Thailand is well known for its beautiful beaches, stunning temples, delicious food, and friendly people. But with so many places to see and things to do, it can be hard to know which cities in Thailand have the most to offer tourists.
To help you narrow down your choices, I’ve compiled a list of the 15 best cities in Thailand to visit based on their unique attractions, culture, and overall appeal. Let’s get started!
Best Cities To Visit In Thailand
As the capital of Thailand, Bangkok deserves a spot on any list of the best cities to visit in Thailand. This bustling metropolis is full of energy, with something to offer everyone.
Bangkok is known for its temples, and there are more than 400 of them within the city limits. Start with the Grand Palace, a complex of buildings that served as the royal residence from 1782 to 1925. Today, this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand because of its beautiful architecture and complex history.
Another can’t-miss temple is Wat Pho, which is home to the world’s largest reclining Buddha. This temple is also known for its massage school, so you can get a traditional Thai massage while you’re here.
If temples aren’t your thing, Bangkok also has a number of other great attractions. For example, the Chao Phraya River is a great place to take a boat ride and see the city from a different perspective. Or, you can visit one of the many markets, such as Chatuchak Market or Pratunam Market.
For a more modern experience, check out some of Bangkok’s skyscrapers. The MahaNakhon Tower is the tallest building in Bangkok and offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck. Other great options include the Baiyoke Tower II, State Tower, and Centara Grand at CentralWorld.
And if you’re looking for a place to relax, why not take a stroll through Lumphini Park? This is the largest park in Bangkok and is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
There’s no doubt that Bangkok is a busy and vibrant city. But that’s what makes it one of the best places to visit in Thailand.
Read More: Best Things To Do In Bangkok
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is known for its white-sand beaches, clear water, and luxury resorts.
To enjoy the best of what Phuket has to offer, head to one of its many beaches. Patong Beach is the most popular in Phuket, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching. This beach is also lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, so you’ll never be bored. However, it can also be very crowded. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, try Kata Beach or Nai Harn Beach.
In addition to its beaches, Phuket is also home to some of Thailand’s most impressive temples. Wat Chalong is the most popular known for its beautiful architecture and stunning views. Other notable temples include Wat Phra Thong, Wat Pho, and Wat Klang.
If you’re interested in Museums, then you’ll want to visit the Trick Eye Museum. This museum is full of optical illusions and interactive art, making it a fun and unique experience. Other great options include the Thai Hua Museum, Phuket Seashell Museum, Phuket Moning Museum, and the Phuket Aquarium.
No matter what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it in Phuket. And that’s why it’s one of the best cities to visit in Thailand.
Ayutthaya is a historic city located just north of Bangkok. This city was once the capital of Thailand and is home to many ancient temples and ruins.
The most popular attraction in Ayutthaya is the Ayutthaya Historical Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes many of the city’s ancient temples and ruins.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet is one of the most impressive temples in the park. This temple was once the royal temple of the Thai kings and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand.
Another must-see temple is Wat Ratchaburana, which features two large statues of elephants at its entrance. This temple was built to commemorate two brothers who lost their lives in battle.
There are many other temples and ruins to explore in Ayutthaya as well. And while the city can be quite hot and humid, it’s still a great place to visit.
Many people visit Ayutthaya as a day trip from Bangkok. However, I recommend spending at least a night or two in the city to really explore all it has to offer. After all, it’s one of Thailand’s cities that showcases the country’s rich history and culture.
Read More: Best Things To Do In Ayutthaya
4. Chiang Mai
Located in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is a completely different experience from Bangkok. This city is much more laid-back with a more relaxed vibe.
There are still plenty of things to see and do in Chiang Mai. And one of the most popular attractions is Doi Inthanon National Park. This park is home to Thailand’s highest mountain and offers beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls.
If you’re interested in learning about the local culture, be sure to visit Wat Doi Suthep. This temple is one of the most sacred in all of Thailand and offers stunning views of the city below.
Chiang Mai is also a great place to go shopping. The Night Bazaar is a must-visit, where you’ll find everything from souvenirs to clothing to delicious food. And don’t forget to visit elephant sanctuaries that allow you to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.
Overall, Chiang Mai is one of the best cities in Thailand to visit if you want to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. It’s also a great base for exploring the rest of northern Thailand. I spent a week in Chiang Mai and could have easily stayed longer.
Read More: Best Things To Do In Chiang Mai
Any list of the best cities to visit in Thailand would be incomplete without mentioning Krabi. And for a good reason, as it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country.
Krabi town is the capital of the Krabi Province and is known for its stunning beaches and limestone cliffs. So if you’re looking to relax on one of Krabi’s famous beaches, Railay Beach is a great option. This beach can only be accessed by boat, so it feels very secluded.
Another option is Ao Nang Beach, which has a more lively atmosphere with plenty of bars and restaurants. And if you’re looking for something to do besides lounging on the beach, you can go sea kayaking, boat riding, or parasailing.
After a day at the beach, be sure to check out The Krabi Riverside walkway. This is a beautiful footpath that runs along the Krabi River. It’s also here where the night markets are located, so it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat.
Krabi also has a number of interesting temples and historical sites to explore. The Tiger Cave Temple, for example, is a Buddhist temple located at the top of a limestone cliff. You have to climb 1,237 steps to reach the temple, but the views are worth it.
Krabi is the perfect destination for those looking to relax on beautiful beaches and enjoy some fun activities. And with so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Krabi is one of the most beautiful Thailand cities to visit.
6. Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the crowds of Bangkok and enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere. This city is known for its mountains, temples, and waterfalls, making it a great place to relax and explore.
One of the best places to start your exploration is the Golden Triangle, an area where Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. This is a popular spot for those interested in history and culture, as it was once a major hub for the opium trade. You can take a boat ride along the Mekong River, visit traditional villages, and learn about the area’s history at the Golden Triangle Park Hall of Opium.
Chiang Rai is also home to Wat Rong Khun, also known as the White Temple. This temple is one of the most unique and beautiful in all Thailand.
Finally, this city is a great base for exploring some of Thailand’s hill tribes. These are ethnic minority groups that have their own distinct cultures and traditions. Visiting a hill tribe village is a great way to learn about the local way of life and see some beautiful scenery.
Have you heard of the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”? This famous film was based on a true story, and Kanchanaburi was where it all took place.
During World War II, the Japanese army built a railway bridge over the River Kwai to transport supplies to their troops in Burma. This bridge became known as the Death Railway because of the terrible conditions the prisoners of war had to endure while building it.
Today, the bridge is still standing and is one of the most popular Thailand attractions. You can even take a ride on the Death Railway itself. And if you’re interested in learning more about it’s history, be sure to visit the Death Railway Museum and the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum. These museums offer an insightful look into the construction of the bridge over the River Kwai and the lives of those who worked on it.
In addition to its historical significance, Kanchanaburi is also an incredibly beautiful city. It’s located in a lush, green valley with the River Kwai running through it. There are also several national parks nearby, perfect for hiking and picnicking.
Kanchanaburi is a must-see for history buffs and nature lovers alike. So if you’re looking for incredible cities to visit in Thailand, be sure to add Kanchanaburi to your list.
Read More: Best Things To Do In Kanchanaburi
Another one of Thailand’s hidden gems is the city of Lampang. This city is located in northern Thailand and is known for its elephants, temples, and stunning scenery.
Start your visit to Lampang by taking a ride on one of the city’s famous elephants. Thai Elephant Conservation Center is a popular option and offers both half-day and full-day tours. You’ll get to feed and bathe the elephants, as well as learn about their conservation.
After your elephant experience, be sure to explore Lampang’s many temples. Wat Kaew Don Tao is one of the most popular and is known for its golden stupa. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is another noteworthy option and considered one of Thailand’s most beautiful temples.
Lampang is also home to a number of parks and natural attractions. Nhong Krathing Park is a great place to relax and take in the stunning scenery. This park has a lake, shade trees, and many walking trails. Other notable parks include Kelang Nakhon Public Park, Chaloem Phra Kiat Park Mueang Lampang, and Chae Son National Park.
As you can see, there’s a lot to see and do in Lampang. So be sure to include it on your list of the best cities in Thailand to visit, as it will be a shame if you miss out on this hidden gem of a city.
Want to experience a more lively and party-centric side of Thailand? Then Pattaya is the city for you. This beach resort town is known for its nightlife, clear water beaches, and luxury hotels. So it’s the perfect place to let loose and have some fun.
Pattaya Beach is the most popular and crowded beach in Pattaya. It’s here where you’ll find the most bars, nightclubs, and restaurants. However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, try Jomtien Beach. This beach is less crowded and has a more family-friendly vibe.
When it comes to nightlife, Pattaya has plenty to offer. Walking Street is the most popular area for bars and nightclubs. However, there are also a number of other options to choose from, such as Soi 6, Soi Buakhao, and LK Metro.
In addition to its nightlife, Pattaya is also home to some of Thailand’s best golf courses. If you’re looking to hit the links, then be sure to check out the Siam Country Club and the Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club.
And don’t forget to visit the Big Buddha Temple, one of the famous tourist attractions in Thailand. This temple is located on a small hill and offers panoramic views of Pattaya.
Whether you’re looking to party all night or relax on the beach, Pattaya is sure to have something for you.
Read More: Best Things To Do In Pattaya
10. Hat Yai
Have you heard of Hat Yai? It’s a city located in the south of Thailand, not far from the Malaysian border. And although it’s not as popular with tourists as some of the other cities on this list, it’s still a great place to visit.
There is a lot to see and do in Hat Yai. For starters, the city is home to a number of beautiful temples. The Phra Maha Chedi Tripob Trimongkol is the most popular and is known for its enormous stainless steel stupa. Other great temples include Wat Hat Yai Nai and Wat Chue Chang.
This city is also known for its floating market, which is a must-see for any visitor. The Khlong Hae Floating Market is the largest and most popular, but there are also smaller markets located throughout the city.
And if you’re looking for a place to relax, Hat Yai has a number of great parks. The Hat Yai Municipal Park is the most popular park due to its size and amenities. You’ll find a playground, a lake, walking trails, and plenty of trees to relax under. But the highlight of the park is definitely the 535-meter-long Hat Yai Cable Car, which offers stunning views of the city.
So, if you’re looking for a place that has a little bit of everything, be sure to add Hat Yai to your list of the best cities to visit in Thailand.
11. Hua Hin
Hua Hin is a beach town located on the west coast of Thailand, just a few hours south of Bangkok. Many tourists and locals come here to vacation, as it’s a popular spot for golfing, fishing, and relaxing on the beach.
Hua Hin Beach is the most popular spot in town and is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. The beach is also lined with restaurants and bars, so you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
Besides the beach, there are plenty of other things to do in Hua Hin. If you’re a golfer, then you’ll be happy to know that Hua Hin is home to some of the best golf courses in Thailand. And if you’re looking for a unique experience, you can go horseback riding on the beach or take a cooking class.
Hua Hin is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the finer things in life. And with its close proximity to Bangkok, it’s easy to see why Hua Hin is one of the best cities in Thailand to visit.
Read More: Best Places To Visit In Thailand
12. Nakhon Pathom
Although it’s often overlooked by tourists, Nakhon Pathom is a beautiful city located just outside of Bangkok. It is known for its Buddhist temples, stupas, and museums.
The most popular attraction in Nakhon Pathom is the Phra Pathom Chedi, the tallest stupa in Thailand. This Buddhist temple is over 120 meters tall and offers stunning views of the city. Other notable temples include Wat Phai Lom and Wat Don Yai Hom.
Nakhon Pathom is also home to a number of museums, including the Woodland Muangmai (known for its collection of wooden arts), the Human Imagery Museum (full of human sculptures made of wax), and the Jesada Technik Museum (a transportation museum with a large collection of vintage cars and motorcycles).
Whether you’re interested in temples and museums or simply want to explore a new city, Nakhon Pathom is a great option. And this makes it one of beautiful Thailand cities to explore.
13, Nakhon Ratchasima
Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat, is a city in northeast Thailand. It’s known for its temples, as well as its proximity to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
Phimai Historical Park is one of the most popular attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima. This park is home to the largest Khmer temple in Thailand and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is incredibly well preserved and surrounded by a moat, making it an impressive sight.
Another popular attraction is the Khao Yai National Park. This park is home to a variety of wildlife, including Asian elephants, tigers, and monkeys. The park is also full of hiking trails, so it’s a great place to get some exercise.
Take your time exploring all that Nakhon Ratchasima has to offer, and you’ll see why it’s one of the best cities to visit in Thailand.
Did you know that Sukhothai was once the capital of Thailand? Yes, it’s true! And today, this small city is home to a number of historical sites and temples.
A must-visit while in Sukhothai is the Sukhothai Historical Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and covers 70 square kilometers. It’s here where you’ll find the ruins of the old city, as well as dozens of temples and historical sites.
Some of the most popular temples in Sukhothai include Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Chum, Wat Trapang Nangkae, and Wat Sa Si. These temples are all known for their beautiful architecture and stunning views.
In addition to its historical sites, Sukhothai is also home to a number of museums. So take your time and visit the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum showcases the city’s art and culture.
Sukothai is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. And its historical sites, temples, and museums make it one of the best cities in Thailand to visit.
For a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, Pai is the perfect city to visit in Thailand. It’s located in the northern part of Thailand and is known for its beautiful scenery and friendly locals.
Pai is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, biking, and exploring the many waterfalls. You can also go hot springs hopping or take a cooking class.
In addition to its many outdoor activities, Pai is also home to some of Thailand’s most impressive temples. For example, the Wat Phra That Mae Yen temple is located on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the city. Several small temples are also located throughout the city, each with its unique architecture and history.
You’re sure to find something you love in any of these cities in Thailand. From stunning beaches and temples to delicious food and interesting museums, Thailand has it all. Plan your trip today and get ready to explore these amazing cities.