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With ornate shrines, bustling markets and amazing street food, Bangkok is one of the most exciting cities in the world to visit. But with a population of over eight million people, it can be difficult to know where to call your home base while you’re in the city. Where you stay really impacts your travel experience here, which is why it’s smart to familiarize yourself with the local neighborhoods. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Bangkok.
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Favored among backpackers looking for budget-friendly accommodations, the Khao San area of Bangkok has a lot to offer travelers. Stay here if you’re looking to save money with a hostel or find a good mid-range hotel that won’t break your budget. The neighborhood is close to cultural attractions, and the best ways to get around are by tuk-tuk, taxi, or bus. Stay here to get an authentic Bangkok experience with busy streets, a walkable area, and lots of street vendors. Even if you don’t stay overnight in Khao San, it’s fun to come party here and enjoy a few drinks in the excitingly chaotic environment.
The Silom area of the city is known as the Wall Street of Bangkok with lots of financial institutions, corporate offices, and towering skyscrapers. But at night, people come here for bars and the Patpong red light district. You can find some luxury hotels in the area that are popular among business travelers. But due to the nighttime entertainment options, this might not be the best place to stay with kids. However, Lumphini Park, which is the largest park in the city, is located in this area and a nice place to get outside.
In Sukhumvit, you’ll find lively market activity out into the streets and alleyways. This is a part of the city that is well-connected to the rest of Bangkok to make sightseeing easy. Sukhumvit has some great luxury hotels, plenty of highly-rated restaurants, and is a good place to be for nightlife. There are two red light districts in this area of Bangkok, so it might not be the best area to stay in if you’re traveling with kids. However, it is a nice place for couples to spend a honeymoon.
Siam Square is a great place to be if you want to shop and have easy access to the city’s big malls. This is an ideal location for shopping and a family-friendly place to stay with kids because it is safe and full of amenities. Malls in the area include Siam Center, Siam Paragon, and Central World Mall. While you’re in the Siam area, check out the sky-bars with lovely views and drink specials. This is more of a place with mall restaurants than street food vendors, and it has a more glamorous vibe than other parts of town.
If you are only in Bangkok for a very short time, consider staying near the airport to make your trip easier and more convenient. There are numerous hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport. Stay in this area if you have an early morning flight and don’t want to deal with a transportation hassle. Airport hotels are also nice if you have a long layover in Bangkok, especially if the hotel you choose has a free airport shuttle service.
If you want to be close to all of the top museums, temples, and palaces, then plan to stay in the Old Town area of Bangkok. It is also called Rattanakosin and a very walkable part of town. The top things to see here are the Grand Palace, National Gallery, and Wat Phra Kaew. Old Town is charming and puts you in the middle of so many spectacular attractions to learn about the city’s history.
When you choose to stay along the river, you’ll have your pick of excellent hotels and also be near many cultural attractions. It’s fun to take a tour on a private river boat when you stay in the Riverside area. You can also access the Skytrain from here to reach other parts of town. It’s also romantic to stay along the river if you are traveling to Bangkok for your honeymoon. The Riverside area is known for its familiar chain luxury hotels, such as the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental.
The Chinatown area is a historic part of Bangkok that is more of a local and residential area than a tourist attraction. However, there are some nice hotels here if you want to experience a different side of Bangkok. Expect the streets to be chaotic, packed with locals, and have lots of market stalls. Just know that this isn’t a top area to stay in for nightlife or basic travel amenities, so it may be best for travelers who aren’t visiting Bangkok for the first time. The public transportation options here aren’t as good as in other parts of the city; however, the street food is amazing.
A more under-the-radar place to stay in Bangkok is Ekkamai, which is a great place for foodies. It has both tiny food stalls and fine-dining restaurants, and it is well connected to the Skytrain. Ekkamai is a nice place to call your home base If you are planning to check out other cities outside of Bangkok as well. There’s a large shopping mall here and ritzy condos that are popular among stylish locals.