How to spend 3 days in Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok, the chaotic and crowded capital of Thailand, often marks a traveler’s first stop in this diverse Southeast Asian country.
Some people stay for weeks and soak up all that Bangkok has to offer. Whereas others simply stop by for a few days in between trips.
But for anyone just stopping by for a few days, you can still have an incredible time in Thailand’s vibrant capital city.
Here is your 3 days in Bangkok travel itinerary that will outline the best way to spend your first few days in Bangkok!
3 Days in Bangkok, Thailand
Check in to your Hostel
As this is a budget travel blog, I’m assuming my readers are also frugal travelers looking to save some money on the road!
Luckily, Thailand is absolutely packed with great hostels that are super cheap.
In Bangkok, I recommend staying near Khao San Road. This is one of the main tourist hubs of the Bangkok Old Town, so you’ll be near lots of excitement.
Here are a few hostel recommendations in Bangkok, all of which cost less than 10 USD per night and have ratings of 9/10 or higher:
There are tons of shops, restaurants, and street food markets in this area.
So just wander around to grab any food or things you may need when you first arrive.
Visit Wat Bowonniwet
After relaxing at the hostel for a bit, enjoy your first taste of the Thai Buddhist Culture by visiting Wat Bowonniwet.
It’s located just a short walk from Khao San Road, and it’s full of intricate architecture and religious symbols.
Just be sure to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees and remove your shoes before entering any temples.
- Address: 248 Phra Sumen Road, Bangkok
- Cost: Free
Check Out Wat Saket on the Golden Mountain
Just a 20-minute walk away from Wat Bowonniwet is another amazing Buddhist temple, Wat Saket.
This temple has a massive glittering golden pagoda that sits on top of a man-made mountain in the city known as the Golden Mountain.
The artificial mountain has lots of cool decorations and it only takes about 15 minutes to fully see everything.
You also get a nice view of the city from the top of the mountain.
- Address: 344 Thanon Chakkraphatdi Phong, Bangkok
- Cost: 20 Baht (0.60 USD)
Take A Thai Cooking Class
Around 1:30 pm you’ll probably be getting hungry. Bangkok has tons of great restaurants. But the best introduction to Thai food possible is taking a Thai cooking class!
This half-day cooking class costs 40 USD and includes a tour of the local market, guided lessons for cooking Thai classics, and of course, all the food!
If you’re a food lover like me, this may be one of your favorite experiences in Thailand.
Some of the local dishes you may get to cook are pad Thai, spring rolls, papaya salad, cashew nut stir fry, Thai curry, spicy shrimp soup, mango and sticky rice, fried bananas, and Thai iced tea.
There will be so much delicious food, so bring your appetite!
Enjoy the Nightlife of Khao San Road
After visiting two temples and taking a cooking class, and suffering from jet lag you’ll probably be exhausted.
The first night of your 3 days in Bangkok can be chill or crazy, depending on your mood.
Either way, Khao San Road is the perfect place to be.
Wander through the street markets and taste some local food. Grab a drink at one of the many bars lining the street. Go to a comedy club and laugh for hours. Attend a happy hour. Go dancing.
Or, just walk around and take it all in, eat a coconut ice cream and then go to bed early. That’s what I did on my first night in Bangkok!
Marvel at the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is arguably the most famous and most impressive tourist attraction in Bangkok, so it definitely deserves a spot in your 3 Day Bangkok itinerary.
This huge temple complex is full of incredibly decorated buildings. Some of them are temples, some of them are old government buildings.
But every single surface is covered in either glittering jewels, colorful tiles, or carved stone.
There are menacing statues, sparkling pagodas, golden spires, and so much more. It is a truly breathtaking thing to see, and it’s worth the entrance fee.
- Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Bangkok
- Cost: 500 Baht (About 15 USD)
Visit Wat Pho
Just a short walk away from the Grand Palace is another one of Bangkok’s best temples, Wat Pho.
This temple is known for its gigantic reclining Buddha bathed in gold.
It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to check out Wat Pho, but it’s worth the trip.
- Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd
- Cost: 100 Baht (3 USD)
Take a Boat Tour on the River
The Chao Phraya River winds through Bangkok. Sailing down the river is a fun way to see the city from a different perspective.
All you have to do is head to one of the piers and ask the local tour guides for a boat tour.
Tha Thien Pier is close to Wat Pho, and Tha Chang Pier is close to the Grand Palace.
Most river tours take about an hour. You’ll get to see some adorable residential neighborhoods set on wooden docks next to the river.
You’ll also get to see Wat Arun, another beautiful temple in Bangkok that is set right on the edge of the river.
Watch A LadyBoy Cabaret
In the evening on your second day in Bangkok, head to the night bazaar known as Asiatique: The Riverfront for an amazing night of local entertainment.
Thailand, especially Bangkok, has a large population of ladyboys, or local drag queens.
Some of those are so incredibly feminine that you’d never know they were actually a man.
Ladyboys are an integral part of Thai culture, and they often put on dazzling shows full of song and dance.
- Address: 2194 Charoen Krung Road, Bangkok
- Cost: Around 30 USD, usually comes with a free drink.
For the last day of your 3 days in Bangkok itinerary, take a day trip outside the city!
Here are two of the best day trips from Bangkok, so you can pick the one that suits you the best.
Day Trips from Bangkok:
This ancient city used to be the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Siam, so it is full of history.
The city has lots of old ruins that are still in pretty good shape, and lots of ancient temples that make for a fascinating day of exploring.
You can get to Ayutthaya by taking public transport or booking a tour.
I recommend taking public transport if you want to save the most money.
On the other hand, I recommend booking a tour if you want to learn all the interesting facts about the city from your licensed tour guide.
This tour to Ayutthaya is only 40 USD also includes a trip to a floating market.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
This is the second-best day trip to take from Bangkok and the biggest floating market in Thailand.
At Damnoen Saduak Floating Market you can see hundreds of local vendors floating down the river in their longtail boats selling their goods.
Whether it be fresh fruit, local snacks like spring rolls and noodles, or handicrafts and souvenirs, this is a fun and unique place to shop in Thailand.
The market is located 100 km away from Bangkok, and it is reachable by public transport but it’s probably much easier to just book a day tour since they’re quite cheap.
This floating market day tour is only 30 USD has over 2,000 great reviews!
☼ ☼ ☼
So that concludes this 3 Day Bangkok Itinerary!
I centered this itinerary around the Bangkok Old Town because I believe that’s where the magic is.
Bangkok is a gigantic city, and there are tons of other parts of the city I didn’t mention or get to in my own travels.
In the more modern parts of the city, you can find all the massive skyscrapers and rooftop bars with insane views.
But if you only have 3 days in Bangkok, you don’t want to be rushing around on public transport to see everything.
All the best temples and tourist attractions are in the Old Town, so that’s where I think most travelers should hang out.
If you have more than 3 days in Bangkok, by all means, venture out and explore more! I wish I had the time to do that when I visited!
Just a few other tips about travel to Thailand:
- Most tourists don’t need a visa for a stay of fewer than 30 days. But check iVisa.com just be sure that your nationality doesn’t require a visa for Thailand.
- Visit Squaremouth Insurance to book travel insurance for your trip! They are my favorite travel insurance company because they have affordable plans and a super useful live chat to answer any of your questions.
For more of my travel articles about Thailand, check out:
This post may contain affiliate links. Read more about this in my About Me page!