Bagan is Myanmar’s top travel destination, and for good reason.

The scale of this ancient city rivals that of the most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia. Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur Temple in Indonesia impress visitors with colossal structures. Bagan, on the other hand, astonishes with quantity — thousands of spire-topped pagodas and temples built across wide plains.

Traveling to Bagan for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.

Scroll down to read must-know travel tips before you go, followed by a sample itinerary + budget breakdown, recommended hotels/places to stay, things to do/places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.

Bagan Travel Guide Blog Contents

1. Get Started

2. Bagan Itinerary

3. Bagan Budget

4. Where to Stay in Bagan

5. Travel Tips Before You Go

6. Places to Visit in Bagan + Things To Do

7. More Travel Guides & Blogs

Get Started

How to get to Bagan — Most travelers arrive in Bagan by bus from Yangon in Central Myanmar or Mandalay in North Myanmar. Travel time from Yangon to Bagan by bus is around 10 hours. From Mandalay, the bus ride should take 5 to 6 hours. By air, Bagan can be reached by flying to Nyaung-U Airport.

See bus fares

How many days in Bagan — Although one day is enough to visit all the major temples in Old Bagan, I suggest that you spend a more relaxed two or three full days for sightseeing. Remember to consider the long land/bus journey between Bagan and Yangon/Mandalay, which will add a day or two to your itinerary.

Book your hotel early — The best areas to stay are Nyaung-U and Old Bagan. Grab rock-bottom rates and avoid fully-booked rooms by booking online as soon as you know you’re going. Click below to compare discounts and read reviews by other travelers.

Cheapest ratesBest hotel reviews

Check prices online and pre-book discounts — Save money by checking discounts on tours, airport/city transfers & sim card/WiFi hotspots. Booking before you leave also saves you time by avoiding the hassles of bringing large amounts of cash & exchanging currency/money during your actual trip.

See top discounts

When is the best time to visit Bagan — Bagan is hot all-year & can be enjoyed any month. That said, the best time to go is during the cooler months from October to February. The next best is the rainy season from May to September. March and April are the hottest months with temperatures often scorching over 40°C.

Myanmar visa for Filipinos — Philippine passport holders do not need a visa to enter Myanmar for short stays of up to 14 days.

Top travel blogs + guide to Bagan & beyond

Bagan Itinerary

Here’s a sample 3 days & 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary for your trip to Bagan.

It’s suited for first-time visitors who want to maximize their Myanmar trip by visiting Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay. This itinerary assumes you’ll be starting in Yangon, traveling to Bagan on an overnight bus, and spending two full days temple-hopping in Bagan.

Feel free to tweak the activities & timings below based on your traveling style, schedule, & attractions that interest you the most.

Day 0: Bus to Bagan

TimeActivity
08:00 pm

Yangon to Bagan Bus

Day 1: Bagan Temples

TimeActivity
05:30 am

Arrival in Bagan

05:45 am

Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal to hotel transfer

06:00 am

Bagan hotel check-in

07:30 am

Start Bagan temples tour

Shwezigon Pagoda

Ananda Temple

Bagan Archaeological Museum

Gawdaw Palin

Shwesandaw Pagoda

Dhammayan Gyi Temple

Sulamani Temple

Day 2: Mount Popa & Old Bagan

TimeActivity
05:00 am

Hotel-pick-up for hot air balloon sunrise experience

06:30 am

Hot air balloon tour

07:15 am

Light breakfast

08:00 am

Bagan to Mount Popa transport

09:30 am

Mount Popa Temple

10:30 am

Mount Popa to Bagan transport

01:00 pm

Continue Bagan temples tour

Htilominlo

Upali Thein

Nat Taung Kyaung Monastery

Maha Bodhi Phaya

Bu Paya

Shwegu Gyi Phaya

Thatbyinnyu

Day 3: Bagan Departure

TimeActivity
08:00 am

Bagan to Mandalay bus

02:00 pm

Arrival in Mandalay

On the last day, you can also go on a bus to Mandalay or Kalaw/Nyang Shwe (jump-off to Inle Lake) instead. If you plan to go back to Yangon and you have limited time, consider taking an Bagan-Yangon overnight bus on day 2.

Bagan Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 3 days and 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Transport expenses breakdown
MMK 29,000Yangon to Bagan VIP bus — One-way VIP bus fare, per person price online.Pre-book here
MMK 20,700Bagan to Mandalay bus — One-way VIP bus fare, per person price online.Pre-book here
MMK 12,000E-bike rental — MMK 6,000 per day rental x 2 days.
MMK 6,000Bagan bus terminal to hotel roundtrip transfer — MMK 3,000 one-way x 2.
Activities/attraction costs breakdown
MMK 25,000Bagan Archaeological Zone — Entrance fee per person.
MMK 5,000Bagan Archaeological Museum — Entrance fee per person.
Budget Trip – Backpacker Expenses
MMK 67,700Transport — Bus tickets to/from Bagan, hotel transfers, E-bike rentals. Excludes half-day car charter to Mount Popa.
MMK 27,000Accommodations — 2 nights in a budget hostel. USD 10 per bed per night x 2 = USD 20 / MMK 27,000.
MMK 35,000Food — Budget meals. MMK 5,000 per meal x 7.
MMK 129,700Sub-total — Excluding attractions/activities & flights. Including accommodations, food & selected transport above. Excluding attractions/activities & flights. Approximately PHP 4,902 / USD 95 / SGD 128.
MMK 30,000Activities — Bagan temples & museum entrance fees
MMK 159,700Total — Including activities & 3 days expenses above. Excludes hot air baloon & Mount Popa car charter. Approximately PHP 6,042 / USD 118 / SGD 157.
Other activities
MMK 400,000Bagan Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Experience — Per person discount price online.Book discount here
MMK 30,000Half-day car rental to Mount Popa — Price per vehicle. Half-day car charter to Mount Popa from Bagan.
MMK 40,200Bagan car charter — Price per vehicle (up to 4 people). Whole-day car charter around Bagan temples.Book discount here

Where to Stay in Bagan

There are three main areas to stay in Bagan: Nyaung-U, Old Bagan & New Bagan.

Nyaung-U offers a convenient location close to transportation hubs (the airport, bus terminal, and train station) and the widest choice of restaurants. Old Bagan is nearest to the main temples and is mostly home to upscale resorts. The farthest is New Bagan, which offers more budget and mid-range options.

Book your room sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Click below to see rates and compare hotels in Bagan within your budget. The best locations & properties with the highest review scores are pre-selected to make it easy for you to pick the perfect place to stay.

Best Luxury Hotels in Bagan

Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Bagan.

Check all rates & reviews

Bagan Lodge Hotel

New Bagan

Book here

Heritage Bagan Hotel

Nyaung-U

Book here

Amazing Bagan Resort

Nyaung-U

Book here

USD 80 / MMK 107,632 / PHP 4,150 or less

4-Star & 5-Star hotel promo rates — Grab massive discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.

Check all rates & reviews

USD 60 / MMK 80,724 / PHP 3,113 or less

Recommended 3-Star & budget hotels — Great-value rooms for travelers seeking comfort at affordable rates. Perfect for those traveling with family & friends.

Check all rates & reviews

USD 40 / MMK 53,816 / PHP 2,075 or less

Best budget hotels in Bagan — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.

Check all rates & reviews

Sky View Hotel

Nyaung-U

Book here

USD 20 / MMK 26,908 / PHP 1,038 or less

Best hostels & budget hotels — Cheap hotels & places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers on a tight budget.

Check all rates & reviews

Ostello Bello Bagan Pool

New Bagan

Book here

Ostello Bello Bagan Hostel

New Bagan

Book here

USD 10 / MMK 13,454 / PHP 519 or less.

Cheapest places to stay in Bagan.

Check all rates & reviews

Bagan Travel Tips Before You Go

Do I need a visa to visit Bagan, Myanmar?

Myanmar tourist visa for Filipinos

How to get to Bagan

How to get to Bagan from the Philippines

Yangon to Bagan by bus

Mandalay to Bagan by bus

Bus Terminal to Bagan center

How much is the entrance fee to Bagan?

How to get around Bagan?

What currency to carry when traveling to Myanmar?

Exchanging Philippine Peso to Burmese Kyat

Should I book my Bagan hotel online?

Pre-book your Bagan tours & attraction tickets online

Do I need a visa to visit Bagan, Myanmar?

Citizens of 8 countries may enter Myanmar without a visa for tourism/transit purposes. Maximum stays vary from 14 days or 30 days depending on nationality.

Countries that enjoy visa-free entry to Myanmar include The Philippines, Singapore… Visit this Wikipedia page for a comprehensive list of countries with visa-free access.

For a hassle-free trip, make sure that you are able to provide the following typical requirements at the immigration checkpoint:

Valid passport not expiring within 6 months.

Confirmed flight ticket/s back to your home country or onward destination that you are allowed to enter.

Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the entire duration of your visit.

Proof of accommodation — Hotel reservations or letter of invitation from your friend/family residing in Bagan.

Evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only.

Remember to always check for changes in the visa policy of any country that you want to visit. You can find official visa information at the https://evisa.moip.gov.mm website.

Myanmar tourist visa for Filipinos

Filipinos/Pinoy tourists do not need a visa to enter Myanmar granting the purpose is tourism or transit. Philippine passport holders get a maximum stay of 14 days.

Simply show up at the immigration checkpoint and get your passport stamped.

Keep in mind that all countries have the right to refuse entry to any person even if they are eligible for the free tourist visa or have a valid visa on hand at the border.

At the very least, have these on hand at the immigration checkpoint: Return/onward ticket, hotel reservations & tours/attraction tickets that you have pre-booked online.

These documents will help to convince immigration officers that you are really are visiting as a tourist, NOT for work, and you are able to fund the entire duration of your trip.

How to get to Bagan

Most travelers arrive in Bagan by bus from Yangon in Central Myanmar or Mandalay in North Myanmar.

Bagan is located between these two cities. Travel time by bus from Yangon is around 10 hours. Meanwhile, traveling by bus from Mandalay takes around 6 hours.

Getting to Bagan by air is the fastest, but most expensive option. A one-way plane ticket from Yagon to Bagan usually costs USD 100 to 200. Flight duration is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Bagan can also be reached by train (slow and uncomfortable) or by slow boat from Mandalaw (seasonal)

How to get to Bagan from the Philippines

There are no direct flights between any airport in the Philippines and Myanmar.

To get to Bagan, you’ll need to book flight connections to Yangon or Mandalay via Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong.

Then, travel to Bagan by land or air.

Yangon to Bagan by bus

Yangon is usually the starting point for trips to Bagan.

Travel time from Yangon to Bagan by bus is 10 hours give or take. The trips are mostly overnight buses, departing Yangon from 7–9 pm and arriving in Bagan from 5–7 am.

The one-way bus fare is MMK 22,000–29,000 per person.

Check prices & pre-book online

Mandalay to Bagan by bus

Travel time from Mandalay to Bagan by bus is around 5 to 6 hours.

Departure from Mandalay is usually mid-morning with arrival in Bagan by mid-afternoon.

The one-way fare is MMK 20,500+ per person.

Check prices & pre-book online

Bus Terminal to Bagan center

Buses to Bagan arrive at Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal in Nyaung-U. The Bus Terminal is situated 5 kilometers away from Nyuang-U center and around 10 kilometers away from Old Bagan & New Bagan.

Shared transfers from the bus terminal to Nyuang-U should cost MMK 3,000 per person (more to New Bagan or Old Bagan).

How much is the entrance fee to Bagan?

A 5-day entry ticket to the Bagan Archaeological Zone costs MMK 25,000 per person.

How to get around Bagan?

The popular means of transport around the temples are E-bikes, horse carts, car/taxi, guided tour transport & pedal bicycles.

E-Bike

Electric bicycles are cheap… and fun! Daily rentals cost MMK 5,000 to 10,000 per day. Remember to test the condition of the bike (particularly the bakes and accelerators) before leaving the shop.

Private Car

Hassle-free, air-conditioned and quite affordable. Perfect if you’re traveling in a group. The price is MMK 25,000 half-day or MMK 40,200 full-day.

Horse cart

It’s an interesting way to get around, but in reality, the experience is bumpy, uncomfortable, dusty, and exhausting. Only consider horse-carts for short point-to-point transfers, like getting to the sunrise/sunset spots. Rate is usually MMK 20,000 per day or more.

Pedal bicycle

The cheapest way to get around Bagan. Bicycles only cost MMK 1,000 to 2,000 per day. I don’t recommend it for full-day sightseeing though. Daytime temperatures in Bagan are scorching and temples are spread too far apart to cycle comfortably.

What currency to carry when traveling to Myanmar?

Burmese Kyat (abbreviated as MMK or K or Ks) is the official currency of Myanmar. Thus, you’ll need Burmese Kyats for your expenses in Bagan. You should be able to change your USD, EUR or SGD at most banks/money exchange stalls. It’s important to bring bills in crisp & pristine condition. Otherwise, it might not get accepted.

Better yet, withdraw MMK bills at an ATM when you arrive in Myanmar. I use my ATM card a lot when I travel because it’s way more convenient than to worry about what currency to bring and exchange. Because banks charge a fee per withdrawal, I make sure to withdraw large amounts instead of doing multiple smaller transactions.

A great way to minimize bringing/exchanging cash is by using a credit card and pre-booking hotels, tours, transport etc. online. I opt to pay in my home currency, if available. That way, I know exactly how much is charged to my account.

Exchanging Philippine Peso to Burmese Kyat

You can get the best rates by withdrawing from ATMs or bring USD bills.

Remember to check if your bank requires you to activate your card for international withdrawals. Your card might be useless otherwise. For example, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) requires me to call their 24-hour hotline to activate my Cirrus ATM card before I travel abroad. On the other hand, My Unionbank debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) does not need activation to withdraw money abroad.

PHP is rarely accepted at bank/currency exchange shops in Myanmar.

Should I book my Bagan hotel online?

Book your stay sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms tend to get fully-booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

I frequently book my stay with the sites below to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy hassle-free trips. Click below to see today’s lowest prices.

Agoda Booking.com

Having hotel reservations is very important when traveling abroad because immigration officers often require tourists to provide the address of their accommodation. In addition, here top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too:

Wide selection of hotels/hostels.

Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn!

Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests.

Instant confirmation and free cancellation on most properties.

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal.

Fast customer support.

Pre-book your Bagan tours & attraction tickets online

I often book online to enjoy discounts and cashless convenience during my actual trip. Always check prices of tours and attraction tickets on these booking sites:

Klook GetYourGuide

Prices are often cheaper than booking on-site. Huge discounts on many activities.

Maximize your trip! Avoid wasting time queueing at ticket booths & shopping for tours.

Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision.

Earn rewards points for every booking.

Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies.

If you’re booking tours and you’ve already finalized your travel dates, book early, especially if you are traveling with family/friends to lock-in those open slots for everyone in your group.

Places to Visit in Bagan + Things To Do

Check out these top tourist spots, best places to visit & things to do in Bagan.

1. Dhammayan Gyi Temple

2. Ananda Temple

3. Shwesandaw Pagoda

4. Sulamani Temple

5. Htilominlo

6. Gawdaw Palin

7. Maha Bodhi Phaya

8. Shwezigon Pagoda

9. Thatbyinnyu

10. Mount Popa Temple

11. Bagan Archaeological Museum

12. Bagan Golden Palace

Old Bagan

Myin Ka Bar Village

Nyaung-U

New Bagan

1. Dhammayan Gyi Temple

Location: Old Bagan

2. Ananda Temple

Location: Old Bagan

3. Shwesandaw Pagoda

Location: Old Bagan

4. Sulamani Temple

Location: Old Bagan

5. Htilominlo

Location: Old Bagan

6. Gawdaw Palin

Location: Old Bagan

7. Maha Bodhi Phaya

Location: Old Bagan

8. Shwezigon Pagoda

Location: Nyaung-U

9. Thatbyinnyu

Location: Old Bagan

10. Mount Popa Temple

11. Bagan Archaeological Museum

Entrance fee: MMK 5,000 per person

12. Bagan Golden Palace

Entrance fee: MMK 5,000 per person

Old Bagan

Temples and attractions in Old Bagan

Dhammayan Gyi

Ananda

Shwesandaw

Sulamani

Htilominlo

Gawdaw Palin

Maha Bodhi Phaya

Thatbyinnyu

Bagan Archaeological Museum

Bagan Golden Palace

Tharbar Gate

Nat Taung Kyaung Teak Wood Monastery

Taung Bi Teak Wood Monastery

Mingalar Zedi

Shwegu Gyi Phaya

Bu Paya

Upali Thein

Shwe Leik Too

Bulethi

Tha Beik Hmauk

Thagya Pone Temple

Thagya Hit Temple

Myin Ka Bar Village

Temples and attractions in Myin Ka Bar Village

Myazedi Pagoda

Gu Byauk Gyi

Manuha Temple

Nan Hpaya

Apeyadana (Abe Yadanar/Abeyadana)

Naga Yon Hpaya

Sein Nyet Ama

Seinnyet Nyima

Nyaung-U

Temples and attractions in Nyaung-U

Shwezigon Pagoda

Nyaung-U Market

She Myet Hna

Dhammayazaka(Dhammayazika) Pagoda

New Bagan

Temples and attractions in New Bagan

Lawka Nanda

Anauk Petleik Pagoda

Ashe Petleik Pagoda

Don’t Stop Here

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