Once you land in South Korea’s capital, you might feel overwhelmed by all the new information and different ways of doing things. That’s why I think you should not have to worry about knowing how to get to Seoul from Incheon International Airport.
This easy-to-follow guide will offer you all the information you need so that you won’t have to worry about a thing.
South Korea can be challenging to navigate in the beginning, but with the right guidance and information, it will all get much easier.
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How to get to Seoul from Incheon Airport by train
Airport Railroad Express (AREX)
AREX or the airport Railroad Express offers you the fastest and most convenient way of traveling from the airport to the city center.
Depending on your final destination, choose between the fast train and the all-stop train.
AREX: Express Train vs. All Stop Train
The fast train
Getting to the train platform is easy if you follow the signs as soon as you exit the Arrivals Hall. Take the escalators or elevator, go to the 1st basement floor on the terminal and follow the signs that lead to the AREX Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1.
Marked in orange, you will see the terminal for the Express train. Buy your ticket from the vending machine and hop on the train.
The ticket booth operates in several languages and you can choose between Korean, English, Chinese, or Japanese. Set your final destination, and the time from the available schedule. For the payment, it would be helpful to have a T-Money card or cash, because foreign credit cards are accepted only for payments over a certain amount.
You can order your T-Money card online or buy it from any of the convenience stores at the airport. Just know that you must have some cash to top up your transportation card.
The fast train only stops in Termina 2, Terminal 1, and Seoul Station. The ride takes between 43 and 51 minutes.
When it comes to storage for your luggage, you will find a small storage area above your seat and a place for your big luggage at the end of each train car.
Something funny I’ve noticed on my first visit and ride by fast train is that the AREX magazine you will find inside the pocket of your seat is only in Korean.
The all-stop train
Still a fast option, the all-stop train is a little bit slower than because it stops at other subway stations along the way.
The all-stop train links Gimpo International Airport to Seoul Station but also stops in places like DMC, Hongik University (Hongdae), Gongdeok, or Mangognaru. This will allow you to change the train and hop on other subway lines.
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.
When you choose this option, it is worth knowing that trains are the same as subways, so there isn’t much storage for your luggage.
Inside the train, announcements are made in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.
Operating hours / Travel time
The fast train: 43 – 51 minutes
The all-stop train: 59 – 66 minutes
Check for the timetable on their official website here.
Fare: How much is the train from Incheon airport to Seoul
The fast train: 9000 KRW for adults, 7000 KRW for children, and 7500 per person if you are traveling in a group of 3 or more people;
The all-stop train:
From Terminal 2 to Seoul Station: KRW 4,750 / child : KRW 2,200
From Terminal 1 to Seoul Station: KRW 4,150 / child : KRW 1,900
From Gimpo International Airport to Seoul Station: KRW 1,450 / child: KRW 550
It is worth knowing that if you get off at any of the stops before Seoul Station, you will be charged the same fee as for the whole ride.
Other things worth knowing when you travel by train or subway
You are not allowed to bring food or drinks and consume them inside the train.
If you have a T-Money card, you should validate the ticket when you enter and when you 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.
When riding the fast train, make sure to take the paper from the ticket vending machine, because you will have your car and seat numbers on it, and they will check it.
How to get to Seoul from Incheon by bus
In Seoul, buses are always a great way of traveling around town or to the neighboring cities or regions. That being said, taking the bus from the airport would take the longest time as compared to the other options on this list.
It is also worth checking the bus timetable before you arrive and planning your schedule accordingly.
Airport bus information
There are 2 airport bus types: the Airport Limousine Bus (more luxurious, going only to Seoul Station), and the normal bus (linking the airport to other regions within the city).
The Airport Limousine Bus links Incheon Airport to Seoul Station and the ride takes around one hour, depending highly on the traffic. The major advantage is that you can get off at other stops along the way. It operates every 10 to 30 minutes.
Normal buses link the airport to other regions within Seoul or its surrounding towns.
How to take an airport bus
Buy a ticket online or at the airport, outside of the Arrival Hall. See here the complete map for Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
How to get to Seoul from Incheon by taxi
How to take a taxi
I found that Seoul was one of the easiest places to take a taxi from the airport to the city center. The first time we arrived here as tourists, but also when we moved as ex-pats, we preferred to take a taxi.
Inside the Arrival Hall, there are 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.
Of course, you can also follow the signs leading you to the taxi station right in front of the terminal. Head to the front of the taxi line, and get the first one. Make sure to have your hotel address written in Korean characters because we had problems in the past with drivers that weren’t reading Latin characters.
Read also: Choose the best place to stay in Seoul
Incheon Airport to Seoul taxi fare
As with any taxi, the rate will always vary based on the type of taxi you choose, the traffic at the time, and also based on your destination within Seoul.
If you are staying in places like Hongdae, DMC, or Yeoido, the fare will be much lower than for those staying in Gangnam or Yongsan.
From our experience, we paid around 70.000 won to DMC, and 80.000 won to Myeongdong.
Taxi types and fares
There are different types of taxies you can choose from:
International Taxi – specific for foreigners in Seoul
On my first visit, I must admit I had no idea and was looking only for the orange taxies, but there are also grey or white ones. The black ones are specific for foreigners with drivers speaking English/Chinese/Japanese. You can check it out at International taxies.
The most expensive option is the International Taxi, while the other 2 options are more affordable.
How to get to Seoul from Incheon by private transfer
Book a private transfer when you want to have a driver waiting for you at the airport.
The price is comparable to the one of taking a taxi, but the driver will already have your final destination address.
On top of that, you won’t have to worry about finding a car after a long flight.
Other Seoul Travel Information
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