How to spend 1 day in bangkok thailand

How to spend 1 day in Bangkok, Thailand

Aug 9, 2023

When most people think of Thailand, they think of:

  • Full moon parties in the Phi Phi islands

  • Bathing with elephants in the faux “jungle.”

  • Spicy pad thai noodles

What usually doesn’t come immediately to mind is the allure of the vibrant city that blends tradition and religion with modernity, boasting world-famous fresh produce, spicy cuisine, floating markets, and insane traffic: Bangkok.

From lavish temples and delightfully dirty, bustling street markets to winding waterways and green spaces, it would be a mistake to sleep on Bangkok while you’re in Thailand. But what if you only have 24 hours in Bangkok, or are wondering how to spend your first day in Bangkok? I’ve got you covered this Bangkok itinerary.

Here’s my perfect 1-day Bangkok travel guide!

How to spend 1 day in Bangkok

8:00 AM – Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Start your day early to beat the crowds at two of the best places to visit in Bangkok for first timers! Soak in the splendor at Bangkok’s iconic Grand Palace, a dazzling testament to Thai craftsmanship with its intricate architecture and shimmering spires. Don’t miss the adjacent Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, where a precious and revered Buddha statue resides.

10:00 AM – Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha

A short stroll away you’ll find Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Explore the serene grounds and stand in awe before the colossal, 46-meter-long reclining Buddha statue, a true marvel of religious artistry. As you walk amidst ornate stupas and peaceful courtyards, you’ll find a sense of tranquility that contrasts the city’s vibrant energy.

Know before you go: There’s a dress code! Women must cover their knees, and no tube tops or spaghetti strap tops are allowed. I recommend wearing a long, breezy maxi skirt to be respectful while still beating the heat. You’ll also be required to remove your shoes in the temples.

12:00 PM – Street Food Adventure in Chinatown

For an authentic taste of Bangkok’s culinary scene, no Bangkok travel guide is worth a damn if it doesn’t mention heading to Chinatown’s Yaowarat area. Stroll through a symphony of colors, scents, and bustling stalls, relish a medley of street food delights. Whether it’s a plate of piping hot Pad Thai, a tangy Som Tum, succulent skewers of grilled meats, or my favorite mango sticky rice, there’s something unique that even your picky eaters will enjoy.

2:00 PM – Explore MBK Center

I’m not really a shopping gal, but it’s worth it in Bangkok to indulge in some retail therapy at the sprawling MBK Center. Why? Two words: bargain hunting.

This shopping mecca is a treasure trove of everything from fashion to electronics. Bargain hunters will be in their element as they navigate through diverse stalls offering trendy clothing, accessories, and unique finds.

4:00 PM – Chao Phraya River Cruise

As the afternoon sun dips toward the horizon, embark on a leisurely cruise along the Chao Phraya River. Of all the best things to do in Bangkok, you won’t want to skip seeing the city’s landmarks, like the majestic Wat Arun and towering skyscrapers, from the river view.

what is the best rooftop bar in bangkok conde naste6:00 PM – Have dinner at Asiatique The Riverfront

As the sun sets, make your way to Asiatique, an open-air mall by the riverside. Enjoy a delectable dinner at one of its many restaurants with gorgeous river views!

8:00 PM – Explore a night market

Continue your adventure by strolling through the bustling night market. Shop for unique souvenirs, trendy fashion items, and handcrafted trinkets. Engage with local artisans and soak in the lively atmosphere of this vibrant marketplace.

9:00 PM- Rooftop bars

Finish out the perfect 1 day in Bangkok with a visit to one of the city’s renowned rooftop bars. Bangkok has a magical skyline that is best enjoyed twinkling of the reflection of the river at night. Sip on signature cocktails as you reflect on your day of cultural immersion and urban exploration!

If you were wondering, “Is it worth going to Bangkok in one day?” or “is Bangkok friendly to tourists?” I hope you can see that my answer is a resounding YES! While it’s not a place I would spend more than 1-3 days of a trip to Southeast Asia in, there are so many things to do in Bangkok.

I know what you’re thinking: “This is great for you, but how can I afford to travel more?” I’ve been there!

It’s easier than you think to travel on a tight budget if you have the right tools. From scoring cheap flights to saving on hotels, snag my FREE guide with ALL the best budget travel tips and tricks! ✈️

Looking for more? Don’t miss the best-of-the-best travel blogs, travel hacks, and travel itineraries!

Are you new here? Let’s be friends! I’m Sarah— a solo female traveler (& world’s okayest travel blogger) helping you travel the world, discover surprising destinations, & have a laugh getting off the beaten path. Scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up to stay in touch (I promise not to spam you- just to share the best travel hacks, guides, itineraries, embarrassing stories, and unmissable experiences)!

  1. John Bonamigo says:

    Informative, I like the travelling on a budget tips

you said:

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