Whatever your budget, Bangkok is an affordable city but costs can add up. Our guide will help you understand how much money you will need for Bangkok.
How Much Money Do I Need for Bangkok? © Saranya Chawanrattanasakul
Whether you’re backpacking or living the luxury life, it’s important to budget before you get to Bangkok so you have an idea of how much you can spend.
From backpacker hostels to ultra-luxury hotels, cheap outdoor bars to rooftop lounges, street food to Michelin dining, Bangkok’s huge level of variety means you can live on a strict budget or spend thousands of pounds per day, depending on your tastes and needs.
In this guide, we’ll explain the costs of travelling in Bangkok and provide some advice on how much you should budget for your holiday. From accommodation to nightlife, read on to learn how much money you should budget for your trip to Bangkok.
Bangkok Costs – Quick Facts
- Bangkok can be an incredibly affordable city if you can live like a local, with tasty street food and plenty of affordable things to do
- Costs can add up significantly if you enjoy the nightlife or prefer to eat Western food, which is significantly more expensive than Thai food
- Bangkok is home to some of Asia’s most affordable luxury hotels, so the city is a great place for a luxurious holiday that doesn’t break the bank
- Accommodation prices are cheaper in low season, making it the best time of year for travellers seeking value for money
- While you can get by in Bangkok for 1,000 to 1,500 baht per day ($30 to $45 USD), you’ll probably want to spend more for a more comfortable and flexible holiday
ATMs And Credit Cards In Bangkok
ATMs are incredibly easy to find in Bangkok and accept almost all Western bank cards. As a foreign bank account holder, you’ll pay a 150 baht surcharge for every withdrawal. It’s best to withdraw large amounts of cash (5,000 – 10,000 baht) at once to lessen the impact of fees.
Credit Cards are accepted in most shopping malls and restaurants in Bangkok. Street food stands and some small restaurants will only accept cash (and many will only reluctantly take 1,000 baht bills for small orders) so make sure you keep some cash in your wallet.
Khao San Road Market © Justin Vidamo
Daily Budget For Budget Travellers In Bangkok
Do you have a tight travel budget? Despite its size and relatively high level of development compared to other cities in Southeast Asia, Bangkok can be an incredibly affordable place to travel if you’re willing to live and eat like a local.
It’s possible to get by on 1,000 to 1,500 baht per day in Bangkok. Your life won’t be luxurious by any means, but you’ll be able to stay at a comfortable guesthouse or hostel and eat tasty Thai street food.
Bangkok’s most affordable accommodation is located around Khao San Road, where small guesthouse rooms are available from around 500 baht per night. There’s also a selection of cheap guesthouses around BTS National Stadium, close to the MBK Centre.
Most attractions in Bangkok charge entry fees, so you’ll need to increase your budget if you want to visit the Grand Palace or lots of museums. Despite the fees at Bangkok’s popular attractions, there’s plenty to do in Bangkok for free or at a low cost.
Stick to street food and local Thai restaurants to avoid spending more than you need to on food. Shopping mall food courts are great places to get large, tasty Thai meals for 50 to 100 baht each.
Budget Hotels In Bangkok – Some Examples
- Chan Cha La 99 Hostel
Chan Cha La 99 Hostel offers comfortable double rooms with shared bathrooms and Wi-Fi at affordable prices. The hostel is located close to BTS Bang Chak, making it a convenient hotel choice for travellers that want to use Bangkok’s public transport system.
- Loftel 22 Hostel
Loftel 22 Hostel has a great location in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown district, and double rooms with shared bathrooms from 700 baht per night. Dorm beds are available from 300 baht per night, making this a great budget accommodation option.
- Zhongdee Hostel
Zhongdee Hostel has a great location on Pan Road in Silom, one of Bangkok’s most popular nightlife districts. Private twin rooms are available from 700 baht per night, with dorm rooms priced from just 300 baht per night.
- Au Bon Hostel
Au Bon Hostel hostel is located close to Khao San Road, Bangkok’s backpacker hotspot and nightlife district. A short walk from attractions like the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, it offers a selection of double rooms from 600 baht per night.
- 3Howw Hostel at Khaosan
3Howw Hostel at Khaosan is located a short walk from Khao San Road. It offers dorm beds from 350 baht per night and private rooms from 800 baht per night. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi
MBK Shopping Centre © Jason D
Daily Budget for a 3-4 Star Holiday in Bangkok
On a slightly higher budget? If you’re willing to spend 2,500 to 5,000 baht per day, you can upgrade your quality of hotel, visit more attractions and enjoy a wider range of restaurants, bars and nightlife in Bangkok.
A budget of 2,500 to 5,000 baht per day is enough to stay in a three or four star hotel, eat at most of Bangkok’s mid range and high-end restaurants and easily get around the city by taxi instead of depending on the BTS, khlong boats and bus system.
Western food in Bangkok is priced from 200 baht up to several thousand baht per meal. If you feel like a break from Thai food, you’ll need to spend around 300 baht per person for a decent Western meal in a shopping mall, and slightly more in most restaurants.
Four star hotels in Bangkok start from about 2,000 per night, although prices are higher in the high season from November until February. If you’re willing to spend more than 2,000 a night on accommodation, you’ll be able to stay in a comfortable room in a centrally located area.
Mid Range Hotels In Bangkok – Some Examples
- SSIP Boutique Dhevej Bangkok
SSIP Boutique Dhevej Bangkok is a stylish four star hotel located close to the Chao Phraya River, Khao San Road and the Grand Palace. Deluxe twin and double rooms are available from 2,000 baht per night.
- Centre Point Silom Hotel
Located a short walk from BTS Saphan Taksin, Centre Point Silom Hotel offers comfortable four star rooms in an excellent location. This hotel is located close to Taksin Pier, making it a good option for visitors that want to explore Bangkok via the Chao Phraya Express Boat.
- Centre Point Hotel Chidlom
The Centre Point Hotel Chidlom is a four star hotel located on Lang Suan Road, one of the most central and prestigious addresses in Bangkok. Luxurious and close to public transport, its rooms start from 2,600 baht per night.
- Ramada Hotel & Suites
Ramada Hotel & Suites is located on Sukhumvit Soi 12, a short walk from some of Bangkok’s most popular nightlife districts. With a large outdoor swimming pool and 24-hour tuk tuk to the nearby BTS station, it’s a convenient and affordable choice.
- TENFACE Bangkok Hotel
Located on a small soi off Soi Ruamrudee, TENFACE Bangkok Hotel offers spacious suites in a quiet location from 2,500 baht per night. The hotel offers a free tuk tuk shuttle to Ploenchit BTS Station.
High “end” Dining © Jonas
Daily Budget for a Luxury Holiday in Bangkok
Bangkok is home to some of the world’s most affordable luxury hotels, making it a great place to extend your budget and enjoy a level of luxury that isn’t as affordable in most destinations.
Five star hotels in Bangkok start from around 4,000 baht per night, with the most luxurious options priced at 10,000 per night or more. Luxury hotels are significantly more expensive in high season, which lasts from November until the end of February.
For a true luxury experience in Bangkok, you’ll want to budget between 6,000 and 15,000 per day. Beyond accommodation, dining and nightlife can quickly increase your budget if you like to enjoy fine food and luxury nightlife.
Bangkok is home to an excellent range of high-end restaurants offering Thai food and a great range of international dishes. If you’ve got the budget, you can enjoy excellent cuisine from all over the world while you’re in Bangkok.
Luxury Hotels in Bangkok – Some Examples
- Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Arguably Bangkok’s most well known luxury hotel, the Mandarin Oriental has a great location on the Chao Phraya River, several excellent bars and restaurants and a selection of elegant rooms and suites.
- The Okura Prestige Bangkok
The Okura Prestige is a modern luxury hotel located in Bangkok’s commercial centre. With a great outdoor swimming pool and selection of modern rooms and suites, it’s a conveniently located option for guests that want to shop in Bangkok.
- Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
Located next to Siam Paragon, one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping centres, the Siam Kempinski Hotel offers a selection of luxurious rooms and suites. One of Bangkok’s newest five star hotels, its convenient location and luxurious rooms make it an excellent choice.
- Hansar Bangkok Hotel
Hansar Bangkok Hotel offers a selection of luxurious suites in Ratchadamri, one of Bangkok’s most convenient locations. Excellent views over Bangkok’s skyline and Lumpini Park make it a good choice for people that want to stay in a central but relaxing location.
- Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel
Located close to Bangkok’s best shopping malls in Ratchaprasong, the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel is a modern five star hotel in a great location. The Renaissance is one of the few hotels in Bangkok with an indoor swimming pool.
Cocktail? © Tim Lucas
Nightlife In Bangkok
Bangkok’s nightlife ranges from unbelievably cheap to very expensive, depending largely on your choice of drink and venue. Luckily, even Bangkok’s luxury rooftop bars are affordable in comparison to similar nightlife in London, New York City and other big cities.
- Cans and bottles of beer are available from 7/11 from 35 baht. Well known brands of spirits are priced similarly to Western countries, although local rum and whiskey are available from 250 baht per bottle.
- Due to import taxes and an extremely small domestic wine industry, wine is very expensive in Thailand. Be prepared to pay 2-3 times as much as you would at home for a bottle of wine in a Thai supermarket, bar or restaurant.
- A pack of cigarettes in Thailand costs 90 to 120 baht, making them relatively cheap compared with Europe and North America. Craft beer and cigars are quite expensive in Thailand due to high import taxes.
- Nightlife in areas such as Khao San Road is extremely cheap, with local beers available from 60 baht per bottle and cocktails for less than 100 baht. Beers at most mid range bars cost 120 to 200 baht per bottle, with cocktails priced from 150 to 300 baht or more.
- High-end bars and nightclubs, including Bangkok’s numerous rooftop bars, are significantly more expensive than other nightlife. Expect to pay at least 250 baht for a domestic beer and 350 baht or more for a cocktail in Vertigo, Park Society and other rooftop bars.
- Many of Bangkok’s nightclubs let customers buy a bottle of spirits and mixers to share with their table at a relatively low cost — usually two to three times the retail price. If any liquor is left at the end of the night, the bar can hold the bottle for when you next visit.This is a cost-effective way to enjoy a night out without spending 200+ baht per drink if you’re travelling in a group. Buckets, which are plastic buckets usually filled with cheap whiskey and a selection of sugary mixers, are a good low-cost drinking option on Khao San Road.
All in all, nightlife in Bangkok can be extremely affordable if you take advantage of Thailand’s tasty domestic beers and the good deals available on buckets and bottles at bars. If you like wine or craft beers, however, expect to spend more than you would in a Western country.
Food © Joseph Hunkins
Food in Bangkok
Bangkok is one of Asia’s best cities for cheap and tasty food. Street food is available from 30 baht per plate and is a great option if you’d like to eat on a budget. Almost all shopping malls in Bangkok have food courts with a selection of Thai dishes for 50 to 100 baht each.
Meals in most air conditioned restaurants will cost between 200 and 500 baht per person. On average, Western food is significantly more expensive than Thai food in Bangkok, with prices for most Western restaurants similar to what you’d find in the USA or UK.
Bangkok’s high-end restaurants offer excellent food from 1,000+ baht per person. Note that most mid range and high-end restaurants charge diners an additional 10% service charge and 7% VAT on top of the listed price of menu items.
Luxury Restaurants in Bangkok – Some Examples
- Nahm which is located inside the Metropolitan Hotel, is one of Bangkok’s most popular choices for high-end Thai dining.
- The Reflexions, which is located inside the Plaza Athenee Hotel, serves excellent French cuisine accompanied by a great wine list.
- Sensi offers excellent Italian food in a quiet location close to Silom and Sathorn.
Mid Range Restaurants in Bangkok – Some Examples
- Eat Me Restaurant in Silom offers a great international menu and tasty drinks.
- Phuket Town serves authentic Southern Thai dishes in a charming shophouse on Soi Thonglor.
- Limoncello on Thonglor Soi 9 offers excellent Italian pizza and pasta in a relaxed and quiet setting.
Budget Restaurants in Bangkok – Some Examples
- Street food on Sukhumvit Soi 38 is a great budget choice for visitors to Bangkok that want to sample local dishes.
- Sukhumvit Soi 3 is home to a selection of cheap and tasty Middle Eastern restaurants and street stalls.
- Almost all of Bangkok’s shopping malls have great food courts offering tasty Thai food from 30 baht per plate. Have a look herefor Terminal 21 and here for MBK.
BTS © My Train Pix
Getting Around Bangkok
BTS and MRT tickets start from 15 baht and offer inexpensive travel around the city, but not to all areas and attractions
Taxis start from 35 baht and are an inexpensive way to get around the city if you’re willing to tolerate the occasional traffic jam
River and khlong boats are a cheap way to get around the Riverside area, as well as a fun way to another side of Bangkok. See the Bangkok BTS and MRT map and our Getting Around Bangkok pages for more detailed info.
Siam Paragon © Jonas
Shopping In Bangkok
There are lots of great deals to be found in Bangkok, but don’t assume that everything costs less here than it does back home. High import and luxury taxes mean that a lot of items cost significantly more in Thailand than they do in most Western countries.
- Most brand name items are 10-30% more expensive in Thailand than in the United States or UK. Expect to pay a premium on imported watches, clothing, footwear and other brands due to Thailand’s high import taxes.
- Likewise, cameras and computers are about 20% more expensive than in Europe or the USA, unless on sale. Apple products are priced at a 10-20% premium in Thailand compared to what you would pay in Singapore or Hong Kong.
- With this said, Thailand is cheaper for some items. Generic products, such as clothing without any branding, is very cheap in Thailand due to the lowest cost of labour. T-shirts, jeans, shoes and other unbranded items can be found for about 50% of what they would cost elsewhere.
- Custom clothing is also extremely affordable in Bangkok, with tailors offering custom suits and shirts for less than 50% of the price in Europe or North America. Bangkok is also a good place to shop for inexpensive custom footwear.
It’s important to be aware that Thailand is a hotspot for counterfeit products, especially clothes and watches. If you spot a Louis Vuitton bag or Panerai watch that seems too cheap to be the real thing, it’s probably a fake. Markets like Patpong and Chatuchak are filled with fake goods.
- If you do buy counterfeit goods in Thailand, be aware that several European countries, most notably France, have strict anti-counterfeiting laws that could result in you facing fines when you return home.
- See our Bangkok Shopping Malls and Bangkok Markets pages for more detailed info.
Internet And Mobile Phones In Bangkok
- 3G and Wi-Fi Internet access is easy to find in Bangkok, making getting online a breeze even if you’re only here for a short holiday. Many cafes offer free Wi-Fi, although speeds can range from decent to completely unusable.Bangkok has many Internet cafes, most of which are aimed at students seeking a cheap and convenient place to play online games. Prices range from 10 baht per hour for local Internet cafes to 100+ baht per hour in major tourist spots.
- Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Bangkok and 3G connectivity is available in most of the city’s districts. Several Thai telecoms offer unlimited or inexpensive data. As a tourist, you can pick up a free SIM card at the airport for one of Thailand’s three major telecom providers.
- AIS, Thailand’s biggest telecom company, offers a Traveller SIM for 299 baht, which includes unlimited data for one week and 100 baht worth of calls. After you use one gigabyte of data, the speed will be capped at 256kbps. DTAC offers a Happy Tourist SIM for the same price, which includes unlimited data and 100 baht worth of calls. TrueMove offers a similar traveller plan, as well as very cheap weekly and monthly packages for tourists that do not include mobile data.
- All of Thailand’s telecom companies provide free tethering, making it easy to connect your notebook or tablet to the Internet via your mobile phone. All providers allow you to purchase additional 3G data, in case you exceed your download limit.
Medical Tourism In Thailand
Thailand is a popular medical tourism destination, offering world class hospitals and far lower prices than Europe and North America. Dentistry and plastic surgery are particularly popular in Thailand, with a large selection of clinics and hospitals offering high quality service.
On average, prices are less than 50% of the cost of similar services in North America, Europe and elsewhere in the West. Since the cost of services can vary dramatically from one hospital to another, it’s worth researching providers before you arrive in Thailand.
Laser eye surgery and prescription glasses are also more affordable in Thailand than in the West, although Thailand’s high import taxes mean that designer frames can inflate the price significantly.
Due to the prevalence of generic medicines in Thailand, many common drugs are available at lower prices than in Europe or North America. You will need a valid prescription to purchase prescription medicine in Thailand.
Toiletries And Essentials
Well known Western pharmacy brands like Watsons and Boots are easy to find in Bangkok, making it a good city for stocking up on essentials. Razors, cosmetics, tampons and other hygiene products are all available, often at lower prices than in Europe or North America.