The city of Bangkok, the capital and most populous city in the country of Thailand, is famous for its incredible nightlife—a city that boasts thousands of bars, lounges and nightclubs in which partying revelers can quench their thirst and kick up their collective heels. Bangkok is one of the top tourist destinations on the planet, visited by more international visitors each year than any other city in the world. Bangkok was also named the “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure magazine’s survey of its readers for four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013. Part of the reason for this tourism success is the city’s many great nightspots. From the lounges in Bangkok’s Old City quarter, to the hotel bars in the mega shopping district of Sukhumvit, to its rooftop bars with sweeping views of the downtown metropolis.
In the following article we will highlight several of the best and most-visited bars in the city of Bangkok; including a brief description of each of these nightspots and the reasons they continue to draw customers from around the world.
Vertigo is an outdoor rooftop bar located 61 floors above the busy streets of downtown Bangkok, offering one of the most scenic views imaginable of this bustling city. An upscale bar that is perfect for that first date with someone special or an anniversary or birthday celebration, Vertigo boasts an international and stylish vibe that is difficult to find anywhere else in this great city. In fact, while there is no shortage of rooftop bars in Bangkok, Vertigo has consistently been ranked the best of these by local residents.
Although Vertigo boasts a full bar of beer and liquors, some of the more popular orders here are champagne (some of the world’s finest), exotic cocktails and wine by the glass or bottle. Vertigo also offers a full menu of delectable eats, including some of the finest cuts of beef, lamb, and duck, and barbecued seafood that is fresh and delicious.
Vertigo is open from 6:00 PM until 1:00 AM, and is located atop the very swanky Banyan Hotel.
Founded in 2013 and located at Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom, Maggie Choo’s is rapidly becoming one of the most popular bars in the city, largely for its unique theme. Maggie Choo’s is a basement bar with low lighting, and is modeled after the era of the 1930s in Shanghai China. This motif has been fashioned with the use of a number of lighthearted props, including terracotta-like warrior statues, ceiling swings occupied by traditionally clad Chinese models and paper umbrellas adorning the walls.
Maggie Choo’s is positioned in the back of a noodle shop, with the bar hidden by thick red drapes, effectively giving it a mischievous vibe (as if you know something the rest of the world does not). Inside you will find a number of comfortable booths and a large working piano that has accompanied more than its fair share of live performances. The cocktails are a pit pricey compared to other bars of its kind in Bangkok, but the bar is definitely worth a visit for the experience alone. Maggie Choo’s is open daily from 6:00 PM until 2:00 AM.
One of the newest bars on our list, Smalls Bar was first opened in 2014 in the Sathorn region of Bangkok. The bar is modeled a bit like a French music bar, with a Parisian-inspired décor, very low lighting and a soundtrack of smooth jazz piped in to every corner of the establishment. The bar is located on the third floor of a transformed 1960s townhouse, and is frequented by locals and tourists alike for its reasonably priced drinks and quiet, peaceful atmosphere.
The horseshoe-shaped bar at Smalls Bar is surrounded by comfortable, secluded booths, where waitresses take drink (and some food) orders right at the table. The bar is very popular among European and American expats, and has even garnered the support of locals who crave a more serene drinking atmosphere than is available at many of the other Bangkok bars and nightspots.
Located on the first floor of the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Hotel, the Bamboo Bar is widely considered the best hotel bar in the city. It is also the best bar on this list in which to catch a live music show, as the bar regularly hosts jazz trios, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
With award-winning cocktails, the Bamboo Bar is a great place in which to sip a drink after a long day of work or sightseeing, and its décor may convince you to stay for two or three. The place is sharp and modern, with mirrored ceilings, marble floors, wood paneling and leather and rattan seating that is very plush and comfortable. The Bamboo Bar is open daily from 6:00 PM until 2:00 AM.
Sky Bar-Lebua State Tower
Although the Sky Bar, located atop the Lebua State Tower, has always been a popular spot for both locals and visiting tourists, this stylish nightspot became even more famous thanks to Hollywood, serving as one of the settings for the movie The Hangover II. A round bar by design, the Sky Bar offers sweeping 360 degree views, and is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the beautiful Chao Phraya River.
Located 63 floors above Bangkok, the Sky Bar at the Lebua State Tower is the perfect place for a sundown or midnight cocktail, and because it’s just an easy walk from the Saphan Taksin BTS (Bangkok’s public transportation system), you’ll never have any trouble locating this gem of a nightspot. The Sky Bar boasts a great Whiskey and Oyster Bar, and a comfortable outdoor terrace with lush seating scattered throughout. Moreover, the fully-stocked bar means you can always find a drink to satisfy your particular thirst. The Sky Bar tends to get very busy by about 10:00 PM, so be sure to arrive early for the best seating overlooking the river.