Using trains to get around in congested Bangkok
The Bangkok Skytrain makes Bangkok travel so much easier. Getting around Bangkok can be an absolute pain, especially at peak hours when the roads are gridlocked and almost nothing moves … except the Bangkok sky train!
If you are staying around the city centre or Chao Phraya River area of Bangkok, there is no better way to get around Bangkok than on the Bangkok Skytrain network – the BTS and MRT lines which form part of the Bangkok Mass Transit System. It’s cheap, convenient, goes almost everywhere a visitor would want to go, and it’s very reliable. However you do need to have a good idea of where each of the main lines goes, or you can end up somewhere you didn’t expect.
- Silom Line (BTS Skytrain, Station Code “S”, dark green on map below) – runs from Wongwian Yai (S8), west of the Chao Phraya River, across the Saphan Taksin Bridge, then curves up through Chinatown into the central downtown area, ending up at National Stadium (S1), connecting with the MRT Line at Sala Daeng (S2) and the Sukhumvit BTS line at Siam (C).
- Sukhumvit Line (BTS Skytrain, Station Code “E”, light green on map below) – runs from On Nut (E9) in the south-east of Bangkok, up along Sukhumvit Road for most of its length, then swings west to meet the Silom Line at Siam Station (C) before swinging north through the business district to Mo Chit and the Chatuchak weekend market.
- MRT Line – runs from the inter-city Hualamphong railway station, east to Lumphini and the Suan Lum Night Bazaar, then swings north at the Convention Centre and runs all the way to Bang Sue (near Chatuchak Weekend Market), connecting to Silom Line at Silom Station and to the Sukhumvit Line at Sukhumvit Station.
- Airport Rail Link – A relatively new rail service starting at Phaya Thai BTS station and going all the way to Suvarnabhumi Airport, connecting also to the MRT Line at Makkasan station where an express service is available to the airport.
Check out our Map of attractions close to the Bangkok BTS Skytrain for information about where to stay, where to shop and what do do around the Bangkok Skytrain network!
BTS Skytrain map
Navigating the Bangkok Skytrain and connecting MRT Line and Airport Rail Link connection is very easy. The Bangkok BTS Skytrain map below shows all the stations in the network with the locations of connections between each of the lines. Check out the station information Google map at the bottom of this page for details about each station. Also check out our Shopping trips from the BTS Skytrain page, which details the best places to get off the Bangkok Skytrain for bargain and fashion shopping in Bangkok. One of the best is, of course, the Siam Paragon near Siam Station on the Silom Line!
All of the Bangkok Skytrain stations are numbered for your convenience and ease of travel. Stations S1 to S8 (going outward from Siam Central Station across the Chao Phraya River) are Silom Line stations. Stations E1 to E14 (also going outward from Siam Central) are Sukhumvit Line stations.
Click on the map itself to view a larger, printable version you can take with you on your travels around Bangkok.
The BTS Skytrain also has great connections to the Chao Phraya River Express Boat which is a fast way to go generally north and south through Bangkok, as well as a great way to see and get to some of the major tourist attractions like the Grand Palace and the major temples. It’s also a useful connection between the main backpacker accommodation around Khao San Road district and the BTS Skytrain station on the Chao Phraya River at Saphan Taksin (S6). See the BTS Skytrain Connections Map below for details.
Click on the map itself for a larger, printable version you can carry with you on your travels around Bangkok.
How to buy Bangkok BTS Skytrain and MRT Line tickets
For the BTS Skytrain, you need to buy tickets from automatic vending machines inside the stations (see map above), so it helps to know where you are going and also to have a good supply of 5B and 10B coins. But if you are stuck either for a destination or the right change, there are usually some helpful station staff nearby. They are used to dealing with foreign travellers and are fairly patient.
The most expensive ticket on the BTS Skytrain lines (Wongwian Yai to Bearing) will cost you 40 Bt (about US$1.30), so it’s very cheap to use. Each ticket machine has a map of the metro system so you can check your destination before committing to a ticket. Stored value cards are also available, but generally only used by daily commuters – check the brochures in any station.
The MRT (or Metro) is a little different and mainly used by locals. There is only one line and the tickets are different to the Skytrain. You cannot ride the MRT Line on your Bangkok BTS Skytrain ticket. You buy a plastic token for each ride and you wave it at the gate when you get on, then deposit it into the gate as you get off.
Check out the combined Bangkok BTS, MRT and Chao Phraya River Express transport map (above) for connections between the three major services (courtesy Transit Bangkok).
Also see our new page about Shopping trips from the BTS Skytrain, to find out where to get off the BTS Skytrain for each of the major shopping destinations in Bangkok, including walking directions and descriptions of each shopping destination.
Using the Bangkok Skytrain dynamic map
Once you’re on the Bangkok BTS Skytrain, look for the helpful dynamic BTS Skytrain route map above any of the entrance/exit doors in each carriage. These maps will tell you where you are in the network and which station you’re coming to next. Check out the video below to see how this works on a real train ride.
Find and book hotels near the BTS Skytrain
Map of attractions close to the BTS Skytrain, Bangkok for information about where to stay, where to shop and what do do around the BTS Skytrain network!
BTS Skytrain station map
The Google Map below shows the location of each station on all three lines. Click on the little train symbols for info about each station. It can be hard to see the coloured train lines on this small version, so click through to the full map for a better look.
View BTS Skytrain and MRT Metro in a larger map
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