5 days in Bangkok itinerary

by Jan

Welcome to our ultimate 5-day Bangkok itinerary, packed with amazing things to do and places to visit.  In this travel guide, we’ve included all the highlights of our trip to Bangkok and the itinerary we followed.

It’s the perfect guide if you’re a first timer in Bangkok and planning your own visit to the Thai capital.

Our itinerary provides a day-by-day insight into the best things to do and places to visit for 5 days in Bangkok.  It includes Bangkok’s most famous landmarks, plus some more unusual places to visit.

We visited Bangkok in the summer, at the start and end of our 4-week trip to Thailand.  It wasn’t my first time in Bangkok, but the first time with teenagers!

Read on to discover how to make the most of 5-days in Bangkok.

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How to spend a perfect 5 days in Bangkok itinerary

Bangkok itinerary: Day one

Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho and Sukhumvit

Grand Palace Views, Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace

We started our five-day Bangkok itinerary with a visit to Bangkok’s top attraction, the Grand Palace.  If you’re a first-timer in Bangkok, this is one of the must-visit attractions.

Bangkok’s Grand Palace is a complex of sparkly buildings, with temples, royal halls, and administrative offices.  It has been the official residence of the Kings of Thailand (and Siam) since 1782.

Grand Palace Statues, Bangkok, Thailand

Although you can’t go in the Grand Palace, you can wander round the royal complex and see the different temples, statues and Buddhas.

Admission includes entrance to Wat Phra Kaew to see the statue of the Emerald Buddha, one of the most sacred objects in Thailand.

As this is one of Bangkok’s most popular places to visit, you should try to go early to avoid the crowds.

  • Admission:  500 tbh for tourists (but free to Thai visitors)
  • Address:  Na Phra Lan Road, Grand Palace, Phranakorn

Don’t believe anyone that tells you the Grand Palace is closed.  They will be trying to redirect you.  Also, look out for “officials”, such as police or navy officers, who may not be as official as they look!

Wat Pho (the Reclining Buddha)

After your visit to the Grand Palace head to Wat Pho, one of Bangkok’s oldest temples.  This is one of my favourite attractions in Bangkok, as it’s home to the impressive 46-metre-long reclining Buddha.

looking down length of Wat Pho Reclining Buddha

It doesn’t really take long to see the Buddha, as visitors have to filter round the building in a one-way system.  However, the complex is home to hundreds of other Buddha images, so leave time to explore the rest of the temple.

Wat Pho is just 10-minutes’ walk from the Grand Palace, so it’s easy to combine a visit to both on the same day.

Wat Pho is one of the must-see attractions on your Bangkok itinerary.

  • Admission:  200 tbh (children under 4ft are free)
  • Address:  2 Sanam Chai Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon


As our hotel was in Sukhumvit, we spent several evenings going out here .  It’s a stylish area, with several malls, rooftop bars and lots of nightlife.

One of the most quirky restaurants in Sukhumvit is Cabbages & Condoms, a vibrant restaurant with a family-planning theme!

Bangkok itinerary: Day two

Benchakitti Park, Wat Saket, Khao San Road, Thai Massage

Benchakitti Forest Park

We started day two of our five-day Bangkok itinerary with a swim, then bike ride around Benchakitti Park.

Benchakitti Forest Park is an urban green space with cycle paths, elevated boardwalks, and paths.  There’s also a large lake with fountains and several play areas.  The walkways lead to several nature reserves, with traditional Thai plants and new wetland areas.

We borrowed bikes from our hotel, but you can always walk.

  • Admission:  free
  • Address:  Ratchadaphisek Road Khlong Toei, Bangkok

Wat Saket (Golden Mount)

Wat Saket, Golden Mount, Bangkok, Thailand

In the afternoon of day 3, head to Wat Saket (the Golden Mound), one of the oldest temples in Bangkok.  Wat Saket is an enormous, golden, chedi (bell-shaped pagoda) on the top of an 80-metre mount.

It’s 344 steps to get to the top, but there are various gardens, waterfalls, sculptures, and bells to see on the way.  Once you’re there, climb up inside the temple to visit the Buddha statue and enjoy panoramic views over Bangkok.

Wat Saket is an interesting attraction and one of the best temples to visit in Bangkok with kids

  • Admission:  100 TBH.
  • Address:  344 Thanon Chakkraphatdi Phong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100

Khao San Road

Scorpions on sticks at Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand

After our visit to Wat Saket, we headed to Khao San Road.  It was a trip down memory lane for me, as I’d been many years before when travelling.

Popular with backpackers and budgets travellers, it is not the obvious place to take children.  The area is synonymous with cocktails, buckets of beer and loud music.  However, if you go a bit earlier it can be fun for kids too. If nothing else, it’s always a good place to spot a scorpion on a stick!

Avoid using the tuk tuks near Khao San Road, as the drivers are likely to inflate their prices.

Thai Massage

At some point in your Thai trip, you need to get a Thai massage.  The masseuses can be brutal, but you can opt for an oil massage if you prefer a gentler experience.

We eased ourselves in with a foot massage in Bangkok, saving the full body massage for Koh Samui.

Bangkok itinerary: Day three

River Phraya river cruise, Wat Arun, China Town

Bangkok Longtail Boat, Thailand

River Phraya river cruise

Many of Bangkok’s top attractions can be found along the banks of the mighty River Phraya, so a good way to see them is by boat.

On day three we took a river cruise on the hop-on-hop-off river boat.  There are 9 piers to choose from and boats run every half hour.  You can get on and off whenever you like, or just stay on and enjoy the views.  Our first stop was at Wat Arran.

  • Tickets:  150 tbh

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Wat Aran, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Arun, Temple of Dawn, is short for Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Built in the 16th century, Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s most popular landmarks.  It looks fabulous by day and even better by night (from across the water).

The main pagoda at Wat Arun is 82 metres high and covered with a mosaic of colourful porcelain.  It has a very different style to the golden façade of other Bangkok temples.

You can’t go inside the temple, but you can climb up the outside.

  • Admission:  100 tbh
  • Address:  158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600
Wat Aran by night, Bangkok, Thailand

China Town

China Town, Bangkok, Thailand

China Town in Bangkok is one of the biggest in the world.  It is a vibrant neighbourhood with an array of street vendors selling some amazing food.  If you have time, wander round the back streets to really experience the area.

However,  the streets are narrow and jam-packed with people.  Overall, it was busy, chaotic and fairly overwhelming, so we didn’t stay long.

Bangkok itinerary: Day four

Lumphini Park & Bangkok Snake Farm

Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand

Lumphini Park

At the end of our four-week trip around Thailand, we flew back to Bangkok for two more days.  By now we had “temple burnout”, so were looking for other things to do in Bangkok.

We started day four with a visit to Lumphini (also Lumpini) Park, which was walking distance from our new hotel in Silom, Bangkok’s business district.

Lumphini Park is one of Bangkok’s largest green spaces and provides a welcome reprise from the bustle of the city.  This urban oasis is popular with Thai people, who go to run, exercise, and practise Tai Chi.

In the centre of Lumphini Park is a big lake, with swan pedalos for hire in the afternoon.  However, for tourists, one of the highlights of Lumphini Park are the monitor lizards, who roam freely around the place.

Lumphini Park is a good place to visit with kids in Bangkok.  You should avoid midday, when it gets very hot.

  • Admission:  free
  • Address:  Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330

Bangkok Snake Farm

In the afternoon of day four, we headed to Bangkok’s Snake Farm.

The Snake Farm is one of the more unusual attractions in Bangkok.  It is located at the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, a short walk from Lumphini Park.  The farm started as a research centre for anti-venom serum to help snake-bite victims.  However, today it is also one of Bangkok’s most educational and fun places to visit.

Snake Farm Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s Snake Farm holds an impressive collection of snakes from around the world.  Inside, there’s a modern, interactive museum, where you’ll learn everything there is to know about snakes!  Discover the origin of snakes, the life cycle, eating and breeding habits, and conservation .

However, the highlight of Bangkok’s snake farm is the snake-handling show at 2.30pm.  Here, you’ll get to watch a demonstration from the centre’s brave snake handlers.  You can even hold an albino Burmese python.  Don’t worry – he’s friendly!

Bangkok’s Snake Farm is one of Bangkok’s best attractions if you’re visiting with kids.  It wasn’t in our original plan to go, but we’re very glad we did.

  • Admission: 200 tbh (adult tourists) and 50 tbh (children)
  • Address:  1871 Rama 4 Road Pathum Wan

There is a daily venom extraction demonstration at 11am (Mon-Fri).

Bangkok itinerary: Day five

IconSiam Mall

Icon Siam Mall, Bangkok, Thailand

For the final day of our Bangkok itinerary, we headed to IconSiam Mall, one of Bangkok’s biggest multi-purpose entertainment complexes.

IconSiam is enormous and it’s easy to spend time there.  Start on the ground floor, where you’ll find an immense food mall, with food to suit every taste.  It even has its own floating market.

Icon Siam Van Gogh Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand

On the other floors of IconSiam, you’ll find shops galore and seven more dining zones.  Make sure you don’t miss the Alangkarn zone on the 6th floor with its 15-metre-high multi-media waterfall and fancy restaurants.

In the evening, we visited the Van Gogh immersive experience and the I-max cinema.

We took a taxi to get there, but you could go by bus, boat or sky train.

  • Admission:  free
  • Address:  299 Charoen Nakhon Soi 5 , Charoen Nakhon Road

Other things to see and do in Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market

If you’re in Bangkok at the weekend head to the Chatuchak market, one of the biggest in the world.  The market has over 15000 stalls selling everything from clothes to antiques.

Ayuthaya Ancient City

The ancient city of Ayutthaya is an archaeological ruin in the countryside outside of Bangkok.  The city was founded in 1350 as the second capital of Siam and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  I’d visited this historical park on a previous trip to Bangkok, so didn’t include it in this itinerary.  However, if you do enjoy historic sites and learning more about Thai history, it is worth a visit.  You could go on Day 4 or 5.

Ayutthaya is 85 km north of Bangkok, so you can go by train (90 minutes) or with a tour.

Click here to book a visit Ayutthaya is with a guided tour, which includes a river cruise back to Bangkok.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The floating markets in Bangkok receive mixed reviews.  Some love them, whilst others think they are tourist traps.  There are several to choose from, but Damnoen Saduak generally has the best reviews.

If you want to go, you could include it in the 5-day itinerary instead of the activities on day 4 or 5.  It’s about 1.5 hours out of the city, but you need to go early.  You can get there by bus or join a tour.

Click here for a day trip to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Travel resources for booking your trip to Bangkok

Here are some of the websites we use when planning our trips.

Discover accommodation to suit all budgets at Booking.com

Get some of the most affordable prices on flights with Expedia

Look at Get your Guide for some of the best tours and trips in Thailand

If you’re looking for a travel guide, try Lonely Planet or ????

Accommodation in Bangkok

Silom Serene Hotel Pool, Bangkok, Thailand

There’s plenty of accommodation in Bangkok to suit all budgets.

On arrival, we stayed at the Centre Point Sukhumvit 10 Hotel.  This is a mid-range hotel in a central location.  The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Skytrain station and several shopping centres.  The kids loved the pool and the buffet breakfast.

After our trip round Thailand, we returned to Bangkok and stayed at the Silom Serene, near Lumpini Park.

A map of our 5-day Bangkok itinerary

How to spend 4 weeks in Thailand

If you want to know how we spent 4 weeks in Thailand, click here for the full itinerary.

The ultimate 4-week Thailand itinerary

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