Where to stay in Chiang Mai best hotels blue sky gold temple

Many people visit Chiang Mai to explore its rich history.

Of course, you can admire the beautiful Wats (Buddhist temples) and ancient ruins scattered around the city and surrounding area, but there is more to Chiang Mai to inspire your visit.

Chiang Mai is a Food Lover’s Paradise

Believe me, this is a food lover’s paradise. So, once you’ve finished exploring for the day, you can look forward to tasting fantastic Northern Thai cuisine. 

Enjoy the delicious range of food in one of the many excellent food markets and best restaurants and places to eat in Chiang Mai.

But getting back to where to stay in Chiang Mai, several areas and options exist.

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Best time to visit Chiang Mai

In your search for where to stay in Chiang Mai, you must consider the seasons in Northern Thailand. The prices for Chiang Mai best hotels will vary from high to low season. If you’re travelling in the low season, you can expect to pay around 50% less for Chiang Mai resorts and even a Chiang Mai 5-star hotel.

Thailand’s climate is subtropical throughout most of the country, guiding the weather in Thailand to year-round hot and humid conditions.

The high season in Thailand is from November to April (clear skies, an average temperature of 30 degrees Celcius). The low season is from May to October (rainy season).

Budget, Mid Range and Luxury Hotel Recommendations

In this guide for where to stay in Chiang Mai, we’ll cover all types of Chiang Mai best hotels and accommodation options to suit every budget.

You can find hostels for budget-conscious (or super social) travellers, mid-range accommodation options and even some Chiang Mai hotels luxury style.

Many of the best hotels in Chiang Mai and resorts mentioned here have been hand-picked as the best places to stay in Chiang Mai for multiple reasons. We’ve considered affordability, attractions, Chiang Mai neighbourhoods that are more suited to food-lovers, families or digital nomads in Chiang Mai and more.

Where to Stay in Chiang Mai

What is the best area to stay in Chiang Mai? That’s a great question, and the answer all comes down to personal preference. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Chiang Mai and I’ve stayed in a few different areas.

I’m a food and culture lover, and I like to stay in the area around the North Gate in the Old City. I spent some time eating my way around the Nimman neighbourhood too, this area is quite modern.

The beauty of choosing where to stay in Chiang Mai is that all areas have something to offer.

Let’s cover each area briefly below. I’ve given recommendations of where to stay in Chiang Mai depending on the area.

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The Old City – (Local vibes, quiet at night)

Chiang Mai Old City is indeed the cultural centre of Chiang Mai. It has a fascinating and long history, dating back to when the province acted as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom from the 13th -18 century.

The Old City of Chiang Mai resembles the shape of a square, with old city walls and a moat. 

Pieces of the ancient city walls are still visible throughout Old City, and there is a calm atmosphere inside the Old City that I enjoy.

If you are interested in culture, religion or the arts, the Old City is where to stay in Chiang Mai to immerse in this fully. This area has the highest concentration of temples in the entire country, with 40+ ancient Buddhist temples in the Old City alone.

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Much of the rich culture and structures in the Old City are preserved under protection and conservation laws. No major construction is allowed in this area. Skyscrapers and the like are forbidden close to temples.

Due to this reason, when deciding where to stay in Chiang Mai Old City, your accommodation will have character but not views of the city from a 10th-floor skyscraper.

Should I stay North or South in the Old City?

Note: I’ve listed two areas below to stay within the Old City. It takes roughly 25 minutes to walk from North Gate to South Gate (believe us, we stayed close to the North Gate and did this walk many times to explore more of the Old City).

The North Gate area of Chiang Mai Old City feels quieter compared to the Southeastern end. I love the charming small streets, little independent cafes and artsy shops. I enjoyed the vibe at this end of Old City, and it was near one of the best night markets, too, the Chang Phuak Night Market, which starts at 5 pm every day. 

Some of the best dishes I ate in Chiang Mai were from this market – you can find them in my Food Guide of Chiang Mai.

The South eastern end of the Old City is a great place to stay too, and it’s very popular with tourists in this area as there are more bars and nightlife in this area as opposed to the north side.

Oh, and try and learn some basic Thai expressions to enrich your travel experience in Thailand.

(North) Chang Phuak Gate – Old City Chiang Mai Best Hotels


Rena House – My top choice for where to stay in Chiang Mai, and it happens to be one of the most affordable. Rena House receives exceptional past guest reviews on Booking.com, and they deserve it.

This accommodation is in the perfect location within the Old City, less than a 10-minute walk to the fantastic Chang Phuak Night Markets and other great cafes & restaurants.

Rooms from $15 per night – Check prices

DP House – Fantastic location, super clean and great staff.

A popular budget option when searching for where to stay in Chiang Mai. A reliable option in the Old City.

Rooms from $15 per night – Check prices


Chada Mantra Hotel – This clean, comfortable hotel is in a fantastic location within the Old City. The property boasts a large pool, and family rooms (up to 6 people) are available.

Within walking distance to food markets, cafes, and temples. A reliable choice with excellent past guest reviews.

Rooms from $19 per night – Check prices

Rich Lanna House – Another great choice for accommodation within the Old City.

There is a swimming pool on the property to cool down after exploring Chiang Mai and a short from the main markets and great places to eat.

Rooms from $26 per night – Check prices here


Arun Dara Villa – The Villa with Private Pool at this property is special! If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to treat yourself, this is where to stay in Chiang Mai!

Large rooms, all the best amenities and your private oasis. There’s an option to add on a floating breakfast, and we recommend that you do it.

Rooms from $94 per night – Check prices

Lanna Tree Boutique Hotel – Luxury hotel with a very desirable price tag. This property has super comfortable beds, spacious rooms, fantastic staff and receives consistently positive reviews.

In a great location within the Old City, you’ll love a dip in the pool at the end of the day.

Rooms from $27 per night – Check prices

(South) Chiang Mai Gate – Old City Chiang Mai Best Hotels


OYO 799 Pudsadee Hotel – Clean, comfortable and affordable – offers guests good value in a great location.

Rooms from $13 per night – Check prices

At Home At Chiang Mai – Comfortable and clean, in a great location and fantastic staff. It’s a good budget option.

Rooms from $16 per night – Check prices


Villa Lantara Chiangmai – This lovely property has spacious and beautifully decorated rooms.

It is an excellent location close to Chiang Mai Gate and other highlights in Chiang Mai.

Rooms from $29 per night – Check prices

El Barrio Lanna – A top-rated property in a fantastic location, near to night markets and highlights of Chiang Mai.

This great hotel boasts a stunning outdoor pool and family rooms.

Rooms from $44 per night – Check prices


Chala Number 6 – This is a fantastic hotel in the heart of Chiang Mai Old City. The property boasts a pool, lovely gardens and a buffet breakfast is included in the rate.

Rooms from $65 per night – Check prices

Makkachiva – Elegant, modern and comfortable – this property is a crowd-pleaser. Its fantastic location, beautiful amenities and consistent rave reviews from past guests make it an excellent choice for where to stay in Chiang Mai.

Rooms from $45 per night – Check prices

Riverside Chiang Mai

Something is calming about staying in this area of Chiang Mai. So if you’re looking to escape the heavy traffic and find a more upmarket area to stay in with stunning views and excellent Thai and international restaurants, this area is for you.

Why not see a different side of Chiang Mai and take a gentle boat ride on the Mai Ping River.

This half-day guided excursion ends at a local farm where traditional methods are used to make your lunch bowl of ‘khao soi’ noodles. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.


Rustic River Boutique – A charming hotel with Thai-style interior and furnishings. All the amenities you need and the staff are lovely.

A great budget hotel option for this area of Chiang Mai.

Rooms from $14 per night – Check prices

Baan Songjum – Sometimes, some hotels and accommodations are special for many reasons. This is one of them.

The host, Nui, makes guests feel welcome at this property, and the affordable rooms also come with a great breakfast.

Rooms from $12 per night – Check prices


Rarin Jinda Wellness Spa Resort – A very comfortable and relaxing place to stay along the river.

If you’re hoping for a peaceful break from it all, this is where to stay in Chiang Mai.

Rooms from $75 per night – Check prices

Hotel Ping Silhouette – A lovely little hotel with beautiful rooms, an outdoor pool, a restaurant and a garden. It’s a peaceful area to stay, so you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

Rooms from $52 per night – Check prices


137 Pillars House – Wow, this is a classy place to stay. This boutique property boasts luxurious large suites with garden views, free minibar and free Wi-Fi access.

Just a 10-minute walk from the Chiang Mai Night Market, it houses a beautiful outdoor pool, a spa and gym.

Rooms from $360 per night – Check prices

K Maison Lanna Boutique Hotel is a flawless hotel with beautiful rooms and an indoor pool. We love the concierge service and the great breakfast included in your room rate.

Rooms from $69 per night – Check prices

Nimman Neighbourhood – (Nimmenhaemin Rd)

Affectionately known as ‘Nimman’, this area has gained popularity over the years for digital nomads, remote workers and entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai. The biggest drawcard is the range of outstanding international and Northern Thai restaurants.

In addition, the number of trendy coffee places and roasteries to get that perfect cup of coffee is vast, and everything you would need in Chiang Mai is right here, located along Nimmenhaemin Rd.

Where to stay in Chiang Mai best hotels line of tuk tuks

You could also say that this neighbourhood feels young, hipster and trendy. Its location is just behind Chiang Mai University, so it’s popular with students day and night.

The other bonus is that the Maya shopping mall is just a 10-minute walk away, so it is convenient for those travellers who want to do some shopping while you’re here.

To answer the question about where to stay in Chiang Mai for food lovers and travellers who enjoy going out in the evening, Nimman is a good option.

Accommodation is pricier here than in the Old City, but you can find some charming modern hotels or that stunning Chiang Mai 5-star hotel you’ve been dreaming of.


The Little Siri – This is a good option of the budget hotels in the area. Clean, comfortable, spacious rooms with friendly staff and an easy walk to great cafes and restaurants.

Rooms from $18 per night – Check prices

OYO 928 Leaf Hostel – The OYO chain of hotels usually offers a clean, comfortable and quiet place to stay – that’s what you’ll find here.

The property offers dorm beds from $7 per night or private rooms (with shared bathrooms) from $14 per night.

Dorm beds from $7 / private rooms from $14 per night – Check prices here


The Loft Room – Excellent location in Nimman area, close to all the best restaurants, bars and places of interest. Comfortable, modern and clean rooms with fantastic breakfast included in the rate.

Family rooms also available at this property.

Rooms from $49 per night – Check prices

Cherlock Hotel – Sleek and modern, this hotel is nice. Air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, kettle, fridge, minibar, flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a shower.

Some rooms at the property include a balcony with pool view – these ones are pretty cool. A good breakfast is included in the rate.

Rooms from $99 per night – Check prices


The Empire Nimman – All rooms have a private balcony overlooking Chiang Mai’s vibrant cityscapes, flat-screen TV with cable channels, and a minibar.

Super Deluxe Double Rooms are fantastic. The property is right in the centre of Nimman and close to all the action.

Rooms from $48per night – Check prices

Nimman Villa 17 Chiangmai – An entire villa with a private pool accommodating up to 12 guests.

This is where to stay in Chiang Mai if you’ve got a large group or big family.

Villa from $348 per night – Check prices

Chiang Mai Night Bazaar 

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Where to stay in Chiang Mai in a relatively quiet area but be near enough to walk to the vibrant nightlife in Chiang Mai? Right here.

This location is not too far from the famous Phae Gate entry to the Old City; this is a popular area with families as there are lots of things to do for entertainment and many choices for food. I’d say it’s one of the best areas for different street food options.

The central shopping district is nearby. This area is considered the ‘downtown’ area of Chiang Mai, so expect it to be busy. This area is only a 10-minute walk from the Riverside area mentioned above. This area is closer to the Old City, so it would suit some travellers to book accommodation here.

If this sounds like your ideal area for where to stay in Chiang Mai, then here are your best Chiang Mai hotel options for every budget.


Stay Thapae Hostel – Rated as one of the best hostels in Chiang Mai – this place has thought of everything that a traveller needs.

Modern and cosy, with dorm beds starting from just $6 per night.

Dorm beds from $6 per night – Check prices

Lilu Chiang Mai – A 10-minute walk from the Night Bazaar, this hotel offers good value for money.

Rooms are super clean, and staff are very eager to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Rooms from $12 per night – Check prices


Night Bazaar Inn – This hotel offers excellent value for money. Enjoy clean and comfortable rooms in a fantastic location, you guessed it, not far from the Night Bazaar.

Rooms from $29 per night – Check prices

Nap in chiangmai – With superb reviews, and the best location near to the night bazaar – you can enjoy clean, comfortable and modern rooms at this hotel.

Honestly, it’s excellent value for money.

Rooms from $25 per night – Check prices


Le Meridien Chiang Mai – Featuring views of Doi Suthep mountain or the city, all elegant rooms come with a flat-screen TV, and all the amenities you would expect from Le Meridien brand.

Rooms from $104 per night – Check prices

Melia Chiang Mai – Just 300 m from the Night Bazaar, this beautiful hotel offers accommodation with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and even a kids club if you plan a family holiday.

Rooms from $112 per night – Check prices

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Planning More Travels in Thailand or Southeast Asia?

Chiang Mai is packed with amazing food! Don’t miss out on trying the best dishes while you’re here, and check out my delicious list of the 15 Best Places to Eat in Chiang Mai.

Did you know Chiang Mai is a super popular destination for digital nomads? We’ve lived here for a while and wrote a detailed blog about Digital Nomad Lifestyle in Chiang Mai vs Chiang Rai. We wrote one for living on Thailand’s southern islands of Ko Samui & Ko Phangan too.

You may also enjoy reading our 26 Best Travel Tips for Thailand. Sometimes it’s helpful to know the small details before arriving in a new country – and you can find them all in this post.

There is a reason why travellers choose Thailand for their next vacation: it has everything! Beaches, cities, mountains and everything in between. But we’ve narrowed it down to these 15 AMAZING things to do in Thailand for those who can’t decide where to go next.

Our Southeast Asia Packing List has all the essentials you’ll need for a trip to this region of the world.

And don’t forget about staying connected out there. We recommend you get an eSIM for Thailand. And if you plan to travel to multiple countries in Asia, then a Global eSIM data plan is the way forward.

For more of our best travel advice, tips and ways we save money to continue travelling the world, check out our Travel Resources Page.

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