Bangkok travel guide

Bangkok Tourism | Bangkok Guide

You're Going to Love Bangkok

From the intense flavors of street food to the lizards of Lumpini Park, discovery awaits in Thailand's bustling capital. Home to over 11 million residents, this city is like no other on earth.

Whether you're visiting for temples like Wat Pho, world-class malls like Siam Discovery, or fascinating cultural sites like the Erawan Museum, Bangkok will surprise you at every turn.

Underneath the hubbub there's a thriving expat community. Expect to find craft beer bars, spoken-word groups, and jazz clubs mixed in with local markets and temples. Overwhelming in its allure, Bangkok shines night and day. Ever-changing, constantly growing, there are a thousand reasons to visit, and as many to stay.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bangkok

1. Sample Delicious Local Fare

Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city offering the best of both Thai and international cuisine. Top local dishes include Laab Mu, a minced pork salad, and Ko Mu Yang, grilled pork neck.

2. Explore Open-Air Markets

Bangkok is known for its thriving markets, which operate both day and night. The biggest, Chatuchak, might be the largest open-air market in the world. Expect to find everything from clothing to jewelry to art on display.

3. Shop in Giant Malls

Even those who do not like shopping should consider checking out the malls in the Siam Paragon complex - they truly are amazing, both in terms of design and luxury. Brands such as Dior, Prada, and Gucci abound.

4. Visit Magnificent Temples

Thai architecture is unique, a fusion of Chinese and Indian elements that is all its own. Bangkok's mighty temples, as well as the Grand Palace, are fascinating examples of Thai aesthetics.

5. Meet Welcoming People

Thailand is known as the "Land of Smiles" for good reason, and wherever you are, you're sure to be greeted with a smile and make some friends.

What to do in Bangkok

1. Grand Palace: A Royal Welcome

The Grand Palace is indisputably Bangkok's most marvelled attraction, and with good reason: for centuries this complex was home to the Kings of Siam - present day Thailand - and the architecture is decorated in regal detail. Resting upon sacred land, the Palace grounds also boast the awe-inspiring Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew.

2. Thanon Khao San: A Life of Contrasts

We can't all live in royal splendour. The Backpacker Haven of Khao San Road offers an equally exciting alternative. This busy corridor is where the character of Bangkok explodes with good eats, blaring music, and the thrilling crossover between locals and international travelers.

3. Wat Pho: Intemporal Temple

While Bangkok is overflowing with buddhist temples, Wat Pho is one not to miss. It is the oldest temple in the city, and people continue to flock to the massive Reclining Buddha of gold with its dazzling jewel encrusted feet. For those who can't get enough, the experience continues across the Chao Praya river with a visit to Wat Arun temple.

4. Damnoen Saduak: Float the Day Away

Damnoen Saduak is the quintessential day trip from Bangkok City, but this floating marketplace hasn't lost any of that characteristic hustle and bustle. Moseying along in the comfort of a rental boat offers an unforgettable afternoon of eating and sightseeing. Life is but a dream.

5. Chatuchak Weekend Market: Chatu-Check It Out

Chatuchak Market is famous as one of the largest marketplaces in the world, and it is a sprawling mecca for everything Thai. Visitors can spend all day getting lost in a vibrant maze of thousands of stalls. And with so many options, everyone is bound to find the bargain of their dreams.

1. Grand Palace: A Royal Welcome

The Grand Palace is indisputably Bangkok's most marvelled attraction, and with good reason: for centuries this complex was home to the Kings of Siam - present day Thailand - and the architecture is decorated in regal detail. Resting upon sacred land, the Palace grounds also boast the awe-inspiring Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew.

2. Thanon Khao San: A Life of Contrasts

We can't all live in royal splendour. The Backpacker Haven of Khao San Road offers an equally exciting alternative. This busy corridor is where the character of Bangkok explodes with good eats, blaring music, and the thrilling crossover between locals and international travelers.

3. Wat Pho: Intemporal Temple

While Bangkok is overflowing with buddhist temples, Wat Pho is one not to miss. It is the oldest temple in the city, and people continue to flock to the massive Reclining Buddha of gold with its dazzling jewel encrusted feet. For those who can't get enough, the experience continues across the Chao Praya river with a visit to Wat Arun temple.

4. Damnoen Saduak: Float the Day Away

Damnoen Saduak is the quintessential day trip from Bangkok City, but this floating marketplace hasn't lost any of that characteristic hustle and bustle. Moseying along in the comfort of a rental boat offers an unforgettable afternoon of eating and sightseeing. Life is but a dream.

5. Chatuchak Weekend Market: Chatu-Check It Out

Chatuchak Market is famous as one of the largest marketplaces in the world, and it is a sprawling mecca for everything Thai. Visitors can spend all day getting lost in a vibrant maze of thousands of stalls. And with so many options, everyone is bound to find the bargain of their dreams.

Where to Eat in Bangkok

The beauty of Bangkok is that food can be found almost everywhere. No trip to the city is complete without street food, which varies from spicy Isaan flavors to fresh seafood. Street food can be found everywhere and dishes usually cost about ฿35 each. Sit-down restaurants usually cost little more than ฿120 for a Thai-style dinner including multiple shared dishes. However, if you want to splurge, you'll have no problem finding more expensive restaurants in town such as Gaggan or Zuma.

When to visit Bangkok

Bangkok in January
Estimated hotel price
₹ 196
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bangkok in January
Estimated hotel price
₹ 196
1 night at 3-star hotel

Bangkok is a year-round destination, but guests do well to avoid Southeast Asia's monsoon season, which drenches the city in rain each year from May to November. The rest of the year is considered dry season, and it will be a more comfortable experience.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Bangkok

Plane

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) sits about seven miles from the city center, but thanks to Bangkok's traffic, the journey can easily take upwards of an hour by taxi. The standard price is about ฿540. The best way for travelers to get from the airport to the city is to take the express train, which connects to bus and Skytrain routes and costs about ฿130.

Train

Thailand's extensive rail service makes it easy to get from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Trains come in to Hua Lamphong Station, which connects to the subway system. Round-trip tickets are about ฿700.

Car

It is entirely possible to drive into Bangkok from the north, east, and west. The main roads coming into the city are the 7 from the east, the 35 from the southwest, and the 9 and 31 from the north. Taxis can be hired out for relatively low prices.

Bus

Thailand's subsidized bus system is highly organized, with massive terminals located on Bangkok's north (Mo Chit), east (Ekkamai), and south (Sai Tai Guo) sides. Buses are a great and affordable option. Expect to find buses connecting to every major (and most minor) city in the country.

Airlines serving Bangkok

Lufthansa
Good (1,379 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,466 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,904 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (298 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,074 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,656 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (357 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (932 reviews)
Iberia
Good (667 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (641 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (663 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (196 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (371 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (307 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (203 reviews)
Finnair
Good (450 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (155 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Bangkok

Bangkok is known for its ฿300 hostels, such as the Rainbow Hostel and the Bed and Butler Hostel. A number of mid-range options, including the Once in Bangkok and the Taewez Guest House, abound in the city. However, many come to the city for its big-name luxury brands, which include the Shangri-La, the Mandarin Oriental, and the JW Marriot.

Popular neighbourhoods in Bangkok

Pathum Wan - this is one of the city's best-known districts. It's a busy business center with beautiful architecture and the city's largest park, Lumpini, which features a lake and large lizards. It also has the best burritos in town at La Monita Mexican Cantina.

Bang Yi Khan - this area offers more of a local flavor. With some of the best street food in town, as well as a beautiful riverside park by Krung Thon Bridge, it offers a bit of respite from the downtown areas.

Chatuchak - this district is a must for travelers looking to shop, eat, and play. The expansive Chatuchak Park includes Bangkok's Butterfly Garden and Insectarium as well as the immaculately manicured Queen Sirikit Park.

Most popular hotel in Bangkok by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Bangkok

Most booked hotels in Bangkok

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn
Excellent (9.2, Excellent reviews)
₹ 5,713+
The Sukhothai Bangkok
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
₹ 13,488+
Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
₹ 8,251+
137 Pillars Suites Bangkok
Excellent (9.5, Excellent reviews)
₹ 12,615+
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
₹ 9,442+
ibis Bangkok Impact
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
₹ 2,936+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Bangkok

Public Transportation

Bangkok has an extensive, and cheap, bus system. However, buses do not run on a schedule, so it can be difficult to predict your arrival time. Boats are more dependable and cost under ฿17 a ride.

Taxi

Taxis start at a flat rate of about ฿35 and run on a meter from there. You can get across the city for about ฿200. Tuk tuks, or rickshaws, are also available, but often charge exorbitant prices to tourists.

Car

Those brave enough to try to drive in Bangkok will find traffic and parking to be chaotic. Rental cars are normally not expensive but this method of transport is not advised. Companies include Hertz and Budget, and standard prices are about ฿700 per day.

The Cost of Living in Bangkok

Shopping Streets

The malls of the Central Plaza area, which include Siam Paragon, are just as expensive, if not more so, than any luxury good markets in the world. However, outside of these establishments, shopping in Thailand is cheap. Street markets are everywhere in Thailand. Even outside of Chatuchak, the city's markets alone might cover the size of several American towns. At these markets, clothing, art, and a variety of other products can be found at extremely low prices.

Groceries and Other

If you want to cook, Tesco is the major supermarket, and a number of locally-owned stores dot the cityscape. Expect to pay around ฿35 for a loaf of bread, and a similar amount for a dozen eggs.

Cheap meal
₹ 136
A pair of jeans
₹ 4,845
Single public transport ticket
₹ 68
Cappuccino
₹ 164