10 Best Free Things to Do in Bangkok, Thailand

Whether it is enjoying the green spaces that give escape from the Bangkok traffic and heat, or people watching in the fantastic traditional markets or futuristic boutique malls, you don't have to break the bank in Bangkok, nor even spend any baht for that matter. Spots like the giant green space of Bang Krachao or Suan Rot Fai come without a price tag. and centrally located Lumpini Park is a great public oasis that even has free symphony performances in the cool season!

The traditional floating market life along the Klong Bang Luang in Thonburi is fascinating, but the main reason to come here is to watch the traditional Thai puppet shows at the Baan Silapin Artist's House. Performances are free, but they do welcome donations. Chinatown is also a fantastic place for people watching and walking, there is everything from temples to market alleys to street vendors selling delicious food that is quite cheap, and make sure to take in a free Chinese opera if one happens to be going on. If the crowds are a bit much, consider heading out to Ko Kret Island, Bangkok's urban escape, where you can go bicycle riding, check out some fantastic pottery, and enjoy a bit of Mon  culture, none of which cost a baht other than the bike rental fee or nominal public bus/ferry ticket to get out here.

For an afternoon of free art exhibitions, the cool Bangkok Art & Culture Centre always has something going on, and is a great local place to hang out. Finally, for something really weird, go check out the collection of buffalo skulls at the bizarre temple of Wat Hua Krabeu. There is plenty to do here for free.

Outside the city

Bangkok has some cultural oddities, perhaps none more so than Wat Hua Krabeu, or Temple of the Buffalo Heads, where a monk's penchant for collecting has become somewhat of a crusade. The temple first became famous due to the rather eccentric...  Read More

Taling Chan market is a mainly Thai affair, although a few foreign tour groups now throw it on their itinerary as a far more realistic and traditional market experience than Damnoen Saduak, using boats to ply the waterways of the Thonburi...  Read More

Originally a flea market started in the 1950's by a former prime minister who wanted to put a flea market into every town in Thailand, Chatuchak, more affectionately known as JJ Market, is now the largest market in Thailand. Over 5000 stalls vie...  Read More

Created by King Rama VI in 1932, and named after the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumpini Park is an urban oasis, one of the city's largest parks located smack in the middle of central Bangkok. Besides offering plenty of shady trees under which to...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis

Bangkok's Chinatown is full of history, mazes of tiny alleyways to get lost in, find great food, markets, temples, and one of the few places in the city where it is actually pleasant and preferable to walk, not to mention that none of the...  Read More


Suan Rot Fai (The Train Park) is located slightly northeast of Chatuchak Park, along one of the city's largest connected green belts. The park sprawls over 150 acres in a space that was once a golf course for the State Railway Association which...  Read More

Outside the city

While many might think of Bangkok and nature in the same sentence as being an oxymoron, they probably have never heard of Bang Krachao. Bang Krachao, also known as "the lungs" of Bangkok is a vast area of green space just across the Chao Phraya...  Read More

The Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, more commonly known by its abbreviated form, BACC, somewhat put the Bangkok art scene on the map, as it was built back when the city was really a backwater for contemporary and cutting edge modern art. These...  Read More

Ko Kret is an island in the Chao Phraya River at the northern end of Bangkok. Originally settled by Mons, it is famed for its earthenware ceramics and for the traditional Thai sweet, khao cher, rice served with fragrant water and side dishes...  Read More

Baan Silapin Artist's House is an old wooden home that sits on the Klong Bang Luang canal, which is home to a small floating market. The community here, a traditional old Thai group of canal homes, has gotten together to keep its young people...  Read More


Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave