Bursting with culture and heritage, the top things to do in Bangkok will introduce you to the capital of Thailand’s vibrant spirit and endless experiences.
From authentic floating markets to the dramatic history of the Ayutthaya ruins, Bangkok is a gateway to Thai culture. From these experiences to the golden temples of Bangkok and more, you will be blown away by the impressive architecture, momentous heritage, and unique way of life.
Experience the best of Bangkok with our recommendations and travel ideas as inspiration for planning your stay in Thailand’s bustling capital.
The historic Chao Phraya River, which has long served as a trading route and commercial network, dissects Bangkok and offers a runway on which tourism and business thrive.
Restored rice barges, traditional wooden motorboats, decked-out liners, and more seafaring transportation cruises up and down the Chao Phraya River daily to take locals from one pier to the next and visitors to iconic landmarks in and around Bangkok’s must-see places.
Whether you want to dine under the twinkling lights of Bangkok’s skyline as you cruise the river or use it as a gateway to see more of the city, crossing the Chao Phraya is essential to your trip to Thailand.
The Grand Palace is a marvel of classical Thai architecture and opulence that dates back to the late 18th century. The intricate detail demonstrates the attention to design and the centuries-long esteem of the royal family in the eyes of its people.
Whether visiting the intricate halls of the palace or exploring the elaborate gallery of Phra Kaew Morakot, where the Emerald Buddha is on display, the grounds feel sacred and inspiring, crowned by the image of Buddha carved from a single block of emerald.
There is no food scene quite like that of Bangkok, a melting pot of Southeast Asian influence that shines through newly rendered historic dishes and modern recreations of timeless classics.
Celebrity chefs and food-stall owners run the gastronomic show that lights up Bangkok and satisfies the palates of every person who passes through the city on a Thai food tour.
During these tours, you will join a food guide to taste unique dishes at family-run restaurants, magnificent meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, and bite-sized eats at street stalls in boisterous outdoor markets.
One cannot visit Bangkok without seeing the temples and palaces for which the city is most famous. These grand complexes are embellished with jewels and covered in gold that glistens in the sunshine, showcasing locals’ unending devotion to gods and deities.
From the colorful porcelain spire of Wat Arun to the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand resting in the ornate complex of Wat Pho, the stately Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace and the towering Buddhist stupa of Wat Saket that shares panoramas of the city, you can spend hours discovering the spirit of Bangkok, one of Thailand’s top places to visit.
The floating market at Damnoen Saduak is an authentic, working space important for local commerce and sustenance. While it has become a popular place to visit, daily life carries on as normal as vendors float down the waterway offering vegetables, flowers, fruits, and even freshly cooked noodles or seafood skewers.
The floating market is a look into the living, breathing culture at the edge of the megacity, where past and present heritage merges. During the best months to visit Bangkok, when the skies are clear and the weather is warm, the floating markets are a welcome treat on cultural tours around the city.
The wellness industry in Thailand booms and visitors find comfort in the millennia-old medicinal techniques and spa practices that have served anxious and tense locals across generations.
You too can embrace the art of Ayurveda and holistic healing, or simply sit back and relax in style as you are pampered in one of Bangkok’s elite spa centers.
Hot lava stone treatments, traditional Thai massages, Baan Sabai massages, and more are on the menu to help your worries melt away before you head home or to the Thai islands.
A night market in Bangkok is not just a destination for shopping, but a place to enjoy the vibrant heritage that celebrates cuisine, shopping, and being seen.
Bars and street-food stalls create endless mouthwatering dishes, with make-shift seating and vintage shops providing an exciting concentration of goods for the savvy shopper looking for hidden treasure.
You can find unique goods, quality toys, or even antiques as you move through the aisles, with some night markets even boasting their own special theme to attract different clientele.
Shopping in Bangkok is less an activity and more a way of life. With glitzy malls, night markets, and the legendary Chatuchak Market creating a foundation for shopping culture and purchasing power, you can find nearly every item you could ever want hiding somewhere in the city.
Whether looking at the “Mother of All Malls” at Icon Siam or interested in strolling along the waterfront at Asiatique, you can find a mixture of themes, ambiances, and possibilities, depending on where you choose to shop.
This day trip from Bangkok is worth every second spent outside of the bustling city amongst the sweeping green and yellow countryside that circles Thailand’s capital.
The former kingdom is an ode to the old world that reflects its Siamese history through meticulous carvings and sculptural designs that compose the century-old palace and architectural ruins.
You will peruse the parklands and admire the monasteries as you explore hundreds of years of Southeast Asian heritage at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bangkok will blow you away as you taste tour the city’s fascinating food scene with Michelin-starred chefs and traditional street-food vendors, and at family-owned restaurants. You can also unwind with an authentic Thai massage, explore Siamese history in Ayutthaya, visit the golden temples, and more on any of our Bangkok vacation packages.
To discover more about Thailand before you go, check out the helpful tips, information, and inspiration found in our Thailand travel guide.