How to Spend a Day in the Ancient City of Ayutthaya from Bangkok

Ayutthaya is one of the easiest cities to visit from Bangkok. The ancient city was the second capital of the country, and the top sites here are now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those visitors lucky enough to have an extra day or two in the City of Angels, here is a guide on how to spend a day in the ancient city of Ayutthaya from Bangkok.

8 a.m. – Head to Ayutthaya from the Mochit Bus Station

Ayutthaya is about 70 kilometers north of Bangkok and can be reached by taking the minibuses or buses that depart from the Mochit Bus Station. The cost is only ฿60 (approximately $US1.80) per person and takes about an hour to get there, depending on traffic.

10 a.m. – Rent a motorbike or bicycle

There is no better way to see the city of Ayutthaya than by renting a motorbike or bicycle and exploring it in its entirety. Tuk-tuks can also be hired to take visitors around the city, but they charge about ฿300 (approximately $US9.20) an hour. This can be a more convenient but costly way to explore, and those wanting to rent a tuk-tuk should try to do so with a handful of people to split the cost.

10:30 a.m. – Go to the Bang Pa-In Palace

The Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is one of the most stunning royal structures in the country. The grounds are made up of a number of European-style buildings, extensive and manicured gardens, and religious structures. The palace sits on a total of 46 acres of land, and its original construction dates back to the 17th century, and the structure seen by visitors today was built during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. It is important to note that the Bang Pa-In Palace is a bit outside of the city, and just the drive out there will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes from the city center. Visitors may better spend their time exploring the temples found around the city center depending on what it is they wish to see while exploring historic Ayutthaya.

Entrance Fee: ฿100 per person

Address: Tambon Bang Len, Amphoe Bang Pa-In, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

1 p.m. – Head to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, otherwise known as the Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory, is one of the most memorable temples on our itinerary. Located in southeast Ayutthaya, the temple is made up of a large, central chedi shaped like a bell, an ubosot (ordination hall), and newly sculpted Buddhas surrounding its exterior. Gold leaf-covered Buddhas sit inside the chedi, an otherwise claustrophobic space where Thais come to make wishes. The Buddhist temple was constructed to house monks and was built in the 14th century, and visitors can climb up the temple’s entirety in order to have some pretty stunning views of the surroundings grounds. This is one of the most intact temples in Ayutthaya because the Buddha statues were reconstructed. Other temples in the area were not so lucky, as they were ransacked by the Burmese and much of the city was destroyed in 1767. This explains all the headless Buddhas found around town.

Entrance Fee: ฿20 per person

Address: Khlong Suan Plu, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2 p.m. – Have lunch at The Summer House Ayutthaya

After seeing the palace and temples, it is time to fuel up on some delicious Thai dishes at one of the cutest eateries in town, and there is no better place to have lunch after exploring the city than at The Summer House Ayutthaya. This quaint restaurant is located right along the banks of the Chao Phraya River and has ample indoor and outdoor seating for visitors to dine at. The venue is incredibly Instagram-worthy, with a red brick interior and light wooden seating arrangements underneath the decorative hanging foliage. In addition to having adorable ornamentation, the restaurant is also incredibly affordable, with dishes starting out at less than ฿100 and both international and Thai items on the extensive menu.

Address: 71/1 Moo 6 Koh Rean, Ayuthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand

Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Phone Number: +66 94 224 2223

4 p.m. – Visit Wat Mahathat

Though visitors are probably unlikely to remember its name, there is a good chance they have come across a photo or two of Wat Phra Mahathat before venturing to Ayutthaya. It is one of the most photographed temples in the city if not in all of Thailand, as it is home to the large stone Buddha head that sits inside a large tree. How the head came to be amongst the branches remains a mystery, though some speculate that the tree simply grew around it after the temple was destroyed. Wat Mahathat was built during the 14th century, but it was later destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese who attacked the city. It was not until the 1950s that the temple was again rediscovered and restoration began. In addition to the large Buddha head, the area compromises of many temple ruins that are certainly noteworthy all the same and are worth exploring and photographing, as well. 

Entrance Fee: ฿50 per person

Address: 3 Thanon Maharat, Na Luk, Bangkok 10200

Hours: Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

5 p.m. – Photograph Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburuna is found inside of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. It has a Khmer-style prang that is the city’s tallest stupa. The temple was built by King Boromracha II in honor of his older brothers who were killed when fighting over who would take over the throne. The prangs are surprisingly well-preserved. The other two chedis at the temple were built to commemorate Queen Si Suriyothai who died trying to save her husband’s life during a battle with the Burmese.

Entrance Fee: ฿50 per person

Address: 309, Tambon Tha Wa Su Kri, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Hours: Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6 p.m. - Head back to Bangkok

After a day well spent in Ayutthaya, it is time to head back to the city. We opted to again take a minibus back, but there are also buses, boats, and even a train that can take visitors back to Bangkok for an affordable price.

By | 2018-01-03T17:42:32+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|Categories: See & Do|Tags: , , , |8 Comments


  1. Kasia January 3, 2018 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Wow this place looks so Instagram worthy. Would love to see it and take loads of pics. Saving for the future 😉

  2. Desiree | A Binge Worthy Life January 3, 2018 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I would love to visit Bangkok one day. The architecture in your pictures is beautiful!

  3. Kate January 4, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

    I didn’t realise this could be done in a day trip from Bangkok! I’m kicking myself that I didn’t go, but I was so unwell while in Bangkok that I wasn’t particularly motivated to go out. I went straight to Sukothai to explore those ruins much further north in Thailand, but Ayutthaya looks beautiful as well. I’ve definitely seen photos of Wat Phra Mahathat before and I love the look of the tree roots wrapped around the Buddha head.

  4. Brooke B January 4, 2018 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Sounds like an incredible trip. I def need to save up to visit.

  5. Tahnee January 4, 2018 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Sounds amazing. Plus I love maximizing my time so this perfect. Thanks for sharing a great post

  6. Daneisha Smith January 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Can we just talk about how beautiful these photos are?!?!?! I am definitely adding Bangkok to my list of cities to visit during my lifetime!

  7. Jonia January 5, 2018 at 3:05 am - Reply

    This trip looks amazing! Your vlogs are great and I like how you have a detailed description written with it.

  8. Karishma January 5, 2018 at 4:28 am - Reply

    This looks a great place for history and photography… on my next visit to Bangkok this sure is gonna be a must do

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