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Often, it's the people of a city that make it unique. In this part of Central Thailand, there's 5,100,000 of them.

Even though there's no shortage of things to see and do here, Grand Palace and the Wat Pho certainly stand out. The Wat Arun and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are just as breathtaking.

If you are planning a holiday for the entire family, outings to Dream World and Siam Park City will most definitely make you popular. Young ones still full of energy? Keep the excitement going with a visit to Dinosaur Planet and the Children’s Discovery Museum.

Stepping into Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is like being dropped into the depths of the ocean, but without having to use a wet suit! Here you'll get close, but not too close, to all sorts of incredible aquatic life.

Both adults and kids will love getting close to the variety of amazing animals at the Dusit Zoo and the Safari World. You can also marvel at wild wonders that inhabit the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo.

Bangkok has some public green spaces where you can find a wide range of flower and plant species. The Suan Luang Rama IX Park and the Queen Sirikit Park are where you want to head.

There's no need to wander deep into the forest to experience a bit of greenery. Lumpini Park and the Muang Boran are just two of the terrific grassy spots you'll find amid this concrete jungle. You can also get outside and get moving at Benjakiti Park or Saranrom Park.

Look out for fascinating local birdlife or simply gaze out across the calm, still water at Khlong Saen Saep and Chao Phraya River. For some more relaxation time by the water's edge, make one more trip to Klongs.

Put on your walking shoes and pack some supplies. The time has come for a day of adventure out in nature at Koh Pannyi.

Jim Thompson House and Vimanmek Palace both feature a number of interesting objects and displays. Ask the staff about special happenings or walk the quiet halls in your own time. If you've got the time, also check out the National Museum Bangkok and the Suan Pakkard Palace.

The interesting scientific artefacts showcased at the National Science Centre for Education could keep you entertained for days. To get straight to the best stuff, you might like to check out if there are any upcoming guided talks.

In a place flush with terrific art exhibitions, the National Gallery Bangkok and the Numthong Gallery manage to stand out from the rest. If you need more artistic inspiration, continue onwards to the Teo+Namfah Gallery and the Tadu Contemporary Art.

Enjoy your history? Don't just read about the past in textbooks, see it in real life at the Royal Barge National Museum. Want to find out even more? Then put the Ban Kamthieng Museum and the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center on your itinerary too.

Paying a visit to significant historical attractions is an excellent way to get a real sense of times gone by. Discover Bangkok's past at the Thammasat University and the Wat Benchamabophit. Why not also call in at the Mahidol University and Soi Ma Toom?

A piece of architecture that has spanned the waters of Bangkok for what seems like forever, Phra Phuttha Yodfa Bridge is a key aspect of the city's history that no one should overlook.

Customers keen on military history shouldn't skip Phra Sumen Fort and Santichaiprakan Park. Picture the spectacular sieges that happened there and discover the ingenious defensive features that made them difficult to attack.

Chitralada Palace and Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall have played host to a number of Bangkok's most well-known people over the years. Phyathai Palace and Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall are a couple more impressive abodes.

Resting between the impenetrable walls of Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall is a significant history. The heyday of a bygone era can be experienced in every room.

No matter your faith, the Wat Saket and the Wat Suthat can help you check in with your spiritual side. The Wat Ratchanadda and the Sri Mariamman Temple are also vital pieces of Bangkok's cultural identity.

It's far better to think back on your life and say, "Did I really do that?," instead of, "I really wish I had done that." So, while you're in Bangkok you should also discover some of the less well-known attractions, such as Bangkok City Hall and the Neilson Hays Library. Don't forget Rama VIII Bridge and Ministry of Commerce either.

Hotels in Bangkok

As it's the national capital, it shouldn't be too much trouble securing your Bangkok hotel. There are about 1355 properties on ebookers' hotel travel guide.

If you're after a basic room without all the extra frills, the Dream Town Pratunam Hotel, located at 33 Soi Petchburi 11, Petchburi Road, is your safest bet. Another place that provides great service at a low cost is the Lub d Bangkok - Silom - Hostel, which you'll find at 4 Decho Road Suriyawong Bangrak. Or, maybe you'd rather live like a queen as the able staff at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok tend to every want and need? The Siam is yet another popular option for travellers who relish the finer things in life.

If you're here for just a night or two and only have time to see Bangkok's must-see attractions, book a room at the Chakrabongse Villas or the sala rattanakosin. They are both only a short distance away from the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Top Bangkok attractions

There are many popular destinations in to enjoy in Bangkok:

 

  • For a bird's eye view of the island of Rattanakosin, be sure to visit the temple Wat Ratchanaddaram, and climb the tower.
  • Visitors can catch sight of the largest Reclining Buddha in the world at Wat Pho. Toss coins into the pots near the Buddha for luck.
  • Visit Siam Square for what many consider to be some of the best shopping in the city. The shops here are even air conditioned.
  • Cool off from the warm afternoon temperatures, and see the largest aquarium in the local region at Siam Ocean World.
  • For those who wish to soak up the local culture, a visit to Jim Thompson's house is in order. The house features stunning Thai-style architecture.
  • If you are interested in enjoying a multicourse international dinner while reclining on futons, Bed Supperclub is a great choice.
  • Take the elevator to the 63rd floor at the golden-domed State Tower to dine at the tallest rooftop bar and restaurant in the world.
  • Relax for the afternoon, and make your way over to Santichaiprakarn Park on Chao Phraya River to watch the locals juggling and performing other tricks.
  • Phra Sumen Fort dates back to the 18th century and offers a beautiful view of the Rama VIII cable bridge.
  • If you want to see one of the popular animal farms or zoos in Bangkok, be sure to pay a visit to the Queen Saovabha Institute Snake Farm.
The Grand Palace

The gold-tipped roofs and spires of the Grand Palace symbolise Thailand more than any other image. As the sprawling home of the king and his royal court, this complex of buildings was the centre of government for 150 years. Although the monarchy moved out at in the early 20th century, Thai cultural identity is still inextricably linked to the palace. The main draw is Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The rotund deity is made of jasper and his uniform of gold finery changes with the seasons.

Wat Pho

Standing adjacent to the Grand Palace is Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Gold-plated and with feet made of mother of pearl, the image is hard to miss at an incredible 46 metres long and 15 metres high. And if too much sightseeing has tired you out, take advantage of the fact that you are in the traditional home of Thai massage.

Chinatown

Kicked out of Ko Rattanakosin to make way for the Grand Palace, Chinese merchants moved east to set up their own chaotic world of commerce in the late 18th century. A den of snaking alleys and backstreets, Chinatown is packed to the brim with gold shops and street food stalls.

A haven from the madness comes in the form of Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha which houses a three metre-high Buddha made of 5.5 tonnes of solid gold.

Erawan Museum

You would be hard-pressed to find a more eccentric place than Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan. Housed inside a giant three-headed elephant statue, it was the idea of millionaire businessman Lek Viriyapant.

His collection of Asian antiques can be found within the belly of the 29 metre-high beast and in the plinth on which it stands. Each of the three levels of the conceptual museum represents a different part of Buddhist cosmology.

Ancient City

The Ancient City attempts the ambitious task of cramming the whole of Thailand into 320 acres in Samut Prakan. Wander among scaled-down models of the country's most famous buildings as you make a tour of Thailand in miniature. The idea is to preserve the essence of the country and many of the monuments no longer exist in their original form.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Insider tips for Bangkok travel

  • For those looking for the best cuisine in Bangkok, Sukhumvit district offers a wealth of ethnic options fusion choices.
  • Local food carts in Bangkok offer Thailand's national dish, pad Thai, consisting of rice noodles, red chili pepper, eggs, and fish sauce.
  • For those looking for something unique, try the food carts on Khao San Road for deep-fried insects topped with soy sauce.
  • Dinner cruises and tours departing from the River City pier are another great way to enjoy the best of Bangkok, including cultural performances.
  • The city of Bangkok is particularly well known for its vibrant nightlife. Informal roadside bars located in Sukhumvit often stay open all night.

Best time to go on holiday to Bangkok

The best time to visit Bangkok is between November and February, the driest and coolest period of the year. During the day, temperatures are often around 30ºC and often drop to the low 20s after sunset. The low season is the hottest time between the months of March and April. If you plan to visit during the wet season, between May and October, be prepared for daily heavy downpours. Travellers planning to go abroad to Bangkok during the high season, between the months of January or February, will be able to enjoy the Chinese New Year Festival.

Bangkok highlights

Haggle with the locals

There is no such thing as “recommended retail price” at Chatuchak, one of the world's biggest markets. Boasting more than 15,000 stalls, “JJ”, as Thais call it, welcomes around 200,000 people each Saturday and Sunday.

Tourists and locals flock to buy anything from fake football shirts, to vintage clothing, to live animals. Bargaining is a way of life here, so be prepared to haggle for all you are worth.

Explore the khlongs of the “Venice of the east”

Khlongs, or canals, were once the arteries that kept Bangkok moving. Many have been filled in and converted into roads, but you can still get an idea of the city's watery past by flagging down one of the long, narrow express boats which scythe through the waterways.

Temples and Italianate bridges dot the way and make sure to stop off at the Damnoen Saduak floating market.

People watch at Lumphini Park

Just as the sun rises an army of keep fit fanatics descends on central Bangkok's biggest green space to get their exercise fix before the heat makes doing anything active impossible. Find a nice spot by one of the lakes to watch the members of the Chinese community going through their tai chi repertoire.

Bet some baht on Muay Thai

Bangkok's biggest spectator support is a kind of no-holds-barred boxing, in which knees and elbows are just as legitimate as fists. Fans flock to Ratchadamnoen and Lumpini Stadiums to watch their idols and place bets with the frantic bookmakers.

Experience life behind bars

The strong of stomach can get an idea of the Thai penal system at the Bangkok Corrections Museum on Maha Chai road. Home of the notorious Bang Kwang Central Prison, famously known as the “Bangkok Hilton”, Thailand has a reputation for no-nonsense punishment.

The museum is housed in the guard towers and few remaining cells of a former prison and encompasses instruments of torture and depictions of prisoners' deaths. If that's not enough for you, guided tours with a former guard are available.

Where to stay in Bangkok

Few buildings in the city can rival the view from the Chatrium Suites hotel. From the 5-star luxury of your room, you can take in the splendour of the Chao Phraya River and pick out famous landmarks on the cityscape. Perched on the bank of the river on Charoenkrung Road, the hotel combines the best of Thai design with all the amenities you would expect from a top-rated establishment.

An oasis of calm in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, the Shangri-La hotel is the perfect refuge for the tired traveller. Strolling through the lush gardens or spending time in the spa, it is easy to forget you are in the middle of a huge metropolis. The design ranges from traditional teak pavilions for riverside dining, to modern state-of-the-art bedrooms and suites with no detail spared in the pursuit of comfort.

Experience the vibrancy of modern Bangkok at the fashionable Ds67 Suites hotel. Situated on Sukhumvit Road, within easy reach of all the bars, clubs and shops the area has to offer, each of the 27 rooms is uniquely decorated in one of four themes, designed to show all aspects of the exciting city.

If you want to treat yourself to panoramic city views and five-star comfort, check in to Lebua at State Tower. This all-suite hotel on Silom Road is in the second-tallest building in the city. From the Tower Club Lounge on the 59th and top floor you can enjoy a cocktail while taking in the spectacular view of the city sprawling out below. There is a pool on the roof as well, if you fancy a swim at altitude.

How to move around in Bangkok

Bangkok by Taxi

A rickshaw with an engine, the tuk tuk is everywhere you look in Bangkok. Noisy, open-sided and possessing just three wheels, the tuk tuk is a method of transportation to be tried at least once. Prices must be haggled so make sure you've come to an agreement before setting off towards your destination.

If you are after a more comfortable ride, a conventional taxi could be a better bet. The chances are the cost will be the same, unless your bargaining skills are outstanding. Remember to look out for cars bearing a “taxi meter” sign. With no meter you will be reliant on haggling again.

By Rail

Two public train networks, the Skytrain (BTS) and the underground system (MRT) serve Bangkok. Skytrain serves almost all of the main tourist areas with just two lines, although it will not take you to the airport. Tickets are cheap and announcements are in English. Less frequented by tourists, the MRT is similarly cheap with 18 stations but plans for expansion.

By Boat

Long, narrow and fast, river taxis speed up and down the Chao Phraya river all day long. With fares ranging from 5 to 10 baht depending on your destination, they are a cheap option and often faster than a taxi. Be prepared to leap on and off when you have to; drivers do not like to stop for long and there is usually a mad dash each time a boat reaches a pier.

By Car

If you want to get around under your own steam, why not check out our Bangkok car hire offers.

MORE Bangkok Hotels

See all 2,723 Hotels in Bangkok
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport

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4.5 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (22 reviews)

Situated near the airport, this spa hotel is 3.5 mi (5.7 km) from The Paseo Mall and within 12 miles (20 km) of Bangkok Chain Hospital Public Company Limited ...

Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point

Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point

662 Rama IV Road, Bangkok
4.5 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (11 reviews)

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Snake Farm, Patpong Night Market and Lumpini Park. MBK Center and Siam Square are also ...

The Peninsula Bangkok

The Peninsula Bangkok

333 Charoennakorn Road, Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (13 reviews)

Located in Khlong San, this luxury hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from River City Shopping Complex, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Asiatique the River Front and Sampeng Market. ...

Centre Point Pratunam

Centre Point Pratunam

No.6, Soi 15 Petchburi, Petchburi Rd., Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
3.8 out of 5 (13 reviews)

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pantip Plaza and Pratunam Market. Siam Square and Suan Pakkard Palace are also within ...

Travelodge Sukhumvit 11

Travelodge Sukhumvit 11

30/9-10 Soi Sukhumvit 11 (Chaiyos), Bangkok
3.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (6 reviews)

This hotel is located in Bangkok (Bangkok Central Business District), close to Bumrungrad Hospital, Pratunam Market and Siam Paragon Mall. Also nearby are Suan ...

AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel

AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel

257 Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi, Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
4.9 out of 5 (7 reviews)

Located in Samre, this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Asiatique the River Front, Saint Louis Hospital and Chao Phraya River. Sri Mariamman Temple is ...

Amari Watergate Bangkok

Amari Watergate Bangkok

847 Petchburi Road, Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (43 reviews)

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Amara Bangkok

Amara Bangkok

180/1 Surawong Road, Sipraya, Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (25 reviews)

This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located in the entertainment district, within a 15-minute walk of Patpong Night Market, Thaniya Plaza and Sri Mariamman ...

The Davis Bangkok Hotel

The Davis Bangkok Hotel

88 Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok
4.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (11 reviews)

Located in Bangkok Central Business District, this spa hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from K Village and within 3 miles (5 km) of Lumpini Park and Patpong Night Market. ...

Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit 55

Grande Centre Point Sukhumvit 55

300 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), Bangkok
5.0 out of 5.0
5.0 out of 5 (1 reviews)

Located in Bangkok Central Business District, this luxury hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Rainhill, EmQuartier and Bangkok Hospital. Bangkok University and ...

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