7 districts of Bangkok, where is the best place for a tourist to stay
Bangkok is a city of contrasts. The skyline of the city is dominated by huge skyscrapers and the streets below, along winding canals, are filled with the ordinary life of ordinary people. Bangkok, famous for its bustling, crowded streets and many attractions, is visited by millions of tourists from all over the world.
Tuk-tuks and rickshaws rush along the jammed roads, temples glisten in the sun, and long-nose boats glide along the floating markets. The food is renowned for its variety, unique flavors, and, of course, its affordable prices. You can dine like a king for a ridiculous amount of money and indulge in nothing, and the unparalleled Thai hospitality invites everyone to experience the vibrant nightlife and culture of Bangkok.
All of Bangkok’s neighborhoods have their pros and cons. Below we’ll tell you more about each neighborhood.
Bangkok neighborhoods on a map
Sukhumvit – The nightlife, dining and shopping hub.
Why stay in Sukhumvit
If you want to live in the center and love walking, Sukhumvit is the place for you.
Located in the heart of Bangkok, Sukhumvit has something for everyone. The 18-kilometre-long street is lined with stores, cafes and nightclubs. Life thrives here at every turn. Even though Sukhumvit is a modern metropolis, you’ll find signs of traditional Thailand everywhere.
Most expats and Europeans live here. The environment is conducive to this, as well as the proximity to the main infrastructure. There are plenty of atmospheric cafes with areas for work, study, and relaxation. You’ll find restaurants for every taste, a variety of spas and bars, and traditional Thai food sold in the streets.
Popular attractions in the area include:
- Benjasiri Park with a huge green area and beautiful views of the city;
- Khlong Saen Saeb Canal; Soi Arab Street with Arabian restaurants and stores;
- WTF Gallery and Café, a cocktail bar where you can enjoy art with a glass of wine;
- Famous bar Cheap Charlie’s, which offers any drink for 80 baht.
The best way to get around Sukhumvit is via Skytrain or the MRT subway.
Disadvantages of Sukhumvit
There is a lot of traffic and popular tourist spots are quite far from each other. You will have to walk a lot, which takes a lot of time. There are two red light districts in Sukhumvit: Nana Plaza on Soi 4 and Soi Cowboy near Soi 23.
Prostitution on the streets is common in Bangkok, but if this is your first time in Thailand, it can be shocking. Sukhumvit has no historical landmarks, but other areas are easily accessible by subway.
Best Hotels in Sukhumvit
Siam – Shop till You Drop
Why Siam is Worth Staying In
Siam is a great place for shopping lovers. Here are the city’s largest air-conditioned shopping malls, such as MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Center and Central Chitlom.
The bustling Siam square is full of little streets selling books, records and antiques. There are also plenty of places to go for the famous Thai massage. The basement of Siam Paragon Mall is home to one of the largest oceanariums in the world, Siam Ocean World.
Skytrain BTS Overground stations are located all over the city, so you can get here from anywhere in the capital. If you want to stay centrally located and have access to all of Bangkok’s attractions, come to Siam.
Disadvantages of Siam
Siam is very crowded, especially on weekends, and traffic jams are crazy. The stores and restaurants here are luxurious, but it can be difficult to find traditional Thai food because the best establishments specialize in European dishes. You also won’t find popular nightlife in Siam – the area is more suited for families.
Best Hotels in Siam
Silom: Wall Street by day, Red Light District by night.
Why Stay in Silom
Silom is a great choice for those who want a true contrast to the Bangkok experience.
Silom is Bangkok’s Wall Street, filled with an air of debauchery and the delightful aromas of vibrant life as night falls. It’s a bit of everything, and it’s the kind of place where you can get a comprehensive view of Bangkok life.
Silom is home to Lumphini Park, Bangkok’s largest and greenest park. On the water walk you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. By day you can wander the grounds and admire the high-rise buildings that surround the park, and at night you can immerse yourself in the bohemian life of two-faced Silom.
This is where the scandalously famous Patpong, the main red-light district, is located. At every turn, baiters and ladyboys try to lure tourists to the saloons for ping-pong shows and other nightly rousing spectacles.
The most famous attractions in Silom – Patpong Night Market, the Bangkokian Museum, represented by two well-preserved houses in the traditional style, and SkyBar – one of the world’s highest bar on the roof, which offers a breathtaking view of Bangkok from the 63 floors.
Disadvantages of Silom
Silom is a major tourist destination where travelers who have never been to Bangkok can get a general idea of it. If you want to get to know the real Thailand and learn about the local customs and culture, it is worth paying attention to other areas of the city.
Patpong is a bustling nightlife district that only lovers of go-go bars and pole-dancing will enjoy. The rest of Silom is a nice neighborhood for families.
Best hotels in Silom
Pratunam (Pratunam) – legendary street food market
Why Stay in Pratunam
Pratunam is located next door to the main shopping district of Siam. Here at any time of the day or night you can shop for food at Pratunam market, which is the main attraction here.
It’s always crowded and full of young people – Pratunam never seems to be at a standstill. You can find everything from Thai fish balls and fried chicken to delicious little kueh cakes made of sticky rice on the stalls.
Pratunam is a 15-minute walk from the shopping districts and the main Skytrain surface metro station. The vendors at the market are ordinary Thais who prepare traditional Thai food. You can also find fashionable items at wholesale prices here.
Pratunam is home to the world-famous Baiyoke Tower. It is an 88-storey skyscraper whose observation deck offers the most spectacular views of Bangkok, especially during the magical Thai sunset.
Disadvantages of Pratunam
Pratunam is always crowded with tourists and compared to Siam, the streets are not as clean. The market is open 24 hours a day, so there is always a lot of traffic in the area.
Best Hotels in Pratunam District
Riverside – romantic river walks and five-star hotels
Why stay in Riverside
Riverside is a romantic neighborhood considered the cultural center of Bangkok. The neighborhood boasts the most romantic views and the highest quality hotels.
In the midst of the luxurious five-star hotels and stony urban jungle of Bangkok, historic palaces and temples gleam in the sun. Riverside is a riot of color and constant motion. River cabs and rice barges ply the river carrying tourists and goods.
There are many wealthy travelers and resort and family vacationers in this trendy neighborhood. You can rent a boat and spend the day admiring the unique beauty of daily life in Bangkok from the river side.
You should also visit the magnificent Buddhist temple Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) or wander through the colorful flower market Pak Klong Talat and shopping center Asiatique with a huge Ferris wheel, located on the waterfront.
Disadvantages of Riverside
Riverside is a rather expensive neighborhood that is not suitable for budget tourists. It is also far from the center and the Skytrain lines.
Best Riverside Hotels
Chinatown – the old neighborhood in Bangkok
Why Stay in Chinatown
The vibrant Chinatown is a gastronomic paradise for tourists and one of the oldest neighborhoods in Bangkok. It originated in the early 1780s when Chinese traders settled on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River.
It has some of the tastiest street food in Thailand and the air is full of delightful aromas. Wait until evening and head to the market after sunset to sample a little bit of everything.
Chinatown is buzzing with life and has the magical atmosphere of old Bangkok. There’s a constant buying and selling of food, gold, tea and spices – the usual frenetic pace of life for the Chinese settlers.
Disadvantages of Chinatown
Chinatown is a bustling Chinese neighborhood where people live and work. But here you can look at beautiful houses in the old Chinese style and buy cheap things.
Best Chinatown Hotels
Old Town and Khao San, the world’s backpacking hub
Khao San Road | Photo: Lee Nelson / Flickr.
Why Stay in Old Town and Kaosan Road
The Old Town and Kaosan Road neighborhoods are the best choices for backpackers and those tourists who are just getting to know Bangkok.
Old Town is a historic district with an authentic Thai flavor. Here are the most famous historical sites. Among them are the famous sacred temples of Thailand: the magnificent, decorated with gold Great Royal Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the temple of Wat Pho with a giant reclining Buddha.
Also popular with tourists Bagdad cafe, where they smoke hookah and have a leisurely conversation, and Santichaiprakarn Public Park, located on the eastern bank of the river.
Everyone has probably heard of the notorious Kaosan Road, a true mecca for backpackers and tourists of all sorts. It was here that Leonardo Dicaprio’s character from the movie “The Beach” started his amazing journey through Thailand. Kaosan Road is full of affordable housing and guest houses, as well as bars and nightclubs, and street vendors stand at every turn.
It’s a paradise for lovers of good cheap food, fun, and partying. All establishments have happy hours around the clock. Next to Kaosan Road is Rambutri Street, where you are immersed in a very different atmosphere.
This beautiful area for real aesthetes, which shows what Bangkok was like before there were skyscrapers. The shady, fig-tree-lined streets are a favorite stroll with the locals.
Disadvantages of Old Town and Kaosan Road
The Old Town lacks access to other areas because there are no Skytrain stations, so getting from here to other parts of Bangkok can be difficult. The main means of transportation are tuk-tuks, cabs, buses and ferry. It is also very noisy at night because of music and loud merry parties.
Which area of Bangkok is best to stay in (+ hotels)
Going to the capital of Thailand, it is very important to choose the right hotel in Bangkok, because it is a very large Asian metropolis with large traffic jams. However, it is not so easy to do at first sight, because judging by the map there are more than 2 thousand hotels and hostels in different areas of Bangkok. To decide in what area of Bangkok is better to stay, you need to define the purpose of the visit and understand what places and attractions of the City of Angels you are going to see.
Choose a hotel in Bangkok not necessarily in the city center, but it is better to live in an area that is close and convenient to places of interest to you or where you are going to spend most of your time. So you have to choose the area first, and after that it becomes quite easy to book a convenient hotel in Bangkok on Bookings. In my article, I will tell you about the easiest way to do it.
Bangkok neighborhoods and hotels
Decide which area of Bangkok is best for you to choose your hotel and then book yourself
First choose a neighborhood and then a hotel – this is the rule in Bangkok and no other way. After all, the city itself is very large, and transport in it is not the most convenient and quite exhausting, especially if you settle somewhere on the outskirts inexpensive and then try to go to the center every day.
The main tourist areas of Bangkok on the map
Which area of Bangkok is best to stay in:
1. The area near Kaosan Road is located in the historic center of Bangkok and is great for young people and first-time travelers to Bangkok who are interested in seeing Buddhist temples and walking through the most famous evening market. But first of all it is interesting because of the unique flavor of the Asian metropolis. Therefore Kaosan – the most tourist area of Bangkok, where you can find new and quite decent hotels with good reviews and high ratings, such as Ibis on Khao San – Ibis Styles , with double and quadruple rooms.
- See all hotels in Bangkok on Kaosan Road at →
Ibis Hotel Bangkok (Kaosan District)
2. Rattanakosin and Banglamphu districts are also located in the heart of the old city. If you are not keen on living with backpackers on Kaosan Street, and you want to choose a cheap decent hotel in Bangkok within walking distance of the Royal Palace and the Emerald Buddha Temple, then look for options near the Democracy Monument and the October 14 Memorial, or closer to the Chao Phraya Riverfront. Hotels in these areas of Bangkok are more expensive and generally decent.
From here it is quite easy to walk to the main attractions of Bangkok, such as the Royal Palace and the temple of Wat Pho, only 10-15 minutes. By the way, not far from Democracy Monument is the famous Golden Mountain temple – Wat Saket and a boat cab dock, which can take you along the canals of Bangkok without traffic jams to the BTS surface metro station and to some shopping malls.
In the old city we really liked the new cozy 3* bed and breakfast hotel – Methavalai Residence
- For photos and reviews of all hotels in Bangkok Old Town, click here →
Methavalai Residence in Old Town
3. If you like to walk around Bangkok’s Chinatown with its picturesque series of narrow streets and alleys (just like in Jerusalem) with the stores and stalls on the sides, you’ll love this one. In the Chinese eateries here you can try unusual food, such as shark soup. To see the Chinese temples and buy anything as souvenirs or to eat and take lots of beautiful pictures of old Bangkok is the whole plan for the day. I recommend choosing the new clean hotel with rooftop pool – Royal Bangkok .
- See all hotels in Bangkok’s Chinatown area here →
Royal Bangkok Chinatown Hotel in Chinatown, Bangkok
4. The Riverside area is located along the Chao Phraya River (Kings River), which is the pride of Bangkok. On its banks is one of Bangkok’s most important landmarks, the Wat Arun Temple. You can settle in one of the skyscraper hotels on its banks immediately after the flight to spend the jet-lag in a room on the top floor with a good view.
Here, instead of watching TV, you can contemplate endlessly how life goes on the busy river. The relatively inexpensive, comfortable Millennium Hilton Hotel is ideal for this.
- See all the Riverside hotels in Bangkok here →
The Millennium Hilton Hotel in Bangkok is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River
5. The Bayok Sky area is another popular tourist destination with many good hotels in Bangkok, a good market and the largest shopping center Pantip Plaza, where tourists come for various electronics: laptops, cameras, smart phones and all kinds of new gadgets, as well as a lot of stores, restaurants and travel agencies.
In fact its name is Pratunam District and here is the iconic place – Baiyoke Sky Tower – 2, which houses the highest hotel in Bangkok Baiyoke Sky and the best observation deck in the whole city, from which you can see Bangkok from a bird’s-eye view. This area is also convenient in that from the Victory Monument commercial buses that go to different routes around Thailand.
- See all the hotels in the Pratunam District of Bangkok here →
Bayok Sky Hotel is located in the Pratunam area of Bangkok.
6. The neighborhoods of Silom and Lumpini Park form the business center of Bangkok, with administrative buildings, banks, international companies and offices. Many expensive haute cuisine restaurants (including Michelin-starred) and traditional Thai food. The transport situation is quite good with a lot of cabs and different bus routes, but the best way to get here is to take the subway (BTS) and the underground (MRT) subways.
Before you make your final choice of hotel in Bangkok, check out the specials on Bookings:
There are many embassies and consulates of different countries in the Silom area of Bangkok. So if you need to get a visa for Myanmar or Vietnam in Bangkok, you should definitely go here. Choose a hotel near the Myanmar, Singapore, or Malaysian embassy that suits you here. And in the area of Lumpini Park, a green island in the middle of the bustling metropolis, are the embassies of the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Vietnam and Japan. The best hotel in Bangkok with a stunning view and rooftop pool is the Amara.
- See all the hotels in Bangkok in the Silom area here →
Amara Bangkok Comfortable Hotel in Silom District
7. Siam Square and its surroundings are the best area in Bangkok to go shopping. Around Siam Square on Ratchadamri Road there are several huge modern shopping malls where you can hide from the heat in an air-conditioned room, go to the movies, eat in a cafe, have fun in a pub or sit in a restaurant. There is one very nice hotel near the Erawan Temple, conveniently located near many shopping malls – the Grand Hyatt Erawan
- See all hotels in the Siam Square area here →
Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in Siam Square District
8. Paya Thai is another good neighborhood in Bangkok for shopping and dining. It is located at the intersection of Rama I and Phayathai Rd, near the National Stadium and MBK Mall. There are two BTS National Stadium (green line) and Ratchathevi (light blue line) overground stations. Among other things, a canal (called klong in Thai) runs through this area, on the banks of which there are several marinas for boats and river cabs. By the way, the MBC shopping complex is one of the largest shopping malls in Bangkok, which means it will take almost a whole day to visit it.
Sofitel VIE MGallery Hotel in downtown Bangkok
The best hotel here with a good rooftop pool, spa, gym and rooms with minibar and room service delivery is VIE MGallery . And for budget travelers, the best option would be an air-conditioned room in an inexpensive but clean hotel with private bathroom and breakfast – 6 Days 7 Nights BKK
- See all hotels in the Paya Thai area here →
Cheap hotel in downtown Bangkok – 6 Days 7 Nights BKK
9. Sukhumvit district is the most upscale area in Bangkok with a large number of good hotels, cafes and restaurants, stores, as well as a busy nightlife. This is the most touristy area of the City of Angels, as most tourists live in this area and go from here to the city center for sightseeing and shopping. I can recommend Marriott Sukhumvit – the best 5* hotel with a bar on the roof and great views, and another great 4* hotel for exploring Bangkok, close to the subway, a cozy park, quiet – Bangkok Lotus.
- Check out all the hotels in Bangkok Sukhumvit with prices and reviews here →
Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
Bangkok Hotel Lotus
10. The Petchaburi Road area is known for the Ramkhamhaeng LRT station which offers easy access to Suvarnabhumi Airport (5 stations) and the city center (2 stations). Ideal for choosing accommodation to see Bangkok in a couple of days and not waste time. Here you can find inexpensive hotels (600-800 baht per night), such as Nasa Vegas
Hotel Nasa Vegas on Petchaburi Road
Recommendation: If you are coming to Bangkok for the first time and want to save money, then the best bet for you is to choose a cheap hotel or guesthouse in Rattanakosin (Kaosan Road or near the Monument of Democracy), or in Pratunam near Bayok Sky. If money is not important for you and you want to spend your time in comfort, then book a room in one of the 5 star hotels on the banks of the Chao Phraya, near Lumpini Park or in Siam Square (links on Bucking are clickable).
The last thing I will tell you about is a good hotel in Bangkok near the airport, just to sleep before or after the flight. Since Bangkok has as many as 2 airports, watch out not to be confused.
The BKK code is Suvarnabhumi Airport and the Gold Airport Suites, a cheap hotel that I personally stayed in, with a free shuttle service. At the airport itself there are 3 hotels, the best of which is Novotel. For all hotels near Bangkok’s main airport, see here
Gold Airport Suites Hotel near Bangkok’s main airport
Amari Hotel near Don Muang Airport
See our hotels in Bangkok on the map
- Blue – attractions in Bangkok
- Burgundy – airports, train and bus stations.
- Purple – hotels near Bangkok airports
- Black – hotels on Kaosan Road
- Orange – hotels in Riverside
- Dark Green – hotels near Rattanakosin
- Light Green – hotels in Old Town
- Red – Chinatown hotels
- Dark Blue – Bangkok’s best sky bars
- Khaki – Bangkok’s Siam and Silom shopping malls.
Note: The images in this article are taken from Booking.com, where we recommend you to book hotels by yourself (read our review about hotel booking on Booking.com).