If you’re after a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of central Bangkok, this historical park featuring ruins and giant statues is the perfect place. Ayutthaya was once the capital of Thailand, and a trip here reveals a lost Siamese kingdom and a hidden world.

At the ruins of Ayutthaya, you can learn all about the fascinating history attached to this area, as well as sampling it first-hand. Visitors can check out the towers of the temples, monasteries and palaces and gaze upon the bronzed statue of Buddha that features prominently at the site. You can also browse for hours in the on-site museum, where your curiosity will be rewarded by the many archaeological finds from the region. The Chao Sam Phraya Museum houses the largest collection of archaeological relics.

Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and is a hugely historical site, having been founded centuries ago in 1350. The site is often attributed with having and ocean connection, as it was formed in a position where three rivers converge. By the eighteenth century, the character of Ayutthaya had changed completely, with the area becoming a sprawling urban area with increasing socio-economic, religious and political importance. However, the city was to change in character forever later in that century, when a Burmese invasion in 1767 effectively destroyed it. As a consequence, its thousands of residents fled.

When you cross the area today, whether by bike, ferry or tuk-tuk, you’ll notice that once upon a time, the main part of the city was entirely surrounded by a wall, which is still partly intact today, with the Phet Fortress being one part still standing in its original form.

Most of the ruins at this particular site are located in the north-western corner. There are also a number of temples to explore that bring a sense of historical resonance and beauty to the site. Of the temples, the largest is the Wat Phra Si Sanphet, notable for the headless statues of Buddha which feature prominently in its design.

Ayutthaya can be reached either by train, or by booking a day tour. It is well worth considering an overnight stay if you would like to visit Ayutthaya, as it’s located some 90 kilometres from Bangkok. There are numerous guesthouses in the locality, and many offer sunset tuk-tuk tours so you can see the city at night, in all its glory.

Known for

Ruins, Historical Buildings and Museums

Top hotels in Ayutthaya

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for sala ayutthaya
sala ayutthaya
4 out of 5
9/2 Moo 4, U-Thong Road, Pratu Chai, Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya
NZ$186/night
16 Oct. - 17 Oct.
4.5/5Wonderful! (201 reviews)

Located in the heart of Ayutthaya, this hotel is steps from Wat Chao Prap and Ayutthaya Historical Park. Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Ratchaburana are also within ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (201 reviews)

"Location is very beautiful. And hotel was nice. Staff was nice."…"

Reviewed on 14 Jun. 2019

sala ayutthaya
Image for Silp-Pa Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Silp-Pa Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
3 out of 5
1/18 Moo 1 Rotjana Road, T. Pratuchai Phra Nakhon Si Ayuttha, Ayutthaya
NZ$64/night
29 Sep. - 30 Sep.
4.6/5Exceptional! (145 reviews)

Situated in Ayutthaya, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wat Phra Mahathat, Ayutthaya Historical Park, and Wat Ratchaburana. Wat Phra Si Sanphet is 1.3 mi ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (145 reviews)

"Clean, staff friendly and hard working, breakfast tasty,"…"

Reviewed on 24 Jul. 2019

Silp-Pa Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Image for Phuttal Residence
Phuttal Residence
3 out of 5
8/9 Moo 1, Tawasukree, U-Thong Rd, Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
NZ$99/night
29 Sep. - 30 Sep.
5/5Exceptional! (7 reviews)

Situated in the historical district, this guesthouse is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Wat Phra Si Sanphet and within 3 mi (5 km) of Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Phu Khao Thong. ...

5/5Exceptional! (7 reviews)

"Service, including breakfast, was excellent. But I don't like the padlock of the door."…"

Reviewed on 6 Aug. 2019

Phuttal Residence

Top activities in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace
Image for Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

Ayutthaya Ancient Capital with River Cruise, Lunch & Palace

NZ$83

Discover the rich history, fascinating architecture, and iconic buildings of Ayutthaya, an ancient royal capital. Visit the former royal residence at Bang Pa-In Palace, marvel at the Wat Mahathat and Wat Na Phra Men temples, and cruise the waters of Chao Phraya River while enjoying a delicious lunch.

Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch
Image for Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch

Guided Ayutthaya Tour with River Cruise & Lunch

NZ$118

Stroll through the magnificent ruins of Ayutthaya and witness the remnants of historic temples and palaces that line the shores of the Chao Phraya River. Climb aboard a comfortable vessel to cruise down the river back to Bangkok, and enjoy the sights while you feast on a traditional Thai buffet.

Private Ayutthaya Day Trip with a Local
Image for Private Ayutthaya Day Trip with a Local

Private Ayutthaya Day Trip with a Local

NZ$79

After meeting your local guide, get comfortable in your private car or minivan for the ride to the ancient capital of Siam or Thailand as we know it now. Get ready to encounter the most important temple in the Ayutthaya Kingdom: the Wat Phra Sri Sanpetch or The Royal Temple of Phra Sri Sanpetch Buddha Image.

Ayutthaya City Culture Ride - ancient city's historical park
Image for Ayutthaya City Culture Ride - ancient city's historical park

Ayutthaya City Culture Ride - ancient city's historical park

NZ$54

Discover the splendor of Ayutthaya—an ancient center of global democracy that dates back to the 14th century. Explore the metropolis by bike, dropping into Ayutthaya Historical Park with a knowing guide who shows you the cultural destination's highlights—from Wat Mahathat to the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.

Ayutthaya ruins, Summer Palace & Grand Pearl River Cruise
Image for Ayutthaya ruins, Summer Palace & Grand Pearl River Cruise

Ayutthaya ruins, Summer Palace & Grand Pearl River Cruise

NZ$100

This full day package tour will have you stopping to marvel at the beauty and slendour of a centuries old summer palace for past Kings of Siam, visiting several ruins around the ancient city of Ayutthaya, and also cruising down the wide expanse that is the Chao Praya - Thailand's biggest river.

Ancient & Hidden Ayutthaya by Bike (Full Day)
Image for Ancient & Hidden Ayutthaya by Bike (Full Day)

Ancient & Hidden Ayutthaya by Bike (Full Day)

NZ$139

Ayutthaya was once Siam's capital and a cosmopolitan city with temples of gold, glittering palaces and powerful kings. Today, its countless temples and ruins offer a captivating glimpse into a glorious past.