From visiting dazzling temples to eating at charming cafes to exploring historic buildings, here’s our guide to what to do, eat, and see around the Grand Palace.
8.30AM: Grand Palace (Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram)
Avoid the crowd by visiting Bangkok’s most famous attraction early in the day. Built during the reign of Rama I in 1782, this expansive landmark was once the residence of Thai kings during the Rattanakosin era. Later on, it housed government offices before becoming the iconic destination it is now. A ticket, which you can buy from various sites online, costs B500. Visitors are required to observe the dress code: no shorts and sleeveless shirts.
Na Phra Lan Rd.
11AM: Tonkin Annam
Sit down for an early lunch at one of Bangkok’s best Vietnamese restaurants. Owned by food anthropologist, Gai Lai Mitwichan, it serves fresh and honest fare that follows age-old family recipes. Star dishes include nem nướng (grilled pork sausage), bánh bèo (steamed rice cakes), and sesame rice crackers. Go before noon to avoid having to queue.
69 Ta Tien Rd.
1PM: Hatien Café
Grab a coffee and stay for a while to admire this standout café’s interiors, which features antiques, collectibles, and bric-a-brac sourced from many places around the world—think chandeliers, stuffed animals, and oriental medicine cabinets.
4 Maha Rat Rd.
+6664 296 5549
1.30PM: Museum Siam
This museum is situated in a colonial building that once was the Ministry of Commerce. Interactive exhibitions educate visitors on the history of Siam (Thailand’s name before it was changed in the 1940s) and what it means to be Thai. Tickets costs B300 each.
4 Sanam Chai Rd.
3PM: Farm to Table Hideout
There’s a lot to love about this charming café, from its kitschy décor to the Thai desserts and homemade ice cream it serves. All ingredients are locally sourced, with most of them grown in the owner’s farm.
15 Soi Tha Klang
4PM: Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho)
Listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, this sprawling temple complex is known as Thailand’s first university. Its walls are inscribed with ancient Thai medicinal knowledge, including instructions for Thai massage. In fact, the grounds still house a massage school where you can get some of the best Thai massages in the city. The temple is also home to beautiful Thai art, intricate murals and soaring stupas. Ticket costs B100 and dress code observance is required. Drop by in the evening when the lights go on and the vibe is more serene.
2 Sanam Chai Rd.
Err is the second restaurant of renowned chef duo, Bo Songvisava and Dylan Jones of Bo.lan fame. Once again, they show their love for Thai cuisine by giving a fun twist to street food. Like in the Michelin-starred Bo.lan, local ingredients are maximized and food waste minimized. The vibrant interiors give off such a chic and friendly ambiance that you’d want to linger over drinks after your meal.
394/35 Maha Rat Rd.