How to travel from Incheon airport to Seoul

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Incheon Airport

When travelling from Incheon Airport into Seoul for the first time, it can be overwhelming to know what type of transport would be best for your journey. There are four main ways to get to the capital from the airport but all of them come with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Through this guide we will provide in depth information about all of the transportation options available to help you make the best decision for you.

Take the subway 

Taking the subway from the airport is the cheapest option although it is not always clear when you come out of the arrival gate how to get to the train station. At the terminal gate you will need to go downstairs and then follow the signs to the station platform. Although the station is inside the airport, it is about a 10 minute walk from the terminal to the train’s platform. You can find official maps to the train station through Incheon Airport’s online guide which you can use upon landing.

At the train station’s entrance you can purchase subway tickets via the ticket machines located by the ticket barriers. The ticket machines are very easy to use and are available in multiple languages (Korean, Chinese, English and Japanese.)

Using the subway is a great method to use if you also want to set up a T-money card upon landing. ‘T-money cards’ are Korea’s transportation cards and by the station entrance is where you will also find t-money card vending machines. If you choose to purchase a t-money card from a vending machine, you can use the normal ticket machines to load money onto your card. If you already have a T-money card you can also charge it at convenience stores located within the terminal, though it is important to note that you can only use cash to load money onto your t-money card regardless of method.

The route from the airport station terminates at Hongik University station. As this is on line 2 you can get to most areas of Seoul or go to Gimpo airport by transferring here. If it is your first time in Korea, taking the subway is not ideal if you need to transfer lines on your journey. As the subway lines can be quite confusing at first it is a disadvantage to be having to use the subway for the first time with all of your luggage.

Airport to Seoul travel time: Between 1-2 hours depending on your desired destination. It is recommended to use the Seoul Subway or Kakao Metro apps to calculate your journey route, time and cost.

Cost: Approximately 5,000 won

Incheon Airport - Arex mascots

Take Incheon Airport Express Train AREX 

The express train is located opposite the all stop train platform and goes directly to Seoul station. It is faster than the all stop train, with the full journey from terminal 2 being under an hour. The express train is often viewed as South Korea’s commuter rail line that links Incheon International Airport with Seoul Station. This train also goes via Hongik Univeristy (Line 2 ) and Gimpo International Airport.

Once you have arrived at Seoul station, you can transfer to line 1 or 4 to continue your journey. Similarly, if you need to get the train to other cities in Korea you can also transfer at Seoul station onto the KTX trains. KTX trains travel across country to get to cities like Busan, Daegu or Suwon.

The seats on the express line train are much more comfortable than the seats on the All Stop Train, which is ideal after a long international flight. There is also overhead storage for carry-on sized luggage and room for large luggage at the ends of each carriage.

Airport to Seoul Station travel time: 43 minutes from terminal 1, 51 minutes from terminal 2. The express trains start from 5am until 11pm daily so this isn’t a great option if you need to travel at night.

Cost: 9,500 won for adults and 7,500 won for children. Passengers flying on Korean Air or Delta are given a discount of 2,000 won off of the adult tickets. There is also a 500 won deposit charge that will be added to the fare. This deposit is refundable and can be returned to you by using the refund deposit machine located by station ticket barriers.

You can purchase a ticket in advance via the AREX website which you can scan at the ticket barriers upon arrival.

Take the airport Limousine Bus 

Travelling by Incheon airport’s limousine buses is a very comfortable and convenient method of travel after a flight. Fitted with comfortable reclining seats and USB ports in seats to charge your devices after a flight, this method is ideal for a fuss free way to travel.

Outside of the terminals there is a long line of airport bus stops which will all go to different areas. Between exit B and C of the terminal, the buses will go onward to Seoul-based stops. Which bus stop you will need will depend on your desired destination, but generally bus stops 3B, 4A, 4B, 5B, 6A and 6B will have busses heading to Seoul. If you are unsure of where the bus stops are located for your terminal, Incheon airport provides digital maps you can reference before you make your trip.

You should check the information signs around the bus ticket counter to see which stop would be the best for your journey. If you have downloaded the KakaoBus app you can see which bus stop you should wait at in advance to your arrival. Next to the bus stops you will see a bus ticket station (there is also one inside the terminal) where you can purchase a paper bus ticket for your journey one way. If you are unsure of which bus to take, you can also inquire at the information desk here.

If you have a T-money card you can pay for your bus fare using this card as there are card readers installed on the bus. Using a T-money card instead of a paper ticket for your journey also provides you with a small discount too. Paying for your journey on the bus by cash is not recommended as you will need the exact amount of money as change will not be provided.

On the buses arrival to the bus stop, a luggage handler will place your suitcases in the undercarriage of the bus so you can relax without luggage on the bus. Taking the limousine bus is also beneficial as all bus stops are announced in Korean, Chinese, English and Japanese. Once you have arrived at your destination, the bus will stop at one of the designated airport bus stops which are located all over Seoul. Look out for the bus stops with the airplane symbol when travelling to or from the airport.

Airport to Seoul travel time: approximately 1 hour travel time, can vary depending on time of day.

Cost: Approximately 10,000 won for a one-way journey. Ticket price will vary depending on the destination’s location. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance online.

Incheon Airport - Taxi

Take a taxi

Taking a taxi is a good option if you are travelling not far from Incheon airport (ie. To Incheon city). This method is not as recommended if you are travelling to Seoul as you could be over charged for this fare. Similarly, it is recommended to go to the taxi rank outside of the airport rather than going with taxi drivers who may approach you at the terminal gate. As a result, you can see a price sign which should indicate how much your journey to Seoul should cost.

Generally, taking the taxi is the most expensive way to travel but you can be assured that you will be going directly to your destination. As not all taxi drivers may be able to speak English, it is always advised to have a printed copy of your address in Korean for communication accuracy.

In the unlikely case that you are overcharged by a taxi driver, Incheon airport does provide support for reporting any violations made by taxi drivers. You can report a driver if they request an improper fare, refusal to provide a ride, no use of meter or if you are forced to get off before arrival.

Airport to Seoul travel time: Minimum of 40 Minutes

Cost: Min 36,000 won – Max 63,000 won for a regular taxi to Seoul. If you are travelling at night note that there will be an added fee to your taxi fare.

For additional information about taking taxis to and from Incheon Airport, please refer to the official guide provided by the airport. Here you will also find detailed information concerning taxi availability in real time,  as well as maps to the taxi ranks and guides on additional late night sub charges.

Useful vocabulary to use at Incheon Airport

The list below should provide you with useful vocabulary for transferring from the terminal onto your chosen public transport method.

KOREAN ENGLISH ROMANIZATION
버스 정류장 Bus stop Beo-seu Jeong-lyu-jang
대중 교통 Public transport Dae-jeung gyo-tong
Luggage Jimm
무인발권기 Bus ticket machine Mu-in bal-gweon-gi
일반열차 All stop train to Seoul Ilban yeolcha
티켓이 얼마에요? How much will the ticket cost? Ticket-ee eolma-yea-yo?
여기서 내려 주세요 Please drop me off here Yeo-gisar nae-lyar ju-sae-yo
몇 개의 가방을 가지고 있어요? How many bags do you have? Meot gae-ae gabang-eol gajigo iss-ar-yo?
짐 2개 가지고 있어요 I have two bags Jimm doo-gae gajigo iss-ar-yo.
거기 가려면 몇 번 버스를 타야 돼요? If I want to go there, which bus do I need to take? jeo-gi ga-leo-myeon, myeot bon beo-seuleul ta-ya dwaeyo?
1회용 발매| 교통카드 충전기 Single ticket machine and transportation card recharging device il hwae-yong balmae gyo-tong ka-deu choong-jeon-gi
교통 카드에 10,000원 (만원)을 충전해 주세요 Please put 10,000 won on my t-money card. gyo-tong ka-deu-ae manwon-eul choong-jeon-hae ju-sae-yo.
Station/Area Name에 가고 싶어요 I want to go to Station/Area Name Station/Area Name+ ae gago shipar-yo
Station/Area Name(으) 가 주세요 Please take me to Station/Area Name Station/Area Name(eu)low gago ju-sae-yo. 
택시 승차장 Taxi rank taek-shi seungcha-jang

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