Planning a trip to Bangkok? Here's what you shouldn't miss out on! - Updated 2024

Contributing Writer
| 11 min read
Pallavi Mandar Jadhav
Endorsed by a Bangkok Local Expert
Pallavi Mandar Jadhav

Fact number 1 – The number of visitors coming into Bangkok is more than any other city in the entire world! Reason enough to plan a trip to this fantastic city? What awaits you in Bangkok is the best of all worlds. From some of the most luxurious shopping places to open-air shopping malls that offer the latest fashion trends at dirt cheap prices; from historical temples to swanky rooftop bars, and much more, Bangkok never fails to amaze. Bangkok is not a tourist place, Bangkok is an experience! And while you are planning your trip, let us help you with this list of top things to do in Bangkok!

Best markets to explore in Bangkok

1. Khao San Road

Khaosan road
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user own used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Situated just a block away from the Chao Phraya River, the Khao San Road is famously called ‘the centre of the backpacking Universe’! Travelers from across the world converge at the Khao San Road and share their experiences with each other. Home to a handful of internet cafes, backpackers’ guesthouses, massage parlors, tattoo shops and more, this Road is brimming with tourists 24x7. If you wish to come close to the carefree side of Bangkok, there is no better place to experience it!

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2. Chinatown market (from USD 48.42)

planning a trip to bangkok? here's what you shouldn't miss out on! | chinatown market

A food haven for all those who don’t mind street side cuisines, Chinatown is easily one of the most crowded places in the city at any time of the day. Famous for housing a large number of gold shops, the Chinatown market also hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the Chinese New Year. The never ending row of wooden shop houses lends an authentic feel to the market and leaves you asking for more.

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Bangkok's Chinatown: Local Markets & Snacks Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hour

3 reviews

3. Siam Square

planning a trip to bangkok? here's what you shouldn't miss out on! | siam square

A handful of shopping bags without any dent in your pocket; if this is what you are looking for, the Siam Square is your place! This open air shopping complex offers some of the most stylish clothes and other accessories at unbeatable prices. This place is meant for those who prefer exploring small lanes rather than taking elevators inside the swanky shopping malls. Get down to the Siam Square to see what’s ‘in’ in the world of fashion!

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Seafood Roll at Mister Lobster in Siam Square One

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Bangkok Tour Guide

arnon aramnun

Arnon Aramnun

Hello My name is Arnon. I live in Bangkok I love to be guide Traveler and show you where's amazing of Thailand, you will know more about Thailand and get a great memory with new friends. I can guarantee you an outstanding experience with fun activities and knowledge on Thai history. I like to travel very much and i like to find some delicious food to taste, You'll have the chance to enjoy an... Read more

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Bangkok Tour Guide

Thitikarn Tantiananporn

Thitikarn Tantiananporn

Sawasdee ka ! Greeting from Guide Bonnie Most warm welcome everyone visit Thailand I am the guide for Bangkok, Ayutthaya , floating market , train market , Kanchanaburi and pattaya and many more places upon your request. Tour with me to hear more culture,history and tour with me free of smiles! See you

Top malls in Bangkok

4. CentralWorld

CentralWorld Bangkok Thailand
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bcow used under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the mood for some exciting shopping and maybe a movie later on? Central World is the place where you ought to be! One of the biggest and most luxurious shopping locations in the entire world, CentralWorld also houses a number of food joints, beauty salons, banks, and even an ice-skating ring! Visitors can easily spend the entire day here and still not end up visiting all the shops. It is connected from both the Chidlom and Siam BTS stations via the Skywalk.

During the holiday season, the mall is lit up and displays some of the most incredible Christmas installations along with multiple Instagrammable trees.

Tip from Trip101 local expert

Basically the area from Chitlom station to Siam is packed with malls and shops on both sides of the road that offer everything from high end to boutique Thai brands. The shaded and breezy Skywalk helps connect tourists to all the malls, so don't walk on the pavement unless you want some coconut water or freshly squeezed orange juice.

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5. Terminal 21

Terminal 21 Void Golden Bridge 2018
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wpcpey used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Terminal 21 shopping mall has everything you dreamt about before planning a trip to Bangkok – shopping, fun, excitement, and an unparalleled experience. With some of the most famous cities in the world, including London, Tokyo, San Francisco and Istanbul, designed under one single roof, a tour of Terminal 21 would not feel any less than a cosmopolitan carnival. With glass making up most parts of the building and the information desk receptionists wearing air hostess uniforms, Terminal 21 gives you a feel that is strikingly similar to an international airport terminal (one of the best ones!).

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Fun things to do in Bangkok

6. Floating Markets (from USD 38.29)

One of the biggest attractions in the city, the floating markets witness more tourists than locals. Offering fresh tropical fruits and vegetables and locally cooked food, the floating markets offer an experience to savor. Some of these markets also offer boat tours, so if you are in a mood to relax, this place gives you ample options. Some of the most famous floating markets include Damnoen Floating market, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating market and Amphawa Floating market.

P.S. Don’t forget to try the fresh ready to drink coconut water they offer!

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Bangkok Floating Markets Day Tour

Duration: 13hrsDuration

18632 reviews

7. River boats

planning a trip to bangkok? here's what you shouldn't miss out on! | river boats

Bangkok’s famous riverside area is filled with many tourist attractions, including historical temples that reflect the city’s rich history. The best way to get around them is by taking the river boats or ferries down the Chao Phraya River. Light on pocket, these boats or river taxis charge according to the length of your journey, with fares starting at 3 baht (close to $0.09). The Chao Phraya Express Boat Company also offers a number of tourist boats which halt whenever requested, making it the best option for the visitors. The boat services usually begin at 6 in the morning.

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Classic Chao Phraya River Cruise Tour in Bangkok - Klook

Duration: 3hrsDuration

8. Ride the Sky train

Bangkok Skytrain 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user My Train Pix used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are averse to traffic jams and waiting for hours on the roads, Sky train is just the perfect way for you to get around in Bangkok. All the major shopping destinations are well connected with the Bangkok BTS. Operating from 6 am till midnight, the sky train is easy on the pocket, fast, clean and cool. A day long unlimited travel pass costs just 120 baht (close to $3.41). For someone visiting the city for the first, the Sky train is bliss!

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9. Get a Thai massage (from USD 18.29)

No tour to Thailand can be complete without a Thai massage! At the top of your to-do list in Thailand must be the Thai massage! With thousands of great massage options available in the city, you can’t possibly miss out on the billboards trying to draw your attention to a massage parlor. Thai massage is remedial in nature and focuses on pressure points in the body to treat aches or stress. An hour of high-quality Thai massage could cost you around 200 baht (around $5.69). Some of the best-known massage parlors in the city include the Asia Herb Association, Massage by the Blind and Health Land.

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One More Thai Spa in Bangkok

5976 reviews

10. Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute main building
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul_012 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the unique places in Bangkok, the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute is a center for extraction, research husbandry, and vaccination of venomous snakes. In 1912, after Prince Damrong’s daughter died due to a rabies infection, he sought permission from King Rama VI to establish a government institute to work towards the manufacture and distribution of rabies vaccines.

The Institute offers guided tours of the snake farms to visitors. The major attraction of this tour is their snake handling show.

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11. A visit to the Chao Phraya River (from USD 15.65)

a visit to the chao phraya river

‘The River of Kings’, as the Chao Phraya River is fondly called in the city, has become the commercial centre of Bangkok. Close to 50,000 people use the ferry services each day for various reasons. Giving a view of most of the city’s high rise buildings and the bustling coastline markets, the Chao Phraya River also offers dinner cruises. One of the special attractions along the river is the Pak Khlong Flower Market whose fresh flower scents make for an amazing early morning visit. To reach this market, Rajinee would be the nearest river pier.

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Bangkok: Hop On Hop Off Tuk Tuk & Boat Chao Phraya River

Duration: 1.0 day

421 reviews

12. A visit to Soi Cowboy

Soi Cowboy - Bangkok
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JJ Harrison used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Soi Cowboy sets the bar when it comes to nightlife in Bangkok. A free entry and vibrant crowd make this place a favorite among the tourists. Located right next to Terminal 21, Soi Cowboy is bright, loud and sexy at the same time! If you are looking to just sit back, order a drink and enjoy the girls dancing on the stage, this is your place!

P.S. The drinks prices are decently priced as compared to other similar places in the city. Make sure your tour to Bangkok doesn’t end without a visit to the Soi Cowboy. Enough said!

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Best places to enjoy a meal in Bangkok

13. Dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River (from USD 37.0)

Bangkok becomes an entirely different city at night. The Chao Phraya River is a spectacular sight at night. And to behold the best view, there is no better option than the highly romantic dinner cruises. The views of glistening temples on the coastline and shimmering skyscrapers across the city would make it an evening to remember. Most of these dinner cruises are well renowned for wholesome hospitality and delectable local food. Some of the best known dinner cruises include Wanfah dinner cruise, Apsara dinner cruise, White Orchid dinner cruise and River star princess cruise.

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Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River

Duration: 120 to 150 minutes

629 reviews

14. Vertigo Rooftop Bar (from USD 161.0)

First things first. This may not be the place for you if you are scared of heights! Situated at the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel, the Vertigo Rooftop Bar is the high point (quite literally!) of Bangkok’s nightlife. The space has been deliberately designed to give a feel of being in a spaceship floating in the sky. The last word – Don’t expect a light bill here! But what you can expect is an experience to savor for a lifetime!

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Bangkok Rooftop Dinner at Banyan Tree Hotel's Vertigo

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

11 reviews

15. Sky Bar Rooftop at Lebua (from USD 35.5)

sky bar rooftop at lebua

If you are looking to catch the best view of Bangkok, the Sky Bar rooftop is your place. Housing a cushioned sofa area, this is the perfect for a laid back whiskey. The place can get a bit crowded at times, especially on the weekends, so don’t expect it to be the place to find solace! The view of the Chao Phraya River from the rooftop is nothing short of majestic.

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Bangkok: Lebua Rooftop Bar Reservation & Round-Trip Transfer

Duration: 4.0 hour

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Places to soak in art & culture in Bangkok

16. The Grand Palace

Bangkok The Grand Royal Palace 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mr.Sayompoo Setab... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This is without a doubt the top attraction in Bangkok. The exquisite Grand Palace has served as the official residence of the King since 1782. Today, it is mostly used for ceremonial purposes. I have visited the palace several times with relatives, but it is difficult to not be enamored by the intricate art work and the traditional Thai architecture. The palace is open every day, so tourists should never fall for the ‘palace is closed’ scam by taxi drivers.

The Grand Palace also includes the impressive Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Since the ground also includes government offices and official buildings, certain areas are out of limits. However, the three main areas that are open to public require almost the whole day to navigate. The palace grounds also include a museum and visitors can also enjoy an authentic Khon performance, a dance drama.

There is a strict dress code that needs to be followed to enter The Grand Palace. It is possible to rent clothes near the ticket office as well.

Grand Palace

Address: Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Website: The Grand Palace

Opening hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm (daily)

Price: 500 THB (14 USD) Free for Thai

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17. Wat Suthat

Wat Suthat (8419612130)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Francisco Anzola used under CC BY 2.0

Well known for the mighty imposing red giant swing placed right at the entrance, the Wat Suthat is one of Bangkok’s most revered and oldest temples. The wall murals are breathtaking; the hand-carved teakwood door panels are exquisite, and the sweeping roof tops it all with a perfect finishing. The temple came up in the 13th century with an aim to preserved Buddha’s bronze image brought from Sukhothai on a boat. The 21.15 meters high red swing is one of the most identifiable spots in the city. Don’t forget your camera when you visit this place!

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18. Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson House Bangkok P1110293
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Deror_avi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

At the first sight, the name ‘Jim Thompson’ seems out of place when attached with a city like Bangkok. But over the years, the Jim Thompson House has become one of the city’s most famous landmarks. A trained architect and a passionate collector of objects related to Asian Art, Jim Thompson settled in Thailand post 1946 and gave his entire life to saving the fast declining dying cottage industry, responsible for the production of Thai silk. Some of the most exquisite pieces of Asian art can be found at the Jim Thompson house. The House is open for visitors from 9 am to 5 pm.

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19. Dusit Palace

Ananta Samakhom Martinp1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Martinp1 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Most of the royal residences in the city are located in the compound of Dusit Palace. After its construction in 1901, this became the primary residence of the country’s King. A number of diverse museums are housed inside different buildings in the palace complex, most of which are open to the visitors. Visit this place to get some royal goosebumps!

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20. Wat Saket

Wat Saket, Bangkok (39465726750)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ASaber91 used under CC BY 2.0

Among the glittering skyscrapers in the city is a small Golden hill, better called the Wat Saket or Golden Mount. Home to a Buddha relic, the Wat Saket is the venue of a grand annual temple fair held in the month of November. Constructed on top of a man made hill, the temple top can be reached by climbing close to 300 steps of stairs, encircling the chedi. Unless you choose an overtly hot day to visit the place, the climb shouldn’t be too cumbersome.

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21. Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall 2017-09-26
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul_012 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This marble masterpiece stands tall as the hallmark of Thailand’s royalty. Some of the most pompous royal celebrations are held at this venue. Made in neo-classical Renaissance architecture, this building once housed the Thai parliament. The building is usually open to public in the form of a museum. Don’t miss it for the breathtaking central dome! The ticket costs 50 baht (close to $1.42).

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Outlet malls in Bangkok

22. Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The malls in Bangkok constantly offer sales to attract shoppers, and outlet malls make it easy to snag deals on mid-range and high-end brands. Contrary to a traditional shopping complex, Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok is designed as an open mall, with all the shops on a single level. It also has restaurants, coffee shops, fountains, a small garden space, and plenty of places to sit. It’s a well designed mall, with plenty of roof cover to protect shoppers from unexpected Bangkok rains.

I would recommend visiting on a weekday when the crowds are considerably lower and you can shop at a leisurely pace. If you happen to visit during the festive season, you might even come across brands discounted by 90%. I picked up a couple of bags, a lot of makeup, and clothes.

Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok

Address: 989 moo 14, Tambon Bang Sao Thong, Amphur Bang Sao Thong, Samutprakarn Province 10570, Thailand

Website: Siam Premium Outlets Bangkok

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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23. Central Village

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This premium outlet mall is designed like a traditional Thai village, with high-sloping roofs. The shops are divided into five distinct sections. Even if you know what you are looking for, you will probably end up spending at least a couple of hours at this outlet. The outdoor spaces include a play zone and some sitting areas, which make shopping more relaxing. When my kids visited, there was a major Pikachu exhibition that they were thrilled to check out.

While it might offer similar brands to other outlet malls, the concept and design of the mall make it an interesting attraction. And, of course, you never know what exciting deals you might come across here.

Central Village

Address: 98, 98/1 Moo 5 Bang Chalong, Bang Phli District, Samut Prakarn 10540

Website: Central Village

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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One trip to Bangkok is never enough

Bangkok offers the perfect blend of the old and the new, where shrines and temples co-exist with glitzy shopping malls and extravagant nightclubs. It is one of those unique cities that offers activities that will suit every budget. Look no further than this list of top things to do in Bangkok!


Contributed by Trip101 Local Expert, Pallavi Mandar Jadhav

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Amiiiza used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Designed as an indoor-outdoor experience, this is one of the newest malls in a city that is known for its shopping destinations. But this mall is more than just shopping, it is a chance to offer locals and tourists a spot from which to enjoy the sunset and click some memorable photos. Even the bathrooms are worth a click here!

Everyone I know who has visited Bangkok post-Covid cannot stop gushing about ICONSIAM and how it is an absolute must-see. I am definitely stopping by when I head back home again. The best part is that it is relatively easy to get here via the SkyTrain.

Let Bangkok take over

The city has earned the tag of ‘party capital’ of the world due to obvious reasons. Be it a family trip, a backpackers’ tour or a guys’ time out, Bangkok fits the bill perfectly. From budget accommodations to some of the most luxurious hotels you would ever come across, Bangkok offers a chance to soak in its vibes to everyone, irrespective of his or her budget. Beneath the tag of the party capital lies a relative undiscovered cultural heritage that can leave you amazed. Welcome yourself to the ‘Sin City of Asia’.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


This article has been endorsed by Bangkok local expert Pallavi Mandar Jadhav

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Harshmeet is an engineer by education, a quizzer by hobby and a freelance writer by profession. He likes to read as much as he likes to write (helps in making his articles more substance & less...Read more

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