These great palaces in Bangkok showcase the awe-inspiring grandeur of Thai royalty. The monarchy is extremely highly regarded in Thailand and especially in Bangkok. As such, the various palaces and royal properties in and around the capital are both points of pride and popular attractions for locals.

    The Grand Palace is, of course, the most iconic royal landmark in Bangkok – it’s basically a must-see for any visitor to Thailand. However, there are plenty of lesser-known palaces that often get overlooked by visitors from overseas, as you will see from our list below.

    The Grand Palace is Bangkok's most famous landmark. With its impressive architecture and attention to detail, the Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court but also the entire administrative seat of government.

    Admission includes entry to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), Thailand's most sacred site, and the Central Court of the Grand Palace. It is important to adhere to the strict dress code to enter. There are free guided tours in English in the mornings and afternoons, but you can also rent an audio guide if you prefer exploring on your own. Make sure to arrive early to avoid the afternoon crowds.

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    Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is the centerpiece of Bangkok's own Champs D'Elysee. This impressive 2-storey white marble palace sits at the end of Dusit's long, wide Royal Plaza, a leafy ceremonial boulevard that's often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations.

    Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished in the reign of King Rama VI, the neo-classical Renaissance architecture of Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall – particularly its central dome – dominate the scene just as Italian architects Mario Tamango and Annibale Rigotti intended.

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    Location: Royal Plaza, 71 Uthong Nai Alley, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 3.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 283 9411

    Map

    photo by Iudexvivorum (CC0 1.0) modified

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    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace was used as a summer dwelling by the Siamese royalty and their consorts. It is about 60 km north of Bangkok and within easy reach of Ayutthaya. Also called Bang Pa-In Summer Palace, the complex comprises several iconic buildings all around a large park. Renting an electric cart is a good way to go around, especially on hot days.

    Coming all the way from Bangkok just for the palace might not be worth the trip, but it is a great stop on the way to Ayutthaya. Proper attire is required similar to visiting the Grand Palace, meaning no short skirts, sleeveless shirts, and shorts.

    Location: Tambon Ban Len, Amphoe Bang Pa-in, Chang Wat Phra Nakhon, Ayutthaya 13160, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm

    Map

    photo by JJ Harrison (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Phyathai Palace

    Built in 1909 during King Rama V’s reign as a temporary royal residence, Phyathai Palace comprises 5 buildings all constructed in a combination of neo-gothic and Romanesque styles. The interiors showcase a rococo influence, complete with beautiful ceiling frescos, gilded Corinthian columns, and elaborately carved fretworks.

    Guided tours are often available on Saturdays at 9.30am and 1.30pm. Otherwise, you are usually free to walk around the palace grounds.

    Location: 315 Ratchawithi Rd, Thung Phaya Thai, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 1 pm to 3 pm (closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 354 7987

    Map

    photo by Hdamm (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Sanam Chandra Palace

    Sanam Chandra Palace is set in a beautiful park full of giant trees and perfectly manicured lawns winding around ponds and lakes. In the middle of this garden stands a very unlikely building: a yellow castle worthy of a Cinderella fairytale.

    Located 50 km west of Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom was built in 1907 in the small town of Nakhon Pathom. It's well-known for housing the world's tallest stupa called Phra Pathom Chedi. Despite being located only 1 km from it, this unusual royal palace sees very few local visitors.

    Location: Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm

    Map

    photo by Mr.Peerapong Prasutr (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Suan Pakkad Palace is a place to find visions of Thailand you thought long since vanished in Bangkok. Its name means 'cabbage patch', referring to times when the land was nothing more than just that. Today, however, it's a well-tended tropical garden with serene ponds surrounding 8 traditional Thai houses, each of which brims with fine arts, antiques and oddities belonging to Prince and Princess Chumbhot.

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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

    Map
    7

    Wangderm Palace

    Wangderm Palace, also called Phra Racha Wang Derm, was built to mark the establishment of the new capital in Thonburi. After liberating Siam from the Burmese in 1767, a general and provincial governor named Taksin was crowned King. He built this palace on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River near Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn).

    The Thonburi palace occupies a site once of great strategic importance, behind the Wichayen Fort and other fortifications that guarded access to the Kingdom's port. Visits are by appointment and limited to only 2 groups of 5 or more.

    Location: 1 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and from 1 pm to 4 pm (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +66 (0)2 475 4117

    Map

    photo by Toey19863 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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