Paro, Bhutan’s very own valley town, is one of the widest valleys in Bhutan and is home to a large number of rice fields. It’s also a very religious town, with as many as 155 temples and monasteries located here. Owing to its unique culture and variety in terrain, there are numerous things to do in Paro. Also, Paro has the country’s only international airport, which is in close proximity to most of the top tourist attractions. That and the many luxury resorts in the area make Paro one of the best travel destinations in Bhutan. The numerous things to do in Paro often attract travelers who like to experience the cultural side of their destination.
Top 9 Things To Do In Paro
There are many things to do in Paro, Bhutan that can turn your holiday into an experiential culture-trip. Out of all those exciting things you can do in Paro, we have listed the best ones to help you plan your trip with ease:
1. Kyichu Lhakhang
Paro is known for its beautiful religious sites and this blue temple has to be the most beautiful of them all. Even if you are not religious, you can come here to soak in the beauty of this Buddhist temple, coloured entirely in blue. Apart from being the most beautiful temple, it is also one of the oldest temples in the Himalayan kingdom, and if you are planning a trip here, this should definitely be on your list of things to do in Paro.
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
2. Local Monasteries
Where better to indulge in a relaxing meditation activity than Bhutan, one of the most important centres of Buddhism. Visit any of the monasteries and attend a meditation session led by the monks, surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of nature around you. If you are not big on meditation, you could just enjoy a walk by the river of Paro Valley, which is relaxing in itself, or take a dip in the sacred Tshachu spring, known for its healing properties.
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: Free entry to the monasteries
3. National Museum Of Bhutan
It’s always a good thing to learn about the history and culture of any place you visit, and the same goes for this valley town, Bhutan’s National Museum, located in Paro, houses depictions of some of the greatest saints and leaders in Bhutan, as well some of the historically significant traditional masks and costumes. In addition to all this, you also get the VIP view to the best sunset watching spot in the whole of Paro. These interesting things are what makes visiting the museum one of the best things to do in your Paro vacation.
Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM
Entry fee: SAARC Country Citizens – INR 25
Non-SAARC Country Citizens: INR 150
4. Local Delicious
One of the top things to do in Paro is relishing some delicious local cuisine. If you love street food, almost every street has some street vendors selling delicious piping hot momos, along with their special soup, a Bhutanese Specialty. If you’re looking for a finer dining experience, you can check out some of the best restaurants in Paro, like the Bukhari Restaurant, which has a sophisticated menu that focuses on healthy eating, and Tou Zaiga Restaurant, which has some of the best local flavours of Bhutan, like Ema Datshi, as well as some western food.
Suggested Read: 10 Resorts In Bhutan For Luxury And Budget Travelers
5. Paro Craft Market
For all you shopaholics who want to do some shopping in Paro, don’t expect three-story malls or designer boutiques here. However, you can shop or some locally made handicrafts like handbags, lanterns, clothes, and wall decorations as well, either for your own home or as souvenirs. There are also a few cafes nearby where you can enjoy some sweet tea and pastries.
Timings: 11 AM – 8 PM
Average cost: Around INR 1000-1500
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6. Drukgyel Dzong
Drukgyel Dzong, which translates in English to Fortress of Victory, is an important historical and archaeological place in Paro, as well as a UNESCO world heritage site. This fort played an important role for the Tibet army, serving as a defense spot during many occasions. There are a lot of guided tours available, where you will be able to learn about the vast and important history of this beautiful fort.
Timings: 7 AM – 6 PM
Average cost: Around INR 500 for a guided tour
7. Adventure Activities
For all you adrenaline junkies out there, Paro has a lot to offer! Out of all the Paro activities, adventure activities like mountain biking, trekking, rafting, and kayaking are the best to choose from, especially against the beautiful scenery of Paro. The Snowman Trek, in Paro, is considered to be one of the most challenging treks in the world, but at a height of 5,400 meters, the view makes it all worth it. For mountain biking enthusiasts, there are a lot of paths you can take to view the most important monasteries and forts on your ride.
8. Tiger’s Nest
Tigers Nest, locally known as Taktsang Monastery, is the unofficial symbol of Bhutan and no article about the top things to do in Paro can be complete without mentioning this gem. The monastery takes about 2-3 hours to reach, and if you’re not up for the walk you can take a ride on a horse or a pony. There is also a café located midway where you can stop for some rest and refreshments.
Timings: 8 AM – 6 PM
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9. Festival Ground
If you’re interested in watching cultural performances, you shouldn’t be thinking too hard on what to do in Paro. Simply head to the Festival Ground of the town, where dancers in masks perform traditional Bhutanese folk dances. This is definitely a sight that cannot be missed when you are visiting Paro and should be on your to-do list when you visit Paro.
Festival time: March/April
Visiting Paro will add a cultural experience to your Bhutan holiday. All this and many more things to do in Paro await you when you visit this majestic valley town. March to May is the time when the Bhutan valleys bloom with flowers. So, plan a trip to Bhutan soon and explore the some of the most mesmerizing historical, spiritual and scenic sites in the world at Paro.
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