48 Hours Guide – Bangkok itinerary of the top things to do in Bangkok and places of interest to visit over 2 days in Bangkok.
Bangkok is host to an eclectic mix of old and new. Glittering temples contrast against luxury urban shopping complexes and street food sizzles on the side of the road next to Michelin-starred restaurants. There is a constant busyness that energises the city and no shortage of things to do. To get the most of out a short stay in Thailand’s capital, we’ve got a great guide to exploring the hustle and bustle of the best Bangkok has on offer and some of the best hotels in Bangkok!
Bangkok Itinerary – Day 1
Morning: A Grand ‘Ol Time
Start right off with a visit to one of the most famous Thai temples, the Grand Palace.
Tourists flock here, but for good reason. It is an unmissable part of Bangkok. Right in the heart of the city, the Grand Palace complex was built in 1782 and is made up of truly regal architecture – glittering gold stupas and glass mosaics shine bright in the sun. Take your time and wander through the halls, gardens and numerous temples on the grounds.
The Emerald Buddha is located nearby and is worth a look as well. Hire a guide to get the most out your visit.
A dress code applies for the temple: shoulders and knees must be covered. Clothes are available to rent but it’s better to come prepared.
Afternoon: Go Shopping in Bangkok
After a cultural fix, it’s time for some Bangkok shopping! A must on any Bangkok itinerary. And you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Grab a taxi and get yourself to Siam Place – located in the heart of the shopping and entertainment district of Bangkok. You’ll find designer clothing boutiques, restaurants, bookstores and cafes in this trendy part of the city.CC 2.0 / Transformer18
A pedestrian-walkway bridge connects Siam Place to neighbouring shopping complexes MBK Center and Siam Paragon; the air-conditioned shopping centres can be heavenly refuge on a hot day as you browse through shops like Sephora and a four-storey Tokyu department store, or check out the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia.
Evening: Cruisin’ Bangkok at Night
Witness the beauty of Bangkok at night from the Chao Phraya River as you wine and dine on a dinner cruise.
It’s among Bangkok’s most popular points of interest. There is an abundance of choice; from grand luxurious cruise ships offering cocktails and canapes to quaint converted rice barges presenting a more intimate environment. Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s plenty of choice as you float down the river with the city dazzling around you.CC 2.0 / nssn774
The night isn’t over just yet, there’s a little more you can squeeze in your short weekend Bangkok itinerary. Disembark and get set for another round of retail therapy – this time at the riverfront market Asiatique.
Open from 5pm until midnight, there’s over 1500 boutique stores for you to meander through for lots of good shopping. Attractive storefronts and a retro vibe make it a great place to finish the evening, perhaps with a drink or dessert at one of the many restaurants.
Bangkok Itinerary – Day 2
Morning: Bangkok Floating Markets
Time to rise and shine and head off to Talin Chan Floating Market.
Many people are put off visiting the big famous floating markets as they’re a fair distance from Bangkok and require a super early wake-up call and battling with hordes of tourists, but Talin Chan is conveniently located just 12km out of Bangkok!
It’s much smaller and less touristy than the more popular floating markets but is far more charming. Grab a late breakfast or early lunch and get a real sense of life by the river, sampling fresh seafood, sweets and fruits as you relax by the water.
Afternoon: Thai Massage Time
You can’t visit Bangkok without indulging in a massage – Thailand is famous for them! After all that walking around, time to indulge a little and take time out from the chaos of the city.
Massages can range from high-end luxury to cheap massages on the street, and they can be a little hit-and-miss, but a visit to Luxsa Spa (at the Hansar Bangkok Hotel), which offers an extensive massage and spa treatment menu, is guaranteed to leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.
A visit to Urban Retreat (Khlong Tan Nuea Vadhana) is another safe bet with reasonable prices for spa and massage treatments. Enjoy an Aroma Oil Massage or Hot Stone Treatment.
Evening: Blind and Dine in Bangkok
Finish off your 2 days in Bangkok with a buffet of Thai food. Hit the street food stalls or head to a hotel for a full spread of all the spicy delicious goodness Bangkok restaurants are known for.
As you sit down for dinner, you are submerged in total darkness. No phones, no menus, no light at all. Blind waiters present your full-course meal as you experience your food using only your sense of smell and taste. You can choose between a Western, Asian, Vegetarian or Surprise menu, but that is the only information you are given, leaving you guessing and debating what your dish may consist of as you savour each mouthful.
Only when you have finished and return to the foyer are your meals revealed to you.
Not only do you experience a fun new way to dine, you are also helping vision-impaired locals gain employment. While the wait staff are blind, the chefs preparing your meals are not vision-impaired to ensure high quality food.
Photo credits: Getty Images
How to Get There
Flights to Bangkok
Bangkok has one of the busiest airports in the world – Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) – with many flights stopping here in transit, as well as being a destination in its own right. Find flights here.