Bangkok isn’t just the capital of Thailand. It’s also one of the most interesting cities in Thailand and all of Asia. More than 400 temples, remarkable palaces and floating markets help make Bangkok the captivating city it is today and a destination tourists love to travel.
With hundreds of temples located throughout the city, we’ve listed 6 must-see temples in Bangkok worth seeing, as well as a few other attractions worthy of your time. Check out these beautiful Bangkok hotels for your stay too.
1. Wat Phra Kaew
Start your Bangkok temple tour at the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This Buddhist temple was built inside the grounds of the Grand Palace and is the most visited of all the Bangkok temples. Carved into a block of jade, the Emerald Buddha — who wears one of three royal robes depending on the season — is the well-known icon of this temple and to the Thai people, even though it’s a relatively small icon standing at only 66cm. After the Emerald Buddha, walk around to see the other religious, architectural and historical things at Wat Phra Kaew and inside the Grand Palace.
2. Wat Pho
Next on our list is Wat Pho or Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This Buddhist temple is one of the largest and oldest in Bangkok and best known for housing the 46 meters long, 15 meters high Reclining Buddha and hundreds of other Buddha images. This enormous, beautifully crafted Reclining Buddha is seen as a very significant object of worship in the city, as it symbolizes happiness and the passing of the Buddha into Nirvana.
3. Wat Arun
On the bank of the Chao Phraya River is Wat Arun. Because its full name is so long and hard to remember (and pronounce) many call it Temple of Dawn. Wat Arun is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn, and its architecture represents the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. Because this temple emphasizes its mystical symbolism and really glitters at sunset, tourists enjoy seeing this temple from every angle and distance. Don’t let the name fool you. It may be called the Temple of Dawn, but sunset is the best time to see it.
4. Wat Traimit
To see the world’s largest gold seated statue you have to visit Wat Traimit, or Temple of the Golden Buddha. You’ll find this white and gold temple on Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, so after seeing the temple and Buddha you can stroll through Chinatown. It was by accident and sheer luck this 5-meter high, 5.5-ton statue was discovered as it was accidentally dropped while being moved and the plaster it was cased with came off revealing the gorgeous gold underneath.
5. Wat Saket
Another Bangkok temple worth seeing is Wat Saket. Worshippers and tourists visit this temple year round, and many enjoy coming to its annual weeklong temple fair in November. The Golden Mount is the most recognized landmark of Wat Saket. It’s built on a man-made hill and requires 300 steps to reach the top, but the panoramic views of Bangkok from the top and chiming bells that greet you once you arrive are well worth the short hike.
6. Wat Suthat
While this last temple is one of the oldest and most notable ones, Wat Suthat is most remembered for the bright red Giant Swing at its entrance. The swing is just taller than 21 meters, and because of its size and color can still be seen from far away. But there’s more to admire than the Giant Swing. The chapel at this Bangkok temple is beautiful and elegant in its exterior and interior designs. You’ll see four intricately hand carved entry gates, stunning wall murals and striking Chinese stone sculptures. It may be last on our list, but it doesn’t have to be the last one on your sightseeing list.