Travelling to South Korea? As a tourist to this wonderful country, it becomes a bit overwhelming if you are not well-versed with the language. You will find yourself cooling heels on the floors of Incheon International Airport without knowing how to reach Seoul. This is why it is very important to do your homework well and understand the modes of transportation available in Seoul before you land in the country.
Incheon International Airport in Brief
Before we look into how to reach Seoul from Incheon International Airport, let us read a bit about the airport itself. It is one of the largest airports in South Korea. It ranks 22nd in the list of busiest airports in the world. It is about 47 km away from the Seoul Station, the center of Seoul. This central station is the major transportation hub in Seoul that helps one reach any place within Seoul using different modes of transportation.
How to Travel from Incheon International Airport to Seoul?
There are different modes of transport that you can choose from to travel to Seoul from the airport.
Once you land in Incheon, you can take the Airport Railroad Express (AREX) service. It is the fastest and the cheapest mode of transport to reach central Seoul.
Now, there are two types of trains operating from AREX. You can opt for the Express train that has no stops on the way. It takes about 43 minutes to reach Seoul Station and runs about every 30 minutes. The Express train ticket costs about W8,000.
The second option is the All-Stop train that is twice as cheap as the Express train (about W4,150). However, it takes about 15 minutes longer to reach Seoul station. It stops at 9 stations between Seoul station and Incheon airport. It runs every 23 minutes between the airport and Seoul.
The AREX trains are the fastest and the cheapest way to reach Seoul. The roads as well as trains are crowded during rush hours. Thus, even in the train you may have to squeeze in and stand all the way to Seoul.
If you are looking for door-to-door service then the train is not an option for you. You may take the airport bus or the taxi services to reach directly to your hotel from the airport.
The bus service is a comfortable as well as affordable way to reach central Seoul. However, it is a bit expensive than the Airport Express train. However, it is more comfortable as there is high chance of getting a comfy seat with air conditioning in the bus as compared to the crowded train. This way you can catch a wink or two while you reach Seoul.
Just like the train, you have two bus services: Standard and Deluxe. The Standard buses will take more stops on their way to the destination and are more crowded. The Deluxe buses are more spacious and have fewer stops on the shortened routes. They are provided by KAL Limousine company, thus are obviously more comfortable.
If your hotel is on the list of the airport deluxe bus stop lists, then it will drop you directly at your hotel. Whereas, the train will drop you at the subway station and you will have to find a way to reach your hotel.
The standard bus tickets are about 9,000 to 10,000 won and the deluxe costs about 14,000 to 16,000 won. The service is for 24 hours and the night bus cost about 16,000 won. In the daytime, the bus service is available every 10 to 15 minutes and at night after about every 40 to 50 minutes.
The taxi service from Incheon airport will definitely be the most expensive on the list. However, it is a door-to-door service and you just need to hop in and reach your hotel directly. You no longer need to push you luggage around or wander around the streets looking for someone who speaks English and give you directions. This is because not many hotels are located near Seoul station.
If you are in a group of 3 to 4 then the taxi is a good option. However, solo travellers may find a taxi very expensive. You can use the International Taxi service available at the airport. It is cheaper, flat rate, no additional luggage costs, no tollgate fees, no midnight surcharges, and more importantly an English-speaking driver as compared to your regular taxi.
It will cost you around 55,000 to 75,000 won for an international taxi service and about 60,000 and 100,000 won for a standard taxi. There is about 20% surcharge of the base fare on a regular taxi between 00:00 and 03:59 hours.
Korea Train eXpress (KTX)
Lucky travellers may arrive at the right time for Korea Train eXpress (KTX) and travel to Seoul, Bussan, and Mokpo. This train departs only 10 times a day from the airport and once you miss a train, you may have to wait for another 3 hours for the next KTX.
If you wish to travel to other cities apart from Seoul, then this is a better option for you. The standard coach costs about 12,500 won, standing 10,600 won, and first class about 17,500 won.
This how you reach Seoul from Incheon international airport. The train begin the quickest of all, the bus begin the most comfortable and the taxi best for a door-to-door drop, you can choose your mode of transport based on these facts as well as the cost factor. Anneyong.