Incheon to Seoul
Go from Incheon to Seoul with no sweat.
If you will enter South Korea from Incheon International Airport and will go straight to downtown Seoul, you can conveniently choose between taking the train, bus, or taxi.
For airport trains, you can either take the All-Stop or the KTX (express).
For buses in Korea, you can either ride the Standard, Deluxe, or the KAL Limousine.
Make sure to download apps such as KakaoMetro, KakaoBus, and Subway Korea to help you find your way.
To save money, you can pay for your subway, taxi, and bus fares using a T-Money Card.
Don't like to bring your luggage with you as you stroll? Rent a subway locker.
For your convenience, booking links are found below.
Incheon to Seoul
There are a lot of ways to get there is what most people say. You will find this to be true when you're already in South Korea. Lets check out the variety of transportation options available for you:
TRAINS by AREX (Airport Railroad Express)
There are two types of trains that can take you to Seoul Station: the KTX (Korea Train Express) and the All-Stop Train. If your priority is to get to the city proper via the quickest way possible, take the KTX. If your priority is to spend less money, then you can ride the All-Stop.
The KTX runs up to 305 kph and can take you to Seoul in as fast as 43 minutes. It's a popular choice among tourists since the trips are nonstop and the seats are more comfortable. It also offers premium amenities, such as vending machines, airplane-style restrooms, and entertainment system. Check out the photos below to see how the interior of the KTX compares with that of the All-Stop:
Image credit: AREX Korea
If you prefer to save money and are not really in a hurry, then you can take the All-Stop train. The trip runs for 53 minutes (not bad!) and offers you the experience of commuting like most locals do. Choosing the all-stop would also save you more than ₱200 or $3.8, as shown in the fare table below:
All prices subject to change without prior notice.
If you prefer taking the bus to see the sights that you might otherwise miss when you ride the train, you can purchase your tickets at the bus booths located outside Gates 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 or 9C of Incheon Airport. There are a couple of options to choose from:
Deluxe Bus. This is popular among tourists since it makes fewer stops and has more comfortable seats.
Standard Bus. Take this if you prefer to save money, don't mind being in a more crowded bus, and a longer travel time.
The most common tourist bus routes are as follows (information taken from Incheon International Airport):
1. 6001 (Dongdaemun Fashion Town)
2. 6003 (Guro/Seoul National University)
3. 6005 (Insadong)
4. 6015 (Mapo/Myeongdong)
5. 6020 (Banpo/Gangnam Station)
6. 6030 (Hannam/Itaewon)
7. 6702 (Namsan/Dongdaemun)
If you're not sure which bus to take, you can easily find out by using Google Maps. More information in the apps section below.
For an unbeatable bus experience, you can also ride the KAL Limousine Bus for only ₱803 ($15). The KAL Limousine offers premium bus seats, complimentary WiFi, and a bottle of water for refreshment, which are all the things you must have to ride in style! More importantly, you also get the convenience of being dropped off in major hotels, attractions, and subway stations. Click here to see the routes and drop-off points available.
Image credit: Klook
If you don't feel like sharing your ride, you can always take a taxi. Simply proceed to the designated booths outside of the Arrivals Hall to find one:
Standard Taxi. This is your average cab. Usually orange or silver. It's the cheapest option, but there is a 20% surcharge that applies for late-night trips (12mn to 4am).
Deluxe Taxi. If you want to have more legroom, go for the deluxe. It usually comes in black with a yellow sign on top. No late-night surcharge applies.
Jumbo Taxi. This type is ideal for large groups (6-10 people). Card payment is available. There is no applicable late-night surcharge.
International Taxi. It's exactly like your Standard Taxi, except the driver can speak in other languages, i.e. Chinese and Japanese.
UPDATE: Starting February 16, 2019 at 4am, taxis in Seoul will have a base fare of ₩3,800 (around ₱180 or $3.40).
Getting Around Seoul
Once you've settled in your hotel room or AirBNB, you'll soon be going around. Here are some more fare information to help you with your budgeting:
The subway basic fare applies to travel distance of 10 km or less. You will be charged an additional ₩100 (around ₱5 or $0.09) for every 5 km traveled within a distance of 10-50 km, and ₩100 for every 8 km traveled with a distance of over 50 km.
Alternatively, you can also take the bus. Here are the rates:
Essential South Korea Transportation Apps
Download these apps to know how best you can go from one point to another:
KakaoMetro's maps contain nearby landmarks for easier navigation.
This app can tell you which carriage you should take to match your exit point. (For example, if you want to head out of your final station via Exit 2, the app can tell you which carriage to board so that you'll be conveniently near Exit 2).
It will also tell you the fastest routes to take.
This train app has vector-based maps that render clear images at any zoom level.
To use, key in your destination and it will find the best subway route from your current location.
As shown in the screenshot above, you'll also be able to get an estimate of your travel time and fare cost.
KakaoBus offers real-time bus arrival information. It can also keep you updated with departure and arrival alarms.
As an alternative, you can also use the web-based Google Maps, if you don't want to download the app.
OPTION 1: AREX KTX One-way Ticket (Express)
PRICE: ₱398 or $7.5, if not discounted!
Can be used in one of the following routes:
Seoul Station to Incheon Airport (in approx. 43 minutes!)
Incheon Airport to Seoul Station (in approx. 43 minutes!)
Additional deposit of ₩500 (around ₱24 or $0.5) may be charged for one-way tickets. You may get your refund from the machine found near the turnstiles.
Extra charges apply if used in any other metro stations.
OPTION 2: KAL Limousine Bus One-way Ticket
PRICE: ₱812 or $15.6, if not discounted!
One-way or return transfer between Seoul Incheon Airport and Seoul City Center (Drop-off and pick-up point listings will be found at the booking website below.)
Professional coach driver
WiFi on board
Free water (self-service)
If you don't have a Klook account yet, you're in luck! You can get a discount if you sign up and book using my referral link. Click the button below to create an account!
Don't let the subway map intimidate you. Riding the metro won't be as complicated as it looks.
In major stations like Seoul, there are information or help desks to provide you assistance.
If you're already in the airport, just follow the signs leading to the Airport Railroad. It will lead you to the All-Stop and KTX boarding areas.
If you're planning to take the AREX All-Stop Train, you can easily purchase a ticket at the booths or machines found at the station.
If you're buying a single-journey ticket, you may get a refund of ₩500 after your trip. Simply find the nearby 'Deposit Refund' machine after you pass through the turnstile.
Pay for your subway, taxi, and bus fares using T-Money instead of cash. You'll save some money if you do. Click here if you haven't read our T-Money guide.
Thinking of using Uber in South Korea? While the app is perfectly accessible, you may find the fares unreasonably higher.
No, lockers can't take you to any destination (unless you're 444 from the Korean drama Black), but if you'd need a place to store your luggage, you can do so by renting one. Most tourists rent one out when they arrive (prior their hotel/AirBnB check-in) or before they depart (after hotel check-out; before the flight).
Here's how the lockers would look like:
The basic storage time would be 2-4 hours. This would cost you roughly around ₩2,000 (around ₱95 or $1.8) for the small lockers and ₩4,000 (around ₱190 or $3.6) for the large ones. Keep in mind that since many subway lockers/machines do not accept cash, you must have your T-Money or credit card with you.
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