One of Bangkok's canals and a view of the Golden Mount in the Old City
Rattanakosin, or the Old City, is the former royal district and Bangkok’s spiritual heart, home to the city’s most monumental temples and must-see attractions. It mostly dates back to when Bangkok was made Thailand’s new capital in 1782, and is the neighborhood no visitor can miss. It has the finest architecture and the country’s most iconic images, plus national treasures in the National Museum.
Nearby is Khao San Road, the city’s most photographed street.
How to Get to the Old City
Take the river ferry (Chao Phraya Express) to the Tha Tien or Tha Chang piers, or the MRT subway to Sanam Chai station.
What to See and Do in the Old City
-Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha - Royal residence from 1782 with fairytale architecture, and Bangkok’s grandest temple, home to the most sacred Buddha image.
-Wat Pho - Home of the giant must-see Reclining Buddha.
-National Museum - A former palace with different buildings displaying Thailand’s national treasures.
-Khao San Road - Bangkok's most famous and liveliest street.
-Wat Saket and the Golden Mount - Hilltop temple overlooking old Bangkok.
-Wat Ratchanatdaram and Loha Prasat - The "temple of the royal niece" and a singular monastery.
-Wat Suthat - Home to one of the country’s biggest Buddhas, and with impressive floor-to-ceiling murals.
-Museum of Siam - Interactive museum taking a contemporary look at ancient Thai culture.
-Wat Mahathat - A temple and Buddhist university with a famous amulet market across the street.
-National Gallery - Modern Thai (and some international) art housed in the old mint building.
Recommended Hotels in the Old City for Every Budget
- Sala Rattanakosin Hotel
- Inn a Day Hotel
- Chillax Heritage Hotel
- 1905 Heritage Corner
- Tales Khaosan Hostel
- Baan Phraeng Poshtel
- The Royal ThaTien Village
- Pho Hostel
The riverfront hotel to wake up to postcard views of Wat Arun.
Romantic, well designed, and facing Wat Arun.
Well located by bustling Khao San Road, but with a swimming pool and terrace for a relaxing break.
Excellent-value property in a small colonial-style shophouse.
A curious train-inspired hostel conveniently located by Khao San Road.
Budget accommodation with simple but elegant rooms with private bathrooms.
The location by Wat Pho and the Grand Palace couldn’t be better for sightseeing, and the rooms are clean and comfortable.
Modern hostel with a terrace offering a 360-degree view of the temples and the Grand Palace just a few feet away.