You have not been to Thailand if you have yet to travel to Bangkok. Bangkok, the capital city and gateway to Thailand is a melting pot of vibrant culture, delicious food, and lively markets. We visit Bangkok at least once a year and each time we make it a point to travel to different areas to experience all that Bangkok has to offer. If you want to know where to stay in Bangkok, you have come to the right place. Let us share with you the best areas in Bangkok and the best Bangkok hotels to stay at!
This article was last updated on 2 February 2022.
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Best Places to Stay in Bangkok
1. Khao San
A trip to Bangkok would not be complete without a visit to the famous Khao San Road. Although it is not particularly known for any historical landmark or cultural site, its popularity simply comes from its bustling energy and vibrant atmosphere. Known as Bangkok’s backpacker haven, here you’ll find all kinds of entertainment and authentic street culture. From shopping to dining to drinking, the options are limitless and fun is guaranteed!
Located in Central Bangkok, it is an ideal place for foreigners to stay as it is close to tourist destinations like The Grand Palace and fun activities like a boat tour through the Chao Phraya River. On top of that, this one-kilometer strip is also lined with a variety of affordable accommodations, ranging from tiny hostels to three-star hotels.
Things to do in Khao San:
- Take a Bus Tour and visit Buddhist temples like Wat Arun and Wat Pho
- Sightsee at nearby historical landmarks like the Grand Palace and the Bangkok National Museum
- Shop at Thanon Khao San Market where you’ll find trendy fashion pieces, fake leather, phone cases and other random trinkets. Practice your barter skills and get the best prices!
- Go bar hopping and try all kinds of local street food from delicious Pad Thai to exotic bugs
- Experience Bangkok’s infamous Ping Pong show
Where to stay in Khao San: Riva Surya Bangkok
Riva Surya Bangkok is a top hotel for visitors looking to experience the energy of Khao San Road while still feeling a bit of luxury. You’ll love their authentically styled rooms equipped with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi, and find instant relaxation with a nice afternoon spent by the swimming pool. Have authentic Thai, Asian and European cuisines in their Babble & Rum Restaurant, then head over to The Garden and Mezzanine Bar and spoil yourself with their wide wine selection and sweeping views of the Chao Phraya River.
Just a 5-minute walk from Khao San Road, you can explore the area while still being able to easily travel to other nearby attractions like the Bangkok National Museum just 10 minutes away.
2. Siam Square
For the best shopping in Bangkok, Siam Square is your mecca. Just imagine rows lined with the largest shopping malls, luxury shopping centers and affordable department stores, housing everything from upscale design brands to vintage thrift stores. It’s fashion heaven! If you need a break, you don’t need to go far. Enjoy the massage parlors or retreat into the area’s many bookstores, cafes and record stores. Whatever you choose to do, this area is alive from dusk to dawn. There’s also a BTS (Bangkok Mass Transit System) Station for you to easily find your way home after a long day of shopping.
Things to do in Siam Square:
- Walk along Siam Square and explore the chic boutiques, market stalls, and thrift shops
- Shop at the luxurious Siam Paragon, the trendy Siam Center or the more affordable MBK Center
- Explore the galleries and exhibitions at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center
- Spend the day at the SEA Life Aquarium, one of Southeast Asia’s largest aquariums
- Take photos with Jackie Chan or Her Majesty The Queen in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
- Catch a movie at the APEX Scala Theatre or simply awe over its retro style and art deco
- Treat yourself to a massage after a tiring day of tourist activities
Where to stay in Siam Square: Waldorf Astoria
One of the city’s premier upscale hotels, the Waldorf Astoria will give you nothing short of 5-star service, complete with a personal concierge to take care of you during your entire stay. Its opulent interiors are pure sophistication, staying true to its original New York counterpart. Rooms and suites are decked with full amenities and panoramic views of downtown Bangkok. You can also enjoy a traditional Thai Massage in the Spa, have a swim at the 16th floor infinity pool or squeeze in a quick run in their 24-hour gym.
3. Bangkok Riverside / Thonburi
Many of the best hotels in Bangkok are along the Bangkok Riverside, each boasting incredible views of the Chao Phraya River. Whether you decide to go on a leisurely bicycle ride or hop on a river cruise, you’ll be sure to enjoy the scenic views. It is a good base for tourists keen on visiting cultural attractions like the Wat Arun temple, the famous Thonburi canals, and Asiatique Riverfront Market, as these are located along the river and can be accessed by boat. We also recommend staying close to a Skytrain Station so that you can easily travel to other popular areas or shop in nearby Siam Square.
Things to do in Bangkok Riverside / Thonburi:
- Bike alongside majestic views of the Chao Phraya River and explore the in’s and out’s of Bangkok’s local scene
- Enjoy a Chao Praya River cruise aboard a traditional long-tail boat
- Adventure along the famous Bangkok canals, home to a local sanctuary and one of the best street food markets
- Have a romantic dinner in the Supatra River House with the riverside’s silhouette at a distance
- Watch a live Muay Thai show before exploring the night market in Asiatique Riverfront
Where to stay in Bangkok Riverside: Anantara Riverside Resort
Anantara Riverside Resort is one of the best riverfront hotels for enjoying views of the Chao Phraya River from your room. As you step into another world of lush greenery and urban tranquillity, you are automatically whisked away from Bangkok’s usual hustle and bustle. That kind of view is best enjoyed with a body treatment in the Spa or a sunset cocktail by the river. The Thai-inspired rooms include modern amenities like complimentary Wi-Fi and a private balcony with garden views. It is also perfect for family vacations with a kids’ club and complimentary shuttles to public transportation.
4. Sukhumvit Area
Sukhumvit is a modern and cosmopolitan area in Central Bangkok known for its variety of luxury hotels, top-notch restaurants, and lively nightlife atmosphere. Apart from this, it is notable for its two red-light districts, Nana Plaza on Soi 4 and Soi Cowboy, just off Soi 23. Prostitutes on the streets are a common sight and some people may be put off by the blatant sex industry. However, it’s this liberated culture and international atmosphere that make Sukhumvit a choice of residence for expats and a recommended area for tourists to go to for a fun night out. Although the main street is generally busy, you’ll find some calm and atmospheric cafes hidden in the sois (a Thai term meaning side street) leading off the main street.
An upside to staying in this area is its convenient distance to public transport. It is one of the longest roads in Bangkok, spanning the downtown area of Nana to the suburban neighborhood of Bearing. The Skytrain runs this entire length, making it easy to explore both in and out of the area.
Things to do in Sukhumvit:
- Take a Thai Cooking Class led by professional Thai chefs
- Shop in EmQuartier Bangkok and its 600,000-square-foot worth of luxury brands, or in the cool and trendy Terminal 21, where each floor is designed after an international city
- Relax in Benjasiri Park, have a picnic by the lake or stroll around the running track
- Have dinner at Bo Lan, which was featured in Netflix’s “Chef’s Table” as one of the best authentic Thai restaurants
- Experience Bangkok’s notorious red-light district with the ultimate Hangover Tour
Where to stay in Sukhumvit: Pullman Bangkok Grande
Pullman Bangkok Grande is one of the best places to stay in the Sukhumvit area because of its top-quality service and central location. The contemporary-style rooms include upgraded technology and amenities like four restaurant choices, a spa facility and a rooftop tennis court. Just a few steps away from popular shopping malls and restaurants, guests can easily get around the area and explore nearby sites like Terminal 21 and Siam Society. It is also close to the Asoke BTS SkyTrain and the Sukhumvit MRT station, only a train ride away from the Grand Palace, Chinatown and the Riverside area.
5. Silom Area
Coined the Wall Street of Bangkok, Silom is the country’s business district characterized by sophisticated skyscrapers housing global financial institutions, corporations, and law firms. Because of its high volume of working class, the area has multiple public transport options like the BTS Skytrain, the MRT and the nearby Taksin pier.
A typical day sees crowds of businessmen and corporate junkies clad in their suits, making their way through this concrete jungle. Come night time though, the atmosphere is completely different. Tourists and locals alike come to enjoy the neon lights and street food vendors, or perhaps experience the go-go bars and beer brothels of the infamous Patpong red-light district.
Things to do in Silom:
- Escape city hustle and bustle in Lumpini Park
- Admire the beautiful architecture of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
- Enjoy panoramic views of Bangkok with a cocktail in hand at the Lebua Sky Bar
- Immerse yourself in Bangkok’s nightlife at the Patpong night market, right after a visit to the Patpong Museum
Where to stay in Silom: Lebua at State Tower
Most known as the wolfgang’s bachelor pad in The Hangover 2, the Lebua at State Tower is as spectacular in person as it is in the big screen. Underneath its lavish exteriors are upscale suites, a Michelin-starred restaurant and the world’s tallest gin, caviar and vodka bar – Lebua No.3. Located in the 51st floor, this rooftop bar boasts of awe-inspiring views of Bangkok City for you to enjoy with delicious dishes and unique cocktails. The pop star treatment does not end there – be sure to check out the hotel’s outdoor lagoon pool, steam room and sauna.
Chinatown is Bangkok’s oldest neighborhood with much of the original lifestyle left untouched by tourist influence. Unlike other countries wherein Chinatown is a staple tourist destination, Bangkok’s Chinatown is a legitimate neighborhood for the Chinese community, frequented by locals more than tourists. Here you’ll find houses, market stalls, and shops selling gold. Although it is a good place to try authentic Chinese street food or visit local markets, it is not usually a tourist’s choice as hotels are limited and nightlife is dull.
Things to do in Chinatown:
- Go on a bike tour and explore Chinatown, from the history to the Golden Buddha to exotic delicacies
- Take photos at the decorative China Gate
- Taste local street food on Yaowarat road
Where to stay in Chinatown: Prime Hotel Central Station
Prime Hotel Central Station Bangkok is one of the better hotels you’ll find in Chinatown, seemingly old-fashioned from the outside but modishly styled once you step inside. The hotel features well-appointed rooms with guest facilities, including a fitness center and spa. It also has an ideal location, a walk away from the Golden Buddha Temple and right across The Hua Lamphong MRT Station that easily connects you to the rest of Bangkok.
If Siam Square is to luxury shopping, then Pratunam is to affordable fast fashion. Known as the wholesale district of Bangkok, this is where you’ll find anything you could possibly want at the cheapest prices. You’ll constantly see fashion retailers and businessmen on a shopping binge, as stores sell ready-to-wear clothing and yards of fabrics at wholesale prices.
Another popular shopping area in Bangkok and considered to be the best source of anything cheap is the Chatuchak market, but it is only open in weekends. The next best alternative would be Pratunam, open 24 hours every day of the week. Although we recommend you visit during the day as some stalls close after sundown. Another fun fact – this is also where you’ll find the tallest building in Bangkok!
Things to do in Pratunam:
- Go crazy shopping at the Pratunam night market
- Experience the tranquillity of the traditional houses within the Suan Pakkad Palace complex
- Enjoy an impressive view of the city skyline over dinner from the Baiyoke Sky Tower, Bangkok’s tallest building
Where to stay in Pratunam: VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery
This award-winning design hotel perfectly blends the tasteful decor of an art gallery and the modern sophistication of a hotel. You’ll find hallways and rooms decorated with world-class art and furnishings, with each room showing off floor-to-ceiling windows for beautiful views of Bangkok. Guests will find much to do in the hotel, like enjoying a swim at the rooftop pool, having tea at the Piano Bar or gobbling down international dishes at La Vie.
Unlike other areas mentioned in this list, Ratchadaphisek is hardly visited by tourists, making it a perfect place to genuinely experience local life in Bangkok. Surprisingly enough, it is full of life and entertainment that tourists would otherwise enjoy. It is home to the Royal City Avenue (RCA), one of the biggest nightlife districts in Bangkok lined with clubs and bars popular among the locals. You’ll also find two of Bangkok’s malls dedicated to everything IT and electronics. For tourists looking to experience a cultural Thai performance, make sure to book a ticket to Siam Niramit, a show about Thai history and culture. Other than these fun activities, Ratchadaphisek is predominantly a residential area in which you can also enjoy walking around.
Things to do in Ratchadaphisek:
- Watch a Thai cultural performance and learn more about their history
- Experience Bangkok’s first 3D art museum at the Art in Paradise
- Race on the tracks at EasyKart, one of Asia’s most modern indoor tracks
- Go bar hopping in the Royal City Avenue (RCA) and party it up with locals
Where to stay in Ratchadaphisek: Swissotel Bangkok
Swissotel Bangkok is a 5-star hotel spanning 22 stories of elegant rooms and world-class amenities. The top 4 floors house the Executive Club, where guests staying in suites and executive rooms have complementary access to the hotel’s lounge offering daily breakfast buffet, an Executive fitness center and sunset drinks. It is popular among families as well as foreign businessmen thanks to its proximity to the convention center. Guests will be happy to know that the nearest station (Huai Kwang) is only a two-minute walk away, as well as a few train stations from popular tourist destinations and the central business district.
Dusit is best known as the city’s political hub, where you’ll find the National Parliament and The Royal Palace. Apart from political institutions, its wide roads and lush trees are lined with international organizations and a few tourist attractions like the Dusit Palace Park (includes a palace, museum, gardens and structures), the Dusit Zoo and Suan Amporn (a quaint and peaceful park). Although the area is generally quiet and mostly visited by locals, the slow emergence of these hot spots could possibly see more tourists in the area in years to come.
Things to do in Dusit:
- Spend a day with exotic animals in the Dusit Zoo
- Stroll through the serene and scenic grounds of Suan Amporn
- Visit the Dusit Palace Park where you’ll see attractions like the Vimanmek Mansion, the Ananta Samakhom Throne and the museum in the Ananta Samagom Throne Hall
- Explore the local Thai cuisine and stalls in the Nang Loen Market, one of Bangkok’s oldest markets
Where to stay in Dusit: The Siam
Peacefully set along the Chao Phraya River, The Siam is an elegant riverside hotel sprawling with 3 acres of tranquil nature and luxury villas, all to be enjoyed with exceptional hospitality. Its beautiful interiors are reminiscent of authentic Thai design combined with modern and rustic styles. Suits are adorned with lavish furniture, where guests are given the option to have a personal butler service. For dining and drinks, you have options between Thai cuisine served in century-old houses at Chon Thai Restaurant, international cuisine at the jazz-inspired Deco Bar & Bistro, afternoon tea at Cafe Chao or cocktails at Bathers Bar overlooking the river. Whatever you feel like doing, you’ll be sure to do it with class in The Siam.
We hope that our guide on where to stay in Bangkok & Bangkok best hotels has helped you! Please share it with your friends and family. Do also check out our other Bangkok reads below!
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