As one of the most-visited cities in the world, Bangkok attracts millions of international travelers every year, and it’s easy to see why. With its unique blend of ancient temples, modern skyscrapers, mouth-watering street food, vibrant nightlife, and friendly locals, Bangkok is South-East Asia at its best.
When it comes to choosing where to stay in Bangkok, you’ve got plenty of options, and especially for first-time visitors it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which area is the best fit for you. Each neighbourhood has its own unique charm and atmosphere, and your choice of location can greatly impact your overall experience in the city.
In this blog post, I’ll take a closer look at some of the best areas of Bangkok to stay in, depending on your preferences and what you want to see and do during your trip. Whether you’re looking for a central location close to the city’s top attractions, a place to party the night away or a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle, here are some of the best areas to stay in Bangkok.
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The Best Areas and Accommodations for Different Travel Styles
Rattanakosin – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok for Location
Why to stay in Rattanakosin
If you’re looking for a central location that’s close to Bangkok’s main attractions, Rattanakosin is a great option. It’s home to some of the city’s biggest sights, including the amazing Grand Palace and the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.
It’s a great choice if you’re interested in exploring the city’s cultural heritage, plus Chao Phraya River is usually close enough for a pleasant stroll. The only downside is that, despite its central location, the public transport connection to other parts of the city is slightly lacking, making tuk-tuks and local buses your best bet of getting there and away.
The Best Hotels in Rattanakosin
Phaya Thai – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok for Street Food
Why to stay in Phaya Thai
Bangkok is a foodie’s dream, and you can’t throw a stone in the city without hitting a night market selling some of the tastiest food you’re going to find in South-East Asia. Two of the best areas for street food are the Victory Monument and Petchaburi Soi 5 close to the Phaya Thai BTS Station.
From Pad Thai to Som Tam and from Moo Ping to Pad Krapai – there’s probably not a single Thai Street Food Dish you won’t find in this bustling area.
The Best Hotels in Phaya Thai
- Budget: T Hostel @ Victory Monument
- Midrange: Yello Rooms Hotel Victory Monument
- Luxury: Pullmann Bangkok King Power
Sukhumvit – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok for Shopping
Why to stay in Sukhumvit
This district in the eastern part of Bangkok is centred around the seemingly endless Sukhumvit Road (one of the longest roads in the world). It’s arguably the most modern part of the city and offers a broad variety of culture, dining and entertainment options.
Apart from that, the area is home to countless boutiques and shopping centres, making it a heaven for anyone who’s planning to leave with more luggage than they arrived with. The convenient location of the neighbourhood near the BTS Skytrain makes it a good base for reaching other parts of the city.
The Best Hotels in Sukhumvit
Khao San Road – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok on a Budget
Why to stay around Khao San Road
Khao San Road is a weirdly ambivalent place. It’s arguably the most famous street in the country, but it’s also as far away from the real Thailand as you’re going to get. Still, a visit here seems to be the rite of passage for every aspiring backpacker.
Plus, you can’t argue with the fact that staying near Khao San Road mostly is as cheap as it gets in Bangkok. If budget constraints are more important to you than getting a good night’s sleep, then this is the area to go. You can read more about this one-of-a-kind place here: Is Bangkok’s Khao San Road Worth Visiting?
The Best Hotels and Hostels around Khao San Road
Ratchadaphisek – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok for Nightlife
Why to stay in Ratchadaphisek
This neighbourhood to the north of Sukhumvit Road is home to the RCA or Royal City Avenue, Bangkok’s most famous nightlife-district. The area is home to some of the biggest nightclubs in Thailand, as well as plenty of happening bars and restaurants.
If partying until the sun comes up is your thing, then there’s no better area to stay in than Ratchadaphisek, but the neighbourhood also has other things going for it, like the fascinating Thai Life Exhibition Hall and the giant Ratchada Train Night Market.
If all of this is starting to wear you down, Ratchadaphisek has a good connection to Bangkok’s BTS System, so escaping to a more tranquil part of the city is an easy feat.
The Best Hotels in Ratchadaphisek
Yaowarat – The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok With Family
Why to stay in Yaowarat
Yaowarat is a good middle-of-the-road choice when it comes to Bangkok neighbourhoods. It’s central enough to make it a good base for exploring some of the city’s more famous sights, but closer to the BTS Network than the Rattanokisin Area to the West.
And while it’s far from the most tranquil neighbourhood in the city (after all, it’s home to Bangkok’s bustling Chinatown), there are plenty of opportunities to duck into quiet alleys and backstreets to get away from the noisy main roads.
This is a decent area for families to stay in, but it’s also a good choice for solo travelers, who want to escape the mayhem of Bangkok’s Backpacker district, and I, for one, enjoyed my stay in Yaowarat much more than my previous one near Khao San Road.
The Best Hotels in Yaowarat
Thonburi Riverside – The Most Peaceful Area to Stay in Bangkok
Why to stay in Thonburi
This neighbourhood to the West of Chao Phraya River is a comparatively quiet and peaceful area, making it a good choice for those who prefer a more relaxing stay away from the bustle of downtown Bangkok.
Thonburi exudes a slightly more authentic atmosphere compared to Bangkok’s more touristy areas, but is still home to some of the city’s most interesting sights, like Wat Arun aka. the Temple of Dawn, or the Royal Barges Museum.
The location of the quarter near Chao Phraya River, makes for some great views of central Bangkok to the East, especially at night when the city’s skyline is lit up. Thonburi is also a good starting point for a dinner cruise to see the city from a different perspective.
The Best Hotels in Thonburi
Map of Bangkok
Have a look at this map detailing the location of the districts described above.
As you can see, the best part of Bangkok to base yourself in mostly depends on your personal preferences and what you want to see and do during your trip. No matter your travel style, though, with this guide you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the perfect neighbourhood suiting all your needs, so you can best enjoy your stay in this amazingly unique city.