Paro, the second biggest city of Bhutan has its own reasons to feature in the travel plan of all tourists visiting Bhutan. It offers a vibrant combination of nature’s beauty and Bhutan‘s architecture. Bhutan’s famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery is in Paro only.
1. Hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery
You travel itinerary for Bhutan will be incomplete without a hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery. This cliffhanging picturesque monastery is the postcard picture of Bhutan tourism and is also considered one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. You are bound to enjoy this challenging but equally satisfying full day hike.
2. Drive to the Chele La Pass
Chele La Pass is the highest point on Bhutan Highways and welcomes you with chilly rain, strong winds and flattering prayer flags. Weather changes pretty fast as you ascend on the road leading to Chele La Pass and soon you find yourself getting drenched in rain. Chilly winds will make you pull your hands inside your sleeves as you will walk past prayer flags of all colours.
To read more about our trip to Chele la Pass, please read our blog here – Chele La Pass, Bhutan: Wind and Prayer Flags
3. Shop for Bhutanese souvenirs in Paro
You will get the best of Bhutanese souvenirs here. Even the prices are quite reasonable as compared to other Bhutan cities. Even at Paro, market at the base point of Tiger’s Nest Monastery has the cheapest price. So if you are going for the hike to monastery, you may do your souvenir shopping from there only. You can also purchase ready made Gho and Kira (Bhutan‘s traditional dresses) here.
4. Enjoy the vibrant Town Square of Paro
Paro Town Square looks spectacular with an open air auditorium and huge prayer wheel right at the center. Chotten Lhakhang Temple is right next to the square and town temple – Druk Choeding is just few meters walk. In addition to public ceremonies held here, scenes of children playing football with monks too are common.
5. Experience Bhutanese architecture at Paro (Rinpung) Dzong
Paro Dzong, also known as Rinpung Dzong is one of the most impressive Dzongs in Bhutan. Built on hill side along river Paro Chu, impressive Paro Dzong is visible even from far in the valley. As you walk down the stairs to the courtyard in front of the Dzong, you get dumbstruck as you raise your eyes to look at huge stone white walls.
To read more about Paro Dzong, please click here – Paro Dzong: Best of Bhutanese Architecture
6. Explore Bhutan’s culture at National Museum
National Museum showcases the diversity of Bhutan in terms of its art, culture and wildlife. You see different types of dance masks, old paintings and details of birds as you walk from room to room. During our visit, Main museum was closed for the repair work and all the artifacts were on display in a neighboring building.
- Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM (All days): Earlier Museum used to be closed on Sunday & Monday but now it remains open on all days except public holidays.
- Entry Fee: Locals: Nu 10, SAARC Nationals: Nu 30, All other foreign tourists: Nu 200
Where to stay in Paro
Paro has a number of stay options in all categories. You may refer our blog Bhutan Backpacking: Hotel booking tips to explore more.