25 Best Things To Do in Bangkok – Ultimate Travel Guide
Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, fascinates with its incredible variety of places to visit and things to do, with the contrast between old and new, the rich cultural heritage and the gigantic skyscrapers. Whether it’s night markets, countless golden temples, extravagant shopping malls, breathtaking rooftop bars, the legendary floating river markets, quaint old Chinatown, exploring Bangkok a night or in the morning, the things to do in Bangkok are extremely diverse. However, with a seemingly endless selection of unforgettable activities and attractions you easily lose the overview. But which Bangkok attractions should be high up on your travel list and what are the absolute best travel tips for this captivating city?
In this blog article we show you the ultimate best things to do in Bangkok. In addition, we tell you many insider tips and extraordinary places to visit. In addition, this post provides information about, where to stay in Bangkok, travel tips and eating out.
Best things to do in Bangkok
You are planning a city break in Thailand’s capital and now you are looking for what are the top things to do in Bangkok? Here is our list of the best places to see and the coolest activities in town:
Royal Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo
The Royal Palace is one of the main attractions of the city and therefore a must see on any Bangkok trip. Until the middle of the 20th century, the royal palace was the official residence of the king. This magnificent complex is home to more than 100 stunning buildings, including a palace complex of temples, Wat Phra Kaeo – the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. On a walk through the area, visitors are amazed by all the beauty: Golden-glittering towers, countless ornate figures, beautiful mosaics and huge golden Buddha statues as far as the eye can reach. However, the absolute highlight of this pompous temple complex, is the tiny approximately 66 cm large Emerald Buddha, a highly sacred Buddha statue from the 14th century.
Tip: The Royal Palace is located near Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Thus, a visit to these temples can be optimally combined.
Wat Pho – The Reclining Buddha Temple
The Reclining Buddha Temple, or also known as Wat Pho, is an important Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Visiting this magnificent landmark, you will admire impressive murals, beautiful golden Buddha statues and colorfully decorated turrets. If you like, relax with a typical Thai massage at the local traditional massage school. However, the main attraction of the temple and the absolute visitor’s magnet is the 46-meter-long Buddha, one of Bangkok’s most famous amazing things to see. Here you can read more about Wat Pho: Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha Temple in Bangkok
Here more about the temples: Top 10 Must-Visit Temples in Bangkok
Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn
Visiting the Wat Arun is one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Beautifully situated on the Chao Phraya River, the Temple of the Dawn delights with its extraordinary architecture, the countless mosaics and the 70-meter-high tower. For many, Wat Arun is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok and a visit to this sacred site is highly recommended. Read more about this temple highlight here: Wat Arun – Bangkok’s Temple of the Dawn
Tip: The Wat Arun is especially overwhelming at night when it is lit. Watching the sunset is best in one of the opposite rooftop bars!
Sky Bars – having a drink at Bangkoks rooftop bars
Exploring Bangkok at night is an unforgettable experience. Among the list of the best things to do in Bangkok are a visit to one of the spectacular sky bars. With a cool drink in your hand, you can enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Bangkok and the sparkling skyline. Many know the Lebua Tower with the famous Hangover Skybar, but there are a few more, and even more beautiful Rooftop Bars waiting to be explored. For example, there is the sky bar from Amara Hotel from where you will have one of the best Bangkok views. Additionally, hotel guests will enjoy an awesome infinity pool.
Read more about Bangkok’s best sky bars: 10 Rooftop and Skybars Bars in Bangkok
Visit a Night Market
Visiting a night market in Bangkok is one of the ultimate highlights of the Thai capital. Here you get the chance to taste the delicious Thai cuisine. In addition, you can shop there until you drop, because here you will find next to the typical souvenirs, hipsters and vintage shops, casual clothing and often even antiques and art. Highly recommended is the huge Ratchada Train Night Market, a really hip and modern market in Bangkok. But also the new Asiatique the Riverfront, a mix of night market and shopping mall is absolutely worth a visit. Those who like exploring extraordinary sights should visit the Chang Chui night market. Here you’ll find galleries, lots of art, retro design and cool shops, but also some delicious street food and cool bars. Visiting a traditional night market is one of the best things to do in Bangkok and therefor you should put that activity high up on your bucket list.
Read more about the most beautiful night markets in Bangkok: Top 7 Night Markets in Bangkok
Shopping malls in Bangkok
Shopping is one of the most popular activities in Bangkok. So it’s no wonder that in addition to typical markets, night markets, weekend markets and floating markets, you will find a multitude of shopping centers and huge shopping malls. The best known are for example the MBK, the Siam Paragon and the Central World. But also the new malls are really worth seeing. It is highly recommended to make a stop at the Icon Siam – a shopping center of superlatives. Here you will find not only designer brands but also a huge Apple Store with a viewing terrace, an artificial floating market and in the evening, there is a spectacularly beautiful light show right on the river. Especially when it rains, visiting a shopping mall can be great fun!
Read more about the best shopping malls in Bangkok: 10 Best Shopping Malls in Bangkok
Tip: The shopping malls in Bangkok are open every day, including Sundays, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Exploring Bangkok’s Chinatown
Chinatown, with its many beautiful Chinese temples, countless markets and famous colorful billboards, is one of Bangkok’s best attractions. On a sightseeing tour through the area, there are plenty of things to see and do. Here you will get to know the Thai capital from a completely different side. Especially worthwhile is a trip to the famous Yaowarat Road, which is the landmark of Chinatown in Bangkok. Also, the Wat Traimit – the golden Buddha temple is really recommended.
Tip: A food tour through Chinatown is a great way to taste the Thai-Chinese cuisine without hesitation. A feast of the senses!
Wat Saket – The Golden Mount Temple
Wat Saket, better known as the Golden Mount Temple, is a truly impressive temple complex and therefore for many visitors one of Bangkok’s best places to visit. Over 318 steps lead up to the Golden Mount Temple. From above you will enjoy a breath-taking panorama. The little effort is definitely worth it, the mood on the temple terrace is magical. More about Wat Saket here: Wat Saket – The Golden Mount in Bangkok
Tip: When going there in the late afternoon, you have the chance to admire a magical sunset from above. At that time, you almost have the Wat Saket for you alone.
Here more about the temples: Top 10 Must-Visit Temples in Bangkok
Asiatique the Riverfront
The Asiatique the Riverfront Night Market is one of Bangkok’s new attractions. With its unmistakable white Ferris wheel and romantic location right on the Chao Phraya River, this market is a popular place to visit for both tourists and locals. There are countless shops, really tasty restaurants but also cabaret shows, Thai boxing and a small amusement park. More about this night market you can read here: Asiatique the Riverfront in Bangkok | Market Guide
Tip: Free shuttle boats to Asiatique the Riverfront are provided. They start at the Sathorn Pier station all 10 – 15 minutes.
Boat tour at Chao Phraya
Many of the main attractions in Bangkok are located right on Chao Phraya river and so a boat tour is for many visitors a must do in the city. Whether by public boat on your own, or rather with a guided boat trip – discover Bangkok from the river is just great and should not be missed.
Tip: Especially popular are the dinner cruise in the evening, where you can enjoy the incredibly beautiful river ambience and having a delicious thai dinner.
King Power Mahanakhon
King Power Mahanakhon is one of Bangkok’s brand-new things to see. With 314 meters and 77 floors it is currently the tallest building in Bangkok and so a visit to this skyscraper is an absolute highlight and should not be missed on a trip to the Thai capital. Anyone who dares can take a walk across the skywalk, a glass floor on a high of 300 meters. It is especially nice to enjoy the sunset over Bangkok from this height – an experience that you won`t forget.
Tip: The entrance to the King Power Mahanakhon is with 20 Euro not that cheap. Anyway, cheaper tickets can be ordered online!
Take a ride on the Skytrain – BTS
Just in time for the rush hour Bangkok streets are hopelessly clogged, especially in the new city. But not only a ride with the sky train is a great choice. This elevated train hovers over the jams and stops at many of Bangkok’s newest districts and sight. By the way, you can enjoy a spectacular cityscape and come right up close to the gigantic skyscrapers. So taking a ride with the BTS is one of the coolest things to do in Bangkok!
Tip: The BTS is next to the metro and taxis, the cheapest option for transport in Bangkok.
Lumphini Park is a small oasis in the middle of the chaotic city center and is since a long time one of the most famous sights in Bangkok. On a walk you will admire the beautiful lake, in the background the state-of-the-art skyline and with a little luck you will also see one of the many resident monitors. If you like, borrow one of the cute pedal boats and go for a ride in the park lake.
Jim Thompson’s house
The Jim Thompson House is a little secret inside the often so chaotic and noisy Bangkok. During a guided tour of this old teak house you can hardly escape the charm of times. You also learn a lot about the history of Jim Thompson, a former silk baron and you can admire and buy beautiful cloths in the subsequent shop.
Bangkok Art & Culture Center
The BACC, the Bangkok Art & Culture Center, features on nine floors temporary exhibitions, cafes, art and crafts shops. The atmosphere is really pleasant and with free admission you can admire the interesting exhibitions of international artists, photos, paintings, sculptures and also art performances. The entire museum is very inspiring, and especially for those interested in art, a visit is highly recommended.
Khao San Road
Another must visit places in Bangkok is the world famous Khao San Road. Popular for backpackers and those who like to party, this 400-meter-long street is one of the city’s top attractions. Here you can shop, eat and party until early in the morning. Some of the cheapest and best backpacker hostels, such as BED STATION Hostel, are located in and in the area around Khao San Road. The atmosphere in this district is unique, exuberant and laid back, making it an everlasting and iconic tourist attraction.
Tip: The quieter Rambutree Road, the side street of Khao San Road, is a bit more relaxing. Also, here you will also find the better restaurants and the cozier bars.
Floating markets in Bangkok
The Floating Markets in and around Bangkok are probably one of the most famous attractions and play an important role in the local’s daily life. The most famous market is the Damnoen Suduak Floating Market, which can only be reached via a day trip from Bangkok. But also in Bangkok city are some smaller floating markets and more untouristy markets. One of them is the Taling Chan – an authentic floating market at Thonburi.
Another interesting thing to do in Bangkok is a visit to the Snake Farm. Located near Lumpini Park, this snake farm is part of the Thai Red Cross. Among other things, the counter serum against deadly snake bites is produced here. During a tour, you can observe the various snakes inside their terrariums and watch every day at 11:00 am when the snake venom is milked. Also interesting is the snake show at 14:00 o’clock, in which various domestic snakes are presented and explained respectfully to the visitors.
Muay Thai boxing match
Muay Thai boxing is a national sport in Thailand. Thus the most important competitions are taking place directly at the Thai capital. Experience a Muay Thai boxing match live is a real highlight for sports fans and so another insider tip for the coolest things to do in Bangkok. The most famous stadiums are the Lumpini Stadium, the Rajadamnern Stadium and the Channel 7 Stadium. But also at the Asiatique the Riverfront interesting show fights are shown.
Tips: Tickets can be easily organized online at GetyourGuide.
Boat tour through the Klongs
Also worth seeing are definitely the Klongs of Bangkok, the old canals, where you can still find a lot of originality and authenticity. On a boat tour you will see the most beautiful corners of Bangkok from the water and get a deep insight into the city life on the river. A fantastic experience for those who want to explore Bangkok even more.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Chatuchak is the largest market in Bangkok and even calls itself the world’s largest weekend market. There is almost nothing that does not exist here. Fashion, jewelry, souvenirs, antiques, furniture, toys, household goods and even pets. With an unimaginable number of streets, shops and stalls you can get lost here easily. The market is one of the major attractions in Bangkok and a visit to the Chatuchak Weekend Market should be on the travel list of all shopping addicts.
Attend a thai cooking class
A popular activity in Bangkok is to attend a traditional thai cooking class. In these cooking schools you will learn in a relaxed atmosphere how to conjure the most delicious Thai dishes by your own. The recipes are a great souvenir, with which one can get a little bit of Thailand home after the vacation. So, if you love cooking and if you love Thai food, then a cooking class in Bangkok is a must do.
Tip: Recommended is for example the Maliwan Thai cooking classes. Before the actual cooking begins, you drive together to a local market to buy the best ingredients together.
The best things to do around Bangkok
If you are staying in Bangkok for let’s say 3 days or 4 days, it is recommended to do one or two excursions to explore the area around Bangkok. You will be surprised how many fantastic sights are waiting to be explored. Here are the best tours from Bangkok:
- Ayutthaya: Explore the ancient temple ruins of Ayutthaya and admire the famous statue of the Buddha head grown in a tree at Wat Mahathat.
- Lopburi: On a trip to Lopburi – Monkey Town you will explore the former capital of Thailand, which is now famous for its many many macaques living there.
- Floating Market: Outside Bangkok there are 2 very famous floating markets to explore. The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and the Amphawa Floating Market. Floating market tours are really popular and are offered from Bangkok.
- Maeklong train market: A market which is located on the tracks of the Mae Klong Railway.
- Ancient Siam & Erawan Museum: In a tour to Ancient Siam you can theoretically visit all of Thailand in one day. Because at that open-air museum, the most beautiful temples and cities were recreated here.
- Khao Yai National Park: The UNESCO-protected Khao Yai National Park is Thailand’s third largest national park and famous for its elephants.
- Kanchanaburi: Here you can visit the World War II Death Railway and make a trip to the amazing Erawan Waterfall. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand.
Excursions can be booked on-site or, if you prefer good reviews and recommendations, they also can be booked online. At GetyourGuide you can cancel most tours up to 24 hours in advance and in addition, you can compare all the customers recommendations.
How to get to Bangkok
The most common way for getting to Bangkok is usually by plane. It should be noted that Bangkok has two airports, Suvurnabhumi Airport for international flights, and Don Mueang Airport, which is used for domestic flights. Cheap flights to Bangkok, but also domestic flights from Bangkok to, for example, Chiang Mai, Phuket or Koh Samui can be found on online portals such as Skyscanner.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city is by taxi. It is clearly the most comfortable option. For the ride you pay 10 – 15 euros, provided the taximeter is turned on. Best you ask the taxi driver to switch it on. Another option would be the Airport Link, a kind of metro, where you usually have to change to other means of transport.
Transportation in Bangkok
In Bangkok, the best way to get around is by taxi, MRT (metro) or BTS (skytrain). Tuk tuks have unfortunately become too expensive and even with a lot of negotiating skills you will usually pay too much. On the other hand, taking a taxi is much cheaper and much safer. For short distances you usually pay only 80 baht for the trip – but always make sure the taximeter is on. In the new town the best way to get around is by metro and BTS.
Tip: For getting around in Bangkok, we love to use the Grab App, which allows you to choose your destination and pickup point online. In addition, you know exactly how much the ride will cost.
Tips for onward travel
For many visitors, Bangkok is the starting point for a journey through Thailand. The city is the junction between the south and the north, between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. No matter by ferry, train, bus or domestic flight – in this country you can easily travel from one destination to another. Looking for transfer connections, you can take a look at 12go.asia. Here you book train tickets, check bus connections and ferry tickets.
Eating out in Bangkok
In Bangkok there are thousands of places where you can eat well. Whether in Khao San Road, the night markets, the shopping center, the typical food stall on the street or in fine restaurants, food in Bangkok is omnipresent. Actually, you can eat here around the clock, the food is varied and usually really delicious.
If you like to try something new, but do not dare on your own, why not join one of the popular Bangkok Food Tours! At such an excursion you have the opportunity to get the typical Thai food with its numerous facets shown by a professional local food guide.
Where to stay in Bangkok
Finding accommodation in Bangkok should be really easy. The offer of hostels, hotels and luxury hotels is huge. We have summarized here our hotel tips and the best accommodations for Bangkok at a glance:
- Backpacker Hostel: The Fun & Cafe Hostel is the absolute insider tip for backpackers and globetrotters. The clean hostel convinces with its great location, the clean rooms and the cozy cafe-restaurant. Also the stuff is amazing!
- Guest House: The Innspire Bangkok is a really lovely guesthouse with clean rooms in a quiet and very central location.
- Hotel with infinity pool: The Amara Bangkok boasts a fantastic sky bar and a swimming pool with an ingenious view to the skyline of Bangkok. Awesome hotel tip for Bangkok!
- Boutique Hotel: The Muse Hotel Bangkok is an incredibly classy hotel with a chic skybar and a beautiful pool. An accommodation for a very special stay in Bangkok.
Conclusion: Bangkok is indescribable. It is loud, humid and hectic, but still beautiful, exciting and interesting at the same time. The downtown area offers visitors a variety of memorable activities and exceptionally beautiful sights and things to do. But also in the area around Bangkok you can do great excursions and tours. So a stay in the Thai capital is often one of the highlights of every trip to Thailand and should definitely not be missed.
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