The Ultimate 7 Day Phuket Itinerary + Koh Phi Phi & Krabi! (2024)

The ultimate 7 day Phuket itinerary

No Thailand trip is complete without visiting the country’s biggest, most diverse and most popular island – Phuket!

Located in the south of Thailand, in the gorgeous Andaman Sea, Phuket is known for its beautiful beaches, buzzing night markets, breath taking natural scenery and world-class resorts.

But being such a big and vibrant island, which beaches, attractions and other islands should you visit and how do you fit all the highlights into one epic Thailand adventure!? Well, this post contains all you need to know…

I’m an expat who has been living in Phuket for over 3 years and has explored the island from top to bottom. So I’ve created what I think is the best Phuket itinerary with my insider tips. 

This fun-filled 7 day itinerary for Phuket, Thailand includes the must-see’s, hidden gems, and island hopping to Koh Phi Phi and Krabi while skipping the over-rated places to make the most of your time here. 

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The Ultimate 7 Day Phuket Itinerary – How to Spend 7 Days in Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Krabi.

The first part of planning your Phuket itinerary is setting your dates and booking in your flights and accommodation – then you can start deciding all the fun things you’re going to do!

Phuket’s international airport makes getting to the island easy. The best time to visit Phuket weatherwise is between December and March. This is also the peak season so book your flights, accommodation and activities like island hopping trips in advance. I’ll include plenty more Phuket travel tips at the end of this article.

Where To Stay in Phuket, Thailand

amari phuket resort pool
The Amari Resort, Phuket

As Thailand’s largest island, there’s a huge range of different areas and places to stay in Phuket to suit all budgets and types of traveller.

From luxury hotels and family friendly resorts, to budget hotels and backpacker hostels, there’s no shortage of choice so the best place for you will really depend on what you are looking for.

Each place has a very different vibe so you can find out more about Phuket’s best hotels, resorts, and areas in my comprehensive guide on where to stay in Phuket.

The best beaches in Phuket are located on the West Coast. Lively Patong Beach is best for nightlife and budget travelers, while Kata beach, Karon beach and Kamala beach are popular with families and couples as they offer a more balanced experience.

Further north, Bang Tao beach and Mai Khao beach offer unspoiled beaches, luxury resorts and a peaceful atmosphere. Old Phuket Town is the historical and cultural heart of the island and offers cafes, markets and colourful, historic boutique hotels.

To follow this itinerary I’d recommend staying near Nai Harn and Rawai in the south as these are the most stunning and trendy areas to stay right now.

Here are my top accommodation picks for Nai Harn and Rawai that provide a convenient base for this Phuket itinerary:

  • Best Luxury Hotel: The Nai Harn – Perched on a hill overlooking Nai Harn beach this stunning 5 star hotel offers a beach-club style pool and bar area and an amazing breakfast buffet!
  • Best Mid-Range Hotel: Selina – Stylish “all-in-one resort” with a beachfront restaurant and pool, wellness deck, and co-working space perfect for digital nomads.
  • Best Budget Hotel: Roost GlampingUnique and glamourous camping experience with a pool and proper beds in stylish bells tents surrounded by nature.

Be aware that it is a 1-hour (or more) drive from Phuket International Airport which is located in the north of the island to Rawai in the South.

Staying at Kata Beach is also a good option as there’s a bit more choice and it’s more centrally located but the beaches are busier here.

Sunset at Naiharn beach, Phuket

How Long To Spend In Phuket

There’s so many beautiful places to visit and things to do in Phuket that a weekend or 3 days in Phuket is not enough time to see it all.

Along with exploring different beaches and attractions on Phuket island itself, you’ll also want to visit a few nearby islands. And maybe you want to see the nearby provinces of Phang Nga or Krabi, too?

If so, I highly recommend staying at least 7 days in Phuket (or more). Seven days is just enough time to enjoy all the top offerings of Phuket, plus check out the famous Phi Phi islands and some parts of Phang Nga Bay and Krabi too.

While the following itinerary can easily fit into seven days, if you have more time and want to take it slower I recommend staying in Phuket for 10 days or 2 weeks. You could extend your stay in Krabi, add a couple more island day trips or stay a few nights on Phuket’s other beautiful islands like Koh Yao Yai.

For more inspiration check out my Phuket Island Hopping And Day Trips guide – I guarantee you won’t get bored!

But how can you fit it all into seven days? The following 7 days in Phuket itinerary will show you how!

The Best 7 Day Phuket, Krabi, Phi Phi Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive, Settle In and Relax

View from The Nai Harn beach hotel in Phuket
Sea views from The Nai Harn Hotel

Ease into your 7 day Phuket itinerary by spending the first day settling into your hotel and enjoying the beaches and local attractions. Make your arrival smooth and stress free by prebooking an airport transfer to avoid getting ripped off by taxis.

Once you’ve checked into your accommodation and unpacked, head to the beautiful Nai Harn beach to refresh in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea and soak up the sun.

Just before sunset, drive or hike up the hill to The Windmill for an epic sunset. Alternatively, head to the nearby Yanui beach for a sunset kayaking session!

Go for dinner at one of the incredible seafood restaurants along Rawai Beach. I recommend Nikita’s (book ahead to get a waterside table!). After dinner, head across the road to Freedom Bar or Rawai Reggae Bar for live music and drinks.

Or, if you are feeling jet lagged and want to get an early night for a big day of beach hopping tomorrow, treat yourself to one of the spa treatments at your hotel.

Day 2 – Explore Phuket’s Famous West Coast Beaches

kata beach phuket

Phuket is home to some of the best beaches in Thailand, so it only makes sense to begin your Phuket itinerary with a beach day!

Morning

Start the day by hiking up to Promthep Cape in Rawai – the most southern point in Phuket. This stunning peninsula gets crowded every evening for sunset, but in the morning, it’s peaceful and beautiful. You can enjoy the view from the top or hike down to the end of the cape.

From here, head to Kata Beach for a morning surf session but make sure to stop at the viewpoint where you can get a stunning view of three beaches.

If you prefer to sunbathe, check out Kata’s smaller sister – Kata Noi Beach. This tiny cove is home to numerous luxury resorts, giving it an almost private beach vibe.

Afternoon

Enjoy lunch in Kata town before taking a short drive to Karon Beach, one of the longest and most stunning white sand beaches in Phuket. 

Along the way, stop at the trendy A Blanket & A Pillow Cafefor an iced coffee with an epic view overlooking the south of Karon beach.

Conclude your afternoon with a long walk or relaxing beach massage on Karon Beach before heading to Patong for the evening.

Patong Beach welcome sign. Nightlife in Phuket, ThailandEvening

Hail one of the many tuk tuks for a fun ride to the famous Bangla Road at Patong beach, a bustling strip of bars and nightclubs.

Tuck into some delicious and affordable Thai cuisine at Patong Night Market. Here, you can get some of the cheapest and tastiest Pad Thai, delicious fresh fruit, and Thai desserts.

Patong is undoubtedly the hub of Phuket nightlife, but Bangla Road can be pretty noisy and seedy so isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s worth checking it out at least once.

If you prefer a more chilled and elegant evening, head to one of the rooftop bars for spectacular sunset views or back to Karon Beach for cocktails and fire shows at Tann Terrace.

Day 3 – Enjoy Unspoilt Beaches and Elephant Sanctuaries

Oceanstone by Holy Cow, Bang Tao beach, Phuket

For day 3 in Phuket, explore the island’s north, where you will find many more stunning beaches and fabulous attractions.

Morning

Bang Tao Beach is 6 km of white sand with crystal clear waters ideal for swimming. The nearby Surin Beach is much smaller but has a wild, untouched vibe. Parts of it are also shaded by palm trees, helping you escape the heat!

Afternoon

I recommend enjoying a leisurely lunch complete with an ice-cold beer at one of the beach clubs, such as Hugo Hug, Carpe Diem, or Catch.

After lunch, if you want more beach time, head to Banana Beach or Mai Khao Beach, two peaceful and beautiful beaches in the far north of the island.

elephant sanctuary phuket thailand

If you’re all beached out, head to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Thalang. Unlike many of Phuket’s ‘elephant camps, ‘ this ethical elephant sanctuary does not harm elephants by offering rides or bathing sessions. Instead, you can admire the beautiful mammals from above on a 1.5-hour canopy walkway tour.

Evening

Looking for an epic dining experience? Then, on the way back to your hotel, stop at Three Monkeys, one of Phuket’s most famous restaurants. Three Monkeys boasts a breath taking hilltop location built amidst a lush rainforest. The food and drink are a bit more expensive than other places, but it’s worth it because the views and experience are priceless!

Day 4 – Discover Temples, Thai Culture and Phuket Old Town

Big Buddha - Things to do in Phuket, Thailand

Now you’ve seen some of Phuket’s beaches it’s time for some Thai culture! On day 4, visit Phuket town to see Phuket’s cultural hub and explore some nearby temples.

Morning

Start the day with a Thai cooking class where you visit a local market to buy the ingredients before making some famous Thai food such as pad thai, vegetable spring rolls and green curry. At the end of the cooking class, you can taste your creations, filling your belly for an afternoon of sightseeing.

Afternoon

Continue your cultural exploration with a visit to Wat Chalong, one of Phuket’s most significant historical landmarks. This temple is just as popular with locals as it is with tourists. So you can learn first hand about the Thai culture of merit-making, a Buddhist practice for clearing bad karma and bringing good luck.

For sunset head up to the famous Big Buddha nearby. This is not your standard temple; it is a 45-meter (148 feet) tall and 25.45-meter (83.5 feet) wide white Buddha statue sitting atop one of the highest mountains on Phuket island.

The concrete statue is covered with Burmese white marble, and you can spot it from various points on the island. Still, it’s well worth seeing it up close, where you will also get an incredible view over the south of the island. It’s a popular sunset spot.

Evening

Phuket town houses

In the evening, head to Phuket Old Town to check out the colourful historic shophouses, boutiques and cafes. For dinner try some top-quality Thai food or international cuisine.

The best and easiest way to see all of these cultural attractions is with a tour like this half day Phuket City Tour which takes you to the Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, Phuket Town and an amazing viewpoint.

If you’re visiting Phuket Old Town on the weekend, check out the night markets for cheap but delicious street food. Try to visit on a Sunday to experience the Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market, when the streets really come to life and a great place to pick up some cool and unique souvenirs and gifts!

If you’re there on a weekday, don’t worry, as there are plenty of incredible restaurants in Phuket Town. Go Benz is extremely popular among locals, with long queues leading down the street every night.

Then, for dessert, grab some French toast from Phuketique before enjoying a cocktail or two at one of Phuket Town’s MANY cute bars.

Day 5 – Visit Phang Nga Bay & James Bond Island

James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan) in Thailand

For day 5, it’s time to get out of Phuket and explore the stunning Phang Nga Bay, located in the next province north of Phuket.

Morning & Afternoon

One of the most popular ways to explore Phang Nga Bay is with a boat trip to James Bond Island. This island became famous after being used as a filming location for the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun.”

There are many different types of boat trips available to James Bond Island, including via speed boat, luxury yacht, and traditional long-tail boat.

I recommend choosing a day trip that includes kayaking, such as this James Bond Island Day Trip With Lunch. This trip includes kayaking through the caves of Panak Island and sea canoeing around Koh Hong Island’s emerald lagoons – the highlights of the Phang Nga Bay.

Evening

As most James Bond Island hopping trips last 8 to 9 hours, expect to return to your hotel around 6 p.m.

As tomorrow involves another big day trip, I recommend a quiet dinner near your hotel before an early night. If you want something unique, check out Rock Salt at The Nai Harn or Rustic And Blue overlooking Rawai Beach.

Day 6 – Visit The Phi Phi Islands And Maya Bay

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

No itinerary for Phuket is complete without a day trip to Phi Phi islands and the famous Maya Bay. So set an early alarm to make the most of this incredible part of Phuket and Krabi!

Morning & Afternoon

The best way to get to Phi Phi islands from Phuket is via speedboat. There are MANY tours available, which you can book online or in person, or you can take the public ferry directly from Rassada Pier in Phuket Town.

Most tours will pick you up from your hotel and include multiple stops in the Phi Phi islands. For example, this top rated Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay Day Trip includes three snorkeling stops, along with sightseeing stops in Maya Bay, Viking Cave, and Monkey Beach (where you can see wild monkeys) and lunch.

Maya Bay, Phi Phi islands, Thailand. Photo by Lucas Hemingway on Unsplash

Maya Bay is the most popular tourist destination in the Phi Phi islands, famed for being the filming destination for the 2000 film “The Beach.” While you can no longer swim at Maya Bay it’s still a spectacular sight to witness. Bamboo Island is another highlight on Phi Phi island hopping tours due to its serene location for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Evening

If you want to enjoy the island’s party vibe spend the night on Phi Phi Don (the archipelago’s only inhabited island). While the island is considerably more expensive than mainland Phuket or Krabi, there are plenty of budget accommodations alongside the luxury hotels.

If you want to experience the island’s nightlife stay somewhere like Phi Phi Villa Resort. This beachfront resort is close enough to Ton Sai Village to enjoy the parties but far away enough to get a peaceful nights sleep!

Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Ton Sai pier in Phi Phi Don to Krabi and enjoy an evening in Krabi Town or at Ao Nang night market  before the final day of your Krabi Phuket itinerary. There are many hotels in Ao Nang but my favourite place to stay in Krabi is the stunning Railay Bay Resort

Be aware that the last ferry to Krabi is at 5 p.m. and takes 2 hours. You can also get a private speedboat transfer at a time that suits you which only takes 1 hour and includes a transfer to your hotel or the airport.

Day 7 – Explore Krabi And Railay Beach

Railay Beach, Phuket, Thailand

On the final day of your Phuket and Krabi itinerary, spend some time exploring the sights, attractions, and beaches in Krabi.

Morning

If you stayed in Krabi last night, you can start the final day of your Phuket Krabi Phi Phi itinerary bright and early. You could even join a jam-packed 4 Islands Krabi Day Tour, which visits the beautiful Phra Nang Cave Beach at Railay, along with stops at Koh Poda, Chicken Island, Koh Tub, and Koh Mor.

However, if you stayed in Phi Phi the night before, take the first ferry to Krabi at 9 a.m. or the 10 a.m. speedboat, arriving by 11 a.m.

One must-visit in Krabi is Railay Beach. You can take a long tail boat here to explore the incredible limestone cliffs, kayak through the hidden lagoons, and hike the impressive bat cave.

Monkey Island, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. Photo by Frida Aguilar Estrada on Unsplash

Afternoon

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, eat lunch at one of the restaurants along Ao Nang beach before a spot of sunbathing. Or escape the crowds by driving 30 minutes north to the peaceful Klong Muang Beach.

If you’re up for more of a jungle adventure you could explore the Tiger Cave Temple, and bathe in the hot springs and emerald pool. This Krabi Jungle Tour will take you there.

Evening

If you’re leaving Krabi today, head to the airport to catch your flight. To avoid traveling back on yourself to Phuket you might want to consider flying out from Krabi airport. Otherwise, enjoy a final night in Krabi Town before your onward journey tomorrow!

Palm trees at sunset, Phuket, Thailand

More Tips For Planning Your Itinerary For Phuket

Before you book in your Phuket itinerary, here’s a few important tips to help you plan your trip to Phuket.

Best Time to Visit Phuket

As a tropical island, Phuket is warm all year round, but has different seasons that you should be aware of.

The best time to visit Phuket is between December to March when you can expect consistently good weather – blue skies and plenty of sunshine but it’s not too hot and humid.

This is also the peak tourist season and the busiest, and most expensive, time to visit Phuket, so you should decide on your itinerary in advance and book in your accommodation, activities and day trips before arriving to avoid disappointment. I use Booking.com and Agoda to book hotels as they have the biggest selection at the best prices.

April and May are a good time to visit Phuket if you don’t mind the heat. The island is not too crowded by this time, but it can be very hot, ranging from 27°C to 36°C, which makes sightseeing a little uncomfortable.

Also consider November, it can be a lovely month to visit as Phuket is relatively quiet but the weather can unpredictable as it’s the end of the rainy season.

June to October is the rainy season which sees short but frequent tropical downpours, cloudy and overcast skies. You’ll still get some sunny, dry days but the weather can be quite unpredictable and rough seas mean that it is sometimes not safe to swim during this time.

How to Get to Phuket and Get Around

Colorful taxi minibus in Patong, Phuket

Traveling to Phuket is easy as the island is home to Phuket International Airport (HKT) It’s Thailand’s second busiest airport and receives many direct flights from all over the world. I find the best connections and cheapest flight deals with WayAway and even get cashback.

For this Phuket – Krabi itinerary you might want to consider flying into Phuket airport and then flying out from Krabi Airport to avoid traveling back on yourself.

There are also buses from all over the country, the best place to book buses, trains and even ferries in Thailand is on 12Go Asia. But as Phuket is approximately a 12-hours from Bangkok, flying might be the quickest and easiest option, even if you’re visiting Phuket as part of a larger trip around Thailand.

Most nationalities can either get a visa exemption for 30 days, or a visa on arrival, which makes entering Thailand easy and convenient.

Once you arrive there are several options for getting from the airport to your accommodation. The easiest way is to book an airport transfer through your Viator, your hotel or a reputable company. There are also taxi and bus services on offer at the airport but taxis often overcharge.

Tuk Tuk ride in Bangkok, Thailand

Taxis in Phuket can be expensive, by Thai standards, so agree the rate first before hopping in. I recommend using online apps like Grab or Bolt for a cheaper and more convenient option.

The best place to book activities, tours and day trips in advance is on Viator or Get Your Guide, because there’s a lot of choice and you can read reviews so you know what to expect and can ensure your trip is a memorable experience for all the right reasons! If you’re visiting multiple places in one day a tour can be better value than taking lots of taxis.

If you’re on a budget then you can travel around Phuket by using the Smart Bus, which runs between the airport and Rawai stopping at all the major beach towns. A single ride is 100 THB, and you can also buy day or multi-day passes. 

Riding in a tuk-tuk can be a fun experience that you should definitely try at least once when you’re in Thailand, but they are more expensive than taxis and most suitable for short distances.

For the most freedom you can rent a scooter or motorbike to explore Phuket. However, the roads can be busy and windy so I’d only recommend this if you already have experience driving in Thailand or Asia before. Make sure you have an international driving license (the police do check) and insurance that covers this too.

Tropical pineapple cocktail

Ready To Start Planning Your Own Phuket and Krabi itinerary?

I hope this 7-day Phuket itinerary has given you lots of inspiration for what to do in Phuket. Koh Phi Phi and Krabi. This itinerary features all the top sights of this magnificent Thai island as well as the surrounding area and, as one of the most diverse Phuket itineraries, there is something for everyone.

Whether you find temples fascinating, seek serene snorkeling spots or the perfect mango sticky rice, or simply want to relax on picture-perfect beaches, following this itinerary for Phuket and Krabi will show you some of the most stunning places in Thailand and is sure to be an amazing adventure!

I hope this itinerary helps you plan your trip to this amazing part of Thailand. If you’re thinking of traveling to other parts of the country check out other blogs and guides for more tips. My comprehensive Thailand Travel Guide and list of the best places to visit in Thailand will give you plenty more inspiration and handy tips. 

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