A visit to the stunning Wat Arun temple is one of the most iconic things to do in Bangkok.

The 12 Best Things to Do in Bangkok

Looking for the best things to do in Bangkok? This guide is here to help. The Thai capital is a popular tourist destination and with good reason. From stunning temples and delicious street food to high-end rooftop bars and amazing shopping, there is something for every taste and budget. 

Bangkok is a city of wild contrasts where century-old traditions seamlessly blend with the trappings of modernity. You can often find shantytowns right next to epic skyscrapers. Buddhist shrines pop up next to mega malls built in the name of consumerism. Unassuming street food stalls still provide sustenance for young professionals in the swanky business district.  

Your first time in Bangkok can be overwhelming. The city is vast and chaotic, and the never-ending traffic jams are not a myth. But give it a chance and you will discover many quieter corners and hidden gems. Don’t worry, this article on the best things to do in Bangkok will help you navigate this urban jungle. 

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The 12 Best Things to Do in Bangkok

Marvel at The Grand Palace

A couple of examples of the beautiful architecture at Bangkok's Grand Palace
Beautiful architecture at the Grand Palace

A visit to The Grand Palace is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok. Established in 1782, this historical complex was the official residence for the Thai royal family until the early 20th century. It incorporates living quarters, government buildings, halls and pavilions surrounded by protective walls.   

The Grand Palace complex is also home to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). This significant temple houses a revered Buddha image entirely carved from a single block of jade. To this day Wat Phra Kew remains a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists.  

The palace brings together traditional Thai architecture and Western influences. Many of the buildings within the complex boast intricate carvings, mosaics, murals, ceramic tiles and gold leaf cladding. If you happen to visit on a bright day, these decorative features will glisten beautifully in the sun.  

I was fortunate to visit the Grand Palace just after Thailand started to cautiously open after the pandemic in late 2021. Although the complex was busy, the crowds were not overwhelming, and it was easy to find quieter corners to simply take in the architectural beauty. 

However, this is not usually the case. The Grand Palace is one of the most popular landmarks in Bangkok, so expect it to be extremely busy, especially in the high season. To beat the crowds and the scorching heat, head there as early as possible. 

Entry to the palace is 500 baht (15 USD) per person. Keep in mind that the palace is also a religious sight. Make sure to dress modestly and cover your knees and shoulders. You can purchase a sarong at the entrance to the palace if needed.  

Getting to The Grand Palace

The closest MRT station is Sanam Chai. It’s just a 15-minute walk away from the palace. You can also take the Chao Phraya Express boat to the Tha Tien pier. The Grand Palace is just a short walk away.  

Guided Tours

If you would like to learn more about the Grand Palace on your visit, check out one of these tours: 

Visit Wat Pho

The magnificent giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

Another famous landmark worth adding to your list of things to do in Bangkok is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Established in the 16th century, this is one of the oldest and largest temple complexes in the Thai capital. 

Wat Pho is famous for being the home of the giant reclining Buddha figure covered in gold leaf.  At 46 meters long and 15 meters high, it is certainly an impressive site. Visitors can walk around it to appreciate its scale.  

But there is more to Wat Pho than the reclining Buddha. Make sure to explore the grounds within the temple complex. You will get to see stupas, intricate murals, quiet chapels and over 1,000 Buddha statues. Aside from the reclining Buddha’s pavilion which does get crowded, the rest of Wat Pho is relatively quiet. It’s a great place to simply wander and take it the beautiful surroundings. 

Wat Pho also houses a traditional Thai massage and medicine school. If you are looking to experience a Thai massage, you’ll be in good hands there.  

Entry to Wat Pho is 200 baht (6 USD) which includes a complimentary bottle of water. Just like at The Grand Palace, make sure to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees.  

Getting to Wat Pho

Wat Pho is located just a short walk away from The Grand Palace. You can easily visit both landmarks in one day. If you are only visiting Wat Pho, it is also accessible from the Tha Tien pier and Sanam Chai MRT station. 

Guided Tours

There are English-speaking tour guides available right at Wat Pho. A tour costs 200 or 400 baht (6 or 12 USD), depending on the size of the group. Alternatively, you can join one of these highly rated guided tours: 

Go to Wat Arun

Wat Arun on a slightly cloudy day
Wat Arun on a slightly cloudy day

Just across the river from The Grand Palace and Wat Pho you will find Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. It is especially beautiful at night when it’s lit up. However, it’s worth taking some time for a visit to explore the temple in more detail. 

The first iteration of the temple was built in the 17th century. It was expanded and extensively renovated in later centuries. Today, Wat Arun is considered one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok. Its unique design features a 70-meter Khmer-style spire and intricate Chinese porcelain mosaics laid out in elegant floral patterns. The latter is the reason why the temple glistens so beautifully in the sun.  

You can climb the central spire part-way to enjoy the views over the nearby area. The steps are steep, so take extra care when attempting the climb. Going up and down is challenging.  

Entry to Wat Arun costs 100 baht (3 USD) per person. As this is still very much a religious sight, you need to adhere to the usual modest dress code. 

 Getting to Wat Arun

If you are going to Wat Arun after a visit to the Grand Palace or Wat Pho, head to the Tha Tien Pier. There is a regular boat service that goes to the other side of the river. The trip costs 4 baht (0.12 USD). 

Travel Back in Time at Jim Thompson House

The exterior of Jim Thompson House

If you would like to experience traditional Thai interiors and learn about a mysterious historic figure, make sure to add Jim Thompson House to your list of things to do in Bangkok. 

Jim Thompson is a high-end Thai brand specialising in silk products from clothing to homewares. It was founded by American businessman and, reportedly, spy, Jim Thompson. His work helped to revive the Thai silk industry and put it on the world stage.  

However, Jim Thompson’s name is associated not only with a successful business, but also with an unsolved mystery. Jim disappeared while visiting Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands in 1967. As no body was found, there is no certainty about what happened that day.  

Jim Thompson left behind a beautiful house in a surprisingly tranquil corner of Bangkok. As Jim loved Thai architecture and design, he wanted to build a home that was true to the local style. He began construction in 1958. It is made up of six traditional wooden Thai houses that were sourced from other parts of the country. They are interconnected to accommodate a modern lifestyle with roots in tradition and craftsmanship. 

To visit the house, you will need to join a guided tour. You will get to enjoy the stylish interiors and art while learning about Jim’s fascinating life. Entry to the house is 200 baht (6 USD) per person, including a guided tour. 

Apart from the tour you can enjoy the shade in the tranquil gardens surrounding the house. There is also a café and a shop where you can buy a silk keepsake. 

Just around the corner from the museum, there is also a contemporary art centre that you can also check out as part of your visit.     

Getting to Jim Thompson House

The closest BTS Skytrain station is National Stadium. Jim Thompson House is just a 5-minute walk away from it. 

Visit Chinatown 

Bangkok's Chinatown at night and Explore with Wonder's Ksenia enjoying satay skewers
Bangkok’s Chinatown at night and me enjoying some satay skewers at a food stall along Yaowarat Road

Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, is one of the most famous neighbourhoods in Bangkok. It is home to some of the best street food in the city. However, there is more to this area than just the (amazing) food. 

One of the largest in the world, Bangkok’s Chinatown boasts a rich history. It began its life in the late 18th century as Chinese settlers began to arrive in the area. Since then, Chinatown has become a busy commercial centre packed with markets and shops selling everything from traditional Chinese medicine to gold to amulets.  

Visitors to the area can wander Chinatown’s alleyways, marvel at elaborate Chinese temples and simply take in the unique blend of the Thai and Chinese cultures. The area also boasts a few great bars where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood. Check out the Grand China Princess Hotel Rooftop Bar offering cocktails and views over the Chao Phraya River. 

Chinatown comes into its own after dark. This is when Yaowarat Road, the area’s main artery, comes to life with numerous street stalls. Be prepared for crowds and queues as Chinatown is popular with tourists and locals alike. 

To make the most of the foods on offer, simply take a wander along Yaowarat Road and nearby streets. Don’t be afraid to try out a few things from different street vendors. From delicious seafood and traditional skewers to various dumplings and unusual desserts, there is lots to get through on a foodie night out in Bangkok’s Chinatown.  

Getting to Chinatown

Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ratchawong Pier, which is just a short walk away from all the action. Alternatively, the closest MRT station is Hua Lamphong. It’s just a 10-munute walk from the heart of Chinatown. 

Guided Tours

Check out these highly rated guided tours if you’d like to make the most of your visit to this bustling neighbourhood: 

Shop Till You Drop at Bangkok’s Malls

Centralworld shopping mall in Bangkok
CentralWorld in Bangkok

It might seem a little strange to add a visit to a shopping mall to the list of the best things to do in Bangkok. After all, most of us are used to bland malls full of chain stores and restaurants that are pretty much the same wherever you go. However, in Bangkok’s shopping malls are something else.  

Malls have air-conditioning offering an escape from the scorching heat. As a result, they are not a place to just shop, but also socialise. Visitors can enjoy restaurants, spas, cinemas, events and occasionally even ice skating.  

Bangkok has many malls on offer. From budget to high end, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the most popular ones to see on your next trip to Bangkok: 

  • MBK Centre – a huge mall that feels like an indoor market 
  • Siam Discovery – just opposite MBK, this concept mall focuses on lifestyles brands including fashion and homewares from Thai designers 
  • Siam Paragon – one of the largest and most famous malls in the Thai capital  
  • CentralWorld – a huge mall that is home to many international brands and an indoor ice rink 
  • ICONSIAM – a spectacular high-end mall located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. 

Make sure that you take advantage of the food courts when visiting Bangkok malls. Although you will occasionally find chains like McDonalds there, they also have stalls serving delicious and affordable Thai and international food. Shopping mall dining is not just for tourists; locals make the most of it too.   

Have a Night Out at a Rooftop Bar

Octave Rooftop Bar at Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
Octave Rooftop Bar – courtesy of Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

Thanks to Bangkok’s many high-rises and possibly relaxed building regulations, the city is home to dozens of rooftop bars. If you would like to enjoy a glamorous night out with breath-taking views over the capital, add a night out at a roof top bar to your Bangkok itinerary.  

One of the most popular options is the aptly called Vertigo located on the 60th floor of the Banyan Tree hotel. You can simply enjoy a cocktail with a view over there or have a proper meal. The menu features a wide selection of seafood and grilled meats. 

Another famous spot is Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower. Located on a 63rd floor rooftop terrace, it is one of highest rooftop bars in the world. It offers panoramic 360-degree views over the capital complemented by an extensive cocktail list. This bar was even featured in the Hangover II movie. 

Spanning the top four floors of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, the chic Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar offers a romantic setting for drinks and light bites. With incredible views, delicious food and chilled DJ sets, a relaxed night out is guaranteed. 

Ultimately, you don’t need to go to the most famous places to have a great night out. There are plenty of rooftop bars to choose from. Many high-rise hotels offer these. Chances are, if you are staying in downtown Bangkok, there will be at least one rooftop bar near you.   

Bear in mind though that a visit to a trendy rooftop bar is not a budget Bangkok experience. I also recommend booking your spot in advance to ensure that you don’t miss out.  

Eat Your Weight in Delicious Thai Food

Thai satay skewers
Thai satay skewers – a popular street food option

You will be hard-pressed to find an article on the best things to do in Bangkok that doesn’t mention the city’s culinary credentials. The Thai capital is indeed a city for foodies. 

Bangkok is especially famous for its incredible street food scene. It doesn’t exist just for the benefit of tourists. Locals love to grab a snack or a meal from street food vendors too. If you want to experience an authentic dining experience in Bangkok, make sure to try something sold at a street stall.  

Some of the most popular areas for street food are Chinatown, Victory Monument, Sukhumvit Soi 38 and Khao San Road. The latter two are quite touristy and the food there is often altered to better suit Western palates. However, you can still get a decent and affordable meal there.  

But this list of street food destinations is not exhaustive. There are so many more to discover. The rule of thumb is that if you see a long queue near a stall, chances are it’s worth a try. Don’t be put off by the stalls’ unassuming looks. Some of them are dining institutions that have even been featured in the Michelin guide

If you’re nowhere near the popular spots, don’t worry. You can spot food vendors pretty much anywhere. Bear in mind that Mondays are the days when many street food vendors stay at home. This is when you might be better off enjoying a meal at a restaurant. 

However, Bangkok’s food wonders are not limited to street food. At the other end of the scales is the city’s fine dining offering. Bangkok is home to 34 Michelin-starred restaurants that serve everything from a modern take on Thai cuisine to classic French fare. 

Guided Tours

If you would like some help in navigating Bangkok’s food scene, check out on these top-rated food tours. 

Take a Cruise Along the Chao Phraya River

The rice barges at Manohra Cruises
The rice barges at Manohra Cruises

If you would like to see Bangkok from a different perspective, take a cruise along the Chao Phraya River. The river is the city’s main waterway used for transporting people and good. Its banks are lined with famous sights and brand-new residential developments. 

Evening Chao Phraya River cruises are a great way to see the beautifully lit historic landmarks and the busy riverside life. You can basically see Bangkok’s past and present coming together. Popular cruises feature a buffet dinner and live music. Here are a couple of cruise options you can book online: 

However, for something different, I highly recommend Manohra Cruises. These depart from the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort pier. Don’t worry, you don’t need to stay at the hotel to go on this cruise.  

Manohra Cruises offer an intimate 5-course fine dining experience served up on an elegant antique rice barge. The barges are much smaller than the mainstream boat options, so you can enjoy your meal in a peaceful atmosphere. The food itself is a creative take on Thai classics made of locally sourced ingredients. It is delicious and plentiful. I wouldn’t hesitate to do this cruise again.   

Please note that the Manohra Cruise experience is on the pricier side. A dinner with alcoholic drinks costs 3,900 Baht ($110 US) per person. If you are happy with soft drinks, then the cost is 2,900 Baht ($83 US) per person. You can book your table on the Manohra Cruise website. 

Visit Khao San Road

Khao San Road at night
Khao San Road at night

Full disclosure, I have mixed feelings about Khao San Road. The reason why it’s featured in this guide to the best things to do in Bangkok is because it’s one of those places you should experience for yourself and form on your own opinion. 

Khao San Road is probably one of the most famous tourist streets in Bangkok. It’s been attracting budget travellers and backpackers for decades. Today, Khao San Road is a curious blend of Thai and Western elements. It’s like a slice of Thailand that’s adapted to the Westerns expectations of what a Thai experience should be.  

It is packed with hostels, cheap bars, street food stalls, souvenir shops and massage parlours. Vendors, bar staff and tuk-tuk drivers can be quite pushy, but it’s fine to simply say no to them. Khao San Road exists pretty much for tourists, offering something different to what you’d find at home without causing a severe culture shock. 

However, Khao San is also incredibly lively at night. It attracts people from all over the world, from backpackers on their gap year to families on holiday. It is the place to enjoy an affordable night out, load up on cheap clothes and meet other travellers. The key to enjoying it is not taking your surroundings too seriously.  

Also, don’t be afraid to check out the area just beyond Khao San Road. There are museums, art galleries, excellent street food vendors and bars frequented by locals just a short walk. It’s quite amazing how this street exists in its own little bubble. 

Getting to Khao San Road

Khao San Road is not well-connected when it comes to public transport. If you are not taking a taxi or a tuk-tuk, the best option is to take the Chao Phraya Express boat to Phra Arthit Pier. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk to all the action.  

Relax at Lumphini Park

Escape the chaos of Bangkok in Lumphini Park, an oasis of calm in the Silom district. It’s been nicknamed Bangkok’s Central Park due to its size and location surrounded by high-rises and busy roads.  

Established in 1925, Lumphini Park is Bangkok’s oldest public park. The land that the park now occupies used to be a royal estate. King Rama VI gifted it to the people to establish first a fairground and then a public park. It was named after Lumbini, the Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal. 

Today, you can take a stroll along Lumphini Park’s pathways, relax in the shade of palm trees or hire a kayak or a swan paddle boat to enjoy the park’s artificial lakes. Locals come to the park to jog, cycle and take advantage of its various exercise facilities from outdoor gym equipment to tennis courts. 

Lumphini Park is also a great place for wildlife watching. It is home to turtles, birds and monitor lizards. The latter are related to Komodo dragons, so they are rather scary looking. As long as you don’t bother them, they are perfectly fine to be around. 

If you are feeling peckish, there are a few shops and food stalls scattered around the park. Keep in mind that many street food vendors are closed on Monday. If you are heading to Lumphini Park then, grab a picnic with you. There are plenty of seating and picnic tables in the park. Alternatively, the nearby Silom area is packed to the brim with great food options. 

Getting to Lumphini Park

The closest BTS Skytrain station is Sala Daeng. There is also the Silom MRT station right with an exit right at the park. 

Get a Thai Massage

No visit to Bangkok would be complete without experiencing a Thai massage. It’s a traditional wellness practice that has been around for millennia. It focuses on Sen, the energy lines in the body, through which your life energy flows. The purpose of the massage is to balance these out and let the energy flow freely. 

Thai massage combines yoga-like stretching and acupressure techniques to promote relaxation and reduce tension in the body. It’s even been nicknamed the lazy person’s yoga as your massage therapist guides your body though all the movements. It is oil-free and can be a little intense. You do feel quite relaxed afterwards though. 

Bangkok is home to hundreds, if not thousands, Thai massage parlours. Chances are, there will be a few options near your accommodation. Traditional parlours are quite affordable by Western standards. If you want to experience it at a high-end spa, the prices will be much higher.  

To choose a massage parlour, have a look at online reviews. Popular places, especially near large hotels, will often have a social media presence and Google reviews. Traditional massage parlours often look old and tired, but don’t let that stop you. Just make sure that the place looks clean and well-maintained. 

I also recommend having a Thai foot massage. It applies reflexology techniques on specific points of the feet. It’s not quite as intense as the full-body Thai massage, but deep relaxation is guaranteed. 

The Best Time to Go to Bangkok

Since Bangkok is a huge city, there is plenty to see and do there all year round. It has a tropical climate, so it’s pretty much always warm and humid. November to March are the driest and coolest months with only an occasional tropical shower.  

With an average of 28⁰C, this time of the year offers the most comfortable temperatures for sightseeing. Not surprisingly, these five months are also the high season, so book your accommodation in advance and be prepared for crowds at popular tourist spots. 

From April to October, temperatures and humidity levels increase. Weather becomes more unpredictable with frequent showers. Although this is the time of the year when you can enjoy Bangkok with fewer crowds, you might find it difficult to be out and about in intense heat.    

How to Get to Bangkok

If you are travelling from overseas, you are mostly likely going to land at Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), Bangkok’s main airport. It is also a hub for domestic flights.  

The most affordable way to get into the city from there is by either bus or train. A bus ticket costs 35 baht ($1 US) and the full list of bus routes is available here. The train fare is between 15–45 baht depending on how far you are going. The Bangkok Airport Rail Link page has the most up-to-date information on the route, schedule and fares. 

Bangkok is also home to another airport, Don Mueang International Airport. This smaller airport receives flights from other parts of Thailand. It is also a hub for low-cost carriers from the Southeast Asia region.  

Public buses and a train link connect the Don Mueang Airport with Bangkok. The airport website (non-official) has information pages on bus services and the train

A more convenient, but pricier way to travel from the airports into the city is by taxi. If you would like to book an airport transfer in advance, you can do so with Welcome Pickups. This will reduce the hassle on arrival and get you to your accommodation as quickly as possible.     

How to Get Around Bangkok

Bangkok is vast and although individual neighbourhoods are walkable, you will most likely need to take some form of transport while visiting.  

Bangkok is notorious for its horrendous traffic, especially in rush hour. That’s why renting a car is usually not recommended. Thankfully, Bangkok is home to an efficient public transport system. While not perfect by any means, it will get you to most popular city sights. 

BTS Skytrain

The BTS Skytrain, an elevated train network that covers a portion of central Bangkok is a popular way to get around. The carriages are clean and air-conditioned and not too busy unless you are travelling in rush hour.  

There are two BTS Skytrain lines, Sukhumvit and Silom, that operate in Bangkok’s modern business district. You can use them to access night markets, shopping malls, Lumphini Park and more. The official BTS website has the most up-to-date information on timetables, routes and fares. 

By Thai standards, BTS Skytrain is not a cheap mode of transport. However, for many overseas visitors it is quite affordable. 

Underground Train (MRT)

MRT is a network of underground trains. It consists of two lines, the Blue Line and the Purple Line. MRT connects to BTS Skytrain via the Asok station.  

MRT is a modern, air-conditioned transport system that is relatively easy to navigate. As well as the business district, MRT covers some sections of the old town. For example, you can use it to get to Chinatown and the Grand Palace. 

Plan your journey and check ticket prices on the MRT website.  


With fares starting from just 8 baht ($0.23 US), the bus network offers an affordable way to get around Bangkok. With over 100 routes on offer, trying to figure the system out as a first timer can be overwhelming.  

Buses connect the city to the suburbs and are popular with locals. For tourists though, a bus ride might be a shock to the system. From obnoxious driving to the absence of air-conditioning on many buses, it might not always be the nicest experience. However, it’s probably one of the more ‘local’ ways to get around Bangkok.   

You can find the full list of available routes on the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority website. Be prepared that signage on buses is in Thai. Also, make sure you have small change for the fare.  


Bangkok taxis are affordable by Western standards and can be a convenient way to travel, unless you’re stuck in rush hour traffic.  

For the best rates, hail a taxi in the street and make sure the meter is on. Taxi drivers will often try to offer a fixed price which is normally much higher than it should be. You need cash to pay for the journey. Make sure to check if you’ve been given the right amount of change before you leave the car.  

Alternatively, use can use Grab, an Asian version of the Uber app. Motorbike taxis are also an option. Personally, I’m a bit too scared to take those.  


Taking a tuk-tuk ride is practically a rite of passage for Bangkok visitors. Tuk-tuks are motorised three-wheeled rickshaws. You will often see a bunch of them hanging out near hotels and popular tourist spots like Chinatown and Khao San Road. Locals use them too, for short-distance rides or to transport goods. 

To get a tuk-tuk, you can simply hail one on the street. Be prepared to haggle though as tuk-tuk drivers normally inflate prices for tourists. You will probably end up paying more than a local would no matter what, but it’s still going to be relatively cheap overall.  

Be aware, that some tuk-tuk drivers may try to scam you. For example, a driver may offer a cheap tour of the city. However, instead, he will take you to shops where he makes a commission from purchases. If you are offered something along these lines, politely decline.  


My favourite way of getting around Bangkok is by boat. If you are staying near the Chao Phraya River, you can hop on either the Chao Phraya Express or the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat. The former has more extensive routes, but for the purposes of sight-seeing, both are just fine.   

Bangkok’s most famous attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Chinatown and Khao San Road are all easily accessible from the river. Travelling by boat also allows you to take in the riverside life in while enjoying a pleasant breeze. 

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Bangkok is made up of diverse neighbourhoods and visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options. From affordable guest houses in historic areas to uber-luxe resorts by the river, the Thai capital caters to every budget.  

Here is a list of areas of Bangkok that work especially well as a base for travellers. They all have a different feel and will reveal a different side of the city during your stay. 

Rattanakosin Island

Rattanakosin Island, also known as the Old City, is Bangkok’s historic centre. It is home to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Rattanakosin is a great option for those looking to be as close as possible to the city’s most famous historic sights. If you choose to stay there, you will also have easy access to the river pier for the Chao Phraya Express and Tourist boats as well as MRT.  

Here are some hotel suggestions: 


Just north of Rattanakosin Island lies Banglamphu, another historic area of Bangkok. It is popular with backpackers as this is where you’ll find the infamous Khao San Road. But there’s more to Banglamphu than its most famous spot.  

If you venture beyond it, you will discover eclectic streets with an old Bangkok feel. They are lined with quaint cafes, antique shops and trendy bars that are frequented by both Thais and locals. There are also a few markets and historic temples to explore.  

In terms of connectivity, the best way to get to other areas is by river via the Chao Phraya Express or Tourist boats. There are no BTS Skytrain or MRT stations there. 

Here are some hotel suggestions. Bear in mind that Banglamphu isn’t really a place for high-end hotels. 


For a modern Bangkok experience, check out Sukhumvit. Stretching along Sukhumvit Road, this cosmopolitan area is popular with tourists and expats. It is home to shopping malls, excellent restaurants, popular rooftop bars, trendy nightclubs and international hotel chains.  

The area is well connected and boasts many MRT and BTS Skytrain stations. Sukhumvit is a great option if you’d like to easily get to other parts of the city. 

Here are some hotel suggestions: 


Silom is Bangkok’s centrally located financial district, so expect high-rises, high-end shopping and trendy bars. Visitors can also enjoy a great selection of eateries, from street food to fine dining. But it’s not all about glass and concrete as Lumphini Park is located in Silom too. 

If you are looking to explore other areas of Bangkok, Silom would be a good choice thanks to its MRT and BTS Skytrain connections. The latter can quickly get you to Sathorn pier so you can hop on the Chao Phraya Express or Tourist boats to visit Bangkok’s historic neighbourhoods.  

Here are some hotel suggestions: 


If you would like to experience a more relaxing side of the Thai capital, Bangkok’s Riverside is for you. Many hotels located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River offer incredible views over the city, away from the chaos of the most central areas. Also, cultural sites such as The Grand Palace and Wat Arun are easily accessible from the river.  

Staying there also means making the most of the river transport. Many hotels offer free shuttle boats that will help you get to other parts of the city. However, if you’re into nightlife or want to spend as little time in public transport as possible, I recommend choosing to stay somewhere else. 

Here are some hotel suggestions. Please note, Riverside is not the most budget area of Bangkok. 

My husband and I stayed a Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort on our honeymoon. Check out my review of this excellent hotel

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide to the best things to do in Bangkok will inspire you to visit this incredible city. Chances are that one trip is not going to be enough to really get under its skin.

Those planning their Bangkok adventure should check out this one-day and two-day itineraries to help maximise their time in the Thai capital.

If you are looking to combine a trip to Bangkok with a beach stay, take a look at this guide to Phuket. Thailand’s largest island offers amazing beaches and a raft of other things to do, making it an ideal destination for solo travellers, couples and families alike.

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