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How to get from Chiang Mai Airport to the City Centre

The lesser-known city of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is a truly magnificent travel destination. The breathtaking natural beauty, mountainous landscapes and dazzling historic temples that dominate this region offer travellers a glimpse of the relaxed and spiritual side of Thailand’s culture. Many of these historic attractions are in the middle of the city, allowing visitors to combine sightseeing with a trip to the local food market and shopping in the various malls dotted around the city.

The public transport system in Chiang Mai is still at a very basic level, making the public transport options for travelling from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre fairly limited. Getting from Chiang Mai Airport to the City Centre via public transport option involves the use of a bus service named ‘Chiang Mai City Bus’ operated by RTC (Regional transit Cooperation). Route R3 (Red and Yellow lines) travels from the airport to the city centre (‘Old City’) in a loop, in opposite directions. The most convenient and the fastest way to get to the city centre, however, is to take a Chiang Mai airport taxi or private shuttle.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Chiang Mai at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

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  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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Comparison of the options

PRICE FOR 2PASSENGERS
OPTION PRICE DURATION AVAILABILITY
Taxi €4.25 15min 24/7
Bus €1.10 25min 06:30–23:30

How to get from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre by taxi

Taking a taxi from Chiang Mai airport to Chiang Mai city centre is the most convenient form of transport. Taxis are readily available at the airport and thanks to the short distance (5km) to the city centre the ride lasts just 15 minutes.

How much is the taxi fare from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre?

There are up to three taxi companies available for your taxi transfer from Chiang Mai airport to the city. The average cost to the city centre will be between €4.25-€5.50 (THB 150-200) depending on the distance to your specific location. You can guarantee a fixed rate fare transfer with no hidden costs when you book a Chiang Mai airport taxi in advance.

Cost

€4.25

Trip Duration

15 minutes

This is the price of the standard taxi fare from the airport to the city centre, but may vary depending on the distance to your exact destination.

Convenience
Safety
Value for money

Taxis at Chiang Mai airport are available 24/7.

Where do I get a taxi from?

The taxi desk at Chiang Mai airport is located as you exit the terminals in the arrivals hall at Exit 1. Once you have specified your destination address to the employee at the taxi desk, they will give you a receipt and direct you to where the taxi will depart from.

 

Convenience

The use of a taxi or private shuttle from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre is certainly the most convenient form of transportation. Even though there is a public transport option, a taxi is still relatively cheap and will take you straight to the entrance of your hotel, stress-free and in style.

Editor’s Note

There are three taxi companies offering transfers from Chiang Mai airport to Chiang Mai. The cost of the transfer to the city should be the same whichever company you use, about €4.25 (THB 150). The only difference you may find is how the fare is calculated. One company may offer a flat fee of THB 150 (Baht) while the other may break the cost down (THB 40 initial fee, THB 50 airport fee and THB 60 for the transfer).

Useful Tips

If you are paying a flat rate fare for your transfer make sure that the price has been discussed and agreed upon with the driver before the start of your journey.
If you are not paying a flat rate fare for your transfer, ensure that the driver starts the taximeter upon entering the ride, so you can avoid any issues that may arise regarding the cost of the fare.
Tipping your taxi driver at the end of your transfer is not expected or common practice in the country. If you decide to tip, a reasonable amount would be between €0.80 and €2.70 (THB 30-100).

How to get from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre by bus

A bus service ‘Chiang Mai City Bus’ operated by RTC (Regional Transit Cooperation) is the public transport option to get from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre. Route R3 (Red and Yellow lines) travels from the airport to the city centre (‘Old City’) in a loop in opposite directions. The bus service runs approximately every 25-30 minutes from 06:30 to 23:30 and the travel time is about 25 minutes.

How much is the bus ticket from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre?

The cost of the bus ticket from Chiang Mai airport to the city centre is €0.55 (THB 20). The cost is for one trip and therefore remains the same wherever you may get off on the route.

Cost

€0.55

Trip Duration

25 minutes

The €0.55 (THB 20) cost of the bus ticket is the same regardless of the stop that you get off.

Convenience
Safety
Value for money

The Chiang Mai City bus service runs every 25-30 minutes from 06:30 to 23:30.

Where do I get the bus from?

The Chiang Mai City Bus stop at the airport is located outside the arrivals hall as you leave the terminal from Exit 1.

Convenience

The Chiang Mai airport bus service is a very affordable method of transport to get to the city centre. The service runs every 25-30 minutes so depending on your arrival, there may be a short waiting time until the next available bus. Furthermore, your hotel may be some distance away from the closest bus stop, so keep in mind that you may have to carry your luggage to the hotel.

Editor’s Note

Due to the proximity of Chiang Mai airport to the city centre, taking the bus is a good and affordable option. However, if you're travelling with children or in a large group and have a lot of luggage, a taxi may be the more appropriate and stress-free option.

Useful Tips

The Chiang Mai City Bus service offers free WiFi on all its routes.
All Chiang Mai City buses have air conditioning for a more comfortable and pleasant ride.
Pickpockets have been known to be active on the bus services, so make sure you keep your eyes on your belongings.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the cost of a taxi from Chiang Mai airport to Chiang Mai city centre?

The cost of a taxi from Chiang Mai airport to Chiang Mai city centre is between €4.25-€5.50 (THB 150-200) depending on your destination. There are three taxi companies available at the airport and all have the same set fare to the city centre. If you’d rather have a confirmed ride before you land and know that a friendly local professional with be waiting for you, you can pre-book your transfer with Welcome.

What’s the distance between Chiang Mai airport and the city centre?

Chiang Mai airport is located 5km from the city centre and a cab ride will take approximately 15 minutes to get you there.

How can I get from Chiang Mai airport to the city of Chiang Mai?

There are two main ‘conventional’ transport methods to get from Chiang Mai airport to the city of Chiang Mai. The first and simplest way is to get a taxi or private shuttle service, and the second is the public transport option which involves taking the Chiang Mai City Bus – Route R3 (Red and Yellow line) operated by RTC.

Pre-book online