If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, visiting Bangkok is usually a given. But sometimes you might just be in transit, in a hurry or you might be an expat or local living close by who wants to pop into the capital for a quick spell. Whatever your reason, there’s a lot you can do in Bangkok in a day. So pick your most comfortable pair of shoes and explore this magnificent, larger-than-life city in a whirlwind of a day.

Here are 6 ways to make the best of your one day in Bangkok!

1. Chomp down on some delicious Thai street food

Street food in Thailand - what to do in a day in Bangkok
Thai food market

The food here indulges the glutton in you. From barbecued seafood and chicken satay to juicy pork grilled on skewers right before your eyes, the street food stalls are a treat for the eyes and the tummy. Make the most of your limited time and grab some for the road.

Where should you go?

Bangkok’s old city (Rattanakosin), Bang Rak and Yaowarat in Bangkok’s Chinatown are some prominent areas known for street food. You can also read this detailed guide to street food in Bangkok, what to eat and where to go.

2. Explore history, culture, art and more through some quintessential sightseeing

Bangkok cityscape. Bangkok night view in the business district at twilight
Night view of Bangkok in the business district at twilight

Bangkok has a rich history and culture, drawing influences from Buddhism and the Ramayana. Interspersed amidst the tall skyscrapers are peaceful temples, gorgeous gardens, and historical monuments.

Where should you go?

Visit the Rattanakosin area, the historic centre, for most of the must-see sights such as Wat Pho which has one of the largest reclining Buddha statues and the Grand Palace which also houses Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred temple in Thailand.

Bonus Tip:

Ride a boat or ferry across the Chao Phraya River to get to Rattanakosin which will be a unique way to explore the city.

3. Go nuts with the bargains and shopping

Day and night markets in Bangkok - Bangkok in a day

If the crazy street bargains don’t turn you on then the trendy upscale malls might do the trick. Bangkok caters to every shopper based on style, need, and of course, pocket. You can get clothes, jewellery, electronic goods, souvenirs, home decor and everything in between.

Where should you go?

Weekend markets like Chatuchak and night markets in Khao San Road are worth a visit and a great way to pass the time if you happen to visit during that time. Indra Market, MBK Mall, CentralWorld and Siam Paragon are some other shopping paradises you can look into.

4. Relax and unwind from your hectic life with traditional Thai massages

Woman receiving Traditional Thai massage
Traditional Thai massage

Thai massages are to die for! If you wish to wind down or have a lazy day, submit yourself to this heavenly pampering. Traditional Thai massage does not involve lubricants; it takes into consideration Indian Ayurvedic principles and assisted yoga postures to gently stretch your muscles. This is an ideal massage for people too shy to strip. You can also opt for other types of massages involving oils and lotions. 

Where should you go?

The Thai massage industry is huge and you will find no difficulty in locating a parlour. Many hotels offer spa services as well. However, if you happen to visit an unknown parlour and they ask you if you want “a happy ending” and you’re not sure what that means, just say “no.” If you do know what it means your answer can be at your own discretion! 😉

Bonus Tip:

If you don’t wish for a full body massage, you can always find cute little kiosks along the street that offer foot massages.

5. Experience the happening nightlife in Bangkok

If you are a party animal and you happen to be around at night, Bangkok will leave you spoiled for choice. You will find lively pubs, bars, strip clubs (if that’s your thing) and more. So you can dance the night away. Although, if you have an early flight to catch then you might want to ease up on the drinks and set some kind of an alert so you know when to vamoose! 

Where should you go?

While you are likely to find interesting places in most areas, Silom, Sukhumvit and Khao San Road are popular for thriving nightlife.

6. Get inked at one of the best tattoo parlours

Last but not least, every person who has a tattoo knows it becomes a bit of an addiction to get more. Bangkok is a great option even for first-timers. Tattoo enthusiasts and newcomers alike will find many skilled artists here. Think of the design you wish for (a great way to kill time on a flight) and spend your hours in Bangkok getting inked. Be sure to research your tattoo parlours before going and ensure they aren’t booked up.

In short, this lively city has no dearth of things to offer for all kinds of people. And just a day in Bangkok can be quite eventful. Sanuk!


  1. Had been here recently. Go to platinum fashion mall and pantip plaza on your next visit to Bangkok. It’s a good place for clothes, accessories and electronics. Apart from the shopping, really loved Bangkok. It’s just the way you described it.


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