10 Things To Do During Bangkok Airport Layover

Airport layover is a scheduled stopover at an intermediate airport during a journey from one destination to another. During this time, a passenger has to wait for a connecting flight which usually ranges from a few hours (also called transit) up to 24 hours (known as stopovers).

There are many things to do at Bangkok Airport (Suvarnabhumi) in which you can pass your time waiting for the next flight, and yes, you can leave the airport during the layover as well.

In summary, here are the 10 things to do during the Bangkok Airport layover:

  1. Eat and shop around the Bangkok Airport
  2. Relax at the airport spa and lounges
  3. Check out the observation decks
  4. Take a nap
  5. Shop at the nearby shopping malls
  6. Visit The Grand Palace and nearby attractions
  7. Visit the Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)
  8. Visit Khao San Road
  9. Visit Chinatown night market
  10. Take a rest at the nearby hotel

In this article, we will dive into each detail and recommend which activities are suitable for what period of the layover.

For Short Layover (2-4 hours)

1. Eat and Shop Around the Bangkok Airport

If you have a short layover, the best thing to do is to eat and shop around the Suvarnabhumi Airport. There are over 50 national and international venues, with hundreds of small shops that you can visit. If you’re a food lover, then you will enjoy various national and international cuisines and restaurants scattered over the terminals.

Most of the shops and restaurants are located on level 3 and level 4 of the terminals. For more information about the layout, check out our Bangkok Airport map and layout article.

2. Relax at The Airport Spa and Lounges

After a long and tiring flight, getting a Thai Massage and relaxing at the airport spa and lounges during a layover can also be refreshing. Most of the airline spas and lounges are free to enter for a few hours and all you need is just a boarding pass, a passport, or a membership card to enter.

The majority of the lounges are located on level 5 of the airport, and the most preferred one is Miricle Lounges which are independent lounges located on various concourses of the airport.

For getting the massage, Chang Thai (which is now closed) and Miracle Transit Hotel on level 3 are what we recommended.

3. Check The Observation Decks

The Suvarnabhumi Airport has beautiful observation decks and gardens located on level 7 of the terminal. If you’re looking for a change in scenery or simply want to spend some time with yourself, then we recommend checking the area out.

For Medium Layover (4-8 hours)

4. Take a Nap

Bangkok Airport has various designated rest zones and sleeping lounges that you can choose to take a rest at before your next flight.

5. Shop at Nearby Shopping Malls

If you have time during the layover and are bored with the shops within the BKK, then venturing out to the nearby shopping malls can also be an option.

Some of the closest shopping malls near Bangkok Airport to check out are:

  1. Paseo Mall Lat Krabang
  2. Mega Bang Na
  3. Central Bang Na
  4. Seacon Square
  5. Paradise Park

The above malls are all located around 25 km near the airport and can be easily reached via the public taxi located on level 1 of the terminal.

6. Visit The Grand Palace and Nearby Attractions

The Grand Palace is one of the top attractions to visit in Bangkok and is located about 36 km from the airport. It is located in downtown Bangkok and can be reached via the Airport Rail Link (ARL) located on the ground floor of the terminal or the public taxi located on level 1.

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings that was a former residence of King Rama I to King Rama V of Thailand, before turning into the center of monarch ceremonies, museums, and tourist attractions. Nearby The Grand Palace, you can also visit Wat Pho and Wat Arun, which are considered to be one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand.

Depending on the time you have during the layover, you may choose to visit some of the places or all of them.

7. Visit the Bangkok Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)

Visiting the Bangkok Flower Market (also called Pak Khlong Talat) isn’t a typical thing that travelers choose to do during the stopover. However, if you’re curious to see what the daily routine of the local people looks like in Thailand, then this is a perfect place to visit. The place is located about 36 km from the Bangkok Airport.

Here, you can find all kinds of flowers that the local people buy such as orchids, roses, daisies, carnations, and many others. The busy life in the market, along with the flower scent will give you a glimpse of what the traditional Thai culture and daily lives look like.

Close to the market, there are also a few cafes to chill and enjoy a cup of coffee at, such as the Floral Café Napasorn – a beautiful cafe inspired by the market’s flower theme.

For Long Layover (8+ hours)

8. Visit Khao San Road

Khao San Road is a famous backpacker’s district located in downtown Bangkok, roughly about 30 km from the BKK. This short street (about 400 m) is famous for crazy parties, nightclubs, and shops, and the area is well-known among foreigners.

To reach the area, you can either take the S1 shuttle bus outside gate 7 on level 1 of the Suvarnabhumi terminal or a public taxi.

9. Visit Chinatown Night Market

Bangkok Chinatown (also called Yaowarat) is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, and the largest in Thailand. The area serves as a home to many Chinese immigrants who migrated to Thailand in the 17th century.

Here, you can shop around various local shops, taste delicious Thai street food, and interact with the locals. The night market starts opening at 6:30 pm and is a perfect choice for those with over 12 hours of layover. To reach the area, you can either take the Airport Rail Link (ARL) or public taxi directly within the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

10. Take a Rest at The Nearby Hotel

Last but not least, taking a long nap at a hotel near the Suvarnabhumi Airport is probably the best thing to do if you have more than 12 hours of layover.

The only hotel available in the airport is the Miracle Transit Hotel, which is located on the 3rd floor of the terminal. The closest hotel to the Bangkok Airport is the Novotel Bangkok, which is located just a 5-minute walk from the Suvarnabhumi. There’s even a free 24-hour shuttle service from the Novotel if you contact them beforehand.

How To Transport From Bangkok Airport To The City Center During Layover?

For those with medium and long layovers, there are 4 ways you can transport from the Bangkok Airport to the city center and those are as follows:

1. Airport Rail Link (ARL)

The Airport Rail Link is a rapid transit line that connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to downtown Bangkok.

  • Time Taken: Approximately 30-40 minutes.
  • Cost: Around 45-90 Thai Baht, depending on the destination.

2. Taxi

Taxis are readily available at the airport, offering a convenient door-to-door service.

  • Time Taken: Depending on traffic conditions, it takes around 30-60 minutes.
  • Cost: Approximately 300-500 Thai Baht, depending on the destination and traffic.

3. Private Transfer

Pre-booked private airport transfer services offer a comfortable and hassle-free option for transportation to the city. Moreover, they can be customized as per your need and some can even provide a guide during the short stopover.

  • Time Taken: Similar to taxis, around 30-60 minutes.
  • Cost: Prices vary depending on the provider and vehicle type.

4. Bus

Public buses operate from the airport to various parts of Bangkok, providing an economical but slower option.

  • Time Taken: It can take 1 to 2 hours, depending on the route and traffic.
  • Cost: Typically ranges from 20-50 Thai Baht.