Bangkok Airports: How to get downtown

How to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city center cheaply

Getting from Bangkok Airport to downtown Bangkok is quick and cheap, as Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport is less than 30 kilometers away from the city center, and is connected to it via an express subway line (Airport Rail Link). You can also take a cab from the airport to the center of Bangkok. The pleasure of a cab ride is noticeably more expensive, but this mode of transport will take you directly to your hotel door, which is especially important if your hotel is located away from the subway stations.

The local subway, a fast and convenient way to get from the airport in Bangkok to downtown

Apart from the subway and cabs, it used to be possible to get from the airport to the city center by municipal shuttle buses, but after the construction in 2010 of the metro line linking Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok, this mode of transport has lost its relevance, and the stop of these buses was first moved outside the airport and later most of them were cancelled altogether.

Update Dec 2017. At the end of 2017, the BMTA (Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, a state-owned bus transportation company) opened the S1 bus route, from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Kaosan Road. Details on this route can be found below.

Subway line from the airport to downtown Bangkok

The Metro Line, aka Airport Rail Link, connects Suvarnabhumi Airport with Phaya Thai Station, located in the heart of Bangkok. At Phaya Thai station you can transfer to the main local metro line. Trains from the airport run frequently, every 15 minutes, the fare is 45 Baht, and the journey from the airport to downtown Bangkok takes 25 minutes.

Diagram of the subway line (Airport Rail Link) connecting Bangkok International Airport with the city center

Note. You can also transfer at Makkasan station, but not to the Skytrain line (the main type of Bangkok subway), but to the MRT classical subway line. When planning your trips around Bangkok, it is important to know that the two types of Bangkok subway, the BTS and the MRT, are served by different transportation companies, and the tickets for the Skytrain are not valid for the subway, and vice versa.

Subway, buses, cabs in Bangkok: which is more convenient?

As of 2015, in addition to the standard train on the route airport – downtown Bangkok began to run an express train. The fare on it costs twice as much, 90 baht per person, the double time gain is not even close.

Phaya Thai subway station. The new express train from downtown Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

If you want to estimate your budget for travel directly to the metro station you need, to the 45 Baht per person from the airport to Phaya Thai station you need to add 20-40 Baht for a metro ride within the city itself (fares in Bangkok depend on the distance).

Update Jan 2022. At the beginning of 2022 the subway ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok cost 45 baht as before.

Where in Suvarnabhumi Airport is the subway station linking the airport to the city center

The subway station (Airport Rail Link), from which trains run into the city center, is located on the lowest floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport, on the left side when looking towards the airport building exits.

Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok International Airport. One of the many signs to the Airport Rail Link station.

It is quite easy to find this subway station, simply by following the numerous signs posted at the airport building. A sample of such signage can be seen in the photo above.

How to use the Bangkok Metro. Where and how to pay.

The subway line that connects Bangkok Airport to the city center is not much different from the rest of Bangkok’s subway lines, and like the rest of the local subway lines, operates on the principle of zone-based charging. The fare, broken down by zone, is written both on ticket vending machines and on separate posters, and all relevant information is duplicated in English.

Suvarnabhumi Airport, entrance to Airport Rail Link station. Airport Rail Link automatic fare vending machines to the city center.

In addition to the machines, you can buy tickets from the airport to the city at the metro ticket booth located next to the machines, all employees speak English quite well. It should be noted that the local subway employees are friendly, and will gladly help you if you do not understand something.

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Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s main airport, bottom floor of the airport. Checkouts and turnstiles at the Airport Rail Link station.

In the work of the airport branch of the subway there is one subtlety, which is worth mentioning. Instead of the usual paper tickets and cards for payment of the fare, as the ticket here is a round plastic token with a magnetic stripe inside. At the entrance to the metro station this token should be attached to the turnstile reader, and then take it with you. Token must be kept until the end of the trip, as you can leave the subway only by dropping the token into the slot at the exit of the turnstile.

Buses from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Kaosan Road. New S1 bus route.

At the end of 2017, BMTA (Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, a state-owned bus operator) opened the S1 bus route, from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Kaosan Road. The fare on this route is 60 baht per person, buses run from 6-00 to 20-00, with intervals of 30 minutes. The bus ticket counter is located near Gate 7 of the airport building, on the same level as the Pattaya ticket counter (Gate 8) and where there is an exit to the cab stand.

Ticket counter for the newly opened S1 bus route, from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Kaosan Road.

It is worth noting that the S1 route buses are fast, as they travel most of the way on a toll-free, congestion-free highway. As of December 2017, the Suvarnabhumi – Kaosan route was advertised all over the airport, so it was not difficult to find the bus.

Cab fare from the airport to downtown Bangkok

A cab from Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok costs 400 – 500 baht, the nearest areas of Bangkok can be reached for less than 300 baht. You pay according to the taximeter, in addition to this you have to pay a 50 baht airport tax (to the cab driver). If you use the toll highway, which can significantly speed up the trip, your costs will increase by another 50 to 100 baht.

Cabs at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. In some cases, it is a reasonable alternative to taking the subway.

If you are going to take a cab from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the city center, it is not unreasonable to have some understanding of both the peculiarities of local service and cab manners.

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Suvarnabhumi Airport VIP Taxi . This cheating kind of a cab should be avoided in spite of the fact that it will be persistently imposed on you. The only difference between VIP cab and an ordinary cab (public cab) is that the fare is three times higher than expected, and the limousine promised by the baiters is almost always a Toyota vulgaris, like two peas in a pod similar to an ordinary city cab.

Scams on the part of cab drivers. Divorces by cab drivers occur not only at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and not only in Bangkok. However, in places of mass accumulation of tourists, and Suvarnabhumi Airport is the first place of honor, such divorces are particularly frequent. Their main type is a demand from the cab drivers to pay a fixed amount for the fare, which, as it is not difficult to guess, will turn out to be more than the taxi meter runs up. In the case of such a turn of events, which actually happens often, it is recommended to be firm, and to say the magic word “taximeter”, if necessary – several times. The result of saying this mantra will please you.

How to get from Bangkok Airport to the city center

We tell you how to get from Bangkok Airport to the city by cab, shuttle, bus or subway – and how much it costs. We summarize how to get to Bangkok from Suvarnabhumi Airport more conveniently and cheaply.

There are three ways to get from Bangkok airport to the city center – book a shuttle or cab, take a bus or a special elevated subway line.

Transfer from Bangkok airport to the city center

Map of travel from the airport to Bangkok: subway, buses, cabs.

Bangkok airport cabs and transfers

A more comfortable option, especially if you’re traveling with a lot of stuff, is to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to your hotel by cab or pre-book an individual transfer.

  • Cost of the trip: 320-500 baht (600-950 rubles);
  • Where is it: 1st floor of the airport, exits #4 and #7.

To get to the city by cab will be faster than by bus, but the speed will depend on traffic (especially during rush hour and in rainy weather). If you need to get to downtown Bangkok as soon as possible, it’s better to take the subway.

Be sure to choose a cab that runs on the meter, so as not to give the cab driver an opportunity to inflate the price. A popular trick with local drivers is to say you can only take the toll road at twice the price.

If you arrive in Bangkok late at night or traveling with children, it makes sense to pre-book a transfer to the hotel or other place in the city – you won’t have to look for a cab with a meter, the driver will meet you with a sign at the airport and help with the suitcases. You can ask for child seats for children.

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The cost of transfers depends on the class of the car, prices start at $33 per car for 3-4 passengers.

You can book a transfer on the Russian-speaking website Kiwitaxi. We use it regularly, and so far we are very happy with it. If in doubt – read our review about the service.

Transfer or cab from the airport in Bangkok to the city will be a good choice if you are traveling together with 3-4 people – the price for each passenger will be small.

If you wish you can book a transfer to other cities in Thailand:

  • To Pattaya – from $47
  • To Hua Hin – from $69
  • To Ko Chang – from $126

Current prices can be viewed through the form below (change destination if necessary):

Airport Link Metro Line

Suvarnabhumi Airport is connected to downtown Bangkok by a high-speed subway line called City Line or Airport Link (both names are common).

It runs on a high overpass above the ground, so you can not only get to the city center faster (due to the lack of traffic), but also enjoy the views of Bangkok during the day.

  • Opening hours: 05:59 – 00:01
  • Cost: 15-45 Baht per City Line (depending on your terminal station)
  • Where to find: Basement level of the airport (B Floor)

There is only one variant of the Airport Link between the airport and Bangkok:

  1. City Line train: 6 stops, journey time – 31 minutes

The Internet has information about a separate express train (Express train) which reaches Makkasan / Phaya Thai stations in 15-17 minutes without stops. This information is outdated: the express train has not been running since 2015!

To take the train to Bangkok, at the airport you need to go down to the lowest floor (Floor B), buy a ticket, walk to the platform and wait for the train. See diagram on the map (trains to Bangkok are marked at the bottom).

Please note: The City Line / Airport Link is not part of the Bangkok Metropolitan area, but does connect to it at Makkasan and Phaya Thai stations. If you change to the regular subway, you will need to buy a new ticket.

How to get from Bangkok Airport to Downtown by Metro

City Lane train at one of the stations in Bangkok

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The cheapest way to get from Bangkok airport to the city is by bus:

  • Hours of operation: 24 hours
  • Ticket price: 35 baht (66 rubles)
  • Location: A transportation center two kilometers from Bangkok airport.

Buses to downtown and other areas of Bangkok run 24 hours a day from Suvarnabhumi Airport Transportation center.

To reach the Transportation Center, take a free shuttle bus from the airport. The bus marked Express should preferably be used as it goes directly to the bus terminal, while the regular shuttle buses make several stops.

Bus timetable from the airport to Bangkok:

How to get from Bangkok airport to Downtown by bus

For more details on bus routes from the transportation center, see the airport’s official website (the site was down at the time this article was updated, the link has been removed).

Alternatively, you can take shuttles from the airport to and from Bangkok city center: they depart from gates #1 and #8 on the first floor (First floor) of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The price varies from 20 to 50 baht depending on the route (38-95 rubles).

The schedule of shuttles from Suvarnabhumi airport to Bangkok:

How to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok city center

Rent a car

Planning to travel around Thailand on your own? In this case it is convenient to immediately rent a car at Bangkok airport and use it to get to the right place in the city.

Prices for rent in different companies are convenient to compare through EconomyBookings – it collects offers from different suppliers, allowing you to find favorable options. Rental prices start at about 700-750 baht per day.

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