It doesn’t matter when you visit the Thai capital, this time-bending, neon-blazed mega-tropolis scoops up even the most seasoned traveler, shakes them into delirium and spits them back out in rapturous, tell-all ecstasy. But with distinct hot, rainy and (relatively) cool seasons – plus a plethora of eye-popping festivals to experience – these are the best times to go to Bangkok.

Editor's note: during COVID-19 there are restrictions on travel and opening hours may vary. Check the latest guidance in Thailand before planning a trip, and always follow local health advice.

Many tourists gather in the Temple of Emerald Buddha at Bangkok's Grand Palace with a golden stupa in the left of the photo
Bangkok's Grand Palace in December can be busy but beautiful © Kayo/Shutterstock

High season: November to February

Best time to visit Bangkok

Bangkok's high season is also arguably the best time of the year to visit as the weather is relatively cool and dry. However, it also means bigger crowds and inflated rates, particularly around Chinese New Year, which falls in either January or February, depending on the lunar calendar.

Some of the city’s biggest festivals are held in November. This includes Loi Krathong, where on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, grà·tong (boats made of a section of banana trunk) are floated on the Chao Phraya River, and Wat Saket Fair, which turns the temple into a colorful affair of flowers, incense, bells and saffron cloth.

An aerial shot of a Thai woman on a boat looking at rice and other produce at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand
March to June is a great time to experience Bangkok's floating markets. ©Carlos Nizam/Getty Images

Shoulder season: March to June 

Best time to visit Bangkok’s floating markets

With March to May attracting the lowest tourist numbers of the year and the ever-so-slightly cheaper room prices, the shoulder season covers Bangkok’s hottest, driest months. The heat and sunshine can make for some slow-going sightseeing, so don’t expect to be rapidly ticking off everything on your bucket list.

April is the height of Bangkok’s hot season and is usually when Thai New Year falls. This is also when Songkran is held, the city-wide water-fight that has its origins in a religious practice of ‘bathing’ Buddha images. If you rise early enough to beat the most oppressive heat, the shoulder season is the best time for visiting Bangkok’s floating markets because the water levels are lower and the boats are far less slippery.

Golden reclining Buddha statue at Wat Pho in Bangkok
Budget travelers should find sights like Wat Pho quieter from July to October © Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock

Low season: July to October

Best time for budget travelers

This is the rainy season in Bangkok, so expect vast downfalls, flash floods, high humidity – and a slight reduction in hotel prices. With fewer tourists in July and August, some places may close to get out the paintbrushes, so always check ahead with restaurants, bars and sights where possible. 

Visitor numbers will start to rise again in September and October when the feted Vegetarian Festival begins. Taking place during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month, this Chinese-Buddhist event sees street-side vendors serving meatless meals to help cleanse the body. Most of the action takes place in Chinatown: look for yellow banners and white clothes.

Lion dance at Yaowarat Road during the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Chinatown Bangkok Thailand
Chinese New Year usually falls in January © aluxum/Getty Images

Month-by-month breakdown

Here's a monthly guide to what you can expect through the year in Bangkok. All events are subject to change.


The weather is still relatively cool in Bangkok; if you're OK with relatively high tourist numbers, January is one of the most pleasant months to visit the capital.
Key events: Chinese New Year 


With relatively comfortable (although increasingly warm) temperatures and likewise few tourists, plus a unique religious holiday, February is a great time to visit Thailand's capital.
Key events: Kite-Flying Season; Makha Bucha; Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony


The temperatures rise again in March and there remains very little rainfall. Sightseeing can be hard going in the direct heat, but tourist numbers and hotel prices are still quite high.
Key events: Bangkok International Fashion Week

A young Thai girl sprays water with a water pistol to celebrate Thai New Year during Songkran festival in Bankok
Expect to get soaked at Songkran © Richard I'Anson/Lonely Planet


This is the height of Bangkok’s hot season, so it should come as no surprise that the Thais have devised a festival that revolves around splashing water on each other.
Key events: Songkran


May means the beginning of the rainy season in most parts of Thailand, and some of the festivals during these months have origins in this significant occasion.
Key events: Royal Ploughing Ceremony; Visakha Bucha


The monsoons pour down on Bangkok, and tourism-related activities usually come down to a trickle during the wet month.
Key events: Bangkok Pride

Side view of a Thai Woman standing with Umbrella against a tree during a rain storm in Bankok
July is part of rainy season in Bangkok © Manop Phimsit/EyeEm/Getty Images


Thailand’s rainy season is well underway during this time. The most significant event of the season is a Buddhist holiday ushering in the rains.
Key events: Asanha Bucha & Khao Phansa


This is perhaps the leanest of months on Bangkok's tourism calendar. Some establishments use the downtime to renovate and reinvent themselves for the imminent high season.
Key events: The Queen Mother’s birthday


September is the wettest month in and around Bangkok, and tourist numbers are still quite low. Foodies are advised to coordinate their visit with the annual vegetarian festival.
Key events: International Festival of Dance & Music; Thailand International Swan Boat Races; Vegetarian Festival


Festivals are few on the ground in October. It's the tail-end of the rainy season, and a great time to visit if you want the city to yourself before the tourists arrive.
Key events: Bangkok Biennale

Wat Saket, The Golden Mount Temple in Bangkok, Thailand is lit up against a grey cloudy sky and the dark houses and skyscrapers of the city
Wat Saket is a hive of action during its November fair © Craig Schuler/Shutterstock


 The rain’s (mostly) stopped, the weather’s (relatively) cool, the crowds have started arriving and the festivals are plentiful. November is one of the best months to visit Bangkok.
Key events: Loi Krathong; Wat Saket Fair


The coolest month of the year sees a handful of outdoor festivals and events. Tourist numbers are at their peak, but this is arguably the pleasantest month to visit Bangkok.
Key events: Concert in the Park; King’s Bhumibol's Birthday & Father’s Day; Phra Nakhon Si Ayuthaya World Heritage Fair

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