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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.
We know you really want to get the most out of your trip to Grand Palace. So, we've rounded up some of the most popular things you can do on your visit:
If you're after even more options, take a look at our Bangkok things to do page.
Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Khao San, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Khaosan Road. Thammasat University and Temple of the Emerald Buddha are also within 1 mi (2 km).
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).
Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Grand Palace. Khaosan Road and Wat Arun are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Bangkok Riverside. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 10 minutes. Bangkok Thonburi Station is 27 minutes by foot.
Located in Khao San, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, Phra Sumen Fort, and Khaosan Road. Democracy Monument and National Gallery Bangkok are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.