Day trips from Bangkok to Ayutthaya are steeped in history and beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site might have been the largest city in the world during the 1700s and was the heart and soul of the country. Today, it’s a cultural and tourist hotspot in Thailand and is just 80km away from Bangkok.
A visit to Ayutthaya will see you learn all about Thailand’s history, with many of the remnants - including the headless Buddha - still around today. See why Ayutthaya was compared to Paris and Venice for its beauty, and discover ancient ruins and majestic temples.
What are the best things to see in Ayutthaya?
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet, otherwise known as the temple of the Buddha Si Sanphet, was the holiest temple on the site of the old Royal Palace. Its three bell-shaped chedis have become iconic in Ayutthaya, and it’s still one of the best-preserved on the island. It takes its name from the large standing Buddha image erected there in 1503.
Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
Bang Pa-In Summer Palace is a royal complex that’s within easy reach of Ayutthaya. Initially used as a summer retreat by Siamese royalty, it’s managed to keep much of its allure today. The Chinese-style palace features a throne room with ornamental tiles, and there is a scenic park that is ideal for a wander.
Home of the reclining Buddha, Wat Lokayasutharam is a place where you can get a real grip on how Ayutthaya looked before it was destroyed by the Burmese raids. The Buddha is 37 meters long and 8 meters high, with its head resting on a lotus flower. Take your time and stroll around Wat Lokayasutharam to bask in its history.
Wat Mahathat is a large temple complex that was constructed in 1370. Once the most important temple in the city, Wat Mahathat was home to many royal events. The Burmese attacks saw the temple destroyed, with the ruins on show for visitors today. Wat Mahathat provides visitors with a real sense of the devastation in the city of Ayutthaya went through during the Burmese attacks.
After King Intharacharthirat’s death in the fourteen hundreds, it was left to his two sons to duke it out for the crown - in an elephant duel to no less. Neither son survived, and the third son, Chao Sa Phraya, was left to take the throne. He ordered the construction of Wat Ratchaburana to remember his father and two brothers. Today, you can head deep inside the crypt at Wat Ratchaburana, where royal history tells a tale of desire to be king.
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
While the Burmese took most of the artefacts and jewellery during the raids, there were some items left over. What’s left can be found at The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, which is a great starting point to discover initially uncovered gold, stone buddha heads, and other engrossing items.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Located a few kilometres south of Ayutthaya, Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is one of the most significant temples in the area. It was built by King U-thong in 1357 for the use of monks - its name means The Temple of the Supreme Patriarch. The temple is still active today and is a popular destination with many tourists.
The Foreign Quarters
Ayutthaya enjoyed a position as one of the most important cities in the world, which meant that it had many visitors from foreign shores. The Foreign Quarters remains today and features a British, Portuguese, Dutch, and French quarters, with Catholic Churches in the area.
Chao Phrom Market
Thailand is famous for its wonderful markets with authentic Thai food and interesting items. Chao Phrom Market never shuts and has a wide selection of fresh produce that includes means, fish, fruits and veg. You can also find stalls with electrical good, just in case you need to get your hand on a TV for some reason.
How much do day trips from Bangkok to Ayutthaya cost?
You can find many day trips from Bangkok to Ayutthaya for around €50, with most of the iconic sights covered on your tour. There are more extensive tours available that cover all of the temples and important historical landmarks. These tend to cost around €150. If you choose to extend your day trip into an overnight stay, expect to pay in the region of €300-€500.
Experience a river cruise
As fun as it is to stroll the grounds of the palace and temples of Ayutthaya, going on a river cruise adds another dynamic and allows you to get a handful of pictures of these magnificent sights. If you’re short for time on one of your day trips from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, a river cruise is a great way to capture all of the temples at once.
How do you get from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, and how long does it take?
There are several ways to get to Bangkok to Ayutthaya. The train is one of the most popular methods, with trains leaving from Hualamphong Station in Bangkok’s city centre. They take around two hours. The bus offers a slightly shorter travel time, with journeys taking around 90 minutes. Many tour companies offer min-vans and other vehicles as a mode of transport, which takes between one and one-and-a-half hours. Lastly, river cruises are a great way to reach and visit Ayutthaya in style.
When is the best time to visit the Ayutthaya?
Ayutthaya tends to be hot and humid all year round. However, the best time to visit is between November and January, as there is less rainfall. January is the busiest time of the year and has plenty of tourists. March and April are the hottest times of the year, with the weather sometimes reaching 45c. If you’re not a fan of extreme heat, it might be a good idea to avoid in the off-season months.
There’s so much history in Ayutthaya, which is why it’s worth booking day trips with a tour guide who will provide even more insight into the city’s rich past. The weather can be very hot in Ayutthaya, so make sure that you wear appropriate clothing and keep yourself hydrated. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a device so that you can take plenty of pictures of the ruins and temples.