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Bangkok’s Temples & Shrines

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 04 April, 2024

With their golden roofs and incense-swirled spires, Bangkok’s 400-or-so wats (temples) aren’t just a pretty backdrop for box-ticking tourists, but a cornerstone of Thai society. Thais from all walks of life come here to make merit and ask Buddhist deities for good for-tune at work or in their relationships, while many young men stay as temporary monks as a rite of passage towards adulthood.

The city’s oldest temples, such as the 16th century Wat Pho, bedazzle with their jewel-studded opulence, but more recent builds, such as Wat Samphran with a giant dragon coiling around its tower, are equally impressive.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Erawan Shrine

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Shrine gilded with flowers

Experience

The Erawan Shrine is the most important religious symbol in Bangkok – despite it actually being a Hindu rather than Buddhist shrine. Each day, there’s a constant stream of locals offering flowers or carved wooden elephants in the hope of having wishes (mostly financial) granted.

Good for age: 18+

Wat Arun

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

External view of the temple with columns

Experience

One of Bangkok’s most photographed temples, Wat Arun is beautifully decorated with colourful porcelain pieces. Situated in a sublime location on the Chao Phraya river, it was renamed Wat Chaeng by King Taksin, who arrived here at dawn having escaped the Burmese during the Ayutthaya siege.

Adult price: 2

Good for age: 18+

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Wat Pho

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Head of giant reclining Buddha

Experience

A colossal gold reclining Buddha with auspicious symbols on the soles of his feet is the main attraction at Wat Pho. The temple complex is also home to Thailand’s largest collection of glittering gold Buddha images.

Adult price: 2

Good for age: 13+

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Wat Phra Kaew

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew

Experience

This eye-popping temple, decorated in shimmering mosaics and vivid murals, is the centrepiece of the Grand Palace. It’s also home to the famous Emerald Buddha statue that stands 66cm tall and was carved from a single jade stone in the 14th century.

Adult price: 12

Good for age: 13+

Wat Saket

  • Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand

View of temple at dusk

Experience

Set within the Wat Saket temple complex, Phu Khao Thong (the Golden Mount) boasts a 58m gleaming golden chedi. Most visitors climb the 318 steps to savour the views over Bangkok, which are particularly spectacular at sunset.

Adult price: 1

Good for age: 18+

Wat Samphran

  • Nakhom Pathom, Central Thailand, Thailand

Wat Samphran

Experience

Shaped like a giant dragon coiled around a concrete skyscraper, off-the-beaten-track Wat Samphran proves that not every temple is a riot of glitter and gold. A steep pathway through the dragon’s belly leads to the rooftop shrine with spectacular views over the countryside some 40km from Bangkok. It’s an extraordinary creation – and worth making the effort to go see it for yourself.

Good for age: 13+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

All the temples are open for visitors to en-ter and stroll around at leisure. If you’re not planning on hiring a guide, take a guidebook as there’s often little public information on-site. Also take a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.

Dress modestly out of respect. Don’t wear revealing or tight clothes. No shorts, short skirts or beachwear. Some temples may re-fuse you entry while others will point you to a place to rent a sarong to cover up.

When to do it

Most temples open very early and close to the public after 6pm.

Bangkok’s temples are a photographer’s delight. First thing in the morning or late in the afternoon offer better light and cooler temperatures, and a smaller chance of big crowds.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Bangkok by Night: Temples, Markets and Food Tuk-Tuk Tour

  • Bangkok

This night tour was awarded TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice "No. 1 Experience in Thailand" in 2018, 2020 & 2023, and for good reason. Exploring at night and by the iconic tuk tuk is a great way to discover Bangkok and learn about the local culture. On this 4-hour tour you will: • Whizz around Bangkok in a tuk tuk • Visit The Flower Market, the grounds of Wat Arun, and Chinatown • Explore the historic part of Bangkok, and see famous temples and sights illuminated at night • Enjoy snacks, dinner and a dessert! This is considered a cultural tour with food. However, it should not be considered an in-depth food tour. This tour is available in 2 options: • Small group join in tour with maximum 12 guests (available daily except Mondays) • Private Tour for just yourself (suitable for families with young children).

Price THB 2,425

Min age 10

Rating 4.85 / 5 [2367 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Three BEST Temples Bangkok City Tour "Must Visit"

  • Bangkok

Bangkok is full of beautiful temples, palace and of course a beautiful canal or klong which is considered as “Venice of the East”. This convenient city tour will visit three must-see temples - Wat Traimit, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. We will also visit Royal Grand Palace (if option with Grand Palace is selected) and not to be missed Bangkok Canal Sightseeing Tours (if option with Canal Tour is selected) where you will pass by heritage town Big Buddha and Artist House. This will complete a great discovery of Bangkok. This is perfect Experience of Bangkok as you’ll learn all about the culture and religion of Thailand. - Three Bangkok Temples: Wat Arun, Wat Pho and Wat Trimit - 5.5-ton solid gold Buddha statue at historic Wat Trimitr - Wat Pho's famed Reclining Buddha - Wat Arun stands majestically over the water - Insight into living Thai traditions & rich cultural heritage - Seeing various city landmarks and significant locations - Enjoy the Scenic Boat Ride over Chaophraya River

Price THB 3,200

Min age 0

Rating 4.55 / 5 [368 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Private Tour of Bangkok's Temples Including Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

  • Bangkok

Thailand is predominantly a Buddhist country with around 95% of Thai's practicing the Theravada discipline of Buddhism. As you wander the streets of Bangkok it is not unusual to see monks adorned in their maroon and yellow colors walking along the road and it should come as no surprise as Thailand has over 26,000 Wat's (the local name for temple).

Price THB 2,103

Min age 0

Rating 4.19 / 5 [297 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Bangkok Temples Tour

  • Bangkok

On this historical tour around the most impressive temples of Bangkok your private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in the morning. The first to visit temple on this day is Wat traimit temple. The 5 ton pure golden Buddha statue in this temple was once lost but by accident recovered again. Then continue to big reclining Buddha at Wat Pho where you will see the first Thai massage school and university in Thailand. If you like you can also get a 30 minute massage here (pay extra on spot). then time for lunch at one of the nice and local restaurants nearby the river.  After lunch you'll visit the Grand Palace and the temple with the emerald Buddha statue that is so much revered by all Thai people. The last temple today will be Golden Mount and Wat Suthat temple for stunning views over the city.

Price $191

Min age 1

Rating 4.99 / 5 [217 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Royal Grand Palace and Bangkok Temples: Half Day Tour

  • Bangkok

Uncover the royal and spiritual riches of Bangkok with this cultural half-day guided tour that will give you the possibility to admire the architectural masterpiece of the Grand Palace and the wonderful Wat Pho and Wat Traimit temples. Join this small group tour led by a professional local guide that start at 8.00 am.

Price €94

Min age 5

Rating 4.51 / 5 [174 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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