Are you planning a trip to Phuket for 1 week but are unsure how to spend it, what to do, where to stay, and have other concerns?
I’ve got you covered with this complete 7 day itinerary for Phuket, which includes the main attractions on the island, the best beaches, must-do day trips from Phuket, and a few tips to know before visiting!
Phuket is known for its beautiful beaches, island atmosphere, nightlife, and being home to Southern Thai cuisine, attracting tourists from all over the world!
For those flying into Phuket International Airport, this guide will help you get from Phuket Airport to your hotel.
7 Day Itinerary for Phuket Overview
- Day 1: Big Buddha Phuket/Wat Chalong, Kata Beach, Karon Temple Market
- Day 2: Elephant Sanctuary, Patong Beach & Bangla Road
- Day 3: Day Trip to Phi Phi Island & Chillva Night Market
- Day 4: Freedom Beach, Kamala Beach, or Beach Club & Massage Time
- Day 5: Phang Nga Bay Day Trip & Tann Terrace Restaurant/Fireshow
- Day 6: Thai Cooking Class, Nai Han Beach & Cape Phrom Thep for Sunset
- Day 7: Surin Beach & Old Phuket Town
Getting Around Phuket
Besides renting a scooter, here are the most efficient and cheapest ways to get around Phuket.
Phuket Smart Bus: This local white bus operates on the West side of the island, driving and stopping at all the popular beach areas, including Surin, Kamala, Patong, Karon, and Kata.
Each beach area has designated stops, so make sure to wait there. The bus stops around every hour and costs 100 Baht/$2.88 US – Check the Schedule
GRAB: Popular ride-sharing app you can download the app and find a ride quickly. It is safe, efficient, and one of the best ways to get around Phuket.
Song Taew (local Blue Bus): The local blue bus picks you up and drops you off anywhere you want along the route. Stand on the side of the road and wave for the driver to stop; once you’re at your destination, press the button and pay the driver 30-50 Baht (they’ll tell you).
It operates from Old Phuket Town and outwards from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and frequents each route approximately every 30 minutes (sometimes slightly longer).
Tuk-Tuk/Taxi: The fastest way to get around Phuket is by taking one of the many red tuk-tuks you can spot all over the island, and remember to negotiate!
Day 1 in Phuket:
Once you’ve enjoyed breakfast, it’s time to adventure to the top of Phuket and visit the famous Big Buddha.
You will join a small group on tour to see the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong, two of the most beautiful temples in Phuket. Those who enjoy hiking can do the 2-hour hike to the Big Buddha, but it will take away time from other plans in the itinerary throughout the day.
Once you’ve seen both temples, you’ll spend your first afternoon at Kata Beach and your evening at the Karon Temple Market.
Big Buddha & Wat Chalong
Your first morning in Phuket will start with a visit to the island’s most recognized attraction, the Big Buddha of Phuket. Shortly after, you will visit Wat Chalong, a well-known temple.
Built in 2004 and perched atop the Nakkerd Hills in Phuket stands this impressive 45-meter-tall Big Buddha.
When you visit the Big Buddha, you will also be greeted with fantastic panoramic views of Phuket. Watch out for your bags and belongings, there are monkeys around at the Big Buddha.
TIP: Ladies, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered, or you can’t visit. At the Big Buddha, they sell sarong scarfs, a traditional Thai scarf you can purchase to cover up.
With its soft white sands, crystal-clear turquoise waters, lush palm trees, and hills in the distance, Kata Beach is picturesque, to say the least!
The shoreline is perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the beach offers many water sports, including parasailing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and surfing.
Located next to the beach, there are many bars, shops, and local vendors selling street foods.
Karon Temple Market
Next to Kata is Karon, another popular beach area and home to the Karon Temple Market, a lively night market in the temple.
Whether you want to experience a local market or engage with friendly vendors as you try their street food, Karon Temple Market is worth visiting. You’ll also find many souvenirs and house goods to purchase.
Down the street from the street are countless restaurants, bars, and shops you can visit later.
Day 2 in Phuket:
Ready for day two of your one-week itinerary in Phuket? The second day involves another fun morning of adventures, this time at an elephant sanctuary.
Later in the afternoon, you’ll head to Patong Beach, one of the most popular beaches due to its shopping and nightlife. Once you’ve spent the day relaxing there, walk along the famous Bangla Road and prepare for the famous nightlife street.
If you’re visiting with kids, you could skip visiting Bangla Road in Patong at night!
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is one of the only ethical elephant sanctuaries in Phuket. It’s important to know that humans shouldn’t ride elephants and you shouldn’t support such places that allow it.
Day two will start with a morning at Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, where you’ll meet, feed, and observe the elephants as they freely roam in their natural habitat.
During the tour, you will also learn about the rescue stories and efforts the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary has made to sustain ethical elephant visits in Phuket.
For those visiting Thailand for the first time, a trip to an ethical elephant sanctuary is a must-do!
Patong Beach & Bangla Road
Your afternoon will be spent visiting the infamous Patong Beach. This beach area is famous for its many clothing markets, large malls during the day, and wild nightlife at night.
Visit the area for the afternoon, and you can spend it relaxing along the beach or possibly shopping. The area offers plenty of shops and two large malls.
Once you’ve enjoyed dinner, wander over to the famous Bangle Road. This road closes off in the evening and becomes a Walking Street full of countless bars, nightclubs, and more.
If you’re with your family, you may skip this. Also, for those who aren’t looking to party, I’d suggest visiting quickly to see what the craziness is about, that’s what I did.
Day 3 in Phuket:
A trip to Phuket isn’t complete without visiting Phi Phi Island. The top-ranked tour is one of the best things to do when visiting Phuket!
On your third day, you’ll spend most of it on a day trip to Phi Phi Island. In the evening, you’ll visit Chillva Night Market for a laid-back evening.
Phi Phi Island
Prepare for a day of island adventures as you embark on a full-day trip to Phi Phi Island and its many surrounding attractions.
Starting in the early morning with a pickup from your hotel, you’ll head to Phi Phi Island by speedboat in a small group and visit Bamboo Island, Phi Phi Don, Maya Bay Beach, Monkey Beach, and more!
This Phi Phi Island tour is ideal because it shows you the best of Phi Phi Island all in one day and includes lunch.
I highly recommend you experience this tour. You know all those images you see online of Thailand with towering limestones amongst crystal blue water, that’s here!
Chillva Night Market
Once you’ve returned from a long day touring around Phi Phi Island, it’s time to enjoy an evening at one of Phuket’s best and more local night markets.
Like your typical night market, here you’ll find a wide variety of food to try: fresh grilled seafood, meat skewers, pad Thai, other stir dishes, green coconut curry, Tom yum soup, and much more.
Compared to other night markets in Phuket, the Chillva Night Market offers a wider variety of clothing, accessories, and souvenirs.
Located near Phuket Town, Chillva Night Market is open Monday to Saturday from 5:00 PM to 11:00.
Chillva Night Market is closed on Sunday because of the famous Old Phuket Town Sunday Market every Sunday. It’s known as the best night market in Phuket, but it only happens on Sunday!
Day 4 in Phuket:
After three days of non-stop adventure, as you make the most of your visit to Phuket during these seven days.
It’s time to take a step back and experience Phuket differently. Your fourth day will mainly consist of relaxation!
First, you’ll visit the beautiful, remote Freedom Beach in the morning. Then, spend the afternoon at Kamala Beach or visit Cafe Del Mar, a beach club on Kamala Beach, for a luxurious beach day.
You can stay longer at Freedom Beach, it’s a stunning beach, but there aren’t amenities there.
In the evening, experience your first Thai massage at one of the many local shops, and lastly, it’s time for dinner!
Many people think of remote beaches inaccessible by car when they think of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Freedom Beach is exactly that. This stunning beach is only accessible by foot or longtail boat taxi.
With its crystal clear waters and many palm trees surrounding the shoreline, adding to the island atmosphere and rock formations, Freedom Beach ranks in the top three best beaches in Phuket!
Keep in mind that there are no washrooms here, but there are a few food vendors. Also, there are only two ways to get here. For all info about Freedom Beach, including how to get there, tips to know, and more, refer to my Freedom Beach guide.
Kamala Beach or Beach Club
After a morning of visiting one of Phuket’s best beaches, it is time to visit Kamala Beach beach, another beautiful beach with plenty of amenities for guests.
Kamala Beach has an extensive shoreline, and the waves are calm, perfect for those visiting with kids. It’s also located approximately in the middle of Phuket’s west coast, so its location is excellent.
Spend the afternoon relaxing at Kamala Beach. Plenty of beach lounger chairs are for rent, 100 Baht per chair with an umbrella for the day. Later, go for dinner in the area; many great restaurants are around.
For those looking to visit Kamala Beach but in a luxurious way, visit Cafe Del Mar, the best beach club in Phuket. Spend the day relaxing here with cocktails and appetizers.
Are you staying in Phuket for more than seven days? Here’s a list of the best beaches in Phuket!
Last but not least, to end your day in a relaxing manner, time to get a traditional Thai massage. There are many parlors in the Kamala Beach area, take your pick!
Traditional Thai massages consist of being stretched out by the masseur. They are very relaxing and are known in the culture as medically healthy for you.
One must experience at least one Thai massage when visiting Thailand for the first time!
Day 5 in Phuket:
I hope you feel rested after your beach relaxation and Thai massage. Today, you’ll spend most of the day visiting one of Thailand’s most beautiful areas.
Once you’ve returned from a long day of island adventures, it’s time to spend the evening at Tann Terrace restaurant for dinner, accompanied by a beach fire show!
Phang Nga Bay
In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in a small group and on your way to Phang Nga Bay, one of Thailand’s most nature-rich bays.
The famous Phang Nga Bay features several unique dramatic limestones, turquoise waters, hidden caves, and the famous James Bond Island, which was featured in “The Many with the Golden Gun” movie.
During the Phang Nga tour, you will enjoy sightseeing at Phang Nga Bay on a large boat, canoeing through caves, snorkeling among vibrant coral reefs, and a lunch buffet.
Phang Nga Bay is regarded as one of the top three-day trips from Phuket to experience.
Tann Terrace Fireshow
Day trips can be tiring; there’s so much happening all in one day, but thankfully, the evening will be relaxing.
Spend the evening after your day trip to Phang Nga Bay at Tann Terrace, a vibrant beachfront restaurant with exciting, fun fire shows happening each evening.
The menu is diverse, featuring Thai, Japanese, Italian, and Arabic food, so it’s sure to please all!
Day 6 in Phuket:
Thai food is well-known worldwide and delicious, but instead of eating it during your trip to Phuket, why not learn to make it yourself? So when you go back home, you can make some for yourself!
Your sixth day will start with a morning cooking class, followed by an afternoon at Nai Han Beach, one of Phuket’s most crystal-clear beaches.
Nearby from Nai Harn Beach is Cape Phrom Thep, a stunning sunset area where locals and tourists gather to watch island sunsets!
Thai Cooking Class
Once you’ve been picked up from your hotel, you will first visit a produce market with a small group.
After you’ve visited the fresh produce market and sampled some local fruit, the class will be in session. Two English-speaking chefs will guide you as you make four traditional Thai dishes.
Foodies will love this cooking class, you will cook and try many foods, including red/green curry, pad Thai, traditional Thai tea, fresh fruit tasting, and more. Also, considering the price and all you get to eat, it’s well worth it!
Nai Han Beach
Located on the southern-western side of the island is Nai Han Beach, a picture-perfect quiet beach with powdery soft sand and vibrant turquoise shaded waters.
Spend your afternoon relaxing at Nai Han Beach. Near the park are Ban Nai Han Park and Nai Harn Temple, which are worth visiting shortly after leaving the beach.
Despite being near many hotels, because of its location, Nai Han Beach is often less crowded than most of the beaches in Phuket.
You’ll find a diverse mix of restaurants to consider dining at after the beach, but don’t be too long at dinner. Catching the sunset later is on the agenda!
Cape Phrom Thep
For those looking to catch an impressive sunset in Thailand, Cape Phrom Thep is perfect for just that!
Famous for its unforgettable sunsets, the area offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, which surrounds Phuket.
When you arrive in the evening, you’ll see many tourists preparing to capture sunset photos here, it’s fun!
The extensive row of palm trees, combined with the picturesque water vistas from the hill and the vibrant skies, many miss Cape Phrom Thep when in Phuket, and it’s a must-visit!
Day 7 in Phuket:
On your last day in Phuket, it’s best to take things easy since you’ll be traveling the next day.
Phuket is known for its excellent beaches, so on the last day, why not visit one last beach before leaving? Surin Beach is known for its crystal clear water and vibrant day street food market.
In the late afternoon, discover Old Phuket Town, known as the island’s city center. Here, you’ll find the famous, colorful, picturesque Portuguese-Sino buildings, charming cafes, a wide variety of great restaurants, and a few rooftop & unique speakeasy bars.
TIP: There’s plenty to do in Phuket Town, so if you’re over the beaches, head earlier and spend more time exploring there!
Starting your morning visiting Surin Beach. Similar to Freedom Beach, Surin Beach offers some of the clearest shorelines in Phuket; the sand is soft, and there are many stores and restaurants nearby.
Waves can be aggressive at Surin Beach, so if you’re not a great swimmer, be careful. The end of the beach, where the rocks are, offers a great area to go snorkeling!
Surin Beach might be my favorite beach in Phuket because Surin Beach has the most food vendors in Phuket. It’s like a night market in the day by the beach!
Old Phuket Town
Considered the island’s city center, where many businesses are, vendor trades happen, and more. Phuket Town is a vibrant area on the island best known for its charming Portuguese-Sino buildings built long ago.
While the area may not have a beach, there’s plenty to do in Phuket Town. There are countless shops offering souvenirs, clothing, textiles, spices, and more.
There are also several quaint cafes in the area, and the cocktail bars in Phuket Town are top-notch, with many unique speakeasy bars. Lastly, it’s also home to the famous Phuket Town Sunday Night Market.
Where to Stay in Phuket
Kata/Karon, Patong, and Kamala are the three best and most popular beach areas in Phuket.
All three beach areas are ideal for solo travellers and couples. For families, Kamala, Kata, or Karon would be best.
Kata or Karon Beach: These two popular neighbouring beach areas in Phuket are next to one another, sharing very similar atmospheres.
Both have stunning beach shorelines and a relaxing beach area full of restaurants, shops, and bars.
Katathani Phuket Resort — Beautiful 5 Star beachfront resort, full of many activities and amenities
Blu Pine Villas — Modern boutique-style hotel offering villa rooms close to many excellent restaurants
Le Meridien Phuket — A stunning modern 5 Star beachfront resort with many amenities and a private beach area
JonoX Karon — Ultra modern hotel minutes away from the beach, beautiful rooftop pool, and very well-priced
Patong Beach: Wildly known as Phuket’s most popular area due to its nightlife and wide variety of shopping. Patong Beach offers a lively area for those looking for a lively beach stay!
Rosewood Phuket — A luxurious boutique hotel located in the hills of Patong in a private area, offering villas equipped with all you need and stunning panoramic ocean views
Amari Phuket – The Amari Phuket offers exceptional views of Patong Beach and the area; the hotel is well-rated and conveniently close to the central Patong area
Lub d Phuket Patong – Known as the best hostel in Patong, Lub D has a fun communal space with many activities and opportunities to meet other travelers.
Kamala Beach: Similar to Kata/Karon, Kamala Beach also offers visitors a relaxing island stay. Kamala Beach is beautiful but not as lovely as Kata/Karon’s beaches. However, Kamala Beach provides more things to do during the day and night than Kata/Karon.
Kamala is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere relaxing yet slightly more lively than Karon/Kata, but not Patong!
InterContinental Phuket Resort — offers guests a tranquil, relaxing, luxurious stay, InterContinental is a beachfront stay along Kamala Beach, offering several world-class amenities.
Novotel Kamala Beach — Located along the end of Kamala Beach, it offers direct beach access, spacious rooms, and excellent amenities.
When to Visit Phuket
Phuket has two significant seasons: the dry season and the rainy season, also known by locals as the monsoon season.
The best time to visit Phuket is during the dry season, from late November to April.
During the dry season in Phuket, you can look forward to hot, sunny weather daily with minimal to no rain and low humidity.
Dry Season in Phuket: November to April
The rainy season in Phuket is from May to October, sometimes even till mid-November.
If you visit during the rainy season, you will experience sunny weather but understand the chances of it raining are much higher. Also, humidity levels are increased during the monsoon/rainy season.
Rainy Season in Phuket: May to October
Tips for Visiting Phuket
- Use the Phuket Smart Bus to get to different beaches in Phuket.
- Watch out for a few common reoccurring Phuket Scams.
- Visiting Phuket on a budget? Stick to the night markets and local cuisine, and it’s always the most affordable.
- If one of the days you’re visiting Phuket is a Sunday, you can’t miss the famous Phuket Town Sunday Market!
- Buy sunscreen before visiting Phuket. It’s more expensive here, and most sunscreen has whitening agents. If you prefer to tan, you won’t want to use it.
- Red Flags on beaches are there for a reason. If you see them, it’s not safe to enter the water.
- Always carry cash with you in Phuket. Some places accept credit cards, but Phuket is still a cash society.
Phuket Itinerary for 7 Days — Final Thoughts
That concludes this relaxing but action-packed itinerary for one week in Phuket. When visiting Phuket, take note of the few tips I’ve mentioned above!
Phuket is one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia, and it’s easy to see why. For first-time visitors to Thailand, Phuket is convenient, easy to get around, and offers plenty to do.
Is 7 days too long in Phuket?
No, seven days in Phuket isn’t long. The island offers many activities, there are many beaches, and the island is large with plenty to explore.
How many days do I need in Phuket?
Spend at least four days in Phuket, and don’t spend it all in Patong Beach. There are plenty of activities and lovely beaches to visit!
Is 10 days too long in Phuket?
No, it’s not, especially if you enjoy beach days. You can quickly fill up your time visiting Phuket for 10 days. There are also many day trips to consider in Phuket!
Is Phuket too touristy?
Overall, yes, it is. Phuket is Thailand’s most famous beach destination.
But most people think of Patong when they think of Phuket, the most touristy area on the island. This is a concentrated area that’s the most touristy. The other beach areas in Phuket aren’t as touristy as Patong.
Areas on the island that aren’t touristy are Rawai Beach and Phuket Town.
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