24 hours in BANGKOK

After another stopover in Bangkok on the way back from my travels through Cambodia, I’m now ready to share my best tips in this brand-new 24 hours in…-post.

As usual, it’s meant for just a layover or a very short break on a trip through Thailand.

Chedis at Wat Phra Kaeo
The Chedis at Bangkok’s Royal Palace.

Of course, in 24 hours you’ll see just a fraction of all the attractions this bustling mega-city has to offer. So if you’re staying longer or want to try out more, check out the Bangkok section in my Thailand post.

icon bag of money Local Currency

Thai Baht (THB) / 1 US$ = 37.38 THB as of November 2022 / current rate

icon police car Emergency Contacts

Police 191

Tourist Police 1155

National Airline

Thai Airways

image airport board Airports

Suvarnabhumi Airport, IATA Code: BKK

Don Mueang, IATA Code: DMK

Tourist Info Online and Onsite

There are many semi-professional websites on Bangkok tourism online. Hence, I’d recommend the official website of the Tourism Authority of Thailand which does not lure you with supposedly ‘objective’ information just to sell you tours and other services.

Also, every hotel will supply you with a free map and brochures about what to do in 24 hours in Bangkok.

mean of transportation Getting Downtown and Back

One Night Downtown

Most of the hotels in Bangkok offer a more or less costly pickup at the airports. Obviously, this service is totally worth it after a long, tiring flight e. g. from Europe. But if you’ve been to Thailand – or a neighboring country – for a while and had a short flight with no jet lag, you can save a lot of money by using public transportation – it will add up to about 2 $:

Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok
Hua Lamphong station is centrally located and a perfect hub for exploring the city.

Suvarnabhumi airport: To get to the city center like the Hua Lamphong train and MRT station, take the ARL (Airport Rail Link) at Suvarnabhumi Airport Station to Makkasan Station. The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs 35 THB. Once you arrive, you change to the MRT blue line. Mind you, this station is called Phetchaburi, although it is connected to Makkasan station. From there it takes another 20 minutes to get to the Hua Lamphong station. Finally, walk ten minutes through glittering China Town and you’ll get to the charming Shanghai Mansion Hotel*.

One Night at the Suvarnabhumi Airport

If you prefer to stay at the Vismaya, just go to the 2nd floor at ‘Arrivals’ where you ask for the complimentary shuttle service to the hotel. But note: The shuttle back to the airport is not complimentary anymore – they charge about 100 THM (approx. 3 US $) for it.

Don Mueang airport: To get downtown, the cheapest option is to take bus #6 to Chatuchak Park/Mo Chit station. It takes about 25 minutes and costs 30 THB. Once there, you change to the MRT blue line towards the city center (approx. 40 minutes to Hua Lamphong) or the BTS Sukhumvit line.

However, a cab from this station to Hua Lamphong resp. the Shanghai Mansion Hotel* will charge about 200 THB which might be a better option if it’s late, you are tired, or have much luggage to schlepp.

Also, a direct shuttle bus is connecting the two airports.

For further information, you can check their very good and informative Website on all public transportation in Bangkok.

Morning Activities

On a sunny day, the most alluring way of seeing Bangkok is from a ferry on the Chao Phraya river.

Longtail on the Chao Phraya river.
Tourists and Buddhist alike are waiting for the ferry service on Chao Phraya river.

It’s only a ten minute walk from the Shanghai Mansion Hotel to the Ratchawong boat pier. Walk the Yaowarat road westward and turn left into Ratchawong road which leads to the pier.

Make sure to take one of the cheap Chao Phraya ferries for about 50 cents instead of a posh, expensive tourist cruise ship!

Oh, What a Wat!

Countless Wats can be admired in Bangkok: beautiful, colorful, gold-plated Buddhist temples.

Royal Palace in Bangkok
How the other half lives: The Royal Palace in Bangkok.

The biggest and most important one is Wat Phra Keo located right next to the Royal Palace.

To get there, get off the ferry at Tha Tien station. The entrance fee to the Wat and Palace for farangs, i. e. foreigners, is quite high – 500 Bath. With your ticket, you can visit also the textile museum where you can admire Princess Sirikit’s lavish wardrobe.

Talking ’bout wardrobe. When visiting the wats, again: the Buddhist temples (!), knees and shoulders should be covered, i. e. classic T-shirts with (short) sleeves and pants or long skirts are required. You can, of course, use a sarong resp. a scarf to cover, but often that’s more complicated and hotter than simply dressing appropriately in the first place.

Wat Phra Keo is open from 8.30 a. m. to 3.30 p. m.

As I said, although Wat Phra Keo is the most important complex, there are many more temples worth a visit, however, one of the nicest is right around the corner.

Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho that can be easily visited during 24 hours in Bangkok
Buddha reclining his 46 meters/150 feet long body at Wat Pho.

Besides other treasures, Wat Pho is housing an enormous reclining Buddha.

To get there, exit Wat Phra Keo on Na Phra Lan Road and turn right into Sanam Chai road where Wat Pho is located.

Wat Pho is open from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. and the entrance fee is 100 THB.

Morning Activities

Rainy days in big cities are no fun. Usually, bad weather leads to quick racing through alleys where the dirt is washed into gutters while you are avoiding stepping in something gross.

Therefore, I try to show you how to enjoy Bangkok even on a rainy day – which is rare, anyways.

Tuk tuk driver in Bangkok
Colorful and fun, but the price has to be negotiated when taking a tuk-tuk in Bangkok.

Unless it’s pouring cats and dogs, I think that Wat Phra Keo should be visited, but on a rainy day, you might want to skip the short cruise on river Chao Phraya. Just get a tuk-tuk or a cab straight to the palace complex. Nice touch: Taxis are metered in Bangkok – sometimes, especially during rush hour, you have to remind – or even convince – the driver to switch the meter on, but in general there’s no problem. Obviously, the tuk-tuks are not metered, so the risk to be cheated is much bigger. Simply ask at the hotel’s reception how much you should pay for a ride to the palace complex.

If it’s raining, you might visit Wat Phra Keo faster than in the sun since you probably won’t spend too much time outside the temples.

Chedis at Wat Phra Kaeo
Wat Phra Keo

Therefore you might have a little extra time before lunch so that you could visit the National Museum and admire Thailand’s rich history documented in the many beautiful exhibits.

Bangkok National Museum
4 Na Phra That Alley
Bangkok 10200
Phone: + 66 – 2 – 224 1333

The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday 9 a. m. to 4 p. m., the entrance fee is 40 THB


From simple street food to posh fusion cuisine at one of the high-class restaurants, you can practically eat everywhere and around the clock when in Bangkok.

Asian Food you have to try during 24 hours in Bangkok
Bowl full of yummy and healthy local delicacies.

Therefore I’m recommending this Thai restaurant mainly because of its convenient location for the afternoon activities. A good alternative might be the food court at the Siam Paragon shopping center.

To get here either from Wat Pho or the National Museum, just take a taxi – it should cost you about 100 to 150 THB.

Ban Khun Mae Restaurant 
458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8
Rama 1 Road
Patumwan District, Bangkok 10330
Phone: + 66  – 2 – 250 1952 and + 66  – 2 – 250 1953
Email: contact@bankhunmae.com

Afternoon Activities

The Ban Khun Mae Restaurant is very conveniently located for the afternoon visit to the Jim Thompson house.

Waving Lady at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok
It’s still all about silk at Jim Thompson’s estate in Bangkok.

Jim Thompson did not only revolutionize Thailand’s silk industry and made Thai silk really popular, he also had a great taste and deep admiration for Thai culture.

While others have a stamp album, he collected six traditional houses all over Thailand, let them demount, and re-assemble in the most eclectic fashion right here in Bangkok. The late Jim Thompson’s home is now a museum and can be visited.

Jim Thompson House
6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road,
Phone: + 66 – 2 – 216 73 68

The House is open daily from 9 a. m. to 6 p. m. and the entrance fee is 150 THB (students under 22 pay 100 THB)

After the visit to a very sophisticated place, I dare you to take one of the small Klon Saen Saep water busses that will take you on the Saen Saep canal to the Golden Mount, another sight not to be missed, especially for the grand view of all Bangkok. The boat ride is a truly Thai experience, though.

Khlong Saen Saep Express Boat
Phone: + 66 – 2 – 375 23 69
Email: info@Khlongsaensaeb.com 

View From the Mountain Top

Wat Saket was built on a man-made hill.

Golden Mount Bangkok
To climb the Golden Mount, you pay less than a Dollar for a Million-Dollar-view

This ‘Golden Mount’ is on the one hand quite fun for tourists – who are climbing the 300 steps to the top (relatively easy, but due to the heat still a challenge; make sure to have enough water on you), at the same time it is a sacred pilgrimage site, so that too much brouhaha should be avoided.

The Golden Mount can be visited from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. and the entrance fee is 20 THB.

Afternoon Activities

Since Jim Thompson’s estate consists of six houses made into one as well as a restaurant and a big gift shop, its visit is suitable even in heavy rains.

Jim Thompson House in Bangkok.
One example of Jim Thompson’s collection of houses.

Please check the afternoon activities in the sunny day section for the visitors’ info.

Is it still raining? Never mind, Bangkok is known for being one of the world’s most complete shopping destinations.

Lady with shopping bags
Shop till you drop – at one of Bangkok’s countless malls.

Most of the larger-than-life shopping malls are just a stone’s throw away from the Jim Thompson House. The three most popular would be the Siam Paragon, the CentralWorld, and the MBK – all open from 10 a. m. to 10 p. m., so knock yourself out!


If you’re staying at the Shanghai Mansion, you’re already in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown.

Best and most varied Dim Sun.
Steaming Wan Tan – always a culinary treat.

So why not have some really good dim sun for dinner – just around the corner from your hotel!? Besides, I think that you’ll enjoy the very authentic atmosphere, too.

The Canton House
530 Yaowarat Road
Bangkok 10100
Phone: + 66 – 92 – 249 8299
Open daily from 11 a. m. to 10 p. m.


Of course, you can choose from a variety of cool bars in Bangkok – many of them on the rooftops of luxury hotels.

Cocktail at the Red Rose Bar in Bangkok
A refreshing lime-based cocktail to be enjoyed at the Shanghai Mansion’s “Red Rose”-bar.

But especially if you had a long day or will have an early flight, you might be more comfortable enjoying a cocktail right at the Shanghai Mansion’s bar “Red Rose”. It’s not only a pleasant terrace facing the bustling Yaowarat street, but they also have some cool live music on certain evenings.

illustration of a bed Accommodation

I recommend two different hotels since it really depends on the departure time of your flight if you can enjoy an evening downtown or should rather choose accommodation next to the airport.

China Town

Shanghai Mansion Hotel, a perfect accommodation for 24 hours in Bangkok
Whether you prefer a soak in the free-standing tub at the Shanghai Mansion Hotel in Chinatown in the heart of Bangkok….

Shanghai Mansion Hotel Bangkok
479-481 Yaowarat Road

Suvarnabhumi Airport

Hotelpool at a hotel close to the airport - a perfect accommodation for 24 hours in Bangkok
….or if you rather prefer a refreshing dip in The Vismaya’s pool before your flight home – a comfortable hotel will make your stay perfect.

Vismaya Suvarnabhumi Luxury Resort
98 Moo15 Soi King Kaew 43, King Kaew Rd, Rachateva, Bangpee Samutprakran 10540
Phone: + 66 – 2 – 738 49 88
Email: contact@thevismaya.com

Map – sunny day itinerary

Map – rainy day itinerary

In case you have more time to spend in Bangkok and need more ideas and inspirations, make sure to check my post on Thailand

Pinnable Pictures

If you choose to pin this post for later, please use one of these pictures:

Note: I’m completing, editing, and updating this post regularly – last in November 2022.

Did You Enjoy This Post? Then You Might Like Also These:

* This is an affiliate link. If you book through this page, not only do you get the best deal, I also get a small commission that helps me run this blog. Thank you so much for supporting me!

Icons: money bag by Roundicons from www.flaticon.com, police car, train, sun, glass, and bed by Freepik from www.flaticon.com, takeoff plane and board made by ultimatearm from www.flaticon.com, info made by Roundicons from www.flaticon.com, umbrella made by Kiranshastry from www.flaticon.com, food plate by Vectors Market from www.flaticon.com

54 Replies to “24 hours in BANGKOK”

  1. I loved Bangkok when I visited it. Unfortunately, I was there for only half a day and I visited the Royal Palace. It was surely breath taking. I do want to go back to the city and see more of it. I definitely want to try the different food that the city has to offer.

  2. You certainly covered a lot during your time in Bangkok! We went last year – I love this awesome city!

  3. Great post, although your link to Bangkok Airport is broken (404), an alternative for those that want more info about the airport: httpss://bangkokairport.net/

    1. Thank you so much for pointing that out to me. I just fixed it! And glad you liked the post 🙂

  4. I have heard so much about Bangkok and how wonderful it is, I think if I would ever visit, I would love to spend no less than a week. Sheri

    1. You're absolutely right, Sheri, one can spend oodles of time in this mega city without getting bored. Unfortunately, this time I was on my way back from Cambodia. Next time will be much longer. Happy travels!

  5. Feels like everyone is going to Bangkok. But Now I know why. But maybe I will think about visitng. Thanks for detailing out.

  6. Wow bangkok looks so incredible with the amazing structures. As a die hard architecture fan, I cant talk my eyes off the amazing structures.

  7. I LOVE this post – it's a quick-hit guide that covers all the important pieces of a speedy trip to Bangkok. I've never been, but I'd honestly feel comfortable planning a short itinerary just based on your experience. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you guys, I'm glad you like it. Yes, I think it's a good 'golden thread' if you don't have much time to plan and organize. Happy travels!

  8. Your trip reminds me of my first solo trip. I went stayed in Thailand for three weeks. 🙂

    1. Me too, Rye, and I'll post about that trip beginning of January. But even then I had only three days in Bangkok – there is so much to see in Thailand…happy travels to you!

  9. It's amazing how much you could fit into a layover day. I've never been to Thailand before but I'd love to spend some time in Bangkok x

    1. When I travel by myself, I'm practically racing…probably that's the reason why I have to travel by myself 😉 Happy travels, Rhian!

    2. This is an awesome itinerary for Bangkok. It includes all the top sights and places to eat and stay. I love that you include details on how to get from the airport to the center of the city. I’m planning to visit Thailand in 2022. This will come in handy when I get a chance to visit.

  10. Bangkok is a vibrant and captivating city. We loved it when we were there a couple of years ago. We were there for 3 days and had a great time. Loved the Buddhist temples as well as the modern city. The best is of course the warmth of the people.

  11. I'm from Asia, but I've never been to Bangkok. I hope I can visit it one day. To see the temples/architectures. That Canton House, looks deli and of course their Pho.

  12. Such an informative post! I really like how you divided up the activities based on the time of day. Very useful for anyone not familiar with the city.

  13. Great ideas here. We were in Bangkok for a conference and enjoyed checking out some of the produce markets.

  14. I love how detailed you are, so few bloggers share also the useful numbers and the exact information like you do! Also the transport is SO cheap!

    1. I thank you so much, Dany. It indeed takes a lot of time and thorough research to put a post like this together, but I'm going for quality – and am very, very happy to get a feed back that readers do notice and appreciate it. Very encouraging! Thanks again!!

  15. I feel like I'm ready to spend 24 hours in Bangkok now! Thanks for the great tip about the meters on the taxi, it's so easy to be taken advantage of but that was an insightful tip!

    1. Well, Karlee, I hope it will help. During a former stay, Friday night cab drivers simply refuse to turn the meter on: Since there were so many customers waiting, they could simply determine their price. So good luck – and happy travels!

  16. Yay! You were in my neighbor country 😀 I am loving the idea of such quick and short trip!

  17. Thanks fot sharing your adventures at Bangkok. It is indeed one of the best place in Asia and cheaper to live, no wonder many western expats chose Thailand as their retiring home.

    1. It is a very cool place, indeed – well, not temperature-wise ? I hope to have the chance to visit longer, soon – last time it was only a stopover coming from Cambodia.
      Where are you from, Blair?

  18. Very good guide on what to do if you have 24 hours in Bangkok, both for a rainy and a sunny day. We only had 12 last September so we had a great Thai dinner, some night market, and sleep at the hotel plus the Wats near Don Muang.

    1. Yes, Carol, Don Muang is quite far and not so easily accessible as Suvarnabhumi. But Thai dinner and night market sounds perfect! Happy travels!

  19. Great post. Very detailed with lots of useful information on Bangkok. I have always avoid SE Asia as it has always seemed 'too' touristic for me. What was your experience?

    1. It strongly depends on how and where you travel: I loved the trip from Bangkok north to Chiang Mai, staying one or two nights at the ancient Royal settlements – that was wonderful. Few tourists in Ayutthaya (besides the groups that come and quickly go), no(!) tourists in Kamphang Phet, few in Lop Buri and Pitsanulok etc. Then I went down south to Krabi: horrible! The places and beaches are beautiful, but there are far too many people for the limited space. Most beach destinations and islands were much too crowded for me.
      As a beach destination, I liked Malaysia much better, for the temples and culture, Thailand is just wonderful.

  20. Wow! I’ve never been to Bangkok but have heard it’s a gorgeous city. Seems like I can find almost anything and everything in the town! Thanks for sharing!

  21. The Royal Palace is breathtakingly beautiful! I would love to visit Bangkok someday! Thanks for including activities for all hours of the day.

    1. Yes, the Royal Palace is indeed…majestic! Hope you'll make it to Thailand, soon, it's a nice destination! Happy travels – and a merry Christmas season to you, Amber.

  22. I never been to Bangkok. What a wonderful place to visit. I really love the architecture of he Royal Palace! Stunning photo!

  23. Oh my gosh – it looks amazing in Bangkok! I've never been there but it looks like I'm going to have to go!!!

  24. Bangkok looks amazing. This sounds silly but the contestants from Britain's Next Top Model were in Bangkok in the last episode – the fashion scene over there looks insane.

    1. It doesn't sound silly – I appreciate your ability of learning something useful from a moronic show 😀

  25. this is so amazing – you clearly planned very extensively! I find I can move so much faster & see so much more when i'm by myself too