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How can one go between Incheon Airport and downtown Seoul?

Airport buses are very popular for traveling between central Seoul and Incheon International Airport. The trip takes about 70 minutes in good traffic and the cost varies depending on the type of bus. The deluxe buses, run by Korean Airlines, operate direct routes to and from major hotels and cost 13,000 won (about US$12.50) each way. The standard buses, with more stops, cost between 7,500 and 8,000 won. To purchase a bus ticket at the airport, go to the ticket desk on the arrivals level. You will likely want to consult one of the Airport Information desks located between Gates 3 and 4 or between Gates 11 and 12 on the arrivals level to determine the available bus routes.

Another option for traveling between Incheon Airport and downtown Seoul is to take the express train (AREX) and connect to the Seoul subway. Currently the express train runs from Incheon Airport to Gimpo Airport, the older, nearer airport which primarily services domestic flights. At Gimpo Airport you can transfer to the subway (Line 5) to reach Seoul. The cost between Incheon Airport and Gimpo Airport is 7,900 won and the trip takes about 30 minutes. Since the express train runs on the same track as commuter trains, you may want to take a marginally longer trip for the cheaper option of 3,100 won. The total journey to Seoul can take between 45 minutes and an hour with the total cost depending on your final destination. An extension of the train service to directly connect Incheon to downtown is expected to be complete sometime in 2010.

Taxis are available on the arrivals level outside Gates 4C and 8C. In Seoul, taxis are a convenient choice for groups, those with a lot of luggage and those requring door-to-door transportation. Standard taxis cost about 60,000 to 100,000 won and take 60 to 75 minutes to reach downtown hotels depending on the amount of traffic and your final destination. Deluxe and larger-sized taxis are likely to cost more. As standard taxis charge a nighttime surcharge, if you intend to take a taxi after midnight it may be worth taking a deluxe taxi. All passengers are expected to pay an expressway toll of 7,100 won.

Although there is an expressway between Seoul and the airport, heavy traffic can cause significant delays. So, it's best to allow extra time if you intend to use above-ground transportation.

last updated 2008.09.07
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