5 Must-See Museums in Bangkok

Bangkok’s Best Museums

Bangkok’s best museums aren’t given the respect they deserve as for many years they were a little too dusty, a little too old fashioned. However, in the last few years, a lot of work has been done to improve the city’s finest cultural venues. This list contains the best museums and galleries Bangkok has to offer, be it museums with artefacts of historical significance, Buddhist relics, or modern art pieces that have been displayed in the world’s premier cultural institutions in Europe and the US.

Take a look at our favourite museums in Bangkok, we are confident you will be pleasantly surprised with the quality on show.

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In the former grounds of the 18th Century Wang Na Palace, The Bangkok National Museum houses the largest collection of Thai art and artifacts in the country. It's definitely worth a visit, especially if visiting nearby Wat Phra Kaew or the Grand Palace.

Opened by King Rama V to exhibit the antiques and gifts bestowed to him by his father, it once held a reputation for being an ill-organised gathering of dusty relics. That has now changed, with exhibits now arranged into three areas consistent with Thai history, and good English-language descriptions available. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 - 16:00 (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • Location: Na Phrothat Road, near the Grand Palace
  • Tel: +66 (0)2 215 8173
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While the Museum of Siam is set inside a very large neoclassical house, it is definitely not the usual display of historical artifacts and dusty mannequins you would expect to find in such an antique building: wooden stairs, ceramic tiles and old-fashioned columns contrast with resolutely modern art and advanced technology. Everywhere you look, the two elements blend with great harmony as designers use every possible way to challenge the traditional expectations you might have of a museum. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 10.00 - 18.00 (Tuesday to Sunday)
  • Location: Phra Nakorn District, Rattanakosin Island, south of Wat Pho
  • Tel: +66 (0)2 225 2777
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A must for any lover of art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok (MOCA) houses the most comprehensive collection of modern painting and sculpture in Thailand inside a striking, purpose built gallery. The five storeys of MOCA contain over 800 pieces of art collected by communications magnate Boonchai Bencharongkul and showcase the development of Thai fine art since the introduction of modern western concepts. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 – 18:00, Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday)
  • Location: MOCA is only reachable by taxi. The five storey building is easy to spot from Vibhavadi Road, but the taxi must go past the museum and make a U-turn on Changwattana Road, travelling back down a small road beside the train tracks.
  • BTS: Mo Chit (still requires a 10 minute taxi journey)
  • Address: 3 Vibhavadi Rangsit, Chatuchak, Bangkok
  • Tel: +66 (0) 2953 1005
  • Price Range: 180 baht – Student: 80 baht – children/OAP: Free
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The Bangkokian Museum in Bangrak is hard to find and is not even very well known. It's a simple, discreet museum but the charm is in the pleasure of discovering this small frozen-in-time gem. In fact the Bangkokian museum, sometimes called 'Bangkok Folk Museum', consists mostly of two beautiful wooden houses preserved in perfect condition just the way they were in the last 1800s and early 1900s. Best of all, it’s absolutely free! Just write down your name inside the guest book. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 16:00, Wednesday to Sunday
  • Location: 73 Charoen Krung, turn into the small soi 43 and pass under the bridge, then look on your right
  • Tel: 02 234 6741
  • Price Range: Free
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Located on Ratchawithi Road behind the National Assembly, Vimanmek Royal Mansion is the world's largest building made entirely of golden teak. Removed from Ko Sichang in Chonburi province, it was rebuilt in the Dusit Palace in 1900 by the command of King Rama V. It was recently renovated by HM Queen Sirikit, and made into a museum paying homage to the late King. As well as antique furniture, there's glassware, porcelain, old photographs and memorabilia from the late King's reign (1868 - 1910). Many rooms currently maintain the atmosphere of the past. Vimanmek Mansion Museum is very popular with tour groups so it can get busy at certain times of day, but the old world charm and beautifully maintained house and grounds are still worth a visit. Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:30 until 16:30 (Tuesday - Saturday, last ticket at 15:30)
  • Location: Rajavithee Road. Close to Dusit Zoo and the Dusit Palace complex.
  • Price Range: 100 baht, which entitles you to enter every building and gallery. Note that you will need to show your ticket to the attendant at the entrance to every building. Please note: No shorts or sleeveless shirts and skirts must be at least knee-length or you won't be allowed in.
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