Bangkok is host to over 400 temples, all beautiful in their own unique way. Visiting 400 temples in one trip can be a bit of a challenge, so we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 favorite temples to see in Bangkok, to help you make the most out of your stay!
Don’t forget, when visiting any temple, be sure to dress modestly as they are active places of worship.
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Wat Phra Kaew
Located within the grounds of Bangkok’s Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is also known as the “Temple of the Emerald Buddha” as it enshrines what is perhaps Thailand’s most revered statue of Buddha. Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha) was carved out of a single block of jade and stands at just 66cm tall. First discovered in Chiang Rai in 1464, the holy statue travelled as far as Vientiane in Laos before it was given a permanent home in Bangkok. Apart from the famous statue, Wat Phra Kaew features a 2km long gallery covered with murals showcasing 178 images of the legendary story of Ramayana. Definitely not to be missed!
Insider Tip: Head there early to avoid crows as this is one of the most popular temples for tourists!
Dress Code: There is a strict dress code for visiting the Grand Palace. As the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand’s most sacred site, those visiting must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves. Tank tops are not allowed. Similarly, women must dress modestly with no see-through clothes or bare shoulders, and skirts, dresses, or pants must be below the knees.
Address: Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 3:30pm (except during special royal ceremonies)
Entrance Fee: 500 baht
More info: http://na.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/The-Grand-Palace–52
Located next door to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho is believed to be one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. After moving into the Grand Palace, King Rama I recognized the site of the old temple as having religious significance, and the temple’s restoration was ordered to begin in 1788.The first restoration project took 7 years to complete and a second restoration/expansion project took place during the reign of King Rama III which included Thailand’s first massage school. Wat Pho’s main attraction is the iconic statue of the Reclining Buddha. At 46 meters long and 15 meters high, the statue is covered in gold leaf and features four meter wide feet encrusted in mother-of-pearl displaying the 108 images of Buddha.
Address: Maharat Road, Phra Nakorn District, Bangkok
Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 6:00pm
Entrance Fee: 100 baht
More info: http://na.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/Wat-Pho–83
Wat Arun – also known as the Temple of Dawn – is situated on the West bank of the Chao Phraya River, almost directly opposite to the Grand Palace and What Pho. One of Thailand’s most iconic temples, the construction of Wat Arun began in the 17th century and was started by King Rama II and completed by King Rama III. Nowadays, Wat Arun is an important historical site as well as one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist attractions. The main highlight of the temple is its central grand pagoda, or “prang” in Thai. A Prang is a Khmer style tower and Wat Arun’s central prang towers high at 67 meters tall; made entirely out of cement and covered in millions of pieces of China porcelain. It’s also a great temple to admire at night from afar!
Address: West side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier)
Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 5:30pm
Entrance Fee: 50 baht
More info: http://na.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/Wat-Arun-Temple-of-Dawn–82
Wat Benchamabophit is a magnificent Thai architectural masterpiece also known as “The Marble Temple.” King Rama V ordered its construction in the year 1900 so it is considered to be a relatively new and modern temple. Designed by King Rama IV’s son Prince Naris, all of the temple’s external walls and the ordination hall are constructed completely out of imported Italian marble. Apart from the beautiful architecture, one of the main highlights of this temple can be found in the ordination hall. The sacred image of the Phra Buddha Chinnarat has been reproduced from the original in Phitsanulok and is proudly displayed, considered one of the most beautiful images of Buddha.
Address: Rama 5 Road, Chitlada, Dusit Bangkok, Thailand
Hours: Daily, 6am – 6pm
Entrance Fee: 20 baht
More info: http://na.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/Wat-Benchamabophit–94
Wat Traimit is a beautiful, multi-level temple located near Bangkok’s Chinatown district. The exact date of construction is unknown, but it’s believed that construction on Wat Traimit began in the Sukhothai period. Apart from its beautiful design, one of the main attractions of the temple is the five-ton solid gold statue of Buddha. The statue is thought to have been constructed somewhere around the 13th century and was covered in stucco, presumably to deter the invading Burmese back in the day. The statue remained ignored for centuries after, still covered in plaster, until workmen in the 1950s accidentally dropped it. The solid gold icon underneath was revealed and it quickly became one of Thailand’s most important religious statues!
Address: Traimit Road (west of Hua Lampong Station), at the very beginning of Chinatown
Hours: Daily, 8am – 5pm (the museum which is separate is closed Mondays)
Entrance Fee: The temple is free to visit, the museum is 40 baht
More info: http://na.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/Wat-Traimit-Wittayaram–6045