Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Bangkok
Bangkok is everything you'd expect from the capital of Thailand: it's noisy, crowded, colorful, exciting, and smile-inducing. There are temples, ancient sites, and other attractions to be visited, as well as modern shopping malls that have a kitschy yet high-end ambience. Bangkok can be overwhelming, but it's also a fascinating city that represents Southeast Asia. Discover the best things to do in this bustling city with our list of the top attractions in Bangkok.
1. The Grand Palace
Located in the heart of Bangkok, on the banks of Chao Phraya River, the Grand Palace is a magnificent building and one of the most popular tourist attractions of Bangkok. A combination of Thai and European architecture, the Grand Palace was the erstwhile residence of the Kings of Siam and is used till date for royal ceremonies. It is a complex of several buildings, halls, gardens and courtyards and is a must-visit when touring Bangkok.
Opening Hours : 8:30 am - 3:30 pm (Daily)
Entrance Fee : 400 THB
2. Wat Pho
Located immediately south of the Grand Palace precinct, Wat Pho makes an excellent addition to your palace tour, provided your feet are up for more walking.
Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is regarded as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. The reclining statue of Buddha is the major attraction of this temple and is a must-visit when in Bangkok. It is also the largest temple in Bangkok where the majestic statue of Buddha is 46 metres long.
Opening Hours : 8.00 am - 5.00 pm
Entrance Fee : 50 THB
3. Giant Swing
In the center of the busy square stands one of Bangkok's most eye-catching sights: the 27-meter-high teak frame of the so-called Giant Swing. This used to be the focus of a religious ceremony held every year in December after the rice harvest. Teams of three took turns to balance on a dangerously narrow board and be swung 25 meters or more off the ground "up to Heaven," at which point they would attempt to catch a bag of silver coins in their teeth. King Rama VII banned the contest in 1932, following a number of fatal accidents.
4. Chatuchak Market
This sprawling semi-outdoor weekend market is the largest in the world and one of the top things to do when visiting Bangkok. Shoppers can find everything from jewelry and religious icons to pet supplies, paper lamps, and delicious street food here. Chatuchak Market is home to over 15,000 stores offering just about anything you can dream up–even better, any souvenir you might want is probably available here at a much cheaper price than anywhere else in Bangkok.
This is a great place to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in everyday Thai life, so arrive early and clear your schedule for the rest of the day if you want to do this place justice.
The market is adjacent to the Kamphaengpecth Station (MRT), about a five-minute walk from Mochit Skytrain (BTS) Station and Suan Chatuchak (Chatuchak Park) Station (MRT)
5. Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
For an even more interesting market experience, you can arrange a tour to Damnoen Saduak, a famous floating market located in Ratchaburi (about 1.5 hours outside Bangkok). The popularity of floating markets once earned Bangkok the nickname "Venice of the East."
Keep in mind that floating markets are now highly touristic enterprises, so don't expect an exclusive morning of shopping by boat–but you will be able to buy fresh and delicious foods and interact with locals in an authentic way.
6. Khao San Road
This is Bangkok's infamous backpacker district, a neighborhood jam-packed with guesthouses, food vendors, clothing stores, and travelers from every corner of the globe. You'll need to tap into your patience when hanging out here, because while it is colorful and exciting in its own way, the crowds and scents and blaring music can test even the calmest soul.
All that said, Khao San Road is also a great place to pick up a few pairs of baggy fisherman pants, the perennial staple of every backpacker's wardrobe when trekking through Thailand; browse the treasures in a used bookstore; and dig into some delicious street food from a neighborhood restaurant.
7. River Cruise
The Chao Phraya River is Bangkok's heartline. Known as the "river of kings," this major waterway will allow you to discover some of the city's most stunning temples and monuments from a completely new angle.
In the evening, you can jump on a dinner cruise to see the lit-up city skyline as you sail along the Grand Palace and Wat Arun and under the Rama VIII Bridge.
During the day, take advantage of Bangkok's many ferries and express boats, which depart from Sathorn Pier and will stop right at the ports of major tourist attractions, including Wat Arun and Ratchawongse. Local canal boats (khlong Saen Saep) are used by the locals to commute to work and are a great way to see the real Bangkok, as the boats zigzag through small canals and behind residential buildings.