Best Things To Do In Bangkok: A City With Something For Everyone
Updated On: June 02, 2023
Bangkok is a city full of splendid sights and numerous activities. In Bangkok, you can visit unique temples and museums, stroll through colorful markets, and enjoy great views in one of the numerous rooftop bars. You can also take boat tours on the Chao Phraya, party and shop until you drop – and eat at every corner and every hour. In Bangkok, there is something going on around the clock.
There is hardly any other city more exciting, colorful, and funky than the center and capital of Thailand Bangkok. The city offers something for everyone. Helping you make the best out of your trip to Bangkok, here is our list of the best things to do and places to visit in Bangkok.
Tour The Chao Phraya River
The best way to start your activities in Bangkok would be by going for a boat tour on the Chao Phraya River. There’s a lot to discover on a tour of the Chao Phraya River, and you’ll quickly reach some of the most important sights of Bangkok.
Take one of the local express boats on the banks of the Chao Phraya and cruise along the river. If you get off at Tha Tien or Tha Chang Pier, you can walk just a few meters to the famous Grand Palace (former royal palace) or Wat Pho, one of the most important temples in Bangkok.
On the Chao Phraya, there are both cheap local boats and more expensive tourist boats. You can recognize the local boats by their orange, green or yellow flags. Rides on a local boat are not expensive, so for a few cents, you can see half the city…. How cool is that!
Koh Kret is an island in the mighty Chao Phraya River in northern Bangkok. The island was created by the construction of a canal in 1722, which was built especially for cargo traffic and merchant ships.
Nowadays, especially on weekends, many local visitors go to the island for the Sunday market. You can rent a bicycle and ride around the island to enjoy the breathtaking landscape. Koh Kret is a sweet break to escape the urban jungle and the hustle and bustle of Bangkok if you feel like it.
Koh Kret is especially famous for its pottery, which you will see everywhere on your tour of the island. But there are also some worth seeing temples like Wat Sao Tong Thong, which is a very nice destination for a half-day or day trip just north of Bangkok.
You can reach Koh Kret in two ways;one by Chao Phraya Express boat from either Sathorn Pier (BTS station Saphan Taksin) or Tha Chang Pier at the Royal Palace. Two, you can also take a bus to Pak Kret market. To do this, get on the 166 bus at Victory Monument or the 505 bus at Central World shopping mall.
The One and Only Grand Palace of Bangkok……
The Grand Palace, also called the Royal Palace, belongs to Bangkok as the Eiffel Tower belongs to Paris. The Grand l Palace is the most visited sight in Bangkok. The huge grounds resemble a theme park of magnificently decorated buildings, pointed towers, and gilded mythical creatures.
The Royal Palace in Bangkok is THE sight in the Thai capital par excellence. The palace is featured on every tourist brochure in Thailand and part of every tour of the city. The landmark of Bangkok is completely crowded, completely touristy, and completely worth seeing.
The Grand Palace is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand and the former residence of the Thai Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. The entire palace complex covers almost 3 square kilometers and consists of over 100 buildings, each of which is more magnificent than the other.
Roughly, the gigantic palace complex can be divided into four parts. The Outer Courtyard, The Middle Courtyard, The Inner Court, and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha – the national shrine of Thailand.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is actually an attraction in itself. It is regarded as the temple of kings and its heart beats in Phra Ubosot, the chapel of the Smargd Buddha. The sacred statue sits on a gilded throne, and it is surrounded by numerous other Buddha statues.
The Ubosot is surrounded by the low “Jewel Wall”, which in turn are surrounded by 12 pavilions, so-called Sala Rai, where you can rest after a walk through the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.
You can enter the Grand Palace and the associated Wat Phra Kaew only with long pants, shoulder-covered clothing, and closed shoes. This is not untypical for Thailand’s temples, because after all, these are sacred sites.
If you don’t have the right clothes, you can rent everything at the entrance. This change of clothes alone is worth a visit. The clothes that can be borrowed are colorful and baggy and you can take wonderful photos while wearing them.
Grand Palace is located in the old town of Bangkok and the best way to reach the palace is by express boat. If you get off at Tha Chang Pier (Pier No. 9), you will come directly along the white wall to the entrance. Visiting the Grand Palace is one of the best things to do in Bangkok.
Bang Krachao is located in the southeast of the city, and it is bordered by the Chao Phraya River and a man-made canal. The island consists mainly of forest, jungle, and agricultural land and is rightly called Bangkok’s “green lung”.
In Bang Krachao you will find, among other things, the Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market, where you can eat good inexpensive food and also rent bikes. The Floating Market itself is a real charmer. Not far away is the Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Park and Botanical Garden, which is one of the most unknown places in Bangkok (at least for tourists) making it a great spot to relax and enjoy the view.
The best way to explore Bang Krachao is on your own by bike. The numerous small branches and hidden paths through the dense flora of the island make the bike tour on Bang Krachao a wonderful nature experience.
The easiest way to reach Bang Krachao is to take the subway to Khlong Toei Station. Alternatively, you can take the skytrain to Phrom Phong Station. From both stations, you can take a cab to the Khlong Toei Pier, near Wat Khlong Toei Nok.
For the Love of Greenery, the Best Parks in Bangkok!
If you are a fan of greenery, then you will love Bangkok! The city has some of the most spectacular parks you will ever set foot in. First, there is the largest and most famous park in Bangkok, Lumphini Park, AKA Lumpini or Lumpinee. It was created in the 1920s by King Rama VI on royal property. At the southwest entrance, you can see a statue of the king, which was unveiled in 1942. The Park was named after Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal.
On the 57-hectare grounds, you can take long walks, relax with a picnic or play sports. Especially in the early morning hours or in the evening, many locals take advantage of the pleasant temperature to engage in sports. There is also a large lake here where you can take a rowboat or pedal boat for 30 minutes.
With a little luck, you will also discover some animals. Besides peacocks and turtles, there are monitor lizards that can grow up to 2 meters long. You can also feed the monitor lizards, as they are not very shy towards humans. The Park is open daily from 4:30 am – 9 pm. The easiest way to get there is by Skytrain (stops: Sala Daeng or Ratchadamri) or Metro (stops: Si Lom or Lumphini).
Not far from Lumphini Park is the Benjakitti Park. The nearly 21-hectare is divided into 2 areas: a water zone and a forest zone. Along the huge lake runs a 1.8 km long circular path, which is perfect for a long walk. There is also a separate bike path and bicycles can be rented on-site, and so can pedal boats and canoes.
East of Benjakitti Park is the much smaller Benchasiri Park. Opened in 1992, the park is dedicated to Queen Sirikit. In the heart of the park, you will find a large lake, where numerous fish and turtles swim. Around the lake are 12 contemporary sculptures by Thai artists. There are also some sports facilities there.
Last but not least is Chatuchak Park. It is located in the north of Bangkok, and it was opened in 1980 and later extended by Queen Sirikit Park and Wachirabenchathat Park. Chatuchak Park has large green areas and over 2000 different plants and trees. At many plants there are signs with the name of the plants (also in English), so that especially botanically interested visitors get their money’s worth.
There are also a few small lakes and bridges, and you can also rent bicycles or pedal boats there. The Park is visited by many locals who mainly stay near the entrance. If you want peace, then you should go to the back part of the complex. The Park is open daily from 04:30 – 21 o’clock. You can reach it by skytrain (Mo Chit stop), by metro (Chatuchak Park stop), or by numerous buses.
Ancient Siam is a museum park that is regarded as the world’s largest outdoor museum. The museum includes around 116 structures of Thailand’s well-known monuments and architectural attractions.
The best thing to do to truly enjoy the experience is to rent a golf cart and drive around the park because it is huge! There are also bicycles, which is not really recommended due to the heat and the size of the facility. Among other things, the museum features many replicas of the most popular buildings and temples in Thailand for you to take good photos of and enjoy.
One of the top things in Bangkok is going to an exciting theme park, and Bangkok has plenty of theme parks to choose from like Dream World.
Dream World is located in Don Muang, not far from the airport. At Dream World amusement park there are rides for all ages with a lot of choices for children. There are also live shows that take place several times a day. If you are looking for an absolute contrast to the heat in Bangkok, then immerse yourself in a winter world and go sledding at Dream World. This is one of the most fun things to do in Bangkok.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
In the middle of Bangkok is the Siam Paragon Shopping center. In this center, there is also a whole aquarium. A fascinating underwater world awaits you on about 10,000 square meters, where you can learn a lot about the different sea creatures. This is one of the best activities to do in Bangkok for the whole family.
Khao San Road
Khao San Road is the backpacker district. Parties are held here day and night and souvenirs, clothes, and even food are served along the road. There are many bars where you can drink from buckets and there are also some very good discos in Khao San Road. In the surrounding area, especially in the neighboring Rambruttri Alley, you can find inexpensive hostels and hotels.
Khao San Road is a great place to have good food, great parties, and affordable stay and shopping…. It is simply a place that has it all!
Bangkok…. The Land of Temples!
Besides its one-of-a-kind Grand Palace, Bangkok has many other amazing temples that are totally worth the visit. Like Wat Arun, which is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, and all of Thailand.
The entire temple is covered with a mosaic of Chinese porcelain, and the building is settled directly on the river. You can already see the beautiful temple from far away. We recommend making it to the temple at sunset, the view is just astonishing!
There is also Wat Po, which is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, and also a school. Here you can learn the traditional Thai massage. The temple got its name because inside there is a 45-meter, gold-plated, reclining Buddha. Outside there is a small pond with koi and many small statues. A visit to Wat Po is worthwhile.
Also, one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok is Wat Saket. It is located on a small hill and towers over the city of Bangkok. You will have to climb 318 steps to reach the “Golden Mount”, but it is so worth it.
Next on the temples list is Wat Khun Samut Chin. This is one of the most hidden and unknown temples in Bangkok, which is located directly on the sea on a small island. The site of the temple and the overall picture and the waterfront are incredibly breathtaking. For explorers who want to discover Bangkok far away from mass tourism, we highly recommend going for a trip to the Wat Khun Samut Chin.
Last but not least, Wat Phra Dhammakaya is the largest active temple. This one is located just under an hour away from Bangkok. The temple is so unique with its shape that looks like a UFO, which is a good alternative to the classical temples.
Shop Until You Drop!
In a big city like Bangkok, there are of course thousands of possibilities for shopping. From small street vendors to gigantic shopping malls, everything is there. Here are the best places to go shopping in Bangkok.
MBK Shopping Center is a place that everyone who is in Bangkok should visit. On seven floors you have so many choices, about 2,500 small stores to be exact. Most of them are packed to the ceiling with clothing, food, electrical goods as well as souvenirs and handicrafts. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. In MBK you can also get your smartphone or other devices repaired at a reasonable price
As for the Platinum Fashion Mall, there are over 2500 stores, which offer mainly clothing. From extremely cheap no-name products to branded clothes, there is something for every taste.
Next is the Siam Paragon; this is the luxury mall of Bangkok, where you can buy high-quality branded things like Rolex, Burberry, Louise Vuitton, etc. who have their stores here.
If you’re interested in computers, laptops, cell phones, and other gadgets, then Pantip Plaza is your place. Pantip Plaza offers a wide range of glossy stores on seven floors, with a focus on e-gaming.
Another mall you should stop by is Terminal 21. What makes Terminal 21 special is its design, as it resembles an airport. Each floor is dedicated to an international city. For example, there is the “London” themed floor where you will find stores in a replica red double-decker bus and a carriage from the London Underground. It’s so fun just to walk through the floors and take some photos of the replicas.
Finally, there is the famous Central World. With seven floors and about 600 stores, Thailand’s largest shopping mall, Central World, is probably also one of the largest malls in the world. Here you will find mainly brands clothes, but also restaurants and a cinema.
It is Party Time: Best Places to Party in Bangkok!
Bangkok is a city brimming with skyscrapers and of course, this includes many rooftop bars from which you can get an excellent view of the city while enjoying your drink. You don’t really have to search for a skybar in Bangkok, because you can find one on every corner. Among the good rooftop bars to consider are the Baiyoke Sky Tower II, the Eleven Skybar, and surely the famous Lebua Skybar!
Lebua Skybar is probably the most famous rooftop bar in Bangkok thanks to being featured in the film “Hangover 2”. The Lebua Skybar is a bit high priced, but for the film’s lovers, it’s a must! Also, the view from up there is indescribable.
There is also the very classy Vertigo and Moon rooftop bar, which is located on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel. On several levels at the hotel, you have an unobstructed panoramic view over Bangkok. In the distance, you can also see the Chao Phraya River. There is also a restaurant there, which serves very tasty, and a bit pricy, seafood dishes.
Unlike most other skybars, the Millennium Hilton is located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River. On the 32nd floor, there is the Three Sixty Lounge, from which you get a very nice view of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River. From here you can also see Wat Arun, as well as the Royal Palace. If you want to treat yourself to some luxury, the Three Sixty Lounge is an ideal place to go.
There are a lot of great things to do in Bangkok and amazing places to visit, there is something that caters to every taste. With so much to offer, how can anyone not have Bangkok on their bucket list!