Are you travelling to Bangkok?
While planning your trip, you might get overwhelmed with the number of things to do in Thailand’s capital city. In Bangkok, 2 days are barely enough to scratch the surface.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide that will help you choose how to spend your time. If you follow our 2-day Bangkok itinerary, you will get to explore temples, try the famous Thai street food, relax on a river cruise and much more.
And, most important, you get to have a lot of fun.
2-Day Bangkok itinerary
#1 Grand Palace
Start your 2-day itinerary for Bangkok by visiting the Grand Palace, one of the most famous sights in Thailand’s capital.
The Royal Grand Palace is a maze of buildings and temples, and you can easily spend a few hours here.Remember that any temples you visit today are places of worship for the locals. Always behave respectfully. Wear long trousers or a long skirt, or carry a long wrap skirt/sarong with you that you can put on before you enter a temple. Also, make sure your shoulders are covered. Short sleeves are fine.
As the Grand Palace is one of the most important points of interest in Bangkok, it can get jam-packed with tourists. We recommend arriving as early in the morning as possible before the crowds arrive.
Also, remember to be patient. Especially in the high season, you might have to queue, and you will have to wait for people to move along before you can see some of the sights. Take your time and remember to take a few breaks in the shade, especially if it’s a hot and sunny day.
The Grand Palace dates back to the 1700s, and even though the Royal Family doesn’t live here anymore, it is still used for official receptions and celebrations.
One of the most famous buildings on the grounds is Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The Emerald Buddha was carved from a single piece of jade and dates back to the 15th century. Only the King of Thailand is allowed to come close to the statue, and he only does so to change the Buddha’s costume in an important ceremony three times a year.
Remember to take off your shoes before you enter the temple.
After visiting the temple, take your time to explore the remaining buildings and grounds. Once you’re done, it’s time to head to nearby Wat Pho.
#2 Wat Pho
Your next stop is just next to the Grand Palace.
Head to Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha. The Buddha statue here is 46 metres long, and fortunately, the temple is usually not as crowded as the Grand Palace.
We loved wandering around the vast complex. The further you walk away from the main building, the quieter it gets, and you can spend a while exploring all of the hidden corners.
Pay attention to all the marble inscriptions. Locals like to call Wat Pho “the nation’s first public university” since those inscriptions teach about various sciences. Plus, the temple is also a school of Thai Massage. This is an excellent opportunity to get a massage from the professionals who work here if you want to.
Keep an eye on the time. Since you only have two days in Bangkok, and there’s a lot to see, you will soon need to move on to your next destination.
#3 Wat Arun
It’s time to head to what I believe to be Bangkok’s most beautiful temple.
The next stop on this Bangkok travel itinerary takes you to the other side of the river, so head down to the waterfront and catch a ferry to Wat Arun.Boats regularly leave from Pier 8, and it only takes five minutes to cross the river. You can find the ferry route displayed on top of the boat.
With its colourful mosaics on a white background, Wat Arun looks very different to the other temples you have seen so far. Its name translates to “Temple of the Dawn”, and it’s a great place to watch sunrise or sunset.
Today, you’re here in the middle of the day, but don’t worry. You’ll still have a great experience as you wander around the temple and admire the different buildings and pagodas. On the grounds, you can find lots of fantastic photo opportunities, from rows of Buddha statues to the decorations on the 70-metre high central tower.
Wat Arun is one of the places not to miss in Bangkok, so take your time to explore everything.
The next stop on your 2-days-in-Bangkok itinerary is Chinatown.
While walking around this neighbourhood, you might almost feel as if you’ve come to a different city. Many signs are written in Chinese, and you can find lots of great Chinese food and drinks here.
If you’re hungry, Chinatown is a great place to grab a snack. Hawkers prepare fresh dishes in front of your eyes, and this neighbourhood is a surprisingly great location to try some seafood.
If you’re not tired of temples yet, you can find a few in Chinatown as well. Or you can walk around and discover interesting shops or street art.
When you’re done exploring, grab a taxi and head to the last stop of the day.
#5 Khao San Road
The best time to visit Khao San Road is in the evening, so you’re going to end your first day in Bangkok here.
Khao San is, without a doubt, one of the most famous sights in Bangkok and maybe even in all of Southeast Asia. It’s touristy and full of backpackers, but it’s also a great place to shop, eat, and people watch.
In the evening, you can find many street food stalls along this road. Grab your food here or go over to Soi Rambuttri, a parallel road where the street food tastes even better.
You might not recognise all of the food on sale, but that’s part of the fun. Go around and order whatever looks best to you, or choose something safe, like Pad Thai or grilled chicken skewers.
Khao San Road is also a great place to have a few drinks after dinner. If you want to see most of Bangkok in 2 days, though, make sure to head back to your hotel eventually so you’re not too tired on your second day.
#1 – River Cruise
Are you still tired from your evening on Khao San Road? Then you should start your morning with a boat ride along the river.
When it comes to what to see in Bangkok, the many temples dotted around the city are one of the main attractions. However, we want for you to get a taste of the variety that Bangkok has to offer, so there won’t be any temples on your itinerary today.
Instead, you’re going to discover a different side of the city by seeing it from the water.
You can go about this in different ways. Either you join a tour, get on a hop-on hop-off boat, or you hire a boat for a few hours. You can also take one of the many ferries/speed boats that drive you around the city.
The last option is by far the cheapest, and it’s what Daniel and I did, but you’re more limited in your itinerary, and you won’t have a guide to explain to you what you’re looking at. It’s up to you to choose.
#2 – Jim Thompson House
Your next stop today is unlike anything you’ve seen in Bangkok so far.
The Jim Thompson House belonged to an American living in Thailand and dates back to the late 50s. The teak wood buildings house rare antiques and South-East Asian art. The owner, Jim Thompson, disappeared in the Malaysian jungle in the 70s, but fortunately, his house was preserved as a museum.
Amongst the wooden houses and many plants, the heat of Bangkok doesn’t seem as suffocating anymore.
Plus, this house is a great place to learn about Thai silk. If you’re lucky, you might even see someone spin silk threads during your visit. Make sure to stop in the shop if you want to take home some of the elegant products.
#3 – Thai street food
We mentioned street food before when we talked about Khao San Road. Today, you should sample more traditional Thai food, and the best way to do so is to grab some street food.
You have multiple options. Either you can head back to the area around Khao San road and try some of the food you missed yesterday.
Or you could return to Chinatown, a neighbourhood that is famous for its excellent and unique food.
As an alternative, you can also explore other areas that are well-known for their street food. Silom Soi 20, for example, is a great place. In the morning, you can find a market here, and starting around lunchtime, food vendors show up and serve fresh meals.
If you need a break from the noisiness of Bangkok, you can also head to Lumpini Park. Here, you can find a food court where you can grab an excellent late lunch or early dinner. Plus, you can then spend some time wandering around the park.
#4 Muay Thai
Even if you only have two days in Bangkok, we highly recommend that you go to watch a show of Muay Thai Boxing.
Make sure to choose a stadium that the locals also frequent. Standing amongst them while watching them cheer on their favourite fighters is one of the highlights of Bangkok. We went to Rajadamnern Stadium and absolutely loved the atmosphere.
You can choose between different seats, and you can, of course, opt for the more expensive ones, but we were very happy with our standing tickets.
If you prefer splurging on this experience, you can also buy VIP tickets with seats close to the ring. That way, you can see from very close up what’s happening.
Or, if you prefer to actively fight yourself, you could book a Muay Thai Class for beginners. Instead of just watching, you can learn some fight moves and find out just how challenging this sport is.
Best time to visit Bangkok
You can visit Bangkok at any time of the year and enjoy yourself.
Peak season is from November to February/March. It’s winter, so the weather doesn’t get as insanely hot as during the rest of the year.
From March on, the weather gets warmer. If you travel now, be prepared to take lots of breaks from exploring so you can sit down and enjoy a cool drink. Pace yourself, and don’t overexert yourself in the heat.
Finally, from July to October, you will travel during the monsoon season. This is Thailand’s rainy season, and while it won’t necessarily rain every day, be prepared for tropical thunderstorms.
Don’t let that stop you from visiting, though. We have explored Bangkok in August/September before and had a great time.
How to get to Bangkok
Unless you’re already in Thailand, the easiest way to get to Bangkok is by plane.
Bangkok is home to a huge international airport, and you should find it reasonably easy to fly here. To compare prices, you can use a website like Skyscanner before booking your ticket.
If you’re already in Thailand, depending on where you are, you can either take a train or a minibus. You can book all of them locally, but if you prefer to check out connections ahead of time or already want to book your ticket, 12Go is a great website.
Also, for more information about train travel in Thailand, we highly recommend checking out The Man in Seat 61. It’s one of the best websites for trains worldwide, and I often rely on it to find the information I need.
Getting around Bangkok
Depending on where you are and where you want to go, you have multiple options for getting around Bangkok.
The fastest ones are the Skytrain and the Bangkok MRT. As long as you are close to one of their stations, you can quickly get around the city.
For shorter distances, we recommend taxis or tuk tuks. You can easily flag them down on the street. Tuk tuks are usually more expensive (even if they’re fun to use), so inquire about prices ahead of time to avoid getting ripped off.
For taxis, always insist that the driver turns on the meter. If they don’t, send them away and stop the next taxi.
Finally, you also have an extensive network of boats and water taxis that runs along Bangkok’s canals. Those can be fun to use, and they are very fast for crossing the river.
We hope you now have a good overview of how to spend your time in Thailand’s capital.
Are 2 days in Bangkok enough? Well, you won’t be able to see everything. However, 2 days are perfect for getting a first glimpse at the fantastic things to do in Bangkok and making plans for when you return one day.
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