Things to Do in Bangkok on a Layover – Follow our Guide
Thailand has been a part of every traveller’s list, especially Bangkok. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and a major transportation hub. More importantly, it has two major international airports, namely Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. The former is a full-fledged serviced airport with all major airlines from across the world, while the latter allows you to transit quickly as it mainly serves low-cost carriers. Bangkok receives passengers from a large number of global airlines such as Emirates, British Airways, Air India. It is a major hub for connections between Australia and the rest of the world. Several low-cost carriers
There are two scenarios.
You have a layover of fewer than 8 hours.
Believe us, it is not worthwhile visiting the city if you have less than 8 hours, since transiting to and from the airport can be time-consuming especially in unexpected queues at Suvarnabhumi airport and indirect public transit options from Don Muang International Airport. However, do not get disappointed! There are a plethora of things to do at the airports in Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi Airport: Suvarnabhumi airport is loaded with activities for travellers who have a short layover. The airport is massive and houses different activities which can help you kill time here. First and foremost, we would recommend you to sample the Eastern flavors at some of the many eateries at this airport. There is an abundance of food options here, ranging from Burger King to numerous seafood bars spread across the terminal. Done eating? Now it’s time to rejuvenate and experience what Thailand is pristinely famous for. Yes, we are talking about world-class spas. You can now experience variants of authentic Thai massage at the airport itself. You can easily spend a couple of hours in this activity. Bonus tip, with a Thai spa, there are two showers included. A great excuse to refresh yourself after a long flight. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport also offers an excellent duty-free shopping experience, where you can shop for liquor, premium chocolates, or souvenirs.
Nonetheless, if you still do not want to shell out some cash, you can do our favorite activity. Grab a comfy seat, marvel at the variety of different aircrafts meandering across the tarmac, do people watching, and take a short nap. Remember to have your passport with you all the time.
Don Muang Airport: Unlike Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Don Muang Airport caters to low-cost carriers like Air Asia, Lion Air, etc. Therefore, the facilities at this airport are limited. But, the airport does have all the essential services such as restaurants, cafes, free internet, and lounges. This airport also has an open observation deck, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the tarmac. If you love to hear the aircraft engines, this is your paradise! Besides, Don Muang Airport does offer decent spots to rest and sleep. You can access one of the premium lounges too.
Here comes the good news, with frequent connections from low-cost carriers, there are infrequent occurrences of long layovers.
You have more than 8 hours in Bangkok.
We can confidently say that a transit time greater than 8 hours is ideal for an enjoyable tour of the city. Bangkok is bustling with shopping malls, roadside bazaars, monuments, and delicious East Asian delicacies. And your best bet would be to venture out into the city, enjoy this country to your fullest. And it is always satisfying to have that extra stamp on your passport, isn’t it?
From Suvarnabhumi International Airport, you can easily take the Airport Express train downtown. From there onwards, you can use the super convenient MRT network to navigate across the city.
Don Muang Airport offers several bus services to the central city, and a tourist information center in the arrivals lounge will be your best guide regarding these busses.
Now, it is time to see the very best of Bangkok in just one day. You can take a standard sightseeing city tour from your respective airport and save yourself from the hassles of chalking down a perfect itinerary. If you still wish to explore on your own, here are some things to do in Bangkok on a layover.
- Grand Palace: This magnificent network of buildings tops our list. By norm, every tourist visits the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Situated in the heart of Bangkok, the palace dates back to the 18th century. We recommend spending a couple of hours at this place. Along with the Grand Palace, make sure to pay a visit to the holy Buddhist temple Wat Phra Kaew. It is indeed, mesmerising.
- Tour the canals of Bangkok: The best way to experience the real culture of Bangkok is via its confluencing canals. Hop on a traditional boat with your guide and enjoy some stories about the city. This would be one of the most fruitful hours of your layover.
- Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn: You can quickly disembark from your canal boat and visit Wat Arun temple on the banks of the river Chao Phraya. The temple holds very high historical significance and can be visited in less than 30 minutes.
- Khao San Road: A charming street with a sensory experience. Hear the tuk-tuks make their way, taste the local Pad Thai, feel the light gust, and see the people from all walks of life. It houses many hostels, cafes, and guesthouses for travellers. Khao San Road is another must-visit attraction to see the real culture in Thailand.
- Nightlife: If your layover starts in the evening, you can consider yourself lucky! Nightlife in Bangkok is admired by tourists from across the world. There are amazing clubs, luxury restaurants serving you richly cooked authentic food, a completely different vibe on the streets. Make sure to experience one of the finest Thai body massages.
We hope this guide has helped you to get well versed with Bangkok and its airports. Do leave a comment if you have tried any of the activities listed above.