Have you got 1 day in Bangkok city and wondering what to do to make the most of your time?

There’s no doubt about it, Bangkok is a vibrant city full of life, love and adventure. It’s no wonder that so many people are drawn to its charms.

Whether you’re looking to shop till you drop at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, enjoy a traditional Thai massage or soak up some culture, I’ve got you covered with a whole load of tourist attractions you won’t want to miss.

With only one day in Bangkok, you might think it’s impossible to see everything that this Thai capital city has to offer. And, well yes, you’d be right… it would be impossible to see EVERYTHING.

But what you can do is have an amazing 24 hours in Bangkok experiencing some of the very best tourist sites. And that’s where my one day in Bangkok itinerary comes in.

But first…

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How to get to Bangkok

First up on the agenda… get to Bangkok! And here’s how to get there so you can start exploring the city:

Flying: Bangkok has two main airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). If you’re flying into Bangkok, chances are you’ll be arriving into one of these two airports.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main international airport and is located about 30 kilometers from the city center, while Don Mueang is used mainly for domestic flights but also has a few international flights too.

The best way to get from Suvarnabhumi airport into the city is by taxi. An airport taxi will cost you around 400 THB (12 USD).

Alternatively, there is a train which runs from the airport also, which may be more convenient if you’re on a tight budget.

Check out for your trip to Bangkok.

By Train: This is the best way to get to Bangkok. I say best because it’s the most scenic and the most cost effective. So if you’re coming from another part of Thailand, I definitely recommend hopping on a train.

If you don’t mind missing the scenery, or have a long train ride ahead, sleeper trains are available which are really comfortable and will save you on accommodation for the night (win win!).

I use 12GoAsia for any trains I take in Asia and have never had any issues. You can check out train times and tickets here.

By Road: Another option for getting to Bangkok is by bus. This can be a great option if you’re coming from neighboring countries like Laos, Cambodia or Malaysia (for example).

Check out Bookaway for all the best public transport options if that’s your preferred method of getting to Bangkok.

How to get around Bangkok

Once you’re in Bangkok, getting around is pretty easy.

There’s a great public transport system made up of the BTS Skytrain, MRT Subway and boats which can get you around to all the must see places relatively easily.

However, if you want to save some money (who doesn’t?) and have a bit more freedom, then I recommend walking where possible. Bangkok is a great city for walking.

Where to stay in Bangkok

For a bit of luxury: The is a 5-star luxury hotel with state of the art facilities, which includes a swimming pool set in luscious green surroundings, award winning restaurants and a spa providing relaxing massage therapies (sounds divine right?). This Bangkok hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Bangkok.

To save the pennies: is a quaint homestay that is perfect if you’re on a low budget. It’s just 1.2km walk from Bangkok National Museum. The highlight of this homestay definitely has to be the serene gardens.

Something quirky: is set on the Chao Phraya River and surrounded by forest. You can sleep in open air treetop rooms or more covered two-story apartments. The best thing about this place is you get free ice-cream every day!

When should you visit Bangkok

The best time to visit Bangkok is November through February when the weather is cool and dry. That being said, Bangkok is a year-round destination, so really you can visit whenever suits you best.

Keep in mind that if you’re visiting during Thai festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) or Loy Krathong, accommodation will be more expensive and harder to come by, so it’s best to book in advance.

Let’s get to our 1 day Bangkok itinerary…

one day in Bangkok: Bangkok at night
Image by Gutsmanz of FlickrCC

Whatever brings you to Bangkok for one day, whether you’re on a layover or just passing through, there’s plenty to see and do in one day in Bangkok.

I’ve put together a suggested 1 day Bangkok itinerary which covers all the must-see sights. But what if you don’t want to figure out the logistics of getting to each place by yourself? After all you only have 1 day in Bangkok…

Hire a guide to take you around Bangkok for the day instead! With a local guide you’ll be able to make the most of your time, avoid any tourist traps and get insider tips on the best places to eat, drink and shop. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check out this highly rated tour.

Alternatively, I love a good hop-on-hop-off bus! My trick is to usually do one full route sitting on the bus so I can figure out which sights I want to get out and see. Then on the next time around, I hop off where I choose. Bangkok has its own hop-on-hop-of bus you can pre-book tickets for.

If you like to wing it and head out on your own, this Bangkok one day itinerary may be exactly what you’re looking for. Let’s get going…

1 day in Bangkok: The Morning

Have a Traditional Thai Breakfast

Thailand is known around the world for having the most delicious street food. So much so that one vendor, Jay Fai, even has a Michelin star! And you can’t start your day off without trying some traditional Thai food.

To make the most of your one day in Bangkok, I recommend getting out early and having a traditional Thai breakfast from one of the many street food vendors. You can’t go wrong with some tasty fried rice or noodles from a street vendor on Khao San Road.

one day in Bangkok: Khao San Road
Image by Gianluca Colombi of FlickrCC

Khao San Road is known as the backpacker area of Bangkok and is full of cheap accommodation, bars and restaurants. So you won’t be breaking the bank for some breakfast here.

After you’ve satisfied your belly, if you plan on doing some souvenir shopping, Khao San Road is the place to be. You can find all sorts of souvenirs like sarongs, trinkets, traditional Thai clothing and more (for a fraction of the price they usually go for).

Take a Long Tail Boat Ride Down Chao Phraya River

Next, it’s time to explore Bangkok by boat! Chao Phraya River is the main river which flows through Bangkok and is a great way to get around (sit back, relax, and let the captain do the work).

Most people opt for the hop-on-hop-off option (also the cheaper option at just $12). This lets you hop off at the various piers and see the sights before hopping back on and moving down the river.

one day in Bangkok: long tail boats
Image by Bernard Spragg NZ

Another alternative is to book this river and canal tour which (as the name gives away) also cruises down the canals of Bangkok. This is a great way to see a different side of Bangkok away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

1 day in Bangkok: The Afternoon

This afternoon is all about the temples of Bangkok!

Wat Arun

First on our list of temples to see should be Wat Arun, otherwise known as the Temple of Dawn, located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

1 day in Bangkok: Wat Arun
Image by Hiro_A of FlickrCC

This is one of Bangkok’s most iconic temples, and is actually considered to be the most beautiful temple in all of Thailand. I was immediately enchanted by its beauty.

Wat Arun gets its name from teh Hindu god Aruna, who is the charioteer of the sun god Surya. It features five prangs (or towers) which are decorated with intricate pieces of porcelain. It’s just spectacular!

Wat Pho

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is home to an incredible 45-meter long Buddha statue, plated in gold. The temple is the oldest and largest in Bangkok and takes up a whopping 20 acres!

1 day in Bangkok: Wat Pho
Image by Benjamin Kowalczyk from FlickrCC

Wat Pho is also the home to the biggest collection of Buddha images in Thailand. This temple complex houses a number of other different buildings and sculptures, each more beautiful than the last.

Interestingly, Wat Pho isn’t just a temple – it’s where Thai massage was born!

Top tip: If you’re doing the hop-on-hop-off river boat, you can get off at Tha Tien Pier to visit Wat Pho. Or if you’re coming from Wat Arun, you can hop on the riverboat to get there.

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is an absolute must see for visitors to Bangkok. Built in 1972, this elaborate complex of temples, halls and pavilions was the home of the Thai King, Royal court and administration for 150 years. Today, it’s used only for official ceremonies.

1 day in Bangkok: Grand Palace
Image by Uwe Schwarzbach from FlickrCC

Some of the highlights at the Grand Palace are the Royal Pantheon, the Chaki Maha Prasat Hall and the Demon Guards.

There’s an entrance fee of 500 Thai Baht (around $15) to get into the Palace and surroundings.

Wat Phra Kaew

Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is located inside the Grand Palace Complex. This temple is considered to be the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand.

The Emerald Buddha, which is actually made of one single piece of jade, dates back to the 14th century and is a revered figure in Thailand. It’s clothed in different robes throughout the year, depending on the season.

1 day in Bangkok: Wat Phra Kaew
Image by Witsanu R of FlickrCC

You’re not allowed to take pictures here, so you’ll just have to see it for yourself!

Note: there is a strict dress code when visiting Wats or Temples in Thailand (especially the Grand Palace). This means you must be appropriately dressed before entering the buildings. Shoulders and knees should be covered (always carry a sarong/long scarf for this reason) and you’ll need to take your shoes off before entering also. And these rules apply to everyone, not just women!

A great way to get to see the very best of all these temples is to do a walking tour or two. This tour of Wat Pho and Wat Arun is a great option, and this tour of the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew is also highly recommended.

1 day in Bangkok: The Evening

Tuk Tuk Ride Through Chinatown

Have you even been to Bangkok if you haven’t taken a ride in a tuk tuk? These little open-air taxis are ubiquitous in Bangkok and are a great way to get around, especially in the traffic-heavy city center.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk
Image by Hiro_A of FlickrCC

For something a little different, how about taking a tuk tuk ride through Chinatown? You’ll zip past colourful temples, markets selling everything from herbs to gold and delicious street food stalls.

Combine your tuk tuk ride with a visit to the markets with this highly rated tour!

River Dinner Cruise

After a busy day of sightseeing, there’s nothing better than finishing off with a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya River. You’ll get to see Bangkok’s skyline light up as you enjoy a delicious buffet meal on board.

Bangkok River Dinner Cruise
Image by Petr Petrov of FlickrCC

Most cruises last an hour or two and include a buffet dinner as well as some form of entertainment. It’s the perfect way to end your one day in Bangkok!

Got more than 1 day in Bangkok?

If you’re lucky enough to have more than 1 day in Bangkok, here are a few more things you could do:

  • Ride the Skytrain to Siam Square and explore the huge shopping malls.
  • Explore the markets: Bangkok has an abundance of markets, whether it’s the bargains you find at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, the incredible smells of fresh flowers at the Flower Market, or visiting the largest fish market around, there’s literally a market for everyone!
  • Relax in Lumpini Park (or Lumphini Park): This is a great spot for a morning stroll or jog. The park covers over 142 acres and is full of walking and jogging paths, ponds, gardens and more. It’s named after Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha in Nepal. It’s also home to some interesting Bangkok landmarks like the statue of King Rama V, Lumphini Park Library and Lumpini Lake.
  • Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market: If you’re interested in seeing a more traditional Thai market, then this is the place for you. It’s located about an hour outside of Bangkok but well worth the trip.
  • Jim Thompson House: This house is a fascinating look into the life of artist James H. W. Thompson, who was otherwise known as the Silk King.
  • Day trip to Ayutthaya Historical Park: The historic city of Ayutthaya was once the second capital of Thailand and is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins are spread out over a large area and make for a great day trip from Bangkok.

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Bangkok is an incredible city with so much to see and do. I hope this guide has given you some ideas of how to spend your one day in Bangkok.

For more Asia travel inspiration, check out some of my other posts here.

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