1 week in Thailand itinerary: where to go? + My Best Tips


Thailand Itinerary: One Week – What to Do + Where to Stay?

You want to go for a 1 week trip to Thailand and you’re looking for the best Itinerary?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this recommended Itinerary for a week in Thailand. You will discover some of the best places to visit in the country!

In this itinerary, you will visit the 3 great classics: Bangkok, the capital; Ayutthaya, the famous historical park; and Chiang Mai in the North.

A quick note: If you prefer to visit the Southern islands like Phuket, Koh Lanta or the province of Krabi, you should rather read my other itinerary: How to spend 6, 7 or 8 days in Southern Thailand?

For this itinerary, in addition to the best things to do and must-see attractions, I will also give you all my best tips as well as a list of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the things to do in Thailand in one week?  Where to stay?

1) Bangkok (2 days)

For your one week trip to Thailand, you must land directly at Bangkok, the country’s capital.

To reach downtown Bangkok from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, located further East, there are 3 possibilities:

1) Take the Airport Rail Link, the train that connects the airport to the city. This is the quickest and cheapest solution.

The train is in the basement of the airport. You can book your transport directly at the automatic terminals. Don’t be surprised, the ticket is actually a token that you will have to keep, as you have to insert it in the doorway at the end of the journey to be able to exit.

The fare is calculated based on the distance travelled. Remember to check your hotel address beforehand to know which station you should get off at. From the airport to the terminal (Phaya Thaï station), it costs only 45 Bahts! (less than 1 Euro 50 cents)

There are departures every 15 minutes from 6am to midnight and the journey takes just 30 minutes from one end of the line to the other.

The Airport Rail Link is connected to the BTS (skyline) and the MRT (underground metro), which is very convenient for most hotels.

If your accommodation in Bangkok is not located near a public transport station, you will then have to finish the journey by taxi. Do not accept a fixed fare, always ask the driver to turn on the meter.

Taking the Airport Rail Link is really the best way to avoid traffic jams and get to the city centre quickly.

2) Take a taxi. 

They can be found on level 1 of the airport. You will first have to take a ticket at an automatic terminal to make your reservation. You will then be given the number of the spot to wait for your taxi.

Before you leave, ask the driver to turn on the metre. Do not accept a fixed fare, which will always be higher than with the meter. Note that if the driver takes the highway, tolls shall be payable.

To reach the city centre, it costs between 250 and 450 Bahts depending on where you are going and the traffic conditions. During rush hour and at certain points in Bangkok, you may be stuck for several minutes and the fare will be affected.

You must ask your hotel to provide directions in Thai for your driver. Some of them don’t speak English, and with the hundreds of hotels in Bangkok, it is difficult to find the right one, even for them.

3) Book a private transfer by clicking on the button below.

The “no stress” option: your driver will be waiting for you when you will arrive in Bangkok, with a sign bearing your name:

Getting around in Bangkok tuk-tuk
Getting around in Bangkok

After these practical considerations and a good night’s sleep, you are now ready to begin your one-week tour of Thailand by visiting Bangkok.

Go to the symbolic spot in the city: the Grand Palace (or Royal Palace). If your hotel is nearby, you can just walk there. Otherwise, you will need to take a taxi as there is no metro nearby.

The Grand Palace has long served as a residence for Thai rulers and has hundreds of buildings, pavilions and palaces. During your visit, be sure to visit the the royal chapel at the Emerald Buddha Temple. The statue there is revered by all Thai people.

You can also discover the Chakri Mahat Prasat palace, one of the most imposing buildings in the complex, the residence of King Rama V.

The Grand Palace is open every day. The entrance ticket costs 500 Bahts per person.

After visiting the Grand Palace, continue exploring Bangkok with the other must-see tourist attraction, Wat Pho (the entrance free is 200 Bahts). You can walk there, as it is only 5-10 minutes away.

The Wat Pho has the largest statue of a sleeping Buddha in the city. It is 45 metres long and 15 metres tall.

And to complete the trio of the unmissable spots, you must go to the Wat Arun.

Located on the bank opposite Wat Pho, you have to take a river shuttle to cross it (4 Bahts). It stops directly in front of the entrance (50 Bahts).

At Wat Arun, you can admire the tower (a Prang in Thai), which is 82 metres high and 4 smaller ones, entirely covered in mosaics.

You should know that for the Grand Palace, Wat Pho or Wat Arun, there are no explanations are provided at the sites. So if you want to know everything about the history and construction of these emblematic monuments, you must book a guided tour. Just click here!

Wat Arun
Wat Arun

Then take the shuttle back.

For the rest of this first day in Bangkok, you can choose between 2 museum visits, each of which is equally interesting, to soak up Thai culture:

  • The Siam Museum: a really fun museum with games and videos on the history of Thailand. It is less than a 10-minute walk from the landing pier. The ticket costs 300 Bahts.
  • Bangkok National Museum which also depicts the history of the country but in a more traditional way than the Siam Museum. This is the largest museum in Southeast Asia. It is 2.1 km away from the landing pier. The entrance ticket costs 200 Bahts.

After leaving the museum, head for Bangkok’s most famous street: Khao San Road. It is just a few steps from the National Museum. Here you will find jewellery and souvenir shops, as well as a multitude of bars and restaurants.

Finally, to end the day surrounded by beauty and discover the most magnificent temples of Bangkok illuminated at night, you must take a river cruise.

Guests can enjoy the view and a buffet meal. You can book it by clicking the button below:

And for the more luxurious and less touristy version, you can take this dinner cruise aboard an old rice barge:

It is up to you to choose!

Spend the night in Bangkok.

Dinner Cruise Bangkok
Dîner croisière à Bangkok

For the second day of your 1 week stay in Thailand, we’ll continue exploring Bangkok.

Head for the Golden Mount Temple (Wat Saket) for a small climb in the cool (or not!) air, on steps leading to the panoramic terrace. From the top, you will have a 360° view of Bangkok.

The entrance costs 50 Bahts.

Wat Saket is located close to Chinatown, making it the perfect opportunity to go and discover the Chinese district and stroll through the lively and colourful streets.

Don’t forget to visit the area’s best-known temple, Wat Traimit temple, which has a 5.5 ton gold Buddha statue. Entrance ticket costs 40 Bahts.

Wat Traimit
Le Wat Traimit

After all this activity, you can go and enjoy a greener and quieter setting in the largest park of the city, Lumpini park. The easiest way to get there from Chinatown is to take the subway from Hua Lamphong Station to Lumpini stop.

In the park, there are paths, playgrounds for children and a lake where you can go paddle-boating. You will end up meeting the local inhabitants: Malay varans, which strongly resemble Komodo dragons.

From there, you can continue this day in Bangkok, to the Siam district. Get your bank cards ready, this is the hub for all major shopping centres. A paradise for shoppers!

There is absolutely everything: electronics, clothes, souvenirs, jewellery. And even if you don’t feel like shopping, I can assure you that you will enjoy the air-conditioning!

They also all have a large food court where the hardest thing is deciding what to eat.

To conclude your stay in Bangkok, you can choose between 2 totally different activities in the evening:

Spend another night in Bangkok.

For more information on all places to see in Bangkok, please read our article: Bangkok: the definitive guide.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit the temples in Bangkok or any city during this week in Thailand, you will have to have your shoulders and legs covered.

If you don’t have shawls or long skirts/trousers, you can rent one at the entrance or buy one un peu partout pour 100 Bahts. Voilà pourquoi tous les touristes se retrouvent affublés d’un magnifique pantalon avec des éléphants dessus!

Accommodation in Bangkok

To help you with the hundreds of available accommodations, here is my selection of the best hotels to stay in Bangkok!

The best hotels near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho:

  • D Hostel Bangkok: Youth hostel located near the temples and 5 minutes on foot from Khao San Road. Dormitory beds start at €20. Strong points: The location within walking distance to the temples, the cleanliness, the modern decor. Perfect for small budgets!
  • Rambuttri Village Plaza: Located 1.5 kilometer from the Grand Palace and 500 meters from Khao San Road. Bright and pleasant double rooms starting at €30 a night, breakfast included. Strong points: Location, the rooftop swimming pools.
  • Baan Wanglang Riverside, Bangkok: A hotel located on the riverbank opposite the Grand Palace, only 5 minutes away by shuttle boat. Spacious double rooms with a river view starting at €50. Strong points: The amazing river view, the rooftop, the proximity to the 3 main temples of Bangkok.
  • Siri Heritage Bangkok Hotel: A brand new hotel, 10 minutes on foot from the Grand Palace and 1km from the National Museum. Warm and comfortable rooms with a balcony starting at €70, breakfast included. Strong points: The surroundings, the comfortable beds, the friendly staff, the pool. It’s my favorite for its amazing value for money around the Grand Palace!
  • Inn a day: located 600 meters away from the Grand Palace. Rooms with unusual and atypical industrial style decoration starting at €100, breakfast included. Strong points: Amazing view of the river and Wat Arun, excellent breakfast, the design.
  • Chakrabongse Villas: On the riverbank, only a 15 minute walk to Wat Pho. Rooms and suites with Oriental yet modern decor start at €170, breakfast included. Strong points: The incomparable view of Wat Arun, the excellent location, the pool. It’s my recommendation for a romantic stay in Bangkok!

The best quiet hotels near the metro (to get around easily)

  • Bangkok Patio: Located 10 minutes away on foot from the BTS Skytrain. Super spacious and modern studios and apartments with equipped kitchens and balconies starting at €40 per night. Strong points: The pool, the quiet, the location. It’s my favorite for its excellent value for money! Also perfect for family holidays.
  • Noursabah Boutique Bed Bangkok: Situated 500 meters from the BTS and Airport Rail Link (a direct line to the airport). Well decorated rooms with super comfortable bed begin at €50 a night with breakfast included. Strong points: The quiet, the comfort, food is available (noodles, yogurt, cereal), water, fruit juice 24 hours a day, super convenient to go to the airport.
  • Anajak Bangkok Hotel: Located 5 minutes from the metro and the Airport Rail Link. Very comfortable and cozy rooms starting at €75 a night with breakfast. Strong points: The calm location, the pool, the style of the rooms. An excellent choice for visiting Bangkok or to easily get to the airport at the end of your trip.
  • Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn: Situated just a few steps from the metro. Spacious rooms with large bay windows, staring at €115 including breakfast. Strong points: The great value for money, the infinity pool, the delicious breakfast, the direct access to the metro. It’s my recommendation for a high-end stay in Bangkok.
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok: Luxury hotel with direct access to Siam Paragon shopping center and the BTS. Elegant and contemporary rooms starting at €230, breakfast included. Strong points: The large pools and garden, the jacuzzi, the spa, the excellent breakfast. The best hotel in Bangkok for a luxurious stay!



Bangkok Grand Palace
Le Grand Palais de Bangkok

2) Ayutthaya (1 day)

For the second leg of this 1 week long trip in Thailand, leave Bangkok and head to Ayutthaya, 75 km away.

There are several ways to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok:

1) By car: you can easily explore Thailand in 1 week if you have rented a car. This is the best solution to be able to see most of the sights and not be dependent on the schedules.

As Ayutthaya is located in the North of Bangkok, it is best to rent your car at Don Muang airport (not to be confused with Suvarnabhumi airport, where you arrived), which is right on the way. You can then reach Ayutthaya in 45 minutes.

I suggest you compare prices on Booking.com Cars. The site is really convenient to find the prices of all rental agencies at the airport.

To compare the prices of a car rental in Thailand, just click on the button below:

(2) By train: the cheapest option with a train ticket costing only 15 Bahts and the journey takes 2 hours.

3) By bus: It takes 90 minutes and costs 50 Bahts

4) In a minivan:  It takes one hour and costs 70 Bahts

Once in Ayutthaya, you can then spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic Park.


The place is vast and has several ancient   temples spread over different areas. If you don’t have a car, it is best to rent a bike. It’s impossible to go everywhere on foot. It costs 50 Bahts for the day.

If you don’t feel like cycling, you can also rent a scooter (200 Bahts) or book a tuk tuk for 1 day. The driver takes you everywhere and waits for you when you visit the temples. However, it is the most expensive option: 1200 Bahts (try to negotiate a little).

Entrance to the temples is charged: 50 Bahts for the main ones, 20 Bahts or free for the lesser known or more remote ones. To save some money, you must take the 6 temples pass for 220 Bahts.

It includes:

  • Wat Mahathat
  • Wat Ratchaburana
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • Wat Phra Ram
  • Wat Maheyong
  • Wat Chai Watthanaram

I have explained everything in detail in my article dedicated entirely to the historical park of Ayutthaya. Here you will find all the information you need:

  • How to visit Ayutthaya: practical information
  • The temples to see 
  • How much time does it take to visit Ayutthaya
  • The tourist map of the temples
  • A circuit to visit Ayutthaya in 1 day
  • The history of the historical city

You really must read it before you go, just click on this link: Ayutthaya: the definitive guide.

Wat Chai Watthanaram Ayutthaya
Wat Chai Watthanaram Ayutthaya

For those who don’t want to bother with logistical matters, there is one last option when visiting Ayutthaya: book an organised day trip from Bangkok.

Everything is provided:

  • Bus service from your hotel in Bangkok to the historical park
  • A guide to accompany you on temple visits
  • Entrance fees to the temples
  • Lunch
  • Return by boat with river cruise

To book your outing, just click on the button below:

And if you don’t like group trips, you can also take a private driver for the day for a round-trip between Bangkok and Ayutthaya. This is very practical as the car takes you to the entrance of each temple and waits for you there.

Reserve by clicking here!

At the end of the day, you can either return to Bangkok, spend the night in Ayutthaya or leave directly for Chiang Mai. I’ll explain these different options for the third leg.

Accommodation in Ayutthaya

  • Early Bird Hostel Ayutthaya: Hostel located 700 metres from Wat Mahathat. Dormitory bed from €13, breakfast included. Strong points: friendly staff, cleanliness, privacy thanks the curtain. Perfect for backpackers!
  • Baan Baimai Boutique Room: Located 1.7 km from Wat Mahathat or 5 minutes by car. Spacious and well decorated double room from € 27. Strong points: quiet, decor, private parking. An excellent choice for cheap accommodation in Ayutthaya!
  • P.U. Inn Resort: Located 5 minutes from the bus station and 10 minutes from Mahathat temple. Comfortable and colourful double room from €45. Strong points: swimming pool, central location, warm welcome.
  • Baan Thai House: Located 1.4 km from Wat Yai Chai Mongkon. Spacious villa with balcony and garden or lake view from €65, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool, outdoors, good meals, setting, calm.
  • Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Ayutthaya: 5 minute drive from Yai Chai Mongkon Temple. Double room with kitchenette and sitting area, modern and spacious, from €75, breakfast included. Strong points: facilities, comfort, swimming pool, spa.
  • Sala Ayutthaya: Located 1.6 km from the historical park and the Wat Chai Watthanaram. Modern double room with exposed red bricks from €140, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool, view of the river and the temples, food quality, hotel design. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Ayutthaya!
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkon Ayutthaya
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkon Ayutthaya

3) Chiang Mai (3 days)

For the rest of your week-long trip to Thailand, you’ll now explore the capital of the North of the country: Chiang Mai.

As I told you before, at the end of your day in Ayutthaya, there are several options for continuing your holiday and reaching Chiang Mai, which is 600 km away.

1) You can choose to fly. To do this you have to go back to Bangkok, Ayutthaya has no airport.

If you have opted for the organised trip or a private driver, as you have already planned to return to Bangkok, it can be really convenient. And if you have visited Ayutthaya by yourself, just take the train / bus / minivan in the opposite direction to get back to Bangkok.

Flying is the quickest way (only 1 hour flight!) to get to Chiang Mai and honestly, the prices are really reasonable.

Feel free to compare flight prices for Chiang Mai using our comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner. You can rest assured that you will get the best rates.

2) Take a night train from Ayutthaya to go to Chiang Mai.

It is the cheapest solution but the slowest with 12 hours of travel time. Book a berth to try to sleep a little and get ready for Chiang Mai.

3) Spend the night in Ayutthaya and catch the day train the next day. It is a little faster than the night train, but you will be travelling on classic benches.

4) Spend the night in Ayutthaya and drive to Chiang Mai if you have rented a car for this week-long tour in Thailand. The journey takes 8 hours.

Once you arrive in Chiang Mai, here’s how you can explore the city and its surroundings.

On the first day, go and discover the old town. There you will find all the main temples to visit, museums and plenty of bars and restaurants.

To optimise your trip to the city, I have prepared an itinerary:

  • Visit Wat Phra Singh, the most famous temple in Chiang Mai. Free entry.
  • Explore Wat Chedi Luang where the Emerald Buddha once stood, which you saw during your visit to the Grand Palace of Bangkok. The entrance fee is 40 bahts.
  • A quick stop for taking photos at Wat Inthakhin Sadue Muang, a temple made of teak. Free of cost.
  • Going to the the Three Kings Monument
  • Visit of one of the 3 museums in the monument square:  the cultural centre, the history centre or the Lanna museum of popular arts. They all depict the history of the city and the province.
  • Head to Wat Chiang Man, the oldest temple in the city, dating back to the 13th century.
  • Then go to Moon Muang Road
  • Walk along the alleys of Warorot market. With its numerous fruit and vegetable stalls, it is the largest market in the city.
  • See the temples of Wat Saen Fang, Wat Buppharam and Wat Mahawan. All 3 are really beautiful and unique. Only the Buppharam temple has an entrance fee: 20 Bahts.
  • Finish your day at the Night Bazaar on weekdays or the Saturday or Sunday Night Market on weekends. You can stock up on souvenirs and try the excellent Thai street food. Guided tours of the market with tastings of delicious dishes are also organised.

However, you should book them in advance by clicking on the button below:

Spend the night in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Man Wat Chiang Mai Old Town
Chiang Man Wat, in Chiang Mai Old Town

The following day, continue your one-week stay in Thailand by visiting the surroundings of Chiang Mai.

You must go to Doi Suthep National Park. There are several interesting spots in the park:

  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a hill-top temple with spectacular views across Chiang Mai. The entrance costs 30 Bahts.
  • Bhubing Palace (50 Bahts) is the winter residence of the royal family. You can stroll around the well-maintained and flowery gardens.
  • Hmong Doi Pui Village (10 Bahts), with a well-maintained garden with a waterfall flowing through it.
  • Mon Than Waterfall (100 Bahts): a large waterfall in the forest
  • Huay Kaew Waterfall: another small waterfall at the entrance to the park. Free entry.

To visit the park, the best option is by car or scooter.

You’ll also find song thaew (shared taxi) that leave from the old town and take you from one point to another, but you will have to wait until they are full every time to leave.

The last and practical option if you do not want to drive or depend on song thaew, is to book an organised trip. 

You will be picked up in front of your hotel and a 10-seater minibus with will transport you to the temple and the Hmong village. You will also receive explanations from the guide.

You can book your trip by clicking on the button below:

Chiang Mai Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep Temple, in Chiang Mai

In the afternoon, after having walked through the Doi Suthep National Park, you can go and relax a little on the shoresr of the Huay Tung Tao Lake.

It takes 15 minutes from the city centre by car or scooter. The place is very popular with locals who come to eat fresh fish in the small wooden huts located by the water.

There are swimming areas and paddle boat rentals.

Be sure to visit the area with straw sculptures of giant animals (gorillas, lions, elephants) where you can click some photos.

The entrance fee to the lake is 50 Bahts.

In the evening, if you haven’t done so already in Bangkok, you can attend a Muay Thai boxing fight. There are 3 different places where fights take place depending on the day of the week.

Ask your hotel, they will tell you. A seat for the evening with several fights costs between 400 and 600 Bahts.

Spend another night in Chiang Mai.

Huay Tung Tao Lake
Huay Tung Tao Lake

On the last day of your 1-week road trip in Thailand, you can choose from 3 options depending on your interests:

1) In the morning, learn Thai gastronomy by taking a cooking class. It is one of the most popular activities in the province.

The chef takes you to the market in the morning to buy all the ingredients you need to make the recipes and then you spend the morning cooking. The whole thing ends with the tasting of your dishes at lunch.

You’ll even leave with a recipe booklet to make the dishes at home.

To take a cooking class in Chiang Mai, just click on the following button:

In the afternoon, you can walk the food off in the city, and see Wat Si Suphan, a temple made entirely of silver, or visit a museum.

And why not end with another Thai speciality: a good massage!

Thai cuisine
Discover the excellent Thai cuisine

2) As it would be a shame to go to Thailand for a week without going to see the country‘s emblematic animals, you can spend your third day in Chiang Mai in an elephant sanctuary.

These shelters collect abused animals to care for them and to recreate their natural the living conditions as closely as possible.

You cannot ride on their backs, you can help the caretakers by giving elephants food and giving them a bath.

The sanctuaries welcome a limited number of visitors every day, so it is strongly recommended to book this day in advance:

Elephants Thailand
Aller voir les éléphants à Chiang Mai

3) The last option for those who would like to have a thrilling experience, you can try one or more sports activities

There is no shortage of options in Chiang Mai (click links to book):

Regardless of what you choose to do in the day, spend one last night in Chiang Mai.

The next day, we’ll be at the end of your 1 week vacation in Thailand, it will be time to take your return flight. Chiang Mai has an international airport, so you can either go straight home or catch a connecting flight through Bangkok.

For more information about visiting Chiang Mai, read our article: Top 20 things to do in Chiang Mai.

Accommodation in Chiang Mai

The best hotels in Chiang Mai are booked very quickly so remember to book as early as possible!

  • HOSTEL by BED: Youth hostel located 500 meters from Wat Phra Sing and the Sunday market. The beds are in a modern and clean dormitory and start at 10€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: clean rooms and common areas, a good and healthy breakfast, bottled water. This is the best budget accommodation in Chiang Mai. Perfect for backpackers!
  • Wing Bed: Located in the old town, 800 meters from Wat Chedi Luang. Comfortable and cosy double rooms starting at 35€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: brand new building, ideal location, excellent service. It’s my recommendation in Chiang Mai for its outstanding value for money!
  • Pingviman Hotel: Located 10 minutes away from the weekend market and 700 meters from Wat Phra Sing. Thai style double rooms with carved wooden furniture, spa bath and balcony, starting at 80€, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool, traditional decoration, perfect location, comfort.
  • 99 The Heritage Hotel: Located in the pedestrian street of the Sunday night market. Double room with tasteful decoration and very comfortable bedding starting at 135€, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool, friendly staff, good location, free mini bar, fruits and cakes available all day long. A great choice for a romantic stay in Chiang Mai!
  • Chala Number6: 5* hotel located in the historic center, 200 meters away from Wat Chedi Luang. This luxury hotel offers spacious and very comfortable rooms, starting at 190€, breakfast included. Strong points: swimming pool and garden, lovely staff, charming hotel, snacks offered every day. It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay!
Wat Chedi Luang Chiang Mai
Wat Chedi Luang, in Chiang Mai

Feel free to give us your opinion and suggestions on our one-week itinerary in Thailand!

Visit Thailand: flight prices

Since flight prices for Thailand vary greatly, it is a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. To do this, you can use our flight comparison tool, in partnership with Skyscanner. You can rest assured that you will get the best rates.

Once on the results page, you can compare several sites to ensure that there are no additional fees in the final fares.

Book your trip now and save money!

Thailand travel Guides

You’re traveling to Thailand? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Thailand: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand are listed there.

The 25 Best Things to Do in Thailand

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thailand itinerary 1 week
Thailand itinerary 1 week

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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