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A Perfect 3-Day Bangkok Itinerary for Unforgettable Experiences

Bangkok, the heart of Thailand, is a city full of life and rich history. In this 3-day itinerary, we’ll guide you through the best of Bangkok. You’ll see famous places like the Grand Palace, enjoy the peaceful Chao Phraya River, and taste delicious street food. We’ve planned everything to help you see the top spots and hidden gems of the city.

Most travelers stop by the beautiful city of Bangkok before heading south to go island hopping in Thailand.

Get ready to explore Bangkok’s world famous landmarks, discover places locals love, and enjoy amazing food. This guide is your ticket to experiencing the real Bangkok in just three days, combining its history, culture, and the everyday buzz of the city.

Day 1: Explore Old Town and Temples


Visit Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok Grand Palace
Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew represent an architectural marvel and cultural treasure trove in the heart of Bangkok. The Grand Palace serves as the official residence of the Kings of Siam, and Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is enshrined within the palace grounds. You can see all the intricate details, multitude of colors, and sacred spiritual aura make this enormous complex an epitome of Thai culture’s art and craftsmanship.

The ticket price for the Grand Palace is approximately THB 500, which isn’t the most affordable, but worth it for the experience.

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are typically open to the public from early morning to late afternoon so make sure to plan accordingly. The mornings are not as crowded, so arrive early if you can. However, the opening hours are subject to change, so it’s crucial to verify the current schedule before planning your visit.

What to See Inside:

  • The Emerald Buddha: Marvel at the revered Emerald Buddha, a meticulously crafted statue of Buddha carved from a single piece of jade. The statue is housed in the main hall of Wat Phra Kaew.
  • The Grand Palace Complex: Explore the ornate halls, pavilions, and courtyards of the Grand Palace, each adorned with an array of Thai architecture, murals, and statues.
  • The Outer Court: Wander through the Outer Court, which includes significant structures like the Amarinda Hall and the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall.
  • The Inner Court: Discover the Inner Court, where the residential quarters of the royal family are situated. Admire the architecture and the various halls with their historical and cultural significance.

Guidelines and Restrictions:

While visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, it’s essential to adhere to certain guidelines.

  • Dress Code: Visitors must dress modestly, covering their shoulders, arms, and knees. Avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless tops, or revealing clothing.
  • Footwear: Remove your shoes before entering the temple buildings as a sign of respect.
  • Photography: Respect the designated areas for photography and avoid taking pictures in prohibited zones.
  • Silence: Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanour within the temple complex.


Wat Pho

Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, stands as one of Bangkok’s most revered and historic temples. The highlight of this temple is the enormous Reclining Buddha, a gold-plated statue measuring 46 meters in length.

Once you see it up close, you can tell that the statue has a serene expression and fine details that make it a mesmerizing sight. Wat Pho is not just about the Reclining Buddha; it also boasts more great architecture, a plethora of murals, and a peaceful ambiance that transports visitors to a bygone spiritual era.

The admission fee for Wat Pho is typically around 200 Thai Baht for foreign visitors, so get your hands on some local currency before you go. However, it’s crucial to note that ticket prices and policies may change, and it’s advisable to check the official website or local sources for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit. So you only need to allocate money without having to think about money exchange.

Wat Pho generally opens its doors to visitors from early morning to late afternoon. The standard opening hours are from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. It’s recommended to visit in the morning to avoid crowds and experience the temple’s serene atmosphere. However, these hours are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the official website or local sources for the most up-to-date information.

What to Explore Inside:

  • Reclining Buddha Hall: The centerpiece of Wat Pho, the Reclining Buddha Hall, houses the impressive golden statue. Take your time to appreciate the Buddha’s serene face and the 108 auspicious symbols on his feet.
  • Phra Ubosot (Ordination Hall): Explore the main hall adorned with colorful tiles, statues, and murals depicting scenes from Thai literature and history.
  • Chedis and Courtyards: Wander through the temple complex’s spacious courtyards, adorned with numerous smaller chedis (stupas) containing the ashes of the royal family.
  • Massage School: Wat Pho is also home to one of the oldest and most prestigious massage schools in Thailand. Consider indulging in a traditional Thai massage within the temple grounds.

Lunch at Tha Thien

When visiting Bangkok, you shouldn’t miss out on a spot of food hunting at Tha Tien market. This market can savor a variety of mouthwatering local street foods such as grilled seafood, BBQ, chips, and sweets.

For an authentic experience, explore the outdoor stalls offering grilled chicken skewers, prawns, and squid. Don’t miss the spring rolls and dried sweet fruits for a lighter option. Grab some conveniently packed treats like sweet banana chips, garlic peanuts, pork rinds, and crispy sweet chili fish to enjoy as you continue exploring.

Beyond the tempting Thai street food offerings, Tha Tien Market is a haven for both cold and hot delights. Indulge in their irresistible fruit shakes, available in a variety of flavors. The market also boasts a selection of frappes and hot tea options, providing the perfect refreshment as you browse through the stalls.

Don’t miss out on the delectable ice cream stalls offering unique flavors like mango and black forest, providing a sweet escape from the heat. For those seeking a crisp and clean taste, local beer is available at an affordable price of just 50 THB per bottle—just be mindful not to indulge too much if you plan to continue strolling through the market afterward!


Wat Arun

Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, is like a superstar among Bangkok’s famous places and another go to for a Wat Temple Tour of Bangkok. It stands proudly on the west side of the Chao Phraya River, just across from the Grand Palace. Picture it as a symbol of Thailand’s rich history and culture. Now, let’s dive into this special place!

Wat Arun is like a masterpiece with its amazing design. Imagine a tall tower in the middle, covered in delicate porcelain and seashell patterns. Four smaller towers surround it, making a unique shape against Bangkok’s sky.

This temple is not just pretty; it’s also a big deal in Thai history and religion. It’s named after Aruna, a Hindu god connected to the rising sun. So, you’ll see a mix of Hindu and Buddhist influences, adding to its charm.

The main attraction is the central tower, soaring over 70 meters high. Climbing to the top gives you a breathtaking view of the Chao Phraya River and the area around it. The climb is a bit steep with narrow staircases, but that makes it even more exciting!

What’s cool is that you can reach Wat Arun by taking a boat across the river. That means you get a fantastic boat ride as part of your adventure!

Wat Arun is usually open from early morning to late afternoon. But, check the latest info before you plan your visit. There might be a small fee to get in, especially for certain parts of the temple.

You can visit Wat Arun any time, but it’s extra magical during sunrise and sunset. The soft light makes the temple’s details pop and shine.

Over the years, Wat Arun has had a few touch-ups to keep it looking fantastic. These restoration projects help make sure that people like you can keep enjoying its beauty for a long, long time!

Dinner at Wang Lang Market

Wang Lang Market
Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

Wang Lang Market, located in the heart of Bangkok, is a bustling and vibrant market known for its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings. The market, situated near Siriraj Hospital and Thammasat University, attracts both locals and tourists alike. Wang Lang Market is renowned for its extensive range of products, including clothing, accessories, and handmade crafts.

One of the standout features of Wang Lang Market is its delectable street food scene. Numerous stalls line the narrow pathways, offering an array of local snacks, appetizing dishes, and refreshing beverages. Visitors can indulge in Thai culinary delights, from savory treats to sweet delicacies, all served by friendly and enthusiastic vendors.

Wang Lang Market provides an authentic glimpse into Bangkok’s local culture, making it an excellent destination for those seeking a genuine and immersive experience. The market’s lively atmosphere, diverse goods, and delicious food options make it a popular choice for both shopping and culinary exploration.

Whether you’re in search of unique souvenirs, or trendy fashion items, or simply want to savor the flavors of Thai street food, Wang Lang Market has something to offer for everyone who celebrates a birthday in Bangkok.

Day 2: Modern Bangkok and Shopping


Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market, often referred to as JJ Market, is a shopaholic’s haven situated in the northern part of Bangkok. Renowned as the largest weekend market in Thailand, it spans a vast area and boasts a staggering number of stalls and vendors.

The market is a bustling hub of activity, attracting both locals and tourists seeking a diverse range of goods. With over 8,000 stalls covering more than 25 acres, shoppers can find almost anything imaginable. From the latest trendy clothing, accessories, and handcrafted items to home decor, plants, and even pets, the market caters to a wide array of tastes and preferences.

Open only on weekends, Chatuchak Market comes alive with vibrant energy. The market is divided into different sections, each dedicated to specific types of products. Whether you’re on the hunt for unique souvenirs, vintage finds, or the latest fashion trends, Chatuchak has it all.


Lunch at MBK Center

MBK Center, also known simply as MBK, stands as an iconic shopping complex in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Situated in the bustling Pathum Wan district, MBK has earned its reputation as one of the city’s most popular and expansive shopping destinations.

When you’re ready for a change of scene, explore Siam Square for modern shopping and entertainment.

Beyond its shopping allure, MBK is a part of the cultural and culinary hub here in Bangkok. The mall features a diverse range of dining options, from local Thai cuisine to standard international flavors like Italian and American. Visitors can indulge themselves in a variety of culinary delights, providing a nice and well deserved break during their shopping spree.


Asiatique the Riverfront

Asiatique The Riverfront stands as another testament to Bangkok’s ability to seamlessly blend history and modernity. You can find multiple options here to keep you busy. If you’re seeking another leisurely shopping experience, want to have one more culinary adventure, or find a nice piece of evening entertainment against the backdrop of the Chao Phraya River, Asiatique will be able to offer you one or more options.

Asiatique is a shopper’s paradise with a diverse range of boutiques and stalls. From fashionable clothing and accessories to handmade crafts and souvenirs, the market-style shopping area caters to various tastes. The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with the twinkling lights along the river, creates a delightful ambiance for an evening of retail therapy.

Asiatique Riverfront
Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

The complex is a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a plethora of dining options. From Thai street food stalls showcasing local delicacies to upscale restaurants serving international cuisine, Asiatique provides a culinary journey along the riverside. Visitors can enjoy their meals while taking in the stunning views of the Chao Phraya River.

Day 3: Local Life and Nightlife


Jim Thompson House

Jim Thompson House is a heritage home gifted to businessman James H.W. It is used to preserve Thailand’s rich silk heritage and his prized collection of Asian antiques. A charming garden-surrounded complex located on the banks of the Saen Saeb Canal with 6 traditional Thai teak houses transported from Ayutthaya and Ban Krua Silk Village.

When visiting the Jim Thompson House in Siam, simply follow the directions from the National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station: take Exit 1, turn right into Soi Kasemsan 2, walk to the end of the road, and you’ll find the museum on your left-hand side. For visitor information, Jim Thompson House is open every day from 10.00 AM to 06.00 PM with entrance fee for adults 200 Bath and visitors under 22 years 100 Bath.

Lunch at Thip Samai Pad Thai

If you’re visiting Bangkok, it wouldn’t be complete without trying pad thai from the legendary Thip Samai restaurant. Having been open for 50 years, the flavors of this pad thai have been reviewed by international media so there’s no doubt about it.

They have 3 signature menus that you must try. The first is the Pad Thai Pratu Pi, with red coloured noodles served with two large prawns. The second is Pad Thai Haw Kai Goong Sot, which is Pad Thai Pratu Pi wrapped in an omelet. The last is Pad Thai Sen Jan Man Goong, pad thai with white colored noodles. This is just one of the special dishes in Bangkok that you will have to try on your trip

The price of a regular portion is Baht 70. However, you can order a special portion at a different price. In addition to Pad Thai, Thip Samai is famous for its ice calamansi drink which is sold at 180 Bath.


Visit Wat Saket (Golden Mount)

Wat Temple
Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

Wat Saket was originally built during the Ayutthaya period in the 18th century, then expanded and renovated by King Rama I during the Rattanakosin Kingdom. Previously, the Wat Saket building served as a crematorium when Bangkok was plagued by disease. The bodies of the dead were brought to this temple for cremation.

During King Rama III’s reign intended to construct a “Stupa” but it collapsed. It was only during the reign of King Rama IV that the present structure, a golden chedi, was built atop the mound.

Before your visit, make sure to check the latest information as the opening hours and entrance fees for Wat Saket (Golden Mount) may be subject to change.


Explore Khao San Road

Khao San Road
Photo Credit: Victoria Heinz

Khao San Road is Bangkok’s largest backpacker district. Dining and nightlife centers are waiting for you to visit. The most lively locations are on Rambuttri Road and Phra Athit Road. These streets have a great selection of bars and nightclubs. But don’t forget the eateries. Bangkok is famous for its cheap street food, especially here as they try to cater to the tourists coming out of the nightclubs and bars. We recommend the scorpion on a stick which is a great start for first-timers.

Nightlife in Thonglor

Thonglor is home to a variety of bars and pubs, each with its unique theme and ambiance. From sophisticated cocktail lounges to more casual and laid-back pubs, there’s something for everyone. Many establishments in Thonglor are known for their creative and expertly crafted cocktails.

The area features some of Bangkok’s popular nightclubs, drawing in partygoers with diverse music genres. These clubs often host both local and international DJs, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. Expect stylish interiors, impressive sound systems, and late-night dancing.

Feel free to swap these around to fit your travel schedule. You may have visited before and already been to some of these locations, or found new places you may decide are of more interest to you. The fact is you can not go wrong when visiting Bangkok. So just relax and enjoy the time you have here.

This article originally appeared on The World Overload. Featured Photo Credit: Unsplash

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