Visiting Korea > Getting Around Seoul

Getting Around Seoul

Getting Around Seoul

Driving around Seoul can be challenging in part because of the Korean driving style, but mainly because of traffic. Some days and times are worse than others (8:30 to 9:30 AM, 17:00 to 19:00 , Friday afternoons and when it rains/snows). Regardless of the time of day, leave yourself plenty of time since traffic congestion is a constant fact and you can expect something to happen on the road to create delays. 

However, Seoul has an excellent public transportation system that includes 8 subway lines, 5 bus systems that run within the city and between the city and its outlying communities, as well as two levels of taxis that can either be flagged or called.

 The subway system is extremely easy to use, just bear in mind that the directions are based on the last stop on the last as opposed to compass points. Each station is clearly marked in English and on most trains, upcoming station information is given in English and Korean.

 The bus system is more difficult to navigate and buses other than the (green buses servicing branch routes) no longer show information in English. Bus routes are posted at each bus stop, but the new ones are mainly in Korean. However, most Koreans are very helpful and will tell you which bus to get on. Stops are not clearly indicated and the announcement system is difficult to hear (and often in Korean only) so you may want to ask the driver to let you know when your stop is coming up. Be careful, however, of stop names. For example, the stop called Hyatt Hotel is two-three bus stops away from the hotel and is not the right place to get off unless you want a long walk. 

Taxis are plentiful most of the time and although they can be called (you’ll pay W1,000 over the meter charge), most people just flag them from the street or from designated Taxi stands.

 T-Money cards (smart money) can be used to pay for bus and subway fares (and result in a discount) and have been introduced in the taxi system as well, although it will be some time before you can use it to pay your fare (no discount) in all taxis.

NOTE: For more details about public transportation in Seoul and other Korean cities, click on the 'Daily Life' tab on the menu at the top of the page and then scroll to the various 'Public Transportation' lists (ie. Public Transportation-Daegu, Public Transportation-Busan, etc)

K4E Editor's Note: wants to provide you with as complete and accurate information as possible, so should you find any errors or omissions in the contents above please let us know at


Last Updated on 2015-03-20

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