It is not an exaggeration, but Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, stands as the city full of life and color. It always ranks high in most of the traveler’s check-lists and should be included in your Thailand itinerary. Bangkok has so much for everyone to see and do, that at some point, you might feel running-out of time! In a literal sense, Bangkok is a fantastic city, catering to every individual’s taste. It’s definitely one of the most awesome places in Thailand.
Right from the well-designed museums, beautiful religious shrines to innovative eating joints, and pocket-friendly shopping arenas, this place is a traveler’s paradise. In fact, your few week’s trips might be too little to look-around this incredible travel destination. And to help you in making your to-do and to-see list for Bangkok, read below the thirteen incredible things to do in Bangkok, Thailand. The ones listed below are a handful of places, which you can visit and experience the true essence of Bangkok.
1) The Grand Palace
The word ‘grand’ is too little to define Bangkok’s top tourist destination, the Grand Palace. It is its outstanding historic architecture that makes it look grand and overwhelming. The entire edifice foretells many interesting historical facts. It was initially the home of Siam’s emperors, since 1782. After the present King Rama X, for many official purposes, the government utilizes the entire palace.
The Grand Palace is one of the best places to visit in Bangkok owing to its grand architectural and traditional value. Keep in mind to get past the street vendors sitting outside the palace gate. And beware of the famous “Grand Palace is closed” Bangkok Scam!
Once here, you will enjoy viewing the panoramic angles of the palace from all the angles. Enjoy the colorful artifacts, Thai paintings, and many curios well-placed all-over the castle. While on your way, keep your camera ready to click photos. Be conscious of wearing formal clothes, mainly which cover the legs. You might have to rent a long dress to visit many corners of the palace. To get a piece of better knowledge, opt for a guided tour. You will be a gainer.
2) Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha)
Wat Traimit or the Golden Buddha, is the world-famous three-meter tall, weighing 5.5 tonne Buddha image, made of pure gold. Visiting this place is one of the most incredible things to do in Bangkok. The entire sculpture is in the Sukhothai fashion, gracefully placed at one end of the temple compound. History says that the whole statue was ‘found’ around 65-70 years ago, dating back to the 13th century. The outer cover was to shield against the Burmese invaders, either during the Ayutthaya era or the Sukhothai era.
While there, be all ears to what the tour-guides say. The four-storied marble structure houses the massive marble structure, known as Phra Maha Mondop. The second floor, dedicated to the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center, a small but well-stocked one with multimedia displays. The third floor houses the Phra Buddha Maha Suwan Patimakon Exhibition, exhibiting the ways the statue is made, in a detailed manner.
3) Khao San Road
Are you gypsy at heart? Well, then Khao San Road will allure you. This street is any backpacker’s delight and is listed amongst the major things to do in Bangkok travel check-list. The place is the hub of street-side shops and vendors selling Thai street food, clothes, and other accessories at an attractive price. Its laid-back atmosphere always greets the tourists. And thanks to the ever-welcoming local people, you will never feel out of place.
Right from pocket-friendly hotels, and restaurants to the live-music joints, you will get everything at Khao San Road. As compared to the day-market, more is happening in the night one! With blaring music from the pubs and shops and the aroma of Thailand – this place is a fun-filled night out. And do remember to try out the unique foot spa, courtesy small fishes. It is for a lifetime experience, which you will remember all your life!
4) Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Initially named as Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, but locally called the ‘temple of dawn,’ comes under the most visited temples of Bangkok. In short, Wat Arun is made of a tower of gold, rendering a spectacular view. The entire get-up stands impressive to all the visitors, especially during sun-set. The soaring gold tower glistens with the setting sun-rays, giving out a picturesque view. Crossways to the Chao Phraya River and opposite to the Grand Palace, this tourist destination is easily reached via ferries. Opt for the ones on the Saphan Taksin boat pier. It will drop you right in front of the Temple of Dawn. Take out time to appreciate the intricate and out-of-the-world architecture of the entire Wat Arun.
5) Chatuchak Weekend Market
Visiting Bangkok and never trying your hands on shopping – considered as a severe crime! But on a lighter note, head towards the world-acclaimed shopaholics’ den – the Chatuchak Weekend market. Once here, there will be no looking back. The numerous shopping arcades and flea markets happen to be the most preferred pastime for both the locals and the tourists. This trade area comprises almost 15,000 to 16,000 stalls, catering to nearly 250,000 visitors daily. It is a weekend market while planning your things to do in Bangkok, visit the place in accordance. Though a portion, named Jatujak Plaza, opens the entire week.
This weekend market has never been disappointing to many, as most of the things are readily available here at a pocket-friendly price. Bargain on anything you purchase, as it is the ‘most expected’ thing to do, once in Bangkok! End your visit by enjoying Pad Thai, a local dish, to satisfy your soulfully. Read more in this Chatuchak Weekend Market Guide.
6) Thai Boxing at Rajadamnern Stadium
Ever heard of Muay Thai? It is none other than Thai boxing. The best place to witness it is at Rajadamnern stadium. It is Bangkok’s age-old and revered place conducting Muay-Thai regularly. To save yourself from the peddlers, purchase online tickets to see a match or two. Once you are through with the matches, visit the souvenir shop. As a token of remembrance, you can purchase miniature gloves of the colorful shorts of the contenders. However, if traveling with kids, avoid getting them here, as all the matches end on a violent note!
7) Surfing at Flow House
Have you ever imagined in your wildest dreams of surfing inside the city? Well, yes! The Flow House Bangkok caters to the most extraordinary surfing knowledge inside their downtown premises! Visit this place at least once to gather a lifetime experience. Head towards the FlowRider, once you step-in. It is an artificial wave simulator producing giant waves in the hot and humid afternoon. You have the option of stepping inside with your surfboard also. Place it on your car’s roof rack, and drive down to the restaurant. Enjoy the adventure with a chilled beer and delectable Thai cuisine.
8) Sea Life Bangkok
Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium – Sea Life Bangkok, formerly known as Ocean World caters to an incredible experience to all holiday-goers. It is an excellent welcoming break from the busy streets of Bangkok, and also a treat to the eyes. Though the entry fees are at the higher side, once inside, you will never regret. Plan accordingly, as you have to spend quite an amount of time with the sea creatures and other water species. The visit to this famous tourist destination is worth every penny. While purchasing your entry ticket, be aware of the additional amenities, which you can avail of, but at an extra expense.
For instance, a ride in the glass-bottomed boat inside the sharks den, 5D movie, clicking souvenir pictures, and joint entry ticket for the Madam Tussaud’s corner and sea aquariums. Be at awe watching the adorable penguins, varieties of fishes, octopuses, sea-horses, and big turtles. Watch their activities, and if you are well-prepared, get videography made to create inordinate memories. Refresh yourself by tasting some authentic sea-food at their very own cafeteria and small eateries. Lastly, buy small token gifts from the Siam Paragon shopping mall, adjacent to this travel arena.
9) Bangkok National Museum
Discover the countless number of museums once in Bangkok. These are of various sizes specializing in related fields. But to get the historical essence of Thailand’s traditions, art and culture, surely visit Bangkok National Museum. Plan for several hours of the day to unveil the mystery. This place stands as a special visit for the history fanatics and who wants to know the real truth. With a decent entry fee, start exploring from the main lobby or the pavilion. See the beautiful exhibits of various genres, while summarising the nation’s history. The entire museum is well-divided amongst the interconnected buildings.
It is the age-old wooden bungalows of the early 29th century that comprises this place. The 1937 building commemorates the stay of the Surawadee family. It is famous for displaying the beautiful wooden furniture, porcelain artifacts, and various other leftovers of the post-war families. The adjoining two-storied building is the curio shop consisting of different themed displays of historical items. At the rear side is the third building, which built-in 1929. Initially, it was a clinic of an English doctor, set up around 1929. The entire museum visit happens to be an informal conducted tour, assisted with efficient tour-guides. Also, carry your camera to click photos.
10) Cruise on Chao Phraya River
Opt for a river cruise at Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. Twisting right across central Bangkok, this trip stands as one of the popular ones. There is the provision of many riverboats, shuttling to and fro, concerning various hotels and some significant tourist attractions. But to experience better, you should plan for a quick trip right across the river, especially during the sun-set. Uniquely witness the sun-set, while the religious shrines and the royal buildings lit-up.
Explore further by renting a longboat from any one of the piers. The ride fees are all-inclusive for the driver’s rent. Relax on the deck and view the regular access, and the scenic beauty. Most of the river cruises are guided ones. Try fetching tickets for the dinner cruise, to end your day in the perfect manner.
11) Relax in Lumpini Park
Your search for a clone to New York’s Central Park ends here at Bangkok’s famous Lumpini Park. Best known for the vast area it covers, this park is a fitness freaks’ delight and a well-known tourist attraction – definitely one of the best places to visit in Bangkok. Once here, you will have a feeling of New York’s Central Park. Plan a visit here to enjoy the fresh air and lush-green exteriors – a pleasant change from the busy streets of Thailand. You can easily pass your entire day gazing at the other tourists and the locals. Pick a place to sit, or cater for a picnic table at one decent corner of the park to witness the regular thoroughfare.
Initially, this royal park curated in the 1920s, located on the outskirts of the central city. With the progress in time, the main city hubbub entwined the same in its tight grip. Now you will find it centrally located, with the main trading area nearby. Once there, you can rent a paddleboat for boating in Lumpini Park’s artificial lake, covering 2.5 to 3 kilometers of the entire region. Irrespective of whichever time you visit, this park is bustling with walkers and joggers. Along with various eateries, in the food area, there is no shortage of local snacks too.
12) Jay Fai
An achiever of one-Michelin star, and serving Bangkok’s tastiest and juiciest ‘crab omelet’, Jay Fai is generally never missed by any traveler. Watch the chef serving this famous dish associated with pàt kêe mow (fried-rice noodles along with sea-food and Thai herbs), wearing ski-goggles! The entire dish cooks over charcoal fire to give it a smoky aroma. No one can overlook this famous eating joint, situated inside a distinct shop-house. Plan for a sumptuous lunch or dinner by watching with admiration the ‘super-hero’ chef’s passionate cooking in the open-air kitchen.
13) Jim Thompson House
Enjoy the traditional architecture of Jim Thompson House, rated high in the list of Bangkok’s tourist attractions. This house is incredible for its traditional architecture, generously covered with beautiful silks and other fine arts. Initially owned by Jim Thompson, this house comprises an exciting museum. The efficient tour-guides, who are both useful and entertaining will guide you well. Both the interiors and exteriors of the house are well-designed. The lush green garden with a huge fountain and fish pond is ever-welcoming.
The history of this particular house lies back in the 1950s – 60s. The American entrepreneur Jim Thompson started with the Thai Silk Company. Later he divided the house into six different age-old Thai houses, a unique place for anyone to visit today. Be at awe watching the exceptional amalgamation of Western detailing over Thai architecture. Dig deep into this house’s history, with the exciting fact behind Jim Thompson’s mysterious disappearance into Malaysian wilds in 1967. Wind up your tour by visiting the silk manufacturing unit. Get a bit educated on the same. Later relax at their on-site eating place while picking up some tokens from their souvenir shop.
Map of the Best things to do in Bangkok
We have prepared a detailed map of all the best things to do in Bangkok to help you plan your trip out. The map can be exported and uploaded to the mobile map app like Maps.me or Locus maps.
- Check here all our travel planning maps.
Best Things to Do in Bangkok – Wrap-up!
Cities, all-over the world have several dispositions. And to sense the same, one has to explore the town, through-n-through. To get urban surprises, along with the rural spirit, Bangkok is the one. It is its uniqueness, along with state-of-art charms that lure all travelers worldwide. Exhibiting the same at all nooks and crannies, Bangkok falls under the travel destination of the backpackers. The above-discussed thirteen incredible things to see in Bangkok act as the best guide for all adventure-seeking travelers.
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Adriana & Matěj
Travelers, sport enthusiasts and photographers behind this blog. Creating high-quality and informative guides for your travels. Read more about us here.
We are regularly updating all of our posts, however all the places are changing quickly and sometimes it's hard to see all the changes. Theferove we would be glad if you could tell us about any change you have found.