Seoul City Transportation
Seoul City's subway system is one of the most convenient and fastest way to get around the city. It currently consists of lines 1 through 9 plus the Jungang Line, Bundang Line, and Gyeongui Line. The color-coded subway lines make the Seoul Metro quite easy to use. The subway operation hours are from 5:30 to approximately 24:00. The estimated travel time between subway stations is 2~3 minutes. Train schedules can vary depending on the line in question.
Please see the below for the Seoul city subway map that provides a full view of the entire subway network.
- Subway Fare
- Subway fare is calculated based on the distance traveled. The basic fare is 1150 won for distance less than 10km.
※ Airport Railroad Line and Sinbundang Line cost an additional fee
|Regular (19 years old and up)
|Teenagers (13-18 years old)
|Children (6-12 years old)
※ 10 - 40 km: 100 won for every 5 km
※ After 40 km: 100 won for every 10 km
※ Discounts are given only to those residing in Korea who use T-money.
- Purchasing Tickets
- Single Journey Ticket: This can be purchased from the "Ticket Vending and Card Reload Device" located inside the subway station. For one ticket, you must pay a deposit of 500 won, which you get back when you return the card to the "Deposit Refund Device" at your destination.
- T-Money Card: A prepaid transit card, T-Money card can be used until the balance on the card is exhausted, at which point the passenger may recharge it with money to continue using it. You can purchase and recharge T-money cards at convenient stores or ticket booths nearby bus stops. You can also recharge it using the "Ticket Vending and Card Reload Device" inside the subway station.
- Credit Card: Some credit cards provide transit card services. In this case, you do not need to charge the card before using it. The total amount of public transportation fee used will be included in your credit card payment afterwards.
- Other Information
- ※ When you’re on the subway train, you’ll notice if you’re approaching a stop where you can make a transfer because over the loudspeaker, you will hear music and then a voice will say which lines you can transfer to. You will also notice as you’re pulling up to a stop whether there are any other subway line colors on the wall. And, of course, you can also check the subway map. If you are transferring, most of the time, transfers take place within the subway station, but if you have to transfer at Noryangjin Station (lines 1, 9), you will have to come out of the turnstiles in order to transfer.
※ You can transfer from subway to bus, bus to subway, or bus to bus up to 5 times for no additional basic fare. Make sure to transfer within 30 minutes after scanning your transit card (an hour from 9pm to 7am) at the exit of the last station or bus.
※ You can find out more comprehensive information about the subway system in Seoul at Visit Seoul.
Three types of buses cover routes connecting every corner of the city: the Ilban bus, Jwaseok bus and Maeul bus. Buses arrive at stops in five to fifteen minute intervals, though you may have to give them a bit of leeway in the busier parts of the city. Schedules vary depending on the bus route involved but most routes start at 4:30 a.m. with the last bus of the day making its round at 1 a.m.
Bus Type Ilban buses are sometimes referred to as city buses and are the most commonly seen type of bus in the city. Ilban buses come in yellow, blue and green. Bus numbers indicate the area of departure and arrival.
- Blue Bus connects suburban areas to downtown Seoul. Three types of blue bus exist: the bendable bus, the CNG (compressed natural gas) bus with a lower platform, and the regular CNG bus. These buses are controlled, in part, by the City of Seoul and travel at higher speeds and longer distances within the city than the other bus types. The blue color represents Seoul's skyline and Hangang (River) to symbolize security and freedom.
- Green Bus is flexibly operated by private bus companies, to connect major subway stations or bus terminals in downtown Seoul. It is similar with the city bus and the community shuttle bus currently in operation. Green stands for the mountains surrounding the city.
- Yellow Bus circles downtown Seoul and stop at stations for blue buses and major railway stations, as well as business, tourist and shopping areas. Yellow was selected for its dynamic and friendly image.
- Red bus, or express bus, are the quickest of the group for wide area line since they make fewer stops. These buses are the most comfortable and are designed to seat every passenger on the bus. Their main purpose is to provide commuters with easy access to neighboring cities, such as Ilsan, Bundang, Suji, Suwon, Anyang and Incheon.
- Maeul Bus, smaller community-based bus, runs shorter routes that often include residential areas. Maeul buses are easy to spot due to their significantly smaller size in comparison to other buses.
- Bus Fare
※ If you use a prepaid or post transit card on the bus, you get a 100 won discount on each ride. However, keep in mind that foreign tourists who are children cannot receive a children’s discount.
||Youth（13 - 18 years old)
||Child（6 - 12 years）
||1,150 won (T-Money 720 won)
※ Children ages 5 and under can ride for free. (Up to 3 children allowed per adult.)
※ The stated fares are basic fares that cover up to 10 km; after that, the cost is an additional 100 won per 5 km.
- Getting on & off the Bus / Paying your fare
- Get on the bus using the front door, and pay your fare by either scanning your transit card or paying in cash. While you can pay your fare in coins, you cannot pay using bigger bills like a 5,000 won, 10,000 won or higher. If you’re not using a transit card or don’t have your card on you, take out a 1,000 won bill and get ready to pay with that. When the bus is approaching the stop at which you’d like to get off, hit one of the buzzers. Most of the time, the next stop will be announced on the intercom in both Korean and English. If you use a transit card, make sure you scan your card once again when you get off.
- Bus Route Guide
- Investigate at Visit Seoul to search for bus routes. You can pick your point of departure and destination on the map, and it’ll show you the best route, price, and amount of time required for travel. You can also choose to take a combination of transportation options, such as the subway plus the bus, etc.
- Transferring to a Different Line or Bus
- Check to see if you need to transfer to a different subway line or a bus in order to get to your destination prior to getting on the train or bus. Then, check the line or bus number that you need to transfer to and the right direction that you need to take in order to get to your destination. You can transfer up to 5 times for free. You have to make sure to transfer within 30 minutes of scanning your transit card (an hour from 9pm to 7am) at the exit of the last station or bus.
For more information on the Seoul city bus, pinvestigate at Visit Seoul.
There are three kinds of taxis -- regular taxi, deluxe taxi, and limousine taxi. The last two types of taxi offer a high standard of service compared to the first, but are more expensive. You cannot always expect that a taxi driver is fluent in English, so it is advisable to indicate one of the city landmarks (major hotels or famous buildings or places) as your destination.
The Seoul City Bus Tour links most of the city`s major sightseeing and shopping areas, including the Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeonggung palaces, the Namdaemun and Dongdaemun markets and Seoul Tower. This gives tourists a chance to sample what Seoul has to offer without having to make recourse to cumbersome maps and brochures or spending much of the day underground touring Seoul`s (albeit fine) subway system. Please visit Seoul City Tour for more information.
updated on 2012-08-08