4 Days in Bangkok: Bangkok Itinerary for First Timers

Bangkok itinerary

Going to Bangkok and looking for a great Bangkok itinerary? Visiting Thailand for the first time and planning to spend about 4 days in Bangkok?

Following Bangkok itinerary will help you to navigate your 4 days in Bangkok giving you insights and guidelines into Thai culture and Bangkok’s life.

Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in the World.

In 2017 Bangkok has visited  22 million international visitors and it was the second most visited city in the World. The most visited city in 2017 was Hong Kong with 26 million tourists. London, Paris, Dubai, and Singapore followed Hong Kong and Bangkok on the list.

And now it’s your time to visit Bangkok for the first time?! Now you are getting ready to see Bangkok for the first time and to visit Thailand for the first time?!

If that’s the case, you should read following Bangkok itinerary for first-timers with a short intro guide to Bangkok. This Bangkok itinerary answers your questions what to see in Bangkok, what are the main sights in Bangkok, what are the main districts of Bangkok, what are the best things to do in Bangkok, what to eat in Bangkok and how you can do it all in 4 days in Bangkok.

1. BANGKOK ITINERARY: A short intro guide to Bangkok

‘If you want culture and class, I would say Tuscany. If you want exotic, I would say Bangkok, Thailand.’ quote by Robin Leach

1.2. TEMPLES IN BANGKOK  

Temples of Bangkok are on the top of every Bangkok itinerary. No matter if you are going to spend a day in Bangkok, 2 days in Bangkok or 4 days in Bangkok, you need to visit some of the famous Bangkok temples.

Best temples in Bangkok to visit are Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and Wat Phra Kaew.

Wat Pho is the oldest temple in Bangkok. Wat Arun is one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok. Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred temple in Thailand.

Wat Pho 

Bangkok itinerary
The head of the Buddha statue in Wat Pho Temple

WAT PHO, or the TEMPLE OF RECLINING BUDDHA, is one of the most visited temples in Bangkok. The temple holds the famous 46-meter gold Buddha statue. It is the oldest and the largest temple complex in Bangkok.

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located near the Grand Palace.

Wat Pho is open daily from 8 am until 6:30 pm. Wat Pho entrance fee is 100 Baht per person (about 3 USD).

Wat Arun 

Bangkok itinerary
Wat Arun, or the Temple of the Dawn

WAT ARUN, or TEMPLE OF DAWN, is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Bangkok.

It is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. The temple in Bangkok is impressively decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and colorful Chinese porcelain. Temple of Dawn is located on Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

Wat Arun is open daily from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm.  Wat Arun entrance fee is 100 Baht (about 3 USD)

Wat Phra Kaew 

Bangkok itinerary
A part of the compound of Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

WAT PHRA KAEW, or the TEMPLE OF EMERALD BUDDHA, is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace.

Wat Phra Keao is also called Temple of the Holy Jewel Image. It is the most sacred Thai temple and one of the top places to visit in Bangkok.

The Temple of Emerald Buddha holds a tiny about 66 cm Emerald Buddha statue. The temple dates back to the time when Bangkok was founded, to 1782.

Wat Phra Kaeo is open daily 8:30 am until 3:30 pm.  Wat Phra Kaew entrance fee is 500 Baht (about 15 USD). That is also the Grand Palace entrance fee since the Wat Phra Kaew is located inside of the Grand Palace complex.

Phra Si Rattana Chedi 

Bangkok itinerary
Phra Si Rattana Chedi

PHRA SI RATTANA CHEDI is a stupa built in Sri Lankan style in 19 century and it is also one of the main places of interest in Bangkok. This stupa stands next to the Temple of Emerald Buddha and it is also a part of the Grand Palace compound.

Phra Mondop 

Bangkok itinerary
Entrance to Phra Mondop (the library)

PHRA MONDOP is a library holding Buddhist scriptures. It is built by Rama I in elegantly carved Ayutthaya style.

The library is also a part of the complex of the Temple of Emerald Buddha.

1.3. DISTRICTS IN BANGKOK

The Bangkok Metropolitan Area is home to more than 10 million people.

Travel to Bangkok and discover the modern metropolis of Bangkok. Be adventures on your visit to Bangkok and explore the streets and corners of the cosmopolitan city.

Bangkok itinerary
View of Bangkok’s skyscrapers from the rooftop bar Cloud 47.

Master main districts of Bangkok: Rattanakosin Island (Bangkok Old City)Khaosan Road areaRiversideChinatown, Sukhumvit, Siam, PratunamSilom, and Chatuchak.

Rattanakosin Island

Bangkok Old City, or the Royal District, is the historic core of Bangkok centered around the Grand Palace.

Here you will find the main attractions in Bangkok: the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (a royal temple), Wat Po, and the National Gallery.

Khao San Road 

Khaosan Road is one of the most famous districts in Bangkok, a party paradise, and a backpackers haven. If you like to party all night or if you are traveling on a budget and you don’t mind noise and crowds, then Khao San Road should be your choice of where to stay in Bangkok.

Keep on your mind that the main Bangkok attractions in nearby Rattanakosin Island can be reached on foot from Khaosan Road.

Riverside

Bangkok Riverside area is the most charming and eye-pleasing district in Bangkok. Taking a taxi boat or a ferry ride on the Chao Praya river is an experience that should not be missed in Bangkok.

Along the Chao Praya river, you can find 4-star hotels and 5-star hotels in Bangkok.

Chinatown

Chinatown is one of the most vibrant areas in Bangkok. You should go to Chinatown in the evenings when Bangkok heats are down and crazy nightlife in Chinatown starts.

There you should taste some of the most appetizing Chinese and Thai street food in Bangkok.

Sukhumvit

Sukhumvit is the central area of Bangkok packed with western-style pubs and clubs and an energetic nightlife and clubbing scene.

In Sukhumvit area, you will find many luxury hotels, international restaurants with cuisines all around the world, go-go bars, sexy shows, and red-light districts.

Siam

Siam is a busy shopping district in Bangkok with shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes.

In Siam, you will find Jim Thompson’s house, a traditional Thai house and a must-see attraction in Bangkok.

Pratunam

Pratunam is the home to the largest market in Bangkok. Clothes, textiles, shoes, fashion accessories and handmade crafts at Pratunam market are sold at wholesale prices.

Silom

Silom is Bangkok’s business district packed with offices of a large number of banks and companies. In Silom, you will find the Lumphini Park, a green oasis in Bangkok and the most beautiful public park in Bangkok.

Chatuchak

Chatuchak district lies on the outskirts of Bangkok and is well-known for the Chatuchak weekend market which is one of the largest open-air markets in the World.

1.4. THAI FOOD IN BANGKOK

Thai food is world-famous for the blend of sweet, sour, salty and sweet flavors. Tasting local food, preferably on a food market in Bangkok where also local people eat and buy food or even better taking a Thai cooking class in Bangkok, should be a part of your travel experience in Bangkok. But if you want to eat some fancy food while in Bangkok, you should check out some of these 10 best places for brunch in Bangkok. After all, Bangkok is a cosmopolitan city and one of the most visited cities in the world!

Talking about traditional Thai food you should taste Thai Som Tam (the green papaya salad with peanuts, lime juice, and chilies), Kai Jeow ( the Thai omelet), Poh Pia Tod (Thai spring rolls with meat, rice or vegetable fillings), or Khao Neeo Mamuang (Thai sticky rice with mango), or coconut ice cream.

Bangkok Itinerary
Thai coconut ice cream

Order Pad Thai, a traditional Thai dish made of stir-fried noodles with chopped roasted peanuts and bean sprouts. You can take beef Pad Thai, chicken Pad Thai, shrimp Pad Thai, tofu Pad Thai or combination.

Bangkok itinerary
Shrimp Pad Thai

1.5. LADYBOY SHOWS IN BANGKOK

Amuse yourself watching a spectacular ladyboy cabaret show in Bangkok by the Calypso Cabaret at Asiatique the Riverfront.

A Calypso Cabaret show lasts 70 min on average. The ticket price for a Calypso Cabaret show is about 1.000 Baht (30 USD)

Bangkok itinerary

1.6. BUDDHISM IN THAILAND 

Theravada Buddhist Mythology 

Get familiar with Buddhist mythology in Bangkok. Observe dragons, demons, and other mythological creatures which often guard and adorn Buddhist temples, such as Garuda (a half bird-half man-creature and the national symbol of Thailand), Naga (a snake or dragon without legs protecting holy scriptures) or Yaksha (a nature spirit).

Thostsakhirithon

Bangkok itinerary
Thotsakhirithon

THOTSAKHIRITHON is a yaksha (nature spirit) and a giant demon in Buddhist mythology.  This statue of Thotsakhirithon stands at the entrance to the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Kinnara

Bangkok itinerary
Statues of Kinnara

KINNARA is a half bird-half man-creature in Buddhist mythology. These Kinnara statues you can find in the Wat Phra Kaew complex.

Buddhist altars in Bangkok

A Buddhist altar in Bangkok

Enjoy gorgeously decorated Buddhist altars in the streets of Bangkok.

Bangkok itinerary
An altar with marigolds garlands

Buddhist symbolism in Bangkok 

Learn about symbolism in Theravada Buddhist teachings in Bangkok.

Bangkok itinerary
Lotus flowers

In Buddhism, the white lotus flower represents the purity of the mind and the spirit, while the pink lotus flower represents the history of Buddha and the historical legends of the Buddha.

MAYBE YOU ALSO WOULD LIKE TO READ:  Who is the Laughing Buddha

1.7. TUK-TUKS IN BANGKOK

Take a tuk-tuk to get around Bangkok and don’t forget to negotiate your fare! The fare is on average 5-15 Baht less than proposed by the driver.

1.8. TAXI IN BANGKOK

While tuk-tuks are convenient for short trips in Bangkok, for longer rides and especially for avoiding Bangkok’s crazy traffic jams and heats pick a cab in Bangkok. Average taxi fare for a few kilometers is about 50 baht (about 1.5 USD).

Bangkok itinerary

1.9. PEOPLE IN BANGKOK

Practice mindfulness while encountering people in the streets of Bangkok.

2. BANGKOK ITINERARY: 4 DAYS IN BANGKOK

This Itinerary Bangkok 4 days covers what to do in Bangkok in 4 days

While giving you answers what to do in Bangkok in 4 days, this suggested Bangkok 4 Days Itinerary gives you much time to enjoy the City of Smiles with no rush or stress.

Day 1: Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Pho, Cloud 47 B

Daytime: Visit the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)  and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Evening: Relax and have a casual dinner or just a glass of cocktail in the biggest rooftop bar in Bangkok, the Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar with amazing views of Bangkok’s skyscrapers in the night.

Day 2: Chao Praya river cruise, Wat Arun, Calypso Cabaret

Daytime: Cruise the Chao Praya river by a ferry or a taxi boat. Visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)

Evening: Head to the Calypso Cabaret to watch a ladyboy show

Day 3: Siam shopping with Lumpini Park, Jim Thompson house, Pratunam market, Chinatown

Daytime: Have some shopping time at the malls in Siam district, relax on the lake in Lumpini Park, visit Jim Thompson’s house, go to the Pratunam market

Evening: Explore Chinatown by night and enjoy the Chinese and Thai street food

Day 4: Chatuchak market, Khao San Road

Daytime: Head to Chatuchak market

Evening: Witness the craziness of the nightlife on the Khao San Road

Bangkok itinerary

BANGKOK: THE WORLD CAPITAL OF CONTRASTS (POEM)

Bangkok:

the vibrant cosmopolitan city of embraced dissimilarities,

liberating metropolitan city of contrasts and balanced diversity,

unique oxymoron.

Bangkok:

the place where external chaos and inner calmness are in harmony,

where serenity meets busyness,

where Thai-ness and Western-ness blend together,

where authentic Thai traditionalism meets global contemporary modernism,

where sensual hedonism unites with sacred spirituality.

Bangkok:

the city where lady-boys and Buddhist monks walk without prejudice by each other in the streets,

where quiet contemplative temples stand alongside frenetically noisy streets,

where tranquil sanctuaries are close to vibrantly loud markets,

where poverty and wealth stand hand by hand: poor shacks and expensive skyscrapers, bear footed homeless and new riches.

Bangkok:

the place where cruel reality is mixed with progressively unpredictable future,

where cheap goods, fake brand items, and the latest technology super-brands flock together,

where fast long-tail river taxi-boats, tuk-tuks, mopeds, pink taxes, cars, buses and the Skytrain make insanely traffic chaos.

Bangkok:

the sour and sweet mixture,

warm and humid fusion,

union of diverse intensive smells, sounds, and sights:

place of fresh aromatic fruits in the streets, yellow-flowered Buddhist alters on the street corners and nearby flowing blurry smelly river,

the place where sweet sharp jasmine flavor surrounds stinky streets smells.

Bangkok:

the city of freedom of multicultural lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors,

the city of acceptance of individual differences,

the city of tolerance of multicultural differences,

the city of smiles.


What do you think of Bangkok?

Do you agree that Bangkok is interesting and intriguing?

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21 comments

  1. Interesting blog post. Bangkok is certainly on my bucket list for places I’d like to visit. I love the vivid photos you took, they were inspirational.

  2. I’d love to visit Bangkok someday. Thank you so much for sharing; beautiful writing and photography 🙂

    1. I hope you will visit Bangkok, Elisabeth. It is an unique and interesting city that should be visited during the lifetime.

  3. I haven’t been to Bangkok yet, but read and seen a lot of videos about the beautiful country. Indeed its a beautiful mix of Eastern and Western cultures. I totally love your words. You got me when you said “city where lady-boys and Buddhist monks walk by each other in tolerance in the streets”!!!

    1. Thank you for liking my writing! And, yes, you should visit Thailand and Bangkok. Thailand is a wonderful country and Bangkok is an interesting city! Hope you visit them soon!

  4. A city of multicultural differences and smiles makes Bangkok inviting. Your photos are wonderful, as you have captured the architecture and the people. The people often make any destination and it looks like the people of Bangkok are welcoming.

  5. I have never seen a travel post like this, you intrigued me from the first few lines. I can really appreciate it that you trying to do something different. I am honestly so fatigued from the millions of travel guides and reviews. In my humble opinion, anyone can do that. I am so thrilled to find someone doing something unique! Many congragulations to you.

  6. I got to spend a week in Bangkok last year as part of my few month trip through SE Asia. Definitely a unique city and very contrasting as you mentioned. I would love to get back to Thailand later this year.

  7. I like the way you have made contrasts seem wonderful for a place such as bangkok. Yes, they do exist there and its definitely not a good sign, as it leads to chaos and its very much similar to where I come from, thats Mumbai. But Thailand being my next destination, the article and especially the luring photographs make me so excited to be there. Im totally looking for ward to experience this first hand. 😀

  8. Great tips! I also think that a river cruise or at least a 1-2 hour long canal tour is a must when you’re in Bangkok. And Lumpini park is a cool place, especially if like like reptiles, as there you can easily spot big monitor lizards wandering around 🙂

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