Cheap flights to Pattaya will require at least two flights if you are flying internationally. U-Tapao Airport at Sattahip is the closest airport (about 32 kilometres away) providing Pattaya flights, with daily domestic flights from Phuket and Ko Samui. There is a convenient minibus transfer service to take you from the airport to Pattaya. If you are transferring from Bangkok, however, you will have to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is about 112 kilometres away as there are no domestic flights between Bangkok and U-Tapao. Onward travel from Suvarnabhumi Airport is generally through taxi, and takes about 90 minutes. When seeking cheap flights to Pattaya, you will need to consider both international flights to Thailand as well as onward Pattaya flights within your budget.
As an important tourist centre, Pattaya is very traveller friendly when it comes to transport. There are a handful of ways to get around the city, including the popular and cheap songthaews or local 'public passenger pick-up vehicles', a well-equipped public bus service, taxis, motorbike taxis, and rented cars and motorcycles. The local bus service is efficient and runs in a circular route around the city, crossing most major tourist spots. Motorbike taxis are a cheaper alternative to songthaews and buses, although they tend to be quite unsafe.
Motorcycles can be rented easily with minimal documentation all around Pattaya, making them a popular option among tourists. Renting cars is a costlier alternative and is suitable for larger groups. If you do decide to rent a vehicle in Pattaya, always bear in mind that the traffic density is much higher than you may be used to, and far more erratic. For longer journeys, specific bus routes or taxis are the safest and most cost-effective option.
Pattaya beach is probably the main attraction for most visitors, running nearly 3 kilometres along the centre of the city. The beach is a hub of activity and comes alive each night as tourists descend upon the many bars, music concerts and restaurants around the area. Jomtien beach, south of Pattaya, is another popular attraction that caters more to families than individuals. Aside from beaches, Pattaya also has many sacred places that are worth a visit, such as Ban Sukhawadee, Buddha Hill, Sanctuary of Truth, and Chaloemphrakiat Park. For families, Pattaya offers various theme parks, such as Mini Siam, and several animal attractions and zoos, such as Underwater World and the Pattaya Elephant Village. Pattaya even has a Ripley's Believe It Or Not! to round up your Thai adventure.
Pattaya has numerous malls and markets, selling everything from locally produced handicrafts to common commercial clothing. Beware when shopping for high-tech items, like cameras, as they can easily be advertised at 50 per cent more than you'll find in the West. The best markets in town include Thepprasit Market, which is open across the weekend, and Soi Buakhao Market, open on Tuesdays and Fridays.
For dining and nightlife, you won't be let down. Walking Street along Pattaya beach is a popular area for restaurants, bars and other nightspots where you'll find plenty of live music acts throughout the week. Some bars also organise live Muay Thai boxing matches which can be very exciting. Dining options are plentiful with restaurants serving a medley of cuisines from all over the world. Moreover, there are over 10 clubs littered throughout the town, particularly near the beach, where the nightlife really comes into its own.