Is Bangkok worth visiting? This is a frequent question I get when people plan a first trip to Thailand. More often than not, your flight will be to Bangkok and then you might wonder if there are any reasons to visit Bangkok for a few days before moving on.
Truth is, and I’m being completely honest here, I absolutely hated Bangkok the first few times I went. But life took me there time after time. As I started peeling off the layers of the chaotic and dusty city, I started to see a lot of beauty, culture, unique neighborhoods, parks, and history – and now, I absolutely love the city.
For most people, it doesn’t take that long to fall in love with a city though. I’m just not a big-city gal. There are so many great things to do in Bangkok from exploring the night markets to visiting the temples.
You should allow at least 2 days in Bangkok to get the most out of it, though a day’s layover spent well will still give you a fabulous introduction to the city.
So in this post, I’ll list the top reasons to visit Bangkok so you can decide whether it’s worthy your Thailand itinerary or not.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of those links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
MORE FROM THAILAND
- Thailand off the beaten track
- Koh Mook travel guide
- Things to do in Phuket
- Island hopping in Thailand
- Spectacular places to go diving in Thailand
- Things to do in Koh Lanta
- Things to do in Koh Phi Phi
- Things to do in Pai
Table of Contents
Reasons to visit Bangkok
One of the main reasons why visit Bangkok is all the incredible cultural landmarks in the city. First of all, The Grand Palace speaks for itself with golden stupas and intricate details.
Right on the river, you find the stunning Wat Arun towering over the city offering sweeping views. One of the oldest and most impressive temples is Wat Pho, famous for its giant golden, reclining Buddha.
But this is just a taste of the incredible structures and temples Bangkok is home to.
I highly recommend going on this guided tour of the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. This way you get a good introduction to the most important landmarks in Bangkok.
Street Food Paradise
Indulge in a culinary adventure with Bangkok’s diverse street food scene. Try local delicacies like Pad Thai, Som Tum (green papaya salad), and Mango Sticky Rice.
Many of the Thai street foods are vegetarian or vegan naturally, but you must be aware of fish sauce which they basically use in everything – so ask for something without fish sauce and they can often make it without it. Especially if you order rice or noodle dishes or soups.
Try Roti Sai Mai, a thin flatbread made in front of you – so tasty! And not to mention Khanom Krok, small bite-size coconut-based pancake-ish delights.
If anyone ever ask me “Is Bangkok a good place to visit for foodies?” the answer is a YES! While Indian food is my all-time favorite, Thai food comes a close second and Bangkok is the ultimate foodie heaven in Thailand.
I highly recommend joining this foodie tuk-tuk tour which takes you to sample some street food and explore some of the temples and flower market at night.
Bangkok is home to several floating markets – a unique Southeast Asia experience. But is Bangkok worth it when it comes to the floating markets? Well, Bangkok is home to Thailand’s most popular floating market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
So it’s not hard to guess it’s worth visiting! But there are also several smaller floating markets worth exploring like Amphawa Floating Market and Khlong Lat Mayom. You might even find joy in the Maeklong Railway Market which is pretty unique.
I highly recommend joining this tour to the Maeklong Railway Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market to get the most out of it.
Bangkok is divided by the Chao Phraya River with beautiful temples like Wat Arun lining it. If you like a scenic city, this is a great reason why visit Bangkok Thailand.
Take a scenic cruise along the river, offering breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and landmarks, especially stunning during sunset.
Take this evening dinner cruise for a fabulous opportunity to explore the city from the water when the lights start to illuminate the skyline after sunset. I love that it’s a casual atmosphere onboard with live music.
For a different experience, take this longtail boat tour into the canals and explore some of the hidden gems of Bangkok.
Bangkok comes alive at night with a bustling nightlife. From rooftop bars offering stunning views of the city to lively nightclubs, there’s something for everyone.
If this sounds like you, there’s no reason to leave Bangkok out of your Thailand itinerary!
Bangkok is a haven for shopping. In fact, I’ve often done my shopping there before leaving the country to avoid carrying everything around for several weeks around Thailand.
Head to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market where you’ll find anything from clothing to handicrafts at bargain prices.
If you prefer air-conditioned comfort, explore MBK Center or Siam Paragon, where you’ll find everything from high-end fashion to tech gadgets.
Don’t forget the night markets of Bangkok, where you can shop under the stars while enjoying street food and live entertainment.
There’s also the unique Chang Chui Bangkok Plane Night Market which is set around the shell of a Tristar airliner. This is a great place to hunt down local art pieces and quirky items.
Thai Massage and Spa
One of the top reasons to visit Bangkok is the incredible wealth of massage and spa facilities throughout the city.
You just can’t go to Thailand without having a massage and the affordable prices make it easy to have a massage to relieve any tension after a long flight after arrival, any tension before a long flight, and anything in between.
Seriously, there’s no reason whatsoever not to have one or more Thai massages in Bangkok!
A bustling Chinatown
One of the most vibrant areas in Bangkok is Chinatown, known as Yaowarat. Explore the maze of narrow streets lined with endless rows of market stalls selling everything from exotic fruits to intricate handicrafts.
This is a great place for shopping and digging into street food through the hundreds of food stalls. Chinatown is the perfect place for just soaking in everything around you and people-watching as you try all the food.
Don’t forget to marvel at the ornate Chinese temples and soak in the rich cultural atmosphere of this bustling neighborhood.
Bangkok can feel like a large chaotic city, so you’ll be delighted to know there’s some relaxing green spaces in the city too.
My favorite is the Lumpini Park, a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, rent a paddleboat, or join locals in outdoor activities.
Thailand is famous for its vibrant and colorful festivals and Bangkok is no exception.
Time your visit to coincide with festivals like Songkran (Thai New Year) or Loy Krathong, when the city comes alive with vibrant celebrations, parades, and traditional performances.
Conclusion: Is Bangkok worth visiting?
So, Is Bangkok worth visiting? With so much fun to do whether you visit Bangkok in one day or stay a week, the answer is yes!
Whether it’s the place for you or not, you should know by now – if you’re looking for a quieter place in Thailand or prefer relaxing at the beaches or hiking in the jungle, there are some cool day trips from Bangkok, but you might look into a different destination.