Friday, June 22, 2012

Travelling from Incheon Airport to Seoul

You have touched down! Getting down from the airplane, taking your luggage from the carousel, showing your passport to the immigration officer and are finally out of that gate! Now how to get to Seoul?

There are three options on getting to Seoul:

1. Using AREX

AREX is a railway line that connects Incheon Airport to Seoul. It operates ten stations out of which six are connected to the subway lines.


There are two types of trains that AREX operate, trains that stop at every station (commuter trains) and express trains that go directly to Seoul Station. The express trains cost more than the normal one.

  • Commuter AREX: Incheon - Seoul Station: 3,850 KRW / 53 minutes
  • Express AREX: Incheon - Seoul Station: 13,800 KRW / 43 minutes

It is extremely cheap to go by AREX especially if you take the commuter AREX. However this option is only suitable if you are not carrying heavy luggage with you. It is hard to find elevator for exits in subway stations so you will have to be prepared to carry your luggage on escalators and stairs. It is the perfect choice however to backpackers who would like to save money (and spend it somewhere else).

To take AREX, make your way to the Transportation Center on B1 Floor. There are signs to guide you towards this building. Then you should buy ticket to the station that is closest to your booked accommodation. Please take note of the transfer station(s) that you may have to go through to get to your intended station.

Journey from Airport - Myeongdong, transfer at Seoul Station
2. Using Airport Limousine Bus

This is a more comfortable option compared to taking AREX but is still an affordable one. Airport bus goes to various parts of Seoul. There are two types of buses, the standard limousine bus that goes to a lot more stations and deluxe bus that makes its stops mostly at major hotels in Seoul and have more spacious seats.

  • Standard Limousine Bus: Incheon - Myeongdong (Sejong Hotel): 10,000 KRW
  • Deluxe Limousine Bus: Incheon - Myeongdong (Sejong Hotel): 14,000 KRW

If you are carrying heavy luggage this is a good option for you. You can put your luggage in the luggage compartment and they will stick a number to the bag and give a stub to you or you can take it with you on the bus. Ticket can be bought either at their ticketing counter or from the bus' driver when boarding the bus.

Platform 3B-6B and 10A-13A for buses to Seoul

Before boarding you have to find out which airport bus goes nearest to your accommodation. This information can be gotten from their official site here.

Standard Limousine Bus to Myeongdong: 6015
Route information for bus: 6015. Clicking the circles will show the map of where the bus stops are located
3. Using Taxi

If you'd rather have someone else find your accommodation for you, send you straight to the doorstep and just want to relax and enjoy the scenery of Seoul after the long flight, you can opt to take a taxi.

A. Hail the taxi

Platform 6C for taxis to Seoul

You can go to the taxi platform (6C for Seoul Taxi) at the airport and take a taxi there. The basic rate for normal taxi is 2,400 KRW for the first 2km and it increases by 100 KRW per 144 meters. You are also expected to pay for the toll fare of around 7,400 KRW. The estimated time and fare for areas in Seoul taken from Incheon International Airport Website is as below:

source: here
However if there is traffic jam the fare can be higher. Also make sure that you take the normal taxi (white/silver or orange) and not the deluxe taxi (black) because the rates are different. Take note too that the meter is running when the journey starts.

normal taxis. source:

B. Book the taxi

Instead of hailing for taxi at the airport taxi platform, you can also book for your taxi beforehand. The driver will then wait for you in front of the arrival hall with your name sign.

This is a service provided by "International Taxi" and it charges a flat-rate for journey to Seoul according to locations.

Myeongdong is B Zone: 65,000 KRW
Booking for International Taxi can be done through their website here. Their drivers mostly speak passable English so you can carry conversation with them throughout the long journey to Seoul.

While taxi is the most expensive option out of the three, it can be feasible if you are in a large group so you can split the fare. If you are afraid of getting lost finding your accommodation and have elderly or very young children in your group taxi is also probably the best choice. Good luck!


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