Bangkok can be intimidating at first, but give it a chance and you will seriously love it. There are so many cool things to do in Bangkok that it is not hard to tell you where to go and what to do. But to name you the BEST things to do in Bangkok is a little harder. Some are so standard and touristy that you just have to tick them off regardless. If you are going to Paris you will also take a look at the Eiffel Tower, right? To me the city is more than just the Bangkok tourist attractions, I also like to walk around and enjoy the amazing street life. To me Bangkok is more like an experience!
If you are more the adventurous type of traveler then click on my list of 13 unusual things to do in Bangkok.
You can never go wrong with a trip to Thailand - I always say! And whatever your itinerary for Thailand is, chances are you are passing by Bangkok. To make the most of your time in this bustling and crazy city I wrote this travel guide for you. If you need more Thailand travel tips then have a look at the 65 things to know before you go in the link or if you still need to pack I can give you a list 40 items of what you have to bring to Thailand.
I organized most of my Bangkok tours by myself, but if you are looking for a reputable Bangkok tour company I can recommend you to have a look at the Bangkok tours offered by TakeMeTour.
1. See the amazing temples in Bangkok
There are so many choice when it come to temple sightseeing in Bangkok. My favorite one? Wat Saket, also known as Golden Mount, which is not too far from Khao San Area and offers great views over the city. Other top temple sights in Bangkok are Wat Pho, Wat Arun and of course Grand Palace. I would not recommend you to go temple hopping as after a while you will get templed-out, plus I bet on your Thailand trip you will see many more, scattered across the country.
You can arrange a deal with a taxi driver or a tuk-tuk. A half day (4h) driving around should not cost more than $15-$20. If you are looking for an organized tour to see the temples in Bangkok then check out this tour: half-day Grand Palace, Wat Pho & Wat Arun Tour.
2. Party on Khao San Road
Can you rank a popular street full with travellers as one of the best things to do in Bangkok? Khao San Road became such an icon that you have to see it with your own eyes. Enjoy a night out here; it is the most famous backpacker area in the world. A street with 2 Mc Donald’s, 2 Burger Kings, 2 Starbucks, 482 shops, 691 street food carts, 177 bars, 15 massage salons and many more all within 500 meters. Even if you are not up for a party you have to come and see it and enjoy the market in Khao San Road.
Find your Thailand transportation here
Traveling around Thailand? Did you already hear about the transportation search engine? It helped me a lot on my trips through South East Asia. 12Go Asia works simple and easy and within a couple clicks you reserve your seat on a boat, bus, train and even plane. If you for example plan on traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao they give you all the routes available by boat, train, bus and plane. You will find the timetables, the prices and a book here option. Traveling in Thailand should be simple, easy and convenient.
3. Boat tour Thonburi
Forget a trip over the crowded Chao Praya River. That is just a normal ferry and you will not see anything. Make it over to Thonburi, an area that has not lost much of its charm from the old days. The network of khlongs (canals) is why Bangkok sometimes is referred to as Venice of the East. Get yourself a seat in a boat tour through the khlongs of Thonburi and see how people still live in stilted houses on the water. Keep your eyes open for incredibly huge lizards that grow over 2 meters long.
Try the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market Tour: Food & Paddle Boat Ride.
4. Walking tour Chinatown
A Bangkok must visit is Chinatown, one of the most bustling and lively areas of the city where it is all about shopping and eating. Foodies can eat their heart out. Street food can literally be found everywhere and later in the night alcohol too. Drink beers with the locals, although they don’t speak English, if you drink enough of their shots you will speak Chinese and I bet you this will be one of the most fun things to do in Bangkok! :)
Try the Street Food Tour in Bangkok Chinatown.
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5. Bike tour
Want to see a different side of Bangkok then try a bike tour. Read here the article about the bike/boat combo tour I did with Co van Kessel bike tours and watch the GoPro video of the adventure. Bike tours take you to places you would not get on your own. Go off the beaten path in Bangkok and see banana plantations and farms. A bike tour is definitely something that has to end up in everyone's top 10 things to do in Bangkok.
6. Affordable rooftop bar
A must do in Bangkok is a drink on a rooftop bar. With so many sky bar around you would expect competitive prices, but be prepared to pay minimum $10 for any drink. There is one exception: Cloud 47, where a beer cost $6. Although the setting is a bit sober, views are equally stunning. Octave Skybar on Sukhumvit has happy hour an hour before sunset until an hour after sunset, get your drinks here at this time of the day and you pay only $7 for a cocktail.
The Red Sky Bar on top of the Centara Grand has stunning 360 degrees views plus they have comfy lounge seats. Sirocco the rooftop bar of Le Bua often mentioned as one of the things not to miss in Bangkok is my least favorite one. It is overcrowded, extremely overpriced ($20 Mojito) and there is hardly any place to chill out. For a complete rooftop guide of Bangkok, click on the link.
Where to stay in Bangkok? This city is known to have some surprsingly affordable luxury hotels. Want to sleep in a 5* resort for less than $100 a night? Check out some of the hotels I stayed in: affordable luxury hotels in Bangkok.
7. Rent a bike in the Green Lung of Bangkok
My secret travel tip for Bangkok: drive a bike around the massive green island in the city center. Surrounded by the Chao Praya River the green Bang Kachao is as flat as a pancake and because of its shape named the green lung of Bangkok. It is perfect to cycle around on a bicycle. As soon as you cross the river you will stumble upon bike rentals. Take a bike and cycle around the green area and forget that you are in Bangkok.
8. Wakeboarding in Bangkok
It is a huge city and there are amazing things to do in Bangkok itself, but if you have enough of the top sights of Bangkok, a bit outside the city are a couple cool activities to do as well. One of my favorites is the Thai Wake Park where you can try out wakeboarding or if you already a pro ride the obstacles! Bring only your swim wear, the rest will be provided. It’s a cheap and fun place to learn wakeboarding. This Bangkok activity I also listed in my article about the best unusual things to do in Bangkok.
9. Mae Klong Railway Market
The best Thai market is also just outside the city. The Mae Klong railway market is a must go if you are into markets. Unique in its kind and still super authentic, no souvenir shops, just fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. The market is unique for the fact that is it is set up on the sides of a railway track and about 6 times a day a train will pass through. I just had to create an item to name it in a list of places to visit in Bangkok, I loved it so much!
A great option to see this is the Amphawa Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour.
Are you vegan? Then have a look at these delicious vegan restaurants in Bangkok.
10. Floating market in Damnoen
Far from authentic is the Floating Market of Damnoen, mentioned often as one of the best floating markets around Bangkok. Prices for boat trips are ridiculously high and there are only a few local traders. The majority of the boats and shops are catered for tourists, not my favorite market at all. To me this is one of those things not to do in Bangkok.
Or try the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market Tour.
These last 3 activities are a little outside Bangkok so you have to find transportation. Renting an Uber for a day is now possible or haggle with a nice taxi driver about a decent price. We paid $50 with 4 people to drive around a whole day with a taxi driver and see those fun things to do around Bangkok as well. Ok apart from the floating market which was a bit of a disappointing Bangkok tourist attraction!
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Ideas on where to stay in Bangkok
These are my favorite places to stay in Bangkok, I have tried way more than the following hotels but these are my favorites.
Luxury hotels: W Bangkok, Sofitel SO, Westin Grand Sukhumvit,
Mid Range hotels: Modena by Fraser Bangkok, Baiyoke Sky Tower, Arte Hotel
Boutique Hotels: Siam @ Siam Hotel, Dream Hotel Bangkok.
Hostels: Good Day Hostel, Bed Station, Lub D Bangkok.
Where to go after Bangkok?
Did you know that flights from Krabi or Phuket to Chiang Mai are 50% cheaper then the other way around. So when you are planning to go island hopping in Thailand and want to see the North of Thailand then keep this in mind. Find more tips about low-cost airlines in Thailand in my latest Thailand travel blogs. To get around Thailand I was blessed I found out about 12Go Asia a couple years ago already. It makes traveling in Thailand so much easier.
The transportation search engine of 12Go Asia gives you all the available transportation options in one overview. So when you are looking to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao for example then 12Go Asia will give you bus schedules, trains, boats and even flights.Also find joint tickets (boat/bus/flight combination tickets).
Try it out yourself above and the best thing is you can book your e-ticket in just a couple clicks. Reserve your seat now!
From Bangkok airport to the city
How to get from Bangkok airport to the city is something I have been asked unlimited times. It is so easy: go down to lowest floor of the airport and buy for a 45THB ($1,30) a sky train ticket into the city. Get out there, take a meter-taxi and you will get to your destination for max $4 in total!
Buy a Thai SIM card and enjoy cheap and fast 4G internet, which one? Check out this blog: buying a SIM card for Thailand in 2023.
Blogs with tips for traveling to Thailand
Are you heading South after Bangkok? Then you should check out my island hopping Thailand guide in where I tell you my secret island escapes away from the tourists trail. If you want to know the best island for diving, partying, islandlife, scuba diving, the best beaches and more then let me help you making your trip to Thailand one to remember. If you are looking for a tailored Thailand Itinerary I can help you find the best Thailand backpacking routes.
I have been to Thailand more than 20 times and wrote more than 50 Thailand travel blogs.
Everything you need to know about traveling to Thailand! I created the ultimate travel guide for you with visa info, vaccinations, best time to go, must see places, street food info, parties, festivals, safety and more. Also find a packing list for Thailand here.
Do you need more specific tips for your trip to Thailand then click on the link. Or check out my article Is It Expensive To Travel To Thailand for a break down of the prices for transportation, accommodation, alcohol, parties, island hopping, etc.
Let me know if you have any other recommendations or fun things to do in Bangkok by leaving a comment. If you have specific questions also please let me know and I am more than happy to answer them.
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Enjoy your trip to Thailand!