Need help planning your Bangkok 3-day itinerary? You’ve come to the right place!
In this article I have outlined everything you need to know about spending three awesome days in the Thai capital! Including the best places to visit, how to get around Bangkok, where to stay and more.
Thailand is one of my favourite travel destinations, and despite how chaotic it is, Bangkok is one of my favourite cities in Southeast Asia. It might be hectic, but there’s plenty to see.
Having visited Bangkok five times in the last few years, I have a decent amount of experience travelling around the city, discovering both the main attractions and more off the beaten track spots.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in, and start planning your perfect three days in Bangkok!
- 1 Logistical tips for three days in Bangkok
- 1.1 Are three days in Bangkok enough?
- 1.2 How to get around Bangkok in 3 days
- 1.3 Best time to visit Bangkok
- 1.4 Where to stay for your Bangkok 3-day itinerary
- 1.5 Best tours for three days in Bangkok
- 1.6 What to pack for three days in Bangkok
- 1.7 Do you need travel insurance for this Bangkok 3-day itinerary?
- 2 Bangkok 3-day itinerary: Day 1
- 3 Bangkok 3-day Itinerary: Day 2
- 4 Bangkok 3-day Itinerary: Day 3
Logistical tips for three days in Bangkok
Before we dive into my Bangkok 3-day itinerary, I wanted to go over some key logistical information, which will ensure you have the best time possible in Bangkok.
Are three days in Bangkok enough?
Bangkok is an enormous capital city. With plenty of sights to see and culture to soak up, there’s an almost neverending list of places to visit in Bangkok in three days.
With all of the markets, temples and different districts you could easily spend a week or more exploring.
Depending on how long your Bangkok itinerary is, two days in Bangkok is the bare minimum to see the main sights and enjoy some of the sights slightly further out of the city centre.
That said, if you have some more time, I suggest spending at least three days in Bangkok. That way you can slow things down a little and soak up a more local side to the city too.
How to get around Bangkok in 3 days
Getting around Bangkok isn’t too complicated, there are several different ways to travel around the city, as well as a fairly modern and reliable public transport system.
A cluster of main city sights is located around the royal palace, and they are all within walking distance of each other. But there are also a lot of tourist attractions that are spread out across the city.
If you’re following this Bangkok 3-day itinerary, you might want to consider using tuk-tuks or taxis (which can often be cheaper than tuk-tuks, since they’ve no become a tourist attraction) to get between sights quickly. Make sure to ask your taxi drivers to use the meter, and don’t just accept a flat fare.
The city’s riverboats are a fantastic way to get from A to B and as well as being affordable and regular. The BTS (or Skytrain) cuts through the new part of Bangkok and connects to the airport.
Fares cost 16 THB to 52 THB, a one-day pass costs 140 THB. The modern MRT metro network connects Sukhumvit and Silom and costs 16 THB to 42 THB.
If you want to take a trip outside of Bangkok there’s the railway, or a long list of organised tours to opt for.
Best time to visit Bangkok
Bangkok is a year-round destination but the best time to visit is in the dry season, which runs between November and February.
This does mean that this is the high season for tourists, and hotels and tours will be busier with other travellers, especially over the Christmas holidays.
The shoulder season is roughly between April to June and September and October. During this time you can expect average temperatures of 30°C.
Low season falls between July to October when the monsoons hit. At this time, short-sharp downpours usually hit the afternoons, and flooding can cause travel issues.
Where to stay for your Bangkok 3-day itinerary
There are lots of awesome places to stay in Bangkok, and the best one for you ultimately depends on your interests and budget.
On most of my trips to Bangkok I stayed close to Khao San Road, as I wanted to be able to go there in evenings and walk back, without having to take taxis or public transport at night. Plus this area is also quite close to the Grand Palace and other sights of Bangkok.
On one of my trips I stayed a bit further out, and while quieter and fancier, it gets tiring having to cross Bangkok to get to all the main sights.
Here are some of the best places to stay in Bangkok for all budgets.
Budget: Bangkok is the starting point of many backpacker trips and as such, it’s also home to many hostels.
Mid-range: I stayed in three different hotels close to Khao San Road, but my favourite was by far the Nouvo City Hotel. They have spacious rooms, a huge breakfast buffet and a rooftop pool.
For an affordable price, you can have a nice place to relax at the end of a long day exploring Bangkok.
If you’re looking to pamper yourself a bit, this beautiful Bangkok hotel with rooftop pool is the one!
Best tours for three days in Bangkok
If it’s your first time visiting Bangkok, there are some organised tours that you can join, which will make your time in the Thai capital considerably easier.
Bangkok: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Private Tour: This private tour takes you to all the iconic sights in Bangkok, without having to worry about transports or waiting for large groups.
What to pack for three days in Bangkok
For a full breakdown of what you should pack for Thailand, check out my Thailand packing list. Here I just wanted to include a couple essentials that I definitely don’t want you to forget!
Waterproof jacket – if you’re visiting in rainy season, you will need one of these!
Water bottle – lots of hotels and restaurants have water refills, by having your own reusable water bottle you can reduce your plastic consumption and monetary expense, it’s a win-win!
Adapter – depending on where you come from you might need one of these to charge your electronics. I like to use an international one so that it can work for multiple destinations.
Power bank – if you’re out and about all day you don’t want your phone to die on you just as you’re about to snap a great photo of the beautiful temples in Bangkok!
Do you need travel insurance for this Bangkok 3-day itinerary?
After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.
You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your travel insurance with Heymondo.
Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).
Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.
Plus, as a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance!
Bangkok 3-day itinerary: Day 1
Visit the Grand Palace
If you only have three days in Bangkok, the first thing on your itinerary should be a visit to the Grand Palace. This is the ceremonial home of Thailand’s monarchy and has been since it was consecrated in 1782.
It’s a must-see not only on a Bangkok itinerary, but also any Thailand itinerary.
The Thai king and his family may not live here today, but it remains a crucial centre of Thai royalty and religion — you’ll find Wat Phra Kaew here after all, complete with its stunning Emerald Buddha.
Entrance costs 500 THB per person, and it’s open every day from 8:30AM to 3:30PM every day. The ticket gives you access to the whole temple complex; both the palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
It’s a beautiful place to wander around for a few hours, admiring the beautiful architecture, the stunning artworks and learning about Thai history.
If you don’t fancy following a guide around, but still want to learn more about this place, you can do a self-guided walking tour.
Visit Wat Pho & see the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
After you’re done marvelling at the Grand Palace and its wonders, it’s just a few minutes stroll to the next stop on your three days in Bangkok itinerary: Wat Pho.
This 16th-century temple is home to the Reclining Buddha, a monumental statue covered in gold leaf, and the largest of its kind in Bangkok.
But that’s not all there is to see in this iconic temple. Besides the giant Reclining Buddha, there are loads of other beautiful corners dotted around the temple.
You won’t need as long to visit it as the Grand Palace, but it is one of the most Instagrammable places in Bangkok, and you can easily spend an hour or so snapping gorgeous shots of this temple.
Take the boat or ferry across to Wat Arun
Wat Arun, another of the most iconic and beautiful temples in Thailand, is located just across the river from Wat Pho. On foot it would take over 30 minutes to get there, as you have to go all the way around.
Instead, why not take a local boat across? Though this is just a way to get to the next destination — Wat Arun — getting the boat across the Chao Phraya river is an experience in itself.
It’s a simple matter of catching the boat from Tha Tien market to the Wat Arun pier; they leave every 15 minutes and cost 5 THB.
As you sail across the river you can admire the beauty of these temples and the Bangkok skyline from the river.
Visit Wat Arun
Literally meaning “Temple of Dawn”, this storied place of worship was named after Arun, the Hindu god of dawn.
Its origin lies in the destruction of Ayutthaya by Burmese forces in the 18th century, after which King Taksin discovered a small local shrine in the Wat Arun area. The king took it as a sign to build a new capital.
Wat Arun itself boasts an impressive 19th-century thraeng, or Khmer-style tower, that soars 82 metres. You can actually climb to the top (50 THB; from 8AM to 6PM) for some amazing views of the river below.
You can easily visit these three temples independently, but if you prefer to do so with a guide, there are some great tours for you to choose from.
Bangkok: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun Private Tour: This private tour is perfect for those who want to visit these iconic sights, without having to worry about transports or following large groups.
Go for a river cruise
Once you’ve seen all the main temples of Bangkok, there’s no better activity for your three day Bangkok itinerary than going for a river cruise.
The Chao Phraya and the myriad canals and waterways that weave through the city provide a super cool way to get around and see sights at the same time; it’s cool to see the temples and modern skyline from the river.
You could catch the regular ferry, or take your very own private tour on a long-tail boat — complete with a knowledgeable guide.
Dinner & night out in Khao San Road & surroundings
After the river cruise, it’s probably a good idea to head back to your accommodation for a chill, shower and to get ready — it’s time to hit the town!
Where? Khao San Road. This notorious mecca for backpackers has modernised in recent years, but is still intense and rammed with bars, clubs and restaurants.
It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a bit of a crazy night out, but it’s not only limited to that. You will also find massage parlors for a traditional Thai massage, lots of street vendors, shops and restaurants.
I’d recommend the smaller streets that lead off of it (e.g. Rambuttri Alley) for a similar, much less chaotic vibe. You’ll still be close to all the action, without being right in the middle of it all.
Even if you only experience Khao San Road once, places to visit in Bangkok in three days don’t get more iconic (or infamous!).
Bangkok 3-day Itinerary: Day 2
Day tour to the floating market & railway market
Day two of your Bangkok three day itinerary starts early — you’ll want to make the most of your time exploring the incredible markets that the city is famous for.
What markets you actually visit depends on the day. For example, some are weekend-only, whilst other are on only in the evening (or morning).
If you’ve only got a few days in Bangkok, the best way to get a good look at these bustling places of commerce is to book yourself onto a tour.
Tour organisers know exactly at what time each market is, and will plan the itinerary for the day to ensure you’re at each market at the right time. You can try doing so alone, but given the lack of information online, it can be faffier to do so.
I suggest doing a tour that leaves early in the morning, and includes both the amazing Amphawa Floating Market and Talad Rom Hup train market — aka Maeklong Market.
The floating markets are a sight to see. There used to be loads more of these, but there are considerable less now. They still offer a look into how people got their groceries in days gone by.
Talad Rom Hup is located along a train track, with stalls spilling onto the rails themselves.
It means “Umbrella Put Down Market”, referring to the scramble that ripples through the market every time a train trundles through, when vendors put down their awnings and move their goods. It’s quite a sight to see!
This tour is one of the best day trips you can take from Bangkok, since in only half a day it will take you to see some of the most iconic markets in South East Asia.
Visit more temples in Bangkok
The tours that go to the floating and railway markets usually come back after lunch, in the early afternoon. That means you’ll have some time to spare in the afternoon to explore more of what the city has to offer.
Buddhist heritage is hard to miss, and it’s such a part of what makes Bangkok (and Thailand as a whole) tick, that it’s really worth searching out some of the capital’s beautiful Buddhist temples to learn more.
One such temple is the 19th-century Wat Benchamabophit. Built by King Rama V, the whole thing was constructed out of Italian white marble.
It’s so famous that it actually appears on the back of the five Baht coin. One of the coolest parts of this temple are the 52 Buddha statues, each one representing a different symbolic mudra or hand gesture.
From Wat Benchamabophit, it’s just a 25-minute walk to the Golden Mount Temple.
Also known as Wat Saket, it was built by King Rama III in the mid-19th century and is situated on a mountain created from the mud and dirt dug to create Bangkok’s iconic canals.
Once the highest vantage point in the city before the skyline was filled with skyscrapers, today you can still glimpse a 360-degree view of Bangkok from here.
It costs 50 THB to climb to the summit; and it’s open from 7:30AM to 5:30PM.
If visiting more temples sounds exhausting after a morning of market hopping, just head back to your hotel and chill on poolside! You deserve it after all!
Sunset drinks at a rooftop bar
Whether you go for more sightseeing or relax at your hotel, make sure to head to a rooftop bar for sunset. For some truly beautiful views, nothing beats a sundowner at one of the Bangkok’s many rooftop bars.
And let’s face it — when it comes to what to see in Bangkok in three days, one of these things has to be a Bangkok sunset.
There’s a world of choice in terms of rooftop bars, so it’s best to do some research to find one that fits your style… and budget!. One good option is the Sky Bar, which is famous for featuring in The Hangover 2.
Service is impeccable here, the cocktails are delicious and the views are incredible (they should be, being 63 storeys up) — but note that you do have to dress smartly for entrance, and it’s fairly pricey.
There are cheaper places to grab a drink, but this sort of experience is worth it, even if you only do it once.
Bangkok 3-day Itinerary: Day 3
Day trip to Ayutthaya for more temples & history
For the final day of your three day itinerary in Bangkok, you could head out of the city to get a taste of more of Thailand’s storied history. The best place to do this is Ayutthaya.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this was once the centre of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351-1767), which once stretched into parts of Burma and the Malay Peninsula.
Ayutthaya was originally an ancient city settled by the Khmer Empire, who named it Ayodhya after a legendary city in Hindu mythology.
Though crumbling ruins now, these centuries-old historical sites were once a former hub of international trade.
Today, you can visit the ruins of these beautiful temples, amongst which the famous Wat Mahathat (where you can see the huge Buddha head statue entwined in the roots of a banyan tree), Wat Phu Khao Tong, Wat Lokayasutharam (the giant reclining Buddha) and Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
There are different options to get there from Bangkok. You can take the train from Hualamphong Station.
The journey takes 2.5 hours and the low-cost third-class ticket costs only 35 THB. After arriving in Ayutthaya it’s easy to get around by a tuk-tuk or you could even rent a bicycle.
Alternatively there’s also a direct bus, which is the quickest option, as it leaves regularly from Mo Chit Station. It costs around 60 THB and takes around 90 minutes.
However the best way to visit Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok is to join a tour. This will mean a stress-free day, for only 1,000 THB.
Tours will usually include getting picked up and dropped off at your accommodation, plus all transfers around Ayutthaya and lunch.
That way you’re sure you’re seeing all of the must-see sights and temples, with a knowledgeable local guide to tell you the history of the places you’re visiting.
Here are some of the best Bangkok to Ayutthaya day trips that you can join.
From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour with Lunch: This is the classic Bangkok to Ayutthaya day tour, which includes transfers, lunch, a local guide and takes you to all the main sights.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
If you don’t feel like adding a day trip to your three-day Bangkok itinerary, no worries! There’s plenty more going on across the frenetic Thai capital to keep you entertained and mesmerised.
One such place has got to be Chatuchak Market. One of the world’s biggest open-air markets, you can pretty much find absolutely everything at this huge market.
It’s amazing to think it transformed from a rubbish dump in the 1970s to the 15,000-stall market spread across 27 different sections you see today.
Wang Lang Market
If you can’t make it to the Chatuchak Weekend Market (because, you know, it only takes place at the weekend), then try Wang Lang Market.
This daily market is also huge and is packed full of shops and stalls; here you can pick up a whole bunch of stuff from clothes to beauty products, but the main reason to visit here is the food.
There’s plenty to choose from, so make sure you arrive hungry.
Bangkok is home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the world. This now central district was founded in 1782 in a rural area outside of the city walls.
The best thing to do here is to take some time to simply wander — you’ll be sure to discover some amazing hidden gems in the back alleys that lead off the main streets.
You’ll also find some Chinese Confucian and Taoist temples here, including the Kuan Yim Shrine.
Almost hidden among the warren of streets that lace through Yaowarat, you’ll find this colourful, significant shrine (founded in 1902) in the courtyard of the Thian Fa Foundation — a charity that once served the poor inhabitants of Bangkok’s Chinatown.
This is a good place to find yourself for dinner. There are loads of street stalls selling noodles, Chinese bread and meat, but restaurants also abound.
Try out Hua Seng Hong Restaurant for great service and fresh, delicious Chinese food (it’s great for dim sum, too, in case you’re here in the daytime).
Final thoughts on my Bangkok 3-day itinerary
There you have it, the ultimate Bangkok 3-day itinerary! Have you been to Bangkok before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!
At the time I didn’t know how wrong I was to skip the Thai capital! Yes Bangkok it chaotic, but it’s also a beautiful city, with lots of unique places to visit and see.
With its temples, markets, rooftop bars and backpacker streets, it’s a must-see city on anyone’s travel bucket list. You only need a few days to discover it, and can then move on to other parts of Thailand, experiencing local culture through cooking classes or ethical elephant encounters.
Three days in Bangkok is the perfect amount of time to get a feel for this hectic city. I hope you found my Bangkok itinerary useful, if you have any questions just let me know in the comments below!