Temples

Wat Phra Kaew The grandaddy of Thai temples – not to mention the home of a certain Emerald Buddha.

Wat Pho If you haven't seen the ginormous reclining Buddha here, you can't claim to have seen Bangkok.

Wat Suthat One of Thailand’s biggest Buddhas and equally impressive floor-to-ceiling temple murals await visitors here.

Wat Arun Predating Bangkok, this temple makes the best of a unique riverside location.

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat The epitome of the hectic, smoky, noisy Chinese-style Buddhist temple.

Sri Mariamman Temple Bangkok’s main Hindu temple practically leaps from the street, taking all comers.

Museums

National Museum An occasionally dusty but wholly worthwhile survey of Thai history.

Museum of Siam A lively summary of the Thai people and their culture.

Bangkokian Museum A preserved house that’s a time warp back to the Bangkok of the early-to-middle 20th century.

Siriraj Medical Museum Not for the faint of heart: a queasy look at the more graphic side of death.

Architecture

Jim Thompson House Beautiful former home that brings together Thailand’s past and present.

Ban Kamthieng A perfectly preserved northern-style Thai home – right in the middle of modern Bangkok.

Dusit Palace Park A confoundingly beautiful blend of Thai and European building styles.

Ancient City See models of Thailand’s most famous structures without having to leave the greater Bangkok area.

Eating Like a Local

Likhit Kai Yang Where locals fuel up before the big moo·ay tai (Thai boxing; also spelt muay Thai) match.

Krua Apsorn Lauded restaurant serving Bangkok-style flavours.

Nai Mong Hoi Thod You can't say you've been to Bangkok if you haven't eaten streetside in Chinatown.

MBK Food Island Do the local thing and forget about ambience and focus on the food at this mall-based food court.

Pa Aew An open-air curry stall that excels in the flavours of Bangkok and Central Thailand.

Muslim Restaurant Step back in time at this classic Bangkok eatery.

Boats

Chao Phraya Express Boat The slow but steady – not to mention scenic – way to get around Bangkok.

Long-tail boat tour of Thonburi canals Race through the narrow, wooden-house-lined canals of Thonburi, James Bond–style.

Chaophraya Cruise Dinner on the deck of a cruise ship is an admittedly cheesy, yet obligatory Bangkok experience.

Royal Barges National Museum A riverside museum that's home to some of the most ornate boats in the world.

Hipster Haunts

Commons The Thai food court made chic.

Teens of Thailand Chinatown is now cool; have a gin-based drink at this speakeasy-ish bar to celebrate.

Siam Discovery A lengthy renovation has made one of the city's oldest malls its edgiest.

Beam Bangkok's dance club of the moment.

Chang Chui This alleged art market combines everything from an abandoned airplane to an insect-themed restaurant.

Studio Lam Bangkok circa 1972 is the new cool at this music-themed bar.

Talat Rot Fai Witness every Thai youth subculture at this open-air market.

Urban Exploration

Talat Noi Blaze your own path in this web-like riverside neighbourhood.

Sampeng Lane Explore the narrow lanes that spread from this market alley in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown.

Amulet Market One of Bangkok’s most bizarre markets is also a great destination for aimless wandering.

Baan Khrua Dive into this dense, canalside hood that put Thai silk on the map.

Church of Santa Cruz Get lost in the winding, elevated lanes surrounding this Thonburi church.

Art

Jim Thompson House Antique Thai-style house crammed with beautiful works of art from across Southeast Asia.

Bangkok CityCity Gallery New art space boasting a variety of exhibitions and performances.

Bangkok Art & Culture Centre Contemporary art meets commerce in the centre of Bangkok.

Gallery VER Vast space that's been in trouble with the authorities for its occasionally subversive exhibitions.

Kathmandu Photo Gallery Period-style shophouse gallery dedicated to local and international photography.

Subhashok The Arts Centre Expansive new space featuring the work of domestic artists.

Numthong Gallery Intimate, suburban art space with revolving monthly exhibitions.

Free Stuff

Bangkokian Museum By donation only.

Ban Baat Learn the traditional way to produce bàht, the distinctive bowls in which monks receive morning food donations.

Golden Mount & Wat Saket A small fee if you want to climb to the summit.

Lumphini Park Escape the crowds and traffic.

Pak Khlong Talat Flower Market Wander this sprawling market.

Amulet Market Check out the remarkable amulets for sale.

Chatuchak Weekend Market There's not much you can't buy here, but it's free to browse.

Rot Fai Market A great night market to wander around.