40 Best things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is the capital city and the largest city in Thailand. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in South east Asia. The city is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, near the Gulf of Thailand.

Some of the best things to do in Bangkok are visiting famous landmarks such as the Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Grand Palace. There are also famous local street food, vibrant nightlife scenes and lots of shopping opportunities. 

You can shop at colorful markets such as Chatuchak Weekend Market and Sampeng Market, or luxury shopping malls like Siam Paragon and Central World. 

There is also a lively nightlife with plenty of go-go bars, nightclubs, and restaurants in Khao San Road and Sukhumvit areas in Thong Lo, Ekkamai Road, Nana, and Asok Soi Cowboy.

40 Best things to do in Bangkok, Thailand

1. Wat Pho

Wat Pho is one of the best things to do in Bangkok because it is one of the most visited Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon or Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School, it is famous for its sacred 46 m long Reclining Buddha and is a UNESCO’s Memory of the World.

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok, built in the 16th century, and was used as the Royal Temple of King Rama I. 

You will need about an hour to explore the area because it is a huge complex. The highlight of the area is the Reclining Buddha, and the 108 metal bowls, as well as 1,000 Buddha images  which were brought from temples in Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.

The temple is very popular, so to avoid crowds and the heat, you can go early morning or late afternoon. You should also dress appropriately while visiting the temple.

You can also get a traditional massage from professional therapists here because the temple has been home to the massage school from 1955.

Wat Pho is conveniently located close to the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha temple. To get to the temple, you can take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station, and then take the Chao Phraya Express Boat from Sathorn Pier to Tha Tien Pier, from where you can walk to the temple.

2. Grand Palace

Grand Palace is one of the most important landmarks of Bangkok and is a must-see attraction for first time tourists. The Grand Palace  It was built in 1782 by King Rama I, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, as the residence of the King until 1925, now it is used for ceremonial purposes.

The Grand Palace covers 218,000 square meters of land and is surrounded by walls on four sides. The complex has two sections including The palace area and The Temple of The Emerald Buddha.

The admission fee is free for Thai and children, and is 500 THB for foreigners. Tickets can be purchased onsite at the palace’s entrance or online from their website

You should dress appropriately, cover your shoulders and wear pants till your ankles. 

3. Sky Train

Taking a BTS Sky Train ride is not only a way of transport but also a way to see the city’s attractions. Bangkok Mass Transit System is a rapid sky train system in Bangkok and the quickest way to get around.

BTS Sky Train began operation in 1999, and currently has two lines, the Sukhumvit line and the Silom line, intersecting at Siam Station. 

The Sukhumvit line runs from Mo Chit to Samrong, while the Silom line runs from the National Stadium to suburban Bang Wa passing through the Silom and Sathorn districts.

The Skytrain serves as a convenient and efficient way for residents and tourists to travel around the city, with trains running from 6:00 AM to midnight daily.

4. Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market, also known as JJ Market, is Thailand’s largest outdoor market with more than 15,000 stalls selling a wide variety of goods, including clothing, accessories, home decor, and food.  

Chatuchak Market attracts thousands of tourists and locals come to shop. The market is a good place to find unique and interesting items; experience Thai culture and local life. It is also a good place to find souvenirs and handicrafts.

You can find cheap goods and also practice your bargain skills. Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market can be reached by subway and Skytrain, as well as taxis. Chatuchak is  located within walking distance from Mo Chit Station and Chatuchak Park Station.

5. Chao Phraya River

The Chao Phraya River, also known as the River of Kings, flows through the city of Bangkok and into the Gulf of Thailand. It is not only a popular tourist attraction and a beautiful place to do the river cruise but also a crucial transportation route, a source of water for agriculture.

The Chao Phraya River provides easy access to top historical tourist attractions such as the Wat Pho,Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, and Grand Palace.

You can also shop at Asiatique The Riverfront with its Sky Wheel, visit the Holy Rosary Church, Memorial Bridge, and enjoy the sunset over the river.

If you travel to Bangkok and are looking for a luxury stay with river views, the riverside is a great place to book a gorgeous boutique riverside hotel.

6. Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon is one of Bangkok’s most prominent shopping malls and  one of the largest malls in Southeast Asia. It is home to many international fashion brands, a large aquarium, a Cineplex, and a good food court.

You can spend a day in Siam Paragon, browsing the shops. Siam Paragon is conveniently located within easy access from the BTS SkyTrain. 

7. Bangkok National Museum

If you are interested in the history of Bangkok, the Bangkok National Museum is a must-see attraction. The museum has a collection of artifacts that cover a wide range of Thai history and culture.

The museum was established in 1874 by King Rama V, and has since undergone several expansions and renovations. I

National Museum Bangkok has exhibits showing the history of the city. It is divided into a few different sections include: 

  • Gallery of Thai History
  • History of Fine Arts
  • History of Thai Art
  • The Wang Na historical sites

The museum is located in Phra Nakhon, in the former Wang Na Palace, which is a short distance from the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.

Bangkok National Museum opens  08.30 am to 4 pm from Wednesday to Sunday from. Admission fee is  200 Baht for foreigners and 30 Baht for Thai.

8. Thai Massage

Taking a Thai massage is one of the best things to do in Thailand to relax after a day long sightseeing and party. You can choose to do foot, body, or shoulder massages.

Some of the best places to try Thai massage in Bangkok are:

  • Local Thai massage shops
  • Wat Pho traditional Thai massage
  • Asia Herb Association
  • Massage by the blind
  • Health Land

9. Nana Plaza (Soi 4)

Nana Plaza is one of the best places to go in Bangkok for nightlife, along with Soi Cowboy or Patpong. This red-light district and prostitution area, is a popular destination for tourists, as well as expats living in Bangkok, where you can find many go-go bars. 

Nana Plaza is one of the largest adult playgrounds in the world. It is located in Sukhumvit Soi 4, within walking distance from Nana BTS station.

10. Sathorn Unique Tower

Sathorn Unique Tower is an abandoned skyscraper that is also known as the Ghost Tower because it has been left unfinished since 1997, following the Asian financial crisis. 

The tower was intended to be a luxury condominium and office complex, but construction was halted and it has stood unfinished and unused since then. 

Sathorn Unique Tower has since become a popular spot for urban exploration. It was used as a venue for movies, TV shows, and photography shoots.

11. Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park is one of the largest green areas in the heart of Bangkok, and is a popular place for locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Covering an area of around 142-acre, it is the first public park in the city, founded in the 1920s.

Lumpini Park has wide open spaces, various types of trees, a lake, and a variety of recreational facilities. There are also walking paths, which are popular among people looking to exercise. 

Additionally, the park is home to several species of wildlife, including monitor lizards and turtles.

Lumpini Park is located within walking distance from the Lumphini or Silom Stations on the MRT trains.

12. Chinatown

Bangkok Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, is home to a large Chinese-Thai community and is the largest Chinatown in the globe. It is famous for its Chinese culture and history, as well as its street food, vibrant markets, and gold shops. 

You can find the Wat Mangkon Kamalawat temple, which is one of the most important Chinese Buddhist temples in Bangkok.

Other places of interest in Bangkok Chinatown are Wat Traimit, Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center, Sala Chalermkrung, and China Gate.

13. Rooftop bars and restaurants 

Bangkok’s rooftop bars offer delicious cocktails and dinner, as well as a breathtaking skyline of the city. These rooftop bars can be visited at sunset or at night.

Some of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok are:

  • Hangover Sky Bar, Lebua State Tower
  • CHAR Rooftop Bar, Indigo Hotel
  • Octave Rooftop Bar, Marriott Hotel
  • Speakeasy Rooftop Bar, Muse Hotel
  • Vertigo and Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok

14. Bangkok Street Food

Bangkok is world-renowned for its street food, with vendors selling a wide variety of delicious and affordable dishes on the streets and in open-air markets. 

To understand and taste more Thai cuisine, you can consider taking a guided food tour.

Some of the popular Thai dish you should try are:

  • Pad Thai – stir-fried rice noodles with vegetables and protein
  • Khao pad – fried rice
  • Som tam – spicy papaya salad
  • Moo bing – grilled pork, or chicken skewers
  • Pad thai kung – noodles with shrimp
  • Pad krapao moo – Stir-fried pork with basil

16. Motorcycle Taxi

Motorcycle Taxi is one of the ways to get around the city along with cars, public transport. It is one of the fastest ways but also the most dangerous. 

Motorcycle Taxi drivers can be found on street corners or in designated parking areas. The fare for a motorcycle taxi ride is typically negotiated with the driver before the trip begins. 

It is more affordable than traditional taxis, but it is recommended to negotiate before taking a ride.

17. Muay Thai Boxing Show

Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, is a popular sport in Thailand. It is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Thailand. 

Many Bangkok has plenty of venues where you can watch live Muay Thai boxing shows. These shows typically take place in large stadiums and feature professional fighters competing in matches. 

If you are interested in seeing a Muay Thai boxing show in Bangkok, you can check venues such as the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, Rajadamnern Boxing Stadium, Channel 7 Boxing Stadium, Siam Boxing Stadium, MBK Fight Night, Asiatique Bangkok, and Rangsit Boxing Stadium.

18. Dusit Zoo

Dusit Zoo is one of the best things to do and see in Bangkok for families and children. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country, founded in 1938, as a botanic garden close to the royal palace of  King Chulalongkorn. 

The zoo was open to the public during the reign of King Ananda. Dusit Zoo has 1,600 animals of Thai and international origins, including elephants, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and birds. 

There is also a botanical garden, an aquarium, and a children’s playground. The zoo’s mission is to conserve endangered species and educate the public about the importance of animal conservation. 

The zoo has faced some criticisms on the living condition of the animal in the past, but they have been trying to improve it over time. 

19. Songkran festival

Songkran festival is the biggest water fight in the world and is a traditional Thai New Year festival, held annually every April from 13th and 15th.

Many people participate in the water fights, which are often initiated by people riding on trucks equipped with water guns. Many locals and tourists alike join the water fight to bring good luck. Be aware that it can get pretty wild and you will get soaked for sure.

20. Bangkok Nightlife

Bang offers vibrant nightlife with many bars, nightclubs, live music venues, and traditional Thai cultural shows throughout the city. The capital city of Thailand offers some of the best nightlife in the whole of Southeast Asia.

Popular streets to enjoy nightlife in Bangkok are:

  • Khao San Road, backpacker party hub, with a variety of bars and street vendors
  • Sukhumvit Soi 11, a good mix of expats & tourists
  • Thonglor Soi 10, young Thais
  • Silom Road, the city’s business district and it’s also an entertainment district and nightlife area, where you will find many gay bars and clubs, plus traditional Thai dance performances at the cultural center.

21. Bangkok Puppet Show

Watching a Bangkok Puppet Show is one of the ways to experience Thai culture and history. Thai puppetry, or hun lakhon lek in Thai, is Thai’s traditional performance art that features puppets controlled by artists through long rods.

Bangkok puppet shows are usually performed on a raised stage, with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen. They are often accompanied by live music and narration, and are enjoyed by both children and adults.

It’s a traditional performance art and a part of culture that still can be found at many places in Bangkok, like Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, Wat Suthat and Wat Ratchabophit.

22. Jim Thompson House Museum

Jim Thompson House Museum is one of Thailand’s most famous houses where you can learn traditional Thai art and artifacts, Thompson’s personal collection of Southeast Asian art.

It is a wooden Thai-style house which was built in 1959 as a home of Jim Thompson, a famous American architect and entrepreneur of the Thai silk industry after World War II.

The house was converted into a museum where you can wander around rooms, gardens, and artifacts. The museum is home to a restaurant and a shop selling Thai silk products.

23. Wat Arun

Wat Arun is one of the best things to do in Bangkok due to its picturesque setting on the bank of Chao Phraya River. Wat Arun is a significant religious site for Thai Buddhists, and it is also a popular tourist destination.

Wat arun, also known as Wat Chaeng, or the Temple of the Dawn, this ancient temple has amazingly beautiful architecture with the 79 m high central spire, pavilions and statues.

Wat Arun was built during the Ayutthaya era as the memorial of King Taksin, the Thai national hero.

24. Durian

Durian is also known as the King of the fruits that is very popular in Southeast Asia including Thailand. Durian is well-known for its smell like rotting socks, and is both loved and hated by many people. 

There are few types of durians including Monthong – Golden Pillow, Chanee – Gibbon, and Kanyao – Long Stem.

You can find durians on the streets, at Tor Kor Market, Chinatown Yaowarat. It is often eaten fresh straight from the shell, but it can also be used in a variety of other ways, such as in durian & sticky rice, desserts, pastries, and even savory dishes.

25. Erawan Shrine

Erawan Shrine is a popular Hindu shrine located  in the Ratchaprasong intersection, in front of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, in the Lumpini neighborhood. 

Also known as the Phra Phrom Shrine, it is dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma and is a popular place of worship for Thai Buddhists. It has beautiful architecture, which features intricate carvings and statues. 

It is also known for its daily traditional dance performances, which take place in front of the shrine. The shrine was first built in 1956 and has since been rebuilt several times due to damage caused by bombings and accidents.

26. Vimanmek Mansion

Vimanmek Mansion is the largest teakwood building in the world. Originally founded by King Rama as a home of the royal family in the beginning of 20th century. 

The mansion is now open to the public and houses a museum displaying various artifacts and works of art from the King’s personal collection.

The museum and grounds are open from 8:30 to 4:30 daily. Admission fee is 100 Baht. Be sure to dress modestly, no indoor photography, no shoes inside.

The easiest way to reach the Vimanmek Mansion is by taxi. You can get there by trains and ferries to its nearest station such as the Phayathai station and Thewet Pier, and then take tuk tuk there.

27. Floating Markets

Bangkok is surrounded by the Chao Phraya River, making it a popular destination for floating markets. You can also find these markets in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Floating markets in Bangkok are traditional markets where vendors sell  fruits, vegetables, souvenirs, and traditional Thai food from boats on the water. 

Visitors can also take boat rides through the market to see the vendors and purchase goods directly from their boats.

Some of the popular floating markets in Bangkok are:

  • Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
  • Bang Kachao
  • Amphawa Floating Market

Most floating markets are open on Saturdays and Sundays. Best time to visit the markets is early morning to enjoy local delicacies, chaos and picturesque views.

28. Thon Buri Palace

The Thon Buri Palace is a palace located in the Thon Buri neighborhood. It was the former royal residence of King Taksin the Great, the founder of the Thon Buri Kingdom, during the late 18th century. 

The palace was built on the west side of the Chao Phraya River and served as the royal residence until King Taksin’s death in 1782. 

Today, the palace is open to the public as a museum and historical site. Visitors can explore the palace grounds and see artifacts and exhibits related to the history of the Thon Buri Kingdom.

29. Royal Barge Museum

The Royal Barge Museum in Bangkok is a museum dedicated to the display of the royal barges of Thailand in a large Khlong side boat shed. 

The museum is situated across the river from the Grand Palace, in the Thonburi, close to the Pinklao bridge. 

There are 8 barges of the most elaborately decorated and historically significant barges from the Royal Barge Fleet.  

Visitors can view these traditional vessels, which were once used for ceremonial occasions such as the Royal Barge Procession, and learn about their history and significance in Thai culture.

30. Bangkok Flower Market

Bangkok Flower Market, also known as Pak Klong Talad by locals, is Bangkok’s largest flower market with all kinds of flowers.

Bangkok Flower Market is located on ChakPhet Road, near the Memorial Bridge on the Chao Phraya River, and close to Wat Pho.

The market is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and the colorful array of flowers on display.

31. SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World

SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is one of the best things to do and see in Bangkok for families to explore many marine’s life such as sharks, rays, and tropical fish.

SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest aquariums, situated in the basement of Siam Paragon. It is formerly called Siam Ocean World due to its location.

The aquarium’s exhibit has 7 different sections with different designed themes. You can touch starfish and walk inside the sea’s fiercest predators in its underwater tunnel. Visitors can also participate in educational programs and feedings. 

32. Siam Park City

Siam Park City is a popular amusement park in Bangkok and a family-friendly attraction. It is one of the best theme parks in South east Asia with many rides.

There is a wave pool, water slides, and a lazy river. The park also has a number of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues like Thai traditional shows and world-class shows.

33. Maeklong Railway Market

Maeklong Railway Market is one of the most unique attractions in Bangkok. The market is around 60 km away from the city center of Bangkok,  in the Samut Songkhram province. 

Set by the railway near MaeKlong Railway Station, it is a place to see the train passing through the market and to buy local products such as fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, and meats.

34. Prasart Museum

The Prasart Museum in Bangkok is a private museum located in the Sukhumvit area. Founded by Prasart Vongsakul, the museum has a collection of artifacts from the Ayutthaya & Sukhothai times.

The museum is a popular destination for those interested in Thai culture and history. You can view Thai antiques and art, Buddha images, and traditional Thai houses.

35. Thai Cooking Class

Learning how to cook Thai food is one of the best ways to experience local culture and history. Some of the popular cooking classes and school in Bangkok are:

  • Blue Elephant, a famous Thai cooking school in Bangkok
  • Baipai Thai Cooking School
  • Amita Thai Cooking Class
  • May Kaidee
  • Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy
  • Chef LeeZ Thai Cooking Class

It is recommended to research and compare the classes and their reviews to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences before signing up for one.

36. Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a street for backpackers and budget travelers staying in Bangkok. It has a vibrant entertainment scene, budget hotels, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, offering lively nightlife.

Khao San Road is a popular starting point for travelers planning to visit other cities of Thailand and Southeast Asia. 

To reach Khao San Road, you can take BTS sky train to National Stadium, and then tuk tuk to the area. You can also take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Phra Arthit, the walk to Khao San. The easiest way to reach Khao San is by tuk tuk or taxi meters.

37. Soi Cowboy

Soi Cowboy is a red-light district that is known for its go-go bars, discos, nightclubs, a ladyboy bar, and adult entertainment. It is one of the best venues to go for an active nightlife in Bangkok. 

Soi Cowboy is more laid-back than in Patpong and Nana Plaza. It is recommended to be aware of local Thai laws regarding prostitution and illegal activities. 

Soi Cowboy is situated  between Sukhumvit Soi 23 and Asoke Road,  near Terminal 21. It is accessible by the BTS Skytrain to Asoke Station and MRT subway to Sukhumvit Station. 

38. Siam Niramit Show

Siam Niramit Show is a 90 minute show to learn insight in Thai culture and history. More than hundred artists wearing colorful costumes present an entertaining show with traditional Thai music and dance.

39. Patravadi Theatre

Patravadi Theatre, also known as Theatre Residence,  is located within a short walk from Wang Lung Pier. It is the first open-air theater and a contemporary arts center in Thailand. 

Patravadi Theatre was built by Patravadi, a businesswoman in love with arts, in 1992. The theater is also used as studios, accommodation, and a gallery for local and international artists. 

40. Museum of Floral Culture

Flowers are part of everyday life in Thailand. The Museum of Floral Culture is a museum of floral art and designs, located in a former old colonial building, in the Dusit district.

The museum was created by floral artist Sakul Intakul, exhibiting the history and significance of flowers in Thai culture, as well as displays of traditional flower arrangements and modern floral designs.

The museum also offers workshops and classes on flower arranging and other floral-related topics. There is also Dok Mai Thai Salon Du Thé to enjoy a cup of coffee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bangkok best known for?

Bangkok is best known for being the capital city of Thailand, and is one of the most famous tourist destinations in South east Asia. The city is famous for its delicious street food, markets, Buddhist temples, and vibrant nightlife such as the Wat Arun & Wat Pho temples, Chatuchak market, and Grand Palace.

What are the do’s and don’ts in Bangkok?

Some do’s in Bangkok include trying local street food, visiting temples, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, and bargaining for goods. You should dress modestly when visiting temples and respect the monarchy. Don’t litter and do not get over-intoxicated in public.

Is 3 days enough for Bangkok?

Three days in Bangkok may be enough to get the sense of the city and to see some of the top tourist attractions but it is not enough time to fully experience the city and all it has to offer. It’s worth considering staying longer or coming back for another visit.

Is 5 days in Bangkok too much?

Five days in Bangkok is enough to see major tourist attractions and get a taste of the city’s culture. It may be too much time for some people, but others may find that it’s not enough to fully experience the city. It depends on one’s interests and travel style. 

What are the crazy things to do in Bangkok?

Some crazy things to do in Bangkok are eating deep-fried insects, watching a ladyboy cabaret show, drinking on Khao San Road, a go-go bar, and visiting the Museum of Death.

What to do in Bangkok for a week?

Within a week in Bangkok, you can visit famous landmarks such as the Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Grand Palace. You can also take a cruise on the Chao Phraya River, shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market, Siam Paragon and Central World. Go for a Thai massage, enjoy local street food, and watch a cabaret show.

What to do in Bangkok for a day?

With a day in Bangkok, you can visit Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Grand Palace, as well as take a long tail boat tour on the Chao Phraya River, explore the vibrant local markets, try Thai massage, eat local street food, and enjoy the lively nightlife.

What are the free things to do in Bangkok?

Some of the free things to do in Bangkok include people watching on Khao San Road, watching a Muay Thai fight at  MBK Fight Night, exploring Benjakitti Park,  Lumpini Park, Jesada Technik Museum, and Chatuchak Weekend Market.

What are the best places to visit in Bangkok for first timers?

Must-see places to visit in Bangkok for first-timers are the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho,  Wat Benchamabophit, Chatuchak Weekend Market, as well as Chao Phraya River river cruise, enjoy nightlife, and Khao San road, famous for its nightlife and backpacker scene.

See more: Where to Stay in Bangkok First Time

So there you have it, the best things to do in Bangkok, Thailand for your next trip. If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment below.

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