How many days should you spend in Bangkok?
When making the itinerary for any destination you will sooner or later have to settle this simple question: how many days do I need to stay to make the most of it?
Bangkok is no exception, and there are so many things to see and do in other provinces in Thailand that you will definitely need to manage your time properly and carefully.
The answer depends on your personal preference, but we hope this article will help you to decide.
What do you want to do?
Ironically, the best way to answer is to go through other questions first.
- What do you want to do while in Bangkok?
- Are you going to do some shopping?
- Will you visit the main temples and attractions?
- Are you interested in trying Thai food?
- Will your visit coincide with any festival?
One rule you can follow is this: for every place that you intend to visit, add one day. Transportation in Bangkok is challenging because of the frequent traffic jam and limited reach of the subway and Skytrain, so it is very hard to visit many attractions in one day.
There are some attractions that you can actually combine with others on the same day, like the Grand Palace, Wat Po and Wat Arun, but this is the exception. Each main attraction can require 2 or 3 hours of your time, so add another hour or so for the transportation and you will find that your day is already gone.
Of course, this also depends on your travel style. Some people are more hardcore and energetic and will check the whole Rattanakosin in a day, walking under the scorching sun. If that is you, just remember to bring sunscreen and drink a lot of water. You will need fewer days in Bangkok, but you are going to sweat. A lot.
Interested in shopping?
Shopping is other of the favorite activities of the tourists. Bangkok is completely filled with shopping malls, so it is the Heaven for shopaholics.
You can find everything in Bangkok. From luxury malls with the most expensive brands to night markets full of cheap and good products. But shopping requires time.
Normally you can combine some attraction in the morning with some shopping in the evening. However, if you are very serious about shopping or if you want to explore a bit more before getting some boring magnet for your friends, you will need some extra day or days for it.
Chatuchak weekend market is the largest flea market in Thailand and it is totally worth your time, but it only deploys completely during the weekend.
Going somewhere else?
You probably want to check other places around Thailand or the South East Asia. And you are probably going to take a plane to get there. Don’t add any other heavy activity on the day that you are traveling, unless you really know what you are doing.
You probably want to squeeze one last visit to MBK on the day that you leave, but is it possible? Well, it might, but it is going to be stressful. Going to the airport can take you one hour or more, and you have to arrive there at least three hours before your flight. Expect traffic jam and queues in the check-in counter and immigration.
Balance your schedule
Bangkok has more than enough things to see and do to keep you entertained for life, so don’t worry, whatever you choose is not going to be “too long”. However, it might be too short!
For instance, a friend of us thought he could visit Bangkok in just one night. After spending more than a week in the neighboring countries, he left only one night for Bangkok. He wanted to do some sightseeing, some shopping… Well, surprise, Bangkok is actually a very big city! In the end, he could manage to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Po, but nothing else.
The same could happen to anyone. Maybe you really want to spend some time relaxing in the tropical beaches of the south of Thailand, but try to balance your destinations. Instead of spending two weeks at the beach and two days in Bangkok, maybe you could stay 10 days at the beach and 6 in Bangkok. The final decision is up to you, of course!
But what if you are just passing by?
Ok, this is another thing. If you will be 24 or 48 hours in Bangkok, that’s it. You will still be able to take a little peek at this vibrant city, but you will need to choose very carefully what you are going to do.
Here we will prepare you some example itineraries for these short trips soon. Stay tuned.
Maybe you are too lazy to read all the previous text and you just want a conclusion. Don’t worry, we don’t blame you.
Here you have some guidelines, but obviously the final decision depends on many factors like your time, budget, and expectations.
- 2 nights minimum, if you are on a tight schedule.
- 1 week, if you want to get a taste of Bangkok and visit mainstream attractions
- 10 nights, if you want to visit mainstream attractions but you don’t want to hurry
- 2 weeks, if you want to explore Bangkok more in-depth
- 3 weeks, if you want to be the master of Bangkok
- 1 month or more, if you love the city and just want to go with the flow without a tight schedule