Ayutthaya is an ancient city in Thailand that was once the country’s capital. The city is located about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok and is a popular tourist destination. This city is home to many historical sites and temples dating back to the 14th century.
This makes it a great place to visit if you’re interested in history or architecture. But there are also plenty of things to see and do that are more modern, such as shopping or simply relaxing by the river. So if you’re looking for fun things to do in Ayutthaya, here are 25 of the best options.
Things To Do In Ayutthaya
1. Stroll Around the Old City
The best way to see Ayutthaya is simply to walk around and explore. The old city is fairly small and compact, so it’s easy to get around on foot. Numerous temples and ruins are scattered throughout the city, and it’s fun to just stumble upon them. Many of the temples have been restored, while others are in various states of disrepair.
I recommend getting a map (you can get one for free at the tourism office) and wander around. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the layout of the city and to see some of the main sights. In fact, I think it should be at the top of your list of things to do in Ayutthaya.
Read More: Best Cities In Thailand To Visit
2. Take a Tour of Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was once the holiest temple in Ayutthaya as it was where the royal family lived and worshiped.
There are three large chedis (stupas) in Wat Phra Si Sanphet, each housing the ashes of a different Ayutthayan king. The eastern and central chedis were built by King Boromaraja II in 1492 to house the ashes of his father and elder brother, respectively. The western chedi was built by King Boromaraja IV (the son of Boromaraja II) in 1530 to house his father’s ashes. The Burmese destroyed the temple complex in 1767 but has since been restored.
Therefore, Wat Phra Si Sanphet is an important temple not only for its religious significance but also for its historical importance. I spent about an hour just wandering around and admiring the beautiful architecture. And to be honest, it was one of my favorite things to see in Ayutthaya.
Address: Tambon Pratuchai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
Read More: Best Temples In Thailand
3. Witness a Pilgrimage at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is a Buddhist temple built in 1357 by King U-Thong. It’s located just outskirts of Ayutthaya city and is one of the most popular things to see in Ayutthaya.
The temple complex is large and includes a number of different buildings and structures. Perhaps the most notable feature is the large chedi (stupa) surrounded by four smaller chedis. And on the entrance, you’ll find a large reclining Buddha statue that’s over 28 meters long.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is a working temple, so you’ll see monks and locals going about their daily business. It’s also a popular spot for tourists, so don’t be surprised if you see a few tour groups while you’re there.
Address: 40 Tambon Khlong Suan Plu, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
Read More: Best Places To Visit In Thailand
4. Tour Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat is one of the most iconic temples in Ayutthaya and is a must-see for anyone visiting. It’s easily recognizable by the large number of headless Buddha statues scattered around the complex.
The temple was built in 1384 and was the main Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. It was then rebuilt and is now one of the most famous attractions in Ayutthaya
The highlight of Wat Mahathat is the face of the Buddha statue peeking out from the roots of a tree. It’s a popular spot for photos and is one of the most Instagrammable places in Ayutthaya.
I found Wat Mahathat to be a very peaceful and serene place, even with a large number of tourists. It’s definitely worth a visit as it’s one of the most important temples in Ayutthaya.
Address: Wat Mahathat, Naresuan Rd, Tambon Tha Wa Su Kri, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
5. Visit Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is a beautiful temple complex that was built in 1630 by King Prasat Thong. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in Ayutthaya and is a great example of the city’s grandeur.
The temple is in the Khmer style and has a central prang (tower) that’s surrounded by four smaller prangs. There are also a number of Buddha statues and eight chedis (stupas) scattered around the complex.
The temple is best visited at sunset when it’s illuminated by the setting sun. It’s a beautiful sight and one of the most popular things to do in Ayutthaya.
Address: 8GVR+5PX, Tambon Ban Pom, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
6. Visit Wat Na Phra Men
During the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese, Wat Na Phra Men was one of the few temples that were spared. The exact date of its construction is unknown, but it is believed to have been built during the early Ayutthaya period. The temple is now home to a large Buddha statue, a popular spot for tourists to take photos. The temple grounds are also very beautiful and peaceful, making it a great place to relax for a while.
Address: 76 Tambon Lum Phli, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
7. See the Remaining Treasure at Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
Want to see some of the remaining treasure that was plundered from Ayutthaya? Head to the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, which houses a large collection of artifacts from the Ayutthaya period.
The museum was founded in 1961 by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and houses over 1,000 artifacts, utensils, and jewelry. The museum’s highlight is the seated Buddha statue, one of the largest in Ayutthaya. The gold artifacts are also quite impressive and are a reminder of the city’s grandeur.
The museum is a great place to learn more about the history and culture of Ayutthaya. It’s also one of the most popular attractions in Ayutthaya, so be sure to visit early to avoid crowds.
Address: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
8. Take in the Sites at Bang Pa-in Palace
Just a short drive from Ayutthaya, Bang Pa-in Palace was the summer palace of the kings of Ayutthaya. It’s a beautiful complex of buildings set in a park-like setting with manicured gardens, ponds, and bridges.
The main buildings to see here are the Chinese-style palace, the Thai-style palace, and the Victorian-style mansion. The buildings are beautifully designed and set in a way that makes you feel like you’re in another world. It’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in architecture and history.
And on the outer edges of the complex, you’ll find a number of other small buildings that are said to be homes of “king’s lady friends.” Although I’m not sure how true this is, it’s still an interesting piece of history.
All in all, Bang Pa-in Palace is a great place to spend a half-day or so. And a trip here is one of the best things to do in Ayutthaya.
Address: Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, Tambon Ban Len, Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13160, Thailand.
9. Explore Wat Phra Ram
I wonder why Wat Phra Ram is not more popular with tourists and is often overlooked. It’s located in the park’s northern area and is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. I found it to be an interesting temple with a lot to see.
Wat Phra Ram was built in 1369 by King Ramesuan and was used as his royal temple. The main attraction here is its central Khmer-style prang (tower). The prang sits on a square base surrounded by four Himmaphan mythical creatures.
It’s an impressive structure that’s definitely worth seeing. I also enjoyed exploring the rest of the temple complex, which is quite large. It’s definitely one of the more underrated attractions in Ayutthaya. But its lack of popularity means that it’s usually quite empty and you’ll have the place to yourself.
Address: 9H36+H6W, Tambon Pratuchai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
10. Play Golf at Ayutthaya Golf Club
Did you think Ayutthaya was all about temples and history? Well, think again! The Ayutthaya Golf Club is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.
The 18-hole, par 72 course is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The course is challenging but also fair, and the staff is very friendly and helpful.
I’m not a huge golf fan, but I have to say that I had a lot of fun playing here. And the views are really incredible. So if you’re looking for fun activities to do in Ayutthaya, then I recommend giving golf a try.
Address: Tambon Ko Rian, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
11. Take a Boat Tour
There’s nothing quite like taking a boat tour and enjoying the scenery while cruising down the river. In Ayutthaya, boat tours will take you around to see the different temples and ruins. Most of the boat tours are large and will have a guide who will point out the different temples and tell you about their history.
I took a boat tour with Ayutthaya Boat and Travel, and it was a great way to see some of the temples that I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. My favorite part was when we stopped at Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and I was able to get out and explore the temple complex on foot. Other stops on tour included Wat Phanan Choeng and Wat Putthaisawan.
Find a tour that suits your interests and budget, and enjoy a leisurely boat ride through Ayutthaya. After all, this is one of the coolest things to do in Ayutthaya.
12. Tour the Foreign Quarters
During its heyday, Ayutthaya was an international trading hub, and foreigners from all over the world settled in what was known as the “Foreign Quarters.” This is where they built their homes and warehouses.
Today, the Foreign Quarters is just a regular neighborhood, but it’s still interesting to see how these foreigners lived. You can tour the British, Dutch, French, Portuguese, and Japanese quarters. The best part about them is that they’re all within walking distance of each other.
The highlight of the tour for me was the Catholic Church of St. Joseph, built in 1666 by the French. There are other churches and ruins located in this area as well, but I thought this one was the most beautiful and well-preserved.
And being one of the famous tourist spots in Ayutthaya, I suggest taking a guided tour of the Foreign Quarters. This way, you can learn more about the history and culture of Ayutthaya and get a better understanding of how the foreigners lived.
13. Elephant Stay
Imagine getting to live with elephants for at least three days. No, this isn’t a dream! It’s a reality at Elephant Stay. This ethical elephant sanctuary allows visitors to stay with elephants and learn about their daily lives. You’ll get to feed them, bathe them, and even go for a walk with them. The program also includes educational activities about elephant conservation.
I think this is a really unique and special experience, as it is not every day that you get to live with elephants. Therefore, if you’re interested in doing this, I recommend booking in advance as there are limited spots available. After all, this is one of the unique things to do in Ayutthaya that will create lasting memories.
Address: Royal Elephant Kraal and Village 74/1 Moo 3 Tumbol Suanpik, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand.
14. Spend some time at Chao Phrom Market
Wondering what to do in Ayutthaya away from the temple ruins? Chao Phrom Market is a great place to get a feel for local life.
This market has been around for a long time and is known for its fresh seafood. You can find just about anything here, from grilled fish to stir-fried squid. And if you’re not a fan of seafood, don’t worry, there are plenty of other things to eat as well. I recommend getting there early in the morning when it’s most active. You can watch the locals bartering for the best prices on seafood and other items.
Address: 3/9 Uthong Rd, Tambon Ho Rattanachai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
15. Learn Some Dutch History at Baan Hollanda
If you’re interested in Ayutthaya’s Dutch history, then a visit to Baan Hollanda is a must. The museum tells the story of Ayutthaya’s Dutch community that once lived here in the 17th century.
They came here as part of the Dutch East India Company and settled in an area known as “New Holland.” The museum is a replica of one of the houses the Dutch settlers lived in. It’s a small museum, but it’s packed with information about the Dutch community and their way of life.
There’s also a small cafe on the premises serving Dutch food. I suggest trying Bitten bollen (meatballs) and Frikendal (Dutch sausage), which are both delicious. And, of course, you can’t leave without trying the Dutch pancakes.
I found the museum to be very interesting, and it was one of the things I enjoyed most about my time in Ayutthaya.
Address: 8HRG+6W2, Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
16. Spend time at the Thai Boat Museum
Want to learn more about Ayutthaya’s maritime history? Then you need to check out the Thai Boat Museum. It’s one of the most interesting things to do in Ayutthaya if you’re into history and/or boats.
The museum mainly focuses on old Siamese boats used for transportation and trade. There are all sorts of boats on display, from small canoes to large cargo ships. You can also see how these boats were used in everyday life and how they were built.
The Thai Boat Museum is a great place to learn more about Ayutthaya’s past and its importance as a maritime center. I spent about an hour here, and I think it’s definitely worth a visit.
Address: 12 1 8 Bang Ian Rd, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
17. Shop at the Ayutthaya Floating Market
Thailand is well-known for its floating markets, which are basically markets that take place on boats. And Ayutthaya has its own floating market called the Ayutthaya Floating Market.
You can take a long-tail boat from the pier to the market for about 100 THB. Once you’re at the market, you’ll find all sorts of things for sale, including souvenirs, clothes, food, and more. I definitely recommend trying some of the food as it’s all cooked fresh on the boats.
I spent a couple of hours roaming around the market and doing some shopping. It’s one of the famous places in Ayutthaya to find souvenirs for friends and family back home. And even if you don’t find anything you want to buy, it’s still a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere.
18. Take a Cooking Class
Thai food is world-renowned, and for a good reason. It’s flavorful, fragrant, and often features a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. A cooking class is a great way to learn how to make Thai food so you can replicate the dishes you tried while in Thailand. It’s also a fun activity to do with friends or family.
There are several cooking schools in Ayutthaya, so it’s not difficult to find one that suits your needs. Plus, most classes include a trip to the local market, where you can learn about the different ingredients used in Thai cuisine.
19. Take a Food Four
What better way to experience the local culture than by indulging in some of its delicious food? Ayutthaya has a wide variety of restaurants, street food vendors, and markets to choose from. Therefore, the best way to experience all that Ayutthaya has to offer gastronomically is by taking a food tour. This way, you’ll get to try a little bit of everything and learn about the history and culture of the city through its food.
Some of the most popular dishes in Ayutthaya include Roti Sai Mai (colorful cotton candy-wrapped fried dough), Kuay Teow Reua (boat noodle soup), and Sai oua (grilled Northern Thai sausage).
I didn’t have a chance to take a food tour, but I did eat my way through and can say with certainty that the food here is amazing. I would definitely recommend adding this tour to your list of the best things to do in Ayutthaya if you want to try some of the local dishes.
20. Pamper Yourself at Sala Ayutthaya
Of course, you’ll want to take some time to relax and pamper yourself while you’re in Ayutthaya. And for that, I recommend Sala Ayutthaya.
Sala Ayutthaya is a luxurious boutique hotel that’s been voted one of the best hotels in Thailand. It’s a beautiful property with an outdoor pool, spa, and restaurant. The rooms are spacious and modern with all the amenities you could ask for.
And no trip to Ayutthaya would be complete without a relaxing Thai massage. And there’s no better place to get one than at Sala Ayutthaya. I had a 60-minute Thai massage, and it was absolutely amazing. It was just the thing I needed to relax and rejuvenate after a few days of exploring the city.
Address: 9/2 Moo 4, U-Thong Road, Pratu Chai, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
21. Remember Your Childhood Memories at the Million Toy Museum
If you love toys or are a child at heart, then a visit to Million Toy Museum should definitely be on your list of things to do in Ayutthaya.
This museum has a large collection of toys, both new and old. Thousands of toys are on display, including dolls, cars, trains, and more. These toys come from all over the world, including Thailand, Japan, China, and the United States.
The Million Toy Museum is a great place to take a break from all the temples and history in Ayutthaya. It’s also a great place to take photos and make some new friends (the staff are very friendly).
Address: 45 Moo 2, U Thong Road Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
22. Shop at Ayutthaya City Park
After exploring some of Ayutthaya’s attractions, you may want to take a break and do some shopping. Ayutthaya City Park is the perfect place to do this.
The mall is located in the heart of Ayutthaya and is filled with more than 500 shops. You’ll find everything from clothes and cosmetics to food and souvenirs. There’s also a movie theater and a bowling alley if you want to take a break from shopping.
I spent a couple of hours here one afternoon and had a great time browsing the shops and people watching. I even did a little shopping. So if you’re looking for a break from sightseeing in Ayutthaya, this mall is the perfect place to relax and do some shopping
Address: 126 Moo 3, Asia Road, Klong Suan Plu Sub-district, Ayuthaya, Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand.
23. Enjoy Ayutthaya Night Market at Bang Lan Road
If there’s one thing that Thailand is known for, it’s night markets. And if you’re in Ayutthaya, you definitely need to check out the night market on Bang Lan Road.
This is a small but vibrant night market with plenty of things to see and do. There are stalls selling things like clothes, souvenirs, and food. You can browse through the stalls, bargain for prices, and try new things.
I love night markets because they’re such a great way to experience Thai culture. And the Ayutthaya night market is no exception. It’s a great place to find souvenirs, try new things, and just soak up the atmosphere.
24. Enjoy Ayutthaya Nightlife
Ayutthaya may be a small city, but it has a surprisingly happening nightlife scene. There are several bars and nightclubs where you can enjoy live music, cheap drinks, and a fun atmosphere. So after a day of exploring the sights of Ayutthaya, why not let loose and enjoy what it has to offer after dark?
One of the most popular streets for nightlife is Grand Street, which is lined with bars, pubs, and restaurants. Some call it the unofficial “red light district,” but it’s really just a fun place to go out and have a good time.
Therefore, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Ayutthaya at night, definitely check out Grand Street. You might be surprised at what you find.
25. Visit the Portuguese Settlement
The Portuguese Settlement is a small village on the outskirts of Ayutthaya that was established by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Ayutthaya, and they had a significant impact on the city. Although the village is now in ruins, it’s still worth a visit if you’re interested in Ayutthaya’s history. It’s a great place to learn about the Portuguese influence on Ayutthaya and how it helped shape the city into what it is today.
You can’t deny that things to do in Ayutthaya are awesome. I would highly recommend spending at least three days here, if not more. This place has so much history and culture, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So choose your favorite things to do from this list and start planning your trip today.