The best museums in Bangkok also serve as some of the city’s finest cultural venues. Besides displaying centuries-old artifacts of historical significance as well as Buddhist relics and modern art pieces, some of these Bangkok museums are housed in buildings just as interesting as their contents.

    Many museums in Bangkok exhibit some of the most sublime, and strangest, collections of relics you can imagine, giving you a wonderful insight into Thailand's colorful culture and unique heritage. Take a look at our favorite museums in Bangkok – we’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the artistic, historical and cultural items on show.

    The Bangkok National Museum displays Thailand’s largest collection of local art and artifacts. Founded by King Rama V, the museum occupies the former 18th-century Wang Na Palace in Phra Nakhon. It’s within walking distance of Wat Phra Kaew and The Grand Palace, so you can easily combine a day trip to these spots while in Bangkok. Exhibits are arranged into 3 areas consistent with Thai history, with good English descriptions available.

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    Location: Na Phra That Alley, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 224 1402


    Museum of Siam occupies a very large neoclassical house near Wat Pho. It’s definitely not the usual display of historical artifacts and dusty mannequins you’d expect to find in such an antique building – wooden stairs, ceramic tiles and old-fashioned columns contrast with resolutely modern art. From room to room, 'The Roong' transports you through all things Thai, from the very beginning of Ayutthaya to the daily life and highlights of Thai history, wars, Buddhism and finally the rapid entry into the modern world.

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    Location: 4 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 225 2777


    photo by Yakuzakorat (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    The Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok (MOCA) displays a comprehensive collection of modern paintings and sculptures in Thailand. The museum’s permanent collections highlight some of the country’s most celebrated artists, including Lampu Kansanoh, Denpong Wongsaroj, and Bundit Padungvichian. The Museum of Contemporary Art Bangkok is in Chatuchak, about 6.5 km north of the Mo Chit BTS Skytrain Station.

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    Location: 99 Kamphaeng Phet 6 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 016 5667

    Price: 180 baht – Student: 80 baht – children/OAP: Free


    Bangkokian Museum

    The Bangkokian Museum is a simple, discreet museum in Bangrak but the charm is in the pleasure of discovering this small frozen-in-time gem. The complex, sometimes called 'Bangkok Folk Museum', consists mostly of 2 beautifully preserved wooden houses dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. You can get in for free by writing down your name on the museum’s guestbook.

    Location: 273 Saphan Yao Alley, Si Phraya, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 233 7027


    Samut Prakan Ancient City spans 320 acres of landscaped gardens on the outskirts of Bangkok, preserving Thailand's cultural heritage through scaled-down replicas of prominent temples, national parks, and monuments. One of the world’s largest outdoor museums, it has a 200-acre city with 109 scaled-down copies of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions.

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    Location: 296/1 Moo 7 Sukhumvit Road, Bangpoomai, Samut Prakan 10280, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 323 4094


    Bangkok Forensic Museum offers a sinister exhibition for morbid fans and travelers searching for something extremely unusual. Located inside on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, if your vision of a museum is a pretty display of artistic or cultural artifacts, then you’re in for a big surprise. There are 6 distinct museums within 2 separate buildings. The creepiest ones are the Ellis Pathological Museum, Songkran Niyomse Forensic Medicine Museum and Congdon Anatomical Museum.

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    Location: 2 Wanglung Road, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Monday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 419 2601


    Bank of Thailand Museum

    Bank of Thailand Museum at Bangkhunphrom Palace takes you on an intriguing and interesting jaunt through monetary evolution in Thailand. The museum is only open to groups of 10 or less (by appointment only), but the building alone is worth seeing. Boasting beautiful baroque and rococo architecture from the early 20th century, you can bask in the restored Italian-inspired glory of Prince Paribatra's former palace residence.

    Location: 273 Samsen Road, Wat Sam Phraya, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 356 7766


    The Batcat Toy Museum is comic book-geek paradise, displaying thousands of action figures of the superheroes we all know, from the very first Batman and other Captain Americas to the super high-tech Iron Man in his improbable suit. A large room is entirely dedicated to the iconic Batman franchise, exhibiting such a staggering amount of merchandising it makes the movies look like 'supporting commercials' for action figures, toys, costumes, books, board games and other silly accessories. There is something for the child in us: a Spider-Man collection, several full-size monsters, a full set of the Japanese characters from Masked Rider and Ultraman, as well as a Star Wars corner.

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    Location: 32 Srinagarindra Rd, Hua Mak, Bang Kapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 375 9006


    Erawan Museum Bangkok occupies a massive 3-headed elephant statue that stands on an equally gargantuan pedestal. Cast in a pure green-hued copper, the 250-tonne structure spans 29 meters in height and 39 in length. The museum spans 3 levels representing the underworld, the human earth, and heaven. Just about every part of the museum displays rare Eastern antiques, religious iconography, and psychedelic décor. Located in Samut Prakan, it’s a little outside Bangkok but you can get there by taking the BTS Skytrain (Sukhumvit Line) to Pu Chao Station.

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    Location: 99 Bang Mueang Mai, Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 371 3135


    House of Museums

    The House of Museums is a fun and eclectic display of objects from the 1960s. If you are Thai and happened to be born in this era, all the objects on display will certainly bring back nostalgic memories. Each floor has its own little specialty: an old pharmacy, an electronics shop with bulky TV sets and laughable 'portable' phones, a classroom, and a scaled-down movie theatre. Our favorite exhibit is the complete antique dentist cabinet with the chair, light and basin attached, and the comprehensive array of torture tools your dentist used at the time, usually accompanied by the ritual line, “This won't hurt a bit, trust me, I'm a dentist”.

    Location: 170/17 Moo 7, Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop, Thawi Watthana, Bangkok 10170, Thailand

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed from Mondays to Fridays)

    Phone: +66 (0)89 200 2803


    Thai Human Imagery Museum

    The Thai Human Imagery Museum is the work of artist Duangkaew Phityakornsilp and his team, who spent over 10 years painstakingly creating the eerily life-like wax and fiber-glass figures that decorate the halls. Each depicts, with astonishing realism, scenes from Thai life and culture, such as farm laborers, slaves, chess players, even a man reading a Thai newspaper. You can also find figures of prominent foreigners at the museum, including Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi.

    Location: 43/2 Moo 1, Ratchachonee Rd. KM.31, T.Khun Kaeo, Nakhon Pathom 73120, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)94 350 1230


    Jesada Car Museum, or Jesada Technik Museum, is a large private collection of vintage rare cars and motorbikes in Nakhon Pathom, a small town around 39km west of central Bangkok. The museum was founded by Thai businessman Jesada Deshsakulrith, whose passion for automobile history and heritage led him to collect more than 500 vehicles, most of which are in perfect condition.

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    Location: 100 Moo 2 Ngio Rai, Nakorn Chaisri, Nakhon Pathom 73120, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)34 339 468


    Jim Thompson House is the former home of the late James H.W. Thompson, an American businessman who dedicated over 30 years of his life to reviving Thai silk in the 1950s. The lovely garden-enclosed compound sits on the bank of the Saen Saeb Canal and houses 6 traditional Thai teakwood houses transported from Ayutthaya and Ban Krua Silk Village. It’s a museum and art center showcasing Thompson’s collection of Asian antiques and Thai silk.

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    Location: 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 216 7368


    photo by Clay Gilliland (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Baan Kamthieng House Museum is a renovated teak house just beside Asoke, one of the busiest junctions on Sukhumvit. Even though it’s surrounded by towering hotels, condos and malls, the museum’s setting makes you feel like you’re in a northern Thai village rather than the middle of a bustling city. There are plenty of interesting displays that give you an insight into traditional rural life in Thailand. It’s worth a visit when you’re in the area, especially if you’re passionate about Thai history.

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    Location: 131 Asok Montri Rd, Khlong Toei, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 661 6470


    photo by mohigan (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Madame Tussauds Bangkok at Siam Discovery Center is where you can explore exhibits of lifelike wax figures, most of which you can touch, hug, play with, and even kiss. Imagine taking a selfie with an A-list celebrity like Vin Diesel or Jackie Chan, practicing Kung Fu with Bruce Lee, walking the red carpet with Angelina Jolie, or… posing with Her Majesty The Queen. You can learn all about the craft of waxwork from the 2nd-floor exhibit on the history of Madame Tussauds. The museums' souvenir boutique carries an interesting collection of memorabilia and quirky accessories you might want to bring home with you.

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    Location: 6th Floor, Siam Discovery, 989 Rama I Rd, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 658 0060


    M.R. Kukrit’s House is a cluster of 5 teakwood houses raised on stilts in traditional Thai style, all connected by a wooden corridor. Rather than completing them all in one go, he bought the houses from various parts of central Thailand and re-assembled them on-site, a process that took over 20 years to complete. Each house is interconnected and is full of fine-art treasures, not museum pieces but the things he saved and loved, like ceramics, precious furniture and Buddha images.

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    Location: 19 Narathiwat Soi 7, Yannawa, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 286 8185


    Tilleke and Gibbins' Museum of Counterfeit Goods

    Law firm Tilleke and Gibbins' Museum of Counterfeit Goods exhibits piles of counterfeit goods accumulated over years of raids on behalf of their clients. The museum was established in 1989 to educate people and encourage them to see beyond the cheap prices. When walking around the museum there are plenty of unexpected goods among T-shirts and sunglasses. Some of the fake goods seem absurd, coffee, biscuits, even washing powder. The products have been marked with either an F or a G to help visitors discern between which are fake and which are genuine.

    Location: Tilleke & Gibbins, Supalai Grand Tower, 1011 Rama 3 Road, Yannawa, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

    Open: Monday at 2 pm and Thursday at 10 am (open by appointment only)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 056 5548


    photo by PPun (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Museum of Floral Culture

    The Museum of Floral Culture is dedicated to the history and techniques of floral arrangements in weddings and religious ceremonies, official occasions and royal events. It was founded by Thai floral artist Sakul Intakul, who proudly displays a large collection of rare photos, drawings and personal creations used and exhibited in Thailand and many renowned international events.

    Location: 315 Samsen Rd. Soi 28, Yaek Ongkarak 13, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 669 3633


    The Bangkok National Gallery mainly focuses on Thai artists, starting in the 17th century and working forwards. The garden and courtyard areas usually display some interesting sculptures. The special collection building is at the back of the courtyard with art from home and abroad – everything from painting to prints and installations. Without extensive knowledge of Thai art, fully understanding the permanent collection can be difficult. But it's worth checking out the temporary, more modern exhibitions housed in the gardens and special collections building.

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    Location: 4 Chao Fa Rd, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 281 2224


    Philatelic (Stamp) Museum

    The Philatelic (Stamp) Museum is a popular stop for budding stamp enthusiasts in Bangkok. It shows how the postal service developed in Thailand, exhibiting Thai and foreign stamps dating back to 1881 when the first Thai stamps were made in London using woodblock prints. Stamps and accessories are available to buy at very reasonable prices. History and art enthusiasts may also enjoy it, but bring a magnifying glass – up close, each stamp is a paper-thin slice of history and a miniature work of art. For more serious philatelists, there is an interesting collection of stamp books in Thai and foreign languages on display at the museum's library.

    Location: 2 Phahonyothin Rd, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 271 2439


    Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall

    Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall is dedicated to the history of Bangkok's royal city, locally known as Rattanakosin Island. Through 9 display rooms showcasing a series of film, music, and computer displays, the museum’s Nitas Rattanakosin exhibit conveys stories in many aspects of the Rattanakosin era. An observation room and café occupy the top floor, where you can enjoy great views of the Wat Saket, Queen Sirikit Gallery, and King Prajadhipok Museum.

    Location: 100 Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Wat Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 621 0044


    The Royal Barges Museum displays 8 of Thailand’s most unique and stunning vessels, the Royal Barges. These boats a reserved for auspicious ceremonies and state occasions like the very rare Royal Barge Procession and have only made an appearance on the water about 16 times in the last 65 years. You can easily find the Royal Barges Museum near the Thonburi side, not far from Phra Pin Klao Bridge. Note that the barges might not be in the museum during or in preparation for the special ceremonies.

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    Location: 80/1 Rim Khlong Bangkok Noi Arun Amarin, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 424 0004


    The Royal Thai Air Force Museum was established in 1952 to preserve not only military aircraft but also equipment from the beginning of aviation. It has a small but interesting plane collection, including one-of-a-kind Hawk 3 fighters. Covering the entire history of Thai Aviation since the very first double-winged planes, about 30 airplanes are displayed inside a couple of large hangars that were converted into the museum.

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    Location: 171 Paholyothin Road, Don Mueang, Bangkok 10210, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 534 1853


    Silpa Bhirasri Memorial & Museum

    Silpa Bhirasri Memorial & Museum is dedicated to an Italian-born sculptor who first came to Thailand in 1923 to work for the Department of Fine Arts. He's regarded as the father of modern art in Thailand, and his works are on display in public places throughout the city. Many iconic and impressive landmarks and monuments were cast by his able hands, and some of his best-known works include the Democracy Monument and statues of King Taksin, King Rama I and King Rama VI. His memorial at Silapakorn University displays his paintings and sculptures as well as works of his pupils, including famous painters Fua Haripitak, Khien Yimsiri and Sawasdi Tantisuk.

    Location: Fine Arts Department, Silpakorn University, 31 Na Phra Lan Rd, Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 223 6162


    photo by Y.Thanongsak (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Suan Pakkad Palace in Ratchathewi occupies a well-tended tropical garden with serene ponds surrounding 8 traditional Thai houses, each of which displays fine arts, antiques and oddities belonging to Prince and Princess Chumbhot. The architectural centerpieces at Suan Pakkad Palace are the 4 Thai teak houses between the front of the palace and the garden – a family heirloom dating from the 19th century. Each was transported here from its original location in Chiang Mai and, like most traditional Thai houses, are 2 storeys high.

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    Location: 352-354 Si Ayutthaya Road, Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)2 245 4934


    Thai Film Museum

    Thai Film Museum, founded in 1984 by historian and former chief archivist Dome Sukwong, has a surprisingly rich collection considering its modest size. The museum is divided into several rooms packed with all kinds of movie equipment, ranging from the shooting, montage, double over, cartoon making, ticketing and projection of the movie itself. The star of the museum is an amazing steam train parked outside, with a bronze statue of Buster Keaton sitting on the wheel, recreating the scene from The General in 1927. You can watch movies at the onsite Sri Salaya Theatre.

    Location: 94 Moo 3 Phutthamonthon Sai 5 Road, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 482 2013


    Thai Labor Museum

    The Thai Labor Museum, located next to Makkasan Train Station, was originally the Railway Police Station. In this discreet, single-storey building, a very important story is told, one that is often sad or shocking. Before becoming the easy-going country it is today, and just like most developing countries, workers only had basic rights, if any, and Thailand went through several tumultuous and violent episodes in which workers revolted. Each of the 6 rooms in the museum depicts the evolution of the labor movement and their fight to obtain fair treatment.

    Location: Ratchathewi Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 251 3173


    Prasart Museum

    Prasart Museum is an eclectic assembly of buildings that are replicas of influential Thai palaces, houses and royal residences. Some date as far back as the Ayutthaya period. Highlights include the Red Palace, a recreation of a Thai-style teak house that King Rama I built for his sister in 1784, and a colonial-style mansion dating back to the 19th century. Set in a lush tropical garden, it also serves as a center of education and research for those interested in Thai antiquities. Pieces from the Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin periods are on display, including several Sukhothai Buddha images, and items of furniture.

    Location: 4A Krungthep Kritha, Soi 4, Hua Mak, Bang Kapi, Bangkok 10240, Thailand

    Open: Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm (closed from Mondays to Thursdays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 379 3601


    The Bangkok Science Museum and Planetarium is an interactive museum and planetarium in Sukhumvit. Also known as the National Science Center for Education, it's designed to educate the youth and general public about science and astronomy. There are interesting activities, exhibits, models, multimedia presentations and real objects.

    The museum occupies 4 main buildings – the Planetarium, the Natural Science building, the Science Museum and the Aquatic Life building. The semi-dome planetarium (the oldest in Thailand) is probably its most popular permanent fixture.

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    Location: 928 Sukhumvit Rd, Phra Khanong, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 392 1773


    Saphanthawong Museum

    Saphanthawong Museum is a community museum in Bangkok Chinatown. It presents exhibits on the city's early Chinese immigrants. Set within the same compound as Wat Traimit, it's worth checking out if you’re eager to learn more about the history of the place while exploring the culturally vibrant neighborhood.

    Several exhibition rooms tell of the history of Chinatown through old photographs. There’s one that features the earliest shops in the neighborhood, some of which you can still find today. After browsing through the museum, you can continue your walk through Chinatown with a better sense of history.

    Location: 1620/1 Song Wat Rd, Samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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