Incheon Airport to Seoul: Your Airport Railroad Express Guide

How to get to Seoul from Incheon Airport, using the Airport Railroad Express (AREX)

Introduction

When it comes to traveling from Incheon Airport to Seoul, or vice versa, there are various methods at your disposal. One of the most convenient and straightforward options is utilizing the Airport Railroad Express (AREX). This personal favorite of mine offers a seamless connection between Incheon Airport and Seoul, making it a top choice for many travelers. 

AREX operates two types of trains that shuttle between the airport and Seoul: the Express Train, which runs from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 directly to Seoul Station, and the All Stop Train, making stops at all subway stations en route to and within Seoul. 

Express Train: The Swift Route

If convenience and speed are your top priorities, the Express Train is your best bet. This direct mode of transportation whisks you from the airport to the heart of Seoul—Seoul Station—in just a mere 40~50 minutes, depending on where you depart. It is the fastest and most comfortable option, providing specialized services and amenities to passengers. Special services include cabin crew service, customer lounge at Terminal 1, electric cart service, and complimentary WiFi and bottled water. 

– Travel time: 

   Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 ~ Seoul Station > 43 minutes
   I
ncheon Int’l Airport Terminal 2 ~ Seoul Station > 51 minutes

– Fare: 9,500 KRW (adults), 7,500 KRW (children)

– Operating Hours: 5:15AM – 10:48PM

– No. of stops: None (direct) 

All Stop Train: Affordable Adventure

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the All Stop Train has got you covered, with fares that are just half the price of the Express Train. For a mere 4,000 won, you can traverse to Seoul swiftly. While the journey might take a tad longer compared to the Express Train, it’s still a very reasonable option.

This train makes 11 stops, including Gongdeok and Hongik University Station, making it an excellent choice for adventurous travelers looking to explore various parts of the city.

– Travel time:
   Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 ~ Seoul Station > 59 minutes
   I
ncheon Int’l Airport Terminal 2 ~ Seoul Station > 66 minutes

– Fare:
   Terminal 1: 4,150 KRW
   Terminal 2: 4,750 KRW

– Operating Hours: 5:18AM – 11:32PM

– No. of stops: 11

Station Information

Choosing Your Ride: Express vs. All Stop

The decision between the Express Train and the All Stop Train largely depends on your destination and preferences. The Express Train offers a non-stop journey to Seoul Station, making it an ideal choice if that’s your destination and you value the convenience of an assigned seat. 

On the other hand, the All Stop Train is a commuter train connected to Seoul Metro lines, which is perfect if you’re not heading all the way to Seoul Station and want to explore different stops along the way. Plus, All Stop Train provides a more economical option. While it might lack assigned seating, it offers a more immersive experience for those who enjoy mingling with fellow travelers.

If you’re faced with the decision of whether to opt for an Express Train or an All Stop Train for your journey, let this table guide you. I’ve compared and analyzed the features of both trains to help you make an informed choice. Take a look at the table below to find the best fit for your travel needs. 

Features

Express Train

All Stop Train

Travel Time

45 minutes

Approximately 1 hour

Fare (KRW)

9,500 (Adults); 7,500 (Children)

4,150 (Terminal 1); 4,750 (Terminal 2)

Operating Hours

5:15 AM – 10:48 PM

5:18 AM – 11:32 PM

Number of Stops

Non-stop (Direct to Seoul Station)

11 stops (Including Gongdeok, Hongik Univ.)

Assigned Seating

Yes

No

Special Amenities

Assigned Seats, Free WiFi, Free Bottled Water, and others

None

Pros / Cons

It is a fast, non-stop transport to Seoul Station /

Unsuitable for other destinations

You can stop and transfer to other Seoul Metro lines along the way /

Potential standing during crowded times

How to Purchase Tickets

 

Train Type

On-Site Purchase

Online Booking

Remarks

Express Train

– Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 2 Station: Express Train Info Center, 1st basement.

AREX Official Homepage

Online discount: 20% off (9,500 KRW -> 7,500 KRW)

 

– Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 Station: Express Train Info Center, 1st basement.

Klook

 
 

– Seoul Station: Express Train Info Center, 2nd basement.

  

All Stop Train

– Purchase a single ticket

  
 

– Purchase transportation card from convenience stores, ticket vending machines or Tourist Info Centre.

 Transportation cards can be recharged and be used when riding the subway and bus. 

Tips: 

Before I end my posting, I want to give a final tip for my readers:) This is for travelers who haven’t pre-booked online and just arrived at the airport deciding whether to ride the Express Train or the All Stop Train. While the Express Train is generally the quicker mode of transportation, sometimes the All Stop Train can actually get you to your destination faster. How’s that possible? Let’s break it down.

Although the Express Train is about twenty minutes faster than the All Stop Train in terms of travel time, the frequency of departures of the Express Train is less. This is an important factor to consider, because you might have to wait a long time for the Express Train to come. Thus it would be a more efficient choice to just hop on the All Stop Train than wait for the Express Train to arrive at the station. Plus, it comes at a lower cost. Here’s where the tip comes in:

1. Check the Timetable: Visit the AREX homepage to access the train’s timetable(click here). 1) Select where you will be departing from, 2) check the timetable for weekday or holiday, and then 3) click the ‘Express Train’ option. Then the numbers shown in bold will be the time schedule for Express Trains.

2. Calculate Arrival Times: Imagine it’s 5:00pm. By consulting the timetable, you learn that the Express Train is due at 5:25PM, while there’s an All Stop Train pulling in at 5:07PM.

3. Evaluate Arrival Times: If you board the 5:07PM All Stop Train, you’re projected to reach Seoul Station around 6:07PM. On the other hand, if you wait until 5:25PM for the Express Train, your estimated arrival at Seoul Station would be 6:08PM

In this scenario, the difference in travel time is only one minute. However, depending on the situation, this time difference could be bigger, and you might have to wait more than ten minutes for the next Express Train to come. So considering this, consulting to the timetable and riding the All Stop Train might be a more practical and cheaper decision. 

Conclusion

In this posting I’ve shared with you the features, advantages, and tips of AREX Express  Train and All Stop Train. I hope it has helped you to make an informed choice that suits your travel preferences. Enjoy and safe travels! 

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