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Best Time and Season to Visit Bhutan: Complete Guide

Team AckoDec 13, 2022

Bhutan is not one of those countries that immediately comes to mind when you are looking to pack up your bags and head for a vacation. But what if we told you that a trip to Bhutan would provide you with never-ending views of glorious snow capped mountains and gorgeous, lush terrains, as well as a beautiful, welcoming culture? Bhutan packs a punch in all these departments and more. This eastern Himalayan kingdom is the stuff of legends and can be considered the closest we will ever get to the mythical paradise, Shangri-La, on earth. It is dotted with many tranquil yet beautiful monasteries and temples, along with magnificent ancient fortresses and picturesque villages. With its deep ties to Buddhism and rich heritage, Bhutan is a great place to visit to soak up some culture. But before you plan your next grand adventure to this small yet mighty country, we are here to answer some pressing questions you may have, such as when is the best time to visit Bhutan or when is the best season to visit Bhutan? Here’s your guide to everything you will ever want to know before heading to this beautiful country.

Best Time and Season to Visit Bhutan: Complete Guide

Contents

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When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

Bhutan is one of the countries that experiences multiple seasonal changes. So depending on the weather, you can figure out what time of the year is the best time to go to Bhutan. 

  • Generally speaking, the spring season between March and May and the fall season between September and November are considered to be the best time to travel to Bhutan. 

  • Spring in Bhutan is gorgeous, with the ice melting away and flowers in full bloom. It also offers clear views of the magnificent mountains that encompass this landlocked country. The temperature is also pleasant during this time.

  • Bhutan's climate in autumn is sunny and bright, with pretty blue skies. October to December is also considered a good time to visit Bhutan, as the weather is dry and sunny during this period, making for a comfortable trip.

When is the Best season to visit Bhutan?

Peak season: The peak season in Bhutan can be divided into two parts. Spring, which falls between March and May, is the first peak season of the year. The other best season to visit Bhutan from India is the fall, which starts in September and comes to a close in November.

Shoulder season: The winter, which falls between December and February, can be considered Bhutan’s shoulder season. Sweater weather in this country can get pretty cold due to its higher altitudes. But you can catch great views of the peaks sans the crowds if you are brave enough to handle the weather.

Off-season: The monsoon season between June and August is considered to be off-season in Bhutan. Not many travellers want to put up with the rains, even though this may be a more affordable time to travel to Bhutan in terms of accommodations and transport.

A month-by-month guide to travel in Bhutan

Bhutan in January

January is one of the colder months for Bhutan. During this month, the country may experience snowfall. This is a low season for tourism in the country, but the clear views can make up for the weather. You can also get lower prices on accommodations. The higher you go, the colder the place can become. Conversely, as you head towards the valley, the temperature can get a bit warmer. Remember to dress appropriately, keeping the cold weather in mind.

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to - 3 Degrees Celsius 

Bhutan in February 

Snowfall may continue in some parts of the country into early February. The winter season is wrapping up this month in Bhutan. Clear views can still lure travellers during this time of the year. Tsechus or dance festivals may be fewer in number due to the climate.

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to - 3 Degrees Celsius

Events: Losar

Bhutan in March

Peak season in Bhutan kicks off this month, as does spring. Tourists begin to flock to the Himalayan region to enjoy the flowers in bloom and the breathtaking views of the peaks. This is a good time to visit Bhutan. With better weather on the way, trekking fever spreads.

Average temperature: 3 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Rhododendron season, trekking season

Bhutan in April 

April is another great month for trekking, making this the best time for Bhutan among trekkers. With the temperature being just right, April falls squarely in the "best month to travel to Bhutan" category, especially for those who want to catch the pretty peaks of the Himalayas in all their glory. This is also the month when the delightful Paro Tshechu takes place, bringing in a festive atmosphere. Bhutan in April sees more tourist footfall.

Pro-tip: Since this is considered to be peak season in Bhutan, last-minute plans to visit the country will not work as everything will have to be booked in advance.

Average temperature: 3 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Paro Tshechu, rhododendron season, trekking season

Bhutan in May

Bhutan weather in May veers towards hot and humid. This is officially the last spring month in the Bhutanese calendar, so the flowers are still in bloom. And you can catch these beauties without having to jostle with many tourists, as the climate keeps most away during this month.

Average temperature: 3 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Rhododendron season, Ura Yakchoe

Bhutan in June

Summer and the monsoon season go hand in hand in Bhutan. So expect showers in June. Most of the time, the rain occurs at night, leaving the day untouched. With the arrival of the rains, many regions' trekking season comes to an end. But if you can brave the elements, you can still get in a fair bit of sightseeing.

Average temperature: 24 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Bhutan in July

Summer showers continue into July, and it can be considered Bhutan’s wettest month. Since this is off-season in Bhutan, you can get good deals on hotel stays if you are visiting around this month. However, you may not get good views because the mountains may be obscured by clouds, and you may not be able to trek. Some cities like Paro and Thimphu may even be cut off due to bad weather conditions. The Haa Summer Festival, which celebrates the Bhutanese way of life, kicks off this month in the alpine Haa valley.

Pro-tip: Flights from other countries and flights within Bhutan may be cancelled due to rain, so please keep this in mind if you want to travel during the monsoon months.

Average temperature: 24 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Nimalung Tshechu, Kurjey Tshechu, Haa Summer Festival

Bhutan in August

Rains are still in play in August, but they are not constant. But the heat and humidity are also on the rise, depending on the altitudes and regions. Bhutan in August can still offer a good travel experience to tourists who don’t mind the rains.

Average temperature: 24 Degrees Celsius to 25 Degrees Celsius

Events: Ura Mushroom Festival

Bhutan in September

Is September a good time to visit Bhutan considering the rainy season has almost come to an end? Yes, it is, as Bhutan enters its second peak season of the year this month. Bhutan weather in September turns pleasantly sunny as the fall season begins. The magical mountain views, which had been playing peekaboo with the thunderous monsoon clouds, have returned in full force to dazzle the eyes. But the first half of the month may still witness some rain. The popular Thimphu Tsechu takes place this month, and trekking season also gets underway.

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to 23 Degrees Celsius

Events: Thimphu Tsechu, Haa Tsechu, trekking/hiking season

Bhutan in October

Another best month to visit Bhutan, there is plenty to do and see in October. Many tourists flock to this Himalayan abode during this month, either to go trekking, take in the warm autumn colours and sights, or join the festivities that are taking place all over the country. Whatever your reason for visiting, ensure that you make your bookings in advance.

Pro-tip: Some of the more famous treks to undertake this month include: Snowman Trek, Druk Path Trek, Jomolhari Trek, and Bumthang Owl Trek

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to 23 Degrees Celsius

Events: Thimphu Tsechu, Wangdue Tsechu, Gangtey Tsechhu, Royal Highlander Festival, Thangbi Mani Festival, Jomolhari Mountain Festival, trekking/hiking season

Bhutan in November

The biggest attraction this month is the Black-necked Crane Festival, which takes place on the 11th of the month. This festival celebrates the migration of the black-necked cranes to the Phobjika Valley. There is a chill in the air, indicative of the upcoming winter months, especially as we go up in altitude towards the end of the month.

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to 23 Degrees Celsius

Events: Black-necked Crane Festival, trekking/hiking season

Bhutan in December

Bhutan welcomes winter in December. Trekking at higher altitudes may not be possible during this month. However, you can still go on walking tours to explore the country. Even though it's cold, the weather remains dry. The mountain views are still available in plenty. If you remain in the lower altitudes, visiting Bhutan in December is still a great idea despite the cold, as the number of visitors to this country dwindles from this month onwards.

Average temperature: 10 Degrees Celsius to - 3 Degrees Celsius

Events: Trashigang Tsechu, Mongar Tshechu

When is the cheapest time to visit Bhutan?

The off-season in Bhutan, which is between the rainy months of June and August, can be considered a more affordable time to travel to the country. Accommodations and flights can get a tad bit cheaper, but you may not be able to go trekking or get great views of the mountains. But the lack of tourists can give Bhutan a totally different vibe, making your visit feel more intimate. The shoulder season, which is the colder months, may also be a more affordable time to visit this mountainous country.

When is the most expensive time to visit Bhutan?

The best time of year to visit Bhutan also becomes the most expensive time to visit Bhutan. The months between September and November and those between March and May are the best time for Bhutan tour. So these are the months when travel to Bhutan may fall on the more expensive side of the spectrum. You may also have to book flights and hotels well in advance if you intend to visit the country during this period.

When is the best time to visit Bhutan for a honeymoon?

Bhutan is ideal for honeymooners when the weather is pleasant, which is almost all year except during the monsoon season. Spring, fall, and winter each have their own charms. You can choose the weather you like best and combine activities to go with it. For example, if you are an adventurous couple, trekking season might be your cup of tea. If you want to experience a colder climate along with gorgeous views, then winter is the best season for Bhutan tour.

Pro-tip: We highly recommend a traditional hot stone bath, especially if you are visiting during the winter months, as it is an experience you should not miss out on.

When is the best season to visit Bhutan to experience snow?

You may have to go to higher altitudes to experience snow in Bhutan. During the colder months, between December and February, the country may experience some snowfall. Go to the northern parts of the country to witness snowfall. The capital city, Thimphu, and Paro do receive some snowfall during the winter.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's

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How to visit Bhutan from India?

Indian tourists can reach Bhutan by air, rail, and road. The fastest way to reach Bhutan from India would be by air. There are direct flights to Paro International Airport in Bhutan from India. They are available from cities, such as Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati. Overland travel can be accomplished using a combination of different modes of transport, such as rail, buses, and taxis. Indian tourists don’t need a visa to enter the country.

Do Indian tourists have to pay the Sustainable Development Fees? 

Bhutan used to collect a minimum of USD 250 per day from foreign tourists, of which USD 65 would go towards the Sustainable Development Fees, which was used to better the lives of the Bhutanese people. The USD 250 would cover accommodations, food, transport, etc. From 2022 on, these fees have gone up, with the Sustainable Development Fees alone being USD 200, making travel to Bhutan more expensive for most foreign nationals. Previously, Indian tourists were exempt from this fee completely. They will now have to pay USD 16 per day.

What’s the best time to go trekking in Bhutan?

Trekking usually happens between September and November and March and April. This is when the weather in Bhutan is trekking-friendly. June to August are the wettest months, so the trekking season is on hiatus at this point. Trekking is possible up to an altitude of 6000 m, beyond which it is banned.

What kind of clothing should one wear when visiting a monastery?

Since Bhutan is a deeply Buddhist country, there are many monasteries here. A visit to Bhutan will be incomplete without experiencing at least one monastery. Even if you aren’t religious, you should consider taking in the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful architecture that is on offer. Since they are places of worship, it is best to dress modestly, with your arms and legs fully covered. Closed shoes are also a requirement. The same applies when you visit a Dzong, or fortress, which is split into a government office and a temple.

Is tobacco banned in Bhutan?

Yes, all tobacco products are banned in this country. Smoking in public is also a punishable offence. Tourists are allowed to carry 200 cigarettes. But remember to smoke in a private area. And do not carry any other tobacco products other than the stipulated amount of cigarettes, as you could face prison time if it is discovered on you.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.

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