Transport Options From Bangkok Airport To The City

This article will guide you through the transportation options from Bangkok Airport to the city, catering to every budget and type of traveler.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) has six different options when traveling into the city, including:

Car

Train

Bus and minivan

The Airport Rail Link is the cheapest option, which takes you from the airport to downtown Bangkok in around 35 minutes for just 15-45 THB. Follow the signs for the station on the basement floor and hop on.

Or, for a more convenient option, pre-book an airport transfer for a hassle-free arrival. Get picked up directly at your gate and relax as you’re whisked to your destination.

Let’s take a look at each option in detail.

Airport Transfer (Editors Choice🥇)

For a hassle-free journey from Bangkok Airport to the city, consider securing an airport transfer service in advance. Explore my article highlighting some of the top-notch options for airport transfer services from Bangkok Airport.

This is my favorite way of getting to and from the airport based on the convenience of avoiding the stress of securing a public taxi or bus.

Feel like a VIP with a service tailored to your needs. Most transfer services can accommodate your requests if you need extra luggage space, child seats, or a specific drop-off point.

There are various transfer services with a wide selection of vehicle types, including sedans, 9-person vehicles, and luxury Mercedes.  Vehicle occupancy is up to a maximum of 9 people (van) and two people for the smaller vehicle option.

Prices to downtown Bangkok start at 780 THB with a free 2-hour waiting period if your flight is delayed.

Recommended for: Comfort, newer vehicle, large luggage, and prefer the convenience of pre-booking your transit in advance.

Available: 24/7

Where is the pickup point?
The taxi driver will meet you upon arrival based on the flight number you provide upon pre-booking.

PROS
  • Door-to-door convenience and hassle-free experience.
  • Pre-booking ensures availability and avoids waiting times.
  • Fixed fare eliminates negotiation hassle and potential taxi scams.
  • Wide range of vehicle options for solo travelers, groups, or families.
  • Professional and reliable service, often with English-speaking drivers.
CONS
  • Costlier than most other options, especially compared to public transport.
  • Traffic congestion can significantly impact travel time.
  • Requires phone access to contact driver.

Public Taxi (Metered)

Bangkok Taxi

The cheaper alternative to a private car is a public metered taxi, which you’ll find at level 1 arrivals at Bangkok Airport.

Retrieve a ticket from the taxi machine, and note the number corresponding to your designated taxi. Identify the matching number displayed on the tarmac in front of the taxi.

Upon locating your designated taxi, hand the receipt to the driver and communicate your destination. Alternatively, show them your hotel or accommodation on Google Maps to avoid confusion.

When getting in a public taxi in Bangkok, you should insist on using the meter to avoid being overcharged. Check if the meter is turned on when you get in the taxi.

The driver might ask if you prefer to take the expressway, an elevated road that bypasses traffic.

Remember that using the expressway incurs toll fees. Ensure you have cash on hand so the driver can cover the highway toll during the journey.

The total cost of a public taxi from the airport to the city ranges from 300-300 THB.

Airport taxi rates include a 50 THB airport surcharge, expressway fees (Max 70 THB), and the normal 35 base rate, which increases per km:

  • 5.50 THB/km (1-10 km)
  • 6.50 THB/km (10-20km)
  • 7.50 THB/km (20-40km)

An additional luggage fee may apply if you have more than 2 pieces of large luggage, with rates ranging from 20-100 THB depending on luggage size.

Recommended for: Large luggage, don’t mind older vehicles, and OK with communicating your destination to the driver.

Available: 24/7

Where is the pickup point?
Level 1 arrivals.
Locate the taxi ticket machines and then select your vehicle type.  The machine will provide you with a taxi stand number; once you’ve found the correct taxi stand, hand the receipt to the driver.

PROS
  • Door-to-door convenience with direct drop-off to your destination.
  • Faster than ARL for many locations, especially outside central areas.
  • Good option for large groups or heavy luggage.
CONS
  • Potentially expensive, especially during peak hours or airport surcharged taxis.
  • Traffic congestion can significantly impact travel time.

Transport App (Grab & Bolt)

Grab Taxi

Grab and Bolt are Thailand’s two main ride-hailing services, and both are available at the airport.

Grab

Grab is Thailand’s most popular ride-hailing service and is considered an alternative to Uber, which stopped operating in the Kingdom in 2018.

Depending on your budget or occupancy, Grab offers various vehicle types, including standard 4-seaters, luxury sedans, and even an EV service exclusive to and from the airport.

How much is Grab from the airport to the city?

Grab has an airport surcharge of 150-200 THB, base rare 35-300 THB depending on vehicle type, and per km starts from 5.50 THB.

Bolt

Bolt is a cheaper alternative ride-hailing service that entered the Thai market in 2020.  Although cheaper, the app has fewer features, and the drivers only accept cash as payment.

How much is Bolt from the airport to the city?

Bolt has a base fare ranging from 35-100 THB depending on the vehicle and an additional airport surcharge.

Recommended for: Large luggage, choice of vehicle range, and the convenience of locating your destination through the app.

Available: 24/7

Where is the pickup point?
There is no designated pickup point for private car-hailing, but the following points are recommended selectable pickup points within the apps:

  • Arrivals – 2nd floor at doors 2 & 7 (outer lane)
  • Departures – 4th floor at doors 1-10
PROS
  • Pre-booking convenience and fixed fare estimates.
  • No haggling over prices and ease of payment through app.
  • Wide range of vehicle options and potential comfort upgrades.
CONS
  • Subject to surge pricing during peak demand, making costs variable.
  • Reliance on internet connectivity for booking and ride tracking.
  • Availability can be limited outside central areas or during peak hours.
  • Traffic congestion can significantly impact travel time.

One of the cheapest ways to get into the city from Bangkok Airport is via the Airport Rail Link, which is directly accessible from the airport arrivals hall.  A ticket costs around 15-45 THB, depending on your exit station.

To get to the Asoke (Sukhumvit) area, take the train to Makkasan station, where you’ll find Phetchaburi MRT station for connections via the MRT or BTS lines. Makkasan station is only a 10-minute drive to Asoke if you prefer to take a taxi.

To get to the Pratham area, take the train to Phayathai, where you can transfer to the BTS via Phaya Thai to go along the BTS Sukhumvit Line or transfer to Siam for the BTS Silom Line.

The train operates between 05:30 to midnight daily, arriving every 10-15 minutes, and the journey time is around 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought at the station entrance at the airport located in the basement B floor following signs to the Airport Rail Link. 

Recommended for: Small luggage, going to the Asoke area, or connecting with other train services

Available: 
5:30 to 00:00 midnight

Where is the station?
B floor arrivals follow the signs to the Airport Rail Link

PROS
  • Fastest option for central locations (Makkasan Station): 25-30 minutes.
  • Affordable and convenient with regular departures (15-20 minutes): ฿35-฿60 depending on destination.
CONS
  • Limited coverage for certain destinations outside central areas.
  • May require transfers to BTS or MRT for some locations.
  • Heavy crowds during peak hours and potential delays.

Public Bus

A public bus is available directly to Khao San Road and the old town area of Bangkok.  This option is ideal if you’re staying at Khao San as a backpacker and want to experience the notorious Bangkok buses.

Recommended for: Backpackers, Hand luggage only, small suitcases, and destination is the old town area of Bangkok.

S1 to Khao San Road

Upon arrival, the S1 service from Suvarnabhumi to Khao San Road can be found at level 1 just follow the signs to the public transport.  The fare costs 60 THB and runs every 30 minutes between 06:00 and 20:00 with a journey time of around 1 hour.

S1 Bus Route

The bus stops at 10 different stations. The following stops are within walking distance to Khao San Road:

Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK)
-> Democracy Monument – Opposite Suksapan (15-minute walk to Khao San Road) 
-> Wat Chanasongkram (3 minutes walk to Khao San Road)
-> Sanamluang Bus Terminal (10 minutes walk to Khao San Road)

Available: 
06:00 to 20:00 inbound (BBK -> Khao San)
07:00 to 21:00 outbound (Khan San -> BKK)

Where is the pickup point?
Level 1 arrivals (same level as taxis) take the 7th exit, and in the middle lane, you’ll find a bus stop for S1.  The bus’s color is orange, so it is hard to miss.

PROS
  • Extremely budget-friendly option directly to Khao San Road.
  • Frequent departures and easily accessible from arrival halls.
  • Good option for light travelers or backpackers on a tight budget.
CONS
  • Slowest option due to multiple stops and potential traffic congestion.
  • Limited luggage space and can be crowded, especially with large bags.
  • May require connections to reach other destinations beyond Khao San Road.
  • Not ideal for late-night arrival due to limited schedules.

Public Mini Vans

Multiple routes from the airport are covered by 9-seater minivans found at 1st-floor gate 8.  The two routes that are city-bound are 551 to Victory Monument (historic old town) and 552 to On Nut area (Sukhumvit).

Minivans arrive every 20-30 minutes, and prices range from 20-40 THB per person.

Recommended for: Hand luggage only, traveling in a small group, or budget-conscious.

BKK minivan routes

NoRouteAvailabilityPrice
551BKK – Victory Monument05:00 – 22:0040 THB
552BKK – On Nut05:00 – 22:0020 THB
PROS
  • Drop-off at popular locations for connections on Sukhumvit and old town Bangkok
  • Good option for budget travelers in groups sharing the cost.
CONS
  • Longer wait times compared to taxis due to shared route filling.
  • Limited flexibility and control over destinations and stops.
  • Not always readily available, especially during off-peak hours.
  • Potential discomfort in shared vans with limited luggage space.

Thailand transport tips

Stay safe and prepared if you plan to travel when using transport in Thailand.

Below are a few tips based on my personal experience traveling in Thailand

  • Get travel cover: It’s always a good idea to have cover for unexpected events such as emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage.
  • Look after your belongings: Keep your valuables like passports, phones, and wallets secure and within reach.
  • Download essential travel apps: From navigation maps to language translators.
  • Check weather conditions: Thailand can experience heavy rain and flooding during certain months, so monitor the weather before your trip.
  • Prepare route: Plan your route using Google Maps or a trip planner
  • Keep note of emergency services: Note important emergency contacts such as ambulance, police, or hospital numbers.
    • Police: 191
    • Tourist police: 1155
    • Ambulance: 1669
    • Fire: 199
  • Follow the local regulations: When using any form of transportation, always follow the local regulations, including wearing a seat belt in a car.
  • Follow the advice: your country will have guidelines for traveling within Thailand. Some examples below:

Before you go…

Looking for other travel guides? We have compiled a list of helpful articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand.

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Written by Nicky

Hi! 👋 I'm an expat who has lived, explored, and worked in Asia for over 10 years. I started findyouthere.com to share the knowledge I've picked up over the years with travelers interested in visiting Asia. Find out more on our about page.

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