Thinking of heading to Chiang Mai? We’re here to tell you about the best areas to stay in and the most suitable accommodation options.
Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is a mountainous region known for its striking natural beauty. The province has been a cultural and religious center for centuries. This is evident in its old buildings and traditional as well as ceremonial structures.
Hundreds of Buddhist temples call this area home, making it a great destination for those who love to explore beautiful buildings. With warm weather all year round, there is no wrong time to go to this wonderful region.
Here are some of the coolest places to stay in Chiang Mai.
Best Area to Stay in Chiang Mai
Looking for where to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand? There are so many epic spots to choose from! Chiang Mai neighborhoods come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s sure to be an area to suit your individual tastes.
Chiang Mai Old City (Within the Moat)
Often referred to as downtown Chiang Mai, the Old City consists of the traditional inner city of Chiang Mai.
It’s filled with old temples and shrines and surrounded by the old city walls and a moat, which you can check out while you’re staying there. It gives you a real feel for what Chiang Mai must have been like many years ago.
The streets are lined with cute coffee shops, book stores, a few temples, pedestrian footpaths, and quaint hotels. The people are friendly, and there’s an opportunity to indulge in delicious street food on just about every street corner. Don’t forget to walk the Sunday market along Rachadamnoen Road, which is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai!
This area is filled with people doing a little soul-searching, taking yoga classes, or going on photographic excursions. There are some stunning photo locations in this area, so it’s every Instagrammers paradise. If you’re looking to stay in a location that’s easy on the eyes, this is surely it.
As a tourist, I love staying within the Old City walls, but as a long term resident (I lived there for nine months), I prefer Nimmanhaemin.
Nimmanhaemin (West of the Moat)
Often referred to as Nimman, this area is the hipster and trendy part of Chiang Mai, with many new cafes, restaurants, shops, and a vibrant nightlife. This is why Nimman is so popular among the expat community in Chiang Mai.
This area caters more to long-term visitors with its serviced apartments, but there are plenty of budget to high-end hotels within walking distance of the old city and other popular sights in Chiang Mai. If you want to feel like you’re in the “it” place of Chiang Mai, this is where you should stay.
Tha Phae Region (East of the Moat)
East of the Old City is the Tha Phae area, which starts at the Tha Phae gate and continues all the way to the Ping River. This area is extremely popular among tourists, and it’s one you should at least visit during your trip.
This area is small, and the traffic isn’t nearly as frightening as it is in Bangkok, but it can get hectic, especially at night when locals and tourists are out and about on the streets and markets.
There are also a few Thai Boxing rings and nice bars around this area to go to for a nice night out. This is also a great place to stay if you’re visiting for the Yi-Peng Lantern Festival and Songkran Festival.
Chiang Mai Riverside (Ping River)
If you want to experience how the locals live and have a relaxing time, then the riverside is a great location to base yourself. Hotels line the Ping River, providing you with great views.
There are also plenty of luxury resorts in the area. But the real selling point is the feel of the neighborhood. The more north or south you are from the Tha Phae area, the more authentic it will be.
Watch fisherman taking in their daily catch along the riverbanks. Indulge in delicious street food at one of the many local markets. And watch the hustle and bustle of daily living. The price of a hotel stay in this area might be a little more pricey, but it’s worth it for the incredible experience.
Best Place to Stay in Chiang Mai
Now that you have an idea about what the areas in Chiang Mai are like, here’s where you should be staying.
Top Budget Stays in Chiang Mai
Want to have a great stay in Chiang Mai, but you’re low on funds? Don’t stress! There are plenty of budget options to suit your needs. Here are some of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on a budget.
A luscious outdoor garden area surrounds hostel Lullaby. It’s the perfect place to put your feet up while enjoying all the free amenities. Cooking classes, a bicycle, breakfast, and snacks are all included in this wonderful stay.
Located in Old Town Chiang Mai, you’ll be situated close to all the main attractions allowing you to save even more on transport costs. This is not a party hostel, it’s for those looking for a cozy and comfortable stay during their time in Chiang Mai.
Choose between mixed dorm rooms, female-only dorm rooms, and private rooms at this chic and modern hostel. The air-conditioned and fan-fitted rooms make this an incredibly comfortable stay, regardless of the weather.
Massage and laundry facilities are available on the premises, and travel bookings can be made through the hostel.
This hostel is great for socializing, with a big common room, kitchen, and plenty of entertainment activities. You’re sure to make new friends. The WiFi is fast, and the breakfast is free, making it a great place to stay for digital nomads looking for a spot in Chiang Mai.
It’s a great place to experience city parades. So if you have your heart set on the festival scene in Chiang Mai, this hostel is perfectly located with easy access to many of the area’s best attractions. You can also book day trips and tours at the front desk, making traveling a breeze.
Looking for a party hostel experience? This is the hostel for you. You may not get much sleep, but if it’s an experience you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than this! It’s modern, comfortable, and funky, with a wonderful twist.
Travel with your fellow hostel dwellers during the day, and indulge in drinking games at night. The hostel also organizes pool parties, pub crawls, market crawls, and other fun social events to enjoy during your stay.
Located just 2-minutes away from the famous Chiang Mai night market, the location simply doesn’t get better than this. This modern hostel has 3 floors of air-conditioned and modern rooms to choose from.
In the evenings, enjoy time with your fellow hostel-mates on the rooftop chill area, and venture out to the myriad of markets in the area during the day.
The Islander has strong WiFi, Netflix, and cable TV for those evenings you just want to stay in. The knowledgeable owners are also always available to help with travel information and recommendations.
Thai Thai Hostel is for adventure lovers. The staff encourages those staying in the hostel to have an adventure of a lifetime, even booking excursions and day trips for their guests. During the day you can relax in the common area, which is accompanied by vibey music creating a cool atmosphere.
With 24-hour check-in services and all you could ever need in one hostel, you’re sure to create some epic memories here.
Best Mid-Range Chiang Mai Hotels
Looking for a mid-range accommodation option in Chiang Mai? Luckily for you, there are plenty on offer! These are some of the best mid-range Chiang Mai hotels up for grabs.
Of the hotels I’ve stayed at in Chiang Mai, this is by far my favorite. It is located in an old yet well preserved and modernized small building within the old walled city, steps from the Tha Phae Gate. In some rooms, you even have a view of the moat!
The hotel has an excellent location that’s well complemented by the staff’s dedicated service and beautiful interior decoration. You feel like you’re staying at an expensive boutique hotel, but the prices are very reasonable.
There are free WiFi and breakfast, and if you’re there on a Sunday, you’ll be steps away from the Sunday Night Market at Rachadamnoen Road.
This cute and cozy hotel provides accommodation a mere 500 meters from Wat Phra Singh. All kinds of rooms are available, from family rooms to couples’ rooms. The swimming pool, comfortable beds, and boutique style of this hotel make it an easy winner.
The free WiFi and breakfast add to this budget-friendly stay without opting out of privacy and convenience. Located in the true heart of Chiang Mai, it’s hard to find a better-situated hotel.
Free WiFi, air-conditioned rooms, and access to wonderful common rooms and public areas make this hotel a great stay. Located just a 15-minute walk from Chiang Mai’s Warorot Market, everything you could possibly need is within a 30-minute radius.
The rooms are modern and beautiful, containing a TV, minibar, and a bathroom with a shower. On the premises, you’ll also have access to a sparkling clean indoor pool and private gym.
These stylish rooms offer air-conditioning and stunning views over the neighborhood. Free bicycle rental, on-site parking, airport transfers, and WiFi are all a part of the package at We Valley Boutique Hotel.
The bedrooms offer comfortable seating, a kettle, and a refrigerator, as well as a modern, clean en-suite bathroom. Located just a short walk away from Chiang Mai University, the location is ultra-convenient too.
With mountain views as well as views overlooking the vibrant city streets, you won’t want to leave this stunning hotel. The stylish rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a refrigerator, air-conditioning, and a flat-screen TV.
The on-site restaurant serves international cuisine, and you can enjoy live music while you eat every evening. There is also a cocktail lounge where you can tantalize your taste buds with a refreshing alcoholic beverage. Located just 800 meters from Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center, the location is perfect too!
Located in the vibrant nightlife area on Nimmanhaemin Street, there’s no better place to be close to the action. The rooms are air-conditioned and have flat-screen TVs, a minibar as well as a luxurious bathroom. They also offer private balconies with stunning city views.
The on-site Le Nakara Restaurant serves western dishes in the beautiful rooftop garden setting. It feels like a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in the area. Enjoy stunning views of the city skyline while indulging in a delicious meal.
Best Luxury Chiang Mai Accommodation
Are you looking to spoil yourself during your stay in Chiang Mai? Opt for one of these luxurious accommodation options, and you won’t be disappointed!
Apart from every luxury hotel’s usual amenities, Phra Singh Village offers an outdoor pool and gym facility. The hotel has a very unique style with plenty of modern wood furnishings.
A continental breakfast is served every morning to start the day off right. To end it in a similar fashion, head to the outdoor terrace to enjoy a luxurious dip in the hot-tub while enjoying stunning views.
Free parking, an outdoor fitness center, and a pool are all part of the perks of staying at Chala Number6. Situated within walking distance of many of the main attractions, temples, and monuments, this luxurious hotel helps you cut down on transport time while saving you money.
The hotel has an on-site bar with a beautiful garden, but if your room is too comfy to leave, there’s a room service option too. A buffet breakfast is served each morning, which you can enjoy in the sunshine on the terrace.
At Wintree City Resort, you can rent a car or bike from the premises to explore the city. But there’s absolutely no need when everything you could ever want is right on your doorstep. Enjoy refreshments at the bar, or have them delivered to the outdoor pool while you soak up some sunshine.
If you want to stay fit while on holiday, make use of the fitness center. Tan on the outdoor sun terrace or dine at the on-site restaurant. There isn’t much you can’t do at this wonderful resort.
The Empress Premier in Chiang Mai offers luxury at its finest. The beautiful shared lounge, on-site ATM, and free WiFi are just the starters. A stunning restaurant, bar, outdoor swimming pool, and fitness center are what really make this luxury stay the winner that it is.
The sauna and hot tub provide the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up the holiday atmosphere. Every inch of this hotel oozes luxury and grandeur, so if you’re really up for a treat, this is a must stay location.
Smile Lanna Hotel is a massive luxury hotel, but that doesn’t stop guests from experiencing very personalized service. An outdoor swimming pool and bar make it the perfect place to relax on those extra hot days. And the on-site restaurant makes for extreme convenience.
The hotel is close to many notable attractions, including Wat Sri Suphan, the Elephant Care and Grand Canyon Jump, as well as Chiang Mai Central Plaza. With everything you need in such a short distance, this luxury hotel is a great option for those who don’t want to spend great lengths of time in transit.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Chiang Mai
What is the best location to stay in Chiang Mai? Well, that’s up to personal preference, but you’re sure to find it somewhere on this extensive list of great accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for luxury at it’s finest or a simple getaway in Chiang Mai, there’s a place to stay for you.
Chiang Mai and all its beauty are ready to accommodate you. So what are you waiting for? Get booking your next stay in this incredible location.
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