Seoul is a popular tourist destination with loads of good food and shopping districts. This is a concise guide on how to get to downtown Seoul. Most international flights land at Incheon International Airport (ICN). From the airport, there are four ways to get to downtown Seoul.
1. Express Train
The fastest way to get to downtown Seoul is via the Express Train. The above picture shows the train schedule for both the Express Train and the All Stop Train.
After alighting, follow the yellow colour signs to the Airport Transportation Center on Basement Level 1. You will see a large orange signboard with the words “Airport Express” at the Express train boarding area.
Purchase the train tickets at the ticket vending machines. The prices are 8,000 KRW for adults and 6,900 KRW for children. A discounted price of 6,900 KRW for adults is available if you present flight tickets from Jeju Air, Korean Air, or Asiana Airlines.
The Express train will take you directly to Seoul Station (which is just two stops away from Myeongdong metro station). Travelling time is 43 minutes.
Take note that the last train departs at 9.50pm.
2. All Stop Train
We arrived at about 10.30pm, and the Express train was no longer available. Therefore, we decided to take the All Stop Train instead.
After alighting, we followed the yellow colour signs to the Airport Transportation Center on Basement Level 1. The All Stop Train boarding area is directly opposite the Express Train boarding area. It has a large blue signboard.
There are three types of tickets:
A. T-Money: This is a stored value card that can be used for the metro, public buses, taxis and convenience stores. After you’re done with the card, the balance can be refunded with a 500 KRW service charge. It can be purchased at convenience stores inside the airport.
B. M-Pass: Also known as a Metropolitan Pass. The card offers 20 bus and metro rides a day for the duration of the pass. The durations are one-day, two-day, three-day, five-day and seven-day. Like the T-money card, it can also be used on taxis, public buses and convenience stores. The remaining balance can be refunded with a 500 KRW service charge. It can be purchased at the Seoul Tourist Information Centers in front of Gates 5 and 10 on Level One of the airport.
C. Single Journey: This is a one-time-use card that can only be used for the metro. It can be purchased at the vending machines near the All Stop Train gantries.
We purchased the single journey card as we were still undecided on whether to purchase the T-money or M-Pass card. The cost was 4,250 KRW per person.
Like the Express train, the All Stop Train also goes to Seoul Station, but it stops at ten stations along the way. We found the ride to be quite comfortable and hassle-free. And it was almost twice cheaper than the Express train. Traveling time is around 56 minutes.
The last train departs at 11.57pm (refer to train schedule in the picture above).
3. Airport Bus
After alighting, you can purchase your bus tickets at the various booths just outside the arrival area on the first floor of the airport.
Your boarding time and location will be indicated on the ticket.
There are two types of airport buses: Deluxe (15,000 KRW) and Standard (10,000KRW). Deluxe buses are faster and have comfortable spacious seats. Standard buses are slower and usually more crowded.
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This is the most expensive method, and is not recommended unless you have any special reasons. The cost can go up to 100,000 KRW!
If you HAVE to take a taxi, do not use the services of random taxi drivers standing around in the arrival area. After alighting, exit the airport through any gate between Gates 4 and 8, and go the taxi stands across the street.
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This article is part of our completely free and fantastic Ultimate Seoul Travel Guide. Why spend days researching when all your holiday information is simply a click away? 🙂