Tuk Tuk Tours
Explore Bangkok by the iconic tuk tuk
Bangkok might be mildly more expensive than other less trodden places in Thailand, but it’s still known as a cheap destination to travel to. Chances are you get far more bang for your buck in Bangkok than you do in your own city. But it can get better still – Bangkok is full of free things to do and see. Apart from simply walking around (which is actually a great way to Experience the city), here’s our pick of how to experience Bangkok for free.
Note regarding COVID-19: While we do try to keep our content up to date, please be aware that due to the impact of COVID-19, restrictions may impact our recommendations, and businesses may temporarily or permanently close. Please double check.
Many of Bangkok’s most popular temples charge an entry fee. The good news is that many (though not all) of these temples, if you visit in the early morning when locals are making offerings to the temple and monks, you’ll likely be able to enter for free. You may even find that the admission fee booth hasn’t yet opened when you visit. Even still, it is often appropriate to make a small donation.
Better still, many temples that are less popular with tourists are free to enter at all times. Wat Kalaya is one example, while we also love peaceful Wat Ratchabophit and Thonburi’s Wat Rakhang. On certain days when ceremonies are taking place, particularly around the King’s Birthday in December, even the Grand Palace offers free admission to part or all of the complex.
Other religious centres in Bangkok that don’t charge for admission include Tonson Mosque, Assumption Cathedral and Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, also known as Wat Kaek.
Not many of us would usually consider visiting a city’s international airport unless we had a flight to catch. But Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport has an unexpected attraction. The airport recently opened a 23 km cycle track with completely free admission. There are toilets, parking is available nearby and there is even an 800 m beginner’s track (also open to runners and joggers) to get you started. You may be asked to leave a copy of your passport when entering; the track is open from 6 am to 7 pm, with the last entry at 6 pm.
The majority of museums in Bangkok charge admission fees – much like temples. These are often not wildly expensive, but costs can still begin to mount up. Particularly if you are travelling as a family or large group. Keep in mind, though, that many museums offer free admission on Thai public holidays. Watch out for the next holiday and you could score free entry to spots like Museum Siam and Ancient Siam.
One of Bangkok’s most underrated attractions is the totally free Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, located at National Stadium station on the Skytrain’s Silom line. This temple of modern art is relaxed and informal, with exhibitions across its many floors and several people’s galleries with contributions from amateur and professional photographers and artists. The centre also has a number of quirky boutiques and coffee shops selling a range of goods you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Open 10 am – 9 pm; closed Mondays.
In the last few years, street art and graffiti in Bangkok have become trendy. Small alleys are often full of young explorers wearing nice clothes, carrying their cameras. Since there were several art exhibitions and projects held and invited Thai and international artists to create their masterpieces all over Bangkok. Therefore, Bangkok nowadays is a hub of street art. Here are some top spots that are worth exploring.
Charoenkrung 32: Walking down this road you will see amazing murals like the Mardi character (a kid dressed in a bunny suit) by Alex Face, quirky bears, and tigers by Bonus TMC, black-and-white bone creatures by Lolay, and mysterious portraits by Kult. This area is on the top list of visitors seeking street art in Bangkok.
Soi Charoenkrung 30: Here is the place where the Scratching the Surface, a masterpiece of Alexandre Farto (aka Vhils), Portuguese artist, is displayed on the wall of the Embassy of Portugal.
Soi Charoenkrung 28 (Captain Bush Lane): You will see the Meubon’s Pukruk, a colorfully dressed bird riding a unicycle, the Saddo’s blue bird adorned in religious gar, the Daehyun Kim’s black and white mural, and the Romanian painter’s multicolored piece.
Trok San Chao Rong Kueak: This area of Talad Noi filled with colourful, local street art like the murals in front of the Mother Roaster coffee shop, Charoenkrung’s Story by Studio Dialogue, a realistic sea turtle stares by DR CAS, interesting murals influenced by the Chinese community, plus photos taken by various local artists hang on a long wall. This alleyway is extremely photogenic.
Klong Ong Ang: Bangkok’s new walking street along Ong Ang Canal where you will see beautiful colourful murals on the walls on both sides of the canals. The murals here portray the diversity of cultures and the local ways of life.
Channel 7 Boxing Stadium is one of the top-notch places to watch authentic Muay Thai and it’s FREE! Muay Thai fights are broadcasted on TV over Channel 7 every Sunday afternoon (around 2 pm). Also, this event allows visitors to see the fights at the stadium.
The event mostly packed by local Thai audiences. However, there is also a section of tourists. It’s worth a visit though you don’t have an interest in Muay Thai or fighting. As you will get to see authentic Thai fights with high quality. The atmosphere during the fights is amazing as local fans are so into the event. And the location is accessible. Come an hour early for good seats.
How to get there: The nearest BTS station is Mo Chit and the nearest MRT station is Chatuchak. You can either take a taxi from there or walk from the stations (about 15 minutes). Walk down to the road opposite Chatuchak Market where you will see a large parking car on your right. Turn right when you see the BTS headquarters building. Keep walking for another 5 minutes then you will reach the stadium.
Updated on Feb 4, 2021: Boxing matches resumed on Feb 7 but audiences are still not allowed into the stadium.
Bangkok has a deceptively large number of green open spaces, and they can make for the perfect spot to escape the city’s bumper-to-bumper traffic while enjoying a picnic or just relaxing in the shade of a tree. All of the capital’s parks are free to enter. Some of our favourites include Chatuchak’s Suan Rot Fai, the famous Lumpini Park, Benjasiri Park in Phrom Phong, and the Princess Mother Memorial Park in Thonburi district, which we visit on our Diversity & Harmony walking tour.
The Creative District dubbed three elements which have their own fascinating histories: Bangrak, Klong San, and Chao Phraya River. The old town has now become lively and full of creative energy. There is no better way to explore this area than foot.
Walking around you will discover old buildings with stunning architectural designs, murals, artisans, mechanics, retail shops of motor engineering workshops, temples, Chinese shrines, mosques, churches, historical Chinese settler’s houses, hidden structures, antique malls, fresh markets, food scene, café, art galleries, and converted warehouses. Grab a map and go out to explore!
Bangkok is a shopaholic’s paradise as wherever you go you will find a shopping mall either big or small. However, shopping is not the only reason that such malls get packed especially during weekends. If you do not know what to do and want to escape from the heat and humidity outside, then just go to shopping malls. You will find a lot of things to do.
Many places to sit and relax, plenty of restaurants, bars, supermarkets with food and drink from around the world, spa and treatments, beauty and hair salons, gyms, game centre, cinemas, karaoke rooms, exhibitions, concerts, shows, public events and a thousand more.
You can even visit a floating market and see cultural shows at ICONSIAM, see the garden and waterfall at Emquatier, experience the underwater world at Siam Paragon. Other famous malls are like Central World, Siam Discovery, Siam Centre, Terminal 21, Central Embassy, MBK, and Emporium.
One of Bangkok’s more difficult-to-find attractions, Baan Silapin – often translated as the Artist’s House – is a canalside neighbourhood of creatives set on the Thonburi side of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river. There are a number of small boutiques open at the weekends. You can buy bread to feed the fish in the canal or buy a theatrical papier-mâché mask to paint yourself. There’s also great Thai food to be had. And at 2 pm every day except Wednesday, local puppeteers put on an authentic 15-minute puppet show that’s totally free of charge (donations accepted). Baan Silapin is located on Charoen Sanitwong Soi 3.
That’s right, you can take a free tour of Bangkok – and discover some of the city’s hidden secrets – with Expique. Our Free Tours allow us to try out our latest ideas for Bangkok tours and give you the chance to see something new for little or no money. At the end of each tour, we simply ask you to pay what you think the tour was worth – and, after allowing for the costs of running the tour, we donate the majority to charity. Find out more about our Free Tours here.
What are your favourite free things to do in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!
At Expique our mission is to help people discover the real Bangkok (and beyond) and the local cultures. We do this through a combination of offering our own award winning tours and through producing informative content.
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