First Time in Phuket Town - What To Do

Phuket Town Survival Guide

Your first time in Phuket Town could see you very easily overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the city and the huge variety of things you will find there. The provincial capital has perhaps the densest concentration of interesting things to see and do of anywhere on the island, including its unique selection of boutique restaurants and shops, its busy night markets, beautiful historic streets and much more besides.

Some of the best bits of Phuket Town are surprisingly well hidden in the warren of old, narrow streets. The more fascinating sites are so well concealed that the majority of visitors never even know what they’re missing. This Phuket Town survival guide, will help to make sure that you have all of the information you need to make the most out of your first visit to this remarkable place.

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Phuket Town at a Glance

Phuket Town’s historical heart was built around the end of the 1800s, but many of the colourful buildings are still in regular use today. The narrow roads can make driving around a little challenging. Fortunately, most of the best that the city has to offer is found in the compact Old Town. It’s a fascinating place to explore on foot. If you like to explore a destination’s history and culture, or if you like shopping in local markets, Phuket Town is a real treat.

  • Beautiful historical Old Town
  • Real local atmosphere
  • Great affordable dining
  • Several local markets, especially at the weekends
  • Charming affordable hotels
  • Long way from Phuket's best beaches
  • Traffic is intense at rush hour
  • Quiet on weekday nights

Things You Can Do in Phuket Town

Probably the best thing to do in Phuket Town is just to explore the city’s beautiful streets. Crowded with historical buildings, interesting little nooks and hidden treasures, you could easily walk around all day and not see everything there is on offer! There are several particularly interesting museums to check out, and they’re not all just displays of historical artefacts. Be sure to check out our favourite things to see and do in Phuket Town so that you don’t miss out on the best bits.

  • Old Phuket Town Houses

    Old Phuket Town

    The streets of Old Phuket Town are lines with 100-year-old shop-houses that are home to restaurants, guesthouses, gold Read More»

  • Khao Rang (Rang Hill)

    Khao Rang Hill

    Khao Rang Hill is one of Phuket’s most famous viewpoints. Located to the northwest of the city centre, its summit offers Read More»

  • Phuket Trickeye Museum

    Phuket Trickeye Museum

    Phuket Trickeye Museum is an interactive 3D painting museum offering amazing photo opportunities and great fun for the Read More»

Best Places to Shop in Phuket Town

Phuket Town is an absolute shopper’s delight. Not only do you have a couple of shopping malls for the high-end designer labels, but there are also multiple local markets to explore. The weekends are especially exciting for bargain-hunters, with Phuket’s biggest night market. Aside from the markets, the town has some interesting little boutique shops, where you can find great local products and unique souvenirs. The prices are generally much cheaper in Phuket Town than in any other part of the island, too. If you’re planning your first time in Phuket, be sure to include these great shopping destinations on your list.

  • Phuket Weekend Market

    Phuket Weekend Market

    Phuket’s weekend market, located just outside Phuket Town, is a fascinating jumble of secondhand goods, pirated items, a Read More»

  • Central Festival Phuket

    Central Festival Phuket

    Central Festival Phuket is an air conditioned, fully equipped three-storey shopping mall lying just outside of Phuket Read More»

  • Chillva Market Phuket

    Chillva Market Phuket

    A night market primarily aimed at local Thai teenagers, Chillva Market is a great place to chill among the colourful Read More»

Best Places to Go at Night in Phuket Town

Phuket Town’s nightlife is quite unique on the island because it is mostly geared more for locals than it is tourists. You’ll find few of the neon-lit nightclubs and beer bars of Patong, for example. Instead, it’s cool and trendy speakeasies and resto-bars. If it’s your first time in Phuket Town, you should also consider checking out one of the great shows available in the area, too. When it comes to planning what you’re going to do with your evenings in Phuket Town, we strongly recommend including these three venues on your itinerary.

  • Phuket Siam Niramit Show

    Phuket Siam Niramit Show

    Siam Niramit Phuket is a tastefully-done cultural extravaganza that adds variety and vitality to the island’s Read More»

  • Aphrodite Cabaret Show

    Aphrodite Cabaret Show

    Aphrodite is a large ship-like structure located opposite Tesco Lotus just outside Phuket Town. It houses a 900-seater Read More»

  • Quip Sky Bar Phuket

    Quip Sky Bar - Phuket

    At last, Phuket Town has its first ever rooftop bar! Quip Sky Bar brings a distinctly artistic touch to the old city, Read More»

Great Restaurants We Like in Phuket Town

The restaurant scene in Phuket Town is fantastic. The majority of the eateries serve great local Thai food, though there are also some standout international offerings. The restaurants themselves are often as interesting as their menus, being set in some of Phuket Town’s most beautiful historical buildings. The complete range of the budget spectrum is represented here, with some of Phuket’s cheapest and most expensive places within short distances of each other. If you check out no other restaurants during your first time in Phuket Town, we strongly advise you to try these three restaurants. There’s a great fine-dining place, an outstanding local joint and one noted for its cool setting.

  • One Chun Café & Restaurant in Phuket Old Town

    One Chun Restaurant

    One Chun Café & Restaurant (pronounced Wan Jan, which means Monday in Thai) is a trendy venue blending vintage Read More»

  • La Gaetana

    La Gaetana

    La Gaetana enjoys a formidable reputation in Phuket as a small, family-run Italian restaurant with an eye for details. Read More»

  • Suay Restaurant

    Suay Restaurant

    Suay (meaning ‘beautiful’ in Thai) keeps things uncomplicated and cheap but that doesn’t mean it’s not without a lot of Read More»

Hotels in Phuket Town We Recommend to Our Friends

The choice of hotels in Phuket Town is among the broadest of anywhere on the island. At one end of the spectrum, you have some of the most luxurious resorts and villas on the outskirts of town. At the other, you have cool boutique hotels in the historical buildings of the Old Town. In between, you have a good selection of mid-range properties, combining modern amenities with convenient locations. When you’re planning your first time in Phuket Town, we recommend checking out these three places. There’s one each for the different price scales and they are, in our opinion, the best of the lot.

The Westin Siray Bay

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa is aptly named.This ultra-modern resort faces directly west across Siray Bay to the east Read More...

Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel

Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel is an attractive four-star hotel right in the centre of Phuket Town on Phuket Island east coast.Within Read More...

Royal Phuket City Hotel

Royal Phuket City is located right downtown in Phuket Town itself.The four-star hotel is a towering presence and features great Read More...


Hotels in Old Phuket Town

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