Unforgettable Phuket itinerary: 7 days in paradise

Going to Thailand? Read on for the ultimate Phuket itinerary. How to spend 7 days in Phuket. What to do, how to get there, and where to next.

longtail boat in Phuket

Phuket, Thailand, is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, high-end beachfront resorts, and memorable island hopping. But your Phuket itinerary should include more than that. There’s also the old town with its Sino-Portuguese buildings, urging you to take pictures. Let’s not forget the sunset viewpoints, the capes and hiking trails. And of course, you can shop till you drop and find massage parlors everywhere.

So what to do in Phuket, and how do you get from, say, Bangkok to Phuket? Rather than flying, you can take a ferry ride from Koh Phi Phi or Krabi to Phuket or ride the train from Bangkok to Suratthani and enjoy watching the scenery roll past. Then, once you’ve arrived, you can jump on a minivan from Suratthani to Phuket

Philipp the author on a Phuket beach

Since Thailand has extended its Phuket Sandbox scheme, you can add onto your Thailand itinerary. You can now get to Phuket from the blockbuster islands of Koh PhanganKoh Samui, and Koh Tao. Still, there are Phuket travel restrictions, so you’ll need a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before flying or a rapid antigen test not older than 48 hours if you’re a domestic traveler. But you can forget about certificates to eat out, enter shopping malls, etc. However, things change at a moment’s notice, so check the Thai government websites for the most up-to-date info. 

So pack your bags and get excited. Here’s how to spend one week in Phuket.

Phuket itinerary day 1 – Lounge on the aptly named Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach Phuket, Thailand

Now that you’ve checked in and dumped your backpack on your bed, beach life is just around the corner. A ten-minute drive from Patong Beach, Phuket’s mecca for nightlife, you’ll find two sheltered bays with soft white sands and shallow waters. So spread out your towel in the shade of coconut trees, take in the salty breeze, and enjoy the chilled-out vibe. 

You can also rent a sun recliner; Paradise Beach is a beach club, after all. Mind you, the entry fee is currently only 100 baht ($3), so suitable if you’ve come to Phuket on a budget. Apart from working on your tan, you can also enjoy water sports like kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.

Thirsty? Order an ice-cold Singha beer at the circular beach bar with a thatched roof. They also serve palatable coconut and mango shakes, and the on-site restaurant provides creature comforts.

Getting to Paradise Beach

Look for the pick-up and drop-off locations in the Patong Beach area. Shuttle bus service to Paradise Beach is free. If you’d rather ride a scooter, go south on the last part of Patong Beach Road, turn left at Amari and follow that road to the very end.

Phuket itinerary day 2 – visit Phuket’s Old Town

night market at Lard Yai, Phuket, Thailand

Undoubtedly a must on your Phuket itinerary, Phuket Town’s appeal is in its bars, bakeries, and pretty little cafes like Phuketique, an old Phuket-style café with tiny tables and a chatty atmosphere, plus the Sino-Portuguese architecture.

Ambling through the streets, catching the scents of succulent meat and sticky calorie bombs, you’ll pass coffee shops, abandoned mansions, and stalls selling irresistible delicacies, light clothes, and wacky handicrafts.

The historic buildings are a sight for sore eyes day in and out, but more so on Sundays when Phuket Town’s Lard Yai Sunday Night Market takes place. That’s when the colorfully lit structures on Thalang Road lend the area a unique atmosphere.

Getting to Phuket Town

You may get to Phuket Town via tuk-tuk or the local blue bus, which stops at the city market. From there, you can walk to Thalang Road. Also, check out the local markets near the bus station and saunter along the empty manor houses.

Phuket itinerary day 3 – Relax on Surin Beach

stunning blues of Surin Beach Thailand.

An 800-meter stretch of soft sand, Surin Beach in the island’s west is among the best beaches in Phuket. There are numerous cashew, casuarina, and coconut trees, and it’s still blessed with clear blue water and light-brown sand that makes for excellent swimming. You won’t have to walk for miles until the water gets deep.

While Surin’s beach clubs are history, you can still find everything here. Street vendors between the tree lines sell anything from local fish and exotic fruits to chicken that comes in a mouth-watering variety of spicy tastes, grilled on a skewer. Also, Pad Thai, a stir-fried noodle dish typically served with shrimp, bean sprouts, veggies, peanuts, and scrambled eggs.

Besides, affable Thais rent out umbrellas and sun recliners. Heading back to your hotel, you’re bound to hear their friendly phrase, “See you tomorrow.”

Getting to Surin Beach

Ride a scooter along Phuket’s west coast—it’s about a 20-minute ride from Patong— or stump up some 800 baht ($24) for a tuk-tuk. 

Phuket itinerary day 4 – Have a blast at one of Phuket’s waterparks

Now that you’ve been to two of Phuket’s countless beaches, it’s time to check out the waterparks. Splash Jungle, Blue Tree Phuket, or Andamanda are Phuket’s largest and appeal to visitors with hair-raising slides, pools, paddleboards, and ziplines. 

Theme parks are a terrific alternative for kids and grown-up water babies when the seas are rough. 

Getting to the waterparks

Rent a scooter or car, or hail a cab. The waterparks are dotted across the island from Kathu to Mai Khao.

Phuket itinerary day 5 – Discover Central Festival Shopping Mall

Central Festival mall in Phuket Thailand

The island’s major shopping mall, Central Festival, and its newer wing, Central Floresta, are among the things to see in Phuket, particularly on a rainy day. It’s on the fringes of Phuket Town and spread out on four floors in a circular shape. Central Festival targets mid-market customers. 

The shopping gallery is enormous, and it frequently hosts loud commercial events like auto displays that get louder at the end of the month. But usually, the area is just a massive exhibition of discounted goods. There’s also an on-site cinema, a supermarket called Tops Market, plus a food court and restaurants galore.

Central Floresta, the luxury wing, was built across the street in 2018. It’s more than triple Central Festival’s 120,000m2 and serves the affluent. You can easily access the luxury wing from Central Festival via the glass sky bridge.

Getting to Central Festival

Situated just outside Phuket Town on the way to Patong Beach, all you need to get here is either a car, scooter, or taxi, the latter of which can be pricey. However, if you’re looking for Phuket airport transfers, you can ride the bus to Phuket town and then hop on a tuk-tuk or cheap songthaew, a pick-up truck with two benches in the back.

Phuket itinerary day 6 – Feel on top of the world at Black Rock (Pa Hin Dum)

The view over the ocean at Black Rock in Phuket Thailand

Pa Hin Dum, or Black Rock, was unknown before 2016 but is well-known now due to its large granite rock. The thirty-minute hike through tropical rainforest is easy and well worth it.

You can look forward to panoramic views of Phuket’s south and vistas of Nai Harn and Yanui Beach, Koh Man, Promthep Cape, and Windmill Lookout. You can even catch a glimpse of Koh Bon and Chalong Bay peeping back at you on the far left.

Getting to Black Rock 

Head for Nui Beach and park your car or scooter at the sign that reads Nui Beach. It’s the beginning of the short trail and where a pick-up truck shuttles beach bums to the beach. One track leads down to Nui Beach, and another on your left goes up one kilometer to Black Rock.

Phuket itinerary day 7 – Kick back at Arkanit Signature Massage & Spa

Arkanit Spa in Phuket Thailand- the authors favorite.

There’s no better way to unwind after an exhilarating week than at a spa. From hot stone treatments to affordable Thai, oil, and Swedish massages (including heated neck support!) – at Arkanit Signature in Cherngtalay next to Porto de Phuket, an open-air mall with an upscale vibe, you’ll get your money’s worth and come away with recharged batteries.

Want more? Check out these unique things to do in Phuket while you’re there.

The author standing in front of sunset in Phuket


Is there Uber in Phuket?

Yep, but it’s called Grab. It is pretty much everywhere except the airport.

Is Patong the only place for nightlife in Phuket?

Nope. There are bars, restaurants and lounges dotted throughout the island.

Should we stay in Phuket Town?

There is definite appeal to Phuket Town, so it depends on what you are looking for. If you want beaches then stay elsewhere. But if you want culture stay in town.

Posted April 11, 2022
image of blog writer Phil
Philipp Meier
Philipp Meier is a Phuket-based travel writer passionate about Thai culture and wandering off Thailand’s well-trodden tourist trail. His work has been published on the Nat Geo Traveller India, South China Morning Post, Culture Trip, BootsnAll, GoNOMAD, and elsewhere. You can find him at Writer Philipp Meier and LinkedIn.
image of blog writer Phil