Bangkok in Thailand is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. A trip there is an incredible cultural experience that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Bangkok often called the City of Angels is a unique blend of colors, scents and noises and a perfect combination of tradition and modernity.
In Bangkok, the historic temples sit tall above the waters of Chao Phraya River while the contemporary buildings keep sprouting anywhere you look.
The crowds of residents and tourists take over the city from early in the morning till late at night which means it is constantly abuzz with excitement and bustling with people until the sun rises.
If you’re traveling to the capital of Thailand in the near future make sure to bring our list of things to do in Bangkok with you.
It includes all the best spots and locations you can’t miss and that will keep you busy and entertained for days.
Visit the Grand Palace
One of the most important attractions in Bangkok is, without doubt, the majestic Grand Palace.
The Palace and the surrounding area are filled with many interesting points and you can spend an entire day exploring all of them.
This 18th-century structure that used to serve as an official residence of the Kings of Thailand is home to a wide choice of museums, temples, state and office buildings and ceremonial halls.
The Grand Palace is also where the Temple of the Emerald Buddha – Thailand’s most sacred temple is located.
This site is a perfect blend of architecture, culture, and history and should be on the top of the list of things to do in Bangkok for every first-time traveler out there.
It is an ideal place to learn more about the city and its past and about Thailand in general.
When you decide to visit the Grand Palace, remember to wear an appropriate outfit that covers your knees and shoulders.
If you don’t meet these restrictions you will have to waste a lot of time cueing up for the rental clothes under the scorching tropical sun.
Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok
Opening Hours: daily from 08:30 am to 03:30 pm
Ticket Price: 500 Baht
Admire the beauty of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
As mentioned above, the Grand Palace is home to the famous Buddhist temple – Wat Phra Kaew that is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Each year millions of people come to Bangkok to admire this important Buddha statue that isn’t actually made of emerald but rather of jade.
The statue was presumably made in Ceylon in about 43 BC but it was discovered centuries later, in 1434 in one of the temples in Chiang Rai.
It was then moved to the Wat Phra Kaew temple in 1784 which has remained its place of residence to this day.
The 66 cm tall Buddha is in a meditating position and wears gold costumes, that are changed three times a year – for the summer, for the rainy season and for the cool season.
If you’re traveling to Bangkok the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the places you simply can’t miss.
Because it is part of the Grand Palace, the address, opening hours and ticket price are the same as above.
Visit Wat Pho – the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho is another important temple and it deserves to be on the top of our list of things to do in Bangkok.
Dating back to the 16th-century it is one of the oldest temples in the city and holds a significant cultural and historical value.
Wat Pho temple complex includes over one thousand Buddha images, a number of statues, pavilions, shrines, and Buddhist stupas as well as halls for Buddhist rituals.
The most important point of interest in Wat Pho is, without doubt, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha which features a 19th-century golden statue that is 15 m high and 46 m long.
Before leaving the temple, make sure to put some coins in 108 bronze bowls – it is believed this ritual brings luck and prosperity.
Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Ticket Price: 100 Baht
Climb the steps of Wat Arun
Wat Arun situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River is another crucial point of interest to see in Bangkok.
The easiest way to reach it is by Chao Phraya Express Boat – all you have to do is get off at Tha Tien pier and then take a cross-river ferry to Wat Arun.
This majestic temple is clearly visible even from afar so you can enjoy the stunning view already from the boat.
Wat Arun known also as the Temple of Dawn dates back to the 18th century and is an awe-inspiring architectural wonder.
The walls of Wat Arun are decorated with colorful porcelain pieces while the base of the central prang features statues of religious and symbolic importance.
You will have to climb many steep steps if you want to enjoy a stunning view of the river and of the city from above but the amazing panorama will make up for your effort.
Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Thailand (opposite Wat Pho)
Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Ticket Price: 100 Baht
Discover the backpackers’ hub – Khao San Road
Khao San Road is the most iconic street in the city and a must-see on our list of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Khao San Road is also probably the most famous backpacker street in the world which means it is full of young travelers from all over the globe.
Some of the cheapest accommodation options can be found here and there is a wide choice of hostels and guest houses available at affordable prices.
This area of Bangkok is well-known for its vibrant street market where you can buy just about anything you can think of.
In the night time, Khao San Road transforms into a huge party with bars and clubs playing loud music until the early hours of the morning.
Khao San Road is one of the most exciting areas of Bangkok, always filled with entertainment and activities that are irresistible to first-time visitors.
Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you’re staying in Bangkok over the weekend you simply can’t miss Chatuchak Weekend Market that is actually Thailand’s largest market.
Getting to Chatuchak Market is pretty easy, all you need to do is just catch the BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit and take exit 1 or 3.
Another affordable alternative is going by bus (in direction of Talad Chatuchak) while taking a taxi is the most expensive option.
Chatuchak Weekend Market is gigantic and the number of market stalls, eating options, people and even massage parlors is overwhelming.
From clothing and souvenirs to books, ceramics, and plants, the choice of goods available is endless and it’s simply impossible to list all of them.
No matter if you’re into shopping or not, a trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market is a unique experience and a fun way to spend a memorable day in Bangkok.
Address: Kamphaeng Phet Road, Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
Pay a Visit to Jim Thompson House
When it comes to museums, Jim Thompson House is one of the most interesting and fascinating places you’ll find in Bangkok and it comes highly recommended on our list of things to see.
Situated in the heart of the city, this house belonged to the American businessman who disappeared in mysterious circumstances during his trip to Malaysia in 1967.
Not long after it became a museum where you can admire a beautiful art collection, see the architecture and interiors of the house and learn more about Jim Thompson’s life as well.
You will also take a walk around the lush garden surrounding the property which is a real oasis in the middle of the city.
The ticket price includes a guided tour which means you’ll get to know many details and interesting facts related to the Jim Thompson House.
Once your visit is over you can relax at the museum’s cafè or shop at the local store.
Address: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Daily from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm
Ticket Price: 200 Baht
Enjoy Shopping at MBK Center
MBK Center is one of the most famous shopping malls in Bangkok and a mandatory stop for every shopping lover out there.
Founded in 1985, MBK Center is considered an iconic spot in the city that’s been around long before the arrival of the ultra-modern shopping malls.
Spread over eight levels, there are over 2,000 stores, shops, services and restaurants that will easily keep you busy for an entire day.
There are entire floors dedicated to electronic goods, fashion and accessories where you can practice your bargaining tactics and negotiation skills.
If you start feeling hungry just head to one of the two food courts available where you’ll find a wide choice of restaurants and eateries serving all kinds of cuisines.
Apart from shopping and eating, MBK Center offers lots of entertainment as well – from the cinema to karaoke, it’s simply impossible to get bored in there.
Address: 444, Phayathai Road, Pathum Wan, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Relax at Lumphini Park
In a city as busy and as crowded as Bangkok, you will want to take a break from all the hustle and bustle at some point.
One of the best places in the whole of Bangkok to relax and to spend some time in a tranquil environment is without a doubt the Lumphini Park.
Favorite place for runners and strollers this park is a pleasant oasis in the middle of a hectic metropolis.
The best time to visit Lumphini Park is early in the morning when the temperatures are still low but it provides lots of shade and breeze throughout the day as well.
The park features an artificial lake and you can explore its waters from rowboats that are available for rent.
Some of the interesting sights available in Lumphini Park are Lumphini Youth Center, a library, and the King Rama VI statue.
The park is also an ideal location for birdwatching and meeting some pretty impressive monitor lizards.
The easiest way to reach Lumphini Park is by the BTS Skytrain, getting off at the Ratchadamri station.
Address: Thanon Rama IV, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 4.30 am to 9.00 pm
Visit the Golden Buddha – Wat Traimit Temple
There is no shortage of beautiful temples in Bangkok and one of them is certainly Wat Traimit Temple which hosts the Golden Buddha.
Although much smaller and simpler when compared to other stunning and famous temples such as Wat Arun or Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Traimit is an interesting location worth visiting.
The statue which is 3 meters high and weighs over 5.5 tonnes represents a seated Buddha with his legs crossed and 40% of it is made up of pure gold.
Wat Traimit is pretty unique because it is one of the very few temples in Bangkok that allows visitors to actually approach the statue and admire it from close-up.
Wat Traimit Temple is located in Chinatown so make sure to set some time aside for it when exploring this vibrant district.
Address: 661 Charoen Krung Road, Talad Noi, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, closed on Monday
Ticket Price: 40 Baht
Soak in the unique atmosphere of Chinatown (Yaowarat Road)
Chinatown is one of the most vibrant and fascinating districts in Bangkok and a place that never ceases to amaze and surprise.
Filled with crowds of people at every time of day and night, the famous Yaowarat Road buzzes with activity and is a beating heart of the city.
Founded in 1782 by Chinese merchants it is home to a large community of Chinese residents who maintain their religious traditions and keep their unique culture alive.
Although there are some contemporary malls available, Chinatown’s shopping still revolves mainly around the traditional market stalls loaded with all kinds of goods at convenient prices.
You can get your souvenirs there, bargain with a friendly seller or simply walk around and get lost in a myriad of colorful tiny alleys while soaking in a special atmosphere of this district.
Some of the best restaurants in the city are also located here so a little culinary adventure in Chinatown comes highly recommended on our list of things to do in Bangkok.
As much as Chinatown is a real haven for all the foodies and shopping enthusiasts, the list of attractions doesn’t end here.
In fact, it is also home to some of the most significant temples of the city such as Wat Traimit we mentioned before, Wat Mangkon Kamalawat or Kuan Yim Shrine.
Other important points of interest in Chinatown include the iconic Chinatown Gate and King Rama I the Great Memorial.
Go snorkeling in Koh Rok, meet elephants in Koh Chang or go island hopping in Ao Nang. And if that’s not enough check out our list of things to do in Phuket. Discover the stunning beaches, points of interest and the best restaurants in Phuket.
Spend an Evening at Asiatique – The Riverfront
Asiatique – The Riverfront is another shopping mall to add to our list of places where you can “shop til you drop” in Bangkok.
The best way to get to Asiatique is to take BTS Skytrain in the direction of Saphan Taksin station (Exit 2) and then take the mall’s shuttle boat.
Asiatique is a bit different compared to all the other modern malls in the city. First of all, it is open-air which means you won’t be confined to air-conditioned spaces all the time.
Second of all, it is located along the Chao Phraya River so you’ll be able to enjoy fantastic views and calmer atmosphere while walking along Asiatique’s waterfront promenade.
You can spend hours in this shopping mall which hosts 1,500 shops and 40 restaurants.
Apart from many dining and shopping options, Asiatique is also home to a ferris wheel and is a place where many concerts and festivals are held as well.
Address: 2194, Charoen Krung Road, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok
Opening Hours: 4.00 pm – 12.00 am
Climb the Golden Mountain Temple – Wat Saket
Wat Saket, often called Golden Mountain Temple is another unmissable location on our list of things to do in Bangkok.
This beautiful hill-top temple offers a stunning panorama of the city and a peaceful setting ideal for taking a break from all the chaos.
In order to reach Wat Saket, you’ll have to take around 344 steps but the climb is pretty easy and most of all pleasant.
In fact, most of the time you’ll be surrounded by trees, statues, and little artificial waterfalls so the journey to the top will reveal to be as interesting as the temple itself.
Once you get there you can admire Wat Saket in all its beauty. It is possible to explore the interiors as well and you’ll get to see a multitude of beautiful golden Buddha statues.
Take your time to soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this place, appreciate its historical and cultural aspects and of course don’t forget to snap hundreds of photos along the way.
Address: 344 Chakkraphat Di Phong Road, Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Daily from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm
Ticket Price: 50 Baht
Enjoy the floral scents at Flower Market – Pak Klong Talad Bangkok
One of the oldest and most iconic markets in Bangkok is certainly the Pak Klong Talad – Flower Market.
Dating back to the 18th century when it started as a small floating market, Pak Klong Talad eventually became Bangkok’s main point of reference for the flower industry.
Visiting Pat Klong Talad market means entering a world of intense colors and beautiful scents.
You’ll have a chance to admire endless varieties of fresh flowers, most of which coming from Thai provinces while some imported from abroad.
Apart from flowers, Pak Klong Talad also sells fruits and vegetables so you can snack on these healthy foods while exploring the place.
Although the Flower Market is open 24/7 we recommend visiting it early in the morning, before the crowds of customers and when everything is still in perfect order.
Address: Jakkrapet Road, Bangkok
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Go and See Erawan Shrine – Saan Thao Maha Phrom
One of the most important Hindu places of worship to visit in Bangkok is the beautiful Erawan Shrine.
Located in central Bangkok right by the famous luxury Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel this place is an interesting spot to add to your sightseeing itinerary.
Although pretty small in size, Erawan Shrine attracts a large number of visitors and it is constantly surrounded by fresh garlands and by candles.
Situated in the middle of Bangkok’s heavy traffic and neighboring with modern buildings and shopping malls this shrine is a remarkable sight to see.
Address: Ratchadamri Road, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok
Enjoy Shopping at Central World
If you want to spend a fun few hours shopping and eating while escaping the hottest time of the day then head to the Central World.
One of the main shopping malls in Bangkok, Central World is packed full of stores, restaurants and entertainment opportunities.
Given its central location, it is very easy to reach it – all you have to is take a BTS Skytrain and get off at Siam Station.
Apart from shopping, Central World offers a wide choice of dining option as well so it is highly recommended to have your lunch or dinner there.
Even if you’re not a huge shopping enthusiast you should still put Central World on your Bangkok travel itinerary.
Address: 999/9 Rama I Road, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm
Learn about History at Bangkok National Museum
If you want to learn more about the city’s art and history you should visit the Bangkok National Museum.
Established by King Rama V in 1874, this museum is home to some of the most significant Thai art pieces.
You can explore Thailand’s past through interesting collections, archeological artifacts, and art displays.
In order to make the most of Bangkok National Museum, it is recommended to get a guided tour which is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays and is completely free of charge.
This way you’ll get a lot of interesting information and gain a deeper understanding of Thailand’s history.
Address: Na Phrathat Road | Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Ticket Price: 200 Baht
Practice your bargaining skills at the Floating Market
No holiday in Bangkok can be considered complete without a trip to one of its iconic floating markets.
After all, it’s not every day that you get to buy your lunch from a floating kitchen casually located on a traditional long-tail boat.
There are quite a few floating markets situated near Bangkok and all of them offer a unique shopping experience that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
Damnoen Saduak is one of the most famous floating markets not only in Thailand but in the world as well.
Located around 100 km from Bangkok, this market is loaded with stalls offering all kinds of goods and with boats selling fruits, vegetables, snacks, drinks, and traditional Thai meals.
At a small fee, you can also rent a long-tail boat and explore the place from the water which gives a totally unique perspective.
Another interesting site to visit is Taling Chan Floating Market which is located only 12 km outside of the city so it’s easy and quick to get there.
Other floating markets situated close to Bangkok are Amphawa and Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market – both perfect for a fun shopping experience in a remarkable setting.
Take a Tuk-Tuk Ride
Tuk-Tuks are an integral part of Bangkok’s heavy traffic and have become a true tourist attraction in recent years.
For those of you who don’t know, tuk-tuk is an auto rickshaw – basically a quaint three-wheeled taxi that usually comes in many vivid colors.
Tuk-tuks are best for short trips from one point of interest to another while for longer journeys we recommend taking a taxi or a BTS Skytrain.
Because tuk-tuks aren’t equipped with meters so you will need to negotiate the price in advance.
When it comes to the cost and practicality (and some would argue safety) the “traditional” public transport is certainly a better choice.
But if you want to enjoy a fun, one-time experience in the heart of Bangkok then you should definitely give it a go.
Take a Day Trip to Ayutthaya
Around 80 km north of Bangkok lies Ayutthaya – the ancient capital city of Thailand.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Ayutthaya is a historical and cultural treasure and one of the top things to do in Bangkok.
Depending on how long you’re remaining in the city, you can either take a one day trip to Ayutthaya or stop overnight.
Whatever you decide to do, your time in this place will overflow with interesting places to explore and important cultural sites to see.
Dating back to the 14th century, Ayutthaya is home to some of the most ancient temples in the world.
In fact, on your itinerary, you’ll come across centuries-old temples such as Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Phanan Choeng and Wat Mahathat just to name a few.
You’ll also visit Wat Chaiwatthanaram which is one of the most significant sites in Ayutthaya and an ideal location to watch the wonders of the sunset.
If you want to admire the beautiful panorama of Ayutthaya go all the way up to the top of Wat Phu Khao Thong which dates back to the 16th century and is a real architectural marvel.
The list of attractions in Ayutthaya is endless and you could spend days discovering all of its wonderful historical sites.
Admire the panoramic view of Bangkok from Baiyoke Tower
One of the best things to do in Bangkok is watching the city from Baiyoke Tower.
Baiyoke Tower is Bangkok’s second tallest building which means you’ll get to admire an incredible panoramic view and have a chance to take some amazing photos as well.
There are a couple of ways to enjoy this experience. One way is to head to the observation deck that is located on the 77th floor and is free of charge.
Another one is to go all the way up to the 84th floor where you can take advantage of the fantastic revolving roof deck at 200 Baht.
Baiyoke Tower is home to a hotel and to a bar and a restaurant as well so you can stop by for a nice meal or a quick drink before leaving.
Take the Chao Phraya River Cruise
If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Bangkok you should consider taking the Chao Phraya River Cruise.
This way you’ll be able to admire the city from a whole new perspective, visit some beautiful “hidden corners” and at the same time escape Bangkok’s congested traffic.
From tours of Chao Phraya’s canals and main points of interest located by the river to romantic dinner cruises – the list of options is pretty long.
The night cruises are very popular because they give a glimpse into a tranquil and idyllic side of Bangkok.
In fact, if you thought Wat Arun was beautiful during the day, you should see it at night.
You can soak in the beauty of the illuminated monuments, take as many pictures as you want and enjoy amazing food and fantastic live music at the same time.
Indulge in Bangkok’s Street Food
If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok keep in mind that many exciting culinary adventures lie ahead of you.
In fact, the capital of Thailand is every foodie’s paradise and an ideal place to explore new flavors.
Street food is not only an integral part of Bangkok’s gastronomic scene but also an essential element of every day lives of many residents.
If you’re a tourist and especially a first-time visitor in Bangkok you should be putting street food on the top of your must-dos.
After all, is there a better way to connect to local culture than enjoying their traditional and freshly made specialties?
The best sidewalk vendors are those who prepare food from scratch and right in front of your eyes. A long cue and a large number of locals usually indicate a clean and safe place to eat as well.
Some of the dishes you can’t miss during your street food tour around the city are of course the iconic Thai fried rice, the delicious pad thai and sen yai noodles.
Of course, the choice is much bigger than this and you could spend days if not weeks trying all the mouthwatering options available.
Experience the Bangkok Puppet Show
One of the most unique and unusual things to do in Bangkok is certainly attending the traditional Thai puppet show.
This special event offers a perfect blend of live music, dance and of course charming puppets.
One of the most famous places in Bangkok to watch a puppet show is Joe Louis Thai Puppet Theatre.
Part of the Asiatique shopping center, this theatre offers a wonderful and one of a kind cultural experience.
At the end of the performance, you may also take some photos with the actors and with puppets which is a nice addition and a great way to end the evening.
Shop til you Drop at Siam Paragon
When it comes to shopping in Bangkok, there are some places you simply can’t miss and one of these is certainly Siam Paragon.
Between all the stores, dining and entertainment options you could easily spend a whole day at this shopping mall.
If you have some extra time we recommend checking out the amazing Imax Theater which is ideal for 3D movies. There is the VIP Cinema as well, where you can enjoy a movie in a super comfy chair while taking advantage of the unlimited snacks and soft drinks.
Make sure to also visit the Siam Paragon Food Hall which offers a wide choice of fantastic dining opportunities between one shopping expedition and another.
Siam Paragon is conveniently located in central Bangkok, near other shopping malls and a short walking distance from the Siam BTS station.
Address: 991 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm