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Where to stay in Bangkok

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in Bangkok for first time visitors that want to make the most out of the holiday. Here's where to stay in Bangkok!

Where to stay in Bangkok - beautiful Bangkok skyline from above

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and an incredible holiday destinations. Now that you've got the tickets, it's time to find where to stay in Bangkok.

Bangkok is huge and finding where to stay here for the first time can be a challenge. Don't worry, though, we put together a complete guide to help you navigate this huge city. You'll learn everything you need to know about each neighbourhood and tourist attractions in the area and find the best place to stay in Bangkok, so you're close to culture, history but also street food.

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 world's biggest and best shopping 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, Bangkok has it all. You'll find great boutique hotels with swimming pool and close to street food. You'll also find the ideal luxury hotel with an astonishing rooftop bar and rooftop pool. All while still affordable, and within walking distance to where the action happens.

Basically, stay in Bangkok for epic affordable luxury as most luxury hotels come with a great price tag!

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 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?

Finding the best 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 to stay in Bangkok.

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 where to stay in Bangkok with all the pros and cons.

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. It's where to stay in Bangkok if you love vibrant streets, many restaurants and traditional Thai food.

Located in the centre of Bangkok, Sukhumvit feature an 18 km 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 foreigners stay in Sukhumvit as it's well-connected with great facilities, and has a calm vibe.

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. Complete with countless atmospheric cafés and lounges suited to work, study, and relaxation, Sukhumvit is one of the best places to stay in Bangkok for first time visitors.

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.

Locals say that Sukhumvit is also the place where many Thai celebrities and the super rich live.

Why avoid Sukhumvit

Traffic is heavy, and the hotspots are quite spread out. It can take time to get from one place to another, so prepare for a lot of walking. Sukhumvit has two light districts; Nana Plaza on Soi 4 and Soi Cowboy, just off Soi 23.

Sukhumvit is lacking in traditional attractions itself, but it's easy to access other areas by Skytrain and Subway.

Where to stay in Sukhumvit

Luxury: Somerset Maison Asoke

With Arab Street reachable in 1.9 km, Somerset Maison Asoke - SHA Extra Plus offers accommodation, a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a garden. Some rooms come with gorgrous sun terraces.
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Luxury: 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 a smart TV. Located atop Emporium Shopping Centre and overlooking Benjasiri Park, Emporium Suites by Chatrium lies on Sukhumvit Road.
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Mid-range: SKYVIEW Hotel Bangkok - SHA Extra Plus

With a short walk from Phrom Phong BTS Station and a few steps from The Emporium Shopping Mall, SKYVIEW Hotel Bangkok offers lovely spacious rooms with floor to ceiling windows.
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Design at the Siam@Siam Hotel Rama in Siam Bangkok

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 city's best and biggest air-conditioned department stores such as the MBK shopping mall, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Center and Central Chitlom are all here. Your hotel is practically just walking distance from the shopping malls.

The BTS Skytrain Station is the main hub for the entire city, so getting around is a breeze. Siam is a great place to stay in Bangkok 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 tourist 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

Luxury: [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. Stay here for the stylish décor and the gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the cityscape.
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Mid-range: Pathumwan Princess Hotel

This stunning award-winning 5-star Pathumwan Princess Hotel is just next to MBK Shopping Centre and opposite Siam Square. It offers 10 dining options, an outdoor pool and a tennis court.
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Budget: 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 road at night - a great place to stay in Bangkok

Silom - Wall street by day, brothel by night

Why stay in Silom

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

The triangular shaped Silom is Bangkok's 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 many tourists used to come for Bangkok's infamous Patpong night market, otherwise known as the main red light district. Just note that Patpong night market is now permanently closed.

Popular attractions in Silom are 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.

The accommodation in Silom is widely varied, from budget to pure luxury; so you can easily find the best place to suit your needs just a short walk from shopping, food and culture.

Bangkok as seen from above - stay in one of the luxury hotels with rooftop in Bangkok

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 area 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 decadent dancing.

The rest of Silom is having a family-friendly atmosphere.

Where to stay in Silom

Luxury: Tower Club at lebua - SHA Extra Plus

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.
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Mid-range: Mandarin Hotel

Mandarin Hotel is within walking distance from Sam Yan MRT Subway Station. It offers luxurious and spacious rooms. Ask at the reception for help with an airport shuttle.
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Budget: Bed By City Hotel

One of the affordable Bangkok hotels, Bed By City Hotel is 350 yards from MRT-Sam Yan, 450 yards from Patpong and 550 yards from Snake Farm-Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute.
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Pratunam at night is a great place to stay in Bangkok, the Thai capital

Pratunam - Bangkok's best and most authentic street food

Why stay in Pratunam

Pratunam is the best place to stay in Bangkok 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 but 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 skyline, particularly at magic hour when Thailand's famed sunsets burst over the city.

Basically it's easier to find cheap hotels that offer quality and be right next to the thriving street food culture Bangkok is so well known for.

Street food stall in Bangkok

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

Luxury: VIE Hotel Bangkok

Award-winning VIE Hotel Bangkok offers 5-star luxury and convenience with its prime location just 550 feet 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.
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Mid-range: Amari Watergate Bangkok

Located in Bangkok, just metres from Pratunam Market and ferry terminal, Amari Watergate features an outdoor pool, spacious rooms, a spa and 3 restaurants.
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Budget: Sukhon Hotel

The property is located just 0.7 miles from Siam Discovery. This 3 star hotel is close to popular attractions like Pratunam Market, Jim Thompson House and SEA LIFE Bangkok Ocean World. Every room has its own private bathroom.
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Riverside with its calming boats is a great place to stay in Bangkok for couples

Riverside - Romantic river rides and five-star hotels

Why stay in Riverside

If you're looking for luxury the Riverside is the place to 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 in Bangkok with 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 modernizing 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 holiday 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 only a 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

Luxury: 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. Guests have the choice of relaxing at the sauna or spa pool.
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Mid-range: Ibis Bangkok Riverside

This hotel is located along the Chao Phraya Rive. It offers an outdoor pool and a free shuttle to Krungthonburi BTS Skytrain Station. Rooms feature wooden flooring and brightly coloured walls.
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Mid-range: Avani Plus Riverside Bangkok Hotel

The hotel offers views of the Chao Phraya River and features rooms with a blend of contemporary and modern styles. Guests can enjoy stunning views from the 100 feet rooftop infinity pool or dine at one of the hotel's restaurants.
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Chinatown during the day in Bangkok

Chinatown - The oldest town in Bangkok

Why stay in Chinatown

The busy Chinatown is a gastronome paradise and one of the oldest districts to stay 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 affordable.

Where to stay in Chinatown

Luxury: 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. This boutique hotel is 1,150 feet away from Wat Mangkon MRT station.
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Budget: ASAI Bangkok Chinatown

Located in Chinatown Bangkok, this is budget accommodation with excellent reviews. The property is around 1.8 miles from Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, 1.8 miles from Jim Thompson House and 1.8 miles from Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
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Budget: Norn Yaowarat Hotel

Norn Yaowarat Hotel is located in a 4-storey building in the heart of Bangkok's China Town on PadungDao Road which is also called Soi Texas. It's set just 1,000 feet from Sampeng Market and 600 feet from Wat Mangkon MRT Subway Station.
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Khao San Road in Thailand

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

Why stay in Old City/ Khao San

Old City and Khao San Road are great places to stay in Bangkok 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 are all nearby for you to explore, admire and photograph. 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.

Khao San Road is 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 Road area 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.

Street food vendor in Bangkok Thailand

In a nutshell, Khao San Road area is fantastic if you want to enjoy an explosive nightlife in Bangkok.

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 party goers, 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

Mid-range: Baan Noppawong

Set in one of Bangkok’s rare colonial houses still standing, Baan Noppawong has been restored in harmony with Thailand’s own Feng Shui principles. Filled with natural light and fresh flowers, the hotel offers exclusive accommodation in 7 guestrooms.
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Budget: BED STATION Hostel Khaosan

BED STATION Hostel Khaosan has a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge and garden in Bangkok. Located around 1,650 feet from Khao San Road, the hostel with free WiFi is also 0.8 miles away from Bangkok National Museum. The hostel features an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk.
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Budget: Tales Khaosan

Located in the Bangkok Old Town district of Bangkok, Tales Khaosan (Cafe & Hostel) is located 1,000 feet from Khao San Road, 1 miles from Bangkok National Museum and 1.1 miles from Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The property is around 1.4 miles from Grand Palace, 1.4 miles from Wat Saket and 1.9 miles from Wat Pho.
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Where not to stay in Bangkok

Great news, there are not many places you need to avoid in Bangkok. Bangkok is generally safe, so make sure you practice common sense at all times. Also, buy travel insurance before your trip! Most tourists stay in Sukhumvit, Siam or Riverside and those areas are safe and great for every budget.

You now know where to stay in Bangkok to suit your requirements and travel style. Where did you pick for your upcoming holiday? Let me know in the comments section below. Then don't forget to check the best things to do in Bangkok.

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Julienne A
09 Apr 2019

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