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In one of Thailand’s most popular cities, finding the best places to stay in Chiang Mai can be challenging.
Having spent time in Chiang Mai for extended periods, we love the city for the local culture, ability to get anywhere easily, and of course, its northern Thai food.
As you plan your culinary adventures you will want to know where to stay in Chiang Mai for the best local flavors.
Here is our list of recommended best places to stay in Chiang Mai. These accommodations from luxury hotels to budget friendly options are all conveniently located to some of the best places to eat in Chiang Mai.
Enjoy a delicious stay in the largest city in northern Thailand.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai: Finding The Best Neighborhoods
Chiang Mai, once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom in Thailand, is one of the most visited cities in Thailand.
With its ideal setting near the mountains, a vibrant Old City with many temples to visit, and a unique food scene, the city has a lot to offer.
Chiang Mai is organized around the Old City, in the center of town.
If you go west, you will find Nimman, the most trendy neighborhood, popular with tourists and expats.
Further west, you’ll reach Chiang Mai University, a local neighborhood with a bustling student community.
If you go east, you will find the Chinese neighborhood with Warorot Market, the largest in Chiang Mai, bordered by the Mae Ping River.
On the northern side is Chang Phueak, a large area that has great options for budget travelers.
Each of the Chiang Mai neighborhoods has its own distinct food scene, catering to the local community.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: For a wonderful introduction to local northern Thailand cuisine, we recommend taking a Chiang Mai food tour with A Chef’s Tour. In one evening, your local guide will take you to the various neighborhoods as you sample the local Chiang Mai / northern Thai cuisine. A delicious and exciting way to discover the food in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Old Town Neighborhood
Chiang Mai’s Old City is also referred to as the city “inside the moat.” The moat, which surrounds the limits of the old town, is square shaped with each side about 2km (~1.3 miles) in length.
This makes it easy to walk anywhere inside the Old City walls.
Staying in the Old City is the perfect place to visit the main cultural sites and temples in Chiang Mai. It is also the best area to stay in Chiang Mai, especially if you are only visiting the city for a short stay.
When it comes to the food scene, the Old City center is a great location to explore some of the best local markets in Chiang Mai.
There are also great options for local restaurants and a bustling street food scene.
For that reason, it is the most visited area in Chiang Mai, and you’ll find a lot of tourists and places that cater to foreigners.
That said, you can find pockets of quiet areas, just a few steps away from happening areas.
You will find many accomodation styles from hostels to boutique hotels. Following are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Chiang Mai.
Best Places to Stay in Chiang Mai in the Old City
Luxury Accommodation Options
For a luxury hotel stay, consider Villa Klang Wiang, a respite from the bustling streets of Chiang Mai’s city center..
With wonderful breakfast, a lovely garden, a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool, it’s one of the best luxury hotels at an is the.
Villa Klang Wiang is conveniently located near South Gate, where you can find great street food and the lively Saturday night market.
Prices start at $99 for a superior king room.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar luxury hotels, check: Booking.com
Mid Range Hotel Accommodations Options
For mid-range budget accommodations, the Sila Boutique Hotel Bed & Breakfast is a quaint boutique hotel with nine comfortable rooms.
It is located in the heart of Chiang Mai, opposite to Wat Phra Singh, a must visit temple. And, it is also close to the centuries old Tha Phae Gate, which is also a popular night bazaar.
This hotel offers breakfast which comes with great coffee. If you are a coffee connoisseur, just a stone away is Akha Ama, one of the best coffee shops in Chiang Mai,.
You are also not far from Khao Soi Arak and Huen Phen, two of the best places to eat in Chiang Mai. See our selection of the best authentic Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai.
Prices start at $45 for a double room.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar boutique hotels, check: Booking.com
RELATED: 9 of the Best Authentic Thai Restaurants in Chiang Mai
Budget Friendly Options
For budget friendly places, we recommend Gusto House, within the Old City walls on the northwest side.
You’ll find a small garden with a comfortable outdoor seating space where you can relax after a day of exploring Chiang Mai.
There is free Wi-Fi and an onsite laundry service at your disposal.
Gusto house is walking distance from Chang Phueak night bazaar area where you can find some of the most delicious street food in Chiang Mai.
It is also close to one of our top recommended Khao Soi places in Chiang Mai, Khao Soi Khun Yai.
Prices start at $24 a night for a single room with a large double bed. Breakfast is also included.
See more prices, read reviews or to find similar hotels check: Booking.com
READ MORE: Best Khao Soi in Chiang Mai: 11+ Best Places To Eat Authentic Chiang Mai Noodles
Nimman – Chiang Mai Trendy Neighborhood
Nimman is a trendy and popular neighborhood. Some refer to Nimman as one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai.
It is definitively a great option if looking for modern and convenient living in Chiang Mai.
Nimman offers solid options for restaurants serving international and Thai cuisine. It is also a great place to find spacious hotels or apartments furnished with kitchens.
There is an organic market every Sunday and one of our favorite markets, Ton Panyom, is on the south side of Nimman.
Nimman is one of the most popular hubs for digital nomads. As a result, you will find many excellent coffee shops and great co-working spaces.
Nimman is one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai, especially if you plan to be in the city for one month or more.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are planning on taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai to learn to make the food from northern Thailand, see our article 6 of The Best Chiang Mai Cooking Classes For Thai Cuisine – Review
Best Places to Stay in Chiang Mai Nimman
Luxury Accommodation Options
For one of the best luxury hotels in Nimman, choose G Nimman Chiang Mai. This modern, contemporary luxury hotel offers a one of kind boutique hotel experience.
Find features stylish and spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi and a shared lounge.
It is also located in a quieter part of Nimman where you can enjoy relaxing after a busy day.
Full breakfast is not offered, though they do have coffee, tea and pastries available. And with its location in Old City centre, you have several restaurants and trendy cafes steps away.
Prices start at $128 for a superior double-room.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar luxury hotels, check: Booking
Mid Range Options
Stay in Style at Nimman R201 is a cozy one-bedroom apartment located in the heart of Nimman. It offers the convenience of a home away from home.
Fully furnished, including a kitchen, you’ll be well equipped for your stay in Chiang Mai with the comforts of home.
Centrally located in the heart of Nimman, you are within walking distance to massage parlours, convenience stores and restaurants.
Additionally, the location is walking distance to MAYA Mall, a shopping center with many food options in one place.
Prices start at $60 for the entire apartment.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar mid range hotels, check: Booking.com
Budget Friendly Option
For where to stay in Chiang Mai affordably, Chill Chill apartment in Nimman is a great apartment-hotel.
The apartment is fully furnished with a kitchenette and balcony. It has gorgeous teak furnishing, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning for the humid days.
One thing we love about Chill Chill is the convenient location next to Nong Bee’s, our favorite Burmese restaurant in Chiang Mai.
Prices start at $22 for the entire apartment.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar budget friendly hotels, check: Booking.com
Chang Phueak – Chiang Mai Neighborhood To Live Like A Local
If you’re looking for one of the best places to stay like a local in Chiang Mai, then Chang Phueak is the perfect neighborhood.
Chang Phueak is located on the northern side of Chiang Mai. It is a large area that goes from the steps of the mountain below the beautiful and sacred Doi Suthep temple on the northwest side.
This Chiang Mai area extends all the way to the Ping River on the east side.
Within this Chiang Mai neighborhood, you will find a number of local eateries, street food and local markets.
It is within easy reach to Old Chiang Mai or the Old City and Nimman neighborhood. And, you can easily get around either on foot or using the local transportation, songthaew or red truck.
READ MORE: 15 Best Authentic Chiang Mai Food and Where to Eat It
Best Places to Stay in Chiang Mai Local Neighborhood Chang Phueak
Luxury Accommodation Options
The luxury boutique hotel of choice in Chang Phueak is Sireeampan Boutique Resort and Spa.
Located just outside the bustling old city, this boutique hotel is in nature. You’ll be in close proximity to Chiang Mai zoo, the university and a number of temples.
With a spa and wellness center, an, on site restaurant, free Wi-Fi and an outdoor pool, you are in for a treat.
Breakfast can be served anywhere on the premises and the on site restaurant features both international and Thai cuisine.
This luxury hotel is walking distance from local food markets and some of our favorite local restaurants in Chang Phueak.
A shuttle service is provided to go anywhere in the city as well as to and from the Chiang Mai airport.
Prices start at $199 for any one of their stylish rooms including breakfast
See prices, read reviews or to find similar luxury hotels, check: Booking.com
Mid Range Options
Ban Kong Rao Guesthouse is another excellent option in Chiang Mai hotels. The property includes a beautiful, tropical garden and a roof top with amazing views. All rooms have air conditioning and a balcony.
This mid range hotel is located on the north side of town. It’s a central location and within walking distance of the Siri Wattana market, one of the best local markets in town.
You are also close to our favorite Akha Ama coffee shop
Ban Kong Rao Guesthouse is about 1.7 km or a mile away from Old City, which can be covered on foot or by taking a Songthaew to get you anywhere in the city.
Prices start at $20 for a double-room
See prices, read reviews or to find similar mid range hotels check: Booking.com
Budget Friendly Options
The Echo Hotel is in a quiet neighborhood, but only 1.2 km (less than a mile) from Old Town and the Chang Puak Gate Market.
This simple yet hip hostel has clean and gorgeous rooms with a modern Thai decor. For local food scpecialties, the Chiang Mai night bazaar is closeby and offers many excellent food stalls to enjoy.
A buffet breakfast is included with international and Thai style breakfast options. Free drinking water, coffee, tea and fruit are also available 24 hours.
The Echo Hotel has a convenient location near two of our favorite local restaurants Khao Soi Mae Sai and Huen Muan Jai.
Prices start at $17 for a double-room.
See prices, read reviews or to find similar budget friendly options check: Booking.com
Chiang Mai is an enjoyable city to visit for a short or extended stay. With these neighborhood recommendations and where to stay in Chiang Mai, you are all set for a delicious stay.
We stayed in several of these neighborhoods during our multiple visits to Chiang Mai, and always appreciated the proximity to delicious local food.
As you consider the various Chiang Mai neighborhoods to stay, we encourage you to go beyond the city center.
Just beyond the Old City are a number of wonderful and serene places to stay also filled with delectable local food options.
Getting around is easy making it convenient for exploring Chiang Mai. Choose the best place to stay in Chiang Mai for your needs and enjoy all the city has to offer.
What is your favorite neighborhood and best place to stay in Chiang Mai? Please let us know in the comments below.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest
22 Comments on “Best Chiang Mai Neighborhoods: Where to Stay in Chiang Mai (for Food Lovers!)”
We have been to Thailand thrice but still, Chiang Mai is pending on our list. Your post explains everything well from pricing to nearby spots and we are surely going to consider your advice before booking a place for us. Thanks for sharing.
Perfect, glad the article will come in handy when you finally get to Chiang Mai. It’s the “Rose” of the north. You are missing out 🙂 Cheers.
Great guide to Chiang Mai I like how you give several options and choices. I’ve only been to Bangkok and Phuket but really need to make it up there.
Thanks, Debra. Do keep this guide handy for your next Thailand trip. Chiang Mai is truly worth exploring!! Do let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip. Cheers.
Chiang Mai was also one of my favorite cities in Thailand – whereby I must say that I stayed mainly in the old town. Loved the temples and, of course, the food. South of the old part is this cultural center where you can experience a traditional Thai feast sitting on cushions on the floor, eating a fantastic meal while dancers – who obviously ate much less than you…. – entertain you with classic Thai dances.
Indeed, Renata, so many places to choose from in Chiang Mai. The Old Town is a great spot, especially for short visits. Glad to hear you enjoyed your stay.
I could not believe how cheap hotels were in Chiang Mai. I’ll stay anywhere near the food. Especially the street markets. I need to go back!
You are right, Nicole. You can get really great deals on lodging and food in Chiang Mai. A great city to explore as well 🙂
This is a great guide for Chiang Mai neighborhoods. I’m really glad to see prices as well, not only recommendations. Since I’ve never been there it’s good to know what I should expect to pay for a room.
Thank you Anda and glad you like the guide. If your travels do take you to northern Thailand, be sure to find the best spots with this guide 🙂 Cheers.
I had no idea there were so many neighborhoods and lodging choices in Chiang-Mai. Great tips for every travel style. I’d love to live like a local – if even for a few nights and be close to great eating. You must have spent a lot of time there to know the city so well. Bookmarking for the future!
Perfect Elaine. Yes, we have spent quite a bit of time in Chiang Mai and love it. Affordable lodging, great food, amazing people and lots to do. Does not get much better than that 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
Ahhh I now really want to go back to Thailand. I didn’t make it up to Chiang Mai so will be referencing this when I get to go back. I want to go to all the coffee shops and live my best digital nomad life. And definitely all about the food tour! Great recommendations
Thank, Emma. Are you planning on going back to Chiang Mai soon? Regardless, of when you get there, let this guide help you sleep and eat well. Cheers.
I usually tend to gravitate to the old towns, but I may like to try the trendy neighborhood too. They usually have all the new upcoming cuisine, chefs and restaurants.
There are also new and upcoming restaurants in the Old Town area of Chiang Mai as well. Our recommendation is to eat local Thai food 🙂 Have you been to Chiang Mai, do you have a favorite spot?
You have provided a great selection of all kinds of options for places to stay in Chiang Mai. We do love staying in the old part of cities. Even if it is “inside the moat”. We love local markets so this would be great for us. A luxury hotel with a garden and swimming pool is ideal. So we would definitely looking into Villa Klang Wiang. But maybe if we visited for a longer time, we might want to stay in a more local spot.
Thanks Linda, so glad you liked the selection of hotels offered. The Old City is a great central location and Villa Klang Wiang is a great option. Something to keep in mind for your next Chiang Mai trip 🙂
Wow what a wonderful trip. I’ve always wanted to visit Chiang Mai because there’s so many amazing places to visit but now I will also look forward to their food. I can’t wait to travel soon.
Are you going to Chiang Mai soon, Net? Once you find a place to stay, be sure to check out our articles about what and where to eat the local northern Thai specialties. Cheers 🙂
I have never been to Thailand, but I eat from a local Thai restaurant pretty regularly. I love the food, and the people are always very nice there. You’ve given me a few ideas on new things I want to try.
That’s awesome to hear Clara. Please do come back and let us know what new Thai dishes you try out at your local Thai restaurant.