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13 Best Temples to Visit in Bangkok (2024 Travel Guide)

In this guide, we cover the best temples to visit in Bangkok and everything you need to know before visiting including entrance fees, opening times and all the tips.
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There are few places in the world as synonymous with awe-inspiring temples as Bangkok. This bustling city is home to some of the most impressive and intricately designed temples in the world, each with its own unique history and significance.

Exploring Bangkok’s temples is an absolute must, and we compiled a list of the best temples to visit.

Dragon Temple Bangkok Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok

However, it’s not just the famous temples like Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun that are worth a visit. Bangkok is also home to many lesser-known temples that are equally impressive and offer a more peaceful and intimate experience.

Get ready to be amazed by the stunning architecture, intricate details, and peaceful atmosphere of Bangkok’s temples.

Good to know: Wat” means temple in Thai. Specifically, a Buddhist temple complex.

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Grounds of Wat Pho temple in Bangkok Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok

Bangkok Travel Tips

But first, before we jump into the best temples to visit in Bangkok, let’s cover the essentials and tips to help you have a more fun, enjoyable, and safer trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

Stay connected with an eSIM

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Book trusted tours

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.

Save money on tours and attractions

Check out Bangkok Go City Pass for combo deals on tours and attractions. Use the code SHIPPEDAWAY5 for 5% off any city pass!

Get travel insurance

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).

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

Hotels in Bangkok

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

Travel map

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

Best temples to visit in Bangkok

Bangkok, the vibrant capital of Thailand, is home to over 400 temples. Whether you seek architectural marvels or spiritual tranquility, Bangkok’s temples offer a unique glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage.

There are countless temples to explore, from the iconic Wat Arun and Wat Pho to lesser-known gems like Wat Ratchabophit and Loha Prasat.

[ ALSO READ ]

Beautiful architecture at The Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Top Things To Do in Bangkok (Complete Travel Guide)

1. Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun is the most beautiful temple to visit in Bangkok. Also known as the Temple of the Dawn, it’s a gorgeous Buddhist temple on the Chao Phraya riverside.

This temple boasts a stunning architectural design with intricate details and colorful porcelain tiles. Its central prang, or tower, stands over 70 meters tall and is decorated with impressive statues and carvings representing Hindu deities.

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UPDATE: Climbing the tower at Wat Arun is no longer allowed. 

The entrance fee for Wat Arun is 100 THB (around 3 USD) and includes a small bottle of water. It’s open every day from 8 am until 6 pm. 

IMPORTANT: From March 1st, 2024, the entrance fee for Wat Arun will increase from 100 THB per person to 200 THB (around 6 USD) per person.

The best time to visit Wat Arun is in the morning, right at opening, or just before closing in the late afternoon if you want to avoid the crowds.

Wat Arun is also a great place to watch one of the fantastic Bangkok sunsets. And the best place to do so is at one of the restaurants and bars on the opposite side of the river.

We visited Wat Arun just before the opening time in the early morning and were one of the first visitors inside the grounds for about 15 minutes.

wat arun at night, best photos spots in bangkok, best temples to visit in bangkok

Wat Arun is a popular place for photoshoots; you can even rent traditional Thai costumes to take photos in.

TRAVEL TIP

The Bangkok Go City Pass includes Thai costume rental (located in Chinatown), as well as many other tours and attractions.

The easiest way to get to Wat Arun is by boat from the Tah Tian pier, the nearest pier on the side of the old city, near Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. The one-way boat ride to Wat Arun from Tah Tian pier is 3 THB per person.

Plan to spend about 45 minutes exploring Wat Arun. We stayed for almost 2 hours at Wat Arun, from around 8 am to 10 am, because we took it slow and took lots of photos. 

It’s hard to miss Wat Arun when you’re around the riverside near Wat Pho and Grand Palace, and you can spot it easily in the Bangkok skyline from the Best Bangkok Observation Deck.

2. Wat Pho – Temple of Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s most famous and important temples, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

As you enter its hallowed grounds, you are greeted by an awe-inspiring sight – a massive golden statue of a reclining Buddha spanning 46 meters in length. The intricate details and serene expression on the Buddha’s face leave visitors in awe.

Reclining buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok Thailand, bangkok's must visit temples

But Wat Pho is more than just its famous statue; it is also the birthplace of traditional Thai massages, which continue to be both taught and practiced at the temple.

Allow yourself at least one hour to explore the whole temple grounds, as Wat Pho is one of the biggest temples in Bangkok.

The entrance fee for Wat Pho is 300 THB (around 9 USD) per person and is open every day from 8 am until 6:30 pm.

Note: The entrance fee for Wat Pho increased from 200 THB to 300 THB on the 1st of January 2024.

According to the reviews, if you visit Wat Pho after 5 pm, most temples inside the complex (except Reclining Budhha) will already be closed.

Shrine inside of the temple at Wat Pho in Bangkok Thailand, most beautiful temples in bangkok

3. Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace Complex

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

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The Grand Palace complex also houses several important temples and relics, including the temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as Wat Phra Kaew.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most sacred Buddhist temple in Bangkok and the whole of Thailand, and therefore is a must visit temple on your Bangkok itinerary.

Emerald Buddha at The Grand Palace in Bangkok Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok

The Grand Palace and the temple of the Emerald Budhha are open every day from 8:30 am until 3:30 pm

Travel tip: 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 foreigners and is free for Thais. 

Good to know

The entrance ticket to the Grand Palace also includes Wat Phra Kaew and Queen Sirikit Museum of Textile, located on the grounds, as well as Khon Performance at the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre in Bangkok’s Chinatown.

IMPORTANT: The dress code for the Grand Palace is the strictest of any tourist attraction in Bangkok and includes covered shoulders and knees and no open shoes.

Beautiful architecture at The Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand, most beautiful temples in bangkok

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.

RECOMMENDED TOURS


You can also get an audio guide for the Grand Palace for 200 THB (about 6 USD) or complimentary brochures with the main information at the entrance. They offer brochures in English, Thai, and other languages like Russian, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, and more.

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

4. Big Golden Buddha at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen

The Big Golden Buddha at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen temple complex is a hidden gem in Bangkok that has recently started gaining more popularity.

It’s one of the best temples to visit in Bangkok because of the massive and impressive golden Buddha statue, one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. It was built in 2021 in front of the temple’s white stupa.

Big Golden Buddha Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen Bangkok Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok
It’s breathtaking to stand right in front of it.

Big Buddha is located next to one of the Bangkok canals, making it even more attractive, especially for photographers.

Besides seeing Big Buddha, you can climb up the stairs to the top of the pagoda and visit a small museum inside.

Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen temple in Bangkok is open every day from 8 am to 6 pm, but you can come and see Big Buddha whenever you want.

There is no entrance ticket to see Big Buddha, but a donation is appreciated if you go inside the temple.

Tip: If you have time, walk around the neighborhood here as it’s beautiful. You’ll also find some other smaller temples around the area.

Big golden buddha statue at Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen Bangkok Thailand, must visit temples in bangkok

Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen and its Big Buddha are slowly becoming one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions and part of city tours, especially boat and bike ones.

Tip: Check out this bike tour that visits lesser-known temples in the area, including Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen and its Big Buddha.

RECOMMENDED TOURS


5. Wat Ratchabophit

Wat Ratchabophit is a gorgeous, lesser-known temple in Bangkok, only about a 10-minute walk away from the Grand Palace or Wat Pho. 

Entrance to Wat Ratchabophit Bangkok Thailand, temples in bangkok, free temples to visit in bangkok

It’s different than the other temples as it has a circular courtyard with a big golden chedi inside. 

On the temple grounds, you can also find The Royal Cemetery, with numerous monuments dedicated to prominent and lesser-known members of the Thai royal family.

Inside of Wat Ratchabophit, Bangkok, Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok, free temples to visit in bangkok

Wat Ratchabophit is open every day from 6 am until 6 pm and is free of charge.

Keep in mind that the inside of the temple (the best part!) can be closed at any time due to various reasons. It happened to us, but we could still walk around the temple grounds.

Grounds of Wat Ratchabophit Bangkok Thailand, bangkok's most underrated temples

6. Wat Suthat Thepphawararam

Another lesser-visited temple in Bangkok is Wat Suthat, one of the city’s highest-ranking royal temples.  

It’s located right across The Giant Swing, about 20 minutes walk from the Grand Palace and about 5 minutes walk away from Wat Ratchabophit.

The entrance ticket for Wat Suthat is 100 THB (around 3 USD) for foreign adults, and the temple is open daily from 8:30 am until 8 pm

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Wat Suthat is also one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bangkok, known for its beautiful open courtyard with the longest ordination hall in Thailand.

Grounds of Wat Suthat temple in Bangkok Thailand, best temples to visit in bangkok

7. Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan (Loha Prasat)

Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, better known as Loha Prasat, is one of the most photogenic off-the-beaten-path temples in Bangkok.

Loha Prasat, also known as ‘metal castle’ because of its 37 iron spires, is a temple of unique architecture located in Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan Buddhist temple complex. 

Loha Prasat temple Bangkok Thailand, must visit temples in bangkok

Make sure to climb the spiral staircase inside the temple to reach the top, as the view is stunning! Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit, so we’ll undoubtedly get back here next time!

Beautiful golden details Loha Prasat temple Bangkok, Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan bangkok, best temples to visit in bangkok

Loha Prasat temple is open daily from 8 am until 5 pm. The temple complex is free of charge, but if you’re entering the temple itself, a 20 THB donation is appreciated.

While Loha Prasat is stunning during the day, it looks even more impressive at night, as lights light it up.

8. Wat Saket – the Golden Mount temple

One of the lesser-visited temples in Bangkok is Wat Saket, also referred to as the Golden Mount Temple, the city’s most scenic temple.

This temple stands out due to its big golden chedi atop a 58-meter-high hill, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Bangkok from all directions.

Wat Saket Golden Mount temple Bangkok Thailand, top temples to visit in bangkok

The temple grounds of Wat Saket are lovely and full of greenery. There’s more to the complex, but the most popular spot is the top of the temple with chedi. There are some stairs to the top, but it’s worth it!

As Wat Saket offers one of the only vantage points in the otherwise flat area of Bangkok, it’s a trendy spot for sunset.

Wat Saket Golden Mount Temple Bangkok Thailand, best temples in bangkok

The Golden Mount Temple (Wat Saket) is open daily from 7 am until 7 pm, and the entrance ticket is 100 baht (around 3 USD), including a free drink.

Note: The entrance fee for Wat Saket increased from 50 THB to 100 THB in 2024.

The free drink that the ticket at Wat Saket includes is a great idea, and we appreciate it. Just before leaving, we showed our ticket at the cafe and got ourselves an excellent shake and juice, which were both delicious.

View from Wat Saket Golden Mount, Bangkok, Thailand, top temples in bangkok

9. Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram – Marble Temple

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram, also known as Marble Temple, is a beautiful temple in Bangkok that can be seen on the 5-baht coin.

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Built in the late 19th century during the reign of King Rama V, the temple is renowned for its exquisite white marble exterior. The interior is equally stunning, with intricate carvings, golden Buddha images, and ornate decorations.

You can marvel at the temple’s stunning architecture and explore the tranquil gardens. The Marble Temple is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Bangkok, offering a true glimpse into the beauty and grandeur of Thai art and architecture.

The temple is located outside the main tourist route, and it used to be a hidden gem, but its popularity is increasing daily.

Check out this tour that combines a visit to Wat Pho, Wat Traimit, and Wat Benchamabophit.

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram is open daily from 6 am until 6 pm. But you should be able to visit the temple grounds even before the official opening time. 

The entrance fee to the main temple for foreigners is 50 THB (around $1.5). The rest of the temple grounds are free of charge.

10. Wat Traimit temple

Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown is famous for its 5.5-ton Buddha made from pure gold, the biggest golden Buddha in the world. Therefore, it’s a must-visit temple in Bangkok.

Wat Traimit Golden Buddha, Bangkok, top temples in bangkok, the biggest golden Buddha in the world

A fun fact about the golden Buddha of Wat Traimit temple is that it was covered in different materials for over 200 years to conceal its actual value.

Wat Traimit temple is open daily from 8 am until 5 pm, and the entrance ticket is 100 baht (around 3 USD).

Math fact: To cover the construction cost of another golden Buddha of the same size, the temple would need about 83 million visitors.

11. Visit Wat Samphran – the Dragon Temple

Wat Samphran, better known as the Dragon Temple, is a Buddhist temple in Nakhon Pathom province, just outside Bangkok.

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Wat Samphran is unique because you can visit the top of the building by ‘walking through the dragon’s body.’ We were pretty impressed with the architecture of the building and loved our time in the temple complex.

The Dragon Temple is worth visiting if you have extra time in Bangkok or want to see something less visited.

Architecture of Dragon Temple Bangkok, Thailand, must visit temples in bangkok, travel guide to temples in bangkok

Wat Samphran Dragon Temple is open from 9 am until 5:30 pm on weekdays (except Friday when it closes at 5 pm) and weekends when it opens from 6 am.

The entrance to Wat Samphran (Dragon Temple) is free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

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The best way to get to Wat Samphran (Dragon Temple) from Bangkok is to rent a car or motorbike and drive yourself. It’s about 40 kilometers distance from the Grand Palace area in Bangkok. Alternatively, you can hire a private driver or a taxi to get there.

There are not many tours visiting here, but you can check out this one that combines it with a few other spots around.

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12. Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Dragon Lotus Temple) 

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, also known as Dragon Lotus Temple, is the largest and most important Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok.

It is a beautiful Chinese Buddhist temple with stunning architecture, intricate details, and a serene atmosphere. Wat Mangkon is also an essential part of yearly Chinese New Year celebrations and many other important events. 

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is open daily from 7 AM to 6 PM and is free to visit.

13. Temples of Ayutthaya

If you still don’t have enough of temples and want something different, take a day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok. The temples at Ayutthaya are different from those in Bangkok.

Ayutthaya holds significant historical and cultural importance in Thailand. This ancient city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ayutthaya is renowned for its magnificent temples and offers a fascinating glimpse into Thailand’s rich heritage.

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Best Ayutthaya day trips from Bangkok:

Temple etiquette in Thailand

Now that you have a list of temples to visit in Bangkok, here are some basic rules you should know, especially if you’re entering the temples.

Rules for visiting temples in Thailand:

  • Dress appropriately by covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Take off your shoes before entering the temple.
  • Keep your voice down.
  • Be mindful while taking photos.
  • Don’t touch the monks.

Entrance to a temple Grand Palace Bangkok Thailand, best temples in bangkok, bangkok temples dress code

Bangkok Temple Dress code

Bangkok can get very hot, so wearing loose or light, breathable clothing is recommended for visiting the temples in Bangkok and Thailand in general.

Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees while entering the temples. Although men can usually wear shorts that go above the knees. The rules for women are more strict, so 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.

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.

Couple at Wat Arun temple in Bangkok Thailand, temples to visit in bangkok

How to visit Bangkok temples?

To get around Bangkok, you can use the MRT, BTS, boat, taxi/Grab, or walk.

Worth checking out:

On foot, you can easily follow this 4km temple-hopping route: Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Grand Palace, Wat Ratchabophit, Wat Suthat, Loha Prasat (Wat Ratchanatdaram) and then Wat Saket.

Tip: Check out this private customizable tour if you need help navigating the city better and learning more about the temples you see.

Tours of Bangkok Temples

Exploring these temples with a knowledgeable guide will allow you to learn more about the architecture, art, and symbolism of each temple, making your visit more meaningful and informative.

We did a tour of lesser-known temples in Bangkok’s Chinatown during our bike tour and learned a lot about the traditions.

RECOMMENDED TOURS


Frequently asked questions

What are the most famous temples in Bangkok?

Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew at the Grand Palace, and Wat Pho are the most famous temples in Bangkok.

Which temples in Bangkok are free to visit?

Wat Ratchabophit, Loha Prasat, Wat Samphran Dragon Temple, and Wat Mangkon in Bangkok are famous temples that are still free to visit.

Can I wear shorts to temples in Bangkok?

Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees while entering the temples. Although men can usually wear shorts that go above the knees, the rules for women are more strict.

What are the most underrated temples in Bangkok?

Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan (Loha Prasat), Wat Saket (the Golden Mount temple), and Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple) are the most underrated temples in Bangkok.

Where to stay in Bangkok

Bangkok is massive with loads of accommodation options, but a few areas are the best for staying in as a tourist.

Khao San is perfect for backpackers coming to Bangkok as it’s affordable, full of hostels, and close to the party scene.

For big, spacious apartments and beautiful hotels with rooftop pools, Sukhumvit is the place to stay. It’s well connected with many MRT (metro) and BTS (SkyTrain) stops.

Otherwise, the general area of Banglamphu in Bangkok is the best to stay in.

Top-rated hotels in Bangkok

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