A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Bhutan
What’s in this Bhutan currency guide:
The official currency of Bhutan is the Bhutanese ngultrum, with symbol Nu. and currency code BTN.
A Ngultrum has the same value as the Indian rupee, the rupee is also legal in Bhutan. INR 100 & 50 Rupee denomination may be used in Bhutan, but Ngultrum cannot be used in India. Indian Rupee denomination note of INR 500, INR 1000 and INR 2000 are not accepted in Bhutan.
05 May 2022
18 Feb 2022
19 May 2021
20 May 2017
21 May 2012
24 May 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Bhutanese ngultrum.
A landlocked country in South Asia, the Kingdom of Bhutan is located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. The country shares borders with China and India. Nepal is separated from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim and Bangladesh is separated from Bhutan by the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam.
Bhutan’s unit of currency is called the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). Tourist can exchange traveler’s cheques or cash at the foreign exchange desk at Paro Airport and Bank of Bhutan branches in major townships such as Paro and Thimphu. As you travel into the interior, ATM and banking facilities are almost non-existent. We suggest that you do your banking whilst in Paro or Thimphu, and take local currency with you to the countryside.
Currencies that can be exchanged include the U.S. Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, Hong Kong Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Denish Kroner, Australlian Dollar and Singapore Dollar. Some hotels also provide foreign exchange services, however many of these are limited to U.S. Dollar exchanges.
Credit cards only accepted in a very limited number of handicraft stores in Thimphu and high-end hotels.
Limited ATM facilities are available in major townships. MasterCard and Visa international credit and debit cards can be used on these ATM’s to withdraw cash.
You may need to show your passport when you exchange money or travelers cheques.
Upon entering Bhutan, all foreigners are issued a 7 or 14 days “Entry Permit” by default, valid for Thimphu and Paro only. The rest of Bhutan is considered a restricted area, and foreigners need a “Restricted-Area Permit” to enter. Immigration checkpoints are located at important road junctions throughout the country, where police check the permits of all foreigners they find. In addition, foreigners wishing to visit Buddhist temples must obtain a “Temple Permit” from the Ministry of Culture.
While these permits are typically arranged by the tour operators, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Maldivian visitors who did not book through a licensed tour operator must apply for them in person at the Immigration office in Thimphu. The permits can also be extended at the Immigration office in Thimphu for a charge. Citizens of Bangladesh, India, and Maldives are exempt from charges on issuance and extensions of permits.
A person has to be a Bhutanese citizen by birth, to buy land and own properties in Bhutan.