There are over 30 current and former royal palaces in Bangkok but only a few are open to the public. Some are now museums while most of the others are government offices. Most date back to the late 18th/early 19th century and were designed in a European architectural style. Read on for our features on the ones you can visit.
Please note that the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Vimanmek Mansion are both currently closed for renovations.
The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is a royal reception hall within the Dusit Palace complex situated at the Royal Plaza. Inside you will find the royal throne and exhibitions of royal treasures.
Vimanmek Mansion is a former royal villa that was originally home to King Rama V. It’s located in the royal Dusit Palace complex and is a major tourist attraction. It is the world’s largest golden teakwood mansion.
Chitraladarahotarn Palace was the official residence of the late King Bhumibol and is closed to the public. However, you can walk around the outside of the complex and view the Italian designed walls and surrounding moat. Each corner of the complex has a fountain with some impressive statues of baroque figures from Thai mythology. The palace is in the Dusit district on Si Ayutthaya Road.
Bangkhunphom Palace was built in 1906 as a residence for Prince Paribatra Sukhumbhand, who was the son of Rama V. It is located off Samsen Road on the banks of the Chao Phraya river in the Dusit district. It is one of the most beautiful and elegant palace buildings in Bangkok. The palace is part of the Bank of Thailand and houses a museum displaying the history of Thai currency. There is also an exhibition of the history of the house and its former resident.
The Parutsakawan Palace is in the grounds of the Metropolitan Police Bureau on Si Ayutthaya road in the Dusit district. It contains two buildings, Parutsakawan, and Chitralada Villa. The Parutsakawan building is currently the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (Thai C.I.A.) and is off-limits to the public. The Chitralada Villa building is open to the public as a museum and is noted for the beautiful Italian architecture.
Phaya Thai palace is located on Ratchawithi Road near the Victory Monument in the grounds of Phramongkutlao hospital. It was built in 1909 by King Rama V as a summer house when the surrounding area was farmland.