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Grand Palace

The majestic European/Asian-style complex was once the home of the kings of Siam and is now both a place of worship and a must-see Bangkok landmark.

The gilded roofs of the Grand Palace are Bangkok’s most famous landmark. This not-to-be missed sight offers many photo opportunities outside, and more than 200 years of royal and sacred history inside the palace’s white walls. The complex is home to the much-worshipped Emerald Buddha and many elaborately decorated temples, statues and pagodas.

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 under King Rama I, who established Bangkok as Thailand’s capital. You can see his ancient thrones in Amarind Hall, the building that was once his residence as well as the Hall of Justice. The Grand Palace has remained the seat of the Thai royal families for more than 150 years and Thailand’s current king still uses it for ceremonies.

The Grand Palace today blends ornaments and architecture from Thai, Asian and European styles because each royal has added features that suit his taste. Check out the French-style Boromabiman Hall and the golden, bell-shaped 19th-century structure Phra Si Ratana. Visit the audience hall in Dusit Maha Prasat to see an ancient throne inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Next door is Chakri Maha Prasat, a neoclassical building topped with Thai spires. On weekdays, step inside to visit the weapons museum. The nearby Inner Palace was once the king’s harem, a village for women and children only. It is closed to the public.

Follow monks in saffron-colored robes to the most sacred place on the Grand Palace grounds, Wat Phra Kaew. Inside the temple, the small statue of the Emerald Buddha sits on its traditional Thai-style golden pedestal.

The Grand Palace is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the historic district. Taking a ferry is the most scenic way to get there, with a stop at the nearby Tha Chang pier. The complex closes in the mid-afternoon, so get there early. Cover your arms, legs and feet before you step inside. Join a free tour or browse the many Grand Palace buildings at your own pace with a guidebook or the audio tour, available to rent for an additional fee.


Guide to Exploring Grand Palace


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Riva Arun Bangkok ฿1,444
Riva Arun Bangkok

Riva Arun Bangkok

392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Siam and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Arom d Hostel
    Arom d Hostel

    Arom d Hostel

    336 Maharaj road, Phranakorn, Bangkok
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

      sala rattanakosin ฿2,244
      sala rattanakosin

      sala rattanakosin

      Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace. Tha Maharaj and Khaosan Road are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Pa Prank - Hostel
        Pa Prank - Hostel

        Pa Prank - Hostel

        110-112 Soi Phrang Sappasart, Soi San Chao Pho Suea, Bangkok, Bangkok
           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

          ARUN Riverside Bangkok ฿1,822
          ARUN Riverside Bangkok

          ARUN Riverside Bangkok

          87-89 Maharaj Road, Phrabarommaharachawaang, Bangkok, Phranakorn
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wat Pho, Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Khaosan Road and Wat Arun are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Inn A Day ฿2,195
            Inn A Day

            Inn A Day

            57-61 Maharat Road, Phra nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

              Sala Arun ฿2,676
              Sala Arun

              Sala Arun

              47-49 Soi Phen Pi Marn, Tha Tien, Phrabarommaharajchawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

                Chetuphon Gate ฿687
                Chetuphon Gate

                Chetuphon Gate

                370-372 Soi Pratoo Nokyoong, Maharaj Road, Bangkok
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace. Thammasat University and Khaosan Road are also within 2 mi (3 km). MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 29 minutes by foot.