Grand palace

Two days in Bangkok for first-timers

Bangkok is surely at the top of every avid traveler’s destination list. The city’s diverse mix of striking architecture that spans centuries, exceptional food scene, and eclectic inhabitants give it a gritty charm unlike anywhere else. In fact, it’s now known to be the world’s most visited city, taking the crown from London, the previous victor.

So what’s the best way to spend 48 hours in Bangkok? It can be tough to narrow it down, but we’ve done that hard work for you.

Embrace the chaos, drink in the sights and smells, and keep reading to learn how to make the most of your time in the Thai capital!

If you follow our two-day Bangkok itinerary, you’ll get to:

  • Tour the Grand Palace
  • Take a boat on the river
  • Get creative at a cooking school
  • Cycle along the canals and through hidden neighborhoods
  • Watch a Muay Thai boxing match
  • See a traditional theater show
  • And more!

Day 1


Start your first day with a visit to Thailand’s most famous landmark. The Grand Palace is a sumptuous complex of white marble, jewel-tiled, and golden-spired buildings, intersected with pretty paths and dotted with funky bonsai trees that sit in elaborate terracotta pots.

The Grand Palace is an unmissable stop while visiting Bangkok, which, although no longer used as a royal residence, still serves as a ceremonial location for regal events throughout the year.

Your Go Bangkok pass gets you admission to a 1.5 hour guided tour of the Grand Palace, which includes a visit to the Emerald Buddha - a stunning statue of Buddha carved from a single, giant block of jade which is among Thailand’s most important religious relics.

Please note: be sure to read our instructions on how best to conduct yourself at temples and sacred sites. These can be found in the ‘essential info’ section of attraction pages.


Time for some leisurely sightseeing. The Siam Hop-on, Hop-off One-Day Tour is a great way to familiarise yourself with Bangkok, while ticking off some top attractions. With your one-day ticket, you can stop at as many places as you wish across Siam Hop's four routes that include top heritage sights, the entertainment district, and the best shopping routes. It’s totally flexible - you can hop-on and hop-off as often or as little as you wish and only see what you want to see.

If the bus doesn’t fulfill all of your hopping and shopping needs, then why not take to the river on the Chao Phraya Hop-on, Hop-off Boat? This scenic trip down the city’s main artery allows you to discover the illustrious landmarks that line the riverbank, with a guide on board who bestows their knowledge of the famous river. What’s more, stops include some of Bangkok’s best malls, which in turn comprise mega food halls that should nourish your foodie fix between waterway trips.


Nightfall in Bangkok can mean only one thing: Khao San Road. This infamous street comes alive at night with color, sounds, and smells, and positively teems with people. Music blares out from the countless bars and pubs, fragrant steam billows up from hawker stands, and shops spill into the street where you can wade through racks of super cheap garments and jewelry. Those after a slower pace of life might want to give this lively quarter a miss...

The evening’s escapades wouldn’t be complete without attending a rip-roaring Muay Thai Knockout match! Join in with the crowd, whooping and hollering for your favorite contestant as they cross the border of bashing each other silly and moving with compelling martial artistry. Held at Asiatique, this brand-new stadium on the riverfront is one of the best places in the capital to see a match of the national sport and your Go Bangkok pass gives you access to premium seats.

Day 2


Rise and shine early for a Temple Guided Tour to kick off day two. You’ll visit three temples on this tour: Wat Traimit, Wat Pho and Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram. Wat Traimit is known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha, which hosts a magnificent three-meter tall golden statue of Buddha, weighing over five tons. Wat Pho is a vast temple complex made up of walled compounds housing ornate structures with multicolored tiled roofs and golden spires, the most central of which is home to the Reclining Buddha - a 46-meter long, golden structure that really is something to behold.

The last stop on the tour is Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram. If that’s a bit of a mouthful, you can also refer to it as the Marble Temple. Typified by the sculptural chofas - or roof points - that resemble birds in flight, this is among Bangkok’s most beautiful and peaceful places of worship.


Following lunch, join a Bangkok Culture Cycling Tour and experience the hidden sights of the city on two wheels. On this leisurely guided cycle ride through the capital, you’ll get to see a side of Bangkok that most tourists don’t know about. Zigzag through the narrow streets that house the city’s Muslim community, passing by a myriad of delicious-smelling halal street food stands (with the opportunity to stop off for a taste) and a scattering of Islamic architecture before reaching the charming Old Customs House, now a cool, riverside ruin.

Or, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, then get down to Go! Thai Cooking School where you’ll have the chance to create five different and delectable Thai dishes, learn more about the county's cuisine, and sample local ingredients under the guidance of a talented chef. The menu changes daily, so if you really loved it, then head back again the next day and learn five new dishes.

What’s more, after everything has been cooked up, your group will chow down and enjoy your fabulous, hand-made fare.


End your Bangkok weekend with a bang at the spectacular Siam Niramit show. This 90-minute spectacle covers 700 years of Thailand’s rich history, demonstrated through the power of dance, song and fantastical stage effects.

Held in the stunning, 2,000-seat Ratchada Theatre, this show is one of the world’s largest in terms of stage size and cast. Over 100 performers take to the 60-meter-wide stage in an array of delightful costumes, lanterns float across a flooded section of the stage and thunder, lightning and real rainfall erupts from overhead, reverberating around the 11-meter high proscenium.

What a way to end your Bangkok stay, and a true immersion into Thailand’s unique and beautiful culture.

Need an escape from the hubbub of the city? Why not spend your second day on trip to Ayutthaya and book onto the Go Bangkok 5 UNESCO Temples Tour. Or alternatively, take a breather from Bangkok with a round-trip tour to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market just west of the city.

Save on Admission to Bangkok Attractions

Explore the top things to do in Bangkok with the Go Bangkok pass. Pick an All-Inclusive pass for unlimited attraction admission or select a set number of attractions with our Explorer pass. You’ll get access to bus tours, cruises, guided walking and cycling tours, and other fun ways to explore the Thai capital.

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