The capital of Thailand, Bangkok has long been a go-to destination for its incredible history, vibrant culture, beautiful temples, bustling nightlife, and amazing cuisine. With so much on offer, it can be hard deciding what to do in the “City of Angels” with limited time. Here’s my perfect 4-day Bangkok itinerary so that you can enjoy the best of this utterly captivating city!
With this Bangkok itinerary, you’ll have a chance to explore all the famous sights like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, as well as stop by some lesser-known gems like Jim Thompson House and Jodd Fairs Night Market. With 4 days in Bangkok, you’ll also have more than enough time to explore the city’s outer corners on some of the best day trips from Bangkok.
Ready to discover the best attractions in Bangkok? Let’s dive right into this Bangkok 4 days itinerary!
Disclaimer: This post probably contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through one of these links, I might receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
Bangkok Itinerary Essentials
Before diving into this Bangkok travel itinerary, here are a few tips to make your trip all the easier.
- Search for the best hotel deals a few weeks before your trip. Also, see my top hotel picks below.
- Bangkok is a major tourist hub in South East Asia. Search the latest flight deals here on Skyscanner.
- The city has two airports, Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). While both receive domestic and international flights, Suvarnabhumi is the main gateway to Bangkok. The airport connects directly to the Airport Rail Link, allowing you to get into the city in less than an hour. Grab an ARL smart pass here online to skip the lines or book a private transfers if you don’t want to bother with public transport.
- Grab a digital Bangkok Explorer Pass to save money on entrance fees when visiting the city’s top tourist attractions.
- Bangkok is a relatively safe city, even for solo travelers. That said, petty theft and scams aren’t uncommon. World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
- While there are around 23000 Wifi hotspots in Bangkok City, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars on a local 4G sim card or this SEA eSIM. That way, you never have to worry about accessing maps, schedules or translations on the go.
- Grab a Thailand Lonely Planet or this Bangkok guidebook for a closer look at the history, culture and top sights!
- Read my guide on Thailand travel tips to ensure you have a seamless trip. This Thailand packing list will also come in handy.
Getting Around During Your 4 Days Itinerary in Bangkok
Bangkok is huge! So if you want to experience all of its best bits, you’ll need to know how to get around.
Luckily the city has an extensive transport network ready to whizz you off to all its top sights. These include trains, buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, and even boats.
- SKYTRAIN/ METRO: The easiest way to get around Bangkok is by Skytrain (BTS) or metro. These are easy to navigate, even for first-time travelers, and tickets are cheap. Make sure you have Google Maps on your phone to plan your stops easily. It’s also a good idea to grab the BTS One Day Pass if you’re planning to use the Skytrain a lot.
- TAXI/ TUK TUK/ GRAB: Taxis and tuk-tuks are another good way to get from A to B but know that Bangkok is notorious for traffic jams, and drivers often try to rip off tourists. A cheaper and safer option is to order a Grab taxi (SEA’s version of Uber). That way, you’ll have a good idea of what the ride will cost. If you must take a regular taxi or tuk-tuk, always ask what it will cost to your destination first, compare the price on Grab, and then give the driver a ballpark figure of what you’re willing to pay. Another option when taking a regular taxi is to ask the driver to turn on the meter. That way, you can avoid taxi scams.
- HOP ON HOP OFF BUS: If you’re planning on visiting a lot of touristy places during your Bangkok itinerary, another option is to take the Bangkok sightseeing bus. The bus stops at all of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions and is a fun way to see the city from a different angle. 24, 48, and 72-hour passes are available.
- LOCAL BUS: Bangkok also has an extensive local bus network, but you’ll need hair on your teeth to stick out the ride!
Where to Stay During your 4 Days in Bangkok
For the ultimate luxury stay in Bangkok, you don’t need to look much further than the Mandarin Oriental. Located along the charming Bangkok Riverside, this gorgeous 5-star hotel sports old-world charm, impeccable views, and exceptional service.
Akara Bangkok is a quirky boutique hotel mere steps from the airport rail line and the BTS Skytrain. The hotel has an amazing rooftop bar and a glistening pool where you can hang out after a day exploring Bangkok’s attractions. Don’t miss the breakfast!
If you want to wake up with an incredible view over Wat Arun and the Chao Praya River every morning, Inn A Day is for you. This gorgeous design hotel features funky interiors, and since it’s right on the river, many cafes, restaurants, and rooftop bars are nearby.
With clean, modern rooms and a lovely rooftop pool, Travelodge Sukhumvit 11 is a great choice for travelers who don’t want to sacrifice style and comfort.
Beige Poshtels is a cheaper alternative for those looking for an upscale backpacker vibe.
4-Day Bangkok Itinerary: Quick Overview
Day 1 in Bangkok: Grand Palace >> Wat Pho >> Wat Arun >> Khaosan Road
Bangkok Day 2: Jim Thompson House >> Chatuchak Market >> Wat Saket
Day 3 in Bangkok: Ayutthaya >> Jodd Fairs Night Market
Day 4: Maeklong Railway Market >> Damnoen Saduak Floating Market >> Rooftop Bar
Bangkok Itinerary: Day 1
Kick off your first day in Bangkok with a visit to some of Thailand’s most famous landmarks; the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. After getting a good dose of history and culture, head to Khaosan Road for a night out on the town.
The Grand Palace
Kick-start your whirlwind tour of Bangkok at the city’s crown jewel – the Grand Palace.
Built in 1782 by King Rama I, the Grand Palace served as the official residence of Thai Kings for more than 100 years. While no kings live here anymore, the grounds are still occasionally used for ceremonial purposes today.
The spectacular compound spans 218,000m2 and houses the former royal home and various administrative offices. There are more than 100 buildings here, all beautifully decorated with everything from gold to diamonds. While you can’t visit most of them, there is still plenty to take in – beautifully carved rooftops, giant statues, perfectly manicured gardens, and Thailand’s most sacred temple, Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha).
The royal complex has a strict dress code so remember to dress respectfully. Cover your knees and shoulders, and don’t wear flip-flops. It’s easy to visit the Grand Palace on your own, but you can also rent an audio guide or join a guided tour to learn a little more about its history. Since it’s one of the top attractions in Bangkok, it’s best to get an early start. The palace is only open between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. The entrance fee is 500 baht.
After you’ve admired the dazzling Grand Palace, it’s time to visit another gem in the Old Town, Wat Pho.
Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s top sights. And it’s not hard to see why. It’s home to the first public university of Thailand, the country’s largest collection of Buddhist images, and the famous 46m-long Reclining Buddha. The statue is completely covered in gold leaf, with mother-of-pearl inlaid on its feet.
While the Reclining Buddha is the star at Wat Pho, it’s worth exploring the rest of the temple complex. Other highlights include hundreds of gold-covered Buddha statues, amusing Chinese statues, and nearly 100 opulent chedis decorated with ceramic flowers and colorful tiles. If you’ve got time, Wat Pho is also a great place to get a traditional Thai massage and is often touted as one of Thailand’s leading massage schools.
Wat Pho is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. An admission fee of 200 baht is payable upon entry. Remember to dress appropriately, covering your knees and shoulders. If you prefer to join a guided tour, this temple tour includes some of Bangkok’s top tourist attractions.
After your walk about at Wat Pho, grab a bite at AMA art & eatery – a cute authentic Thai joint. Try the pad Thai, sweet basil chili rice with honey glazed pork, and the mango sticky rice.
Then head west toward Tha Tian Pier, where you can hop on the ferry to cross the river to the dazzling Wat Arun. The ride costs 2 baht and only takes a few minutes.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam, also known as the Temple of Dawn, has an incredible 300-year history. Built in the 17th century, Wat Arun was the reigning temple of several kings and has even changed names quite a few times. Despite its somewhat intricate past, the Khmer-style temple is famous for its magnificent beauty and incredible riverbank setting. As a result, it’s one of the most popular Instagram spots in Bangkok.
The temple features a tall tower-like spire (prang) that rises more than 70 meters high, and four smaller spires surround it. The spires are adorned with tiny pieces of seashells, colored glass, and beautiful porcelain. If you’re up to it, you can tackle the steps of the central prang. It’s a steep climb, but the view over the cityscape and river is incredible!
Wat Arun is a popular spot throughout the day. Come at sunset (or sunrise) for the best experience. During this time, the light hits the temple at just the right angle, creating a stunning shimmering effect. Wat Arun is open from 8 am to 6 pm. Entry is 100 baht. Like other temples in Asia, it’s important to cover your knees and shoulders when visiting.
Khaosan Road is one of the most famous streets in Bangkok. Best known for its wild party scene, cheap booze, and weird snacks, Khaosan Road is where to go if you’re looking to hang with backpacker folk or want to join the party scrum. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re in the city for a few days, there’s no reason not to check it out.
If you’re not into the wild party scene, best to visit early in the evening when the vibe is still pretty mellow, and it’s easy to find a spot at one of the restaurants that line the street. Later at night, the crowds get thicker (and wilder), ladyboys parade outside seedy clubs, and bar promoters tout their specialty drinks around every corner.
Whether you come to party hard, eat scorpions on a stick, or simply tick Khaosan Road off your Bangkok bucket list, it will be an unforgettable experience!
Bangkok Itinerary: Day 2
Start your second day in Bangkok with a visit to the incredible Jim Thompson House. Then hop in a Grab or tuk-tuk and get lost in the maze of stalls at Chatuchak Market. Before the sun dwindles, pop over to Wat Saket for an unforgettable sunset over Old Bangkok.
Jim Thompson House
You’ve probably never heard of Jim Thompson, but for a fantastic glimpse into the past, start your 2nd day in Bangkok with a visit to Jim Thompson House.
Born in America in 1906, Jim Thompson was a man of many hats – architect, entrepreneur, art collector, spy, and most notably the “Thai Silk King.” After WWII, he settled in Bangkok. He devoted his time to bringing the Thai silk trade to the world and built a stunning abode featuring six traditional Thai teak houses. After his mysterious disappearance in the Cameron Highlands in 1967, his home became a living museum. And today, it is an unmissable stop on any Bangkok itinerary.
To this day, the house is beautifully preserved and filled with an exquisite collection of art, antiques, pottery, and silk. While you are free to stroll the main garden and relax at the beautiful onsite cafe, it’s worth joining a guided tour. That way, you’ll get to browse the inside of the house, see his impressive art collection and learn a little more about his life. Tours start every hour and cost 200 baht. Jim Thompson House is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. The last guided tour is at 5 pm.
Chatuchak Market is the largest outdoor market in Thailand and a heady mix of sights, sounds, epic food, and countless bargains. If you’re in Bangkok on the weekend, this is one market you don’t want to miss!
The market spans over 35 acres and has a staggering 15,000 stalls selling everything from food and handicrafts to souvenirs, cheap clothes, bags, jewelry, antiques, flowers, ceramics, and even pets! It’s a great place to practice your bargaining skills, too. In addition, there’s so much to see and do that you could easily spend a couple of hours browsing the stores.
Chatuchak is popular among locals and tourists, so prepare to join the scrum! The market is open from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, while the wholesale section is also open on Friday evenings. It’s easy to visit Chatuchak Market independently, but if you prefer a guided tour, this half-day market tour is for you!
The Golden Mount Temple
Wat Saket, or the Golden Mount Temple, is a lesser-known gem in Bangkok. The temple is believed to date back to the Ayutthaya period and was once even a crematorium. It’s not nearly as crowded as Bangkok’s other famous temples, making it a great place for a more authentic temple experience.
The 79-m tall white temple sits on a partially artificial hill, and to get to the top, you’ll need to climb more than 300 steps. Don’t worry; it’s a very easy trail to tackle with well-paved stairs. Along the way, you’ll encounter mini waterfalls, gentle streams trickling down, lush plant life, and ancient prayer bells that you can ring for good luck. About halfway up, there’s a nice cafe where you can learn a little more about the temple’s history and enjoy a cuppa. Don’t stop there, though, because the real star is at the very top of the temple. Here you’ll find a shimmering golden stupa containing ancient Buddhist relics and a huge terrace offering breathtaking views over the cityscape.
Several temple halls also grace the grounds, so take your time strolling through the gardens, admiring the various Buddhist images, and making special wishes as you go.
The entrance fee to Wat Saket is 50 baht. Cover your knees and shoulders when visiting, but you can also buy a sarong at the little ticket booth. The temple is open from 7:30 am to 7 pm but come at sunset for an unforgettable experience.
Bangkok Itinerary: Day 3
On your third day of 4 days in Bangkok, take a break from urban life and explore the ancient ruins of Ayutthaya. Spend the day temple hopping, cycling through lush countryside, and learning a little more about the former second capital of Siam. Then head back to the city for a pamper session at your hotel’s spa and a night of feasting at Jodd Fairs Market.
A visit to the ancient city of Ayutthaya is one of the top things to do in Thailand and a must-do day trip while in Bangkok. Built in 1350, Ayutthaya was the second capital city of Siam for several centuries until it was burnt down by the Burmese in 1767.
Today, Ayutthaya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic place to get a good dose of history. While most of the wooden structures were destroyed during the fire, the Historical Park still features an impressive collection of ancient temple ruins built from brick and stone.
The sprawling park houses nine key temples. If time permits, it’s worth allocating an entire day to explore all of them. If that’s not an option, set aside at least half a day to explore the most impressive sights. Wat Phra Mahathat is the most well-known temple, and it’s here where you can see the famous Buddha’s head mysteriously trapped in the roots of a bodhi tree. Other must-visit temples include Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
Since Ayutthaya is quite spread out, renting a bike is a great way to explore the area at your leisure. The ancient city is about 80km north of central Bangkok, and the most convenient way to travel there is by hiring a private car with a driver for the day. Alternatively, there are also stacks of guided group tours available. Expect to pay a small entrance fee at each temple.
You can’t visit Bangkok without snacking through one of its colorful night markets. Bangkok has dozens of bustling night markets, and if you’re looking to experience one of the city’s newest and hippest markets, Jodd Fairs is for you.
Jodd Fairs is a 4-minute walk from Rama 9 MRT Station, so it’s easy to get there by public transport. The market sports quirky food trucks and various eateries offering a great mix of Thai, Japanese, Korean, and even Taiwanese street food. There’s a lot to try, so come hungry! Try the famous green chili pork ribs tower! And if you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the bingsu at Huanom100%.
Of course, Jodd Fairs is also a great place for shopping. Many vendors sell clothes, accessories, phone gadgets, kitsch knick-knacks, and more. The vibe is super laid-back, and some nights you can even enjoy live entertainment in the huge open-air area.
Jodd Fairs is quite popular among locals, so it’s best to come before 6 pm. After that, it gets packed!
Bangkok Itinerary: Day 4
On the last day of your 4-day Bangkok itinerary, get a taste of authentic Thai life by immersing yourself in the local culture. Get your heart racing with a visit to Maeklong Railway Market and then glide through the lively canals of Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. End your last night in Bangkok sipping cocktails at a fancy rooftop bar.
Maeklong Railway Market
About 1 hour south of Bangkok, you’ll find one of the most unique markets in Thailand and the world – Maeklong Railway Market.
The market has gained much attention over the past few years. While there’s nothing special about the products being sold here – you’ll find all the usuals; fresh fruit, veg, meat, and fish – it’s really the setting that has made this market a go-to spot.
The 100m long market is set up all along a railway track, and trains run right through it several times a day. The train runs so close to the stalls that you could literally reach out and touch it (don’t, though!). Every time the train passes, vendors scramble to pull baskets of produce away, lift canopy tops, and find a safe spot to stand as the train rolls past. Once that’s done, everything is quickly put back into place, and things continue as normal.
It’s a heart-pumping experience and quite a spectacle to experience. When you go, stand behind the red line painted along the tracks. Don’t move until the train has passed!
While the market is open from 6 am to 6 pm, you’ll need to time your visit as the train only runs at specific times. The train comes at 8:30 am, 11:10 pm, 2:30 pm, and 5:40 pm. and leaves at 6:20 am, 9 am, 11:30 am, and 3:30 pm. Arrive about 15-20 minutes earlier so you can browse the market and find a good spot to stand.
You can access Maeklong by private transfer from Bangkok, but it’s also possible to join a guided tour.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
There are so many cool floating markets in Bangkok that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But one of the city’s most popular markets is the lively Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.
Located less than 2 hours drive from central Bangkok in Ratchaburi Province, Damnoen Saduak is a maze of canals that takes you past stilt houses and lush countryside. Along the way, you’ll encounter vendors selling souvenirs in open-air stands while others sell everything from fresh fruit and veg to pad Thai, mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream, and even beer right from their boats.
Most people visit the market via an organized tour, which includes transport to and from the market. Before booking an excursion, though, it’s important to know that some operators don’t include the long-tail boat ride in their price. So you may need to fork out extra money for that. Moreover, some piers are real tourist traps, so be wary of scams! If you want to take a boat, but it’s not included in your tour package, make sure to haggle.
Cocktails at a Rooftop Bar
Bangkok is famous for having some of the best rooftop bars in the world. And what better way to end your last day in Bangkok than to watch the city’s dazzling skyscraper-studded skyline with a boozy cocktail in hand?
Bangkok has no shortage of rooftop bars, so you won’t need to look too far to find one. Choosing a sky bar will ultimately boil down to what kind of vibe you’re after. Some are super posh with strict dress codes, while others have a more laid-back atmosphere. Try Sky Bar (from the movie “The Hangover”) if you’re looking for a posh night out or Octave Bar if you prefer something a bit more low-key.
Other popular sky bars include Vertigo & Moon Bar, CHAR Rooftop Bar, The Speakeasy, and Above Eleven.
Other Things to do in Bangkok
If you still have time to cram in a few spots on your 4 day Bangkok itinerary, here are a couple of alternative things to do:
- Take a romantic boat ride on the Chao Praya River Cruise at sunset. Enjoy a lovely dinner onboard as you cruise past some of Bangkok’s most famous sights.
- Check out the magnificent Erawan Museum with its gigantic three-headed elephant perched on top of a pretty pink building. Admire the quirky treasures inside or relax in the spacious gardens filled with giant elephant statues that trumpet when you walk underneath them.
- Take a stroll through Bangkok’s fabulous Lumphini Park – a green oasis right in the city’s heart.
- Shop till you drop at Platinum Fashion Mall. The mall houses thousands of stores selling clothes, bags, accessories, and more. Not all stores sell to the public, but it’s the perfect place to pick up that Gucci bag you’ve been eyeing!
- Get lost in the neon-lit streets of Chinatown Bangkok. Visit colorful temples and weave your way through bustling bazaars.
4 Days Bangkok Itinerary in Conclusion
Whether you’re visiting Bangkok for the history, culture, nightlife, or food, this incredible city has loads to keep you busy.
I hope this 4 day Bangkok travel itinerary has helped you figure out what to do in Bangkok!
Well, that wraps up my Bangkok itinerary for 4 days. Do you have any tips for fellow travelers planning an itinerary to Bangkok? Feel free to share your ideas on the best places to visit and things to do in Bangkok below!