Bangkok has notoriously bad traffic jams. So if you are wondering how to get around Bangkok, there are plenty of public transport options to help you avoid the traffic.
Public transport in Bangkok includes the BTS Skytrain, MRT (underground/subway) and River Taxis. Taxis are also cheap and abundant, and for fun, you will still find tuk tuks around the city.
Read on for more details in tackling Bangkok’s public transport system.
The BTS Skytrain is the most efficient way to get around the inner city of Bangkok. The trains run from 6am-midnight daily, and with just two lines it is easy to navigate. Most bars, restaurants, attractions and hotels in Bangkok are within a short walk of a BTS Skytrain station. Many of the city’s shopping malls have direct access to the Skytrain via a skywalk.
You can buy single BTS Skytrain tickets or a 1-day pass if you are planning on using the Skytrain a lot in one day. A 3-day ‘Rabbit’ card is also available.
Similar to the Skytrain, but underground, the MRT will connect you with most places you want to go in the city. The MRT runs from 6am-midnight.
Bangkok River Taxis
Another great way to avoid the traffic jams of Bangkok is to take to the Chao Praya River, as many of the main tourist attractions in Bangkok are easily accessible from the river. Run by the Chao Praya Express Boat Company, there are various routes, indicated by the colour of flag they display.
The most popular boat with visitors to Bangkok is the Chao Praya Tourist Boat (blue flag). These are less crowded than local boats, and quicker as they only stop at select piers that are close to tourist attractions. The tourist boats run every 30 minutes from 9am to around 6pm. Tickets cost 50B for a single journey or 180B for a 1-day pass.
Thanks to the terrible traffic in Bangkok, taking a taxi should be a last resort when it comes to getting around. Bangkok taxi drivers do have a reputation for trying to rip off tourists, so if you do need to take one, make sure the driver switches on the meter.
An alternative to taxis in Bangkok is Grab, which is similar to Uber. Download the app to your phone and you can order a car at the touch of a button.
A ride in a tuk tuk is always fun, and every visitor to Thailand should take at least one ride in one. They are a good option for short distances. The kids will love it too! There are no meters in tuk tuks, so be sure to negotiate before you set off.
Getting from Bangkok Airport to City Centre
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport is around 30km from the city. You have the choice of train, taxi or public bus/van to get into the city from Bangkok airport. Bangkok Airport is renowned for having long queues at immigration. Click here to arrange a VIP fast-track service!
Airport Rail Link
The quickest and easiest way to get into the city is via the Airport Rail Link. Trains run every 15 minutes and take approximately 30 minutes into the city, calling at six stops along the way. Trains run from 6am – midnight. You can buy tokens from the machines in the train station. Note that commuters use these trains too, so they can get busy at peak times.
If you are taking the train from Bangkok airport to the city, you have two best choices:
- Connect with the MRT at Makkasan City interchange station.
- Connect to the BTS Skytrain or pick up a taxi at Phaya Thai station.
Taxi from Bangkok airport to city
If you have a lot of luggage, you may prefer to take a taxi into Bangkok city centre from the airport. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on traffic.
Taxis leave from level 1 of the arrivals terminal. English speaking officials man the taxi desk and will give you a piece of paper with your taxi driver registration details on it, for use in case of a complaint. Make sure the taxi driver uses the meter.
The taxi fare will cost anywhere from 250B-400B depending on final destination and traffic. An airport surcharge of 50B will be added to your fare, plus an expressway toll of 25B.
Alternatively, click here to arrange a private transfer to your hotel
Public Bus / Public Van
The Bangkok airport rail link is cheap, but you can also take the bus from Bangkok airport to the city. First, you need to take the airport shuttle bus to the Public Transport Centre and from here you can pick up a bus or van to the city.
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