Arrival at the Incheon International Airport (ICN)
Whenever I set foot in any country for the first time, I’m always excited to see and experience their international airport, and somehow make a mental note of how their infrastructure facilities compare with our own and with the other countries that I’ve been to.
The Incheon International Airport (ICN) has been listed as one of the best airports in the world, and I think I understood why. The aiport is really huge that it will take a train ride to reach the arrival area, or to get to your boarding gate after passing through the immigration.
The architecture is quite impressive and you will find it very clean (especially the rest rooms). Of course what I liked most are the awesome free services that are truly essential for travelers like the free WiFi, computers, showers, charging stations, among others. I also learned that there’s just so many things that you can do here like for a layover with all their facilities (e.g., garden, golf course, Korean Museum, Casino, movie theaters, etc.).
So, arriving at ICN, here are some reminders/tips:
- Adjust your watch to local time in South Korea, which is 1 hour ahead of Manila.
- Exchange only a small amount of Dollar to Korean Won and do the rest in Myeong-dong as they have cheaper exchange rates at the airport.
- You can buy a T-Money card (and recharge) at the GS25 store located near Exits 10 and 14.
Transport Options from Incheon Airport to Seoul City
From the ICN passenger arrival area (1st floor), there are various transport options to reach Seoul City. You can travel via train, bus or taxi.
(1) via Train
Airport Railway Express (AREX) – located at B1/F of the Passenger Terminal, Transport Center. For this, there are two options: (a) an Express Train or Non-stop Train that will travel from ICN to Seoul Station for 43 mins and is worth KRW8,000 ; or (b) an All-stop train (10 stops from ICN to Seoul Station) which takes 56 mins, worth KRW4,150. You can use your T-money card for traveling via AREX. For more information, visit the AREX website: AREX
Korea Train Express (KTX) – a high speed rail express train that can take you to Seoul Station for about 47 mins. The KTX is worth KRW17,500 for 1st class or KRW12,500 for standard class train. You can check the train schedule and purchase the train ticket online atmost 1 month in advance via the Korail website: Korail online booking
Seoul Metropolitan Subway – depending on which train station of the Seoul Metro Subway that you’re headed, you can take the combination of the All-stop train of the Airport Railroad which is also connected to the Seoul Metro Subway. You can check the subway route and train fare via this website: Seoul Metro Railways
(2) via Airport Limousine Bus
- Airport Limousine Bus – airport limousine buses provide convenient alternative option since they stop at various parts of Seoul, some of which are near famous attractions and hotels. Tickets may be purchased at ticket booths outside the arrival area and fares vary depending on the location of the stop (e.g., ranging from KRW10,000 up). The bus numbers, routes, schedules and fares may be viewed through this website: Airport Limousine Bus
- Taxi – lastly, if you don’t like to commute via train or bus, you can always travel via taxi, which of course is more costly. To give you an idea of the taxi fare, you can check the ICN website and go to public transportation via taxi: ICN
Airport Limousine Bus No. 6011
We booked our accommodation at the Beewon Guesthouse , and for convenience, we opted to take the Airport Limousine Bus No. 6011 since it has a bus stop at the Changdeokgung Palace, which is only about 3-min walk to Beewon. So, compared to the train options, which usually only stops at the Seoul Metro Subway Station, the bus is the best option that has a stop closest to our guesthouse. To give you an idea, below is the route/stops of Bus No. 6011:
From the airport arrival hall, there is a ticket booth outside Exit 11, and the bus ticket is worth KRW10,000. The bust stop number is at 12A, which is just a few steps from the ticket booth (there is also a bus stop at 5B). At the bus stop, the bus driver or some airport employee will help you with your luggage.
Inside the bus, it was clean and the seats are comfortable (with TV). Once you’ve reached the popular bus stops, the driver will start announcing them and you can signal the driver or say your bus stop and he will assist you again with your luggage when you get off. Overall, we had a pleasant journey that took about 1 hour (may vary depending on traffic condition).