Bangkok is one of our favourite cities in Thailand. Like most large cities in Asia, Bangkok is incredibly diverse and made up of many different neighborhoods. This can make things challenging when you are deciding on where to stay in Bangkok. Whether you are into street food and shopping or you just want to take in the main attractions, finding the best neighborhood in Bangkok can make or break your vacation.
We have been to Bangkok six times and have stayed in many different neighborhoods. We combined our stays with the expert advice of local resident, Stella Stainis to give you the best advice and to help you choose the best area to stay in the city based on what you are interested in.
Best Places to Stay in Bangkok
We know everyone travels differently so we have made sure to cover the best neighborhoods in Bangkok with our personal hotel recommendations of where to stay in Bangkok for all different budget levels.
Best Bangkok Hotels
In a hurry and Looking for the best places to Stay in Bangkok? These are our picks for the top Bangkok Hotels
- Shangri La Bangkok – The Shangrila Bangkok Hotel is 5 star hotel and has been the long standing Best Hotel in Bangkok. Best Bangkok Riverside Hotel.
- Riva Surya Hotel Bangkok – The Best Luxury hotel in Khao san Road Area.
- Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit – Best Sukhumvit Hotel located in the Bangkok City Centre. Located at 250 Sukhumvit Road.
Best Bangkok Neighborhood by Travel Types
Click the links to go directly to the best Bangkok Neighborhood
- Best Places to Stay in Bangkok for Families – Sukhumvit, Riverside or Siam
- Where to Stay in Bangkok for First Time Visitors – Khao San Road or Riverside, or Sukhumvit
- One of the Best Places to Stay in Bangkok on a Budget is Khaosan Road or Banglamphu Area.
- Best Place for Luxury travel in Bangkok – Riverside
1. Khao San Road – Where to Stay in Bangkok on a Budget
We stayed on Khao San Road during our first few visits to Bangkok (our first was 20 years ago!) And we still go back to visit each trip. It’s close to so many of Bangkok’s top attractions that even though it is a backpacker’s hub, it is an excellent place to stay in Bangkok.
Khao San Road is Bangkok’s most famous street. It’s been the main backpacking hub of Bangkok for decades. If you are first time visitor to Bangkok, we suggest staying here as you’ll find other travelers to hang out with, cheap accommodation, and lots of things to see and do.
This area of Bangkok is perfect for young travelers as Khao San Road is known for its party atmosphere. If that is not your scene and don’t want to listen to pumping music well into the night then you might want to consider another area.
Regardless of whether you decide to stay in the Khao San Road area of Bangkok it is definitely worth a day trip.
Here are the hotels we recommend in the Khao San Road area.
Suggested Hotels Near Khoa San Road
- Luxury Hotel near Kaosan
- Riva Surya Bangkok One of the higher-end hotels in this backpacker dominated area of Khao San road, this 4-star hotel features elegant rooms, a pool and a view of the Chao Phraya River. It offers little luxury in the Old City.
- Mid-Range Hotels
- Casa Nithra: Good location, clean rooms, and a rooftop pool make this a great option for any traveler to Bangkok
- Old capital bike hotel: This vintage style house, about a 15 min walk to Khao San, is beautifully decorated with unique furniture and a cool vibe. The rooms are impeccable and the staff is incredibly helpful and friendly. They even have a free bike in the evening. Make sure to check out their in-house coffee bar!
- Budget Hotel
- Thanabhumi: Private apartments for cheap! Great location that makes walking to attractions in the area very easy.
- Apartment Rental
- Studio near Khao San Road: A beautiful studio room on the 5th floor of newly renovated building along the canal that leads to Chao Praya River within less than 15 minute walk. Including 1 queen bed and 1 sofa bed, and 1 en-suite bathroom, perfectly suited for 2-4 people.
Things to See Near Khao San Road
Khaosan Road is great for people-watching. Grab a seat on a patio, order a Singha Beer, and chill out watching all kinds of people from around the world wander the street. You find many cheap shopping options, street food vendors, bars and nightclubs. And this is the place to get a cheap traditional Thai massage.
Plus it is close to a lot of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions:
- The Grand Palace – The Grand Palace is the top attraction in Bangkok. Home of the Royal Palace, it is still a working palace in Bangkok.
- Wat Pho – Home of the famous reclining buddha.
- Wat Phra Kaew – Located in the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is home to the Emerald Buddha.
- Wat Arun – Located on the West Bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun aka Temple. of the Dawn is one of Bangkok’s most recognizable temples.
- Chao Phraya River – This is the heart of Bangkok and taking a water taxi is an amazing experience unto itself. But you can stop along the way making a day of it.
- Democracy Monument – A large public monument in the center of a traffic circle. This area is filled with street food.
- Check out The 27 Best Things to do in Bangkok Thailand
Getting There: – One of the downfalls of Khaosan Road is that there isn’t any high-speed transportation like the Skytrain or Subway MRT so you will have to rely on tuk-tuks, taxis, or public buses. But we found the best way to get there was a very easy to walk to the river and take a water taxi to Taskin Station to catch the Skytrain. Public transport is very cheap and so are tuk tuks.
2. Bangkok Riverside – Where to Stay in Bangkok for Luxury
Riverside may be away from the shopping of Siam Square and the MBK Centre, but some of the most luxurious hotels in Bangkok are located in the Riverside area of Bangkok.
the last time we were in Bangkok, we stayed on the River and it ended up being our favourite of all the places to stay in Bangkok that we’ve been.
It’s not cheap to stay on the River, but if you can splurge it is worth it. Most hotels offer free transfers to the Skytrain and along the river. Plus you are close to all of Bangkok’s top attractions.
Best Hotels in the Riverside Area
Bangkok is amazing for staying in Luxury hotels at reasonable prices. If you ever wanted to splurge on a five-star hotel, this is the place to do it. There are many luxury hotels along the river including the previously mentioned Shangri-La hotel.
- Luxury Hotels
- Mandarin Oriental – This high end hotel is a Bangkok Institution. One of the first five star hotels in Bangkok
- Capella Bangkok – Capella Hotel Bangkok is the city’s newest luxury hotel with a Michelin Star restaurant, and all the luxury ammenities you could hope for.
- Avani Riverside – A reasonable luxury choice with a beautiful pool overlooking the river.
- Royal Orchid Sheraton – We stayed at this hotel and loved it. A Sheik was staying at the hotel during our stay, so even though it is mid-range, we felt like royalty.
- Ramada Plaza by Wyndham – Another Great option for mid-range that feels like luxury. We enjoyed the restaurant the most about our stay here.
- Ibis Bangkok Riverside – You can never go wrong with an Ibis Hotel. at $36 bucks a night, you can’t go wrong. Swimming pool too!
Things to See on the Chao Phraya River
Similar to Khaosan Road, you’ll see many of the same attractions along the river. The difference is you’ll be staying on the river!
- Grand Palace – Home of the royal palace, emerald Buddha and beautiful temples and gardens.
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo) – the sacred Emerald Buddha resides here.
- Wat Arun – Temple of the Dawn and Bangkok’s most recognizable temple.
- Wat Po – home to the massive golden Reclining Buddha
- China Town – Great place for shopping and high energy.
- Flower Market – Thailand’s largest flower market.
- Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
Getting There: The MRT does not go out to Riverside, but the Skytrain can be caught at Taksin Bridge. Most hotels offer free shuttles to the Skytrain station. You can also catch cheap taxis along the river.
3. Silom Neighbourhood – Where to stay in Bangkok for Foodies
Silom may be the financial heart of Bangkok and home to some of the best hotels in Bangkok but is also one of the best places to stay if you are a food lover.
This Bangkok neighborhood is a good blend of delicious Thai food and nightlife. It may be less traditional than other areas of Bangkok but it is a great place to base yourself if you love the more modern side of Asia.
Suggested Hotels in Silom
These are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Silom.
- SO Sofitel Bangkok This popular 5 star hotel attracts many chic travelers. Its urban design lures the hippest of hip to its monthly pool parties in its outdoor pool overlooking Lumphini Park.
- Baan K by Bliston: Located 5 minutes from the MRT and 10 minutes from the BTS. Large rooms with kitchenettes and complimentary breakfast.
- Pas Cher Hotel De Bangkok: Great value for your money and nicely located. It is only a 10 min walk to the BTS Skytrain station.
- AirBNB Apartment Rentals
- One Bedroom Luxury Condo: Cozy and modern one bedroom condo from $50/night in a luxury building in the heart of Sathorn financial. Just 5 minutes to either BTS Surasak and Chong Nonsi. 2 stations to Siam Paragon the biggest shopping center. Near W hotels and international embassies.
Things to see in the Silom Neighborhood
Silom is full of amazing restaurants, the famous Patpong Night Market and it is also home to Bangkok’s Red Light District. If you are into partying until the wee hours of the morning then Patpong 1 and Patpong 2 are the streets you will want to check out. If that is not your thing then I suggest avoiding those streets and check out Saladaeng Road for some great restaurants.
There is a lot to see in this area and we recommend taking an early morning stroll in Lumphini Park, then checking out the Bangkokian Museum.
- Lumpini Park – Lumpini Park is a great option for taking a break from chaos of Bangkok.
- Patpong Night Market – located in the red light district, this Not for youngsters and we don’t recommend it as there is a real problem with human trafficking in Bangkok.
- Saladaen Road – Food and nightlife.
- Lalai Sap Market – Get a glimpse of local life
- Sky Bar for sunset and epic city views.
Getting There: This area in Bangkok is well-serviced by public transport and has a great selection of hotels for every budget.
4. Chinatown – Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Culture
Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the largest in the world and definitely makes an exciting area to stay. The energy is undeniable here, especially during festival times, such as Chinese New year or the Annual Vegetarian Festival.
Located on the East Bank of the Chao Phraya River This is one of the oldest parts of the city, and a walk through the narrow alleys will make this fact very apparent. Some say it kind of has a run-down feel but I love it anyway.
Of course, authentic Chinese food abounds. Lovers of Thai food, fear not; street vendors serve up lots of classic Thai dishes and delicious street food vendors on street corners once the sun goes down.
Local Tip: If you are heading out of Bangkok via rail and looking for a cheap place to stay for the night Chinatown is a great choice.
Chinatown has blossomed as a hot places to stay in Bangkok, and there are many choices between boutique luxury and affordable accommodation.
Recommended Hotels near Chinatown
- Luxury Hotel
- Mid-Range Hotel
- Budget Guest House
- Best AirBNB in Chinatown
Things to see in Bangkok near Chinatown
- Yaowarat Road – This is the main thoroughfare in Chinatown and visitors can find plenty of restaurants and shops. While the street is busy during the day, it really comes alive at night.
- Make sure to take advantage of the delicious street food sold on many of the corners. My advice – follow the crowds!
- Wat Traimit – This temple is home to the largest solid gold Buddha statue in the world. Located at the end of Yaowarat road, the temple also houses the Chinese Cultural Center. Well worth a visit.
- Eiah Sae – This well-known coffee shop has become something of an institution. It is probably one of the most authentic coffee shops in the area where you can enjoy a sweetened Thai coffee (with lots of condensed milk) – yum!
- Sampeng Lane (Soi Wanit 1) – This extremely narrow shopping street runs parallel to Yaowarat road.
- Here, shoppers can take advantage of wholesale prices on just about everything: fabric, electronics, beauty items, clothing and more.
- Bangkok Chinatown 3.5-Hour Night Food Tour: Take a 3.5-hour walk through Bangkok’s 200 year-old Chinatown district to discover the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of this fascinating area. Enjoy several samples of the district’s traditional street food, and see some of its historical landmarks.
- Chinatown Bike Tour in Bangkok – $56.23: This half-day bike excursion takes you to Thonburi’s back streets to visit some of the area’s lesser-known sights.
Getting There: While there is no public train that runs through Chinatown, the Hua Lampong stop on the MRT is located just around the corner from Yaowarat Road. There are also very cheap public buses that run to Chinatown and down the length of the main road. Google Maps and Maps.me are both good Apps to get transport information easily.
5. Sukhumvit Area – Where to Stay in Bangkok for the First Time
While this area of the city is not known for its traditional tourist attractions, but it makes up for it in the amazing shopping, dining, and nightlife. If you want to stay in the heart of Bangkok near all the best shopping and dining, Sukhumvit is one of the best places to stay in the city.
Many of the cities top restaurants, cute cafes, and nightclubs are located along Sukhumvit Soi that runs from the center of the city. It is very easy. to get around the Sukhumvit area as the BTS (Bangkok Transit System) runs right along Sukhumvit Road.
It really does serve as the pulse of the city, and most nights, visitors will find Thai locals and young people out enjoying all that this area has to offer.
Best Hotels in Sukhumvit
- Best Luxury Hotel in Sukhumvit
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Sukhumvit
- Best Budget Accommodation in Sukhumvit
- Best AirBNB in the Sukhumvit Area of Bangkok
- Luxury In The Heart of Sukhumvit 0 A brand new condominium at the heart of Sukhumvit, Bangkok. Directly next to Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, Underground MRT Sukhumvit Stations and in between both Skytrain BTS Asoke and BTS Nana Stations.
- High floor with a Balcony overlooking beautiful Bangkok Central Business District Skyline. High-speed Wifi Internet & Cable TV. 24 Hour Security Access, Full Condominium Facilities and Complimentary Amenities for your stay. Check out Availability & Prices on AirBnB
Things to See in Sukhumvit
- Terminal 21 – This unique shopping mall is set up like an airport terminal and features different decor on each floor based on the country. Great for name-brand stores and bootie shops.
- Emporium – Luxury mall located next to Benjasiri Park. Great shops and dining options.
- EmQuartier – Located across the street from Emporium with more shops, bakeries, and restaurants.
- Gateway Mall – located further down Sukhumvit off the Ekkamai stop, this Japanese-themed mall features many food options and fun shops, including one where you can weave your own Thai scarf.
- Nana (Soi 11) – Some fun bars and nightclubs and bars are located on this street. Check out the Cuban-themed speakeasy Havanas, or dance the night away at Sugar or Insanity nightclubs. Above Eleven is also a great little rooftop bar.
- Soi Cowboy (Soi 23) – If you want to party all night long, Soi Cowboy could be for you. Many of the bars offer ‘ping pong’ shows and pole dancing.
- W District – Located a bit further down Sukhumvit, this nighttime hotspot is the perfect place to end the day. It is an outdoor food court for tasty street food with tons of different options to choose from.
- Bangkok: 60-90 Minute Muay Thai Boxing Class for Beginners: Have a fun but demanding class of muay Thai and train with a professional boxer to learn about this martial art and build up or improve your boxing skills.
- Spa Package at Baan Sabai Spa – $89.96: Relax with a nurturing spa package at Bangkok’s Baan Sabai day spa. Slip away from city noise for a 30-minute body scrub followed by a luxurious 2-hour traditional Thai massage. Choose from natural essential oils or rejuvenating coconut oil, and let the spa’s experienced practitioners restore your body’s balance and tone.
- Adventurous travelers can see more of the city by bike with Follow Me Bike Tours
- For a day trip outside of the city, visit Amphawa Floating Market
Getting There: All of the locations in Sukhumvit are easily accessible on the Sukhumvit Line of the BTS. Any of the stops on the Sukhumvit line have tons of restaurant options as well.
- For Terminal 21 Shopping, get off at Asok.
- For Soi 11 partying and nightlife options, get off at Nana.
- Emporium and EmQuartier and located off Phrom Pong.
- Gateway Mall is off Ekkamai.
- W District is off Phra Khanong.
6. Siam Area – Where to stay in Bangkok for Shopping
Thai people love malls and shopping. Part of the reason may be for free air conditioning, but another is that there are so many fantastic options to choose from!
The Siam area of Bangkok is a bit of a Mecca for shoppers and it is the best place in Bangkok near megamalls and shopping centres. With malls like the Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon and Siam Center located next door and across the street from each other.
From luxury malls offering the most expensive brands, to small boutique spots where local Thai people can sell their one-of-a-kind creations, Siam has something for every shopper!
It also makes a great place to find souvenirs for loved ones back home. If you are looking for the best place to stay in Bangkok that is near the malls this is the area for you.
Where to Stay in Siam
- This AirBnB is a short walk to Walk to MBK Cetnre and Siam Square. There is also 24Hr airport pickup.
- You will stay in a peaceful place with high privacy and good atmosphere. Safe with a 24-hour security system. There will be a security guard at the front entrance door, they will ask the room number from every single person to prevent the strangers. You will find the surprise that our place is in the midst of Bangkok’s famous shopping center, No. 1 (Siam) and walking distance to many others. Check out Availability & Prices on AirBnB
Things to see in Siam
- Siam Square – Siam Square is the main shopping block in Bangkok filled with high end malls, lots of restaurants and dining, entertainment complexes and it’s the main transportation hub of the area.
- Jim Thompson House – For a look at the father of the Thai silk industry, a visit to the Jim Thompson house is a must.
- MBK – The oldest shopping mall in Bangkok. Shoppers can find just about anything here at discount prices. It is massive!
- Siam Ocean World – This aquarium is sure to please families and those interested in sea life. It is located inside Siam Paragon.
- Thai Boxing – The stadium at national Stadium occasionally houses Thai Boxing matches. These events are a fun way to spend an afternoon and definitely not on the traditional tourist itinerary.
- Bangkok Art and Culture Center – This ruling, right off the BTS Silom line, houses rotating art exhibits, small shops, and cafes. Check out the ice cream spot that has ice cream that looks like steak for a unique treat.
- Muay Thai Kickboxing with Ringside Seats and Private Transfer – Take a VIP ringside seat at a Muay Thai match at Bangkok’s Rajdamnoen Stadium. You’ll be up close to the action as you watch the centuries-old martial art of Thai kickboxing — now considered the national sport.
Getting There: All of the shopping and attractions in the Siam area are located right off the BTS at Siam Square station. Get off at National Stadium (the last station on the Silom line) for MBK shopping and Jim Thompson’s house. The Chit Lot BTS stop on the Sukhumvit line is also close to Central World for Shopping and the Erawan Shrine.
7. Banglamphu – Bangkok Budget Neighborhood
Khaosan Road has blossomed with hotels and eateries and now accommodation and hotels have stretched far beyond Khoasan Road throughout the entire Banglamphu neighborhood.
Leading toward the Chao Phraya River and we suggest choosing a hotel off the main Khoasan Road area on one of the quieter streets behind Wat Chana Songkram.
The two neighborhoods are basically identical with most of the same things to see and do. It’s just a little quieter.
Banglamphu Suggested Hotels
Banglamphu Really is for budget minded travelers. The hotels are clean but basic and a great option if you are traveling long-term around Southeast Asia or Thailand.
Things to do in Banglamphu
All of the usual Chao Phraya River, Chinatown, and Khao San Road attractions. This is a great neighborhood in Bangkok for first-timers and is close to the major traditional attractions of Bangkok. Read more: 32 Best Things to do in Bangkok, Thailand
8. Pratunam Area – Where to Stay in Families
This area of the city is a good alternative to the Siam Area as it is more affordable but still walking distance to all of the Siam Square attractions.
Because it isn’t quite as built up as Siam, there are some great markets and bargains to be had. There a lot of street vendors for cheap street food eats and plenty of bars and restaurants. The Baiyoke Sky Hotel is Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper and is located in the area.
Hotels Near Pratunam
Because it is more reasonable than hotels along Sukhumvit Soi, there are fewer luxury options, but they are also more affordable.
- The Berkley Hotel Pratunam – Luxury in the heart of the city. Close to all attractions near Siam and Pratunam including The Palladium World Shopping Centre. Rooftop pool with beautiful views.
- Novotel Platinum – Located on top of thePlatinum Fashion Mall it is on the cusp of Siam and Pratunam. A short walk to CentralWorld, Siam Square & connected via Bangkok Skyline to BTS station
- Pratunam 19 Hotel – Good Budget option in the heart of everything.
Things to See in Pratunam
- Pratunam Market
- Victory Monument
- Neon Market
- The Palladium World Shopping Centre
- The Platinum Fashion Mall
- Four Face Buddha
Getting Around Bangkok
It is very easy to get around Bangkok using Public Transit. The Skytrain is easy to navigate and is very affordable.
Transit: There are two train lines in Bangkok: the BTS (above ground) and the MRT (below ground). The BTS train has two lines the Silom line and the Sukhumvit line. At connecting stations, pay attention to the direction and line you are getting on.
Water Taxis – This is a great way to get around Chao Phraya. There is a tourist boat and a local boat. Either way it is very affordable. The local price is almost non existent.
Taxis: Always make sure the taxi drivers turn on their meter. Some will refuse to take you places or run the meter and simply ask for a set price. If you prefer this, agree on a price BEFORE getting in. I was often shocked by what tourists would pay for a taxi. Don’t get scammed! There are decent drivers who will run the meter and take you where you want to go; sometimes it does take some patience.
Getting to and from the airport: There is a train that runs to the Suvarnabhumi airport, the major international airport.
It is called the ‘Airport Rail Link’ and it is accessible from the BTS. From the other airport Don Muang, which is more for domestic flights and international flights throughout South East Asia, you can take a cheap local A1 bus. It runs both to and from the last stop on the BTS, Mo Chit.
Taxis are reasonable from the airport, just be sure to take the designated taxis and don’t let anyone approach you int he airport. There is a taxi stand wher eyou will pay a flat feel. If you want to avoid any hassle, you can book a Private Transfer in advance for a very reasonable rate.
Plan Your Bangkok Trip
Bangkok uses the Thai Baht. As of July 2018, $1 = 33 baht – For up to date conversions get the XE Currency Converter App
As previously mentioned, Bangkok is hot. There really is no time of year to escape the heat. There are three main ‘seasons’ in Bangkok.
The hot season, which runs from March to June, with April typically being the hottest month. If you are looking to cool off, visit during ‘Songkran,’ the Thai New year. The holiday is celebrated with a three-day long water fight – the perfect way to beat the heat!
The rainy season runs from July through October. Expect rain most days. Thunderstorms can appear suddenly and unleash huge amounts of water that leave the streets completely flooded.
The ‘cool’ season is between November and February. The city is still very hot, but there are some days when the temperature dips into the 70s (that’s considered freezing to the Thai people!).
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No matter how much time you have in Bangkok, you are bound to enjoy it.
Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and when you visit Bangkok, you will soon understand why. Thai people are some of the friendliest you will ever meet.
In addition, the food is fantastic and the nightlife never-ending.
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