Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most amazing places to visit and one of my favorite cities in all of Asia. Now that you’ve booked your trip to Thailand, knowing the best things to do in Bangkok is important.
This bustling city has so many ancient traditions and modern marvels. There are enchanting temples, lively street markets, and spicy local cuisine that would leave any traveler wanting more – so much so that I’ve been back 4 or 5 times!
Whether you’re exploring the Grand Palace, getting lost in the maze of Chatuchak Weekend Market, visiting the Chao Phraya River, shopping at Siam Paragon, or simply walking around and enjoying the sights, there are so many exciting things to do in Bangkok. Keep reading to learn more!
When to Visit Bangkok
Bangkok sees most of its travelers from November to February. During this time, the temperatures are slightly more comfortable, with lower humidity and rainfall.
The temperature in Bangkok doesn’t actually vary too much throughout the year.
There’s not much of a difference between the coldest month and the hottest month. For example, the average temperature ranges year-round from 75-93°F (24-34°C).
I recommend scheduling your traveling based on the average amount of cloud cover and rainfall that Bangkok typically gets.
In November, the skies become clearer, so there’s less rainfall. This will last until February or March, so this 4-month time frame is the best time for you to visit if you want to enjoy outdoor activities.
If you’re hoping to avoid crowds, and rainfall doesn’t matter to you, then go ahead and visit any time of year that you want – just be prepared to sweat!
Looking to plan a full trip to Thailand? Check out this 10-day itinerary for Thailand.
Getting Around Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is a very large city, so there are a variety of transportation options.
One of the best options for public transit is the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, which covers a lot of the city. It’s fast, efficient, and will help you avoid the crazy Bangkok traffic.
There are several different pass options depending on how long you’re staying.
Luckily it’s relatively cheap, for example, a day pass is only about $5. You can find more information about the BTS Sky train here.
Another option is the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) Subway. This method of transportation serves most of Bangkok and is another relatively cheap option.
The trains connect with each other to take travelers all over Bangkok.
The operation hours are from 6:00 AM-12:00 AM, so if you want to be out past midnight, don’t rely on this transportation service and ensure you have a backup in mind.
There are many other ways to get around, such as taxis, public buses, ferries, and more. You can find a lot of information regarding Bangkok transportation here.
You’ll be able to see different neighborhoods, maps of the city, and ticket information.
If you’re like me and you like to experience different travel ways, consider trying all the different transportation options.
Top Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok offers many different activities that will captivate just about any type of traveler.
The bustling city streets are filled with vibrant colors, delicious authentic Thai food, and a fascinating culture that will take your breath away.
This is an ideal place to be if you’re looking to take a trip to experience a new culture.
There is a lot to do in Bangkok, so make sure you do your research and find the activities you want to do before your trip. By booking these ahead of time, you can be sure to reserve your spot and not miss out.
If you want to know what I recommend, keep reading to see the 15 best things to do in Bangkok, Thailand.
1. Marvel at Bangkok’s famous Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is a staple in Bangkok and it can’t be missed, especially if it’s your first time visiting the city.
Every single detail tells the story of Thai history and is a testament to the Thai royal family.
The gorgeous courtyards are decorated with golden spires, which make it even more captivating. I recommend taking a guided tour to learn more about its history and architecture.
Wat Phra Kaew, known as the temple of the Emerald Buddha, is one of the most sacred and revered temples in Bangkok, and it’s located on the grounds of the Grand Palace.
This temple is home to the Emerald Buddha, which is considered a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
Visiting Wat Phra Kaew is not only a cultural experience, but a spiritual one as well.
Because this is still a place of worship, there is a dress code. Visitors are expected to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering.
2. Experience the spiritual tranquility of Bangkok’s temples.
Bangkok is full of beautiful temples. You don’t want to miss out on seeing them during your visit.
There are so many and it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to visit, so I recommend doing a must-see temples city tour.
You’ll have the opportunity to visit the three most famous temples in Bangkok, an experience you really will never forget.
Wat Traimit, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun are three of the most famous temples in Bangkok. Each temple offers its own spirituality and architectural wonders.
The temple grounds are sacred, here you’ll find mosaic masterpieces, intricate architectural details, vibrant colors, and monks quietly walking around the grounds.
This is an incredible opportunity, especially if it’s your first time visiting Bangkok. There is no better way to learn about the culture and religion of Thailand.
Taking a tour of the Bangkok temples is one of the best things to do in Bangkok and something I highly recommend you don’t miss out on.
These tours are popular, so if this is something you want to do, then you should book it in advance so you don’t miss out on the opportunity.
3. Make unforgettable memories at Bangkok’s popular rooftop bars.
Bangkok is known for its vibrant nightlife. At some of the local rooftop bars, you not only get to order unique cocktails and a sophisticated atmosphere, but you can also get amazing panoramic views of the city.
The Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower is the best place to go if you’re looking for an incredible view of Bangkok at night. This bar was actually featured in The Hangover 2, which is pretty unique.
What makes it so famous are the gorgeous views of Bangkok and the backlit bar that changes colors throughout the night.
Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree is another famous rooftop bar in Bangkok. This bar offers 260-degree views of the city skyline and is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner and some cocktails.
This place has been known for having some of the best views of the sun setting over the city.
Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar is a popular choice for those who are visiting Bangkok. This bar is multi-level, located on the top three floors of the Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.
Octave has a wide range of cocktails, wines, and more, which makes it a great place to unwind after exploring the city all day.
Most rooftop bars require an advance reservation, so make sure to plan ahead. If for some reason you’re unable to get an advance reservation, book a hotel in Bangkok with a rooftop pool or bar to get similar epic views of the city’s skyline.
4. Explore what the Chatuchak Weekend Market has to offer.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market is an absolute shopping paradise. Every corner has a new surprise and an array of goods.
From trinkets to fashion finds to aromatic spices and more, there is something for everyone here. If you find something you want, don’t be afraid to try out your bargaining skills!
The whole market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Sometimes, specific parts of the market will be opening depending on the time of year or if there’s a special occasion going on, so be sure to check on that during the time you’ll be there so you can plan ahead.
5. Stroll down the chaotic Khao San Road.
Khao San Road is a central street in Bangkok with almost anything social for you to do, day or night.
During the day, you can buy anything from chic clothing to quirky souvenirs. After the sun sets, Khao San transforms into a street with lively bars and a pulsating nightlife that will draw you in.
You’re not done adventuring in Bangkok if you don’t pick up some Pad Thai on Khao San Road before dancing the night away at one of the local clubs and buying a pair of elephant pants.
Some people think Khao San Road is just full of backpackers and people looking to party, but I think it’s a really exciting place you must experience at least once when visiting Bangkok.
6. Visit tranquil Lumphini Park in the heart of Bangkok.
Lumphini Park is the perfect place to go in Bangkok if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Located in the heart of Bangkok, this massive park (over 140 acres!) has families picnicking on the manicured lawns, locals jogging, live music, outdoor activities, and sometimes cultural events.
You can even rent swan-shaped paddle boats and take a leisurely float around. This is a really romantic activity, but also perfect if you’re traveling with your family or solo.
Regardless, Lumphini Park has something for everyone, making it one of the best things to do in Bangkok!
7. Satisfy your palate with the delicious flavors of a Thai food tour.
Experiencing the bold flavors and fresh ingredients of Thai street food is something you absolutely cannot miss when visiting Bangkok.
The best way to experience Bangkok’s street food is by taking a Thai food tour.
One of the best things about taking a food tour is you’ll have the opportunity to taste a bunch of different food, and maybe you’ll find something you really like that you hadn’t tried before.
If you’re a night owl, you can choose to do a midnight food tour by tuk tuk instead.
This is a great experience because not only will you get to taste authentic Thai street food, but you’ll be riding around on a tuk tuk, which is an iconic mode of transportation in Thailand.
Along the way, enjoy some cool attractions like the flower market and Wat Pho beautifully lit up at night. There’s no better way to experience the culture and sights in Bangkok!
8. Travel around the city in an iconic Tuk Tuk.
If you’re really hoping to get the full experience of Thai culture, taking a Tuk Tuk tour is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Tuk tuks are popular for their maneuverability through Bangkok’s crazy, congested traffic. They can take you through narrow lanes, markets, and less-known city streets.
By taking a tour, you’ll have an experienced guide who knows the ins and outs of the streets of Bangkok to you’ll get to visit iconic attractions like Chinatown, Golden Mountain at Sunset, Metal Castle Temple, and Flower Market.
If you opt not to take a tour, I recommend just taking tuk tuks around the city whenever the opportunity presents itself. Always remember to negotiate with drivers for better prices, too!
9. Test your cooking skills with a Thai cooking class.
If you’re a foodie or love to cook, I highly recommend taking a Thai cooking class.
Your instructor will guide you through the secrets of the flavors that bring Thai food to life. The best thing about a Thai cooking class is that you will forever remember how to make authentic Thai cuisine.
With a cooking class, you can choose your own fresh ingredients at a local market. Once you’re done crafting your perfect recipe, you’ll get to sit down and enjoy your homemade meal while learning more about Bangkok’s culture and history.
If you want to make a day out of it, consider this half-day cooking class and market tour.
You still get all the great benefits, but you’ll have a little more time to perfect your skills and learn more exciting facts about Bangkok’s rich culinary history.
10. Shop at two of Bangkok’s most unique markets.
Experiencing the railway market and floating market is one of the most unique things you can do in Bangkok.
I recommend this tour because you’ll be exposed to two unique shopping experiences. On top of that, it’s hard to get to both places without a tour, so it’s best to do it this way.
The vendors in the railway market set up their tables just inches away from the train tracks. When the train is passing, they pack up their tables in a hurry to make way for the train and then reset it once the train has passed.
The train making its way through the market adds to the chaotic charm of this unique market.
The floating market is unique because the vendors are set up right on the water, and you get to enjoy your shopping experience right from a paddle boat.
These markets are perfect for souvenir shopping. You can buy handmade crafts, aromatic spices, and freshly cooked street food.
11. Embark on a shopping spree at Bangkok’s MBK Center.
Bangkok is known for its shopping malls, and the MBK Center is one you can’t miss.
It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs because the mall has 8 stories and over 2,000 shops and restaurants. If you can’t find souvenirs for your friends and family here, I don’t know where you will!
Because the MBK Center is so large, they’ve set up the floors in a way that makes it more digestible for visitors.
Floors 1-3 have clothing and accessories. Floors 4-5 have electronics. And lastly, floors 6-8 are food and entertainment.
12. Witness heritage unfold at the Jim Thompson house.
If you’re interested in art and history, a visit to the Jim Thompson house should be at the top of your list of things to do in Bangkok.
Jim Thompson was an American man who played a huge role in revitalizing the Thai silk industry.
Many people are fascinated by Jim Thompson’s story. He was a famous businessman and entrepreneur who mysteriously disappeared in 1967 while on vacation.
People come from all over the world to visit his house, which now is a tribute to his story and showcases his collection of Asian art and antiques.
You can also tour the Suan Pakkard Palace, the former home of Prince Paripatra, and marvel at the impressive display of royal antiques and collectibles.
13. Get a cheap yet rejuvenating Thai massage.
You absolutely cannot end your trip to Bangkok without experiencing a Thai massage. Thai massage therapists are known for their unique techniques that will leave you feeling refreshed.
While you can easily get a massage at your hotel in Bangkok, I recommend looking for a nearby spot on Google Maps and going to get a more local experience.
Massages in Bangkok are notoriously very cheap, so you can get a 1-hour massage for less than $10.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up getting a massage every day to take advantage of the amazing prices they offer.
14. Go on an adventure and take a day trip to Ayutthaya.
If you’re looking to escape Bangkok for a while, I recommend taking a day trip to Ayutthaya to tour the ancient temples.
This historical gem contains centuries-old temples that evoke a sense of wonder for what used to be. Historical buffs and enthusiasts alike will enjoy the embrace of Ayutthaya’s charm.
If you’re interested in a more personal experience with a tour guide, I highly recommend opting for a private tour of Ayutthaya instead of a group tour. This tour also visits the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and includes a traditional Thai lunch.
Tours to Ayutthaya are popular, so be sure to book one before your trip so that you don’t miss your chance.
15. Attend a Muay Thai match or try it out yourself.
For those of you who like physical competition, attending a Muay Thai Match will be one of your favorite things to do in Bangkok.
Muay Thai is a traditional combat sport involving different techniques using various body parts. You can go see a Muay Thai boxing show at Rajadamnern Stadium and enjoy ringside seats.
Another option is to take a private Muay Thai boxing class. When you get to the gym, you’ll even get to receive your own beautiful Muay Thai shorts that you can keep as a souvenir.
Even better, you’ll learn how to move defensively and use different parts of your body in a boxing match.
Learn More About Travel in Thailand
Interested in reading more about traveling in Thailand? Below is a list of awesome, helpful free guides to make planning your trip to Thailand super easy.
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Maddie is the traveler behind A One Way Ticket. She has been traveling internationally for over 10 years and has visited 75+ countries on 6 continents. In addition to traveling herself, she’s been helping others plan their own travel for 6+ years. Maddie eats, sleeps, and breathes travel and loves to help others discover that same wanderlust!