Thimphu as a capital of Bhutan is a small town. If you don’t have a list of places to visit or things to do in Thimphu, you might feel quite old and could remain roaming without seeing anything at all!
It actually has something for everyone, from its temples, landmarks, architectures, and library to simple parks. So if you are struck with what to do in Thimphu, read our article on 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Thimphu Bhutan.
15. Semtokha Dzong
The first Dzong built by Lam Zhabdrung in 1629 after he came to Bhutan in 1616. Bhutanese call it ‘Sangak Zabdhon Phodrong’ meaning Palace of secret mantras. It was razed by fire few times in the past, yet it still doesn’t fail to showcase its unique and classic architectural grandeur of Bhutan.
Today it’s a house of monastery and a premier institute for National Language of Bhutan. It’s one of the places to visit in Thimphu. It’s in southern part of Thimphu and would take about 20 minutes’ drive from main Thimphu town.
14. Weekend Market
It’s a compartment of permanent stalls in a two-storied building located on other side of Thimphu river and to the north of Changlimithang national stadium. People come here to buy fresh vegetables, Bhutanese souvenirs, fruits, diary products and also different aromatic local incenses.
Tourists visit weekend market of Thimphu to observe convergence of simple things of Bhutanese people’s day-to-day living styles. They also come to purchase locally made incense, herbal medicines and also try Bhutan food in nearby small hotels. It’s few minutes away from main Thimphu town.
13. Coronation Park
This riverside park below Thimphu town provides a good place to hang out with friends and family. It’s usually silent. Visitors can spend time with self; reading books and contemplating on essences of life. Sideline trails with iron railings ensure safety for observing beauty of pristine Thimphu river.
Personally I feel it’s good place to visit in Thimphu during weekends. Sometimes students come to practice cultural dances and dramas for some events. There is also one walking Buddha statue constructed by Thai Government.
12. Ludrong Memorial Park
To other side of Thimphu River after crossing Thimphu Bazam is this small secluded park in Ludrong Memorial Garden. Queen Mother opened it in dedication to her late brother. This park is a good place to visit in Thimphu to hang out with friends and families.
The scenic views of Thimphu Dzong, Dechen Phodrang Monastery and Supreme Court Complex will make your visit interesting. There are also fish pond and prayer wheel in its compound. You can visit Ludrong when you visit Thimphu Dzong.
11. Dochula Pass
If you drive for about an hour from Thimphu along the Thimphu-Punakha highway, you’ll reach Dochula Pass. On a beautiful hilltop, there are 108 same size chortens (stupas) dedicated to bravery of Bhutanese soldiers.
Its peaceful and serene natural environment make it one one of the good places to visit in Thimphu. There are two cafeterias, a temple and one tourist hotel. But during winter, it will be bit cold as there will be snowfalls.
10. Changlimithang Stadium
This national stadium has been a place for celebrating Bhutan’s national events like coronation, national day, royal wedding, royal birth anniversaries and many more. In other days, there will be football matches. In its periphery, there are two archery playing spots; one for traditional archery players and another one for archers using compound bows.
09. National Library
National Library of Bhutan in Thimphu Kawangjangsa is a place to visit in Thimphu for book lovers. The library was started to preserve and promote cultural traditions of Bhutan. Visitors get to see collection of both ancient and new books, manuscripts, and woodblocks of xylography. It boasts of having one of the world’s largest books.
08. Simply Bhutan Museum
Simply Bhutan is a good place to visit in Thimphu to see various ancient cultural aspects and living styles of Bhutan that are mostly not seen in Bhutan’s towns like Thimphu and Paro. There is a Bhutanese souvenirs shop and a small cafeteria where visitors are served in traditional Bhutanese utensils and in classical setups. It’s just few minutes away from Thimphu Memorial Chorten.
07. Memorial Chorten
Bhutanese come together to make rounds and say prayers at National Memorial Chorten. It was built by Queen Mother Ashi Kezang in memory of Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, the third king of Bhutan. Its unique design and historical background makes it one of the best places to visit in Thimphu Bhutan.
06. Dechenphodrang Monastery
Dechenphodrang was built for central monastic body of Bhutan when Thimphu Tashichho Dzong monastery’s capacity couldn’t accommodate all the monks. It’s on a higher gradient land just above Thimphu Dzong overlooking Langjophakha, Memorial Park, SAARC Building and also Supreme Court House of Bhutan.
05. Motithang Takin Park
Bhutan’s National Animal is Takin, a unique animal with the head of goat and body of cow. If you want to see the Takin personally, Motithang Takin Preserve is the Bhutan points of interest in Thimphu for you. It’s few minutes’ drive from Thimphu town. There are many Takins and also few deers.
04. Thimphu Craft Market
The line of shops starts from Taj Tashi Hotel to Royal Textile Academy in Thimphu. This is the best place to visit for tourists to buy Bhutanese souvenirs of arts and crafts. Shopkeepers sell a greater range of Bhutanese souvenirs starting from wooden phallic key hangers to intricate paintings and model houses.
03. Dema Zhingkham Temple
The construction of this temple was completed sometimes in 2010. It’s the only temple in Bhutan that is in exclusive dedication to Tara, the goddess of liberation. Its classic architectural design with good number of statues and religious figure paintings makes one of the best places of interest and pilgrimage sites in Thimphu. It’s in Decehencholing and takes 15 minutes drive from Thimphu.
02. Buddha Point
On a hill of Kueselphodrang above Thimphu town is Buddha Point. It’s where 169 ft bronze Lord Buddha statue, internationally acclaimed to be the largest statue of Buddha, is located. Buddha Point is a good place for leisurely hangouts and landscape photography. If you’re on pilgrimage, Buddha Point is one the the best places to visit in Thimphu.
01. Trashichho Dzong
Thimphu Dzong is the most popular place to visit in Thimphu. Tashichho Dzong was the 4th in the series of 5 dzongs built by Zhabdrung. Bhutanese call this Dzong as Thimphu Dzong. It’s one of the biggest Dzongs of Bhutan that has the finest classical architecture of Bhutan.
Today Thimphu Dzong has offices of King, Home Minster and Finance Minister. It’s also the summer resident of Central Monastic Body of Bhutan.
Thimphu Sightseeing Cost. Places to visit in Thimphu. Thimphu Points of interest. Thimphu Nightlife. Shopping in Thimphu. Thimphu Travel Guide. What to do in Thimphu. Thimphu Altitude. Flights to Thimphu. Thimphu Budget Hotels.
Thimphu Bhutan Points of interest. Bhutan Happiness. Bhutan Map. Bhutan People. Thimphu Shopping Malls. Hongkong Market Thimphu. Special things to buy in Thimphu. Gifts to buy in Bhutan. Thimphu Bhutan Weather. Thimphu Airport.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and exciting travel stories from Bhutan:
- Bhutan Buddhist Travel – 10 Buddhist Temples of Thimphu City.
- Travel to Samtse Bhutan – Places to visit in Samtse Dzongkhag.
- My simple tips for Thimphu Phajoding Trip.
- Travel to Gasa Bhutan – Land of Unnatural Peaks and Hot Springs.
- Photography Hike to Phajoding Monastery.
- Taktsang Monastery – Seeking Smiles from a Familiar Face.
- Tachog Lhakhang – Temple of Bhutan 900+ years old Bridge.
- Paro Tshechu in Past and Present.
- To Lhuentse Singye Dzong – Slice of Last Shangri-La in Bhutan.
- Pangri Zampa Monastery – College of Bhutanese Astrology.