Bangkok's International Airport is about 19 miles from central Bangkok. With the new airport rail link plus a slew of other transport options, it's quick and easy to get from the airport into the city even if you are traveling during rush hour. Driving from the airport into the city is definitely a possibility as driving in Thailand isn't too difficult for visitors. However, if you don't want or need a car, consider taking the rail link, taxi, or bus to a convenient Subway or Skytrain station for the rest of the journey. There used to be an express airport bus to the city center, however that service stopped running November 2019
Airport Rail Link
The Airport Rail Link is the cheapest and fastest way out of the airport and into downtown Bangkok. When you arrive, follow the signs for the train station, which is located on the basement floor. The train will take you directly to Makkasan Station in about 35 minutes. While there used to be an express line, the Airport Rail Link now only makes local stops. You can ride five stops to Makkasan station (City Air Terminal) or take the train to the last stop—Phaya Thai Station—where you can connect to the Skytrain. Tickets for the Airport Rail Link cost 15 to 45 baht, depending on your final destination. From the airport to Makkasan Stations costs 35 baht; from the airport to Phayathai costs 45 baht. Trains run approximately every 15 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to midnight, daily.
Metered taxis are the easiest way to get out of the airport and to your hotel. Once you clear customs and immigration, head downstairs to the first level; there will be a taxi line outside. You will need to stop at a desk and tell the clerk your destination. After you say your destinations, they will assign you to the next available driver. The clerk can help explain where you need to go, but it is best to have your destination written out in Thai in case you need to show it to the driver. Ask your hotel or guest house to email you directions if possible. You will have to pay an additional 50 baht on top of the meter fare, plus any tolls. The fastest way to get into the city is on the expressway and tolls will cost you an additional 70 baht or more depending on where you are going. Most taxi drivers are honest but some will try to offer you a flat rate to take you to your hotel. Insist on the meter.
Airport limos are the most expensive options but they are often the most comfortable. It will cost about 3 times the price of a taxi but the limos are spacious and drivers almost always speak enough English to get you where you need to go with no confusion. If you have a lot of people or stuff, you can also get an airport limo minibus. If you opt to go that route, there are airport limo desks inside the baggage claim area once you clear customs and immigration.
Public buses run 24 hours a day from the airport and cost 35 baht per trip. To catch one, take the shuttle from the terminal to the transportation center the shuttle also costs 35 baht and picks up from the Arrivals hall. There are 11 different routes from Suvarnabhumi Airport to various parts of greater Bangkok. There are also three routes that will take you straight from the airport transportation center to Pattaya, Talad Rong Kluea, or NongKhai bus that will take you straight from the airport to Pattaya.
Check out Bangkok's airport lounges.