Best Areas to Stay in Bangkok For Sightseeing (And Areas To Avoid)


2min read

Published 1 February 2024


Bangkok, the captivating capital city of Thailand, holds a special allure for travellers from around the globe. It's a multifaceted destination that caters to various interests, whether you're a culture enthusiast, a shopping aficionado, a food lover, or an adventurer seeking new experiences. From majestic temples like the Grand Palace to bustling markets like Chatuchak, Bangkok offers a medley of sights, sounds, and flavours that make it an enticing destination.

For those seeking to explore the city's cultural heritage, the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), and the iconic reclining Buddha at Wat Pho are must-visit landmarks, showcasing intricate architecture and religious significance.

Shopaholics will find their haven in Bangkok, with choices ranging from the vibrant Chatuchak Weekend Market to the upscale Siam Paragon Mall. This city truly spoils visitors with an abundance of shopping opportunities.



Foodies are in for a treat, as Bangkok's street food scene is globally renowned. The array of delectable, affordable dishes reflects the local culture and offers a remarkable culinary adventure.

Moreover, Bangkok serves as a gateway to nearby gems such as the ancient city of Ayutthaya, the floating markets of Damnoen Saduak, and the captivating Maeklong Railway Market.

For first-time visitors to Bangkok, selecting the right area to stay in is crucial. Opt for a central location that grants easy access to major attractions, transportation, and a variety of dining and entertainment options.

Let's delve into some prime areas for a memorable stay:

  • Sukhumvit Road
  • Siam
  • Old City (Rattanakosin)
  • Silom
  • Riverside
  • Khao San Road (primarily for backpackers)
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Sukhumvit Road

Known for its bustling atmosphere, shopping galore, and vibrant nightlife, Sukhumvit Road is conveniently linked by the BTS Skytrain. Accommodation options span from budget to luxury, and attractions like Terminal 21 and the Emporium are within reach.


As a central hub, Siam boasts an array of shopping malls such as Siam Paragon, MBK Centre, and CentralWorld. Its strategic location, connected to the BTS Skytrain, provides easy access to entertainment options and cultural sites like the Jim Thompson House.

Old City (Rattanakosin)

If history beckons, staying in the Old City offers proximity to iconic attractions like the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and Wat Pho. This area immerses you in Bangkok's rich past and is a walking distance from several temples and landmarks.


A blend of business and entertainment, Silom caters to upscale dining, night markets, and lively nightlife. Its proximity to the Chao Phraya River and Lumpini Park presents opportunities for relaxation and leisurely strolls.


Opting for a stay along the Chao Phraya River provides a unique vantage point of the city. Luxury hotels and resorts line the riverbanks, offering breathtaking views of temples and landmarks. Boat cruises are readily available for exploring Bangkok's waterways.

Khao San Road

Known as a backpacker's haven, Khao San Road offers budget accommodations, delectable street food, and vibrant nightlife, making it a hotspot for travellers seeking an energetic atmosphere.


Considering Bangkok's division by the Chao Phraya River, each side offers distinct experiences. The tranquil Riverside area on the western bank provides stunning river views and serene locales, while the vibrant Sukhumvit area on the eastern bank entices shopping, dining, and nightlife.

While Bangkok generally ensures visitor safety, it's wise to steer clear of certain areas for personal well-being. Patpong Night Market is synonymous with its red-light district, Khao San Road surroundings can get rowdy at night, and Sampeng Market is known for pickpocketing. Exercise caution, particularly in poorly lit or remote areas, practice safety measures like securing belongings and avoiding displays of wealth and maintain awareness of your surroundings.

As cities evolve, stay informed by checking up-to-date travel advisories from reliable sources. Bangkok promises a one-of-a-kind adventure, boasting Thai boxing, serene temples, and a myriad of experiences.


Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you:

Where should I stay in Bangkok for the first time?

For first-time visitors to the vibrant city of Bangkok, selecting the right accommodation can significantly shape your experience. A central location is paramount, allowing you to seamlessly explore the city's diverse offerings. Consider staying in areas like Sukhumvit Road, Siam, or the Old City (Rattanakosin).

Sukhumvit Road is known for its dynamic atmosphere, shopping opportunities, and bustling nightlife. It's well-connected by the BTS Skytrain, making navigation around the city a breeze. With options ranging from budget to luxury accommodations, Sukhumvit ensures you're at the heart of the action.

Siam stands as a hub of modernity and culture, boasting prominent shopping malls like Siam Paragon and CentralWorld. Connected to the BTS Skytrain, Siam provides easy access to entertainment options and cultural sites. It's a prime choice for those seeking a blend of urban vibrancy and historical intrigue.

The Old City (Rattanakosin) immerses you in Bangkok's rich history and heritage. Staying in this area places you in proximity to iconic attractions like the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. While offering a glimpse into the city's past, the Old City also lets you explore various temples and landmarks within walking distance.

Ultimately, your choice depends on the experiences you desire. Each area offers its unique charm, ensuring that your first-time stay in Bangkok is both convenient and memorable.


Which side of the river is best to stay in Bangkok?

Bangkok's division by the Chao Phraya River offers distinct experiences on its eastern and western banks.

The Riverside area on the western side is known for its tranquillity and stunning river views. Luxury hotels and resorts dot the riverbanks, providing a serene escape from the urban hustle. You'll have the chance to admire iconic landmarks like Wat Arun while enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere.

On the eastern side, the Sukhumvit area offers a lively and vibrant experience. This bustling area is characterized by shopping districts, dining options, and a thriving nightlife. With convenient access to the BTS Skytrain, you'll be well-connected to the city's attractions.

Selecting the best side of the river depends on your preferences. If you're drawn to tranquillity and scenic views, the Riverside area is a fitting choice. On the other hand, if you seek a bustling urban experience, the Sukhumvit area offers a dynamic blend of modernity and activity.


Best areas to stay in Bangkok for sightseeing (and areas to avoid)

When it comes to sightseeing in Bangkok, selecting the right area to stay can greatly enhance your experience. Consider the following recommendations for the best areas to stay, along with areas to exercise caution:

    Recap of recommended areas:

    1. Sukhumvit Road: Perfect for a mix of shopping, dining, and nightlife, with convenient BTS Skytrain access.
    2. Siam: Offers diverse shopping malls, cultural attractions, and easy transportation options.
    3. Old City (Rattanakosin): Ideal for history enthusiasts, with iconic attractions like the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew within walking distance.
    4. Silom: A blend of business, entertainment, and proximity to the Chao Phraya River for relaxation.
    5. Riverside: Provides stunning river views and a unique perspective of the city's landmarks.
    6. Khao San Road: A lively area catering to backpackers, known for budget accommodations and vibrant nightlife.

    Areas to approach with caution:

    • Patpong Night Market: Known for its red-light district, exercise caution in this area, especially at night.
    • Khao San Road Surroundings: While Khao San Road itself is popular among backpackers, some areas nearby might get rowdy after dark.
    • Sampeng Market (Thieves Market): Be cautious of pickpocketing and theft in this market.
    • Certain Massage Parlors: Some low-end massage parlours might engage in scams or unethical practices.

    As a rule of thumb, prioritise personal safety by avoiding poorly lit or remote areas at night. Employ general safety measures such as safeguarding your belongings, refraining from flashy displays of wealth, and staying vigilant in unfamiliar situations. Always stay informed with current travel advisories to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience in Bangkok.

    Embrace the diverse offerings of this city and consider reaching out to travel experts to curate your dream Bangkok holiday.

    Your unforgettable journey awaits!

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