Bangkok is often used as a stopover destination for those exploring Thailand and South East Asia. Here is how to spend one day in Bangkok; we will whiz you around the best sights of the city so you can get a taste of Bangkok.
Right, time to get up bright and early for a full day in Bangkok. If you’re only in Bangkok for one day, you are likely going to be staying in the very heart of the city, along the river. In this area, there are plenty of options for breakfast.
If you want a quick bite, check out the On Lok Yun restaurant or, if you’re staying along the BTS lines, checkout The Coffee Club (yes it is a chain but it is so good!) or Common Room x Ari for a good cup of coffee. Hia Tai Kee is also a great place to head to in Bangkok’s Old Town.
For a breakfast experience, head to one of Bangkok’s smaller and closer floating Markets. Song Klong Floating Market and Wat Saphan Floating Market are closer to the city. There isn’t as much variety for souvenir shopping or food but it is a good choice for those in Bangkok who are short on time.
Alternatively, if you want to explore the temples fully, grab some breakfast from a street vendor or have breakfast in your hotel.
Spend the morning visiting a temple. Bangkok has three main temples; Wat Pho, Wat Arun and the Grand Palace. I would recommend visiting either Wat Arun and Wat Pho. Both aren’t too overcrowded if you arrive early and can be experienced within an hour or so. The Grand Palace is perhaps the most visited attraction in Bangkok but it is always crowded and sometimes you’ll find yourself queueing for an hour.
Wat Pho is near the Grand Palace and isn’t a far walk from Khao San Road. In here, you’ll find the leaning Buddha; a gigantic Buddha lying on its side. The courtyard areas are beautiful and you’ll find intricate patterns along the temple walls.
Wat Arun can be found on the other side of the river and is ideal for those that love a good climb. Walk up the sides of this infamous monument, get a view of the surrounding area and appreciate it’s colourful, adorned spires.
If you have opted for a quick breakfast, you will likely be able to fit in both Wat Arun and Wat Pho but I would recommend starting with Wat Arun before it gets too hot.
Not far from the temples is Bangkok’s Chinatown. Now, it may seem weird to head to a Chinatown whilst in Thailand but this area is known for having the best street food in the city. Head down Yaowarat road or head to the China Town Scala restaurant.
For those looking to sit down and get out of the sun, why not head to a restaurant with a stunning view of Wat Arun and the river. Eat Sight Story Deck, Sala Arun and The Deck Restaurant in Arun Residence all offer gorgeous views of Bangkok alongside tasty food.
After lunch, head to Saphan Taskin – you can do this via the river boat or catch a taxi. If you have ignored the morning part of this itinerary, you can also catch a sky train here as well.
From the pier, you can hire a private longtail boat or jump on one of the preorganised tours. These boats take you along the khlongs of Bangkok; kind of like the ‘back alleys’ of the city’s waterways. The long tail boats cost around 1000 baht for an hour ride or you can opt for the longer tour options.
On this boat journey, you will see local Thai homes on stilts above the water as well as temples, local schools and even boat vendors.
After spending the afternoon on the water, head back to your hotel to freshen up then spend the night up high. Visit one of the many sky bars in the city to watch the sunset and enjoy a cocktail or beer.
For dinner, you have a few options. Bangkok has some of the best food in the world and we have an option below for every type of traveller and budget.
Bangkok Night Markets:
Head to a night market to try a selection of different food. Ratchada Rot Fai Train Night Market is a great place for food and drinks whilst Asiatique is the perfect mixture of street food, bars and restaurants alongside shopping and attractions perfect for families and couples. Talad Huay Kwang Night Food Market is a local market near Huay Kwang MRT Station or
From outdoor locals to 5-star restaurants, there are romantic restaurants all over the city, offering all types of food. Sala Rattanakosin Eatery and Bar offers a romantic, intimate setting with a view of the iconic Wat Arun whilst Steve Café and Cuisine also offers a few of the river but is a more hidden, secluded location. If you love a rooftop restaurant, head up to Vertigo at the top of Banyan Tree Hotel but reserve a spot in advance and expect to pay upwards of 4000 baht. Personally, I love the dinner cruises; nothing beats cruising along the river with my hubby, watching the sunset and enjoying the peace and quiet of the river.
Unique restaurants in Bangkok:
Bangkok offers its fair share of weird and wonderful restaurants from a Unicorn Café to a robot who serves Japanese food. And if you love cats – you are in heaven here! Personally, I love the Rome Restaurant on the outskirts of Bangkok whilst the Chocolate Ville (although nothing to do with chocolate) offers a unique European village setting. Head to Cabbage and Condoms to support a good cause whilst trying some amazing food or, for a witchy experience, visit Mocking Tales in Thonglor.
Michelin Star restaurants in Bangkok:
Bangkok isn’t short of Michelin star restaurants and even street vendors. Bo.Lan offers authentic Thai dishes with set menus starting at 1680 baht. Saneh Jaan Restaurant is a more elegant affair with European design and heritage Thai cuisine. For international options, Elements serves incredible food from around the world and is found on the 25thfloor of the Okura Prestige Hotel; giving you perfect views of the city.
Of course, we can’t talk about Michelin food in Bangkok without mentioning some of the awesome street vendors who have also been awarded this recognition. Made famous from the Netflix series ‘ Street Food;, Chef Jay Fai has the longest queues along Mahachai Road and serves up Tom Yum Goong, Poo Phad Yellow Curry, prawn cakes and spicy Thai salad.
There are some great restaurants in Bangkok and most cater to families. However, if you are looking for somewhere extra special for your family, there are some choices for you. As a big kid, Teddy Castle is an awesome themed restaurant in the Thong Lo area. Melange Bangkok is great for fussy eaters (there is even a play area) or why not visit one of the many animal cafes around the city; the Play Farm Restaurant is a popular for families with young children.
Buffets in Bangkok:
Bangkok seems to become a hub of international buffets and here are just a few of our favourites. For cheap and cheerful, try Nud Pob Seafood Suki & BBQ where you can scoop up prawns ready to cook or head to Ant-Ni-Mall for endless BBQ options.
If you’re looking for a particular type of food, try Thai He Xuan Chinese Restaurant for Chinese dishes or Kuroda for Japanese dishes. We love Best Beef for grilled meat options!
For a slightly different type of buffet, head to BaiYoke Sky Hotel for the all-fruit buffet or try Le Boulandger Bakery Lounge for an endless selection of bakery and sweet things.
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If you fancy a splurge, why not try one of the top-rated buffets that are often found in hotels around the city. Amaya Food Gallery, Brasserie Europa. Flavours, Orchid Café and Romsai all offer international buffets which are highly rated.
So that is one day in Bangkok! Of course, spending more time i Bangkok is advised because it is such a diverse and exciting city but, for now, we hope you enjoy this whistlestop Bangkok itinerary and have a great time! Let us know what your favourite thing to do in Bangkok is, in the comments below!