Seoul Transport

Airport Transport

  • AREX – Very convenient and comfortable, trains run every 20 minutes or so to Seoul station. The journey lasts about half-hour. Tickets are less than $10 per person. AREX trains are different to the regular subway networks. If you’re changing trains, you will have to get out of the AREX barriers, buy another ticket or travel card, then enter the regular subway barriers.
  • Bus – a number of direct buses travel into the city. The journey lasts 45 minutes to over an hour. Beware of peak hour traffic!
  • Taxi or Uber – see below for further tips. Trips cost $45-60.

Traveller tip: AREX is fantastic. But with a lot of luggage, recommend bus / taxi / Uber or AREX then taxi from Seoul station. 

Useful links:
Official Korea Site – how to use AREX

Subway

Recommended for: Cost savers, adventurers, people who don’t mind stairs, little luggage/ shopping.

As with subways for any large city, be prepared for full trains with no seating available, stair climbing, multi-level train interchanges and multiple Exits. Trains come regularly and run from 5:30am to midnight. We were gungho enough to take the trains with a pram and full luggage from the airport as there was only one train change at Seoul Station. This was a mistake. We had to lug 5 pieces of luggage and a pram up and down a couple of flights of stairs. On reaching the station closest to our Airbnb, we took the wrong Exit – more stair workout >_<. Do get a travel card called “T-money”, it will help save money. Cards can be bought and charged up at 7-11 and convenience stores. We purchased ours from one of these stores at the airport.

Traveller tip: Download a Subway app such as “Subway Korea” by Malang Studio. Take note of which numbered Exit for your destination. Trust me – This will save you a lot of time and energy!

Service and ease: ***
Wait times: *****
Cost: $

IMG_2477
No buskers on the trains here, just sales men selling cool gadgets.

Useful links:
Official Korea Site – T-Money info

Uber

Recommended for: Parents with prams, groups of travellers, crazy shoppers, longer journeys, older people and transport after midnight.

If you have internet access and don’t mind a little extra cash, Uber is the way to go. I was impressed with the English most Uber drivers spoke!!! Huge difference to the majority of Korean taxi drivers who don’t speak much English at all :(! The couple of Uber trips we took were not too badly priced estimated $10-$20 for trips between 10 – 20 mins around the city. Uber is definitely worthwhile for groups of travellers, where you don’t have to worry about multiple train interchanges. As with taxis, beware of Korean peak hour traffic.

Traveller tip: Try to find a non-congested spot with some sort of landmark (e.g. bus stop, etc) before ordering an Uber.

Service and ease: *****
Wait times: ****
Cost: $$$$

Taxi

Recommended for: Parents with prams, groups of travellers, crazy shoppers, longer journeys, older people and for those that speak at least a little Korean; and transport after midnight.

Taxis are bountiful around Seoul. After hailing down cab after cab, trying to go a mere 10 minutes down the street (because it was late and dark and we had a pram); we realized that 1) most taxi drivers don’t speak English 2) the street was one way and our destination was the other direction which was why most taxi drivers refused us. Other than our sad initial experience, we took a few more taxi trips but always made sure we googled the address in Korean to show to the driver. Taxis work out cheaper than Uber.

Traveller tip: Have your destination address written in Korean (Google translate works well) for the taxi driver!!

Service and ease: ***
Wait times: ****
Cost: $$$

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