From mouth-watering local food to a plethora of international cuisines, heavenly historical sites to picturesque countryside, a strong sense of Thai culture to a seamless amalgamation of cultures from across the world – Bangkok is truly a multifaceted paradise. Among the top tourist destinations in the world, this capital of Thailand has something to offer to everyone. Museums, historical palaces, flea markets, temples, there are so many iconic landmarks here. Flight connectivity to and from Bangkok is fantastic, so pack up your bags and head to this beautiful mess of people, culture, and entertainment as we bring a carefully collated list of must-visit places in Bangkok here.
1. Chatuchak Market
Bangkok’s most famous weekend market, it is almost a landmark in the city now. Load your wallets with money because there are more than 10,000 shops here offering some of the best deals you’d have ever come across. Over 2,00,000 enthusiastic shoppers have been known to visit the place on a typical weekend. Trinkets, accessories, clothes, bags, decorative items – there’s something for everyone. The best thing about this elephantine market is that it’s divided into numbered alleys – Soi 1,2,3, etc. – each dedicated to a certain kind of goods. So, pick up a freely-available map and organize your visit in such a way that you navigate through the alleys strategically without getting lost. Add this must visit place in Bangkok to your list and we’re sure you’ll return a satisfied customer.
Address: Kamphaeng Phet Road | Lat Yao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Opening hours: Tuesday - Thursday 7 am - 6 pm, Friday 6 pm - 12 am, Saturday-Sunday 9 am - 6 pm
Website: Chatuchak Market
Street-side food enthusiasts and shopaholics, listen up! Primarily a flea market, Chinatown is known for innumerable food stalls serving some absolutely fantastic food. The interconnected narrow streets are bustling regardless of what time you go there. You’re in for a delight if you happen to be in Bangkok in the Chinese New Year time – true liveliness really comes to life in this market during that time. Walk through Little India street, Sampang Lane, Balanna Plaza for some great shopping and Yaowarat Road for delectable food options. Wear comfortable attire and a pair of shoes because Chinatown will definitely jog your stamina. You can spend an entire day exploring this market, so do keep a check on time if you’re on a schedule.
Address: Yaowarat Road, Yaowarat, Samphanthawong, Bangkok
Opening hours: 24 hours
3. Jim Thompson House
Situated in the heart of the city is this museum built by Jim Thompson – an American architect and businessman. Nestled amidst lush foliage, Jim Thompson House is a must visit if you want to discover traditional Thai home interior design and decor. You can opt for a 45-minute guided tour that’ll take you through the collectables placed inside as well as the history of Jim Thompson’s business. Inquisitive folks, relax, all your questions will be answered. It is just a short walk from the Skytrain and serves as a lovely retreat from the hustle bustle of Bangkok. You can pick up souvenirs for your friends back home as there’s a tiny gift shop inside the premises. There’s also a nearby cafe, so don’t fret if you start feeling hungry.
Jim Thompson House
Address: 6, Soi Kasem San 2, Rama 1 Road | Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Price: Adults 8 USD; under 22 yrs 4USD; under 10 years free (when accompanied by an adult)
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 9 am-6 pm
Website: Jim Thompson House
4. Madame Tussauds
Shake hands with your favourite celebrities or click selfies with them, Madame Tussauds’ life-like wax statues will make you feel like you’re meeting the real person. With 10 exhibit rooms categorised theme-wise, you’ll find the museum planned carefully and meticulously. Stroll up to the second floor to learn about the history and process of creating these amazing figures when you’re done marvelling at the precision of the statues. Serena Williams, Barack Obama, Lady Diana, Justin Bieber, Shahrukh Khan, Brad Pitt – everyone’s awaiting your visit here!
Address: Madame Tussauds, Siam Discovery, 4th Floor, 989 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Price: Adults 22 USD; Children 21 USD
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 9 pm
Website: Madame Tussauds
5. Art in Paradise
Let the kid in you go wild! See more than 150 vivaciously-coloured paintings come to life at this interactive 3-D museum in Bangkok. Divided into six sections – Media Art Zone, Classic Zone, Fantasy Zone, Aquarium and Safari Zone, Nature Zone, and Modern Zone – it is split across two floors. You can click a million quirky photos here, so don’t forget to bring your camera along. It is an especially interesting experience for kids, so do keep this on your list if you’re travelling with them. The place showcases some exemplary art and will definitely impress you from the very core. An absolute must-visit place in Bangkok.
Art in Paradise
Address: 99 Esplanade Shopping Mall, 4th Floor | Ratchadapisek Road, Din Daeng, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Price: Adults 10 USD; Children 5 USD
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 10 am - 10 pm
Website: Art in Paradise
6. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Making for the spiritual core of Thai divinity is this architecturally magnificent temple complex dedicated to the Emerald Buddha – a sublime union of the country’s monarchy and Buddhism. A must visit place in Bangkok, it is 94 hectares (200 acres) of 100 majestic buildings representing 200-year-old royal Thai history. It is situated within the grounds of the Grand Palace and is centrally located within the city. People, do note that there’s a strict dress code that needs to be followed – knees and shoulders should be covered, clothes shouldn’t be too body-hugging, and tattoos need to stay covered, so dress appropriately. You can hire a river taxi and start enjoying the experience even before getting to the temple. Architecture buffs and spiritual travellers, come on now!
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Address: Na Phra Lan Road | Phra Borom Maha Rajawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Price: 16 USD (for the entire Grand Palace tour)
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
7. Erawan Shrine
A spectacular temple dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Brahma, this is a must-visit landmark. A Thai interpretation of the Hindu god, it is a four-faced statue that many go to worship, even if they aren’t Hindu. Street vendors are lined up outside selling garlands and other offerings, so do remember to pick up some before heading in. If you’re lucky you might even get to watch some great traditional performances by the Thai Classical Troupe and even the famous Chinese Lion Dance. It gets quite crowded here, so it’s best to head there during the early hours of the day.
Address: 494 Ratchadamri Road. | Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Website: Erawan Shrine
8. Dusit Palace
Surrounded by sprawling green gardens and 13 different royal residences is The Dusit Palace. Reminiscent of European architecture, it was built by King Rama V as an escape from the busy and crowded Grand Palace – almost like a summer vacation home. Now, there are some fine museums housed in the various halls of the palace. Keep in mind that photography isn’t permitted in various places, so watch out for the signs. Visitors need to follow a dress code, like the Wat Phra Kaew, here as well. The palace sees packs of tourist visits, so it’s best you plan your visit closer the opening time to avoid the rush and make the best of your time here. There are guided tours also available every 30 minutes or you can buy a map to navigate your way easily through the enormous place.
Address: Vajira Hospital 295 Ratchasima Rd, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (tickets sold only until 3:30pm)
Price: 3 USD (Free if you’ve already purchased Grand Palace entry ticket)
9. Lumpini Park
Feel like taking a break from the frenzy? Surround yourself in the greenery of Lumpini Park, where you can take a walk or engage in recreational activities. Bustling with people, it is a popular public park for people willing to engage in activities like yoga, sports, dance lessons, tai chi, etc. There are even quite a few swings to keep your tiny tots entertained. You can rent a mat for 30 TBH (0.5 cents) and enjoy a nice picnic underneath the Thai sky. Also, there are various street food hawkers present there, so don’t worry if you feel peckish. Strewn with flora and fauna, beautifully-constructed walkways, and scenic views, you’ll definitely find this park a haven amid the hustle-bustle of Bangkok.
Address: Rama 4 Road | Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 4:30 am - 9:00 pm
A heady cocktail
Bangkok is truly a treat if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet impressive vacation destination. Once you’re done ticking off these iconic landmarks from your list, do remember to venture out exploring the rocking nightlife the city offers. Walk down the Khao San Road and Soi Rambuttri in the evening to experience an open-air party-like vibe or Sukhumvit and Silom for a luxurious tryst. Adult-themed fun is stereotyped, Bangkok is so much more!
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