Bangkok public transport provides a local traveling experience while exploring Bangkok in a cheaper and funnier way than just taking Bangkok taxi that is also not expensive and very easy to find in the city. You can find various means of public transportation in Bangkok, from city trains to canal boats and river ferries.
Public Transportation in Bangkok
Public transportation in Bangkok consists of several city train systems (metro, skytrains, commuter train), different type of buses, local means of transportation called songthaew, regular canal boats and river ferries.
Bangkok City Trains
Currently 6 city train systems with 9 city train lines are used for transportation Bangkok:
Bangkok BTS SkyTrain - elevated train system consisting of Light Green Line (Sukhumvit Line) and Dark Green Line (Silom Line)
Bangkok MRT Metro - underground train system consisting of MRT Blue Line and MRT Purple Line
SRT Red Line - commuter train system consisting of Dark Red Line (Northern Line) and Light Red Line (Western Line)
MRT Yellow Line - elevated monorail train line in eastern Bangkok
Gold Line - elevated monorail train line to ICONSIAM shopping mall
More city train lines will be added to Bangkok public transport system as few more are currently under construction while some of already opened lines will be extended further.
City train systems are a convenient way to travel around Bangkok as these lines are well connected between themselves, making them very useful if you want to escape busy traffic and save some money on traveling around Thai capital.
Bangkok mass transit systems are reliable and easy to use. As Bangkok city trains do not have a unified ticketing system, getting a Rabbit Card can simplify things a bit as you can use it for BTS SkyTrain, MRT Yellow Line SkyTrain and Gold Line SkyTrain. Book Rabbit Card online and conveniently pick it up at the airport: Rabbit Card online.
Bangkok BTS SkyTrain
BTS Bangkok is one of the most convenient ways to travel around Bangkok as it helps to escape chaotic and often jammed traffic in Thailand’s capital. This elevated train system links central part of the city with other important areas of the city making this kind of Bangkok public transport very useful for exploring the city.
There are currently two BTS SkyTrain lines (Sukhumvit Line and Silom Line) with 60 stations at the moment but Bangkok BTS network is rapidly expanding.
For a detailed guide on using the skytrain in Thailand's capital check: BTS Bangkok.
Bangkok MRT Metro
MRT Bangkok (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) is the underground train and a very important part of Bangkok public transport system. Conveniently connected with other mass transit systems, MRT provides a convenient way for traveling around Bangkok as this metro system helps to escape busy traffic in Thailand’s capital. Bangkok metro links the city center with other important areas of the metropolis making it very useful for exploring Bangkok.
There are two MRT lines (Blue Line and Purple Line) with 54 stations around Bangkok at the moment as Bangkok metro was recently expanded.
For a detailed guide on using Bangkok metro check: MRT Bangkok.
Airport Rail Link
Airport Rail Link is Bangkok Mass Transit System, connecting the main airport of the city (Suvarnabhumi Airport) with the city. Taking Airport Rail Link is the cheapest and easiest way to get to the city centre from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Airport Rail Link line covers a distance of 28 km and consists of 8 stations. The journey from the airport to the last station on the route takes less than 30 minutes.
For a detailed guide on using the airport train check: Bangkok Airport Rail Link.
Bangkok SRT Red Line Commuter Train
Bangkok SRT Red Line is a commuter train system, connecting the northern and western suburban areas of the metropolis with the main railway station of Bangkok. With the opening of SRT Red Line, it is now also possible to take a city train from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to Bangkok city.
Bangkok SRT Red Line consists of 2 lines (Northern / Dark Red Line and Western / Light Red Line) with 13 stations but further extension of the line is under way so more stations will be added in the near future to this means of Bangkok public transport.
For a detailed guide on using the commuter train system check: Bangkok SRT Red Line
Bangkok MRT Yellow Line SkyTrain
Bangkok MRT Yellow Line is an elevated monorail train system connecting Lat Phrao and Samrong. The newly opened Yellow Line expanded the network of Bangkok public transportation by connecting the eastern part of the city and making it much easier reachable from different areas of Thailand capital city. MRT Yellow Line consists of 23 stations.
Bangkok Gold Line
Bangkok Gold Line is an elevated monorail train system offering convenient connection between BTS SkyTrain Silom Line and ICONSIAM shopping mall. The newly opened Gold Line train system and wide network of BTS SkyTrain make reaching this modern landmark in Bangkok easy. Bangkok Gold Line is only 1.8 km long and consists of 3 stations.
Bangkok City Train Connections
Airport Rail Link is connected with other Bangkok city train systems in the following stations:
- ARL Makkasan Station - MRT Phetchaburi Station
- ARL Phaya Thai Station - BTS Phaya Thai Station
- ARL Hua Mak Station - MRT Yellow Line Hua Mak Station
- BTS Asok Station - MRT Sukhumvit Station
- BTS Sala Daeng Station - MRT Silom Station
- BTS Mo Chit Station - MRT Chatuchak Park Station
- BTS Ha Yaek Lat Phrao Station - MRT Phahon Yothin Station
- BTS Bang Wa Station - MRT Bang Wa Station
Bangkok City Train Operating Hours
All Bangkok city train systems operate daily from 06:00 until midnight. Airport Rail Link and SRT Red Line recently started to open their service earlier and Airport Rail Link now starts operating from 05:30 while SRT Red Line has scheduled their departures even from as early as 05:00.
Information about departure times of the first and the last train from the specific station is provided in each station of Bangkok public transport.
Even if the network of city trains in Bangkok is quite large and still expanding, it won’t let you reach all the desired destinations. At this point another important means of Bangkok public transport – Bangkok Bus – becomes handy and lifts your local traveling experience to another level.
Bangkok bus network can take you to any part of the city and its suburbs. The size of the city and a huge number of Bangkok bus routes shouldn’t scare you off of using this bus service in Thailand capital.
More distant areas or streets not well-covered by Bangkok bus routes can usually be reached by songtaew, a local means of public transportation in Bangkok that are actually pickup cars with the roof and two benches at the back.
You can always be sure that you will find a way to reach your desired destination, just look around.
Bangkok Water Transport
Bangkok water transport still plays an important role in the system of Bangkok public transport. As a tourist, you can charter a boat and explore Bangkok’s canals or join one of Bangkok river cruises on the mighty Chao Phraya River. However, the most fun way of exploring the waterways of Thai capital is joining locals on public transportation.
Chao Phraya Express Boat
Bangkok river boats also known as Chao Phraya Express Boat operate along the Chao Phraya River and together with cross river ferries connect both banks of the river in Thai capital. Chao Phraya Express Boat service is a very useful means of Bangkok public transport not only for commuting in central part of the city but for sightseeing too as a big part of Bangkok top attractions can be found by the river.
Khlong Saen Saeb Boat
Khlong Saen Saeb Boat is one of Bangkok public transport services which is operating along the canal named “Khlong Saen Saeb”. The route is served by 100 boats with 40-50 seats each, running from the west to the east through Bangkok and back. The route is over 18 kilometers long and connects many shopping spots and attractions such as Central World, Pratunam, Nana, and MBK.
Bangkok Cross River Ferries
Bangkok cross river ferries are available at many piers along the river in central Bangkok for crossing to the opposite bank of Chao Phraya River. These river crossing ferries can be very useful if you’re planning to visit Bangkok attractions on the opposite side of Chao Phraya River such as Wat Arun.
Bangkok Public Transport Map 2023
As public transportation in Bangkok is really complex, the best way for not getting lost in the city is using Google Maps as stops of different means of Bangkok public transport are provided there and you can plan your route conveniently. However, don't rely too much on the journey timing provided.
To use online maps and stay connected since the start of your trip, get a discounted SIM card with internet plan on arrival at the airport (to save money, pre-book Thai SIM card online).
If you are only planning to use city trains, you can find Bangkok public transport map (like the one below) at the station and plan your transfers accordingly.
However, always pay attention to the legend as some of the lines displayed (like the Pink Line in this Bangkok public transport map 2023) might still be under construction. However, all the city train lines described in the article above are open and fully operating.
Bangkok Public Transport Tickets
Bangkok public transport tickets can be purchased at the place and in most cases you need to pay for the ticket in cash.
Bangkok mass transit systems are reliable and easy to use. The only downside of them is the lack of a single ticketing system. While you can use the same ticket on different lines of the same system (like Blue and Purple lines of MRT), when transferring between these 6 systems you need to get a new ticket.
To simplify things a bit, you can purchase a Rabbit Card that can be topped up and used for BTS SkyTrain, MRT Yellow Line SkyTrain and Gold Line SkyTrain. Rabbit Card can be bought at any Station Ticket Office on these 3 city train systems. Rabbit Card can also be conveniently picked up at the airport by booking online here: Rabbit Card online.
If you are mainly planning to use BTS SkyTrain and do it intensively, get BTS SkyTrain One-Day Pass that will allow you to use both BTS SkyTrain lines (Light Green and Dark Green lines) all day long for a fixed price. For saving even more, get your discounted ticket online here: BTS One Day Pass
It is also possible to get a one day pass for the blue line Chao Phraya Express Boat that lets you travel between various Bangkok attractions in a very special way. You can get this tickets either at the pier or by booking online. Cheaper tickets can be purchased online here: Chao Phraya Tourist Boat tickets.
Where to Stay in Bangkok?
What is the best area to stay in Bangkok? You should choose one of the areas well connected with public transportation as traveling around the city can be time consuming. Our recommendations for choosing the right area to stay in Bangkok can be found here: Bangkok Best Areas.
Check our Frequently Asked Questions about public transportation in Bangkok and ask your own question if it's not answered there yet.