For some time now, Nuno and I wanted to create a travel guide with all the essentials of Bangkok. Basically, the guide we’d like to have found before our trip to Thailand.

So with that in mind we created a complete itinerary, divided it into 5 parts, and organized it by days to make it easier to digest. The order in which you start is up to you, and if you don’t have 5 days to visit Bangkok, just pick the days that best suit your traveler profile.

Each day of the itinerary is sequentially planned with all locations mapped in the most convenient order for you. We’ve considered the time it’ll take you to visit each site, as well as moving within the city from point A to point B. Oh, and we’ve also included launch breaks and suggestions of places to eat. It’s all covered.

Welcome to day-one. Let’s do this! ✊

 

Mario and Nuno in the Grand Palace

 

Bangkok Itinerary Map for Day 1 | The temple day

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw

Entrance fee

Tickets cost 500 baht.
If you don’t want to waste time on queues, buy your tickets online at: www.royalgrandpalace.th/buy-ticket

Opening hours

The Grand Palace opening hours are 8:30 to 15:30.

We encourage you to wake up early and to be there in the first hour of the morning. Being a very popular site, be prepared to encounter a lot of people at the entrance — and we’re not just talking about tourists.

 

Grand Palace exterior 

Swindlers love to hang right outside the palace like vultures flying over a carcass. We still remember being approached several times by people telling us the palace was closed for foreigners that day (lie), or that we had to buy special clothes otherwise we wouldn’t be allowed in (half-truth). 

As the Gran Palace and Wat Phra Keaw are considered sacred, all visitors must dress according to the stipulated rules: trousers or long shorts, and no sleeveless t-shirts. If the staff members consider you’re revealing more than you should, you’ll be guided to a booth near the entrance that will lend you the appropriate cover up. The lending service is included in the ticket price.

⏲️ A proper visit will take you at least 2 hours.

 

Grand Palace buildings

Wat Prakeaw Bangkok

 

Lak Mueang

Near Wat Phra Kaew is a shrine called Lak Mueang that represents the guardian spirit of the city. Inside is the foundation pillar raised in 1782 when King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital of Thailand.

Thai people come here regularly to leave offerings and to pray. Traditional Thai dances are performed daily and are free to watch.

Lak Mueang is open from 6:30 until 18:30.

Lak Mueang Bangkok
Lak Mueang Pillar




Wat Ratchabophit

With a typical Thai exterior reminiscent of the Grand Palace, this temple has an interior with clear European influences similar to a gothic cathedral. Here, are also stored the ashes of several members of Thai royalty.

It’s open from 9:00 to 18:00 and free to enter.

Wat Ratchapradit

A very beautiful temple close to Wat Ratchabophit that stands out for its Khmer influenced prang structures — like the ones you can find in the Angkor Thom Temple in Cambodia. 

Opens from 9:00 to 19:00 and admission is free.

 

Wat Ratchapradit

White Prang at Wat Ratchapradit
Wat Ratchapradit Buddha

Wat Pho

By now, you’ve probably seen countless pictures of a humongous golden reclining Buddha somewhere in Thailand — here’s where it is.

 


Wat Pho is just a 10-minute walk away from the Grand Palace.

It’s open from 8:00 to 17:00 and tickets cost 100 baht. However, don’t think you’re only paying to see the famous Buddha. The temple grounds and gardens are beautiful.

 

Golden Buddhas in Wat Pho

Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho is also one of the best schools of Traditional Thai medicine and massage, so if you’re interested in a quality massage here’s your chance! These are the prices:

Traditional Thai massage

• 420 Baht for 1 hour
• 260 Baht for 30 minutes

Foot Massage

• 420 Baht for 1 hour
• 280 Baht for 30 minutes

For more information on what to expect from a Thai massage at Wat Pho visit: www.thaizer.com/getting-a-thai-massage-at-wat-pho-bangkok

 

Lunch Break

If you started the day early like we suggested, it’s probably lunch time by now and you’re likely to be hungry. 

Grab lunch in the square right behind Wat Pho by the Tha Tian Pier. There are plenty of street food stalls to choose from. After lunch you can catch the ferry to Wat Arun right there at the pier.

 

Pad Thai Street Food





Wat Arun

Open from 8:30 to 17:30. The admission fee is 50 baht.

Being one of the most visited temples in Bangkok, stopping by Wat Arun after lunch is a smart move and here’s why: since the internet decided that Wat Arun was a popular spot to watch the sunset, many tourists started to cross the river in the late afternoon.

That’s why we assigned the visit to Wat Arun after lunch, because we know it would be a particular quiet time in the day.

Tip: If you’re not following the sequence in this itinerary, early mornings are also a good time to visit.

Ferry Boat to Wat Arun

 

Climbing Wat Arun’s central prang will give you a privileged panoramic view of the river and the old part of the city. Last time we visited it, the prang was under restoration, so send us some pictures if you can. Thanks!

Crossing the Chao Praya River to Wat Arun

To get to Wat Arun (on the other side of the river)  you have to take the ferry departing from Tha Tien Express Boat Pier every 10 minutes or so. The trip takes around 5 minutes and gets you right by the temple for a 5 Baht fare.

 

2 extra sites close to Wat Arun (to visit if the day is going as planned)

1. Santa Cruz Church and the Kudeejeen neighborhood

Santa Cruz Church is one of Bangkok’s oldest Catholic churches, built to cater the religious needs of the Portuguese community that lived in this part of town. 

For 200 years, the peaceful communities of Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims that settled around the church co-created a unique multicultural neighborhood (Kudeejeen) that is definitely worth exploring.

If you’re interested in a bit more history on the Portugal – Siam relations, read: www.tour-bangkok-legacies.com/santa-cruz-church.html

 

2. Wat Prayoon

This temple stands out for its epic 80 meter high Chedi, the red iron fences made by ancient weapons, and the surrounding turtle pond and rock garden. 

The peaceful temple grounds have many benches near the pond for you to relax. However, if you’re not into contemplative rest, visit the Buddha Images Museum. It has thousands of amulets, images and artifacts that were found inside the base of the Chedi upon its restoration.

Wat Prayoon is open from 9:00 until 18:00 and there’s no entrance fee.

 

Bonus visit of the day

Artist’s House or Baan Silapin

It’s the farthest place on the map, but worth a visit if you have time to spare.
Open from 10:00 to 18:00, this 200 year old Thai wooden house it’s a creative space located along one of the main canals of the Chao Praya River.

 

Artist House in Bangkok

 

It’s a great place to chill after an hectic day in the city. So grab a coffee, enjoy a traditional thai meal by the river, or watch the free daily Thai puppet shot at 14:00.

The easiest way to get here is by taxi, but if you want to save some money (and don’t mind walking for a little bit) there are buses that can get you close-by. 

Buses to the Artist’s House

From the city center 🚌

Hop onto the bus nº 68 and get off at the stop Wat Tha Phra. From here you’ll have to walk an extra 20 minutes.

From Wat Arun 🚌 

If you’re at Wat Arun, take bus nº 710 to Bang Wa BTS station. Then, get off at Petchkasem 14 Tha Phra Intersection. From there walk 20 minutes north. See map above.

An evening on Rambuttri Alley

Rambuttri it’s a chilled and bohemian street enclosed with cool bars, lighted trees, and a mellow vibe that’ll make you want to hang out for the evening — especially after a full day.

 

Rambuttri Alley

 

If you want a super affordable meal, we suggest any food stall along Rambuttri Alley for dinner, drinks and dessert. However, if for some reason you feel a little iffy about food stalls, most bar terraces will serve meals, just expect a more touristy price.

 

Rambuttri Alley at night


Not tired yet?

If you don’t feel like slowing down just yet or manage to thrive around chaotic energy, there’s also the famous Kao San Road, parallel to Rambuttri Alley. There’s plenty of loud music, vodka buckets, and food vendors selling fried insects in their push-carts. Why not try some?

 

Fried bugs Thailand

 

Day 02 of the itinerary is coming soon!