best temples in bangkok
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10 Best Temples in Bangkok You Absolutely Cannot Miss!

Visiting Thailand for the first time? I have teamed up with some of my favorite travel bloggers to share the absolute best temples in Bangkok that will blow your mind!

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Best Temples in Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand is known for many things, one of which is its exquisite temples.

Now this may or may not come as a surprise, but there are actually a total of 40,000 Buddhist temples across the country. 30,000 are still active and in use, and Bangkok alone is home to hundreds, perhaps even thousands!

1. Wat Phra Kaew

best temples to visit in bangkok

Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is part of a royal complex known as the Grand Palace of Thailand.

It was built between 1782-1784, and was formally named as Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram – meaning “The Residence of the Holy Jewel Buddha.”

It is considered to be one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Thailand because of the political and religious symbolism of its Emerald Buddha, and is said to ensure the safety of Bangkok, keeping it safe from conquest or invasion.

best temples in bangkok

The temple complex of Wat Phra Kaew is made up of multiple buildings that cover 234 acres within the Grand Palace grounds.

These buildings are of an architectural style known as Rattanakosin (old-Bangkok style), and are decorated similarly to temples from the former capital of Ayutthaya where many of the building materials of the original Grand Palace originated from.

These buildings are embellished with colored tiles, inlaid mosaics, marble pediments, intricate murals, and gilded Garudas (half man, half bird guardians). Nowhere else in Thailand will you see such care taken in the creation of each building, and such a unique group of impressive structures.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance to the Grand Palace costs 500 baht per person and is inclusive of a visit to Wat Phra Kaew. The temple is open daily from 8:30AM until 3:30PM.

| Submitted by Erin Tracy from Traveling Thru History. To learn more about Wat Pha Kaew and the Grand Palace of Thailand, check out her photo tour through the grounds of Thailand’s Grand Palace.

2. Wat Pho (Officially Wat Phra Chetuphon)

wat pho bangkok

Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is one of Bangkok’s oldest temples with more than 1,000 Buddha images inside its large complex.

The original temple grounds underwent significant renovations under King Rama III in 1832. It was during this time and over the next 17 years that it became the complex it remains today.

bangkok tourist attractions

The golden Buddha inside is the main attraction and spans across 46 meters long. Its pose is referred to as sihasaiyas, the posture of a sleeping lion.

The reclining Buddha itself is worthy of a visit to Wat Pho, but if you have time, stick around for a traditional Thai massage.

Massages are offered by students at the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medical and Massage School. Don’t let that dissuade you though. You’ll be in good hands!

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 100 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 8:00AM until 6:30PM. Massages are booked until 6:00PM.

| Submitted by Agnes Groonwald from Travel on the Reg.

3. Wat Arun

wat arun

Wat Arun is one of the best temples in Bangkok to visit and has appeared in countless guidebooks as well as travel magazines.

It is one of the oldest and dates back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom. When the Burmese invaded, the Siam armies were pushed back to Bangkok. General Taksin viewed Wat Arun from the opposite bank and named it “The Temple of Dawn”. He vowed to re-build it if the war was won and later did so.

famous temple in bangkokWat Arun photographed during sunset from across Chao Phraya River.

This Buddhist temple can be visited during the day, or it can be enjoyed during sunset from the banks of Chao Phraya River.

The stupas glow with soft lights and the sun sets right above the grounds. Often you can hear the chanting of monks swirl across the river, adding to the experience.

The riverside is quite built up so finding a spot can be tricky. Luckily, there are a number of rooftop bars (e.g. the Eagles Nest) from which you get the perfect view. If not, there is a little pier on which you can sit right opposite this magnificent temple.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 50 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 8:00AM to 6:00PM. Last tickets are sold at 5:40PM.

| Submitted by Ben Reeve from The Sabbatical Guide.

4. Wat Benchamabophit

wat benchamabophit

Wat Benchamabophit in English means “temple of the fifth king.” It is one of Bangkok’s most famous temples and its nickname – The Marble Temple – derives from its Italian marble architecture.

The temple was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn in 1899 and was designed by his half brother Prince Naris.

King Chulalongkorn was the fifth monarch of Siam and his royal residence, Dusit Palace, was located a short 10 to 15-minute walk away. In fact, it still is and these two Bangkok tourist attractions can easily go hand in hand on your itinerary.

marble temple bangkok

When visiting Wat Benchamabophit, it is best to go early for sunrise. The morning light shines and reflects upon the gold embellishments, creating a jaw-dropping spectacle that you will never forget.

From 6:00AM to 7:30AM, you can even observe monks as they line up with their bowls in hand to receive local donations such as incense, lotus buds, and rice just to name a few.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 50 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 8:30AM to 5:30PM. I’d visited a bit earlier prior to opening hours and was welcomed regardless. The ticket booth does not open before 8:30AM so make sure to pay up before you leave!

| Submitted by me, Jas! Wat Benchamabophit was a highlight of my trip and it definitely deserves a place on your bucket list.

5. Wat Ratchanatdaram

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Wat Ratchanaddaram is a magnificent Buddhist temple complex located between the intersection of two major roads in Bangkok: Ratchadamnoen Klang and Maha Chai Road. It is close to Wat Saket as well, which can be a good side trip when in the area.

The temple’s name means Temple of the Royal Niece. It was built in 1846 by King Nangklao for his granddaughter – Princess Somanat Watthanawadi.

Aside from its lush garden and intriguing structures, one of the main attractions here is Loha Prasat.

bangkok temples at night

Loha Prasat is an iron or metal castle that is inspired by similar temples in India and Sri Lanka. (Note that the structure is erected in a very unusual way.)

There are multiple concentric square levels built on geometrically aligned pillars with maze-like divisions. The top of the castle holds the relic of Buddha and this is the only iron castle that still exists today.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 20 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

| Submitted by Christine Rogador from The Backpacking Executive. Don’t miss her recommendations for free things to do in Bangkok!

6. Wat Saket

bangkok thailand temple

Of the many temples in Thailand, Wat Saket is another one of the best temples in Bangkok that needs to be on your radar.

Wat Saket, or the Golden Mount Temple, has a gleaming golden chedi at the top that can be seen from miles away. (It is particularly charming at night when it shines brightly against the inky black sky.)

bangkok temples to see

This Buddhist Royal Thai temple dates back to when King Rama I of the Ayutthaya era ruled Thailand. He founded the temple as a burial site and thousands of bodies are actually still buried there today, many of whom were from a plague that swept the city during his reign.

temples in bangkok thailand

While it takes over 300 steps to get to the top of the temple, the journey up is well worth it.

Take your time to ring the bells as you ascend or stop for a few photos of the landscape around you.

Once you reach the top, it is like a silent retreat where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Bangkok and listen to the sound of wind chimes playing in the background.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 50 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 7:30AM to 7:00PM.

| Submitted by Lee Nelson from The Travel Scribes. All three photos were taken by this travelling duo, edited by me.

7. Wat Traimit

pictures of temples in bangkok thailand

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Wat Traimit is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok.

It stands at three floors high and its white and yellow façade will catch your attention immediately as you enter this part of the city.

temples in thailand bangkok

Wat Traimit (a.k.a. the Temple of the Golden Buddha) got its name through an interesting story.

At one point in time, a three-meter tall Buddha statue weighing more than five tonnes was covered in stucco to prevent theft. Unfortunately, people soon began to forget the statue’s original state and it was mistaken as one of the many plaster Buddha statues.

In 1935, it was brought to Wat Traimit, which at the time was still an insignificant temple. Twenty years later, when said statue was about to be moved to a new location, lifting ropes supposedly broke, causing it to fall to the ground. Some of its plaster cover broke off and the golden Buddha statue was revealed.

Today, it acts as the center piece of Wat Traimit.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 20 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

| Submitted by Tea Gudek Snajdar from Culture Tourist. If you have a little more time in Thailand, her ten days Thailand diary will be of inspiration for your trip.

8. Wat Suthat

famous temples in bangkok thailand

Wat Suthat was originally named Wat Maha Sutthawat, and is one of 10 first-class royal temples in Bangkok. (Thailand has a total of 23.)

This Buddhist temple is most notably known for its giant red swing, Sao Ching Chaa. It stands at approximatately 20 meters tall and was initially built to be used in annual Brahmanic ceremonies where young men competed against each other to see who could swing high enough to grab the bag of gold coins atop with their teeth.

Due to a number of fatal accidents, Brahmanic ceremonies are no longer practiced.

thailand bangkok temple

At the lower terrace, there are 28 Chinese pagodas to symbolize the 28 Buddhas who were born on earth.

From hand-carved gates to captivating murals and Chinese sculptures, Wat Suthat is sure to take your breath away.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 20 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 8:30AM to 9:00PM.

| Submitted by me again, Jas!

9. Wat Hua Lamphong

bangkok temples to visit

If your idea of a vacation involves exploring off-the-beaten path attraction sights and uncovering hidden gems, Wat Hua Lamphong is hands down one of the best temples in Bangkok you shouldn’t miss.

Not to be confused with Hua Lamphong Station, Hua Lamphong Temple is a royal Buddhist temple located close to Lumphini Park in the Bang Rak District. It is surrounded by skyscrapers, which only adds to the allure of this temple and makes it stand out in the urban landscape.

In 1996, the temple was renovated to celebrate King Rama IX spending 50 years on the throne. Although it’s not popular with tourists today, it is a well-liked local favorite.

Visitors come here to donate money for coffins to those whose families cannot afford them. As a result, another name for Wat Hua Lamphong is The Coffin Temple.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 40 baht per person and the temple is open 24 hours a day.

| Submitted by Claire Martin from Claire’s Footsteps. Check out her guide on where to stay in Bangkok.

10. Wat Pariwat

what to see in bangkok

At first glance, Wat Pariwat looks like a pretty standard temple.

White columns, ornate carvings on the corners, lots of intricate details… But then, you notice something a bit strange. A bright yellow Pikachu is sitting in a corner. And hang on, isn’t that a Batman figure climbing up the side of another ornate fresco!

top 10 temples in bangkok

Yes, yes it is. Welcome to Bangkok’s cartoon temple – where you’re as likely to find a carving of a character from Harry Potter as an ancient Thai god.

Addition of the modern characters are to make the temple appeal to younger visitors. On top of that, monks have theorized that it also acts as a record of the time we live in today and who is important to us culturally as well as religiously.

You can spend ages wandering around looking at the intricate designs to see who and what you can spot.

If you run into a temple monk, ask if you can visit the carving of David Beckham, which is on an altar in a separate building.

Admission Fee & Hours

Entrance fee costs 15 baht per person and the temple is open daily from 8:00AM to 6:00PM.

| Submitted by Helen Foster from Destination> Differentville. She shares great advice on how to navigate your first Bangkok trip.
bangkok temples best temples to visit in thailand

Add these temples in Bangkok to your travel itinerary and you may also enjoy these Thailand guides.

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  1. Wow! Very nice blog on the temple of Thailand and I just love the facts that you share with us. I love Thailand for its Buddhist temple. I don’t know the total number of the temples around Thailand, after reading the blog I came to know that the number around 40,000 and among 30,000 are still active – that’s amusing. I visited only Wat Phra Chetuphon temple. This temple is just so big and a big Buddha Maha Parinirvana laying statue was there, and this is Bangkok’s oldest temple. In your blog, you have described all other temples very nicely that I really never visited, and next visit I would love to visit all other temples. Thanks for the lovely blog, it will be helpful for Buddhist pilgrims also.

    1. You’re most welcome, Shreya! There’s so much to see in Thailand and it definitely sounds like you need another trip back! 😉

  2. These temples are absolutely gorgeous! I’ve visited a few of them. I particularly loved Wat Ratchanaddaram because it was really quiet unlike at the other more popular temples. I also really like the Golden Mount, the view from the top is amazing.

  3. Aww. I remember my first out of the country trip is Bangkok and we went temple hopping. This post is nostalgic. Stunning photos you have here, Jas!

    1. Thank you, Shayne! I’m so glad I could bring back some good memories for you. Perhaps it’s time for you to revisit 😀

  4. I actually missed Wat Traimit and Wat Suthat during my visit to Bangkok last year. I’ll sure visit them next time. Your photos are gorgeous, especially the ones with long exposure.

    1. There’s always so much to see and too little time so I don’t blame you for missing out on those two. You’ll for sure have to revisit Thailand when you get the chance!

  5. I’ve been to Bangkok four times and I think I may have only visited two of these temples on your list! I would gladly go back again and try to see more. I love the patterns of Wat Arun, and I don’t think I would’ve noticed those pillars on The Marble Temple if you hadn’t mentioned the Italian architecture. Also, it’s good to know about that gem scam! I haven’t experienced that one, but it’s always good to be on high alert while visiting places that attract a lot of foreign visitors.

    1. Wow, four times! I was there twice last year and even then I felt like I’d only explored 2% of Bangkok hahaa. Hope we both get to go back soon and uncover all the spots we’d missed!

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