alternative white Patong Beach sign standing in front of Patong beach at sunset, surrounded by palm trees in Patong, Phuket / how to get from Phuket airport to Patong beach

Phuket Airport to Patong Beach: 5 Best Ways

Are you wondering how to get from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach? Here are the five best ways to get from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach!

It takes around 1 hour to get from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach, sometimes less, depending on traffic in Phuket.

So, you will need to figure out some form of transportation to get to Patong Beach.

Below, I’ve shared with you the cheapest way to get from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach, the fastest method, and everything you need to know about leaving Phuket Airport and getting to Patong Beach.

Once you arrive at Patong Beach, the beach area is very walkable, so getting around Patong can be done without transportation. But if you plan to visit other areas in Phuket, you must use public transit, taxi/Grab, or rent a scooter!

Phuket Smart Bus

views of mountains and the ocean from the interior of the Phuket Smart Bus

The cheapest and most convenient way to leave Phuket Airport to Patong Beach is using the Phuket Smart Bus.

This local bus operates along Phuket’s west coast from the Airport and drives along the western coast, stopping at all the main beach areas on the island like Surin, Kamala, Patong, Karon, and Kata!

It costs 100 Baht (2.88 US) per person; you must pay cash, come with cash, or withdraw some at the airport ATM.

It’s comfortable, has air conditioning, and even some room for your luggage, but space is limited! Also, keep an eye on your luggage when the bus stops so no one accidentally takes it at another stop!

full time table for Phuket Smart Bus showing both ways

The bus will arrive at the main bus stop in Patong, and once you arrive, you can make your way to your hotel.

Remember that if your plane is scheduled to arrive late at night, you won’t be able to use the smart bus, and the last bus leaves Phuket Airport at 10:00 PM.

The Phuket Smart Bus can get crowded at times, especially during the high season months; after all, it is the only affordable way to leave Phuket Airport.

If you’re visiting in a group or with your family, I wouldn’t recommend taking the Smart Bus; it’s worth getting a Private Airport Transfer instead!

Above is the Phuket Smart Bus timetable, though I recommend you check the official website for an updated schedule!

TIP: When in Phuket, if you want to visit many of the other beautiful beaches in Phuket, using the Phuket Smart Bus is the best way to do it!

Grab or Bolt Apps

bright green logo for Grab, the largest ride sharing company in Asia
Credit: Grab

In Southeast Asia, Grab and Bolt are popular ride-sharing apps operating exactly as Uber. They are both very convenient and easy ways to get around Phuket.

Pull up the app of your choice on your phone, and order a car to pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel in Patong Beach.

You can request different vehicle sizes from the app, so even if you’re visiting in a group or with your family, vans on the app fit up to 12 passengers.

The prices for your private ride will vary by your vehicle choice and the time of day. Expect to pay anywhere from 900 to 1,250 Baht, around $25 – $35 US.

I’ve used both apps countless times in Phuket, and the only difference is Grab tends to have more drivers at all times, but Bolt’s rides are cheaper!

Important TIP: Grab or Bolt cars aren’t allowed to enter Phuket Airport, meaning you MUST leave the main airport and go to the Main Road to meet your Grab/Bolt driver.

Private Airport Transfer

many different vehicle options for airport transfer from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach
Credit: GetTransfer

The best and fastest way to leave Phuket Airport and go to Patong Beach is by booking a private airport transfer in advance.

With a private airport transfer, you’ll have a driver waiting for your arrival with your vehicle of choice.

From regular economy vehicles to SUVs, Vans, and buses, no matter your party size, there’s a vehicle size to accommodate your party size and take you straight to your hotel in Patong Beach!

The cost can be around $20 – $50 US for your Private Airport Transfer to Patong Beach, depending on your vehicle of choice. The best part is you’ll have plenty of room for luggage!

Your driver will have your flight details, so no matter when your plane lands and you arrive, your driver will be waiting for you.

Important TIP: You must leave the airport and walk to the main road for your pick-up; vehicles can’t enter Phuket International Airport.

palm trees standing on a crowded Patong beach full of tourists in Phuket, Thailand

Taxi at Phuket Airport

Another convenient way to leave Phuket Airport and get to Patong Beach is by taking one of the many licensed taxis waiting for tourists at Phuket International Airport.

Something important to know about the taxis at Phuket Airport is that a taxi mafia controls any vehicle departures from the airport.

So the only vehicles allowed to enter and leave the airport directly are taxis, amongst those who cooperate.

If you choose to take a taxi, please look for the registration to make sure it’s a licensed taxi.

A taxi from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach will cost you 800 – 1,400 Baht / $22 – $33 US. It depends on the time of the day and the driver.

TIP: Sometimes, they overcharge tourists, so stay firm on your price and be careful of taxi scams in Phuket!

Rent a Car

Renting a car from Phuket Airport is a great idea for the adventurous type. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand.

A car rental will be convenient if you’re visiting with 3+ people, including yourself.

The rental price for your vehicle depends on the make and size of the car. And make sure you get insurance on your rental.

Not only is it easy to navigate yourself around Phuket, but it’s very picturesque, and with a car, you’ll be able to visit some of the lesser-known beaches.

Renting a car on the island to leave the airport to Patong Beach and using the rental during your visit is a great idea!

TIP: Make sure to check the car’s condition and take a quick video to avoid complications when returning the vehicle.

Phuket Airport to Patong Beach — Final Thoughts

Those are all the ways to get from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach. I’d advise you to keep in mind the few tips I’ve shared with you regarding each transportation method!

Patong Beach is the most famous area in Phuket, boasting the best nightlife on the island; the beach is nice, and the town is full of restaurants and shopping. Overall, Patong is centrally located on the island, and there are many other nearby beaches to visit from Patong!

If you’re visiting Phuket and you aren’t a beach person, consider staying in Old Phuket Town instead of Patong!

Suppose you’re staying in a different area and trying to find out how to leave Phuket Airport. You can use all of these transportation options to other beach areas in Phuket as well:

  • Phuket Airport to Kamala Beach
  • Phuket Airport to Kata Beach
  • Phuket Airport to Karon Beach

How long is the transfer from Phuket Airport to Patong?

It takes 1 Hour from Phuket International Airport to Patong Beach. Depending on traffic on the island, it can take less than an hour sometimes.

Can you get a Grab from Phuket Airport to Patong?

Yes, you can get a Grab from Phuket Airport, but you must leave the airport and go to the main road because Grab drivers aren’t allowed to enter Phuket Airport.

How much is a taxi from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach?

Expect to pay 800 – 900 Baht for a taxi from Phuket Airport to Patong Beach, which is around $22 – $24 US.

Is there Uber in Phuket?

No, Uber doesn’t operate in Southeast Asia, but you can use Grab, which operates exactly as Uber does.

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