Saturday, November 2, 2013

AREX / Subway Train from Incheon Airport to Myeong-dong, Seoul

Taking train and subway from Incheon International Airport to Myeong-dong is the second best choice because you need to change train line at Seoul Station. The best choice is still to take Bus 6015 (fare: KRW 10,000 = approx US$9.50) that takes you directly to Myeongdong.

Before you continue reading, just be WARNED that taking train to Myeongdong is NOT advisable if you have to carry heavy luggage with you. You have to walk for about 300 meters at Seoul Station to change line from AREX train to Line 4 of Seoul Subway to get to Myeongdong Station. In addition, the subway station is deep underground. The stairs at subway stations are quite high and long to climb and the walkway could be bumpy for luggage too.

Therefore, taking Bus 6015 is most convenient in most cases because it will take you directly to directly to Myeongdong without changing line or station. However, the bus route takes 1 hour 30 minutes while train route would typically take only 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Taking AREX Train from Incheon Airport to Myeong-dong

Having said all that, if you prefer to take train, all you need to do is to following these steps:

  1. Take the Airport Railway Express (AREX) train from Incheon International Airport Station to Seoul Station. 
  2. At Seoul Station, change to LINE 4 of Seoul Metropolitan Subway to get to Myeong-dong, which is only 2 stations away from Seoul Station.
  3. Get off at Myeong-dong Station.


Train Ticket Fare from Incheon to Myeong-dong

The one way ticket from Incheon Airport to AREX Seoul Station costs is KRW14,300 (approximately US$13.50). However, there is a special discount fare at KRW8,000 (US$7.50) from 1 January 2013 to 3 December 2013. 
From Seoul Station to Myeong-dong, the Subway ticket price  is KRW1,150.
In total, the fare from Incheon to Myeong-dong KRW9,150 (Approximately US$8.60). This is only less than KRW1000 (US$0.90)cheaper than using Bus 6015. 

How to buy AREX Ticket at Incheon International Airport?


Before you proceed to buy the AREX Ticket, it is important to know that there are two types of train service from Incheon to Seoul. One is AREX which is the express non-stop train from airport to Seoul Station. The other one is the commuter train that stops at 10 stations before arriving at Seoul Station which will take more than 53 minutes. 
We recommend AREX train because it is more comfortable, provides spaces for luggage, free WiFi on board and has a restroom/toilet on board.
AREX train is spacious and comfortable
With that said, now lets explore how to buy AREX ticket at Incheon Airport. Upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, there are two places to buy AREX train ticket:
  1. At the Airport Train Information Centre at the Arrival Hall - Th information center is orange in color. The staff here can speak English well. 
    Airport Train Information Centre
  2. At the Airport Railway station - from the Arrival Hall, follow the signage to go to the Airport Railway Station. The signage looks like below. At the station, you can buy the AREX train ticket from the vending machine. Four languages are available on this vending machine, which are Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese. If you prefer to buy over a counter, you can also get the ticket from the Information counter at the AREX Station.
    Follow the Airport Railroad Signage to get to the Arex Station
    AREX Information Counter at Incheon Station
      Vending Machine Selling AREX train ticket
Once you have gotten your ticket, getting onto the train is straight forward. Don't forget that there is an Information counter at the station if you have any question.

AREX Train Timetable


The first AREX train departs from the Incheon International Airport AREX Station to AREX Seoul Station at 5:30am in the morning. The last AREX train to depart from Incheon International Airport is 9:30pm in the evening. 

The journey from Incheon Airport to AREX Seoul Station is 43 minutes. This is very short because it is an express train and does not stop at any station between Incheon AREX station and AREX Seoul Station. 

Arriving at Seoul Station

AREX train will take you to AREX Seoul Station. Upon arrival, you will need to change platform to LINE 4 of Seoul Metropolitan Area Subway Network. NOTE that you need to buy a new ticket for Seoul Metropolitan Area Subway. There are a few types of ticket to buy here depending on your transportation plan in Seoul:
  1. Single-use cards: If you don't plan to use Seoul Subway for the rest of your stay in Seoul, buy this at the Seoul Subway Station Vending Machine or Information Center. 
  2. T-money cards: If you plan to use Seoul Subway to go to places in Seoul during your stay, T-money card is the best choice. It is a prepaid card that can be purchased at the Subway station or any convenient stores. Nine Tree Hotel in Myeongdong sell T-money card at their reception too.
  3. M-Pass: This is the best option for those who want to use public transport intensively in Seoul. You can take up to 20 rides per day with this card. However, it is only commonly sold at Tourist Information Centers, If you plan to get an M-pass, you can get it upon arrival at Incheon Airport at the Seoul Tourist Information Center at Gates 5 and 10 on Level 1 of the Incheon International Airport. 
Once you have got one of the above ticket card, just hope on to the platform of LINE 4 at Seoul Station. Catch the train that is heading to Hoehyeon Station. Myeongdong Station is right after Heohyeon Station. Do not board the train heading to Sookmyong Women's Univ.

Arriving at Myeong-dong Station

Once you are on the train, you are just less than 5 minutes from your final destination: Myeong-dong Station. After leaving Seoul Station, the train will make a stop at Hoehyeon Station before stopping at Myeong-dong station. 
Here you are, finally arriving at Myeong-dong from Incheon Airport. Myeong-dong station has 10 exits, depends on where you want to go (more in the next section).

From Myeongdong Station to Your Hotel

Most people who want easy access to the Seoul Subway will choose to stay at Nine Tree Hotel (150 meters from EXIT 9) or Sejong Hotel (near EXIT 10). An exact guide on how to go from Myeong-dong station to Nine Tree Hotel is available here.
That's it. Howe to take an AREX and Seoul Subway Train from Incheon International Airport to Myeong-dong in Seoul.  Next up, we will post on taking taxi from Incheon Airport to Myeong-dong. 


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