Using the Airport Railroad Express (AREX) service is the fastest and the cheapest way to get from the airport to central Seoul.
The AREX operates two types of trains: the Express train, which makes no stops along the way, and the All-Stop train, which makes 10 stops before it reaches Seoul Station.
Although the All-Stop train is nearly two times cheaper than the Express train, it takes it about 15 more minutes than the Express train to reach central Seoul.
However, the All-Stop train is still a faster and a much cheaper way to go to central Seoul from the airport compared to taxi services.
Whether you use the Express train or All-Stop train there is always benefit of avoiding road traffic. Both trains and roads in Seoul are crowded during rush hours, so you’ll have to choose: either squeeze yourself in the train or be stuck in traffic in a taxi.
The only two major disadvantages of the Airport Railroad service is (1) that it can’t take you door-to-door to your hotel like airport buses and taxis can, and (2) there is a high chance you’ll have to stand while traveling.
To use the Express train, you must hold a Express Train Pass, which can be purchased at the Airport Railroad station.
Express train’s advantages: Free Wi-Fi, pre-assigned seat system, free electric cart service, faster than the All-Stop train, discounts for a group of travelers.
Express train’s disadvantages: More expensive than the All-Stop train, low frequency (train departs every 30 to 45 minutes), operates only until 21:45.
All-Stop train’s advantages: Cheaper than the Express train, runs every 5 to 15 minutes, allows to transfer to other metro lines along the way, operates almost until midnight.
All-Stop train’s disadvantages: No pre-assigned seat system, takes longer time than the Express train to reach Seoul station.
If you’re traveling in a group of three or more people, each of you pays only 6,000 won ($5.29) instead of 8,000 won ($7.05)
The All-Stop train makes 10 stops before it reaches Seoul Station, including Gyeyang, Gimpo Int’l Airport, Digital Media City, Hongik University, and GongDeok.
The trains depart at Airport Station, Transportation Center, which is located at Passenger Terminal’s B1 (basement).
Travel time: 43 minutes on Express; and 58 minutes on All-Stop
Cost: 8,000 won ($7.05) for Express; and 4,150 won ($3.66) for All-Stop
Service hours: 05:20 – 21:45 for Express; and 05:23 – 23:42 for All-Stop
Service schedule: Interval approximately 30 to 45 minutes for Express; and every 5 to 15 minutes for All-Stop
– During rush hours, try the tail car of the train, as there is a higher chance to take a seat on the train.
– Fares above are provided for T-Money cards. If you’re using a single-journey card, you’ll have to pay 100 won more ($0.09).