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Bangkok Travel Guide

Updated: Jan 19

If you are planning a visit to Bangkok and want to know more about this Southeast Asian jewel, this article is your essential guide! We'll tell you what to do, the best regions to stay, how to get around, etc...


Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is one of the most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia. With a population of more than 10 million inhabitants, it is one of the largest metropolises in the region.


The city is famous for its temples, floating markets, street food, nightlife, and modern shopping malls.


In this article, we will give you several tips so that you can get the most out of this incredible city!



Disclosure: in this article, you will find some links to different experiences. All of them are reliable and if you book an experience through one of them you are helping us monetize our work in this project.

How to get from the airport to the city center

To get to the city center from Suvarnabhumi International Airport there are several options:

  • Airport Rail Link: It's a fast train that connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to Makkasan Station in central Bangkok. The train departs every 15 minutes and the journey takes around 25 minutes. Each ticket costs 35 baths. From Makkasan Station, you can take another transport to your final destination. This was the method we used.

  • Taxi: At the airport, there are several taxis available 24 hours a day. Make sure the taximeter is turned on before starting the journey. Travel time to central Bangkok varies depending on traffic but generally takes around 30-60 minutes.

  • Bus: the cheapest option to get to the center. They depart every 20-30 minutes and the journey can take around 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic.

  • Transfers: There is a wide range of private transfer services that you can book in advance to take you from the airport to the city center.

How to get around the city

Bangkok is a huge city, so to get around there you have several options:


  • BTS skytrain: is an elevated train system that covers much of the city center. The price varies depending on the stop you want to get off at and you can buy the ticket at the ticket office or from the automatic machines that exist at all stations. This is a great option for avoiding traffic and is very easy to use.


  • MRT Subway: Bangkok's metro is an underground system that connects with the BTS. It's also a great way to avoid city traffic.


  • Taxi/Grab: throughout the city there are lots of taxis spread out and with very affordable prices when compared to those in Europe. Make sure the meter is on before you leave. You can also use Grab (equivalent to Uber in Europe) which tells you right away how much you have to pay at the end of the trip.


  • Tuk-tuk: one of the most popular ways to get around Bangkok. The prices are affordable and you can always try to negotiate the price, especially if it is cheaper on Grab.

  • Bus: the cheapest way to get around the city and the one where there are fewer tourists. In fact, catching buses in Bangkok couldn't be easier, just put where you want to go on Google Maps and it will tell you which bus you need to catch.

The bus was the transport we used most to get around Bangkok and we loved the experience. Even though most of them didn't speak English, everyone tried to help whenever we needed it.



Where to stay

Some of the most popular areas to stay in Bangkok are:


- Sukhumvit

A busy area, full of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. It offers incredible views of the city and has easy access to public transport.


Holiday Inn Sukhumvit: we stayed at Holiday Inn and enjoyed it very much. The hotel has a swimming pool, gym and restaurant. On the 29th floor is the Maya Café, which has a divine Indian menu and a panoramic view of the city. It was our 1st dinner in Bangkok and we loved it. Holiday Inn Sukhumvit was an ideal choice to rest after a long two-day trip.



  • Khao San Road

The most popular area among backpackers and with the most affordable prices, it is known for its nightlife, shops, and street vendors.


Lamphu house: we stayed in this area to be closer to the temples we wanted to visit. This guesthouse is close to Khao San Road but with all the peace and quiet needed for a good night's sleep.


  • Riverside

This area is known for having many luxury hotels and resorts along the Chao Phraya River. It is a very central area located close to the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Asiatique, and ICONSIAM. The view of the region is incredible, especially at night, with the buildings lit up.


How many days to stay

The ideal time to visit Bangkok varies according to each person's preferences and also the time available.

Overall, we recommend 3 to 4 days to explore the main attractions of the city, such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chinatown, Khao San Road, etc…



What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok is a huge city, full of things to see and do. You can choose to go to each of the places on your own or, for example, take a tour of several temples or visit the most famous markets in the city.



The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is one of Bangkok's main attractions. It is known for its stunning architecture and decorative details. This is where Wat Phra Kaew is located, one of the most important temples in Thailand.


The entrance ticket costs 500 baths. If you want to know more about the history of this place, we recommend that you take a tour, which visits several temples. You can book through GetYourGuide, here.


Attention: You must pay attention to your clothing, it is mandatory to have your knees and shoulders covered.


Wat Pho

This temple is famous for its huge statue of the Reclining Buddha. This statue measures 46 meters long and 15 meters high.

The details of the temple are very beautiful and we think it is worth the visit! We visited late in the afternoon, close to closing time and it was relatively quiet.


The temple has its own traditional Thai massage school, and visitors can enjoy these services.

The entrance ticket is 200 baths.



Wat Arun

Also known as the Temple of Dawn, it is one of the most impressive temples in Bangkok.

It is easily recognized by its impressive tower decorated with colored porcelain and glass.


It is located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, so the easiest way to get there is to take a boat on the opposite side of the river. It costs 5 baths and the journey takes less than 5 minutes.


The entrance ticket price to the temple is 100 baths.


Wat Arun
Wat Arun sunset

Our tip: the best sunset we saw in Bangkok was with Wat Arun in the background. So we recommend that one of the days you go to the riverside opposite Wat Arun (you can google “The Deck by Arun Residence") to watch this sunset.

Shopping in the markets

Bangkok has tons of markets and shopping malls spread throughout the city!

You can visit Pratunam Market, Asiatique The Riverfront, The Platinum Fashion Mall, Central World, ICONSIAM, MBK Centre, Siam Centre, etc... Or do like us and try to go to them all!


Many of these shopping malls are located in the same area, so we often find ourselves leaving one and entering another almost without realizing it. Some of them specialize in certain areas, such as the MBK Center selling electronic items. (This is where we bought our tripod when we realized it arrived after our trip)


Asiatique The Riverfront is a popular night market on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. There you will find several restaurant options, local shops, massages, and lots of entertainment. To get there you have to take a boat, you can catch it at the pier at "Saphan Taksin" station and it's free.

The Chatuchak Weekend Market is a market that takes place on Saturday and is one of the largest markets in the world with more than 15,000 stalls! Here you will find a little bit of everything, from clothes, accessories, crafts, souvenirs, food, plants... In short, a wide variety of products at affordable prices!



Floating and rail markets

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a traditional market where vendors sell goods from boats along a canal. It's a great place to pick up some unique food, clothing, and souvenirs.


The Maeklong Railway Market is a market built on an active railway line. When the train approaches, vendors quickly collect their goods and make room for the train to pass. Soon after passing through, they put everything back in the stalls and the market returns to its lively normality.


You can buy a ticket to see these markets here.


Khaosan Road

This is a very popular street among backpackers and tourists, with many bars, restaurants, and shops.


During the morning/afternoon, the street is quite calm and appears to be just a normal street. However, in the late afternoon, various street food stalls start to appear, selling a variety of items, and cafes/bars begin to open.

A little later, the madness begins, and the street quickly fills up with people, vendors, bar staff trying to attract customers, and very loud music in the midst of it all.


Our experience: Overall, we didn't find the staff too pushy (at least with us). A simple "no, thank you" with a smile was enough, and we could move on if we didn't want to enter the bars.



Shopping in malls

Bangkok is a paradise for shoppers. There are lots of malls to choose from, the best known are MBK Center, Siam Center, and Iconsiam.


Have a Thai massage

Throughout the city, you'll find various places to get a Thai massage. This type of massage differs from relaxation massages as it involves pressure points and stretching to provide a sensation of lightness and well-being.


Additionally, there are other types of massages available, such as foot massages, and foot and back massages, with options to suit everyone's preferences. We opted for a foot massage, which felt incredibly relaxing, especially after exploring a large part of Bangkok.


The prices are very affordable, so take advantage of it!


Go to a rooftop

In Bangkok, there are numerous rooftops on the city's tallest buildings, ideal for watching the sunset or enjoying a drink after dinner.


The most well-known is the Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower, which gained immense fame after appearing in the movie The Hangover Part II. This rooftop is located in the Riverside area, on the 63rd floor of a building.

Most rooftops have a dress code, entrance fees, or a minimum consumption requirement.


We were recommended to go to Tichuca Rooftop Bar, and that's the one we chose. It is located in the Sukhumvit region, on the 46th floor of the T-One building. Admission is free, and there is no dress code or mandatory minimum consumption.


The main attraction of this rooftop, besides the city view, is the LED tree, which looks incredible at night, swaying with the wind accompanied by background music!



Our tip: when you enter the rooftop, turn left, and you'll find some stairs that will take you to a higher floor with a 360-degree view of the city.


Chinatown

Bangkok's Chinatown is another one of the city's busiest areas. It is located on Yaowarat Road, where you'll find numerous traditional shops, street stalls, and countless LED panels reminiscent of typical Chinese streets. In the vicinity of this road, you'll also come across several Chinese temples.


We recommend visiting around dinnertime. We went during that time, and it was very lively.


Important: Chinatown is closed on Mondays.




Lumpini Park

Lumpini Park is a large public park in the center of Bangkok.


This park has a particularity, and therefore, we think it might be interesting to add it to your itinerary. The park is home to many giant lizards, called monitor lizards. These reptiles roam freely in the park; they are harmless but respect their space. At times, they may be hiding in the lake, but it's always possible to spot them around.


The park has plenty of shade and is ideal for taking a stroll in a green space in the city center.


Giatn lizar in Bangkok
Giant lizar stroling around

Day trips from Bangkok

Bangkok has an incredible transport network that connects the city with the whole country. From here you can take day trips out of town.


Ayutthaya

From Bangkok, you can take a day trip to the famous city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


This city was destroyed by the Burmese army, so the temples are practically in ruins. It's possible to see nature taking over these ruins, with the roots of huge and ancient trees taking control of these temples.

It's impressive and has a beauty completely different from the temples in Bangkok.


Many of them have free entry or a small fee to enter.


You can take a tour to visit Ayutthaya from Bangkok.


Ancient city

In this complex, you can find various replicas of different temples and historical buildings from Thailand all in one place. Some are true to their original size, while others are represented on a 1:3 scale.

It's the ideal place for those with limited time to explore Thailand and a curiosity to see various temples.


The complex is quite extensive, so it is advisable to rent a bicycle, golf cart, or car to explore it. We rented a golf cart, and it was a great choice. With temperatures at 40°C, it was faster and more comfortable for us to get around.


The entrance fee to the complex is 19€, but if you use our link our link it costs 10€.


The golf cart costs 350 Bath for the 1st hour and 100 Bath is added for each extra hour.




Bangkok is a vibrant city where organized chaos reigns. We loved exploring the city so much that we've been there twice!


If you have the time, we recommend staying for a week to absorb everything this city has to offer.


The best tip we can give you is to stay in different areas so you can reach the points of interest more quickly.


Get travel insurance!


Traveling is an exciting experience, full of adventures and unforgettable moments. However, it is essential to be prepared for any unforeseen events during your trip. That's where travel insurance comes in, an indispensable ally to guarantee peace of mind and safety while exploring new destinations. The insurance we use is from IATI Seguros!


This has many types of travel insurance depending on your type of trip and different coverage. In addition, when purchasing insurance through our link, you are guaranteed a special 5% discount. Don't let unforeseen circumstances spoil your adventure!


Click here to get your discount.

travel insurance


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