Marked by breathtaking landscapes -- a view of Mount Everest, for example -- and a rich cultural heritage that continues to be well preserved despite the recent developments in the country, Paro is Bhutan’s little paradise.
Located just a short distance away from the iconic Paro Dzong, Paro is conveniently nestled near the banks of Paro Chhu. In this quaint little town, you’ll find that history and modern developments blend seamlessly to provide tourists with a memorable Himalayan experience. If you’re looking for a quick escape from the big cities, Paro is the place to be.
Exploring Paro is not only good for the eyes; it’s a treat for the soul, too. Paro, void of any loud distractions, is a haven for those looking for opportunities to meditate and commune with nature. The different sights seen here — towering mountains meeting with clouds and seemingly endless fields — will surely stay in one’s memory. Delve deeper into the local beliefs of the country by visiting the Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Taktsang Monastery), Bhutan’s unofficial symbol and one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the country. Those seeking spiritual renewal can avail of meditation sessions found in different Buddhist monasteries. History is rich in Paro’s National Museum — it houses an impressive collection of Bhutanese art, war artefacts, coins, and stamps. Paro has an endless list of activities for tourists looking for adrenaline-pumping activities. Conquer the world-famous Snowman Trek, bike through the challenging Paro-Bumthang route, and embark on a kayaking and rafting adventure in the lower Pacchu River.
- Paro Airport is the official international airport in Paro. It caters to foreign flights from Delhi, Bangkok, Dhaka, Kathmandu, and Kolkata via Druk Air.
- Bhutan Airlines offer daily flights from Kathmandu to Paro.
- Another option is to charter a taxi from Thimphu to Paro. Travel time is around 45 minutes.
The official currency accepted in Paro is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). Note that there is a fixed daily rate to be paid each day by tourists — USD 250 during the peak season and USD 200 during the offpeak season include transportation, accommodation, tour guide, and admission fees. Additional fees may be charged for certain activities.
ATMs are available around Paro. Major establishments like hotel and restaurants accept credit cards. Tashi Money Exchange in Bhutan offers foreign exchange services.
The ideal time to visit Paro is between October and December when the air is clear and the days are usually sunny. January and February are the coldest months but during this time, rhododendrons bloom beautifully in the valleys. If you want to avoid the common heat and humidity in Bhutan, skip May. If you’re planning a river adventure, visit anytime from June to September — Paro’s rainy days.
Paro attractions are scattered all over the valley so renting a vehicle to get around is ideal. Taxis are available in Paro’s bazaar area.
Paro dishes is a fusion of fresh produce and Indian or Nepali flavors. Uma Restaurant — one of the most popular restaurants in the valley, is known for its wagyu beef and blue cheese burger. Tou Zaiga Restaurant offers a different taste to tourists — Western dishes are combined with local flavours. Make a stop at Sonam Trophel Restaurant and indulge in their delicious servings of henthshey datse (spinach and cheese), boneless chicken, ginger potatoes, and momos (dumplings).
No better way to take in Bhutan’s remarkable culture and beauty than by exploring Paro. Whether you take a stroll in the town centre or conquer its towering mountains, Paro will definitely make you want to come back.