Phuket is one of the top destinations in Thailand, and spending some time there is a must. We put together the best Phuket 3 days itinerary highlighting all the top things to do, places to see and where to stay and eat. While exploring Phuket, we fell in love with it. It might have been the delicious food, amazing beaches, the colonial architecture or the incredible mixed sights to visit.
Spending 3 days in Phuket will give you enough time to taste the beauty of this island. You can stay within the old town, or explore the tropical beaches. There is more than just the usual Patong and Kuta beach, and soon you will discover places you might have never heard of. Stop the fluff and get to the point with our ultimate three days Phuket itinerary.
Is Phuket worth visiting?
Yes, yes, absolutely yes! Phuket is worth visiting, and there are no doubts about it. During your Phuket itinerary, you will discover many incredible places, taste the best food and experience the incredible nightlife.
If it’s your first time in Thailand, Phuket is a great destination to start from. We absolutely loved it; in fact, we originally planned to stay short but ended up staying 2 weeks instead.
How to get to Phuket?
Phuket is well connected with the rest of Thailand and served by a busy International Airport. Phuket hub is the main gateway to the island and is located in the northern part. Phuket International Airport is the main airport serving Phuket, with flights available from all major cities in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Popular companies to book your flight are Thai Airways, Emirates, AirAsia, and Jetstar. Among the several ways to reach Phuket, both from Thailand and from other countries, there are a lot of buses and minivans available from nearby towns and cities, including Bangkok and Krabi.
You can spend a few days on the paradisiac islands, such as Phi Phi or the rough Koh Lanta., then travel to Phuket by longtail boats or ferry.
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How to get around Phuket
WALK / PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Compared to other destinations in Thailand, we found Phuket really easy to walk around. If you’re staying in the Old Town, you can quickly get from one place to another without any issues. Alternatively, there are public blue, pink and yellow buses around that will allow you to reach further away destinations. For example, at Phuket’s old town bus station, public buses go to the other side of the island, where are all the beaches.
This is for sure one of the best ways to get around Phuket. If you feel comfortable driving in a foreign country, it is easy to roam around. There are so many rental places around Phuket, and you need to find a good one for a fair price. If you’ve been travelling around Thailand, you might see the price difference between rental places. In fact, the lowest we could find was 300 THB – £7 per day.
It’s still cheap, but compared to other destinations in Thailand, it’s expensive. Before renting a scooter, ensure you have an international driving licence, as the police are stopping like crazy. During our Phuket itinerary, we’ve been stopped 5 times and imagine that a fine is up to 1000 THB – £23.
TAXI / GRAB
Another popular way to get around Phuket is by taxi or grab. If it’s your first time in Phuket, make sure you download the Grab app. It’s like Uber but for Asian countries.
If you’re travelling with your family, you can rent a car and explore Phuket. We saw many families going around with a car as it’s easy to carry multiple passengers. You can rent a car here with a pick-up at the airport.
Best time to visit Phuket
The best time to visit Phuket is between November to February, as the weather is mostly sunny and dry. Although we visited Phuket in January and had a couple of rainy days, overall, in our Phuket itinerary, we managed to have perfect and hot weather. However, the wet seasons are between May and October, so consider these months when planning your Phuket 3 days itinerary.
Phuket Travel Insurance
Don’t travel anywhere without travel insurance, no matter your journey. You must have travel insurance when travelling in Asia. You never know what can happen; things might go wrong, you might lose your luggage, or you might need a doctor; here is when travel insurance will save your back.
SafetyWing | COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel & medical, and insurance can be purchased while travelling for digital nomads.
Phuket 3 day itinerary
Day 1 | Elephant Sanctuary and Old Phuket town
- Elephant Sanctuary
- Phuket Old Town
- Cabaret Show
- Bangla Road
Day 2 | Sightseeing and beaches
- Big Buddha
- Freedom Beach
- Kata and Kata Noi Beach
- Karon Viewpoint
- Promthep Cape
- Kata Night Market
Day 3 | Island hopping and snorkelling
- Phi Phi Island
- Maya Bay
- James Bond Island
- Chillva Night Market
How to spend 3 days in Phuket | Phuket Itinerary
Day 1 in Phuket | Elephant Sanctuary and Old Phuket town
Over the years, the concept of Elephant Sanctuary has changed. When visiting Thailand, you will realise that different sites are called “Elephant Sanctuary” where they still don’t treat the Elephants well. Having that in mind, please be mindful when booking your day out with Elephants.
Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket provides a safe environment for retired and abused elephants; in fact, the sanctuary provides both medical and rehabilitation for the animals. Visitors can watch the elephants, interact with them and admire them in their natural environment.
We absolutely loved strolling around Phuket’s old town; in fact, there are so many instagrammable spots worth visiting. While strolling around the old town, you will see all the incredible colourful houses, cafes, impressive temples, and great shops. You will need a couple of hours to visit the entire Old Town, and be assured; you will love it.
Ensure you visit Wat Wichit Sangkaram and Wat Mongkhon Nimit while in the old town. These two Buddhist temples are just amazing and worth visiting!
Looking for the best sunset spot on the beach? Well, Patong beach is one of the most famous beaches in Phuket but even the best one to admire a gorgeous sunset. The sun goes down from the ocean, so any spot along the beach will be fine. Sunset time is around 6.30 PM, which is the perfect time to stay on the beach. However, sometimes, the weather is just too hot that you cannot fully enjoy the beach. So grab a coconut or a beer and enjoy Patong Beach at sunset.
After experiencing the cabaret show in Chiang Mai, we wanted to witness the Simon Cabaret Show in Phuket. Apparently, it is one of the most famous, so we couldn’t miss it. If it’s your first time, don’t worry, you will have the best time regardless. You can purchase your ticket here, they have different packages for you to choose from, and it’s absolutely worth the money. Show time is at 6 PM, 7.30 PM and 9 PM. Depending on your schedule, you can plan the show before or after dinner time.
After a fabulous cabaret show, it’s time to experience Phuket’s nightlife. Bangla Road is the Khao San Road of Phuket. During the day, it is just an ordinary street with some bars, but during the night, Bangla Road changes completely. It’s the place that never sleeps; you will find many party places, live music and bars open till late, and it is, for sure, the heart of Phuket nightlife.
From 6 PM, Bangla road is entirely pedestrian, and this is where the craziness starts. Grab a drink or two or even more and have the best time.
Phuket Itinerary Day 2 | Things to do in Phuket in 3 days
Day 2 in Phuket | Sightseeing and beaches
Nothing is better than waking up early in the morning and exploring the city when it still sleeps. Try to make the most of your Phuket 3 days itinerary and set your alarm for sunrise.
The Big Buddha is one of the most amazing and instagrammable places in Phuket for sunrise. You have a 360 view of Phuket, and it’s just amazing. Going there early in the morning allows you to have the places all for yourself. It opens at 6 AM and closes at 6.30 PM. It’s also fantastic for sunrise and sunset, but we enjoyed it more at 6 AM.
No one was around, only a few locals, and it was just perfect. Constructed in 2004, this Big Buddha statue is the third tallest statue in Thailand. Along the way, make sure you stop at Wat Chalong temple, one of the most religious sites in Phuket. You will be amazed to see the details of this incredible temple, which you can’t miss in your Phuket itinerary for 3 days.
After an early morning start, you will need some time to relax and enjoy a bit of quiet. So, grab your scooter and reach Freedom Beach. A hidden paradise beach that you can reach with a little hike. The path is well designed, although you will need to go through some complex parts as there are only rocks around.
Regardless of this little hike (500m drop), once you reach the beach, you will be relieved to see how amazing it is. Spend a couple of hours sunbathing and swimming around Freedom Beach and recharge yourself before hopping to another beach close by. You can avoid the hike and reach Freedom Beach by renting a kayak on the other side and paddling for about half an hour.
Grab lunch along the way and reach Kata Noi beach, one of the most picturesque and peaceful places on Phuket’s west coast. Together with Freedom beach, Kata Noi beach is one of our favourite ones.
So grab a refreshing coconut and enjoy this white sandy beach and crystal clear water. For sure one of the best places to spend a couple of hours before sunset time.
There is nothing better than watching a lovely sunset in Phuket. There are so many gorgeous places to consider for watching the sunset. Karon Viewpoint and Promthep cape are both great locations. Karon’s viewpoint is one of the most famous ones in Phuket; in fact, around sunset time, you might find few people around trying to catch the sunset.
Can’t blame them; the view is pretty incredible from there. Additionally, you can go further down to the Promthep cape, which is only 10 minutes away from the viewpoint with the scooter. We prefer the Promthep cape as the view is just unique.
It doesn’t matter which location you pick for sunset; in 20 minutes, with the scooter, you can reach your dinner/evening spot, Kata Night Market. Night markets will be your new best friend in Thailand. They offer the best variety of local Thai food.
Every Tuesday and Friday, the Kata Night market offers delicious street food, cute souvenir stands and cool places to grab a drink or two. If your Phuket 3 days itinerary does not match these days, you can still stroll around the area and find great places to grab food.
Day 3 in Phuket | Island Hopping and Snorkelling
We strongly recommend planning your island hopping during your Phuket 3 days itinerary. You need an entire day to explore all the best islands around Phuket. You can’t leave Phuket without visiting the famous Maya Bay. Known for being one of the filming locations in Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach” today, Maya Bay is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand.
You can book this tour which includes Maya Bay and Phi Phi Island. The Island was shut down entirely in 2020 to recover the local corals and let particular fishes return. Today it’s not possible to swim, but you can still enjoy the sand that feels like flour. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a smaller group, no more than 20 people, we did this tour, and we absolutely loved it.
Once you arrive in Maya Bay, expect many people around. As it’s a famous spot, having the palace all for yourself is almost impossible. Walk on the soft sandy beach and dip your toes into the water but remember that Swimming is not allowed.
ADMISSION FEE | 400 THB per adults, £9.53 – 200 THB children, £4.77
IMPORTANT NOTICE | Swimming is not allowed
Alongside Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island is one of the most famous and most visited islands. Perfect for a day trip from Phuket, Phi Phi island is a must. You can book a tour here and explore and snorkel around the Archipelago surrounded by tropical colour fishes. There is even a spot nearby Chicken Island with a colony of Nemos (Aka Clownfish ). This was, for us, for sure, one of the most amazing things we planned to do on our Phuket 3 days itinerary.
Another famous filming location in Phuket is James Bond Island, also known as Khoa Phing Kan. Why is it called James Bond Island? In 1974 was the location for the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun“ with James Bond. Thanks to that, today is a popular spot among tourists. If you’re in Phuket, you need to plan a day trip from Phuket to James Bond Island.
There are so many tours available on GetYourGuide and Viator, and if you plan it in advance, you can get the best deal. We did the luxury sunset cruise from Phuket to James Bond Island and had the best time ever. You can check the availability here.
After a long island hopping, the best way to end the day is by grabbing food at Chillva night market. It is for sure one of the coolest on the island with its atmosphere, vives, retail stands and hipster vibes.
So grab some local street food and enjoy your last night in Phuket. Open from Thursday to Saturday from 5 PM to 11 PM, Chillva market is the right place to be for your last night.
Best places to eat in Phuket
We love finding cheap places to eat when we travel. Phuket has a variety of restaurants and places to eat, but the best ones for us are the following. You can see our reel to have a little preview of these places.
Cha Kang Way
This is the best place for noodle soup in Phuket. You can create your own soup with the toppings that you like. During our Phuket itinerary, we ate here 8 times. It’s cheap and so tasty. Of course, you can get rice as well if you wish, but for sure, they’re known for their delicious noodle soup. You can check out our Instagram reel here to see that this place is really tasty.
AVERAGE PRICE | 150 THB – £3.59 (Based on 2px)
Steak Tonight 2
Yummy steak and still on a budget restaurant, steak tonight 2 is famous among locals for its delicious variety of steak. We had steak with cheese and bacon, and it was so delicious. You can choose from different plates, but make sure you eat in this place at least once. Also, try to go earlier, around 7 or 7.30 PM, as it’s usually packed with locals.
AVERAGE PRICE | 210 THB – £5 (Based on 2px)
Pad Thai Phanhin
Best Pad Thai in town for only 50 baht. Still couldn’t believe it, but yes, this palace is one of the best for Pad Thai. They only do Pad Thai, and you can choose from vegetarian, chicken, shrimp or a mix of chicken and shrimp. So good and worth adding to your list
AVERAGE PRICE | 50 THB – £1.19
Not the best on a budget restaurant, but if you’re looking for a different taste, Marni Pizza is a good option. We had such a delicious pizza with burrata, and we couldn’t believe how good it was. The products were fresh, and the dough was just perfect. We’re picky regarding pizza, but this is one of the best we have had so far in Asia.
AVERAGE PRICE | 860 THB – £20 (Based on 2px)
Best places to stay in Phuket
Where to stay in Phuket
OLD TOWN/AFFORDABLE STAY
Located in the old town, just 10 minutes from the main street, Pure Phuket Residence is the perfect place if you want to stay in Phuket for longer. The place is nice and clean, with spacious rooms perfect for a solo traveller or couple.
If you’re travelling to Phuket for the holidays, this is the right place. Amari Phuket is a lovely place to stay for a few nights; with its private beach and incredible amenities, you will love your stay here.
3 Day in Phuket itinerary final thoughts
Phuket is a fantastic destination for a short getaway. There are so many attractions, places to see and beaches to explore. A 3-day itinerary in Phuket will give you enough time to explore the island’s top places.
There is something in Phuket for everyone; it doesn’t matter if you travel solo, with your friend, family or partner, you will have the best time exploring Phuket. So if you’re ready to visit Thailand, pack your bags and book the next flight to Phuket!
Q&A Phuket 3 days itinerary
Is 3 days in Phuket enough?
Yes and No! It depends on your itinerary and the things you wish to see. We recommend at least one week in Phuket to be able to see the entire island. In 3 days in Phuket, you can still visit some of the most important sights and the best beaches.
How many days in Phuket is enough?
5 days are enough in Phuket. Then, you can plan your itinerary easily and include all the best activities and places to see. Although, if you wish to have an extensive guide and have more time to explore Phuket, we suggest 7 days in Phuket.
Is Krabi or Phuket better?
Krabi is lovely, but we enjoyed our time in Phuket. There are so many incredible activities and things to do. You can plan all your day trips from Phuket and explore all the surrounding islands. Although, this doesn’t mean you should skip Krabi totally, as we suggest including it for a couple of days at least.
Is Phuket cheaper than Bali?
We found Thailand slightly cheaper than other destinations in South East Asia. Although, Northern Thailand is way cheaper than the South. Transport-wise, Bali is cheaper than Phuket in fact, the daily cost in Phuket was 350 baht – £8.48 – which is way more expensive than Bali. Phuket might be slightly cheaper than Bali, such as accommodation and eating out, but it always depends on where you go.
Which month is best for Phuket?
The best month to visit Phuket is November to February. The temperature is not too hot, and the days are mostly sunny and dry. Always be ready for some rain; we were in January and had a couple of cloudy and heavy rain.
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