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14 Must-See Temples in Bangkok

If you’re trying to find out which are the best temples in Bangkok, you’ve come to the right place. This list of the most epic temples in the city will help you plan your visit to them, so read on!

Buddhism is a very important part of Thailand’s culture and heritage, and there’s no shortage of temples in Bangkok and the rest of the country!

Therefore, visiting some of them (AKA as many as you can!) is one of the must-do activities you need to include on your Thailand itinerary, whether you’re spending 3 days in Bangkok, a whole week, or just a few hours.

I love the temples in Thailand! I’ve visited the country 6 times (really!) and each time I go to Bangkok I make it a point to visit some new temples. In fact, I’m currently writing from my coworking space in Bangkok! And in the last couple of week we visited or revisited 3 of the temples on this list.

From magnificent and very intricate buildings to more simply designed temples, you’ll be walking with your mouth open around most of them – that’s a promise! What are the temples of Bangkok that should make it to your list, then? Check them out and figure out your favorites! 


You can definitely visit the temples on your own, and choose your favorites to plan an itinerary that works for you. But joining a tour around them is an alternative if you’d like to have a guide that will provide insights into the temples’ history and importance. 

➤ The Bangkok City Highlights Tour includes a visit to a variety of landmarks, including vibrant local markets and some of the most popular temples in the city. The Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun are part of the tour’s itinerary. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Best of Bangkok in a Day is a private tour in which your own guide will take you around the city’s main attractions. These include the mesmerizing Grand Palace, and the temples of Wat Pho and Wat Arun, where you’ll learn about the city’s culture and heritage. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


Wat Arun

Wat Arun is Bangkok’s most famous temple. Also known as Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or the Temple of Dawn, it was named after Aruna, the solar deity’s charioteer.

Why is it also called Temple of Dawn, then? Theories abound, but the building is intricately decorated with seashells and pieces of porcelain that light up when the sun hits it. You can imagine the spectacle it offers during sunrise!

Wat Arun is around 230 feet (70 meters) tall, and as most Buddhist temples it resembles a mountain. It’s meant to represent the journey toward spiritual enlightenment after all. Believed to have been built during the Ayutthaya Period, sometime between the 15th and 17th centuries, its impressive spires weren’t added until the early 19th century, commissioned by King Rama II.

This Buddhist temple is located within the Bangkok Yai district, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, which means you’ll have to take a ferry across it to visit.

Opening times: Daily from 8 AM to 5.30 PM
Entrance Fee: 100 baht (2,7 dollars)

Wat Pho

Wat Pho in Bangkok is also one of the most popular Buddhist temples. This complex is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok (or even the sleeping Buddha at times!), because it’s where you’ll find the iconic – and the biggest in Thailand – statue of Buddha.

Besides that one, there are more than a thousand images of Buddha all over the complex, which spans a total land area of 860,000 square feet (80,000 square meters).

Established around the 16th century, Wat Pho is referred to as the first public university in Thailand by locals, because over a thousand marble inscriptions around the temple teach about science, medicine, and history.

Once you’re done marveling at the main temple, take some time to explore the rest of the complex, which is astoundingly beautiful as well!

Opening times: Daily from 8 AM to 6 PM
Entrance Fee: 100 baht (2,7 dollars)

Grand Palace

Situated right in the center of Bangkok, Grand Palace is a very spectacular complex of buildings established in 1782, which served as the king’s residence, government offices, state departments, and the Royal Court for over 100 years. 

The complex is still used for ceremonial and royal events, and it’s one of the most sacred locations in Bangkok, as well as the most visited!

Part of that popularity is thanks to Bangkok’s gem, the Emerald Buddha Temple, which is situated here. Visitors can also access the Central Court, where the king’s residence was located, and the European-styled Reception Halls

The Grand Palace covers an area of around 2.3 million square feet (218,000 square meters) and it houses dozens of buildings, distributed in four different courts: The Outer and Inner courts, the Central Court, and the Emerald Buddha Temple.

These are separated from each other by walls and gates, and the whole complex is completely surrounded by external walls, creating the illusion of being a city of its own. 

Opening times: Daily from 8.30 AM to 3.30 PM 
Entrance fee: 500 baht (14 dollars)

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is one of the grandest temples you’ll encounter in Bangkok.

Wat Phra Kaew is actually within Bangkok’s Grand Palace, which we just talked about in the section above. However, I thought it deserved its own place.

Many Thai Buddhist worshippers also consider it their most sacred temple because it houses the Emerald Buddha, a 26-inch (66-centimeter) figure made of jade and gold with great significance to the Buddhist religion.

While it’s a very touristic place, to this day it’s also a pilgrimage destination for Buddhist worshippers coming from all over the world.

Regarded as the palladium of Thailand, the image that protects the country and its citizens, it’s definitely the main attraction of Wat Phra Kaew. The temple itself is an impressive work of art, from the intricate details of its interior to the gorgeous painted murals and its cloisters.

Opening times: Daily from 8.30 AM to 3.30 PM
Entrance Fee: 500 baht (14 dollars)

Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)

Wat Benchamabophit is also known as the Marble Temple, and it’s among the most beautiful ones in the city. It features the traditional architecture of most Buddhist temples, with ornate high gables and very elaborate finials that enhance its exquisite design.

Image of a white temple with golden windows and door, and a woman standing in front of it inserted in a post about the best temples in Bangkok

The interior of the temple is just as spectacular, and it’s home to a Buddha statue called Phra Buddhajinaraja.

This is a namesake and a copy of one of the most revered images in the country, which is only surpassed in popularity by the Emerald Buddha. Buried under this bronze statue are the ashes of King Rama V, who built the temple in the late 19th century.

There are 52 Buddha statues in the galleries surrounding the ordination hall, and behind it, there’s a Budhi Tree brought from Bodhgaya in India, where Buddha reached enlightenment.

Opening times: Daily from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM 
Entrance Fee: 20 baht (0,5 dollars)

Wat Mahathat

One of the most historical temples in all of the Bangkok area and Thailand, Wat Mahathat can be found in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Founded in the 1300s, it is one of the most significant temples, having been the center of Buddhism during the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and the shrine of Buddha’s relics.

The temple was damaged and abandoned after the fall of the kingdom, and while its impressive 140-foot (43-meter) tall spire was rebuilt after its destruction, it collapsed again in 1911 and was no longer restored.

Besides the temple’s remains, one of the site’s main attractions is the head of a Buddha made of stone that’s entwined in the roots of a tree.

Opening times: Daily from 7.30 AM to 6 PM 
Entrance Fee: 50 baht (1,4 dollars)

If you’re into history and culture, you should definitely include a day trip to Ayutthaya in your Bangkok itinerary. I just recently went on an organized tour and thought it was a great, hassle-free way to see the best temples in Ayutthaya.

➤ This Ayutthaya Temples Tour takes you from Bangkok on a guided trip around the temples. It operates with a small group, so you enjoy a personalized experience, and it also includes lunch, entrance fees, and transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Ayutthaya Day Tour takes you to explore the four ancient temples with a knowledgeable guide. You’ll then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and return to Bangkok on a scenic river cruise. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Wat Samphran (Bangkok’s Dragon Temple)

One of the most striking Bangkok temples is Wat Samphran. The 17-story structure is surrounded by a giant dragon, climbing the temple’s circular walls all the way to the top. 

It is a truly impressive work of architecture, but the most interesting thing about it is the mystery that surrounds it. The purpose of the temple, its year of construction, or the meaning behind the dragon’s presence are, after all, unknown.   

While certain areas of the temple are closed to the public, you can visit some of the rooms, snap pictures of the massive bronze Buddha, and walk to the top of the tower by walking inside the dragon’s belly

Opening Hours: Daily from 6 AM to 6 PM
Entrance Fee: Free

Wat Saket Bangkok (Golden Mount)

Wat Saket is a Buddhist Temple commonly referred to as the Golden Mount in Bangkok. This temple is one of the oldest ones, built during the Ayutthaya era in Thailand.

It’s one of the most distinctive temples in Bangkok in terms of its structure, and it sits atop a 260-foot (80-meter) tall mountain called the Golden Mountain, from which it gets its nickname.

It takes a total of 300 steps to reach the temple, which back in the day was used to cremate poor people who couldn’t afford funerals. There’s also an interesting cemetery at the base of the hill, now overgrown by trees and vines.

On the way up you’ll come across an area with prayer bells, which people ring for good luck, and from the very top, you’ll get beautiful views of Rattanakosin Island.

Opening times: Daily from 7 AM to 7 PM 
Entrance Fee: 50 baht (1,4 dollars)

Wat Traimit

The Temple of Wat Traimit is home to the Golden Buddha in Bangkok, a 5.5-ton solid gold statue of a seated Buddha that dates back to the 13th century.

In an attempt to keep its value hidden from the public, it was covered with a thick layer of plaster that lasted over two centuries, until pieces of it broke during a move and the gold was revealed.

This is why it wasn’t as highly regarded as other Buddha statues in the past, and you’ll get to see the remaining pieces of the plaster on display at the temple.

Wat Traimit, also referred to as the Golden Temple in Bangkok, is at the end of the Yaowarat Road in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. It’s one of the newer temples in Thailand but is also one of the most beautiful, with its elegant detailing and striking gold over white.

➤ This Private Tour of Bangkok’s Temples takes you and your group to three different and very iconic Buddhist temples. You’ll get to marvel at the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, explore the Marble Temple, and also visit Wat Traimit and its famous Golden Buddha. All while learning about the city’s culture and religion. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Opening times: Daily from 8 AM to 5 PM 
Entrance Fee: 40 baht (1 dollar)

Wat Intharawihan

Wat Intharawihan is labeled as a third-class royal temple, the lowest category among Thailand’s Royal Temples, which are classified by their importance.

Part of a temple complex located near the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it is widely recognized for its 32-meter standing Buddha statue, Luang Pho To.

While the temple was refurbished in 1982, its architectural style still reflects the influences of the Ayutthaya Kingdom on its construction. Traditional paintings and lanterns hang at the temple’s entrance, and there’s a newly added chamber that showcases the image of Phra Puttahachan, Wat Intharawihan’s abbot.

Opening times: Daily from 6 AM to 6 PM 
Entrance Fee: Free

Wat Phra Dhammakaya

Wat Phra Dhammakaya, in Khlong Luang District, was founded in the 1970s by two maechi, a term that refers to Buddhist laywomen. The temple emerged from the Dhammakaya movement, which focuses on adapting the original Buddhist values to modern society.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya is also the largest temple in the world, and it truly is an impressive work of art. More striking than its size, though, is its leading role in Thai Buddhism, being considered the ‘face of modern Thai Buddhism’ and one of the fastest-growing sites in the Dhammakaya meditation practices.

Opening times: You need to book a tour (free) in advance to visit 
Entrance Fee: Free

Wat Hua Krabeu

Wat Hua Krabeu is one of the lesser-known temples in Bangkok, simply because it’s not centrally located. In fact, only those who know of its existence make the journey to visit it, so it’s kind of a hidden gem.

It’s also one of the oddest and most unique temples you’ll ever encounter: it has a collection of old cars and buffalo skulls scattered throughout the site.

There are also mosaics on the floor depicting buffalo heads, which is why it has gained the nickname Temple of the Buffalo Skulls. According to the Abbott, using the temple as a resting place for these creatures is a way to pay homage to the water buffalo, whose role is critical in Thailand’s rice farming industry.

Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan (Loha Prasat)

Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan is a Buddhist temple built in 1846, and it’s best known for its main attraction, Loha Prasat.

Also known as the metal castle, this 118-foot (36-meter) tall structure is the only one of its kind left in the world, and it’s surrounded by 37 spires that signify the enlightenment virtues of Buddhism

A Memorial Plaza and statue of King Rama III, who was Thailand’s ruler when the temple was built, are also interesting attractions at Wat Ratchanatdaram. 

➤ The Bangkok Instagram Tour takes you to the most astounding locations around the city, including Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, where you’ll have time to take pictures and explore around. You’ll also get to visit Chinatown, the Flower Market, and Wat Arun. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Opening times: Daily from 8 AM to 5 PM
Entrance Fee: Free

Wat Prayoon

The Wat Prayoon Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand, was built in the year 1828, during the time of King Rama III’s reign.

The temple is made with cast iron fences that, according to the legend, were supposed to be used in the Grand Palace. During the presentation to the King, he wasn’t satisfied with them, so they were used in Wat Prayoon instead.

This temple features meditation, assembly, and ordination halls, as well as a library, and an impressive chedi, which seems to rise out into the Bangkok sky. At 197 feet tall (60 meters), it has the shape of an upside-down bell and it’s said to house the relics of Buddha.

Opening times: Daily from 7 AM to 6 PM 
Entrance Fee: Free


When visiting temples in Bangkok, Thailand, it’s important to dress appropriately. Temples are sacred places, and while dressing accordingly is a nice sign of respect, it’s also mandatory in most of them.

▶️ Not abiding by the dress code might result in being denied entrance, so you should always remember to cover your shoulders and knees completely when visiting a temple. This means no tank tops for both men and women, shorts, short dresses, and skirts.

▶️ Tight or ripped pants are also frowned upon in most temples, so make sure you’re wearing something loose that covers your legs. Long dresses and skirts are a safe bet for women, while men should be fine using long pants and t-shirts.

▶️ Skimpy and see-through clothes are also prohibited. If your shoulders are exposed, you can use a sarong to cover up when you enter the temples.


What is the best temple to visit in Bangkok?

The most popular temple in Bangkok is the Grand Palace, a massive complex with several temples including Bangkok’s most sacred one: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

What is the biggest temple in Bangkok?

The Grand Palace is the biggest temple complex in Bangkok.

Are temples in Bangkok free?

Not all temples in Bangkok are free, but some of them don’t require an entry fee, like Wat Prayoon, Wat Phra Dhammakaya, Wat Samphran.

What do you wear to Bangkok temples?

To visit temples in Bangkok you should cover your knees and shoulders, and be dressed respectfully. Tank tops that reveal your stomach should be avoided, as well as see-through clothes.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.