Best Time to Visit - 12 min read

Best Time To Visit Bhutan (Best Annual Events & Festivals)

Jessica Langille

Jessica Langille, Updated October 22, 2022

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Bhutan has become one of the world’s most anticipated tourist destinations over the past few years. Over 300,000 tourists visit annually and each year that number continues to grow. If Bhutan has caught your interest, you may be wondering when the best time to visit is.

September and October are the best months to visit Bhutan because daily temperatures are around 77 F/ 25 C. There are also more events and festivals in autumn, like Thimphu Tshechu and Wangdue Phodrang Tshechu. However, the cheapest time to visit is in July and August. During summer you could get up to 25% off flights and accommodation.

More travelers are adding Bhutan to their bucket lists each year. Between the beautiful scenery, friendly citizens, and unique festivals, there are so many reasons to visit this destination. Let’s take a look at some of the best times to plan a visit to Bhutan.

When You Shouldn’t Visit Bhutan

Bhutan’s monsoon season is from June through August, which means more rainy days and evenings throughout the country. One of the good things about monsoon season is that most of the rainfalls are in the evening. However, the nighttime rain causes poor conditions for hiking and exploring the following day. 

July is typically the warmest month when daily highs exceed 88 F/ 31 C. On the other hand, if you dislike cold weather, you may not enjoy a visit in January. At the beginning of the year, temperatures vary from 27 to 54 F/ -3 to 12 C. 

When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Bhutan?

The cheapest time of the year to plan a trip to Bhutan is in July or August. This is when the country sees the lowest amount of visitors. While rates are slightly lower this time of year, the cost doesn’t fluctuate too greatly. However, if you plan your trip in advance and look out for deals, you may be able to score a discount of 25%.

Prices of accommodation in Bhutan during the peak travel season can vary. If you are traveling on a budget, you can find hotels for as low as $25 per night, while luxury resorts can charge over $1000 per night. The Zambala Hotel charges $70 per night during the high season. In July and August, rooms are discounted to $58 per night. 

Finding discounts on flights is where you will need to do more research. This is because airlines in North America and Europe don’t have direct flights to Bhutan.

In order to get a flight to Bhutan, you will need to fly to an airport in Thailand, Nepal, Singapore, Bangladesh, or India, then fly to Bhutan. Luckily, flights to these destinations are also cheaper in July and August. 

Best Time To Visit Bhutan: Monthly Breakdown

January: Best Time To Beat The Heat

One of the main activities that visitors look forward to when traveling to Bhutan is hiking. If you don’t enjoy trekking around in hot weather, January may be the ideal time for you to book a trip to Bhutan. 

Keep in mind the temperature will vary depending on which part of the country you visit. Any location at a higher elevation is more likely to have freezing temperatures in January. Higher locations also get dusted with snow this time of year.

If you don’t want to put up with freezing temperatures, towns at a lower elevation often have daily highs of 54 F/ 12 C during the day. It’s a great time of year to go on a longer hiking tour while remaining comfortable.

  • Hiking to Paro Taktsang
  • Warm up with a cup of butter tea
  • Shop at local markets

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February: Valentine’s Day In Bhutan

If you want to travel with your significant other for Valentine’s day, Bhutan should be on your bucket list. February is a beautiful month to visit this country. While locations at a higher elevation are still cold, temperatures in the lowlands can get as high as 77 F/ 25 C. 

Romance is in the air in Bhutan throughout the month of February. Couples can book romantic tours in several locations throughout Bhutan, including Paro and Bandar Seri Begawan. These tours showcase the most romantic spots throughout the cities.

  • Romance tours
  • Romantic dinner at a local restaurant
  • Admire architecture 

March: Spring Is In The Air

March is a great time to visit Bhutan because the snow has melted and flowers are blooming across the country. In early spring, the daily average temperature is between 59 and 77 F/ 15 to 25 C. It’s a wonderful time to explore the natural beauty of Bhutan or take a guided walking tour.

Visitors always enjoy Bhutan more when there is a festival or celebration going on. March is an excellent time to book a trip to this country because there are two big events that happen in March, Gomphukora Tshechu and Punakha Tshechu.

During these celebrations, you can expect to see towns lit up with bold and vibrant colors. There will be music, dances, and rituals. 

  • Punakha Tshechu
  • Gomphukora Tshechu
  • Spring walking tours

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April: Best Month For Cultural Celebrations

There are several festivals and celebrations throughout the month of April in Bhutan. People who are interested in learning more about the country’s culture and background enjoy visiting during the month of April. While there is a lot to do in the spring, this is also peak tourist season so locations are busier.

One of the most popular festivals in April is the Rhododendron Festival, which celebrates the colorful flowers that bloom across the nation. This event features art exhibits, music, and traditional games. There are also guided walks to see more of the blooming rhododendrons. 

Some other festivals that take place in April are Paro Tshechu, Gomphu Core Festival, Chorten Kore Festival, and Dakpa Kora. 

  • Spring festivals
  • View wildflowers
  • Explore craft fairs and handmade markets

May: Beautiful Trekking Weather

May is the last month of spring to enjoy trekking and guided walking tours before the monsoon season begins. Days in May are absolutely beautiful, with the daily average temperature usually sitting between 73.5 and 84 F/ 23 to 29 C. These days are perfect for hiking, picnics, or trying a water activity.

River rafting is a fun activity that’s popular in Bhutan in May. You don’t have to be an expert to try this activity out either because the rivers in Bhutan have a very calm current. It’s a more relaxing experience, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  

  • Ura Yakchoe Festival
  • Explore the Jomolhari trek
  • River rafting

June: Best Month To Avoid Crowds

June is an excellent month to visit Bhutan if you want to avoid crowds while enjoying attractions. Less people visit this time of year because June is the beginning of monsoon season. While that’s true, the weather is typically less wet than in July and August. 

If you do visit in June, we recommend visiting an area in the highlands. There will be less rain than in locations in the lowlands, so you will still be able to enjoy some outdoor activities. While June is just as warm as May, it’s more humid with higher winds. 

  • Kerjey Tshechu celebration
  • Nimalung Tshechu celebration
  • Explore Bumthang Valley

July: Best Month To Learn About Bhutan’s Heritage

July is a wet month in Bhutan, with rain showers often causing people to cancel the outdoor activities that they had planned.

When you visit in July, it’s a good time to plan a visit to nearby indoor attractions. You can learn more about Bhutan’s heritage at a local museum or see creative art pieces at a gallery.

One place that should be on every traveler’s to-do list when visiting Bhutan is a stop at the Folk Heritage Museum in Thimpu.

This 3-story building is made from timber and mud, and it has been standing for over 150 years. It is one of the best places to learn more about the Buddhist community’s heritage and culture. 

  • Haa Summer Festival
  • Folk Heritage Museum
  • Terton Gallery

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August: End Of Monsoon Season

August is the final month of monsoon season, so rainfalls are starting to become less frequent. There aren’t many tourists visiting Bhutan this time of year, so you can still enjoy attractions without many crowds. However, rainy conditions still lead to poor trekking conditions in late summer. 

The Matsutake Mushroom Festival is held in August. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the harvesting of this locally grown mushroom while learning more about the Bhutan lifestyle. 

Another fun tradition in August is the Chhigyal Lam, which is a weekend market event in Thimpu. This is when shoppers can find some of the best products in Bhutan for the cheapest prices.

  • Matsutake Mushroom Festival
  • Bargain shopping at Chhigyal Lam
  • Enjoy authentic dishes at a local restaurant 

September: Best Time For An Adventure 

Monsoon season is out of the picture, and more clear sunny days are ahead in September in Bhutan.

During this month, daily temperatures range from 50 to 73.5 F. 15 to 23 C. Since it’s less wet, activities like hiking and trekking are possible again. It’s also a great time to visit the Punakha Suspension Bridge.

Adventure sports are a popular activity in Bhutan throughout September. You can enjoy an afternoon doing something exciting like paragliding or rock climbing. If you’re in the mood for water activities, you can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or river rafting.

  • Thimpu Tshechu
  • Tour the Punakha Suspension Bridge
  • Rock climbing

October: The Month Of Many Festivals

October is one of the most popular months for visitors because it offers great weather and an assortment of festivals.

If you’re visiting an area in the mountainous regions of Bhutan, the daily temperatures are usually around 50 to 54 F/ 10 to 12 C. However, in the lowlands, the daily average is between 66 and 71.5 F/ 19 to 22 C. 

There are several festivals in October that people look forward to attending. Thimphu Tshechu starts in September and continues through October. Wangdue Tshechu is a big celebration of Buddhism.

Gengtey Tshechu features folk performances and mask dances. Jomolhari Mountain Festival, Thangbi Mani Festival, and Jambay Lhakhang Drup Tshechu are also in October. 

  • Cultural festivals
  • Druk Path trek
  • Overnight stay in a teahouse

November: Enjoyable Crisp Days

November provides crisp days, with temperatures varying between 53.5 and 61 F/ 12 to 16 C. It’s a good time of year to visit anticipated attractions, like the Tiger’s Nest Monastery or the Buddha Dordenma, without having to deal with crowds. The weather also creates lovely conditions for trekking and enjoying a picnic.

One of the most anticipated festivals of the year occurs in November as well. The Black Crane Festival takes place during the second week of November. This festival celebrates the arrival of these rare and beautiful birds. They typically nest around the Gangtey Monastery when they arrive. 

  • Visit Tiger’s Nest Monastery
  • Black Crane Festival
  • Late autumn picnic

December: Holidays In Bhutan

Cities around Bhutan put up decorations to welcome tourists that are visiting over the holiday season. Even though it’s common to see decorations everywhere you go, many places throughout the country don’t get snow in December. In the lowlands, it’s common for temperatures to be between 43 to 53.5 F/ 6 to 12 C. 

December is a great month to check out the wildlife in Bhutan. Several species of birds migrate this way in December.

People can plan tours to go wildlife watching or on a safari. It’s also a great time of year to go fishing.

  • Annual Tshechu Festival
  • Wildlife watching 
  • Druk Wangyel Festival

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When Is The Best Time For A Family-Friendly Trip To Bhutan?

Spring is the best time to bring kids on a trip to Bhutan. From March through May, the weather is pleasant, with daily highs of 77 F/ 25 C.

It’s a great time of year for trekking, but it is recommended to book shorter tours when traveling with children. Kids also enjoy river rafting and other adventure sports in the spring.

When Is The High Season In Bhutan?

Bhutan has two high seasons. One in the spring, between March and May, and the other in autumn, from September through November.

These are popular travel times because of good weather conditions and annual festivals. You can expect higher rates and more crowds when visiting during these seasons.

The high season in Bhutan may be busier, but the experience is well worth it. You will get to experience more of the nation’s culture with the different festivals and events. There’s also the opportunity to meet several friendly people throughout your journey.

When Is The Low Season In Bhutan?

The low season in Bhutan is from June through August. Many travelers avoid booking trips this time of year because it’s the rainiest. However, if you enjoy a peaceful trip without crowds, you can still find a lot of interesting things to do in Bhutan on a rainy day. 

On rainy days, the Bhutan Post Office Headquarters is a popular location because people can make their own custom stamps. People interested in learning more about the arts can visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum on a rainy day.

There is also a range of different museums and galleries, like the National Textile Museum and Ogyen Choling Palace Museum. 

 

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