Thinking about an Ayutthaya day trip? From how to get there from Bangkok, Ayutthaya entrance fees, the best tours, the temples to visit, and my top tips for enjoying the UNESCO site, this ultimate guide has you covered!
If you are looking for a relaxing break from the constant chaos of Bangkok there is no better choice than a day trip to Ayutthaya. Being less than a couple of hours away will give you plenty of time to explore this history-filled UNESCO World Heritage Site for a short trip.
Though obviously if you are only visiting for a day you want to make the most out of the time you have. This means figuring out what is the best way to get there, and how to get around to see the temples once you arrive.
I was able to visit Ayutthaya on a day trip from Bangkok during one of my many trips to Thailand. Seriously this place is basically a second home to me and I love it here.
|How To Get To Ayutthaya
|Where To Book
|40 THB / $1.30
|Book On Day
|70 THB / $2.00
|Group Tour – BEST STRESS-FREE OPTION
In this post, you will find all the necessary information for your day tour to Ayutthaya. Find out whether to do it yourself or go on a tour, how to travel from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the best way to get around, and the top temples to visit.
Planning A Day Trip To Ayutthaya: All You Need To Know On Your Ayutthaya Tour
🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Thailand: 12Go Asia
Why You Should Visit Ayutthaya: The History
To truly appreciate the history of Thailand, no holiday would be complete without a visit to Ayutthaya. This historic city was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom having been founded in 1350. From the 14th to the 18th centuries it actually grew to one of the largest in the world, an important center of diplomacy and commerce.
Visiting you will understand why this area was chosen as the capital. Located on an island encompassed by three rivers that flow to the sea made it a strategic position. Though, unfortunately in 1767 Ayutthaya was attacked and razed by the Burmese. The city was burned to the ground and the locals who called it home had to flee.
What remains is now the popular UNESCO World Heritage Site covering a total of 289 hectares. The impressive Buddhist monasteries and tall ‘prang’ (reliquary towers) give an insight into the city’s past and the grandeur of the architecture.
How To Get To Ayutthaya From Bangkok
Luckily Ayuttahaya is relatively close to Bangkok making it the perfect option for a day trip. Transport generally takes between 1 to 2 hours to travel the 85 kilometers.
Some of the most popular options include taking a bus, train, taxi, shared shuttle, or tour. The latter which I will get more into in a separate section below.
Bus From Bangkok To Ayutthaya
If you’re planning to travel from Bangkok to Ayutthaya one of the most cost-effective ways to travel is by bus.
The journey takes approximately 2 hours and costs 70 THB / $2.00.
You can catch a bus from the Mo Chit Northern Bus Station in Bangkok. The buses are air-conditioned and depart every 20-30 minutes.
Train From Bangkok To Ayutthaya
The train journey from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is a popular and convenient way to travel between the two cities.
It takes around 80 to 120 minutes to arrive in Ayutthaya by train. However, it’s important to note that the train often gets delayed in the busy stretch of railway coming out of Bangkok and journey times can take 30 minutes or more than scheduled.
There are 24 trains per day from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, with the first train departing at 4:20 AM and the last train departing at 8:45 PM. The ticket prices range from 40 to 1050 THB / $1.30 to $30.00 depending on the type of seat you book and the type of train you take.
The fastest train from Bangkok to Ayutthaya is Train #7 departing at 8:30 AM, which is scheduled to complete the journey in 1 hour 17 minutes.
Ayutthaya Historical Park is located 4 km from the train station, you can take a tuk-tuk for around 100 THB / $3.00.
🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Thailand: 12Go Asia
Taxi from Bangkok To Ayutthaya
If you’re planning on a Ayutthaya day trip from Bangkok, you can opt for a taxi ride. The journey takes approximately 1 hour and costs around $35.00.
You can book a taxi over on 12.Go Asia.
Shared Shuttle From Bangkok To Ayutthaya
One of the most convenient and affordable ways to travel is by shared shuttle where the journey from Bangkok to Ayutthaya takes approximately 1 hour.
The cost of a shuttle ticket ranges from ฿200 THB to ฿300 THB / $5.00 to $8.50 per person. They depart from various locations in Bangkok, including Khao San Road and Mochit Bus Terminal 1.
Best Options For An Ayutthaya Tour
There are plenty of day tour options to Ayutthaya from Bangkok and you will have no problem finding one. There are many travel agencies around that will offer such tours, especially if you are staying in the Khao San Road area. Though, you may have a problem finding a decent one.
These types of tours sold by travel agencies are known to squish people onto small minivans and buses. It is not too much of a fun experience being herded like sheep under the hot sun.
Before booking one of these day tours from Bangkok, make sure to ask questions. Find out if your entrance fee is included, how you will get between temples, if lunch is included, and how many people will be in the group. If you don’t want to do any pre-planning and aren’t fussed about what you see then this could be the best option for you.
The Ayutthaya Temples Small Group Tour With Lunch From Bangkok includes visits to 4 of the most remarkable temples, lunch, entrance fees, a guide, transfers and water. For an extra fee they can pick you up from your hotel, otherwise, there is a central meeting location (and getting around Bangkok by Grab makes the taxi experience hassle free).
It is super affordable starting from $37.00 and is a great way to complete your Ayutthaya day trip. It is rated 4.6 stars out of 5 with over 3000 reviews!
Bigcountry Experience Co. Ltd. offers this tour and I have actually done numerous tours around Bangkok with them. They are a great budget friendly option with friendly guides.
The Ayutthaya & Ayothaya Floating Market Day Trip is a full-day tour from Bangkok that takes you to some of the most notable historical sites of Ayutthaya.
The tour includes a visit to the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, originally built in 1632 by King Prasat Thong, where you can find a number of impressive buildings built in different architectural styles from Thai, Chinese, and European designs.
You will also visit the Ayothaya Floating Market and enjoy some free time for lunch at your own expense. After lunch, you will visit 2 more historical sites, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Mahathat, to discover the ruins of the great temple sites.
The From Bangkok: Ayutthaya Historical Park Guided Day Trip is a popular tour that includes a visit to the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Wat Mahathat, Wat Mongkol Borpit, and other popular temples.
It also includes a buffet lunch and hotel pickup and drop-off. The price starts at $30 per person.
This tour is run by TripGuru Thailand and is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by over 831 reviewers.
How to Get Around On Your Day Trip To Ayutthaya
When it actually comes to getting around Ayuthhaya on your day trip from Bangkok you have a couple of options. These are hiring a bicycle or going on a boat tour:
Hire A Bicycle In Ayutthaya
No doubt one of the more popular options for getting around Ayutthaya is taking a bicycle. Rates are extremely cheap and I saw them starting at 70 baht / $3.00 for 24 hours.
One thing I will say about the bicycle is to make sure you are comfortable riding, especially when the temperatures soar. This option may be alright in the morning and late afternoon. Though I would not recommend hiring one all day to explore the temples.
I, personally, have made this mistake one too many times. Now I make sure to fully think about riding a bicycle through, even if it may be the cheaper option.
If you do decide to do so pack accordingly. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat, you will most definitely need it.
Boat Tour of Ayutthaya
We decided a boat tour would be best for our one day in Ayutthaya. They cost 400 THB / $11.50 each for a boat. This was shared with 6 other people who were also touring with Stray Asia.
The boats were owned by local families who drove and navigated the canals which run around Ayutthaya.
It was a really interesting experience seeing the city by boat as we saw more of local life. Children were going for a lunchtime swim, while the mothers did the daily washing, and men fished from little wooden jetties. Waving at us from the riverbank is no doubt an experience you couldn’t get while in a minivan.
We got to see a whole different side of Ayutthaya which was so much more than just temples.
I will say one thing to keep in mind if you decide to do the boat tour is that you will only be able to visit the temples along the waterways.
Obviously, if you don’t mind what you see this won’t be a problem. Though, if you want that perfect shot of the Buddha’s face covered in vines then you will be disappointed.
In my opinion, it is best to spend a few days in Ayutthaya to truly experience the different types of temples there are. This would also allow you to do the boat tour one day and a bike tour another day.
Entrance Fee Ayutthaya Historical Park
There are different entrance fees depending on the type of temples which you visit during your day trip to Ayutthaya.
One of the more popular temples is Wat Chai Watthanaram. It costs 50 THB / $1.50 and I highly recommend a visit as it is what truly makes this place feel like the Angkor Wat of Thailand.
The majority of main temples in Ayutthaya cost 50 THB / $1.50 such as Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, and Wat Phra Ram.
Though, Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit, Wiharn at Wat Thammikarat, Phra Chedi Suriyothai, and Wat Borom Phuttharam are free.
🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Thailand: 12Go Asia
Best Temples To Visit On Your Day Trip To Ayutthaya
Here are some of the best temples well worth visiting on your day trip to Ayutthaya from Bangkok:
Wat Chai Watthanaram
A favorite for me during my day trip to Ayutthaya is Wat Chai Watthanaram. This impressive structure is a highlight and will have the crowds to match.
Though due to its location if you are limited on time and on bike best to give it a miss as it is 5 kilometers away from where a lot of the other temples are in the city center.
Wat Chai Watthanaram is one of the most historical sites of Ayutthaya. No doubt one of its most impressive features is the 35-meter-long prang which is in the center of the complex. Its architectural style was actually influenced by that of Angkor Wat.
This temple is certainly a popular choice for locals as well as international tourists. I loved watching all the ladies dressed up in traditional dresses and taking photos.
Unlike many of the other temples which are often on people’s must-see in Ayutthaya lists, Wat Thammikarat is still a working temple.
It is common to see monks strolling around going about their business.
Though, a favorite sight is a massive gold reclining Buddha. Seriously it is so big you just have to see it. It even is housed in its very own building next to the temple.
Wat Phra Ram
Often skipped by many tour groups you can usually expect Wat Phra Ram to be quieter than the other temples.
This is perfect if you are wanting a bit of relaxation or simply appreciate the beauty of Ayutthaya without camera shutters clicking.
The temple is what draws you in to visit here, though the serene gardens will be the reason you stay. It was established in 1369 by the King at the time as a cremation spot for his father.
Even though it is older than a lot of the other temples in Ayutthaya it has not received much attention in terms of upkeep. The central prang makes for a gorgeous silhouette. Though unfortunately, the crypt is empty and the lions that guard it are quite damaged.
Wat Phutthai Sawan
Wat Phutthai Sawan is another temple with a large reclining Buddha. This one is certainly not as grand as Wat Thammikarat. Though a window in the ruin walls provides a beautiful frame for it.
Wat Phutthai Sawan was an important royal monastery during the reign of Somdet Phra Ramathibodhi. He was actually the first king of the Ayutthaya kingdom and started a seeming tradition where the king in charge would build these impressive structures.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet is not just an important historical site, but it was also considered the spiritual center for Thais.
It is strategically located within the grounds of the Royal Palace. Also as it is a royal monastery it prevents monks from residing there.
It was quite damaged by the Burmese during the war but luckily has since been restored to its original condition. Wat Phra Si Sanphet showcases how glorious the country was during that time, playing an important part in the history of art and archeology.
In the center of the temple are three pagodas which were said to be the base of royal houses in the Ayutthaya period.
Wat Phanan Choeng
Famous for its huge golden Buddha Wat Phanan Choeng is certainly one temple worth visiting. It does not have the aged ruins like many other Ayutthaya temples, but it is still considered one of the most beautiful.
According to legend, the Buddha here shed tears when the Burmese attacked Ayutthaya in 1767. It is housed in a beautiful teak building. I am not sure if it was a small space, but this seemed to be one of the busiest temples.
After checking out the Buddha don’t leave too quickly. Head down to the river to see literally thousands of catfish swarming the riverbanks. There is cheap food available to buy so you can feed them. Though, just be careful where you stand as the splashes they make are crazy. It is certainly a different temple experience for your day trip to Ayutthaya!
No doubt Wat Mahathat is a must-visit temple while in Ayutthaya. This is where you can see that famous photo of the Buddha statue being consumed by a tree.
It is uncertain how exactly it ended up down there, though the likely reason is from looters after the Burmese army raided the city in 1767.
Wat Ratchaburana is one of the most complete temples here in Ayutthaya. As it is so well preserved it is certainly worth the visit.
The highlight here is that it is one of the few temples in Thailand where you can actually go inside the main prang and drop down inside the crypt.
Tips For Visiting Ayutthaya
Being a Buddhist complex there are certainly some thing you want to know prior to your Ayutthaya day trip in terms of how to act and dress.
Show respect: Turn off your mobile phone, remove headphones, lower your voice, avoid inappropriate conversation, remove hats, and no smoking or chewing gum.
Remove your hat and shoes: Hats and shoes should always be removed before entering a temple. You can leave your shoes outside the temple in the designated area and hold your hat in your hands or put it away during your visit.
Cover yourself: Shoulders should be covered and long pants should be worn rather than shorts. Some, but not all temples, may provide a sarong or other cover-up for a small fee if the gatekeeper thinks you’re not covered up enough.
Respect the Buddha statues: Never touch, sit near, or climb on a Buddha statue or the raised platform the statue sits on.
Where To Stay In Ayutthaya
If you are thinking about staying a couple of days in Ayutthaya, great! This will allow you to explore at a slower pace and more in depth.
The main touristy area of Ayutthaya isn’t too large in itself being the main island which the rivers are situated around.
For an affordable private room have a look at Baan Are Gong Riverside Guesthouse where rooms start at just $14.00 and it’s in a great location. Another option is Chommuang Guesthouse with rooms starting from $16.00 per night. These options are great if you have a friend or partner to share with.
For those traveling solo or a more of a budget, a hostel is a great option. Also, they generally will run their own tours of the nearby temples, often at a much cheaper price than the travel agencies.
A friendly and affordable hostel in a great location. Private rooms start from $20.00 per night.BOOK NOW
A great choice for solo travelers. Prices start from $8.00 per night including breakfast.BOOK NOW
A lovely guesthouse perfect for travelers on a budget. Private rooms here start from $30.00 per night.BOOK NOW
A super affordable option if you are backpacking Thailand on a budget. Private rooms start from $12.00 per night.BOOK NOW
FAQs About An Ayutthaya Day Trip From Bangkok
Is one day enough for Ayutthaya?
One day may not be enough to fully explore all that Ayutthaya has to offer, it is certainly possible to get a taste of its rich history and cultural heritage in a short amount of time. However, those who have the luxury of time should consider extending their stay.
Is Ayutthaya a day trip from Bangkok?
Yes, Ayutthaya is a day trip from Bangkok. Its rich history, magnificent ruins, and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for any traveler in Thailand. The relatively short distance between the two cities allows for an easy and convenient day trip, providing visitors with a glimpse into the country’s ancient past.
How many hours do I need in Ayutthaya?
While it is possible to explore the highlights of Ayutthaya in just a few hours, dedicating more time allows for a deeper immersion into its rich heritage. Spending at least a full day or even two in Ayutthaya will provide opportunities to visit multiple temples, explore the ancient ruins, take part in activities, and savor the local cuisine.
Is it worth visiting Ayutthaya?
Ayutthaya is undoubtedly worth a visit for anyone seeking a unique and enriching travel experience. Its rich history, impressive ruins, and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination. From exploring ancient temples to cruising along the Chao Phraya River, Ayutthaya offers a myriad of attractions that will leave visitors amazed.
Can I wear shorts at Ayutthaya?
As visiting any Buddhist temple, when exploring the temples of Ayutthaya you must have your shoulders and knees covered. As long as your shorts cover your knees you are alright to wear them.
Wrap Up: Day Trip To Ayutthaya From Bangkok
Hopefully, now you’ve figured out which type of day trip to Ayutthaya would be best for you.
Whether that is on a group tour, or doing your own tour by taking public transport!
Ayutthaya is such an interesting and beautiful city with so many historic places to see. If you do have the extra time I highly recommend spending a few days here. That way you can truly appreciate these impressive temples and learn more about the culture.
🚗 How I Book Cheap Transport In Thailand: 12Go Asia
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Backpackers Wanderlust was a guest on the Mekong Pass with Stray Asia, however, as always, all opinions are my own.
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