The best area to stay in Bangkok for backpackers are:
1. Khao San Road & Rambutri Road
Without a doubt, one of the best areas to stay in Bangkok for backpackers is Khao San Road and its connected streets such as Rambutri Road. Khao San Road has always been linked to backpackers due to the party scene, street food carts and all the cheap hostels. If you love to party, you must stay in this area as it’s an experience you won’t forget. During the day, you can easily visit nearby city highlights such as Wat Arun, The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Chinatown (Yaowarat) and Wat Saket. The only downside is that Khao San Road is not directly connected to Bangkok’s public transport, aside from the boat service. But a taxi ride to Phaya Thai BTS Station or the recently opened Sam Yot MRT Station will do the trick. If you don’t mind walking a bit further, you can find plenty of good and cheap hostels around Soi Samsen. For those who are looking for a true party experience, check out hostels such as Mad Monkey Hostel, NapPark Hostel, Bodega Hostel, Back Home Backpacker, Warm White Hostel and Here Hostel. Also, check out our article about the best bars at Khao San Road.
Relevant food article: best restaurants near Khao San Road.
Khao San Road is the best area to stay for backpackers.
Alternatively, you can stay as a backpacker near Rambutri Road.
2. Phaya Thai
Phaya Thai is a much quieter area to stay in Bangkok for backpackers, especially when you compare it with Khao San Road. But due to its location - Phaya Thai is directly connected to the Airport Rail Link and the BTS Sukhumvit Line - it attracted many entrepreneurs to start a hostel or even a poshtel. At Phaya Thai, you find the most variety of accommodations, but the area itself is not as attractive as other recommended areas due to the lack of entertainment. If you’re not the party type, and you want to easily and cheaply travel through the city, Phaya Thai is most likely the best area to stay in Bangkok as a backpacker. Also, if you won’t stay that long in Bangkok but want to get the most of your precious time, Phaya Thai is the ideal area to stay as you can use public transport to both airports (you can take the bus at Mo Chit BTS Station to Don Muaeng Airport).
Relevant food articles: best restaurants near Victory Monument, best restaurants in Ari, Pe Aor - serving the best Tom Yum in Bangkok.
3. Rattanakoskin (Old Town)
For those who want to stay in one of the last authentic areas Bangkok has to offer, Rattanakoskin is a highly recommended area to stay for backpackers. Located relatively close to Khao San Road, this area is far from bustling in the evening, especially compared to Khao San Road, but offers a wide variety of unique and affordable hostels. In this area, you can also find a large amount of amazing local restaurants, ideally for those who want to taste authentic Thai food. Legendary restaurants such as Jay Fai, Pad Thai Thip Samai, Krua Apsorn, Mit Ko Yuan, Kor Panich and Natthaphon Coconut Ice Cream are all located nearby. Also, with the recent extension of the MRT Line, there is an MRT Station located nearby. But the public transport connection is far from ideal. Similar to Khao San Road, many of the city highlights are located in this part of Bangkok, which makes it definitely a great area to stay in Bangkok as a backpacker.
Relevant food articles: best restaurants near The Grand Palace, most famous food in Bangkok.
When you stay in Old Town, make sure to visit Wat Saket!
A huge variety of excellent local eateries can be found in this area.
With good public transport connectivity and an abundance of hostels and other accommodations, Silom is an all-time favourite for many types of travellers. When staying in Silom, you can easily visit many of the city’s highlights, such as Chinatown, Talat Noi, Patpong and Lumphini Park, which are all located close by. But with a connection with both the MRT and BTS, you can easily visit other highlights too such as Wat Pho, The Grand Palace and Mahanakhon Skywalk or simply take the BTS to Siphon Taksin, where you can find all the boat services. In the evening, this business district transforms into a bustling nightlife area, although most backpackers choose Khao San Road over Silom. If you want to stay in an area surrounded by skyscrapers, experience the daily lives of many Bangkokians in one of the most chaotic areas in the city, Silom is the place to be. Keep in mind that Silom is a hugely popular area for many tourists, so you will find all the facilities you as a traveller need.
Relevant food article: best restaurants in Silom
At Silom, you have direct access to Lumphini Park.
Our final recommended area to stay for backpackers is Riverside. With Riverside, we mean the area around Samphanthawong and a part of Sathorn. Here, you can find plenty of unique hostels for a fair price in a relatively quiet area. You can even find hostels in Talat Noi, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Bangkok that is slowly transforming into a trendy area while maintaining authenticity. There are plenty of city highlights nearby, but the big downside of this area is the lack of public transportation. If that doesn’t bother you and if you want to stay in an authentic neighbourhood without party-minded backpackers, this area is the place for you to stay at.
Riverside and its iconic Wat Arun.
Other relevant articles:
Bangkok Nightlife Guide,
Bangkok Public Transport Guide,
Bangkok Itinerary Guide,
Bangkok Street Food Guide.
There you have it, our recommendations to your answer of where to stay in Bangkok as a backpacker. If you’re planning to stay in Bangkok, make sure to check out our food app called TopTravelFoods. This app will help you find the best food in Thailand, instead of only recommending good restaurants at popular destinations. This way, you won’t miss out on legendary restaurants and you can enjoy the local Thai cuisine to the fullest. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is completely free. If you're on a desktop, you can start searching for more food in Bangkok or many other cities such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Koh Larn, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi and Sukhothai.
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