48 Hours in Phuket – 2 Day Itinerary

If you’re planning a weekend in Phuket or just have 2 days in Phuket, this guide, based on my personal experiences, will help you make the most of your short trip.

Phuket, Thailand, is a tropical paradise, famous for its blue lagoons, white sandy beaches, and lush mountains. It’s the largest island in Thailand, often called the ‘mountain jewel.’

During your 2 day itinerary for Phuket, there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy. Visit the iconic Big Buddha, explore temples, enjoy shopping, and beach-hop around Patong Beach. The local food here is delicious, and I highly recommend trying it.

For a mix of culture and relaxation in Phuket for 2 days, consider taking a guided tour. It gives you a deeper understanding of the area and valuable tips from locals.

Phuket is also a gateway to other Andaman islands like Koh Phi Phi, Similan Islands, Koh Lipe and Koh Lanta are just a boat ride away.

Samet Nangshe viewpoint over Phang-nga Bay scenic, with mountains in Andaman sea, near Phuket, Thailand.

Phuket is accessible by flights from Bangkok, with budget options for airport pick ups like minivans and buses available. It’s a safe destination, even for solo female travelers, though it’s wise to be cautious of pickpocketing in tourist areas.

Besides the 36 beaches, Phuket city offers an authentic Thai experience with its markets and local atmosphere. If you’re wondering how many days in Phuket is ideal, it depends on your interests. You could spend weeks here and still find new things to do.

This guide is perfect for those on a cruise or short on time, showing what to do in Phuket, where to stay, what to eat, and how to get around. 48 hours is enough to enjoy Phuket before exploring other islands, making it an ideal weekend in Phuket itinerary. So let’s get into what to do in Phuket for 2 days….

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Making last-minute plans for your Phuket itinerary. We’ve got you covered. Our recommended hotels and tours for a getaway to Phuket are listed below.

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Best time to visit Phuket

Phuket’s climate is tropical: hot and humid. Temperatures don’t vary too much throughout the year however it is worth remembering that the Monsoon season is between May and October.

November to February are the most popular times for tourists to travel to Phuket, and it is best to avoid December and January, which is the peak of tourist season and prices for accommodation double and beaches become very crowded.

Personally I like to travel to Phuket in October, you might get a bit of rain but for the most part its fairly dry and you can enjoy cheaper accommodation options and tours because it’s not as busy.

PHUKET, THAILAND- Crowds of tourists at Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is a popular destination famous for its beaches.

How to get around Phuket

There are many methods of public transport in Phuket, these include Songtaew, taxi, tuk-tuk, motorcycle taxi and motorcycle rental.

Driving in Thailand is not like driving in the Western world and is best navigated by a local, motorcycle rental is very common among tourists but I would advise against it as Thai drivers are quite aggressive and the rate of motorbike accidents in Thailand, with over 24,000 people dying annually from road accidents, 24 times the road accident death rate in the United Kingdom!

There are also numerous scams for tourists renting motorcycles and then having them “stolen” and having to pay out a huge sum of compensation.

There are safer methods of transportation such as the Songtaew, which is a kind of open bus without fixed stops. You normally hail down a Songtaew, tell the driver where you want to go and negotiate the price and hop on. It helps to know the name of the street in Thai.

Tuk-Tuks and taxis are also good methods of getting around but make sure to negotiate your price before you even get in as often you will find yourself being charged “tourist prices”. Finally, there are motorcycle taxis for those who don’t mind this hair-raising form of transportation.

Phuket Thailand - Many taxis (tuk tuk) parking on street in Phuket Thailand. The island is Thailands largest at 48km in length and 21km at its widest.

Where to stay in Phuket

Phuket has incredible luxury hotels and boutique hotels for people with big budgets to those travelling on a shoestring budget. 

For style and value we have gathered some of the best budget hotels in Phuket and we also have also written an extensive guide on Where to stay in Phuket for every budget.

Below are a few of my favourite hotels in Phuket, especially for a quick trip:

Cascades Resort Phuket

Just five minutes from Rawai Beach is a little contemporary resort with spacious reasonably priced rooms. The hotel is perfect for couples and has an outdoor pool and in-house restaurant.

Anchan Private Pool Villas

This newly built hotel with private pools will give you a sense of privacy and luxury in Chalong Bay. This hotel is a four star one with air conditioned rooms, wifi and excellent location.

Cloud 19 Panwa

For a luxury option at a steal, this hotel on Cape Panwa is right on the beach and has a stunning swimming pool for those sunset swims. Rooms are spacious and clean and the hotel has excellent facilities.

PHUKET, THAILAND - Oriental Architecture of Crest Resort and Pool Villas and Resorts is the latest luxury intimate gems an eco friendly resort Phuket island in Thailand.

Tours in Phuket 

Chalong Bay Rum Distillery

If you love rum then a visit to Chalong Bay Rum Distillery is sure to tickle your taste buds! The famous white rum is world-recognised and during the tour you will learn how rum is distilled, the tour ends in a cocktail workshop where you will learn how to make cocktails and afterwards enjoy the fruits of your labour.

fragment of copper alembic for making alcohol

Phang Nga Bay

There are numerous tour operators offering trips to Phang Nga Bay, 40 small islands full of lagoons, mangroves and caves. This excursion is usually a full day trip as there is so much to see!

A unique way of visiting Phang Nga is to take a Sea Kayak, which allows you to explore the limestone formations, and caves up close, discovering secret lagoons inaccessible by larger boats.

Tours by a bigger boat wil take you out to Phang Nga and include visits Hong Island, Panak Island and James Bond Island. Once out there you will be transferred to kayaks where you can explore the coves and bays at your leisure.

Other Recommend Phuket tours:

Beautiful View of Phang Nga Bay in Samed Nang Chee Viewpoint, Phang Nga, Thailand

48 Hours in Phuket

This guide provides a concise yet comprehensive itinerary to make the most of a 48-hour trips in Phuket. From exploring the busy street markets to relaxing on one of the 36 beaches in Phuket, prepare to completely immerse yourself in life on Phuket. Let’s get started on this unforgettable two-day adventure!

Day 1 in Phuket

For 1 day, I’d recommend connecting with a local and hiring them as a driver for the day OR you can jump on a day tour to make sure you see everything in one day!

Morning Adventure: Hiking to the Big Buddha

Begin your day with a hike to the Big Buddha, a spot offering stunning panoramic views of Phuket Island. I found this experience to be visually breathtaking, is a great way to connect with the island’s nature. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can also catch a ride or jump on a tour to take you around.

Exploring Wat Chalong

Next, visit Wat Chalong, a significant temple in Phuket. I recommend climbing to the rooftop for a unique perspective of the temple complex. It’s a cultural experience, allowing you to witness the temple’s architecture and the surrounding landscape.

Lunch in Phuket Town: Explore Street Food

For lunch, Phuket Town’s alleyways are a treasure trove of affordable and delicious street food. From my experience, meals here are not only tasty but incredibly budget-friendly, often costing less than ฿50.

I’d suggest choose food stalls with high customer turnover and open kitchens. This often indicates fresh and safely prepared food. Interestingly, I found that food poisoning incidents are more common in western-style restaurants than these busy little street food stalls.

Enjoy authentic dishes like satay, Thai fish cakes, spicy soups, and the irresistible combination of sticky rice with mango.

Explore Phuket town and Enjoy a Thai Massage

In the afternoon, enjoy leisurely walking through the streets of Phuket Town. The Sino-Portuguese architecture in the Old Town is pretty interesting. To relax after a day of exploring, I’d highly recommend a Thai massage. It’s incredibly soothing, especially a reflexology session for your sore and tired feet.

Evening Choices: Party til you drop or Relax by the Beach Bars

As evening approaches, choices are endless. For a lively night of partying til you drop, Bangla Road in Patong is the place to be. If you prefer a more relaxed setting, the laid-back beach bars on Kata Beach offer a much more relaxed atmosphere. Grab a cocktail, feel the sand between your toes, and enjoy stunning Thai sunset. It’s a perfect end to a very eventful day 1 in Phuket.

PHUKET, THAILAND - Yaowarad Road. Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket, Thailand.

Day Two in Phuket

For day 2, you have the choice to unwind on the beach or head out on a full-day excursion. One option is to visit the Phang Nga Bay, known for its limestone cliffs and emerald waters. Alternatively, you could explore Phi Phi Island, famous for its crystal-clear waters.

However, please note that these trips require an early start and, since they are in opposite directions, it’s not really possible to visit both in a single day. You’ll need to decide between Phang Nga and Phi Phi Island for your day long adventure.”

Relaxing Beach Time

Start your day with a visit to one of Phuket’s stunning beaches. It’s the perfect place to recover from the previous night’s fun. You can choose to simply lounge on the beach, or have some fun with water sports like paddle boarding, surfing, or snorkeling in the Andaman Sea.

Quieter Beach Options

If you’re looking for a quieter beach, consider visiting Karon, Kata, or Kamala beaches. These spots offer a much more relaxed beach experience, where you can enjoy the beach, almost to yourself and away from the crowds.

Adventure in Phang Nga or Phi Phi Islands

Feeling adventurous? Head to Phang Nga for an fun kayaking adventure or head over to Phi Phi Islands for the day. Phang Nga is perfect for those who love to swim, snorkel, and explore. You’ll discover secret caves and bays and take in the limestone formations that make the islands so unique. Phi Phi Island was made popular by the movie “The Beach”, it can get super crowded but it’s still worth a visit.

Sunset at Promthep Cape

Visit Promthep Cape, the southernmost point of Phuket Island. Despite the likelihood of crowds, the view of the sunset here is usually pretty spectacular. It’s the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo of the end of your amazing 2 days in Phuket.

Farewell Drinks

End your 48 hours in Phuket with another beachside cocktail, because, why not! As you sip your drink, you can reflect on the beautiful memories you’ve experienced in Phuket, the Pearl of the Andaman.

Landscape view point of Laem Phromthep Cape at sunset sky.

Things to do in Phuket

Below is a more comprehensive break down of the recommendations we have provided in day 1 and day 2. It also gives you some other options if what we have suggested isn’t for you.

Explore Old Phuket Town

Phuket Town is a colourful city full of hostels, cafes, restaurants and markets. The architectural style of the city is Sino-Portuguese, the Old Town was established many years ago when metal was a highly prized commodity and the town has a lot of charm and style.

As you wander the streets you will find excellent cafes in Phuket Town and boutique hostels that are contemporary and trendy. Phuket Old Town is home to numerous Chinese and Buddhist temples.

It is worth visiting the Chinpracha House in Phuket Town, which was a historical home from 1903 built by Prapitak Chinpracha. The home was built when the architect was only 20 years old and is built in the Sino-Portuguese style. Chinpracha House is open every day except Sunday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Entrance is ฿150.

One of the most picturesque streets is Soi Rommanee, a favourite with photographers. This is also the location for many a wedding photographer and you will often see brides and grooms strolling down the peaceful lane to have their photographs taken.

If you want to enjoy a great coffee and cake, some of the best cafés can be found in Phuket Town. Pay a visit to Tunk Ka Cafe, Macchiato House, Cakebox, or Bookhemian, the boho, art gallery and coffee shop.

Tour Pick
PHUKET, THAILAND -Phuket town, Thailand: Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style restoration is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket.

Old Town Food Tour

  • 4 hours 
  • Max of 8 people 
  • 14+ food tastings
PHUKET, THAILAND -Phuket town, Thailand: Phuket old town with old buildings in Sino Portuguese style restoration is a very famous tourist destination of Phuket.

Shop at the Phuket Weekend Market (Naka Market)

The Phuket Weekend Market is open on Sunday evenings and a trip to the market stimulates all your senses, here you will find souvenirs and food hawkers selling Thai street food and you can spend hours just wandering and shopping at the various stalls.

PHUKET THAILAND -Thai food stall with spice fruits on weekend night market in Phuket town.

Catch some sun at the beach

The main attraction of Phuket is its many stunning beaches. Though Patong Beach is the most popular among tourists, there are quieter and more pristine stretches of beach around Phuket Island.

Take a visit to Laylan Beach, Bang Tao, Surin Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach or Paradise beach to catch some rays and lounge around in tropical paradise.

PHUKET THAILAND - Popular Surin beach with sunshade parasols on clear sand with calm blue sea

Swim at Bang Pae Waterfall

Bang Pae waterfall is situated in the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park and in the wet season or during monsoon you may see a rushing waterfall, which dries to a trickle during the drier months.

You can swim in the pool below the waterfall, and be sure to bring food and drinks so that you can spend a half-day enjoying the park and the waterfall. The entrance fee to the park is ฿200.

Beautiful nature of Bangpae waterfall at Phuket province Thailand.

Inside the park, you can visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre where you can learn about the rehabilitation project which helps to rescue and rehome Gibbons.

Over 3,000 gibbons are killed yearly in Thailand and hunters often take babies from their mothers, the babies are then sold on to Thais who charge money to tourists to take pictures with the gibbons.

If you do see this practice whilst you are in Thailand, please don’t be tempted to take a picture with the gibbons! This practice encourages animal cruelty and we should all try to discourage it.

Male white-handed gibbon eating leaves in the jungles of Phuket Thailand.

Have a Thai Massage

Treat yourself by having a Thai massage in one of the many massage parlours.

Thai massage typically is a little rougher than Western massage and is meant to ease stress and muscular aches and pains, some massages involve the massage therapist walking up and down your back!

Enjoy as many massages as you can as its incredibly cheap at only around ฿200 per hour.

Thai Masseuse doing massage for lifestyle woman in spa salon. Asian beautiful woman getting Thai herbal massage compress massage in spa.She is very relaxed. Healthy Concept.

Learn to cook Thai cuisine

Phuket has an abundance of cooking schools; this is the perfect place to learn how to make your favourite Thai dishes as well as learning useful skills to continue your passion for Thai food when you return home.

Tour Pick
PHUKET THAILAND -Thai food stall with spice fruits on weekend night market in Phuket town.

Thai Cooking Class

  • 3.5 hours 
  • Max of 10 people 
  • Market tour included
Close up cooking Pad Thai noodles, Thai street food in the market popular Thai Food Bangkok Thailand

Places to visit in Phuket

The Big Buddha

On the top of Nakkerd Hill you can find one of Phuket’s most famous landmarks. Standing at 45 metres tall, the Big Buddha can be seen from afar and it is the perfect place to see the panoramic vistas of Phuket Island.

The statue is made from white Burmese marble and catches the sunlight, shining white. Enjoy the gentle tinkling of bells and the sounds of Dharma music and the silence at the Big Buddha whilst taking in the incredible views.

Tour Pick
scenery aerial photography sunrise at Phuket big Buddha. Phuket Big Buddha is one of the island most important and revered landmarks on Phuket island.

Phuket Half Day City Tour

  • 6 hours 
  • Max of 10 people 
  • 2 dishes at Punte
blue sky and blue ocean are on the back of Phuket Big Buddha statue.white Phuket big Buddha is the one of landmarks on Phuket island.

Visit one of the many viewpoints in Phuket

Karon Viewpoint is situated just South of Kata Noi Beach. This viewpoint is popular among tourists and looks out onto the Andaman Sea offering stunning views of the coast and the beaches.

In the Northwest of the city you can find Khao Rang viewpoint, there are many bars and restaurants and panoramic terraces for you to capture the perfect panorama shot.

Kata Karon tropical beach viewpoint at Phuket island, Thailand

Take in some temples

There are many temples and shrines in Phuket, the most famous being Wat Chalong. The temple complex includes the impressive Grand Pagoda which supposedly is home to a splinter from the bone of Buddha himself and the temple is ornately decorated with scenes depicting the life story of Buddha.

Beautiful pagoda in Wat Chalong or Chalong temple at Phuket town, Thailand. It's most popular thai temple in Phuket Thailand.

Another shrine worth visiting is the Chinese shrine of Jui Tui, which houses three large statues of Chinese gods including the statue of Tean Hu Huan Soy, god of dance and performing arts.

There is also a firecracker house where locals throw firecrackers during festivities and celebrations.

Another shrine to visit is the Shrine of the Serene Light, built over 150 years ago and tucked away in a narrow alleyway.

This Taoist shrine has elaborate etchings covering all the walls and has been recently renovated on the outside. Inside you can smell the heady scent of burning incense and fresh flowers.

Bright day at chalong temple in phuket

See Macaques at Monkey Hill

Toh Sae Hill, also known as Monkey Hill is the tallest hill in the town and is home to 400 free-roaming Macaque monkeys.

Here you can visit the shrine that honours three holy spirits: Toh Sae Dang, Toh Sae Dam and Toh Sae Kaow, this is where Thais come to ask for lucky lottery numbers and blessings.

Be careful not to bring food in your bag and keep an eye on your possessions, as the monkeys are incredibly cheeky! Don’t feed the monkeys please, it can make them become very aggressive.

Monkey with a baby at Monkey Hill, Phuket, Thailand

Party in Patong

Phuket has a seedier and sleazier side, known as Patong. Patong is famed for the beach and its wild nightlife and there are dozens of touts trying to lure you into ping-pong ball shows or ladyboy shows.

This area is popular for its nightclubs and outdoor bars full of bar girls and for the curious traveller who wants to see another side of Thailand, this is one place you don’t want to miss.

PATONG BEACH, THAILAND -Patong night street in phuket, Thailand

FAQs About 2 days in phuket itinerary

Two days in Phuket, Thailand is enough time to see some of its most iconic sights and enjoy a few of the activities the area has to offer. For those who are short on time, two days is just enough to get a taste of the beautiful beaches, blue waters, and lush jungles found throughout the region.

In two days, you can visit some of Phuket’s most famous attractions like Wat Chalong Temple or explore Patong Beach or Kata Noi beach.

You can also take a boat tour out to the nearby islands for snorkelling, diving or simply relaxing in the sun. Whatever your preference is, two days in Phuket will leave you wanting more.

Both Krabi and Phuket have a lot to offer travellers! Each destination has different attractions that make them unique and worth visiting.

Krabi is well known for its stunning beaches, limestone karsts, jungle hikes, and kayaking tours. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, like Railay and Koh Phi Phi.

Phuket also offers breathtaking scenery with its impressive caves, hidden lagoons, pristine national parks, as well as world-renowned tourist spots such as Patong Beach and Big Buddha. It’s a great place for families or groups looking for an action-packed holiday.

So which one is better? That really depends on what you’re looking for in your trip – whether it’s peaceful beach getaways or high energy nightlife – both Krabi and Phuket have something to offer! Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what activities you’d like to do on your vacation.

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations, and there are plenty of great places to visit in two weeks. Bangkok is the first stop for many tourists, and its vibrant nightlife and bustling streets make it a must-see.

For something more nature-oriented, head to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand for stunning mountain scenery and amazing hikes.

Coastal towns like Krabi offer breathtaking beaches, while cities like Phuket have some of the best seafood restaurants in Thailand. No matter what you’re looking for in your two week vacation, Thailand has something for everyone!

Final Thoughts: phuket in 2 days

Phuket is a wonderful destination with an array of activities, attractions and adventures to be had. Your two day itinerary will give you a taste of this paradise island and all it has to offer.

Mix and match the itinerary to suit what you want to do with your time in Phuket – join a tour or two, spend some time at the beach, or explore different attractions – it’s up to you!

No matter what you decide, make sure that you create memories that will last a lifetime in Phuket. So book your flight now and prepare yourself for the perfect getaway!

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

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