Cost of living and prices in Bhutan, prices of food, rent, shopping, etc 🇧🇹 Updated Jul 2023

Bhutan is a small, landlocked country located in Southern Asia, bordered by China and India. With an area of just 47,000 square kilometers, Bhutan has a population of 699,847 and a population density of 14.89 people per square kilometer. Dzongkha is the official language, and the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is $2.1 billion with a GDP per capita of $3048.

Bhutan's economy is driven by tourism, agriculture, and forestry. The country is often referred to as the "Land of the Thunder Dragon" due to its dramatic landscapes and rich Buddhist heritage. Visitors to Bhutan can explore ancient monasteries, stunning mountain ranges, and experience the unique culture of the Bhutanese people.

Despite its small size, Bhutan is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including the endangered snow leopard and Bengal tiger. The country has a strong commitment to environmental conservation and is one of the only carbon-negative countries in the world. Bhutan offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience, with a focus on sustainability, spirituality, and cultural immersion.

Cost of Living Estimate in Bhutan

Total cost of living in Bhutan for two person with average consumption for one month will be 461.37 USD, no rent price included. Click here to calculate cost-of-living estimate in Bhutan

You can calculate cost of living in Bhutan by changing quantity using input near each good or service. Resulting total will appear in a floating box in the bottom of your screen.

Restaurants prices

When traveling to Bhutan, one of the most fascinating things about the food culture is the emphasis on organic and locally sourced ingredients in its cuisine. The country has a strict ban on GMOs, ensuring that almost all the food is fresh, wholesome, and nutritious. Bhutanese cuisine typically consists of rice, vegetables, and meat, with a strong influence from neighboring countries such as India and China. Chilies are an essential ingredient in almost all dishes, making the food spicy and flavorful. Travelers to Bhutan can indulge in traditional Bhutanese dishes such as Ema Datshi (a delicious cheese and chili dish), Kewa Datshi (potatoes cooked in cheese sauce), and Momos (dumplings filled with meat or vegetables). There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available in most restaurants in Bhutan.

Bhutan is also home to several unique dining experiences that are worth trying out. One such experience is the traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath, which is followed by a hot stone meal. The hot stone meal is a beautiful way to experience the local cuisine nestled in nature's lap amidst the breathtaking Himalayan Mountains. Another popular dining experience in Bhutan is the farm-to-table concept. Visitors can relish locally sourced farm-fresh dishes cooked right in front of them, either in a farmhouse or amidst a serene farm setting. The concept is gaining popularity in the country, with several restaurants introducing farm-to-table menus. Additionally, many restaurants also offer cooking classes that give visitors hands-on experience in preparing Bhutanese dishes at home.

Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant
3.76 $
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course
11.63 $
McMeal at McDonalds or Alternative Combo Meal
3.63 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Draught
0.99 $
1.64 $
Coca-Cola, 0.33 liter Bottle
0.56 $
Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
2.05 $

Markets prices

Market prices in Bhutan can be quite different from other countries due to their unique approach to economics. The Bhutanese government utilizes a "Gross National Happiness" index to measure success rather than solely focusing on economic growth. This means that market prices can be influenced by factors outside of traditional supply and demand, such as cultural and environmental preservation.

Despite this, market prices in Bhutan can fluctuate based on seasonal availability. The country's mountainous terrain and limited access to transportation can make certain goods more expensive or harder to obtain during certain times of the year. Additionally, the country's small population and limited exports can also impact market prices. Overall, the Bhutanese approach to economics creates a unique market environment that is rooted in community, tradition, and environmental consciousness.

Imported Beer, 0.33 liter Bottle
1.44 $
Water, 0.33 liter Bottle
0.27 $
Milk, Regular,1 liter
0.88 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 0.5 kg
0.73 $
White Rice, 1 kg
0.79 $
Eggs, 12 pack
1.74 $
Local Cheese, 1 kg
4.80 $
Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless, 1 kg
3.43 $
Beef Round or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat, 1 kg
3.61 $
Apples, 1 kg
2.05 $
Banana, 1 kg
1.09 $
Oranges, 1 kg
1.28 $
Tomato, 1 kg
0.62 $
Potato, 1 kg
0.50 $
Onion, 1 kg
0.60 $
Lettuce, 1 head
0.36 $
Water, 1.5 liter Bottle
0.34 $
Bottle of Wine, Mid-Range Price
4.79 $
Domestic Beer, 0.5 liter Bottle
1.16 $
Pack of Cigarettes
2.05 $

Transportation prices

Bhutan offers several unique transportation options for travelers. The most popular method for getting around the country is by car or bus. This is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery that Bhutan has to offer. The roads can be winding and narrow, so it's important to hire a driver who is experienced in the local conditions. Another option for getting around is by bicycle. This is a great way to explore Bhutan's countryside at a slower pace. Some tour companies offer cycling tours that take travelers through some of the most scenic routes in the country.

For those who want a truly unique experience, traveling by yak is an option. Yaks are common in the rural mountainous regions and are often used to transport goods. Some trekking tours offer the opportunity to ride yaks through the mountains, providing an unforgettable experience. Another interesting transportation option in Bhutan is on foot. Trekking is a popular activity in Bhutan, with several trails that take you through some of the most remote and picturesque areas of the country. It's important to choose the right trek for your fitness level and experience, as some of the routes can be quite challenging.

One-way Ticket, Local Transport
0.27 $
Monthly Pass, Regular Price
8.61 $
Taxi Start, Normal Tariff
0.58 $
Taxi, price for 1 km, Normal Tariff
0.83 $
Taxi, price for 1 hour Waiting, Normal Tariff
2.97 $
Gasoline, 1 liter
0.81 $
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)
16,431.69 $
Honda Civic 1.6 Or Alternative New Car
16,431.69 $

Utilities Per Month prices

If you're planning on traveling to Bhutan, it's important to know that utilities cost may be higher than what you're used to in other countries. This is due to the fact that Bhutan is landlocked and has limited access to natural resources, causing the country to rely heavily on imports. As a result, the cost of utilities such as electricity, water, and gas tend to be higher than in neighboring countries. However, despite the higher cost, Bhutan has made impressive strides in providing access to these essential services to its citizens and visitors, with almost 100% of the population now having access to electricity.

Bhutan is also known for its commitment to sustainability, which is reflected in its utilities cost. The country places a strong emphasis on conservation and reducing its carbon footprint, which translates into a higher price for utilities such as fuel and electricity. However, this also means that the country has invested heavily in renewable energy sources such as hydropower, which has become an important source of revenue for Bhutan. As a traveler, you can take comfort in the fact that the utilities cost you pay is going toward supporting sustainable practices and protecting the environment, contributing to a better future for Bhutan and the world.

Basic utilities for 85m2 Apartment including Electricity, Heating or Cooling, Water and Garbage
41.08 $
Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local, price per 1 min, No Discounts or Plans
0.02 $
Internet, 60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL
13.69 $

Sports And Leisure prices

Sports and leisure activities in Bhutan offer visitors an unforgettable experience. The traditional Bhutanese sport, known as archery, is a must-try activity. Visitors can participate in archery tournaments, watch locals play the game, and even try their luck at hitting the target. Other popular sports include trekking, mountaineering, and cycling. The country's breathtaking landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for these activities. Visitors can also opt for more relaxed activities, such as yoga, meditation, and spa treatments, which are widely available in Bhutan.

When it comes to leisure, Bhutan offers some unique experiences. One of the most notable leisure activities is the national pastime of hot stone baths. These therapeutic baths are said to have health benefits and have been used by locals for centuries. Visitors can also enjoy a wide variety of local cuisine, from traditional Bhutanese dishes to international cuisine. For those interested in cultural experiences, the country's numerous festivals and celebrations are the perfect opportunity to experience the local customs and traditions. Finally, visitors can also explore Bhutan's rich history and architecture by visiting its various temples and museums, which offer a glimpse into the country's past.

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult
82.43 $
Tennis Court Rent, 1 Hour on Weekend
2.05 $

Clothing And Shoes prices

Bhutan is a country with a rich cultural heritage that is manifested in the traditional clothing worn by its people. Bhutanese clothing is famous for its vibrant color and intricate designs. Bhutanese clothing is of high quality and is made from local materials. Clothing prices in Bhutan are affordable, with various options for every budget.

When it comes to footwear, Bhutan is famous for its handmade leather shoes. These shoes are made from high-quality leather and come in different styles and designs. The prices of footwear in Bhutan are affordable, with several shops selling leather shoes made by local craftsmen. Additionally, there are several stores where you can buy imported shoes from famous brands.

Pair of Jeans in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
13.74 $
Summer Dress in a Chain Store Like George, H&M, Zara, etc.
41.22 $
Pair of Running Shoes, Mid-Range Price
96.18 $

Rent Per Month prices

Bhutan offers a range of short-term rental options for visitors looking to experience the breathtaking beauty and unique culture of this country. Whether you're looking to stay in a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse or a modern guesthouse, there are plenty of accommodations available for short-term stays. Prices for short rentals are generally affordable, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers who are looking to fully immerse themselves in the local culture.

Short rental options in Bhutan vary widely, with everything from basic guesthouses to luxurious five-star hotels available for visitors. If you're interested in experiencing local Bhutanese culture, a homestay may be a great option for you. Homestays offer visitors the chance to stay with a local family and experience day-to-day life in Bhutan. For those looking for a more traditional hotel experience, there are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from affordable budget hotels to high-end luxury properties. No matter what type of short rental you choose, you'll be sure to experience the unique hospitality and warmth of the Bhutanese people.

One bedroom apartment in city centre
99.42 $
One bedroom apartment outside of city centre
104.98 $
Three bedroom apartment in city centre
191.99 $
Three bedroom apartment outside of city centre
140.57 $

Buy Apartment prices

If you're planning on buying property in Bhutan, you have a few options to choose from. One option is to purchase government allotted land, which is a time-consuming process that involves going through various government agencies and obtaining approvals. Another option is to buy land from local communities, which can be a more straightforward process. However, keep in mind that foreigners cannot own land outright in Bhutan and must have a local partner.

When it comes to prices in Bhutan, they vary depending on the location and type of property. Generally, prices tend to be higher in urban areas such as Thimphu and Paro, while rural areas can be more affordable. Keep in mind that the government has a policy of maintaining a minimum land price to prevent speculation and ensure that property remains accessible to all Bhutanese citizens. Overall, buying property in Bhutan can be a rewarding investment, but it's important to do your research and understand the legal framework before making any decisions.

Price per m2 to Buy Apartment in City Center
2,039.67 $
Price per m2 to Buy Apartment Outside of City Center
821.59 $

Salaries And Financing prices

When it comes to salaries and financing in Bhutan, it's important for visitors to understand that the country operates under a unique economic system centered around gross national happiness. This means that the government places a high value on social welfare and sustainable development, and aims to promote equitable distribution of wealth throughout society. While salaries may not be as high as in some other countries, the government provides a range of subsidies and social welfare programs to help ensure a good quality of life for all residents.

Visitors to Bhutan should also be aware that the country has strict regulations on foreign currency exchange and credit card use. Cash is king in Bhutan, and visitors should plan to bring enough local currency with them for their trip. Additionally, while ATMs can be found in some urban areas, they may not always work reliably, so it's a good idea to plan ahead and bring enough cash to cover expenses. Overall, visitors can expect a unique financial experience when traveling to Bhutan, one that reflects the country's commitment to balancing economic development and social welfare.

Average Monthly Net Salary, After Tax
362.29 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages for 20 Years Fixed-Rate, Yearly, Fixed-Rate
0 %