A Budget Traveler's Itinerary to Bangkok

Bangkok from above | © Thangaraj Kumaravel/Flickr
Bangkok from above | © Thangaraj Kumaravel/Flickr
Photo of Iona Proebst
8 September 2017

There is good news for budget travellers! Although Bangkok can be expensive, there are also plenty of sightseeing and activity options that are inexpensive or free. Check out our handy guide for a budget traveller’s itinerary to Bangkok that won’t break the bank.

Getting about

A boat ride on the Chao Phraya River won’t just get you from A to B, it’s also a great way to see the city from a different perspective. Commuter ferries are as little as 14 Thai baht ($0.42 USD) per ride. Local buses are also a great way to travel like a local and immerse yourself in everyday life.

Chao Phraya River boat | © Ninara/Flickr


Bangkok has a bunch of inexpensive sightseeing options. Why not check out the revered Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple which is famous for its 151-foot-long golden reclining Buddha? Walking around the grounds can easily take up a couple of hours in your Bangkok itinerary. Entrance to the Wat Pho complex is 100 baht ($3 USD).

Wat Arun, also known as The Temple of Dawn, is another great inexpensive temple to check out. The Grand Palace is one of the more expensive attractions but well worth the visit if you can stretch your budget to cover the 550 baht entrance fee ($16.60 USD). Also worth seeing is the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Silpa Bhirasri Memorial and Museum, both of which are free. You might like to take a good book and head to Lumpini Park as well to relax in the shade. The park is literally a breath of fresh air amongst Bangkok’s urban sprawl.

Lumpini Park | © Matt Crampton/Flickr


Try your bargaining skills at Bangkok’s famous Chatuchak Weekend Market. This huge 27-section market has everything from clothing, souvenirs, kitchenware, pets and more. Chatuchak is the perfect opportunity to satisfy your shopping cravings. Why not also check out Bangkok’s Chinatown or Little India to soak in the sights and smells or just to people watch? Once you are done browsing the markets, soothe your achy muscles with a one-hour Thai massage which will set you back roughly 200 baht ($6 USD).

Chatuchak Weekend Market | © istolethetv/Flickr


Bangkok is full of cheap eating options and sticking to your budget luckily does not mean you need to skimp on flavour. Keep a look out for restaurants and street-side food stalls frequented by locals grabbing a quick bowl of Kuai-tiao nam (rice noodle soup) or a Phat si-io (Noodles stir-fried with soy sauce) as they are likely to not only pack a punch in terms of flavour, they also won’t be charging tourist prices. Most local dishes will usually cost between 40 – 60 Thai baht ($1.2 – $1.8 USD) per dish.

Spicy noodle soup with chicken | © Ron Dollete/Flickr


Mingle with fellow budget travellers at the world renowned backpacker haven of Khao San Road. This is a cheap place to stay, shop and eat, while there are also plenty of bars to choose from. Maximize your budget by making the most of the happy hours or do as the locals, and drink cheap and cheerful SangSom, a local rum distilled from sugar cane. Another option is to explore the Sukhumvit sois (alleys) where curbside pop-up bars serve inexpensive and delicious cocktails.