Top things to do in Phuket Town, Thailand

We all know Phuket for its pristine white sand beaches, wild nightlife, and beyond delicious streetfood. While it’s the vacation spot of your dreams, there’s one spot on the island that vacay-goers tend to overlook when planning their itinerary (and I have no reason why).

While the shenanigans in Patong Beach may be infamously known, an afternoon spent in Phuket Town will be definitely worth it.

Phuket Town, a little corner of the island received its charm back in early 20th century when the Portugese were invited to Thailand for business. While they may migrated onwards, their Sino-Portugese influence has remained resulting in these distinctive buildings that have now been transformed into shops, hotels, restaurants and more! They remind me of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco!

As a trendy hotspot, you’ll easily cross paths with hipster locals, chic art galleries, and Instagram photo-ops galore! Begin your day by enjoying a hefty brunch, your afternoon wandering the colorful streets, and if it’s a Sunday – you must stay for the Walking Night Market! After exploring, head straight to the beach for a relaxing sunset.

How to get to Phuket Town, Thailand

I personally prefer to rent a scooter and ride around town. The roads are wide and locals tend to follow the rules (compared to other Asian countries) so I found it extremely comfortable to hop on. If you have the confidence to ride a scooter, I highly encourage it as you can drive around and pull over wherever you like. Important to note, I’ve been riding for only a couple months! Your scooter should only cost a couple USD a day, or even less - such a great deal!

If you haven’t ridden a scooter before, I highly recommend organizing a taxi with your hotel prior. The'y’ll also be able to provide you with the best rates/

Rideshare apps are common in Asian countries, but I’d been told it’s rather expensive in Phuket which is why I hadn’t given it a shot. Please do let me know if you’ve had a good experience!

The best drop-off location is at Gallery Cafe and all you’ve got to do is simply wander from there!

Click here for a detailed Google Map of all attractions in Phuket Town! Save this and use it as a guide once there!

Phuket Town Old Town Thailand
Old Town Phuket Town Thailand

Things to do in Phuket Town, Thailand:

Get some Insta-worthy shots:

Start your morning off with an extra-yummy brunch or ditch the crowd to wander the streets in the morning. If there’s one thing to pack for Phuket Town, it’s your camera! Wander the streets and you’ll easily come across Victorian style picturesque buildings that you’ve seen all over Pinterest! Although, I do want to point out that while these historic streets may have a colonial charm, it’s the stunning street art found graffitied on the in-between brick alley walls that I fell head over heels for.

Whatever you style may be – you’ll love the shots you get! Think of your favorite poses, and have fun with it!

Indulge in some Brunch:

With more than a dozen of cute brunch spots all over Phuket town, it’ll be a struggle to pick just one! I chose to eat at Gallery Café by Pinky as it seemed to be the most popular one! I ordered French Toast with a Berries and Yogurt Smoothie – it was delicious! The entire place is super well decorated, with a stunning outdoor spiral staircase and their service was great.

While wandering thru, I had also come across some other cafes that would make for the perfect breakfast spot! The Feelsion Café and Rose Espresso were two others I had researched before coming! Looking at hindsight, it’ll probably be more fun just to see what you come across! There’s a cute cafe every block or so!

Although, one not to walk passed is the Be Cat Café and Restaurant! You won’t be able to handle this cat cafe on your own, the kitties are just too cute! Come prepared to pet them till your heart’s content and take all the picture you like, just no flash photography! Although it is important to note that the cats are kept in a room separate to where you are having your coffee - gotta maintain those health and safety regulations!

Phuket Town Old Town Thailand

Wander the Streets:

I feel like I’ve mentioned this before – but wander, wander, wander! Some buildings may look run down from the outside, but you’ll soon discover it may be a chic hotel or art gallery. Be optimistic and enjoy yourself (if the sun isn’t too harsh, fingers crossed you get good weather!)

Phuket town is best not rushed, spend a couple hours here, and treat yourself to an ice cream while you’re at it – you deserve it. Do keep in mind Phuket does get extremely hot during the day, so come prepared to bare the heat! I came in August and it was manageable, plus it made me enjoy that ice cream so much more. I highly recommend visiting Nai Harn Beach! Quiet, local, and stunning- just the way a beach should be!

Click here for a detailed Google Map of all attractions in Phuket Town! Save this and use it as a guide once there!

Old Town Phuket Thailand
Old Town Phuket Thailand

Visit Local Art Galleries and Museums:

I was so consumed by people watching, I completely missed this one and am heartbroken! I’ve heard such great things about the art galleries and museums found in this part of town, so if that’s your thing – definitely indulge in it!

Trip Advisor has listed out a variety of galleries totally worth visiting! Check ‘em out here!

Shop + Interact with Locals:

While wandering I found this little alley way with little vender stalls selling food, jewelry, and clothes. It’s called Thaland Road and it was one of the highlights in Phuket Town!

You can find it easily mapped on my Phuket Town Google Map here!

Phuket Town Old Town Thailand Cat Cafe
Phuket Town Thaland Road Thailand Old Town

Spend a Night:

Although I stayed with some friends while I was in Phuket, there’s plenty of cool hotels and hostels I saw travelers checking in and out while walking around (the famous spotting of people walking around with suitcases).

Two hotels I came across that really got my attention were the The Memory at On On Hotel and Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel Phuket. They both have very different styles yet still gave off that iconic European vibe this part of town is known for. I wish I had time to look at them both more carefully – they looked so dreamy! I would definitely book a night on this side of the island, preferably Sunday night so I could take advantage of the Sunday market! Don’t spend all your time in Patong, it’s so 2014!

Get a Massage:

At a point, it’ll get hot and your feet are definitely going to get tired. You’re on vacay, you don’t deserve that. In addition to that super good ice cream you get, make sure to carve out some time for a mid-day foot massage at Kim’s Massage & Spa! It’s good service at reasonable prices! It’s also the perfect spot to log onto the WIFI and catch up on directions for the rest of the day!

Visit the Sunday Market:

I really wish I had the chance to see the Sunday Market, all my friends and locals I’ve come across have told me it’s really worth the visit! Filled with super cool vendors and food stalls, this is the spot to finally put your bargaining skills to the test! You may have spent your entire day indulging in the yummiest cafes, but you have to save room for dessert (and nobody does it better than a Thai night market!)

Work at a Coworking Spot:

If you’re a digital nomad like myself, I found that the cafes were a little difficult to work at as they lacked work space or electrical outlets. Not far from the busy streets is Hatch Coworking for all your internet needs! Dodge the heat and spend a few hours here getting work done before heading off to your next destination! Gotta stay on top of things yaknow!

While my visit to Phuket Town was short, it was really refreshing to visit as I got to escape the typical Patong hype! I highly recommend starting your morning here and ending it with a pleasant beach day! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions - happy to help!

Click here for a detailed Google Map of all attractions in Phuket Town! Save this and use it as a guide once there!