25 Amazing Things To Do in Bangkok
The many spectacular things to do in Bangkok make this megacity one of the most popular destinations in Thailand. Here, not only the incredible variety of attractions fascinates, but also the contrast between old and new, rich cultural heritage and gigantic skyscrapers make this metropolis absolutely unique in the world. Whether it’s flashy night markets, golden temples, huge shopping malls, breathtaking sky bars, legendary floating markets, the quaint Chinatown and the original old town, there is certainly lots to see in this city. However, with a seemingly endless selection of unforgettable activities and things to do, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. But what are the top attractions in Bangkok, what are the real insider tips and which experiences should not be missed.
In this travel guide, we show you the ultimate best things to do in Bangkok. In addition, we tell you many insider tips, extraordinary places to visit and to see in Bangkok. Moreover, this post provides information about, where to stay in Bangkok, travel tips and eating out.
The Best Things to Do in Bangkok
On a visit to Bangkok, you can look forward to a whole range of attractions worth seeing. Most of them are located directly in the city center, which you can explore perfectly on your own. So that you do not lose the overview, we have summarized the best things to do in Bangkok at a glance:
Royal Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo
The Royal Palace is one of the most important attractions in Bangkok, and is therefore a must-see on any trip to the Thai capital. From the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century, the Grand Palace was the official residence of the kings of Siam. The magnificent palace complex houses more than 100 impressive buildings, including the giant temple complex Wat Phra Kaeo, which is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
During a walk through the huge area, visitors can hardly get out of the amazement. Golden shining towers, countless ornate figures, beautiful mosaics and huge golden Buddha statues as far as the eye can see. However, the absolute highlight of this pompous temple complex is the small, approximately 66 cm tall Emerald Buddha, an extremely valuable, 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 (Reclining Buddha Temple)
The Reclining Buddha Temple, or also known as Wat Pho, is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Visiting this magnificent landmark, you will admire impressive murals, beautiful golden Buddha statues and colorfully decorated turrets. However, the most significant attraction of Wat Pho temple and the absolute visitor magnet is the 46-meter-long reclining Buddha, and a visit is definitely one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Nearby is the temple’s traditional massage school, a real insider tip if you want to try a typical Thai massage.
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)
Visiting the Wat Arun is one of the best things to do in Bangkok and is also one of the landmarks of the Thai metropolis. Beautifully located on the Chao Phraya River, the so-called Temple of the Dawn inspires with its extraordinary architecture, the countless mosaics and the central 70-meter-high tower Phra Prang. The complex was already built in the Ayutthaya period and the temple was then still called Wat Makok, the olive temple. For many, Wat Arun is one of the most stunning temple-buildings of Bangkok, and a visit to this sacred site is highly recommended.
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!
Bangkoks Rooftop Bars (Sky Bars)
Enjoying the spectacular Rooftop Bars in Bangkok are among the best things to do in Bangkok, and a visit is a wonderful way to marvel at the megacity from above. These sky bars are located on the roofs of skyscrapers and offer a picture-perfect panorama. With a cool drink or a delicious cocktail, guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of downtown Bangkok at sometimes dizzying heights and of the sparkling skyline at night. Lebua Tower is really famous with the legendary Hangover Skybar, but there are several more and partly even more beautiful sky bars waiting to be explored.
Tip: Really ingenious is the rooftop bar of the Amara Hotel, where you can enjoy as a hotel guest in addition to the bar a great infinity pool with an outstanding view.
Night Markets in Bangkok
The fantastic night markets in Bangkok are one of the 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 Plane Market.
Shopping Malls in Bangkok
Shopping is one of the most popular leisure activities of the Thai people. So it’s no wonder that in addition to the typical markets, night markets, weekend markets and floating markets, you can find a variety of shopping centers and huge shopping malls in Bangkok. The most famous are Siam Paragon, EmQuatier, Central World, Terminal 21 and MBK. Especially recommended is a trip to the Icon Siam, a shopping center of superlatives. Here you will find designer brands, a huge Apple Store with a viewing terrace, an artificial floating market and in the evening there is a spectacularly beautiful light show with water fountain directly on the river.
Tip: You can visit the shopping malls in Bangkok every day. They are open daily, including Sundays, usually from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
The lively Chinatown in Bangkok with its many beautiful Chinese temples, countless markets and famous colorful billboards is as a whole one of the most important attractions of the old town in Bangkok. On a sightseeing tour through the district, there are many unusual and worth seeing things to discover. Here you will get to know the Thai capital from an entirely different side. Especially worthwhile is a detour to the famous Yaowarat Road, which is, so to speak, the landmark of Chinatown. Wat Traimit, the golden Buddha temple, is also particularly worth seeing.
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 (Golden Mount Temple)
The Wat Saket, better known as the Golden Mount Temple, is a truly impressive temple complex and one of the oldest temples in the old city. For many tourists, a visit is one of the best things to do in Bangkok, and really, this structure should be seen. Over 318 steps lead up to a mountain almost 80 meters high, and further to the golden top of the Golden Mount Temple. From the top, you enjoy a panorama to marvel at because the view of the old city of Bangkok is incredible. The atmosphere on the temple terrace is also almost magical and invites you to meditate and linger.
Tip: If you visit in the late afternoon, you can admire a magical sunset from above. At this time, you have Wat Saket almost all to yourself.
Asiatique the Riverfront
The Asiatique the Riverfront night market is one of the new attractions of Bangkok and especially a visit towards evening is really nice. Even the journey by boat on the Chao Phraya River is an experience in itself. Once you arrive, you will experience one of the coolest open-air shopping centers in the city. A landmark is the unmistakable white Ferris wheel, which together with the romantic location directly on the river make this market a real highlight. Here, countless hip stores, excellent restaurants, but also entertaining cabaret shows, Thai boxing and a small amusement park provide action.
Tip: The Asiatique is best visited from 5:00 pm. If you want to come by boat, there is also a free shuttle boat from the Sathorn Pier station.
Chao Phraya River Boat Tour
Many of the most important sights are located directly on the river of Bangkok, the Chao Phraya and so a boat trip is for many holidaymakers high on the travel program. Whether with the public boats on your own, or rather with a guided boat trip, to discover Bangkok from the river is simply great and should not be missed. Especially popular are the dinner cruise in the evening, where you can enjoy the incredibly beautiful river ambience of this big city with a delicious meal and cool drinks.
King Power Mahanakhon
The King Power Mahanakhon is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Bangkok, and is currently the second-tallest building in the city with 314 meters and 77 floors. A visit to this skyscraper is a real insider tip and for many even the highlight of their trip to the Thai capital. Because the view of the city is unbeatable. It is especially beautiful to enjoy the sunset over Bangkok from this height! In addition, there is a skywalk at King Power Mahanakhon with a dizzying glass floor at a height of over 300 meters. An attraction in a class of its own!
Tip: The entrance to the King Power Mahanakhon is with 20 Euro, not that cheap. Anyway, cheaper tickets can often be found online!
Take a Ride on the Skytrain
The BTS Skytrain is one of the fastest options of transportation in Bangkok and, moreover, a ride is one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Just in time for rush hour, Bangkok’s streets, especially in the New Town, are hopelessly crowded and congested. Especially at this time, a ride on the BTS Skytrain is a fantastic idea. This elevated train floats along stilts virtually above the traffic jams and stops at many of the most important points in Bangkok’s new districts. Along the way, you can enjoy a spectacular cityscape and get up close to the gigantic skyscrapers and modern shopping malls.
Lumphini Park is a small oasis in the middle of the chaotic city center and is definitely one of the most famous attractions of Bangkok. Walking through the large green park, you admire a beautiful lake, which conjures up a picture-perfect backdrop with the ultra-modern skyline of Bangkok. The atmosphere is always calm, you watch people doing Tai Chi, picnicking and jogging. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see one of the many resident monitor lizards, which usually sunbathe on the lakeshore. It is also nice to take a ride on a rowing or pedal boat, which you can rent for a fee.
Tip: Lumphini Park is one of the most stunning green parks in Bangkok. An experience is a visit in the early morning or late afternoon when the locals use the park.
Jim Thompson’s House
The Jim Thompson House is a little insider tip and certainly not a place that everyone already knows about. This important museum is located in the middle of the bustling downtown Bangkok, surrounded by large hotels and shopping malls. The art collection of the famous American businessman Jim Thompson is exhibited here. During a guided tour through the old teak house, one can hardly escape the charm of former times. In addition, you learn a lot about the history of Jim Thompson, the former silk baron, and you can admire and buy gorgeous cloths in the subsequent store.
Bangkok Art & Culture Center
The Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, often known as BACC, is a museum of contemporary art. It is located directly opposite the famous MBK shopping center. On nine floors you can visit various temporary exhibitions, there are nice cafés and stores with art and handicrafts. The atmosphere is really pleasant and with free entrance, you can admire the interesting exhibitions of international artists, photographs, paintings, sculptures and also art performances. The whole museum is very inspiring and especially for art lovers a visit is recommended.
Khao San Road
Khao San Road in Bangkok is a true legend of the Thai capital and a visit is fore sure one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Famous among backpackers since the 80s and among all those who like to party, this 400 meter long street is one of the top attractions of the city. Here you can do some shopping, eat delicious food and party until early in the morning. Also, some of the cheapest and best backpacker hostels, such as the BED STATION Hostel are located in and around Khao San Road. The atmosphere in this party mile is unique, exuberant and relaxed. And so it is and remains an eternal, cult tourist magnet in Bangkok, which you should definitely have experienced once.
Tip: The somewhat quieter Rambutree Road, the side street of Khao San Road, invites you to linger. Here you will also find the better restaurants and the cozier bars.
Floating Markets in Bangkok
The floating markets are among the most important sights of Bangkok. They are located in, but especially a little outside, the city and the so-called “Venice of the East” attracts visitors from all over the world. The most famous market is the Damoen Suduak Floating Market, a huge floating market 90 kilometers outside the city, which can only be reached by a day trip from Bangkok. Also known is the Amphawa Floating Market, which is not far from Damoen Suduak and you can combine a visit.
An insider tip in Bangkok and fascinating is a visit to the Snake Farm. Located near Lumpini Park, this snake farm is part of the Thai Red Cross. Here, among other things, the antidote serum for deadly snakebites is produced. During a tour, you can marvel at the various snakes in the terrariums and watch the daily milking of the snake venom at 11:00 am. A real highlight is also the snake show at 14:00, where various native snake species such as the famous king cobra are respectfully demonstrated and explained to visitors.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The Chatuchak Weekend Market 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.
Muay Thai Boxing
Muay Thai is the national sport in Thailand, and so of course many of the most important competitions take place directly in the Thai capital. To experience a Muay Thai boxing match live and up close is an unforgettable experience for sports enthusiasts. The most famous stadiums, where the most spectacular fights are held, are the Lumpini Stadium, Rajadamnern Stadium and the Channel 7 Stadium. But interesting show fights are also held in Asiatique the Riverfront.
Tip: Tickets for Muay Thai events can also be easily and cheaply arranged online in advance on GetyourGuide.
Boat Tour through the Klongs
The klongs of Bangkok, the old narrow canals in which you can still find a lot of originality and authenticity in Bangkok, are also an experience in any case. Even today, there are said to be over 1,600 of these waterways in the Thai capital. On a boat tour through the small rivers you get to know the most beautiful corners of Bangkok from the water, and get in-depth insights into the lives of the people. Depending on the tour, you will also visit smaller floating markets, beautiful temple complexes, local potteries and orchid farms. A fantastic adventure for anyone who would like to explore Bangkok in more detail.
Try Thai Food
In Bangkok, there are a million places where you can eat well. In the Khao San Road, on the night markets, in the shopping center, at the typical food stalls on the street or in fine restaurants, food in Bangkok is ubiquitous. You can actually eat here around the clock, the dishes offered are varied and usually delicious. You should try the famous Pad Thai, Som Tam salad, spring rolls and the spicy Khao Pad. A really popular activity in Bangkok is to attend a traditional Thai cooking class in Bangkok or to go on a Bangkok Food Tour with a professional local food guide.
Tip: Recommended is for example the Maliwan Thai cooking classes. Before the actual cooking starts, you go together to a local market to buy the best ingredients.
Best Things to Do Around Bangkok
If you are staying longer in Bangkok, 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 you will explore the former capital of Thailand, which is now well-known for its many macaques living there.
- Floating Market: Very popular are trips to the famous floating markets, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Amphawa Floating Market.
- Maeklong Train Market: A famous market which is located on the tracks of the Mae Klong Railway.
- Ancient Siam & Erawan Museum: On a tour of Ancient Siam, a huge open-air museum, you can theoretically see all of Thailand in one day.
- 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.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Finding fantastic accommodations in Bangkok should be easy in this city. The range of hostels, hotels and luxury hostels is huge. We have summarized our hotel tips and the best places to stay in Bangkok at a glance…It’s worth a look!
- Boutique Hotel: The Muse Hotel Bangkok is an incredibly classy hotel with a chic sky bar and a beautiful pool. A great choice for a very special stay in Bangkok.
- Nice Guest House: The Innspire Bangkok is a really lovely guesthouse with clean rooms in a quiet and very central location.
- Backpacker Hostel: The Fun & Cafe Hostel is the absolute insider tip for backpackers and globetrotters. The hostel scores with great location, clean rooms and cozy cafe-restaurant.
- Hotel with Infinity Pool: The Amara Bangkok boasts a fantastic sky bar and an infinity pool with an ingenious view to the skyline of Bangkok. Awesome hotel tip for Bangkok!
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