Did you know that there are more than 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand? Many of these temples are located in Bangkok, the capital. For this reason, if you are visiting the Thai capital for a short period of time, it will be convenient to make a correct selection of the most beautiful and important ones, since visiting them all will be impossible.
Next, I am going to tell you which are the ones that I consider the most worth visiting and, therefore, the ones that I highly recommend including in your list. Before mentioning them, I would like to place special emphasis on the existence of a dress code that you must comply with in order to access all the temples:
There is a dress code for both men and women, which prohibits anyone who is wearing tank tops and / or shorts to enter the temples. Both the knees and shoulders must be covered at all times.
So do not forget to be dressed as required, since if you do not follow their guidelines, you will have two options: either not enter the temples, or you will have to buy clothes at the entrance of the buildings at a relatively expensive price. Now, let’s continue with the most beautiful temples in Bangkok.
1. WAT PHRA KAEW
Without a doubt, the Grand Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful visits you can do in Bangkok. It is an impressive architectural complex that leaves no one indifferent. This place was the residence of the Thai royal family until the middle of the 20th century and today it is open to everybody who wants to admire its beauty from up close.
One of the most famous buildings that make up the complex is Wat Phra Kaew, better known as Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is the most important Buddhist temple in the entire country and, therefore, it cannot be missed. In addition to this temple, in this complex you will also find the famous Thotkhirithon Statues, exact replicas of the Angkor Wat ruins and a couple of museums with valuable royal treasures.
- ENTRY FEE: 500 bht
- OPENING HOURS: from 8.30h to 15.30h
Beware of fraud. It is very common to meet people who tell you that the temple is closed and offer to take you to another place in exchange for a certain amount of money. Make sure it’s true or not by asking the workers at the entrance of the complex directly.
If you do not want to meet many tourists, visit the complex early in the morning. As the central hours of the day get closer, the influx increases and it can be very overwhelming.
2. WAT SAKET
Another of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok is Wat Saket, better known as The Golden Mountain. This temple stands out for its impressive views of the entire city. In fact, for a long time, it was the highest point in Bangkok, before the multiple skyscrapers that exist today were built.
In order to get into the temple, you will have to pass through a wide green area and climb a total of 318 steps. Inside it, there are relics that Buddha brought from India, which is why it is one of the most revered temples in the city.
Due to its height, Wat Saket is the ideal place where to witness a beautiful sunset. So, I recommend leaving the visit for this time of the day.
- ENTRY FEE: 50 bht
- OPENING HOURS: from 8.00h to 19.00h
If you stay on the famous Khaosan Street, you can easily access the temple on foot. In case you are not very close to, you have several options:
Take a public bus that takes you to the “Democracy Monument” stop, which is about a 10-minute walk from the temple.
Hire a Grab car/motorcycle or a tuk-tuk that leaves you at the bottom of the mountain.
Once there, remember to take a good place where to sit or stand, since it usually gets quite crowded at that time of day. Once there, you only have to wait for the sky to become red. Enjoy!
3. WAT PHO
Another of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok is Wat Pho, also called the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. In addition to the numerous pagodas that are part of the complex, one of the main buildings contains the largest reclining golden Buddha in the entire country. Specifically, it is about 46m long and 15m high.
- ENTRY FEE: 200 bht
- OPENING HOURS: from 8.00h to 18.30h
The temple is located right next to the Grand Royal Palace and Wat Arun, which I will talk about later. So, I recommend you visit these three temples the same day one after the other, as you consider more appropriate.
To access Wat Pho from the Grand Royal Palace or vice versa, you can go on foot since the distance is very short. On the other hand, to go to Wat Arun or vice versa, as they are on opposite sides of the Chao Phraya River, you will have to take a ferry at the Tha Tien dock whose single ticket price is around 10 cent.
4. WAT ARUN
This temple has something very special. I don’t know if it’s because of the light transmitted by its white pagodas or why, but it is the one that transmitted me the best vibes. It is better known as the Temple of Dawn and is located on the Chao Phraya river banks.
It receives such a name, since as you can deduce, it is an ideal place where to see the sun appear. More specifically, I recommend you go to the bank of the river that is on the other side of the temple, to have better views of this sacred building while you see the sky turning orange on its back.
- ENTRY FEE: 100 bht
- OPENING HOURS: from 8.30h to 17.30h
You will probably have to take a ferry to get to this temple as the river separates it from the central Bangkok area. In case of being very close to Wat Pho and the Grand Royal Palace, as I have previously mentioned, the best place where to take the ferry is in Tha Tien dock. In case you are anywhere else, you just have to find out which the closest pier to access the temple is. The closest to Khao San Road, for example, is the Phra Arthit 13 pier.
5. WAT BENCHAMABOPHIT
The fifth and not less impressive temple on the list, is Wat Benchamabophit, better known as the White Marble Temple.
Its name is due to the fact that when in the 19th century King Rama V ordered its construction, he demanded it to be entirely built out of white marble. His main objective was to get a unique temple in the country and, without a doubt, he did it.
This complex located in the Thai capital is one of those places that leaves no one indifferent and whose visit, therefore, is highly recommended.
- ENTRY FEE: 20 bht
- OPENING HOURS: from 8.00h to 17.30h
Despite being in Bangkok, this temple is located a bit far from the center, so the best option to get there is probably to take a public bus (number 5, 72 or 503), Grab car / motorcycle or a tuk-tuk to.
Even so, if you like walking as I do, first check the walking distance from where you are. From Khaosan Street, which is where most backpackers stay, for example, it only takes about 30 minutes to get to the temple.
As in many other sacred places, you can only enter certain areas in this temple if you do it barefoot. So, do not forget to take socks if you consider it convenient.
Moreover, once there, you can take the opportunity to visit the Dusit Palace, a building that belongs to the royalty of Thailand and which is located only a few steps away from Wat Benchamabophit.
So far, the 5 most beautiful temples in Bangkok that you cannot miss when you visit the city. Remember the importance of complying with the dress code and, on a personal level, I also recommend you bringing enough cold water to hydrate yourself, as well as comfortable clothes and shoes. The visit to the temples usually takes many hours, so you’d better go well prepared to endure them without any discomfort that prevents you from enjoying.
Moreover, if you are in Bangkok and would also like to discover its surroundings, here you have a post about the best one-day-trips you can do from the capital of Thailand. Do not hesitate to write any messages or doubts in comments and/or directly to email@example.com . I will be so happy to read them and be of any help to you. Greetings dear travelers!