Bangkok is a lively city that is sure to appeal to your senses and stir your soul. You’ll find historical sites next to vibrant nightlife areas, bustling markets near modern shopping malls, and street food vendors close to world-class restaurants. Bangkok is definitely a city that will enthrall, entice, and excite.
Bangkok is a large and sprawling city. Deciding where to visit can be tough, particularly if your time in the Thai capital is limited.
There’s no need to stress though; our expert team of travel writers have compiled this fantastic list of the best places to visit in Bangkok so that you don’t miss any of the city’s coolest spots.
With something to appeal to all tastes and budgets, some of these best places to visit in Bangkok are sure to amaze you!
Table of Contents
Best places to stay in Bangkok
Best Hostel in Bangkok: Comfy Bed Hostel
Comfy Bed Hostel is one of the most popular hostels in Phra Nakon. Within easy reach of the lively nightlife of Khao San Road and the famous attractions of the Old City, the hostel has mixed and female-only dorms. Beds have privacy curtains for a good night’s sleep and all guests have use of a large locker.
Access is by key card, enhancing security measures. Freebies include breakfast, a city tour, and Wi-Fi. The hostel has laundry facilities, basic self-catering facilities, and a common area where you can mingle with other guests.
Best Airbnb in Bangkok: Comfy and central room
This cute little room is perfect for first-time travellers. Located only 5min to the Skytrain station, you can get around without any problems. The room is bright, designed really nicely and you even have your own kitchen, in case you don’t want to eat out. This is a top spot for anyone that has never been to Bangkok before.View on Airbnb
Best Budget Hotel in Bangkok: Lamphuhouse Bangkok
Located on Soi Rambuttri, Lamphuhouse Bangkok is close to the action of the legendary Khao San Road yet far enough away that you’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful sleep. Reception is staffed around the clock and the hotel has a restaurant that serves Thai and western fare.
There’s a wide choice of rooms in different sizes, some with shared bathrooms and some with private facilities, and some with air-conditioning and others that are cooled by a fan. You can relax in the outdoor seating area and the hotel offers free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, 24-hour reception, and a tour desk.
Best Luxury Hotel in Bangkok: P & R Residence
Situated in Bang Rak, P & R Residence is a boutique hotel in the river harbour area of the city. All room are en suite with air conditioning and come with free toiletries, a hairdryer, a TV, a telephone, free Wi-Fi, a safe, and a fridge. Some rooms offer city views and others offer river views.
Breakfast is available for a surcharge and you can unwind in the pleasant garden or the stylish lobby. The hotel has a lift. Daily housekeeping services keep everywhere neat and clean, and the hotel has laundry services, luggage storage, and 24-hour reception.
Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Bangkok:
- Take a stroll through Benjakitti Park, a calm oasis at the centre of Bangkok.
- Visit the intricate and incredible Wat Pasee temple.
- Experience the lively and colourful Thai markets that can be found along Sukhumvit Road.
These are the BEST Places to Visit in Bangkok!
#1 – The Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Bangkok
- Official home of the Thai monarch;
- Historical and cultural site;
- Beautiful architecture;
- Home to Thailand’s most sacred temple.
Why it’s awesome: The Grand Palace is often near the top of the list of things to see for people visiting Bangkok. Built in the 1780s, it has long been the official home of the Thai monarch. Made up of a number of halls, buildings, and pavilions, the complex has beautiful courtyards, gardens, and lawns too. The revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is also within the extensive grounds.
You’ll notice that there are many different styles, largely thanks to the various monarchs that made their marks on the palace over the years. It’s still a working palace and, while several parts of the site are closed to the public, visitors can admire many of the glorious buildings, absorb a strong sense of history and culture, and get a feeling of how Thai royalty live.
What to do there: Marvel at the majesty of the complex and be awed as you first set your eyes on the kaleidoscope of colours and many fine architectural details. The sunlight glints of the shimmering roofs and spires rise into the skies. Large mythical giants, known as yants, guard gateways and the mythical bird-like garudas perch on many ledges. Admire the various statues throughout the well-tended grounds, notice the smaller details, like small fish swimming in lotus-filled urns, and take many awesome pictures.
Feast your eyes on a huge golden chedi, see a scale-model of Angkor Wat in neighbouring Cambodia, step into King Rama I’s original home, the opulent Boromabiman Hall, admire Amarinda Hall (the Hall of Justice), see an ancient antique throne, appreciate the European influence in the striking Chakri Maha Prasat (the Grand Palace Hall), learn more in the museums, and be dazzled by the impressive Dusit Hall.
You’ll notice that there are Buddha statues in all postures—find out which Buddha correlates to your day of birth and make merit. Watch as devout Buddhists give offerings and pray in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and see the small but impressive Emerald Buddha statue. Actually made from jade, the green statue is Thailand’s most sacred Buddha statue.
Do be sure to dress conservatively when planning to visit the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha—the dress code is very strict and you’ll be refused admission if you’re dressed inappropriately. Make sure that your legs are covered to at least the knees (men should wear long trousers) and that your arms are covered to at least the elbows, wear closed shoes, and do not wear anything that is sheer, torn, scruffy, or has slogans or religious / political / offensive motifs.
Check available tours here.
#2 – Chatuchak Weekend Market
A great place in Bangkok if you love to shop!
- Biggest market in Thailand and the world’s biggest outdoor weekend market;
- Great chance to practice haggling skills;
- Huge array of goods;
- Great street food options.
Why it’s awesome: One of the biggest markets in the world, Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market (also known as JJ Market) has around 15,000 stalls spread between almost 30 sections. Huge but fairly easy to navigate, there are sections dedicated to art and crafts, clothes and accessories, ceramics, plants and gardening, books, antiques, home décor, and more. It’s often said that if you can’t find what you’re looking for at Chatuchak Market then it’s not worth having!
Around 200,000 people visit the enormous market every weekend. Open since the early 1940s, the market has grown into the mammoth that it is today, with places to rest, eat, and drink if you need to take a break from all the retail therapy.
What to do there: Wear comfortable shoes and shop, shop, and shop! Whether you’re looking for exquisite Thai silks, cheap t-shirts, handmade soaps, typical souvenirs, carved wood, amulets and religious memorabilia, kitchenware, or something else, you’re sure to find it at Chatuchak Market.
Although prices are generally reasonable, take the chance to hone your haggling skills for even greater pocket-friendly prices. Sample an array of street food and chill in a bar with a cool beer or fresh fruit juice. Don’t miss seeing the clock tower, built in 2007 to commemorate the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 60th birthday.
#3 – Wat Pho
One of the most religious places to see in Bangkok
- Birthplace of traditional Thai massage;
- See one of Thailand’s biggest reclining Buddha statues;
- One of Bangkok’s oldest temples;
- First-class royal temple.
Why it’s awesome: Wat Pho, commonly referred to as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is among the six most revered temples in all of Thailand. Famous for its stretching 46-metre-long (151-feet-long) lying Buddha statue, the temple also boasts the biggest collection of Buddha statues in the country. Many of the statues were brought here from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya when the city fell to the Burmese, and there are also statues from the former capital of Sukhothai and other places around Thailand. It’s one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, older in fact than the capital.
The original temple is thought to date back to the late 1600s or early 1700s, although the temple underwent large renovations and restorations in the 1780s. There’s a Thai medicine school within the grounds and the temple is where traditional Thai massage originated.
What to do there: Walk around the complex’s outer walls and see the large statues of giants that keep watch over the site. Brought to Thailand from China, some of the interesting statues have European features. Khmer-style statues stand at the pagodas at the corners of each courtyard; their job is to guard north, south, east, and west. You’ll see chedis and pagodas in all shapes, sizes, and colours; there are four large chedis plus almost 100 smaller chedis.
Step into the Ordination Hall and see detailed scenes from the Thai epic the Ramakien on the walls and the large golden Buddha in pride of place. Explore the 20+ small rock gardens throughout the grounds, see some 400 Buddha statues in the cloisters, learn more about Buddhism in the small onsite museums, and marvel at the huge golden reclining Buddha statue in Viharn Phranorn. Enjoy a Thai massage in one of the pavilions or, of you have longer in the capital, you could also consider enrolling in a course to learn the ancient massage technique yourself in the very place where it was born.
Check available tours here.
#4 – DreamWorld
Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Bangkok
- Great for family fun;
- Theme park with diverse rides and shows;
- Ideal for people of all ages;
- Full day activity.
Why it’s awesome: DreamWorld is one of just a few theme parks in all of Thailand. There are numerous rides, shows, and attractions for people of all ages, with adrenaline-inducing rides for thrill seekers and tamer rides for the kids. There are lovely gardens filled with enchanting features as well as a large scenic lake. You can even experience snow in the heart of the steamy and humid city! Cartoon characters stroll around the park, ready to pose for cool pictures, and there are plenty of places to eat, drink, and pick up souvenirs. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it’s a fabulously fun place to spend a day with family or friends.
What to do there: Shriek, squeal, and giggle on DreamWorld’s cool rides, then re-join the queues to do it all again! If you’re looking for a heart-racing buzz, don’t miss soaring through the skies at speed on Sky Coaster, being tossed and turned on Tornado, and getting spun around on Hurricane. For some wet and wild action, head to Super Splash and the Grand Canyon. Get an overview of the park with a leisurely sightseeing ride on the Cable Car or Monorail, meet furry creatures at Animal Farm, feel tiny in the Giant’s House, and have an adventure in the dark on the Black Hole Coaster.
Kids are sure to love rides like Monza, the Antique Cars, Thunderbird, Speedy Mouse, and the Indian Boat. Watch the action-packed and high-octane Hollywood Action show, complete with lots of booms and bangs, see street entertainers performing a range of tricks and shows around the park, and enjoy the energetic and joyful Colours of the World Parade. Enjoy Thai favourites and international cuisine in the diverse dining spots and pick up cartoon-themed souvenirs in the gift shops.
#5 – Wat Arun
One of Bangkok’s coolest historical sites!
- Colourful Buddhist temple with links to Hindu cosmology;
- Air of peaceful spirituality;
- Lovely river views;
- Long history.
Why it’s awesome: Wat Arun (also sometimes known as Wat Chaeng) is a stunning temple on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. Nicknamed the Temple of the Dawn, Wat Arun is rather unique in its designs and not like other temples around the Thai capital. A temple has stood at the same site since the Ayutthaya period, and it was renovated by King Taksin when he moved the Thai capital to Thonburi.
The temple was previously home to the sacred Emerald Buddha before it was moved to its present location, and it was once within the grounds of the royal palace (before the palace was moved). Wat Arun was abandoned for several years after the capital moved across the river from Thonburi to Bangkok, but it was again restored during the rules of King Rama III and King Rama V.
The main prang is in a Khmer style and bedecked with broken pieces of porcelain and shells for a whimsical and colourful appearance. Statues of animals and Chinese figures stand around the base. Chinese-style pavilions sit next to the river and there’s a large Buddha statue within the giant-guarded Ordination Hall.
What to do there: Admire the glorious temple from across the water before taking the ferry across the Chao Phraya River to get up close and personal with its marvelous details. Climb up the central prang, admiring the views as you pass up the three symbolic levels of Traiphum (all realms of existence), Tavatimsa (the place where all wishes are fulfilled), and Devaphum (the six heavens and seven realms of happiness). Fell small as you stand in front of the towering fearsome statues at the entrance to the Ordination Hall and see the splendid main Buddha housed within. Relax in one of the salas (pavillions) and soak up the splendid river vistas. Try and visit the temple at night time too when it is illuminated against the inky sky, the reflections shimmering on the water in a beautifully captivating way.
#6 – Safari World
Awesome place to visit in Bangkok with kids!
- Home to animals from all over the globe;
- Large section dedicated to the underwater world;
- Terrific family-friendly attraction;
- Watch animals being fed.
Why it’s awesome: Safari World has two main parks: Safari Park and Marine Park. Incorporating a large open zoo, a bird park, and an aquarium, it’s a great place for anyone who wants to learn more about the animal kingdom. It’s also a top place for a family day out. The park is home to a vast array of creatures from all four corners of the world, with areas designed to look like different habitats from different continents.
Visitors can enjoy diverse shows, including watching at animals are fed, and activities like a river cruise and jungle walk add to the diversity. You can either drive yourself around the large park if you have your own vehicle or hop on a sightseeing bus to get around the park.
What to do there: Follow the eight-kilometre-long (five-mile-long) drive through the Safari Park seeing the numerous animals that inhabit the large park. Come face to face with animals like elephants, tigers, lions, zebras, chimpanzees, urang utans, giraffes, and more. Don’t miss the lion and tiger feeding shows each day.
There are also shows with dolphins and sea lions in Marine Park. As well as having fascinating aquatic creatures, Marine Park has stunning gardens that are home to crocodiles and carp, a cool Jungle Cruise ride, and an exciting water flume that takes you through the jungles of Asia and Africa. Always fancied trying your hand at water skiing? Here’s your chance!
#7 – Wat Yannawa
Quite the quirky place in Bangkok!
- Interesting temple designed like a boat;
- Chinese heritage;
- Off the beaten track;
- Quiet and peaceful.
Why it’s awesome: Wat Yannawa is an ancient temple that can trace its roots back to the Ayutthaya period and before the founding of Bangkok as the Thai capital. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, the temple was built on the orders of King Rama III. It was designed to resemble a traditional Chinese junk (sailing vessel), helping to preserve maritime heritage.
There are several other impressive buildings throughout the complex, including an ancient wooden structure and an air-conditioned room with a dazzling array of Buddha images and other religious ornaments and memorabilia. Although located right next to a BTS station and busy pier, relatively few people add the interesting Wat Yannawa to their itinerary; it is a peaceful place to escape the crowds while admiring an unusual and quirky piece of architecture.
What to do there: Pass through the large entrance gate and stroll along the wide pavement up to the boat-shaped structure. Buy a floral offering before stooping to pass through the low passageways and climb the steps inside the boat to reach the upper small shrine. Light incense and pay your respects at the shrine and make merit by placing flowers in the Buddha footprint. The views of the complex from the elevated position are pretty, and you can see some of Bangkok’s skyscrapers in the not-too-far distance. See the sparkling collection of Buddha statues, pick up sacred amulets, and enjoy the air of serenity.
Quick Note – Staying safe in Bangkok
Most visitors have a pleasant and trouble-free stay in Bangkok – they just need to be aware of the following:
- Tourists should take special care when crossing roads and pay attention to motorbikes riding on the pavements.
- Whether renting your own scooter or riding on a motorcycle taxi, you should always wear a helmet for your own personal safety.
- Watch out for angry street dogs, particularly at night, and, as with most places, avoid walking in quiet unlit areas alone.
- Petty theft and pickpocketing can be a problem in busy places, so make sure that you secure all valuables and avoid carrying excessive amounts of cash or expensive items. Be sure to make good use of lockers in hostels and safety deposit boxes.
- It is a requirement that tourists carry their passport on them at all times in Thailand—at nighttime, however, you’ll usually be fine carrying a photocopy.
- Steer clear of drugs and avoid drinking excessively, particularly if alone.
- Common scams include taxis refusing to use their meters, tuk tuks taking you to a range of stores where they will receive commission, and inauthentic gemstones being sold to unsuspecting buyers.
No destination is perfect – check out our Bangkok safety guide here and learn about this destination’s unique problems.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
And now, with useful pointers covered, here are the ultimate best places to visit in Bangkok.
#8 – Lumpini Park
A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Bangkok
- Popular place for leisure, sports, and relaxation;
- Great for families;
- See large monitor lizards;
- Enjoy nature in the heart of the city.
Why it’s awesome: Lumpini Park covers 142 acres (57.6 hectares) and it’s located in the city centre close to several BTS and MRT stations. Statues stand proudly outside the smoke-free park and inside you’ll find walking trails, pavilions, and artificial lakes. The park was established in the 1920s on ground that was once royal property. Named after the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the large green park has various activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Concerts are sometimes hosted here and you’ll find all amenities (including bathrooms and food stands) for a comfortable visit.
What to do there: Follow the walking trails around the park and look out for gigantic monitor lizards swimming through the lakes, skulking across the grass, and lazing in the tree branches. Birds twitter in the trees too, and the park is home to some 30 types of birds. You can rent a boat for a scenic ride on the water, admiring the reflections cast on the surface by the nearby skyscrapers. Snap a picture of the King Rama VI statue, see locals doing aerobics, jogging, and other sports, and buy a street food feast for an al fresco meal.
#9 – Wat Saket
A great place to see in Bangkok if you love architecture
- Hill-top temple;
- Great city views;
- Annual procession by candlelight;
- Beautifully illuminated at night.
Why it’s awesome: Wat Sakat, also known as the Golden Mount, is one of Bangkok’s many beautiful temples. Sitting on an artificial hill, it is located at the highest ground point in Bangkok. The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era and it contains a sacred Buddhist relic brought to Thailand from Sri Lanka. The present temple building was built from marble in the 20th century. Each November the temple is the scene of a spectacular candlelit procession where devotees wind their way up the hill with their candles twinkling in the darkness.
What to do there: Admire the golden chedi from the base of the small hill before following the shaded pathway up to the top. There are many interesting statues alongside the path, with trees and plants adding to the attractiveness. As you’re near the top you’ll come to a wall of bells—ring these bells for good luck. Soak up the views across Bangkok and see the tall statues that stand around the shimmering gold-coloured chedi.
You can climb even higher for more terrific vistas and to see various statues and murals. When you descend the mountain pay a visit to the ancient cemetery at the bottom, the final resting place for many victims of the plague.
#10 – Erawan Museum
An awesome place to visit in Bangkok for half a day!
- Striking architecture;
- Beautiful grounds;
- Huge art collection;
- Thought-provoking place.
Why it’s awesome: The Erawan Museum, located in nearby Samut Prakan, is one of Thailand’s masterpieces by Mr. Lek Viriyaphant. Built to be visually appealing, showcase art, and encourage people to question spirituality and their beliefs of the world and creation, it is definitely one of Bangkok’s most whimsical and amazing attractions. The centerpiece is a circular pink three-storey building that is topped with a huge three-headed elephant. Based on Hindu ideas of cosmology, the three levels represent the underworld, earth, and heaven. There are displays of art and religious artefacts within the museum and visitors cannot help but be dazzled by the stunning interior details. The gorgeous grounds feature a pond and many statues of mythological figures.
What to do there: Feast your eyes on the fascinating building with its three-headed bronze elephant and stand at the base of the wooden staircase, admiring the intricate encrusted stucco balustrade. Wander around the ground level where you’ll find beautifully carved wooden pillars that depict various scenes from several major world religions. The overall level of craftsmanship is sublime.
Climb the steps, pausing to appreciate the striking statues, and be blown away by the huge colourful skylight. Peek out of a small window for views across the site and continue skywards to reach the level that represents heaven. The curved blue ceiling has representations of the planets and stars and there are historic Buddha statues in various styles and poses from different times from through Thailand’s history. You can also see a large Buddha footprint and a grand historic wooden chair. In the lower level, there are many more interesting statues and art pieces along with diverse collections of rocks from around the nation. Explore the lovely gardens, filled with gorgeous statues around the pond. Walk underneath the gigantic elephant statues and hear the noises they make as people walk underneath—some are sure to surprise you!
#11 – Sky Bar @ Lebua
Great place to visit in Bangkok for couples!
- One of the highest rooftop bars across the world;
- Sophisticated and elegant vibe;
- Fabulous views across Bangkok;
- Delicious signature drinks and cocktails.
Why it’s awesome: The Sky Bar at Lebua is one of the world’s highest sky bars. Swanky, stylish, and sophisticated, it’s an ideal place for lovers to enjoy a romantic night out. The views take in many of Bangkok’s highlights, with the Chao Phraya River snaking in the distance. Soft music fills the air, and there’s often a live pianist. There are indoor and outdoor seating areas and you can enjoy a wide assortment of drinks with imported items on the menu. The famous bar appeared in the popular movie Hangover II.
What to do there: Dress up glamorous (there’s a strict dress code) and ride the elevators up to the 64th floor for a romantic drink with awesome vistas. Try the signature Hangovertini, a cocktail inspired by the famous film. Alternatively, you’ll also find a range of global beers and wines and other popular cocktails on the exclusive menu. Try and time your visit for just before dusk—that way you can admire the daytime views of Bangkok and watch as the sun sets over the Thai capital and then enjoy views of the city in the dark.
#12 – Bangkok National Museum
A fascinating educational place to visit in Bangkok
- One of the biggest museums in Southeast Asia;
- Home to a large collection of art and artefacts;
- Great place to learn more about Thai history;
- Connection to Thai royalty.
Why it’s awesome: Bangkok National Museum is housed in an old royal palace. There are three main buildings: Buddhaisawan Chapel, The Red House, and Siwamokhaphiman Hall. Home to the biggest collection of Thai art and historical objects in all of Thailand, the museum also contains striking art from other places around Southeast Asia. Displays are well ordered and there are good explanations and descriptions in English. One of the biggest museums in the region, it dates back to the 1870s having been established by King Rama V to display gifts and memorabilia from his late father.
What to do there: Plan to spend a few hours discovering the various displays across the museum’s three main areas. Learn more about Thailand’s past in Siwamokhaphiman Hall, with items that go from the Sukhothai era right up to the Rattanakosin period, and see beautiful murals and a large Buddha statue in Buddhaisawan Chapel. The teak-built Red House was moved to the site from its previous location in Thonburi. Once private living quarters for a princess, today it contains period furnishings with some that belonged to a former queen. Visit the chariot hall to see carriages that used to be used in royal ceremonies, see masks used in traditional Thai puppetry, admire ornate ceramics, view old clothes, and more.
#13 – Khao San Road
A must visit place to visit in Bangkok on the weekend!
- Bangkok’s famous backpacker area;
- A major place for nightlife;
- Affordable prices;
- Large selection of bars, eateries, and accommodations.
Why it’s awesome: Khao San Road is one of Bangkok’s famous nightlife areas. Located fairly close to the city’s historical heart, it’s a preferred base for backpackers exploring the Thai capital. There are plentiful budget accommodations, restaurants that serve traditional Thai dishes and international favourites, and an assortment of bars and clubs. There are also street stalls selling a wide selection of trinkets, cheap t-shirts, and souvenirs. The street is pretty lively by day, but it really comes into its own come nighttime when music blares from the bars, people drink and dance in the streets, bands play, street performers try to get tips from the crowds, and vendors try to tempt people with street eats, knickknacks, and cheap drinks.
What to do there: Although busy on all nights of the week, Khao San Road is especially lively at the weekends, with tourists, expats, and locals coming together for nights of fun and revelry. Stroll along the street and browse the souvenirs and clothes, perhaps sipping on a cool beer or famous whisky bucket as you decide where to go first. Hop between the different bars, each with its own vibe; whether you want to chill or go wild, Khao San Road has a bar for all tastes. Listen to live music and dance the night away in one of the clubs. The atmosphere is laid back and there’s no need to dress up fancy—unless you want to!
#14 – Wat Puet Udom
One of the most incredible free places to go to in Bangkok
- Fascinating insights into Thai Buddhist beliefs;
- Hell temple;
- No admission charge;
- Off-the-beaten-track attraction.
Why it’s awesome: Wat Puet Udom can be found in Pathom Thani, just a short way from central Bangkok. The temple offers something a bit different to the norm and is sure to be different to other temples that you’ve seen around the Thai capital. The grounds are filled with large and colourful statues, but the real highlight is exploring the section dedicated to Buddhist hell. Learn about Thai beliefs connected to the underworld, and see what people will believe the punishments in the afterlife for various earthly transgressions. Descriptions are provided in English for the avoidance of any doubt! Animatronic displays add to the eerie feeling and it’s definitely one of the most unusual places to visit around Bangkok. Plus, as an added bonus, it’s completely free!
What to do there: See the large glittery temple building at the heart of the temple complex and stroll through the grounds to see large and unusual statues. There’s a guardian of the underworld riding on the back of a gigantic rooster, human forms with animal heads, mermaids and other mythical creatures, and even a large plane. Buy a bag of food to feed the fish in the river to gain merit and admire the river views.
Don’t miss seeing the animated skeleton that bows to passers-by! Prepare to be shocked, amazed, and more than a bit freaked out and walk through the gigantic gaping mouth to go underneath the temple into the dark and dank realms of hell. You’ll encounter statues of sinners being beaten, sliced up, boiled, impaled on ghastly skewers, ripped to shreds by angry beasts, and even more horrors. Gruesome pictures add to the effect and you can put a few coins in some of the statues to watch them move and listen to blood-curdling screams.
#15 – Siam Niramit
A great place to visit in Bangkok at night
- Large and colourful cultural show;
- Opportunities to learn more about rural Thai life and regional traditions;
- Delicious cuisine;
- Fantastic place to spend a fun evening.
Why it’s awesome: Siam Niramit in Bangkok is one of the biggest stage productions in the world. The enlightening and captivating show features stunning sets and beautiful costumes and takes people on an exciting journey through Thai history, culture, and traditions. The show also highlights different parts of the country, providing insights into Thailand’s different regions. There are three acts: Journey Back into History, Journey Beyond Imagination, and Journey Through Joyous Festivals. Special effects, lighting, and music create an electric atmosphere. There’s plenty to enjoy before the show too, with a mini Thai village, places to eat and shop, small performances, and other varied attractions.
What to do there: Book the package that includes dinner and arrive early (and hungry!) to enjoy a tasty Thai feast. Walk around the miniature Thai village, complete with wooden buildings on stilts, to see a variety of crafts, lifestyles, and costumes. Actors and actresses bring the scenes to life and demonstrate different skills of old. Feed the elephants, take a boat ride, watch as traditional snacks are prepared, listen to musicians, and watch dance shows. Peruse Thai crafts in the stores, perhaps selecting some lovely gifts to take home with you. Take your seats and be enchanted by the fabulous show as you travel back through the ages and all around the Land of Smiles.
See here for availability.
#16 – Thonburi Canals
A nice quiet place to see in Bangkok
- Relaxing boat ride on a long-tail boat;
- See a different side of the hectic city;
- Experience Thai life of old;
- Hidden Bangkok.
Why it’s awesome: Once upon a time, Bangkok was crisscrossed by canals and waterways, essential for trade and transportation. Over time, many canals were filled in and more roads were built. The khlongs (canals) of Thonburi, however, still offer a pleasant glimpse into the old Bangkok. Peaceful waterways run through the area, lined with homes, temples, and gardens. Floating markets still operate on certain days of the week too, and vendors seek to sell their wares by boat at all times, paddling from house to house with an assortment of goods. Life is quiet around the Thonburi canals and it offers a completely different perspective of the otherwise bustling city.
What to do there: Several operators run boat trips around Thonburi’s canals, though you can also charter your own long-tail boat for a more intimate and personalised exploration. Sit back and relax as you soak up the waterside scenes; drift past local homes, see the small rowing boats that people use to get around, and wave to excitable children on the water’s edge. The Royal Barge Museum is well worth a quick stop, filled with impressive vessels, and you can watch a traditional puppet show at the Artist’s House. You can make stops at several places of worship too, including Santa Cruz Church, Wat Rakhang, Wat Anongkharam, and the 250-plus-year-old Chinese Gong Wu Shrine. Stop for lunch at one of the quiet canal-side eateries and enjoy the vistas and peaceful air.
#17 – Chinatown
A perfect place to visit in Bangkok if you are on a budget!
- Authentic Chinese fare;
- Interesting architecture;
- Cultural experiences;
- One of the world’s biggest Chinatowns.
Why it’s awesome: Established in the 1780s, Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the biggest Chinatowns across the globe. Once a major trading area, Chinatown is now a thriving hub of Chinese culture and traditions. A great place for foodies, there are many restaurants and stalls selling a huge selection of authentic Chinese dishes. There’s plenty of cool architecture too, including old movie theatres, temples, and a ceremonial archway. Shophouses line the streets and the pavements are crowded with pedestrians and stalls. The vibe is energetic and you’ll find shops selling everything from affordable electronics and cheap clothing to traditional Chinese herbal remedies and gold. It’s a fantastic area to explore by foot, and many of the sights are free!
What to do there: Walk along the busy Yaowarat Road, immersing yourself in the hustle and bustle. You’ll likely be tempted by all the food offerings; come in the evening for a huge array of mouth-watering treats! Visit Wat Traimit, home to the biggest solid gold Buddha statue in the world, take pictures of the colourful and ornate Chinatown Gate, and hunt for bargains along the narrow Sampeng Lanes and its overflowing market stalls.
Don’t miss visiting Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Bangkok’s most important Chinese temple. It has elements from Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian practices and you’ll see people lighting incense, making merit, and praying to various deities. Watch a traditional dance show at the historic Sala Chalermkrung theatre and unwind in the pleasant fountain-filled and leafy Romaneenart Park.
#18 – Patpong
Cool place to see in Bangkok with friends!
- Bangkok’s original red light district;
- Large market;
- Busy nightlife area;
- Adult entertainment.
Why it’s awesome: It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Patpong is one of the best places to experience Bangkok’s famous adult side. One of the city’s major red light districts, it is also a fun place for a night out. The bars welcome groups of friends and couples and, while it’s certainly there if you’re seeking it, there’s no need to feel obliged to indulge in any of the adult-centred fun that Patpong is known for. There’s a large night market too, which helps to draw tourists from all walks of life to the area.
What to do there: Peruse the large selection of goods at Patpong Night Market, where you’ll find everything from novelty gadgets and slogan t-shirts to crafts from the hill tribes of Northern Thailand and typical souvenirs. Do be sure to haggle if you want to buy anything as prices are often over-inflated. Experience Bangkok’s adult-focused night scene in one of the beer bars or go go bars, and watch as people shimmy against poles and perform erotic dances on the stages. Do be cautious of scams, however, and always check prices beforehand.
#19 – Jim Thompson House Museum
One of the most underrated places to see in Bangkok
- Peaceful museum;
- Former home of the Thai Silk King;
- Traditional architecture;
- Lots of religious art.
Why it’s awesome: Jim Thompson House Museum is the former home of the mystery-surrounded silk magnate often referred to as the Thai Silk King. American-born Jim Thompson helped to revolutionise the Thai silk industry, bringing the gorgeous silk products to the world while providing much-needed work for rural Thai families. The house was built in the 1950s in a traditional Thai style using old teak buildings from various parts of the country. The old wooden buildings were reassembled and repurposed in their present Bangkok site. Surrounded by lush garden and alongside a canal, the charming buildings contain Thompson’s extensive art collection and Buddhist statues.
What to do there: Step into a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok, feeling as though you’ve been transported to a small jungle far from the city crowds. Wander through the verdant gardens and enjoy the calm and tranquil atmosphere. Watch as people demonstrate traditional silk weaving techniques and learn more about the silk production process, and see people performing graceful Thai dancing. View the large collection of art and religious memorabilia, with items from all across Thailand and the wider Southeast Asian region.
#20 – Giant Swing
One of the more unique places to visit in Bangkok!
- Once used in ancient ceremonies;
- Unusual attraction;
- Free to see;
- Gorgeous quiet temple.
Why it’s awesome: The Giant Swing is a towering red frame in front of the sparkling Wat Suthat. The swing was once used in ancient Brahmin religious ceremonies and there are old pictures showing the swing in action. Built in the 1780s, the swing was moved to its current location in 1920. It was used for religious rituals until the 1930s. Made from teak wood, the frame stands at more than 30 metres (98 feet) high. Wat Suthat is an impressive temple, though it sees fewer visitors than Bangkok’s major temples so still retains a peaceful and spiritual air. It has beautiful wooden carvings, striking murals, and large Buddha statues.
What to do there: Gaze up at the Giant Swing and let your imagination take you back to the times when it played a vital role in religious ceremonies. See black and white photographs showing the swing in use. Explore the handsome Wat Suthat, which is among Bangkok’s oldest temples, and admire the glorious murals that show scenes from the Ramakien. See the large golden seated Buddha statue in the main hall and more than 150 statues of the Lord Buddha around the walls of the cloister. Absorb the spiritual feeling and sit for a while in quiet contemplation.
#21 – Koh Kret
One of the nicer places in Bangkok to sightsee!
- Scenic river island;
- Home to a Mon ethnic community;
- Known for pottery making;
- Historic attractions and markets.
Why it’s awesome: Koh Kret is a small river island, created in the early 1720s when a canal was constructed and cut off the land completely. Historically home to people from the Mon ethnic group, the island is famous for its long pottery heritage. There are active pottery-making workshops on the island still, complete with large kilns and showrooms where you can buy the delicate pieces. The island has a rustic vibe and offers a glimpse into a way of life that is hard to find elsewhere in the hectic city. There are museums and temples to explore too, and you’ll find peaceful places to eat alongside the river.
What to do there: Catch a boat to Koh Kret island and explore by foot or rented bicycle. Follow the circular track around the island, pausing to visit several places of interest along the route. See stunning ceramics in the Kwan Aman Pottery Museum and watch all stages of the pottery-making process in one of the small workshops around the island. Purchase locally made terracotta items in the market or at one of the many shops. The market also sells a selection of trinkets, handicrafts, and souvenirs, and you’ll find several snacks and food products here that can be difficult to source elsewhere.
The riverside restaurants are perfect for refreshments with scenic views, and the island is well-known for its delicious desserts. See the leaning white chedi next to the water and visit lovely temples like the Burmese-style Wat Poramaiyikawat, Wat Sao Tong Thong, Wat Phai Lom, and Wat Chimplu Suttahawat. If you visit at the weekend you can watch traditional Mon dance shows
#22 – Condom Museum
One of Bangkok’s most unique attractions
- Quirky museum;
- Aims to raise awareness of sexual health;
- Educational experience;
- Off the beaten track.
Why it’s awesome: Open since 2010, the Condom Museum is one of Bangkok’s more unusual attractions. Located in Nonthaburi, the museum seeks to shed light on sexual health matters, encourage condom use, and promote safe sex. The museum is free to visit. The museum contains a fascinating collection of condoms from all over the world, with those that have been made in recent times and those that seem archaic compared to today’s products. There are also informative displays related to the history, manufacture, and marketing of condoms. Fun fact: did you know that Thailand is one of the world’s biggest makers of condoms?!
What to do there: Step into the world of sexual health and see a mind-blowing assortment of condoms in various colours and sizes. Learn more about the condom and why its use is important for good sexual health. Posters adorn the walls and displays also include other sex-related items, such as lubricant and penis pumps. You’re sure to be amazed in the testing room, where people demonstrate just how tough condoms actually are!
#23 – Queen Sirikit Park
A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Bangkok
- Large green park with diverse plants and flowers;
- Offers respite from the city’s hustle and bustle;
- Home to pools, fountains, and other water features;
- Royal connections.
Why it’s awesome: Sitting on a former golf course, Queen Sirikit Park opened in 1992 and was named to celebrate Queen Sirikit’s 60th birthday. The beautiful botanical garden boasts several hundred species of plants and flowers, with an abundance of water plants in the ponds. Waterlilies, lotuses, hibiscus, palms, roses, bamboo, and banana trees are just a few plants within the park, and the rich variety helps to attract many birds, butterflies, and insects. A lovely place to enjoy nature, the park has formal gardens, walking trails, fountains, statues, and areas dedicated to leisure pursuits.
What to do there: Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the large Queen Sirikit Park, admiring the various plants and flowers, pausing to appreciate the bright colours and fragrant scents. You can also learn more about Thailand’s native flora and how certain plants are important to the nation. Sit and relax next to the sparkling lotus- and lilly-filled ponds and take kids to the fun and hands-on Children’s Museum. There are plenty of food vendors close to hand if you’re in need of an energy boost.
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Have a fabulous time in Bangkok!
Bangkok is an exciting city with something going on at almost all times of the day and night. A top city for foodies, shopaholics, culture seekers, history lovers, urban explorers, and party animals, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in the Thai capital. Families, friends, couples, and solos will all find more than enough to keep them enthralled in the City of Angels. Tick off these best places to visit in Bangkok for a diverse, fun-filled, and action-packed stay.
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Need More Inspiration?
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.