12-Hour Layover in Incheon - Getting to Seoul

On our way home to Denver from Siem Reap, we had a 12-hour layover at Incheon International Airport. Before our trip, we planned out all sorts of things we wanted to see during our layover in Seoul:

The War Memorial of Korea
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
Cheonggyecheon Manmade Stream
Namdaemun Market
Insadong Shopping Street
Hongik University Street
Gyeongdong Market
Changdeokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace
National Folk Museum of Korea
Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple

But let’s just say we highly overestimated our energy level.

After our flight landed in Incheon, we went through customs and then went directly to a help desk in the main terminal. She pointed us in the direction of a specific convenience store within the terminal that sold Seoul CityPass+ cards. These cost 2,500 won (about $2.50 USD) and allow you to load money onto them to pay for subway rides, buses, and taxis. On our way through the airport, we loaded the cards at easy-to-use kiosks just before the entrance to the subway. We each put about 10,000 won (just under $10 USD) on our cards.

Seoul CityPass+

The cards made using the subway much easier because we just had to remember to scan them as we entered and left the gates. Make sure you remember to scan your card on the way out because they charge you extra if you forget. When you scan your card, the machines tell you how much money is left on your card so you can keep track of your balance.

It takes about forty-five minutes on the subway to get to Seoul Station from Incheon International Airport. There are two options for trains to take. The first is the less expensive and stops at many other stations along the way, the other is more expensive but goes straight through. The second option doesn’t save too much time, but it could potentially be more comfortable. The subway became incredibly crowded as we got closer to Seoul Station. 

Incheon Seoul Layover

One difficulty we had when navigating the subway came from using Google Maps. Usually, Google Maps is a life saver when it comes to public transportation because it gives you the names of the stations you need to stop at. Unfortunately, it gave us the names in Korean. So we spent a lot of time comparing the unfamiliar characters on my phone to the characters on the subway maps and hoping that we were guessing correctly. The maps in the subway give the names in both Korean and in English.

Click here to read about what we did on our layover in Seoul.