Grand Palace Bangkok - the most important information
The Grand Palace in Bangkok is a complex of buildings that is the official residence of the Kings of Siam. The Palace is the most famous landmark in Bangkok that has 8 million visitors each year.
About the Grand Palace Bangkok
The Palace was built between 1782 and 1785 at the order of King Rama I, who moved the seat of power from the city of Thonburi on the west side of the Chao Phraya River to its east side, to Bangkok. The buildings that were built the earliest were the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, and the Phra Maha Monthian. At the beginning of the 20th century, new palaces were built elsewhere in the city for the king to use, and by 1925 they replaced the Grand Palace as the primary place of residence of the monarch and his court. The complex consists of royal and throne halls, government offices and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218,000 square metres with surrounding walls that are 1900 metres long. Today it is a center of ceremony and of the monarchy, and a tourist attraction with a museum.
What to see at the Grand Palace Bangkok?
The Grand Palace consists of Outer Court, Middle Court, Inner Court, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Museum of the Emerald Buddha Temple, and Defensive walls. Here are some things you cannot miss while visiting the Palace:
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha - the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew, consists of a number of buildings. It also houses the statue of the Emerald Buddha in its Ubosot, ordination hall. The Temple consists of the ordination hall, a raised terrace that elevates several important structures inside the temple, Buddhist shrines, the Bell Tower, a royal mausoleum, a scripture hall, the row of eight prang, and the gallery. The Temple also has 7 gates.
- Phra Maha Monthian - this group of buildings located in the Middle Court is built in the traditional Thai style. It used to be the residential and sleeping abode of kings. There is a public reception hall, ceremonial halls, and residential halls.
- Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat - this group of buildings is also located in the Middle Court and it consists of nine major and minor halls. Some of the buildings you will be able to see here are The Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall, the Moon Satharn Borom Ard Hall, and the Sommuthi Thevaraj Uppabat Hall.
- Phra Maha Prasat - the main buildings of this group of buildings in the Middle Court date back from the reign of King Rama I. Some of the buildings there are throne halls, an open pavilion, a council chamber, and a closed pavilion.
- Siwalai Garden - this part of the Middle Court has royal residences and religious buildings. It was a private garden for use by the Inner Court. Some of the buildings within it are a two-storey Neo-Renaissance residence, pavilions, and a shrine.
Tickets and opening hours of the Grand Palace Bangkok
- Tickets - the admission is free for Thai people, while it is 500 baht for foreigners.
- Opening hours - the Palace is open daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.
How to get to the Grand Palace Bangkok?
You can get to the Palace by:
- Sky Train (BTS) - BTS Saphan Taksin Station Exit 2, and then walk to the Chao Phraya River where you’ll see a Sathorn Pier under the bridge. Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Chang (N9), and the Palace will be on the right.
- MRT - MRT Sanam Chai Station Exit 1, take bus lines no. 3, 9, 44, 47, 53 or 82.
- Boat - you can take an express boat to Tha Tien (N8) and it will take you 10 minutes to get to the Palace.
- Bus - buses that go straight to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are 1, 3, 9, 15, 25, 30, 32, 33, 43, 44, 47, 53, 59, 64, 80, 82, 91, 203, 503, 508, 512.
What should you know before visiting the Grand Palace Bangkok?
Here are some things you should know before visiting the Palace:
- There is a dress code: no sleeveless shirts, no vests, no short tops, no see through tops, no short hot pants or short pants, no torn pants, no tight pants, no bike pants, and no mini skirts.
- It is forbidden to fly the drone over the area of the Grand Palace.
- Check if the Palace is open before going because if you go by tuktuk, the driver may scam you by saying it is closed and then bringing you to other temples instead.