How to Spend 3 Days in Bangkok ❥ The Perfect Bangkok Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

what to see in bangkok in 3 days

With so many things to see in Bangkok, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If it’s your first time visiting Thailand, this 3 days in Bangkok itinerary will help you plan the most unforgettable trip.

bangkok in 3 days

The Ultimate 3 Days in Bangkok Itinerary

From exploring historic temples to island hopping, Thailand offers a magnitude of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you have a long bucket list yet very limited time, 3 days in Bangkok serves as a fantastic introduction to The Land of Smiles.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that everyone travels differently.

With that in mind, I have curated this guide based on past trips and what I think are absolutely worth seeing. (For certain suggestions, I will include a few alternatives so you can have multiple options to choose from.)

I will also draft a separate article on must-try restaurants because some of us are foodies while others are not.

Without further ado, let’s dive into all the top things to do in Bangkok!

Day 0: Travel Day + Check-In

Depending on your country of departure, your flight may land early in the morning, in the afternoon, or even late at night. Regardless of which, why don’t we count this travel day as day 0 and have you checked in for a good night sleep.

Booking.com

In case you were not aware, Bangkok is extremely congested. That said, it is crucial that you choose a property with a central location.

Because this is a luxury travel blog after all, two of my favorite 5-star hotels are Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok and The Sukhothai Bangkok. Both are in a convenient neighborhood and have delicious complimentary breakfasts.

Day 1: A Cultural Exploration

Now that you’re well-rested, let’s tackle a full day of exciting Bangkok activities!

1. Tour The Grand Palace.

bangkok must seeWhat to see in Bangkok in 3 days.

The Grand Palace is one of the most well-known Bangkok tourist attractions.

It once served as a royal residence for the Kings of Siam. Today, it is used for special ceremonies.

places to go in bangkokWat Phra Kaew – Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The palace spans across 2,351,000 square feet. It consists of the most sacred Buddhist temple in all of Thailand – Wat Phra Kaew – and 100 various buildings that showcase the country’s cultural heritage.

Admission costs 500 THB (~$14 USD/~$19 CAD) per person. Make sure to allocate plenty of time here because you can easily spend two to three hours admiring the Emerald Buddha statue and exploring its opulent halls.

2. See the famous Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.

Wat Pho, or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is another Bangkok must-see.

3 days in bangkok what to do

It is one of capital’s biggest and oldest temples, and is home to more than 1,000 Buddha images.

The most photographed one is, of course, the Reclining Buddha. This enormous statue measures 15 meters in height and 46 meters in length. It is completely covered in gold leaf and is positioned in a sihasaiyas pose, which is the pose of a sleeping lion.

bangkok tourist attractions

Admission was 100 THBper person during my 2019 trip, but I believe prices have increased to 200 THB (~$6 USD/~$7 CAD) as of 2023.

Optional: If you’re a morning person, you may be able to fit more Thailand temples in your 3 days itinerary in Bangkok. Wat Benchamabophit, in particular, is beautiful during sunrise and worth waking up early for.

3. Snap a #vacationgram in a traditional chut thai.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Chut thai means “Thai clothing” in English. It is a traditional garment worn by men, women, and children for special occasions, such as weddings, festivals, and other celebrations.

Just like how renting a kimono is a fun cultural experience beloved by tourists visiting Japan, chut thai rentals are also becoming a trend in Thailand.

things to do in bangkok top things to do in bangkok

A good chut thai photo spot is Wat Arun (see number four below). If it’s busy, opt for Wat Ratchabophit (pictured above) instead.

My boyfriend and I rented from Sense of Thai. You get dressed by a professional and the process is quick and straightforward.

Their prices are as follows:

  • Women starting from 600 to 900 THB (~$17 to 26 USD/~$22 to $34 CAD)
    • Accessories (necklace, earrings, and handbag) are included.
    • Umbrellas are 100 THB (~$5 USD/~$8 CAD) extra.
    • No hair or makeup services.
  • Men starting from 600 to 800 THB (~$17 to 22 USD/~$23 to $30 CAD)
    • You can choose to add long socks for an additional 50 THB. (Less than $2.)
  • Photographers are available for hire on an hourly basis starting at 2,600 THB (~$74 USD/~$97 CAD)

You can make an appointment in advance via LINE. Otherwise, expect a 15 to 30-minute wait for walk-ins.

4. Take a scenic boat ride to Wat Arun.

places to visit in bangkokPlaces to visit in Bangkok in 3 days.

Known as Thailand’s Eiffel Tower, Wat Arun is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Bangkok.

It sits graciously along the Chao Phraya River and can be reached by boat for as little as 5 THB (less than 20 cents) each way.

tourist attractions in bangkok

Wat Arun, or Temple of Dawn, gets its name from the Hindu god of dawn – Aruna.

What sets it apart from other temples is its distinctive spires and intricate porcelain mosaics. The center spire measures 79 meters in height, hence its association with the French Eiffel Tower.

Admission costs 100 THB (~$3 USD/~$4 CAD) per person.

Optional: Now is a good time to return your chut thai and catch the sunset at a riverfront café/restaurant. Eat Sight Story Deck, Rooftop Bar at sala rattanakosin Bangkok, and ViVi the Coffee Place all have stellar views.

5. Try classic Thai dishes at a local night market.

I know I said I’d save all the food recs for a different post, but you simply cannot miss out on Bangkok’s night market scene.

Not only are these vibrant markets a heaven for foodies, you can find cheap deals for clothes and shoes, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs like handmade soaps and wicker bags.

things to see in bangkokOld Rot Fai Market Ratchada a.k.a. Train Night Market.

Prior to the pandemic, Rot Fai Market Ratchada’s colorful tents attracted countless tourists from all over the world. Due to COVID, however, Rot Fai closed down and has since reopened under a new name – The One Ratchada.

Jodd Fairs and Chatuchak Weekend Market are two other highly-recommended best places to visit in Bangkok.

Day 2: Bangkok & Beyond

Day two is all about seeing Thailand’s most unique sights and best rooftop views. If tall buildings make you queasy, this is the perfect opportunity to conquer your acrophobia!

1. Tour The Ancient City

Although technically not in the capital, The Ancient City still very much deserves a spot on your Bangkok itinerary. (You can easily take a Grab here or hop on the BTS.)

fun things to do in bangkok

This 200-acre open-air museum houses over 100 replicas of Thailand’s most iconic temples, palaces, and various historic sites from the past 4,000 years.

Entrance costs 700 THB per person (~$20 USD/~$27 CAD).

To get around, you can rent a bike or golf cart.

  • Regular bikes 150 THB (~$4 USD/~$6 CAD) – all day rental
  • E-bikes 250 THB for three hours (~$7 USD/~$10 CAD)
    • 100 THB for every hour thereafter (~$3 USD/~$4 CAD)
  • 4-seater golf cart 350 THB for one hour (~$10 USD/~$13 CAD)
    • 100 THB for every hour thereafter
  • 6-seater golf cart 500THB (~$14 USD/~$19 CAD)
    • 200 THB for every hour thereafter (~$6 USD/~$8 CAD)

2. See the three-headed elephant at Erawan Museum.

attractions places to visit in bangkok in 3 days bangkok thailand itinerary 3 days

Before heading back to Bangkok, be sure to stop by Erawan Museum.

things to see in bangkok in 3 daysWhat to do in Bangkok for 3 days.

This stunning pink museum was commissioned by millionaire businessman, Lek Viriyaphan, to store and preserve his antique collection for future generations to come. Its three-headed elephant is based on Hindu mythology’s Airavata, and is meant to protect these sacred objects placed within it.

It is listed as one of the seven “must-see museums in Bangkok,” and admission costs 400 THB per person (~$11 USD/~$15 CAD).

3. Challenge your fear of heights at King Power Mahanakhon.

places to see in bangkok places to visit in bangkok in 3 days

Standing at 314 meters, King Power Mahanakhon is Thailand’s tallest building.

It first opened in December of 2016 and is a relatively new mixed-use skyscraper featuring a hotel, residences, retail spaces, and a 360 degree panoramic observation deck.

what to do in bangkok for 3 days

The observatory can be split into indoors and outdoors. The indoor observation hall is located on the 74th and 75th floors, whereas the outdoor observation deck is situated on level 78. Here, you can explore what it feels like to be on top of the world as you strut across the glass tray.

Daytime tickets (10:00AM to 3:30PM) are 800 THB per person (~$22 USD/~$30 CAD). Sunset tickets (3:31PM to 7:00PM) are 1,080 THB per person (~$30 USD/~$42 CAD). 

4. Hit up Bangkok’s rooftop bars!

No trip to Thailand is complete without going bar hopping.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sky Bar (from Hangover 2), Vertigo, and Octave Rooftop Bar are amongst the most famous. However, my personal favorite is Tichuca Rooftop Bar.

It is the newest addition to Bangkok’s nightlife scene, and the jellyfish tree here is super IG-friendly. Most importantly, unlike Sky Bar where cocktails start at a whoppin’ 1,200 THB (~$35 USD/~$47 CAD), Tichuca’s prices are a lot more reasonable in comparison. (My boyfriend and I paid 942 THB for two drinks, which is roughly $27 USD or $35 CAD.)

Optional: Keep the party going at Khao San Road. This legendary street in central Bangkok is filled with vibrant energy and live music. You can get booze by the bucket and dance until the break of dawn.

Or: If you are an adrenaline junkie, catch a Muay Thai Fight at Rajadamnern or Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

Day 3: Shop ’til You Drop

I’m not a big fan of shopping when I travel. BUT, Thailand is an exception.

Whether you enjoy a good bargain or you prefer to indulge in luxury retail therapy, Bangkok is a shopping paradise.

Variation 1A. Sample tasty treats and collect souvenirs at a floating market.

bangkok activities

Despite floating markets being mentioned in every “fun things to do in Bangkok” list, they are actually located outside of the capital, usually at least an hour or so away by car.

As seen in the 1974 James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is, without a doubt, the largest and most popular. Amphawa Floating Market is a close second and both offer authentic street food as well as cute souvenirs that you can bring home.

best places to visit in bangkokRed Lotus Floating Market in Nakhon Pathom.

If you enjoy taking photos, make sure to hit up Red Lotus Floating Market.

As its name suggests, it is a market set around a gorgeous lotus lake. It’s a lot less touristy and you can even pay to get your picture taken on a drone.

Variation 1B. Shop like a local at Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Paragon, Siam Square, or ICONSIAM.

Elephant pants and “I love Thailand” t-shirts not your thing? Head to the malls instead.

bangkok three day itinerary

What’s great about Bangkok is its biggest shopping malls are all located within walking distance from one another. (ICONSIAM is the only one that is situated across the Chao Phraya River.)

Brands/stores that are trending right now:

  • GENTLEWOMAN
  • Pomelo
  • Daddy and the Muscle Academy
  • SOS
  • MatchBox
  • Jelly Bunny
Optional: If you need to rest your legs a little, consider grabbing a snack or a pick-me-up at ROAST, Karun Thai Tea, Holiday Pastry, or The Cassette Coffee Bar.

2. Treat yourself to a Thai massage.

visit bangkok in 3 daysSoothing Water Therapy at White Wood Green Spa & Wellness.

After a day of walking, it’s time to indulge in a relaxing massage.

Spas in Thailand are very affordable with some costing less than 300 THB an hour (~$8 USD/~$12 CAD). However, you should definitely be careful when it comes to discerning a regular spa from one that offers a “happy ending.”

bangkok 3 days trip

I highly recommend White Wood Green Spa & Wellness. Their treatments are a little pricier. Nevertheless, the spa itself is beautiful and their masseuses are extremely well-trained. Everything is clean and the overall ambiance is soothing and relaxing.

Oasis Spa is another one of the best places to go in Bangkok. (I have only been to their Chiang Mai location, but they have multiple branches in the capital.) Apart from that, Divana Scentuara Spa  is also very popular.

3 days itinerary in bangkok bangkok itinerary

Well, there you have it! How to spend 3 days in Bangkok!

I really poured my heart and soul into this itinerary. I hope this helps with your trip planning, and please feel free to rearrange things to your liking. (Just keep in mind that if you plan on going to a spa, you will want to avoid drinking alcohol after because alcohol can dehydrate your body and cancel out the benefits of a massage.)

Don’t forget to pin this for later, and you may enjoy these other Thailand guides.

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