15 Best Things To Do In Ayutthaya Thailand

Found in the fourteenth century, Ayutthaya was one of the largest cities in the world at that time. However, in the eighteenth century, the city was almost completely destroyed in the Siamese-Burmese war. Today we can see only a few remnants, but it still cannot hide the beauty of the royal time. 

In this article, I share the 15 top things to do in Ayutthaya, including tips on ticket fees and opening hours.

Wat Phra Mahathat

Why not start your day at Wat Phra Mahathat, one of the most popular attractions in Ayutthaya?

Wat Phra Mahathat is famous for the image of the Buddha’s head in the root of an ancient Bodhi tree, offering an impressive appearance and attracting many visitors.

We visited this site in the early morning to avoid the crowd, and the experience was extraordinary. The temple was ruined by attacks on the Ayutthaya city, and we could see the remains of the attack.

Ayutthaya Thailand

Besides the Buddha’s head, other remnants are also worth visiting and offer many photo opportunities. 

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: 50 baht

Travel tips

  • Guide: Check out my Ayutthaya travel guide for all great tips.
  • Accommodation: If you plan to stay in Bangkok for 3 days or more, you should spend 1 night at Ayutthaya to explore more.
  • Tour: From Bangkok, you can take a cruise or a tour to Ayutthaya.
  • Items: You should bring a hat, sunglasses, umbrella and water bottles because you will travel around, and Thailand’s weather is sunny and hot. Also, wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees.
  • Transport: Check my Bangkok to Ayutthaya guide for transportation tips.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the largest Ayutthaya temple complex built in the 14th century, attracting lots of visitors throughout the year.

In 1767, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and other temples in Ayutthaya were destroyed when the Burmese army invaded. While the site is mostly in ruins, the temple still has three towers intact until today. Since then, the temple has been abandoned.

The three chedis (stupas) in a row have become a signature symbol of Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: 50 baht
things to do in Ayutthaya Thailand.
This temple is a symbol of Ayutthaya Historical Park and is most photographed with its magnificently aligned chedis. 

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Next to Wat Phra Si Sanphet is the Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit. This temple is famous for a large bronze seated Buddha statue, one of the few surviving the Siamese-Burmese war.

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bonhit.
Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bonhit

Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana is the best-preserved ruins in the Ayutthaya Historical Park. It combines typical Hindu temple decorations in the form of a Buddhist temple.

King Borommarachathirat II built this temple in 1424 on the cremation ground of his two brothers who had died in their battle for the throne.

The most exciting feature is a tunnel leading to a crypt storing gold, silver, and treasures inside the main tower.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: 50 baht
Wat Ratchaburana Ayutthaya Thailand.
The crypt of Wat Ratchaburana is believed to be the largest one in Thailand, with various gold items.

Wat Lokayasutharam

Wat Lokayasutharam is a famous pilgrimage site of Thai Buddhists with the giant reclining Buddha. The statue represents the Buddha when he entered nirvana, a familiar symbol of Buddhism.

The temple complex is mostly ruined with only a few remaining fragments, but the Buddha image is still intact.

Wat Lokayasutharam buddha statue.
Wat Lokayasutharam.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Chaiwatthanaram is one of the most impressive temples in architecture in Ayutthaya.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram was built in 1630 in the traditional Khmer style, similar to the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The main tower (sprang) is 35-meter-high (115 ft), and there are four smaller prangs.

The ideal time to visit this temple is in the afternoon during sunset. You can have a fantastic view of the city from the top.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: 50 baht

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Wat Yai Chai Mongkol was built in the 14th century during the reign of King U Thong.

The complex includes monasteries, tombs, and temples. Although it was mostly destroyed in 1767 during the invasion, the temple is still active and monks are living here.

The steps to the top of the tower are very steep, nearly 90 degrees, so it will be difficult to go up this tower tomb.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: 20 baht

Ayutthaya Portuguese settlement

Ayutthaya was one of the busiest cities in Asia, and you can find different settlements of foreign traders. 

One of the largest ones is the Portuguese settlement, whose traders and commissioners came to Ayutthaya about 400 years ago.

Ayutthaya Thailand Portugese settlement.
Portuguese settlement in Ayutthaya.

The site includes an excavation area and San Petro Church.

Getting in the church, you can see an excavated pit of Portuguese burial site with the skeletons being displayed. 200 skeletons were found beneath the ground.

Ayutthaya Portugese church.
San Petro church in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

We got here by bike and spent about 30 minutes. Although there is not much left, it’s still interesting for us to see and learn about history. The most intriguing part for us is knowing Ayutthaya’s sweets and desserts that wouldn’t exist without the Portuguese.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Ticket price: There is no entrance fee.

Dutch village

Besides the Portuguese, the Dutch also came to Ayutthaya for trading.

They built Baan Hollanda, a Dutch village in 1634. It’s now a museum with exhibitions showing the relationship between Netherlands and Thailand.

It’s a nice stop to learn about the Netherlands and enjoy Dutch snacks like Bitterballen with a river view.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 5 pm. Monday and Tuesday are closed.
  • Ticket price: There is no entrance fee.
Ayutthaya Thailand Dutch settlement.

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum Ayutthaya Thailand.

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum is a wonderful place to visit in Ayutthaya. While the admission fee is quite high (150 baht for foreigners), it’s totally worth it.

The museum houses many collections of relics belonging to the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The descriptions are clear and helpful, and you can learn a lot about Ayutthaya history.

There are also lots of Buddha statues in different sizes and postures – standing, sitting, reclining.

  • Opening hours: 9 am to 4 pm
  • Ticket price: 150 baht

Bang Pa-In Summer Palace

Bang Pa-In Palace, also known as Summer Palace, is about 18 km south of Ayutthaya city.

When visiting the palace, you will see many buildings with different architectural styles. Some have classic Thai styles, others have Chinese or Western styles.

The most famous building in Bang Pa-In palace is Aisawan Thiphya Art Sala. This structure was built according to Thai architecture under King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and there is a statue of the king inside.

  • Opening hours: 8 am to 3:30 pm
  • Ticket price: 100 baht
Bang Pa-In Summer Palace Thailand.

Night market

Opposite Wat Phra Mahathat is a night market where you can pick up some food and drinks. The night market starts at about 5 pm until late.

I highly recommend trying the coconut ice cream at the market. It was delicious!

Thai Coconut ice cream.

Cruise around Ayutthaya Island

Cruising Ayutthaya island is also an interesting thing to do.

You can easily find long-tail boats at the harbor located in the northeast of the island, near the Hua Ro market.

Another option is to visit a tour agent and book a cruise there. The cruise usually starts in the afternoon for a few hours and takes you to different temples.

Ayutthaya Thailand river.

Try local food

When visiting Ayutthaya, don’t miss the delicious local dishes. Fresh river shrimp and boat noodles are a must-try on your trip.

Ayutthaya Thailand boat noodles
Boat noodles are a signature dish in Ayutthaya.

Wat Worrachettharam

If you have time, make a quick stop at Wat Worrachettharam, a small temple ruin near Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

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