The Guide to

Seoul

How to get to/from Incheon Airport

Incheon International Airport is the biggest South Korean airport which serves most of the international flights to Seoul.

The airport itself is very well-organized and is regularly at the top of the world’s best airports lists. Although it is quite far from Seoul, it’s pretty cheap to get to the city center. There are three main options: train, bus, and taxi.

  • CHEAPEST:AREX All Stops Train

    — KRW 4,150, 58 Minutes from Seoul Station

  • Fastest:AREX Express

    — KRW 8000, 43 Minutes from Seoul Station

  • Best:

    — both options are great; it comes down to saving more money or more time

To be honest, I would consider only two transport options from Incheon Airport. Train or Limousine Bus. Taxi is too expensive (KRW 50.000+) and I just can’t see any benefit there.

Train

AREX (Airport Railroad Express)

AREX is the fastest means of transportation connecting Incheon International Airport with Seoul Station. There are two types; AREX Express and AREX All Stop train. The time difference is only around 15 minutes, and both options are the fastest way how to get to the Seoul city center.

Where are the trains?

It takes a little bit of walking (5-10 minutes) to get to the train, but the way to trains is very well marked.

AREX route map (Credit: Airport Railroad Co., Ltd.)

Train tips:

I would recommend to find your accommodation around the AREX route. Hongik University, Gongdeok or Seoul Statio are all interesting areas with an easy connection to the city center for all main sights.

AREX Express

  • non-stop train between the Incheon Airport and Seoul station, 43 minutes
  • every 30 minutes
  • free Wi-Fi
  • price for adult is KRW 8,000

Where to buy tickets?

Information Centre, Travel Centre or Ticket machines at the airport or Seoul Station. Centres and ticket machines are very well marked and hard to miss.

AREX tickets (AREX tickets, Information Centre at Seoul Station)

AREX Express tips:

For discounts check AREX official website

Discounts (only KRW 6900 per ticket, note: I saw it for KRW 6800 at Seoul Station) for travelers flying with Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air and a few others.

AREX All Stop train

  • commuter train connected to Seoul metro lines with around ten stops between airport and Seoul Station, 58 minutes
  • every 6-7 minutes
  • it is a subway train (seating on the sides)
  • price for adult is KRW 4,150
Seoul Station
Seoul Station
Seoul Station

Where to buy tickets?

  • Prepaid Travel Card (T-Money, Cashbee or M-Pass)

    As AREX All Stop is a subway, you can pay with the Prepaid Travel card (T-money) which you use for the traveling around the Seoul.

    You can buy Prepaid Travel card at any convenient store around the Seoul or Airport Information center and top up at any metro station or at the airport.

  • Single Journey Ticket

    You can purchase a Single Journey Ticket at the ticketing machines. It will require a deposit of KRW 500 which you will get back when you return the card into the machine.

    I have to admit that I never used this option as I bought T-Money card from the convenient store. Now and then they release T-Money cards with new designs, so it is also an excellent souvenir. Anyway, after visiting Seoul, you will want to come back again so keeping the travel card could be useful.

AREX All Stop tickets tips:

All the ticketing machines are also in English. I had troubles to top up my travel card with credit/debit cards around the city (I believe they take only cash at the metro stations). However, at the airport, ticket machines take credit/debit cards too (tested).

Train tips:

I would recommend to find your accommodation around the AREX route. Hongik University, Gongdeok or Seoul Station are all interesting areas with an easy connection to the city center for all main sights.

Limousine Bus

Limousine buses are a great option if you travel to some places which are not close to the AREX route and you would have to change subway lines one or multiple times. Routes of limousine buses connect almost all parts of Seoul.

Limousine Bus - Inside the Bus (Limousine Bus - Inside the Bus)
  • every 10-30 minutes (each route is different)
  • buses have air condition, amazingly comfortable seats, and the driver will help you with your luggage
  • price is between KRW 10,000 - 15,000

The downside of using the bus is that it can get stuck in the traffic. However, it depends on the area you are traveling to. Sitting two hours in the comfortable seat of limousine bus can be still better than traveling two hours in the subway during the rush hour.

Where to buy the ticket?

There is ticketing office in the arrivals hall. It is easy to find, and they have a dedicated window for foreigners where you can get all the information in English. The bus stops are right outside of the arrival hall, on the same floor.

Limousine Bus Ticket Office (Limousine Bus Ticket Office)

Limousine bus tips:

All the announcements are in the English. However, if you are not sure, I would recommend asking some young Koreans traveling in the same bus for help. They speak English and will gladly help you.

More information