Incheon is the main airport closest to Seoul. The other airport is Gimpo International Airport. Flying there with Hong Kong Airlines, a low-cost carrier was not a good experience because the website is not user-optimized. Nonetheless, the tickets were finally booked after 2 weeks of struggle.
Getting from Incheon Airport to Seoul City
It was a night flight, so it was already the wee hours of the morning when the plane landed. So, we had to take the midnight bus to the heart of Seoul.
Midnight Bus (Incheon Airport Limousine)
There are only 3 bus routes:
- Seoul Station: Incheon Airport -> Songjeong-> Yeomchangdong -> Seoul Station
- Yeongdeungpo Station : Incheon Airport -> Songjeong -> Yeomchangdong -> Dangsan- >Yeongdeungpo
- Gangnam Terminal : Incheon Airport -> Songjeong -> Yeomchangdong -> Gangnam Terminal
There are also specific timing for the bus to arrive.
Price: Flat fee of 9,000 KRW and you pay cash (only) on the bus. Take the bus to Seoul Station, the heart of Seoul, and cab from there.
By Bus (Airport Limousine Bus)
- Indoors: Exit 4 & 9
- Outdoors: Exit 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 9C
As for the ticketing, you can purchase them at the ticket booths
To find out what bus you have to take, you must first know where you want to do. Let’s say you are headed to Grand Hilton Hotel in Insa-dong. Then search for Insa-dong and you will find that bus 6005 brings you there. This is easy for major international hotels, landmarks and buildings. If you are really clueless, take Bus 6702, 6001 or 5015 to Seoul Station. That’s the main train station in Seoul and also the most crowded. You can look for help there. Also, you can take a cab from the main train station instead. Also, there are cross-country buses available!
Prices depends on the bus you take and the stop you are alighting but from the airport to downtown Seoul, it costs about 14,000 – 15,000 KRW.
Airport Railroad Express (AREX Line) & Seoul Metro Subway
Without a doubt, this would be the fastest option to travel, at 43 minutes. It is a nonstop train from Incheon Airport, directly to Seoul Station and vice versa. There are 2 trains: the Express Train that does not stop or the All Stop Train that stops at a few ones. The All Stop Train takes 53 minutes.
At the airport, head towards Level B1. There, go to the Airport Transportation Center to purchase your train tickets. The train timings are as shown and it does not operate 24/7. If you want to take the train, do check your flight arrival time and plan carefully.
There are 2 very obvious Express Train (orange) and All Stop Train (blue) boarding areas. You will have to scan/insert your card/ticket before entering. The Express Train has comfortable seats with ample leg space and areas to put your luggage. The All Stop Train is like any other subway trains you have in your country.
Express Train: Adults 14,500 won / Children 6,900 won
All Stop Train (Seoul Metro Subway): Adults 4,050 won (Check for Youth and Children discount)
PS: Flight tickets from Jeju Air, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines can get you some discounts for Express Train.
For the subway, you have to purchase the T-money to use the public transport. You can easily purchase them in convenience stores all around.
Lastly, you can choose the cab; either regular, deluxe or jumbo. Do note that there is a 20% midnight surcharge from 0000-0400. Prices to downtown Seoul with a regular cab range from 60,000 – 100,000 KRW. Also, do watch out for people wanting to cheat you. Korea is an extremely awesome place for tourists because there is a global call center (+82-2-731-6800~1) to help you in your home language.
Best Option to Get to Downtown Seoul
It really depends on what time you arrive, your budget and the amount of people with you. I arrived at midnight, so midnight airport bus was my best option. The fastest way would be the Express Train, followed by the All Stop Train (Seoul Metro Subway). If you have a little more time and want to arrive near your destination, the bus is a great way. Destinations include Myeong-dong, Gang-nam and Insa-dong. The taxi would be the most convenient, and works best if you have a larger crowd so you can split the fares.