Twenty five kilometres from downtown Bangkok stands the main international airport in Thailand, Suvarnabhumi (BKK), consisting of a huge terminal building divided into four levels that travellers can navigate without difficulty thanks to its over one hundred moving walkways and escalators complemented by a helpful wayfinding and signage system. Suvarnabhumi currently ranks fourth in the list of the largest one-terminal airports in the world, and boasts the tallest free-standing control tower in the planet. Operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it serves as primary hub for Thai Airways domestic and international operations, as well as base for other Asian airlines like Bangkok Airways, Asia Atlantic, Jet Asia, China Southern Airlines and EVA Air.
If you are planning a trip to Bangkok, it is quite likely that you will need to pass through this airport, as most carriers offering direct or connecting flights to Thailand from overseas fly to BKK.
Travelling from Bangkok airport to the city centre
The capital city of Thailand is easily accessible by road from the airport, and there is even a bikes-only track known as the Sky Lane specifically designated for those commuting to or from the terminal building by bicycle.
Taking a taxi is considered an affordable way to travel from Suvarnabhumi, and also a safe one as long as you get on authorised vehicles only. On the other hand, hiring your own car will give you greater independence to get around; the car rental centre in Bangkok airport counts on local and international companies such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, Thai car rental, Bizcar and Chic car rental.
All in all, for the majority of travellers –especially backpackers-, the most convenient and cheapest way to commute from Suvarnabhumi airport to the city is by using the Airport Rail Link (operational from 6 a.m. until midnight every day of the year), which departs from the airport railway station and allows you to change trains at Phaya Thai. From that point, either of the two BTS lines can take you to the stop that is nearest to your hotel in downtown Bangkok.
A brief guide to the terminal building of Suvarnabhumi International airport in Thailand
Bangkok airport in Thailand (BKK) has a single passenger terminal with four levels, and its airline services, passport controls, security filters, outlets and boarding gates are distributed across different parts of the building, namely the main terminal and its seven concourses (A, B, C, D, E, F and G).
Each level has a domestic check-in area and an international one, aside from the security screenings and boarding gates. On level 1, we find the bus station, a strong presence of Thai Airways counters and various escalators leading to the concourses where the VIP lounges and restaurants are located. Level 2 is home to the connection centre for passengers in transit, general information offices, shopping outlets and restaurants. Aside from its corresponding boarding gates, level 3 also accommodates some airline lounges, day rooms, shops and restaurants, and level 4 has VAT refund offices and other passenger services.
To round off your visit, traditional statues and sculptures of golden warriors, guardians and demons are on display in the departures area of levels 2 and 4.
Airlines selling flights to Bangkok
You may book a flight to Thailand (BKK) with any of the following airline companies operating direct or connecting services to and from destinations across the world:
Thai Airways (from major cities in Europe, Asia and Australia like London, Munich, Rome, Sydney, Moscow, Shanghai and many more; we advise you to check their website for scheduled and seasonal flights to Bangkok). Aeroflot (Moscow Sheremetyevo), Air Astana (Almaty), Air China (Beijing Capital), Air France (Paris Charles de Gaulle), Air India (Delhi and Mumbai), Air Macau (Macau), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), China Southern (Guangzhou), Emirates (Dubai), Etihad (Abu Dhabi), EVA Air (Taipei Taoyuan), Finnair (Helsinki), Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong), Japan Airlines (Tokyo Haneda and Narita), Jetstar Airways (Melbourne), KLM (Amsterdam), Korean Air (Seoul Incheon), LOT (Warsaw Chopin), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Norwegian (Copenhagen, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda), Qantas (Sydney), Qatar Airways (Doha), Singapore Airlines (Singapore), Swiss (Zürich), TuiFly (Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester) and Vietnam Airlines (Ho Chi Minh city).
What to do in Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand
Will you have a long layover in Bangkok airport? Are you wondering how you will spend the waiting time before boarding the plane back home? Travellers find its walk-through Duty Free shopping centre particularly alluring, since they can find last-minute souvenirs, fine spirits, perfumes, beauty products, clothing by renowned international luxury brands, watches, jewellery, electronics and chocolates. As for dining outlets, Suvarnabhumi has something to suit all tastes and travel budgets: fast food restaurants, cafés, wine bars, take-away food and healthy snack bars. Bear in mind that you can also gain admission to an airport lounge (contact your airline regarding this) or purchase a pass to rest in a day room before your flight. For a stopover, we recommend you find a hotel near Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.