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Things to do in Bangkok

Things to do in  Bangkok

Welcome to Bangkok

Thailand’s capital city and its abundance of gold leaf–coated temples, air-conditioned mega malls, and incredible street food draws millions of visitors every year. City tours may include samples of authentic Thai food; visits to the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) and the Grand Palace complex; or a walk through the 24-hour flower market. No Bangkok visit is complete without a ride in a tuk-tuk or a long-tail boat cruise on Chao Phraya River to see how locals live. Bonus: Day trips from Bangkok make farther afield attractions such as Ayutthaya and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market accessible.

Top 15 attractions in Bangkok

#1
Grand Palace

Grand Palace

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Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace is one of the most popular attractions in the Thai capital. Built in 1782, this sprawling 54-acre (21.8-hectare) complex served as the royal court and administrative seat of Thailand for 150 years. Today, while it continues to host royal Thai functions, the palace also impresses swathes of visitors with its intricate golden-spired architecture and cultural history.More
#2
Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)

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With its heady smorgasbord of street food, gold merchants, wooden shophouses, and ancient Chinese temples, there’s never a dull moment in Bangkok’s Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat. Exploring the bustlingsois (side streets) of the city’s oldest district is a must on any trip to the Thai capital.More
#3
Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)

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Easily one of Bangkok’s most visually striking landmarks, the Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun) towers over the Chao Phraya River. Its colorfully decorated spires are the star features—the temple’s central prang stands 260 feet (79 meters) tall and is intricately decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain.More
#4
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

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One of the oldest, largest, and most revered temple complexes in Bangkok, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is a must-see for all visitors to the Thai capital. The central attraction of the temple complex is its namesake statue—the gold leaf covered reclining Buddha—but don't let it distract you from the site's other treasures, including its 95 pagodas, carved narrative panels, and opulent main altar.More
#5
Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

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In a city and country known for its colorful markets, none stands out so vividly as Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat). Stalls feature local and imported fresh-cut flowers piled high: delicate orchids, bunches of colorful carnations, fragrant roses, lilies, forget-me-nots, and more. Vendors also sell flower arrangements and hand-strung garlands.More
#6
Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

Chao Phraya River (Mae Nam Chao Phraya)

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Every great city has a river, and Bangkok’s is the Chao Phraya (Mae Nam Chao Phraya). Alive with traditional long-tail boats, passenger ferries, and cargo boats, the Chao Phraya River is the lifeblood of the city. It winds past both ancient temples and modern high-rises, offering a unique, local perspective on the Thai capital.More
#7
Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya

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The ruined island city-state of Ayutthaya—the once great capital of the Kingdom of Siam—is now a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lying at the confluence of three rivers north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya Historical Park protects magnificent crumbling stone temple spires, sun-worn Buddha statues, and other remnants of the three palaces, 400 temples, houses, and markets that thrived in Ayutthaya’s heyday.More
#8
Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

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Home to the world's largest gold Buddha statue, the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) is a prominent stop on Bangkok’s temple trail. Measuring nine feet (three meters) tall and weighing more than five tons (4,535 kilograms), the Buddha attracts floods of visitors who come to marvel at its size and gleaming golden surface.More
#9
Bridge on the River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai

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The iconic Bridge on the River Kwai is part of the world’s collective historical memory. The site of many POW’s deaths during World War II, it is now the site of the JEATH War Museum and is close to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.More
#10
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

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Few markets couple ephemeral wares—fresh fruits, fish, foods, and colorful flower bouquets—with culture, chaos, and tradition like the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. One of the largest and last remaining floating markets in Thailand, this authentic market has entranced travelers and photographers the world over with its vivid scenes of vendors offering goods from long-tailed boats on the sleepy green Damnoen Saduak canal.More
#11
Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

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The spectacularly ornamented Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand. Located within the Grand Palace in Bangkok’s Old City, a site highlight is a sacred pre–15th-century statue of the Buddha in a seated meditation pose carved from a single block of jade.More
#12
Maeklong Railway Market

Maeklong Railway Market

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The Maeklong Railway Market is one of the more unusual markets in Thailand. Selling vegetables, fruit, and other food items, it looks like any other market on the streets of Thailand—until a passenger train goes roaring through the middle of it. When the siren calls, the stalls scatter and make way.More
#13
Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

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The 17th century Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, consists of many attractive buildings spread throughout large tended grounds. Different architectural styles are represented: Chinese, European, Khmer, and pure Thai. The palace is a worthwhile stop on a day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, although fewer tourists come here, making it a peaceful destination.More
#14
Baiyoke Sky Tower

Baiyoke Sky Tower

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The Baiyoke Sky Tower is the second-tallest building in Bangkok. It houses a large hotel, viewing platform, restaurants and bars, shops, and a revolving deck. The sweeping views of Bangkok are impressive, especially at night, and will help you get your bearings in the Thai capital.More
#15
Asiatique The Riverfront

Asiatique The Riverfront

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The energetic Asiatique The Riverfront—part open-air night bazaar, part shopping mall—combines the city’s old traditions and modern commercial energy. Located at the former East Asiatic Company trade docks, the complex contains more than 1,500 shops and boutiques, about 40 restaurants, and several entertainment venues.More

Top activities in Bangkok

Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
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Full-Day Private Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In Summer Palace from Bangkok
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Chef Designed Bangkok Food Tour for 8 Exclusive Guests
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Wonderful Pearl Dinner Cruise

Wonderful Pearl Dinner Cruise

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US$54.41
Ayutthaya Historical Park Small Group Tour
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Private Tour to Kanchanaburi Erawan Waterfall and Elephant Care
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Floating & Railway Market, Coconut & Salt farm from BKK [Pickup +Multi-language]
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Manohra Luxurious Dinner Cruise

Manohra Luxurious Dinner Cruise

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Bangkok

star-5
Great way to cover the main sights very quickly
Tom_P, Nov 2022
Buddhist Landmarks and a Royal Visit
Fun and has lots of interesting facts about the places we went to visit.
star-5
From start to finish,...
Murly_c, Nov 2022
The Best Bangkok Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
And if in Bangkok for a short period of time, then this tour is a great way to visit Bangkok.
star-5
Something for everyone!
Andrew_C, Nov 2022
Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River
Simply a fun time, with good food, entertainment, and probably one of the best ways to see Bangkok at night.
star-5
Excellent food tour
Ryan_S, Nov 2022
Chef Designed Bangkok Food Tour with Klong Boat Ride
Great food tour and way to see the city!
star-5
Great bike tour
Karel_S, Nov 2022
Bangkok Experiences Bike Tours-Backstreets and Hidden Gems
You get to see the 'real' Bangkok, outside the mayor tourist areas.
star-5
Excellent Tour
Aida_V, Nov 2022
Private : Three Temples Bangkok City Tour (SHA Plus)
English was fluent and he gave us a little history at each of the three temples.
star-4
My niece and I shared...
Aishlinn_C, Nov 2022
Bangkok Jungle Bike Tour - Including Transfer & Lunch
My niece and I shared this trip during our recent visit and its a wonderful way to see a very different Bangkok
star-5
Wonderful service after long flight!!
Andy_S, Nov 2022
Bangkok: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Private Transfer (SHA Plus)
We knew exactly where to go, what to do, and what would happen.
star-5
Great food tour!
German_P, Nov 2022
Urban Tuk Tuk Food Tour By Night
We had only one night to see and experience Bangkok food and this was a great option.
star-5
Good times
Catherine_R, Oct 2022
Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
Great way to see some sights and experience the real Bangkok.
star-5
Nice break from Bangkok
Debera_H, Oct 2022
Half-Day Railway Market and Floating Market Tour in Thailand
Overall though, worthwhile to see and experience a slower pace of life outside of Bangkok.
star-5
The drive from Bangkok...
Jeanette_P, Oct 2022
Small Group Tour to Ayutthaya Temples from Bangkok with Lunch
Our tour guide spoke English and was easy to understand.
star-5
A great 2 hours
Annie_H, Oct 2022
‘Breeze and Pleased’ Canal Boat Ride - 2hrs
A great way to see the other back areas of Bangkok
star-5
Fun tour of the rivers and canals
Christina_N, Aug 2022
Half-Day Bangkok Off-the-Beaten-Track Tour: Rural Villages and Khlongs
The boat travel was fun and a different way to see Bangkok and surrounds.
star-5
A great one day trip if you are staying in Bangkok for a few days
RonAvraham_F, Aug 2022
Erawan National Park and Bridge over River Kwai Small Group Tour - Full Day
The waterfalls at Erawan National Park are awesome (the best one by far to swim in - especially with children - is waterfall #2).
star-5
Fantastic tour, great value for money and perfect way to see the city!
George_I, Jul 2022
Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food by Tuk-Tuk
The food was amazing and we especially loved the Tuk Tuk transport which was such a great way to see the city.
star-5
Tuk tuk by night
Suki_G, Jul 2022
Tuk-tuk tour Bangkok by Night
A great way to see Bangkok at night and when cooler.
star-5
A great tour!
Anna_G, Jul 2022
Private Tour: Best of Bangkok in A Day
We only had one day in Bangkok, and this tour made it possible to see the highlights of the city with very little planning on our part.
star-4
Introduction to old Bangkok temples
Au_K, Jul 2022
Private Tour of Bangkok's Temples Including Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
The guide had a bit of problem expressing herself in English - this was the only drawback.
star-5
Worth the travel time
Nick_W, Jul 2022
Bridge on the River Kwai and Thailand-Burma Railway Tour
The tour was a great experience, definitely should be done as part of any itinerary, tour guide was friendly and fun, the ride from Bangkok is a couple of hours, we left at 630am and got back just after 4pm Wish the jetboating on the river had been even longer, what a great way to see the river!
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All about Bangkok

When to visit

Bangkok’s dry season (November through February) brings cooler weather that's perfect for exploring temples and markets, with average temperatures hovering around a comfortable 68°F (20°C). While the hottest months (March through June) can be incredibly humid, the Songkran Thai New Year festival offers welcome relief with traditional festivities and a citywide water fight.

Currency
Thai Baht (THB)
Time Zone
ICT (UTC +7)
Country Code
+66
Language(s)
Thai

A local’s pocket guide to Bangkok

Bianca Wagenknecht

From the moment I first had just a short layover in Bangkok, I immediately knew I had to come back. The city's incredible people, food, and culture stole my heart and quickly converted me into a regular.

The first thing you should do in Bangkok is...

grab yourself a BTS (train) ticket and visit one of Bangkok’s incredible food markets. No matter the time of day or night, you can always chat with locals, try local delicacies, or simply soak in the atmosphere.

A perfect Saturday in Bangkok...

involves experiencing Bangkok’s famous floating markets, visiting one of the city’s 400 breathtaking temples, and getting hands-on during a Thai cooking class.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Wat Pho, the golden reclining Buddha in the Grand Palace. There’s really nothing quite like it.

To discover the "real" Bangkok...

jump on a ferry to explore Koh Kret in the north of the city and experience a more traditional side of the Thai capital.

For the best view of the city...

splurge on a cocktail on one of Bangkok’s famous rooftop bars. There’s nothing more magical than watching the sun set over the city’s skyline with a panoramic view.

One thing people get wrong...

is avoiding local street food from street carts or down small alleyways. In reality, you’ll find some of the most delicious, authentic, and world-renowned Thai food sitting on plastic chairs on the sidewalk.

People Also Ask

What is Bangkok popular for?

The capital of Thailand, Bangkok’s Grand Palace and golden-spired temples entice history buffs. Foodies flock to both street stalls and fine dining, while nightlife runs from rooftop bars and EDM clubs to transgender cabarets, girlie bars, and backpacker joints. River cruises, muay thai matches, tuk-tuks, and markets all add color.

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How many days in Bangkok is enough?

Four days in Bangkok should give you enough time to see the main sights, visit a market, have a massage, and enjoy the nightlife. But a week lets you take day trips to highlights like the historic city of Ayutthaya (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or the Bridge on the River Kwai.

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What should you not miss in Bangkok?

History buffs will love the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), while the views from Golden Mount (Wat Saket) are spectacular. Chatuchak Market is a must for shoppers; Instagrammers love Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.

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Which area is best for tourists in Bangkok?

Many backpackers and younger travelers love the chaotic energy of Khao San Road and the surrounding area. The Siam Square area is central and great for travelers in search of retail therapy; Koh Rattanakosin, the island that hosts Bangkok’s old town, puts tourists within easy reach of the historic sights.

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Is Bangkok worth visiting?

Yes. This riverside city offers around 600 years of history, a wealth of museums and galleries, a vibrant food, nightlife, and shopping scene, and an intoxicating blend of ancient and modern. The BTS SkyTrain, an elevated subway line, makes getting around easy—and you don’t need to miss out on the views.

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Is Bangkok cheap or expensive?

Bangkok is more expensive than the rest of Thailand—expect to pay up to 20% more for accommodation—but still a cheap destination compared to the global north. Budget travelers may find entrance fees to historic sites rack up quickly. Luxury lovers can burn through cash on spas, hotels, fine dining, and fancy drinks.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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