Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a large and modern city, ever expanding! To its traditional side it now combines its modern and hectic life, with high skyscrapers that flank ancient temples. Given its extent, the idea of moving by public transport could be scary, but the public system is very efficient indeed and with the metro you can get anywhere! Once you arrive in the destination district, you can easily move on foot!
So let's discover the guide on how to get around Seoul: info, costs and advice!
- Useful Tips
- How to get from the airport to the center of Seoul
- How to get around on foot
- Con i mezzi pubblici
- By car
- User questions and comments
Seoul is a big city, so it is impossible to turn it completely on foot. You will necessarily have to use the means of transport and the best solution is the metro. It is in fact fast and clean and reaches all the attractions! The car is absolutely not recommended.
Getting around the city can be disorienting at first glance, so for a first approach we recommend a hop-on hop-off tourist bus tour that will allow you to discover the main stages of the city and thus begin to orient yourself in the chaotic Seoul. If you love walking, the best solution is a walking tour with a local guide that you can customize and last from 2 to 6 hours, and will take you for a walk among the must and secrets of Seoul with useful tips on how to get around and fully experience the city .
To get around on the vehicles without worrying about buying a ticket every time, we recommend purchasing the Seoul City Pass (from 24h to 72h, from € 30,00), which in addition to free or discounted admission to numerous attractions, allows you to unlimited use of means of transport for its entire duration! Alternatively, equip yourself with the RF transportation card, a rechargeable card in which you can add the desired amount and which allows you to have certain discounts on the various routes, starting from 1.450,00 KRW (€ 1,10) for 20 km (rates are calculated based on mileage) .
- Recommended solutions and means: on foot, metro, hop-on hop-off tourist bus
- Solutions and means not recommended: bus
- City cards and season tickets recommended: RF transportation card (rechargeable card worth 1.450,00 KRW / € 1,10); Seoul City Pass (from KRW 40.819,85 / € 30,00 -)
How to get from the airport to the center of Seoul
L'Gimpo International Airport it is 15 km away, and today it serves national destinations and flights to several cities of East Asia including Taipei, Osaka, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.
International flights are all directed toSeoul-Incheon International.
It is the largest airport in South Korea, as well as being one of the largest and busiest airports in the world! From Italy there are some direct flights weekly departures from the airports of Rome and Milan, while from other cities there is at least one stopover.
The airport is about 70 km from the center. The quickest and cheapest way to get there is the Airport Railroad Express train, abbreviated AREX, divided into two lines: the Express Train (direct to Seoul Central Station without stops, active 5: 20-22: 00, 35 min, 14.800,00 KRW, € 10,90) and the All Stop Train (direct to the central station with 12 stops along the way, active 5: 20-23: 45, 50 min, 4.250,00 KRW, € 3,10). You can buy the train ticket online.
Another fast means is there metro, with the Airport Railroad line (to the central station 4.150,00 KRW, € 3,05). Finally, you can opt for a taxi, always equipped with a taximeter (50 min, average cost between 45.000,00 KRW / € 33,10 and 60.000,00 KRW / € 44,20), or book your transfer to the hotel, being able to choose between a shared transfer or a private transfer.
Seoul-Incheon International Airport
- Distance from the center: 36,2 km / travel time: 50 min;
- By fast train: Express Train line / ticket cost: 10.800,00 KRW (€ 7,90) - buy online
- By train: All Stop Train line / ticket cost: 4.250,00 KRW (€ 3,10)
- By taxi: average cost between 45.000,00 KRW (€ 33,10) and 60.000,00 KRW (€ 44,20) / travel time: 50 min
- By metro: Airport Railroad line / ticket cost: 4.150,00 KRW (€ 3,05)
- Private transfer: shared transfer - private transfer
Seoul Gimpo International Airport
- Distance from the center: 1,6 km / travel time: 14 min;
- By train: travel time: 22 min / ticket cost: 1.900 KRW (€ 1,40) - 3.400 KRW (€ 2,50)
- By taxi: average cost between KRW 27.214,40 (€ 20,00) and 34.018,00 (€ 25,00) / travel time: 26 min
- By metro: line 5 (purple) or line 9 (brown) / ticket cost: 4.150,00 KRW (€ 3,05)
- Private transfer:
How to get around on foot
Seoul is a really big city, then getting around on foot is difficult! For a very first approach, enjoy the welcome of a local guide who will allow you to discover the main attractions, to learn about the history of the city and the country and, above all, not to have to run into the language obstacle, which should not be underestimated. Within the individual districts you can easily walk through the most characteristic streets and large avenues, but to move between one district and another it is recommended to use means of transport such as the metro. Many attractions are located in the historic center and it will be easy to reach them on foot.
If you want to organize a ad hoc itinerary don't miss the chance to build your experience step by step with a local host who will create a tailor-made tour for you!
Con i mezzi pubblici
To get around Seoul you will inevitably have to take the means of transport, which are however well organized, efficient and punctual!
The best solution is definitely the metro, fast and very extensive, it will take you to any point of the city. The buses are also excellent, but they can be affected by the traffic of the city, moreover the language obstacle could cause some difficulties in getting used to.
To move around easily, without worrying about buying a ticket every time, we recommend purchasing the Seoul City Pass (from 24h to 72h, from € 30,00), which in addition to free or discounted admission to numerous attractions, allows you to unlimited use of means of transport for its entire duration!
If your stay in the city is short, opt for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour, which will show you the main stops of the city!
It is certainly the fastest and most comfortable way to move around the city. There is always a station close to the main attractions, making getting around really easy. It has 22 lines and 707 stations, the service is generally active from 5:30 to 00:00.
As for tickets, the best solution is to have the RF transportation card, a rechargeable card in which you can add the desired amount and which allows you to have certain discounts on the various routes. If, on the other hand, you make a single trip, in addition to the cost of the route you must pay a deposit of 500,00 KRW (€ 0,40) for the ticket that is returned as soon as you leave the metro station.
With regard to rates, these vary according to the mileage traveled, starting from 1.450,00 KRW (€ 1,10) for 20 km (every 5 km more the rate increases by KRW 100,00, € 0,07). On the official website of the Seoul metro you can find all the tables with information on prices, distances and how to request cards and tickets.
- Downloadable map: see the official website
- from 5:30 am to midnight
- Ticket / single ride cost: from 1.450,00 KRW (€ 1,10)
Seoul has aefficient and widespread network of buses, which reach every district and peripheral point of the city. However, they can be affected by traffic, therefore for tourists they are recommended only in case they cannot reach their destination by metro. The service is generally active from 4:30 am to 1:00 am, with possible variations based on the single line.
there five types of buses, with different fares and different routes: the Blue Bus, connects the suburbs to DownTown (cost 1.150,00 KRW, € 0,85); Green Buses, managed by private companies and with flexible itineraries (cost KRW 1.150,00, € 0,85); the Yellow Buses circulate in the Downtown district, so they are also more suitable for tourists (cost KRW 950,00, € 0,70), the Red Buses, also called Express Buses, as they are the fastest and with fewer stops (cost KRW 1.950,00, € 1,45); and finally the Maeul Bus, small buses used mostly for short distances and in residential areas (cost 850,00 KRW, € 0,65).
- Downloadable map: see the official website
- from 4: 30 to 1: 00
- Ticket / single ride cost: from 850,00 KRW (€ 0,65) to 1.950,00 KRW (€ 1,45)
Visiting Seoul by car is really not recommended! It is a very large city, with an orderly but still intense traffic. Also, you have to deal with the language: the signs are written in Korean, it would therefore be very difficult to move and orient yourself. To move around you can safely use public transport!
Another point not to be underestimated are the parking lots! They have several limitations, for example some are reserved only for residents, others for residents who have low-polluting cars, finally pink parking lots are spreading, i.e. reserved for women and marked by the use of pink stripes instead of blue. The best solution, if you are traveling by car, is definitely to book an accommodation that has the parking service for its guests.
If you want more freedom than that given by public transport, the best solution is therefore to use taxis, always available and cheap and all equipped with a taximeter. On average, a 10km ride costs KRW 10.000,00 (€ 7,40) and can be paid in cash or by credit card.