Pattaya has pretty much something for everyone, whether it be partying, enjoying waterparks or watersports, visiting some weird but interesting sites, or just relaxing on the beach.
There is just so much to do, and we can’t emphasise that enough! If you’re travelling with kids, there are two waterparks and a number of fun museums to keep the kids entertained. If you’re in Pattaya to party, that’s exactly what you can do all night long!
However, when visiting Pattaya, it’s important to consider what you’re looking for. Pattaya is quite touristy which means there are a lot of things to do, but also be prepared for busy beaches and party-filled streets. Most backpackers tend to stay away from Pattaya, while families or retired workers often have a great time dedicating a full week or more to one of the nearby resorts.
If you’ve decided that Pattaya sounds right up your street, then continue reading to see some of the best things to do.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are our top 3 activities to do in Pattaya:
- Boat trip to Koh Larn with snorkelling and water activities for $31
- Become a kid at Ramayana Waterpark for $27
- Visit the Sanctuary of Truth for $12
New to Pattaya? Our compact Pattaya guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Pattaya!
#1 Visit Koh Larn for some wonderful beaches
Sitting just 7 km off the coast of Pattaya in the Gulf of Thailand, you will find Koh Larn or Coral Island, a small mountainous island that boasts six spectacular beaches and a number of intimate coves.
How you chose to spend your time at Koh Larn is completely up to you! Spend the day lounging on the powdery white sand in between dips in the azure sea or take part in some adrenaline-pumping watersports.
There are a number of beachside restaurants on the island offering amazingly fresh seafood that can even be brought to your sun lounger!
How to get to Koh Larn
You have two options to reach Koh Larn: a 20-minute speed boat for around 300 baht return or a 30-40 minute ferry for 30 baht. If you opt for the speed boat, these leave from Pattaya Beach, whereas the ferry leaves from Bali Hai Pier.
To get the most out of your trip to Koh Larn and avoid having to do any planning, you can join a full-day tour with snorkelling and other water activities for $31.
- Koh Larn Full Day Snorkelling and Boat Tour for $31
- Speedboat to Koh Larn with Jet Ski and Parasailing for $40
#2 Explore Pattaya’s Floating Market by longtail boat
Open every day from 08:00 to 21:00 is Pattaya’s Floating Market, split up into four sections. Each section represents a different area of Thailand, meaning you’ll find food and crafts unique to that region.
If you haven’t had time in your itinerary to visit all of Thailand, the floating market is a great place to get a brief insight into what each region has to offer.
Contrary to popular belief, not all of the stores are actually floating. The market features a combination of floating rafts, boats and stilted stalls along the banks of the river.
Across the 100+ shops, you’ll be able to find goodies such as delicious food, deserts, clothes and souvenirs. The best way to explore these shops is to organise a longtail boat and visit them as you float along. Do keep in mind that Pattaya is a popular tourist destination, so the floating markets will be no different.
#3 Watch one of Pattaya’s many live shows – Kaan, Pattaya, Alcazar
After admiring the glorious sunset, why not try one of Pattaya’s hilarious and famous live shows?
Two of the most popular Ladyboy shows in Pattaya are Alcazar and Tiffany’s. Both located on Pattaya 2nd road, there are slight differences between the two.
Tiffany’s show is slightly more established and extravagant than Alcazar, but both still have amazing casts that are too big to count, elegant staging and beautiful music.
Shows are held daily between 17:30 and 21:30 and prices start from 850 Baht.
Another show to add to your list is the Kaan Show. The show combines world-class technology with a fascinating storyline and unbelievable acrobatics, martial arts and street dance.
Shows are held Tuesday-Sunday from 13:00 to 21:00 and prices start from 900 baht.
#4 Party the night away in Pattaya
Pattaya is famous for partying! The Walking Street is the party hub, packed with bars, clubs, go-go bars and restaurants, each one trying to be brighter and louder than the next.
Can’t handle the evening humidity? Why not cool down at one of the Hard Rock Cafe’s foam parties? Every Saturday night on Beach Road, you’ll find a party filled with scantily dressed people, madness and foam!
Pattaya is also famous for its naughtier and darker nightlife, but we’ll let you look into that…
#5 Wander around Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens
Sometimes it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens really allow you to do that.
The carefully designed gardens are flourishing with a wide variety of flowers, plants, cactuses and even a few mammoth sculptures scattered around. It’s great to wander in and around the gardens but make sure to get a view from a vantage point to truly admire the ornate designs and patterns created by the plants.
Nong Nooch isn’t just a botanical garden; it can also be considered an amusement park of some sort with a dinosaur village, a car museum and cabaret shows.
It’s a great place to spend a few hours, especially if you have kids, and there are plenty of restaurants to quench your hunger after all that walking.
Adult and child tickets cost 500 and 300 baht respectively if you buy your tickets at the place. If you book your Nong Nooch ticket online, you’ll not only save yourself the hassle of buying the tickets on the day, but also save yourself some money!
#6 Ride the slides or rent a cabana at Ramayana Waterpark
Pattaya really is a great place to let your inner child out, and that theme continues at Ramayana Waterpark.
You’ll find Thailand’s largest waterpark just 20 minutes south of Pattaya. The waterpark even runs a transfer service for 120 baht for a convenient trip to the park.
There are over 50 attractions to keep you entertained throughout the day, including a ton of water slides, a lazy river and a double-wave pool, to mention a few.
Whether you have kids or not, it’s a fun way to spend the day. You can even opt to hire a private cabana to retreat to for some relaxation after some rides on the slides.
Entrance is 1190 baht for an adult and 890 baht for a child. However, if you book your tickets online, you’ll pay 890 baht for an adult and 800 baht for a child!
- Ramayana Water Park Ticket for $26
#7 Go on an adventure at the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark
The fun continues at the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, which offers 10 different cartoon-themed zones, 25 exhilarating rides and an opportunity for you to practise your surf skills.
As well as splashing about with your favourite characters, they also put on 22 live shows for you to watch throughout the day.
This waterpark is still a lot of fun but aimed more at kids compared to the Ramayana Waterpark, so keep this in mind when deciding which one to visit. Similar to the other waterpark, it’s also only a 20-minute drive from Pattaya.
Tickets are also slightly more expensive: 1,890 baht for an adult and 1,290 for a child. But this does include food and a locker.
#8 Explore the Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is actually not a temple like most people believe, but instead is an intricately carved teak wood building not attached to any religion.
The distinctive 105-metre structure based on the headland near Wongamat Beach was built by a businessman to celebrate Thai craftsmanship. And it certainly does!
Both inside and out, stunning stories and themes are told through the delicate carvings, adding to the reflective atmosphere which exudes from the building.
You can visit the Sanctuary of Truth from 08:00 to 18:00. Adult and child tickets cost 500 baht and 250 baht respectively.
To save some money, you can book your ticket in advance and instead pay 385 baht for an adult ticket and 185 baht for a child.
- Visit the Sanctuary of Truth for $12
#9 Admire the Buddha carving at Khao Chi Chan mountain
Before turning into a stunning spectacle, the limestone Buddha mountain was used to supply raw materials. Then in 1996, lasers were used to carve and etch the figure of a Buddha sitting cross-legged on the side of the mountain.
The carving was then filled with gold, which now creates the beautiful image you see today. In front of the image, you will also find a small temple where monks reside.
Once you’ve finished admiring the view, the gardens and benches which surround the mountain are a wonderful place to sit back and admire the scenery (or people-watch)!
You can visit Buddha mountain at any time and there’s no entrance fee.
#10 Tour both Thailand and Europe at Mini Siam
Got too many places in the world to see and too little time? Well, Mini Siam (kind of) lets you see the major landmarks from around the world, mainly Thailand and Europe, in a few hours.
The world can often feel like a big place, but here you feel like the giant as you get to wander around, admiring the craftsmanship that’s gone into creating these mini sculptures.
The displays and sculptures range from Thai temples like Wat Arun, to global landmarks such as London Bridge, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Angkor Wat and many more.
The park is open from 09:00 to 18:00 and entrance costs 250 baht for adults and 120 baht for kids.
#11 Watch the sunset at Pattaya Viewpoint
Viewing a city from above normally always evokes a new sense of admiration for a place, especially when the sun is setting and the city lights come alive.
You’ll need to head to the top of Pratumnak Hill which looks out across Pattaya Beach and further north, as well as Jomtien beach and the wide ocean.
The walk from Pattaya Beach area will likely take you around 45 minutes or you can catch a songthaew to the top for around 100 baht each way.
A word of warning though, the viewpoint is packed with tourists, so if you’re looking for an intimate and peaceful view of the city, this isn’t the one.
#12 See the Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai
Further down Pratumnak Hill from the Pattaya viewpoint is Wat Phra Yai. It may be worth combining the two if you want to do both.
The big Buddha built in the 1940s is the largest in the region, standing at an impressive 18 metres!
The large Buddha is certainly the centrepiece of the site but there’s plenty more to explore. It’s surrounded by a number of small statues and a striking staircase with golden dragons as handrails.
Entry to the temple is free and a songthaew, if you don’t want to walk, will cost around 200 baht for a round trip.
#13 Explore the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum
First originating in the US, there are now a number of Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums around the world that showcase ‘the strange, the shocking and the beautiful’.
The one based in Pattaya definitely does that! It features over 10 themed galleries containing over 350 exhibits including a mask made from human skin and a replica of the Titanic made from over 1 million matchsticks. We don’t even want to think about how long that took to make!
A ticket to just the Believe It or Not Museum will cost you 500 baht if you buy it at the place, or only 336 baht on Klook.
There’s also a whole host of other attractions which you can add to the experience including an infinity maze, a waxwork museum, a haunted adventure and a 12DX moving theatre.
#14 Wrap up warm at the Frost Magical Ice of Siam
North-east of Pattaya is something you probably wouldn’t expect to find in a country frequently reaching 40 degrees celsius – a world made out of ice.
The outside of Frost Magical Ice of Siam gives you a taste of what’s in store indoors. Bordering both sides of the path you walk along, are huge sand sculptures all in white, giving the impression of snow.
Once inside the Siam Heaven, also known as the Ice Dome, the temperature drops to well below zero to keep the ice sculptures of polar bears, penguins and igloos frozen. There’s even an ice tuk-tuk!
It’s a nice break from the scorching sun, but make sure to bring some warm clothes! If you don’t have any, winter clothing can be hired there.
The Frost Magical Ice of Siam is open from 09:00 to 21:00 and you can buy your tickets online for a cheaper price of 280 baht.
#15 Zipline in the jungle canopy at Flight of the Gibbon
Not too many people can say that they’ve ziplined and swung like a monkey in a virgin rainforest. If this is something you’d like to tick off your bucket list, then Flight of the Gibbon allows you to do just that!
The course includes a combination of zip lines, double ziplines, abseils, sky bridges and spiral staircases, all whilst surrounded by nature.
The company offers a package for 4,199 baht which includes transfers, lunch, two hours on the adventure course and a tour around Khao Kheow Open Safari Park.
Also, check out How to get to Pattaya from different destinations around Thailand!
There are over a thousand accommodations to choose from in Pattaya. That’s a lot! What there isn’t a lot of is budget options. Many of the hotels tend to start at around $50 per night, soaring way into hundreds of dollars. If you have the cash to splash, Pattaya has some incredible luxurious and unique accommodations. On a bit more of a budget?
We’ve got accommodation recommendations for all budgets:
Butterfly Garden Boutique Residence - Budget Friendly
Finding budget-friendly accommodation in Pattaya isn’t the easiest task, but Butterfly Garden Boutique Residence is a great find. The apartments are huge, coming with a kitchen, spa bath and a private balcony. It feels like a home from home.
The location is great, not too far from the Night Market and a 10-minute walk from the beach. There’s also a swimming pool if you need to cool down from Thailand’s scorching weather.
- Swimming pool
- Ideal location
- Huge apartments
- Great value for money
Apartments start from $29 per night.
Citismart Luxury Apartments - Mid Range
Staying at Citismart Luxury Apartments you don’t just get a standard room, you get a kitchen, a lot more space than most hotel rooms and a private balcony. The rooms vary in luxuriousness depending on the price, but even the cheapest one is comfortable and spacious.
You also get to use the apartment’s amenities which include a swimming pool and sundeck. Staying here puts you in a great location, 250m from the beach and a short drive to Central Pattaya.
- Swimming pool
- Large apartment
- Great location
- Sun deck
Apartments start from $54 per night.
Amethyst Hotel Pattaya - Treating Yourself
Situated 700m from Pattaya Beach, you can almost see it from Amethyst Hotel’s rooftop pool and terrace. Spectacular city views from an infinity pool, can life get much better? Maybe in their hot tub, it could.
The rest of the hotel is just as impressive with luxurious and spacious rooms you won’t want to leave. The onsite restaurant is delicious and there’s a gym to burn off all the food you’re eating.
- Rooftop swimming pool
- Spectacular views
- Luxurious rooms
- Onsite gym and restaurant
Private rooms start from $78 per night.
Grande Centre Point Space - Treating Yourself
This place really does feel like you’ve boarded a space ship and your next stop is space! Everything about Grande Centre Point Space feels modern and futuristic. We guarantee it will be like nowhere you’ve stayed before.
There are too many swimming pools to count — one with waterslides, a lazy river and even a rooftop pool. You’ll also find a gym, delicious restaurant, kids club, sauna and steam room. Plus the rooms are as incredible as the rest of the hotel.
- Unique design
- Lots of swimming pools
- Rooftop terrace
- Delicious free breakfast
Private rooms start from $165 per night.
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.