As exciting as travel can be, the process does come with its fair share of stressors–the first of which is usually how to get from the airport to wherever it is you’re going. No one wants to spend more time than necessary figuring out which mode of transport to take, where to find it, or how to obtain a ticket if needed–especially after a long flight.
Luckily, Incheon Airport makes getting to Seoul and back again for your flight home an easy and efficient process. Whether you consider yourself an airport expert or a navigation novice when it comes to working out where to go once you deplane, we have everything you need to know about how to get to Seoul from Incheon Airport and vice versa.
Located approximately one hour from downtown Seoul, there are a number of convenient ways to get to the city from the airport, and vice versa. These include trains, buses and taxis–and as a traveller to Seoul who has utilized all three services, I can attest to the fact they each offer their own benefits. These options vary by cost, travel time and convenience, so read on to find which one suits you best!
The train offers a speedy, convenient and cost-effective way of getting to and from the airport.
There are two trains operated by the Airport Railroad Express (AREX): the Express Train, which runs from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 directly to Seoul Station; and the All Stop Train, stopping at 13 subway stations along the way from Terminal 2 to Seoul Station. Express Trains depart every 20 to 40 minutes from Incheon, with All Stop Trains leaving every 5 to 10 minutes.
(※ Please note that due to COVID-19, the Express Train is temporarily under closure.)
- Travel time: 40 minutes for the Express Train, 60 minutes for the All Stops Train
- Cost: 9,500 won for the Express Train, 4,150 – 4,750 won for the All Stops Train
- Why take the train: With both a direct train and a train with 13 different stops, you’re likely to find a route that drops you close to wherever you’re staying.
Airport buses travel to all major areas of Seoul, making it another convenient option for getting to and from the airport. There are two types of airport buses: deluxe and standard. Deluxe buses operate on non-stop or shortened routes to major hotels and destinations and come equipped with more space, while standard buses tend be more crowded and make more stops. It’s also good to note that airport buses travel not only to areas of Seoul, but also to many other provinces like Gyeonggi-do, etc.
(※ Also note that due to COVID-19, some bus routes are temporarily under closure.)
- Travel time: 60 to 80 minutes, depending on bus type
- Cost: 9,000 to 15,000 won, depending on bus type
- Why take the bus: The bus is an affordable option for getting to and from the airport to the city, and in the case of the deluxe buses especially, are very comfortable.
If you’d prefer to bypass public transport in favour of a taxi, you also have that option at Incheon. Taxi stands are located just outside the Arrivals Hall of both terminals. You can choose to take a regular taxi, a deluxe taxi or a jumbo taxi depending on your situation. And if you want to take a taxi with a driver who can communicate in English, Japanese, or Chinese, you can opt for an international taxi
- Travel time: Approximately 50-60 minutes, depending on traffic
- Cost: Approximately 45,000 won
- Why take a taxi: Not only are taxis available 24/7, they provide door-to-door service.
A SMART TIP TO SHORTEN YOUR CHECK-IN TIME
Did you know you can make your Incheon experience even easier by using the airport’s self check-in? The process only takes three minutes, leaving you more time to browse the airport shops or indulge in a pre-flight meal. All you need to do is scan your passport at a kiosk, select your seat and print your boarding pass–it’s that easy. (You can watch the process here.) Note that not every airline has self check-in so be sure to find out before you get to the airport.
In addition, you can also save time with self bag drop. Simply scan your passport and boarding pass, print a baggage tag, adhere it to your luggage and send your bags off. Make sure to keep your baggage certificate, which makes it easier to find your bag and get it back on the off-chance it gets lost.
Written by Jessica Padykula
Jessica is a freelance writer, editor and blogger in Toronto, with a focus on travel and lifestyle.