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Siam Design Hotel main entrance - The best areas to stay in Bangkok

Bangkok is a city with over 10 million people. It’s huge, vibrant and a sprawling metropolis of culture, history and modern design. As one of the top places to visit in South-East Asia, it’s also a tourism hotspot. There are so many amazing things to see and do here!

If you’re searching where to stay in Bangkok and are having trouble finding a good area or hotel, you’ve come to the right place. After exploring all corners of the city many times, we’ve assembled a guide that compares popular places to stay. Each area has something different to offer and an array of pros and cons. Are you a first time visitor? Maybe you’re travelling with family? You may want to be in the heart of Bangkok’s nightlife…

In this guide we’ll cover all of the above and more. Read on for some great Bangkok hotel and area suggestions.

The best areas to stay in Bangkok


Sukhumvit is the city centre area of Bangkok. It has one long street that’s constantly busy with traffic and is surrounded by high-rise skyscrapers, giant shopping malls and an endless number of hotel options. It also has a number of street stalls, market areas and dining options for all budgets; from extremely affordable to fine dining Michelin star. It’s the modern, beating heart of Bangkok.

Where to stay in Bangkok - Shows the streets of Sukhumvit at night

Why you should stay in this area:

  • The hotel options are very good. It has luxury Bangkok hotels with infinity rooftop pools, but also affordable accommodation options with good facilities for a low cost.
  • It’s right in the centre of the busy nightlife scene. An endless selection of bars, restaurants, clubs and entertainment venues can be found here.
  • It’s well located for exploring attractions such as shopping malls, Jim Thompson House and Siam Square. You can also reach other areas of the city quite easily from its central location.
  • You can use the fast and affordable BTS metro system to get around.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • Sukhumvit is very modern and lacks the history and tradition of other areas; Bangkok riverside or the old town, for instance.
  • Being right in the middle of the city, hotels are a little more expensive than elsewhere. They’re still cheap compared to elsewhere in the world but may not fit into a backpacker budget.

Sukhumvit East vs West

Sukhumvit is a very large area so it’s also important to look at hotel location within the region. The west area of Sukhumvit is best located for exploring the old town temples, Chinatown, Siam Square, MBK Centre and other attractions. The east of Sukhumvit is better located for budget-friendly Bangkok hotels, Terminal 21 shopping mall and Bangkok’s many clubs and bar streets.

Our Sukhumvit hotel recommendations:

Carlton Bangkok (Luxury)

Siam Design Hotel (Moderately-priced)

La Petite Salil Sukhumvit 11 (Budget-friendly)

Bangkok Old Town

To be within walking distance of top tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Chinatown and some amazing markets, consider Bangkok’s Old Town. It’s located on the bend of the Chaophraya River and slightly west of Sukhumvit. It’s also a great place to explore on foot. Enjoy wandering the old streets, planning a sightseeing itinerary of historic attractions and immersing yourself in an area rich in Thai history.

Bangkok Old Town is a great place to stay for those that want a more authentic, traditional area to stay without high-rise skyscrapers. It has some good hotel options at a variety of budgets and plenty of cafes and restaurants.

If you’re a backpacker or want to experience a wild side of Bangkok nightlife, consider staying in the Khao San Road area. It’s an international hub for backpackers from across the world, with an upbeat party atmosphere on an evening. If you want a quieter scene, stay anywhere south of Khao San. The entire old town area is walkable no matter your Bangkok hotel choice.

The Grand Palace in Bangkok

Why you should stay in this area:

  • Many of Bangkok’s major attractions are within walking distance from your hotel, including Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun).
  • There’s a good selection of cafes, restaurants, shops and bars.
  • The nightlife of Khao San Road is a major draw for young people. Elsewhere in the Old Town, it’s very quiet.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • Staying in the old town is generally more expensive than other areas of Bangkok. You can still find affordable Bangkok hotels; you’ll just get less value for money than elsewhere.
  • Whilst still good, the selection of restaurants and bars isn’t as wide and varied as Sukhumvit.

Our Bangkok Old Town hotel recommendations:

Riva Surya Bangkok (Luxury)

ASAI Bangkok Chinatown (Moderately-priced)

Tara Place Bangkok (Budget-friendly)

Silom / Lumphini Park

Silom is Bangkok’s thriving business district. Some of the tallest buildings in the city are all nestled into this small area and sky bars are on every corner. As with any business district of a major South-East Asian city, it appears modern, busy and very clean. Many of the hotels high are high-rise buildings, with some excellent luxury Bangkok hotel options. Expect Marriot, Hyatt, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental and other major international hotel brands on every corner. Whilst it has less attractions than other areas of Bangkok we’ve listed, Silom is a good place to stay in Bangkok as it’s well connected.

It suits those that want a modern and high-end place to stay that’s close to the riverside, old town, and Sukhumvit. Simply jump in a taxi or use the BTS metro system and you’re quickly transported to an attraction. We recommend Silom for families, business travellers and those that want to experience an awesome skyscraper hotel.

Lumphini Park in Silon - Where to stay in Bangkok

 Why you should stay in this area:

  • The selection of high-end hotels is excellent. It has some of the best 4 and 5-star hotels in Bangkok.
  • Silom’s skyscrapers, bars and restaurants are all set in very cool surroundings. It’s a perfect place for city lovers.
  • It’s well located for getting around, with easy access to the BTS metro system.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • Silom doesn’t have the sheer number of attractions and things to do as other areas on our list. You’ll need to use transport to get around.
  • Hotels are on the more expensive side.

Our Silom hotel recommendations:

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse (Luxury)

Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok (Moderately-priced)

The Quarter Silom by UHG (Budget-friendly)

Bangkok Riverside

Bangkok Riverside is an insight into Bangkok life before the modern high-rise buildings and mass tourist appeal. Grand hotels sit alongside budget guest houses, each boasting a panoramic view of the Chaophrayah River. The riverside has an old town charm away from the hustle and bustle, but you’re only a short taxi ride or river boat transfer from the main attractions.

Bangkok riverside is also a great place to stay for markets, restaurants and street food stalls. It also has a handful of temples. You’ll eat like a king or queen for very little money and won’t be paying the higher tourist prices of elsewhere.

We recommend staying on the north of the river near Chinatown, or further along towards Wat Pho temple. The hotels on the river bank have some beautiful views of Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, at sunset.

View of the Shangri-La hotel from above

Why you should stay in this area:

  • An old Bangkok charm that’s a breath of fresh air compared to the busier parts of the city.
  • Beautiful riverside views and easy access to the river transport ferries.
  • A good selection of markets, food stalls, temples and restaurants.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • The riverside area is a lot quieter than other areas of Bangkok, especially on an evening.
  • It has a smaller variety of hotel options.

Our Bangkok Riverside hotel recommendations:

Shangri-La Bangkok (Luxury)

Riva Arun Bangkok (Moderately-priced)

Hostel Urby (Budget-friendly)

The outskirts of the city

For those that want a quieter and affordable place to stay, just outside of the city, consider the areas of Thonglor or Chatuchak. If you choose a hotel or apartment near a BTS metro station, you can easily travel into the centre of town and explore all of the attractions you’d like with ease. In these areas, your budget will go further and you have a good choice of apartments with swimming pools, gyms and other facilities. It’s a lot quieter too. You’re away from the hustle and bustle, which can be overwhelming at times.

The best areas to stay in Bangkok - Local market

Why you should stay in this area:

  • It has a quieter atmosphere away from the busy city.
  • Accommodation options are more affordable than popular tourist areas and you’ll get more for your money.
  • It’s far less touristic. That means lower prices for everything from restaurants and shops, and a more authentic experience of the city.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • You may not want to constantly use transport for getting around. There’s a big benefit of walking to attractions from your hotel; which you won’t get if you stay a little further away.
  • You won’t find the same variety of Bangkok hotel options, especially if you want a luxury hotel.

Lat Krabang (Suvarnabhumi Airport)

If you’re visiting for a short amount of time (1-3 days) and want a hotel near the airport, Lat Krabang is a great area to stay in Bangkok. It’s especially good for longer layovers where you want to explore for a full day or two. Located around a 5-minute drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport, this busy metropolitan area is a closely-knit collection of hotels, shopping centres, restaurants and even a few temples.

Usually airports are located in the middle of nowhere with no attractions in sight. That isn’t the case with Suvarnabhumi Airport. We were surprised at the wide array of things to do here! Hotels are considerably cheaper than Bangkok’s central areas and you can easily get to the city on the Airport Rail Link train.

Whilst in Lat Krabang, we recommend checking out Robinson Lifestyle Mall (it rivals the shopping malls of Sukhumvit). There’s also some excellent temples within walking distance of each other.

Where to stay in Bangkok - Colourful wall mural

Why you should stay in this area:

  • It’s right next to the airport – perfect for a fleeting visit to Bangkok or a layover.
  • Hotels here provide excellent value for money. A 5-star luxury hotel in Lat Krabang is way cheaper than the city centre.
  • It has a surprising number of things to do for an area near an airport. Shopping and eating out in Lat Krabang is very good.

Why you may not want to stay in this area:

  • You’ll have to get the train to the city centre to see Bangkok’s top attractions. This can limit the number of things you’re able to see in a short amount of time.
  • Lat Krabang is less picturesque and exciting as other areas of Bangkok. There’s constant traffic due to its central location near the airport.

Our Lat Krabang hotel recommendations:

The Park Nine Suvarnabhumi (Luxury)

At Residence Suvarnabhumi (Budget-friendly)

Where to stay in Bangkok for nightlife

If you want to experience Bangkok’s wild nightlife, we recommend staying in a number of places depending on the nightlife scene you’re looking for.

For lavish cocktails bars, rooftop sky bars and super clubs, stay in Sukhumvit, ideally near Nana Plaza or Terminal 21 shopping mall.

If you prefer a cheaper, international nightlife scene, stay near Khao San Road in Bangkok Old Town. Khao San has a younger crowd with cheap and lively bars.

Should I stay in an apartment or a hotel?

Good question! There are benefits of both Bangkok hotels and apartments, depending on your budget and how much space you want. With Bangkok apartments, you get more space than hotels and have the facilities to cook your own meals. However, they’re usually a little further away from the key attractions.

On the other hand, hotels have a wider variety of options and they’re generally in more central locations. Personally, we recommend a hotel in Bangkok for short stays of a week or less. Eating out in the city is extremely affordable and you’ll want to be in a central location to explore. Apartments are good for longer term stays where more space and kitchen appliances are a must.

Where to stay in Bangkok with family

Families will want to stay in an area that’s central to many attractions, with some good hotel options. You probably don’t want anywhere that’s too chaotic or noisy. We personally recommend the areas of Silom, Bangkok’s business district. The area near Lumphini Park has some excellent family-friendly hotels. Alternatively, stay to the west of Sukhumvit near MBK and Siam shopping malls.

For a more traditional, quieter atmosphere, stay in the Bangkok Riverside area of town. All three places are great for families.

Where to stay in Bangkok on a budget

The beauty of Bangkok is that you can find affordable accommodation no matter the area you stay in. You’ll find everything from 5-star luxury to a budget guesthouse within walking distance of each other. Therefore, we recommend choosing an area to stay based on your interests and what you value most. You’ll easily find accommodation to suit your budget.

Contrary to the above, there are some places that are a little bit cheaper, or you’ll get more for your money. The north of Bangkok Old Town near Khao San Road can be very cheap. There’s also Thonglor or Chatuchak. All of these areas give you excellent value for money.

Where to stay in Bangkok for a short layover, or a 1 or 2 day visit

For a fleeting visit to Bangkok; one where you’ll want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time, we recommend staying somewhere on the Airport Rail Link trainline. Lat Krabang near the airport (as featured above), or a hotel near Phayathai BTS station are good options. You’re best placed for sightseeing, but also getting back to the airport to catch your flight. Getting around using public transport from these areas is very easy.

That brings us to the end of our guide on where to stay in Bangkok. We hope we inspired you with some of the best Bangkok hotels and areas for your budget, and you can now plan your own trip to the city. It’s a place that you’ll fall in love with if you give it time. Embrace the chaos and experience as many attractions and as much food as you can! If you have any questions about the areas or Bangkok hotels we’ve featured in our guide, be sure to post a comment below.

Check out our other Bangkok travel guides:

The best places to visit in Bangkok



Author bio:

An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.

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Comments (4)

Great post, very informative!
Thanks for sharing this helpful info.

You’re very welcome 🙂 Hope you managed to find a hotel that suits!

Thanks for the article…especially your comments as to where the quieter areas are located good general orientation to this huge city (though I’ve lived in NYC many years…it can be overwhelming….and you need some calm from time to time.

We totally understand and can appreciate that! Having lived in London, it’s always nice to visit a cool city that’s just (if not more crazy) but stay in a quieter area if possible! 🙂

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