Where to stay in Bangkok: Our favorite areas and hotels!
Bangkok is one of most exciting cities in the world and the first port of call for many travelers to Asia. That’s because Bangkok’s international airport is one of the largest and best connected in Asia. So if you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia, then Bangkok is most likely the place you’ll set foot first.
So why not stay a while in the Thai metropolis before continuing on your journey?
Bangkok is a city of about 8 million inhabitants, and it’s also pretty chaotic and lacks a real center.
So finding a suitable hotel in Bangkok isn’t that simple a task.
Where are the most sights, where are the best restaurants?
How hard is it to travel longer distances in Bangkok? And how do I find the best place to stay in Bangkok?
We’ll show you which district is best for you in Bangkok, and of course we’ll also give you advice on where to stay in Bangkok.
The best area to stay in Bangkok
Even though the city is huge, seeing all the major sights is a manageable undertaking. Not because there are so few of them, quite the contrary, but because they’re all clustered pretty close to one another. That means they’re all reasonably well connected.
Bangkok consists of 50 districts in total. But don’t worry, there’s no need visit them all. When you visit Bangkok, it makes sense to roughly divvy up the city into major districts, so that’s what we’ve done here.
The part of Bangkok that’s most interesting to tourists can be divided into three areas:
#1 Rattanakosin, the original Bangkok
#2 Sathorn, the cosmopolitan Bangkok
#3 Sukhumvit Road, the shopping and entertainment road
You’ll find hotels in all prices ranges in all three districts. Mind you, it’s actually really difficult to find places with high room rates. We’re not kidding, you can even stay at some luxury hotels in Bangkok for a comparatively low price.
It’s almost impossible to find hotels with rates exceeding 150 euros per night, even though there’s no lack of luxury hotels.
We’ve drawn up a map for you showing where the different districts are located in Bangkok. That should give you a rough overview so you can get a better idea of what we’re talking about here.
Rattanakosin: Our tips for where to stay in Bangkok’s old town
About the area: Staying in Rattanakosin is the right choice for you if you want to be close to the most famous historical sights of the city. The backpacker district around Khao San Road is also home to some of the cheapest places to stay in Bangkok.
This area was the original core city of Bangkok until around the end of the 18th century. Rattanakosin is also known as Rattanakosin Island because it’s surrounded by the mighty Chao Phraya River to the west and the Ong Ang Canal to the east.
This district might not look much like a traditional old town, but most of the major monuments are located here, such as the Grand Palace with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho.
Crossing the Chao Phraya by boat only takes a few minutes, and on the other side, you can visit beautiful Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn.
Rattanakosin is also home to Khao San Road, the infamous party district that’s especially popular with backpackers, with countless bars, pounding music, street food, and the cheapest accommodation in Bangkok.
It’s the only place to go out in Rattanakosin as far as nightlife is concerned. From Rattanakosin, it’s also only a short tuk-tuk or taxi ride to Chinatown. Here, you’ll find a loud and chaotic flurry of Chinese restaurants, neon lights, Chinese temples, and gold dealers.
Pros of staying in Rattanakosin:
- Most of the important sights in Bangkok are located
- Cheapest accommodation
- Direct access to the Chao Phraya River
Cons of staying in Rattanakosin:
- The district is poorly connected (no Skytrain or subway station)
- The only nightlife is around Khao San Road
The best places to stay in Rattanakosin
According to booking.com, the average accommodation rate in Rattanakosin is 36€ per night. That makes it the cheapest of the districts presented here.
Our favorites in Rattanakosin
We’ve selected a few of our favorites and want to present them to you now. All the hotels you see listed here have a good location and offer the best value for money.
Sathorn: Where to stay in Bangkok’s Wall Street and nightlife hub
About the area: If you love the energy of the big city and enjoy going out in the evenings, then Sathorn is just right for you.
Located southeast of Rattanakosin is Bangkok’s pulsating inner city district of Sathorn. It’s located right nearby Bangkok’s financial center of Silom and is home to many expats and business travelers.
Some of Thailand’s leading companies and hippest hotels and restaurants can be found here.
Just around the corner is one of the city’s most popular party districts: Patpong, a colorful and loud mix of pubs, restaurants, go-go bars, and night markets.
The famous Lumphini Park is also right next door, where you can relax and recover from the city bustle or row a boat across the artificial lake.
The convenient Skytrain leaves from Chong Nonsi, connecting Sathorn with other parts of the city such as lively Sukhumvit Road or the international airport. The subway is also only a few minutes’ walk away from here. The district of Sathorn features both hotel chains as well as individual boutique hotels.
Hotel rates are a little bit higher than in Rattanakosin, but they’re still very low compared to European rates. We stayed at Sribumpen Plus just around the corner from the subway and felt very much at home there.
Pros of staying in Sathorn:
- You’re in the middle of all the action
- The nightlife district Patpong is just around the corner
- Direct access to the Skytrain and metro
Cons of staying in Sathorn:
- Lots of traffic
- Accommodation prices are slightly higher
- A bit trickier to get to the historical monuments in Rattanakosin
The best places to stay in Sathorn
Booking.com lists an average rate of 48€ per night in Sathorn, with a total of 47 hotels. If you want to stay here, prices for an acceptable room already start at €20 per night.
Our favorites in Sathorn
Sukhumvit Road: Our hotel tips for shopping fans
About the area: The area around the Sukhumvit Road is ideal for you if shopping is one of your priorities in Bangkok and you prefer something a bit more ‘Western’.
Sukhumvit Road is one of the longest roads in Thailand. It starts in Bangkok and runs for more than 400 kilometers all the way to the Cambodian border.
Within Bangkok, the Skytrain runs along the entire length of the road, so every hotel here is reasonably well connected.
The area that we’d recommend for you to stay is around the Skytrain stops Nana and Asok. That’s where the action is, there are countless shops including the huge mall Terminal 21, markets, and restaurants of all shapes and sizes.
The side street Sukhumvit 11 also offers several restaurants, street food, and an active nightlife. This area is popular among tourists the world over because you really have everything right at your doorstep. When you stroll through the streets here, it feels more like a multi-cultural western metropolis than really being in Asia.
Just as in Sathorn, you can also find the most stylish hotels in the city here with dozens of floors, rooftop bars, swimming pools, and slightly higher rates.
Pros of staying on Sukhumvit Road:
- You’re in the middle of all the action
- It’s well-connected by Skytrain, including to the airport
- Many hotels have rooftop bars or pools
Cons of staying on Sukhumvit Road:
- Sukhumvit Road has a lot of traffic
- The historical sights are a fair distance away
- Higher room rates
Where to stay in Sukhumvit
If you enter “Bangkok, Sukhumvit” in the search bar on booking.com, you’ll get a list of 289 accommodations with an average room rate of 50€. But since the street is so long, not all hotels are equally well located.
Our favorites in Sukhumvit
We stayed at the U Sukhumvit Bangkok and felt very welcome there. It’s in a quieter street, a bit of a distance from Sukhumvit Road, but it offers a tuk-tuk service to the Skytrain station Asok. It also has a great rooftop pool!
We’d recommend that hotel and two others:
More information on Bangkok
Enjoy your time in Bangkok! This wonderful city is certain to enchant you.
Do you also have a great tip on where to stay in Bangkok? Where did you stay and would you recommend it?