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Bangkok is one of the most visited cities in South East Asia and is well known for its bustling nightlife scene, jewel-encrusted temples, delicious street food, and sky bars – not what you would imagine for a family vacation.
But that doesn’t mean Bangkok isn’t a good family destination, in fact, there are so many things to do in Bangkok with kids, that you’d be amazed by how much fun you can have as a family here.
From entertaining museums, canal boat rides, tuk-tuk tours, and wildlife parks, you’ll never run out of attractions in Bangkok for kids to enjoy (and adults will love them too!)
So if you’re wondering what to do in Bangkok with kids, read on to see our top family-friendly attractions in Bangkok.
- Getting Around Bangkok
- What to Do in Bangkok with Kids
- 1. Try Bangkok Street food
- 2. Take A Wild Adventure on a Tuk-Tuk
- 3. Embark on a Bangkok Street Food Tour
- 4. Explore the Bangkok Temples
- 5. Visit the Jim Thompson Museum
- 6. Hit the Slides at Siam Amazing Park
- 7. Explore the Zoos and Aquariums
- 8. Go Shopping at Siam Paragon
- 9. Take a Trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
- 10. Children's Discovery Museum
- Where to Stay in Bangkok
- Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Bangkok with Kids
Getting Around Bangkok
But first, let’s discuss how you get around the city because understanding public transport is going to help you plan which of these attractions in Bangkok for families you see and when.
When arriving at Don Muang Airport or Suvarnabhumi Airport (considered the main airport) you’ll be located outside the center of town and will need to get into the city.
This is quite simple. We recommend you either get either the airport shuttle, or taxi so you don’t have to worry about lugging your suitcase as much. It’s a 30-minute drive from the airport to the city, and if you use Bolt (the Uber of Thailand) you can find a cheaper rate than a licensed taxi.
You can also take the Airport Rail Link (ARL) to Phaya Thai, which is considered the center of Bangkok, and then change onto the MRT (the subway in Bangkok) or BTS Skytrain to your hotel. This is better for those without luggage as you need to walk for 10 minutes to the MRT/BTS near Victory Monument.
Once you’ve arrived at your hotel and are ready to start exploring, you’ll be pleased to know ground transportation is quite inexpensive in Bangkok.
We like to use Bolt or Grab all over Southeast Asia (they are the Asian version of Uber). We found that the rides can cost equal to or even less than taking a traditional taxi and you’re assured a nicer car. It also facilitates paying, with no need for cash transactions as it’s all linked to your credit card.
Plus, you get the price before getting in the car so no need to be anxious about the meter running over budget.
The drivers we’ve used have also served as some of the best tour guides. They are thankful for your business, and most of them are proud of their city and willing to share a more local experience (but only if you want it).
Just ask for recommendations, and usually, it’s hard to stop them. Especially in a town such as Bangkok, where everyone has their own take on how to enjoy it best.
Another great and easy way to get around Bangkok is on the BTS, which is also known as the Sky Train. It doesn’t connect as much of the city as the MRT (the subway) and is slightly more expensive than the subway, but you get the benefit of seeing the views as you ride.
The MRT goes to most places in Bangkok as well so it’s great for exploring the inner city.
However, if you want to visit the canals and see the floating markets, you’ll need to get an MRT/BTS and then a taxi. A lot of the top attractions in Bangkok for families are outside the MRT/BTS route so taxis will always be needed at some point.
One of our favorite ways to get around Bangkok is on long tail boats along the Bangok Klongs.
What to Do in Bangkok with Kids
Now you know how to get around this amazing city, it’s time to take a look at the top things to do in Bangkok with kids! Many of these highlights are included in our 3 Day Bangkok itinerary.
1. Try Bangkok Street food
The best part about staying a bit off-center in Sukhumvit is being given the opportunity to live amongst the locals. On our first night, we sat in the first eatery we saw and it was the best introduction to the city.
The kitchen was set up on the sidewalk, right outside the indoor sitting area. There were two ladies taking the food orders from an elder gentleman, who also minded the cash register.
The ladies worked with 2 woks on an open fire, and that was it. The aromas coming out of the 2 woks were intoxicating. Although, the use of red chili peppers in Thai cuisine is unlike anything we have ever experienced.
Watching them cook made my eyes water. Not just due to the chili, but also because I was so happy to be there.
The menu was all in Thai and we had no idea what any of it meant. The old gentleman did his best to explain the offerings by pointing at other patrons’ plates, as he didn’t speak any English.
It was the most authentic experience and a great way to show our kids how other cultures dine out.
Then a young man with a backpack offered to help and he translated what we wanted to eat for the elder gentleman.
As if he were an angel sent to us to do a job, the young man with a backpack in place of wings, smiled at us and wished us a wonderful welcome to Thailand, and then walked away into the night.
The kindness of locals in Bangkok is second to none; they offer to help, with no expectation for something in return. That’s true kindness.
After getting our order through, it seemed that the whole place was nodding their heads and smiling toward us. We, in turn, nodded our heads and smiled back.
The food was worth the hassle, and what a great experience for our children to see. They saw kindness, willingness to help, how to communicate without language, and of course, amazing food.
2. Take A Wild Adventure on a Tuk-Tuk
What family trip would be complete without taking a fun-filled adventurous ride around the city? In Bangkok, no need for parasailing or rollercoasters for some thrills, just flag an automatic rickshaw known as a tuk-tuk.
Most fit four persons comfortably and can cut corners and go down streets that cars can’t. It makes for a more enjoyable ride, as they often go fast enough to create a wonderful breeze while riding (Bangkok is hot, so this is very welcome).
The experience also brings the rider(s) closer to the pulse of the city. It puts the peripheral vision into overdrive, so as to not miss anything.
For what it costs versus what most amusement park rides cost, and seeing Bangkok in a unique way, this was one of the best things to do in Bangkok with kids.
3. Embark on a Bangkok Street Food Tour
One of the best tours we took as a family was a Bangkok Night Food Tour by Tuk-Tuk. It not only satisfies the tuk-tuk experience but also the taste buds.
We were taken to less traversed neighborhoods for some excellent Thai delicacies, which include a visit to Thipsamai, a place that specialized in the national dish, Pad Thai.
The tour was extra special because it went around Old Town Bangkok, which was more akin to when it was a town built on top of canals versus the city of skyscrapers that it is now. It’s as if we took a ride into an evening in the past.
In these streets of old, we were able to walk through one of the most prolific flower markets where generations of families worked together in unison.
There were kids sitting behind stalls watching a television hooked up to the power of the lamp post and grandmothers cooking up food on make-shift burners, as mothers and fathers did their best to sell.
Our kids were able to watch a tattooed young man performing the art of butchery, which is something that is no longer seen every day.
I, of course, had the opportunity to look out into the Chao Phraya River in the evening with a beer in hand.
It was a fun attraction in Bangkok for kids and adults to enjoy and offered a very immersive experience of Thai culture.
4. Explore the Bangkok Temples
Bangkok is filled with temples, and as ornate and as beautiful as they are, going from one temple to the next is not what any tween would call an ideal day.
Our suggestion is to do no more than one a day.
If there is one that needs to be seen, it is Wat Pho, or Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This Buddhist Temple is the home to the famous Reclining Buddha. The gold leaf-covered statue reclines 46 meters long and is simply impressive.
However, the rest of the complex should not be missed, as it is expansive and filled with history.
Other than the reclining structure, my favorite sight was the pagoda that held the ashes of King Rama the 4th, affectionately known as the character Yul Brynner played in “The King and I”.
If your kids loved the temple and you want to see more buddha statues, the Grand Palace is another beautiful site to visit. Be sure to see the stunning Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew just next to the palace.
If you only have a short time, visit Wat Arun, which is a small temple with only one stupa to see. Be sure to visit around sunset when the setting sun changes the colors of the facade.
5. Visit the Jim Thompson Museum
There are plenty of temples to gaze upon, but there are other wonderful attractions in Bangkok for families to enjoy, our favorite being the Jim Thompson Museum.
Jim Thompson was a person with an enigmatic history. He was an ex-pat American who single-handedly revitalized the Thai silk industry, but it was his life as a CIA man and his inconclusive disappearance that is most intriguing.
The house itself, made of heritage homes put together is an architectural splendor. Bailey especially loved the large koi fish swimming around in a little man-made pond outside the restaurant in the museum complex.
6. Hit the Slides at Siam Amazing Park
While we’re not big on theme parks, there’s no denying that Siam Amazing Park (also known as Siam Park City) is one of the top things to do in Bangkok for kids.
The water park has more than 30 rides that offer adrenaline and adventure! It’s one of the top-rated amusement parks in Bangkok which the whole family will enjoy.
The park is sorted into different zones, each offering a different level of adrenaline. There’s the X Zone, Family World, Fantasy World, and the Small World for the little ones.
It suits kids of all ages, as it offers wild rides and more gentle ones for little kids. It also has one of the largest wave pools in the world, which is fun for all the family to splash around in.
The park is located 20 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport and is out of the main city center, so you’ll need to plan for a full day here.
7. Explore the Zoos and Aquariums
For anyone looking for attractions in Bangkok with young kids, you can’t go wrong with the zoos and aquariums. Children love looking at wildlife and seeing all the amazing animals they usually only ever see on TV.
Safari World is a popular zoo in Bangkok that offers a more interactive approach. You get to drive through the enclosures and get up close to lions, zebras, and giraffes. There is also a Marine World that has marine life such as dolphins and sea lions.
You can also watch an animal show, such as dolphin shows, elephant shows, and cowboy stunt shows.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is the perfect place to see and learn about marine life. You can see penguins, sea turtles, sharks, and jellyfish, as well as attend feeding times and talks.
8. Go Shopping at Siam Paragon
One of the top things to do in Bangkok is go shopping. There are several top markets and shopping malls where you can pick up some souvenirs and cheap goods to take home, but one of the most family-friendly malls is Siam Paragon.
It was the first shopping complex to open in Bangkok and it offers world-class shopping, as well as several entertainment options.
You can go bowling, watch the new releases at the cinema, take a taekwondo class, or visit the Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World in the basement!
9. Take a Trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Bangkok has several floating markets and each of them offers something special and unique. We loved the Khlong Lat Mayon floating market because it was authentic and local, and we saw very few tourists there.
However, kids will enjoy the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market more as it’s bigger and more lively, which excites the senses! It’s also more touristy so it’s perfect for families worried about getting too off-the-beaten-track in Bangkok.
The Damnoen Saduak floating market is located in Ratchaburi and has been running for over 100 years. Here you can find vendors selling everything from souvenirs to flowers to street food from their floating long-tail boats.
It’s one of the most authentic experiences in Bangkok for kids to see and adults will love this too!
10. Children’s Discovery Museum
The Children’s Discovery Museum is a part museum and part playground, where children can learn about the world in an interactive way.
They can become archeologists discovering dinosaurs, become engineers in the inventors club, and learn about the life sciences and different cultures from around the world through child-friendly workshops and talks.
If you are looking for an enriching, educational experience for your kids in Bangkok, this is a great option!
Where to Stay in Bangkok
There are some wonderful hotels within the city and at many different price points. However, there still aren’t enough good places to stay in Bangkok to meet the demand of travelers visiting the city each day.
So we do recommend you book as far in advance as possible, to make sure you don’t get stuck with the low-rated places (or worse, nothing).
The best area to stay in Bangkok for families is around Sukhumvit Road. You can also find decent accommodation on the other side of the river from Khao San Road, but these tend to attract backpackers. Soi 11 Rd is another popular place to stay as it’s near lots of public transport and has good places to eat nearby.
In the 3-Star category, we suggest staying at the Chateau de Sukhumvit in Sukhumvit. The hotel sits on a wonderful street where ex-pat bars intermingle with hawker food stalls.
For a much more polished 5-Star experience, there is no better place to stay than the Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit.
It sits across the famous Benchakitti Park and Lumpini Park. Not only is the park a wonderful place to spend the day as a family, but the hotel is also a 5 minute walk from our top shopping mall, Terminal 21, where you can find affordable and delicious food in Bangkok.
There are plenty of vacation rentals options, and if this is the route taken, it’s best to get one a bit outside the city to have the opportunity for a more authentic and local experience.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Bangkok with Kids
Bangkok, being the King of Street Food, our taste palates will never be the same. Not only have we all grown a high tolerance for spicy food, but the range of flavors is hard to beat and we will forever crave Thai food every so often.
Bangkok may not be the first city on the list for family travel. However, upon visiting, we found very few cities to be more family-friendly.
If being welcomed in a foreign land with authenticity, smiles, and plenty of attractions for kids of all ages that adults will enjoy as well is on the list, then look no further than here.
What are some of your favourite things to do in Bangkok with kids?