thimphu, facilities are limited, especially emergency services.

Basic supplies and medicines can be limited.

You may need to pay up-front for medical services, including at hospitals.

In an emergency, you may be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long jail terms and heavy fines. Penalties apply for using marijuana.

  • Carrying or using drugs
  • Partying safely

The amendment of the Tobacco Control Act of Bhutan 2010 legalizes the import, sale and buying of tobacco and tobacco products in the country. 

LGBTI travellers

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Bhutan does not recognise dual nationality.

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Bhutan has conservative standards of dress and behaviour. Take care not to offend.

If you visit temples or other religious institutions, dress modestly and respectfully.

Long pants are most appropriate for men. Long skirts are most appropriate for women.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

You need a visa to travel to Bhutan. Visit the  Tourism Council of Bhutan  website for information on applying for visas and the Sustainable Development Fee.

If you plan to stay long term, you'll need either:

  • a work permit
  • a volunteer visa, or
  • another long-term visa

You must have permits to travel to some areas in Bhutan. Your guide can help you arrange these permits.

Bhutan does not recognise de facto or same-sex relationships. You need to provide a marriage certificate to be eligible for a dependent spouse visa. 

Visa and other entry and exit conditions can change at short notice.

  • Embassy of Bhutan
  • Tourism Council of Bhutan

Travel via India

If you're travelling to or from Bhutan via India, read our  travel advice for India .

Contact your airline, tour provider or nearest embassy or consulate of Bhutan to confirm visa and entry requirements.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs (Government of India)
  • Embassy or consulate of India

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.

  • In Australia, contact  the Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers. 

The official currency is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN).

The Indian Rupee (INR) is also legal tender, but larger banknotes may not be accepted.

ATMs are common in towns.

EFTPOS is available nationwide, including at most hotels.

Credit cards aren't widely accepted, but you can use them at major hotels.

Local travel

Driving permit.

Travellers rarely drive in Bhutan.

Most use organised tours and local drivers.

Road travel

Driving can be hazardous due to:

  • poor road maintenance
  • mountainous conditions
  • poor driving standards
  • limited lighting

You're more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Bhutan than in Australia.

The condition of roads can quickly worsen after heavy rain.

If you plan to drive:

  • check your travel insurance policy covers you
  • avoid road travel after dark

Allow for delays, especially in heavy rain.

  • Driving or riding

Flights to and from Paro Airport are only scheduled for daylight hours. They're dependent on suitable weather conditions. Contact your airline or tour operator to find out if your travel has been interrupted.

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check  Bhutan's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

For emergencies, call 113

For non-emergencies, call (+975) 2 322347.

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number. 

Disaster Communication Helpline

National disaster helpline, consular contacts.

Read the  Consular Services Charter  for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Bhutan. For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, India.

Australian High Commission

No. 1/50 G Shantipath (Gate 1)  Chanakyapuri  New Delhi, India 110021  Phone: +91 11 4139 9900  Fax: +91 11 2687 2228 Website:  india.highcommission.gov.au Email:  [email protected] Facebook:  www.facebook.com/australianhighcommissionindia X:  @AusHCIndia Instagram:  AusHCIndia  

Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Bhutan travel advice

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Last updated: May 6, 2024 10:24 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, bhutan - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in Bhutan

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Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, theft and purse snatching, occurs on occasion, particularly in the capital Thimphu.

Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport, are secure at all times.

Violent crime is not common.

Bhutan is located in the eastern Himalayas. Several trekking trails are situated at altitudes exceeding 5,000 metres. Acute altitude sickness may occur at high altitudes.

If you intend on trekking:

  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes

You must buy a travel package from an authorized travel agent in advance. Travel agents and tour operators will arrange your visit and apply for your visa. A daily rate covers most services in the package, including accommodation, meals, internal transportation (except flights), guides and cultural programs. You must travel in groups with authorized drivers when visiting Bhutan.

Tourist facilities are very limited.

You may find it difficult to travel in Bhutan if you have physical disabilities.

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. The road network is extremely limited.

The main highway (referred to as the Lateral Road) is paved and connects the east and west, linking main cities. It runs from Phuentsholing on the border with India in the southwest to Trashigang in the east. Construction is currently underway on the eastern portion of the Lateral Road. Expect closures along this section of the highway.

In the mountains, sharp curves, limited visibility and narrow roads create dangerous road conditions, particularly in the winter and during the rainy season.

Because of driving and road conditions, traffic moves slowly. You may need several hours to reach your destination.

Plan your travel accordingly.

Public transportation

Public transportation in Bhutan is limited. It’s preferable to travel with the transportation arranged by your tour operator.

Taxis are available in the major cities; however, they are unreliable and poorly maintained. Drivers tend to hike up the fares as they are unregulated and often not metered.

Negotiate your fare with the driver at the start of the trip.

Stray dogs can be loud and disruptive at night and can carry rabies. Always be cautious around wandering dogs. If you are bit, head to the nearest hospital to receive an anti-rabies treatment.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Bhutanese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Bhutan.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: required Business visa: required

You must buy a travel package from an authorized travel agent in advance to get your visa.

Special permits

You must also obtain a special permit from the Bhutanese Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs to travel outside of Thimphu and Paro.

  • More information on applying for a visa - Tourism Council of Bhutan
  • Visa requirements – Department of Immigration, Royal Government of Bhutan

Entry/exit points

There are two ways to enter Bhutan:

By road through:

  • Phuentsholing, on the southwest border with West Bengal, India
  • Samdrup Jongkhar, on Bhutan’s southeast border with Assam, India
  • Gelephu, on the southern border with Assam, India

By air on Drukair or Bhutan Airlines

The border with China is closed.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain.  It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.

Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:

  • travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
  • making multiple trips to endemic areas
  • staying for extended periods in rural areas
  • visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
  • engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   Limited malaria transmission may occur in this destination, but risk to travellers is very low.    Antimalarial medication is not recommended for most travellers. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Basic health care is available in Thimphu and Paro. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country. The best option for urgent medical care is the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu.

You will likely need medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Authorities carefully regulate tourism. You cannot travel independently. You must pre-arrange travel through an authorized travel agency.

Tourism Council of Bhutan

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Buying or selling tobacco in Bhutan is illegal. Smoking is prohibited in public places.

Imported tobacco products for personal use are subject to a 200% tax. Keep your customs receipt. You could be charged with smuggling and face imprisonment if you cannot produce it for police.

Electronic devices

Upon arrival, you must register the following electronic devises with Bhutan’s Department of Revenue and Customs:

  • personal computers
  • cellular telephones
  • any other electronic device

Authorities will also check the items when you leave the country.

Export of all antiques is strictly prohibited. Authorities strictly reinforce the law. Authorities closely monitor and strictly enforce regulations.


Photography and filming are not permitted in some areas.

Ask your guide before taking pictures or filming inside dzongs, temples, monasteries and other religious institutions.

Dress and behaviour

To avoid offending local sensitivities:

  • dress conservatively, especially in religious institutions
  • behave discreetly
  • respect religious and social traditions

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

While sexual acts between individuals of the same sex were decriminalized in early 2021, Bhutan does not legally recognize same-sex unions.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Bhutan.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Bhutan, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Bhutan.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Bhutan by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Bhutan to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

Traffic drives on the left.

It is uncommon for tourists to drive in Bhutan as transportation is offered by the tour operator.

The currency of Bhutan is the ngultrum (BTN). The Indian rupee is also accepted.

Seismic activity

Bhutan is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes can happen at any time. 

Earthquakes - What to Do?

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September. Landslides occur frequently. Mountain roads can be hazardous, even in good weather.

Seasonal flooding can make overland travel difficult and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges can be damaged.

  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
  • Plan accordingly

Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and may result in fatalities.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

Local services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • Ambulance: 112
  • Police: 113
  • Fire services: 110
  • Traffic police: 111

Consular assistance

There is no Canadian government office in Bhutan. The High Commission of Canada to India has consular responsibility for Bhutan.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada to India, in New Delhi, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs

Travel advisory.

Bhutanese traveling abroad are no longer required to obtain travel clearance from the NC19TF/Department of Immigration.

However, Bhutanese are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to take all precautionary measures for COVID-19 while traveling abroad. In addition, Bhutanese travelers must ensure that they meet all the requirements of the transit and destination country (RT-PCR, vaccination, health/travel insurance etc.).

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fco travel advice bhutan

Foreign travel advice

Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

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Travel safely to Bhutan with Passport Health's travel vaccinations and advice.

Travel Vaccines and Advice for Bhutan

Passport Health offers a variety of options for travellers throughout the world.

Bhutan is a country that combines traditional Buddhist traditions with sustainability and development. The Bhutanese have restricted tourism, requiring travellers to pay hefty tariffs each day and make plans with local tour operators. But, this means that visiting the country provides a very genuine look at the culture.

The country is known for its environmental protection effort. This has lead to gorgeous national parks, forests, and snowy mountains to visit. In the cities, there are also dance festivals, soft goods and handcrafts to admire.

A visit to Bhutan will be an experience unlike any other.

Do I Need Vaccines for Bhutan?

Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Bhutan. The National Travel Health Network and Centre and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Bhutan: COVID-19 , hepatitis A , hepatitis B , typhoid , cholera , yellow fever , Japanese encephalitis , rabies and tetanus .

See the bullets below to learn more about some of these key immunisations:

  • COVID-19 – Airborne – Recommended for all travellers
  • Hepatitis A – Food & Water – Recommended for most travellers to the region, especially if unvaccinated.
  • Hepatitis B – Blood & Body Fluids – Recommended for travellers to most regions.
  • Tetanus – Wounds or Breaks in Skin – Recommended for travelers to most regions, especially if not previously vaccinated.
  • Typhoid – Food & Water – Jab lasts 3 years. Oral vaccine lasts 5 years, must be able to swallow pills. Oral doses must be kept in refrigerator.
  • Cholera – Food & Water – Recommended for travel to most regions.
  • Yellow Fever – Mosquito – Required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
  • Japanese Encephalitis – Mosquito – Recommended depending on itinerary and activities. Recommended for extended travel, recurrent travellers and travel to rural areas. Most common in non-mountainous regions.
  • Rabies – Saliva of Infected Animals – High risk country. Vaccine recommended for long-stay travellers and those who may come in contact with animals.

See the tables below for more information:

Japanese encephalitis is a serious risk in Bhutan. Even one bite can end a trip. Be sure to receive a vaccine before your trip. Dengue is also present in Bhutan. Mosquito repellents and netting can help protect against both infections.

See our vaccinations page to learn more about these infections and vaccines. Ready to protect yourself? Book your travel health appointment today by calling or schedule online now .

Do I Need a Visa for Bhutan?

Entry and exit is only allowed through certain ports. These include: Phuntsoling, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephug or Paro. A passport and visa are required to enter Bhutan. Tourist visas must be submitted by a tour operator. Passports must have at least six months validity. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required if you are travelling from a region where yellow fever is present.

Sources: Embassy of Bhutan and GOV.UK

What is the Climate Like in Bhutan?

The climate in Bhutan varies based on altitude. In the north, there are mountains rising up to 7,000 m where the weather can be cold, like the arctic. In central Bhutan, there are warm summers and cool, dry winters. In southern Bhutan, the weather is hot and humid during the summer, but cool during the winter. The summer monsoons occur from late-June to late-September. They bring heavy rains to the southern border of Bhutan.

How Safe Is Bhutan?

There is very little crime in Bhutan. Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing, does occur, but is rare. Burglaries, thefts, and assaults related to skin color, ethnicity, and religion have increased in recent years. Travellers should take reasonable precautions when visiting large cities. Avoid walking alone or travelling at night.

Visiting Paro Taktsang

Paro Taktsang is a Himalayan Buddhist temple complex in the cliff-side of the upper Paro valley. To reach the monastery requires climbing about 1,000 steps, but the view up the cliff is gorgeous. The monastery is made of white buildings and golden roofs. The interior of the temple has a gold-plated dome and and the hall of Thousand Buddhas has a large tiger statue. There are also eight caves, four of which are easy to access. It is a gorgeous and educational place to visit.

What Should I Take to Bhutan?

It’s important to ensure you have everything you may need for your trip to Bhutan. Be sure to include these items:

  • Hiking Shoes – Bhutan is known for having amazing hiking. Bring appropriate shoes to enjoy it without hurting your feet.
  • Cash – Carry cash or traveller’s checks. Though use of credit cards is becoming more common in Bhutan, cash is always accepted.
  • Plug Adapters – Power adapters and voltage vary by country. Ensure you bring the right options for Bhutan.

Embassy of the United Kingdom in Bhutan

If you are in Bhutan and have an emergency (for example, been attacked, arrested or someone has died) contact the nearest consular services. Contact the embassy before arrival if you have additional questions on entry requirements, safety concerns or are in need of assistance.

While there is no consulate or embassy in Bhutan, it is served by the British embassy in Bhutan:

British Deputy High Commission Kolkata 1A Ho Chi Minh Sarani Kolkata 700071 India Telephone: +91 (33) 2288 5172/2288 5173-76 Emergency Phone: +91 (33) 2288 5172/2288 5173-76 Fax: +91 (33) 2288 3435 Contact Form: Click Here

Ready to start your next journey? Ring us at or book online now !

On This Page: Do I Need Vaccines for Bhutan? Do I Need a Visa for Bhutan? What is the Climate Like in Bhutan? How Safe Is Bhutan? Visiting Paro Taktsang What Should I Take to Bhutan? Embassy of the United Kingdom in Bhutan

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    FCDO travel advice for Bhutan. Includes safety and security, insurance, entry requirements and legal differences.

  4. Can I travel to Bhutan? Entry requirements explained

    Yes. You will need a visa, which is issued on arrival but you must apply in advance through the Bhutan website and receive visa approval before travelling. For more information on acquiring a visa and identifying a tour operator to visit Bhutan, please refer to FCDO's travel advice page for Bhutan. Getty Images.

  5. 23 things to know before going to Bhutan

    1. Independent travel is finally possible, but a tour operator is still the way to go. Since reopening in 2022, Bhutan has scrapped its all-inclusive tour-package minimum, and initially raised the Sustainable Daily Fee (SDF) to US$200 before reducing it to US$100, valid now through September 2027.There is a 50% discount for kids ages six to 11, with no SDF for those under six.

  6. Travel Advisory

    Travelers are allowed to enter UK. Bhutan has been registered to the list of countries that will be exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival in the UK effective from 28 November 2020. However, it may be noted that this exemption is only valid for travel to England and not in other regions. Further, the above ...

  7. Foreign Travel Advice Bhutan by Gov UK and FCDO

    Travel Advisory: SummaryLatest update: Inclusion of information regarding global terrorism risks to British nationals abroad on all FCDO travel advice pages.. Before embarking on your journey, ensure to review the 'Entry requirements' section for Bhutan's current entry restrictions and requirements, especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 situation which may lead to sudden changes.

  8. Bhutan

    Additionally, the country's excellent health-surveillance and detection services make Bhutan safe to visit. Bhutan began its vaccination efforts on March 27th 2021 and inoculated its population within two weeks. Bhutanese citizens are currently being offered a fourth dose of the covid-19 vaccine, and a vaccination programme for the country ...

  9. Bhutan

    Dosing info - Hep A. Hepatitis B. Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Bhutan. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Bhutan. Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book. Dosing info - Hep B. Japanese Encephalitis. Recommended for travelers who.

  10. Can I travel to Bhutan? Travel Restrictions & Entry ...

    Find continuously updated travel restrictions for Bhutan such as border, vaccination, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine requirements.

  11. Travel Advisory

    Travel Advisory. January 11, 2023. Before embarking on a journey abroad, Bhutanese travellers must ensure that they meet all the COVID-19 requirements (RT-PCR negative report, vaccination, health/travel insurance, etc.) at the transit and destination countries. Travellers are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and take all precautionary measures ...

  12. Bhutan Travel Advisory

    Reissued with updates to health information. Exercise normal precautions in Bhutan. Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bhutan.. If you decide to travel to Bhutan: Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.; Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

  13. Travelling to Bhutan

    Bhutan travel advice. FCDO travel advice for Bhutan. Includes safety and security, insurance, entry requirements and legal differences. Getting married or registering a civil partnership abroad

  14. Getting help

    You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad. Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours) Find out about call charges. FCDO travel ...

  15. Travel Advisory

    For further clarification, please contact Mission and Consular Division, Department of Protocol at +975-77330533. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade would like to offer the following travel advice before travelling abroad for a smooth and pleasant journey: Travellers must carry a passport which has a validity of more than 6 months.

  16. Bhutan International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  17. Bhutan Travel Advice & Safety

    Safety. Bhutan's crime rate is low. Violent crime is rare. Petty crime happens, such as burglary, theft, pickpocketing and bag snatching. Look after your belongings. Use licensed tour operators. Flooding and landslides happen. Transport and services can be affected in the monsoon season, from June to September.

  18. Status of travel bans in different countries in the light of COVID-19

    Travelers are allowed to enter UK. Bhutan has been registered to the list of countries that will be exempted from the requirement to self-isolate for two weeks on arrival in the UK effective from 28 November 2020. However, it may be noted that this exemption is only valid for travel to England and not in other regions. Further, the above ...

  19. Bhutan Travel Advice

    General. You will need a passport and visa to enter and exit Bhutan. Visas are only issued on arrival, but you must apply in advance through a tour operator and receive visa approval before you travel. All visitors (except nationals of Bangladesh, India and the Maldives) must obtain visa clearance from Thimphu before coming to Bhutan.

  20. Travel advice and advisories for Bhutan

    Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations. Routine vaccines Be sure that your routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

  21. Travel Advisory

    Travel Advisory. Bhutanese traveling abroad are no longer required to obtain travel clearance from the NC19TF/Department of Immigration. However, Bhutanese are encouraged to be fully vaccinated and to take all precautionary measures for COVID-19 while traveling abroad. In addition, Bhutanese travelers must ensure that they meet all the ...

  22. Foreign travel advice

    Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

  23. Travel Vaccines and Advice for Bhutan

    Bhutan. Specific. Advice. Travellers'. Diarrhea Kits. Available. Bhutan is a country that combines traditional Buddhist traditions with sustainability and development. The Bhutanese have restricted tourism, requiring travellers to pay hefty tariffs each day and make plans with local tour operators. But, this means that visiting the country ...