The Best Temples in Bangkok Every Tourist Should Visit
4 Temples in Bangkok You Absolutely Can’t Miss!
There are 4 temples in Bangkok that every backpacker and tourist should visit. Don’t miss out on the unique architecture and distinct atmosphere at each one!
Despite its rapid growth towards a massive population of 15 million people and some seriously impressive economic development, Bangkok has truly kept to its roots. And by that, we mean that the locals have preserved their culture and spiritual heritage amidst the chaotic big city living. With a little bit of gold and a page from Thailand’s roots, the temples in Bangkok have a refined and humbling atmosphere to them.
While these temples in Bangkok are quite spread out, it’s quite simple to visit them all in a single day. If you’re staying at Bodega Bangkok, we can give you a walking map for free at reception or you can join us on our Bangkok Walking Tour for 200 baht.
Wat Saket, AKA The Golden Mount
Make sure you know how to use your panorama camera mode because the reward at the end of the seemingly endless steps to the top is a perfect 360 degree view of Bangkok’s Old City! This is our favorite temple in Bangkok simply because it’s a stunningly unique experience. For the more experienced travelers, temple trips can get stale after a while. Maybe you’ve heard someone say “Once you’ve been to a few temples, you’ve been to them all”? Sometimes we agree with seasoned backpackers but in this case – they’re wrong.
Wat Saket is always a great time with its spiral staircase up the mount, the calming sound of echoing bells and its jungle-esque gardens that make you forget you’re in Bangkok. Locally known as a sacred site, it’s said to house a relic belonging to Siddhartha Gautama. While many temples are flooded with nothing but tourists as far as the eye can see, Wat Saket is a popular spot for Buddhist monks and local Thais to pray. Be respectful and modest because fitting in here is an experience itself!
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 5:30 PM, daily
Entrance Fee: 50 THB
Location: ถนน บริพัตร Khwaeng Ban Bat, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
Directions: Wat Saket is easily accessed from the Khlong canal taxi. It’s the last stop of the “Golden Mount Line”. Simple, right?
Wat Arun (Wat Chaeng), AKA The Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun is possibly the most well-known temples in Bangkok and for good reason! Before we get into exactly why Wat Arun is so incredible, it’s important to note that the best time to visit is at sunset (despite its nickname, The Temple of Dawn). Of course, if your aim is having a quieter time to explore the temple, you better get up bright and early!
Whatever time you end up at Wat Arun, you’ll be able to snap some photos to make your friends back home jealous. It’s located right next to the Chao Phraya River, so that beautiful architecture will have an amazing backdrop. Scenic, to say the least. When we said the best time to visit is at sunset, it wasn’t just for the ‘Gram though! By this time of day, it’s cooled down quite a bit and you might get lucky with a breeze off the waters too. The hotter seasons in Thailand can be unforgiving and Bangkok heat is not something to underestimate.
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 5:30 PM, daily
Entrance Fee: 50 Baht
Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Directions: Wat Arun is opposite the Grand Palace, across the waters of the Chao Phraya’s west bank. If you want to visit both temples in one go, there are long tail boats you can pay a small fare to take you that way.
Wat Pho Royal Monastery & The Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho, also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon sometimes, is named after an Indian monastery. Phra Chetuphon is believed to be where Buddha lived, which is why the temple is chocked full of centuries’ old Buddhist artwork. Most of the art and artifacts here were brought over from Ayutthaya after it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767.
Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 5 PM, daily
Entrance Fee: 100 baht
Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Directions: Wat Pho is behind the Grand Palace, along the Chao Phraya River.
The Grand Palace, Home of Thailand’s King
This is the one temple that’s an optional visit on the Bodega Bangkok Walking Tour since the entrance fee is a hefty 500 baht. For those reading that haven’t made their way to Thailand yet thinking this might not be a big deal, keep in mind that 500 baht can go a long way. The typical street food vendor will charge 40 to 50 baht for a bowl of noodles. 😉
If you’ve got the budget for it, we definitely recommend it though! The Grand Palace was first constructed way back in 1782 and it’s had numerous renovations and restorations since then. It acts as home for Thai Royalty and special administrative seats of the Thai government. The Grand Palace, along with its surrounding temple complex, are widely considered the figurative heart of the Thai Kingdom. That means its architecture is even more impressive than other temples in Bangkok and it also houses the revered Emerald Buddha, which dates back to the 14th Century.
Beware of the Grand Palace scam! Tuktuk drivers nearby will often tell tourists that the Grand Palace is closed for the day and try to take you to another temple for a fee. In reality, it’s only closed on national holidays and for certain government functions. If you’re trying to visit, it’s always worth it to go and try to check it out on your own. If it’s actually closed, there will be notices posted up about it.
Hours of Operation: Daily 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Price: 500 Baht
Address: Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Directions: It’s pretty much impossible to miss from Na Phra Lan Road! In Bangkok’s Old City, it’s the one landmark that stands out from absolutely everything else. If you need help finding the entrance, just ask around.