With three days in Bangkok, you can hit all the must-see sights plus venture farther afield for a rich history or nature fix. Admire beautiful temples, visit the famous floating markets, cruise the canals, and then take some time to feast on tasty Thai cuisine and experience local culture. Here’s how to have an unforgettable 72 hours in Bangkok.
Day 1: See the Must-See Sights
Spend your first day admiring Bangkok’s top attractions, starting with a tour of the magnificent Grand Palace. The official residence of the Thai king is full of stunning photo opportunities, with highlights including the Royal Courts and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), one of Thailand’s holiest temples.
Many temple tours and walking tours also include the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), and the Temple of the Giant Swing (Wat Suthat). After a busy day of sightseeing, relax on a scenic dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River and enjoy spectacular views of Bangkok by night.
Day 2: Day Trip to the Countryside
There are plenty of options for day tours from Bangkok, offering a chance to escape the city and explore the stunning Thai countryside. Perhaps visit the UNESCO World Heritage–listed ruins of Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Siam, or discover the beautiful landscapes of the Khao Yai National Park. You can even visit the coast—the lively resort town of Hua Hin lies approximately 2.5 hours south of the capital.
A fascinating day trip destination is the notorious Burma Railway, also called the Death Railway, as it—and the famous Bridge on the River Kwai—was largely built by Allied POWs during World War II. Tours typically include a visit to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery and the JEATH War Museum.
Back in Bangkok, head to Khao San Road, one of the city’s busiest nightlife areas. Browse the street markets, fill up on street food, and spend the night hopping between the many bars and nightclubs.
Day 3: Get Your Shopping and Culture Fixes
A 3-day stay in Bangkok means that you can really immerse yourself in local life and experience Thai culture, so spend your final day doing just that. Start with a visit to one of the colorful floating markets around Bangkok—Damnoen Saduak is a popular choice—then explore Bangkok’s vibrant Chinatown district aboard a traditional tuk-tuk.
Spend the afternoon shopping at more of the city’s famous markets—the gigantic Chatuchak Market is a must if you’re visiting on a weekend—and sampling the city’s renowned street food. The Bang Rak district is also renowned for its delicious street food, and a guided tasting tour is a perfect way to learn more about Thai cuisine.
In the evening, opt for a memorable activity such as joining a Thai cooking class, attending a Muay Thai kickboxing fight, or watching a cultural show (Siam Niramit is a solid choice).