Bangkok , the capital of Thailand, fascinates with the incredible variety of places to visit and things you can do, with the contrast between old and new, its rich cultural heritage and giant skyscrapers.
Whether it’s night markets, countless golden temples, luxury shopping malls, breathtaking rooftop bars, the legendary floating river markets, quaint old Chinatown, exploring Bangkok at night or in the morning, the things to do in Bangkok are extremely diverse. But which Bangkok attractions should be high on your travel list and what are the best travel tips for this enchanting city?
In this guide we show you the best things to do in Bangkok. Plus, we tell you lots of tips and great places to visit. In addition, this article provides information on where to stay in Bangkok, travel tips and where to eat and have fun!
Our stay in Thailand was a two-week experience of a lifetime that we will present to you in a series of blog articles!
The best attractions in Bangkok
Planning your trip to the Thai capital and now you are looking for what are the top things to do in Bangkok? Here’s our list of the best places to see and the coolest activities in the city:
1.Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn
Visiting Wat Arun is one of the best things to do in Bangkok. Beautifully located on the Chao Phraya River, the Temple of Dawn delights with its exquisite architecture, countless mosaics and 70-metre-high tower. For many, Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples and a visit to this sacred site is highly recommended.
2.Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo
The Grand Palace is one of the main attractions of the city and therefore a must-see on your trip to Bangkok. Until the mid-20th century, the Grand Palace was the official residence of the King. This magnificent complex is home to more than 100 stunning buildings, including a palatial temple complex, Wat Phra Kaeo – Temple of the Emerald Buddha. On a walk around the site, visitors are amazed by all the beauty: golden towers, countless elaborate figures, beautiful mosaics and huge golden Buddha statues as far as the eye can see. The ultimate highlight of this pompous temple complex, however, is the tiny emerald Buddha, some 66 cm tall, an exceptionally sacred Buddha statue from the 14th century.
3.Wat Pho – The temple of the reclining Buddha
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, also known as Wat Pho , is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Visiting this magnificent place, you will admire stunning murals, beautiful golden Buddha statues and colourfully decorated turrets. If you wish, relax with a Thai massage at the local traditional massage school. However, the main attraction of Wat Pho temple and the ultimate visitor magnet is the 46-metre-long Buddha , one of Bangkok’s most famous amazing sights to see.
Tip : The Royal Palace is located near Wat Pho and Wat Arun.
4.Bangkok rooftop bar (Sky Bar)
Exploring Bangkok at night is an unforgettable experience. Among the list of the best sights to do in Bangkok is a visit to one of Bangkok’s impressive rooftop bars. With a cool drink in hand, you can enjoy stunning views of downtown Bangkok and the sparkling skyline. Many are familiar with the Lebua State Tower with its famous Hangover Skybar , but there are a few more and even more beautiful sky bars waiting to be explored.
Tip : There is the sky bar by the Amara Hotel with a swimming pool from where you will have one of the best views of Bangkok.
5.Night shopping in Bangkok
Visiting a night market in Bangkok is one of the main attractions of the Thai capital. Here you have the opportunity to taste the delicious Thai cuisine. In addition, you can shop from there until you drop, because here you will find next to the typical souvenirs, vintage shops, casual clothes and often even antiques and works of art. Highly recommended is the huge Ratchada night train market , a really trendy market in Bangkok.
But the new Asiatique the Riverfront , a combination of night market and shopping mall is definitely worth a visit. Those who love exploring amazing sights should visit Chang Chui Market . Visiting a traditional night market is one of the best things to do in Bangkok and, therefore, you should put this activity high on your list.
Chinatown in Bangkok , with its many beautiful Chinese temples, countless markets and famous colourful billboards, is one of Bangkok’s best attractions. On a sightseeing tour in the area, there are many things to see and do. Here you will experience the Thai capital from a completely different perspective. Particularly worthwhile is a stroll down the famous Yaowarat Street , which is the landmark of Chinatown in Bangkok. Also, Wat Traimit – The Golden Buddha Temple is really recommended.
Tip : A food tour of Chinatown is a great way to try Thai-Chinese cuisine without hesitation. A feast for the senses!
7.Shopping malls in Bangkok
Shopping is one of the most popular activities. No wonder that apart from the typical markets, night markets, weekend markets and floating markets, you will find many shopping malls and huge shopping centres in Bangkok . The most famous ones are for example, Siam Paragon , EmQuatier , Central World, Terminal 21 and MBK.
It is highly recommended to make a stop at Icon Siam . Here you will find not only branded companies but also a huge Apple Store with a viewing terrace, an artificial floating market and at night, there is a stunningly beautiful light show right on the river.
Tip : Shopping malls in Bangkok are open daily, including Sundays, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
8.Wat Saket – The Temple of the Golden Mountain
Wat Saket , better known as the Temple of the Golden Mount , is a truly impressive temple complex and therefore for many visitors one of the best places in Bangkok to visit. Over 318 steps lead up to the Temple of the Golden Mount. From above you will enjoy a breathtaking panorama . The little effort is definitely worth it, the view on the temple terrace is magical. When you go there in the late afternoon, you have the opportunity to admire a magical sunset from above.
9.Asiatique the Riverfront
Asiatique the Riverfront night market is one of Bangkok’s new attractions. With its magnificent white roses and romantic location right on the Chao Phraya River, this market is a popular place to visit for tourists and locals alike. There are countless shops , really delicious restaurants but also cabaret shows, Thai boxing and a small amusement park.
A free boat service to Asiatique the Riverfront is provided. They depart from Sathorn Pier station and run for 10 – 15 minutes.
10.Boat trip to Chao Phraya River
Many of Bangkok’s main attractions are located right on the Chao Phraya River so a boat tour is a must do in the city. Whether on a public boat on your own or with a guide – discovering Bangkok from the river is simply wonderful and not to be missed. Especially popular is the dinner cruise in the evening , where you can enjoy the incredibly beautiful atmosphere of the river and enjoy a delicious Thai dinner.
11.King Power Mahanakhon
King Power Mahanakhon is one of the brand new attractions to see in Bangkok. At 314 metres and 77 storeys it is currently the tallest building in Bangkok, so a visit to this skyscraper is an absolute highlight and not to be missed on a trip to the Thai capital. Anyone who dares can take a ride in the sky, a glass floor 300 metres high.
It’s especially nice to enjoy the sunset over Bangkok from this height – an experience you won’t forget.
Tip : Entrance to King Power Mahanakhon costs 20 euros (not so cheap). You can however find cheaper tickets online !
Lumphini Park is a small oasis in the middle of the chaotic city centre and has long been one of Bangkok’s most famous attractions. If you want, borrow one of the cute water bikes and take a ride on the park’s lake.
13.The house of Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson House is a little secret in the often so chaotic and noisy Bangkok. During a tour of this old teak wood house, you can hardly escape the charm of the times. You can also learn a lot about the history of Jim Thompson, a former silk baron, and you can admire and buy beautiful sails in the shop next door.
14.Take a ride on the Skytrain – BTS
Right at rush hour, the streets of Bangkok are hopelessly congested. This elevated train hovers over the traffic jams and stops at many of Bangkok’s newer districts and attractions. Incidentally, you can enjoy a spectacular cityscape and get right up close to the giant skyscrapers. So, riding 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 transportation in Bangkok.
15.Bangkok Art & Culture Centre
BACC, the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre , has nine floors of temporary exhibitions, cafes, art and craft shops. The atmosphere is really pleasant and with free admission you can admire the interesting exhibitions of international artists, photographs, paintings, sculptures and art performances. The whole museum is very inspiring, and especially for those interested in art, a visit is highly recommended.
16.Khao San Street
Another place to visit in Bangkok is the world-famous Khao San Street . This 400-metre-long street, popular with backpackers and party lovers , is one of the city’s top attractions. Here you can shop, eat and party until the early morning. Also, some of the cheapest and best backpacker hostels , such as BED STATION Hostel , are located in and around Khao San Street. The atmosphere in this district is unique, exuberant and relaxed, making it a perennial 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 best restaurants and the coziest bars.
17.Floating markets in Bangkok
The floating markets in and around Bangkok are perhaps one of the most famous attractions and play an important role in the daily lives of the locals. 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 there are some smaller floating markets and more non-tourist markets. One of these is the Taling Chan floating market – an authentic floating market in Thonburi, one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets
Another interesting thing to do in Bangkok is a visit to the snake farm. This snake farm is located near Lumpini Park and is part of the Thai Red Cross. Among other things, the antivenin against deadly snake bites is produced here. During a tour, you can observe the various snakes inside their terrarium and watch every day at 11:00 am as they milk the snake’s venom.
Also of interest is the snake show at 14:00, in which various domestic snakes are presented and respectfully explained to visitors.
19.Muay Thai Boxing
Muay Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand. Thus, the most important fights are held directly in the Thai capital. Experiencing a live Muay Thai boxing match is a real highlight for sports and boxing enthusiasts. The most famous stadiums are Lumpini Stadium , Rajadamnern Stadium and Channel 7 Stadium.
Tip : Tickets can also be purchased online at GetyourGuide
20.Boat trip through the Klongs
It is also definitely worth seeing the Klongs of Bangkok , the old canals! On a boat tour you will see the most beautiful corners of Bangkok from the water and get an in-depth insight into the city life on the river. A fantastic experience for those who want to explore Bangkok even further.
Bangkok, Thailand! The city with endless traditional treasures…!
21.Chatuchak weekend market
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is Bangkok’s largest market and even calls itself the largest weekend market in the world. Fashion, jewelry, souvenirs, antiques, furniture, toys, household items and even pets. With an unimaginable number of streets, shops and stalls you can easily get lost here. The market is one of Bangkok’s major attractions and a visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market should be on the travel list of all shopping addicts.
22.Try Thai food
In Bangkok there are thousands of places where you can eat well. Whether on Khao San Road, in the night markets, in the shopping mall, at the typical street food stall or in excellent restaurants, food in Bangkok is ubiquitous. In fact, you can eat here around the clock, the food is varied and usually very tasty. A popular activity in Bangkok is to attend a traditional Thai cooking class in Bangkok or go on a Bangkok culinary tour with a professional local food guide .
Tip : Thai cooking classes in Malivan are suggested for example . Before starting the actual cooking, drive together to a local market to buy the best ingredients together.
23.Excursion to Ayutthaya & Lopburi
Ayutthaya : Explore the ruins of the ancient temple of Ayutthaya and admire the famous statue of the Buddha’s head growing on a tree at Wat Mahathat.
Lopburi : On a trip to Lopburi – Monkey Town you will explore the former capital of Thailand, now famous for the many macaques that live there.
24.The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market & the Maeklong Train Market
Floating Market : Outside Bangkok there are 2 very famous floating markets to explore. The Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Amphawa floating market . The floating market tours are really popular and very close to Bangkok city.
Maeklong Train Market : Market located on the Mae Klong railway tracks.
25.Ancient Siam, Khao Yai & Kanchanaburi
Ancient Siam & Erawan Museum : On a tour of Ancient Siam you can theoretically visit all of Thailand in one day. Because in 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 take a trip to the stunning Erawan Waterfall. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Thailand.
You can book tours on the spot or, if you prefer good reviews and recommendations , you can also book online. On GetyourGuide you can cancel most tours up to 24 hours in advance and in addition, you can compare all customer suggestions.
How to get to Bangkok
The most common way to get to Bangkok is usually by plane. Note that Bangkok has two airports, Suvurnabhumi Airport for international flights and Don Mueang Airport , which is used for domestic flights.
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 meter is activated. It is better to ask the taxi driver to turn it on. Another option would be the Airport Link, a kind of metro, where you usually have to change to other means of transport.
Cheap flights to Bangkok, but also domestic flights from Bangkok to, for example, Chiang Mai , Phuket or Koh Samui can be found on portals such as Skyscanner .
Transfers in Bangkok
In Bangkok, the best way to get around is by taxi , MRT (metro) or BTS (sky train). Tuk tuk unfortunately have become very expensive and even with a lot of negotiating skills you will usually pay too much. On the other hand, the taxi is much cheaper and much safer. For short distances you usually only pay 80 baht for a taxi ride – but always make sure the meter is on. In the new city, the best way to get around is by metro and BTS.
Tip : To get around Bangkok, we like to use the Grab app , which allows you to choose your destination and pickup point online. Plus, you know exactly how much the ride will cost.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Finding accommodation in Bangkok should be very easy. The supply of hostels, hotels and luxury hotels is huge. We have summarised here our hotel tips and the best accommodation for Bangkok at a glance:
- Backpacker Hostel : Fun & Cafe Hostel is the ultimate place for backpackers and tourists of the world. The clean hostel convinces with its great location, clean rooms and comfortable cafe-restaurant.
- Guest House : Inspire Bangkok is a really lovely guest house with clean rooms in a quiet and very central location.
- Hotel With Pool : The Amara Bangkok has a fantastic sky bar and infinity pool with smart views of the Bangkok skyline.
- Boutique Hotel : The Muse Hotel is an incredibly classy hotel with an elegant skybar and beautiful swimming pool. An accommodation for a very special stay in Bangkok.
Conclusion : Bangkok is indescribable. The downtown area offers visitors a variety of unforgettable activities and extremely beautiful sights and things to do. But also in the area around Bangkok you can do excellent tours and excursions. So, staying in the Thai capital is often one of the highlights of any trip to Thailand and definitely not to be missed.