Phuket City travel guide

Phuket City Tourism | Phuket City Guide

You're Going to Love Phuket City

This island paradise in Thailand will surprise you with its hidden delights. The varied geography of Phuket allows for beautiful scenery and a wide range of activities. Forested hills, mangroves, and beaches can be freely explored, so there's always a quiet corner to discover away from the tourist centers.

The beaches on the northwest coast are mostly deserted, with deep water and often wild waves. Further down the west coast lie the most popular beach resorts. Bang Tao and Kamala offer a quiet atmosphere with small bars, shops, and restaurants. A little further south is Patong, the busiest resort town on the island. As you head toward the south coast, Karon, Kata, and Rawai have a lively, small town feel; relaxing but still with plenty to do. The east coast offers authentic cuisine in seaside restaurants and stunning mangrove scenery.

From laid-back reggae bars to exquisite dining venues, Phuket has nightlife options to suit everyone. Balmy nights in bustling Patong offer shopping, dining, drinking, and entertainment. In the more quiet areas you'll get to know your friendly bar workers well and enjoy the cozy vibe.

A more reflective atmosphere can be discovered in the many Buddhist temples around the island. Visitors are welcome to wander the grounds and ornate buildings that often house sacred Buddha statues. Special events and festivals held throughout the year offer a glimpse into local culture.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Phuket City

1. Beautiful Beaches

There's a beach to suit everyone in Phuket. From busy beaches with fun water sports to serene idylls, perfect for relaxing in peace.

2. Sample Delicious Food

Try small roadside restaurants for authentic Thai food at low prices. At the other end of the spectrum, high-end restaurants, such as Joe's Downstairs in Patong, offer elegant dining with fantastic views over the sea.

3. Experience Natural Beauty

The hilly regions of Phuket are wonderful for hiking and many have picturesque waterfalls. Bang Pae Waterfall in Thalang is a short walk from the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center.

4. Nightlife

From the bars of Bangla Road to the tongue-in-cheek Simon Cabaret, late-night shopping to a glass of wine in the hotel bar - there are options for an evening out to suit every sensibility.

5. Cultural Sights

There are temples in most areas. The largest is Wat Chalong, which can be visited by everyone. Intricately built, often adorned with dragon designs or statues, and decorated with colorful, shimmering tiles, temples are a wonderful sight to behold.

Where to Eat in Phuket City

For Thai food, it is generally best to eat where the locals do, for the most authentic flavors and varied menus; head to small restaurants inland from the west coast beaches and seafood restaurants along the east coast to dine on sumptuous local fare. In standard hotels and tourist-focused restaurants, the flavors tend to be toned down to appeal to as many visitors as possible. In high-end hotels and the main beach resorts, there are excellent eateries serving global cuisine from Indian to Italian and everything in between. La Gritta at Amari Phuket and Mom Tri's Kitchen at Villa Royale are among the most popular. Prices vary widely from ฿30 to over ฿3,000.

When to visit Phuket City

Phuket City in July
Estimated hotel price
S$ 67
1 night at 3-star hotel
Phuket City in July
Estimated hotel price
S$ 67
1 night at 3-star hotel

Weather-wise the best time to visit Phuket is between November and April - this is generally the dry season. The Christmas and New Year period is the busiest time of year. May to October is monsoon - or rainy - season, with the heaviest rain between July and September.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Phuket City

Plane

Phuket International Airport (HKT) is located at the northern end of the island, and most hotels are in the center (20 miles away) and south (up to 30 miles away). Taxi is the best option for traveling from the airport, and prices range from ฿500 to over ฿1,000, depending on the destination.

Train

Trains do not run to Phuket. The nearest station is over three hours away in Surat Thani. However, transfer tickets are available to travel the remaining distance by bus. Ticket prices from Bangkok are approximately ฿1,000 for second class and ฿1,600 for first class.

Car

There are two roads from Bangkok and Koh Samui that head towards Phuket, and a short bridge links the island to the mainland. For long journeys, taxis can be booked; the price must be agreed upon in advance.

Bus

Bus is a great option for traveling long-distance on a budget. There is a good network of public buses from Bangkok and there are private buses from many companies, such as Sri Trang Tour. There are various classes of bus available, some will stop at several locations while others will only stop at Phuket Town. There is an airport bus, which only travels to a few stops around the island.

Airports near Phuket City

Airlines serving Phuket City

United Airlines
Good (69,486 reviews)
KLM
Good (3,806 reviews)
Delta
Good (30,738 reviews)
Air France
Good (4,361 reviews)
British Airways
Good (23,345 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (23,610 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (9,188 reviews)
Iberia
Good (6,162 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Excellent (11,532 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (4,859 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (25,044 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (15,776 reviews)
Finnair
Good (3,876 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (6,759 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (3,263 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (3,957 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (2,079 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (1,543 reviews)
Thai Airways
Excellent (2,381 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (4,642 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Phuket City

When deciding where to stay in Phuket you should consider the kind of vacation you would like. Do you enjoy being in the heart of all the action, just minutes from everything you need? Or do you prefer peace and quiet with the option to travel to see the sights? Patong has global hotel chains, such as Marriott, Holiday Inn and Novotel, as well as independent Thai hotels of all grades. There are private villa rentals available everywhere that offer a home away from home and optional extras, such as hot tubs and personal chefs. Luxury villas in Phuket include Villa Padma and Villa Paradiso, while standard villas include Villa Sea View and Villa Emere.

Popular neighbourhoods in Phuket City

Southwest Coast - this is the most popular region, with Patong, Kata, and Karon offering various beaches, shopping, dining, and nightlife choices. Patong is busy all year round, while Kata and Karon are more relaxed.

Phuket Town - the capital of the island, filled with busy streets, temples, and small stores. It's popular with backpackers due to the lower prices and reduced number of tourists than other areas.

Northwest Coast - high-end hotels and villas with deserted beaches and exclusive shopping venues abound here, as do peaceful and luxurious resorts surrounded by nature, with forested hill backdrops and extensive rubber tree plantations.

Most popular hotel in Phuket City by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Phuket City

Most booked hotels in Phuket City

Keemala (SHA Plus+)
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
S$ 633+
SAii Laguna Phuket (SHA Plus+)
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
S$ 101+
Amari Phuket (Sha Plus+)
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
S$ 136+
Avista Grande Phuket Karon - MGallery (Sha Plus+)
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
S$ 78+
Villa Zolitude Resort & Spa (Sha Plus+)
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
S$ 148+
Blu Monkey Hub and Hotel Phuket (SHA Plus+)
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
S$ 31+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Phuket City

Public Transportation

Local buses run throughout Phuket, blue or pink in color, sometimes with open sides and made from wood. They have a few set routes but there is not great coverage. The slow-moving buses, often referred to as Baht buses, can be flagged down and stopped anywhere along the route. Fares are usually around ฿30.

Taxi

There are a huge amount of taxis and tuk-tuks (small, bustling open vans) in Phuket. Prices start from around ฿300 and must be agreed on before getting in.

Car

Major car rental companies are located at the airport and smaller, local companies are found in most tourist areas, including Nina's Cars and Pure Car Rent. Prices start from around ฿1,500 per day. This is a cost-effective method if you are traveling around the island often. However, driving can be precarious due to the large amount of motorbikes and irregular enforcement of road rules. Parking spaces are mostly on the side of the road, in short supply, but usually free of charge.

The Cost of Living in Phuket City

Shopping Streets

Patong is the shopping capital with a large mall, Jungceylon, and hundreds of small stores and market stalls. Prices can be negotiated at stalls, but check out the mall prices first to avoid being overcharged. The weekend night market in Phuket Town has the best bargains for clothes and gifts. Shopping prices in Phuket range from ฿100 for knick-knacks into the thousands for genuine designer gear.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets include Big C, Tesco Lotus, Tops, and Villa Market, and prices are equivalent to the US. There are also smaller grocery stores that stock all the essentials, and in most areas there is an abundance of 7/11 stores for snacks and drinks. Local markets are held either daily or weekly and sell the freshest produce at lower prices, around ฿20-50.

Cheap meal
S$ 2.38
A pair of jeans
S$ 85.44
Single public transport ticket
S$ 1.20
Cappuccino
S$ 3.29