Ayutthaya Thailand: All you need to know before visiting

Found in 1350 by King U-Thong and was the capital of Siam, Ayutthaya was one of Asia’s most prosperous cities with many temples, palaces, and pavilions.

A trip to Thailand would be a huge miss without spending a day or two in Ayutthaya, exploring the ruins and learning about the historical aspects of this ancient city. 

Wat Mahathat Ayutthaya Thailand

 

Best places to stay in Ayutthaya

We find street A and nearby is the ideal area to stay in Ayutthaya. It’s more lively than in other areas at night, and there are many bars and restaurants to dine.

We stayed at Baan Lotus Guest House and enjoyed our stay. Our host was friendly and helpful, and our room was basic but enough.

Guest House Ayutthaya Thailand
The property was absolutely beautiful! We love the garden and beautiful lake view.

Some other great places to stay in Ayutthaya are Tony’s Place Bed & Breakfast, Baan Thai House, and Goodmorning by Tamarind.

 

How to get to Ayutthaya Thailand

From Bangkok

Ayutthaya is about 85 km north of Bangkok, so depending on your budget and time that you can choose to travel from Bangkok to Ayutthaya by train, bus, or hire a private car.

From Sukhothai

After exploring Sukhothai, it’s a great idea to visit another historical park. You can take a bus directly to Ayutthaya, and the journey takes approximately 6 hours.

Related article: Ayutthaya vs Sukhothai: Which ancient city is better?

 

Getting around Ayutthaya

By bicycle

We love cycling around Ayutthaya. You can rent your bikes at your hotels or near the Railway station. The rental rate is around 30 – 50 baht per day.

By tuk-tuk

You can see tuk-tuk many places in Ayutthaya, especially around the railway station near Chao Phrom Market and other tourist attractions. 

One ride in town can cost up to 50 baht, and 50- 100 baht if you’d like to go outside the town. 

Ayutthaya tuk-tuk

To visit four main attractions, you can expect to pay from 1000 – 1200 Baht. Don’t forget to bargain to get the best price before you get in the tuk-tuk.

By boat

If you arrive at Ayutthaya train station, you can get a boat to the old town.

Ayutthaya boat
Boat to Ayutthaya old city

Aso, many tour companies offer boat rides along Wat Phananchoeng, Wat Phutthai Sawan, and Wat Chaiwatthanaram. 

 

Should you travel to Ayutthaya on your own or by tour?

You must wonder whether you should take a tour to Ayutthaya or travel on your own.

In general, taking a tour and traveling by yourself have their advantages.

If you are familiar with traveling abroad and do not want to be confined to the tour program, you should visit by yourself. You should definitely stop by the Thailand tourism office for brochures and tips. 

Ayutthaya Thailand Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet – a must-visit on your trip to Ayutthaya

However, if this is the first time you travel to Thailand, or you’re traveling with young children and the elderly, it’s ideal to sign up for a tour.

It will save you from the hassle of getting transportation, finding places to eat, and places to go. Also, you can learn more about the attractions with the help of your tour guide.

Coconut ice cream
Night market in Ayutthaya

 

The best time to visit Ayutthaya

The ideal time to visit Ayutthaya is from November to February.

From March to May is the hottest time of the year, while June to September is the rainy season.

You should spend one night in the city to start the trip early in the morning and avoid the crowd.

Wat Mahathat Ayutthaya Thailand
Buddha statue at Wat Mahathat

 

Best places to visit in Ayutthaya Thailand

There are many attractions in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, but mainly temples and royal ruins, and the design architecture is quite similar.

Here is the list of the must-visit places:

  • Wat Mahathat: it’s famous for the Buddha’s head under the Bodhi tree
  • Wat Ratchaburana: It’s designed to build on the scale of Mount Meru in India.
  • Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bonhit: it houses one of the largest bronze Budhha images in Thailand.
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet: it’s most photographed with the three aligned chedis
  • Wat Phra Ram

Some other places to visit if you have more time: Ayutthaya Floating Market, Wat Chaiwattharanam (stunning, especially at sunset), Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

Ayutthaya Thailand
Buddha’s head under the Bodhi tree at Wat Mahathat

 

One day in Ayutthaya itinerary

You can visit the ancient capital of Ayutthaya in one day and see most of it based on the itinerary below

  • 7:30 am: Breakfast
  • 8 am: See the Buhhda’s head at Wat Mahathat
  • 9 am: Visit Wat Ratchaburana
  • 9:45 am: Visit Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • 11 am: See the Buddha in Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bonhit
  • 11:30 am: Have lunch and relax
  • 2 pm: Visit Chao Sam Phraya National Museum & 
  • 4 pm – 6:30 pm: Take a boat tour to see Wat Phananchoeng, Wat Phutthai Sawan and Wat Chaiwatthanaram
  • 7 pm: Have dinner at the night market
  • 9 pm: Listen to live music and have a few drinks or travel back to Bangkok

Ayutthaya nightlife

 

Ayutthaya admission fee & opening hours

Most of the temples in Ayutthaya open from 8 am to 5 pm.

You can purchase a package ticket, including six temples at 220 baht. The temples include Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and Wat Maheyong.

Ayutthaya admission fee

What to pack for Ayutthaya Thailand

Bring a hat, sunglasses, water because you have to move between many points in the hot climate in Thailand. 

Wear appropriate clothes that cover your knees and shoulders when visiting temples and shrines here.

 

What to eat in Ayutthaya

River shrimp

This dish will be a highlight of your trip to Ayutthaya.

When coming to the ancient capital, do not miss the delicious fresh shrimp with a big size.

Because of its size and mesmerizing flavor, this price can be quite high, but it is worth the money.

You can try them at the riverfront restaurants in Ayutthaya.

Boat noodles

You can’t leave Ayutthaya without enjoying the boat noodles, which is the specialty in this ancient capital of Thailand.

The starting point of this dish is simply the noodles that are sold and served on boats circulating through canals and rivers. Later, due to demand, it was also sold in street eateries.

Boat noodles are usually served in small bowls, and you can choose the ingredients to put into the bowl, creating your own flavor.

Ayutthaya Thailand boat noodles

 

Festivals in Ayutthaya

Below is the list of festivals that you can join in Ayutthaya, with the most popular one is the Songkran festival, which happens annually from 13th to 15th of April. 

  • Bang Sai Arts & Craft Annual Fair (late January – early February)
  • Songkran Festival (April 13 -15)
  • Khao Phansa Aquatic Festival
  • Boat racing (October – November)
  • Loi Krathong Festival (November)
  • Bang Sai Loi Krathong (November)
  • Ayutthaya World Heritage Fair (December)
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