This is a foreign exchange guide to Bhutan, the Bhutanese Ngultrum currency plus sending BTN transfers and travel tips.
In this Bhutan currency guide we take a look at :
- Bhutanese Ngultrum info - general info about the Bhutanese Ngultrum
- Bhutanese Ngultrum in the markets - recent BTN moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Bhutan - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Bhutanese Ngultrum cash online - travel money for Bhutan
- Sending money to Bhutan - save on Bhutanese Ngultrum bank transfers to Bhutan
- Bhutanese Ngultrum exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) general currency information
What is the Bhutanese Ngultrum currency code and symbol?
The three letter currency code for the Bhutanese Ngultrum is BTN and the symbol is Nu..
Is the Bhutanese Ngultrum a closed currency?
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?
Which countries use the Bhutanese Ngultrum?
It is the domestic currency in Bhutan.
Is Indian currency accepted in Bhutan?
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.
Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) in the markets
The interactive chart below shows the USD to BTN exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:
Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Bhutan
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.
Do I need a visa for Bhutan?
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.
Travel money for Bhutan
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 Bhutan.
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 Bhutan.
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 Trip Checklist
Sending money to Bhutan
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Bhutan you need to start with finding out the latest Bhutanese Ngultrum foreign-transfer exchange rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).
Can foreigners buy land in Bhutan?
A person has to be a Bhutanese citizen by birth, to buy land and own properties in Bhutan.
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Bhutan
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 :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Bhutanese Ngultrum amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted BTN amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Bhutan.
Use our Send to BTN 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!