If you’re planning a trip to Thailand it can be tricky knowing where to stay in Bangkok. Hopefully this guide to Bangkok neighbourhoods will give you a place to start looking.
Bangkok is one of my favourite cities, but it can be a little confusing figuring out where to stay in Bangkok during your visit, especially if you’ve never been to Bangkok before. Choosing the right Bangkok neighbourhoods for your trip is key to making sure you close to all the action!
Bangkok’s unique culture, nightlife and energy make it one of Asia’s top tourist destinations, and it’s a must-visit for travellers passing through Asia or looking to spend time in Thailand. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and visit one of Thailand’s most bustling areas, you may be wondering where to stay in Bangkok, and which Bangkok neighbourhoods are going to suit you best.
The city is actually split into 50 (you heard me right, 50!) districts, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out where to stay in Bangkok. So, to make things as simple as possible, I’ve created a concise guide to Bangkok that acts as an exploration of its neighbourhoods and areas.
Ready? Let’s jump in!
Great for: Indulgent / luxury travellers and people visiting on business.
First on my list of where to stay in Bangkok, it’s this iconic Bangkok neighbourhood. With its glistening high-rise buildings, Sathorn is Bangkok’s central business district and draws in visitors and workers year-round. Home to Bangkok’s tallest tower (the aptly named King Power MahaNakhon), this is the perfect place to take in the sights of Bangkok from above whilst grabbing a very classy tipple. If you’ve got the budget for it, this is one of the best Bangkok neighbourhoods.
Though it’s worth mentioning that this area is geared more towards workers than travellers for obvious reasons, it’s a great place to base yourself if you fancy a more indulgent trip. With late night cocktails, several high-class restaurants and several spas, it’s the perfect place to come back to after a day of sightseeing. The Vertigo and Moon Bar is a favourite around here, and their Thai themed cocktails add an air of authenticity to proceedings!
Great for: Relaxation, local culture, laid back vibes.
If you’re after the more relaxed side of Bangkok when Thonburi is where to stay in Bangkok for you. A residential neighbourhood that has unique charm, and is home to one of the most prominent temples in the country – Wat Arun.
Thonburi is well-renowned amongst locals and tourists as a place to come for serenity and solace, so it’s one of Bangkok’s loveliest neighbourhoods for sure. Street vendors float on the river, long-tail boats can be seen cruising and worshippers can be seen frequenting the many religious landmarks here.
If you’re a calmer traveller, this should really be your top pick of Bangkok neighbourhoods. If you want to find your zen, why not stay in the AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel. Known as one of the most exclusive hotels in Thailand, this place features a stunning infinity pool and amazing amenities that are sure to float your boat. Definitely one of the most relaxing places to stay in Bangkok.
Great for: Diversity, nightlife and bustling atmosphere.
Next on my list of where to stay in Bangkok, it’s Sukhumvit. This Bangkok neighbourhood is an enormous road that stretches from Bangkok all the way to the border of Cambodia! If you’re looking to stay here, I recommend sticking to the central section that’s serviced by multiple Skytrain stops and is home to its buzzing commercial centre. When looking for where to stay in Bangkok, this is a really great choice.
If you want to sneak a peek at Bangkok’s infamous red-light district, why not look down Sukhumvit’s notorious side street. Known as the Soi Cowboy, it’s a 150-metre-long street that’s within walking distance of the central BTS Asok. Filled with flashing neon lights, this area has a distinct carnival-like feel with great nightlife. Home to numerous go-go bars that stay open into the early hours, it’s a pretty ideal place to let loose, and a one of Bangkok’s liveliest neighbourhoods.
Great for: Visitors who love to stay busy with restaurants, bars, clubs and shops.
ThongLor is next on my list of where to stay in Bangkok. Considered by some to be a subsection of Sukhumvit, the ThongLor neighbourhood is named after Thonglor Street. Coveted for its clubs, restaurants and shops, this Bangkok neighbourhood tends to draw in the hip crowd. If looking for where to stay in Bangkok that is well-rounded and central, ThongLor is a great choice.
If you’re in Bangkok for its merriment and drinking, this is a good place to base yourself. With tons of amazing restaurants, beer gardens and coffee shops, it’s the perfect spot for extroverts. If you’re partial to some Japanese food and just need to get your fix wherever you’re travelling, this area has a number of great Japanese restaurants that serve up plates of deliciousness from dawn ‘til dusk.
If you choose to stay around here, make sure you check out the COMMONS. Touted as the hub of ThongLor, it’s the perfect place to catch some live music and grab an excellent cup of craft coffee. With several hostels and hotels within reach of this central hub, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Hostel at Thonglor.
Great for: shopping, fashion-lovers and connectivity by Skytrain.
Frequented by both Bangkok locals and travellers, Siam is probably best known for its shopping, and it’s my next suggestion for where to stay In Bangkok. As far as Bangkok neighbourhoods go, Siam is seen as a mecca for shopping addicts.
The area is serviced by three Skytrain stops, so you’ll have no issue getting back from any part of Bangkok when staying here, making it really well connected too. Three of the best shopping areas are MBK Centre, Paragon and Siam Discovery. All of these are massive, so you’re bound to be spoilt for choice! If you’ve got the guts, why not check out the maze of stores in Siam Square? Home to Thai Designers galore, it’s a great place to check out the local fashion scene.
Though this area isn’t devoid of cultural sights (there’s the Erawan Shrine and the Bangkok Cultural Centre nearby that offer worship and a glimpse into Bangkok’s curated art), it really is better known for its shopping scene. So, if you’re looking for Bangkok’s cultural side, you may be better off with one of the other areas in this guide to Bangkok.
Great for: old-style shopping, thai markets and bustling atmosphere.
Next on my list of Bangkok neighbourhoods, it’s Pratunam. This is another major shopping district, and if you’re looking for where to stay in Bangkok, it’s a good choice for those who plan on indulging in lots of retail therapy.
This area has a significantly different feel to Siam. Home to both the tallest hotel in Thailand and the largest clothing market in the country, this is a great place to dive right into the chaos of Bangkok’s local market scene. If you’re after an authentic travel experience, this is an excellent Bangkok neighbourhood to choose. With trolleys and vendors as far as the eye can see, you’ll be able to shop old-school, and it’s a great choice for where to stay in Bangkok.
I highly recommend spending an afternoon taking in the panoramic views offered by the Baiyoke Sky Hotel. The Revolving Roof Deck is an amazing way to see Bangkok at its finest. If you’re looking for other cultural highlights, why not check out the Thai Labour Museum for a glimpse into daily life in Thailand.
Great for: Chinese food, street food, culture, budget accommodation and shopping.
Next on my list of where to stay in Bangkok, it’s Chinatown. This Bangkok neighbourhood is famous for both its culture and budget accommodation options. The Chinatown neighbourhood is a burst of energy and colour and it is known for its fantastic street food and unique stalls, you can find everything from Thai curries to a new clothing in this bustling hub. With two new metro stations that opened in 2019, the area is more accessible than ever before. It does get busy around here, but I promise, it’s worth the crowds.
As one of the oldest areas in Bangkok, it truly feels like you’re stepping back in time and getting a glimpse into Bangkok’s humble beginnings. Many of the buildings here retain their traditional architecture, and many sell ancient Chinese herbs, teas and noodles. You name it, they’ve probably got it. If you’re after somewhere lively, fun and affordable, this is where to stay in Bangkok for you!
If you’re looking for a place to settle that’s got oodles of culture as well as fantastic budget options for accommodation, you’ve hit the mark here. Top places to visit are the lanes of Sampeng Square and The Golden Buddha Temple. The temple is home to a five-metre solid gold statue of Buddha, and it’s truly not to be missed. A top tip? Try heading down to this Bangkok neighbourhoods during Chinese New Year if you can; with fireworks, worshippers and tourists enjoying their celebrations, it’s a great time to catch Chinatown at its best. When thinking of where to stay in Bangkok, this is a great choice for sure!
Great for: Food, nightlife and popular with backpackers and budget travellers.
The next Bangkok neighbourhood on my list of where to stay in Bangkok, is Khao San Road. Khao San Road is the historical centre of Banglamphu and is especially popular amongst backpackers. As it’s extremely easy to reach from any area in Bangkok, you don’t necessarily need to base yourself here.
However, with a whole host of cafes, restaurants and tourism stops in this Bangkok neighbourhood, it’s worth a visit for a fab night of drinking. It’s got a certain reputation for its booze-filled strip, but the budget bars are a major hit amongst backpackers who want a piece of Bangkok’s nightlife without the sometimes-hefty price tag.
If the hostel life isn’t for you, this area has several boutique hotels within walking distance, so you needn’t feel totally confined by the backpacker aesthetic if it doesn’t appeal! It’s a good choice all round when looking for where to stay in Bangkok – and it’s a great choice of Bangkok neighbourhoods as long as you don’t mind nightlife!
International Airport Area
Great for: Proximity to the airport, transit travellers.
Next on my list of Bangkok neighbourhoods, it’s the airport area. If you’re only passing throguh for one night and wondering where to stay in Bangkok, this is a good choice. If you’re in Bangkok on a flying visit, the Suvarnabhumi Airport area is a Bangkok neighbourhood that is likely the best spot to choose. As the largest airport in Thailand with numerous connections to international destinations, it’s a good place to stay if you’re not in Bangkok for long. So if you’re a transit travellers, or only there for a few night, this is where to stay in Bangkok for you!
However, just because you’re not in the city for long doesn’t mean you can’t sneak a peek at its cultural offerings. The nearby Bangkok neighbourhoods of Lat Krabang is home to a market that dates to King Rama IV. A place heaving with goods and yummy street food, it’s a great place to venture out to if you’ve got a few hours to spare before your flight. It may not be a traditional choice when picking Bangkok neighbourhoods to stop in, but it’s well connected and close to the airport – so it’s still worth mentioning.
So, there you have it. It’s always tricky to pin down where to stay when you’re planning a trip, but hopefully this guide to Bangkok’s neighbourhoods and areas helps you figure out both where to set up camp and where to visit. You should explore all of them if you have time, but even if you just manage to hit a few, you’re sure to get a glimpse into the best of Bangkok.
I hope this guide to where to stay in Bangkok and Bangkok neighbourhoods has been useful! You should hopefully have a good idea now of where to stay in Bangkok and which of Bangkok’s neighbourhoods are best suited to you!