Doing Bangkok in 24 hours may sound hard, but in reality, if you plan right, you can enjoy a memorable day exploring. You are going to love the colorful, and lively streets of Bangkok. There is a different vibe everywhere you turn, and quiet chaos all around you.
Luckily for me, I have spent months in Bangkok and have put together my perfect day in Bangkok.
Start by stretching your legs while exploring the rich Thai culture, experience life on the Chao Phraya River, check out authentic Thai markets, see Bangkok from a rooftop, and end it at one of the best Chinatowns in the world.
You will find yourself wishing that you spent more than just 1 day in Bangkok! Follow this list of things to do closely, or just grab some inspiration. Bangkok has many different faces and vibes, you are sure to find one to match yours. Let’s start your tour of Bangkok in 24 hours!
If you only have 24 hours in Bangkok there are several ways to get around town. The first thing you need to know about Bangkok is although the driving is laid back, it can still be horrendous, especially during rush hour.
One way to avoid gridlock is by using the Skytrain or the subway, which are fast, affordable, and reliable. Find out more information on how to ride the public Skytrain in Bangkok!
Another way to get around town is by downloading the Bolt or Grab app on your phone. You will need wifi or data from Thailand to use it out and about. When using either one of these forms of transportation it will cost you no more than 800 Baht ($20) for one day in Bangkok.
Once you are in the heart of the city you can also ride a tuk-tuk (shown above) around the busier, tourist sections of town. You can get pretty dang far for 100 baht ($3), But ALWAYS ask the price before getting in the tuk, it is seriously so much fun and most drivers are very kind.
And the last way to get around anywhere in Thailand is the Baht bus. (There is also a river taxi, but we cover that later).
You hop on the red trucks wherever you want, and hop off at your stop. Before you get in try to communicate with the driver about where you want to go. A ride in a baht bus is only 10 baht per person (like 30 cents) making it the perfect way to get around Bangkok in 24 hours.
One of the best ways to start off your Bangkok in one day is with a cultural visit to the Grand Palace. This epic Kingdom was once home to the King of Siams and is still considered very sacred to the Kingdom of Thailand.
On the grounds of the Grand Palace, you can explore temples, halls, and beautifully crafted buildings. Once inside the interior of these buildings are mind-blowing. They are filled with gold, with colorful touches and intricate carvings throughout.
Make sure to check out the Wat Phra Kaew, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This temple is home to the sacred buddha statue that is carved from a single Jade rock. The King of Thailand is the only person who has complete access to this Buddha and he visits at least three times a year.
If you wanted a more in-depth tour with a guide, this Bangkok: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Private Tour are amazing.
You can visit almost every day, and the Grand Palace opens at 8:30 am. Expect to pay about 500 Baht per person to enter.
The address to the Grand Palace is Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200. Enjoy!
Next up for your Bangkok in a day is to dine out at a local food hall. You can easily walk here from the Grand Palace before hopping on your riverboat taxi. If you have ever been to Thailand before you know that there is food around every corner, and the mall food courts are no joke. If this is your first time in Thailand, you are in for a treat!
The food prices at Siam Paragon Food Hall are very affordable and you can find a mix of local Thai dishes and western fast food. Take a load off and grab a pick-me-up, you deserve it after trekking around your 1-day tour in Bangkok.
Find the Siam Paragon food hall here – PGWP+M3X, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330. Be sure to have cash, a lot of places do not take cards.
If you do not feel like making the walk to the food market, I promise that you will find food stalls all around. Just go with the flow and try new dishes, you might find something you love.
Up next for places to visit in Bangkok in 1 day is to take a boat ride down the Chao Phraya. You can walk here from the Grand Palace as well. You will want to follow the directions to the Chang pier it’s a short 10-minute walk from the Palace.
From these taxi boats in Bangkok, you can go pretty much anywhere, and similar to the baht buses you can jump off and on wherever (at a pier lol). There are two different types of tickets you can purchase. A one-time pass or an all-day ticket.
Make sure you have cash, 40 baht for a one time, and 100 baht per person for a whole-day boat ticket. Since your next stop is the sky bar for sunset, you can make the choice to go back to your hotel from the boat to get ready, or explore and take it all the way down the Choa Phraya River. There is a stop right in front of the rooftop bar on the river too.
Another way to explore the Chao Phraya is to book a private long tail boat for an epic 1-day tour in Bangkok. This tour starts at the Maharaj Pier and takes you along the trail known as the “River of Kings tour”.
Bring sunglasses and a hat if you want to keep out of the sun. I really like this cute hat with a ribbon that I can roll up in my day bag!
There is nothing quite like a Bangkok rooftop at sunset. This is the classiest way to watch the sunset. Yes, the cocktails are amazing and each bar has a unique vibe with signature crafted drinks.
They are more expensive than your local dive beer bar, but still very affordable in the grand scheme of things. Expect to pay anywhere from $8-$10 a drink at any of the Skybars in Bangkok. The energy is upscale and chic and it is a wonderful way to relax. Sit back and take in that you made it to your one day in Bangkok!
Seen is the rooftop bar that I went to and it was very chilled out about the dress code. There were people in street clothes. But you can always dress to impress and it is a wonderful time to pull out that dress or skirt you have been wanting to wear. I curled my hair and did my makeup better than I have in yet in Thailand because it’s fun to get dressed up.
If you are looking into what to see in Bangkok in 1 day a rooftop at sunset is always a good idea. I have to tell you what we really did after having a few drinks on the rooftop. There was a taco bell below, and we drank $40 worth of booze (like 2 drinks each) and then went and stuffed our faces. Being American I haven’t had taco bell in over a year and was VERY excited.
Last but not least in your Bangkok in 24 hours is Chinatown. The food, atmosphere, shopping, and culture all come to life when the sun goes down.
When walking down the streets you will admire the neon jungle of Chinatown. The colorful lanterns and temples with classic Chinese architecture are overwhelming enough to make you want to stop in the middle of the street and take it all in. Which everyone does.
Keep your eyes peeled for fried crispy noodles, dumpling soups, and sweeeeet desserts. You can get Michelin-star desserts right on the street. This guy below makes fried donuts right in front of your eyes. You will need to have cash, and a little bit of patience to wait in line, but it is so worth it.
His stand for Pa Tong Go is right here. Enjoy!
After you walk around Chinatown for a bit you will start to get thirsty. Find a stand selling freshly squeezed pomegranate juices. If that’s not what you’re looking for you can easily find Thai teas, iced coffees, Boca teas, and beers. There are no real rules in Thailand and you are allowed to walk around with an open container.
Come hungry and try at least three stands, that’s the rule! Just kidding I just made that up, but it is a rule I will be sticking to! Stopping in Chinatown is a must-do if you only have 24 hours in Bangkok.
Here is the address for Chinatown, or just hop in a grab and they will take you there. PGR5+4W6 ถ. เยาวราช Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100
Chinatown starts at Yaowarat Road and spans several blocks. There are endless places to grab a seat and people-watch, dance, or just shoot some pool. Explore it as much as you want, there are plenty of Tuk-tuks waiting around to take you anywhere you want to go.
One of the most popular bars in Chinatown is Swing Bar by ChingCha. This is also a rooftop bar if you wanted to keep the mood up and look over the crazy city of Bangkok. Follow the directions here to get to Swing Bar.
Another popular bar to stop by is the Happy Bar. Here you can order Changs, mixed drinks, and listen to the hottest music. It is technically on Koh Son road, not Chinatown, but a tuk-tuk should get you there in about 10 minutes. The mood here is infectious and no matter how tired you are, it will bring you back to life.
If you are flying out of BKK one of the best hotels to stay at is Gate43 Airport Hotel. It is a short 10-minute drive from the airport and has amazing reviews. Plus, they offer a shuttle service so you won’t have to worry about if your driver shows up on time. I had a late driver one time and it completely screwed up from travels from Koh Samui to Bali.
Prices are affordable, and the hotel has rooms for all types of travelers. From big king beds to rooms with three small beds for friends to shack up together. They also have a small breakfast that you can grab before your next flight. You will have to travel about an hour to start your Bangkok in 24 hours, but being so close to BKK for your flight the next day is worth it.
Check rates here: Booking.com
I can personally recommend this hostel and is one of the best places I have ever stayed in my travels. All of the staff is super sweet and helpful, the hotel is clean, friendly, and inviting. The rooms are comfy enough and it is very affordable. You can pick between a private room, a hostel room, or a semi-private room with a couple of beds.
If you are a digital nomad like me you will love the common area. It has 4 big desks with bean bags and plenty of space to work. The shared bathrooms are very clean and the views from the rooftop seating area are dreamy.
There is a full kitchen with a big refrigerator and anything you need for a light meal. Downstairs you can enjoy a coffee shop that serves Thai meals and toasties. Plus, you will be within walking distance of the Grand Palace so you can start your Bangkok in 24-hour itinerary off right.