17 BEST Museums in Bangkok [October 2019]

Last Updated on

17 BEST Museums in Bangkok [[date]]

With its bustling street life and tranquil temples and gardens, Bangkok is a juxtaposition of traditional and modern culture. And while Thailand is home to many beautiful cities, beaches, and landscapes, none of them even come close to Bangkok.

But most notably, Bangkok can keep you entertained at every hour of the day. And that includes their plethora of fun and engaging museums. And with something for every type and every age of traveler, you’re sure to find a museum that sparks your interest!

So grab your passport and your sunscreen, because we’re taking you through the best museums that you can’t miss during your visit to Bangkok!

#1 – Jim Thompson House

Art Museum

Jim Thompson House

Photo credit – https://www.travelvui.com

  • Slice of paradise in the middle of the city
  • Thai art and decor
  • Cost: 150 baht (adults), 100 baht (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

A jungle oasis in the heart of Bangkok, the Jim Thompson House is an outdoor museum filled with Thai treasures. It was designed and built by American architect Jim Thompson, who is most notably known for reviving the Thai silk trade in the 1940s and 1950s.

The museum is located inside a bright red house surrounding by lush green gardens, and Thompson curated most of the furnishings and decor during his time in Thailand. It’s a tranquil escape in an otherwise chaotic city!

Stop by the Jim Thompson House on your whirlwind boat, tuk-tuk, and train tour of Bangkok!

 

#2 – Museum Siam

Discovery Museum

Museum Siam

Photo credit – http://www.bangkok.com

  • All age fun
  • Interactive exhibits on Thai life and culture
  • Cost: 200 baht (adults), 50 baht (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Fun for the whole family, Museum Siam is an interactive museum with an educational spin. The exhibits are most accurately reflected by the museum’s motto, “Play + Learn = Joy.” Here, visitors can learn all about Thai culture and life through various hands-on exhibits, including Village Life, Thailand and the World, and Thailand Tomorrow.

This fun and comprehensive tour of everything Thai is interesting for adults and equally interesting and entertaining for the little ones.

 

#3 – Museum of Contemporary Art

Art Museum

Museum of Contemporary Art

Photo credit – Bangkok 101

  • Thailand’s largest modern art museum
  • See Thai and foreign art
  • Cost: 180 baht (adults), 80 baht (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 3 – 4 hours

Home to Thailand’s largest collection of modern art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is a must-see for any art lover. Located in a 5-story building not far from the center of Bangkok, MOCA showcases the complex world of Thai life and covers social issues such as religion and other taboo topics.

And while most of the exhibits focus on Thai artists, there is still an impressive collection of international and foreign art.

Insider tip – Use our expert guide to see when the best time to visit Bangkok is!

#4 – Siriraj Medical Museum

Medical Museum

Siriraj Medical Museum

Photo credit – City Nomads

  • Dark, gruesome side of medicine
  • Located inside a hospital
  • Cost: 40 baht (adults), Free (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Don’t let Siriraj Medical Museum’s nickname scare you! Often referred to as the Museum of Death, this tour through the dark underworld of medicine is located in Siriraj Hospital, and is separated into several smaller museums. And while it’s intended to be visited by medical students, the museum is open to the public for anyone who wants to see the gruesome and horrifying side of Bangkok.

Here, you’ll find preserved corpses of serial killers, prehistoric skeletons, and maybe learn a thing or two about human anatomy. Not for the faint of heart, the Siriraj Medical Museum is one of the most unique places in Bangkok!

Still haven’t booked for Bangkok? We’ve organized the best places to stay in Bangkok for all types of trips!

 

#5 – Museum of Counterfeit Goods

Specialty Museum

Museum of Counterfeit Goods

Photo credit – Beutler Ink

  • 4,000 counterfeit items
  • Crime and social responsibility of intellectual property
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

In a country known for knock-off watches and fake purses, it’s no surprise that you’ll also find a Museum of Counterfeit Goods! It was funded by the Tilleke & Gibbins law firm, whose goal was to shed light on this seriousness of counterfeit and intellectual property crimes.

There are over 4,000 items on display, from perfumes, electronics, alcohol, and even knock-off stationary and office supplies! But what’s most interesting is that the items are shown next to their authentic counterparts, so you can learn how to spot the difference when shopping in Bangkok!

How much do you know about Bangkok? You can learn about Bangkoks history before you go!

 

#6 – Bangkok Dolls House and Museum

Specialty Museum

Bangkok Dolls House and Museum

Photo credit – OneTravel

  • Hundreds of unique, handmade dolls
  • Replicas of Thai figures and gods
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Although this may sound like a museum for children, the Bangkok Dolls House and Museum is actually fascinating for all ages. With an extensive collection of antique, handcrafted Thai dolls, the Bangkok Dolls House and Museum was opened by doll enthusiast and artisan, Tongkorn Chandavimol.

Here, you’ll find models of historical figures, Thai dancers, and even gods and goddesses on display. All, of course, painted with the closest attention to detail.

 

#7 – Bangkok National Museum

Art and History Museum

Bangkok National Museum

Photo credit – bangkok.com

  • Learn about Thai art and history
  • Don’t miss the Royal Chariot and Buddaisawan Chapel
  • Cost: 200 baht
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

For a deep dive into Thai culture, spend an afternoon at the Bangkok National Museum. It was built in 1874 by King Rama V himself, as a way to display the gifts that were passed down to him from his father.

Since then, the museum has grown to house everything under the sun, with a focus on Thai art and history. Learn about the archeological history of Thailand, and even explore famous Thai decorative arts, such as textile, ceramics, and even carved ivory.

Stop by the Bangkok National Museum on your hop-on-hop-off bus tour around Bangkok!

 

#8 – Bangkokian Museum

History Museum

Bangkokian Museum

Photo credit – bangkok.com

  • Two preserved wooden houses from the 1800s
  • Post-WWII items and decor
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

The Bangkokian Museum is a discreet, hidden gem in Bangkok. As you step foot inside the museum, you’ll see what life in Bangkok was like post-WWII, as if it was frozen in time.

Built inside two meticulously preserved wooden houses, the Bangkokian Museum is full of rarities, antiques, and delicate treasures collected over the years. Many of the items and furnishings on display are from the families that actually resided in the buildings!

 

#9 – Condom Museum

Specialty Museum

Condom Museum

Photo credit – CNN Travel

  • Thousands of condoms on display
  • Home to the world famous Cabbages & Condoms restaurant
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

The Condom Museum might be one of the most unique places to see in all of Thailand! Yes, the entire museum is covered wall to wall in condoms. However, the goal of the museum is more educational rather than humorous.

By making condoms less taboo, they hope to raise awareness of sexual protection and sexually transmitted diseases. But the real highlight of the museum is surprisingly the delicious on-site restaurant, Cabbages & Condoms.

 

#10 – National Museum of Royal Barges

Maritime Museum

National Museum of Royal Barges

Photo credit – bangkok.com

  • Eight full-size royal barges on display
  • See boats in all shapes, colors, and designs
  • Cost: 100 baht
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Thailand’s boats and ships are more than just methods of transportation. Many consider them to be artistic masterpieces, painted with vibrant colors and decorated with ornate figurines. At the National Museum of Royal Barges, you can see many of these royal barges on display.

Don’t miss the bright gold Royal Barge Suphannahong, a 46-meter long swan-shaped boat. Or, the Krabi Prab Muang Marn Barge, with a giant figure of a gold and glass monkey warrior situated on top of the bow.

Visit the National Museum of Royal Barges after you ride in your very own long tail boat on this royal barge tour!

 

#11 – Madame Tussauds Museum Bangkok

Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Museum Bangkok

Photo credit – ithaka

  • 90 international and Thai figures
  • Interact, touch, and hug them!
  • Cost: 790 baht (adults), 630 baht (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Unlike most wax museums around the world, Madame Tussauds Museum Bangkok does things a little bit different. Here, you can touch, hug, and even kiss your favorite wax celebrities!

There are over 90 figures on display, including many one-of-a-kind Thai celebrities. However, you can still find your favorite international entertainers and politicians, such as Barak Obama, Justin Bieber, and Angelina Jolie.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Try our hotel guide for Bangkok!

 

#12 – Royal Thai Air Force Museum

Air Force Museum

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

Photo credit – By Richard Barrow

  • Helicopters, fighter jets, and planes
  • Several surviving Japanese trainers
  • Cost: 790 baht (adults), 630 baht (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Established in the mid-1950s, the Royal Thai Air Force Museum has a vast collection of preserved and restored military planes on display. All of which were used exclusively by the Royal Thai Air Force!

But besides showcasing these larger-than-life machines, the museum also explains Thailand’s influence and role in World War II. There are almost 100 planes, helicopters, and fighter jets on display, so make sure to allow a good part of your afternoon here.

Get to the Royal Thai Air Force Museum by skipping traffic on your private Tuk Tuk ride!

 

#13 – Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

Specialty Museum

Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

Photo credit – khaosodenglish.com

  • Preserving and showcasing Asian textiles
  • See outfits worn by Queen Sirikit
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Located near the Royal Grand Palace, the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles showcases one of Thailand’s most magnificent crafts. Inside the museum, you’ll find Eastern, Southern, and Southeast Asian textiles, including the world-famous Thai silks.

There are also many costumes, formal gowns, and royal outfits on display. Many of which were sewn and worn by Queen Sirikit herself!

 

#14 – Bangkok Children’s Discovery Museum

Children’s Museum

Bangkok Children's Discovery Museum

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Eight interactive exhibits
  • Learn about the culture, technology, and nature
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 3 – 4 hours

With eight different interactive sections, the Bangkok Children’s Discovery Museum is one of Thailand’s most fun and engaging museums! Kids will love learning about how the human brain works in the Body and Mind Gallery.

And, they can try their hand at playing traditional musical instruments in the Culture and Society Gallery. But they will inevitably love the Sairoong, a giant backyard full of play structures and larger-than-life toys!

 

#15 – Museum of Human Body

Medical Museum

Museum of Human Body

Photo credit – bangkok.com

  • 15 dissected and preserved bodies
  • Located in the medical university
  • Cost: 200 baht
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

For those who can stomach it, the Museum of Human Body is a fascinating look at our bizarre anatomy! There are 15 dissected bodies on display – and I mean real, human bodies!

Located inside the Faculty of Dentistry building at the University of Chulalongkorn, the Museum of Human Body is an interesting, educational exhibit for both medical students and the general public alike.

MUST READ – These are our favorite things to see in Bangkok!

 

#16 – King Prajadhipok Museum

History Museum

King Prajadhipok Museum

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Dedicated to King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambai Bari
  • Learn about Thai history and democracy
  • Cost: 40 baht
  • Suggested duration: 3 – 4 hours

Explore the luxurious lives of King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambai Barni at Bangkok’s King Prajadhipok Museum. Covering three floors of a now-defunct department store, the museum contains objects, photographs, and even personal items from the late king.

You’ll also learn about how Prajadhipok become of one Thailand’s most loved monarchs and how democracy was formed in the country.

 

#17 – Suan Pakkad Palace

History Museum

Suan Pakkad Palace

Photo credit – bangkok.com

  • Thai art and artifacts
  • Located inside a stunning pavilion palace
  • Cost: 100 baht
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

To admire some of the most remarkable and rare Thai objects and artworks, head to Suan Pakkad Palace. The palace was formerly the residence of Prince Chumbhotbongs Paribatra until they converted the home into a museum.

There are many antiques on display, but what’s most impressive is the collection of 4,000-year-old Ban Chiang pottery. And while you’re there, don’t forget to take time to marvel at the architecture. The traditional pavilion style home is also over 450 years old!

 

FAQ

How many museums are in Bangkok?

There are many museums in Bangkok, and even with a few weeks in the city, you’d barely scratch the surface of what to see! You’ll find everything from art galleries, history exhibits, and even bizarre and quirky hidden gems.

How many free museums are in Bangkok?

Compared to other cites around the world, Bangkok has a fair share of free museums. While most of the more significant, nationally known museums charge an entry fee, you can still find many places to visit for free, including the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Condom Museum, and Bangkok Children’s Discovery Museum.

What are the hours of museums in Bangkok?

Most museums in Bangkok open around 9 or 10 am, and many of them close around 4 pm. Each museum dictates their own schedule, so you may find that some are only open on the weekends, while others are closed a specific day of the week. You should check the schedule of the museum online to confirm their opening hours.

What can I bring into Bangkok museums?

While smaller, independently owned museums allow photography, most art galleries, including MOCA and the Bangkokian Museum do not. However, bottled water is usually allowed inside, which you’ll be thankful for during those hot, summer months!

 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Bangkok’s history and culture are almost as well known as it’s sun-soaked beaches and mouth-watering cuisine! And the best way to get a taste of what Bangkok has to offer is by spending time visiting one of their many museums.

And with tons of museums to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding one that suits your tastes. Bangkok is home to world-famous art galleries, historic temples, and even quirky one-of-a-kind museums.

So if you can pull yourself away from the beaches for a day, consider learning a bit more about Bangkok’s culture. You might come away with a new appreciation for this beautiful, exotic country!

*** Some of the links on Hotel Jules are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you.) Thank you for using our links! Your support keeps the site going***

About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!