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Must Visit Bangkok Temples

Do you know when you are torn on what ice cream flavor to pick because the shop has like 15 options? Well, buckle up, because there are over 400 Bangkok temples to explore!

But don't worry! We are not going to depict in detail 400 temples in the ultimate history lesson. In this travel guide, you will find the top must visit Bangkok temples (which are known as Wats), which represent centuries of spirituality and architectural grandeur. Learn some curiosities that make them unique, understand the ins and outs of Thailand temples dress code, and check their entrance fees and schedules to seamlessly fit them into your Bangkok travel itinerary.

There is a lot of Pad Thai to eat, dozens of floating markets to stroll along, a Chinatown full of neon lights to explore, and endless skyscrapers to admire from a fast tuk tuk, so slap on your comfiest walking shoes, and let’s explore the must visit Bangkok temples together.

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Top Must Visit Bangkok Temples

Wat Phra Kaew

(Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

Located within the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok, as it is home to the revered Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand’s most sacred symbols. The statue, carved from a single block of jade and clothed in gold and diamonds, is believed to possess in its 66 centimeters a world of mystical powers.

woman sitting in the Grand Palace of Bangkok a must visit temple in Thailand

Three times a year (Summer, Rainy and Winter season) there is a ceremonial costume change performed by the King of Thailand. Each costume costs approximately 3.8 Million Dollars.

Prepare to be dazzled by the golden stupas and colorful tiles of this Siamese architecture masterpiece, which serves as the official royal temple of Thailand, used for ceremonies such as coronations. After all this, is it even necessary to mention that this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Probably not, but it is, in case you are wondering.

Bangkok Grand Palace at opening time

Grand Palace Opening Hours: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm everyday

Grand Palace Entrance Fee: THB 500 (approximately €14)

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Wat Pho

(Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Wat Pho is home to the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand. This 46 meters long gold-plated Buddha may leave you with a “chicken or the egg” conundrum, wondering what got there first, the statue or the temple surrounding it.

Wat Pho's Gold Reclining Buddha statue in Bangkok

The Buddha statue dates back to around 1500 AD, and the current temple was built in the 18th century around it as protection.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered the birthplace of traditional Thai massage, with a renowned school operating for over 250 years. Although visiting temples in Bangkok is amazing, you can also book a one-day massage course via Wat Pho’s official website, or simply enjoy one of the specialists massaging you.

Must visit Bangkok Temple, Wat Pho

Wat Pho Opening Hours: 8 am - 6:30 pm everyday

Wat Pho Entrance Fee: THB 300 (approximately €8)

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Visiting Wat Pho at opening hours with foreigner ticket

Wat Arun

(Temple of Dawn)

Named after Aruna, the Hindu god of dawn, Wat Arun stands out on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, with its intricate prang (tower) decorated with thousands of pieces of Chinese porcelain, delicately arranged into complex patterns. This is, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful Bangkok temples.

woman visiting Wat Arun in Bangkok at opening time, Thailand
couple in must visit Bangkok Temple Wat Arun

Its central prang symbolizes Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Buddhist cosmology, and the surrounding four smaller towers represent the Hindu gods of the elements (Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind). Around them, you will find fierce looking figures of its mythical guardians: yakshas.

couple visiting Bangkok temple Wat Arun
woman and Wat Arun street view after sunset

To witness the sunset with Wat Arun as a backdrop is a fantastic experience. Find yourself a seat in one of the rooftop bars across the river and have a drink while enjoying the show.

Wat Arun Opening Hours: 8 am - 6:00 pm everyday

Wat Arun Entrance Fee: THB 100 (approximately €3)

Due to their proximity, you can fit these 3 Bangkok temples in one day’s itinerary. If you want to visit them as part of a tour, here are some amazing temples tour packages in Bangkok:

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Wat Saket

(Golden Mount)

Wat Saket might not be the most eye-catching of all Bangkok temples at first, but this list wouldn’t be complete without a “weird cousin” with a funky story.

Must visit Golden Mount temple in Bangkok

Wat Saket is situated on an artificial hill in the center of Bangkok. Artificial? You might ask. Yes, there was a first attempt to build a temple on this site in the 19th century with a large chedi (stupa) to house Buddha relics. However, it collapsed during construction, and the administrative decision was made to leave the remnants there. Over time, nature covered it, creating a small hill where a new chedi was built. Maybe this was just a very time-consuming engineering plan, but this is the origin of the Golden Mount we see today.

Wat Saket Bangkok temple

Climb the 318 steps to reach the top, where you will be rewarded with the best panoramic views of any of the Bangkok temples, which are even more impressive at sunrise.

Oh you think that was it? Nope! Wat Saket has the nickname of “Golden Mount of the Golden Crematorium”, as it was the capital’s crematorium and the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims in the late-18th century. If you look at the base of the Golden Mount, you will find an unusual cemetery covered in vines and overgrown trees. Spooky…

Wat Saket Opening Hours: 7 am - 7 pm everyday

Wat Saket Entrance Fee: THB 100 (approximately €3)

Wat Benchamabophit

(Marble Temple)

Renowned for its stunning white Italian Carrara marble architecture and beautiful gardens, this small temple is still not on most tourists' plans, which makes it a delightful little gem that you will appreciate after visiting a couple of packed Bangkok temples on a hot day.

woman in must visit Marble Temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Its exquisite craftsmanship makes Wat Benchamabophit a picture-perfect temple, but remember to always be respectful, as this is an active temple, with monks living across the canal. Early in the morning, you will see locals visiting with offerings, such as food.

There is a temples tour in Bangkok that allows you to select this among other temples and your tour guide is an ex monk, which gives you an insightful perspective of the city and its religion. Check for availability here*.

Marble Temple Opening Hours: 8 am - 5:30 pm everyday

Marble Temple Entrance Fee: THB 50 (approximately €1,50)

Wat Traimit

(Temple of the Golden Buddha)

If we tell you that the main highlight of Wat Traimit is a statue of Buddha you are probably not going to be shocked by the news, but what about if we are talking about a 5000 kg and 3 meters tall, solid gold Buddha image (one of the largest in the world)? The coolest thing about it (as if being solid gold was not cool enough), is that its true identity was discovered by accident in the 1050’s when it fell from a crane while being moved within the temple compound. The golden statue was hidden beneath a plaster exterior that was also painted gold.

Wat Traimit must visit temple in Bangkok

It is still a mystery to this day the true origins of this statue sculpted in the graceful Sukhothai style, and the plaster can only be explained by the attempt to avoid looting. But it also kind of sounds like something out of Indiana Jones…just saying🙄

famous Golden Buddha statue in Wat Traimit in Bangkok

Wat Traimit also has a small museum and an exhibition about the statue. This is a popular spot for Thai people to worship, so if you are looking for a more authentic temple experience in Bangkok, this might be the one for you.

Wat Traimit Opening Hours: 8 am - 5:00 pm everyday

Wat Traimit Entrance Fee: THB 100 (approximately €3)

Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan

(Iron Temple)

With a unique architecture, Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, also known as Loha Prasat ("Metal Castle" or "Iron Monastery"), stands out with 37 metal spires symbolizing the 37 virtues toward enlightenment and a labyrinthine layout. It is a seven-tiered structure designed to resemble a Buddhist stupa.

couple in Loha Prasat temple in Bangkok at opening time

This temple was a gift from King Rama III to his granddaughter. Some receive socks from their grandfathers, others receive the first and only metal castle of Thailand – seems balanced😂

Despite its uniqueness, this temple is still not part of many tourists' plans, making it a beautiful and peaceful temple experience in the buzzling city of Bangkok.

Must visit Bangkok temple Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan

Loha Prasat Opening Hours: 8 am - 5:00 pm everyday

Loha Prasat Entrance Fee: Free, but a THB20 is appreciated (less than €1)

A recent addition to the highlights of Bangkok’s temples is the Paknam Phasi Charoen Temple. While the temple was founded in 1610, it was only in 2021 that a 71 meters tall statue of Buddha was added to the complex. Its beauty and eye-catching presence are truly mind-blowing. If you are looking for a unique way to have a glimpse of this majestic Buddha statue, without having to visit another temple, join a Bangkok boat tour here*.

These didn’t cover your temple needs? Consider these day trips:

Ayutthaya: Former capital of Thailand and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many ancient temples. Special attention to Wat Mahathat and its Buddha head statue embedded in a tree trunk.

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Buddha head in a tree trunk in must visit Auytthaya temple

Muang Boran (Ancient City): Open-air museum featuring meticulously crafted replicas and models of significant Thai historical sites, including temples, palaces, and monuments from different periods and regions of Thailand.

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Wat Samphran: Located outside central Bangkok, is often referred to as the "Pink Dragon Temple" due to its unique 17-story pink tower with a dragon coiling around it. Travelers usually visit for photography purposes, however, if that is not your case, we would probably suggest you skip it. It is not the easiest temple to get to and it has quite a dark story associated with it.

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Thailand Temples Dress Code & Etiquette

When visiting a temple in Thailand it is important to respect the religious dress code and etiquette. The more you know about it, the smoother your visit will be, so here are some pointers for you:

Thailand Temples Dress Code

Clothing: Your clothes should cover your shoulders, breast, upper part of the arms (like a t-shirt would), and knees.

Footwear: Remove your shoes before entering temple buildings. There is usually a designated space for you to leave them. In most temples socks are ok, but some might require bare feet.

Headwear: Remove hats, caps, and sunglasses before entering a temple.

thailand temple dress code

Etiquette

Silence: Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor. People go to temples for worship and meditation.

Body language: Avoid pointing your feet towards Buddha images or monks as it's considered disrespectful. Keep your head lower than the Buddha images and monks, as a sign of humility and reverence. Avoid public displays of affection.

Photography: Make sure before entering that it is permitted to take photos, mainly during religious ceremonies. Do not touch religious symbols or pose in disrespectful ways.

Offerings: If you wish to make an offering, follow the guidance of the temple staff.

Monks: Show respect to monks. Do not sit on the platform or seats reserved for monks. Women should avoid direct physical contact with monks even when presenting them with offerings, placing them on a cloth or table for the monk to pick up.

thailandese temple statue

Where to Stay in Bangkok

Bangkok offers a diverse range of neighborhoods that suit the preferences of every type of traveler. From Khao San Road known for its backpacker atmosphere and bustling nightlife, to the luxury of the Silom and Sathorn business districts, or the authentic experience of Chinatown, Bangkok has a place for you.

If you want to be in a central area and your main goal is to be within walking distance of as many temples as possible, these are some of the best accommodations in Bangkok for that purpose:

LOBSUEK Hostel Bangkok best budget hotel in Bangkok
Na Tanao 1969best hotel in Bangkok
Riva Surya Bangkok best luxury hotel in Bangkok

When to Visit Bangkok

The best time to visit Bangkok is during the winter months, from November to March. During this time of the year, you can enjoy milder temperatures and a drier Bangkok, with both reduced chances of rainfall and humidity levels.

Buddha statue in Ayutthaya at the best time to visit

While this is great news for exploring Bangkok’s temples and walking around comfortably, keep in mind that you won’t be the only one running away from a cold winter somewhere else. This period marks the peak season for Bangkok, so expect higher prices and a greater number of tourists.

Planning Time

If you are ready to start planning your next trip, here you have all the usefull links you need to make it happen! By using them you are supporting our work as we might get a small fee from it. But hey! You pay the same (or might even get a discount), so is a win-win situation!

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