Bangkok Mini Guide: Discover Bangkok in 48 Hours

Bangkok is a huge city packed with things to do so it goes without saying that two days will not be enough to see everything. But if you only have a few short days in Bangkok and you want to see the major sights and attractions, here is a suggested itinerary. If you can, try to visit The Grand Palace, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo), Wat Arun, and Wat Po. These attractions are grouped close to each other so you can see them in a morning. Here are some more ideas for things to do in Bangkok when you only have two days.

Wat Arun Wat Arun/ Image via Mark Fischer/ Flickr

Day One: Visiting the Famous Landmarks of Bangkok

Bangkok is home to many landmarks but the most famous of all these sites, and the ones you really cannot miss are as follows: The Grand Palace, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo), Wat Arun, and Wat Po. Once you get to the Grand Palace it is a short walk to visit all the attractions surrounding it, although they close in the early afternoon so it is best to start your day with a visit to these temples and palaces. If you arrive in Bangkok late in the day and you want to see these sites you can – take a sunset cruise along the river, with dinner or entertainment, and you can view the attractions from the boat. The bonus of seeing them this way is how great the buildings look lit up against the night sky.

The Grand Palace is a spectacular landmark and a must-visit on any trip to Bangkok. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most important temple in Thailand and contains a highly important Buddha statue carved from a complete block of jade. Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is right behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and is a grand complex containing a huge Buddha statue in the reclining position. The spire of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is an instantly recognizable landmark in Bangkok, besides the river.

Day One: In the evening

If you only have a few days in Bangkok you’re going to want to explore some of Bangkok’s famously lively nightlife so take the chance and go out and explore. Bangkok has everything you could want from smart, classy restaurants serving gourmet dinners, to sky-high rooftop bars with views over the city, sunset dinner cruises down the river, clubs with international DJs, beer bars and cheap-and-cheerful backpacker places, plus a whole host of food stalls and cheap restaurants. Whatever your style, you’ll enjoy a night out in Bangkok. If you want something more family-oriented, go see a new release at one of the cinemas located in the big shopping malls, go bowling, or try karaoke.

Day Two: Shopping and Sightseeing

Spend the morning exploring one of Bangkok’s historic areas such as the Ancient City, or go to see the Floating Markets. You could alternatively check out Chinatown for lunch, or take a break in the park. Once you’ve seen a little of the old side of Bangkok, check out the modern side with a trip to one of the big malls. Not only do you have all the best stores in air-conditioned comfort but you can also eat at the food court, see a movie, go bowling, or check out the amusement arcades. If you are in Bangkok at the weekend you can go to the Chatuchak Weekend Market to find all the souvenirs, gifts, and interesting items that you can’t wait to take back home.

Floating Market Floating market/ Image via xiquinhosilva/ Flickr

Make sure you sample some of the delicious Thai food for lunch. You could sit down in a gourmet restaurant for lunch, or eat at one of the many street stalls serving everything from chicken kebabs to pad Thai.

Day Two: In the evening

Start with an excellent meal in one of Bangkok’s new restaurants. Whatever type of food you like, you’ll find options in Bangkok. Indian food, Asian/European fusion, Chinese, Thai, American and more. You’ll be spoiled for choice. Look out for set menus and specials if you are on a budget, or simply take a seat at a street stall and watch the world go by while enjoying some tasty cheap eats.

Then do whatever you didn’t have time to do on day one – take a sunset cruise, or check out the new sky bar in the city center. Or go to the lively Soi Cowboy, the red light district that is home to some great bars and some colorful characters.


Find out more about travel in Bangkok at PhuketOn. Check out Bangkok restaurant reviews, Bangkok accommodation, and Bangkok travel tips at PhuketOn.

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