24 Things To Do In Ayutthaya: Travel Back In Time

24 Things To Do In Ayutthaya: Travel Back In Time
Anna
Anna 
Updated

Ayutthaya is a beautiful city in Thailand that you should visit at least once in your life. Here, you get to see magnificent ruins, ride elephants in a relaxed setting, and tour Buddhist temples. Also, if you want to learn more about Thailand’s rich culture and history, this city offers not just one but five history and specialty museums. Take a break from the famous Bangkok, and plan a trip to the less-explored side of Thailand with your friends and family. Wondering what activities and attractions await you here? Check out our list of the 24 things to do in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

1. Learn more about Ayutthaya's past glory

Ayutthaya historical park
Source: Photo by user Ranjithkr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the best reasons to visit Thailand is to learn about the history and architecture of the country. Thailand has a lot of precious gems that need to be seen to appreciate their natural beauty. Visitors can admire Thailand’s strong architectural temples, the culture of the people and the many things to learn and explore - there’s everything under the sun, here and there’s more to see in Thailand than meets the eye.

2. Plan a visit to Wat Phra Si Sanphet

Templo Phra Si Sanphet, Ayutthaya, Tailandia, 2013-08-23, DD 03
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Wat Phra Si Sanphet is also called the “Temple of the Buddha Si Sanphet”, and it was the most important temple in the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It is located in Pratu Chai, in the Phra Nakorn Si Ayutthaya district of Ayutthaya province. Situated within the royal palace grounds, this large monastery has a number of structures that were used by kings only. There is also a royal temple without resident monks. Apart from its historical significance, this temple has always been considered the spiritual center of the Thais, for a long time.

The temple also conducted ceremonies within the royal court, and is regarded as equivalent to Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai and used as a model for Wat Phra Sri Ratana Sasadaram (the royal temple of the Emerald Buddha) or Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Moreover, the temple was used for storing royal relics. The three chedis on the site are believed to keep the ashes of three Kings: King Trailok, King Borom Ratchathirat III, and King Rama Thibodi II, as well as Buddha relics.

This place serves an important role in Thailand’s history of art, culture and archeology and the remaining ruins still depict how glorious the country was.

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Address: Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

3. Check out the ancient artworks at Wat Ratchaburana

Wat Ratchaburana Ayutthaya Thailand 03
Source: Photo by user Norbert Nagel, Mö... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Originally built in the 15th century, Wat Ratchaburana translates as the “Temple of the Royal Restoration” and it is located just across the road from Wat Mahathat. It was built by King Borom Ratchathirat II after a tragedy in which his brothers killed each other, fighting over who would become the next king.

There are two doors at the end of the shrine that lead out onto the grounds, surrounding the central prang or tower. The central prang is built in the Khmer style and rises up, high. A large amount of the golden artifacts and treasures found at Wat Ratchaburana are displayed in the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. This museum also houses a nice collection of Buddha images in different styles, and wooden door panels from different temples in Ayutthaya.

The ancient artwork of this place is beautiful, it cannot be compared and it’s really worth the effort to see.

Wat Ratchaburana

Address: Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

4. Sign up for a tour of Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat (Ayutthaya, Thailand 2014)
Source: Photo by user Paul Arps used under CC BY 2.0

Wat Mahathat, or the “Temple of the Great Relics” is located almost right in the center of Ayutthaya. People visit the temple just to see its most photographed feature - the interlaced roots of a tree around the head of a stone-carved Buddha.

This is one of the oldest and most significant temples in Thailand and its abundance indicates how significant the temple was to the local people as a religious center. It also enshrined Buddha relics and was the seat of the Supreme Patriarch of Buddhism, making it the center of Buddhism for the Ayutthaya Kingdom. When visiting this place, you will also find an amulet market, located just outside the temple and a huge Buddha in the viharn, or prayer hall, which rests in the meditating position.

Wat Mahathat

Address: Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

5. Admire the stunning beauty of Wat Phra Ram

Templo Phra Ram, Ayutthaya, Tailandia, 2013-08-23, DD 06
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The exact details regarding the construction of this temple is not known, however, similar to most Khmer style buildings of the time, the temple consists of a large central prang, or tower, with smaller towers surrounding it. Wat Phra Ram is situated next to a picturesque and panoramic view of a lake and close to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. Just a short bike ride or walk away, this temple is just a bit outside the central part of the Historical Park of Ayutthaya.

In addition, Wat Phra Ram is commonly known among Ayutthaya residents as a recreational area and to top it all off, there is a large-scale swamp located in front of the temple and is known as Bung Phra Ram Public Park, formerly called Nong Sano or Bung Che Khan.

Wat Phra Ram

Address: Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

6. Amuse yourself with the remaining treasures of Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Chao Sam Phraya Museum - 2017-02-13 (049)
Source: Photo by user Iudexvivorum used under CC0

Visiting a local museum is about as close as one can get to traveling back in time and the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum houses a lot of information and artifacts that every resident or traveler should know about. In a deeper sense, the museum helps to complete a whole tour of the area by giving visitors more information about the local history, design and architecture.

The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum exhibits various artifacts discovered during excavations and restorations of some of the ancient temples in Ayutthaya. The museum is named after Chao Sam Phraya, King of Ayutthaya in the 15th century. Exhibitions are displayed in three buildings and also feature artifacts from different time periods and from archaeological excavations around Thailand.

Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Address: Pratuchai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

7. Cycle among the temples at sunset (from USD 40.03)

24 things to do in ayutthaya: travel back in time | cycle among the temples at sunset

Discover the beauty of Ayutthaya’s temples at night on this sunset bike excursion. This three-hour-long tour is a great way to traverse Wat Mahathat, a royal monastery and one of the most renowned temple complexes in the historical park, and admire temples such as Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, and Wat Phra Si Sanphet. The tour also includes stops at Bang Ian Night Market where you can snack on appetizers before making your way to a local restaurant to feast on delicious Thai dishes. After your dinner, you will cross the Chao Phraya River for spectacular panoramas of Wat Chaiwattanaram illuminated against the water. The tour concludes with additional stops at Wat Chai Watthanaram and Wat Lokayasutharam where you can take pictures of the reclining Buddha. All equipment and meals are included in this tour.

Ayutthaya: 3-Hour Sunset Ride Bike Excursion

Duration: 3 hour

4 reviews

8. Sample Thai snacks on a food tour (from USD 213.0)

Feast on local delicacies during this private food tour in Ayutthaya. Thailand brims with gastronomic delights, and you can discover new flavors of snacks at places like Ayutthaya Market. Your tour continues at Giant Prawns Market, a seafood market where you can feast on Thailand’s renowned giant river prawns or other shellfish. You will also get to learn how to make thong ek, an auspicious treat of sugary dumplings with coconut and egg yolk that represent good wishes and blessings. Your tour concludes with a visit to Wat Muang Temple where you will see the biggest sitting statue of Buddha.

Private Ayutthaya Food Tour by AK Travel

Duration: 10 Hrs Duration

2 reviews

9. Admire the ancient city from the water (from USD 76.0)

Sail past the breathtaking temples of Ayutthaya at sunset while admiring the illuminated ruins from the water. This tour departs from Bangkok in the afternoon and includes an hour-long boat ride past the historic city of ancient ruins and towering temples. After your boat ride concludes, you will get to visit the temples of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Mahathat. You will also get to visit the reclining Buddha at Wat Lokayasutharam and explore Ayutthaya City Park before returning back to Bangkok. This tour lasts approximately 6 hours and is limited to groups of 15 participants.

Sunset Selfie Boat Ride @ "Ayutthaya" - A World Heritage Evening Trip (SHA Plus)

Duration: 6 hours

3 reviews

10. Visit Luang Pho To at Wat Phanan Choeng

Wat Phanan Choeng
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Battery2029 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The incredible temple of Wat Phanan Choeng was founded about 26 years before Ayutthaya was established as the kingdom’s capital. This ancient temple is renowned for the seated Buddha statue that stands at 62-feet (19-meter) tall and was built in the year 1324. The immense statue is known as Luang Pho To and is said to be a guardian for mariners. Local legend also claims that the statue shed tears at the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767. Some additional 84,000 smaller Buddha images are also enshrined in the temple. Wat Phanan Choeng is located at the confluence of Chaophraya and Pasak rivers.

Wat Phanan Choeng

Address: 2 หมู่ที่ 12 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 0.65 USD

11. Visit Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christophe95 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The sanctuary hall of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit is located on the City Island of Ayutthaya and houses a 41-foot (12.5-meter) tall, bronze Buddha. This enormous statue dates back to the 15th century and is one of Thailand’s largest bronze Buddha images. Over its long history, the image has suffered damage due to thunderstorms and attacks, but was restored throughout the 20th century. Today, the Buddha statue and the building serve not just as a sacred place but also as a must-visit attraction in Ayutthaya.

Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Address: นเรศวร ประตูชัย Naresuan Rd, Pratu Chai Sub-district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

12. Admire the beautiful architecture of Wat Yai Chaimongkol

Wat Yai Chaimongkol
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mr.Peerapong Prasutr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located off the City Island, Wat Yai Chaimongkol was established by King U­thong in 1357 AD. The temple’s name translates to “the Monastery of Auspicious Victory,” and it is one of the most important and active sanctuaries in the area. In fact, monks still live in kuti (living quarters) on the grounds. The temple has beautiful architectural features, including the bell-shaped chedi where visitors can climb through the interior to a viewing platform that overlooks the temple grounds. Another highlight of the temple is the 23-foot (7-meter) long image of a reclining Buddha, which is one of the largest outdoor statues of a reclining Buddha in Thailand.

Wat Yai Chaimongkol

Address: หมู่ที่ 3 40/3 ตำบล คลองสวนพลู Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 0.65 USD

13. Explore Wat Na Phra Men

Wat Na Phra Men
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Supanut Arunoprayote used under CC BY 4.0

Wat Na Phra Men, also known as Wat Phra Meru Rachikaram, is a prime example of the later architectural style of Ayutthaya. Since Wat Na Phra Men wasn’t destroyed when Ayutthaya was defeated by Burmese troops in 1767, the temple’s architecture remains in great condition. Inside the ordination hall is a seated Buddha image known as Phra Buddha Nimitr Vichit Maramoli Sisanpeth Boromtrailokanat which stands at 20-feet (6-meter) tall. There are 3 other Buddha images within the temple, all of which date back 500-700 years and feature a variety of designs.

Wat Na Phra Men

Address: 76 หมู่4 Tambon Lum Phli, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 8am - 5:30pm

Price: 0.65 USD

14. Get off the beaten path at Wat Thammikarat

Wat Thammikarat
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KOSIN SUKHUM used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located to the east of the ancient palace, Wat Thammikarat is one of the lesser-explored temples in Ayutthaya but is well worth a visit. The exact date of the temple’s establishment is unknown, but local legend posits that the temple predates the founding of Ayutthaya. Wat Thammikarat is still a working temple and new buildings stand side by side with ancient ruins. One of the unique features of the temple is the ancient chedi surrounded by lion statues.

Wat Thammikarat

Address: U Thong Rd, Tambon Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Website: Wat Thammikarat

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

15. View the murals at Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan

Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Patibutkan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Constructed by King Rama I, Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan is a fantastic example of the late Ayutthaya style of architecture as well as Western influences. One of the highlights of Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan is the collection of murals within the viharn (sermon hall). These murals depict a variety of traditional stories, including a mural of Buddha defeating evil as well as a likeness of King Naresuan the Great painted in the Western style. The temple is located on U-Thong Road southeast of the city.

Wat Suwan Dararam Ratchaworawihan

Address: Moo 1 U Thong Road Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Opening hours: 8am - 6pm (daily)

16. See the picturesque prangs of Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mr.Peerapong Prasutr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Wat Chaiwatthanaram was founded in 1630 and has a picturesque location overlooking the Chao Phraya River. It features a traditional Khmer style that was influenced by Angkor Wat in Cambodia and distinct architectural elements like prangs or tower-like spires. The large, central prang symbolizes Mount Sumeru, the mountain home of the gods. The pagoda is encompassed by four smaller prangs that represent the four continents that swim in the four directions in the world sea. Wat Chaiwatthanaram is one of the most visited temples in Ayutthaya; it is especially impressive at night when the temple is illuminated.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Address: Moo 9 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Price: 1.60 USD

17. Shop at Chao Phrom Market

Chao Phrom Market
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user yeowatzup used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for something unique, then plan a visit to Chao Phrom Market. Aside from offering tourists a glimpse of local life, this lively covered market is a great place to shop for snacks and souvenirs. Chao Phrom Market is open daily from the early morning until the evening and houses a variety of vendors and stalls. Besides the cheap items, this market is also highly recommended for its friendly vendors, great atmosphere, quality products, and tasty snacks.

Chao Phrom Market

Address: 3 9 U Thong Rd, Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: 3am - 6pm (daily)

18. Feast on mouthwatering meals at The Summer House Ayutthaya

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


The Summer House Ayutthaya is a charming, casual restaurant that serves classic Thai dishes and inventive fusion food. This atmospheric restaurant overlooks the river, offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and has a menu inspired by the seasons with vegetarian and vegan options available. Enjoy delicious fares such as pomelo salad with grilled salmon, grilled local river prawns, roti green curry, and crispy, vegetable-filled spring rolls. If you still have room, enjoy decadent desserts such as riceberry mousse, coffee flan cake, and summer sundaes. There’s also an extensive coffee menu with both hot and iced drinks featuring coffee beans roasted and ground on site.

The Summer House Ayutthaya

Address: Ko Rian, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: 9:30am - 9:30pm (daily)

19. Sip a beer at Brown Ale Ayutthaya

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

ไทยคร๊าฟเบียร์ & On Taps 1.Singha 2.Cheer Riceberry 3.Amber New 4.Stout สุข เศร้า เหงา รัก...

Posted by Brown Ale Ayutthaya on Saturday, April 3, 2021

If you want to experience the city’s nightlife, then you should check out Brown Ale Ayutthaya. It is a casual beer café that features great drinks, mouthwatering food, and live music. After a busy day of sightseeing, sit back and relax while you sip on craft ale and lagers. In addition to Thai beers, this bar also offers several beer options on tap as well as imported beverages. Indoor and outdoor seating options are available.

Brown Ale Ayutthaya

Address: 5/11, Rochana rd. (Pridi Branomyong st.), Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Opening hours: 5:30pm - 12am (daily)

20. Have some family-friendly fun at Million Toy Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Milllion Toy Museum by Krirk Yoonpun on Friday, May 10, 2019

This family-friendly attraction brims with educational exhibits and displays and highlights how toys have changed through the ages. Million Toy Museum was founded by associate professor Krirk Yoonpun, and the private collection features both Thai and international toys. The first floor of the museum is dedicated to local culture and includes Thai toys from the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, and Rattanakosin periods. On the second floor, visitors can see toys from around the world that feature different materials, styles, and functions.

Million Toy Museum

Address: 45 Moo 2 U Thong Rd, Tha Wasukri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Website: Million Toy Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 1.60 USD

21. Tee off at Ayutthaya Golf Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ayutthaya Golf Club on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Regardless of your skill level, Ayutthaya Golf Club is a beautiful place to enjoy a round of golf. The golf club is open 7 days a week and features a lush 18-hole course with golf carts and caddy rentals. If you’re not a golfer, there are also other places that you can check out such as the clubhouse, sauna, and restaurant. When you need a break from sightseeing, tee off at Ayutthaya Golf Club.

Ayutthaya Golf Club

Address: 356, Ko Rian, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Website: Ayutthaya Golf Club

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

Price: 40 USD

22. Marvel at the breathtaking architecture of Bang Pa-In Palace

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JJ Harrison used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Overlooking the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Bang Pa-In Palace was formerly used as a residence by Thai kings. The palace, which is also known as the Summer Palace, was originally constructed in 1632 then later abandoned due to the destruction of Ayutthaya. It was restored in the mid-19th century and today, it features a variety of architectural styles from around the world. Within the complex, tourists can visit ornate shrines, royal pavilions, historic monuments, and intricate towers. Meander through the grounds or rent a golf cart to explore the incredible architecture.

Bang Pa-In Palace

Address: Ban Len Bang Pa-in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13160

23. See traditional boats at Thai Boat Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Learn more about boats and local history at Thai Boat Museum. This interesting attraction features exhibitions on a variety of boats including their uses and construction. Also, it includes wooden boats that date back 100 years as well as rice barges, a market boat, and a scorpion-tailed boat. Aside from learning more about traditional Thai boats, you can also check out intricate ship miniatures and watch a demonstration of shipbuilding. The privately owned museum is open daily, in case you plan to visit.

Thai Boat Museum

Address: 11/11 Naresuan Rd, Tambon Hua Ro, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Website: Thai Boat Museum

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

24. Window shop at Ayutthaya City Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ayutthaya City Park on Saturday, April 17, 2021

A trip to this city will never be complete without going on a shopping spree. Scout out the best souvenirs and shop until you drop at Ayutthaya City Park. This fantastic mall offers both indoor and outdoor shopping and features over 500 stores to browse through. Whether you’re looking for fashion or beauty items, there’s always something interesting to spy at Ayutthaya City Park. There are also dining options, fitness areas, and a FIFA standard soccer field on site.

Ayutthaya City Park

Address: 126 หมู่ที่ 3 ถ. สายเอเชีย Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, Thailand

Website: Ayutthaya City Park

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 10pm

Transit through time

It’s amazing to see the remaining structures that are still preserved by the Thai people, today. Ayutthaya has a lot of picturesque places to visit and they give some insight into the glory of the past and its profound culture. Like a good recipe, Ayutthaya contains a lot of ingredients and elements that, cooked altogether, make for a favorable combination that any traveler would want to explore.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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A wanderer, exploring new things beyond what meets the eye. A photography lover, taking pictures that capture my heart and soul. A lover of books, indulge in a different world to escape. And...Read more

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