Getting to your accommodation can be the most daunting task when you arrive in Korea. Here, I have some great tips to help you reach your hotel or Airbnb quickly and easily.
There are 3 ways to get to downtown Seoul:
- Train: Express or All-Stop
- Limousine Bus
Choose between Express and All-Stop trains.
The Express train initiates its journey from Incheon International Airport Terminal 2, makes a stop at Terminal 1 to pick up passengers, and then proceeds directly to Seoul Station without any additional stops. While Seoul Station is the last stop, passengers can continue their journey using the subway, provided they have a T-money card.
Reasons to take the Express train:
- It is the fastest way to reach Seoul Station, which is the center of Seoul. The travel time is 43 minutes from Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 and 51 minutes from Terminal 2.
- You can reserve and secure a seat without any worries.
- The seats are very comfortable and provide extra space for your luggage.
- Additional benefits include cabin crew service, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary bottled water (upon request).
Reasons not to take the Express train:
- There are only one or two runs per hour.
- The first All-Stop train departs at 5:15 am, and the last train departs at 10:40 pm from Incheon International Airport Terminal 2.
- If you arrive at the airport after 10:40 pm, you will need to consider other means of public transportation such as the All-Stop train or a taxi. The last airport limousine bus also stops running around 10:30 pm.
- Refer to the following table for more details.
- Adult: KRW 9,500 (Booking online gives you a KRW 500 discount)
- Child: KRW 7,500 (Ages 6-12)
Click the following link to purchase or reserve your ticket online: https://bit.ly/3WM6F2K
How to get the ticket for the Express train:
- You can easily obtain the ticket at the transportation center, which is connected to the airport, whether you are at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
- There is a kiosk where you can purchase the ticket, or you can buy it from the staff. Alternatively, you can make a reservation online by the provided link above.
Ticketing and Boarding Location:
Whether you are at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, go to the Express Train Information Center on the 1BF of the Incheon Int’l Transportation Center.
All Stop Train:
The All-Stop train runs along the airport line and is connected to the Seoul Metro lines, providing transportation between Incheon International Airport, Seoul, and other surrounding areas. It stops at each station along the way until it reaches Seoul Station. The travel time from Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 to Seoul Station is 59 minutes, while it takes additional 6 minutes from Incheon International Airport Terminal 2.
Compared to other trains, the All-Stop train has slightly higher fares: 4,750 KRW from Terminal 2 and 4,150 KRW from Terminal 1.
*Korean subway system explained: the base fare is 1,250 won, and the cash fare is 1,350 won. When using a single journey ticket, a card deposit of 500 won is required, and upon disembarking, if you insert the card into the deposit refund machine, you can receive a refund of 500 won. Additional charges of 100 won per 5 kilometers apply when the distance exceeds 10 kilometers. The total fare is calculated as follows: pay the base fare of 1,250 won upon boarding, and additional fare based on the distance upon disembarking.
How to Purchase a T-money Card or Single Journey Ticket for the All-Stop Train
In order to use public transportation in Korea, you will need either a T-money card (Cash bee card is the same thing) or a single journey ticket, unless you want to get arrested. :/
- Once you go through customs and exit the door, you will find yourself on the 1st floor. On the same floor, there are several convenient stores like CU where you can purchase a T-money card and top it up. When buying the card, you can ask the clerk to top up the card with any desired amount. I recommend loading at least 10,000 won, which is equivalent to €7.
- If you go to the transit center, buying a T-money card and topping it up is convenient as the two locations are next to each other. The standard T-money card usually costs 4,000 won, while a specially designed card with character prints may cost 5,000 won.
- Alternatively, you can obtain a single journey ticket from the ticket device at the transit center connected to Terminal 1 or 2. However, I don’t recommend this option as it can be inconvenient. Every time you ride the subway, you will need to purchase a new ticket along with a 500 won deposit, which can be refunded at the kiosk in the subway station.
Whether you are at Terminal 1 or 2, proceed to the Express Train Information Center on the 1BF of Incheon Int’l Transportation Center (same as the location for the non-stop train).
What should you do if you lose your belongings on the Incheon Airport line?
Contact the Airport Railroad at 1599-7788.
2. 🚌Limousine Bus
- You can reach Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, or Incheon directly without transferring from the airport line, allowing you to enjoy the journey and the view outside.
- This can be the most convenient option for you as you won’t have to carry your heavy bags like you would when using the train. The bus driver and staff will assist you in loading your luggage onto the bus. Once you disembark, you can easily walk to your accommodation if it’s within walking distance or take a taxi. This combination will make your journey much more convenient.
Kimchiman’s Insider Tip:
1. Enter your address on Kakao Map.
2. Plan your route to your accommodation and consider different transportation combinations, such as bus + walking or bus + taxi.
3. Visit the website https://bit.ly/43GvLT3, enter your bus number, and check the schedule, route information, as well as the exact time of departure, boarding location, and destination.
4. Go to an electronic kiosk or a regular ticket office to purchase your ticket.
5. Board the bus, use Wi-Fi or mobile data to track your route on Kakao Map, and determine when to get off.
⛔️Don’t suffer. Avoid booking airport limousine bus tickets through the website https://intercitybuse.tmoney.co.kr/main.do or the “t-money go” app from the same company, as they are unreliable and problematic.
17,000 – 18,000 KRW depending on the destination or bus number.
Bus Ticket Office Locations:
- There are two indoor ticket offices in the Arrival Hall on Floor 1. One, ideally situated for Seoul-bound buses, is located between exits 4 and 5. The other office can be found between exits 8 and 9.
- Outdoor ticket offices can be found next to exits 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, and 9C.
- Electronic kiosks are conveniently situated at multiple indoor locations, as well as near the aforementioned exits both inside and outside.
- Upon landing, proceed from Floor 1 to Basement Level 1 (B1).
- Electronic kiosks are positioned next to escalators.
- Tickets can be purchased from staff at the ticket offices located where you board the bus for Gyeonggi-do or other regions. (Please refer to the map below for clarity.)Bus Ticket Office Locations:
What should you do if you lose your belongings on the Airport Limousine bus?
- For Seoul-bound buses: Contact the Dsasan Call Center at 02-120.
- For Gyeonggi-bound buses: Reach out to the Gyeonggi Call Center at 031-120.
- For buses heading to other cities: Get in touch with the local public transportation department or the bus companies in each respective city.
Two types of taxis are available: sedans and call-vans, each with a different price range. Depending on the size of your luggage, a sedan can accommodate up to three passengers, whereas a call-van can hold up to five. On average, a trip to Seoul Station costs 55,000 KRW for a sedan and 80,000 KRW for a call-van. To avoid fraudulent practices from unauthorized companies posing as taxis and charging unfair rates, please proceed to the designated taxi stops.
(Incheon Airport – Seoul distance fare applies)
Fare and Stop
- Timed Fare Increase: Incheon International Airport is a coalition business area for taxis operating in Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi (restricted to Bucheon, Gwangmyeong, Gimpo, Goyang). Passengers traveling to the six cities (Seoul, Incheon, Goyang, Gwangmyeong, Gimpo, Bucheon) will not be charged a timed fare. However, those traveling to other destinations will be subject to a timed fare, with a 20% increase for Seoul and Gyeonggi (Bucheon, Gwangmyeong, Gimpo, Goyang), and a 30% increase for Incheon. (For example: A timed fare will apply if traveling from Incheon Airport to Paju.)
- Late-night Surcharge: A late-night surcharge of approximately 20% to 40% is applicable when using a taxi between 24:00 and 04:00.
If you have any questions about getting to your Airbnb or hotel and experiencing Seoul authentically and immersively, feel free to reach out to me via WhatsApp at +82-10-2714-8757 or KakaoTalk (ID: kimchimaninseoul).