Where to stay in Phuket for the first time is a common and slightly complicated question. In this article, we dive deeper into the best areas to stay in Phuket for first-timers and give you all the necessary information to make the right decision. Each recommended area is provided with the pros and cons and at the end of the article, you can find an overview of the best areas to stay in Phuket for first-timers. With that being said, let’s jump to our recommendations.
 
Where to stay in Phuket first time
Where to stay in Phuket first time? Keep reading!
.
.

Where to stay in Phuket for the first time?

.
There are several highly recommended areas in Phuket for first-time travellers, depending on the type of traveller. Generally speaking, the best areas in Phuket for the first time are Kamala, Nai Yang, Mai Khao, Patong, Kata, Karon and Rawai. Each of these recommended areas is suitable for a different type of traveller, varying from luxury or budget travellers to party-minded hedonistic travellers. Which area suits you the best is described in the next paragraphs. 
Where to stay in Phuket first time

Where to stay in Phuket first time

Where to stay in Phuket first time
 
Where to stay in Phuket first time

Where to stay in Phuket first time
Some of the many highlights in Phuket. At the bottom of this article, you can find a map with all recommended areas and the island highlights!
.
.
.

The best areas in Phuket for the first time are:


Important: when visiting Phuket, you have to ask yourself how you will move around? Will you rent a car or do you avoid participating in Thailand’s traffic at all and will you rely on taxis and vans? Phuket is known for its taxi scams and in contrary to for example Bangkok, getting around in a taxi is often expensive. If you rent a car during your stay, you are able to pick more secluded areas. Each recommended area will have, along with its pros and cons, a mobility score, which indicates how easy it is to move around without having your own transport. 
.
.
.

1. Kamala Beach - Family-friendly


Often dubbed as the most family-friendly are in Phuket, Kamala Beach is the perfect area to stay in Phuket for first-timers as it offers a wide variety of affordable hotels, is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and the location is central with good accessibility to the island’s highlights. This area is surrounded by two mountains, which gives it a more isolated feeling. Life in Kamala is slow, which attracts retirees, tourists with kids and couples but the area is far from boring. 

Recently, Kamala is gaining popularity and new hotels are built rapidly, but the laid-back vibe is still there (for now). Kamala is more like a small town than a part of Phuket. There are plenty of authentic local restaurants to discover and in the evening, you can easily find a nice beach bar. But it’s nothing compared to the nearby Patong, which attracts mostly young travellers. 


For who: families and couples.

Pros: popular touristic area suitable for couples, laid-back vibe, more central location, hotels in all budget classes, excellent beach(es).

Cons: relatively quiet, not attractive for young travellers who enjoy the nightlife. 

Mobility: central location, easy access to transportation for sightseeing.

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
 
gyg
 
gyg
.
more
.
.
.

2. Nai Yang & Mai Khao - Luxury travellers


Nai Yang is located right under Phuket International Airport on the west side of the island and is a peaceful area with several luxurious hotels. Due to its location, it’s highly recommended to rent a car if you want to move around easily. There are hotels available in several budget classes. Keep in mind that Nai Yang is a quiet area, away from common facilities. The remoteness makes it unique, but if you’re looking for an area more vibrant, we recommend you to stay elsewhere. 

For an even more secluded holiday, have a look at Mai Khao, the area north of Nai Yang. Here, you can find amazing hotels and beach clubs that are ideal for that romantic vibe. 


For who: luxury travellers, often families and couples.

Pros: some of the most luxurious hotels with all facilities you can dream of. 

Cons: located far from the island's highlights

Mobility: it's highly recommended to rent a car when you want to explore the island. It's not always easy to find taxis during the night. 

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
 
gyg
 
gyg
.
more
.
.
.

3. Patong - Party-minded, young travellers


For younger travellers and those who enjoy partying, Patong is the best place to stay in Phuket for the first time. As this is one of the most touristic and bustling areas, all facilities are within reach. Patong is the epicentre of the island and has a beach as long as three kilometres where you can find all sorts of water activities such as jet-skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. Those who come to Phuket to rest and enjoy a peaceful holiday should definitely stay away from Patong. Also, Patong does not have the nicest beach but is good enough for sunbathing and water activities. Besides, many young travellers often rent a motorbike or find other ways of transportation to enjoy the beautiful beaches nearby. 

The main attraction of Patong is Bangla Road. At the end of the day and especially during the night, this Walking Street is the epicentre of Phuket’s nightlife with all sorts of bars and nightclubs including a red-light district. Patong is by far the most touristic area of the island with plenty of restaurants, bars and activities to satisfy the hedonistic traveller. It has a laid-back atmosphere and because of its touristic scene, many tourists simple hate it or love it.


For who: young, party-minded, hedonistic travellers.

Pros: right in the epicentre of the island.

Cons: this is not everyone's cup of tea. If you don't like nightlife and drunk tourists, avoid this area at all costs.

Mobility: plenty of taxis and other forms of transportation are available. Young travellers often still rent a motorbike to visit beaches and other highlights. 

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
 
gyg
 
gyg
.
more
.
.
.

4. Kata Beach - Family-friendly calm Area


Kata beach attracts mostly families and couples due to its calmness compared to areas like Patong. The beach is also noteworthy with white sand and crystal clear water, which is ideal for snorkelling. Aside from its beautiful beach, which can get busy, there are plenty of spas available in this area as well as a night market. Similar to the nearby Karon Beach, Kata Beach is located centrally near island highlights such as Karon Viewpoint, Mingmongkol Big Buddha and Promthep Cape. For those who do want to experience the nightlife, head over to Patong during the evening, which is only a ten-minute ride, although you can find some nice spots at Kata Beach itself. During the evening, Kata Beach does have some nice bars near the beach which is ideal for couples and families as it's nowhere near Patong. Then again, Kata Beach is known for its relative calmness. 


For who: couples, families

Pros: Beautiful beach, good location.

Cons: It’s known for its calmness, which can be a pro or con.

Mobility: Located centrally on the west side of the island, plenty of transportation is available. 

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
.
gyg
 
gyg
.
more

.
.
.

5. Karon Beach - Budget-friendly, ideal for couples and families.


Karon is a popular area in Phuket for first-timers as it is located centrally yet does have a secluded feel. Those who are looking for a bustling area should reconsider staying at Karon Beach as it's relatively quiet. Karon is an excellent area for those travelling on a stricter budget but in general, it’s a popular area for families and couples. There are many local restaurants to discover and the beach is nice. In the evening, there are some places open but it’s definitely not a popular nightlife area. During the day, you can find all sorts of activities in this area, ranging from snorkelling, diving and surfing to parasailing. The beach itself is among the longest on the island which is ideal for a nice walk but is also great for water activities. Due to its size, you will have plenty of space at the beach. Karon is located under Patong, so for those who do want to go a night out in Phuket, a short taxi ride will get you to the epicentre anyway. 


For who: families and couples (on a budget)

Pros: Still has a local feeling, plenty of budget-friendly but also good hotels, excellent beach. 

Cons: relatively quiet, which can be a good or a bad thing.

Mobility: Located centrally with island highlights nearby. 

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
.
gyg
 
gyg
.
more

.
.
.

6. Rawai - Alternative (Local) Area


While most travellers tend to stay on the west coast of Phuket, there are some alternative areas that you might want to consider. While we don’t recommend you stay at Phuket Old Town, an alternative is to stay at Rawai Beach. This area is developed but often overlooked by tourists. You can find plenty of bars, restaurants and nice coffee shops in this area while not being bothered by too many tourists (for Phuket standards), which give you that nice local feeling. The beach, however, is not that great as it is rocky and full of fishing boats and this is one of the reasons why tourists tend to skip Rawai. You have to travel in order to get to a more decent beach (that's the price you have to pay for it). But the abundance of great restaurants makes it up. There is actually quite some nightlife to discover and it’s much more laid-back compared to Patong. In other words, you won’t get bored. And on top of that, you are not that far away from the island’s highlights. 


For who: travellers who look for not-too-common areas. 

Pros: Plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops, not too many tourists compared to other areas.

Cons: Not a good beach (nearby). 

Mobility: located south, close to the island's highlights but far from beaches and other bustling areas. 

Some of the best hotels for first-timers in Phuket in this area are visually listed below:
 
gyg
 
gyg
.
more.
.
.
.

Why we don’t recommend staying in Phuket Old Town

 
Although Phuket Old Town is picturesque, not having a beach at your doorsteps is not what you want when staying in Phuket for the first time. That’s why we suggest visiting Phuket Old Town as a day trip. Walking around this iconic, charming part of Phuket with all the colourful houses is absolutely an activity you should do when in Phuket, especially in the afternoon when it's not that hot. But there are better areas to stay in Phuket for the first time than Phuket Old Town. 
.
.
.

Highlights of the island


The highlights of Phuket include:

a. Big Buddha
b. Phuket Old Town
c. Wat Chaithararam
d. Promthep Cape
e. Bangla Road
f. Surin Island trip
g. Phang Na Bay
h. Koh Phi Phi trip

In the map overview in the next paragraph, these highlights are marked so that you can make the right decision about where to stay in Phuket for the first time. 
.
.
.

Map of best areas in Phuket for the first time 

 

Where to stay in Phuket first time map
.
Where to stay in Phuket first time map2
 

gyg
more toursbooknow
.
gyg
more toursbooknow

.
.

There you have it, our recommendations to your question of where to stay in Phuket for the first time. When visiting Thailand, 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, our app recommends the best local dishes these restaurants offer. 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 Pattaya or many other cities such as BangkokChiang MaiKoh LarnAyutthayaKanchanaburi and Sukhothai.

TopTravelFoods Official
5 (3)