Bangkok is an incredible city to visit! Let’s see the 20 best things to do and see in Bangkok, whether you stay 2, 3, 4, or 5 days or prefer a unique or cultural experience. Find also a 2 to 5-day itinerary to make the most of your trip to Thailand. Let’s go!
- TOP 20 best things to do in Bangkok 🤩
- Best neighborhoods to visit📍
- Best places to eat 😋
- How many days does it take to visit Bangkok? 👌
- Itineraries to discover Bangkok in 2, 3, 4, or 5 days ✨
Good to know! The most important ones to visit in Bangkok are on the left bank (west) of the Chao Phraya River. The right bank (east) is a place to discover, but there are better places to stay for a first trip to Bangkok.
1. Top 20 best things to do in Bangkok
1.1 Visit the Grand Palace of Bangkok
The Grand Palace of Bangkok, also called the Royal Palace of Bangkok, was built in 1782 by King Rama I. It is located on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok.
Exceptional! The Bangkok Palace is one of the must-see places to visit in Bangkok, Thailand. The richness and beauty of this place cannot leave you indifferent. Inside the Grand Palace, you can discover the Wat Phra Kaew Temple: one of Bangkok’s most beautiful places.
Good to know. The Grand Palace is Bangkok’s most tourist attraction. In front of the palace, you may meet tourist scams, for instance, people telling you the palace is closed. Be prepared before visiting, and check on the official website. It can be closed for events with the members of the Royal Family.
1.2 Marvel at Wat Phra Kaew Temple (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Inside the Royal Palace. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Visiting Wat Phra Kaew Temple is one of the best things to do in Bangkok, as is the entire palace.
One of Thailand’s most important sacred places. The atmosphere and architecture of the temple will transport you. It is a place not to be missed when visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok.
To make the most of it. When you visit the Grand Palace, take an audio guide or a guided tour, or find out about the place before the visit. Thanks to the explanations or comments of a guide or an audio guide, you will enjoy this visit even more.
- Click here to see a guided tour with praising reviews.
- You can also take an audio guide (see prices here).
Saranrom Palace Park. This public park is a few minutes from the Grand Palace of Bangkok (see the location on Google Maps). During your trip to Bangkok, you can make a detour to this park to take a break or relax after your meal.
1.3 See the Golden Buddha at Wat Pho Temple
Reclining Buddha. 45 meters long and 15 meters high! This reclining Buddha statue is splendid and impressive. It is located in the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok, near the Grand Palace (see it on Google Maps). Allow an hour to visit this temple.
Visit the temple with a guide. A combo guided tour, including the Grand Palace and Wat Pho temple, is possible. This tour lasts approximately 3 hours: click here to see the prices (you can choose which places to visit, depending on your preferences).
1.4 Visit the Bang Lamphu district and the bustling Khaosan Road
To discover the festive side of Bangkok, you must visit the Bang Lamphu district and its busiest street, Khaosan Road (see it on Google Maps).
Lively, festive, and sulfurous Bangkok. Here, you will find many restaurants, bars, and massage parlors. There are also hotels and guest houses at relatively affordable prices, ideal for staying in Bangkok on a budget. The Khaosan Road area is also considered a backpacker area.
Alternative streets. Rambuttri Alley and Thong Lo Road are also festive streets in Bangkok. Here, you will see rather the old Bangkok, any other facet of the city will open to you in other more modern districts of Bangkok.
1.5 Admire a fantastic view of Bangkok from King Power Mahanakhon
Wow! If you visit Bangkok in 2 days or more, you should discover this observation deck with a 360-degree city view! The views are breathtaking; you can walk on a glass floor over 300 meters high. A unique experience and thrilling activity to do in Bangkok. Click here to see tickets.
Best time to visit. One of the best times to visit King Power Mahanakhon is 5 pm. It allows you to discover Bangkok in the daylight, see the breathtaking sunset, and marvel at the city’s lights illuminating the night.
1.6 Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
“Lord of the Waters”. The Chao Phraya River means “lord of the waters” in Thai. This river was a significant trade axis in the Kingdom of Siam and still is today.
Cruise with dinner and a traditional show. Taste Thai cuisine while enjoying an evening cruise on the Chao Phraya River! It is a romantic activity to do in Bangkok during a trip as a couple. Click here to see the photos.
Cross the river to visit Wat Arun. You can take the Chao Phraya Express shuttle boat to visit Wat Arun temple or other places in Bangkok (More information below).
1.7 Visit the magnificent Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Wat Arun is one of the most visited places in Bangkok. Its beauty is unique and differs from the temples of the Grand Palace. Add Wat Arun to your sightseeing itinerary without hesitation. Visiting this temple is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
How to get there? The Wat Arun Temple is on the right bank of Bangkok (west). The Grand Palace is on the left bank, the other side of the Chao Praya River. Take a boat to reach this stunning temple on the riverside.
With a private guide. On your trip, you can explore Bangkok’s top must-sees with a private guide. It allows you to take full advantage of the guide’s explanations and to visit Bangkok at your own pace (not that of the group). Click here for the prices for a private guided tour with the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha), and Wat Arun.
1.8 Enjoy the rooftops of Bangkok
Best places. The best rooftops in Bangkok are in the Sukhumvit district. Here is our selection of the best places to drink, eat and enjoy a stunning view of Bangkok. Click on the link to see the location on Google Maps.
1.9 Visit Bangkok’s Chinatown
Fascinating place! Chinatown is one of the must-see places to visit during a trip to Bangkok. This district is one of the oldest districts in Bangkok. It is also famous for its restaurants, street food, and unique atmosphere.
Not to miss. The lively Yaowarat Road (see the location on Google Maps) is completely transformed into a vast open-air restaurant at nightfall! Come here to taste the delicious Bangkok street food. Nana Street is an alternative street, better for its tea rooms and tapas bar. It is the most hipster and trendy place in Chinatown.
1.10 Visit the temples of Ayutthaya from Bangkok
Incredible! If you have more than 2 days to visit Bangkok, you must include Ayutthaya in your travel itinerary. The temples of Ayutthaya will leave you with incredible memories. You will love this tour!
Ayutthaya. This city was founded in 1350. It was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam. The city was razed by the Burmese in 1767. However, today you can visit the ruins of this ancient city which are just fascinating and impressive. Learn more in our blog post: How to visit the Ayutthaya Historical Park from Bangkok.
How to visit? Ayutthaya is 80 km from Bangkok. Plan a full day for this visit. If you are going by yourself, the train is the best option. Otherwise, the easiest way is to take a guided tour with transport from Bangkok (see prices here).
1.11 Visit an authentic Thai floating market
Among the unusual and unique activities to do in Bangkok is a visit to a floating market! Floating markets are an institution in Thailand. Do not miss the opportunity to discover this incredible universe during your trip to Bangkok.
Damnoen Saduak: the most famous floating market in Thailand! This market is in the suburbs of Bangkok. Plan for several hours to visit this market. There you will find many places to eat. Many excursions can take you there (see tour review here).
Maeklong is the famous market on the railway in the suburbs of Bangkok. Visiting this market is often included in excursions. It is an unusual activity to do in Bangkok.
Amphawa: another floating market in the suburbs of Bangkok. Click here for a guided tour with the visit to this market, discover rural life in Thailand, and see Maeklong market.
Khlong Lat Mayom: another floating market closer to Bangkok (See it on Google Maps), but much smaller than Damnoen Saduak. You can eat here in one of the market stalls.
1.12 Discover the most impressive shopping malls in Bangkok
Best places. Malls are places of shopping, but also real places of local life. In Thailand, most (if not every) malls have a food court. The food courts are delightful. Here are two shopping centers to discover (click on the place to locate it on Google Maps).
- Iconsiam: The best mall to visit in Bangkok! It is one of the most beautiful in Thailand. Go to the top floor for a splendid view of Bangkok and the Chao Praya River. You will love the indoor floating market and the beautiful fountain show if you visit Iconsiam in the evening.
- MBK Bangkok: one of the largest malls in Asia, and not only in Bangkok. MBK is 8 levels, 89,000 m², 2,500 shops. Here, the prices are much more accessible than at Iconsiam, especially if you go upstairs. You will not find many brand shops here. It is closer to a market than a classic mall. Many second-hand shops for electronics.
- Siam Paragon: another famous mall close to MBK Bangkok.
- Emquartier: Near Benchasiri Park, on Sukhumvit. We love the sky garden here!
1.13 Relax at Lumpini Park
Relaxing. If you visit Bangkok, Lumpini Park is one of the places to discover. It is also the largest park in Bangkok (58 hectares).
Good to know! If you hear the anthem of Thailand, stop! Everybody should stop their activity when the national anthem is played to show respect. You will also see the locals do the same. The national anthem is played in Lumpini Park every day at 6 pm. The anthem lasts for about 40s. You can also encounter this at the train station.
1.14 Visit the Bangkok National Museum
Thai and Asian art. The goal of this museum is to preserve the cultural heritage of Thailand. It is the largest museum in Southeast Asia (Wikipedia). In the museum, one can see the objects and artifacts found in ruins or archaeological sites.
Where is the Bangkok National Museum? Close to the Grand Palace, which is convenient for the visit. Recommended if you visit Bangkok in 4 days or are fond of archaeology.
1.15 Take a trip to the fantastic markets of Bangkok
Chatuchak Market: Open Saturday and Sunday. You can find clothes, decorations, food, music, plants, and almost a thousand stalls here! It is a place full of surprises to visit in Bangkok to get a glimpse of local life.
Srinagarindra Train Night Market: A Great Bangkok Night Market! This market specializes in antiques and retro memorabilia. There are also bars and restaurants here. A unique place not to be missed!
1.16 Do a Thai massage
Best places. If you go to Bangkok, Thailand, you can take the opportunity to discover Thai massages! Here are some of the best places in Bangkok (click on the name to locate it on Google Maps):
- Wat Pho Massage School (inside Wat Pho temple, one of the temples to visit in Bangkok)
- P’s Thai Massage 1
- Nature Thai Massage 24
- Thai Thai Massage Khaosan (perfect for a foot massage in Khaosan Rd)
1.17 Visit Bangkok’s Wat Saket Temple
One of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Wat Saket was built on an artificial hill of 75 meters. When you climb the 300 steps of the temple, you will discover a beautiful view of the historic center of Bangkok. Recommended place to visit in Bangkok if you come here on a trip longer than 4 days.
1.18 Visit the Bangkok Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA BANGKOK)
Fun, unique, and unusual! If you visit Bangkok in 5 days or more, add this museum to your travel itinerary. The collections of this museum are fascinating to discover. Visiting this museum is an unusual activity to do in Bangkok. It is outside of downtown Bangkok. You can take public transport to get there, but you must make a transfer. The taxi is more convenient. Learn more on the museum’s official website.
1.19 Visit Bangkok Aquarium: SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World
5,000,000 liters of water! The Bangkok Aquarium is a fun place to visit with the family (buy tickets here). It is the largest in Southeast Asia. Plan for one or two hours for this visit. The SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is close to the largest shopping malls in Bangkok mentioned above (MBK Center and Siam Paragon).
1.20 Attend a Thai boxing match
Where to go? Here are the places to attend a Thai boxing match (click to locate on Google Maps).
2. Best neighborhoods to stay in when visiting Bangkok
What are the best neighborhoods to stay in while visiting Bangkok? Siam-Pratunam, Sukhumvit, Silom-Sathorn, Chinatown, and even Rattanakosin are the best neighborhoods to stay at in Bangkok. You can also consider the area near the Chao Phraya River and the lively Khao San Road. Click here to find accommodations and Bangkok. Here is our selection of the best hotels to stay at in Bangkok:
Siam Kempinski: a real haven of peace in the heart of Bangkok? Yes, it’s possible!
Baan Noppawong: a lovely little hotel in one of the few colonial houses in Bangkok (in old Bangkok: Rattanakosin).
Buddy Lodge: in the heart of the Khaosan Road district. This hotel is best for visiting Bangkok as a couple or with friends.
3. Best places to eat in Bangkok
Where to eat street food in Bangkok? Here are the best places to discover during your trip to Bangkok.
- The best place to eat street food is Yaowarat in Chinatown. It is an essential place to explore in Bangkok, at dusk from 6 pm.
- Thonglor soi 38: smaller but easy to get to, as it is right on BTS Thonglor station.
- Ari: more trendy.
- A less touristic place, because it is farther from the city center, is the Srinagarindra Train Night Market.
Other places not to be missed when you visit Bangkok, the magnificent capital of Thailand:
- Tha Tian Market: an excellent place close to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Here you will find several places to eat. For example, THE SIXTH 6th or All Meals Sawasdee.
- Mango Vegetarian & Vegan: ideal for vegetarians and vegans! You will love it. This small restaurant is close to the lively Khaosan Road area.
- Mezzaluna: a magnificent gourmet restaurant! Delicious cuisine, splendid setting, top-notch service.
4. How many days does it take to visit Bangkok?
To visit Bangkok, plan for at least 3 days. The choice can be difficult when you build your travel itinerary in Thailand. However, at least 2 full days in Bangkok are necessary to visit Bangkok’s must-sees. There are two fascinating visits around Bangkok: the incredible floating markets and the magnificent city of Ayutthaya. It takes a whole day for each of these two visits. Discover below an itinerary to visit Bangkok.
5. 2, 3, 4, or 5 days itinerary in Bangkok
4.1 What to do in Bangkok in 2 days?
Here is an itinerary to visit Bangkok in 2 days.
First day of the trip to Bangkok. A busy day awaits you! If you only stay 2 days in Bangkok, this is the best solution to visit as many things as possible:
- Visit Old Bangkok: Bangkok Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew Temple, and Wat Pho Temple. Plan for at least 3 hours.
- Go to Tha Tian Market for lunch.
- Take the boat to cross the Chao Phraya River.
- Visit the Wat Arun temple in Bangkok: this temple is on the other side of the river from the Grand Palace. You can visit these essentials with a guide (learn more about the visit).
- Cross the Chao Phraya River again.
- Discover the Bang Lamphu district and the lively Khaosan Road.
- Do a Thai massage.
- Optional, at the end of the day: visit Chinatown and taste street food in Yaowarat.
Second day of the trip to Bangkok. If you visit Bangkok in 2 days, you can:
- Discover Ayutthaya: a beautiful and exceptional place to do during a trip to Thailand! Plan for a day for this visit.
- Enjoy a rooftop once you are back in Bangkok (see some places above)
If you stay 3 days in Bangkok, you can visit Ayutthaya on the 3rd day of the trip and reverse the programs of the other days below.
4.2 3 days itinerary in Bangkok?
On the third day of the trip, you can explore the city of Bangkok further. So here’s how you can discover a more modern and vibrant side of Bangkok.
- Discover the impressive shopping malls of Bangkok (see some places above in this article)
- Visit the Bangkok Aquarium: SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World (buy tickets here)
- Relax at Lumpini Park
- If you haven’t already done so, visit Chinatown and taste street food in Yaowarat, OR Take a cruise on the Chao Phraya River (see prices here)
4.3 What to do in Bangkok in 4 days?
If you take a 4-day trip to Bangkok, you can take the opportunity to discover one of the most unique and authentic places in Thailand: the floating markets.
- Visit an authentic Thai floating market: plan a day for this visit. (see here for a tour and transport)
4.4 How to visit Bangkok in 5 days?
Here’s what you can do and see on day 5 of your trip to Bangkok. You can reverse this route to other routes higher up:
- Visit the Bangkok National Museum OR the Bangkok Museum of Contemporary Art (depending on your preference)
- Discover the Wat Saket temple.
- Stroll through the stunning Srinagarindra Train Night Market.
Bangkok is one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities to visit in Asia and the world! During your trip to Bangkok, Thailand, try to discover their many faces without forgetting this extraordinary mix of old and new.