Plan your routes and know which are the must-see sites to visit

What to do in Bangkok

Are you going to Thailand and want to visit Bangkok, the capital? Looking for what to do in Bangkok? You are in the right place! An essential destination for a stay in the land of smiles, the city oscillates between modernity and tradition. Filled with stunning temples, historic sites, impressive palaces, ultra-modern buildings, markets and shopping malls, Bangkok’s attractions will fill your schedule for the day and the street festivities for the night. Thailand’s capital has no shortage of attractions, no matter what you like to do

When to visit?
If you want to stay in Bangkok, choose the “cold season” (so called by the Thais), between November and January. Although the climate remains hot and humid, it is the only time of the year when you do not sweat in light clothing. In any case, not in big drops!
How long to stay?
To fully enjoy your stay in Bangkok, you will need to stay at least three nights. If you can, book the whole week. Staying longer will also allow you to discover the rest of the country
Where to stay ?
Before booking your stay, think about what you want to do during your stay. If you are staying for a short time, it is advisable to stay in Rattanakosin (old Bangkok), as this is where most of the historical monuments are located. Lively and upmarket, Sukhumvit remains very touristy. As for the business district of Silom, it is where we party after dark. For more tranquility, book a hotel near Banglamphu

The unavoidable

Mont d’Or

You can admire panoramas of Bangkok from several places in the city, but the panorama of Mont d’Or is among the most rewarding. Known in French as the Mont d’Or, Wat Saket is a Buddhist temple built on the Mont d’Or, a steep artificial hill, close to the city center. Climbing the 300 or more steps to the top of Mont d’Or, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the city and a sense of satisfaction when you get to the top! As you progress, ring any gongs or bells you see and remember to bring water for the climb, especially if you are visiting in the heat of the day. The steps aren’t that steep, so anyone in relative shape should find the climb not that strenuous. Perhaps the best time to visit this Bangkok attraction would be around sunset, when the city begins to descend into the night, with the vistas at dusk being awe-inspiring, the temple itself being stunning at sunset. If you are looking for what to do in Bangkok, in a place with few people, Mont d’Or could be a great choice

Khao San street

Khao San Street is arguably the best-known street in Bangkok, made famous by fans of The Beach (the book and the movie) and the thousands of backpackers who make their way there every year. Khao San Street is known as something of a backpacker’s ghetto, filled with cheap hotels and eating places, as well as a wealth of shops and stalls, selling everything a backpacker could possibly need. However, it was not always so. Khao San Street was once home to a famous large rice market in Bangkok and although backpackers are not the only ones who frequent this small street today, it attracts a young crowd and has become a center of life nocturnal. Bars and restaurants now line this top Bangkok attraction and you can enjoy inexpensive massage, tattoos and a whole host of products and services here. During the day it is a little less noisy without the youthful vibe, but after dark the street really comes alive. Admittedly, Khao San Street will not be to everyone’s taste, but it is still one of the main things to visit in Bangkok!

Lumphini park

In a big, hectic city like Bangkok, finding green spaces and a place to relax for a few minutes can be a challenge. Maybe that’s why Lumphini Park remains one of the top things to visit in Bangkok! Covering an area of 142 acres, Lumphini Park is a public space located a little to the east of old Bangkok. This welcoming green space is an oasis among the crowded streets, providing serenity and calm or a diversity of activities for those who want to stay active. There are gardens to walk around, a few lakes to go around or cross on board pedal boats that you can rent; you’ll hear the birds singing, you’ll see big lizards and turtles in their natural habitat – all things you wouldn’t normally see in the middle of such a big city! Lumphini Park was created in the 1920s on royal property at the request of King Rama VI. Today there are play areas for children and the park is home to the main stage for the annual Concert, as well as music festivals on Sundays between February and April. Lumphini Park is well worth a visit, as long as you like it

The Chao Phraya river

Springing from the heart of Thailand, the Chao Phraya River meanders its way south before slipping straight into central Bangkok. The river not only provides a scenic respite from congested streets, but also an essential means of transportation for both residents and tourists. A boat ride on the Chao Phraya River has become one of the top things to do in Bangkok and you really can’t visit this city without taking a boat trip at least once. Traveling by boat on the river is very affordable and you can reach many of Bangkok’s attractions this way. The boats make many stops going up and down the river, whether you are crossing it or traveling up or down, a ferry can get you there normally. There are, of course, cruises appreciated by tourists visiting the city. These are considerably more expensive than boats, but in this case you are also paying for a guided tour experience. Lunch and dinner cruises are very popular and if you cross the river while dining, you will have the pleasure of admiring superb night views with Bangkok’s most famous and beloved attractions

The Chatuchak weekend market

For market shopping, nothing beats the sheer scale and variety of goods than the Chatuchak Weekend Market. You can shop anywhere in Bangkok, from many street markets to modern malls, but Chatuchak is definitely the place to go, no matter what you need. It is the largest market in Thailand, housing around 8,000 different stalls, arranged in 27 sections including clothing, food, antiques, plants, pets, books, pottery and furniture. As the name suggests, this attraction to visit in Bangkok is only open on weekends. There is a market every Friday evening, but with a limited opening time – its advantage is that you always have a great choice, as the market is quieter. On Saturdays and Sundays it really comes alive, with thousands of visitors and of course, thousands of stalls; the market gets very crowded and hot, so remember to bring water, although there are dozens of stalls selling food and drink to eat in or take away. One of the best things about the Chatuchak weekend market is the price of the products, which are usually very affordable


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The Temples of Bangkok

The Wat Phra Kaew Temple of the Emerald Buddha

With so many temples in Bangkok, choosing the most beautiful remains difficult, but Wat Phra Kaew, known in French as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, remains decidedly among the most beautiful. Built within the grounds of the Grand Palace in the heart of historic Bangkok, it is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. When you visit this Bangkok attraction, you will, unfortunately, face competition from hundreds of other visitors – tourists from all over the world, as well as locals who visit regularly. The temple was completed in 1784 by order of King Rama I and was built specifically to house the Emerald Buddha, which is believed to have been designed in the 14th century. The Emerald Buddha is the main attraction here, but the entire complex includes more than a hundred buildings. The stunning, beautifully decorated interiors will make a big impression, as will the exterior, if not more. Remember that there are strict rules regarding the dress code for entering sacred temples; even if you were already during the day, take a boat after dark to see the temple and the Grand Palace illuminated, as it is quite a spectacular experience

The Temple of Dawn Wat Arun

This stunning temple in Bangkok is known as the Temple of Aurora; his mom comes from the hindu god Aruna. Although Wat Arun may be less crowded than Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Pho, it is no less impressive. In fact, the bells of this temple make it the city’s most well-known landmark and the fact that it’s quieter and stunningly beautiful ranks Wat Arun very close to our top things to visit in Bangkok. If you can visit it or be near the temple at sunrise, the temple takes on a fairy pearlescent sheen. Wat Arun was built in the 17th century and it was during the reign of King Rama II that the symbolic bells were erected (called “prang” in Thai). Get up close to the temple to look at the ornate details that adorn its exterior – it’s actually covered in seashells and porcelain, hence the pearlescent sheen. Also be sure to climb the steps to the top, although they may do little for you; in addition, the gardens surrounding the temple are also worth spending time there

The Grand Palace

When deciding what to do in Bangkok, the Grand Palace is one of those places that you absolutely must visit. Magnificent and extraordinary are the two words generally used to describe this superb example of architecture, which is one of Bangkok’s top attractions; being so popular, the downside is the huge crowds. Visit as soon as possible to avoid the worst crowds and before it gets too hot. Doors normally open at 8:30 a.m., but check the schedule before leaving the hotel. Since 1782, this palace complex has been the official residence of the king and although the current king resides in the Dusit Palace, the Grand Palace is used during the year for official activities and ceremonies. When the palace is not in official use, it serves as a museum open to the public. The enormous ensemble needs at least 3 hours of your day to be visited and admired in its entirety; if you want to learn more about the history as you walk through it, we recommend that you hire a guide. Long pants are recommended and also bring plenty of water

Wat Pho Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is a collection of Buddhist temples that inspires and fascinates everyone who crosses the threshold. Although there are a multitude of temples in the city, Wat Pho is almost always ranked at the top of the list of things to visit in Bangkok; if you have to visit only one temple, choose this one. The large ensemble is guarded by the enormous reclining Buddha, built by Rama III in 1832, almost fifty years after the construction of the temple. Standing 15 meters tall and 46 meters long, the Reclining Buddha is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand and the highlight of a visit to this Bangkok attraction. Make sure, however, that you can spend a few hours at least, exploring all sides of this complex of temples, one of the oldest and largest in the city. Wat Pho was founded as a place of education for the general public and remains so to this day thanks to the many carved granite slabs in the form of a pictorial encyclopedia, covering subjects such as the Buddhist religion, medicine, literature and history 

And if you want a Thai massage during your stay in Bangkok, this is the excellent place to receive one

Jim Thompson's House

A house that once belonged to an American businessman may seem like a dubious choice to visit in Bangkok, but in reality, it is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. This house museum includes a collection of historical buildings collected by Jim Thompson from all over Thailand during the 1950s and 1960s. His own house was assembled from parts of six different old Thai houses and the result is truly impressive – the house is an exceptional architectural achievement, while the interior was preserved exactly as it was when Jim Thompson died in 1967. Superb works of art, collected throughout South Asia, decorate the walls; Guided tours of the Jim Thompson House are incredibly engaging, providing visitors with a sense of the history of the house and the man responsible for the revival of Thailand’s silk industry. The gardens are also very pretty to visit and the complex includes a highly rated restaurant and a small shop. Special activities are often held here, such as dances and silk weaving exhibitions, and this Bangkok attraction is easy to access on BTS

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