Bagan is one of the most ancient and archaeologically exciting places in the whole world. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest archaeological zone in the world, Bagan lies in the historic Mandalay Region of Myanmar. It goes without saying that this place is overflowing with history, so it’s the best place to visit if you want to dive into the past.
But if you also want to see the modern side of this incredible region, look no further. There’s loads modernised areas with bustling streets and eclectic markets. The region has lots of vast open spaces as well, with glorious countryside surrounding it. It’s the best place to visit in Myanmar for your fill of culture as well as nature.
With so much on offer, it can be quite overwhelming when trying to decide where to stay in Bagan.
But with our easy, step-by-step guide, you’ll find the best areas to stay in Hue to meet your interests and budget!
Without further ado, here’s our guide to where to stay in Bagan, Myanmar.
Quick Tips: Where to Stay in Bagan
- Where to stay in Bagan for your first time: Old Bagan
- Where to stay in Bagan on a budget: New Bagan
- Where to stay in Bagan for nightlife: Wetkyi In
- Coolest place to stay in Bagan: Nyaung-U
- Where to stay in Bagan for families: Myin Ka Bar
- There are a plethora of temples to visit in Bagan, but the best in the Old Town has to be Shwegugyi Temple
- For some truly ornate architecture, head to Nat Taung Kyaung Monastery.
- Other amazing temples and pagodas to visit include Minochantha, Ananda Temple and Shwesandaw Pagoda!
Looking for a specific stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Bagan…
Best Hostel in Bagan: Maya Bagan
This hostel is the best in the city! It has a lovely outdoor eating area where you can socialise and meet new friends who are travelling too!
Right at the heart of the city, it’s the perfect base for your explorations around this area. There’s a variety of rooms, as well as a private bungalow and food and laundry services!View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Bagan: Bagan No Hotel private house riverside with pool
This Airbnb is what it says on the tin! It’s right next to the beautiful River Irrawaddy, and with a beautiful outdoor pool you can just relax, unwind and immerse yourself in the Myanmar sunshine!
With a superhost to help you enjoy your stay and give you advice about how to get around the city, you won’t have a thing to worry about!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Bagan: The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate
The pinnacle of luxury in Bagan, this hotel has everything you’d require to unwind and relax. There’s an outdoor pool, a fantastic restaurant and large, spacious rooms. There’s an airport shuttle for convenience and it’s just a short walk from some of Bagan’s most famous attractions.
With lovely gardens for you to lose yourself in, as well as stylish, comfortable rooms, you’ll find it hard to leave this hotel!View on Booking.com
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Bagan
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Myin Ka Bar
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With so much history, culture and scenery to enjoy, Bagan is one of the best places to visit in Myanmar!
Bagan’s Top 5 Neighborhoods to Stay In
Bagan is one of South East Asia’s most fascinating cities. Situated in the Mandalay region, alongside the beautiful Irrawaddy River, this city has so much to offer to tourists from all around the world with all kinds of interests! Bagan was the capital of the ancient Pagan Kingdom, under which thousands of temples, pagodas and monasteries were founded and these are what characterise this region.
You’ll find vast plains of countryside dotted with fabulous architectural spectacles, varying from Hindu temples and Buddhist pagodas. The Bagan Archaeological Zone is the main attraction of the region and is the largest of its kind in the world, so if you love history, Bagan is the best place to visit! It has survived invasions and earthquakes and still remains one of the most beautiful, fascinating and most-visited areas of South East Asia!
The best neighbourhood to stay in and enjoy the historical calmness of this deeply spiritual place is Old Bagan. We think it’s the best place to stay in Bagan for your first time because you’ll get a real feel of the magnitude of its history! But don’t worry, Bagan isn’t just for history-lovers. If you like getting out into green spaces on a budget, you should stay in new Bagan, where you’ll also find bustling streets and markets. For some great nightlife alongside the banks of the Irrawaddy, look no further than Wetkyti In! And you simply can’t come and visit Bagan without looking at the city from the clouds – on one of the world-famous Bagan hot air balloon rides!
Although appearing vast and rural, Bagan is very well connected and easy to get to for travellers, no matter your budget! Nyuang U Airport is just a few miles away by the town of Nyuang U, which is incidentally our recommendation for the coolest place to stay in Bagan! It’s a bustling town with great markets and access to the surrounding countryside. If you’re coming from other areas of South East Asia you can get to Bagan by rail all day and all night! Overnight buses also run from Yangon and Mandalay and take about 7 hours. If you’re feeling extra adventurous and have good sea legs, then you can get the ferry on the river from all parts of Mandalay. There’s express ferries or overnight options too!
Bagan is a great place to get away from the modern world and make some self-discovery. It has a breath-taking natural landscape and a fascinating and eclectic history to enjoy learning about!
Old Bagan is the best place to stay in Bagan if you want to relax, but also find out some of the fascinating history of this amazing place. There’s pagodas and temples galore, with museums and the opportunities to see the city from the impressive Irrawaddy River.
A stay in Old Bagan is taking a step back in history – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn about your surroundings as well as take in their beauty!
Things to See and Do in Old Bagan:
– There are a plethora of temples to visit in Bagan, but the best in the Old Town has to be Shwegugyi Temple, which translates as ‘Great Golden Cave’.
– To learn all about the amazing archaeology of Bagan and the wider Mandalay region, look no further than Bagan Archaeological Museum. A fascinating building in itself – and a nice rest from the sun!
– Bagan Golden Palace is a bright, illuminated building in the heart of Old Bagan and is the best place to visit in Bagan for some brilliant group photos!
– For some tranquillity and proximity to the beautiful Irrawaddy River, head to Old Bagan Pier and a little further down the waterfront to Road to Mandalay Jetty, where you’ll also find the opportunity to go on a boat trip and see this amazing place from the water!
– For some truly ornate architecture, head to Nat Taung Kyaung Monastery. It’s gothic and looming, but boy is it impressive!
– Other amazing temples and pagodas to visit include Minochantha, Ananda Temple and Shwesandaw Pagoda!
Best Hostel in Old Bagan: Baobabed Hostel Bagan
Free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour front desk and a secure stay, this is one of the most convenient places to stay in Old Bagan.
With a fantastic breakfast made everyday homemade, as well as a rooftop poolside and an onsite bar and restaurant, you will want for nothing here!View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Old Bagan: Bagan non hotel paradise
On the banks of the Irrawaddy, you can see beyond the water right across the Mandalay district. You’re right in the middle of the most historical part of Bagan, but you’ll still have your own private space.
If you want to, you can get involved in local activities, like joining in with some meditation or learning some Buddhist teachings from a special school next door run by a local monk! A great opportunity to immerse yourself in Burmese culture.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Old Bagan: Aye Yar River View Resort
Situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River is this fantastic resort with so many facilities to make your stay as comfortable and memorable as possible. You’re just a short walk from some of the best temples to be found in Old Bagan.
There’s a variety of rooms in all shapes and sizes, some with their own private outdoor space too. And it’s even convenient- with airport and train station shuttles available.View on Booking.com
New Bagan is the slightly more modern part of the area surrounding Bagan. There’s bustling streets, interesting markets, restaurants and bars! But there’s also the same historical richness which characterises this area of Myanmar.
New Bagan offers all the spectacular sites of Bagan with a few more cheaper options for accommodations and eating without missing out on the luxury and culture of Bagan!
Things to See and Do in New Bagan:
– A little north of the bustling streets of New Bagan is the amazing Buddhist Temple of Sein Nyet Ama!
– For the chance to get a souvenir for your travels and soak in some amazing culture and vibrant food, head to New Bagan Market.
– To get a breath of fresh air, head to Mawka Nanda Park. There’s a serene trail through lovely gardens where you can hopefully spot some local wildlife!
– On the banks of Yeosin Creek is Bocho Mi Gubyauk, an impressive Buddhist Temple with a huge dome!
– For a chance to try some local cuisine in a gorgeous setting, look no further than Nana Wun By the River Restaurant. There’s a friendly atmosphere – the best place to visit to meet other travellers!
– Pure gold; Lawkananda Pagoda is right on the banks of the river and is a sight to behold!
Best Hostel in New Bagan: Ostello Bello Bagan
This is a familiar chain of hostels which, if you’re a veteran backpacker, you’ll know very well! Set up by a group of travellers from Italy, they know exactly what you need from a comfortable, affordable stay.
There’s free, superfast Wi-Fi, breakfast, tea, coffee and cigars all day! The staff are friendly and speak a range of different languages, and they can recommend you the best ways to get around this amazing part of the city!View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in New Bagan: Lazamuqiao Apartment
There are loads of highlights to this apartment – whether it’s the fantastic location, the comfort of the apartment or the luxury of the pool! This apartment complex has a real community feel where you’re sure to meet new people, but not at the cost of your own privacy.
The space itself has a lovely mixture of tradition and modernity, with large, spacious rooms and contemporary décor!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in New Bagan: Bagan View Hotel
This is a comfortable and modern hotel with all the amenities you could hope for. There’s a roof terrace for you to enjoy spectacular views across the city, and spot as many different pagoda and temple spires as you can.
There’s a restaurant, bar and a terrace for you to enjoy a drink with the sunset!View on Booking.com
Quite close to the historical centre of Bagan is Wetkyi In – slightly more exciting than Old Bagan but not lacking in culture and history. There’s the amazing opportunity to fully get to know this area from the skies, with a hot air balloon ride- a must, unless of course, you’re afraid of heights!
But if you’re a night owl, this is the best place to stay in Bagan to find some great bars, restaurants and night clubs.
Things to See and Do in Wetkyi In:
– For some culture, head out to the Bagan Plains where you’ll find the Htilominlo Temple. It’s three storeys high and jam-packed with elaborate plaster mouldings!
– Perhaps not the best hangover cure, but definitely the best way to see the city is to go on a trip with Oriental Ballooning or Balloons over Bagan! Rise above the skyline in a hot air balloon and take in the breath-taking beauty of Mandalay!
– Kyan Sit Thar Umin is yet another example of an ancient Buddhist Temple, holding thousands of years of history.
– For a bit of sport, head out to Bagan Nyaung U Gold Club! A luxury resort with some fabulous views and, of course, great golf!
– To learn about some of the fascinating culture of Myanmar, including its staple cosmetic Thanaka, head to the Shwe Pyi Nann Thanakha Museum!
– There’s some great bars, restaurants and night clubs in this area of Bagan. These include Bagan Zay, HTI Bar & Restaurant and [email protected], which is right on the banks of the Irrawaddy.
Best Hostel in Wetkyi In: Shwe Wun Yan Motel at Night Market
This hostel is modern and stylish and the perfect place to come back from a night on the town. There’s a range of rooms, some with garden views, some with private bathrooms as well!
There’s a free breakfast and a 24-hour desk so perfect if you’re a night owl. Centrally located, this is the perfect base for all your explorations of the city, day or night!View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Wetkyi In: Triple Bungalow Room
if you want a really authentic stay, look no further than this stay! A bungalow complex like no other, this is real Bagan. It’s also large and spacious and the perfect place for you to have some friends over if you want to stay up all night!
The garden is also a lovely place to relax in the evening or enjoy a coffee in the mornings!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Wetkyi In: Zfreeti Hotel
This is a really quirky, contemporary space where you’ll be able to relax after a night out on the town! There’s a 24 hour desk which is great for you night owls and there’s an airport shuttle for convenience.
The rooms are large and spacious with TVs and there are various room sizes available.View on Booking.com
Ano Poli literally translates as ‘Old Town’ and is the coolest place to stay in Thessaloniki! If you’re a history lover, you really will adore this area. It’s where you’ll find all of the best features of Thessaloniki’s ancient history, from as far back as the Roman Empire.
It’s also the busiest part of town where you’ll find some of the best shops, restaurants and bars on offer!
Things to See and Do in Nyaung-U:
– Head out into the countryside to gaze in awe at the Payathonzu Temple. Located in the nearby village of Minnanthu, it is actually three temples joined together by narrow passages!
– If you want to truly understand the scale and beauty of Bagan, head to the Nan Myint Viewing Tower!
– Head into the centre of this bustling local town to enjoy its fantastic open-air markets!
– If you head slightly west of Nyaung-U, you’ll find endless plains of pagodas, temples and ancient sites. Some of the best ones to explore are Nandamannya Temple with its ancient brickwork, Lemyethna with its many spires and the proudly standing Iza Gawna Pagoda!
– If you love wildlife and are willing to go slightly further afield, head out north to Palin River View Elephant Camp, where you’ll meet some new, big-eared friends!
Best Hostel in Nyaung-U: [email protected] Lotus Hotel
This hostel really does have so much to offer. If you enjoy being outside, you have the chance to play table tennis, badminton and football in the gardens or enjoy the well-equipped gym.
There’s a range of rooms available and there’s a great communal area to relax in after a day of exploring.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Nyaung-U: An Amazing Comfortable Room
This is a simple space, but definitely very homely. There’s everything you could need and it’s really close to all the features of the town that make it so interesting!
It’s a relaxed and chilled out environment for you to unwind in after a day of exploring!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Nyaung-U: Heritage Bagan Hotel
Once again, so much luxury! There’s an amazing outdoor pool for you to relax next to with a cocktail and enjoy the surrounding countryside.
There’s a great restaurant on-site, large, comfortable rooms, and even a hot tub if you want to relax. There’s so many places to explore in Nyaung-U, but it will be a struggle to drag yourself away from this hotel.View on Booking.com
Spending some time with the kids? Look no further than Myin Ka Bar. There’s some real chances to see the history of Bagan at its finest but there’s also plenty of culture to take in.
Situated between Old and New Bagan, there’s the best of both world on offer here and you’ll have the opportunity to see Bagan past and present!
Things to See and Do in Myin Ka Bar:
– Nanpaya Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple, containing intricate carvings of Hindu gods – definitely worth a visit!
– If you want to see a truly spectacular sight, head to Manuha Temple – it contains three enormous images of sitting Buddhas!
– Want to see one of the oldest artefacts in all of Myanmar? Head to the Myazedi Pagoda, where you’ll find the oldest inscription in ancient Burmese in the world!
– To find the perfect Mandalay souvenir to take to a loved one, or just to understand how Lacquerware is made, head to the Jasmine Family Lacquerware Workshop. A family-run business, there’s a friendly atmosphere where you can either observe or buy!
– In Myin Ka Bar, you’re almost certain to stumble across some fascinating pagodas, temples and places of worship. Some of the best are Augsburg Pagoda, Gu Byauk Nge Temple and Shwe U Min Monastery.
Best Budget Hotel in Myin Ka Bar: Eternal Lodge Bagan
This is a fabulously quirky hostel, made with an intriguing and intuitive design. All the rooms are fitted with a flat screen TV and a seating area. There’s also some great communal areas for you to make some new friends and enjoy the chilled out atmosphere of this hostel!
You’ll be super close to major tourist attractions and there’s some great restaurants nearbyView on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Myin Ka Bar: Lucky Apartment
Yet another place to stay in Myin Ka Bar with a pool, this is yet another perfect opportunity to have a stay that will suit all members of the family. A little closer to New Bagan, there’s the chance to get to know the more modern part of the city.
It’s convenient, picturesque and comfortable – what more could you want for a family getaway!
A plethora of history, beautiful scenery and a gorgeous setting beside the banks of the River Irrawaddy- Bagan has so much to offer for travellers of all types! It comes as no reprise that Bagan is the perfect place to stay for all ages!View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Myin Ka Bar: Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort
The clue is in the name for this hotel- this is a sanctuary perfect for the whole of the family to relax. There’s an outdoor pool for the kids to play in and a beautiful restaurant on the banks of the river to enjoy all sorts of local cuisine.
There’s plenty of gardens for the family to explore together and you’re really close to a variety of local temples and pagodas!View on Booking.com
Final thoughts on where to stay in Bagan
Old Bagan is the best place to stay in Bagan for your first time. It’s the best place to see the history of the city whilst relaxing and unwinding!
To recap: Bagan’s most luxurious hotel is definitely the The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate. Luxury and comfort like nowhere else!
If you are travelling on a budget, then the best place to stay in Bagan is Maya Bagan – excellent service and comfort!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, enjoy your travels!
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