Airport Transits in Bangkok
Stopping over in Bangkok on your way home, or landing there on your way to your dream vacation? Then you'll need to know about airport transits! In our guide, we'll discuss Bangkok's airports, the best way to travel into the city, and what to do when you get there!
Airport transits in Bangkok: A Tale of Two Airports
Bangkok has not one, but two commercial airports. Greedy. Here's what you need to know about both of them.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, "BKK" for short, and Bangkok International Airport to its friends, is the larger and newer of the two airports. It's also the main international gateway to Thailand, serving over 60 million passengers a year. So, if you're stopping in Bangkok from faraway places, this will likely be where you land.
Its newness is on full show too, with sleek and modern interiors and curved, futuristic exteriors worthy of a picture themselves. More importantly, you'll find plenty to do inside the airport, so if your stopover is short, you needn't leave to make the most of it. And, if you keep an eye out, you may even see a famous face or two making their way to their gate.
Don Mueang Airport
Don Mueang Airport, or "DMK" for short, is the smaller and older of the two airports. Nearly 100 years before BKK was even built, Don Mueang was the main international airport. Now, however, it mainly serves domestic and regional flights.
It may not be as fancy or as modern as Suvarnabhumi, but there's still plenty of fight in this old dog. And by fight, we mean things to do. For instance, you might spot some street food vendors outside the airport selling tasty Thai treats, or discover some unique souvenirs in the airport's shops.
Airport transits in Bangkok: How to get into the city
So we've discussed the two airports. Now, we'll explore how you'll travel into Bangkok to make the most of your stopover!
The easiest and most convenient way to get to the city center from either airport is by taking a cab. Both airports have taxi stands outside, so feel free to head out and discuss your destination.
However, it's worth knowing the going rate before you get in. On average, a taxi from Suvarnabhumi should set you back around 500 Baht, or roughly $15, and take just over 35 minutes. And a cab from Don Mueang should cost around $8-$10 and take around 25 minutes.
And why should you know this? Well, it's because some cab drivers may try and rip you off! Make sure they go off the meter, too, because otherwise, they can charge you pretty much whatever they want. Far from ideal. If they refuse, just hop out and find one that will.
Cheap but cheerful, you can always rely on a bus to get you where you need to go. And you'll find buses serving both airports, which is perfect.
What's less than perfect, however, is travel time.
The bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport takes 75 minutes to get into Bangkok, which will massively eat into your layover time.
Don Mueang Airport fares a little better as it's closer to Bangkok. Some buses will get you into Bangkok in 45 minutes.
However, what you lose in time, you more than make up for in price. From Suvarnabhumi Airport, the bus costs 150 Baht, or just under $4.50. But the best bus fares are found at Don Mueang Airport, where a ticket to Bangkok will set you back a whopping 30 Baht, or $0.80! Now that's a deal.
Just make sure you plan your journey ahead of time to make sure you're getting off the bus at the right time - and the right place!
Then there is the train, which may be the best choice. Suvarnabhumi Airport has an Airport Rail Link that connects the terminals to the BTS Skytrain, which can get you to many different districts in Bangkok. Depending on your destination, train tickets can cost anywhere from $0.45 to $1.40. So, they're cheap, and the fact you don't have one fixed destination to reach means you have flexibility in where you go. Great.
The bad news? Well, while Suvarnabhumi Airport has a train, Don Mueang Airport does not. So, if you're arriving at the latter, you're out of luck.
Airport transits in Bangkok: What to do until your flight
So how are you going to spend your layover? Here are some ideas for things to do while you wait.
One of the best things about being in Thailand is the food, and both airports have plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. From street food stalls to sit-down restaurants, you're bound to find something delicious.
If time isn't of the essence, head into Bangkok and try a street food tour by Tuk-tuk.
Both Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports have plenty of shops and boutiques to buy souvenirs, snacks, and even luxury goods. Prices can even beat those you'll find in Bangkok, so you needn't feel guilty doing some last-minute shopping between flights.
Traveling can be exhausting, so take some time to unwind and recharge before your next flight. Both airports have lounges where you can relax, take a shower, and enjoy some food and drinks.
If you can't access the lounge, find a quiet corner in the airport and take a nap. Just make sure to set an alarm so you don't miss your flight!
And if time is on your side, go grab an authentic Thai massage at Let's Relax Spa! Your body will thank you later.
If you have a longer layover, why not explore Bangkok? Suvarnabhumi Airport is located about 18-odd miles from the city center, but there are some interesting attractions nearby, such as the famous Erawan Museum or the vibrant night market in Bang Phli.
Don Mueang Airport is located closer to the city center, and you can easily take a taxi or bus to nearby attractions like Damnoen Saduak Market and Maeklong Railway Market.
If you're the adventurous sort, try renting a Tuk-tuk to explore the area!
And that's everything you need to know about airport transits in Bangkok! Fancy spending a longer break in the city? Go City's got you covered. With our All-Inclusive Pass and Explorer Pass, you can see all of Bangkok's best bits for one low price.