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Besides the mouthwatering goodness that is Thai food, a large part of Thai culture is its religion. With hundreds of thousands of temples littered across Thailand, it's almost impossible for you not to see at least one temple when you visit.

So if you're planning a visit to the capital of Thailand and are looking for a guide to check out some of the more famous and beautiful, not to mention totally Instagrammable temples in Bangkok, you're in luck! I'm breaking it down for you here.

best temples in bangkok thailand

But, before we get started, here's some basic temple etiquette you should know:

  • While known to visitors as tourist attractions, the temples themselves are still, first and foremost, religious sites and must be treated with respect.
  • Keep your voice low when inside the temple, as shouting and raised voices are highly frowned upon.
  • Stay within the accessible areas of the temples and do not stray away from the tourist areas.
  • Women are discouraged from taking photos with monks.
  • Dress code: Most temples in Bangkok have a strict dress code, which dictates that your arms, legs, and feet should be covered. Jeans, a shirt with sleeves, and sneakers are examples of acceptable attire. Tourists who fail to follow the dress code can be denied entry into the temples. Bringing a jacket or shawl to cover up your exposed arms is also a good precaution for stricter temples.

  • best temples in bangkok thailand

    1. Wat Arun


    Standing majestically over the city by the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun, also known as Temple of Dawn is one of – if not the most – famous temple in Bangkok. Named after the Hindu god Aruna, this temple is known for its lavish architecture and finely decorated colorful spires. You can also walk through a narrow stone stairway that leads to an area where you'll be treated to a birds eye view of the city that is perfect for sunset views!

    Entrance fee: 50 Thai baht

    Operating hours: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm

    Pro tip: Join an Instagram tour in Bangkok and visit three temples in one morning without having to worry about logistics and entrance fees. Plus, you'll have a guide who will be sure to tell you about the history of the temples and take awesome photos of you too!

    best temples in bangkok thailand

    2. Wat Pho


    Probably just as famous as Wat Arun, Wat Pho also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon is not just a place of worship, but holds many historical firsts under its belt. Wat Pho is one of the older temples in Bangkok, first established before the city itself was founded. It is also the birthplace of the famous Thai massage, as well as the temple that houses the largest Buddha image in the area. Not bad, eh?

    Entrance fee: 200 Thai baht

    Operating hours: 8:30 am to 6:30 pm

    Pro tip: You'll be expected to remove your footwear before entering the temple, so I advise wearing shoes you aren't very attached to (just in case something happens to them!).

    best temples in bangkok thailand

    3. Wat Saket


    If Wat Pho was old, Wat Saket dates back even further! Its origins can actually be traced all the way back to the Ayutthaya period from the 1300s to the 1700s. But don’t expect ancient ruins though, since it was renovated under the reign of King Rama I. Wat Saket is also called by its English nickname the Temple of the Golden Mount, presumably because of its gleaming golden chedi set atop an artificially made hill.

    It is also said to contain relics of Buddha that were sent over from India and Sri Lanka.

    Entrance fee: 50 Thai baht

    Operating hours: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm

    Pro tip: The best month to go visit Wat Saket would be November during the Loi Krathong festival. But be warned that there will be a LOT of people!

    best temples in bangkok thailand

    4. Wat Phra Kaew


    Located within the Grand Palace complex, Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most sacred temples in Thailand. Known for the highly revered image of the emerald Buddha that only the king himself is allowed to touch on three occasions throughout the year, it is considered as one of the holiest objects in Thai culture.

    Don't expect to see a large statue though! Compared to the statue of the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho, this relic is roughly just 2 feet and 2 inches.

    Entrance fee: 500 Thai baht (you have to pay this for entrance to the Grand Palace complex)

    Operating hours: 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

    Pro tip: Since you'll be paying 500 baht for entrance, I suggest going early in the morning and exploring the surrounding temples in the Grand Palace complex to get your money's worth.

    best temples in bangkok thailand

    5. Wat Suthat


    Wat Suthat Thepwararam or Wat Suthat for short is one of the older temples in Bangkok. Built in the 1700s, it took nearly 70 years to finish and is one of the largest temples in the city, covering approximately 10 acres. But if you’re looking for that perfect Instagram shot, you’d best make your way over to the iconic Giant Swing – a 20 meter high red swing made out of teak wood that is used during religious ceremonies.

    Entrance fee: 100 Thai baht

    Operating hours: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

    Pro tip: Besides the Giant Swing, other picture-worthy details in the temple include the magnificent murals and the stone sculptures. You’ll have a field day with your camera and/or phone that's for sure!

    About Author: Chinny is a 20-something writer based in Manila. One of TripGuru’s resident bloggers, she can usually be found buying cheap tickets and planning her next trip to wherever the wind takes her.
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