1 Day in Ayutthaya: Itinerary with Top Things to Do

1 Day Ayutthaya Itinerary

To visit Ayutthaya is to discover Thailand ‘s most renowned historical park .

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the place is home to dozens of ancient temples, each more impressive than the next. The site reflects all the wealth and importance of the city at the time.

Along with the historic site of Sukhothai, it is clearly one of the must-see archaeological sites during a Thailand itinerary!

To help you plan your visit, I have therefore prepared this guide to Ayutthaya which will help you not to miss anything of this exceptional place. I will tell you about the 6 main temples of course, but also about my favorite temples to visit in addition.

I have also selected the best hotels for you to stay in Ayutthaya according to your budget and I explain how to get to the historical park from Bangkok.

And as a bonus, you will also find in this article the map of the most beautiful temples to see in the park.

So what to do and see in Ayutthaya? 

Ayutthaya: A must in Thailand

How to visit Ayutthaya: practical information

We will start with some practical information for visiting Ayutthaya.

How to move between temples, types of entrance tickets and prices: I tell you everything!

First important thing: The site is vast and the temples to visit are located in different places in the city. It is therefore not possible to visit everything on foot.

If, like us, you are touring Thailand with a rental car, then no problem, you can travel from one temple to another by car. At each entrance to an area of ​​the historic park, you will find car parks.

We visited Ayutthaya in January and there were always places to park. And what’s more, it’s free!

The other option is to visit Ayutthaya by bicycle. This is the solution chosen by most people who do not have a car, and who arrive from Bangkok by train or bus (see the section “How to get to Ayutthaya” at the end of the article for more info) .

Almost all guesthouses and hotels in the city rent bikes for 50 Bahts a day or even free if you have booked a night with them. Rental companies are also present in front of the most important temples.

If you are comfortable with driving a scooter or a motorcycle, this is an option that may also be considered. Less tiring and faster than cycling! Ask your hotel for advice on choosing the rental company. Count between 200 and 300 Bahts to rent a scooter/motorbike for a day in Ayutthaya.

Finally, you can hire the services of a tuk-tuk to go around the historical park. He will drop you at the entrance of each temple and wait each time. The rate is generally 200 Bahts per hour (it’s sure not the cheapest!) or 1200 Bahts per day, but you can try to negotiate a little.

The temples in Ayutthaya Historical Park are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

The entrance fee, for the majority of them, is 50 Bahts per person, but some, less touristic or less known, are 20 Bahts or even free.

If you have the time and the intention to visit several temples, both in the historic center and in others more remote, I advise you to buy the Pass allowing you to visit 6 temples for only 220 Bahts. It is available at the entrance of each of the 6 temples.

Super practical, it is also valid for 30 days. So if you spend 2 days in Ayutthaya, you don’t have to rush to do the 6 temples.

Here is the list of the 6 temples included in this pass (I give you all the details a little further down):

  • Wat Mahathat
  • Wat Ratchaburana
  • Wat Phra Si Sanphet
  • Wat Phra Ram
  • Wat Maheyong
  • Wat Chai Watthanaram

Tips for your Ayutthaya itinerary:

To visit Ayutthaya (and even more so if you are traveling by bike), remember to bring caps, sunscreen and a bottle of water because the sun is beating down hard.

Ladies, you must have your legs covered to visit temples. Plan long pants or loose skirt in your bag.

And last tip: don’t forget the mosquito repellent!

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
Wat Yai Chaya Mongkon Ayutthaya

Temples to see in Ayutthaya

You will have understood that we come to Ayutthaya to browse the historical park to discover the many temples.

I have prepared a small list of the main temples to see and those that I found the most interesting.

We start with the 6 temples included in the Pass at 220 Bahts:

1) Wat Mahathat:  built in the 14th century, it is the oldest temple in Ayutthaya and today one of the most photographed. It is here that you will find the famous head of Buddha trapped in a tree trunk, which has become the symbol of the park. It is considered sacred and many Thais come here to worship it.

During your walk around the temple, you will see that the majority of the Buddha statues have been decapitated by the Burmese. Entrance at 50 Bahts without the Pass.

2) Wat Ratchaburana:  built in the 15th century, this Khmer-style temple houses the largest chedi (also called Stūpa ) in Ayutthaya. The Wat was erected by the king in memory of his 2 brothers who fought to death on this place while trying to conquer the throne on the death of their father. Both are dead and it is finally the 3rd who inherited the kingdom. Entrance at 50 Bahts without the Pass.

3) Wat Phra Si Sanphet:  also known as the Old Palace or the Grand Palace (not to be confused with the one in Bangkok!). This temple, built in the 16th century, is the largest in Ayutthaya and has 3 magnificent , extremely well-preserved chedis .

Very photogenic, it is definitely one of the 3 most beautiful temples to visit in Ayutthaya! Entrance at 50 Bahts without the Pass.

Just before the entrance to Wat Phra Si Sanphet, do not hesitate to enter the interior of the Wiharn Phra Mongkon Bophit. It houses a huge golden statue of a seated Buddha almost 12 meters high.

4) Wat Phra Ram:  Khmer style, it has a very large prang surrounded by smaller chedis. The temple is really nice, in a natural setting. Entrance at 50 Bahts without the Pass.

5) Wat Chai Watthanaram:  its construction began in the 17th century and lasted for nearly 20 years. It is located on the banks of the river. Khmer style, you can admire a large central prang 35 meters high surrounded by several smaller chedis.

I strongly advise you to go there for the sunset, it is really splendid! Along with Wat Phra Si Sanphet, this is one of my favorite temples during my stay in Ayutthaya. Entrance at 50 Bahts without the Pass.

6) Wat Maheyong:  located outside the historic center, towards the floating market. Unfortunately, there is not much left of it, which perhaps explains why it is a little shunned by tourists. If you took the Pass and you have some time, you can always go and have a look.

In addition to these 6 temples included in the Pass to visit Ayutthaya Historical Park, I highly recommend that you go see:

7) Wat Yai Chaya Mongkon (or Mongkol): a magnificent temple composed of a large bell-shaped chedi and guarded by 2 large stone Buddhas seated and dressed in golden togas. All around the chedi are several other statues of Buddhas as well as a small garden at the back. Also not to be missed is the large reclining Buddha 7 meters long at the entrance. Entrance at 20 Baht.

Directly ranked in my top 3 of the most beautiful temples to see in Ayutthaya!

8) Wat Lokayasutharam and its 42 meter long reclining Buddha. Really impressive to discover. Free visit.

9) Wat Phanan Choeng housing a gigantic 19-meter seated Buddha statue. This temple is very popular with Thais and ceremonies take place there every weekend. Entrance at 20 baht.

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
Wat Mahathat – Head of Buddha – Ayutthaya

Visit Ayutthaya by boat

I recommend another very nice activity to do in Ayutthaya: a boat trip around the island and the historical park to discover the temples from another angle.

These cruises are organized at the end of the afternoon and allow you to make at least 3 stops to contemplate the temples. You will end up at Wat Chai Watthanaram,  the best place to watch the sunset. And when you leave, you can see the other temples illuminated.

The ride lasts 2 to 3 hours for about 200 Bahts per person. 

This circuit is offered almost everywhere, both by tour agencies and by guest houses and hotels.

Tips for your Ayutthaya itinerary:

As the boat trip does not allow you to discover all the most beautiful temples, I advise you to visit Ayutthaya during the day and finish the afternoon by boat.

1 day Ayutthaya itinerary
Wat Chai Watthanaram Ayutthaya

Visit Ayutthaya from Bangkok (day trip)

It is quite possible to visit Ayutthaya from Bangkok with an organized day trip.

These outings, where you will be accompanied by a guide, are the best way to visit Ayutthaya if you don’t want to bother with organizational matters. And in addition, you will benefit from all the historical explanations!

I have selected the 2 best excursions for you to go to Ayutthaya here:

The excursion departs from Bangkok, early in the morning. We even pick you up in front of your hotel. The journey is made by bus then you will have the opportunity to discover the temples of the historical park.

And for the return trip, forget the bus, you will have the chance to reach Bangkok by boat. The river cruise also includes lunch served as a buffet.

The price of approximately 65€ per person includes pick-up in front of your hotel, transport, guide, temple entrance fees, cruise and lunch.

Booking this Ayutthaya Day Trip from Bangkok couldn’t be simpler, just click here.

Same principle as for the previous excursion: a minibus will pick you up in Bangkok and take you to Ayutthaya. There, you will enjoy a guided tour of the 4 main temples.

Lunch is also included.

For this outing, the return to Bangkok is by minibus and not by boat.

It is reserved by clicking here.

1 day in Ayutthaya
Wiharn Phra Mongkon Bophit

How long to visit Ayutthaya?

I recommend that you plan at least one day to visit Ayutthaya. There are a lot of temples to see and the historical park is really extensive.

Try to be there as early as possible in the early morning to see as much as possible. And the best is to end up at Wat Chai Watthanaram  for the sunset.

The best thing is to spend a night in Ayutthaya: you can then enjoy the illuminated temples and perhaps finish discovering one or two temples the following morning, before continuing your itinerary in Thailand!

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
Wat Phra Ram Ayutthaya

What to do around Ayutthaya?

Besides the historical park, there are a few other places to see near Ayutthaya. Here they are!

Palais Bang Pa In

About 20 km from Ayutthaya, I advise you to go and discover the palace of Bang Pa In.

Very atypical, the place includes several monuments of totally different architectural styles. There is notably a Chinese temple, a Thai-style pavilion or a very colorful tower.

Surrounded by a lake and pretty well-kept gardens, the place is really nice!

The park is easily visited on foot, but you can also rent a small golf cart to go around (400 Bahts for an hour).

Entry to the palace costs 100 Baht, but pay attention to the timings as the site closes early, around 4 p.m.

To reach Bang Pa In Palace from Ayutthaya, if you don’t have a car, the easiest way is to take the train. The journey takes only 15 minutes and costs barely 3 Bahts (yes you read that right!).

From the arrival station, it takes about 25 minutes on foot to get to the palace (1.7 km), but you can also take a song thaew or a motorcycle taxi.


Only 75 km from the historical park , Bangkok is the largest city in the vicinity of Ayutthaya.

And it is very likely that you have planned to visit it during your stay in Thailand!

As you can imagine, capital requires, there are tons of things to do and see in Bangkok. To organize your visit to the city, I therefore strongly recommend that you read our complete guide to Bangkok by clicking on the following link: What to do in Bangkok? 

You will find all the information you need to prepare your visit: the best things to do, our itineraries to visit Bangkok in 1, 2 or 3 days, a tourist map, our selection of the best hotels and much more!

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
bangkok temple


Only 1 hour drive north of Ayutthaya, you can go to Lopburi.

The city is known to be home to hundreds of monkeys and it is to see them that the majority of tourists go there. In addition to the monkeys, you can discover some temples in ruins, Lopburi being one of the oldest cities in Thailand.

The major temple to see in the city is the Prang Sam Yot. This is also where the majority of monkeys are found.

Pay attention to your hat or glasses and put the food in your bag. And don’t forget that these are wild animals, there is always a risk of being bitten or scratched.

Accommodation in Ayutthaya

  • Early Bird Hostel Ayutthaya: Hostel located 700 meters from Wat Mahathat. Dormitory bed from €13, breakfast included. Most: lovely staff, cleanliness, privacy thanks to the curtain. Ideal for backpackers!
  • Baan Baimai Boutique Room: Located 1.7 km from Wat Mahathat or 5 minutes by car. Spacious and well-decorated double room from €27. Most: calm, decor, private parking. An excellent choice where to stay cheap in Ayutthaya!
  • PU Inn Resort: Located 5 minutes from the bus station and 10 minutes from Mahathat temple. Comfortable and colorful double room from 45€. Most: the swimming pool, the central location, the warm welcome.
  • Baan Thai House: Located 1.4 km from Wat Yai Chai Mongkon. Spacious villa with balcony and garden or lake view from €65, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the exteriors, the good meals, the setting, the calm.
  • Classic Kameo Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Ayutthaya: Located 5 minutes drive from Yai Chai Mongkon Temple. Double room with kitchenette and lounge area, modern and spacious, from €75, breakfast included. The pluses: the equipment, the comfort, the swimming pool, the Spa.
  • Sala Ayutthaya: Located 1.6 km from the historical park and Wat Chai Watthanaram. Modern double room with exposed red bricks from €140, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the view of the river and the temples, the quality of the catering, the design of the hotel. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Ayutthaya!
Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Where to eat in Ayutthaya

To eat in the evening in Ayutthaya, I recommend the night market (Night Market) which is held every evening. On weekends, you can also enjoy the Night Market, located near Wat Phra Si Sanphet.

You will be spoiled for choice in the various food stalls to test the local cuisine. The perfect opportunity to taste a bit of everything!

The atmosphere is very nice, with wooden tables for eating and traditional dance performances.

How to get to Ayutthaya?

The easiest way is to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok (75 km only). Several options are possible, depending on your budget or your preferred mode of transport. And don’t forget that I have already told you about the organized excursions a little above.

Here they are:

Bangkok – Ayutthaya by car

If you have rented a car to drive around Thailand, it will only take you 45 minutes to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok.

The best is to rent your car at Don Muang airport in Bangkok. It is right on the way to Ayutthaya, which saves you from starting to drive in Thailand and finding yourself stuck in traffic in the middle of town.

And if, like us, you are on a road trip in Thailand, including not only Ayutthaya, Sukhothai and as far as Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai for example, you can then leave your car at the airport of one of these 2 cities, without paying any additional fees.

Bangkok – Ayutthaya with private driver

If you don’t want to rent a car but still want to get from Bangkok to Ayutthaya quickly, you can hire a private driver for a day.

He will pick you up in front of your hotel to take you to Ayutthaya. He will then take you to the entrance of each temple on the site and wait for you in front of the necessary time.

In the late afternoon, it will take you back to Bangkok. 

Reservations are made by clicking here.

*Note that if I recommend this service in particular, it is because the car is in good condition, comfortable and the driver is driving safely. This is not always the case in Thailand so avoid booking on any site.

Bangkok – Ayutthaya by train

To go to Ayutthaya from Bangkok, you can also take the train.

It is the most economical solution with a one-way trip that will cost you only 15 Bahts! Count about 2 hours by train, or even a little less, if you take the express train. It all depends on the time chosen.

The departure for Ayutthaya is at Hua Lamphong station which you can reach by taking the MRT  (This is the name of the metro – Hua Lamphong stop).

Bangkok- Ayutthaya by bus

To take the bus to Ayutthaya, take the BTS (also called “Sky train” or “skytrain”) in Bangkok to the Mo Chit stop. You will arrive directly at the bus station of the same name.

There are trips several times per hour, all day long. Count about 50 baht for a 1h30 journey.

Bangkok – Ayutthaya by minivan

At the Mo Chit bus terminal, you also have the option of taking a minivan to Ayutthaya.

The advantage compared to a classic bus is that they are a little faster  (about 1 hour journey). It costs just a little more, around 70 Baths.

The minivans leave as soon as they are full but there are very regularly.

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
reclining buddha Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya Temples Tourist Map

Here is the tourist map of Ayutthaya, which they will provide you at the entrance of the site. You can save this plan on your smartphone, it’s always convenient!

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day
Ayutthaya card

1 Day in Ayutthaya

To help you find your way around and organize your visit to the temples of Ayutthaya, I have prepared a map for you with an itinerary to discover the main temples. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.

The temples with a blue pin are those intended for a one-day itinerary. Those with orange pin are to be done in addition if you have time or in the morning before leaving Ayutthaya.

Visiter Ayutthaya or Sukhothai?

I told you, Ayutthaya was the second capital of the kingdom of Siam. The first capital was at Sukhothai, some 370 km to the north.

Just like Ayutthaya, Sukhothai has now been renovated and the historical park includes several very beautiful temples to discover.

Many travelers choose to visit only one, for lack of time and therefore wonder which city to choose between Ayuttayah and Sukhothai.

I was lucky enough to be able to visit both of them during my trip to Thailand and I really liked both of them. I found the temples in Ayutthaya to be more impressive but the ones in Sukhothai are in a more natural environment, which makes up for it.

If you stay in Thailand for a short time, the best is to go to Ayutthaya, because it is very fast from Bangkok.

But if you’re in Thailand for a while, I really recommend you go see the 2 and make up your own mind.

From Ayutthaya, you can reach Sukhothai by bus (direct journey of 6 hours) or a train to Phitsanulok and then a bus to Sukhothai.

From Bangkok, there are also flights to Sukhothai.

To discover Sukhothai, I recommend that you read my article dedicated to the historical park:  The complete guide to Sukhothai.

Ayutthaya itinerary 1 day

Ayutthaya: a bit of history!

We will end this guide with a small point on the history of Ayutthaya. It’s not bad to know it before since there are not masses of explanations on the spot.

Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam from 1350 to 1767. It succeeded the city of Sukhothai, located further north.

In fact, the city of Ayutthaya was chosen for its strategic location, surrounded by rivers. They were of course used as natural barriers, but not only: they also helped to facilitate international trade with China or India. Important economic and commercial center, more than a million people lived there.

Long considered the most powerful and wealthy city in Southeast Asia, it housed no less than 400 temples!

The city was completely destroyed in 1767, following an attack by the Burmese. To establish their domination, they decided in particular to decapitate all the statues of Buddha. Thousands of inhabitants were reduced to slavery and all the treasures looted.

It was thereafter that Ayutthaya lost its status as the capital in favor of Thonburi for a while, then Bangkok.

It was not until 1969 that major restoration work made it possible to restore some of the sumptuous temples that you can discover today. Nowadays, the site is a must on a road trip in Thailand!

And you, have you planned to visit Ayutthaya during your holidays in Thailand? If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments.

Are you going on a trip to Thailand? Read also

Discover all our articles about Thailand: all articles about Thailand are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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