Foreign exchange guide to Bhutan and the Bhutanese ngultrum
What's in this Bhutan currency guide?
The official currency of Bhutan (country code: BT) 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.
The physical Ngultrum currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1 chetrum, 5 chetrum, 10 chetrum, 25 chetrum, and 50 chetrum. The banknotes come in denominations of 1 ngultrum, 5 ngultrum, 10 ngultrum, 20 ngultrum, 50 ngultrum, 100 ngultrum, 500 ngultrum, and 1,000 ngultrum. The banknotes feature images of famous Bhutanese historical figures, such as King Jigme Singye Wangchuck and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.
As mentioned above, the Bhutanese ngultrum is a closed currency. Which means that you may find it difficult (or be permitted) to purchase the currency (BTN) before departure and will need to buy it upon arrival in .
For these types of destinations, using a pre-paid travel card is a good solution. As no travel cards support loading closed currencies like the BTN you will incur currency conversion or foreign transaction fees if you use a travel money card in .
However, using a pre-paid travel card is still a good idea as you can avoid ATM fees and also you can avoid using (and losing!) your main bank or debit/credit card.
Bhutan is a small, landlocked country located in the Himalayas in South Asia. It is known for its unique cultural and environmental policies, including the concept of Gross National Happiness.
All visitors to Bhutan, except citizens of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives, need a visa to enter the country. Visas are issued by the Bhutanese government through the Department of Immigration and are valid for the duration of your stay.
To apply for a visa, you will need to have a confirmed tour package with a Bhutanese tour operator, who will arrange the visa on your behalf. You will need to provide your passport details, a passport-sized photo, and a copy of your passport to your tour operator, who will then submit the application to the Department of Immigration.
The visa fee is included in the tour package and is paid to the Bhutanese government in advance. Once the visa is approved, your tour operator will provide you with a visa clearance letter, which you will need to present at the airport upon arrival in Bhutan.
It is important to note that Bhutan has a high-value, low-volume tourism policy, which means that the number of tourists allowed in the country is limited. It is a good idea to book your tour package well in advance to ensure that you are able to get a visa and visit Bhutan.
The domestic currency in Bhutan is the Bhutanese ngultrum.
The three letter currency code for the Bhutanese ngultrum is BTN — symbol is Nu..
It is the domestic currency in   Bhutan.
Yes the Bhutanese ngultrum is a closed currency. Which means that you may find it difficult to purchase the currency (BTN) before departure and will probably need to buy it upon arrival. If you do manage to buy some of the currency or have some left over from a previous trip, make sure you are aware if you are allowed to bring this closed currency into the country.
For more information and a full list of closed currencies please refer to our guide: What is a closed currency?
To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Bhutan you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).
The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.
You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.
When sending money to Bhutan it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Bhutanese ngultrum deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.
By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Bhutan.
Here are a few things to consider when doing business in Bhutan:
Understand the local market: Bhutan has a small population and a developing economy, and it is important to research the local market and understand the specific needs and preferences of consumers.
Be prepared for bureaucracy: Bhutan has a complex bureaucracy, and it can take time to navigate the various regulations and procedures required to do business in the country. It is a good idea to work with a local lawyer or business consultant to help navigate the process.
Build relationships: Building relationships is important in Bhutan, and it is a good idea to take the time to get to know your local partners and clients.
Be patient: Doing business in Bhutan can take time, and it is important to be patient and to be prepared for delays.
Learn the local language: The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, and it is a good idea to learn at least some basic Dzongkha, as this can help with communication and building relationships.
Overall, doing business in Bhutan can be challenging, but with the right preparation and approach it can also be a rewarding and profitable experience.
A person has to be a Bhutanese citizen by birth, to buy land and own properties in Bhutan.
Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Bhutan:
Understand Bhutanese ngultrum currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the BTN exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.
Use a local Bhutanese ngultrum bank account: A local BTN bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Bhutan. It may also be more convenient to use a local BTN bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.
Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Bhutan. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.
Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Bhutan. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.
Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Bhutan, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.