Amongst the oldest and most iconic landmarks of the city, the Royal Grand Palace Bangkok has served as the royal residence ever since it was constructed in the year 1782, until the early 1900s. Boasting of stunning architecture, the palace also has a rich history, and is the abode of the most sacred Buddhist temple in all of Thailand, the Wat Phra Kaew.
The former residence of the monarch of Thailand, the Grand Palace Bangkok is a complex structure. It houses a number of different buildings and structures like courtrooms, gardens, temples, etc. within its four walls. It is also used for official ceremonies and state functions from time to time. Besides the magnificent architectural style of this palace complex, the Grand Palace is also known to have several public museums in its premises. Here you can catch sights of ancient artefacts, traditional crafts as well as historic structures of the country.
It is here where you can learn about the evolution of the rich heritage and culture of Thailand from the 18th century onwards. Even though it is old and ancient, the Grand Palace continues to leave visitors in awe for its magnificence and intricacy, which makes it the religious and rather intangible heart of the Thai kingdom.
Step back in time and immerse yourself in Thailand's captivating history and culture with a visit to the magnificent Grand Palace complex
Marvel at the intricate architectural details and ornate design of the Grand Palace, a true testament to the craftsmanship of the Thai people
Explore the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha, home to the sacred image of Buddha carved from a single jade stone
Delve into the rich stories of art and architecture that grace the walls of the Grand Palace, leaving you in awe of Thailand's cultural heritage
Book your Grand Palace tour Bangkok and enjoy skip-the-line access, ensuring you maximize your time exploring this iconic attraction
You must book your tickets for the Grand Palace Bangkok tour to gain a deeper insight into the history, culture and heritage of Thailand. Additionally, when doing so, you must pre book your tour tickets online, which helps you to not only skip the long waiting queues and the rush at the ticket counters, but also lets you enjoy a peaceful and more comfortable experience inside the palace. Furthermore, online tickets to the Grand Palace will also help you save some money, owing to discounts and exciting deals and offers.
The Grand Palace Bangkok has a rich history associated with it. Constructed in the year 1782 by King Rama I, the palace was built as a complex. It consists of a wide number of other structures, including royal and throne halls, government offices, temples, well-manicured gardens and pavilions. The place also has several temples, such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, offering high religious significance. The entire palace complex was made on an expanse of around 218,000 square metres, and was then surrounded by four walls, each of which was 1,900 metres in length.
The Grand Palace became the new centre of administration and the royal residence, thereby succeeding the old palace located in Thonburi, on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. The palace had the same floor plan and layout as the former Grand Palace in Ayutthaya. Furthermore, the location of the palace on the other side of the river was chosen strategically. The Chao Phraya River would act as a barrier for the north, south and western perimeters of the palace, while the muddy delta in the east would make it difficult for enemies to get near the palace without being caught.
The palace was also the site where Rama VIII was mysteriously assassinated in 1946. Additionally, in 2017, the Grand Palace served as the place where King Rama IX’s funeral was held, and where the coronation of King Rama X was held in 2019.
The Grand Palace Bangkok boasts of an impressive architecture, with a blend of the traditional Thai style of architecture, and the styles from the European renaissance eras. Divided into the Inner, Middle and Outer Courts, the palace is home to more than 100 different structures. From famous temples like the Wat Pho and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, to numerous gardens, halls and courtyards, among others.
Also known as the Wat Phra Kaew, or Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, the temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most famous attractions within the Grand Palace. It is also the holiest Buddhist temple in all of Thailand, and was established by King Rama I in 1782. Located in the areas of the Outer Court, the temple is home to the Emerald Buddha, wherein the image of Buddha has been carved from a single block of jade, and is in the meditating position.
Otherwise known as the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha, Phra Ubosot is amongst the most important structures built by King Rama I in 1782. Made in the traditional Thai style of architecture, it serves as the ordination hall for Buddhist monks.
It is surrounded on all sides by boundary stones, which are further flanked by tall walls decorated with coloured glass mosaics. You can also find a mural painting here, which represents some scenes from Buddha’s life, including his enlightenment.
You can find six pairs of majestic demon guardian statues, at the gates of the gallery. These guardian statues tend to face the chapel of the Emerald Buddha, and are quite tall. Built during the reign of King Rama III, between the early to mid-1800s, these demon statues are said to guard the Emerald Buddha from evil spirits. Furthermore, each of the statues is said to be an important character from the Ramakien story, which was the most significant literature during Rama I’s reign.
Within the palace grounds, you can also find a huge bronze statue representing a hermit figure. This was established during King Rama III’s reign, as a commemoration to the traditional Thai medicines. Representing those who practiced the traditional form of Thai medicine, the statue is of a man, with a mortar and grinding stone placed in front of him, similar to the way in which medicines were made by grinding herbs and other things in the olden days.
The Hor Phra Rajkoramanusorn and Hor Phra Rajphongsanusorn are twin buildings constructed in the traditional Thai style of architecture. These buildings are located in the chapel of the Emerald Buddha, and consist of many images of Buddha. Constructed by King Rama IV, Hor Phra Rajkoramanusorn has 34 small Buddha images dedicated to the 33 kings of Ayudhya and one king of Thonburi.
This building is located in the north. Alternatively, the building on the south, Hor Phra Rajphongsanusorn has 8 small Buddha images, which are dedicated to the king of Bangkok.
This is a beautiful golden stupa, constructed by King Rama IV in the year 1855. The stupa is said to enshrine the relics of Buddha, and has a circular base. Additionally, the stupa also has a bell shape, which replicates the Ceylonese style of architecture. The original structure of the stupa was white washed and then decorated with golden tile mosaics during the reign of King Rama V.
Phra Mondop is one of the most popular structures in the Grand Palace of Bangkok. It is the Buddhist library, which was built in the year 1789, during the reign of King Rama I. It is here where you can find a huge mother of pearl inlay book cabinet, which is where some of the most ancient Buddhist scriptures are kept and preserved.
You can also find a lot of traditional Buddhist literature and history books here. Additionally, it is here where you can witness the Canon of Buddha, which are sacred scriptures written on palm leaves.
Located near Phra Mondop is Phra Busabok, which are four small pillars that are surrounded by majestic elephant statues. On the base of the pillars are pavilions, which contain the royal emblems of all of the Kings in the Bangkok period.
At the base of these pavilions, models of white elephants, made out of bronze, can be found. The number of these statues are different in number, since they represent the actual number of white elephants found during each of the reigns.
Also known as the Royal Pantheon, Prasat Phra Dhepbidorn is a building that contains life-size statues of the kings of the Chakri dynasty. It was supposed to be the home of the Emerald Buddha, but was abandoned owing to its comparatively smaller size.
The exteriors of the pantheon boast of two golden pagodas and a row of majestic demon guard statues. The pantheon has been built in a mixture of the Thai-Khmer styles of architecture.
At the Grand Palace in Bangkok, you can also find a model of the Angkor Wat, the Khmer temple of Cambodia. Resembling the beautiful Khmer style of architecture from the 12 century, this stone model is the best place to get an insight into the region’s history. Built during the reign of King Rama IV, the model is located right across from the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Located towards the east of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Phra Asadha Maha Chedi, which consists of eight towers. These were constructed during the reign of King Rama I, and are considered to be symbols of immense respect and worship. Each of the towers has a different colour, which is dedicated to different concepts in Buddhism.
This is an image of the standing Buddha, made of copper, and built by King Rama I. While the original structure enshrined the relics of the standing Buddha, it was later taken down during the reign of King Rama III and was built again to preserve the ashes of the deceased members of the present dynasty.
Built during the reign of King Rama III, Phra Wiharn Yod was used as a chapel to enshrine numerous images of Buddha, one of which is the Phra Naga image, or the image of the standing buddha. This was transferred to this building from Hor Phra Naga. The building boasts of the shape of Thai crown, and is beautifully decorated with coloured porcelain mosaics brought from China.
Built by the younger brother of King Rama I, this building acts as the auxiliary library on the palace grounds. You can find a number of cabinets made of the mother of pearl here, which are home to a plethora of ancient Buddhist scriptures, literature and more.
This structure in the Grand Palace was established by King Rama IV. It was also used as the chapel of Phra Gandhararat, which is an image of lord Buddha that is said to have magical powers which can invoke rain. This building is visited regularly by local farmers since they pray to the image of Buddha located here.
Constructed during the reign of King Rama IV, the Belfry tower is quite beautiful to look at. It is decorated with colourful porcelain mosaics. You can also see a huge bell here, which is only rung on special occasions.
Surrounding a wide number of structures in the Grand Palace is the gallery, where you can find numerous mural paintings. These paintings are said to depict the story of the Ramakien, which is the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana.
In the paintings, you can see the battle between Tosakanth and King Rama, after the former kidnaps Sida and takes her to Longka city. Just as in the Ramayana, Tosakanth is defeated and King Rama brings back Sida to Ayodhya. The paintings here have 178 sections, depicting the whole mythology.
Built by King Rama IV as a replacement for the same structure built by his predecessor King Rama I, this structure is used as a chapel by monks of the Ramana Sect. They pray in this chapel during the holy days of Buddhism, and make holy water used for the King and for the sprinkling of the compound of the Phra Maha Mountain.
Amongst the most popular halls in the Grand Palace, the Dusita Phirom Hall was built as an open pillared hall made of wood during the reign of King Rama I. It was also enclosed by a curtain wall by King Rama III. The hall used to serve as a changing room for the king before he went out to sit on a palanquin or an elephant during his rounds of the kingdom.
Built during the reign of King Rama V in 1877, the Chakri Maha Prasat Hall served as a royal residence. It boasts of several cones or spires at the top, and has a Thai style roof, with the lower part of the throne hall built in the European style of architecture.
It was also used by the kings for discussions with ambassadors, and for state banquets. The building also has the east wing, the central wing and the west wing, all of which are connected by long corridors.
Also known as Phra Thinang Dusit Maha Prasat in Thai, this is a grand hall located in the palace complex. It was built by King Rama I to replace the former wooden Phra Thinang Amarintharaphisek Maha Prasat Hall, which was burnt in 1789. The hall functions as the place where the bodies of the kings, queens and other members of the royal family are placed in a coffin here.
The Arts of The Kingdom is one of the major attractions and places to visit in the Grand Palace Bangkok. Located in the Ayudthaya Province, this museum aims to promote the local arts and craft of the region, and was established by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother in 1976.
The museum preserves the local traditional forms of art, and has a wide array of beautiful and interesting displays and exhibits. From carving on wooden panels and three-dimensional wood works, to stunning inlay art techniques like Khram, gold and silver crafting, as well as beetle wing decoration, embroidery work, enamel work, and more, there is a lot that you can enjoy seeing at this place.
When visiting the Grand Palace of Bangkok, you must definitely head over to the Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre to enjoy the legendary Khon performance here. This is a show that follows the footsteps of King Maha Vajiralongkorn who pledged to preserve this amazing form of traditional Thai classical dance.
Khon is a masked dance drama that was also inscribed by UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the year 2018. And at this theatre, you can enjoy some of the most magnificent Khon performances, which are not only quite mesmerising to look at, but are also executed quite delicately.
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles inside the Royal Grand Palace Bangkok was constructed as a gift by Queen Sirikit and her foundation to the people of Thailand in 1976. The museum was created with the primary aim of encouraging the production of traditional Thai handicrafts, many of which are displayed in stunning exhibits here.
Considered to be one of Thailand’s newest museums, the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles also preserves some of the country’s oldest forms of textile arts. They are displayed as a means to provide insight and knowledge about the same to future generations. It is also Thailand’s very first dedicated textile conservation laboratory, where you can learn a lot about the preservation of the different textiles of the country.
Located near the Srisuntara Gate and the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Doi Kham Shop is another one of the initiatives taken up by the royal family. This shop aims to process fresh produce from the local farmers near the royal factories located in the Fang district and the Mae Chan district of Chiang Mai, as well as the Tao Ngoi district of Sakon Nakhon. Under the initiative, all of the fresh produce by the farmers will be used to make a variety of products, including fruit juice, honey, fruit spread, dehydrated fruits and more. At the Doi Kham Shop, visitors can also indulge in different hot and cold beverages, snacks and the products from the different projects.
Location: Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Timings: The Grand Palace remains open from 08:30 a.m. to 03:30 p.m. on all days of the week, except on days when royal ceremonies or other important events take place here.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Grand Palace Bangkok is during the early hours of the morning, around 08:30 a.m., when the palace opens its gates for visitors. One can enjoy pleasant weather during this time of the day, you can also explore the palace grounds without having to rush or worry about lots of crowds and other visitors. These hours remain typically empty at the palace, which also gives you a chance to indulge in some photography of the impeccable architecture.
By Bus: you can take the public buses, such as bus 1, A1, S1 and 2 to the nearest stop of 2 Thanon Sanam Chai, which is located at a short walking distance from the palace.
By Metro: you can take the Purple Line of the Bangkok Metro and get off at the nearest metro station of the palace, 2 Thanon Sanam Chai.
By BTS Skytrain and Chao Phraya Express Boat: you can also take the BTS Skytrain and get off at Exit 2 of the Saphan Taksin Station, from where you can avail the Chao Phraya Express Boat at Sathorn Pier. This boat will take you to Tha Chang Pier, from where the palace is located just a few minutes away.
When visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok, you must ensure that you are following the strict dress code of this place. Men are required to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves, along with socks paired up with sandals or flip flops. Women also must be dressed modestly, and cover their shoulders, midriff and knees at all times.
It can get hot and humid during the afternoon, so you must carry a hat or cap and wear sunscreen while visiting the palace.
You must wear comfortable footwear since the palace is quite huge and exploring the entire place requires a lot of walking.
Remember to have at least 2 hours in hand to enjoy all the attractions within the palace premises.
There are some times when the palace remains closed to visitors due to royal ceremonies and other events, therefore, it is advisable to check the schedule of the palace before planning your visit here.
It is also recommended to be aware of any scammers outside the palace complex, who might offer you alternate tours for higher prices, or other activities as a means to scam you.
How old is The Grand Palace?
The Grand Palace of Bangkok is over 300 years old. It was built in the year 1782, and has served as the seat of the Thai king, the royal court and the administrative seat of the government for more than 150 years since then.
Why is The Grand Palace famous?
The Grand Palace is one of the most famous iconic landmarks of Bangkok, located right in the heart of the city. It is known for being the official residence of the King of Siam ever since it was built in 1782. Additionally, the palace has also served as the home of the Thai king, the royal court as well as the administrative seat of the government for over one and a half centuries. The palace is famous for having several buildings, pavilions, gardens and courtyards, among other attractions.
How long should one spend in The Grand Palace?
You must spend at least 1 to 2 hours in The Grand Palace, so that you can explore it properly, enjoy the intricate details in the architecture, and learn about its rich history during your visit.
How big is The Grand Palace in Bangkok?
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is sprawled across an expanse of around 218,000 square metres. This area consists of the royal and throne halls, government offices, as well as the famous Temple of the Emerald Buddha, along with other attractions.
What is the best time to visit The Grand Palace Bangkok?
The best time to visit The Grand Palace in Bangkok is around its opening time, i.e., around 08:30 a.m. This is when the palace has rather less crowds, thereby giving you a chance to explore it at your own pace, indulging in photography and spending some time at leisure here.