5 Day Bangkok Itinerary

The Best 5 Day Bangkok Itinerary For 2023

When it comes to exploring Bangkok, it can be difficult to know what to see and do and in what order to plan your 5 day Bangkok itinerary.  Bangkok is a city with so much history, culture, and important landmarks, not to mention a huge metropolis with a chaotic and lively atmosphere.   However, if it’s your first time in Bangkok, it can be a struggle navigating yourself into the chaotic city lifestyle, as well as getting overwhelming because there’s so much to see and take in.  Ready?  Let’s get started!




Best Way to Explore Bangkok

Take a City Highlights, Markets & Temple Tour – Explore with a local, get an overview, history, and explore temples too. Great reviews, English-speaking guide.

We know that Bangkok can be a culture shock, so to help you settle in and make the most of your 5 days in Bangkok, we’ve prepared an ultimate itinerary so you can jump straight in, but not be overwhelmed.

How many days is enough for Bangkok?

But first, how many days in Bangkok is enough? Most people use Bangkok as a starting point for their Thailand backpacking adventures, and as such, need a day or two to recover from jet lag. 

Assuming you have recovered from jet lag, then five full days of exploring is the ideal amount of time to see the highlights.  However, if time is at your disposal, it’s recommended to allow seven days so you can have some chilled days in between exploring, as well as time to recuperate after traveling and to get used to the culture shock.

The Ultimate 5 Day Itinerary for Bangkok

In the following Bangkok itinerary, you’ll uncover the highlights of the city over five full days.  Each day promises to show you the culture, history, and unique side of Bangkok.

There is no set format for what to see and do first. To allow you to see all the landmarks without getting burned out, this itinerary has been organized so that there are some relaxing things to do in between sightseeing.  And, of course, feel free to reorder this itinerary to best suit you.

Day 1: The Best of Bangkok

On your first day in Bangkok, you’re going to want to take it slow, but also do something that really captures the unique essence of the culture. This is why we recommend a Canal River Tour as a first day activity.

Bangkok’s canals, or Klongs in Thai (sometimes Khlongs), are a series of waterways that connect the suburban areas of Bangkok. In the early centuries when Bangkok was first established, these canals were used as roads, trading hubs, and meeting points.

Today, very little has changed, as a few residents use long-tail boats to sell street food, fruit and vegetables, and household items to the residents who live along the Klongs. On a canal tour, you’ll be driven down these khlongs on a long tail boat, taking in the unique architecture of the stilt houses, and seeing how a timeless way of life still operates today. As an alternative, you can take the ferry on the Chao Phraya River, or use the hop on hop off tourist boat – a ticket gives you all-day access, and it’s a great way of getting around the city!

Canals of Bangkok

Don’t miss a chance to see the giant Buddha statues at The Royal Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen temple, which despite its size, is still somewhat of a hidden gem in Bangkok since it only opened in 2022.

At 2 pm, be sure to head over to the Wat Thong Sala Ngam temple where you can watch a traditional Thai puppet performance performed by the students of the puppet school.  It’s free to watch the performance but donations are welcome. The performance used to take place inside the courtyard of Artists House in front of the 600-year-old stupa but was moved outside due to Covid and has stayed that way.

Be sure to check out the upper floors of Artists House where you can see a museum of old puppets that are still used in the puppet shows today.

In the evening, head to China Town for some incredible street food, there are some amazing seafood dishes here, but you can find everything from traditional Thai dishes such as Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice, to more Chinese-influenced cuisines.

5 days in Bangkok Chinatown

Day 2: Old Bangkok and Temple Hopping

Old Town Bangkok, also known as the Rattanakosin district, is an unmissable district in Bangkok because it’s where you’ll find all the stunning temples and the rich history and culture of the city.

The area is home to many magnificent temples, such as Wat Pho, home to the world-famous Reclining Buddha, Wat Arun across the river, and the Grand Palace, showcasing stunning architecture, intricate details, and religious significance.

Wat Pho Bangkok

Also in the district is the Golden Mount temple, or Wat Saket, which is worth a visit.

A great way to explore this neighborhood is on a free walking tour, which takes around 3 hours. We recommend doing the walking tour in the morning, so you can go into the temples afterward (you only see the outside during the Bangkok free walking tour). If the walking tour schedules don’t fit yours, then consider this old Bangkok walking tour

Next, head to Khao San Road in the evening to witness some buzzing nightlife and sample some more street food. One of the most iconic things to do in Khao San Road is to try insects, such as tarantulas, scorpions, and beetles.

Day 3: Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market

The floating markets are one of the most unique things about Bangkok, and if you want to see a vibrant market that’s full of noise, sizzling meat on the BBQ, the sound of hawkers bargaining their prices, and generally feeling the authentic vibe – head to the Damnoen Saduak Market in the early morning. You can read here about how to visit Damnoen Saduak Market without a tour.

Here you can immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere, shop for local handicrafts, and sample traditional Thai food.  Next, visit the Maeklong Railway Market, famously known for its vendors selling their produce on the train tracks.

Visiting this market is truly a fabulous experience and great fun, here’s more on the top fun things to do in Thailand.

Maeklong Railway Market

You’ll witness the incredible sight of vendors clearing their stalls as the train approaches and then setting them back up once the train has passed.  Both of these landmarks are a long way out of the city, and it’s much easier to take a full-day tour which includes transportation, an English-speaking guide, and lunch, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

In the evening on day 3 of your 5 days in Bangkok, finish off the day with a cocktail at a rooftop bar in Bangkok. There are many incredible bars with amazing views, but the most famous is Octave Sky Bar, which sits on the 45th-49th floor of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit.  It’s well known for its incredible views, divine cocktails, and entertainment, which usually comes in the form of live music or a DJ.  Visiting a rooftop bar is not the cheapest thing to do in Bangkok, but it’s an unforgettable experience.

Day 4: Ayutthaya Day Trip

On the fourth day, head outside the city to Ayutthaya, which is just an hour’s drive from Bangkok (or 1.5 hours on the train), here’s how to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.  This is the ancient capital of Thailand and is known for its temple ruins.  The city of Ayutthaya is home to numerous historical sites, palaces, statues, and temples, showcasing stunning architecture and intricate details of a time long gone, such as Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, and Wat Mahathat.  (Our guide to Ayutthaya is here)

Temples of Ayutthaya Thailand

There are two ways to explore this UNESCO-listed complex; by bicycle or by walking. It’s a huge area so we highly recommend cycling. You can hire a bike from directly across from the train station for around 50 baht.

After exploring the temple complex, you can also take a boat ride back to Bangkok along the Chao Phraya River, providing picturesque views of the city’s landmarks.

The Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important historical landmarks in the country. I highly recommend getting an audio guide as there aren’t a lot of signposts or information about what you’re looking at.

Finish your day by getting a traditional Thai massage in the evening. You’re going to need it after all the walking or cycling you’ve done today!

Day 5: Explore Modern Day Bangkok

The last day of this 5 day Bangkok itinerary will show you a different side of Bangkok – its urban, modern side. Bangkok is not only known for its temples and history, but it’s also a vibrant metropolis with world-class shopping.

Spend the morning exploring Iconsiam, one of the biggest and most luxurious shopping malls in Bangkok. What makes this shopping mall special is the food court with an indoor floating market.

If you’re looking to pick up souvenirs, the mall also has a sook market, ICONSOOK, where you can buy handicrafts and trinkets.

Some other great malls in Bangkok to check out if you have time are Terminal 21, which has an amazing food court where you can buy meals for 30-50 baht, and Siam Paragon, which has high-end fashion brands as well as main street favorites such as H&M and Zara.

After exploring the mall, head over to Jim Thompson House to see the art collection of an American businessman, who came to settle in Bangkok in 1959. The house is now a museum and has beautiful and unique architecture.

If you have more time in the afternoon, you can explore Bangkok’s art galleries. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre and The Museum of Contemporary Art are two of the most popular modern art museums and have progressive and innovative contemporary art exhibits.

In the early evening, head to Lumpini Park for an evening stroll. If you’re into fitness, this is a great park to go for a run with other running enthusiasts, who check out the outdoor gym which only costs a measly 20 baht.  Otherwise, you can hire a paddle boat and explore one of the park’s lakes. You might even spot a monitor lizard grazing in the grass.

Finish your 5 days in Bangkok with a walk over to Benjakitti Park for sunset over the huge artificial lake.

Map of Things to do in Almeria

You can see the full map for the Best Bangkok 5 day Itinerary here.

Map of The Best 5 Day Bangkok Itinerary For 2023

Travel Tips for Exploring Thailand

Getting Around Bangkok

It’s very easy to get around Bangkok thanks to its convenient public transport system.  Most of the tourist attractions in Bangkok are connected by the MRT metro or the BTS Skytrain, which are both excellent and efficient ways to travel.  They’re covered in our guide to Thailand transport.

Some areas, such as the historic district and Khao San Road are a little harder to reach on public transport because the Old Town is protected and cannot be developed. The easiest way to get to the Old Town is to take the MRT to Sam Yot station and walk for 15 minutes.

Powered by 12Go system

Alternatively, you can take a water taxi. Many of the attractions by the river such as Wat Arun and the Grand Palace are easily reached by the Orange Line on the water taxi. This is essentially a tourist line since most of the tops are iconic landmarks.

You can also take buses to most parts of the city. The bus is the cheapest form of transport, but the quality of the bus depends on the route. Some buses are very old and only have a fan, which can be uncomfortable on a hot day.

However, if you’re unable to walk far it’s a good option. You can check bus times and schedules on the ViaBus App.

Lastly, you can get around Bangkok using a taxi, Tuk-Tuk, or a ride-sharing app such as Grab or Bolt. Bolt is the cheapest ride-sharing app and tends to have more motorbike drivers, but you will find more cars available on Grab.

If taking a motorbike taxi, make sure the driver offers you a helmet, and don’t be afraid if they weave in and out of traffic in some scary ways.

Final Thoughts on this 5 Day Bangkok Itinerary

Bangkok is a bustling and vibrant city. Some tourists find it overwhelming and chaotic, others fall in love and find they never want to leave.  It’s a city that offers so much; from history to unique cultural attractions, stunning temples, one-of-a-kind markets, warm locals, modern shopping malls, world-class nightlife, and everything in between.  We hope that this Bangkok itinerary gave you some inspiration for what to do in Bangkok and allows you to see the best of this city in 5 days.

Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.

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