Pattaya is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Thailand besides Bangkok. It’s famous for its nightlife and sleepless parties, along with the sun-splashed sands and tropical beauty.
However, the city is more than a destination for party people. Pattaya tourist places are a great mix of culture and nature. Attractions and outdoor activities will keep you busy for days and it will be impossible to get bored. You can explore its nature and culture in ways you would never have imagined.
So don’t let the “bad” or party reputation of Pattaya put you off. The laid-back atmosphere of its beaches and islands and the glitz of Walking Street Pattaya make this vibrant seaside town a great destination in Thailand.
Below are the 10 best things to do in Pattaya, and at the end of the post, you’ll find our guide to Pattaya. We share travel tips and recommendations on how to get there and where to stay in Pattaya.
Thailand Travel Tips: read our guides, inspiring stories and travel recommendations here!
Awesome places to visit in Pattaya, Thailand
1. Admire the flowers at Nong Nooch Botanical Garden
If you’re interested in flowers, trees, and gardens, this is undoubtedly one of Pattaya’s tourist places that you can’t miss. It’s a great spot to spend a pleasant afternoon away from the crowds. Nong Nooch Botanical Garden is a theme park with various highlights. The Stonehenge garden and the 17th-century French garden host some of the most beautiful flowers not only in Thailand but the world.
Be sure to rent a bicycle at the entrance. Why? Because it’s the best way to tour the garden, and you’ll see more of everything that way! If you are looking for things to do in Pattaya with kids, go to the Botanical Garden, the Dinnousour Valley will keep them entertained for hours.
2. Visit the vibrant Pattaya Floating Market
There are numerous floating markets in Thailand, but none like the one in Pattaya. The market is called the “Four Regions Floating Market” because it’s divided into four regions of Thailand: North, Northeast, South, and Central.
Traders, farmers, and fishermen float along the water, selling fresh produce from each region of the country. Note that not all of the stalls are floating. Some are stilted shops that stand at the sides of the banks, giving you a privileged view of all the activity.
Be sure to take a tour through the Pattaya floating market, if you like something, stop by the boat or stall and start the negotiation. Bargaining is part of the experience and one of the funniest things to do in Pattaya. The local spices, handicrafts, and colorful vegetables and fruits are surely worth the experience!
If you like eating well, another tip is to get your Pattaya TAGThai Pass!
It’s a digital city pass that gives you access to several restaurants and cafes. You buy the pass and you can eat & drink their signature dishes/drinks without any extra cost. It’s way cheaper than if you would pay for each meal separately.
Get your Pattaya TAGThai Pass here!
We used the Bangkok TAGThai Pass and Phuket TAGThai Pass, and loved them! You can also get a Chiang Mai TAGThai Pass and Ayutthaya TAGThai Pass. The activities, attractions, restaurants and benefits in each city are different, so it’s worth checking them out.
3. Visit one of the best beaches in Pattaya
The crowds in Pattaya Beach can indeed be too overwhelming. So, head a little further south, Jomtien Beach might be what you’re looking for! This stretch of fine white sand is one of the best beaches in Pattaya and a haven for those looking for tranquility. Since it’s not as big or as crowded as Pattaya Beach, it’s much more peaceful, but it doesn’t mean boring. You can find there some of the best water activities in Pattaya, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. Plenty of restaurants along the beach serving fresh, delicious seafood to tease your growling stomach!
4. Take in the island vibes at Koh Larn – Coral Island
Pattaya tourist places worth a visit go beyond the beach shore. Another must-visit place in Pattaya is Koh Larn, also called Coral Island Pattaya and it’s located just a few minutes off the coast. You can travel from Pattaya to Koh Larn by ferry, which leaves every 30 minutes from Bali Hai Pier. With countless breathtaking sceneries, the Coral island has some of the best beaches in Pattaya. It’s a true tropical paradise with great options for Thai seafood.
Koh Larn has 6 different beaches; each one has its own unique vibe. One of the best things to do in Koh Larn is to go beach-hopping by renting a local motorbike and driving around the island, drive carefully ok?!. This is one of the best ways to discover the hidden beaches on Koh Larn, and it’s also one of the top things to do in Pattaya with family or friends.
More than a day trip, but truly an island getaway, Koh Chang is a few hours from Pattaya and worth a visit. Check our list of things to do in Koh Chang here.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
We use World Nomads and SafetyWing, click on the name of the company and book your insurance now. If you need more information read our Travel Insurance Guide here.
5. Be mesmerized by the Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Pattaya. This place is like nothing else, a stunning and unique attraction in Pattaya.
The temple stands 105 meters tall, it’s all made from teak carved meticulously. A truly beautiful sight to behold, the Sanctuary of Truth is not a Buddhist temple as you may expect. A business owner designed it as a place to go and reflect upon oneself. Take time to admire the site, and check out their woodcraft workshop. If you can’t visit all Pattaya tourist places listed here, choose just a few, but don’t you dare to skip the Sanctuary of Truth.
Recommendation: to understand more about Thailand’s culture and religion is better to have a local expert with you. We have done many tours and day experiences with TakeMeTour and always had a great time. Check out TakeMeTour day trips in Pattaya here and book your favorite one.
6. Admire the Buddha Image at Buddha Mountain (Kao Chee Chan)
With a striking appearance seen from miles away, the 130 meter-high Buddha Mountain is one of the most interesting places to visit in Pattaya. Created in 1996 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of King Rama IX’s reign, the image of the Buddha on the mountain was carved using laser technology and then inlaid with gold leaves. The process was done entirely at night so that the light of the laser could be seen more clearly. Kao Chee Chan also has some pleasant landscaped gardens and lotus ponds, giving an air of quietude about the place.
7. Visit Pattaya’s Big Buddha
Wat Phra Khao Yai or “Big Buddha” certainly lives up to its name. Being the biggest Buddha in the region, it stands at 18 meters tall and located 100 meters above sea level, watching over Pattaya. Once you’re at the top of the hill next to the Buddha, you will see Jomtien Beach. The temple complex houses the highly detailed golden seated Buddha, creating a peaceful mood for visitors thanks to its numerous bells, burning incense, several statues. If you are looking for what to do in Pattaya to connect with locals, this is a great place to visit as locals visit the temple every day, so expect to see monks and locals praying!
8. See the best views at Pattaya Viewpoint
A visit to the Pattaya Viewpoint on Pratumnak Hill is another must-do in Pattaya, as it’s the best vantage point in the city. You can visit it any time of day and snap great shots of Pattaya’s crescent bay. This is one of Pattaya Tourist places that gets crowded during sunset as everybody wants to see the beautiful spectacle of the city lighting up. If you are looking for a romantic activity, this is one of the famous places in Pattaya for couples.
9. Absorb Chinese culture at Anek Kuson Sala (Viharn Sien)
For those looking for cultural things to do in Pattaya, Anek Kuson Sala or Viharn Sien is the place to go! Originally built to commemorate the friendship between the Chinese and Thais, this former Chinese Temple is now a 3-story museum housing a unique collection of Chinese antiques. Three hundred pieces of Chinese art, Buddha images, bronze statues, and various statues of Chinese gods are all housed here! The highlight is the permanent display of the Terracotta Army figures, including chariot and horses. Furthermore, you can see statues of dressmakers, fortune tellers, and liquor sellers where tourists often place 1 baht coins on.
10. Enjoy Pattaya’s nightlife at Walking Street
We can’t end our list without mentioning things to do in Pattaya at night and the famous Walking Street. The sights and sounds of Walking Street Pattaya are quite something to behold. Walking Street is 500 meters long and accurate to its name; there are no vehicles allowed on the street after 6 pm. The street, as well as numerous smaller side streets, are full of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and beer bars. It’s packed and it can get a bit crazy as the night goes. During the day, the road is almost empty, but at night it comes alive with neon lights and thumping music for a trademark eclectic atmosphere.
Our list of the top 10 tourist places to visit in Pattaya ends with party. Bear in mind that things can get naughty in Pattaya’s nightlife. If you are traveling with family or kids, or if girl’s bars, loud music, and even louder tourists are not your thing, avoid certain streets and areas of Pattaya. This coastal city is much more than it’s party reputation, so don’t let it overshadow all the fantastic things to do and see there.
Did you like our suggestions on what to do in Pattaya, Thailand? With its lovely beaches, serene islands, and vibrant nightlife, Pattaya is undoubtedly a great place to visit in Thailand for young travelers, families, and even couples.
Looking for more travel tips for Thailand? Read our guides and inspiring stories here!
Where to stay in Pattaya, Thailand
Now that you probably made up your mind about visiting Pattaya, it’s time to select that special little (or big, maybe huge) place to recharge the batteries. Despite being known for its beach resorts, there are endless types of hotels in Pattaya, so it can get a bit tricky to find the one that suits you best. To make your life easier, we listed some of the top accommodations in Pattaya in each category. You can focus your energy on all the incredible things you will do in Pattaya instead of losing hours and hours searching for the perfect hotel.
– Royal Wing Suites & Spa
The Royal Wing Suites & Spa is the real deal for a royalty-like stay in Pattaya. This beachfront hotel in Pattaya has outstanding structure and amenities. The awarded hotel and its attentive staff aim to please all guests in every aspect, offering amazing rooms with magnificent views, delicious food, a private beach, awesome pools, and even a tennis court. Being so pampered, it’s no wonder most of the guests keep coming back for this 5-star hotel in Pattaya.
Check the availability and book your room at Royal Wing Suites & Spa here!
– Acqua Hotel Pattaya
Located in the central area of the city, Acqua is a modern hotel that grants easy access to several of Pattaya’s top attractions. Acqua is one of the best 4-star hotels in Pattaya offering superb facilities, friendly staff, over a hundred comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, a cocktail lounge, and a praised breakfast. Acqua Hotel Pattaya is a right call for those seeking a convenient location with superior service at a reasonable price.
– Hotel Zing
One of the top places to stay in Pattaya South, Hotel Zing is an excellent value for your money. All bright-colored, it offers rooms with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and public parking, and has not one but two pools – go for the one on the rooftop for a beautiful view of the city.
Check the rates here and book your room at Pattaya Hotel Zing!
– Happy Hostel Pattaya
More equipped than most hostels in Pattaya, Happy Hostel isn’t precisely far but not that near to the city center. Although its comfort and overall quality of services make up for the distance. Extra points for the friendly neighborhood, a good option if you want to explore different areas of Pattaya. There are well maintained common areas, free coffee, and even an indoor pool packed on an affordable and pleasant stay in Pattaya.
For more options of best hotels in Pattaya, we recommend you search and book your room using Booking.com or Agoda.
And did you know that you can rent an apartments in Pattaya via Airbnb? Curious? Sign up here and get a discount on your first booking!
How to get to Pattaya and around
Pattaya is situated southeast of Bangkok, and from there, it is quite easy to reach, yay! The trip from Bangkok to Pattaya takes about 2 hours, depending on the traffic.
Our destination is connected to Thailand’s capital through Highway 3 and Highway 7. If you don’t feel like renting a car (check the prices here), you can go from Bangkok to Pattaya by bus (check the air-conditioned ones for some comfort). Buses depart every half hour from early in the morning until almost midnight. They leave from the Eastern (Ekkamai), Northern (Mo Chit), and Southern (Sai Tai Mai) bus terminals.
You can check buses’ prices and timetables to/from Pattaya right here.
Hotels (especially in the Khao San area) and travel agencies offer the transport by minivan, which is more expensive but has the advantage of picking you at your hotel door. There are also taxis and private cars doing the route, but the prices can go as high as 1500 baht per person. The cheapest option is to get the train that departs from Bangkok on weekdays between 6h45 and 6h50 and enjoy 3 hours trip.
Another option is to go on a tour from Bangkok to Pattaya. TakeMeTour offers exciting day trips from Bangkok to Pattaya tourist attractions. The good thing is that they arrange all the transportation from Bangkok to Pattaya and even meals.
Even though it’s a pretty big place, getting around Pattaya is not that complicated. Most of the hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, and clubs are concentrated in an area that you can easily cross on foot. But since you’re on holiday and perhaps not in the mood for walking, there are many transport alternatives to choose from:
• a local bus called Beach Bus covers Pattaya’s tourist places and tickets cost only 30 baht;
• songthaews are among the cheapest and more practical transportation methods in Pattaya;
• tuk-tuks are also popular, but remember to negotiate the price before you hop on;
• motorbike taxis (the operators use colorful vests) are another cheap option to go around, though you might not feel that safe sometimes;
• car and/or motorbike rental are alternatives if you have an international driver’s license;
• and of course, there’s always a taxi. We recommend using Grab Taxi App that works like Uber.
Do you want to go to Pattaya, or do you want to know about other places in Thailand? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jug Sriyananda is one of TakeMeTour‘s content writers and a Bangkokian through and through. His favorite things to do include sipping coffee at Bangkok Old Town, shopping at Chatuchak Weekend Market and traveling to Thailand’s best beach towns. Check his Instagram and Facebook for more info.