Things to do and see in Bangkok Thailand

things to do in Bangkok
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Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is a chaotic city in the true oriental style. Traffic, crowded streets, street food stalls…. The more than eight million inhabitants never stop and the city never sleeps. But beyond the life on the streets, Bangkok has a lot to offer tourists; temples, markets, palaces, nature and the cuisine of dreams. What more could you ask for? In this post we tell you the must-sees in Bangkok and some more tips.

What are the essential things to do in Bangkok?

Travelling to Bangkok is something you have to do sometime in your life. There are few who have visited Bangkok Thailand and have not been captivated by its beauty and the hustle and bustle of the streets. The city combines the best of Asian cities with the modernity and comfort of the West. Here’s a list of the top things to see in Bangkok to help you make the most of your trip.

1. Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

This is another must-see attraction in Bangkok. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, from the tower you can see one of the most magical sunsets in the world with the city, the river and the palace in the background. Visiting hours are from 8:00 to 17:30 and the entrance fee is 100 baht.

2. Best markets to visit in Bangkok

The city is full of markets of all kinds: clothes, food, souvenirs, etc., which are open day and night and are located in the most unexpected places. The best known are the following:

Chatuchak market is one of the largest markets in the world where you will find all kinds of objects and ingredients. But it is also one of the busiest, so we recommend getting up early to avoid the crowds. The nearest metro stop has the same name as the market.

The Patpong Night Market is in the red light district of Silom, and is open from 18:00 to 00:00. The market is impressive, but so are the surroundings. The red light district offers a multitude of shows for adults, so going with children is not recommended.

Other famous markets in the city include the flower market on Chak Phet Road and the clothes market in Pratunam. There are also many gigantic shopping malls with numerous floors and hundreds of shops. Examples are the MBK or the Siam Paragom.

3. Khao San Road, Bangkok’s most famous street

Khao San Road is the backpacker’s street. There are many cheap hostels and guesthouses where tourists often stay when they start their trip in Thailand. In the evening the street comes alive with bars and food stalls lining the street, inviting tourists to hang out.

4. Chao phraya

In Bangkok there are numerous navigable canals, known as klogs, that are fed by the Chao phraya River. Along the banks of the river are many important buildings and traditional houses, so it’s worth discovering the city from the canals. This can be done by private boat for around €20 or by public boat for considerably less. Sunset dinner cruises are also available.

things to do in Chao phraya Bangkok
Boat ride on the Chao phraya River @lyd_moreno

5. Wat Pho

It is one of the most famous temples in Thailand because of the large Reclining Buddha inside, which is 15 metres high and 46 metres long, as well as the more than 1000 Buddhas scattered around the grounds. This building used to be a university, but today it is a very prestigious massage school. The temple is open from 8:00 to 18:30 and the entrance fee is 200 baht.

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6. The Grand Palace

It is probably the most important tourist attraction to see in Bangkok, so be prepared to be surrounded by throngs of tourists. The Bangkok Grand Palace is a complex of buildings that served as the seat of government and residence of the royal family until the mid-20th century. Among these buildings are the palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha. The architecture is traditional Thai style, colourful and ostentatious.

The site is open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, so it is best to go early. The entrance fee is 500 baht. In addition, you should dress appropriately: long trousers, shirts with sleeves and closed shoes.

Bangkok Grand Palace @elijimeneztravel

What to see around Bangkok Thailand?

From Bangkok you can organise quite a few day trips to places of interest in the surrounding area. There is a lot to see in Bangkok, but also in the rest of Thailand, so it would be a shame not to leave the city. That’s why we have listed a few places of interest not far from the city.

1. Markets

Not far from the city you can visit a couple of markets that will not leave you indifferent. We are talking about the Damnoen Saduak floating market and the Mae Klong market. The former is characterised by its location in the middle of the city canal. The stalls are very colourful traditional boats full of fruit and vegetables. The market is open from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm and is a two-hour bus ride from Bangkok. The best way to see it is to rent a boat or hire a guide to see the city.

The second market is Mae Klong, or the train market, as it is popularly known because it is set up right on the track. The train passes by eight times a day, and shopkeepers have to collect everything to make it pass. It is a real spectacle. The market is open from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, and can be reached from Bangkok by minivan.

Damnoen Saduak floating market @montse08

2. Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya, the former capital of the kingdom of Siam, is today considered a World Heritage Site because of the collection of historic temples that remain and attract thousands of tourists every year. Here there are temples such as Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol, Wat Chai Watthanaram and Wat Maha That. The city is 80km from Bangkok and can be reached by minivan, bus or train from the main stations.

3. Kanchanaburi

This magical city is 140km west of Bangkok, and takes approximately 3 hours to reach by train. Kanchanaburi played an important role during World War II, the memory of which is immortalised in many of its sights. The city definitely has a lot to offer and a full day is recommended to see the following places:

  • Erawan Waterfalls: these are incredible waterfalls surrounded by nature in the centre of the national park. It is the ideal place to go hiking and disconnect from the city.
  • River Kwai Bridge: a bridge that has been immortalised many times in films as it played an important role during the Second World War.
  • Thailand-Burma Railway Centre Museum: this museum tells the story of what happened in the city during the war. Next to it is also the Kanchanaburim Cemetery, which pays homage to the fallen in combat.

Things to do in Bangkok in 2 days?

We recommend spending a minimum of two or three days in the city, but the ideal time to visit the surrounding area is six or seven days. Here’s a two-day itinerary of Bangkok’s must-see sights:

Places to visit on day 1 in Bangkok

In the morning it is best to go early to see the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and then cross the river to visit the Wat Arun temple. Afterwards, you can go to Wat Pho temple and in the afternoon visit a market in the city. When night falls, the best thing to do is to enjoy the atmosphere of Khao San Road.

things to do in Bangkok
Holidays in Bangkok @sanjul

Places to visit on day 2 in Bangkok

On the second day you can start by visiting the Chatuchak market early in the morning, and then take a boat ride along the canals. Spend the afternoon at the Jim Thompson House Museum or the Bangkok Art and Culture Center. And at sunset look for one of the most famous viewpoints in the city, such as the Mahanakhon Skywalk for example.

Where to stay in Bangkok Thailand?

Bangkok is a huge city with plenty of accommodation options. It’s traditionally known as a backpacker’s city, but there’s also a wide range of hotels. The best neighbourhoods to stay in Bangkok are the Old City, Siam, Riverside and Silom. These are some of the accommodations you’ll find:

  • Villa Mungkala: a charming little hotel with its own garden. It costs around 35€ per night.
  • Innspire Bangkok: a simple, clean and cheap hotel 5 minutes from Khao San.
  • Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam: is a luxury hotel with services such as 24 hour gym, restaurant, bathroom with hydro-massage and free parking. The cheapest room costs about €45 per night.
  • Hostels: There are plenty of hostels in Bangkok that are full of backpackers for as little as €15 a night. Some of the best are Bed Station Hostel Khaosan or The Lol Elephant Hostel.  

Where to eat in Bangkok?

Foodies, welcome to Bangkok. Thai cuisine is among the best in the world for its fresh and spicy flavours, and Bangkok is one of the best places to try it. Here are some of the best places to eat:

  • Street markets: among the many things to see in Bangkok, don’t miss the food markets. The most famous is Or Tor Kor, where you can eat very cheaply.
  • Jaon Khun Ou Gallery: it is a very pleasant restaurant serving traditional cuisine, as it is located in a garden. It is also not particularly expensive and the prices are in line with the quality.
  • May Kaidee Tanao: very close to Khao San Road, this is a highly recommended traditional vegan restaurant. The price for a meal for two people is around 600 baht.
  • Ama: in this restaurant you can try one of the best Pad Thai in town, a traditional Thai dish. You have to go early because it fills up very quickly at lunchtime.  

How to get to Bangkok?

The best way to get to Bangkok Thailand is by plane. Flights from Spain cost between €600 and €1000, so look for flights from London or Paris, which can be as low as €300. There are two airports in the city, but the newest and closest to the centre (25km) is Suvarnabhumi. Bangkok Don Mueang airport is where the low-cost flights arrive.

To reach the city from the airports you can take:

  • Airport Rail Link: runs from 6:00 am to 00:00 am and takes 30 minutes. Depending on the distance it costs between 15 and 45 baht.
  • Airport Bus S1: runs from 6:00 to 20:00 every 30 minutes. It costs 60 baht.
  • Taxi: this is the most comfortable option and costs 400 baht.  

Tips for your trip to Bangkok

  • The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht.
  • Change your money in advance, as currency exchanges at airports are very expensive.
  • The best time to visit Bangkok Thailand is from November to March, when temperatures are more pleasant.
  • It’s best to drink only bottled water, as tap water is not always safe to drink.
  • Beware of unlabelled street products.
  • The city is safe, but as with any tourist destination, it’s best to be careful with your belongings.

How to organise your trip to Bangkok?

Sign up or download the Passporter App and discover all its useful features.

  • Get inspiration from the experiences of other travellers.
  • Create your own itinerary and add the app’s suggestions to it.
  • Add the spots you are most interested in, as well as the restaurants and bars where you want to eat (you can use the points of interest listed in this post as a reference).
  • Organise your itinerary by days and according to their location (you can take inspiration from the routes presented in the post).
  • Check the travel budget that the app calculates for you based on your travel stops, restaurants, and leisure activities.
  • Make the necessary modifications and you are ready for your trip.
  • Finally, share your experience. Upload photos of every place you’ve visited to the app and recommend to other travellers all there is to see in Bangkok, Thailand.

If you have any doubts about how to plan your itinerary, you can read our post: How to create your travel itinerary with Passporter.

Frequently asked questions when travelling to Bangkok

Do you need a visa to travel to Bangkok?

No visa is required if you are travelling from Spain; a valid passport is enough.

Where is the best place to exchange euros for baht?

The best thing to do is to exchange the money at your usual bank. If this is not possible, you can change money once you arrive in Thailand. One option is at the airport, where, although the exchange rate is expensive, it is still cheaper than in the tourist areas, where they are all more or less the same price. Another option is to withdraw money from an ATM with your credit card, but the bank will charge a 5% commission.

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