Planning a trip to Bangkok? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
An excessive, frenetic city of opulence, Bangkok cultivates the contrast between modernity and tradition: the city’s brand new skyscrapers sit among the tranquil Buddhist temples that constitute the real heart of the Thai capital.
Begin your exploration of Bangkok with a visit to the Grand Palace which extends over more than 51 acres. After following in the footsteps of Rama I, founder of the Palace, continue with a visit to Wat Phra Kaew, the gigantic Emerald Buddha. Even today, this is one of the most revered Buddha statues in the country. You could easily spend a few hours enjoying this magnificent place.
During your visit, you can also visit Wat Pho, a temple attached to the Royal Palace. One of the oldest temples in the city, it is a little less crowded than Wat Phra Kaew, but it is popular for its huge, gold-covered, reclining Buddha.
It should now be lunch time, so, before continuing your exploration of Bangkok, head back into the bustle of the city and grab a table at Bo Lan, which for many, is the best Thai restaurant in Bangkok. Savour the authentic flavours of Pad Thai, a traditional noodle dish.
Then return to the banks of the Chao Praya and head towards the iconic district of Phra Athit which lies adjacent to the old town. With its picturesque late-nineteenth century houses and charming little cafes, this is a lovely area to wander around.
When night falls, it’s time to sample another side of the city. Head to one of the many rooftop bars that are springing up around Bangkok. The Sky Bar Lebua at State Tower or the Vertigo Moon Bar are some of the most spectacular and trendy spots for a drink in Bangkok.
Visiting Bangkok can be tiring. The next day, treat yourself to a massage, after all you are in the capital of Thai massage. Once you have recharged your batteries you will be ready continue your exploration of Bangkok, pushing your way through the crowds in Chinatown with its many bazaars, among the warren of streets.
Your discovery of Bangkok continues with a visit to Jim Thompson’s house. This peaceful sanctuary is also one of the finest examples of traditional Thai architecture.
As the evening draws on, try your luck in one of the many night markets, such as the Riverfront. The stalls are filled with clothing and handicrafts. And if you’re feeling brave, try some of the delicacies offered by street sellers, such as grasshoppers, silkworms and other insects, cooked Thai style.
If you enjoy shopping, a full day’s shopping is a minimum requirement in Bangkok, a shopper’s paradise. You will find everything you could possibly imagine at the city’s massive malls, a symbol of Thailand’s opening up to the Western world. MBK (Mah Boon Krong) is the favoured shopping spot for the younger generation with its hundreds of premium ready-to-wear brands.
However, you cannot visit Bangkok without having set foot in Siam Paragon, Bangkok’s pride and joy. At over 500,000m² in size, with 300 stores, it is the most visited shopping centre in south-east Asia.
Enjoy a quiet moment with a dinner cruise on the Chao Praya (or "River of Kings"). From your table, you can pay a last tribute to the glory of this "Venice of the East".
On your last day, complete your tour of the city by taking the skytrain to escape from the centre of Bangkok and visiting the iconic Chatuchak floating market. You can easily spend a whole day here, browsing and haggling, before leaving laden down with souvenirs of all kinds.
Visiting Bangkok is a total experience, a summary of the essence of Thailand and the Thai people, of both yesterday and today.