12 days in Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Itinerary

12 days in Bhutan, Sikkim & Darjeeling Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Bhubaneswar, India
Fly:  4 h 15 min
1
Paro, Bhutan
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
2
Thimphu, Bhutan
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
3
Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
4
Punakha, Bhutan
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Taxi:  4 h 45 min
5
Gangtok, India
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
Darjeeling, India
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5 h
End: Bhubaneswar, India


Learn more about your trip

1
night
Paro, Bhutan

Paro ©
A charming historic town with many sacred sites cradled in a verdant valley, Paro offers a scenic base to explore the important Buddhist attractions and pristine nature around it.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): examine the collection at National Museum and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ugyen Pema Woedling Zangthopelri. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kyichu Lhakhang, then contemplate the long history of Paro Taktsang, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Druk Choeding, and finally contemplate the long history of Drukgyel Dzong.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Paro itinerary builder tool.

Bhubaneswar, India to Paro is an approximately 4.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and car; or do a combination of train, bus, and car. The time zone difference moving from India Standard Time to Bhutan Time is 0.5 hours. When traveling from Bhubaneswar in October, plan for a bit cooler days and colder nights in Paro: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 11°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Thimphu.

Things to do in Paro

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Paro Taktsang ©
Paro Taktsang
National Museum ©
National Museum
Kyichu Lhakhang ©
Kyichu Lhakhang

2
nights
Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu ©
The kingdom's capital and most modern city, Thimphu offers a mix of ancient traditions and modern commercialism.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of Druk Wangyel Monastery, cruise along Dochula Pass, shop like a local with Junction Book Store, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Motithang Takin Preserve, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Tashichho Dzong (Thimpu Dzong). Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at National Textile Museum, don't miss a visit to Changangkha Lhakhang, appreciate the history behind Kuenselphodrang, then see Off-Road Tours, and finally make a trip to Thimphu Chorten (Memorial Chorten).

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Thimphu vacation website.

Drive from Paro to Thimphu in 1.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 26°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to Phobjikha Valley.

Things to do in Thimphu

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Highlights from your plan
Motithang Takin Preserve ©
Motithang Takin Preserve
Dochula Pass ©
Dochula Pass
Off-Road Tours

1
night
Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

Phobjikha Valley ©
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Gangtey Monastery, stroll through Black Necked Crane Center, and then appreciate the views at Phobjikha Valley.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Phobjikha Valley online travel route planner.

Drive from Thimphu to Phobjikha Valley in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Punakha.

Things to do in Phobjikha Valley

Wildlife Parks Nature

Side Trips

Phobjikha Valley, Gangtey Monastery
Highlights from your plan
Phobjikha Valley ©
Phobjikha Valley
Gangtey Monastery ©
Gangtey Monastery

1
night
Punakha, Bhutan

Punakha ©
The imperial past feels present in Punakha, where an impressive fortress testifies to the heyday of this former capital of Bhutan.
On the 14th (Wed), snap pictures at Punakha Suspension Bridge, take in the spiritual surroundings of Punakha Dzong, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chimi Lhakhang Temple.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Punakha road trip planning site.

Getting from Phobjikha Valley to Punakha by car takes about 3 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Gangtok.

Things to do in Punakha

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Punakha Dzong ©
Punakha Dzong
Chimi Lhakhang Temple ©
Chimi Lhakhang Temple
Punakha Suspension Bridge ©
Punakha Suspension Bridge

3
nights
Gangtok, India

Gangtok ©
Situated in the eastern Himalayan range, state capital Gangtok combines a modern, resort town style with ancient spiritual beliefs and an impressive natural heritage.
Gangtok is known for nature, historic sites, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the waterfront views at Tsongmo Lake, don't miss a visit to Nathula, take in the dramatic scenery at Kyongnosla Waterfall, and get great views at Ganesh Tok View Point.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Gangtok visit planning tool.

You can do a combination of car, flight, and taxi from Punakha to Gangtok in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Traveling from Punakha to Gangtok, you'll gain 0.5 hours due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Darjeeling.

Things to do in Gangtok

Nature Parks Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Tsongmo Lake ©
Tsongmo Lake
Nathula ©
Nathula
Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple ©
Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

3
nights
Darjeeling, India

The train, the tea, and the hills bring visitors to Darjeeling, one of India's most famous and well-preserved Raj-era hill stations.
Darjeeling is known for historic sites, zoos & aquariums, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, don't miss a visit to Samthar Plateau, examine the collection at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mahakal Temple.

To see photos, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Darjeeling route planner.

Traveling by car from Gangtok to Darjeeling takes 3.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Darjeeling can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Darjeeling

Tours Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park ©
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Batasia Loop ©
Batasia Loop

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