Known as “The City of Angels”, Bangkok, Thailand is the biggest city of Southeast Asia! This Bangkok 5 day itinerary aims to help you discover the beauty of this city from the historic temples to modern bright lights.
I lived in Thailand for over 1 year and had lots of time to visit Bangkok on weekend trips. I found that each time I visited Bangkok I found something new to do! No two trips are ever the same.
This Bangkok 5 day itinerary aims to help you maximize your time in the city so you can make the most of your trip. I’ll also include some of my favorite hidden gems and tips about Bangkok!
Table of Contents
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary: First Timer’s Guide
How Many Days Do You Need in Bangkok?
Bangkok is a massive city, home to over 10 million people! This means there are plenty of things to do here. However, if you are visiting as a tourist, 2 days is enough to scratch the city’s surface but 4-5 days is the perfect amount of time to get to know the city!
5 days in Bangkok is a great amount of time here. You don’t have to rush through the city, you have time to wander local spots and get to know the city’s personality.
I lived in Thailand for over 1 year, and frequently visited Bangkok during this time, usually on weekend trips. For as many weekend trips as I took, there is always something new to discover.
With a Bangkok 5 day itinerary, you will have time to see the famous temples, enjoy the many street food markets, and take a day trip to the outskirts of town!
How to Get to Bangkok
Getting to Bangkok is relatively easy. There are two major airports in Bangkok, the Suvurnhambuni Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK).
The BKK airport is the biggest of the two and services a majority of international and long-haul flights. The DMK airport is known as the budget airport, and services many of the budget airlines and flies mostly domestically.
BKK Airport to Downtown Bangkok
The BKK airport is conveniently connected to Bangkok. You have your choice between the public transportation train (airport rail link) or a taxi. Both options are easy and differ in price.
If you are traveling solo, the most cost-effective option is the airport rail link. This train runs from the airport to a stop near the city, and there you can connect on the metro or BTS system to get to the stop closest to your accommodation. This will take you around 90 minutes.
Taking a taxi from the airport is the most convenient option, but more expensive than the ARL. However, if you are traveling in a group, this may end up being cheaper and more convenient for you!
Pro tip: When taking taxis throughout the city as for a “metered taxi”. This will always be cheaper than bargaining for a set price!
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
How to Get Around Bangkok
When figuring out how to get around Bangkok, there are many different options. Each mode of transportation has its pros and cons. So, here is a helpful list of all the ways you can get around Bangkok.
The BTS is Bangkok’s above-ground public train transportation. The BTS easily connects throughout the city and is widely used. The stations are nice, the trains are efficient, and it’s especially good to skip the traffic.
The Con to the BTS is that it doesn’t run everywhere. Some of the most popular tourist attractions are not along the BTS, such as the Grand Palace. Thus, you will have to do many connections between the BTS and the metro to get where you need to go.
Speaking of the metro, the metro is the underground train transportation throughout Bangkok. This is their subway. The metro is not as clean as the BTS, but services many places in Bangkok for the cheapest rates.
The best part of the metro is that it connects the riverside of Bangkok to the rest of the city. This means the metro has the closest stops to some of the most popular temples in Bangkok.
The metro, in my opinion, can be a bit difficult to use because you have to connect from the BTS to the Metro, walk across streets, use machines to purchase tickets, etc.
But, the metro can be a cheap way to get around the city.
Taxis are a convenient way to get around the city and drop you off at your exact desired destination.
You can easily hail a taxi on the street or ask you accommodation to call one for you.
Before getting in a taxi, they will probably ask you to pick a set price for the trip before you get in the car. Again, I recommend asking the driver if they can use their “meter”. This is the machine that adds up the price as you go. This will always be cheaper than a set rate determined at the beginning
Grab is a must-download app before your trip to Thailand! This is Thailand’s version of “Uber” or “Lyft”. The app is English-friendly to use, as I used to all the time in Thailand. Grab can sometimes be more expensive than a Taxi, but they’re especially useful if you want to book one in advance to pick you up.
The GRAB App limits the annoyingness of trying to hail a taxi.
The last more of transportation is a Tuk Tuk. A tuk-tuk is a 3-wheeled motorbike with a covered bench in the back. Tuk Tuk’s can be a really fun and exciting way to travel through Bangkok.
Actually, I really recommend taking a Tuk Tuk just for the adventure of it!
However, Tuk Tuk drivers charge a premium. This will be your most expensive form of transportation. However, these little motorbikes can weave through traffic and squeeze in tight spaces, making your drive more efficient than a Taxi.
Bangkok 5-Day Itinerary
This Bangkok 5-Day Itinerary aims to help you to see as much of Bangkok as possible in a short amount of time! With the extra time of 5 days, you’ll have time to avoid the tourist spots at their peak times and see the local hidden gems throughout the city.
Bangkok can be an overwhelming city. Actually, it’s very polarizing. You either love it or you hate it.
At first, I hated Bangkok. I found it overwhelming, difficult to get around, and just too much.
But, Bangkok is a city of culture, exploration, and adventure. I learned to love Bangkok. Now, it’s turned into one of my favorite cities in the world.
So, this Bangkok 5-day itinerary is aimed to minimize the chaos and maximize your time.
Let’s get started!
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Settle Into the City/ Wat Saket Temple/ Dinner Cruise
Day one of your Bangkok 5-day itinerary will be spent settling into the city, checking out a temple, and ending the night with a dinner cruise along the river.
Morning: Arrival/ check-in
Depending on when you arrive in Bangkok, you may be very tired. This realistic itinerary gives you the time needed to rest to have a successful few days in Bangkok.
So, spend your morning checking into your accommodation, sleeping in, and just getting acclimated to Thailand.
As I said, Bangkok can be overwhelming, so it’s best to take your time on your first morning to figure out where you’re going, grab a coffee, relax by the pool, etc.
You’ll also want to grab lunch at this time. I recommend asking your accommodation where the best food around you is. Bangkok is a massive city with a big food scene, you can’t really go wrong.
Afternoon: Wat Saket
Your first stop in Bangkok will be Wat Saket. “Wat” in Thai translates to “Temple”. So, whenever you see the word Wat, you know it will be a temple!
Wat Saket is one of my favorite spots in all of Bangkok, and it’s definitely lesser known and less touristy.
This beautiful temple is located in the Bangkok city center, actually not too far from the river.
Wat Saket is a temple on top of a hill in Bangkok. It’s a fun walk to the top, and at the top, you are greeted with incredible views of Bangkok and a beautiful temple!
Because this is a temple, you’ll want to wear temple attire. This means modest clothing. Have your shoulders and knees covered. I always pack a scarf to help make my outside more modest.
Evening: Dinner Cruise on the River
After Wat Saket, you’ll want to make your way to the Chao Phraya River. This is the river that runs through Bangkok.
This river is gorgeous and taking a dinner cruise is a perfect way to get acclimated to the city.
Along the river, you’ll find some of the best temples in Bangkok and also see the modern malls of Bangkok. Bangkok really is a city of contrast, modern and historic. The river cruise is the perfect introduction.
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Day 2: Famous Temples, Muay Thai Fight, and more!
On day two of your Bangkok 5-day itinerary you’ll head to the popular tourist spots, witness a traditional Muay Thai fight, and discover more hidden gems of Bangkok.
Morning: Grand Palace
Rise and shine, today you will have an early start! The Grand Palace is the most popular attraction in Bangkok. It’s the largest palace in Thailand and is the official residence of the king of Siam.
The Grand Palace is huge and takes anywhere from 2-4 hours to walk through. Here, you will see beautiful Thai buildings with lots of picture opportunities as well as learn a bit about Thailand’s history.
You’ll want to arrive at The Grand Palace about 30-60 minutes before it’s official opening. That’s how crowded it gets!
As someone who likes to avoid the peak of crowds, it’s imperative to arrive early.
Spend you’re morning strolling The Grand Palace. When you are finished, there are many restaurants to choose from for lunch. Most of the restaurants in this area will be catered to tourists. This means the food will be more expensive and probably less spicy. Also, the waiters should have a basic level of English.
Afternoon: Wat Pho/ Wat Arun
After you’ve grabbed some lunch, it’s time to head to some traditional Thai temples.
Wat Pho is next on the list. Wat Phra is a quick 10-minute walk from The Grand Palace. The main draw to Wat Pho is that it is home to the largest Reclining Buddha in Thailand.
In addition to the Reclining Buddha, it’s a beautiful temple to explore.
Across the river from Wat Pho is Wat Arun. Wat Arun is my favorite temple in Bangkok. It’s very unique and a little less busy than The Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
To get to Wat Arun, you’ll want to head to the Tah Tian boat pier and take the public boat across to Wat Arun. The boat ride is a fun way to get around.
Once you arrive, spend an hour or two exploring Wat Arun.
In total, seeing these two temples should take you about 4 hours to complete. This means it will be around evening when you are finished.
Evening: Muay Thai Fight
No trip to Bangkok is complete without seeing a Muay Thai Fight! Muay Thai is a traditional Thai martial art. This sport is intense, and loved by tourists visiting the city.
There are many places around the city where you can watch Muay Thai Fights. The biggest and most popular one is at Rajadamnern Muay Thai Stadium. This stadium is closely located to all the major tourist attractions. However, you’ll need to take public transit from the temples to here.
Optional Night: Khaosan Road
If you are feeling crazy and have energy after your big day exploring, this would be a good night to head out to Khaosan Road. This is the crazy party street in Thailand, popular with backpackers and young people.
This street is lined with bars and clubs and the streets are filled with opportunities to eat scorpions and other crazy foods.
Even if you don’t want to party, it’s still an interesting sight to see. Khaosan Road is about a 20-minute walk from the Muay Thai Stadium, which makes this a good night to experience the nightlife here.
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Day 3: Stroll around Lumphini Park, street food in Chinatown, and shop til you drop in Siam
This might be my favorite day on your Bangkok 5-day itinerary. You’ll have a more relaxed day beginning with a stroll in a beautiful urban green space, head to Chinatown to experience some of the best street food in Bangkok, and see the modern bright lights of Siam in the evening.
Morning: Lumphini Park
Begin your morning in Lumphini Park. Lumphini Park is the biggest urban green space in Bangkok. It’s very peaceful, especially in the morning. You’ll find many locals running around, practicing yoga in the grass, and others people-watching.
It’s one of my favorite places in Bangkok to escape the chaos, and a must-do every time I visit!
Lumphini Park can easily be explored for many hours. One of my favorite places to find is the Green Mile. This stretch of pedestrian path is a mile long and takes you above the city, crossing roads, and ultimately connecting you with another park.
Read this blog to learn more about the Green Mile.
For lunch, you’ll want to head to Chinatown. This might be a nice time to take the infamous tuk-tuk around town.
Chinatown is massive and deserves its own blog post. It’s the street food capital of Bangkok, and it’s home to everything you can imagine.
Chinatown especially comes alive during lunchtime. You’ll find hundreds of vendors lining the streets. Use this time to get lost. Chinatown is about the journey and discovering something new around every corner.
From unique shopping to delicious cafes and street food, you can easily spend hours here.
Evening: Siam Shopping
Siam is a lively spot in Bangkok, and it’s best to visit at night. This area is lined with huge malls and colorful restaurants and cafes. This is your time to shop til you drop!
If you arrive early in Siam, consider checking out the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre. This free art museum has unique artisan crafts and beautiful exhibits. It’s also air-conditioned, which is always a bonus in Thailand.
However, if you are in the area at night, take this opportunity to soak in the bright lights and bustle of the city.
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Day 4: Day Trip to the Floating Market and the Railway Market
Today you’ll head out of the city and on to a beautiful day trip from Bangkok! This day trip will take you to the famous Floating Market and Railway Market. Then, you’ll spend the evening having a nice dinner along the waterfront.
Morning and Afternoon: Day Trip
On day four of your Bangkok 5-day itinerary you’ll need to wake up early again. This time, wake up early and head to your pick-up point for your tour!
The floating market and railway market can be done together in one day trip, and it’s best to book a tour. You can do it alone, but it’s very complicated to get to and is easier in a group.
This day trip is a popular one for tourists and one of my favorite ones to take from Bangkok.
Spend your evening roaming around Asiatique. Asiatique is a waterfront complex with lots of shopping and dining. It’s a great spot to have a nice meal along the river.
Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Day 5: Weekend Markets, Cafe Hopping, and Rooftop Views
Your last day of this Bangkok 5-day itinerary will be spent shopping, seeing new neighborhoods in Bangkok, and completing any leftover activities you want to do.
Morning: Chatuchak Market
Chatuchak Market is the biggest and best weekend market in Thailand.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market takes place every Saturday and Sunday in Bangkok. This is the best market to buy goods, clothes, and food.
This market is also massive, you can spend hours roaming around the narrow alleyways.
Afternoon: Explore Ari or Extra Time to Explore
Spend the afternoon cafe hopping in Ari. Ari is the hip and trendy part of Bangkok with lots of cafes around each corner. Ari is conveniently located along the BTS as well.
Here you can shop around, check out cafes, and relax in a more local side of Bangkok.
Evening: Rooftop Patio
End your final day heading up to a rooftop patio in Bangkok. The rooftops are really special, especially at sunset. The sunsets are usually filled with golden colors, and watching the night sky fill the city lights is really beautiful.
There are many rooftop patios, restaurants, and bars around Bangkok, so take your pick as to what you like the best!
Final Thoughts on This Bangkok 5 Day Itinerary
Bangkok is a bustling city with so much to do! No time is ever enough to see and do it all here, but with 5 days you can get a good feel for this city.
As always, take this itinerary as a loose guide and inspiration for your trip. Upon your arrival, you’ll want to be flexible, taking into account the weather, crowd levels, and other factors. It’s okay to adapt this Bangkok 5 day itinerary and make it your own!