Things to do in Bangkok. These last six months we have traveled Asia extensively, and Bangkok is one of our most frequent destinations. Bangkok is so central in Southeast Asia, making it a good place to get the best plane tickets to most destinations. Thus, often we used it as a transit location, and with every visit we loved the city more and more.

We always love to find the best hotels, restaurants and activities in a city, so we can share it with you guys! In this article you can find great cultural sights, quirky cafés and the best spots for shopping. But we also share awesome hotels, restaurants and bars. Read on if you’re looking for things to do in Bangkok.

For those that are wondering where the above photo is taken, it’s at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant Bangkok.

Activities in Bangkok

Explore cultural sights in Bangkok

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The Reclining Buddha.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is located in the old city of Bangkok near the Chao Phraya river. It is definitely a must see for tourists, as it is a famous landmark of the country with lots of sacred sites. The complex is surrounded by 1900 meter long walls and houses, throne halls and temples. In the area around the Grand Palace you can find lots of cultural spots, such as many famous temples.

Entree fee: 500 baht

Be aware: After the death of King Bhumibol, all of Thailand was in mourning. The Grand Palace and The Temple of the Emerald Buddha were restricted for tourists. However, since November 2016 it is accessible again. Be sure to dress respectfully. In addition, expect big crowds during the first year after his death, as lots of Thai people are visiting the Grand Palace to mourn. 

A day trip to Ayutthaya

Just 80 kilometers out of Bangkok you can find Ayutthaya. It was the capital of Thailand in the 14th century and remained so until the 18th century. Now, you can visit this place to explore beautiful old temples.

Ayutthaya is often visited as a day trip from Bangkok, usually with stops at the Bang Pa In Palace. This can either be done on your own or on a tour. Tour prices range from $40 to $80. If you prefer to go on your own, you can go by van, bus or train. Every day you can get a mini van from the Victory Monument to get to Ayutthaya and it’s about 70 baht. Once you are in Ayutthaya, you can arrange a tuk-tuk, taxi driver or rent a bicycle.

Wat Phra Kaew – The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

This temple is located on the grounds of the Grand Palace and is also called The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple is the most visited and the most important temple in all of Bangkok. The highlight of this temple is definitely the Emerald Buddha, carved into a tall block of Jade.

Wat Pho – The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho is located behind Wat Phra Kaew. As it’s quite a popular destination for tourists in Bangkok, it’s often very crowded. The reason for being a must-visit is because of it’s enormity; the Buddha measures 46 meters long and is covered in gold leaf.

It’s a short walk from the Grand Palace and in the surrounding area there are a lot more temples you can visit. It is definitely possible to make a day-trip out of visiting the temples in this area!

The buddha is not very easy to see in one piece, as it’s located inside the temple. You can walk around it and see different sides and angles. For us it didn’t really have such a wow-factor, but it’s still interesting to see, and on the must-see list for most tourists.

Entrance fee: 100 baht

Wat Mahathat

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Wat Mahathat contains another large Buddha and is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. It is an important center for meditation and the study of Buddhism. Here you can follow classes every day to learn the Vipassana Mediation. It’s also a great temple to admire the Buddha statues and surrounding architecture.

Entrance fee: free

Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. It’s located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Praya River. The temple is quite unique when you compare it to the others in Bangkok, as it has a different architecture. It definitely stands out.

Entrance fee: 50 baht 

Wat Saket – Golden Mount

Wat Saket is built on top of a high hill in the old city of Bangkok and is crowned with a gold Chedi. On the temple grounds you can find typical Buddhist structures, such as the main chapel, ordination hall and library.

Go to one of Bangkok’s quirky cafés

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Caturday Cat Café.

Bangkok has some cute cafés you can visit. Trust us, it’s not about having drinks or food, it’s about the fun experience you’ll have. We’ll list some of the best ones in town.

Caturday Cat Café

At the Caturday Cat Café you can get yummy cakes and drinks, while being surrounded with the most beautiful furry friends. They are all super sweet. Some like to get pet, while others rather play around with one of the cat toys.

We have already written an article about it with our experience and some useful information such as opening times. Check it out here.

Unicorn Café

Yes, Bangkok has a Unicorn Café. Seriously, everything on the menu is related to a unicorn. Also, there is a unicorn wallpaper, carpet, statues, dolls and toys. To blend in with the rest of the interior, there are also unicorn onesies for the guests to wear while sipping on their unicorn drinks.

Check out their Instagram page and Facebook page for photos and more info.

Sanrio Hello Kitty House Bangkok

Are you a real sucker for pink? Well, the Sanrio Hello Kitty House in Bangkok is very pink and cute. Here you can get coffee, sweets and food while being surrounded by Hello Kitty.

Find out more on their Facebook page.

Hajime Robot Restaurant

Next to cats, unicorns and Hello Kitty, why not robots? Although it’s not a café, this Japanese restaurant is certainly quirky! The restaurant specialises in Shabu Shabu, Yakiniku and Teppanyaki. But, who cares about the food – you are being served by robots.

Find out more on their website.

Do some shopping in Bangkok

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Shopping Mall in Bangkok: Terminal 21.

We aren’t the biggest shoppers (anymore). Mostly, because we have to carry around all the stuff we have on our backs for months and live on a budget. However, somehow when we come to Bangkok we always do a bit of shopping. The enormous amount of shopping malls, department stores and little boutique shops makes it hard to resist. Here we share some of the best malls and other places to shop.

Terminal 21

It’s great to wander around in Terminal 21, even if you’re not shopping. Each department has it’s own city theme, such as London, Istanbul and San Francisco. They offer many products such as clothing and electronics.

Central Embassy

This is if you’re into luxury good. It’s way too expensive for us, we probably could only afford a drink, but we liked walking around. It’s just a very pretty shopping mall.

Central World

Here you have a little bit of everything, and it’s where we actually did some shopping ourselves. There are loads of shops with different price ranges. For instance, we love the UNIQLO shop – a Japanese clothing shop you can find in a lot of Asian countries. The clothes are high quality, often quite basic but trendy and are affordable.

Chinatown

Besides being a very cheap place to shop, you can also find almost everything. And, it’s the area is quite fun! Chinatown is very useful for backpackers that are looking for the best bargain out there.

Chatuchak Market

Every Saturday and Sunday you can visit The Chatuchak Market. It’s one of the biggest markets in the world! You can find a lot of things here, ranging from animals to handmade clothes. It’s actually a great place to find your typical Thai items as a souvenir.

Where to sleep in Bangkok

There are so many choices in Bangkok. We will share our favorite hotels in Bangkok! We have visited some of the best hotels in Asia in this city. For those that don’t have the budget, we have also included the best backpacker areas and hostels.

Sleeping with luxury

eeping with luxury – Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit is the longest road in Thailand, and it includes a lot of side streets called sois. We think Sukhumvit is one of the nicest and fanciest areas in Bangkok. Here you can find the most fashionable hotels – but also bars, restaurants and malls. 

Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

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Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit Lobby

For a real five-star hotel experience, we recommend the Bangkok Marriott Hotel in Sukhumvit. Not only is the location very convenient, the hotel is super comfortable, modern and has a gorgeous interior.

Our room had a lovely view over the city, and we even had a cute perfect round bathtub to enjoy the view. Another thing that really impressed us at this hotel was the amazing buffet breakfast. They had every possible yummy thing you can dream about. A waffle station, an egg station, a noodle soup station, crêpes, bagels, smoked salmon, all sorts of fruit and fruit shakes, you name it – they got it.

Check out their website for more information.

Maduzi Hotel

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Jacuzzi at Maduzi.

The Boutique Maduzi Hotel is located in the heart of the busy Sukhumvit area, only a five minutes walk from Asok BTS. Even though this area is crowded and noisy, Maduzi has created a peaceful and secluded environment. From inside of the hotel the noise is muted, and the walls with plants around the hotel gives you the sense of an oasis.

The interior of the hotel is tasteful, elegant and clean. The “room” we had felt more like a whole apartment. We even had our own jacuzzi, which every room is equipped with. It’s quite the surprise when you turn the water tap on, as the water comes from the ceiling.

There are a lot of breakfast options at Maduzi, all healthy and hearty with American, Japanese and French options.

At Maduzi they really want to make the customer happy, and they even provide the most flexible check-in and out we ever experienced – 6 am and 8pm.

Check out their website for more information.

Cabochon Hotel

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Elegant bathtub at Cabochon Hotel.

We didn’t stay at this hotel ourselves, but we got a peek in some of the rooms while we had lunch at their restaurant: Thai Lao Yeh. This luxury boutique hotel is in the heart of Bangkok, but just as Maduzi it feels secluded and serene.

All the rooms are spacious with an elegant colonial interior. The architecture clearly had a French influence.

Check out their website for more information.

Sleeping on a budget

Khao San Road

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Khao San Road

I bet every backpacker in South East Asia knows Khao San Road. It is definitely the area that is most popular among backpackers. Even though we noticed that Bangkok is a lot more expensive than six years ago, here you can still find very cheap accommodation. In this street there are budget and mid-range hotels, travel agents, bars, clubs, restaurants, massage parlours, tattoo shops and market stalls that sell about everything.

It’s often cheaper to just walk into the hostel and ask for the price than to book it online upfront on websites such as Booking.com. It’s quite easy to walk around Khao San Road and find a hostel once you arrive. However, we do have some recommendations for you.

After some online research we found some very cheap hostels on Khao San Road that are also very clean and comfortable. If you click on the name of the hostel it will take you to their TripAdvisor page for the reviews.

Khaosan Lovers Hostel: Prices range from $5 for a dorm to $22 for a deluxe room, including breakfast. Please note that prices may vary per season.

Here HostelPrices range from $8 for a dorm to $27 for a Budget Twin Room. Please note that prices may vary per season.

Back Home Backpackers: Prices range from $5 to $10 for a dorm. Please note that prices may vary per season.

Soi Rambuttri

Khao San Road is definitely not for everyone. Although I loved it there when I traveled through Thailand six years ago, now it just feels to crowded and a bit trashy. For people that are looking for something a bit more quiet, Soi Rambuttri is the answer. This street runs parallel to Khao San, but is definitely a lot more peaceful. Here you can find various hostels, guesthouses, restaurants and bars too.

Lamphu House BangkokPrices range from $10 for a double room with shared bathroom to $30 for a family room. Please note that prices may vary per season.

Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza: Prices range from $15 to $30 for various double rooms. Please note that prices may vary per season.

New Siam Guest House II: Prices range from $20 for a double room to $40 for a triple room. Please note that prices may vary per season.

Where to eat and drink in Bangkok

Oh, there are countless amazing spots to have dinner or drinks. This makes it hard to choose sometimes. We have done some research and now we are ready to show you the best restaurants and bars in the city of Bangkok. Be sure to visit them during your time in Bangkok!

Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant Bangkok

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Scarlett Bangkok is a true dream for skyline lovers. Atop of the 37th floor of the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, it rises above most buildings. From their rooftop you can enjoy a view of the Chaopraya River and take in the breathtaking panorama of the whole city. We think it’s best enjoyed during the sunset, as the colours give a mesmerising glow on Bangkok.

We had a lovely night at this wine bar and restaurant. After having drinks and watching the sunset, we had dinner at their delicious French restaurant. We highly recommend trying out their restaurant.

Check out their Facebook for more information.

Punjab Grill

 

Punjabi cuisine comes from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. Punjab Grill gives their dishes a modern interpretation and contemporary twist. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this restaurant. After eating at this restaurant, Indian and Pakistani food will never be the same again.

We both took a set menu, I took a Vegetarian set and Jeffrey a Non-Vegetarian set. The menu can be found here. Not only was each course delicious, the presentation of the food was also very creative. Check the photos above for examples; the starters were served with nitrogen while the desert was on fire!

Check out their website for more information.

Thai Lao yeh Restaurant

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On the ground floor of the Cabochon hotel is Thai Lao Yeh. This chique restaurant specialises in Thai and Lao cuisine. The name of the restaurant is not only descriptive of their specialisation, it’s also a clever pun of words, as Thai Lao yeh also means The Grand Old Man in Chinese Manderin.

During one of our visits in Bangkok we went here for lunch and it was delicious. Best Thai food we ever had!

Check out their website for more information.

Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar

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Situated on the 45th floor, Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar towers above Thong Lor and Sukhumvit Road atop of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. The 360 degree panorama view of Bangkok is gorgeous and the fact that it is a three level bar and lounge just adds to the experience.

The in-house mixologist has signature drinks, and we had the pleasure to try out a few of them. Our favourites were definitely the Thai Mojito and Shining Sun.

Check out their website for more information.

Long Table Bangkok

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When we stayed in Maduzi, we asked for a rooftop bar with a nice sunset view. They suggested Long Table, which is next to the hotel. We only went here for drinks, but you can also enjoy Thai food at this restaurant.

Their name is based on Thailand’s longest existing restaurant dining table of 25 meters long. Even more noteworthy is that the name of this place is actually a lot longer: “The Long Table of Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara AyuthayaMahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”. Crazy right?!

Check out their website for more information.

Above Eleven

Above Eleven is located on the 33rd floor of the Fraser Suites Sukhumvit and is another rooftop bar with a breathtaking view over Bangkok. We really loved the atmosphere and interior of this bar! They do have a semi-casual code policy, whereby sleeveless shirts and open shoes are not allowed for gentlemen.

Check out their website for more information.

Bangkok is a city you learn to love over time, and there are lots of great places to go. We hope this article is useful for your visit in Bangkok and that you have an amazing time! For questions and comments, you can always sent us an e-mail or comment below.

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Things to do in Bangkok, Where to eat in Bangkok, What activities to do in Bangkok, Best temples in Bangkok, Culture in Bangkok, Wanderlust, Where to have drinks in Bangkok, Best bars in Bangkok, Wats in Bangkok, Wat Mahatat Bangkok

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