Bangkok, the Grand Palace: Essential Information

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Bangkok, the Grand Palace: Essential Information

The Grand Palace is undoubtedly one of the must-see attractions in the Thai capital. It perfectly encapsulates the richness of Thai heritage and Buddhist art, particularly with its renowned Emerald Buddha.

A Grand Palace and More

The Grand Palace sits at the heart of Bangkok’s historic district. It encompasses a complex of about ten buildings spread across 218,000 square meters. It serves as both a symbol of royal power and a center of Buddhist spirituality.

One of its most famous buildings is the Royal Monastery of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew. Though small in size, the Emerald Buddha holds immense significance due to its history and the symbolic power attributed to it.

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I, founder of the Chakri dynasty, to serve as both the royal residence and administrative headquarters.

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A Price Tag on Exploring the Grand Palace

The ticket costs 500 baht for foreigners, a significant amount for a simple visit, especially for families. The only response we can offer is that this is a unique ensemble in the world, of exceptional beauty. This ticket also provides the opportunity to:

  • Visit the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha.
  • Discover the Queen Sirikit Textile Museum, where magnificent silk and cotton creations from different periods and regions are exhibited.
  • Explore the Museum of Royal Decorations, a true paradise for enthusiasts.
  • Attend a Khon theater demonstration immediately after the visit. Performances take place from Monday to Friday at 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 5:30 pm at the famous Chalermkrung Royal Theatre. Free shuttle service is available from the Royal Palace. The ticket is valid for 7 days after purchase.

Attention:
Visiting the Royal Palace or any royal building requires appropriate attire!

What constitutes appropriate attire?

According to the authorities, this means:

  • No shorts, no skirts - knees should not be visible for both women and men.
  • Prohibition of wearing pajamas or jogging pants.
  • No tight-fitting clothing.
  • Pay attention to footwear: no stiletto heels.
  • No T-shirts revealing the shoulders, as well as T-shirts that are too low-cut, too “transparent,” or suggestive clothing are prohibited. The same goes for T-shirts with caricatured motifs or grotesque messages, as they may cause some issues.
  • Remember that you are entering the most sacred place in Thailand.

Vendors near the palace offer pants and other fabrics just in case.

The staff is dedicated and very observant. They will not hesitate to deny you entry if your behavior or attire is deemed inappropriate.

Practical Information about the Grand Palace

  • Location: The Grand Palace - ระบรมมหาราชวัง - Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Ticket sales stop at 3:30 PM. Please note that the Grand Palace requires a minimum amount of time to be visited.
  • Admission Fee: Paid entry for foreigners: 500 baht. Free for Thais and children under 120 cm tall.
  • Official Website see here where you can download an eGuide on the Grand Palace.

Tips to Optimize Your Visit to the Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is one of the most visited sites (if not the most visited) in Thailand, so it can get extremely crowded. It is highly recommended to arrive early, preferably at the opening time if possible.
To avoid wasting time in long queues, it’s best to purchase your entrance ticket in advance through the official website. You can make reservations here.
Additionally, it’s wise to dress appropriately to avoid wasting time having to buy or rent pants or a T-shirt upon arrival.

How to Get to the Grand Palace?

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Going to the Grand Palace by Sky Train (BTS)

To do this, stop at BTS Saphan Taksin station. Take exit 2.
Walk to the Chao Phraya River and the Saphan Taksin pier. Take either the Chao Phraya Express boat or the boat with the orange flag. Get off at Tha Chang pier (N9). The entrance to the Royal Palace is about a hundred meters away.

Going to the Grand Palace with the MRT

This is one of the most convenient options, especially if coming from downtown Bangkok. You need to stop at Sanam Chai MRT station. Take exit 1.

From the station, there are two options:

  • Either walk (10-15 minutes),

  • Or use transportation:

    o bus no. 3, 9, 44, 47, 53, and 82,
    o taxi,
    o moto-taxi (30 baht).

Going to the Grand Palace by Boat

This is one of the most popular ways to reach the Grand Palace.
Two possible stops:

  • Tha Tien Pier (N8). Once you exit the pier, pass the food stalls until you reach a large intersection. Ahead (slightly to the right) is the Grand Palace. Turn right here and walk about 10 minutes until you reach Wat Pho on the other side of the road. Continue for another 500 meters along the walls until you reach the entrance of the Grand Palace.
  • Tha Chang Pier (N9): the most convenient. The entrance is about a hundred meters away.

Going to the Grand Palace by Bus

Buses that go directly to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are buses n°1, 3, 9, 15, 25, 30, 32, 33, 43, 44, 47, 53, 59, 64, 80, 82, 91, 203, 503, 508, 512.

By Private Car - Parking

Parking near the Grand Palace is limited and quickly fills up. The most convenient option is probably to head to the Wat Rakang Parking Building parking lot on the other side of the river and take the ferry shuttle.

Parking Information:

  • Location: (Wat Rakang Parking Building - อาคารจอดรถวัดระฆัง)[https://maps.app.goo.gl/GMxS9AdaqQYA6mmK8] - 73, 5 Wat Rakhang Kositaram Woramahawihan Alley, Siriraj, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand.
  • Hourly Rate: 20 THB

Going to the Grand Palace by Tuk-Tuk or Taxi

It’s very “picturesque” but a mode of transportation that requires significant negotiation. Opting for a taxi often seems like the best solution.

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Things to See in Bangkok

Explore our guide to the sites, neighborhoods, buildings, museums, and more – all the little gems to discover in Bangkok that may not be in the guidebooks! Get off the beaten path!

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