You might have heard about Ayutthaya before as one of the places you can visit while in Thailand. In fact, it is popular among tourists who like to explore the cultural heritage of the country as well as among locals who are looking for a city escape for the weekend or short holidays. Previously, we covered the beachside area Hua Hin and the mountainside area Khao Yai in our other posts. And now it’s time for us to cover the topic of Ayutthaya, including how to get to Ayutthaya and what to see in Ayutthaya.
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Ayutthaya, the old capital of Thailand
Ayutthaya is an old capital of Thailand and for non-Thais you might wonder “how to pronounce Ayutthaya?”. To answer that question, Ayutthaya is pronounced as aa-yoo-tuh-yaa. Also, a fun fact: the historic city of Ayutthaya is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Centre.
The next question people might ask is: “where is Ayutthaya on Thailand map?”. Ayutthaya is located 70-80 km north of Bangkok, that is around 40-50 mins car ride from Bangkok. However, the length of trip might definitely vary depending on where you stay in Bangkok (south, central or north).
Moreover, Ayutthaya is quite accessible using various transportation methods. And this also contributes to its popularity as a local tourist destination. We will cover this in a bit later.
Getting to Ayutthaya by private or hired car
If you are looking to travel to Ayutthaya from the Don Muang or Don Muang Airport, the travel is a simple 60 km drive north, which goes straight from Don Muang through the Pathum Thani province into Ayutthaya. For such a car drive, the travel time will be ~1 hour. However, if you are in the city center of Bangkok or around Suvarnabhumi Airport, the travel will be around 90-100 km, which will take around 90 minutes of driving.
If you are looking to hire a car or day tour to Ayutthaya, a few platforms can offer you some pricing transparency for reference. The first one is Grab Taxi – the app can you an estimated price which should be around THB 500-700 one way. Another one is Klook. If you need a tour package or private car service for the day, Klook is a reputable platform for this. You can see that a day tour or private car package can cost anywhere between THB 1,500 to THB 3,000.
Getting to Ayutthaya by train
A train ride from Bangkok to Ayutthaya can offer you a unique experience as well as help you to avoid traffic in Bangkok. From Don Muang train station to Ayutthaya, the travel time is less than an hour. You can check the train schedule here.
Next, you might be wondering how much is the train ride to Ayutthaya from Bangkok? The train ride fee depends on the train type and distance. Typically, it is somewhere between THB 100 to THB 300. If you are interested to take the train, you can book the ticket here.
Other transportation from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
Another way to go to Ayutthaya from Bangkok is via the water. There are Chaopraya river cruise packages from Bangkok to Ayutthaya, in a one day tour.
There are many providers of such a tour. You can google whichever suits your needs and preferences. But we’ll give you an example of the river cruise here. We suggest you to do your own research to get the best deals as well, simply because the prices of these tours by different providers may vary.
What to see in Ayutthaya?
After you know the different means to reach Ayutthaya, your next question will be: what to see in Ayutthaya? And how much time to spend in Ayutthaya?
First and foremost, make sure you visit at least one of the temples in Ayutthaya. Being the old capital of Thailand, a huge Buddhist country, Ayutthaya is home of many famous and longstanding temples. Check out this list of the few bigger temples you can visit while you are in Ayutthaya. Other than temples, there are a lot of other historical sites that might perk some interest among those of you interested in learning about Thai history.
There are some local markets that you can visit as well during daytime like Ayothaya Floating Market or during nighttime Krungsri Night Market.
If you are more interested to just chill and enjoy some food from local establishments, you can go visit cafes and restaurants in Ayutthaya. Some that we enjoyed are The Wine and Baan Pomphet for lunch/dinner, and Summer House, Tewa Cafe and Trifecta for coffee and other cold beverages. Must haves for Ayutthaya are boat noodles and the river prawn – so make sure you try them!
You can find more info about Ayutthaya and what activities you can do in Ayutthaya here.
Given the variety of activities you can do in Ayutthaya, day trip is very common. Nonetheless, a night stay will allow you to relax and enjoy the city more.
Should you go to Ayutthaya?
Yes, you should visit this city since it’s very accessible from Bangkok. It’s only max 1.5 hour from Bangkok (if you are from down south or central Bangkok). There are plenty of options for transportation from Bangkok to Ayutthaya as well. The cost of going there is not expensive. In terms of accommodation, there are a lot of hotel formats you can choose in Ayutthaya to suit your needs and budget. However, we personally recommend you to drive your own car if you have one. This is because the city in general is not walkable. There is no pedestrian path. So within the city, driving your own car will be the most convenient way to get around.
Learn more about Thailand here:
- Ayutthaya hotel: Sala Ayutthaya hotel with river view
- Thailand Glamping Experience in Te Mata 360, Khao Yai
- Khao Yai boutique hotels: accommodation, camping & villa
- Cafes and restaurants in Hua Hin: highlights and reviews
- Hua Hin hotels: boutique and hotels with private pools
- Google Maps Thailand: Our Tips & Experience Using It
- Tuk Tuk Thailand: try the Three-Wheeler transport