Are you planning a trip to the north of Thailand and visiting the beautiful city of Chiang Mai? Very cool! We love the city and know our way around it very well. In this article we explain where to stay in Chiang Mai and give you our personal hotel tips.
For several years now, Chiang Mai has been our adopted home in the European winter time.
A few years ago we had actually only planned a five-day stay for the annual festival of lights in Chiang Mai. That quickly turned into months and since then we’ve fallen into the city.
Although the city is not that big with around 140,000 inhabitants, the question arises: Where in Chiang Mai is the best place to stay?
The answer is easier for Chiang Mai than for many other cities, but of course – as always – it depends on your wishes and ideas.
In this post we will introduce you to three different areas in Chiang Mai that we think are the best places to stay. We’ll also reveal our personal hotel favorites for every budget for each area.
But now there are a few general hotel tips for Chiang Mai that you should know before booking a hotel. Here we go.
General tips for finding a hotel in Chiang Mai
What is the price level of hotels in Chiang Mai?
The price level in Thailand is generally quite low, which means that you get a lot for little money.
You can get a bed in a hostel for as little as 5 euros a night, a simple hotel room with a double bed is available from around 30 euros, for around 60 euros a night you get a very good standard in a chic hotel and you can get it from 100 euros already indulge in real luxury.
Of course, it always depends a little on the travel dates. Popular dates such as the Festival of Lights (The Loi Krathong Festival takes place annually on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month in November.) You have to plan a little more budget for an overnight stay in Chiang Mai.
How far in advance should you book?
It depends. The good news is: You can always find accommodation at short notice. But especially in the popular travel months between November and February, you should book early so that you don’t have to make do with the “remaining rooms”.
If you are planning a trip to Chiang Mai for the following events, you should book your accommodation early.
- Festival of Lights in November (Annually on the 12th full moon night of the Thai lunar calendar.)
- Christmas and New Years Eve
- Around the Chinese New Year from late January to mid-February
- For the Thai New Year Festival Songkran (April 13th to 15th)
What should you pay attention to when looking for a hotel?
When looking for a hotel in Chiang Mai, you should pay attention to two things.
First, you should pay attention to the area in which your hotel is located. We will introduce you to three different areas in Chiang Mai and also explain which of the areas is best for you and your expectations of your time in Chiang Mai.
If you would like a quiet hotel room, make sure that your hotel or room is not located directly on a very busy street or if it does, then has very good windows. Otherwise it can get loud.
So when booking, just make sure that there is something in the negative reviews. This information is very important, especially for cheap guest houses or hostels!
The top 3 areas to stay in Chiang Mai on one map
We recommend that you find your hotel in the following three areas in Chiang Mai:
- The Old Town (Altstadt)
- The area around the night bazaar
- The area around Nimmanhaemin road (Nimman Road for short)
The borders we draw on the map are of course not rigid. The card is only intended to give you a first feel for the city. Of course, your hotel can also be located a little outside of the areas shown.
Which hotels have we linked here?
We have personally selected all hotels that are linked in this article according to our own criteria. So we would book them for ourselves too. So you will only find private rooms with their own bathroom here.
# 1 Spend the night in the old town: For Chiang Mai beginners
This area is perfect for you if it’s your first time in Chiang Mai and you won’t be there for more than a few days to a week.
If this is your first time in Chiang Mai, we recommend a hotel in the old town of Chiang Mai. The old town is relatively easy to recognize on the map due to the almost square city wall.
Orientation in the old town is relatively easy, as you can orientate yourself at the individual gates in the north, east, south and west. You will also often hear sentences like “This is near the North Gate” on site.
The old town is super pretty and it’s a lot of fun to walk through the streets and alleys. It is actually not so important where your hotel is exactly in the old town, because you can easily walk to all the important places from there.
So that you can better assess the distances: From the West Gate to the East Gate you need about 20 minutes on foot. So it’s not that far away.
We personally would opt for an accommodation near the eastern city wall, simply because we like it there best and because from there you can also reach the Ping River (Mae Nam Ping) faster, where there are some nice restaurants and bars.
Our hotel tips for the old town in Chiang Mai:
- Good and cheap: Villa Thai Orchid
- Better: Nidhra Lana, Thai Akara Lanna
- Luxurious: Tamarind Village
# 2 Spend the night in the night bazaar area: If you like it a bit scary
The area around the Night Bazaar is perfect for you if you like it hustle and bustle and love to stroll through markets.
The popular and bustling night bazaar is located east of the old town and borders the Ping River. The center of the bazaar is roughly at the intersection of Chang Klan Road and Loi Kroh Road and extends over several streets in all directions.
Especially between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. the streets are full of food, jewelry, souvenirs and clothes stalls. You will also find most of the luxury hotels between the east wall of the old town and the Ping River.
A hotel in this location is just as good as a hotel in the old town, because from there you can also enjoy all of the sights in the old town and are also close to the Ping River.
But if you prefer it quieter, you should make sure that your hotel is not directly on the Night Bazaar or look for a hotel in a quiet side street of the old town.
Our hotel tips for the Night Bazaar area:
- Good and cheap: Night Bazaar Inn, Old City Wall Inn
- Better: Kate and Hasu Boutique
- Luxurious: Anantara Resort
# 3 Spend the night on Nimman Road: For second visitors and everyone who wants to stay longer
The area around Nimman Road is perfect for you if you don’t like to stay in the tourist center, but rather with students, locals and expats.
The area around the Nimman Road Area is particularly popular with expats. There you will find a lot of Thai, but also international restaurants (Italian, Japanese, etc.), and in the side streets (in Thai Sois ) between Nimman Road and Siri Mangkalajarn Road, you will find a lot of bars, especially young ones Thais indulge in loud music and cold drinks in the evenings.
If you are in Chiang Mai for the first time, we recommend you to stay in the old town or at the night bazaar, otherwise you will always have to commute from the Nimman Road area to the old town.
But if you are in Chiang Mai for more than a few days, you will feel comfortable in the area around Nimman Road. Our apartment, in which we spend the night in Chiang Mai during the German winter months, is located on Siri Mangkalajarn.
Our hotel tips in the area around Nimman Road:
- Good and cheap: Cozy Home by Nan
- Better: Sanae Hotel, The Craft Nimman
- Luxurious: U Nimman
Do you also have a hotel tip for Chiang Mai?
Have you ever been to Chiang Mai? In which hotel did you stay and did you like the hotel and the area in which it was located? Please leave us a comment below and tell us about your experience.