The best Bangkok route to see the essence of the city in just one day!
Feel the sacred atmosphere at the landmark Grand Palace.
Appreciate Thailand's national treasure, Emerald Buddha, at Wat Phra Kaew.
Take a Chao Phraya cruise at night to experience the true charm of the city.
Expand AllClose All
This route is a must see if you are going to Thailand for the first time on your own.
► Route: Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market) → Wat Pho → Wat Arun → Grand Palace → Wat Phra Kaew → Khaosan Road → Chao Phraya River Night Cruise
It is recommended that you arrive one day early and stay in downtown Bangkok so that you’ll have a full day to take this classic day tour of Bangkok. Most tourists choose to stay in Pathumwan, Sukhumvit, Wattana and other areas which are convenient in the city center. These areas have hotels of all grades to suit all budgets, with good transportation and plenty of restaurants and shopping places.
Dress Code and Tips for Visiting Temples:
1. When visiting the Grand Palace and various temples, remember not to sleeveless shirts, vests, short tops, short pants, tight pants, and miniskirts. Please wear pants or dresses that fall below the knees.
2. If you don’t dress properly, the staff will ask you to wear clothes provided with a deposit of THB 300. You can also buy pants or a sarong outside the entrance for about THB 100.
3. You need to take off your hat and shoes to get inside a Buddhist hall.
4. Photography and video are not allowed in a temple’s indoor areas. There are generally no photography restrictions outside the halls.
8:00 – 9:00 Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market)
If you’re an early riser, a visit to the Pak Khlong Talat on the bank of the Chao Phraya River is highly recommended.
► How to Get There: It’s about 20 minutes by car from a downtown hotel to the Flower Market. A taxi costs THB 60 to 100, while a Grab car or tuk-tuk is more expensive, and the price may double. You need to be good at bargaining. If you live near the metro, take the MRT Blue Line or any other metro lines that can transfer to the MRT Blue Line, get off at Sanam Chai Station and walk 5 minutes east to the market.
► What to See: This is the largest flower market in Thailand, with all kinds of exotic flowers and herbs, both Thai and imported, such as the orchids, jasmines and gerbera daisies. This bustling market will catapult you into a typical scene of Thai life. It would be a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by endless aromas and colors. Here you can see a large number of flowers, fruits and vegetables, wholesale or retail, at reasonable prices. You can try some of the fruit you like.
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 30 minutes
► Ticket Price: Free
9:00 – 10:00 Wat Pho (Wat Phra Chetuphon)
The Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the oldest temple in Bangkok and the largest in Thailand.
► How to Get There: The Wat Pho is a 10-minute walk northwest from the Flower Market. If you wake up late or are not interested in the Flower Market, you can head to the temple directly in the morning. You can take a taxi from the hotel or walk 5 minutes north from the aforementioned Sanam Chai Station of MRT Blue Line.
► What to See: The most famous attraction in the temple is a huge reclining Buddha sculpture, 46 meters (151 feet) long and 15 meters (49 feet) high. The sculpture is made of iron, covered with gold and inlaid with gems. Each of its giant sole is decorated with 108 auspicious patterns made of pearls and shells.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
► Telephone Number: +66 83 057 7100
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 40 minutes
► Ticket Price: THB 200 (USD 6)
10:00 – 11:30 Take a boat to visit Wat Arun
The Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is one of Bangkok’s most impressive landmarks. Built during the Ayutthaya Dynasty (1351-1767 AD), the temple has a history of several hundred years.
► How to Get There: The Wat Arun is on the other side of the Chao Phraya River. Walk 2 minutes west from the Wat Pho to the Tha Tien Pier (ID: N8) on the river bank, take the Orange Flag ferry to the Wat Arun Ratchawararam Pier on the west bank of the river, and then walk 1 minute to the temple gate. The ferry costs THB 14, and the whole journey takes about 20 minutes, including waiting for the boat.
► What to See: The main hall and five iconic stupas are the most frequently visited sites. The 79 meters (259 feet) high big stupa, built in 1842, is honored as the Eiffel Tower of Thailand. The exterior of the stupa is exquisitely decorated with intricate carvings and inlaid with colorful ceramic pieces, glass and shells.
► Opening Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
► Telephone Number: +66 2 891 2185
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 1 hour
► Ticket Price: THB 30
11:30 – 13:00 Lunch Break
After visiting the Wat Arun, take the Orange Flag ferry back to the Tha Tien Pier on the east bank. A ferry in Bangkok is like a water bus. It’s very convenient and you can experience the lifestyle of the local people on the river.
After disembarking at the Tha Tien Pier, there is the Tha Tian Market, a fairly large old marketplace selling dried seafood, and with lots of small eateries and food stalls. In addition to the market, there are plenty of restaurants within a 5-minute walk south along the river bank. You can try the famous Thai food, such as the Pad Thai, Pineapple Fried Rice, Som Tum, and Tom Yum Goong. After lunch, you can begin the highlight of the afternoon, a visit to the Grand Palace.
► Note: The closing time of the Grand Palace is early at 15:30. In order to have enough time to visit, it is recommended that you enter before 13:00. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip the Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market) in the morning or cut back on your lunch break.
13:00 – 16:00 Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
In central Bangkok, on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, you can see the Grand Palace with its golden roofs and spires. It is the largest and best-preserved palace complex in Thailand and one of its most popular tourist sites. Built in 1782, it was the residence of the royal family of Bangkok Dynasty from King Rama I to King Rama VIII. Today it is used only for the coronations, court celebrations and other ceremonies. For major ceremonies, the Grand Palace will be closed to visitors. Please check the announcements on the official website in advance to arrange your visit date.
► How to Get There: Walk north from the lunch place, and you’ll reach the Grand Palace in less than 10 minutes.
► What to See: The Grand Palace is a treasure trove of Thai architecture, painting, sculpture and decorative arts, with distinctive characteristics of Siamese architectural style. There are 28 palace and temple buildings in the whole scenic area, among which the most famous are the Wat Phra Kaew, Phra Mondop, Ho Phra Parit, Royal Pantheon, the replica of Angkor Wat, Boromabiman Hall, Great Chakri Palace, Phra Thinang Amarin Winitchai, Dusit Maha Prasat, and Aphorn Phimok Prasat. A must see is the Wat Phra Kaew, aka the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Covering an area of 1/4 of the Grand Palace, it is the holiest temple in Thai Buddhism, with the famous Emerald Buddha enshrined. The temple closes at 15:30, and you’d better enter before 15:00.
► Opening Hours: 8:30 – 15:30
► Telephone Number: +66 2 623 5500
► Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 hours
► Ticket Price: THB 500 (USD 15), including entry to the Wat Phra Kaew and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles.
16:00 – 18:00 Khaosan Road
After visiting the Grand Palace, walk about 20 minutes north to the Khaosan Road, Bangkok’s largest and most popular snack street and night market. If you don’t want to walk, you can take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to get there. A taxi costs about THB 50 while a tuk-tuk THB 80 to 100.
All Thai snacks can be found here, such as the Fried Noodles, Rice Noodles, Spring Rolls, Mango with Sticky Rice, and Kebabs, delicious and affordable. There are also many bars and souvenir shops. You can walk around, have dinner, and rest for a while. If you’re not hungry yet, you can choose a Chao Phraya River cruise with a buffet dinner later.
18:00 – 19:00 Transport to the cruise pier
It’s getting dark and you can head to the pier for a cruise on the Chao Phraya River. The cruise ships depart from the piers of the River City Bangkok, a riverfront mall. The check-in and boarding time varies from 18:30 to 19:00 depending on different ships.
It takes 20 minutes by car from the Khaosan Road to the cruise pier without traffic jams. However, it is the evening rush hour, so you’d better set aside at least 40 minutes. A taxis costs THB 60 to 80, while a Grab car or tuk-tuk is more expensive.
19:30 – 21:30 Chao Phraya River Night Cruise
A night tour of the Chao Phraya River is a must in Bangkok. The Chao Phraya River looks very different at night than it does when you take the ferry during the day. When the sky turns dark, the temples along the river are gilded with light and look more dignified. The illuminated bridges, landmark buildings, restaurants and hotels on both sides glisten in the ripples, creating a mesmerizing night scene.
You can choose a cruise ship and enjoy the superb night view, buffet, live music and greeting dance all the way on board for a great evening. There are 5 types of sightseeing ships on the Chao Phraya River, including the Grand Pearl, White Orchid, Wonderful Pearl, Wah Fah, and Chao Phraya Princess. The routes and duration of each cruise are similar, with differences in amenities, food and performances. The route basically follows an S-shaped classic watercourse between the Rama VIII Bridge and the Krung Thep Bridge.
► Cruise Route: River City Pier → Phra Budda Yodfa Bridge → Grand Palace → Phra Pinklao Bridge → Phra Sumen Fort → Rama VIII Bridge → Royal Barges National Museum → Wat Rakhang Kositaram → Wat Arun → Wat Kanlayanamitr → Millennium Hilton Hotel → The Peninsula Hotel → Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort → Krung Thep Bridge → Asiatique The Riverfront → Mandarin Oriental Hotel → Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers → River City Pier
► Duration: 2 hours from 19:30 to 21:30
► Cruise Ticket Price: THB 950 to 1,800
The perfect Bangkok day tour ends here with the finish of the cruise. You can take a taxi or tuk-tuk from the pier back to your hotel.
► If you have an extra day in Bangkok, it is recommended to check out the surrounding floating markets:
Bangkok Day Trip to Local Floating Markets: Damnoen Saduak & Amphawa
► Independent travel is very free, but it is also troublesome. It takes a lot of effort to make arrangements, and the connections in the itinerary will take more time. To avoid the hassle, you can consider booking one of our guided tours:
11 Days Classic Thailand Vacation with Phuket
15 Days Thailand Holiday with Koh Samui
Expand AllClose All
7-Day Bangkok Weather Forecast
Itineraries you may also like