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Best Place To Stay In Bangkok: The Ultimate Guide

Heading to Bangkok!?

I have returned to this city over and over since my first visit back in 2013. It is stunning.  However, it does take a little while to get used to, and first timers are often intimidated by the place. Your Bangkok experience is also very dependent on where you choose to stay. 

The obvious question is therefore – What’s the best place to stay in Bangkok?

Here’s the thing: You can have any kind of holiday you want in Bangkok. If you want to party every single night and get drunk and go wild until the morning, this could be one of the best cities in the world. But if you want to just spend the day eating delicious food and sightseeing and go to bed by 8pm, this could also be one of the best cities in the world. If you want to shop all day and spend all your money on fancy clothes – well, this probably is the best city in the world. And if you’re on a honeymoon and want a luxurious, relaxing holiday with beautiful sunsets…you get the point.

In this guide, I’m going to break down six of the main areas of Bangkok so you can decide the best place to stay in Bangkok for you. Of course there are many more areas, but these six are the main ones and for a Bangkok first timer, I highly recommend staying in one of these. 

I’m not going to run you down on all the different tourist attractions etc, we can do that another time, or you can simply Google it or ask your receptionist when you arrive. That’s the easy stuff. What I’ll do is give you a quick intro to what each area is about, then share some places to stay that I can vouch for. I’ve stayed all over Bangkok, and while I’m a budget traveller at heart, I’ll give you options for every price range. Whether you’re looking to pinch pennies or splurge on a fancy honeymoon, I’ve got you covered.

First things first – here’s a map with the areas we’ll be talking about. As you can see Bangkok’s airport is quite a way out, but it’s easy enough to reach central Bangkok – the trains leave from right within the airport terminal and will only cost a few dollars. Super easy.

where to stay in bangkok

The areas marked above are then all easy reachable once in Bangkok’s centre. To be honest, there is no one best place to stay in Bangkok. All have their different quirks and things to love and hate. Let me take you through each of them:


Sukhumvit

This is my favourite area to stay in. Sukhumvit is a developed and trendy area of central Bangkok, packed with hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, shops, malls and everything else you could want on your doorstep. While many tourists stay in and visit this area, it’s not exactly “touristy” in the traditional sense. There are many Thais that live and work in the area too, which gives it a local feel, despite the clear western influence.

As an added bonus, the Skytrain runs right through the middle of Sukhumvit, meaning if you want to go anywhere you can simply jump on the platform and get anywhere in just a few minutes. There’s no need for taxis in Sukhumvit!

The Sukhumvit line starts with the more tourist-oriented areas, such as Nana and Asok. Here you’ll find a lot of things like massage houses, Irish pubs, western restaurants, bars, street sellers and so on. It’s pretty hectic but fun too. As you move further down the line towards Thong Lor, you start to get a more high-class Thai vibe, and near the end of the line is well and truly local territory where you will hardly see any foreign faces or hear any English. You can stay absolutely anywhere on the Sukhumvit line, but I’d probably stay somewhere between the Asok and Thong Lor stations. That way you’re right in the centre of the action, and just a few stops from both worlds.

Where to stay?

There are lots of options between Asok and Thong Lor; in my opinion, this might be the best place to stay in Bangkok for a first timer. Here are some recommendations:

For the backpacker

Try the Pixellar Hostel. This quirky hostel is super clean, modern, and walking distance to the Asok BTS station. For less than ten bucks a night, it’s a total bargain. You’ll find the best rates here.

Pixellar Hostel, Bangkok

For the budget traveller

I’d stay at the Adagio Bangkok. Will only run you around $40 a night and the rooms almost feel like a four star hotel. There are very few places in the world you can get this level of flash at that price! It’s also just a few steps away from the Phrom Phong BTS station – a big bonus. You’ll find the best rates here.

Adagio Bangkok Hotel

For the high roller

Sukhumvit is full of luxury, and the best part is, it’s not even that expensive. If you’re on a romantic holiday and looking to splurge, this is a great city to go all in. If you’re staying in Sukhumvit, I’d take the Sofitel Bangkok. It has everything you’d expect in a lavish hotel – gym, pool, room service, a zillion floors, incredible furnishings. Will run you $150 a night and up, but it’s fit for royalty. Five minutes walk to the Nana BTS. You’ll find the best rates here.

Sofitel Sukhumvit Bangkok

Khao San Road

Khao San Road is the backpacker mecca of Bangkok, and tailored for the young, university-aged party crowd. This is hands down the best place to stay in Bangkok for cheap drinks, cheap food, bars and loud music, and general all night craziness. If that sounds like you, this is your spot.

There are many backpacker hostels both on and around Khao San Road, and in all honesty you could probably just show up and find something as long as you’re not right in the middle of peak season. However it’s always a good idea to book ahead.

For the backpacker

Nitan Hostel is a funky, modern hostel right on the centre of Khaosan Road. If you want to be in the middle of the action this is your spot. Beds will run you about $12-$15 per night. There are a ton of other cheaper hostels around Khaosan Road, but I think it’s worth paying a few extra dollars for something less crowded. If you’re really pinching pennies, go with the Sleeping Flamingo. They’ll pack you into the rooms but it’s clean, well-run and dirt cheap. Best rates here.

For the budget traveller

I’d go with Baan Kachitpan. It’s about a ten minute walk from Khaosan Road (which might be a good thing) and the rooms are gorgeous and chic. Only ~$20 per night! Absolute steal. Get the best rates here.

For the high roller

Not many upper end places around Khaosan road as it’s mostly a backpacker area, but for something flash try the Ibis Styles at Khaoson Viengtai. It’s about a five minute walk from Khaosan Road (just a couple of blocks) and has all the makings of a high end hotel. If you’re lucky you’ll get a room for around $50 USD, depending on season. The best rates will be found here.


Looking for something different? Search all properties in Bangkok:

 


Bangkok Riverside

Riverside is a slightly more trendy and expensive area, away from the hustle bustle that Bangkok is often known for. It’s full of expensive hotels and pretty views. I don’t spend much time out here personally, but it’s definitely the best place to stay in Bangkok for couples looking for flash and romance. The area is also known for its many temples and shrines and other tourist attractions.

Another cool part of staying by the Bangkok riverside are the boat rides! There are ferries going up and down the river all day – the easiest place to get them is from the Central Pier. Some of the upper end hotels will offer free rides to and from the Central Pier, so look out for that. 

For the backpacker

Fun Cafe & Hostel is an absolute bargain. Eight bucks a night and all the frills of a high-end hostel. About a ten minute walk to public transport. Best rates here.

For the budget traveller

You can’t go wrong with Hansa Bangkok House. The rooms are gorgeous and it’s on Rama VIII road, just a few minutes from the riverfront. Many popular attractions in the area are within walking distance. At $40 a night it’s a gem. Best rates here!

For the high roller

There is no better place than the riverfront to experience luxury accommodation in Bangkok. The area is overflowing with extravagance. I’m going to recommend the Riva Arun. Both the rooms and the views are going to blow you away here. At $350+ per night it’s not cheap, but if you’re in Bangkok to live large this won’t let you down. Best rates here.


Siam

Siam is Bangkok’s shopping district and definitely the best place to stay in Bangkok if you’re on a shopping mission. Truthfully, even the biggest shopaholics can’t outshop Siam. Bangkok has some of the biggest and best malls in the world and many of them are clustered here on one strip – Siam Square, MBK, Centralworld, Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery and Siam Center. Get through those and you’ll still have street shopping and boutique malls to get through. 

One thing I did notice about Siam is it feels a lot less “Thai” then other areas of Bangkok – meaning the malls are full of western brands, wealthy teenagers and foreigners. Things like Thai street food and regular locals are not seen as much. Nothing wrong with that of course, just something to take note of.

Want to stay in Siam? Here are a few suggestions:

For the backpacker

Diff Hostel is a great choice. Fun, quirky, social, and the beds are great. Ten bucks a night! You’ll find those rates here.

For the budget traveller

I’d go with Nine Design Place. It’s a boutique guesthouse, very modern and stylish with a great location. Rooms are excellent. Five minutes from public transport. Around $55 per night! You can get those rates here.

For the high roller

Lots of high-end places to choose from, but I’d recommend the Siam Kempinski. Will probably run you about $300 per night, but the rooms are absolutely lavish and the location can’t be beat. Facilities are incredible too – with the gym and pool they have, you’re never going to leave! You’ll find the best rates here.


Silom

Silom is a much more vanilla area of Bangkok. Not so wild, not too touristy, just your regular city vibe.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s still plenty of beautiful places and things to do around here! I’d say it’s one of the best places in Bangkok for a long term stay.

It’s actually considered the city’s central business district, so you’ll see lots of working Thais around in office clothing, locals going about their day, elderly exercising and strolling through the enormous Lumphini park. One thing that can be a downside here is the ridiculous traffic during rush hour, but if you’re using the Skytrain you’ll be fine!

Of course one thing you should note is the infamous Patpong area is here, which is notorious for sex tourism, ping pong shows, girly bars and late night shenanigans. Of course if that’s your thing you’re in the right place! Note there’s nothing dangerous about this area at all, it’s just somewhere to steer clear of if you don’t want that sort of thing in your face, which is not hard to do at all. 

For the backpacker

I’d stay at iSanook. It’s a funky, colourful, modern hostel in a great location. If you’re lucky you’ll get a room for less than six bucks a night. You should find those rates here.

For the budget traveller

Go for the Lullaby Inn. It’s a cosy, beautifully furnished guesthouse and a seven minute walk to public transport. Rooms are excellent and you’ll get a private room for around $35. Bargain. Get the best rate here.

For the high roller

Lots to choose from in Silom, but I’d suggest the Le Meridien. Not too expensive, but still all the flash you’d expect from a five star hotel. Get the circular bed room – might cost you, but what’s a Bangkok holiday if you don’t treat yourself a little? You’ll get the best rates from here.


Looking for something different? Search all properties in Bangkok:

 


Chinatown

Chinatown is a good budget area of Bangkok with a lot of history. 

It’s not the prettiest place in Bangkok but is completely safe and full of interesting characters, chic bars, street food, rustic streets and just good old Bangkok ruggedness. When Khao San Road started becoming infamous for its partying ways, Chinatown became somewhat of a backpacker alternative. There are a lot of cheap places to stay around here, and a lot of cheap food and shopping too. It tends to attract the young traveller more interested in a quiet beer and a good plate of noodles than an all night rave at the club. 

For the backpacker

Tiger Lily Hostel is a great choice. It’s about a 15 minute walk to public transport, but it’s a super chic and fun hostel, beautifully decorated and cheap! Shouldn’t run you more than $7-8 per night. Get the best rate here.

For the budget traveller

I can highly recommend Pho Place. It’s just down the road from the train, has beautiful rooms, and should cost you around $40 per night. Super value for money. Best rates here.

For the high roller

There isn’t too much flash around Chinatown, at least not compared to the rest of Bangkok, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do things in style here. The Hotel Royal has everything you’d expect in a top level hotel (gym, lap pool, beautiful reception and rooms) and will be quite a bit cheaper than the rest of Bangkok’s top selections. Around $120 per night will get you a room here. Save that extra cash for all the ridiculous food you’re going to be eating! Find the best rate here.


There it is! The ultimate guide to where to stay in Bangkok. If you have any questions at all I’m more than happy to help, just leave a comment below. 

Enjoy Thailand!

Bren

Photo credit: [email protected]

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