Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large metropolis known for its ornate shrines and vibrant street life. It’s a city that blends together the old and the new, with ancient temples and modern skyscrapers.
And while it’s chaotic at times, it’s also a city full of surprises. So whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you’re sure to find something new and exciting to do.
In this post, I’ll share 27 of the best things to do in Bangkok. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something on this list that piques your interest.
Things To Do In Bangkok
1. Visit the Grand Palace
One of the most famous attractions in Bangkok and a must-see is The Grand Palace. It was constructed in 1782 and served as the home of the Thai King, the Royal court, and a venue for royal ceremonies.
Today, it’s used for state occasions and is still considered a royal residence. Even though it’s no longer used as a place of residence, members of the Royal Family still use some of the buildings for ceremonial purposes.
The Grand Palace is a complex made up of several buildings, halls, and pavilions set around open lawns, gardens, and courtyards. It covers an area of 218,400 square meters (about 54 acres), so you can imagine how much there is to see!
Just some of the things you can expect to see at the Grand Palace are The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Phra Maha Montien Building, Chakri Maha Prasat Hall, and the Royal residential quarters.
The entrance fee is 500 baht (about $14). You can also pay an extra 200 baht ($5.80) to join a guided tour, but I recommend doing your own thing as it’s pretty straightforward to get around, and you can spend as long or as little time as you want on each area.
The Grand Palace is open daily from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, but it’s best to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds and heat. Wear modest clothing if you’re planning on visiting any of the temples within the complex, which means your shoulders and knees should be covered.
Address; Na Phra Lan Road, Grand Palace, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200.
2. Tour the Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Located within the grounds of The Grand Palace is Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It’s considered the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand and is where you’ll find the country’s most important Buddhist relic, the Emerald Buddha.
The Emerald Buddha is a figurine that’s carved from a single piece of jade, and according to legend, it dates back to the 15th century. It’s clothed in different robes throughout the year, depending on the season, and these are changed by The King of Thailand in a special ceremony. And being such an important religious icon, it’s definitely one of the best things to see in Bangkok.
The entrance fee to the Grand Palace also includes entry to Wat Phra Kaew. So if you’re planning on visiting the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, there’s no need to pay any extra.
Address; Na Phra Lan Road, Grand Palace, Phranakorn, Bangkok 10200.
3. See the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s largest and oldest temples and is home to the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. The reclining Buddha is 46 meters (151 feet) long and 15 meters (49 feet) high and is covered in gold leaf. As you can imagine, this is a pretty popular spot, so it’s best to get there early to avoid crowds.
The temple complex is also home to more than 300 Buddha images and a massage school. All these make it one of the best tourist spots in Bangkok.
The entrance fee to Wat Pho is 100 baht (about $3), and it’s open daily from 8 am – 6:30 pm.
Address; 2 Sanam Chai Road Phra Nakhon, Bangkok.
4. Ride the Skytrain
One of the exciting things to do in Bangkok is riding the Skytrain, which is also known as the BTS. The Skytrain is a quick and easy way to get around Bangkok, which is ideal if you’re short on time or if you want to avoid the city’s notorious traffic.
The Skytrain first opened in 1999 and has become one of Bangkok’s most popular forms of public transport. It currently has two lines (the Sukhumvit line and the Silom line) with about 50 stations.
A one-way trip on the Skytrain costs 15-60 baht ($0.43-$1.72) depending on how many stations you travel to, and you can buy tickets from the machines at the station. If you’re planning on using the Skytrain a lot during your stay, you might want to consider using a Rabbit Card, which is a top-up card that gives you a discount on fares.
5. Visit Wat Traimit
This is one of the top places to visit in Bangkok, commonly known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It’s located in Chinatown and is one of the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statues, weighing in at 5.5 tons and measuring 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) tall. The statue is made from pure gold and is a beautiful sight to behold. It’s located inside the temple building, which you can explore too. The entrance fee to Wat Traimit is 100 baht (about $3). The temple is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm.
Address; 661 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
6. Discover Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit is one of the most popular areas in Bangkok, and somewhere you’re bound to spend a lot of time during your stay in the city. It’s home to some of Bangkok’s best shopping, dining, and nightlife and is where you’ll find some of the city’s most popular hotels.
The main road that runs through Sukhumvit is Sukhumvit Road (hence the name!), and this is where you’ll find most of the action. Paralleling Sukhumvit Road is a series of sois (side streets), and it’s on these that you’ll find some of Sukkhumvit’s best bars, restaurants, and shops.
So if you’re looking for fun activities to do in Bangkok, strolling around Sukhumvit is a great way to familiarize yourself with the city and find some hidden gems.
7. Shop Til You Drop At Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market is one of the world’s largest markets and a must-visit for anyone who loves to shop. Therefore, it’s no surprise that a trip here is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok.
The market covers an area of 35 acres and has more than 15,000 stalls selling everything from clothes and accessories to art, antiques, plants, and pets. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for at Chatuchak Weekend Market, then it probably doesn’t exist! It’s the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs or just do some window shopping.
The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon – 12 midnight. Entry is free but be prepared to haggle for the best prices.
8. Visit Wat Saket
Another point of interest in Bangkok that’s often overlooked by tourists is Wat Saket, also known as The Golden Mount. It’s a Buddhist temple located on top of a small man-made hill in the old city area of Bangkok. To get to the temple, you’ll have to walk up a flight of around 320 stairs, which sounds like a lot, but it’s actually not.
Along the way, you’ll come across a series of small Buddha statues, other items of worship, and fountains. At the top of the hill is a gold-plated chedi (a type of Buddhist shrine) that’s pretty hard to miss. In fact, this is one of the most iconic things to see in Bangkok, and it’s definitely worth the climb.
The temple complex is open daily from 9 am – 7 pm, and the entrance fee is just 50 baht (less than $2).
Address; 344 Chakkraphatdiphong Road Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok.
9. Visit Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s most iconic temples and is worth a visit. It’s located on the west (Thonburi) side of the Chao Phraya River and is easy to spot thanks to its towering central spire, which stands at 79 meters (260 feet) tall.
The temple gets its name from the Hindu god Aruna and is sometimes referred to as the Temple of Dawn because the first light of the day hits the central spire. Wat Arun is open daily from 8 am – 6 pm, and the entrance fee is 100 baht (about $3).
Address; 34 Arun Ammarin Road Bangkok Yai, Bangkok.
10. Attend a Thai Cooking Class
If you’re a foodie, then attending a Thai cooking class is one of the coolest things to do in Bangkok. You’ll get to learn how to cook some of Thailand’s most famous dishes, as well as get an insight into the ingredients used and the history behind the dish.
Most cooking classes will include a market tour where you’ll get to see (and smell!) all of the fresh produce used in Thai cuisine. You’ll then head back to the cooking school to start your class. At the end of the class, you’ll get to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labor with a delicious meal. And, of course, you’ll also get a recipe book to take home so you can recreate your favorite dishes again and again.
Prices for Thai cooking classes vary depending on the school you go to, but, as a general guide, expect to pay around 1500 – 2000 baht ($43 – $57) per person.
11. Visit the Giant Swing
The Giant Swing (known in Thai as Sao Chingcha) is a religious structure located on the grounds of Wat Suthat. It was used in an old Brahmin ceremony called Triyampavai-Tripavai, in which young men would compete to see who could swing the highest.
The competition was held as part of a religious festival to worship Lord Shiva, and its thought that the winner of the contest would be blessed with good luck in the coming year. The Giant Swing was built in 1784 and is made entirely of teak. It’s 21 meters (70 feet) high and 18 meters (59 feet) wide and is beautifully decorated with rich carvings.
The Giant Swing recently underwent a huge restoration project, and it’s now better than ever. So if you’re wondering what Bangkok attractions to add to your itinerary, make sure the Giant Swing is on your list!
Address; 146 Bamrung Mueang Rd, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand.
12. Attend a Traditional Thai Puppet Show
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Bangkok that are a bit different, why not attend a traditional Thai puppet show? Thai puppetry is a form of art that dates back centuries and was originally used in religious ceremonies. The shows are usually based on folklore or historical events and are performed by a small group of puppeteers. The puppets are made from leather and can be quite large, sometimes up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall!
Today, it’s more common to see Thai puppet shows as a form of entertainment, and they make for a fun and interesting evening out. The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre is the most popular place in Bangkok to see a Thai puppet show. This theatre puts shows daily (except Monday), and tickets cost 400 baht ($11.50). The show lasts an hour and is a great way to experience some of Thailand’s traditional culture.
13. People Watch at Siam Paragon
Siam Paragon is one of Bangkok’s biggest and most popular shopping malls. It’s located right next to Siam BTS station, making it one of the best places in Bangkok for shopping, eating, and people-watching.
Siam Paragon has everything you could possibly want, including high-end designer stores, a multiplex cinema, an aquarium, a bowling alley, and some of Bangkok’s best restaurants. Even if you’re not planning on spending any money, it’s still worth coming here just to window shop, and people watch. Siam Paragon is open daily from 10 am – 10 pm.
14. Take a River Cruise
The Chao Phraya River is the main river in Bangkok and takes its name from the Thai word for ‘river.’ It’s an important waterway in Bangkok, as it’s used for transportation, tourism, and even irrigation.
A river cruise is a great way to see some of the top Bangkok attractions from the water. You’ll get to cruise past Bangkok’s most famous temples, which sit right on the riverbank, such as Wat Arun.
There are a few different river cruise operators in Bangkok, and the prices vary depending on which one you choose. The most popular river cruise is the Chao Phraya Princess Cruise which I went on, and I would definitely recommend it.
The Chao Phraya Princess Cruise prices start at 800 baht ($23) and increase depending on which package you choose. The most popular package is the ‘Dinner Cruise,’ which includes a buffet dinner, live music, and a traditional Thai dance show.
15. Attend a Boxing Match at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium
Bangkok is famous for its Muay Thai boxing, so attending a match is one of the most fun things to do in Bangkok if you’re looking for a true Thai experience. Muay Thai is a form of martial arts that originated in Thailand and is also known as “The Art of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, unlike other forms of martial arts that just focus on punches and kicks.
Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is one of Bangkok’s most famous boxing stadiums, and it’s where some of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world come to compete. It’s also where many of the sport’s biggest names got their start.
The atmosphere at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is electric, and it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. It’s one of those things that you have to see to believe.
If you’re interested in attending a Muay Thai match at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, tickets start at 1,000 baht ($29) for a seat in the upper tier. Tickets for the best seats in the house (ringside) start at 2,500 baht ($72).
Address; 6 Thanon Ram Intra, Bang Khen, Bangkok 10220, Thailand.
16. Have Fun At An Outdoor Go-Kart Track
Do you like go-karting? If so, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a few outdoor go-kart tracks in Bangkok where you can race around to your heart’s content.
One of the most popular tracks is E-Gokart by MONOWHEEL, which is located in the heart of Bangkok. Here, you can race around a 295-meter track in electric go-karts that can reach speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour (around 34 miles per hour). It’s great fun and perfect for anyone who wants to let off some steam or just have some fun. Prices start at 600 baht (about $17) for 8 minutes of racing. And being one of the fun activities to do in Bangkok, expect to see locals as well as tourists at the tracks.
17. Get a Thai Massage
A Thai massage is one of the most relaxing things to do in Bangkok (or anywhere in Thailand, for that matter!), and it’s also a great way to experience traditional Thai culture. A Thai massage generally costs around 500-1500 baht at high-end spas, but you can sometimes find cheaper deals if you shop around. I had a great one-hour Thai massage for just 300 baht (about $8.50) at one of the local spas’ in Bangkok.
18. Visit the National Museum & Wang Na Palace
The National Museum is one of the largest museums in Southeast Asia and houses the world’s largest collection of Thai art and history. The museum covers a wide range of topics, such as Thai history, art, religion, and archaeology. So there’s something for everyone! And, even if you’re not particularly interested in any of those things, it’s still worth a visit for the architecture and grounds alone.
The National Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 am – 5 pm, and the entrance fee is 200 baht (about $5.80).
Wang Na Palace, or “Palace of the Frontiers,” is located next to the National Museum. It was built in 1782 and was originally used as a court for frontier officials.
Nowadays, it’s home to the National Archives and houses a small museum. If you’re interested in Thai history, then this is definitely worth a visit.
The entrance fee is 100 baht (about $2.90), and it’s open every day from 9 am – 5 pm.
Both the National Museum and Wang Na Palace are some of the top-rated tourist attractions in Bangkok. So you know they’re worth a visit!
Address; 4 Na Phra That Road Phraborommaharatchawang Khet Phra Nakhon Bangkok 10200.
19. Take a Ride on a Longtail Boat
A ride on a longtail boat is one of the most quintessential things to do in Bangkok and something you shouldn’t miss out on. Longtail boats are the traditional boats of Thailand and are still commonly used in Bangkok today, particularly for tourist activities such as boat tours.
A ride on a longtail boat is the perfect way to see Bangkok from the water and get a different perspective of the city. You’ll zip past some of Bangkok’s most famous attractions, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), and you’ll also get to see some of the city’s hidden gems.
Prices for a longtail boat ride vary depending on where you go and how long you want to ride, but as a general guide, expect to pay around 400 baht ($11.50) per person for a 1-hour ride.
20. Relax or take a Stroll Through Lumphini Park
After all the sightseeing in Bangkok, you might be ready for a break, and what better way to relax than by spending some time in nature? Lumphini Park is Bangkok’s largest park and covers an area of 58 hectares (about 143 acres). It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and take a stroll, have a picnic or just sit and relax.
The park is home to many different species of plants and trees, as well as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It’s also a popular spot for joggers, Tai Chi enthusiasts, and people looking to get some exercise. It’s open daily from 4:30 am – 10 pm, and there’s no entrance fee.
Address; 192 Wireless Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330.
21. Explore Chinatown
Chinatown is one of the most vibrant and colorful parts of Bangkok. It’s a great place to explore, especially if you’re interested in seeing a different side of the city.
Chinatown is home to a large Chinese community, and you’ll see this reflected in the architecture, food, and culture. It’s also a great place to shop for things like Chinese herbs, spices, and souvenirs. I suggest taking a stroll down Yaowarat Road, which is the main street in Chinatown. This is where you’ll find most of the shops and restaurants.
A visit here isn’t complete without trying some of the delicious street food. You’ll find everything from fried scorpions to noodles and dumplings. And, if you’re feeling brave, you can even try some of the more unusual dishes on offer, which I don’t think I could even pronounce, let alone identify! But all in all, Chinatown is one of the top places to visit in Bangkok and is definitely worth adding to your list.
22. Pamper Yourself at a Luxury Hotel
If you’re looking for a much more luxurious Bangkok vacation, you’ll want to pamper yourself at one of the city’s many luxury hotels. Bangkok is home to some of the best hotels in the world, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to stay.
Whether you want to stay in a 5-star hotel, enjoy a spa treatment, or dine at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Even if you can’t afford to stay the night, most of these hotels offer day packages that give you access to all the facilities, including the pool, spa, and gym. Prices start at around 2,000 baht ($57), but it’s worth checking with the hotel first as offers and discounts are often available.
Some of the best luxury hotels in Bangkok include The Mandarin Oriental, The Siam, The Sukhothai, and The Peninsula. So be sure to add a day in one of these hotels to your list of exciting things to do in Bangkok.
23. Admire the Architecture at Wat Benchamabophit
Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the Marble Temple, is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples and is definitely worth a visit. It was built in 1899 using Italian Carrara marble, hence its nickname, and is a fine example of Bangkok’s unique blend of traditional Thai architecture and Western influences.
The temple grounds are home to several impressive buildings and structures, including the main temple building, an ordination hall, a bell tower, a second ordination hall, and a museum. Spend some time exploring the different buildings and admiring the intricate details of the architecture and sculptures. After all, this is one of the top tourist attractions in Bangkok for a reason!
Wat Benchamabophit is open daily from 8 am – 5 pm, and entry is 50 baht (about $1.50).
Address; 69 Rama 5 Road Dusit, Bangkok.
24. Tour Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was an American businessman who moved to Bangkok in the 1940s and played a significant role in reviving the Thai silk industry. He disappeared in 1967 while on a trip to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia and was never seen again.
His house, which he designed himself, is now a museum dedicated to his life and work. It’s located opposite the National Stadium and is made up of six traditional Thai-style houses that have been joined together. The house is full of Thai antiques, artwork, and Jim Thompson’s personal belongings, giving you a glimpse into what life was like for him in Bangkok.
This is definitely one of the most iconic places to go in Bangkok and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Thai history and culture.
The Jim Thompson House is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, and the entrance fee is 200 baht (about $5.80).
Address; 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Rd, Bangkok 10110.
25. Explore Khao San Road
Khao San Road is one of the most popular areas in Bangkok, particularly with backpackers and budget travelers. It’s a jam-packed street with guesthouses, bars, cafes, restaurants, street food vendors, market stalls, and more.
In other words, it’s the perfect place to come if you want to experience Bangkok’s bustling and vibrant side. It’s also a great place to shop for souvenirs, get a Thai massage and try some delicious (and cheap) street food.
Khao San Road is also within walking distance of some of Bangkok’s top attractions. So it’s the perfect place to base yourself if you want to tick a few things off your Bangkok bucket list.
26. Enjoy Bangkok Nightlife
When the sun goes down, Bangkok comes to life, and the city’s nightlife is world-famous. There’s an endless array of things to do at night in Bangkok, from enjoying a rooftop cocktail with a view to visiting one of the city’s many nightclubs or bars. In fact, there is an entertainment district in Bangkok dedicated solely to foreign tourists called Patpong. It is located in the Bangrak district and is home to a number of bars, nightclubs, go-go bars, and more.
I had a drink at Vertigo and Moon bar at the Banyan Tree hotel, which has some of the best views in Bangkok. It’s located on the 61st floor, and as the name suggests, you really do feel like you’re on top of the world.
And if you’re looking for fun activities to do in Bangkok at night, why not try club-hopping? There are plenty of clubs and bars to choose from, particularly in the areas of Patpong, Soi Cowboy, and Khao San Road.
27. Take A Day Trip To Ayutthaya
After enjoying some of the best sites in Bangkok, take a day trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, which was once the capital of Thailand. The city is located about 89 kilometers (55 miles) north of Bangkok and can be reached by bus, train, or boat.
Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to many well-preserved temples and ruins. It’s a great place to learn about Thai history and culture and is one of the most popular day trips from Bangkok.
These are just some of the top things to do in Bangkok. The city has so much to offer, and I couldn’t possibly list them all here! But the above activities are a great way to start exploring what Bangkok has to offer.