Top 10 Amazing Temples in Bangkok!
What would Bangkok be without its many golden temples? It is hard to believe, but there are more than 400 of these so-called “wats” that adorn the cityscape, and many of them are among the top tourist attractions of the Thai capital. Choosing which temple in Bangkok to visit during your trip can be difficult. We have compiled a list of the best, most important and most beautiful temples in Bangkok for you, including pictures, opening hours and entrance fees. Be curious. In addition to the usual visitor magnets, we will also reveal some insider tips and show you one or two temples that are certainly not known to everyone. As a little extra, at the end of the article you will find some useful tips on what to wear and what rules to follow when visiting the temples of Bangkok.
In this travel guide, you will find all the important information and tips about the best temples in Bangkok. In addition, we will show you some great pictures, and you will find the current entrance fees and the opening hours of the temples.
Wat Phra Kaeo & Royal Palace
The Wat Phra Kaeo, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is undoubtedly the most famous and for many the most stunning temple in Bangkok. The huge temple complex is located in the grounds of the Royal Palace and a visit is almost a must on any trip to Bangkok. There is a lot of pomp and splendor to be seen here: Golden chedis, breathtaking decorations and glittering statues as far as the eye can see. The paths in the temple and palace grounds are lined with impressive guardian statues, including Garudas and Yakshas. In addition, the buildings of the Royal Palace and Wat Phra Kaew have been restored and maintained over the years to preserve their splendor.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is considered one of the holiest places in Thailand and is an important pilgrimage site for devout Buddhists. However, the centerpiece of this temple is the Emerald Buddha, a statue over 1,000 years old and the national shrine of Thailand. Interestingly, the small 66 cm statue is made of jade and its robes are changed 3 times a year, depending on the season.
- Opening Hours: Wat Phra Kaeo is open daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
- Entrance Fee: 500 Baht, the price includes the entrance to Wat Phra Kaeo and the Royal Palace.
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
An impressive tour of Bangkok’s temples would not be complete without a visit to Wat Pho. Also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon, it is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and was built in the 16th-17th centuries during the Ayutthaya period. Later, during the reign of King Rama I, it was extensively expanded and renovated. It is located right in the city center, as are most of Bangkok’s temples. The main attraction of Wat Pho is the huge gilded reclining Buddha, about 46 meters long and 15 meters high. It represents the moment when the Buddha entered Nirvana. The feet of the statue are decorated with 108 different lakshanas (holy signs). But the rest of the Buddha statues and the colorful chedis in this temple will also take your breath away.
Treat your tired feet to a massage! The temple complex of Wat Pho is home to Bangkok’s most famous massage school. It is one of the oldest and most renowned massage schools in Thailand, where the art of Thai massage is taught.
- Opening Hours: Wat Pho is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm.
- Entrance Fee: 200 Baht
The Wat Arun or also known as the Temple of Dawn is probably one of the most beautiful and famous temples in Bangkok. This temple in Bangkok is known for its central tower Prang, which is about 79 meters high. It is located on the west side of the river and is easily accessible by boat from Tha Tien Pier. Just getting to the complex is an absolute highlight, and from the boat you have the opportunity to take some great pictures of the temple. The stunning white temple complex is decorated with gleaming mosaics of shells, glass, and porcelain that form enchanting floral patterns. This temple is especially beautiful at night as well.
Wat Arun Temple has a special atmosphere, especially at sunset, when the setting sun illuminates the porcelain of the prang, giving it a beautiful shimmer. There are some great restaurants right on the waterfront where you can enjoy the sunset with a view of the temple.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Entrance Fee: A visit to Phra Prang currently costs 100 baht. Visiting the rest of the Wat Arun complex is free.
Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha Temple)
The Wat Traimit, also known as the Golden Buddha Temple, is truly a temple worth visiting in Bangkok. Located in the lively Chinatown district, a visit is a must for all temple fans. Wat Traimit is well-known for its main attraction, a massive golden Buddha statue known as the “Golden Buddha”. This statue is about 3 meters high, weighs several tons and is made almost entirely of pure gold. It is one of the largest and most valuable gold statues in the world. The value of the Golden Buddha is estimated to be more than 250 million dollars. The temple complex itself is also impressive, with various prayer rooms, shrines, and other religious artifacts.
The Golden Buddha has a fascinating history. Originally created in Sukhothai in the 13th century, the statue was covered in plaster to protect it from theft. From there it was moved to Ayutthaya and later to Bangkok, and over the centuries the true nature of the statue was forgotten. In 1954, the statue was accidentally damaged when it slipped while being moved. The crack in the plaster was discovered and the golden Buddha statue underneath was recognized.
Tip: A visit to the Golden Buddha Temple can be combined with a tour of Chinatown in Bangkok.
- Opening Hours: Wat Traimit is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Admission Fee: 100 Baht
Wat Saket (Golden Mount Temple)
The Golden Mount Temple or Wat Saket is one of the oldest temple complexes in the city and is located on an artificially raised hill or mountain, you have a fantastic view far over the rooftops of downtown Bangkok. Here you can enjoy the unique ambience in peace and quiet. Already the ascent of the 318 steps is something special, passing beautiful bells and various, sometimes bizarre statues. This temple is especially worth seeing, and the terrace at the top is one of the most beautiful places in Bangkok.
One of the main attractions of the Golden Mount is the panoramic view from the top. Visitors enjoy a brilliant view of Bangkok, especially at sunset when the city is bathed in golden light. Also impressive is the annual mid-November folk festival that takes place around the temple. It is a colorful event with local food, music, parades and cultural performances.
- Opening Hours: Golden Mount Temple is open daily from 7:30 am – 7:00pm.
- Admission Fee: 100 Baht
Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)
The Wat Benchamabophit, known to many as the Marble Temple, is a real highlight in Bangkok and well worth a trip. Wat Benchamabophit is named after the marble used to build it, and you need to visit to see this. The marble floor in the interior of the temple and the numerous marble statues and decorations are very impressive. The white marble contrasts with the golden decorations and is fascinating to see. Photographers will also enjoy visiting this temple. This holy place is made of Italian marble and has an incredibly special design.
The temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden with ponds, bridges and exotic plants. This garden area is a small oasis in the middle of the sometimes chaotic Bangkok. Here you can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the beautiful bridges make for great photo opportunities.
Tip: You will have the temple complex almost to yourself if you visit the Marble Temple right after it opens in the morning!
- Opening Hours: 08:00 am to 5:30 pm, open daily.
- Admission Fee: 50 Baht
The Wat Ratchanatdaram is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the famous Golden Mountain Temple and impresses with its extraordinary design and an unbelievably peaceful atmosphere. A special feature and the absolute highlight of the temple complex is the Loha Prasat, the so-called “Iron Palace”. The gleaming white temple has, believe it or not, 37 golden chedis shining beautifully in the Bangkok sun. They are said to symbolize the 37 virtues developed on the path to enlightenment in Buddhism.
The interior of this holy site is also worth seeing, and from the top you have a great view over the rooftops of downtown. A spiral staircase in the middle of the building leads to the top floor for the best panoramic view.
- Opening Hours: 08:00 am – 05:00 pm
- Entrance Fee: 20 Baht
Located in the historical center of Bangkok, near the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Suthat is one of the largest temples in Bangkok, covering about 4 hectares. This holy place is away from the tourist crowds, so it is usually very quiet and idyllic. Wat Suthat also has impressive architecture. The main viharn (assembly hall) of the temple is one of the largest viharns in Thailand and impresses with its magnificent decorations and elaborate murals. Especially beautiful and impressive are the long corridors with golden Buddha statues. The whole atmosphere of Wat Suthat is unique, and this jewel should not be missed on an extended temple tour in Bangkok.
Tip: Very close to the temple is the “Giant Swing”, which is another of the top sights of the city.
- Opening Hours: 08:30 am – 9:00 pm
- Entrance Fee: 100 Baht
Wat Intharawihan (Standing Buddha)
The Wat Intharawihan is located in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok, near the Golden Mountain Temple (Wat Saket) and the Grand Palace. The main attraction of the temple is the impressive standing Buddha statue, also known as “Luang Pho To”. The statue is about 32 meters high and 10 meters wide and is the centerpiece of the temple complex of Wat Intharawihan. In this rather small temple complex it is rather quiet compared to the other temples worth seeing in the city. Here you can take your time to look around, light an incense stick and enjoy the rest of the Buddha statues and the meditation room.
- Opening times: Wat Intharawihan is open daily from 06:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Entrance Fee: 40 Baht
Wat Phra Dhammakaya
The Wat Phra Dhammakaya is located a bit outside of Bangkok (north) and is an absolutely hidden temple in Bangkok. It is the largest temple in the Bangkok area and a real insider tip. The temple complex is one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world and on Buddhist holidays it is used by the eponymous meditation movement for mass meditation. Also, the design is unique, and it somehow reminds of a golden UFO. Absolutely recommendable is the visit of this gigantic temple during one of the bigger Buddhist holidays. At this time, more than 100,000 believers from all over Thailand come together for communal meditation.
The Wat Phra Dhammakaya is a real insider tip for Bangkok and definitely recommended if you are searching for exceptional places.
- Opening times: Guided tours on request
- Entrance Fee: free with guide
Wat Yannawa, a rather unknown temple, is worth a side trip! Because of its unusual architecture, Wat Yannawa is often called the “boat temple“. It is one of the few temples in the world with this type of design. The unusual shape of a ship or boat immediately catches the eye and makes for some great vacation photos. It is beautifully located next to the Chao Phraya River, so you can enjoy a great view of the river ambience when you visit. Wat Yannawa is still an insider tip among Bangkok connoisseurs, and we were very impressed by this holy site.
- Opening times: 08:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Entrance Fee: Until today, the entrance to Wat Yannawa is still free.
Rules and clothes
A visit to a Buddhist temple is almost a must-do while you are in Bangkok. Here is a quick guide about how to dress for Bangkok Temples and what are the main rules:
Dress code: When visiting a temple, proper attire is a must. What to wear: With short trousers, provocative skirts or even swimwear you won’t be allowed to enter a temple. Nevertheless, mostly you can borrow appropriate clothing for a small fee in the entrance area. If you are not sure, just take a cloth for the shoulders. Long pants are not a must, but the knees should be covered (especially for women). Closed shoes as well as sandals or flip-flops are allowed.
Rules: Inside of temples always walk barefoot, but do not worry, signs will remind you. Mostly you can move around freely and take pictures, just be careful to be quiet. You can also stay awhile and sit on the ground, just be careful that your soles are not pointing in the direction of the Buddha. Finally, you have to know that a monk is not allowed to be touched, this is especially important for women.
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