11 Free Things to Do in Bangkok

22 Jan 2024 12 min read No comments Things to do in Bangkok

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Are you looking for free things to do in Bangkok? Discover the top budget-friendly attractions in the city here.

Great parks, historical sites, and cultural hotspots – Bangkok has an incredible number of highlights on offer.

The best part is that many of these treasures are free, so you can easily save money – especially if you want to travel longer.

In this blog post, we show you free things to do in Bangkok that are worth a visit.

Discover the many different facets of the city without straining your budget.

Free Things to Do in Bangkok

Although Bangkok is a relatively inexpensive city, the daily sightseeing marathon can be quite expensive in the long run.

So, it definitely can’t hurt to include a few free things to do in Bangkok in your program.

From great parks and extraordinary markets to lots of temples, there’s a lot you can experience for absolutely nothing in Bangkok:

1. Asiatique the Riverfront

Asiatique The Riverfront in Bangkok is a pretty cool combination of market and mall, offering a unique combination of shopping, dining, and entertainment on the picturesque Chao Phraya River.

This vibrant riverside destination has quickly become one of the city’s most popular hotspots, attracting visitors with its unique blend of traditional Thai culture and modern lifestyle.

Located on the site of a former international trading port, Asiatique is an impressive, open area that houses more than 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants.

Whether you are looking for souvenirs, trendy fashion, or culinary highlights, Asiatique has something for everyone.

After sunset, the complex is transformed into a glittering festival of lights, creating a magical atmosphere.

A unique feature is the Ferris wheel, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the river and the Bangkok skyline.

With regular cultural shows, events, and a relaxed riverside atmosphere, Asiatique The Riverfront is the perfect place to end an eventful day in Bangkok.

Here, you can find our detailed article about Asiatique The Riverfront.

Getting there: Take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin, and from there, walk to Sathorn Pier. Here, the free shuttle boat departs regularly. Alternatively, by cab.

Opening hours: Daily from 11:00 to 00:00.

Tip: Don’t miss the Calypso Cabaret Show at Asiatique Calypso Cabaret!

Asiatique The Riverfront - Asiatique Bangkok

2. Lumphini Park

Lumphini Park, a green oasis in the heart of Bangkok, is one of the best free things to do in Bangkok.

It is a great retreat and offers a welcome break from the city’s hectic atmosphere.

With an area of over 500,000 square meters, the park is a popular place for locals and tourists to relax, play sports or simply enjoy nature.

From jogging and cycle paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas to a large artificial lake where you can go pedal boating, there is something for everyone here.

Early in the morning and the evening, the park fills up with people practicing tai chi, yoga, or aerobics, which makes for a fascinating spectacle.

The park is also a center of biodiversity, with rich bird life and even giant banded monitor lizards that can often be spotted on the lake’s shores.

Here, you can find our detailed article about Lumphini Park.

Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Lumphini or Si Lom, by BTS Skytrain to Sala Daeng (Green Line), alternatively by cab.

Opening hours: Daily 04:30 to 22:00.

Tip: You can also escape the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for a while on a day trip – for example, to Ayutthaya.

Lumphini Park Bangkok - monitor lizard

3. Iconsiam – Free Things to Do in Bangkok

Iconsiam, the latest jewel in Bangkok’s crown of shopping malls, is a glittering symbol of luxury and modernity on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

The gigantic shopping center, which opened in 2018, covers an impressive area of over 500,000 square meters and offers a fantastic variety of retail, gastronomy, and culture options.

With over 500 stores, including various high-end and designer brands, local boutiques, and a giant Apple Store, it offers a shopping experience in a class of its own.

But Iconsiam is not just a place for shopping: Visitors from all over the world can also enjoy a wide range of culinary delights, from traditional Thai dishes to international cuisine.

One of Iconsiam’s main attractions is the SookSiam Zone, which showcases Thailand’s culture and heritage through local crafts, art, and street food.

The shopping center also has a spectacular waterfront promenade that offers a great view of the river and a colorful mix of art installations and regular events.

You can find more information here.

How to get there: By ferry to Iconsiam 1 Pier or by cab.

Opening hours: Daily 10:00 to 22:00.

Tip: The Chao Phraya Princess also departs from the ICONSIAM Shopping Center and sails along Bangkok’s main waterway.

Starbucks Chao Phraya Riverfront at ICONSIAM

4. Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road, often referred to as the heart of Bangkok’s backpacker world, should also be included among the best free things to do in Bangkok.

The lively and vibrant street is known for its unique atmosphere and colorful hustle and bustle.

The famous street, only about 400 meters long, is a melting pot of cultures and attracts travelers from all over the world.

During the day, Khaosan Road offers a variety of shopping opportunities, with countless stalls and stores selling everything from handmade souvenirs to traditional Thai clothing.

The street is also a paradise for street food lovers, with many stalls offering delicious local snacks and dishes at reasonable prices.

At night, Khaosan Road transforms into a vibrant party zone. Bars and clubs open their doors, and the street fills with a lively mix of music, dancing, and partying people.

Here, you can find our detailed article about Khao San Road.

How to get there: By cab.

Opening hours: Daily around the clock.

Tip: Book a bike tour of Bangkok here. The tour will take you through the city’s hidden backyards and alleys.

Khao San Road Bangkok

5. Chinatown

Bangkok’s Chinatown, a lively and colorful city center district, is where tradition meets modernity.

Known as one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, the vibrant district offers a fascinating mix of history, culture, and gastronomy.

As you stroll through the narrow streets of Chinatown, you will be almost overwhelmed by the bright neon signs, the countless stores, and the aromatic scents of the street kitchens.

The market is a street food lover’s paradise, with an endless selection of Chinese delicacies, from Peking duck to sweet sesame balls.

Chinatown is also known for its gold stores, which are located on the main street, Yaowarat Road.

In addition to gold, you will also find traditional Chinese medicine, textiles, and various handicrafts.

The district is not only an experience during the day but also offers a lively scene at night.

The lively streets then become a hotspot for night owls and gourmets.

We have written extensively about Chinatown in this article.

Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Wat Mangkong or Sam Yot, alternatively by cab.

Opening hours: Daily around the clock.

Tip: Immerse yourself in the history and sights of Bangkok’s Chinatown on this guided walking tour.

Sampeng Lane - Chinatown Bangkok

6. Erawan Shrine – Free Things to Do in Bangkok

The Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, also known as the Thao Maha Phrom Shrine, is a symbol of spiritual worship and one of the most famous shrines in the Thai capital.

Located at the busy Ratchaprasong intersection, the shrine is a destination for devout Buddhists and tourists who want to learn more about Thai culture.

The shrine houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai interpretation of the Hindu god Brahma.

Many locals come here to pay their respects and seek luck and prosperity.

How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to Chit Lom station, or alternatively take a cab.

Opening hours: Daily 06:00 to 22:00.

Tip: Book a guided tour of Wat Pho and other important temples in Bangkok to learn more about Bangkok’s history.

Erawan Shrine Bangkok

7. Chatuchak Weekend Market

The Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, often referred to simply as “JJ Market,” is a true shopper’s paradise and one of the largest markets in the world.

At weekends, the vast area is transformed into a vibrant microcosm that attracts both locals and tourists from all over the world.

Covering an area of 27 hectares, Chatuchak Market has more than 15,000 stalls selling an almost endless variety of goods.

From traditional Thai handicrafts to clothing, antiques, and exotic plants – you’ll find almost everything you can imagine here.

The shopping experience is rounded off by various food stalls offering local specialties and delicious drinks.

Here, you can find our detailed article about the Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Chatuchak Park or Kamphaeng Phet, by BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit (Green Line), alternatively by cab.

Opening hours: Friday 18:00 to 00:00, Saturday and Sunday 09:00 to 18:00. Partially open: Wednesday and Thursday 07:00 to 18:00.

Tip: On this tour, Discover the city’s best shopping spots, including the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, the Or Tor Kor fresh produce market, and Chatuchak.

Chatuchak Weekend Market Bangkok

8. Bangkok Art & Culture Center

The Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) is the heart of contemporary art, culture, and creativity in the center of Bangkok, making it one of Bangkok’s most exciting free attractions.

The striking structure, a spiral-shaped building opposite the MBK Center, is a meeting place for art lovers and creatives, reflecting Thailand’s dynamic art scene.

Spread over nine floors, the BACC offers an inspiring selection of exhibitions ranging from traditional Thai art to modern, experimental works.

Regularly changing exhibitions are held here, presenting works by both local and international artists.

The center also serves as a platform for various cultural events, workshops, readings, and performances that promote Thailand’s artistic diversity and cultural heritage.

In addition to the galleries, the BACC is also home to several art stores, bookshops, and cozy cafés that invite you to linger and enjoy the artistic atmosphere.

You can find more information here.

How to get there: Take the BTS Skytrain to National Stadium station, or alternatively take a cab.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00.

Tip: Book a guided tour of the city’s main sights to learn more about the history of Bangkok.

Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC)

9. Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market)

Pak Khlong Talat, Bangkok’s famous flower market, is an absolute explosion of colors and scents.

Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the market is known as the city’s largest wholesale and retail flower market and offers a vast variety of fresh flowers, plants, and herbs.

The unique thing about Pak Khlong Talat is that it is open around the clock. Its most active and lively time is shortly after midnight when deliveries of fresh flowers arrive.

Here, you can discover various flowers, from colorful orchids, roses, and lotus blossoms to exotic flower arrangements.

How to get there: By MRT to Sanam Chai station, by ferry to Yodpiman pier, alternatively by cab.

Opening hours: Daily around the clock. Core sales hours daily from 9:00 to 17:00.

Tip: On this tuk-tuk tour through Bangkok, you will explore many different highlights – including the Pak Khlong Talat.

Flower Market Bangkok

10. ChangChui (aircraft market)

ChangChui, known as Bangkok’s airplane market, is a unique and creative market and leisure area that combines art, fashion, food, and entertainment in an unconventional setting.

The highlight at ChangChui is a disused passenger plane in the middle of the market, which has given it its nickname.

The place is more than just a market; it is a creative hub that promotes local artists and craftspeople.

The numerous stalls and stores offer a variety of goods, from handmade jewelry and clothing to unusual works of art and vintage items.

In addition to the shopping experience, ChangChui is also known for its vibrant food scene, which includes traditional Thai dishes as well as innovative fusion cuisines.

Getting there: Take a boat to the other side of the river, Phra Pinklao Bridge pier. Then, take a cab.

Opening hours: Daily 11:00 to 23:00.

Tip: Get off the beaten track on this Bangkok food tour and enjoy typical Isan food from the northeast of Thailand – including the best Pad Thai in the city.

Chang Chui Plane Market Bangkok

11. Free Things to Do in Bangkok: these temples are free

There is only a small entrance fee for most temples in Bangkok. You can also visit some of them completely free of charge.

These temples are among the best free things to do in Bangkok:

  • Wat Yannawa: Wat Yannawa in the Sathorn district is a historically significant temple characterized by its unusual architecture. Known as “The Boat Temple,” its main structure imitates the design of a Chinese junk ship.
  • Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen: Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen is famous for its magnificent multi-story stupa and as a Buddhist meditation center. Located in the Phasi Charoen district, the temple is a spiritual gem known not only for its religious significance but also for its stunning architecture and ornate interiors.
  • Wat Khun Chan: Wat Khun Chan fascinates visitors with its unique blend of traditional Thai architecture and vibrant, modern sculptures. Located in the Thonburi district, the temple captivates visitors with its impressive, colorful statues and reliefs depicting Buddhist stories and teachings.
  • Wat Mahathat: Wat Mahathat, located in the historic center of Bangkok, near the Grand Palace, is one of the oldest and most important temples in the city. In addition to the veneration of its sacred relics attributed to the Buddha, Wat Mahathat is also a center for the study of Theravada Buddhism and a popular place for the practice of Vipassana meditation.
  • Wat Iam Won Nut: Wat Iam Won Nut offers visitors an insight into the everyday spiritual life of the local community. With its simpler design and less touristy hustle and bustle, Wat Iam Won Nut is an ideal place for those seeking an authentic insight into Thai Buddhist culture and practice.
  • Wat Intharawihan: Wat Intharawihan is famous for its impressive 32-meter-high standing Buddha, which is considered one of the tallest Buddha statues in Thailand. Located in the Phra Nakhon district, this temple is characterized by its detailed mosaic decoration, which consists of tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain ware.

Tip: This private tour of the city’s most important temples takes you to Wat Arun and Wat Pho.

Wat Yannawa Bangkok

FAQs on the topic of Free Things to Do in Bangkok

Finally, we’ll answer a few frequently asked questions about free things to do in Bangkok.

Are there really free things to do in Bangkok?

Yes, there are many free things to do in Bangkok that can be visited free of charge, including parks, temples, and markets.

Can I visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok free of charge?

Admission to the Grand Palace is not free. However, there are many other temples in the city, such as Wat Intharawihan or Wat Mahathat, which do not charge an entrance fee.

Which markets in Bangkok can I visit for free?

Markets such as the Chatuchak Weekend Market or the Pak Khlong Talat (flower market) are accessible free of charge and offer an authentic Thai market experience.

Can I visit Lumphini Park free of charge?

Yes, Lumphini Park is a free green oasis in the middle of the city and ideal for a relaxing stroll or watching the banded monitor lizards.

Are there free activities for children in Bangkok?

Many parks, such as Lumpini Park, offer playgrounds and open spaces that are free of charge and accessible to children. Some temples and markets can also be exciting for children.

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