Phuket Or Pattaya: Which Is Better For Families?

Thailand is a wonderful place to visit and sightsee on your own or with your family. 

If you’re planning a trip out to this beautiful place, you’ll have to plan where you’re going and what you’ll be doing.

If you are traveling with family, you’ll want to make sure everyone can participate and have a good time. This article will dive into all of the options!

So, which is best for families, Phuket or Pattaya? That depends on what you plan on doing with your family. Pattaya is a bigger city, so you’ll have a lot of restaurants and entertainment to explore. Phuket is more expensive in all respects and closer to beaches. So, if you are planning on a more scenic vacation, that would work better for you.

These two cities differ greatly, but you’ll still have a great time at either place. Travel is such a great way to teach your children the ways of the world. 

They can experience different cultures and ways of life. 

This article will dive into the differences between the two cities, and you can decide which is a better fit for you and your family!

Why Choose Pattaya for a Family Destination?

Let’s start with Pattaya as our first city of discussion. Pattaya offers a wide array of attractions, restaurants, and beaches. 

Depending on what hotel you stay at, you can even be within walking distance of most of the entertainment. Not to mention it is significantly cheaper than staying at Phuket.

If you and your family are looking for an affordable trip that you can maybe do annually, Pattaya is the place to go. 

Even if you only want to travel to Thailand once, but are more conservative with how you want to spend your money, this is also a great option. You can save more money for more shows and restaurants with your family.

All the entertainment is a quick walk or taxi ride away in Pattaya. Most of the hotels are situated around the city restaurants and show venues. 

This makes finding things to do around Pattaya a breeze. Which also means your family won’t have a chance to get bored. You’ll also have fun finding new places to try.

They have entertainment for all ages! There are water parks, beaches, and shows to take your family to throughout Pattaya. Best of all, the attractions are affordable! This means you can go to multiple a day if you have younger kids who need to burn off a lot of energy. Plus, given the variety of choices for your kids.

Why Choose Phuket for a Family Destination?

If you’re looking for something a little ritzier to treat your family to, Phuket is the place to stay in Thailand, Phuket is your place to go.

Phuket has similar attractions to Pattaya, just more upscale. This is your once in a lifetime vacation spot, given the cost to stay and play there. 

However, the reviews are much higher than Pattaya on overall experience and quality of venues.

Let’s go to the beach, beach! Phuket has the better beaches in comparison to Phuket since they are more commercial. 

So, the upkeep is better and the entertainment around it is catered to visitors. Pattaya beaches are more hidden away and less cared for when it comes to keeping them clean and providing entertainment.

Come here if you aren’t a fan of crowds. Phuket isn’t as overrun with tourists and locals, which makes going out less overwhelming to those who don’t like big crowds. 

It will also help with wait times for shows or food. Which is great for those little ones who get hungry quickly and have trouble waiting.

Experience culture in its many forms while in Phuket. You can go see the large Buddha statues or temples. You can also take tours around to get the history of these monuments. 

If you want to give your family a great dive into another culture, Phuket is the way to go. Plus, you’ll get tons of amazing pictures to share and remember for years to come!

What Phuket and Pattaya Both Have for Families

You can do lots of shopping in either city! If you want to experience modern shopping and bring back a lot of souvenirs, you can’t go wrong with either place. 

Pattaya does have more malls and shopping centers to explore, however, Phuket also has some shopping areas. Either way, you’ll be able to get all your shopping needs met.

You have a wide choice of dining in either city. You can choose from a wide assortment of fine and casual dining. 

Both cities also have a wide range of food styles to choose from, such as:

  • Thai
  • European
  • French
  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Indian

With so many options, you’ll be sure to find food that everyone will be willing to eat throughout your stay in Thailand.

Hotel options galore. Both cities offer an assortment of hotels for you and your family. They range from basic rooms to high-end amenities like gyms and pools. 

This can depend on your finances and willingness to splurge on your hotel. You are the ruler of your wallet, so you can choose to spend it on hotels or other forms of entertainment.

Nightlife to get away for a while. This can be a great option for those of you who want a little break from the kids and go for a drink or two. 

Both cities offer bars and clubs to dance the night away in. If you have another adult with you who can hang back at the hotel with the kids, there is no shortage of things to do!

These can also be great entertainment spaces for adult children who can join you in that drink. Just be wary of non-family friendly red-light districts, since both cities have active ones.

What the People Are Saying

Multiple forums are recommending that families venture to Phuket over Pattaya. It sounds like many people find the beaches and overall appeal better in Phuket, especially for families with kids. 

They stress that Pattaya is more for adult fun than family fun, however, there are some things for kids to do there.

Reviewers on a budget stress that Pattaya is the better option because of how much cheaper it is in comparison to Phuket. 

The hotels, restaurants, and entertainment are all cheaper than if you booked in Phuket. This means that Pattaya is a great option for large families traveling together.

NOTE: Pattaya can be harder to maneuver with a big group since the city is so packed. This can make travel hard if you have impatient or anxious children who don’t like crowds. 

It will pay to provide the extra money to stay in Phuket for the peace of mind and to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city of Pattaya.

Phuket is worth it for its beaches. Phuket is known for its white-sand beaches that are both beautiful and unique. You can do a lot of water activities there, such as jet skiing or paragliding. Be sure your family is open to long days at the beach since that’s the biggest attraction in Phuket.

Pattaya or Phuket – Which is Best for Your Family?

It’s really up to what works best for you and your family. Both cities have their appeal, as well as their setbacks. 

If you’re looking for a more high-end vacation, Phuket is the place for you. While the more conscientious spenders out there, or those who like more options, will be happy going to Pattaya.

If you are spending a good amount of time in Thailand, why not see both? 

If you plan on staying for an extended period of time, there is no reason why you couldn’t try to see both! Then you wouldn’t need to worry about deciding which is better since you’d get to see both and decide for yourselves.

Experience the culture while you are traveling to either city. Both cities offer great insight into Thai culture and into their belief system. 

Either city will offer you and your family the chance to experience another culture. You may find that you love it and want to come back to Thailand again and again!

Whichever you choose, you’ll have a vacation to remember. You are traveling to a new place that you and your family haven’t experienced before, which is a great learning experience for everyone. Not to mention a great change of pace to what your normal day looks like at home.


We’ve discussed the pros and cons of both Phuket and Pattaya. Phuket is the more high-end city with fewer people to contend with while exploring. 

While Pattaya is a bigger city with more options for entertainment for families. They both offer great experiences for you and your family to enjoy while you’re visiting Thailand. You can’t go wrong with either choice!

Hopefully, this article has helped you plan your next trip to Thailand. 

Whichever city you end up deciding to go with for your family, it will definitely be a great experience to look back on in the future. 

Not to mention, a great chance for your kids to experience. Both from a timeline standpoint as well as a cultural one. Have fun on your next vacation!