Among the many transportation options, taxis are a convenient choice for getting to destinations that are difficult to reach by subway or bus, or in an unfamiliar area. Taxi stands are commonly found along the roads and one can hail a cab when in view. Most taxis charge passengers according to the taximeter inside the cab and don’t require tips. Passengers can use cash, credit card, or transportation card to pay.
Taxi stands can easily be found at locations with a large influx of people such as bus terminals, major subway stations, and mega shopping malls. If you can’t find a taxi stand right away, look for signposts that give directions. Visitors in Seoul can call +82-2-120 and ask for taxi stand locations as well.
Types of Taxi
Standard taxis in Korea can be largely divided into regular taxis and deluxe taxis. Regular taxis can easily be recognized due to their yellow license plates and a roof sign that reads “TAXI.” Deluxe taxis consist of expensive vehicles and offer a higher standard of service than regular taxis with standard rates. These taxis are usually black and do not have a roof sign.
Apart from the standard taxis, there are also special international taxis that are driven by taxi drivers who can speak one or more foreign languages such as English, Japanese, or Chinese. International taxis were implemented in 2008 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for travelers’ convenience when getting around major Seoul metropolitan regions or at the airport upon arriving in Korea. International taxis are available in varied sizes to accommodate travelers’ needs. They also offer airport pick-up service with reservations in advance. Pick-up reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance via the website, email, or phone call.
Reservations: [email protected] / +82-1644-2255
Taxi fare varies by city and taxi type. Most taxis charge passengers the sum of the base fare and additional charges based on the traveled distance. Additional charges may apply depending on time and driving out of the region. Late-night fare is usually applied from 22:00 to 04:00 with the surcharge varying in amount depending on the time. The late-night fare is most expensive from 23:00 to 02:00.
Based on regular taxis, the base fare is the most expensive in Seoul at 4,800 won. Base fares in other regions are 4,000 won in Daegu and Ulsan; 3,800 won in Gyeonggi-do, Incheon, Busan, and Gangwon State; and 3,300 won in Gwangju, Daejeon, and Jeju. The base fare is applied to a traveled distance within 2 kilometers, and additional charges apply for every traveled distance beyond that. The additional surcharge also varies by region but can be estimated to be 100 won for every 130~150 meters.
The base fare for deluxe taxis is 7,000 won in Seoul for traveling within a 3-kilometer distance. An additional surcharge is 200 won for every 151 meters. Different standards may apply depending on the taxi company, and therefore travelers are advised to check in advance.
International taxis operate on a different fare system from standard taxis. When traveling from the airport to Seoul, passengers are charged based on a fare table categorized by regional sections. If you’re taking an international taxi to travel within Seoul or leave Seoul, you will be charged by the meter with a 20% surcharge.
(Maximum surcharge of 60% can be charged for late-night hour fare between 22:00 and 04:00 and driving out of the region)
If you want to save time or hailing a taxi is not an option, you can use a call taxi service. You can either call a call taxi directly or use an app to have the taxi come to your location. Apps are usually the most convenient way to call a taxi since you can check the fare estimate in advance. Note that you may have to pay for a call service charge apart from your taxi fare.
You can use Uber in Korea, although the app can either go by the name Uber or UT in Korea depending on your mobile OS. UT is a Korean navigation program that collaborated with Uber to release a Korea-exclusive call taxi app. UT is compatible with the Uber app that is already installed in a device so there’s no need to change any settings if you are already an Uber user.
KakaoT, also known as Kakao Taxi, is the most prevalent taxi app in Korea, but you need a Kakao account. KakaoT offers an option for the passenger to pay directly to the driver using their preferred payment method so there’s no need to register your credit card.
A tourist taxi is a special taxi that allows tourists to enjoy their trip conveniently and stress-free. Tourist taxis are available in popular tourist destinations like Seoul, Gangneung, and Jeju. The taxi drivers also act as a guide and passengers are encouraged to discuss their schedule and itineraries with the driver if both parties are willing. Not only do the tourist taxis offer sightseeing transportation, but they also offer airport pick-up services as well as long-distance business trip transportation. Reservation is required in advance, and it is recommended to check for multilingual options before confirming your reservation. Travelers can also seek assistance from 1330 Korea Travel Helpline for a list of tourist taxis and companies available by region.
This page was last updated in July 2023, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)