Who on earth visits Bangkok seven times in one year? Me, that’s who.
It’s South East Asia’s biggest hub, meaning that you’ll probably pass through here more than once on a backpacking adventure around the subcontinent, and it’s definitely a crucial stop on any Thailand itinerary.
It’s also the biggest city in the region, and while many travellers find themselves getting ‘Bangkok fatigue’ quite easily, it’s still well worth a few days (or six trips) of your time.
Bangkok’s got so much to offer: temples, floating markets, futuristic shopping malls, great food and amazing massages, to name but a few. I’d highly recommend checking out my full Bangkok itinerary to see everything this city has to offer.
But when questioning where to stay in Bangkok, where on earth do you even begin? It’s so big, there are so many hotels, how can one even start to decide which area to stay in Bangkok? Trying to find the best Bangkok accommodation can feel like looking for a hotel-shaped needle in an urban haystack.
Luckily, you’ve stumbled upon this fantastic where to stay in Bangkok guide! Give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve just made finding your Bangkok accommodation 350% easier.
If you haven’t stumbled across one of my city accommodation guides before, these basically help you decide which is the best neighbourhood to stay in for your type of travel, and I recommend some of the best accommodation options to boot. As well as this Bangkok accommodation guide, I have ones for London, Bristol and Oaxaca (Mexico). It’s a great time.
So without further ado, let’s dig right into where to stay in Bangkok.
Where to Stay in Bangkok: A Quick Run Down
First, let’s look at each neighbourhood and what type of traveller they are best for.
- Where to Stay in Bangkok for Nightlife (backpacker style): Khao San Road
This is the best Bangkok neighbourhood for backpackers and first time travellers, and the worst for people wanting a quiet holiday and to stay away from the tourist areas.
- Where to stay in Bangkok for Nightlife (swanky rooftop bar style): Sukhumvit
The best for people who want to spend big dollar, worst for those visiting Bangkok on a budget.
- Where to stay in Bangkok for Sightseeing: Chinatown
This Bangkok neighbourhood is great for another type of culture, and is in prime location to see the city’s best attractions.
- Best area to stay in Bangkok for Couples: Riverside
With riverside views and luxury hotels, this is a great romantic place to stay in Bangkok
- Where to stay in Bangkok for Families: Silom
This is the best for families wanting some space and people wanting to stay in a quieter neighbourhood, worst for people wanting to be in the action of everything.
- Where to stay in Bangkok for Digital Nomads: Thong Lor
Best for neighbourhood vibes and people wanting great restaurants
- Where to stay in Bangkok for the airport: Ratachewi
Best for people wanting to stay at my favourite hotel in Bangkok and needing easy access to BKK airport, worst for connectivity
Where to Stay in Bangkok: The Full List
Khao San Road: Where to Stay in Bangkok for Nightlife
Without a doubt, the most infamous place to stay in Bangkok is in the Koh San Road area. Known as ‘the centre of the backpacking universe’ by the best-selling novel, The Beach, (read it before going to Thailand if you haven’t already – you can buy it here!) here if where you’ll find everything backpacker-centric. I’m talking cheap street food, bars selling buckets of cocktails, places to pick up clothing for pennies and plenty of other travellers.
The Koh San Road area of Bangkok is not somewhere to go to for a bit of peace and quiet, and honestly I’d only really recommend staying in a hostel on Koh San Road if you’re a first-time backpacker who’s under the age of 25 and who’s more than happy to put partying over any form of sleep. It’s definitely the best area to stay in Bangkok for nightlife – the kind of scene that I would have loved when I first started travelling in my uni summers – now I’m the ripe old age of 26, I do feel pretty past that scene.
But staying in a hotel in the Koh San Road area could be a good option for other travellers. Hotels in this area of Bangkok are typically cheaper than the Riverside area, but enjoy the same proximity to the main temples and attractions of the city. The Khlongs around the area are very atmospheric, too – so if you find the right hotel you might want to stay near here.
Another drawback of Koh San Road is the fact that it’s not near any BTS or MRT station. This makes it a bit inconvenient if you want to explore the new city and its restaurants, malls and bars. It’s also a bit trickier to get to the airport or main railway station – you’ll have to get a taxi for at least some of the journey. Taxis are quite cheap, however, so this needn’t be a huge problem.
Hostel (Party): If you’re after a party hostel in Bangkok which is also clean, well facilitated and spacious, Mad Monkeys Bangkok may be your answer. They have a few locations all over South East Asia – check out my review of the Siem Reap branch here – and the reason I recommend them is that they have a real focus on giving back to the community, donating a percentage of their profits to projects and giving their local staff a great wage and lots of benefits.
For the backpacker, they have a pool, lively bar, and restaurant, and lots of events to get people chatting and making friends. The dorms are clean and roomy, and although they don’t have the ‘pod’ style bunks that a lot of other hostels in Thailand have, the beds are sturdy and well-spaced. Click here for more information and to book.
Hostel (Chilled Out): if you want to stay around Koh San Road, but want more chilled out, yet super-chic vibes, check out Here Hostel. It has private pod-style dorms, a slide going down from the dorms to the common area, and a bar and garden. It’s a bit further from Koh San Road than Mad Monkey’s, which means it is a bit quieter, but all of the attractions can still be joined in from here. Click here for more information and to reserve your space.
Mid-Range Hotel: Siri Heritage Bangkok Hotel is clean and spacious, with a swimming pool. Reviewers love the friendly staff; there is mention that the area around the hostel can feel unsafe, this is typical of many accomodations near Koh San Road. Click here for rates and to book.
Luxury Hotel: Riva Surya Bangkok is five minutes from Koh San Road, but its luxury features will make you feel world’s away. On-site is a pool, fitness centre, restaurant and bar and the rooms are airy, modern and spacious. Click here for rates and to book.
The Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Sightseeing: Chinatown
A great place to stay in Bangkok for those who want to be in the action but experience another culture, Bangkok’s Chinatown is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic. It was founded way back in 1782 by Chinese immigrants, and has evolved to become the neighbourhood it is today.
Now, it is the best place in Thailand to enjoy Chinese culture, food and spirituality. It’s one of the best places to stay in Bangkok for people who have already seen the main sights of the city and want to experience something new, for people who are particuarly interested in Chinese culture and for people on a budget who want to be close to the Old City.
I’m actually crowning it the best place to stay in Bangkok for sightseeing, because it’s the perfect mix of not too pricey, with places that you can chill out if needs be, while still being close to the main attractions.
Chinatown is located in a strategic position between the Old City’s temples and attractions and Hua Lamphong Railway Station and the end of the BTS line. This makes it not too difficult to travel between places like the Grand Palace and the malls of Siam – you could think of it as a bridge between the old and new!
There are also attractions within Chinatown, like Chinese temples and all the Chinese food you could ever want. It’s cheaper than the Riverside area, so is a good option for people wanting to save a bit of cash while in the city. While you won’t find many super-luxury 5* hotels here, there are a few good options for those seeking nice hotels in Chinatown.
Hostel: Situated very close to Hua Lamphong Station, so perfect if you’re getting a train early in the morning or late at night, is Pop Art Hostel Chinatown. It’s reputed to have not the comfiest of mattresses, so maybe look elsewhere if you’re after that – but the staff are friendly, the rooms clean and it is in a quiet neighbourhood. Click here for more information and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: Hotel Royal Bangkok @ Chinatown is a great spot for the price. Located in the heart of Chinatown, it has a rooftop pool and bar (which serves a great pasta o oglii, by the way), and nice clean rooms – I opted for one without a window because it was cheapest. Click here for rates and to book.
Luxury Hotel: Shanghai Mansion Bangkok has beautiful period decor, with four poster beds and water features in the hall. They offer experiences around Chinatown for each of their guests. Click here for more information and to book.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Couples: Bangkok Riverside Area
Filled with five-star hotels, this area of the city is perfect for those who want to be in all the action and be close to the attractions, but don’t fancy staying near Koh San Road. Hotels in Bangkok near the river are great for people who want to enjoy Bangkok’s best temples and museums but want to stay somewhere a more upmarket than rowdy Koh San.
Bangkok Riverside is more expensive than other neighbourhoods on this list; you could arguably get more for your money if you were to stay in Siam or Sukhumvit. However, the location is wonderful, and many hotels really make the most of their Riverside with spectacular views and infinity pools.
The luxury of Bangkok Riverside would make it perfect for couples seeking a romantic retreat or even a honeymoon hotel. The staff in these five-star properties really know how to look after their customers. Because of the abundance of romantic hotels and beautiful views, Riverside is the best place to stay in Bangkok for couples.
Hostel: Playground Hostel is actually a rather lively party hostel in between all Riverside’s 5* hotels – so is a great option if you’re a backpacker wanting to explore this area. They offer drinking games and a fun bar/ common area, but also comfy dorms. Click here for rates and to reserve.
Mid-Range Hotel: P&R Residence is great value for money and offers well-furnished double and twin rooms with wonderful facilities. The hotel itself has free WiFi, 24 hour check-in and breakfast is included. Click here to learn more and for rates.
Luxury Hotel: The five-star Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel has some of the best views of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Enjoy it from the infinity pool, or from the bright, spacious rooms. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar and fitness centre. There is a free shuttle boat service to Sathorn Pier where you can connect to the BTS. Click here for more information and for prices.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Shopping: Siam
If you think you’re going to be spending a lot of your time in Bangkok at the malls, then I’d recommend staying in Siam – which is without a doubt the best place to stay in Bangkok for shopping. Home to the jewel in Bangkok’s shopping crown, Siam Mall, and close to many other shopping precints, Siam is perfect for those who want to buy everything while in Bangkok.
There are also a wide range of restaurants and bars in this area, as well as good BTS connections. It’s not the closest Bangkok neighbourhood to the main attractions, but it’s doable.
Siam could be the best place to stay in Bangkok with kids. It’s busy – all of Bangkok is, let’s be real – but there is very little nightlife here and certainly nothing in the way of red-light districts. It’s also full of restaurants, more foreign than Thai, but this might be useful for families with fussy kids.
Siam probably isn’t for you if you want to see authentic Bangkok. As mentioned, it’s a bit of a struggle to actually get Thai food here, and the main attractions are its futuristic malls rather than historic temples. I wouldn’t recommend this area for backpackers and people travelling on a budget, as being around the malls can be quite dangerous for people with low funds!
Hostel: Diff Hostel prides itself on the mix of nationalities and cultures that stay at the hostel, creating global friendships. The beds are pod-style, with individual plug sockets and USB chargers, reading lights, luggage storage and personal lockers. Click here for rates and to book
Mid-Range Hotel: Siam Square House has boutique-y, artistic rooms with modern artwork and other furnishings. It is located right near the BTS station. Click here to read reviews and to book.
Luxury Hotel: The fabulous Pathumwan Princess Hotel is an award-winning accommodation option located in the heart of Siam. There is so much attention to detail here, with huge airy rooms, a large gym, and a beautiful pool complex. Click here for rates and to book.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok on a Budget: Pratunam
Sitting at a crossroads between Siam and the Old City, Pratunam is most famous for its 24 hour night market. It’s a great alternative to Siam, as it has a lot more local culture and way of life, but is close enough to the Siam Mall and other attractions in the area. This makes it a great way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The 24 hour market, while great fun to explore and a great place to grab some cheap eats, does mean that this area of Bangkok is always busy. While there aren’t a huge amount of night clubs in the area, there is always traffic and people are around all the time. This makes it feel very safe (not that any Bangkok neighbourhood is exactly dangerous) but it might not be the best neighbourhood in Bangkok for children as the traffic may cause concern.
Hostel: True to its name, Boxpackers Hostel offers pod-style dorms with individual sockets and LED lights. Breakfast is included and WiFi is speedy. Click here for more information and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: Sukhon Hotel has spacious, clean and modern rooms, and the hotel itself is located very close to the BTS. The WiFi is reported excellent and the staff friendly. Click here for more information or to book.
Luxury Hotel: The highly-rated Anajak Bangkok Hotel has an outdoor, part-covered pool, and gorgeous rooms with beautiful furniture and lavish bathrooms. Also on site is a restaurant, and breakfast is included. Click here for more information.
Best Area to Stay in Bangkok for Nightlife, Shopping and Restaurants Combined: Sukhumvit
Sukhimvit is the ‘new city’ area of Bangkok, that’s perfect for those who want to get a sense of the country’s booming modernisation. All of the convienciences you could need are here; 7-11s, 24 hour Subway sandwich shops, Starbucks, as well as trillions of restaurants and stores.
The area is great for Bangkok nightlife that’s a little more classier than Koh San Road’s – Sukhumvit is more upmarket, less rowdy, but still great fun. If you’re after nightlife but are a bit older (and have more than a backpacker budget), staying in Sukhumvit over Koh San Road might be a good idea.
Sukhumvit is a great place to stay in Bangkok for people who want access to good food, to drink at swanky skybars, and to be connected to other areas of the city on Bangkok’s BTS. It’s a little far away from the main tourist attractions, but they are still accessible.
There are also plenty of hostels in Sukhumvit; and typically these are a bit quieter than those on Koh San Road. While the area is generally not the cheapest of Bangkok, Sukhumvit is a good option for backpackers who want to chill out a bit more.
Hostel: Hostel 16 Sukhumvit is a hospitable place, offering complimentary breakfast and various room types and a family atmosphere, perfect to meet other travellers. Click here for rates and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: Galleria Sukhumvit 10 Bangkok is a great spot, the first place I stayed in Bangkok. It has a rooftop gym, spa and pool with lots of space to lounge, beautiful rooms and a downstairs restaurant. Click here for rates and to book.
Luxury Hotel: Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok is a 5* boutique-style hotel, with lavish rooms including features like roll-top baths and floor-to-ceiling windows. On site is an outdoor pool with rooftop bar and fitness centre. Click here for rates and to book.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for A Mix of Everything: Silom
Silom is a funny area. Much of the neighbourhood is very quiet, making it seem like one of the best places to stay in Bangkok with children – until you accidentally stumble into Patapong, one of Bangkok’s main red-light districts.
By day, Silom is Bangkok’s financial centre, full of businesses and skyscrapers. After the sun goes down on various roads, the atmosphere is completely different. However, these areas can easily be avoided and everywhere else Silom is totally family-friendly.
Silom is close to Lumphini Park which is a great way to enjoy some nature after the madness of Bangkok’s concrete jungle. It has BTS and MRT connections, although is a little far from the temples and old city attractions. In the neighbourhood, however, is Wat Hua Lamphong and the Unicorn Cafe.
Hostel: Choose from dorm or private rooms at HQ Hostel Silom, which is located right in the heart of the district. There are plenty of chill out spaces, and well-facilitated rooms. Reports say that it can be social/ party and other times quiet. Click here for rates and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: Chocolate Box Mint is a modern, crisp-looking hotel with various studios, perfect for the independent traveller. With a restaurant, bar and free WiFi, it’s a great Silom hotel for your needs! Click here for rates and to book.
Luxury Hotel: Marriot Executive Apartments Sathorn Vista is a great, pretty affordable, 5* option. Each of the apartments are self-contained, so it is very liveable and the apartments are luxurious, spacious and comfortable. Click here for rates and to book.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Digital Nomads: Thong Lor
A more residential area (don’t get images of leafy suburbs in your head though, it’s not that kind of residential) where a lot of expats live, Thong Lor is a little bit further out from the city centre, but is great for restaurants and bars and is connected to the BTS. It feels a little more ‘neighbourhood-y’ and it’s far away from the backpacker haven of Koh San Road, but it’s still very busy with restaurants and bars.
You’ll find plenty to suit foreigners here, including malls with foreign restaurants, spas and bars. Because of its large expat community, it’s not the place for cheap Thai street food and it’s not in a hugely close proximity to the Old City. Because of this I wouldn’t recommend Thong Lor to first time travellers to Bangkok, but more to people who have visited Bangkok before or are in the city for a longer period of time.
Hostel: The appropriately named Hostel at Thonglor focuses on good sleep, so offers comfy, pod-style beds and female-only dorms. Click here for more information and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: THA City Loft Hotel has quirkily decorated rooms with modern amenities. There is a fitness centre, bar and restaurant on-site and it’s in a great location, with plenty of shops, cafes and bars close by. Click here for information and to book.
Luxury Hotel: The beautiful Civic Horizon Hotel and Residence has a roof top pool and is close to the BTS station. Rooms are clean and comfortable, with beautiful bathrooms. There is also a fitness centre on-site. Click here for rates and to book.
Where to Stay in Bangkok for the Airport (and to enjoy my favourite Bangkok hotel): Ratchathewi
Quite far out of the centre – although still close to the BTS and very feasible to get around – is Ratchathewi. The station is a rapid transit station to the airport, so it’s great if you’re flying in and out. Ratchathewi is also a more local area, with a lot less tourists – plus it happens to have my favourite affordable luxury hotels in Bangkok in!
It’s connected to the BTS, making getting to places like Silom and Sukhumvit easy. It’s a bit more challenging to get to the Old City, so I maybe wouldn’t recommend staying in Rachathewi for first time travellers to Thailand and Bangkok. It’s the best area to stay in Bangkok if you’re returning to the city to make a connection after a holiday in Thailand, or if you’ve been to Bangkok before and want somewhere convenient, local and different to stay in.
Hostel: Pinto Hostel is a spacious, clean hostel with comfy pod-style beds, a homely atmosphere and friendly staff. It’s rated one of the best hostels in Bangkok, and for good reason! Click here for more information and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: Eastin Hotel Makkasan is my favourite hotel that I’ve stayed in in Bangkok. The staff are lovely, it has a HUGE pool area, the WiFi is excellent and the bedrooms are huge with views over city. There is a restaurant on the ground floor which does a great green Thai curry. Click here for rates and to book.
Luxury Hotel: Hotel Muse Bangkok is a fantastic 5* option in the area, with fancy artistic furniture and features like an iPod dock, a flat-screen TV and bathrooms with rain showers. On-site is a pool, fitness centre and bar. Click here for more information and to book.
Best Place to Stay in Bangkok for Neighbourhood Vibes: Ari
Ari is one of Bangkok’s most up-and-coming areas. It offers modern amenities with global restaurants and bars, yet still holds onto the essence of the Thai lifestyle that some other areas of the capital lack. It’s also fantastically connected to all other areas of the metropolis, making it the perfect hub to explore Bangkok.
Hostel: The Yard Hostel Bangkok is a Bangkok hostel with a difference. It calls itself a ‘social hostel but not a party hostel’ and aims to reduce its environmental impact as significantly as it can. The rooms are constructed out of old shipping containers, the rooms are insulated with recycled paper, and they use minimal plastic.
A delicious breakfast is on offer every day, and there are sometimes free yoga classes. If you’re after ways to be a more sustainable traveller, supporting accommodations like The Yard is one of the best solutions. Click here for information and to book.
Mid-Range Hotel: The Airtel Hideaway Ari is located in a Thai-style villa, with bright, spacious rooms. The hotel has a 24 hour desk, free WiFi and room service. It’s located in an ideal spot for Chatuchak Weekend Market. Click here for more information and to reserve your room.
Luxury Hotel: Bangkok Patio Aparthotel has bright, sunny rooms with deluxe en-suite bathrooms and attached kitchenettes – perfect for a self-catering holiday. There is a swimming pool and gym on-site. Click here for rates and to reserve.
Have you booked your Bangkok transportation yet?
If not, you can use Bookaway to browse trains and buses. Click here to go to their website.
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