Where to stay in Bangkok [2021 Guide For First Time Visitors]

Find the best accommodation in Bangkok for first time travellers

Where to stay in Bangkok

Finding where to stay in Bangkok for the first time visitors can be a serious challenge. Bangkok is a city of contrasts, towering skyscrapers punctuate the horizon, while life and tradition thrive on the streets and winding canals below. Bangkok welcomes visitors in the millions from every city in the world to the vibrant, densely populated streets that are packed with attractions. Tuk-tuks and rickshaws hurry along the crowded roads, temples gleam in the sunlight, and longtail boats stream along the floating markets. The food here is famed for its variety, diversity of unique flavours and of course, the price. In Thailand, you can eat like a king and still have a pocket full of change. Or treat yourself without breaking the bank at some of the worlds biggest and best malls. Thai hospitality is second to none and welcomes anyone and everyone into the vibrant nightlife and culture of Bangkok.

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Where to stay in Bangkok

Bangkok has a plethora of accommodation options for the intrepid traveller. As one of the biggest and most lively cities in Southeast Asia, the "City of Angels" has it all. For a first-timer, it can be difficult to figure out where to start in a city where life moves like a carousel. Depending on your needs, there are a number of things to take into consideration when researching the best place to stay. Do you want to everything on your doorstep or are you happy to walk or travel around to discover the sights? Do you want to stay in the best boutique 5-star hotel in the land or are you happy with a cheap guest house in the heart of the city? Do you need access to office space and stable wifi? Are the markets on the top of your bucket list? Finding the right place to stay in Bangkok can help kickstart your perfect holiday; making it your trip, your way. The titles of neighbourhoods give nothing away, so we're here to shed some light on the right place for you.

Each neighbourhood has its pros and cons. Some could be better suited than others, depending on your budget, interests, and of course, personal preference when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Below we outline each area of Bangkok and the reasons to stay there or avoid it.

Where to stay in Bangkok for first time visitors

Sukhumvit - A hub of nightlife, dining, and shopping

Why stay in Sukhumvit

If you're looking to be central but don't mind a bit of walking, Sukhumvit is a great choice.

Located in the centre of Bangkok, Sukhumvit has something for everyone. An 18km road bursting with shopping, dining, and nightlife. Activity beats like a drum around the streets and alleys. Although Sukhumvit has a distinctly cosmopolitan vibe, there are small hints of cultural Thailand on every corner. Many expats and Westerners live in Sukhumvit as it's well connected with great facilities, and has a calm vibe. Complete with lots of atmospheric cafes and lounges suited to work, study, and relaxation. You'll find restaurants catering to tastes from all over the world, and a variety of spas, bars, and traditional Thai street food in between. Popular attractions in the area are Benjasiri Park; an open grassland with views of the city, Khlong Saen Saeb canal, Soi Arab alleyway with numerous Arabic restaurants and shops, WTF Gallery and Café; an institution of art and alcohol, and Cheap Charlie’s Bar; offering all drinks for 80 baht. Getting around Sukhumvit is easy and it's accessed by both the Skytrain and the subway MRT.

Why avoid Sukhumvit

Traffic is heavy and the hotspots are quite spread out. It can take time to get from one place to another and a lot of walking. Sukhumvit has two light districts; Nana Plaza on Soi 4 and Soi Cowboy, just off Soi 23. Prostitution on the street is a common sight in Bangkok but can be alarming to first-time visitors. Sukhumvit is lacking in traditional attractions itself but it's easy to access other areas by Skytrain and Subway.

Where to stay in Sukhumvit

Where to stay in Bangkok
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Well Hotel Bangkok

Located in the heart of Sukhumvit, Well Hotel Bangkok offers air-conditioned hotel with easy access to the city's business areas and famous shopping malls, restaurants as well as must-see attractions. It is located only 550 yards from Asok BTS Skytrain Station, Sukhumvit MRT Station and Terminal 21 Shopping Mall. Free WiFi is available in all areas. Prices start from £55 per night.

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Compass SkyView Hotel

One of our top picks in Bangkok.With a short walk from Phrom Phong BTS Station and a few steps from The Emporium Shopping Mall, Compass SkyView Hotel offers accommodation with complimentary WiFi throughout and free private parking on site. Prices start at £79 per night.

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Emporium Suites by Chatrium

Emporium Suites by Chatrium offers luxurious accommodation directly connected to Phrom Phong BTS Station. Featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with Bangkok City views, each suite is fitted with a kitchenette and flat-screen TV. Located atop Emporium Shopping Centre and overlooking Benjasiri Park, Emporium Suites by Chatrium lies on Sukhumvit Road. Prices start at £96 per night. Compare prices and read reviews, check:

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Where to stay in Bangkok [2021 Guide For First Time Visitors]

Where to stay in Bangkok [2021 Guide For First Time Visitors]

Siam - Shop till you drop

Why stay in Siam

If you're looking for a world of shopping in Bangkok, Siam is the place for you. The cities best and biggest air-conditioned department stores MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Center and Central Chitlom are all here. The BTS Skytrain Station is the main hub for the entire city, so getting around is a breeze. Making Siam a great place to pick if you're looking to stay somewhere central that has easy access to all the sights in Bangkok. The busy Siam square is full of small sois selling books, records, and antiques. It's also a safe place to enjoy some of Bangkok's most coveted attractions such as the massage parlours. One of the world's biggest aquariums - Siam Ocean World, can be found in the basement of Siam Paragon shopping mall.

Why avoid Siam

Siam can get incredibly busy, especially at the weekend, and the traffic is crazy. The shopping and dining in Siam are fabulous, but it's difficult to find anything authentically Thai as all the best restaurants are Western style. If it's Bangkok's famous nightlife you're after, you'll have to look elsewhere. Siam is more family-friendly and the few bars here offer little of the thriving Thai culture that everyone should experience once the moon rises.

Where to stay in Siam

Where to stay in Bangkok
Check [email protected], Design Hotel Bangkok on

[email protected], Design Hotel Bangkok

Siam @ Siam, Design Hotel Bangkok is located in central Bangkok, a 5-minute walk from National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station. This non-smoking hotel features stylish décor and an infinity pool that overlooks the cityscape. Free WiFi is provided in the rooms. Prices start at £80 per night.

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Pathumwan Princess Hotel

Blending Thai hospitality and stylish décor, the award-winning 5-star Pathumwan Princess Hotel is located just next to MBK Shopping Centre and opposite Siam Square. It offers 10 dining options, an outdoor pool and a tennis court. Prices start at £87 per night.

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Hotel Happy 3

Conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from National Stadium BTS Skytrain Station in downtown Bangkok, Happy 3 boasts an indoor pool and comfortable rooms decorated in soft tones. Free WiFi is available in all areas. Prices start at £50 per night.

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Silom - Wall street by day, brothel by night

Why stay in Silom

Silom is a great choice to stay if you want to see the real contrast of life in Bangkok.

The triangular shaped Silom is Bangkok's answer to Wall Street in the day, and an institution of debauchery, delicious aromas, and vibrant life after dark. There’s a bit of everything here and it’s one of the best places to gain a well-rounded experience of life in Bangkok. Silom is home to Lumphini Park, Bangkok's biggest and greenest park that offers a relaxing spot to take in the sights and sounds of the city over the water. In the daytime, take a stroll around the park and get a taste of the cities industrial boom as the high rise buildings tower around you. After dark, a more decadent side to the neighbourhood comes to life. Silom is where you'll find Bangkok's infamous Patpong, otherwise known as the main red light district. Wind in and out of stalls checking out the wares whilst touts and ladyboys try to entice you into the parlours to enjoy ping pong shows and late night thrills. The accommodation in Silom is widely varied, from budget to pure luxury; so you can easily find the best place to suit your needs. Popular attractions in Silom are the Patpong night market, the Bangkokian Museum (Folk Museum); two charming traditional houses preserved in perfect condition, and the SkyBar; one of the world's highest rooftop bars providing breathtaking views over the city of Bangkok from the 63rd floor.

Why avoid Silom

Silom is a big tourist hotspot, which makes it a fun place to start and discover some of the more obvious traits of Bangkok. If you're searching for a more authentic side of Thailand and local traditions and cultures you'll need to travel further afield. Patpong is a party all day and night kind of place, which can be a bit loud and distracting when you're not looking for go-go bars and pole dancing. The rest of Silom is has a family-friendly atmosphere. If you take accommodation out of the Patpong area, Silom can provide the best of both worlds.

Where to stay in Silom

Where to stay in Bangkok
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Tower Club At lebua

Towering over downtown Bangkok and recommended by Michelin Guide, Tower Club At lebua offers luxurious suites featuring views of Bangkok skyline and Chao Phraya River. Its highlights include the 2-Michelin-starred Mezzaluna, Sirocco & Sky Bar as well as the award-winning pan Asian restaurant, Breeze. Prices start at £150 per night.

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Mandarin Hotel Managed by Centre Point

Mandarin Hotel Managed offers luxurious rooms with free Wi-Fi. The property features a tour desk, pool and fitness centre. The property is a 5-minute drive from Wat Hua Lam Phong and a 10-minute drive from Paragon and MBK Shopping Centres. Prices start at £44 per night.

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Bed By City Surawong-Patpong Hotel

One of our bestsellers in Bangkok! Each room here will provide you with a TV, air conditioning and satellite channels. There is also an electric kettle. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Prices start at £27 per night.

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Pratunam - Bangkok's best and most authentic street food

Why stay in Pratunam

Pratunam is the best place to stay if want 24-hour access to food and be close to the shopping malls in Siam.

The 24-hour market is the main draw in Pratunam, as well as the cheapest accommodation close to the centre of Bangkok. It's busy, full of young travellers and has a bustling heart that never sleeps. With plenty of cheap stalls serving everything from Thai fish cakes to fried chicken to kueh, a tasty bite size cake made from glutinous rice. Pratunam has cheaper quality accommodation than Siam but It's still within 15-minute walking distance to the shopping districts and the main BTS Skytrain station. The street food and market vendors at Pratunam Market are also more authentically Thai and fashion here can be found at wholesale prices. Pratunam is also home to the iconic Baiyoke Tower. An 88-floor skyscraper boasting the tallest and most epic views over Bangkok, particularly at magic hour when Thailand’s famed sunsets burst over the city.

Why avoid Pratunam

Pratunam is very crowded, and a little more unkempt than places like Siam. Traffic is heavy at all times due to the 24-hour market.

Where to stay in Pratunam

Where to stay in Bangkok
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VIE Hotel Bangkok - MGallery by Sofitel

Award-winning VIE Hotel Bangkok - MGallery Collection offers 5-star luxury and convenience with its prime location just 200 yards from Ratchatewi BTS Skytrain Station. It boasts an outdoor pool, spa and elegant rooms. This specially designed hotel comes complete with works of art, exotic furniture, soft shades and audacious colours. Prices start at £100 per night.

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Hotel Amari Watergate Bangkok

 Amari Watergate is steps from Central World Plaza and in front of Pratunam wholesale market. Just 3.1 miles from Siam Square, it features an outdoor pool, spa and 5 dining options. Free WiFi is available throughout. Prices start at £76 per night.

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Baiyoke Sky Hotel

Featuring panoramic views of Bangkok, Baiyoke Sky Hotel stands at 88-storeys, making it Thailand’s tallest hotel. It features a revolving roof deck, observation deck and 7 dining options. Free WiFi access is available throughout. Prices start at £62 per night.

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Riverside - Romantic river rides and five-star hotels

Why stay in Riverside

If you're looking for more luxury stay in Bangkok, Riverside is the best choice.

Riverside is the cultural heart of Bangkok and considered the most romantic neighbourhood. Possibly the most scenic place to stay and most high-end accommodation offers stunning views over the river. Here you'll find historic temples and palaces glittering in the midday sun, set against luxury five-star hotels and the concrete jungle of Bangkok's modernising lifestyle. Riverside is a constantly evolving scene of colour and movement. Water taxis and rice barges chug up the river ferrying tourists and produce to the markets. The stylish neighbourhood is a hotspot for luxury travellers, and families looking for a resort style vacation in the heart of everything. You can easily arrange a day out on one of the riverboats to enjoy the beauty and personality of everyday life in Bangkok. Visit the opulent Buddhist temple Wat Arun, (Temple of the Dawn.) Or explore the colourful Flower Market (Pak Klong Talat), and the Asiatique riverfront market complete with a giant Ferris wheel.

Why avoid Riverside

Riverside is expensive and there are few options for budget travellers. It's a little far out from downtown and the main Skytrain, with only one connection to the station.

Where to stay in Riverside

Where to stay in Bangkok
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Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok

Standing on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok features first-rate amenities including an outdoor pool, spa and fitness centre. Enjoy elegant suites with city views, free parking and 6 dining options. Free WiFi is available in all areas. Prices start from £79 per night.

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Hotel Ibis Bangkok Riverside

Located along the Chao Phraya River, Ibis Bangkok Riverside offers bright, modern rooms with flat-screen TVs. Rooms feature wooden flooring and brightly coloured walls. Each room comes with satellite TV and tea/coffee making facilities. Prices start at £36 per night.

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Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel

Offering views of the Chao Phraya River, Avani Plus Riverside Bangkok Hotel features rooms with a blend of contemporary and modern styles. Guests can enjoy stunning views from the 30 yards rooftop infinity pool or dine at one of the hotel's restaurants. Prices start at £100 per night.

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Chinatown - The oldest town in Bangkok

Why stay in Chinatown

The busy Chinatown is a gastronome paradise and one of the oldest districts in Bangkok. Established in the early 1780s when Chinese merchants moved to the East bank of the Chao Phraya River. Delicious aromas exude from every corner as the stalls cook up some of the most delectable street food in Thailand. Save your appetite for the evening and head down after sunset to try a bit of everything on offer. Everyone is welcome here and the vibrant atmosphere paints a wondrous picture of old Bangkok. The hectic streets are a way of life for the Chinese settlers and are always packed with people selling and buying food, gold, tea and spices.

Why avoid Chinatown

Chinatown is a thriving Chinese neighbourhood where people live and work. It's more of a shopping destination for tourists so there are fewer accommodation options, and the area is incredibly busy. But there are some wonderful boutique accommodations restored from old Chinese style buildings and everything is super cheap.

Where to stay in Chinatown

Where to stay in Bangkok
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W22 by Burasari

The property is located 2.1 miles from Wat Pho and 2.2 miles from Bangkok Art & Culture Centre. The property has a restaurant. The rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. This 3 star hotel has rooms starting at £29 per night.

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Hotel Royal [email protected]

Located in Bangkok, Hotel Royal [email protected] offers an outdoor salt-water pool, a bar and a restaurant. Guests can access to free WiFi throughout the hotel. Each air-conditioned room comes with a flat-screen TV, a safety deposit box and ironing facilities. Prices start at £29 per night.

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Hotel Shanghai Mansion Bangkok

Housed in a refurbished building originally built in 1892, Shanghai Mansion recreates the elegance of Shanghai in the 1930s. Located in Bangkok's Chinatown, it offers a restaurant and jazz bar, as well as free WiFi access. Prices start at £50 per night.

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Old City/ Khao San - The centre of the backpacking universe

Why stay in Old City/ Khao San

Old City and Khao San is best for backpackers and those looking for an introduction to Bangkok.

Old City is bursting with rich history and authentic Thai lifestyle. The illustrious neighbourhood is home to a spectacular array of traditional sites and historical attractions. Among them are some of the most famous and sacred temples in Thailand. The magnificent gold flecked Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew; Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Wat Pho; the giant reclining Buddha. Popular attractions in Old City are Bagdad cafe, where the shisha pipes are prevalent and conversation flows, and Santichaiprakarn Public Park on the East side of the river.

Have you heard of the infamous Khao San Road? It's a mecca for backpackers and travellers of all kinds. If you've ever seen The Beach, this is the place where Leonardo Dicaprio starts his wide-eyed journey. As the book aptly describes it, “Khao San is the centre of the backpacking universe“. Packed with budget accommodation, guest houses, late night street food vendors and spirited bars and clubs. If good, cheap food, a lively atmosphere, and parties are at the top of your list in Bangkok, Khao San is paradise.. Here 'Happy Hour' is every hour. Nearby Soi Rambuttri runs parallel to Khao San Road but has a heavily different vibe. Prettier and more fastidious than Khao San, Rambutti gives a different sense of Bangkok from before the evolution of the skyscraper city. The street is shaded by banyan trees and is more popular with the locals.

Why avoid Old City/ Khao San

The Old City is not as well connected as other parts of town and travelling to other parts of the city can be tricky. There is no Skytrain connection so transport is limited to tuk-tuks, taxis, buses or a ferry across the river. Staying on Khao San Road can be very loud from the music and rowdy partygoers, making it difficult to get a good night sleep. Staying in accommodation along one of the side streets is a friendlier option.

Where to stay in Old City/ Khao San

Where to stay in Bangkok
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Feel Like Home Dormitory & cafe

One of our bestsellers in Bangkok! Situated in Bangkok, 0.9 miles from Khao San Road, Feel Like Home Dormitory & cafe offers free WiFi. The accommodation is air conditioned and is fitted with a hot tub. Prices start at £6 per night.

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Counting Sheep Hostel

Located in a convenient area of Bangkok that is walkable to Khaosan Road, Counting Sheep Hostel offers dormitory rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Each bunk bed in the dormitory room features a private curtain and a personal reading light. Prices start at £7 per night.

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Did you find the right neighbourhood? Then don't forget to check the best things to do in Bangkok and let us know all about your travelling plans to Thailand in the comments section below.


Julienne A
09 Apr 2019

Love this! Very very helpful! Thank you so much!!!!