I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Bangkok in my life. Maybe 20? 30? Possibly even more.
Each time, I’ve had the opportunity to explore different neighbourhoods and discover new places to stay in Bangkok. And the wonderful thing I’ve realised after all these trips – there really is no bad area!
Bangkok is a huge city with so much to see and do. But it’s also very tourist friendly and generally quite well connected by public transport (or cheap taxis). So regardless of where you stay in Bangkok, you’ll be able to get around the city.
There’s also a fantastic range of styles and budgets simply because there are so many Bangkok hotels to choose from. (Seriously, it’s estimated there are about 80,000 rooms in the city!)
But, even though I think you’ll be happy with any of the main tourist areas I’m about to discuss, there are certainly some attributes of each that lend themselves to particular travellers.
- Sukhumvit: A large area with lots of accommodation at a wide range of budgets, this is a good option for first-time visitors.
- Silom: Similar to Sukhumvit, this is a good area for anyone but it closer to some of the nightlife and a bit more central to the main business district.
- Siam Square: Close to the big malls, this is a great area if shopping is a priority, plus the accommodation is a bit more upmarket.
- Khao San Road: Traditionally this is the backpacker area, so you’ll get cheaper hostels here and more of a party vibe.
- Riverside: There are some stunning luxury hotels on the waterfront so this is a good area if you want something a bit quieter.
- Suvarnabhumi Airport: It’s a long way from the city centre but hotels around the airport are convenient for a night if you have an early or late flight.
Before I go into more detail about the best Bangkok neighbourhoods, have a look on the map and you’ll see where they’re all located.
You’ll find a decent range of accommodation in most of the main Bangkok neighbourhoods, so ultimately your decision may come down to whether there’s a specific hotel or hostel you want to stay at (that’s certainly how I choose sometimes).
So, to help you decide where to stay in Bangkok, I’m going to talk about the individual neighbourhoods, and some of the best Bangkok hotels that I would recommend.
One of the most popular areas to stay in Bangkok, you really can’t go wrong with Sukhumvit, a district that’s defined by the long road of the same name.
There’s a huge range of accommodation here, including popular hostels and some of the city’s top luxury hotels – and I think that mix of styles is part of what makes this neighbourhood so vibrant.
And it means Sukhumvit is a good place to stay for pretty much any kind of traveller.
There are lots of shops and restaurants aimed at tourists, because there are plenty of tourists here. But you don’t have to walk far off the main road to find local businesses and some great street food.
The BTS line goes right down the centre, so you’ll always be close to public transport, another reason this is one of the best places to stay in Bangkok.
While some of the accommodation is on Sukhumvit Road itself, most of it is in the side streets that are named ‘Sukhumvit 1’, ‘Sukhumvit 2’, ‘Sukhumvit 3’ and so on, with odds on the north and evens on the south. The lower the number street, the closer you’ll be to the city centre. (Once you go past 48 and 71, which are across from each other, you’re probably too far away.)
- Sleep Box Sukhumvit 22: An eco-friendly design with cosy dorm rooms that have private spaces for each person.
- Rezt Bangkok: A very clean and modern hostel with a minimalistic style and plenty of privacy.
- Sakura Sky Residence: A Japanese themed hotel with spacious and clean rooms.
- The Promenade Hotel: While the design is a bit dated, it’s clean and spacious with affordable rates.
- INNSiDE by Meliá: Full of luxurious touches, it’s the rooftop pool that really stands out as a highlight.
- Ad Lib Hotel Bangkok: A beautifully-designed space where you’ll notice the attention to detail.
- Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit: One of the nicest hotels in the neighbourhood, there are large rooms and a great pool.
- Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit: Everything you would expect from a five-star hotel, with an excellent location.
After Sukhumvit, Silom is probably the next most popular spot for accommodation in Bangkok. It’s also got the full range of styles here and you’ll find whatever you’re looking for.
Compared to Sukhumvit, Silom is a smaller district, so you’ll never be too far away from the city centre. The BTS runs through the middle of the neighbourhood, so it’s also well connected with public transport.
Silom has a reputation for a livelier nightlife, including the (in)famous Patpong Night Market where you’ll find ping pong shows and other things like that in the red light district. But, don’t worry, that’s only a small pocket of Silom.
Generally, outside of that area Silom, is actually a little more upmarket – partly because it starts to blend with Sathorn, which is a business centre with international banks and luxury brands.
I would say that generally Silom will appeal to the same wide range of travellers as Sukhumvit, but the discerning visitor might find some better boutique and luxury hotels here.
- The Marble Hostel: The location is great, plus the hostel is well maintained and the staff are friendly.
- Prince Theatre Heritage Stay Hostel: The layout and design is really funky, giving you quite a unique Bangkok stay.
- Pas Cher Hotel de Bangkok: A quiet hotel that will let you experience more of an authentic neighbourhood.
- Silom Forest Exclusive Residence: The rooms are clean and modern, plus there’s an impressive city view from some of the balconies.
- The Rose Residence: A gorgeous hotel thats laid out in the old traditional Thai style.
- Chocolate Box Mint: A cute little hotel, with well designed modern and cosy rooms.
- Le Meridien Bangkok: As well as the stunning rooms, there’s amazing food and a fantastic spa experience.
- W Bangkok: A popular choice for the younger crowd, the hotel is stylish and has a fun vibe.
For many tourists, Siam Square will feel like the geographical centre of Bangkok. It’s where the two BTS lines cross and it’s where all the main shopping centres are.
That does make it one of the most convenient places to stay in Bangkok, but I also think it means it has less character than other neighbourhoods. There aren’t many street food vendors or small businesses, for instance – it’s all about the big brands.
There are a few cool budget options on the outskirts of Siam Square that are actually quite good if you don’t want to be in the big tourist areas like Silom of Sukhumvit. But mostly this neighbourhood is dominated by luxury hotels.
If you want a five-star Bangkok experience where shopping at the luxury stores in the malls is going to be a priority, then Siam Square will probably be your best bet and there is certainly some excellent accommodation here.
However, when I’m considering where to stay in Bangkok each time, this is an area I normally avoid just because I don’t find it quite as vibrant.
- Pinto Hostel: With a garden and terrace, this is a really cute and laidback hostel.
- Timber Hostel: As the name suggests, there’s a lot of wood in the design, but that just makes the stay feel even more natural.
- Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel: Along with all the luxury you would expect, there are also lots of elegant touches of Thai culture throughout the hotel.
- Oriental Residence Bangkok: If you can tear yourself away from the opulent rooms, there’s a great pool to hang out at.
- Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok: A more modern version of the other Kempinski in this area, this will appeal more to a younger crowd.
- The Okura Prestige Bangkok: The stylish rooms are amazing, but it’s the infinity pool that really stands out here.
The mighty Chao Praya River snakes its way through the centre of the city and, along its banks, are some of the best places to stay in Bangkok.
Ever since Bangkok was founded in 1782, the river was vital to the city’s prosperity, but until recently most of the riverside was generally seen as industrial or low class, lined with warehouses or low-income housing for the people who worked the docks.
Now, though, people have realised the benefits of water views and some of Bangkok’s best hotels have sprung up along both banks of the Chao Praya River. Some are large and some are boutique, but what they all offer are peaceful locations with easy access to interesting local neighbourhoods.
Beyond the luxury hotels, there are also parts of the riverside that have good backpacker accommodation (Khao San Road is close to the river, as I’ll discuss next) and traditional heritage houses that have been converted to budget or boutique hotels.
Public transportation is not as convenient along the river, although the luxury hotels tend to offer private transfers to a BTS station. But the public ferry along the river does take you to some of the city’s main sights.
- PAMAhouse Boutique Hostel: A little bit away from the centre, you’ll find this small friendly hostel in an authentic neighbourhood.
- Ekanake Hostel: It’s got a clean and minimalistic style, plus it’s right amongst some of the important historical attractions.
- Khaosan Art Hotel: You’ll get clean and comfortable rooms close to a ferry stop for a great price.
- Talakkia Boutique Hotel: A hidden gem in a good location near the river with a traditional breakfast.
- Aurum The River Place: A cute little hotel close to the Grand Palace and with a rooftop garden.
- Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside: With the facilities of a five-star hotel, there is something a bit more intimate about this property.
- The Peninsula Bangkok: The highlight here is the enormous buffet breakfast that you’ll be able to enjoy alongside the river.
- Avani Plus Riverside Bangkok Hotel: The free shuttle boat will take you right to the hotel where you can enjoy the views from the magnificent rooftop pool.
Khao San Road
For decades, Khao San Road has been the centre of backpacker life in Bangkok. When I was much younger, it was where I always tended to stay because I knew there would be cheap accommodation and a lively atmosphere.
In recent years, it has evolved a bit, with the street being a bit more regulated by authorities and becoming more of a nightlife district for young Thais.
That means that, although Khao San Road is still busy and fun, it’s lost a little of its laidback backpacker feel – more hip than hippie, you could say. I would certainly still recommend it for young travellers, but anyone who stayed there decades ago may get a shock.
Although there have been a lot of changes on Khao San Road itself, the neighbourhood still has lots of pockets of casual and cheap Bangkok accommodation that is similar to how it once was – you just have to go a few blocks further away. Closer to the river, there are some wonderful areas that may be more like what you’re expecting.
One issue with staying in Khao San is that there’s no convenient BTS or MRT station, but it is close to a ferry stop on the river.
- Khao San Social Capsule Hostel: The rooms are cool with beds a bit like a capsule hotel, plus lots of fun activities.
- Tales Khaosan: Although the hostel is not large, it’s got a really friendly vibe with modern and clean rooms.
- Thana Wisut Hotel: Close to Khao San Road but away from the noise, this is a lovely budget hotel.
- Ratchadamnoen Residence: Great value for rooms that are really nice considering the price.
- Baan Chart: Although you’re really close to Khao San Road, this hotel feels much more upmarket with a lovely courtyard and pool.
- Chillax Resort: With easy access to the main sights in the neighbourhood, the highlight here is the rooftop infinity pool.
- Riva Surya Bangkok: Right on the river, the rooms are really cool and there’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
- Chillax Heritage Hotel Khaosan: The design is inspired by an ancient cultural story, but there are still wonderful modern touches like the rooftop pool.
Bangkok’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, is quite a long way from the centre of the city and is certainly not a convenient place to stay if you’re planning a few days of sightseeing.
But, seeing as there are lots of early morning departures or late night arrivals, you may want to find accommodation at Bangkok airport at the start or end of your trip.
Hotels that you can walk to from the terminal are very limited, although there are a couple of decent (albeit overpriced) options.
Most of the airport accommodation at Suvarnabhumi is in the residential areas around it, with hotels often offering a free transfer in at least one direction. It doesn’t take long to get between the terminal and these hotels, so it’s not a bad way to spend a night to avoid stressing about an early flight.
- Morn-ing Hostel: As well as the helpful staff, the hostel is close to the airport with a free pick-up service.
- Happy Home Hostel: The beds are comfortable and the airport is conveniently close.
- QG Resort: Very close to the airport, decorated with traditional decors, and with the amenities you’ll need for a quick stay.
- Port Canary Airport Hotel: Good value for money, the rooms are larger than you might expect for this price.