You can now get an english bus route map from the Tourist Information bureaus but there are still a lot of routes not on the map and they don't include the little "mal buses" but at least it's a start.
A bus ride costs about 700 won on a normal city bus. The bus drivers are among the worst in Seoul. I think they maybe taxi school dropouts!!!
Incheon airport is about a 40 to 60 minute drive to Seoul without traffic. Since this airport is fairly new they have yet to provide train access to and from the city (phase 1 to be completed in 2005 and phase 2 in 2008). The quickest and most cost effective way to get to your hotel from the airport is the bus. Walk outside of the terminal to the front and you will find several signs and probably people lining up. The lines are set up by groups of hotels so find your hotel, or a hotel that is close or at least know the area of the city that you're going to. The busses are very clean and comfortable and a trip into the city will only cost about 11,000 won (which is about $10 for those of us in the US). Prices range from a few hundred won up to 20,000 so check the link below for exact fares. Busses run till about 11pm so after that you're stuck with a cab.
One of the other nice things about the bus is that I am told that they can use a special "bus" lane which will come in handy when traffic is bad.
See the link below for complete information on the busses.
Use the Airport Limousine bus, the ride into Seoul was about 45 minutes and only cost 5,500 won (can pay using your passcard). The bus stops at major intersections all over Seoul. Your best bet is to stop at the info desk where you can get the passcard. Tell them where you want to stay and they'll give you the bus stop close to your accommodations. KAL Limousine is more expensive stops at major hotels.
Fares can be paid with either cash, or a bus card as you board. To stop the bus at your destination, push one of the stop buttons located along the length of the bus.
There are three kinds of urban buses running in Seoul City: City, City Express and Deluxe Express. The City Express Buses are referred to as 'chwasok' and are more comfortable than City Buses. City Buses are referred to as 'ilban' bus. These are numbered according to their specific routing. Since destinations are written only in Korean (Hangul), it is best to know your bus routing and number in advance. You may get assistance from your hotel front desk to find out where the bus stops are and which number you need to take.
And there is one more kind of bus called 'Maeul Bus' that is a kind of a shuttle bus. It is run with a short-distance service course in the residential area that doesn't have a convenient transportation including a subway or a bus. Usually these buses are smaller and cheaper than the normal buses. Since the transportation card is not available for these Maeul buses yet, bus fares have to be paid in cash.
You can ride an airport limousine bus from Airport to Seoul City. The follow a time table so that you can better manage your time.
Taking a bus in Seoul is always great. Even when you are stuck in a traffic jams there is something cool to see.
This time a sunset, next time a .....
May be dificult to use local bus completely,
but please use the bus! It'll be a interesting experience.