There are several different ways to travel from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul. The most popular ways include taking the Airport Railroad Express (AREX), Seoul Metropolitan Subway, airport limousine buses, and taxis.
The fastest way to get downtown is by the Express Train on the AREX Line. The nonstop ride from Incheon International Airport Station to Seoul Station is just 43 minutes. Seoul Station is a huge transportation hub providing convenient access to different areas of Seoul and beyond. A similar way to access Seoul from Incheon International Airport, though not as fast and direct as the Express or All Stop Train on the AREX Line, is the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, which services Seoul and the surrounding areas.
The airport limousine buses are a cost-effective way to go from Incheon International Airport to almost all parts of Seoul including Gangnam, Myeong-dong and Yeouido. Equipped with comfortable reclining seats and spacious leg room, these buses are especially popular among passengers getting off of a long flight. It takes a bit more than an hour from the airport to downtown Seoul, depending on traffic.
Finally, taxis are convenient as they provide door-to-door service, which is useful for visitors who are not comfortable with riding the subways or the buses. A downside is the cost. Taxis are as expensive as they are convenient, and passengers must pay the Incheon Bridge tollgate fee (8,000 won for small-sized cars). Still, as most taxis are now equipped with a portable GPS navigation device, passengers can reach their destination easily and safely.
For more transportation information, please visit Incheon International Airport's official website!
Image courtesy: Airport Railroad Co. Ltd,. www.arex.or.kr
The Airport Railroad Express (AREX) operates two trains: the Express Train from Incheon International Airport to Seoul Station and the All Stop Train that services 11 subway stations.
To take the AREX trains from Incheon International Airport, follow the yellow signs down to the Airport Transportation Center on the B1 level. Free electric cart services for passengers with heavy bags, senior citizens, and passengers with disabilities are stationed between the Airport Transportation Center and the passenger terminal. Service hours for the electric carts run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
Image courtesy: Airport Railroad Co. Ltd,. www.arex.or.kr
|Express Train||All Stop Train|
|Incheon Airport → Seoul Station||Seoul Station → Incheon Airport||Incheon Airport →Seoul Station||Seoul Station → Incheon Airport|
|* Trains operate in 25-40 min intervals||* Trains operate in approx. 10 min intervals|
Incheon International Airport → Seoul Station
- Express Train: Adults 14,800 won
(The fare adjusted at a special rate: Adults 8,000 won and Children 6,900 won until December 31, 2015)
- All Stop Train: Adults 4,250 won / Youth 3,040 won / Children 1,900 won
* Fares are based on single-use transportation cards. An additional 500 won deposit is charged for the card that can be reimbursed upon returning the card via a card return machine located inside subway stations.
Image courtesy: Incheon International Airport www.arex.or.kr
Airport buses run from Incheon International Airport to most parts of Seoul. Tickets may be purchased at the ticket booths just outside the passenger terminal (arrival area) on the 1st floor. Detailed inquiries on bus routes and bus stops can be made at the Airport Information Desk, conveniently located on the 1st floor. Night buses (24:00–03:50) are also available.
Check your bus route at either of the Airport Information Desks between Gates 3 and 4 or Gates 11 and 12 on the arrival floor (1F), or the Airport Bus ticket booth. Buy your ticket at one of the ticket booths. Your ticket will list the bus stop location. Go to the bus stop and check the bus route and departure time. When on the bus, make sure to listen to the English recording so you don't miss your stop.
The ticket booth for the Airport Bus is located next to Gates 4 and 9 inside the arrival floor (1F) and outside next to Gates 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 9C.
There are two types of airport buses: deluxe and standard. Deluxe buses are KAL limousines and other bus companies that operate non-stop or shortened routes to major hotels and destinations. These buses make fewer stops (shorter travel time) and have comfortable seats with more space. Standard buses tend be more crowded with smaller space and make more stops.
- Deluxe Limousine Bus:
To Gimpo International Airport: Around 7,500 won
To downtown Seoul: 14,000-16,000 won
- Standard Limousine Bus:
To Gimpo International Airport & Songjeong Station: Around 5,000 won
To downtown Seoul: 9,000-10,000 won
Click on the link below, enter your destination, and press "Search." Under the search bar you will see a short list of bus numbers, bus stops, and more. Click on the gray "Detail" button of your preferred route for information on the first bus, last bus, fares, and other important information.
If you find it difficult to take the AREX Line or the Airport Limousine Bus, or simply do not know the exact location or directions to your destination, you might want to take a taxi. Exit the airport through any gate between Gates 4 and 8 of the passenger terminal (arrival area), cross the street, and go to the taxi stands (4D-8C). It is not unusual to be approached by a taxi driver inside the passenger terminal, but we suggest ignoring them and follow the standard protocol.
In Korea, there are three types of taxis: regular, deluxe, and jumbo. Regular and deluxe taxis can take as many as four passengers at a time, while jumbo taxis have a capacity of up to nine passengers. The base fare for a regular taxi is 3,000 won (for the first 2km) while the base fare for deluxe and jumbo taxis are 5,000 won (for the first 3km). Please also note that regular taxis charge an extra 20% of the base fare after midnight (24:00-4:00), while no such additional fare is applied for deluxe and jumbo taxis.
Though it costs more to use a deluxe taxi, they are more spacious and comfortable and provide higher quality service to the passenger. To become a deluxe taxi driver, the driver is required to have had no accidents driving a regular taxi for a decade. Also, they must take a specific service training course to be fully qualified as a deluxe taxi chauffeur.
Depending on your destination, the fare for a standard taxi from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul can be anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 won. Also, the 8,000 won (small-sized car) toll for the Incheon International Airport Expressway is the responsibility of the passenger, not the driver. If by chance a driver tries to take advantage of you by demanding an inflated fare, take a picture of the license plate or driver's ID (usually displayed on the dashboard) and report the incident to the Seoul Global Center (+82-2-731-6800~1), which offers services in English, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, Mongolian, Vietnamese and Russian. You can also report your complaint to the Dasan Call Center which offers services in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese (+82-2-120).
*When calling within Korea, the +82 international calling code does not need to be dialed. In addition, the regional dialing code is excluded upon calling from the same province.
For more information on airport taxis, click here!
※ Differences between Call Vans and Jumbo Taxis
AREX Express Train passengers from Seoul Station to Incheon International Airport can check-in, go through the immigration procedure and send luggage in advance. This allows passengers to quickly arrive at their departure terminal of the Incheon Airport Passengers Terminal.
* This column was last updated in July 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.
<Last updated on July 15, 2015>