Being a popular tourist destination, Bangkok is packed with hotels and places to stay at all budgets. It can, however, be a bit overwhelming choosing where to stay in Bangkok, as there are so many accommodation options available.

Having spent a lot of time in Bangkok, we have put together this guide to our favorite Bangkok areas and accommodations. Each city area is different and as a traveler, each has its pros and cons. Where you should stay in Bangkok depends on what you want to get out of your Bangkok visit.

With a population of more than 8 million people, covering 1600 square kilometer, Bangkok is one of the biggest and most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia. It is our favorite city in the world, and we consider it our “home away from home” as we have been there a lot over the years and lived there for months at a time.

Bangkok food market

Thailand is the land of smiles 🙂

What we love most about Bangkok are its energy, its lovely and friendly people and the delicious and healthy food. The “City of Angels” has it all, from high-class shopping to cheap markets, spectacular ancient monuments and temples, and everything from top-notch dining to street food. There is never a dull moment when you hit the streets of Bangkok.

Bangkok has an excellent, cheap and easy-to-use public transportation system which makes it easy to get around – Skytrain, Subway MRT, river ferries, and buses. Grabbing a taxi or a tuk-tuk is also very easy as they are everywhere eager to drive you around. Make sure to agree on a price before jumping in, though. ?

Where To Stay In Bangkok

Whenever we travel, we do a lot of research trying to find the “perfect” accommodation. For Bangkok, we have done particularly thorough research as we have been here so many times over the last few years.

For us, the perfect accommodation has big enough rooms so that we can store all our luggage and still have some room to walk around. We like big comfortable beds so that we can sleep soundly at night, quiet with no noise from the traffic outside or the party downstairs, a well-equipped gym and a swimming pool with sunbeds/ relaxing area.

A restaurant with good food is also a plus, as is walking distance to public transport.

The hotels and guesthouses recommended in this article, are mostly places that we have stayed at ourselves. To make it as complete and useful a resource as possible, we have also included recommendations from people we know personally, and whose opinion we trust.

None of the hotels recommended here are paid placements or have sponsored our stay in any way. We have paid for each of these accommodations ourselves. If you book through any of our links, we make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps keep our site running – so thank you in advance for your support! We hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best place to stay in Bangkok.

The Best Area to Stay in Bangkok

Map - Where to stay in Bangkok

The following eight Bangkok areas are the most popular to stay in:

1. Khao San/ Banglamphu Area (orange)

Khao-San map

Why stay in the Khao San area?

Wat Pho Golden Buddha

The reclining Buddha in Wat Pho Temple

If you have read the book “The Beach” or seen the movie, then you have heard of Khao San Road. The book sums up this area pretty well: “Khao San is the centre of the backpacking universe“.

Khao San is the most famous street in Bangkok, and anyone backpacking through SE-Asia will come through here at one time or another. We stayed in this area on our first trip ever to Bangkok, back in 2005, and we loved it at the time.

It’s mostly young backpackers on limited budgets staying here, so you won’t find many five stars hotels in this area, but there are plenty of budget guesthouses and some decent mid-range hotels.

If you are in Bangkok to party, this is the place to be! Here you will find “happy hour” both day and night. Even if you don’t choose to stay in this area, it is still a fun place to visit. Have a cold Chang beer at one of the many street pubs and watch the craziness.

You will also find cheap Thai street food and markets selling affordable, and trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories in the busy streets in and around Khao San Road. This area is also popular among young hip Thais that come here to party.

Things to see and do in Khao San area

  • Experience the legendary Khao San road with its bars, street market and backpacker vibe.
  • Democracy Monument – Enjoy the world class street food and tasty Thai desert sold by the street vendors around the Democracy Monument.
  • Golden Mount (Wat Saket)  – a beautiful Buddhist Temple that sits on top of the Golden Mountain (Phu Khao Thong). A great place from which to enjoy the sunset.
  • Giant Swing – The city’s eckonic Giant Swing which is over 21 meters high and painted blood red. Built in 1784 by King Rama I, only two years after the establishment of Bangkok as the new capital.
  • Take the river ferry down the river a few stops to the Grand Palace and the famous Bangkok temples.

What’s the catch?

The Khao San Road itself is crowded, busy and noisy, and packed with drunk young people in the evenings and at night.

The loud music from the bars along Khao San can make it difficult to get any sleep at night, and I would recommend staying in one of the side streets to Khao San Road and not on Khao San itself.

The Khao San /Banglamphu area does not have Skytrain or Subway MRT, so the best way to get to/from Khao San Road is by ferry (walking distance to the river), taxi, bus or tuk-tuk.

Where to stay in Khao San area

Top End

Riva Surya Bangkok
One of the few high-end hotels in this area the Riva Surya is located on the riverbank about five minutes walk away from Khao San road. The rooms are spacious, elegant and comfortable. There is a lovely pool area and breakfast is served on the balcony overlooking the river.

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury yet still want to experience the youthful vibe of Bangkok’s backpacking hub then this is an excellent choice. The close by river ferry station means you can easily take the ferry down to the old town attractions such as the Royal Palace.
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Casa Nithra Bangkok
Located a short walk away from Khao San Road the Casa Nithra is one of the best mid-range alternatives in this part of town. You are far enough from Khao San to get a good nights sleep but close enough to partake in the festivities. The rooftop swimming pool is lovely, the rooms comfortable and the breakfast has plenty of options.
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Chillax Resort
This is another excellent and popular alternative close to Khao San road. It’s located just 600 meters away from the crazy nightlife but you can’t hear the noise from here. The rooms are clean, stylish, spacious and comfortable and equipped with satellite TV, Air Con, and free WiFi. There is a really nice rooftop pool and bar. Breakfast is of average quality and could use some more options, but there are plenty of small restaurants nearby. The staff is lovely and very helpful.
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The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast
For something a little out of the ordinary, how about a homestay at The Bhuthorn? With only three rooms this renovated old shophouse provides a unique accommodation opportunity in the middle of old town Bangkok.
Staying in one of the beautifully decorated rooms feels like staying in a family home. Located just a short walk away from major attractions such as the Royal Palace, Emerald Buddha, and Wat Pho.
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Alternatives: Villa Cha-Cha


Located in a quiet neighborhood with views of the river this guesthouse is very popular right now. The rooms are large and while fairly basic, nicely furnished and very clean with private bathrooms. There is a common room for hanging out and socializing with free coffee and snacks available! The owner is lovely and super helpful. Wifi is free and available everywhere. You can walk to Khao San road in less than 10 minutes or to the Royal Palace in about 15-20 minutes. Excellent value for the money.
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NapPark Hostel
Located very close, but not too close to the craziness that is Khao San road, this a great place to meet people and socialize. With a huge communal area, friendly staff and social vibe, there is no wonder NapPark Hostel keeps popping up whenever someone recommends a hostel in the Khao San area. The rooms are kept tidy and the beds comfortable. NapPark is the place to go if you value a good party more than a good nights sleep. Bring your earplugs.
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Bedstation Hostel
Friendly, chilled and close to Khao San road.

Bangkok Bed and Bike
Located within walking distance of famous attractions like the Royal Palace, Wat Poo, and Chinatown. This is a popular and cozy little hostel with a rustic designed interior.

2. Bangkok Riverside (green)

Riverside map

Why stay by the Bangkok riverside?

Bangkok’s riverside is beautiful and very scenic, especially after dark, with its glittering temples, shrines, and the Royal Palace. In this area, you can explore Bangkok’s historic roots.

Here along the Chao Praya river, Chinese immigrants founded the first settlements of what would become the capital of Thailand. If you are looking for top end accommodation this is also where you find most of the 5-star hotels in Bangkok.

Bangkok river Chao Phraya at sunset

Sunset over the Chao Phraya river that runs through Bangkok

We have been here a lot and love taking the ferries up and down the river, jumping off along the way to see the many iconic landmarks that Bangkok is famous for.

Taking the ferry boat together with local Thais is an excellent way to get a glimpse of everyday life in Bangkok. Even if you do not choose to stay here, Bangkok`s riverside is a must visit!

Temple of the Dawn/ Wat Arun

Temple of the Dawn/ Wat Arun

Things to see and do in the Bangkok Riverside area

  • Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun) – One of our favorite temples with its unique tower colorfully decorated in porcelain tiles. At its most beautiful in the morning when the sun reflects off the surface, or in the evening when it is illuminated.
  • Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaeo) – The former residence of the King of Thailand, this is Bangkok’s most famous landmark and one of the must-see sights of Bangkok.
  • Temple of the Emerald Buddha – This beautiful temple lies within the Royal Place grounds and is famous for its Buddha statue made of jade.
  • Gigantic Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – The 16m tall reclining golden buddha and the beautiful temple nerver fails to impress.
  • Flower Market (Pak Klong Talat) – An enormous market selling flowers, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  • Asiatique Market – Part amusement park and part outdoor mall, a visit to Asiatique is a fun way to spend an evening.
  • Dinner cruise on the Chao Praya river – A great way to spend an evening gliding along the mighty Chao Praya river.
  • Take a ferry or hire a longboat – Explore the Chao Phraya river by jumping on one of the frequently running river ferries, or hire a longboat to take you into the side channels to catch a glimpse of everyday life by the river.
  • The Sixth – Have lunch at one of our favorite Thai restaurants.

What`s the catch?

The riverside of Bangkok is a little more expensive, both when it comes to hotels and restaurants. The area does not have Subway MRT and only one Skytrain station, Saphan Taksin. From Saphan Taksin, you are a very short walk away from Central Pier where you can take the riverboats and ferries up the river. Many of the hotels have free shuttle boats that transport guest to and from Central Pier.

Where to stay along the Bangkok Riverside

Top Range

Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
The La Grande Dame of Bangkok hotels, and the hotel we will stay at when one day we win the lottery. If you are looking for that once in a lifetime hotel experience in absolute old-world luxury, the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok will not disappoint. As the first luxury hotel in Thailand, it has hosted royalty, presidents and literary legends such as Joseph Conrad, and Noël Coward.

The perfect hotel for honeymoons and special occasions. Their customer service is legendary, and they treat you like royalty from the moment you set foot in the lobby. Some highlights include a choice of 9 fabulous restaurants, two outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis courts, spa and wellness center, and a location right on the riverbank with stunning views.
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The Peninsula Bangkok
Located on the “wrong” side of the river opposite from the Mandarin Oriental, this hotel is nevertheless an absolute gem. Less expensive than its more famous hotel neighbors, it provides remarkable value for money. With its large comfortable rooms, a lavish breakfast buffet, exceptional service, spa, beautiful pool, and an amazing river view it is the favorite of many travelers. Oh, and by the way, the hotel provides a free shuttle to take you across the river.
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AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel
On our most recent visit to Bangkok, we stayed at this fairly new (opened fall 2016) riverside hotel.

Maria enjoying the view from Avani’s infinity pool.

The Avani Riverside is a more affordable alternative to the classic luxury riverside hotels that in many ways rival its more expensive competitors. All rooms face the river, and the view of the Bangkok riverside is just spectacular!

Swimming in the stunning infinity pool on the 26th floor overlooking the beautiful Chao Phraya river is an unforgettable experience (especially at sunrise and sunset).

The Skybar is very cool, but we found the restaurant food somewhat overpriced. The rooms are large, modern and the bed very comfortable. Service is excellent, and they serve a very nice breakfast spread. There is a shopping mall at the base of the building. The free hotel river ferry leaves every 20 minutes and will take you straight to the central ferry pier and the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station in about 10 minutes.
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Lay La Long
This unique boutique hotel is located in an old Chinese Family House and is situated right on the riverbank in Chinatown. An excellent example of how the community is giving new life to these old houses. They have kept the old wooden structures but refurnished it with modern comforts, and a restaurant serving tasty Thai food. The balconies open out right on the river and is a great place to sit and have a drink and watch the boats go by (as we are doing in the photo below).

Every room is different and unique and comes with all modern amenities such as air-con, tv, complimentary Wi-fi, and a refrigerator. If you are looking for something truly unique, this small seven room Bangkok boutique hotel with its friendly staff comes highly recommended.
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View from Lay La Long hotel

View from Lay La Long hotel

3. Sukhumvit Area (blue)

Sukhumvit map

Why stay in the Sukhumvit area?

Sukhumvit, one of Bangkok’s most modern and cosmopolitan neighborhoods, is located in the central part of Bangkok along Sukhumvit Road.

We have stayed here many times and loved it. We think it’s a great area as it’s within walking distance of a lot of Bangkok’s best shopping, and has many excellent and diverse restaurants and bars.

Sunset view from the Mariott hotel rooftop bar

One of the coolest rooftop bars in Bangkok, the Octave on top of the Marriott Hotel

Sukhumvit is popular among expats and Westerns living in Bangkok, and you will find restaurants from all over the world here, as well as some western countries embassies. We love that we can eat a great falafel at a Middle East restaurant one day, have some real Italian pizza, a tender Australian steak or a juicy American hamburger the next day, and delicious Thai street food in between.

Sukhumvit is arguably the best area to stay in Bangkok for nightlife and has it all when it comes to dining and clubbing! Much of the action centers around Soi 11, Bangkok’s famous party street, a favorite with both expats and visitors with its large selections of restaurants, clubs, and bars.

As for accommodations, there are some excellent Sukhumvit hotels at any price range.

It is easy to use public transport to and from this area, as both the Skytrain (BTS) and Subway (MRT) run through Sukhumvit.

Things to see and do in Sukhumvit area

Sukhumvit lacks traditional tourist attractions, but it makes up for it by offering some of Bangkok’s best luxury hotels, fashionable shopping malls, spas, restaurants, and hip clubs.

What`s the catch?

Some streets in Sukhumvit has a busy nightlife with go-go bars, pole dancing, and sexy shows, especially around the red-lights district Nana (Soi Nana /4) and Soi Cowboy (off Soi 23).

The area is very urban with few green lungs and parks.

Sukhumvit lacks the traditional tourist attractions, but it is easy to get to the top tourist attractions in Bangkok from this area.

Where to stay in Sukhumvit area

Top Range

Okura Prestige Bangkok (5 stars)
A large modern Japanese owned luxury hotel and a popular choice in the Sukhumvit area. It is part of the Okura chain of luxury hotels, and the hotel’s Japanese heritage has inspired both its interior design and attention to detail, as well as its excellent service. The 240 rooms are spacious, and the infinity pool on the 35th floor is fantastic.

With the Ploen Chit Skytrain station almost next door, getting around the city couldn’t be easier. Add to that their legendary breakfast buffet and it`s easy to understand why this hotel consistently ranks among the top five Bangkok hotels.
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Ariyasomvilla (5 stars)
This small unique luxury boutique hotel is among Bangkok’s most popular hotels, so make sure to book early as its 24 rooms fill up fast. Ariyasomvilla is a family driven hotel that strives to provide an authentic “Thai” feel to its visitors. It is often described as a quiet oasis in the busy city. Located within a short walk to the nearest Skytrain station, it is a great base for exploring Bangkok.
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Hotel Muse (5 stars)
We celebrated Christmas here a couple of years ago, and it was an absolute pleasure. The hotel combines modern cosmopolitan chic with the elegance of historic Thai luxury. The rooms are beautifully decorated, the beds super comfortable, and the bathrooms are just gorgeous.

Hotel Muse hotelroom

Stunning rooms at Hotel Muse in Sukhumvit

The breakfast at Hotel Muse is also among the best we have ever had (try the Muse special omelet), with an opulent selection of food and cheese on offer. The Speakeasy Rooftop bar is a great place to chill and enjoy the view in the evenings.

The hotel also has a gym and a small pool and is located within walking distance of shopping centers and the Skytrain station.
You can read our full review here.
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Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit

Sunset at the Bangkok Marriott sky bar

Sunset at the Bangkok Marriott sky bar

This Sukhumvit based branch of the Marriott hotel chain offers the contemporary elegance and service that you would expect from the brand. The rooms are large, and well decorated in a contemporary style with super comfortable beds and every modern convenience.
There is a fitness center as well as a spectacular rooftop pool. The breakfast buffet is one of the best anywhere with a bewildering amount of options available for every taste. The hotel has several restaurants and the rooftop bar offers spectacular views across Bangkok. Make sure to go here for sunset!

Tong Lor Skytrain station is just a couple of minutes walk away which makes getting around Bangkok very easy.
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Novotel Sukhumvit 20 (4 stars)
Novotel’s newest hotel in Bangkok is an excellent value for your money. It still has that new hotel feeling where everything is fresh and the staff is enthusiastic and proud of their new hotel. The rooms are fantastic, modern and light with super comfortable beds and amazing views of the city. The breakfast is excellent with a lot of options on offer.

There is a Skybar on the roof, a well-equipped gym and a lovely pool area with a spectacular view of Bangkok. There are plenty of restaurants in this area and the hotel also provides a free shuttle service to the Asok Skytrain station and Terminal 21 shopping mall or you can easily do the 10 minutes walk yourself.
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Hotel Icon
A modern hotel in a great location in the middle of Soi 2, right next to the street food stalls, and within a short walk to the Skytrain station. We were among the first to stay in this hotel when it opened in 2014, and we liked it a lot.

The rooms are large, the beds comfortable and the rooftop pool and gym are very nice. They also have a small restaurant, as well as a Tuk-Tuk service that will drive you out to Sukhumvit road and the Skytrain station Phloen Chit if you don’t feel like walking.
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39 Boulevard Executive Residence Hotel (Apartments)
Further along Sukhumvit road, you can find some apartment buildings that rent out apartments to short-term visitors. On our last visit to Bangkok, we found a great deal on a fully furnished apartment at 39 Boulevard Executive Residence Hotel. For about the same price as an average hotel room, we had a two room apartment with kitchen, living room, and bedroom, as well as a huge bathroom with the largest bathtub I have ever seen! Everything is clean, modern and of a high standard.

The building also has a nice gym and two pools. The only downside is that it is a little out of the way, it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk to the nearest Skytrain station, Phrom Phong. However, they do provide a regular free shuttle service to the Skytrain station. The apartments are cleaned daily, but there is no room service and other such hotel facilities.
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Matchbox Hostel
A unique modern dorm room concept where the dorm rooms are divided into individual bed pods. Each pod has an LCD tv (!) and privacy curtains that make you feel like you have your own private room. There is space to hang out and socialize on the fifth floor and roof. Located on Soi 33, it is close to nightlife, shops, and restaurants.
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Analog Hostel
A new family run hostel with dorm rooms that are getting rave reviews right now.

4. Silom Area (yellow)

Map showing where to stay in Silom

Why stay in the Silom area?

Silom is considered the business district and is one of the best areas to stay in Bangkok. Here you find Bangkok’s largest and most beautiful green lung – Lumphini Park, great shopping, as well as excellent restaurants with delicious and authentic Thai food. It is easy to get to/from this area as it has several Skytrain and Subway (MRT) stations, making it an excellent base from which to explore the city..

Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park

The perfect Bangkok afternoon for us is going for a walk/ run in Lumphini Park, find a bench to sit and watch the many people doing aerobics and Thai Chi. Followed by a delicious Thai meal at one of our favorite restaurants, and topped off with a Mojito drink at the open-air rooftop bar “Vertigo`s” on top the luxury hotel Banyan Tree. The views over Bangkok are unbelievable. You feel like you are on top of the world!

Things to see and do in Silom area

  • Go for a walk or run in Lumphini Park, or challenge yourself by joining the free aerobics going in each afternoon here
  • Patpong Night Market – A popular open air street market selling most tourist trinkets. It’s a fun and slightly chaotic experience but the quality of the goods on offer is not particularly impressive and the prices need some serious bargaining.
  • Patpong – The most famous of Bangkok’s red light districts.
  • Enjoy a drink at a rooftop Bar – Check out the stunning view of Bangkok from Vertigo`s rooftop open-air bar at Banyan Tree Hotel, or on top of the Lebua State Tower Skybar (made famous by the Hangover 2 movie)

What`s the catch?

The streets Patpong 1 and Patpong 2 (Soi 5 and 4) are party-all-night-long with plenty of go-go bars, saucy shows, and pole dancing. Depending on what you want, these streets can be a bit too much and too loud. Thankfully these streets are easily avoided, and the area is otherwise family friendly.

Where to stay in Silom area

Top range

Oriental Residence Bangkok (Apartments)

Oriental Residence Bangkok

Enjoying the fabulous pool at Oriental Residence Bangkok

The Oriental Residence Hotel is a modern, classy hotel with a great location within walking distance of both Lumpini Park and Sukhumvit Road. We loved the elegantly decorated rooms with hardwood floors and super comfortable beds. The large bath ensuite is quite wonderful with a relaxing bathtub and a walk-in closet. A small but well-equipped kitchen and a sitting area also make this an excellent option for extended stays.

There is a large swimming pool as well as a well-equipped fitness center. However, what impressed us the most here was the staff. Rarely have we experience this level of friendly and attentive service in a Bangkok hotel. From the small complimentary chocolate treats brought to the room to the chilled lemon water served by the pool and the nightly turndown service, it is truly first class.

The hotel has a free shuttle service to the nearest Skytrain station, or you can easily walk there in less than 10 minutes. Overall, this is one of our absolute favourite Bangkok apartment hotels!
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SO Sofitel Bangkok (5 stars)
OMG, this luxury hotel looks amazing! It has everything we are looking for – huge rooms, great infinity pool on the 10th floor with an amazing view over Bangkok and Lumphini Park, gym, and excellent breakfast buffet. Imagine relaxing in the bathtub and enjoying the great view over Lumphini Park from the bathroom window; I wouldn`t mind that! 🙂

Each floor has a themed design and look – wood, earth, metal, and water. The water-themed rooms look great! This hotel is up to speed when it comes to technology too; each room has an Apple multimedia system connected to the TV. Hope to be able to try this hotel the next time we are in Bangkok.
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Banyan Tree Bangkok
We have visited The Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok many times, and we have friends who love it here, but for some reason, we have never stayed here ourselves. It’s something we hope to remedy soon! From the moment you step into the large beautiful hotel lobby, you’ll be in no doubt that this is a high-class luxury hotel.

The rooms are spacious and decorated in a classic style, some might say it’s a little old-fashioned. There is a health club offering Yoga, a fitness center, a sauna and a beautiful outdoor area with tropical plants, a juice bar, and a pool.

Location wise it is very close to Bangkok’s largest green lung, Lumphini Park, which is perfect for walking, running and aerobics. We simply love this park – the perfect getaway from the busy and urban metropolitan Bangkok. There is a subway/MRT station close by and the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to the nearest Skytrain Station.

The spectacular open-air Moon bar on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel

The spectacular open-air Moon bar and Vertigo restaurant on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel

On the roof, you find the Moon Bar, our favorite Bangkok sky bar, along with the restaurant Vertigo where we recently celebrated a special family birthday. Viewing Bangkok from this 61st-floor open-air bar is a spectacular experience and should not be missed even if you decide not to stay here.
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Baan K Managed by Bliston Hotel (3 stars)
One of the best choices in the Silom Area when it comes to mid-range hotels is the Baan K Managed by Bliston Hotel. It is located close to the Subway station “Lumphini” (5 min walk) and Skytrain station “Sala Daeng” (10 min walk), as well as the Lumphini Park. The hotel even offers a free tuk-tuk service to the Skytrain and Subway station.

It is an apartment hotel where the rooms are big and have a fully equipped kitchenette, and most rooms have a balcony. The breakfast is simple but included in the rate, as well as good wifi. This apartment hotel is good value for your money!
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Sri Sathorn Hotel
Sri Sathorn Hotel is a condo hotel with large, comfortable, full-serviced apartments perfect for families. It’s been around for a while, but the apartments are well maintained, modern, and excellent value. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. It’s in a great location on a quiet street yet within walking distance of Silom’s restaurants, Lumpini Park and Skytrain and MRT stations.
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Pas Cher Hotel de Bangkok (2 stars)
This hotel is good value for money, and is nicely located at the end of a street packed with restaurants and street food, but still quiet. It feels more like you are living in a Thai neighborhood than in a touristy street. The rooms are pretty big, nice and clean. In the same street as the hotel, you will find a 7-11, McDonalds, Starbucks and Robinson department store.

The hotel recently put in a small rooftop pool. It is located close to the “Saphan Taksin” Skytrain station (10 min walk), and also the Central Pier so you can easily walk to the river to take the ferry.
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5. Siam Area (pink)

Map showing where to stay in Siam

Why stay in the Siam area?

The Siam area is the place to stay if you want to shop in air-conditioned fashionable shopping malls, go to the cinemas and eat at cool pubs and restaurants. This is also the area where young trendy Thais flock to find stylish and funky clothes at the many small shops around Siam Square.

Maria outside Siam shopping center

Maria going on a shopping bonanza at Siam

This area is THE shopping center in Bangkok and has the highest density of shopping malls in the city – MBK, Siam Paragon, Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Center and Central Chitlom are all here. You can easily walk in between these shopping malls and literally shop till you drop or your credit card catches on fire. Here you will find everything you need as well as plenty of things you did not know you needed!

Things to see and do in Siam

  • Shopping – Shop and dine at the many fashionable shopping malls in this area such as Siam Paragon, Central World, and Central Chitlom.
  • Jim Thompson`s House – Get a feel for how it was to live in old Bangkok and visit this traditional Thai house/ museum. Jim Thompson was the entrepreneur of the famous Thai silk.
  • Cinemas – See the newest blockbuster films at the many modern and great cinemas in this area – 3D, 4D, and Imax. All films are in their original language with Thai subtitles.
  • Food court – All the large shopping malls have food courts with a bewildering selection of affordable food from all over the world.
  • MBK – Experience the Thai teenagers go shopping crazy at MBK – the oldest shopping mall in Bangkok.
  • Thai boxing – Check out the free Thai boxing fights every Wednesday outside MBK shopping mall.
  • Sealife Ocean World – one of the world’s biggest aquarium located on the ground level of the Siam Paragon shopping mall.
  • Madame Tussauds – Bangkok’s branch of the famous wax figure museum,  is located on the 6th floor of the Siam Discovery shopping mall.
  • Go ice skating – (Yep, you read right: ICE skating) at the ice skating rink inside Central World shopping mall (ground floor).

What’s the catch?

The Siam area is very busy and crowded, especially on the weekends when all the locals come here for shopping and to just hang around and meet friends. The traffic is also crazy in the streets around here.

It can be difficult to find good and authentic Thai food here. The best dining experiences here are Western food and restaurants, mainly inside or connected to the many shopping malls, like Groove dining area in Central World shopping mall (ground floor) which has many fashionable international restaurants.

Where to stay in the Siam area

Top range hotels

Centara Grand at CentralWorld (5 stars)
This hotel is part of the Central World Shopping Mall, so staying at this hotel means you are almost living in the mall. Perfect for shopping, dining and watching films at the top-notch cinema complex at Central World Shopping Mall. We have unfortunately not stayed here ourselves, but we had New Year’s dinner here one year and we were blown by the beauty of this hotel and its delicious food and service.

They have a big swimming pool with a fantastic view of the Bangkok skyline. The Red sky bar on the 55th floor is one of the best in Bangkok, and it also has a great view. The dinner buffet serves food from all over the world. I have heard their breakfast buffet is just as impressive. They also have a spa and a gym.
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Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok (5 stars)
This is the ideal base if your primary reason for visiting Bangkok is shopping, cinema, and dining, as this hotel is located in an extension to Siam Paragon Mall, Siam Center Mall and Siam Discovery Mall. It is also close to the Skytrain station “Siam”. It is top notch when it comes to luxury with everything you could expect in this price range and with these number of stars. The swimming pool is huge and beautifully located in a green and lush garden. This hotel is suitable for families with kids, and the hotel even has a children’s club.
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Mid-range hotels

Happy 3 (3,5 star)
Happy 3 is located next to Jim Thompson House, in a quiet alley, and very close to Subway station “National Stadium” and the river ferries. It is also within easy walking distance of the Siam Shopping Malls, so perfect location for shopping.

Guests highlight their breakfast. The swimming pool looks a bit small; it is about 6 meters long, and under a roof so no place for sunbathing if that is of interest to you.
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Ibis Bangkok Siam (3 stars)
This hotel is in the heart of Bangkok right next to MBK Shopping Mall and the Subway station “National Stadium”, and within a short walk from Paragon Shopping Mall. We have stayed at other Ibis hotels in other areas of Bangkok, and like their modern design, service, and friendly staff.

Their rooms are compact but well-designed and have all you need. This hotel, Ibis Bangkok Siam, has breakfast in the restaurant shared with the more expensive Mercure Hotel and seems excellent. Wifi is excellent. The swimming pool looks nice and quite big, with sunbathing beds in the sun.
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Budget hotels

Chao Hostel (2 stars)
This is a brand new hostel close to Subway station “National Stadium”, and a short walk to the Siam shopping malls. The interior is very fresh and a bit “hipster” looking. Some of the rooms even have a hammock! It is more like a boutique hotel. A real budget gem in the Siam area!
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Lub d Bangkok – Siam Square (2 stars)
This hostel is located right next to the Subway station “National Stadium” so staying at this hostel makes it very easy to get around the city. It is also close to all the shopping malls and the Jim Thompson House.

The hostel is quite new and has a modern design and bright rooms. Twin/ double rooms only have shared bathrooms; they also have dorms. Drinking water is free if you bring your water bottle. Good and free wifi everywhere in the hostel.
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6. Pratunam Area (grey)

Map of Pratunam

Why stay in the Pratunam area?

We have stayed in this area several times, and we like it because it`s close to great shopping and within walking distance to the Siam area but cheaper than Siam when it comes to hotel prices. It also has a more authentic Thai feel with its markets and street food.

The Pratunam area is chaotic, crowded and vibrant, and packed with shopping opportunities. It has Thailand`s tallest building, the 88 floor high Baiyoke Sky Hotel, a Bangkok landmark, that can be seen from far away.

Markets and vendors line the streets in this area, and you can make some great bargains at low prices. Just remember to haggle.

Inside Pratunam Market with all the vendor stalls

Pratunam Market

Things to see and do in Pratunam area

  • Pratunam Market – Find a bargain at the huge indoor Pratunam market and buy clothes at wholesale prices.
  • Pantip Plaza – Shop IT equipment, electronic and gadgets till you drop at this huge five-floor electronic mall. A fun visit for us geeks!
  • Victory Monument – A large military monument with a western design, and one of Bangkok’s major traffic intersections. Around the statue, you can find yummy Pad Thai, Lad Na and other typical Thai dishes sold at a low price.

What`s the catch?

The streets in this area can be pretty crowded and chaotic especially on weekends. Lots of traffic.

Where to stay in Pratunam area

Top End hotels

Amari Watergate Hotel (5 stars)
Located just opposite the Platinum Shopping Mall, it is close to shopping of all kinds. It is only a short walk to the Subway station “Ratchathewi” while the nearest Sky train station “Chit Lom” is about 15-20 minutes walk. It has everything one would expect at a five-star hotel – a beautiful swimming pool, spa, excellent breakfast buffet and a well-equipped gym.
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Akara Hotel
Akara Hotel is a new boutique hotel that has been making a lot of fans recently with its beautifully decorated interior, warm service and convenient access to Suvarnabhumi airport via the Airport Rail Link (a 3-minute walk away). Standard rooms are cozy, modern and very comfortable with gorgeous marble bathrooms. There is a rooftop pool and sky bar with fantastic views of the city. You can walk to Siam and the shopping malls in about 15 minutes, or take the free tuk-tuk shuttle service to the Phaya Thai Sky train station.
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Mid-range hotels

Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam (4 stars)
Also located in between shopping malls like Platinum and close to the night market. The huge swimming pool looks fantastic, and the guests highlight the breakfast. The rooms are modern and pretty big. It is about 15-20 minutes walk to the nearest Sky train station “Chit Lom”.
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Budget hotels

Le Tada Parkview Hotel (3,5 stars)
This is a fairly new hotel. It is bright and modern, close to Subway station “Victory Monument”, and just next to the Santi Phab Park where you can get a bit of green grass under your feet. Good value for your money.
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Boxpackers Hostel (2 stars)
This hotel reminds me of Japanese capsule hotels where you sleep in small rooms that look like boxes. It is shared bathrooms only. The hotel looks new, fresh and modern, and you get free breakfast. The common areas are very cozy, and a great place to make new friends from all over the world. Located close to Pratunam market and Baiyoke Sky Bar.
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Lemontea Hotel (3 stars)
This is a relatively new hotel. The rooms are not the biggest but have a cozy, fun, and modern design. You are welcomed with a free cup of lemon tea (suits the hotel name…), and you get two bottles of water for free each day. It is located down an alley from the main road, with a 7-11 next door and several massage places on the same street. There is a 5-minute walk to Platinum shopping mall.
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7. Chinatown Area (cyan)

Map of Chinatown

Why stay in Chinatown?

Chinatown is one of the oldest areas in Bangkok, first inhabited by Chinese traders. Walking the narrow alleys and streets in this area feels like stepping back in time and witnessing a bit of Bangkok’s past. We went on a walking tour through Chinatown with a guide telling us about this area’s history and culture, and it was fantastic!

Street food cooking in Chinatown, Bangkok

Chinese street food in Chinatown

The area is bustling with energy, sounds, smells and colorful neon signs. The buildings are old and built in the traditional Chinese architecture style. Walking through these narrow alleyways you will find small stores selling Chinese goods like gold, tea, and spices, as well as street-side noodles places and bustling markets. This area is great fun!

Chinatown is also arguably the best place to sample Bangkok’s famous street food.

You will find cheap budget accommodations in this area, as well as some cool boutique hotels where old Chinese buildings have been restored and made into unique hotels. If you plan to head out of Bangkok from Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong) the next morning and are looking for a cheap place to stay, Chinatown is also the place to stay.

Things to see and do in Chinatown

  • Have a bowl of delicious Chinese noodles and dumplings at one of the many street-side restaurants.
  • Shop at markets selling Chinese goods like tea, spices, and pottery.
  • If you are looking for gold, Chinatown is the place to come.
  • Go crazy on delicious Thai and Chinese street food.
  • Walk the narrow alley-ways and take in the smells, sounds, and colors of traditional old Thai/ Chinese culture and life.
  • Take a guided walking tour and learn more about this area.
  • Explore Little India, just a short walk from Chinatown.

What`s the catch?

Some of the streets and buildings are not very well maintained, so it has a bit of a run down feel. You will not find many fancy restaurants or hotels here, and a lot of the places to eat close early. Chinatown does not have Skytrain, but you can take the Subway MRT to “Hua Lamphong” station and walk from there.

Where to stay in Chinatown


Centra Central Station Hotel Bangkok
If you are looking for something a little more upscale than Chinatowns normal guesthouses and hostels, this mid-range western hotel may be just what you are looking for. Situated close to Hua Lampong railway station it is also a popular choice for travelers waiting to take an early train.
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Pho Place
This is a new hostel that just opened up in the heart of Chinatown and is currently getting some great reviews. The rooms are clean and modern and come with an LCD TV, free Wi-fi, air-con, and fridge. Located in a side alley, like many small places in Chinatown, this one can be a little hard to find.
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River View Guesthouse
A popular budget choice in Chinatown, with both dorm rooms and private rooms available. The rooms are simple, clean and spacious. The rooftop restaurant is a nice place to have a drink while watching the sunset over the river. The river ferry station Pier 4 is very close to the guesthouse, so taking the ferry from here to famous attractions such as Wat Arun is easy.
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8. The International Airport Suvarnabhumi Area (red)

Suvarnabhumi-Airport map

Why stay close to Suvarnabhumi Airport?

The only reason to stay in the area around Suvarnabhumi Airport is if you have an early plane to catch, or arrive late in Bangkok and don`t want to head into the city straight away. This is not the area to stay in if you want to see Bangkok and its sights.

The Suvarnabhumi Airport is about a 45-60 minutes drive from the main center of Bangkok, depending on the traffic. You can take the Skytrain – the “City Line”, which takes about 26 minutes from/to the “Phaya Thai station”. It stops at six stations along the way. You can also take the Skytrain Express Line which only takes 15 minutes to/from “Makassan station”. The Skytrain operates from 6 a.m. to midnight. For more info check the Airport Rail Link website.

There are many luxury hotels in the area, offering good value for your money as they are usually cheaper than in the city itself.

Things to see and do in the Suvarnabhumi Airport area

Not much is going on in this area, and there are not much to see or do here apart from staying at your hotel. You will find Mega Bangna – a huge shopping mall, Boran Bang PLI Floating Market, and some temples in this area. But they are not the main attractions of Bangkok.

What`s the catch?

The Suvarnabhumi Airport area is pretty far away from the city center of Bangkok (45 – 60 minutes by taxi), and there is not much to see or do out here in this area. Many of the hotels in this area offer free shuttle service to the Skytrain station from which it is easy to head into town (30 minutes).

Where to stay in the Suvarnabhumi Airport area

Top range

The Grand Fourwings Convention Hotel (5 stars)
We stayed at this hotel on our way from Vietnam to Railay Beach in the South of Thailand, when we missed our connecting flight in Bangkok to Railay (Krabi airport). Thai Airways sent us to this hotel, and we loved it from the moment we stepped into the lobby of Grand Fourwings.

The lobby and reception area are huge, and so are the rooms. Unfortunately, we only stayed here one night, and we had to get up real early to take the first plane to Krabi, so we did not get the chance to try the swimming pool. We had a look at it, and it’s excellent with a great lounge area where you can sit and have some sun as well as enjoy the view of the Bangkok skyline.

The dinner and breakfast were delicious with a great variety of food, both western and Asian. And the best – they had a huge chocolate fountain! I dipped fruits, marshmallows, and sweets all evening! 🙂
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Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Golf Resort and Spa (5 stars)
This hotel is located among beautiful surroundings right next to the golf course. The hotel looks like a very relaxing and luxurious place to stay but at the same time affordable. The rooms are huge, the pools are beautiful, and the hotel is brand new with modern design.

It is however on the golf course and far away from other restaurants and bars/pubs, but the hotel has an in-house restaurant. It looks like you have to pay around 450 Thai Baht extra per day for wifi (a stupid policy if you ask me…).
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Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (4 stars)
This is very close to the airport, only 2-3 minutes with the free airport shuttle. The hotel is located close to entrance 4 at the airport. You can easily walk to/from the airport through the air-conditioned underground walkway. The same walkway leads to an Airport Rail Link station if you want to head into Bangkok downtown (30-45 minutes each way).

The rooms are very spacious and the complimentary breakfast buffet starting at 3 am is a huge plus if you have an early plane to catch.
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U-Tiny Boutique Home Suvarnabhumi (3 stars)
If we were to stay at a smaller and less pricey hotel close to the airport, we would opt for this one! It looks cozy, with a lovely swimming pool set in a green and lush garden.
Free airport shuttle every hour is a plus.
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The End

There you go, our favorite and recommended hotels in the eight different areas of Bangkok. Hopefully, you now know a bit more about Bangkok’s many areas, and deciding where to stay in Bangkok has become a little easier.

We intend to add more hotels and info to this guide in the future, so please let us know if you have any suggestions and tips!

Have a great trip to Bangkok! ♥

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Thailand travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:

Thailand Lonely Planet   Thailand DK   Thailands beaches      Bangkok Lonely Planet


Heading for Bangkok? Wondering where to stay? Check out this guide to the best areas and hotels in Bangkok. Heading for Bangkok? Wondering where to stay? Check out this guide to the best areas and hotels in Bangkok.

What is your favourite area and hotel in Bangkok? Do you miss any information or tips in this “Where to stay in Bangkok” guide? Please leave a comment in the comment area below. Thank you!

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