HomeAccommodations7 Best Areas to Stay in Bangkok for Tourists | Full Guide

7 Best Areas to Stay in Bangkok for Tourists | Full Guide


Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and a huge city with almost ten million residents. Selecting the right area for your short stay can be challenging.

Mostly, this is because some areas in Bangkok are not suitable for some travelers. Specifically, if you visit the city with your kids, you would instead book a hotel in a family-friendly area.

Hence, I decided to write this article to do the heavy lifting for you. This guide will provide a comprehensive list of where you should stay in the Thai capital.

1. Siam Square – Best for Families and Shoppers

Located in central Bangkok, Siam Square (or just Siam) features department stores, trendy restaurants, street food vendors, cinemas, weekend markets, and an entertainment venue.

The area is hugely popular among the locals. Young Thais love to hang out here. If we could not find a proper place to meet up, we would ask, “why don’t we just see each other at Siam Square?”

Photo by Than Diep on Unsplash

As of 2022, after significant renovations, the area now has an outdoor concert venue, making it even more popular among teenagers and university students.

Since Siam Square used to be a “cram school capital of Thailand,” and the royal palace is nearby, the area has almost no place for nightlife (except for some small bars that close pretty early). Hence, it is very family-friendly and safe. Do not go out alone late at night, and you will be fine.

Siam, Bangkok, Thailand
by ToptakeKlong/shutterstock

From this location, traveling to other parts of Bangkok is effortless since Siam Square is the junction of the most crucial Bangkok metro lines: Silom and Sukhumvit. Also, taxis are super easy to find.

Siam Square offers many accommodation options, ranging from a luxurious InterContinental Bangkok to inexpensive hostels. Thus, you can handily find the one that suits your preferences and budget.

Siam Square Hotels

Read this article to learn more about the top Siam Square hotels

Main Tourist Attractions near Siam Square

  • Siam Paragon Shopping Mall – the most popular department store in Thailand.
  • Siam Center and Siam Discovery – Two mid-sized department stores close to Siam Paragon
  • Central World – Central World is another colossal department store (one of the largest in Southeast Asia.) It has many restaurants, cafes, and stores (connected to Siam Paragon via a skywalk).
  • MBK Shopping Mall – A popular shopping mall where you can buy inexpensive goods and gadgets. To me, this mall is one of the few spots that retains the nostalgic atmosphere of 90s Thailand malls.
  • Siam Square Market – A popular outdoor market, which sells inexpensive, trendy clothes and street foods (located within walking distance from Siam Paragon.)
  • Erawan Shrine – Located next to the Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel, this shrine, which houses a golden statue of a Hindu god, Brahma, is considered by many Thais to be the holiest. Many believe their prayers will be answered in no time after visiting the shrine. Unsurprisingly, numerous Thais and foreigners alike visit the shrine to receive his “blessings.”

Pros & Cons


  • Family-friendly: the area is very safe and has almost no nightlife venues.
  • Lively atmosphere
  • A shopper’s paradise
  • Plentiful restaurants, ranging from those with a Michelin star to cheap street food shops
  • Offer various accommodation options to choose from
  • Numerous public transportations are available.


  • Traffic Jams!
  • Pretty noisy! It is not the best place to stay in Bangkok for people who are sensitive to noise.

2. Chao Phraya Riverside – Best for Families and First-Time Visitors

The Chao Phraya river separates Bangkok’s metropolis into two sides. The Bangkok riverside features various landmarks of the Thai capital city, including the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and many more.

Therefore, Chao Phraya Riverside is the best area to stay in Bangkok if you would like to appreciate the scenery.

Image by Carina Hofmeister from Pixabay

The surroundings will be much quieter and less congested than Siam Square but may be even safer due to the presence of the most important sites in the country.

Restaurants and street food shops are also effortless to find. Furthermore, many in this area sell ancient Thai food (based on palace recipes) that you cannot find elsewhere, providing a unique culinary experience.

For shoppers, you can visit Icon Siam, a sensational department store that has an underground street food market, plus many high-end stores and restaurants. Alternatively, the area has some large markets that locals visit to buy fresh, inexpensive vegetables, fruits, and seafood, which you can also observe and buy.

Since this area is an old town with many temples, pubs and bars are rare. Hence, you can be confident that the neighborhood is kid-friendly.

The Grand Palace

The only drawback is that public transportation options are pretty limited. You will need to rely on taxis (or tuk-tuks) and ferries. The latter may be worth considering if you want to escape from troublesome traffic jams.

Generally speaking, I think this area is optimal for tourists to see the best of Bangkok. Unsurprisingly, the most luxurious hotels are located here, including Mandarin Oriental (the best luxury hotel in Thailand) and the Peninsula.

Apart from luxury hotels, accommodations in this area are plentiful, albeit their room rates can be more pricey than in other areas.

Main Tourist Attractions Near the Riverside

  • The Grand Palace – Known for the Emerald Buddha and marvelous architecture, this place is a must-visit.
  • Wat Pho – Unarguably one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Thailand, Wat Pho, and its Buddha images are indeed magnificent, even to those who are not very fond of Thai traditional architecture like me. 100% Worth a visit.
  • Wat Arun – One of the most well-known landmarks of Thailand, Wat Arun features a great pagoda and statues of giant demons. Worth a visit. You may even want to book a cruise to see it at night.
  • Icon Siam – An iconic shopping mall on the riverside, featuring an indoor street food market plus high-end restaurants and stores

Pros & Cons


  • Highly recommended for tourists who visit Bangkok for the first time
  • Probably the safest area in the capital
  • Quiet, serene atmosphere with minimal nightlife
  • Outstanding scenery to view, particularly at night
  • Provide opportunities for tourists to try traditional, ancient Thai cuisine
  • Numerous accommodations are available, including the elite Bangkok hotels


  • The room rates can be higher than in other areas.
  • Limited shopping options at least for now (September 2022); however, this may change in 2024 and beyond.)

3. Yaowarat (Chinatown) – Best for Budget Travelers and Shoppers

Yaowarat is one of the largest Chinatowns in South East Asia and the world. Bangkok Chinatown is huge and has bountiful stalls where vendors sell street food, fruits, spices, souvenirs, and many more.

As an area to stay in Bangkok, I think Yaowarat is modest. You can get a well-equipped room at $40 per night or lower. However, the area, as a whole, is always noisy. Stay away if you need a perfectly calm atmosphere to sleep in.

by deerphoto, standard license, depositphotos

Numerous food stalls, restaurants, and shops are everywhere in Yaowarat. Some are even open 24 hours a day. Thus, you can start a street food tour here with ease.

However, I do not live up to the hype of Yaowarat as a street food paradise. Some street food streets there are apparently tourist traps. You can find many other areas in Bangkok that serve far more delicious street foods at a more reasonable price.

Still, the souvenirs and goods sold at Yaowarat are far cheaper than those at tourist attractions. Many vendors buy cheap goods from there to sell to tourists at a far higher price, booking a big profit in the process. Hence, if you want to buy souvenirs in Bangkok, go to the Sampeng market. Also, do not forget to use your bargaining skills.

Regarding transportation, the city has just introduced a new subway line. Thus, going in and out of the area is easier than ever. You do not need to spend hours in a taxi anymore due to all-day traffic jams.

Main Tourist Attractions in Yaowarat

  • Wat Mangkon – Unarguably the holiest Mahayana Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Mangkon is visited by thousands of worshippers daily. Many Thais visit the temple to seek blessings from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to chase away bad luck.
  • Wat Traimit – Unlike Wat Mangkon, Wat Traimit is a Theravada Buddhist temple built by three Chinese a century ago. The temple features the largest golden Buddha statue in the world.
  • Markets – Yaowarat has various markets selling a wide range of goods and street foods.

Pros & Cons


  • Infinite food stalls and restaurants,
  • Lively, colorful atmosphere
  • Numerous shops to buy cheap souvenirs
  • Affordable accommodations


  • The area is crowded with both locals and tourists, making it unsuitable for travelers who prefer tranquility. Also, I would say it is too crowded for families as well.
  • Limited Accommodation Options
  • Perennial traffic jams

4. Silom – Best for Business Travelers and Nightlife-Seekers

Silom and the nearby Sathorn are critical to commercial activities in Bangkok. Both roads situate the Bangkok skyline, consisting of office buildings, embassies, and coworking spaces. Many international corporations also have offices in Silom.

Furthermore, Silom (or Sala Daeng for BTS) is the interchange station where the BTS (Skytrain) and MRT (metro) connect. Thus, you can visit other parts of the capital comfortably without worrying about traffic jams.

Overall, Silom is the best area to stay in Bangkok for business travelers.

Furthermore, Silom has many more to offer. The area has one of the most famous nightlife venues, including the Patpong night market and the lively pubs, bars, etc.

If you are not interested in the nightlife, the Thaniya alley (near Patpong) and nearby alleys have excellent Japanese restaurants whose food quality rival that of Tokyo and Osaka.

Based on my experience, the food is marvelous, while the price is reasonable. Therefore, this place has always been my favorite.

Silom offers overwhelming accommodation options, from a hostel priced at $20 per night to a luxury hotel with an outdoor pool like The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon.

Main Tourist Attractions in Silom

  • Patpong – The sub-area known worldwide for its market and nightlife activities
  • Lumphini Park – One of the largest public parks in Bangkok. The park has a large pond and running trails. It is common to spot large-sized water lizards while running in the park. However, they are 100% harmless if you do not provoke them.
  • Lalai Sap Market – A once popular market for the Thai upper middle class to buy goods. Unfortunately, this market is in decline due to the pandemic, but some food stalls are still open and serving modest Thai foods.
  • Sri Mahamariamman Temple or Wat Khaek – The holiest Hindu temple in Thailand. Although most Thais are Buddhists, many visit the temple to seek blessings from the goddess Parvati. You will need a taxi to visit the site since it is NOT within walking distance from any BTS station.

Apart from the above, Silom has plenty of rooftop bars, trendy restaurants, and delicious street food stalls. Many of them are the locals’ favorites.

Pros & Cons


  • Unarguably one of the best Bangkok neighborhoods to stay in for business travelers. Offices of international companies are in the area.
  • Conveniently located: Silom/Sala Daeng is an interchange station.
  • Vibrant nightlife on the Patpong street
  • Excellent restaurants and street food stalls are nearby.
  • Plentiful accommodations to choose from


  • As of 2022, Silom does not have prominent shopping malls like Siam Square, albeit a huge one is under construction.
  • The room rates could be higher than average.

Silom Hotels

Read this post to learn more about the best Silom hotels.

5. Pleonchit, Nana, Asok – Best for Nightlife Lovers and Business Travelers

These three areas are close to one another, forming one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Bangkok. Central to these areas is the Sukhumvit Road, which has numerous alleys where many restaurants, bars, and pubs are located.

These areas feature a vibrant ex-pat community, including Indians, Arabs, Europeans, Koreans, Japanese, etc. Many open excellent restaurants that sell authentic food that I found exceptional.

What I like about these areas is that they are always lively. During the day, the areas serve as business centers. Business people and office workers populate the streets.

By Chainwit. – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In contrast, exquisite restaurants along with pubs and bars open in the evening and turn the areas into a nightlife paradise.

If you stay in these areas, going to any other districts in the capital is very easy. Asok is an interchange station between BTS and MRT, plus taxis and tuk-tuks are all around.

Regarding accommodations, there are various options, ranging from an inexpensive boutique hotel to a 5-star modern hotel with a fitness center and a rooftop pool.

However, if you are sensitive to sound, select a hotel that is not on the main street. There are some good budget hotels and high-end ones in the alleys.

Main Tourist Attractions in These Areas

  • Terminal 21 Asok – A mid-sized department store with good restaurants. The food court on the 5th floor is trendy among locals because the food there is inexpensive.
  • Emquartier – Known for its stylish design, this department store has top-notch restaurants, stores, and a supermarket.

Pros & Cons


  • Vibrant and flourishing ex-pat community
  • Offer the best international restaurants in Bangkok
  • Lively atmosphere
  • Reach anywhere in the city with ease using public transportation
  • Various options for accommodations


  • The traffic conditions in these areas are abysmal during rush hours. BTS and MRT are also extremely crowded. If possible, avoid traveling in or out of the areas during 7 AM-9 AM and 5 PM-8 PM.
  • These three areas all have BTS (Skytrain) stations. However, if your accommodation is not within walking distance from the main Sukhumvit road, you still need to catch a taxi or a motorbike.

6. Thonglor – Best for Nightlife Lovers

Thonglor is an area with high-end restaurants, bars, and pubs. These make the area a great choice to stay in Bangkok for tourists who are nightlife lovers. For locals, undeniably, Thonglor is a middle-to-upper-class favorite.

Based on my experience, the culinary experience Thonglor restaurants provide is fantastic in general. However, the price tag for some can be very high (rivaling that of high-end NYC restaurants.)

However, staying at Thonglor has drawbacks. First, the area is pretty lifeless before 5 PM. Finding a modest restaurant outside the hotel for breakfast can be challenging. The area itself also has no notable attractions to visit during the day.

Therefore, if you are NOT interested in the nightlife, do not stay at Thonglor. It would be better to catch a taxi to Thonglor to dine in the evening and return to your hotel elsewhere.

Second, like Ploenchit, Nana, and Asok, you must ensure that your accommodation is not too far from the main road. Otherwise, taxis (or motorcycles) are the only transportation you can rely on.

Still, many Thonglor accommodations are available for selection. These include luxurious hotels with a swimming pool & a rooftop bar and mid-range hotels. There are also a few affordable guesthouses, but the number may not be as many as in other areas.

Pros & Cons


  • Excellent high-end restaurants, albeit with a very high price tag
  • Trendy bars and pubs, favored by a Thai middle-to-upper class
  • Lively atmosphere during the night


  • The neighborhood is lifeless during the day.
  • You need to catch a taxi if your accommodation is too far from the main Sukhumvit road.

7. Khao San Road – Best for Backpackers

Khao San Road is probably the most well-known street in Bangkok. With high-quality budget guesthouses and hostels, Khao San is unarguably the best place to stay in Bangkok for backpackers.

What makes Khao San famous is the nightlife. The road has plenty of food stalls where vendors sell various types of Thai food, including exotic ones like fried insects. There are also bars that have live music performances in the evening, energizing all locals and tourists alike.

Khao San Road
by pio3, standard license, depositphotos

During the Songkran national holiday (April 13-15), there is a world-famous water splashing festival at the Khao San Road every year. If you want to participate in this world-renowned event, make sure you book the room in advance since the areas will be crowded with tourists.

The drawback of staying there is that Khao San Road has no Skytrain or metro access. The most affordable transportation available is the ferry. Otherwise, you will need to catch a taxi to visit other tourist attractions.

Main Tourist Attractions near Khao San Road

Apart from the Khao San road itself, you can visit the following attractions:

  • Sao ChingCha – Sao Chingcha is a giant wooden swing built in 1784 to perform a religious ceremony. Unfortunately, what is left now are the pillars since officials already took down the swing decades ago.
  • Wat Suthat – A royal temple that houses a magnificent golden buddha. Its interior murals are exquisite and outstanding—worth a visit.

Pros & Cons


  • Budget accommodation is everywhere.
  • Vivacious atmosphere
  • Excellent street food stalls and bars


  • No Skytrain or metro access
  • The area is crowded with tourists, so it could be impossible to sleep undisturbed during the night.
Pun Anansakunwat
Pun Anansakunwat
As a person passionate about traveling, I love to explore new places, meet new people, and learn about culture and history.

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