Ready to explore one of Asia’s most exciting capital cities? There are so many fun things to do in Bangkok Thailand it can honestly feel a little overwhelming! From exploring the many temples to river boats and rooftop bars, there are endless activities to enjoy. Here are our best tips and things to do on your first visit to Bangkok!
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How to Get Around Bangkok Thailand
Before we get into all the best things to do in Bangkok, you should know that it is a MASSIVE city. However, don’t let that intimidate you! We still found it quite easy to move between the different areas. Below you’ll find the best ways to get around Bangkok Thailand. Also make sure to check out the bottom of this post for our recommendations on where to stay!
Grab & Bolt Taxi: Download these apps immediately if you’re heading to Bangkok! This is Asia’s equivalent to Uber which you can also order food from.
Tuk Tuk: Tuk Tuk is definitely the most fun way to get around Bangkok Thailand and an experience in itself. You can grab one in front of most main attractions, or flag a tuk tuk down on the streets. Unlike the taxis, prices are negotiable. We didn’t pay more than 200 Thai Baht to get anywhere in Bangkok via tuk tuk!
River Boat: Yes, that’s right taking a boat up the Chao Phraya river one of the best ways to get around the city. We’ll talk more about this later in our Bangkok things to do article.
BTS & MRT: One thing you’ll need to watch out for in Bangkok is the traffic. It’s never fun to sit in bumper to bumper traffic, especially during rush hour. Taking the skytrain or subway is a great way to avoid that and get around the city quickly.
Check Out the TAGTHAi Pass
Now you know that there are many modes of transportation to get around Bangkok. This means whether you have one day or an entire week, you’ll be able to hit a ton of sights!
If you’re looking for some amazing deals be sure to check out the TAGTHAi app. We used it passing through Bangkok recently and had the best day ever! The value of this app is incredible, and includes tours, meals, and the best things Bangkok things to do all for one low price.
14 Things to do in Bangkok Thailand
1. Visit the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is a great place to start your Bangkok adventures from and holds many of the most historical sites in the city. Built in the late 18th century, it’s home to unbelievable temples, religious figures, and shrines right in the center of Bangkok.
Since it’s one of the best things to do in Bangkok, we recommend going early in the morning on a weekday. Be sure to follow the dress code, and consider hiring a guide or buying the audio package.
2. Take a Bangkok Food Tour
In case you didn’t know already, the food in Bangkok is amazing! Everywhere you look there is great treats and street eats to enjoy. From fresh fruit to noodles and delicious seafood, there is something for every foodie in Bangkok.
One of the most fun ways to experience this part of the city is by taking a food tour. Many will take you through different parts of Bangkok or specialize in one certain area. There is everything from a midnight street food tuk tuk tour to a food tour with Klong boat ride! This is a super fun idea for first-time visitors to Thailand that aren’t sure what to eat!
3. Indulge in a Luxury Spa
Thailand is known for its incredible massages so it only makes sense you can find spa treatments in the capital. While it seems like there is some type of spa or massage parlor on every corner, we recommend splurging for one of the nicer ones.
We went to Oasis Spa which is known as one of the premier of its kind around the country. It’s a bit outside of the center of Bangkok Thailand, but oh so worth it! From the beautiful setting in the courtyard, it feels more like a tropical escape instead of a spa in the city.
4. Go to Jim Thompson’s House
There are many great museums in the capital, but one of the most unique things to do in Bangkok is touring Jim Thompson’s house! Jim Thompson was an American businessman who became famous for his role in the Thai silk industry in the 1950’s and 60’s. Yet, as we would find out, there was so much more to this mysterious man.
Jim Thompson was also an architect, antique collector, an army officer, and even a spy! Unfortunately, he disappeared while on a walk in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia and never heard from again. Today, you can tour his “House on the Klong,” eat a meal at the on-site restaurant, and even shop for silk at the gift shop.
5. Eat Michelin Star Street Food
Speaking of food, Bangkok has some of the best in Southeast Asia! The thing that makes the food in this city special is that it has street food ranked in the famous Michelin guide.
Yes, you can eat a Michelin Star meal for just a couple of dollars in Bangkok Thailand. There aren’t many places in the world you can do that! Check out all the best Michelin star spots on the official website and use it as a guide while exploring Bangkok.
6. Shop at the Chatuchak Market
The Chatuchak Market is not only the biggest in Thailand, but also the world’s largest weekend market! The over 15,000 stalls draw in an estimated 200,000 people every weekend. Here you’ll find food, clothing, art, and antiques for as far as the eye can see.
Unlike the famous Chiang Mai Night Markets, Chatuchak is open during the day every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm. There’s no place better to do some haggling and shop for souvenirs before you head home.
7. See the Reclining Buddha
Honestly, this list of things to do in Bangkok Thailand would be 3 times as long if we included every amazing temple! From the glorious Wat Arun on the rivers edge to the Golden Mount, there are so many beautiful and historic temples to visit.
One that we particularly loved was Wat Pho. Otherwise known as the Reclining Buddha, this figure shows him laying down to represent final moments on earth. With golden statues length extending 46 meters, it’s quite incredible to walk around and admire.
8. Drinks on a Bangkok Rooftop Bar
As the day closes in the capital city, one of the best things to do in Bangkok is go to a rooftop bar. Some of our favorite nights have ended by grabbing a cocktail and watching the sun go down over the hundreds of buildings.
While there are many great rooftop bars, one we really loved was at the Banyan Tree hotel. But hey, don’t just take our word for it… Go see for yourself!
9. Jump on a Chao Phraya River Cruise
As we mentioned earlier, a great way to get around Bangkok is by taking the river boats. It can also be a fun and cheap activity in itself to experience! For just a few dollars you can zip up and down the river, or even book a full day hop on hop off pass.
It’s truly mesmerizing seeing the buildings, temples, and local life from the water. If you’re looking for a more upscale experience then consider taking a Bangkok dinner cruise at night. You’ll sail down the Chao Phraya river after dark and see all the beautiful monuments lit up!
10. Tuk Tuk Hop Around Bangkok
While exploring Bangkok it will be impossible to miss the thousands of tuk tuk taxis flying around the streets. You will surely take one en route to the many Bangkok things to do. However, we also recommend taking an actual tuk tuk tour!
We did the hour long tour with Tuk Tuk Hop which brought us around Old Town. This was such a fun way to see some of the most famous temples! The coolest part was the tuk tuk was electric, which made for a unique and smooth ride among the motorized taxis.
11. Day Trip to a Floating Market
After you’ve seen the world’s largest weekend market it’s time for a switch up! For many travelers, seeing just one floating market would be an experience like no other. However, around Bangkok there are several!
Damnoen Saduak is the most popular and definitely worth seeing. The only problem is it’s about a 90 minute drive from the city! Amphawa Floating Market is also very popular but still about 50 km away.
If you’re interested in this then check out a floating market tour which handles all the transportation. There are smaller markets closer to the city center, but know that the famous ones are worth the trip.
12. Experience the Bangkok Skywalk
Ready for the best view of the city? How about 78 floors up! The King Power Mahanakhon Skywalk plays host 360 degree panoramic views. If you dare, there’s even a clear glass panel to look straight down to the street.
Be sure to stop by the bar for a cold drink and take your time in the sky above Bangkok. Whether you go up during the day or at night, you’re sure to have a great time with these epic views.
13. Stroll Through the Streets of Chinatown
Did you really think we’d leave out Chinatown? One of the oldest and most historic parts of the city is totally worth exploring! Simply strolling around the colorful streets and alleyways of Chinatown is one of the best things to do in Bangkok Thailand.
If you love markets then you’re in luck… Because Chinatown feels like one giant one! Also, be sure to stop in for some dumplings, Kway chap, and other traditional dishes.
14. Party on Khaosan Road
When talking about the best things to do in Bangkok, eventually Khaosan Road will come up. Most people either love or hate, but it’s an experience either way!
Over the years, Khaosan Road has become infamous as a backpacker haven. While the wild nightlife isn’t what it used to be, it is still a super fun place to have a drink!
This area of the city certainly won’t be for everyone. Yet, if you’re looking to meet other travelers, try a scorpion on a stick, or listen to some music, then this is the area to head to.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own favorite Bangkok things to do? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Ultra Luxury – JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok – Enjoy all the best luxury amenities right in the heart of Bangkok! JW Marriott offers the 5 star experience with a spa, epic city views, and an award-winning steakhouse.
Central Location – Riva Surya Bangkok – Sitting along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this boutique hotel puts you in the perfect spot to explore the capital. Enjoy a unique stay while still being close to all the action of Bangkok.
BTS Skytrain – Holiday Inn Express Bangkok Siam – Sitting in the center of Bangkok’s famous Siam shopping district, the Holiday Inn is a great place to lay your head after a day of exploring. Take in the views of the National Stadium from your room and its convenient location next to the BTS Skytrain station.
Chinatown – Ago Hotel – Charming Boutique hotel just a quick walk away from all the action of Chinatown! Enjoy a traditional breakfast and the lively lounge area with music on the weekends.
Budget Travel – VIX Bangkok at Victory Monument – Awesome and affordable option for travelers visiting Bangkok. Comfortable rooms and close to many great food options.
Hostel Stay – Once Again Hostel – Fun hostel in Bangkok’s bustling Old Town. Dorms of all sizes available and it’s walking distance to many of the famous temples. You can even make some new friends at the rooftop bar!
Thailand Travel Planning
Transportation: While traveling through Thailand 12Go is where we find all our ferries, trains, buses, and transfers! You can find everything from island hopping speed boats to the night train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over Phuket! You can find everything from a James Bond island luxury sunset cruise, to Phuket Old Town 15-taster food adventure, and 5-hour island tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.