Have you chosen one of the best areas to stay in Seoul and decided to book your stay in Hongdae? Knowing everything about getting from Incheon to Hongdae will help you better plan your trip.
This is one of the easiest accessible areas from the airport, even if you are landing at Gimpo International.
This post will cover everything you should know for an informed decision: how to travel by subway, bus, or taxi. And you will also know what’s the fastest way to get there, the cheapest, or the most comfortable.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Read more about it on our disclosure page here.
Read also: Getting around Seoul – your complete guide
Getting from Incheon Airport to Hongdae
When it comes to traveling from Incheon to Hongdae, you will have plenty of options to choose from. Depending on the time you have available, but also on your budget, you can choose one of the following options.
|Bus (number 6002)||10,000 KRW||roughly 1 hour|
|Taxi||approx. 50,000 KRW||roughly 1 hour|
|Private Transfer||From 72 USD/ 3 pers||roughly 1 hour|
Let’s go through each and every one of these options so that you have all the information you need to make a decision.
Incheon to Hongdae by Subway
This was my favorite means of transportation whenever I didn’t travel without large luggage. The subway system and the Aiport Railroad are clean and fast.
There is a direct line linking Incheon Aiport, Gimpo Aiport, and Hongdae (specifically Hongik University Station). You can take it from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Incheon.
However, you will have to walk a little to get to the line and also to exit the platform. Inside the train there isn’t much room for luggage, thus if you travel with bulky suitcases you might find it a bit complicated.
Also, if you arrive during the night, taking the train won’t be an option since the first train departs from Terminal 2 at 5:18 AM and the last one departs at 23:32 PM.
Getting to the train platform is easy if you follow the signs as soon as you exit the Arrivals Hall. Once you exit arrivals, you should walk towards the AREX Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1, and go to the All-Stop Train marked in blue. Buy your ticket or use your T-Money card to enter directly.
Before you go by subway, get your T-Money Card + Data SIM
Don’t take the fast train (AREX Express Train) because it only stops at Termina 2, Terminal 1, and Seoul Station.
Inside the train, announcements are made in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.
Check for the timetable on their official website here.
Read also: Where to stay in Hongdae
Other things worth knowing when you travel by subway
You are not allowed to bring food or drinks and consume them inside the train.
If you have a T-Money card or a Discover Seoul Pass, you should validate the card when you enter and when exit the subway line. If you change to a normal subway line, you will be asked to validate your card as you exit the AREX area, but you won’t be charged anything extra.
Save on your Seoul vacation
With the Go City Explore Seoul Pass you not only save on your trip, but you also have the flexibility to organize your vacation as you want to.
You can choose between the All-Inclusive Pass – designed for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-days in Seoul; or the Explorer Pass – and get to choose between 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 attractions on a pass – you choose your activities and have 60 days to use them.
If you are using the Subway app (download here for IOS | for Android), you will see the whole route by searching for the blue line – Airport Railroad.
You can buy your ticket from the vending machine at the airport, or you can order your Discover Seoul Pass before your trip.
When you choose to buy a Single Ticket it is worth knowing that you will need to have some cash on you.
By getting the Discover Seoul Pass you will not only have access to all the means of transportation, but you will also use it for various tourist attractions around the city.
Incheon Airport to Hongdae by Bus
The one bus that links Incheon Airport to Hongik Station is bus number 6002.
If this is your first time in Seoul, it is worth knowing that traffic in and around the city can get hectic. That means that the time spent on the road might be different depending on the time of the day.
You can buy the ticket from the bus stop in front of Incheon Airport.
The bus runs every 15 minutes, the first one leaves at 5:30 AM and the last one at 23:40.
Incheon to Hongdae by taxi
As with any taxi, the rate will always vary based on the type of taxi you choose, the traffic at the time, and your destination within Seoul.
Inside the Arrival Hall, you will find designated desks, where you can ask for a taxi, and airport staff will help you. You can choose the size of the car, how you prefer to pay, and also tell English-speaking people where is your final destination.
You must pay at the airport and a driver will come and pick you up from the desk and guide you to the car.
Another option would be to book a private transfer by international taxi directly online before your trip. The advantage is that you will have all the information you need before you go: booking, place of pick-up, car details etc. Moreover, you will pay online so you won’t have to worry about that as well.
Traveling by taxi is more comfortable, especially when you have bulky luggage or you simply don’t want to carry it around.
Also, the car will leave you right in front of your hotel in Hongdae, so you won’t have to worry about finding your final destination on the map.
Moreover, taxis travel throughout the night, so you won’t have to worry if your flight arrives close to midnight or after this hour.
There are different taxi types, depending on the size of your group or number of luggage you have with you:
International Taxi – specific for foreigners in Seoul, with drivers that speak English
The expected fare for a ride from Incheon International Airport to Hongdae is around 50.000 KRW, with an extra 20% charge for night rides.
Extra tip: If you plan on taking the taxi from the airport directly, make sure you have your hotel name or address written in Korea. Many drivers won’t speak English and won’t understand the address if it is not in Korean characters.
Incheon to Hongdae by private transfer
Why choose a private transfer? I would go for it especially when I travel in a group of 3 or more and would want to forget about the hustle of transfers, timetables, and everything in between.
You will have someone waiting for you at the airport, no matter the time of day or night. They will have your address so you won’t have to worry about the taxi driver not understanding where you want to get to (trust me, it happened to us more than once).
On top of that, you can choose the type of vehicle you want, and pay upfront, before your trip.
Other FAQ about getting from Incheon Airport to Hongdae
What is the difference between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Incheon Airport?
Terminal 1 is the oldest while Terminal 2 has been extended at Incheon Airport since 2018. Terminal 1 is used mainly by airlines operating within Asia (Asiana Airlines, China Southern, and Korean Air), while in Terminal 2 you will find Air France, Air Lines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, and Korean Air.
Where is the train station at Incheon Airport?
Once you exit arrivals, you should walk towards the AREX Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1, and go to the All-Stop Train marked in blue
What is the cheapest way to get from Incheon Airport to Hongdae?
The cheapest way is to get to the Airport Railway Subway. A one-way ticket costs less than 5 USD.
What is the fastest way to get from Incheon Airport to Hongdae?
Because traffic in Seoul can get crazy, the fastest way to get from Incheon Airport to Hongdae is still the subway.
What is the most comfortable way to get from Incheon Airport to Hongdae?
Booking a private transfer or taking a taxi will always be the most comfortable way of moving from the airport to your destination.
How far is Incheon Airport to Hongdae?
Hongdae is 43.7 km away from Incheon Airport.
How to get from Incheon Airport to Hongdae during the night?
Taxi or private transfer is the only way to get to or from the airport during the night.
Other Seoul Travel Resources
Plan your Seoul Itinerary: 2 days, 3 days, 4 days in Seoul
The best cafes and coffee in Seoul
What to do and see in Seoul in Spring
Want to skip the crowds? 10 places to see in Seoul off the beaten path