The Budget Travel Guide for Bangkok | Thailand Trip Planner
In the realm of budget travel, Bangkok stands out as a shining beacon in Southeast Asia. Renowned for its vibrant street life, cultural richness, and many affordable attractions, the Thai capital has become a mecca for budget-conscious travellers seeking an unforgettable experience or celebrating a special occasion without breaking the bank.
In this exploration of Bangkok as a cheap travel destination, we’ll explore its affordability, currencies, examine the costs of living, and highlight the city’s convenient and budget-friendly public transportation options.
This Bangkok Budget Travel Guide will help you plan for an epic Weekend Trip in Bangkok.
– Written by Victoria Heinz from Guide Your Travel
- Cheapest Travel Destinations in the World – Bangkok | Thailand
- Why is Bangkok Affordable?
- Cost of Living in Bangkok
- Best Areas in Bangkok for a Long-Term Stay
- Best Areas in Bangkok for a Short-Term Holiday
- Affordable and Convenient Public Transport in Bangkok
- Budget-Friendly Attractions and Activities in Bangkok
- Tips for Budget Travellers in Bangkok
PS – Useful Travel Resources to use while heading to Bangkok, Thailand – One of the Cheapest Travel Destinations in the World –
- Book your Rental Car in Thailand on Discover Cars and RentalCars.com
- Book the best Bangkok Tours at GetYourGuide or Viator or Klook
- Book your Budget Accommodation in Bangkok on Agoda or Booking.com
- Book your train/bus travel tickets in Thailand on 12Go.Asia
- Get the best flight deals on Kiwi.com
- Get an eSIM by Airalo to stay connected and Save on Roaming Fees
- Sign up for a Priority Pass before flying to Bangkok, and get access to premium Airport Lounges.
- Sign up for a Travel Insurance to enjoy a hassle free vacation in Thailand.
Cheapest Travel Destinations in the World – Bangkok | Thailand
Pin this Thailand Trip Planner featuring the Best Budget Travel Tips and Hacks for Bangkok
Why is Bangkok Affordable?
Bangkok’s affordability can be attributed to several factors that make it a haven for budget travellers. One key element is the favourable exchange rates, where the Thai Baht tends to be relatively weaker compared to major Western currencies, making almost everything more affordable for international visitors.
Additionally, the cost of living in Thailand, in general, is lower than in many Western countries, making Thailand as one of the Cheapest Countries to travel to in the World. This allows travellers to enjoy a wide array of experiences at a fraction of the cost.
Cost of Living in Bangkok
Cheap Accommodation in Bangkok
One of the significant expenses for any traveller is accommodation. In Bangkok, you can find various options to suit your budget. If you are looking for a cost-effective solution, renting a studio apartment in the city centre can be surprisingly affordable.
On average, the monthly rent for a studio apartment in the heart of Bangkok can range from 8,000 to 15,000 Thai Baht (approximately 240 to 450 USD), depending on the location and amenities.
Cheap Food in Bangkok
Bangkok is a paradise for food enthusiasts, and the best part is that it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Local restaurants and street food stalls offer an array of delicious and authentic Thai dishes at incredibly low prices.
A Street Food Vendor in Bangkok | Photo by Lisheng Chang on Unsplash
A meal at a local restaurant can cost as little as 50 to 100 Thai Baht (1.50 to 3 USD), allowing you to indulge in the rich and diverse culinary offerings without breaking your budget.
Cheap Drinks in Bangkok
Quenching your thirst in Bangkok is also easy on the wallet. A local beer in a bar or restaurant typically costs around 60 to 100 Thai Baht (1.70 to 2.80 USD). If you opt for the popular local beers like Singha or Chang, you’ll find them more affordable than imported options.
For those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages, refreshing coconut water or Thai iced tea from street vendors can be enjoyed for as little as 20 to 40 Thai Baht (0.60 to 1.20 USD).
Best Areas in Bangkok for a Long-Term Stay
Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s most vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods, offering modern amenities, shopping malls, restaurants, and nightlife. It is well-connected with the BTS Skytrain, providing easy access to other parts of the city. Sukhumvit is also home to various accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to upscale serviced apartments.
This part of the city is bustling with activities and is usually more crowded and hectic than other neighbourhoods of Bangkok.
Top Sights and Attractions in Sukhumvit – Terminal 21 shopping mall, Benjasiri Park, and the variety of international dining options along Sukhumvit Road.
Thonglor, or Sukhumvit Soi 55, is a trendy and upscale neighbourhood known for its fashionable boutiques, hip cafes, and vibrant nightlife scene. It’s popular among expatriates and offers a more relaxed atmosphere than Sukhumvit’s busier parts. Thonglor is well-connected by the BTS Skytrain and is an excellent choice for those seeking a mix of sophistication and local charm.
While Thonglor has a more relaxed vibe, some accommodation and dining options might be on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Top Sights and Attractions in Thonglor – Thonglor’s trendy cafes, fashionable boutiques, and upscale dining establishments make it an attractive area for those with a taste for the finer things.
Ari has gained popularity for its laid-back atmosphere, trendy cafes, and a mix of local and international cuisine. This residential area provides a quieter living experience and convenient access to the BTS Skytrain. Ari is known for its lush streets, making it a refreshing escape from the urban hustle.
Ari is more relaxed but has fewer shopping and entertainment options than the city’s busier parts.
Top Sights and Attractions in Ari – Ari’s street food, cosy cafes, and the community feel make it an appealing choice for those looking for a more local experience.
Best Areas in Bangkok for a Short-Term Holiday
Bangkok Old Town (Rattanakosin)
The Old Town, with landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, provides a glimpse into the city’s past. The area is also home to charming markets, street food stalls, and the lively atmosphere of Khao San Road.
Bangkok Old Town is rich in history and, therefore, quite crowded with tourists, which is why a longer stay here can be overwhelming.
Bangkok Old Town | Photo by Alejandro Cartagena 🇲🇽🏳🌈 on Unsplash
Top Sights in Bangkok Old Town – Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, and the vibrant Khao San Road for nightlife and street food.
Siam Square is Bangkok’s bustling commercial and shopping hub, perfect for a short holiday stay focused on shopping, entertainment, and modern attractions. With mega-malls like MBK Center and Siam Paragon and cultural attractions like Jim Thompson House, Siam Square offers a dynamic city experience.
However, be aware that Siam Square can be crowded, especially during peak shopping hours, and accommodation prices might be higher in this central area.
Siam Square Bangkok | Photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis on Unsplash
Top Sights in Bangkok near Siam Square – MBK Center, Siam Paragon, Jim Thompson House, and many shopping and entertainment options.
The Riverside area offers a scenic and more tranquil stay along the Chao Phraya River. With luxurious hotels, riverfront dining, and easy access to cultural attractions, it combines relaxation and sightseeing. Boat rides along the river offer a unique perspective of the city.
Wat Arun – Bangkok Riverside | Photo by Alice on Unsplash
Top Sights on the Bangkok Riverside – Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew, Asiatique The Riverfront, and the picturesque Chao Phraya River.
Affordable and Convenient Public Transport in Bangkok
Its extensive and affordable public transportation system makes navigating a bustling city like Bangkok easy. The city offers various options catering to different preferences and budgets.
- BTS Skytrain
The BTS Skytrain is a popular choice for both locals and tourists. It covers key areas of the city, making it convenient for exploring popular attractions and reaching various neighbourhoods.
The fare starts at 15 Thai Baht (less than 1 USD) and increases based on the distance travelled. The Skytrain provides a swift way to avoid Bangkok’s notorious traffic and offers stunning views of the city from above.
Bangkok BTS Skytrain | Photo by Niko Lewman on Unsplash
Get the Bangkok BTS Skytrain Card and travel with ease in Bangkok. The best part is you can pick it up from the Klook Counter at Suvarnabhumi Airport, top up on the go, and with a validity of 7 years, it can be used multiple times on your trip to Bangkok.
- MRT Subway
Complementing the BTS Skytrain is the MRT Subway, which serves additional areas, including those not covered by the Skytrain. The MRT system seamlessly connects with the BTS at several stations, providing travellers with a comprehensive network to explore the city. Like the BTS, MRT fares are affordable, starting at 16 Thai Baht (less than 1 USD).
- Tuk-Tuks and Motorbike Taxis
For a more adventurous and local experience, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are readily available throughout Bangkok. While negotiating fares is common, these modes of transport are often cheaper for short distances, giving you a taste of the city’s vibrant street life. However, agreeing on the price before embarking on your journey is essential to avoid any misunderstandings.
TukTuk in Bangkok | Photo by Samuel C. on Unsplash
In Thailand, Grab has become synonymous with hassle-free and economical commuting. Navigating the busy streets of cities like Bangkok has always been a challenge. Thanks to Grab’s user-friendly app, transparent pricing and multiple transportation options, including cars and motorcycle cabs, are available.
The seamless integration with public transport and cashless transactions enhances the commuting experience, making Grab a go-to choice for affordable and reliable transportation in the Land of Smiles.
While Grab or GoJek might be the best way to travel around Bangkok, specially for shorted distances, you can experiences the famous Bangkok Tuk Tuk rides if you sign up for the Bangkok’s Best Eats Midnight Food Tour by Tuk Tuk or the Bangkok Sightseeing Tuk Tuk Tour.
Budget-Friendly Attractions and Activities in Bangkok
Bangkok is a treasure trove of affordable and captivating attractions that cater to various interests. The best way to explore the top sights in Bangkok, while saving up to 40% is by getting a Bangkok Activity Pass, such as the GoCity Bangkok All Inclusive Pass or the Klook Pass Bangkok. Some must-visit places in Bangkok that won’t dent your budget include:
- Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
The stunning Grand Palace, along with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), is a symbol of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage. The entrance fee is 500 Thai Baht (15 USD), making it a worthwhile investment for the awe-inspiring experience.
Grand Palace Bangkok | Photo by Sung Shin on Unsplash
- Chatuchak Weekend Market
One of the largest markets in the world, Chatuchak is a bargain hunter’s paradise, and is a Must Visit Place in Bangkok according to this Bangkok Weekend Travel Itinerary. You can explore various goods at reasonable prices, from clothing and accessories to art and antiques.
- Bangkok Street Food Tours
Dive into Bangkok’s culinary scene by taking a street food tour in Bangkok. Many local guides offer affordable tours that allow you to savour the city’s best dishes while learning about Thai culture and traditions.
The yummy Street Food of Bangkok
- Lumphini Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting Lumphini Park. This serene oasis provides a peaceful retreat for a stroll, and admission is free.
- Chinatown and Little India
Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultures of Chinatown and Little India. Explore the narrow alleys, try diverse street food, and experience the unique atmosphere of these cultural enclaves without spending a fortune.
Tips for Budget Travellers in Bangkok
- Eat Like a Local
Venture away from tourist hotspots and dine where the locals eat. Street food stalls and local eateries not only offer authentic flavours but are also incredibly affordable.
Eat Like a Local in Bangkok | Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash
- Use Public Transport
Take advantage of Bangkok’s efficient public transportation system to save on travel expenses. Both the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway are budget-friendly and provide a quick and convenient way to explore the city.
- Stay in Budget Accommodations
Bangkok offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget. To maximise your savings, consider staying in budget-friendly hostels, guesthouses, or budget hotels.
- Negotiate Prices
Whether taking a tuk-tuk, shopping in markets, or engaging in local services, don’t hesitate to negotiate prices. Bargaining is a common practice in many areas of Bangkok, and it’s an opportunity to secure better deals.
- Explore Free Attractions
Bangkok has several free attractions, including temples, parks, and vibrant neighbourhoods. Take advantage of these opportunities to experience the city without spending money on entrance fees.
- Take Guided Group Tours
One of the best ways to stick to your budget when travelling in Thailand as a Solo Traveller, is to join these top rated Bangkok Tours, which are not only value for money, but perfect for solo travellers to meet other fellow travellers from around the world.
Pin this Thailand Travel Guide featuring the Best Budget Travel Hacks for Bangkok
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