If you’re going to visit Thailand, you’ll likely spend time in Bangkok. The capital city is the most visited spot in the country and perhaps the rest of Asia.
Deciding where to stay in Bangkok could make or break your experience. It’s packed with hostels, hotels, and apartments to fit any budget, but some spots may not appeal to everyone.
The exotic city sprawls out from both sides of the Chao Phraya River. Staying in some areas may keep you up at night while other locations may put you further from the attractions.
It’s a hodgepodge of old and new, with ornate shrines and buildings crowded together throughout most of the districts. The city also has several modern neighbourhoods featuring luxury hotels, fine dining, and high-end shopping.
Don’t know where to look? Start searching for accommodations with this guide to the best places to stay in Bangkok…
Where to stay in Bangkok: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods and areas for travellers
Bangkok includes 50 districts covering 1,600 square kilometres. The most visited areas are close to the river running through the centre of the city, but there are many other areas to call home for the night.
The eclectic city has something for everyone. When thinking about where to stay, consider how you plan to spend your trip.
If you want to check out the main attractions, you’ll want to stay near the centre and the Grand Palace. Near the heart of Bangkok, you’ll find the largest selection of ancient temples, markets, and street vendors. These areas also tend to have the biggest crowds.
To avoid packed streets, you may prefer the more modern cosmopolitan neighbourhoods to the north. For those that enjoy parks, shopping, and a laid back atmosphere, search for accommodations in the business districts.
Some of the best areas to stay in Bangkok for travellers include:
- Khao San Road Area
- The Riverside
Khao San Road Area
✔ Best area to stay for history lovers and the authentic Bangkok travel experience
If you want to immerse yourself in the local culture and atmosphere, stay in or around the Khao San Road area.
When most people think of Bangkok, they picture streets full of vendors, pedestrians, and tuk-tuks surrounded by clusters of old buildings. That’s pretty much what you’ll get in the Khao San Road area.
Even if you don’t stay in the Khao San Road area, you’ll likely spend part of your trip exploring the neighbourhood.
This part of the city contains many of the top attractions in Bangkok. The Khao San Road area covers most of downtown, to the east of the river. Every few blocks you’ll come across another historic temple or monument.
Besides temples, the area is known for its market atmosphere. Khao San Road is the main street through this neighbourhood and home to thousands of stalls and small shops. It’s called the backpacker’s paradise, due to its diverse selection of supplies, food, and random goods.
It’s also just a few blocks from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. You can easily walk from Khao San Road to these popular attractions or travel to the riverside for ferry tours.
Recommended hotels in the Khao San Road area
Your itinerary, especially if you’ve only got 24 hours in Bangkok, will likely take you through the Khao San Road area, so staying here makes sense. As the main tourist area, you’ll also have a wide selection of accommodations, from hostels to luxury hotels.
- Thanabhumi Hotel: Located across the street from the train station, this hotel provides convenient access to the rest of the city. It’s about a 12-minute walk from Khao San Road on a quiet street, helping you avoid the noise of the busy market street.
- Villa De Khaosan by Chillax: This hotel is across from one of the busiest intersections in the city and just a block from Khao San Road. Luckily, the rooms feature thick windows, blocking some of the sounds. It’s also got its own outdoor swimming pool and onsite restaurant, providing a couple of reasons to stay inside.
- IBIS Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai Hotel: This mid-range hotel is also a short walk from Khao San Road, located in the centre of the Banglamphu District. If you don’t want to brave the busy streets, you can dine at the onsite restaurant or explore some of the restaurants lining the street next to the hotel.
✔ Top area to stay for convenient public transport and nightlife
Silom is the main business district in Bangkok. It’s southeast of the downtown area and a little further from the crowded Khao San Road. This area includes numerous parks, malls, and hotels.
As the business hub of the city, it’s also connected to the rest of Bangkok with multiple subway and Skytrain stations. If you stay here, you should have no problem reaching any other spot in the city, making it a useful base from which to explore Bangkok.
When staying in Silom, take advantage of the green spaces. This neighbourhood has Lumphini Park, a large public park and a favourite destination for many locals. Find a bench and watch people as they jog or cycle by.
Of course, Silom also has its own markets, including Patpong Night Market. You’ll find the typical tourist trinkets, allowing you to skip a trip to some of the more crowded markets in the downtown area.
For those seeking nightlife, Silom has you covered. It’s home to Patpong, the most well-known red-light district in Bangkok. Foodies should check out Charoen Krung Road, the busiest food street in the district.
Recommended hotels in Silom
If you want to avoid the noisy nightlife, stay away from the hotels on Patpong 1 and Patpong 2 streets. Luckily, the Silom neighbourhood includes several family-friendly options further from the rowdy red-light district.
- Amara Bangkok Hotel: Located in the centre of Silom, this four-star boutique hotel has city views, spacious rooms, and a quiet atmosphere to help you escape the noise outside. It’s near one of the main shopping malls, but you’ll need to take public transport to reach the attractions.
- SO Sofitel Bangkok: This hotel is just across the street from Lumphini Park and one of the main metro lines. You can spend your day in the park or easily travel public transport to the downtown area. Guests also enjoy the modern décor, inspired by the five natural elements, creating a sleek, modernistic atmosphere.
- W Bangkok Hotel: Located in the southern part of Silom, this luxury hotel has all the modern amenities needed to help you feel at home. After a long day, you can also treat yourself to an authentic Thai massage or fill up on international cuisine at the onsite restaurant.
✔ Best neighbourhood to stay for shopping and fine dining
Sukhumvit is one of the most modern neighbourhoods, with a large selection of malls, supermarkets, and hotels. This diverse area attracts tourists from all over, particularly from the west. Whether you want a family-friendly atmosphere or a thriving nightlife scene, Sukhumvit is one of the best places to go in Bangkok.
To cater to the western tourists, the restaurants in the area include familiar cuisine, including Italian pizza, American cheeseburgers, and juicy steaks. Of course, you’ll also find authentic Thai cuisine, Middle Eastern restaurants, and options from just about every region in the world.
Shopping is another reason to stay in Sukhumvit. The modern malls and plazas are a bit less hectic and chaotic compared to the markets in other parts of the city. You can walk indoor halls and leisurely browse high-end stores as you work your way through the malls.
Silom and Sukhumvit share many features. Both neighbourhoods offer high-end shopping, dining, and accommodations. They also have the best streets for nightlife and partying.
In Sukhumvit, travel to Soi 11 Street in the evening to go bar hopping or clubbing. It’s a lively street lined with bars and clubs, attracting visitors, expats, and local college students.
Recommended hotels in Sukhumvit
As the most modern area of the city, Sukhumvit has some of the best hotels in Bangkok. Choose from luxury hotels, resorts, and classy boutique hotels. No matter where you stay, you can typically reach a Skytrain or MRT line within a few blocks.
- Best Western Premier Sukhumvit: The hotel offers a free shuttle service to the nearby Skytrain station, helping you reach the attractions in the heart of the city. When you want to relax, swim laps in the hotel’s pool, eat at the onsite restaurant, or unwind in your room.
- Hotel Clover Asoke: With stunning views of Bangkok’s skyline, this hotel is a top choice in the Sukhumvit area. It offers easy access to nearby malls, restaurants, and shops, but it’s further from downtown. It’s also near the centre of the nightlife scene in the neighbourhood.
- Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20: This four-star hotel is also far from downtown and has its own rooftop lounge with views of the cityscape. With the surrounding malls and the onsite dining options, you can have a great trip without travelling very far.
The Riverside Area
✔ Top neighbourhood to stay for scenic boat rides and sightseeing
The riverside is the most beautiful area in the city and a perfect place to start your exploration of Bangkok. Chao Phraya River cuts through the centre of the city, providing access to most of the neighbourhoods discussed.
The riverside isn’t technically a neighbourhood, but has its own atmosphere and features. It places you near some of the most iconic temples in the region and further from the noisy city streets.
Two of the biggest temples in Bangkok are just a few minutes from the river. You can visit Wat Arun on the west side of the river and Wat Pho on the east side.
Staying near the riverside makes it easier to find boat tours, including day trips that take you out of the city. A couple of the most famous floating markets in Bangkok are technically just outside the city and take several hours to reach if you travel by river.
As with the Khao San Road area, you’ll likely visit the riverside even if you decide not to stay here. It’s got the best views, especially at night. You can look across the river to see the main attractions lit up against the night’s sky.
Recommended hotels in the Riverside Area
Lining the shores of the river, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodations. The area includes most of the top luxury hotels in Bangkok and several smaller boutique hotels and guesthouses.
- Hotel Riva Arun Bangkok: This mid-range hotel is just across the river from Wat Arun and a block from Wat Pho, making it a top choice for anyone planning to tour the iconic temples. In the evening, enjoy the riverside view from the rooftop hotel restaurant.
- Hotel Chillax Heritage: Located near the northern end of downtown Bangkok, this hotel is a peaceful place to rest after a long day of exploring the city. It’s a luxurious hotel with reasonable rates and a rooftop swimming pool and just a few minutes from Khao San Road.
- Hotel New Siam Riverside: This mid-range hotel offers clean, spacious rooms and has a beach resort vibe. The rooms, lobby, and outdoor pool area all feature natural colours and white linens. It’s also a short walk from some of the main attractions, including the Khao San Road and the Grand Palace.