The cheapest way to travel between Bangkok city centre and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport is the airport rail link.
Getting to the Station
The airport station is basically in the basement at Suvarnabhumi. From arrivals, it is clearly signposted down several floors – there are travelators and lifts, both of which can take luggage trolleys though the lifts are often crowded.
There are two lines but only one is currently operational – the City Line.
The rail link connects (albeit with a walk) to other public transport at Makkasan (onto the metro) and Phaya Thai (the skytrain). You can sort of connect to the state railway line at Ramkhamhaeng but it’s more trouble than it is worth unless you know what you are doing. The easiest connection to state railways is via Makkasan through the MRT to Bang Sue or Hualamphong.
There are a number of money changers beside the ticket kiosk including some offering the most competitive rates as we outlined in this article. It can be convenient to change money here.
Buying Tickets and Cost
There are ticket machines at the station, which give change and also have instructions in English.
There is also a ticket counter though it often has a queue albeit a short one. Tap the token on the barriers to enter and insert it in the barrier to leave at the destination station.
A one way ticket between the airport and Makkasan, for example, currently costs 35 baht ($8.5). Overall the rail link is cheaper than a taxi even when you are a group travelling.
If you plan to travel extensively in Bangkok, you could alternatively purchase and use the local stored value card, the Rabbit. This will save time queuing for tokens at the metro or skytrain interchange station.
The trains are clean and not too cold. The train has seats and standing areas. It is often crowded though not necessarily crushed. Locals use the service to commute between intermediate stops, so make sure to keep luggage away from doorways.
One thing I like about this service is how safe it feels compared to some of the hair raising taxi driving one sometimes experiences between the airport and city.
Hours of Service
The train runs between six a.m. and midnight daily, with a headway of around fifteen minutes and ten minutes at peak periods.
The journey time is around twenty five to thirty five minutes.
There was formerly an intown checkin like the one in Hong Kong, but this no longer operates.