Complete Guide to The Grand Palace of Bangkok in 2024

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know before visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok, from opening hours and entrance tickets to dress codes, the best time to visit, highlights to see, useful tips, and the best tours.
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Grand Palace Bangkok Travel Guide - Things to do in the Grand Palace in Bangkok

About the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace (Royal Palace) in Bangkok is a stunning historic complex of buildings that served as the official residence of the Kings of Siam from the 18th to the mid-20th century.

The construction of the Grand Palace in Bangkok began in 1782 by the order of King Rama I and was expanded many times by successive monarchs. Covering over 200,000 square meters, it is a true icon of the rich cultural heritage of Thailand

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Bangkok’s Grand Palace is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate details, including the golden spires and colorful mosaics that adorn the various structures.

The palace also houses several important temples and relics, including the Emerald Buddha, a highly revered Thai cultural and religious symbol.

This area of the capital city is steeped in the history of the Royal Family, with the grounds of the Grand Palace being used for state functions and ceremonies attended by the Thai people for centuries.

Overall, the Grand Palace is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Bangkok. It offers a glimpse into the country’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Bangkok Travel Tips

Before we jump into everything you need to know before visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok, let’s cover the essentials and tips to help you have a more fun, enjoyable, and safer trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

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Bangkok is easy to explore on your own, but if you want a guided experience, you can opt for one of the top-rated Bangkok tours on Viator or GetYourGuide.

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While Bangkok is a safe destination, we recommend getting travel insurance for any trip outside your country. We highly recommend an insurance package from Heymondo. And as our reader, you get 5% off the price.

Getting around

It’s easy to get around Bangkok by using the MRT, BTS, boat, taxi/Grab, or by foot.

Transportation options worth checking out:

ATM fees

Bangkok still relies heavily on cash. So we recommend taking out a good amount each time you visit an ATM. Note: There is an 8.5 USD fee for each withdrawal (most Thai ATMs).

Get a Wise card to save money on additional conversion fees and ATM transactions from your bank.

Hotels in Bangkok

Khao San, Sukhumvit, and Banglamphu are the best areas to stay in Bangkok. Book your Bangkok hotel in advance to secure the best deals: Check all hotel options.

Travel map

We have compiled a Bangkok Travel Map, which you can refer to when exploring.

Opening hours and entrance tickets

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is open daily from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm

Before visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok, always check the opening schedule on the official website, as sometimes the Grand Palace is closed due to specific events.

The entrance ticket for the Grand Palace in Bangkok costs 500 THB (about 15 USD) for foreign adults and is free for children under 120 cm. The entrance is free of charge for Thai nationals.

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The entrance ticket to the Grand Palace also includes Wat Phra Kaew and Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile, located on the grounds.

Arts of the Kingdom Museum, located in Ayutthaya province, is another site included in the ticket, with 7 days validity after the Grand Palace visit. Since it’s so close to Ayutthaya, it makes a lot of sense to add it to your Ayutthaya itinerary if you’re looking to go there as well.

Khon Performance

Another thing that the Grand Palace ticket includes is the “Khon performance” – a Thai classical masked dance. 

The dance is performed at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theather in Bangkok’s Chinatown from Monday to Friday at 1 pm, 2:30 pm, and 4 pm. The ticket is valid for 7 days after the Grand Palace ticket purchase.

It also includes a free shuttle to the show. We took a photo of the information, but these things change, so the most updated information will be on the spot.

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The best time to visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok

The ideal time to explore the Grand Palace in Bangkok is in the morning when it’s still not crazy hot, and the crowds are the most manageable. 

Keep in mind that the Grand Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok for both Thai and foreigners, so it’s almost impossible to avoid crowds.

Before visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok, always check the opening schedule on the official website, as sometimes the Grand Palace is closed due to specific events.

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Dress Code for the Grand Palace in Bangkok

The dress code for the Grand Palace is the strictest of any tourist attraction in Bangkok and includes covered shoulders, knees, and no open shoes for both, men and women. Sleeveless shirts, shorts, and revealing, tight, or ripped clothing are not permitted within the palace grounds. 

Remember that the Grand Palace is not just a popular tourist spot; it also holds significant historical and cultural value for Thai nationals and the royal family, including the former capital’s grounds and the royal chapel.

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If you don’t have appropriate attire, you can buy or rent some at the stalls just in front of the Grand Palace. But we suggest to come prepared instead. 

Arijana usually wears long linen pants or a maxi dress while visiting the temples. Having a sarong with you is also useful as you can easily cover your shoulders or knees when needed.

It’s also advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes, as the area is expansive. 

We also recommend Unbound Merino, our favorite travel clothes. Their shirts are great as they dry super fast after getting sweaty (which you will), and unlike other clothes, they don’t stink up after one wear, so you can reuse them a lot.

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How long does it take to see the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a vast complex with many buildings and attractions to explore.

On average, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to fully explore the Grand Palace in Bangkok, depending on your pace and level of interest. 

However, if you want to take your time, admire the intricate details, and visit all the different areas, it is recommended to allocate at least half a day for your visit. 

It’s also worth noting that the Grand Palace can be quite crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so it may take longer if you encounter lines or crowds at certain attractions.

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Tips for visiting The Grand Palace

We’ll briefly cover some main tips to help make your visit to the Grand Palace go more smoothly.

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Beware of common scams

There have been some common scams going on around the Grand Palace in Bangkok for years already. The best advice is not to trust anyone around the complex until you reach the official counter. 😀

“The Grand Palace is closed” scam

If you follow our advice and check the opening times of the Grand Palace before your visit, it will be impossible to fall for the scam at the gate of the Grand Palace. 

There’s been a scam going on for years at the Grand Palace in Bangkok where you try to enter, and a man on the side of the gate says that it’s closed. Then he persuades you to go somewhere else he recommends and takes you on an overpriced tour, likely of things you didn’t want to see in the first place.

We saw this firsthand as a guy sneakily said, “Where you go, the Grand Palace is closed,” when we were entering it. Just brush them off.

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Fake tickets Scam

Buy the Grand Palace tickets only at the official counters right before the entrance. Do not believe people stopping you beforehand and offering you tickets. 

You can also buy a ticket online up to 1 month before your visit date. Note that these are non-refundable, and you can’t change the date once you purchase the ticket.

Photography at the Grand Palace in Bangkok

While photography is permitted in most areas of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, flash photography is prohibited. 

Drones are strictly forbidden at the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Visiting the Grand Palace on a tour

Visiting the Grand Palace with a tour guide is highly recommended as you learn more about its importance and history. No information is displayed around the grounds, so it’s hard to understand the symbolism and significance of certain elements without a guide.

You can purchase an audio guide at the entrance of the Grand Palace for 200 THB (about 6 USD)

There are also free pamphlets with the main information at the entrance in English, Thai, and other languages like Russian, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, and more.

However, for some reason, they were entirely out of English pamphlets during our visit. 

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Amenities at the Grand Palace

There are toilets and baby-changing facilities across the Grand Palace complex. 

There are also a few places where you can buy water. But we’d recommend to come prepared with your own water just in case.

You can borrow wheelchairs for free, and there are wheelchair-accessible toilets in the Grand Palace in Bangkok.

How to get to the Grand Palace in Bangkok

The best way to get to the Grand Palace in Bangkok is by MRT, boat, bus, or taxi. 

You can also use BTS, but in that case, you need to transfer to the boat as well.

  1. The Chao Phraya Express Boat boat to Tha Chang or Tha Tien Pier. Depending on the pier, it can take 5-15 minutes to walk to the entrance. Check the boat schedule here.
  2. The MRT to Sanam Chai station; from there, it is about a 15-minute walk to Bangkok’s Grand Palace.
  3. Taxi is the most popular and easiest way to get to Bangkok’s Grand Palace. Use Grab for the best experience, or make sure it’s a taxi with a taximeter.
  4. There are frequent buses that pass next to the Grand Palace.
  5. BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station, and then transfer to the Chao Phraya Express Boat, which stops at Tha Chang Pier, just a short walk from the palace. 

Transportation options worth checking out:

Tip: When hailing a taxi upon departure from the Grand Palace, be aware of the drivers waiting near the entrance, as they’ll often try to scam you. We suggest walking a bit away from the Grand Palace and then calling a taxi.

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MRT in Bangkok

Is the Grand Palace in Bangkok worth visiting? 

If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok, the Grand Palace is an absolute must-see. This stunning complex of buildings and temples was once the home of Thai kings, and even Queen Elizabeth II has been present here. The intricate architecture and attention to detail in every aspect of the palace are truly breathtaking. 

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Must-See Sights within the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is divided into three main zones: the Outer Court, Middle Court, and Inner Court. The Inner Court is not accessible to the public.

There are over 30 beautiful and important buildings at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, so we’ll only mention some of the best ones.

Plus, many of the buildings at the Grand Palace complex you can only see from the outside.

To understand more about the importance and history of each building and the whole complex, it’s recommended to go on a guided tour

1. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha holds immense cultural and religious significance, making it the most important temple in Thailand.

Housing a small yet highly revered statue of the Emerald Buddha, the temple is a sacred site for Thai nationals and draws visitors worldwide. 

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The Emerald Buddha, dating back to the 15th century, has three different robes, one for each season: summer, winter, and rainy season. The King of Thailand changes the Emerald Buddha’s robes each season in an important ritual in the Buddhist calendar.

Although often referred to as a Buddhist temple, it is actually a royal chapel with all the features of a temple except for living quarters for monks. 

2. The Demon Guardians

There are six big statues of the Demon Guardians in the Grand Palace complex, and the majority of them are positioned towards the chapel of the Emerald Buddha, protecting it from evil spirits.

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3. Phra Mondop and Phra Siratana Chedi

Phra Mondop is a beautiful building that’s actually a Buddhist library and holds sacred texts. And the nearby Phra Siratana Chedi is a bell-shaped golden stupa housing Buddha relics.

4. Model of Angkor Wat

There is also a small model of the incredible Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. One of the Thai kings built it to show what Khmer architecture looks like.

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5. Chakri Maha Prasat Hall

Chakri Maha Prasat Hall was a royal residence originally designed by a British architect. This is the sole structure within The Grand Palace that combines a European-style lower section of the throne hall with a Thai-style roof.

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6. Dusit Maha Prasat Hall

Dusit Maha Prasat Hall, a magnificent hall with spires, was built by King Rama I specifically for his own lying-in-state. Its primary purpose is to serve as a venue for the lying-in-state of Kings, Queens, and other members of the royal family.

Additionally, this hall is also utilized for the annual Conservation Day Ceremony.

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7. Royal Textiles at the Queen Sirikit Museum

A collection of Royal Textiles at the Queen Sirikit Museum, located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, showcases intricate and ornate garments worn by members of the Thai royal family throughout history.

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What other attractions are near the Grand Palace?

There are several Bangkok attractions near the Grand Palace that you can explore. Some of these include Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, which is located just south of the Grand Palace. This temple is famous for its giant reclining Buddha statue and beautiful architecture. 

Another nearby attraction is Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, which is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. This temple features a stunning spire that is often photographed at sunset. 

You can also take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River to explore other temples and landmarks in the area, such as Chinatown, where you can find bustling markets and delicious street food.


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