Top 10 Things to do in Bangkok

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Bangkok - the very name of Thailand's capital evokes images of magnificent temples, delectable street food and, of course, exciting nightlife. One of the most visited cities in the world, and a popular jump-off for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, Bangkok is always an adventure. Whether you're coming with a backpack and a tight budget, or an eye for the luxurious, it's all here for you.

But where are the best places to visit? Well, the list is exhaustive - 10 recommendations of top things to do simply aren't enough to showcase all that the city has to offer. But we have picked our very favourites - so here are our top 10 things to do in Bangkok.

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Located opposite the immense magnificence of the Grand Palace - which we'll come to later - Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, probably its most famous, and almost certainly its most eye-catching and one of the top things to do in Bangkok.

The temple is particularly revered in Thailand, due to its royal historical connections, collection of gold and marble artefacts, and its history of public education. However for tourists, it’s unquestionably the golden reclining Buddha that makes Wat Pho so popular. Lying over 150 ft (46m) in length in the surrounds of the palace's breath-taking architecture, it’s surely a must-see for a bit of Bangkok cultural immersion.

Chao Phraya River Cruise

Step away from the wonderful busyness of the city, put your feet up and meander along the Chao Phraya. The major river in Thailand runs through Bangkok, and is home to water taxis, ferries and even river food vendors. But should you want to relax and see the city from a different perspective, we highly recommend jumping on a river cruise.

There are numerous ways and places to book a cruise along the river, from a simple hop-on, hop-off taxi journey to a full-blown luxury experience. Be sure to book ahead of time to get the experience that suits you.

The Jim Thompson House

A fascinating tourist experience lies at the Jim Thompson House - a comparatively unassuming building that boasts one of the country's best artefact collections. Indeed, the story of the eponymous businessman who lived here is extraordinary in itself, but we'll leave that for now…

The house now serves as a museum and hosts some truly stunning pieces, not just from Thailand but Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and China too. We recommend taking a guided tour to truly appreciate the Jim Thompson House's mystique.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

Known as the largest and most diverse market of its type, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is a real sight to behold - regardless of your fondness level towards retail therapy. Over 200,000 visitors per weekend can’t be wrong…

Opened in 1942, the market sells pretty much anything you could imagine, from furniture to food to football shirts. There's a whole lot more besides, with a scarcely believable 15,000 stalls across 27 sections. Head down Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road anytime between 06:00 and 18:00 to absorb all of the hustle and bustle.

Grand Palace

One of the most popular - and not to mention spectacular - attractions in Bangkok is the simply breath-taking Grand Palace. Construction began way back in 1782 and it served as the administrative seat of Thailand for over 150 years, with the palace sprawled across 54-acres (21.8-hectares) of land.

Tours of the Grand Palace are recommended, so you can truly absorb the fascinating Siamese history and drink in the exquisite architecture. The scripture crypt, the throne room, and the sacred Temple of the Emerald Buddha - you simply must visit.

Muay Thai Boxing

No list of Bangkok tourist attractions would be complete without highlighting one of Bangkok's - indeed, one of Thailand's - most popular sports. Muay Thai boxing, in a stadium with enthusiastic locals cheering a national pastime, is a sight to behold and one of the top things to do in Bangkok.

There are 2 locations within Bangkok's city limits that host Muay Thai several times a week - the Rajadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, located east and north of the city centre respectively. Get online and book a VIP experience to really treat yourself…

Rooftop Dining at Banyan Tree Hotel

Who doesn't love dining at altitude? And with the vistas of historic Bangkok around you - we could think of nothing better.

There are several notable establishments in the city that lay claim to rooftop, or just generally high-up, dining - but we heartily recommend heading to the 5-star Banyan Tree hotel, located on the South Sathon Road in the city centre. Vertigo (63rd floor), Bai Yun (60th floor) and Saffron (59th floor) all offer exquisite dining options for the rooftop-loving connoisseur.

Taling Chan Floating Market

From the highest levels of the city to the lowest. If street food is your thing, then we recommend getting a tuk-tuk and heading around 6 km west of the city centre to Taling Chan Floating Market, on the banks of the Chak Phra.

Boats are tied up and sellers offer some delicious local food, as well as seasonal fruit and veg. Take note: the floating market is only open on Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to put it in your Bangkok trip itinerary.

The Khao San Road

Arguably the most iconic street in the whole of Thailand. The Khao San Road - for the linguists, that's 'milled rice' in English, hinting at its history as a major rice market - is the hangout for backpackers and thrill-seekers, with budget accommodation and bars in abundance.

The central Bangkok hotspot is an absolute must for souvenir-seekers too, with artwork, handicrafts, clothes, and other trinkets all sold along the 1,345 ft (410m) road. There's a lot more to experience here, too - we say, make sure you have baht in hand and extra room in your suitcase.

Bangkok National Museum

Want to learn more about the history of Thailand? We hope so - it's not all partying and boats in the city. With that in mind, be sure to head to the Phra Nakhon District, home of the Bangkok National Museum.

Displaying artefacts and artwork from as far back as the Neolithic era, the galleries host as many historical wonders as you could wish for - including King Ram Khamhaeng's Inscription, recognised by UNESCO's 'Memory of the World Programme' for its significance.

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Hotels for Your Journey in Bangkok

5 star

4.1/5Very Good1194 Reviews
Siam Bangkok|2.01km from city centre
A great hotel which was excellent value for money. The lobby alone is impressive as you arrive, and staff is very polite and helpful, from the stewards opening the door, to the desk staff and also the cleaning staff. Rooms are spacious and comfortable although the mattress in my room would benefit from an upgrade. Amenities are great, the gym has a very decent amount of equipment and the pool is very nice too although pretty much always in the shade so even in the middle of the afternoon the water isn’t too warm! Finally the location is very decent too, there’s a 7-11 just outside the hotel and you can walk to China Town within 25 minutes. I would definitely stay there again. That said, I was somewhat disappointed that despite being told I was upgraded to an Executive room, my room had a view facing the opposite building instead of the cityscape which was what I expected based on the pictures.
From£24
4.2/5Very Good1239 Reviews
Riverside Bangkok|2.99km from city centre
Good to have free boat shuttle to Sathorn pier which is close to Saphan Taksin BTS. And the hotel staffs were nice and helpful. When we reported that there were noise from air conditioner, they arranged a new room next day and upgraded my room as well. Will back again for my next trip.
From£53
4.4/5Excellent396 Reviews
Wireless/Chidlom Bangkok|2.5km from city centre
Generally a really nice hotel. Quite dark and unusual. But a few issues The tv was running software so old that its copyright expired in 2010. The opposite of a smart tv. The breakfast isn’t great. And both days I ordered eggs they just didn’t come. The bed was comfy - although the duvet was strangely lumpy. Overall I would stay again. But they need to make a few changes to justify their 5 star rating.
From£90
4.5/5Excellent1745 Reviews
Siam Bangkok|2.39km from city centre
*Excellent location: within walking distance to Erawan Shrine, Central World, Platinum Mall and many malls. *Room: excellent cleanliness and amenities. There is a dryer washing machine and detergent is provided. Beautiful and unblocked view from high floor room. (If the quality of disposable slipper is better, it would be perfect) *Facilities: kid's play room, game rooms, board game room, gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam and sauna room. *Guest service: staff are friendly and helpful. *Restaurant Arun Thai: inexpensive and very good Thai cuisine. I will definitely come back to this hotel when I come for the next Bangkok trip.
From£66
4.6/5Outstanding1077 Reviews
Siam Bangkok|3.73km from city centre
Pros: 1) good breakfast with a wide range of choices: Western and Chinese. Booked breakfast for 7 nights and enjoyed it every day. 2) attentive staff and reception. We had an early flight and reception kindly allowed us to check in at 10 am. 3) The nearby Duty-free shopping center is a pleasant bonus 4) the gym is well equipt Cons: the bed mattress is not high and is a little squeezable, so I did not like it.
From£69

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Business travel

4.5/5Excellent696 Reviews
Silom/Sathorn Bangkok|0.82km from city centre
All staffs are very friendly and good service, welcome me and my friend. I did request it high floor and nice view. For breakfast.many various drinks and foods, very yummy, love this hotel. Will go there again.
From£157
4.4/5Excellent1259 Reviews
Rachadapisek Bangkok|7.64km from city centre
5 minutes walk to MRT. In-room dining can be improved. Have to work a little bit harder in its breakfast selection, quality and taste. Overall I had an enjoyable stay at this hotel. I stayed at executive double double room 1812.
From£43
4.6/5Outstanding915 Reviews
Chatuchak Bangkok|10.71km from city centre
Our favourite hotel in Bangkok. The hotel has excellent facilities, restaurants, spa, bars, shopping areas, etc It has direct access to Central Ladprao shopping mall, and it's near Chatuchak market, JODD FAIRS DanNeramit market and Union Mall. The service is absolutely perfect. We loved ”The Club” located on the last floor. Totally recommend for any type of traveller! 💖
From£43
4.4/5Excellent818 Reviews
Sukhumvit Bangkok|9.02km from city centre
This is a really great hotel with attentive and friendly service all round. The bed is the comfiest I have ever slept in and the room is very spacious and clean. We didn’t pre-book breakfast through Trip, but you can just walk in and pay 150bht pp for a good selection of breakfast items including delicious Thai options and other more western items- cereal etc. The service again is excellent in the restaurant. People attend each day to clean your room and will work around your schedule. Even if we have not left the room until the afternoon, we would still return later to find fresh towels, bottles of drinking water in the fridge and the bed made up. The hotel is set back from any busy roads so you get peace and quiet but can access any where in the city very quickly - On Nut BTS station is just a 5 minutes walk away. The only very slight negatives would be that the pool is smaller than it appears in the pictures. However it is clean and perfect for a quick dip to cool off and as it is rooftop, there are great views over the city and beautiful sunsets from there. We also had a slight inconvenience when adding an extra night onto the booking. We were told at the time by the reception staff that breakfast was included in the price. However, we were told after having breakfast this wasn’t the case. This made the last night more expensive than the nights we booked through Trip.com . Overall would definitely recommend this place!
From£24
4.1/5Very Good670 Reviews
Rachadapisek Bangkok|7.44km from city centre
Very convenient and we alway stay this hotel since de last time was Bangkok cha da :) after renovations n change name the hotel more better just hope they can change de door because very loud when u close it with force haha will go back again
From£29

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Breakfast

4.4/5Excellent1398 Reviews
Pratunam Market Bangkok|3.2km from city centre
This is my 2nd stay at Vince Hotel. I really like their breakfast a lot. They provide really good service as well, the free buggy ride, free 15 mins massage, free phototaking in the Thai traditional costume, etc, Only thing that I think they can improve in is the towels, starting to get yellowish. Suggest to bring your own towel. Overall, highly recommended!
From£40
4.2/5Very Good1320 Reviews
Sukhumvit Bangkok|7.78km from city centre
The hotel is value for money. The room is adequate. However, we were allocated a room that is close to the BTS. So, we could hear the train passed, and it was annoying. We didn't bother to change room as we arrived quite late and just wanted to sleep.
From£34
4.5/5Excellent862 Reviews
Sukhumvit Bangkok|8.73km from city centre
Fantastic! Way above my expectations. Not too luxourious But it indeed up to 5star standard be it staff service, rooms or even their food. To my surprise, the food here at green terrace tastes soo good. Coming from myself whom work in hospitality and fine dining for 10years. I've high expectations especially on food. Definately recommend this hotel to anyone whom is looking for a good and afforadable hotel. Will be back again definately.
From£57
4.6/5Outstanding971 Reviews
Sukhumvit Bangkok|4.42km from city centre
The breakfast resturant offers a variety of delicious food, especially eggs benedict and BBQ chicken and pork. Thai noodle is always my favourite. I deeply appreciate the hospitable service on 33rd floor lounge from Immy, Wawa, Nicha, Nene, Wan, Por. You gave me lovely mother a wonderful vacation experience. Once again, thanks for your excellent performance.
From£92
4.2/5Very Good382 Reviews
Sukhumvit Bangkok|5.68km from city centre
I recently stayed at the Oakwood studios hotel for a short trip and overall I had a positive experience. The hotel was clean and well-maintained, and the staff were friendly and accommodating. The room was comfortable and had all the necessary amenities for a work trip, including a desk and reliable Wi-Fi. They also boast a nice pool and a small gym. The hotel's location was convenient and easily accessible, with plenty of dining options and 7/11 nearby. However, the noise level from neighbouring rooms and the hallway was a bit higher than I would have liked, but it didn't significantly impact my ability to rest and work. Overall, I would recommend this hotel for business travelers looking for a reliable and comfortable stay. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a luxury hotel, but it certainly gets the job done at a reasonable price.
From£46

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