Trazy’s Survival Tips for Travelers to Korea: Seoul’s Public Transportation System

Welcome to Seoul!

Now that you’ve arrived, how do you get around this massive city? There are three options: Bus, Taxi, and Metro. For the bus and metro, it is recommended to use T-money card as fares are discounted 100 Korean Won (about 10 cents) per trip. In addition, you are allowed up to 4 free transfers when you use T-money items.

Take a look at our guide on Survival Tips for Travelers to Seoul- The Illustrious T-money Card.


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All Credit for pictures to

The Blue buses travel across the city and drive through at least two districts. Green buses operate in at least one district and carry passengers to metro transfer points. Red buses are express buses connecting Seoul with the suburbs and cities surrounding it. Bus service is fast and direct, so if you need to go outside of Seoul and don’t want to take the train, take this. If you have subscribed to a local Telecom service there is free-WiFi for you. Lastly, Yellow buses travel in a closed circle around major districts.

Most buses end their service at 11 pm, but some run till 3 am.

To get more info for buses, download the mobile app Seoul Bus and enter the bus stations ID number to find out more information on run times (see below as some end at 23:54 while another at 01:49) or for when buses are arriving at your current location.bus#1asUse Google maps to give you a set course of which buses to take to arrive at your chosen directions. For those with a little knowledge of Korean, use Naver Map.


Popular Bus Routes

Some of the most popular bus routes you may want to take are:

#273 that travels to Hongdae, Sinchon, Gwanghwamun988399_373254279485286_771463891_n

#104 travels to Gwangjang Market, Myeongdong, Namdaemun Market1486893_373254276151953_211004033_n

#472 stops at SeolleungSinsa “Garosugil“, and Apgujeong “Rodeo Street”1503933_373254312818616_2083293872_n

For the Blue, Green, and Red Buses, the basic fare is 1,150 won in cash and 1,050 won with a T-money card. For the Yellow bus, the standard fee is 950 won. When using the T-money card, just place the card on top of the sensor (See the picture below) and your charge and the remaining balance will be shown.



When you’re in a rush, a taxi will be there to get you to your destination as fast as possible. But, which taxi should you take?

The first option is the regular taxi, which comes in silver, white or orange colors. While the silver and white taxis are privately owned by a driver, the orange taxis are run by the city government.20130508165545Both of them offer the same rates (3,000 KRW), but many of the orange taxis with a letter ‘intl’ written on it offer foreign-language services and are designed to cater international visitors.

If you want to make a reservation or inquiry call Navi Call (1599-8255), K-Taxi (1577-9977), N Call (1688-2255) and for online reservations visit here (English).800px-20101018_kia_k5_taxi_01The next option is the deluxe taxi. While deluxe taxis are more expensive than normal taxis, they more comfortable and offer a more pleasant ride than the standard. They are usually black.20131218173558

The fees for each type of taxi are as follow :


Tip: 1. When taking a taxi in Seoul make sure you’re not taking taxi’s labeled ( 경기고양 or  인천: Gyeonggi Province or Incheon City). They may refuse to take you since they operate outside of  Seoul.

*If a taxi refuses to take you other than not being a Seoul taxi or refusing to use the fare meter (it’s against the law to do so) please report the license plate numbertime and date of use, and the destination details (i.e. starting and ending destination) to or the Korea Tourism Organization Tourist Complaint Center (☎ 02-735-0101, 02-1330).


Last but not least is Seoul’s metro system. Seoul Metro system is very clean and convenient. There are 9 lines on the Seoul Metro numbered 1-9. In addition, there are other lines that go to Gyeonggi Province connected to the metro system such as Incheon, Airport Railroad, and Bundang.


You can download the map here and use the interactive map on the page to plan your trip easily. The website is available in Korean, English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Japanese.

The fee for a single journey ticket on the Seoul Metro is  1,150 won per ticket in cash and 1,050 won with T-money card. If you’re traveling long distances the fees are:캡처

How to take the Seoul Metro

1. Locate the Metro Station._MG_5266

2. Purchase a ticket at the vending machine or use your T-money card.20140822145756348

3. Locate the turnstile.201408221752473184. Insert your ticket or place your T-money item on the sensor.

5. When you’re inside, some maps can help you. On the left is a map of the direction the train is headed. On your right are the times the metro will run.  In this case the Line 2 metro ends at 23:58.BUS #1

6. There are also Screens letting you know when your train arrives 


7. Finally, as you exit the train, insert your ticket or place your T-money item on the sensor again to exit the station. As you exit, you’ll notice signs (see picture below) which will help you figure out which exit to go through to reach your destination. 
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  1. Pingback: Trazy’s Survival Tips for Travelers to Korea #3: Getting around Incheon | trazy

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