How to Get into Bhutan

You can get to Bhutan either by air or by road. The most convenient way to get into Bhutan is by taking Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines flights. There are only two airlines which operate in Bhutan and you can easily get a flight for you to fly into Bhutan.x

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines connects to the following destinations:

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Delhi, India
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Singapore
  • Kolkata, India
  • Bodhgaya, India
  • Guwahati, India
  • Bagdogra, India
  • Mumbai, India
  • Gaya, India

In case if you decide to enter Bhutan by road, you will have to enter from Southern Bhutan via India. There are three corridors from where you can enter; Phuntsholing located in Western Bhutan, Samdrup Jongkar on the Eastern Bhutan or Gelephug which is in Central Bhutan. Consult our experts for more information in case you decide to travel by road.

Bhutan opened its doors to the rest of world only in the early 1960s and remained largely cut-off until then. Only two main entry points gave access to the country by foot, one in the North through Tibet and the second one through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The high frozen mountain passes in the North were inaccessible during winters and the dense jungles in the south made it extremely difficult to enter the country.

However, carefully planned and sustainable economic development has made the country much more accessible and there are numerous networks of roads across the landscape along with multiple domestic airports apart from the only international airport located at Paro.

Everyone travelling to Bhutan requires to obtain a visa, except for passport holders from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, who obtain a free Entry permit on arrival upon producing their passports.

For all other passport holders, visas must be applied and paid for well in advance along with the booking of the tour itinerary.

Currently only two airlines operate out of Bhutan – Druk Air and  Bhutan Airlines, with departure points in Bangkok, Kathmandu, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dhaka, Yangon and Singapore. It is also possible to travel to Bhutan by road from India, The main border crossing is at Jaigaon-Phuentsholing and two others are at Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

Bhutan has a minimum daily tour cost, known as ‘Minimum Daily Package’ which is set and is designed to control tourism in the country and at the same time help protect the local environment. It is non-negotiable and a portion of it goes towards improvement of educational and health-care programs in the poorer region of the country.

Travel Requirements

All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors. A listing of licensed Bhutanese tour operators can be found at the link below.

Learn more about visa requirements:

In keeping with the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s policy of “High Value. Low Impact” tourism a Minimum Daily Package is required for tourists. To learn more about the Minimum Daily Package, please follow the link below:

Minimum Daily Package:

VISA / Entry Permit

With the exception of visitors from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, all other visitors travelling to Bhutan need a visa. 

Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals can obtain a permit at the port of entry on producing a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity (Indian nationals may also use their Voters Identity Card (VIC)).  

All other tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior the travel to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator directly or through a foreign travel agent.    

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa.  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Once received, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.  

At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.  


Online Regional Permit System

In order to streamline and facilitate smooth visitation by tourists from Bangladesh, India and Maldives, the Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs and the Tourism Council of Bhutan have launched the Online Permit System. The system facilitates the online processing of permits for regional tourists through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. The facility is offered as an optional channel to process permits for visitors from the region and is applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. Visitors who use this facility will be able to obtain their permit clearances and route permits ahead of their arrival in Bhutan similar to international tourists.