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incheon airport to myeongdong

Getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong is simple if you understand all the different methods of transport available in Seoul. However, I get that it can be really confusing if it’s your first time visiting the city. There’s just so many options, it can be overwhelming… never mind, navigating everything in a foreign language.

But don’t stress. I got you covered.

incheon airport to myeongdong
How will you get from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong? Photo by Minseong Kim (CC BY-SA 4.0)

In this total transportation guide, you’ll learn:

  • how to get from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong via bus, taxi, express train, all-stop train or private car
  • which transport cards are useful for getting around
  • the best transport choices for families, large groups, and those on a budget

*This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

streets of myeongdong, seoul, korea
Myeongdong is one of the most popular places to stay in Seoul. Photo by Doug Sun Beams/@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Whether you choose to take a taxi, bus, all stop subway, express train, or private car depends largely on your traveling conditions. Are you traveling with children? Do you have a lot of luggage? Are you on a budget? Are you a large group?

I’ll make it easy for you, and recommend the best options for getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong, in each of these situations.

Quick Guide to Seoul Transport Cards

In order to get between Incheon Airport and Myeongdong effectively, it’s best to equip yourself with a Korean transit card of some kind.

T-Money Card

The most widely used transit card by Seoul locals is the T-Money card. This card is similar to the Octopus card in Hong Kong, or the Suica pass in Japan. You can use it to beep in and out of subway stations, board buses, pay a taxi fare, and buy things in a convenience store.

T-money card korea
Use a T-Money Card for free transfers between subway stations and buses. Photo by Jon Aslund/jooon@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

If you plan to take the AREX Express or all-stop subway from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong, you’ll need a T-Money Card to make the transfer from Seoul Station to Myeongdong Station at no cost. You can buy one at a kiosk in any subway station, or find them in any convenience store. Just ask at the counter.

DISCOUNTED T-MONEY CARDS

Arrive in Seoul with a T-Money Card, already in hand. Pick it up at Incheon, Taoyuan, or KLIA Airport, or have it delivered directly to you in the Philippines or Malaysia.


Click to get a discounted T-Money Card

Advantages of using the T-Money Card

1
Subway fares are discounted for every single ride.
2
Transfers are free between subway lines and buses.
3
Cards are easily recharged in subway station kiosks, or in convenience stores.
4
You won't have to buy single-use tickets for every ride.

Discover Seoul Pass

The Discover Seoul Pass doubles as a T-Money card and a tourism pass.

It provides free admission to 42 attractions, 35 discounted attractions, and 28 discounted experiences. If you plan to see many things over a period of 24, 48 or 72 hours, the Discover Seoul Pass might be the right choice for you.

lotte world seoul korea
The Discover Seoul Pass includes free admission to Lotte World. Photo by Ziggymaster (CC BY-SA 3)

If you’re visiting Seoul AFTER December 1st, 2019, I highly recommend that you purchase the card version of the Discover Seoul Pass vs the mobile pass. From this date forward, the Discover Seoul Pass will include unlimited subway rides around the city. No need to have a separate T-money card, or spend extra money getting around!

PRO TIP

The Discover Seoul Pass provides incredible value. It includes free unlimited subway rides around Seoul, a free 1 way, 1 time AREX railway ticket, free entrance into 42 popular attractions, and much more.


Click to buy a discounted Discover Seoul Pass

From Incheon Airport to Myeongdong by AREX

AREX stands for Airport Railroad. It connects Incheon and Gimpo Airports to various points in Seoul.

It’s important to understand that there are 2 different train services available on the AREX line. An Express Train, and an all-stop commuter train.

incheon airport to myeongdong via AREX train
The AREX train departs from the Incheon Airport Train Terminal. Photo by Ken Eckert (CC BY-SA 4.0)

AREX Express Train

The Express train ONLY travels from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station, without making any stops along the way. It’s the fastest and most convenient way to get between these 2 locations. It does NOT STOP at Gimpo Airport, so don’t make the mistake of taking the AREX Express Train if you’re transferring airports.

If you leave from Terminal 1, it takes a total of 43 minutes to reach Seoul Station. From Terminal 2, it takes 51 minutes. The cost for a one-way adult ticket is 9,000 won, but you can avoid queueing for tickets and get a small discount by booking AREX tickets in advance online.

Remember that a 1 way, 1 time Express Train ticket is included with the Discover Seoul Pass.

AREX Express from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong
Seating on the AREX Express is pre-assigned. Photo by Nesnad (CC BY 4.0)

The Express Train has very comfortable pre-assigned seating, free wifi, power, toilets, and ample space for bags and luggage. Trains begin running from Terminal 2 at 5:15AM and make a stop at Terminal 1 at 5:23, before arriving at Seoul Station at 6:07AM. AREX Express Trains run every 40 minutes, with the last train departing from Terminal 2 at 10:40PM.

If you’re traveling in the opposite direction, from Seoul Station to Incheon Airport, the first train leaves at 6:10AM, and the last train departs at 10:50PM.

Getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong via AREX Express Train

To get from Incheon to Myeongdong via AREX Express train, you’ll have to transfer at Seoul Station. This is super simple, as Seoul Station and Myeongdong are only 2 stops apart, on the same subway line 4. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to transfer from the Seoul Station train to a Seoul Station subway. These are in separate areas, and you’ll have to walk for about 10 minutes to get between the 2 stations.

AREX train incheon airport
Some walking is required to use the AREX train lines. Photo by Doo Ho Kim/titicat@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you have a lot of luggage, or are traveling with children, it might be more convenient to exit the train at Seoul Station directly, instead of making the trek to transfer to the subway. A taxi to your hotel in Myeongdong takes around 8 minutes and costs around 4,000 won. To make things easy, be sure to have the address and phone number for your final destination written out in Korean for your taxi driver.

Good for: almost everyone, except those with a lot of heavy luggage, or anyone with mobility issues

PRO TIP

Don’t want to deal with heavy bags and luggage? You can get it delivered directly from Incheon Airport to your hotel in Myeongdong, using the convenient SAFEX Airport Luggage Services.


Click to book hassle-free luggage delivery

Getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong via the All-Stop Train

If you’re on a real budget, taking the all-stop commuter subway is the cheapest option. This train costs just over 4000 won, and takes around 80 minutes to reach Myeongdong Station, with a transfer required at Seoul Station. There are 13 stops between the 2 stations.

You can buy single journey tickets at the train station, or use a T-Money Card.

All stop commuter train from incheon airport to myeongdong
The AREX commuter train stops at every station. Photo by Doo Ho Kim/titicat@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Keep in mind that this is a commuter train, and as such it can get incredibly crowded at certain times of the day. Do not be fooled by all the empty seats on the subway at Incheon Airport. It WILL fill up and become very crowded, the closer you get to Seoul.

If you have tons of luggage, it might be wiser to splurge a little for the AREX Express Train, take the bus, or have your luggage delivered directly to your hotel. If you’re a backpacker traveling light, and want to experience some local flavour, this is a great option for you.

Good for: budget travelers, backpackers, and people traveling without a lot of luggage

> Looking for somewhere to stay in Myeongdong? Read our recommendations for the best 15 hotels in Myeongdong, at every budget.

Incheon Airport to Myeondong via KAL Limousine Bus #6701

The KAL Limousine bus is a good option if you have heavy luggage, or want the convenience of being dropped off close to hotels in the Myeongdong area. If you’re tired from a long flight, this is a good bet as the bus has super comfy, wide, business class style seating that reclines almost flat. I’ve had some of the best post-flight naps of my life on this bus. 😉 Free wifi, water, and under-bus luggage storage are included with your ticket.

KAL limousine bus from incheon airport to myeongdong
The KAL limousine bus is extremely comfortable. Photo by Minseong Kim (CC BY-SA 4.0)

KAL Limousine buses are easily recognizable by their sky-blue colour. To get from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong, look out for bus #6701. In Myeongdong, the bus stops at the Plaza Hotel, Westin Chosun Hotel, Lotte Hotel Seoul, and Aloft Seoul Myeongdong.

Good for: travellers with luggage, a mid-range budget, and families

PRO TIP

You can purchase tickets onsite at Incheon Airport for 16,000 won (details below), or book discounted tickets for 14,000 won online.


Click to book KAL limousine bus tickets

> Tickets can be purchased at the KAL Limousine Counter, next to Gate 4 on the 1st Floor, or at the Outdoor Airport Bus Ticket Booth.

> The bus stop is just outside of Gate 4 on the 1st floor.

> The first bus leaves from Terminal 1 at 4:53AM. The last bus departs at 10:50PM, with service running every 20-30 minutes in between.

> Tickets can be purchased at the Bus ticket office near the Transportation Center on Level B1.

> You can catch the bus at stops number 17, 18 or 19, outside of level B1.

> The first bus leaves from Terminal 2 at 5:13AM. The last bus departs at 11:10PM, with service running every 20-30 minutes in between.

Incheon Airport to Myeondong via Airport Bus #6015

Airport bus #6015 runs from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong Station, stopping at many hotels along the way. It trip usually takes 75-90 minutes depending on traffic. However, if you’re arriving in rush hour or on a holiday, it can take a lot longer, so plan accordingly.

This bus doesn’t differ much from the KAL Limousine bus, in terms of comfort or cost, but it will take longer because it makes many more stops than the KAL Limousine bus.

interior incheon airport bus
Airport buses stop at many hotels in Myeongdong. Photo by mpd01605/@Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It costs 15,000 won on site, and it’s not possible to reserve tickets for it in advance. You can buy tickets at the kiosk on the Arrivals level of the airport, pay the driver in cash on board the bus, or use a T-Money Card or Discover Seoul Pass to pay your fare.

Good for: travellers with luggage, a mid-range budget, and families, who don’t have time limitations

> The bus stop is just outside of Gate 5 on the Arrivals level. Line up at stop #5B-1.

> The first bus leaves from Terminal 1 at 5:45AM. The last bus departs at 11:15PM, with service running every 8-12 minutes in between.

> You can catch bus #6015 at stop number 28 outside of Gates 7 and 8, on level B1.

> The first bus leaves from Terminal 2 at 5:25AM. The last bus departs at 10:55PM, with service running every 20-30 minutes in between.

private car stand incheon airport
Photo by Ming-yen Hsu/myhsu@Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Incheon Airport to Myeondong via Private Car

If you’re traveling with children, a large group, or arrive late at night, a private car is undoubtedly the best and most comfortable option for getting from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong, quickly and safely.

You’ll be whisked away by an English speaking driver and dropped off right in front of your hotel. Each private car accommodates up to 7 people, so this is actually the best and most economical option for large groups.

Good for: large groups, anyone who wants ideal comfort and convenience and families

PRO TIP

If you’re a large group, or traveling with kids, booking a private car to transfer between Incheon Airport and Myeongdong is the best and most comfortable option.


Click to book a private car

Incheon Airport to Myeondong via Taxi

If you’re traveling with a small group, have children, or arrive late at night, and don’t want to book a private car, you can take a taxi from Incheon to Myeongdong.

Just follow the signs in the airport to the taxi stand and queue for one. You won’t have to wait long. Taxis in Seoul are very affordable, relative to other developed countries. There are regular, jumbo and international taxis. However, there are a few things you should know before deciding if a taxi is actually your best option.

seoul taxi
Photo by Mannyeong Lee/@Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Regular Taxi

The approximate cost of a regular midsize taxi between Myeongdong and Incheon Airport is 60,000 to 70,000 won. Keep in mind that for standard taxis, there’s an extra 20% surcharge between midnight and 4AM, and you’ll be responsible for any toll charges that occur along the way.

Taxis in Seoul run on LPG gas, hence a large portion of a taxi’s trunk space is filled with a huge tank for the liquified gas. Don’t worry, it’s not dangerous, but it does reduce how much luggage you can place in the trunk. If you’re more than 3 people, with 3 large suitcases, it might be difficult to fit into a regular mid-sized sized taxi in Seoul.

seoul traffic at night
You can take a taxi if you arrive late at night. Photo by Doo Ho Kim/titicat@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You should also be aware that not all, but some taxi drivers in Seoul, are not the safest drivers. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask them to slow down if you feel they’re going too fast or driving dangerously. They will not be equipped with car seats, and unfortunately, they also won’t be too happy to wait for you to strap one in yourself. It’s maybe not the best, or safest option for families. 🙁

Good for: 2-3 people traveling together, with a higher budget

PRO TIP

Tipping a taxi driver is not a normal practice in Korea, so don’t ever feel pressured to do so.

95% of taxi drivers in Korea are honest, but of course there are a few bad apples. Should you run into a dishonest one, you can call +82-2-120 with a non-Korean phone, or 02-120 with a Korean phone to make a complaint. Languages available are English, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Mongolian.

Jumbo Taxi

If you’re a large group, you can opt for a Jumbo Taxi, which can accommodate up to 8 people. The base fares for these taxis is 6,500 won, and of course, the overall fare is higher than a regular taxi.

Don’t confuse the Jumbo Taxi with a Call Taxi. They’ll both be larger mini-van style vehicles, but the Jumbo Taxi is metred, while the Call Taxi fare is negotiated with the driver. Jumbo Taxi will be written on the side of the car in large letters, so it’s easy to tell the difference.

Most taxi drivers speak limited English, so be sure to have your address written out in Korean.

Good for: large groups and those arriving late at night

Incheon Airport to Myeongdong: FAQs

1
How far is Myeongdong from Incheon Airport? The total road distance between Incheon Airport and Myeongdong is approximately 60 kilometres.
2
How long does it take to get from Incheon Airport to Myeongdong? This depends fully on which mode of transport you're using. The fastest is via AREX train, which takes around 45 minutes. If you travel via bus or taxi, it will take 75 - 100 minutes, depending on traffic.
3
What's the cheapest way to get from Incheon to Myeongdong? The AREX all-stop subway runs between Incheon Airport and Myeongdong is the cheapest option. It requires 1 transfer, takes approximately 80 minutes and costs 4,150 won per person.
4
What's the bus fare between Incheon Airport and Myeongdong? If you're taking the public 6015 bus, it costs 15,000 won. If you're taking the KAL limousine bus, it costs 16,000 won. If you book in advance, you can save 2,000 won.

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Comments:

  • December 14, 2019

    What a great guide! I’m a big fan of Korean Air and so my boyfriend and I travel through Seoul a lot. Leaving the airport on our own has always seemed a little intimidating to learn for just a few short hours (and the free transit tours never seem to line up with our schedule). I feel like next time we fly through I know what to do now! Thanks!

    reply...
  • December 7, 2019

    I know you got me into Seoul on some bus that worked perfectly, so I’d trust you on this one, too! 🙂

    reply...

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