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The Top 20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Bangkok

The Top 20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Bangkok

Looking for some awesome free or cheap things to do in Bangkok? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve rounded up the best activities and attractions that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. 

Whether you’re a budget traveller or just want to have a blast without breaking the bank, you’ll find something to do in Bangkok through this list. Read on!

Explore the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

Explore the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Image source: iStock

Address: QF2V+M34, Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Entrance fee: 500 THB

All tourists shouldn’t pass up on the chance to check out the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. It’s like stepping into a fairytale with its stunning architecture and the famous Emerald Buddha. 

The intricate details of the architecture and the shimmering Emerald Buddha left me speechless. It’s a place you have to see to believe!

Pro tip: Arrive early to beat the crowds and dress respectfully with covered shoulders and knees to enter the sacred temple.

Visit the Temple of Dawn and enjoy the view from its prang

Visit the Temple of Dawn and enjoy the view from its prang
Image source: iStock

Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Operating hours: Daily- 8 AM to 6 PM
Entrance fee: 100 THB

Make your way to Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn. You can climb up that towering prang for absolutely unreal views, especially during sunset.

You’ll find postcard-worthy views here, while the glow of the setting sun cast golden hues over the city. Bring your camera! 

Pro tip: Climb the steep steps of the prang for a breathtaking view of Bangkok’s skyline, but be cautious as it can be challenging for those with mobility issues.

Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market

Shop at Chatuchak Weekend Market
Image source: iStock

Address: 587, 10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Khwaeng Chatuchak, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: 

  • Monday and Tuesday – Closed
  • Wednesday and Thursday – 7 AM to 6 PM
  • Friday – 6 PM to 12 AM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 9 PM to 6 PM

Calling all shopaholics! You can’t miss the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. 

It’s a frugal shopper’s paradise with thousands of stalls selling everything you can imagine. From trendy clothes and accessories to quirky souvenirs, this market has it all. 

You can spend hours wandering through the maze of stalls, haggling with vendors, and finding some seriously cool stuff.

Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water as you explore this massive market, and don’t forget to bargain for the best prices!

Take a stroll in Lumpini Park

Take a stroll in Lumpini Park
Image source: iStock

Address: Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Entrance fee: Free
Contact details: +6622527006
Operating hours: Daily – 4:30 AM to 10 PM

When you need a breather, Lumpini Park is the perfect escape. The lush greenery, peaceful lakes, and friendly squirrels made it such a relaxing spot. 

Take a break from all the exploring and those touristy spots. Simply soak up the sunshine here and rent a paddleboat for a peaceful time. 

Pro tip: Visit early morning or late afternoon to enjoy cooler temperatures and witness locals engaging in tai chi, yoga, and other activities.

Visit Wat Saket and climb to the top for a panoramic view of Bangkok

Visit Wat Saket and climb to the top for a panoramic view of Bangkok
Image source: iStock

Website: https://www.facebook.com/watsraket/
Address: 344 Thanon Chakkraphatdi Phong, Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Contact details: +66620195959
Entrance fee: 50 THB
Operating hours: Daily- 7 AM to 7 PM

From the Golden Mount, you get a panoramic view of the entire city of Bangkok. You can see the sprawling skyline, the bustling streets, and the majestic Chao Phraya River. It’s like having a bird’s-eye view of this vibrant metropolis.

Once you reach the top, you’ll find a beautiful golden stupa. You can offer your prayers, take some amazing pictures, and just revel in the incredible views that surround you.

Pro tip: To fully enjoy your climb to the top of the Golden Mount, wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water. 

Keep in mind that the area can get crowded, so consider visiting early in the morning or on weekdays for a more peaceful and enjoyable climb.

Explore Chinatown (Yaowarat) and indulge in delicious street food

Explore Chinatown (Yaowarat) and indulge in delicious street food
Image source: iStock

Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown,_Bangkok
Address: PGR5+4W6 Yaowarat Road, Khwaeng Samphanthawong, Khet Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: Daily- 24 hours

This place is a food lover’s paradise! Once you step into Chinatown’s vibrant streets, you’ll find the air filled with the tantalising aromas of sizzling stir-fries and exotic spices. 

From crispy fried noodles to succulent roasted duck and piping hot dumplings, my taste buds were in absolute heaven. 

Trust me, exploring the bustling alleyways of Chinatown and discovering these culinary delights is an adventure you won’t forget.

Pro tip: Venture into the narrow alleyways and sample a variety of street food delicacies. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous mango sticky rice!

Walk along the famous Khao San Road

Walk along the famous Khao San Road
Image source: iStock

Address: Talat Yot, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Contact details: +6634703212
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: Daily- 24 hours

Khao San Road is the infamous backpacker hub. Walk along this vibrant street and witness how its energy is infectious. 

The neon lights, the eclectic mix of bars and clubs, and the lively street performers created an electrifying atmosphere. Khao San Road is the ultimate place to let loose and embrace the vibrant nightlife of Bangkok.

Pro tip: Embrace the vibrant atmosphere, but be aware of your belongings and negotiate prices before making any purchases.

Visit the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)

Visit the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
Image source: iStock

Website: http://www.bacc.or.th/
Address: 939 Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Contact details: +6622146630
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: 

  • Monday – Closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday -10 AM to 8 PM

If you’re looking for an amazing cultural experience, you’ve got to check out the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). This place is super cool with its modern and sleek building, and it’s filled to the brim with thought-provoking artworks.

You won’t believe the variety of exhibits they have at BACC. They showcase works from contemporary Thai artists who are all about pushing boundaries, and they also bring in international exhibits that will totally blow your mind. 

Pro tip: Check the museum’s schedule for temporary exhibitions and special events to enhance your visit and immerse yourself in Bangkok’s contemporary art scene.

Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River

Take a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River
Image source: iStock

Boat fare: 50 to 180 THB

To experience the charm of Bangkok from a different perspective, hop on a boat and take a ride along the Chao Phraya River. 

This river is the lifeblood of the city, and as you cruise along, you’ll witness the bustling riverfront, iconic temples, and even catch glimpses of local life along the riverbanks. It’s a relaxing and scenic way to explore the city.

Pro tip: Opt for a local ferry to experience an authentic and affordable ride along the river, and don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning views of Bangkok’s landmarks.

Visit the Erawan Shrine

Visit the Erawan Shrine
Image source: iStock

Address: 494 Ratchadamri Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Contact details: +6622528750
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: Daily – 6 AM to 10 PM

This sacred Hindu shrine is a vibrant and lively place, filled with colourful flowers, burning incense, and traditional music. It’s believed to bring good fortune, and you’ll often see locals offering prayers and making wishes. 

Take a moment to soak in the spiritual atmosphere and witness the unique cultural traditions at the Erawan Shrine.

Pro tip: To avoid large crowds, plan your visit early in the morning or during weekdays. Consider bringing a small offering of flowers or incense to pay respects at the shrine.

Visit the Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Visit the Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Image source: iStock

Website: https://www.watpho.com/th/
Address: 2 SanamChai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Entrance fee: 200 THB
Operating hours: Daily – 8 AM to 6:30 PM

Prepare to be amazed by the sheer size of the reclining Buddha statue. It’s a sight you have to see to believe! The intricate details, the golden colour, and the serene atmosphere make it a truly mesmerising experience. 

Take your time to explore the temple grounds, admire the beautiful architecture, and soak in the spiritual vibes.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to remove your shoes before entering the temple and be prepared for a magnificent sight when you witness the massive and awe-inspiring Reclining Buddha. 

Take your time to explore the entire temple complex and indulge in a traditional Thai massage at the onsite school.

Visit the Jim Thompson House

Visit the Jim Thompson House
Image source: iStock

Website: https://jimthompsonhouse.org/
Address: 6 Kasem San 2 Alley, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Contact details: +6622167368
Entrance fee: 

  • Adult- 200 THB 
  • Under 22 years – 100 THB (ID required)
  • children under 10 years – Free

Operating hours: Daily – 10 AM to 5 PM

This place is a hidden gem! The traditional Thai-style house belonged to Jim Thompson, an American entrepreneur who played a significant role in promoting Thai silk. 

As you walk through the beautifully preserved rooms, surrounded by lush gardens, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of Thai silk and the enigmatic life of Jim Thompson himself.

Pro tip: Join a guided tour to learn about the fascinating story of Jim Thompson and his contribution to Thai silk. 

Explore the beautiful traditional Thai houses and gardens, and don’t forget to browse the gift shop for unique silk products and souvenirs.

Take a tour at the Bank of Thailand Museum

Take a tour at the Bank of Thailand Museum
Image source: iStock

Address: QF9X+49M, Samsen Road, Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Contact details: +6622836115
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: 

  • Monday – Closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 4 PM

For a unique and educational experience, head over to the Bank of Thailand Museum. This place takes you on a journey through the history of Thai currency and the country’s financial system. 

You’ll be amazed by the collection of ancient coins, banknotes, and artefacts on display. Exploring the museum gave me a deeper appreciation for the economic heritage of Thailand.

Pro tip: Check the museum’s opening hours and book your tour in advance to gain insights into the history of Thai currency, see interesting exhibits, and learn about the country’s monetary system.

Explore Benjakitti Park

Explore Benjakitti Park
Image source: iStock

Website: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064388066662
Address: Ratchadaphisek Rd, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: Daily – 5 AM to 8 PM

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor relaxation, Benjakitti Park is the place to be. This urban oasis offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. 

You can also rent a bike and explore the park’s cycling trails or simply relax on the grass and enjoy a picnic. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and recharge.

Pro tip: Visit early in the morning or late afternoon to enjoy the cooler temperatures. 

Rent a bike or go for a leisurely stroll around the picturesque lake, and don’t miss the beautiful sunset views over the Bangkok skyline.

Sample Bangkok’s Kerbside Cuisine

Sample Bangkok’s Kerbside Cuisine
Image source: iStock

The city is renowned for its delectable street food, and sampling it is an absolute must! 

From savoury pad Thai and aromatic mango sticky rice to fiery tom yum soup and crispy fried insects (if you’re feeling adventurous), Bangkok’s street food scene offers a tantalising array of flavours.

Pro tip: Look for busy stalls with a crowd of locals, and don’t be afraid to try popular dishes like pad Thai, mango sticky rice, or delicious skewers of grilled meat. 

Just make sure to choose clean and hygienic vendors to avoid any tummy troubles.

Visit the Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)

Visit the Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)
Image source: iStock

Website: https://www.facebook.com/watbencham/
Address:  Wat Benchamabophit, Dusit, Dusit District, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
Contact details: +66844565279
Entrance fee: 50 THB
Operating hours: Daily- 8 AM to 5:30 PM

This temple is a blend of Thai and European architecture that’ll leave you speechless. They went all out and used Carrara marble all the way from Italy. Talk about fancy!

The intricate details and the tranquil beauty of the temple command admiration and leave visitors in awe. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are truly remarkable, making it a sight to behold.

Pro tip: Capture the incredible beauty of this temple by visiting in the morning when the sunlight illuminates the stunning marble exterior. 

Explore Asiatique Riverfront

Explore Asiatique Riverfront
Image source: iStock

Address: 54 S Sathorn Rd, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Entrance fee: Free
Operating hours: Daily- 11 AM to 12 AM

This vibrant night market will have you in shopping heaven! It’s located in a restored warehouse complex, adding a unique industrial charm to the shopping experience. 

As you browse through the numerous shops and boutiques, you’ll also find a wide array of dining options and entertainment choices, including a giant Ferris wheel that offers breathtaking views of the city’s skyline.

Pro tip: Arrive late afternoon to enjoy the sunset along the Chao Phraya River and explore the vibrant night market. Consider taking a riverboat to and from Asiatique for a memorable experience.

Enjoy free public performances at Bangkok’s street markets and public spaces

Enjoy free public performances at Bangkok's street markets and public spaces
Image source: iStock

If you’re seeking a taste of Bangkok’s vibrant cultural scene, keep an eye out for free public performances happening at various street markets and public spaces. 

What makes this experience so special is the opportunity to witness traditional Thai arts and entertainment up close and personal, completely free of charge. 

From captivating traditional dances to mesmerising musical performances, you’ll be immersed in the rich cultural heritage of Thailand

Pro tip: Grab a snack, find a cosy spot, and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Bangkok.

Visit the Siriraj Medical Museum 

Visit the Siriraj Medical Museum
Image source: iStock

Website: http://www.sirirajmuseum.com/
Address: Thailand, Bangkok, Thanon Wang Lang, タ
Contact details: +6624196363
Entrance fee: 200 THB
Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday – Closed
  • Daily- 10 AM to 3:30 PM

This unique museum houses a collection of medical oddities and exhibits that might make some people squirm, but for the adventurous souls, it’s a fascinating journey into the world of medical science. 

You’ll encounter everything from preserved anatomical specimens to displays on forensic pathology. It’s definitely not your average museum experience, but if you have a fiery curiosity for the human body and its mysteries, this place will ignite your fascination.

Pro tip: It’s essential to keep an open mind and understand that the displays may be graphic and not suitable for everyone. 

If you have a strong interest in medical history and are comfortable with seeing preserved specimens and anatomical exhibits, this museum will provide a truly eye-opening experience. 

However, if you have a sensitive disposition or are easily disturbed by such content, it’s best to consider other attractions in Bangkok.

Wander around the National Museum Bangkok (Phranakorn)

Wander around the National Museum Bangkok (Phranakorn)
Image source: iStock

Website: http://www.virtualmuseum.finearts.go.th/bangkoknationalmuseums/index.php/th/
Address: QF5R+6MP, Soi Na Phra That, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Contact details: +6622241370
Entrance fee: 

  • Thai locals – 30 THB
  • Expats – 200 THB

Operating hours: 

  • Monday and Tuesday – Closed
  • Wednesday to Sunday – 9 AM to 4 PM

Inside, you’ll find a captivating collection of ancient sculptures, beautiful paintings, and more. It’s like stepping back in time and connecting with the Thai people throughout history.

But it’s not just the artefacts that make the National Museum Bangkok a must-visit destination. The museum also hosts various exhibitions and educational programs that delve deeper into specific aspects of Thai history and culture. 

You might also have the opportunity to attend a lecture, participate in a traditional art workshop, or witness a captivating performance.

Pro tip: Consider hiring a local guide to enhance your experience and gain deeper insights into the exhibits. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the museum’s temporary exhibitions for a fresh perspective on Thai culture and art.

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