The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok (must see)

The Grand Palace, a building complex in Bangkok, served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th century onwards. King Rama I ordered the construction of a magnificent new Palace in 1782 when he moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. The chosen area was, however, occupied by Chinese merchants whom he asked to relocate. The Palace has been constantly expanded and many additional structures were added over time.

Originally the palace consisted of several wooden buildings surrounded on four sides with a high defensive wall, 1900 meters in length and enclosing an area of 218,400 square meters. The Palace is rectangular in shape with the western side next to a river, the royal temple situated to the east side and all structures facing north. The King ordered the construction of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha as a royal temple and as his personal place of worship. Around the turn of the 20th century, Thai Kings stopped living in the palace. Today, the palace is used for all kinds of other ceremonial and auspicious happenings including royal funerals, marriages and state banquets.

The palace is divided into three quarters: the outer quarters, the middle quarters and the inner quarters. The Outer Court housed the government departments in which the king was directly involved including civil administration, army, and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Budha takes up one corner of the complex next to the outer court. In the middle is the Central Court, where the residence of the king and the halls for conducting state business were located. Behind the central court was the inner court where the king's royal consorts and daughters lived. It was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty.

The Grand Palace with its beautiful architecture and intricate details is living proof of the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. The Grand Palace with the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. All visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. No bare feet and no see-through clothes are allowed.

Definitely the city's most famous landmark, the dazzling and spectacular Grand Palace is one must-see sight. Your visit to Bangkok would not be complete without visiting it.

Tip:
Come early – the place gets quite crowded around 12pm.
They offer free English tours at 10am, 10:30, 1pm, 1:30pm or an audio guide for other languages (200 THB).
Entry fee is 500 THB, which includes the ticket to a theater play (like a Thai musical). Pick-up and drop to the theater from the Grand Palace are also included.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-3:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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The Grand Palace on Map

Sight Name: The Grand Palace
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Bangkok Old City Walk  

Walking Tours in Bangkok, Thailand

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Wats and Temples of Bangkok

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Landmarks Walk in Bangkok

Landmarks Walk in Bangkok

Before modern times, Thai sculptors focused exclusively on creating images of Buddha, leading to Thailand being one of the world's best locations for Buddhist art. By the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, Western fashions had begun to influence classical Thai art forms, particularly architecture and sculpture. Take our tour to see the top landmarks of the Thai...  view more

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Museums Walking Tour in Bangkok

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Bangkok Old City Walk

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The ideal way to start a trip to Bangkok is to get a glimpse of its busy backstreets and to gape at its grandest holy places. Why not start your sightseeing in Krungthep, where you will see pretty squares, thronged streets and impressive temples. Then you can roam the backstreets and get a peep at the local street markets. You can also make a stop at a great local Thai restaurant that's...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
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Places of Worship Walk in Bangkok

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Bangkok is an old metropolis that has been home to a diverse population of cultures, nationalities and religious beliefs for centuries. While Buddhism is by far the biggest religion, spiritual tolerance has long facilitated the co-existence of other faiths in the Thai capital. In fact, some of the churches are among the most impressive foreign buildings in all of Bangkok. Take our tour to see the...  view more

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Bangkok has an appealing selection of art that includes lively modern expressions and beautiful classical representations. Both public galleries and private galleries with artworks for sale are dotted around the city. Don't leave Bangkok without seeing the city's best galleries in our Art Galleries Walking Tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km

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