grand palace bangkok

Tips for Visiting the Grand Palace, Bangkok

You shouldn’t go to Bangkok if you don’t have time for The Grand Palace. It is not only the number 1 attraction in the city but it is also a good introduction to Thailand as a country with rich history, traditions, and culture. This article will give you tips for visiting The Grand Palace, Bangkok.

grand palace bangkok
The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Brief historical background

The kings and his people who are members of the government resided in the palace for almost 130 years, from 1782 to 1925. After the abolition of Thailand’s absolute monarchy however, the next successors moved to other residences in Bangkok which means the palace has had no residents for almost 100 years. From time to time though, there are important events held in the palace throughout the year.

The Grand Palace, Bangkok map
complete map of The Grand Palace, Bangkok

More info on the buildings and names here.

We have been there last 2012 and came back again after 5 years in 2017. The first time we visited, we were not on tour. We just bought tickets and went in. The second time around though, we were with a group on a guided tour.

grand palace bangkok
gold coated temples and pagodas

Which one do we recommend? Here are the differences.


  • ride a public transport to reach the palace
  • on your own time
  • freely hop to temples that interest you
  • spend more time for photographs
  • navigate your way through the palace


  • pick up and drop you off back to the hotel
  • limited time, approximately 1.5 hours in the palace
  • extra information and history for each temple
  • guide brings you to temples with more historical value
  • guide that can answer your questions
  • before heading back to the hotel, you have an extra stop over at a jewellery shop in case you want to purchase a piece of jewellery
jewellery making
stop by a jewellery shop to see how these gems are transformed

Tips for visiting The Grand Palace, Bangkok

Having tried both, we recommend first timers to join a tour for a complete Grand Palace experience. The temples have much more meaning when history and stories are added. Yes, they are pretty on the outside but they are a lot prettier on the inside. Imagine, seeing a golden reclining Buddha but you have no idea why it is positioned that way, and taking nice photos of the architecture but you don’t know the differences of each design.

grand palace bangkok
intricate details of The Grand Palace

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Apart from recommending you guys to visit the Grand Palace, there are also a lot more things to do in Bangkok. Need a little help with planning? You can check out this Bangkok Guide.

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12 Replies to “Tips for Visiting the Grand Palace, Bangkok

    1. I totally agree! Everything is so well maintained considering the volume of people coming in and out everyday.

  1. I agree with you. As much as I like wandering on my own to discover new places, joining a tour guide when I am in a new place is better. Specially if there are cultural differences and lots of history!

    1. I used to wander solo before but actually having a guide that gives you information on things you didn’t even think of before is a cherry on top.

  2. Love that you gave the history of the Grand Palace! I went there about a year ago but was crunched for time when I went, and I wish I would’ve been able to spend more time there. It sounds like a guided tour would be a good option if I make it back to Bangkok!

  3. Great recommendations for first time travelers visiting the grand palace. We always prefer to do the locations ourselves without a tour but that’s just a personal preference.

    1. I agree with you! I have been going around without tours as well and then I tried joining one and realized, it’s not so bad after all. 🙂

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