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Cheap and Efficient Way Around Seoul
the computation for subway fares are:
basic fare : up tp 10 km : 900 won
Between 10km and 40km : additional 100won per 5km
Over 40km : Additional per 5km 100won per 10km
A color-coded system, as well as a numerical system are used for routing. All station entrances, platforms and destinations are color-coded and clearly marked in English. Large subway maps are posted at each station and in each subway car. Although many foreign residents refer to each line by color (i.e. orange line or blue line), locals go by the numbers (orange = line 3, while blue may be line 3 or line 1). Each station has a number code (Seoul Station is 426 meaning line 4 stop 26).
You can buy a magnetized yellow ticket at a vending machine or ticket window at any subway stop. Validate the ticket by inserting it and picking it up as you go through the turnstile; make sure you keep it unbent or uncrumpled for use at the destination turnstile that will retain one-way tickets. Stand in line for boarding and board quickly. Stops are announced in Korean and English; markings on the subway map inside each car generally indicate which side the doors open for exiting at each station. In general, subway trains operate at intervals of two and a half to three minutes during the morning and evening rush hours and at intervals of four to six minutes during the non-rush hours. Depending on the line, trains begin running between 5:40 and 6:00 to stop between 22:30 and 23:00.
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The Metro in Seoul
The website below might help you with information not provided here.
We bought our tickets at a ticket booth. We did not use the vending machines in Seoul. But we did in Busan. You explain which station you want to arrive at. One travel is generally 1,000 won (at today's exchange rate, about US$1). You put your ticket in the gate machine and it spits back out after you pass through the gate. GRAB this ticket because you will need it later on to exit the Metro station.
Most subway maps are written in Korean, Japanese and English. The numbers next to the name of each station on the map indicates the subway fare for the destination from the present station. Simply tell the worker behind the ticket window your destination, and they will issue you the appropriate ticket.
Foreign currency is not accepted at subway ticket windows, so make sure you have Korean Won.
Senior citizens, handicapped persons and children have priority seating. Senior citizens will also cut in front of you to enter the metro first and will also cut in line to get a ticket at the ticket booth. Complimentary ticket machine gives free metro tickets to senior citizens.
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Among world cities, Seoul has one of the most extensive subway facilities. The city is conveniently linked by subways, taxis and buses. The subways, though a little more complicated than that of Singapore's due to the size of Seoul, are the best mode of transport to get you around the city. The web of subway lines connecting every corner of Seoul and the surrounding area allows you to have a peek at the life of Seoulites in a low cost and convenient way. The subway is not just a means of transportation but another tool to help make your life is Seoul more enjoyable.
All lines are color-coded, and when you are armed with just a map of Seoul, you should be able find your way around the tourist attractions. In addition, all signs are provided in English as well, and announcements on the trains are also made in English.
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Seoul's subway network
Seoul offers a very extensive and pervasive subway system.
You can literally get anywhere in Seoul by subway (or close enough to walk) to where you need to go. Currently under construction is an extention to go through to the airport in Incheon.
Station and transfer signs are in Korean, English, and a few in Japanese as well.
Price starts at 1,000 Won for up to a 10km trip, and goes up 100 Won every 5km after.
You can purchase an electronic transit pass (T-money or U-pass) at convenience stores or banks, and have them charged up at the stations. They give you a discounted fare when riding both subway and bus systems.
Click on the link below to go to a large fullscreen map.
The first trains start up at approximately 5:30ish, depending on the line.
Last trains run untill approximately 12:15 on weekends, and 1:30 on weekdays.
*BE WARNED!* If you are on the last train when it stops and you are not yet at your needed stop, you will have to exit the station and take a cab to where you need to go.
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Cyber subway guide
Check out this subway guide! It really helped me a lot in planning my trips since this guide will tell you the quickest route, the transfer points and ticket prices! All you have to do is click on your point of origin and your desired destination!
Getting on the subway
Though Seoul is pretty cheap place compared to most of Europe. The subway is also, though due to the long distances you need to travel prices seem rather high with about 800W for a single ride. When buying tickets consider buying a so called "credit card". You can put any amount of money on this card and pay with it in bus/subway and also some stores. It's good value and gives you a discount on the subway which you will depend on anyways as all the sights are distant from each other.
Everything is very well arranged though and completely fit for Korean standards with gas masks at every station and on the metro you can often find beggars with a small radio playing Korean music and salesmen. Since I was there in november they were all trying to sell handgloves for the comming winter.
The network is extensive and bilingual (except for messages when trains aren't cancelled/delayed). There are 9 lines covering the whole city and plenty of transferpoints. Most stations are named in Korean, English, and have a number. They start with the number of the line and then the number of the station. Arrows indicate the next station and the previous station, so you always know if you are heading the right way. Watch out with transferring though, it can happen you are on the wrong side of the tracks and need to change tracks, sometimes you have to pass the touniquettes and pay for an additional ride. Transfer stations never have this problem.
And if you can't manage to get around with it, just ask someone because Koreans are extemely helpfull (it can get even annoying sometimes as they tend to take your hand and just drag you around to somewhere you don't need to be).
over 300 stops!
Seoul subway is easy way to get around. All signs are in English and you can get anywhere you want to go. I'd buy a metro card and put $$ on it to save time lining up for tickets. It only costs about 800W each trip.. little more for longer hauls. If you're a group short distances are cheaper in taxi... but if there's alot of traffic- it might not be worth it.
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The subway is the cheapest and usually easiest way to get around Seoul. There are eight subway lines, some, like Line 1, stretch from one hour north of the city center to one hour south of the city. Cost is 700 Won (~US$0.50) for trips within the city and the most expensive rides to the far ends of the subway are only 1300 Won. You can either pay at the ticket counter or use the automated ticket machines. The machines are easy -- just look at the subway map above the machines for the price at the stop you want, press the button for that amount, and put your money in the machine. You can also buy a 10,000 or 20,000 Won multi-use ticket and get 10% free (i.e. pay 10,000 Won for 11,000 Won worth of subway use).
Almost 4 million people use lines 1-4 daily, I couldn't find ridership stats for the entire system.
Seoul Metro (서울메트로) operates most of lines 1, 2, 3, and 4 and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation 서울특별시도시철도공사 (SMRT) operates lines 5, 6, 7, and 8. Korail (한국철도공사) operates parts of Lines 1, 3 and 4 along with the Bundang Line.
Line 9 is under construction and will run along the southern edge of the Han River, connecting Gimpo Airport, Youido, and Gangnam in phase one (2008), then continuing further east along the river for phase two. Another line is being built to connect the Bundang Line in the southeast edge of the city to Yongin, home of the very popular Everland Amusement Park. And probably the best news for us international travelers is the rail line to the airport will be complete to Gimpo Airport in 2007 and all the way to Seoul Station by 2010.
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Grab your maps! In for an adventure!
tAKIN the train is a must!! hahha to see the chaos the many faces of the Koreans!! sometimes they have like tv in there to watch fun commercials. lol. you can go anywhere using the train. very inexpensive and convenient. it can be a lil crowded during rush hours but again the ride is not too too long. just make sure if you are out late you have to catch the train before 11pm. I think thats when the last train ends.
-at the end of the bus thats where the senior citizens so the ajusshi and ajumas sit.
-Its good to offer your seat to the elders and to a pregnant woman.
Seoul is NOT some backward, Third World city. In fact, its subway system compares quite favorably with those of London, Paris, or Washington. It's extremely fast, reliable, and easy to use (all signs are in Korean and English). And the price is next to nothing. Of course, it can be very crowded, especially during the afternoon rush hour.
So don't bother driving in this city; it's far more hazardous and troublesome, especially to a foreign visitor. The subway goes almost everywhere.
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Using the subways in Seoul is really easy. Get a subway map in English and you'll have no problem getting around. You can get to most places for 900 Won and from one end of Seoul to the other for 1300 Won. You can sit anywhere except for at the end of each car which is where seats are reserved for the elderly and handicapped. One Korean custom to keep in mind. If you are a man or a young student/adult and have a seat in a crowded car and see an elderly person standing, it is of good gesture to offer your seat to the elderly person.
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Navigating on the Seoul Metro
No worries about language here as the signs are in native Hangeul and English. Fortunately the trains are not packed like sardines during after work hours like in other big cities like e.g. Tokyo.
Changing metro lines is a breeze! if you want to get to the other line just follow the arrows and the colour code on the walls! It's even along the walls of the staircases.. Refer to Photo 1.
To check if you're on the right track.. just look at the signs for the train's direction of travel! Refer to Photo 2.
Tip: Some stations have clustered entrances/exits that are not accessbile to each other, so it would be good if you know exactly which Entrance number you are heading to before you make the exit with the ticket.
Tip2: One station i remembered did not have crossovers in the train platform area, so check before entering with the ticket as to which direction of travel you are heading to.
Tip3: Almost everyone buys their tickets from the man from the counter, and not from the automated machines. Most of the time it's faster and more convenient if you only have notes.
One last thing, do not throw the ticket!! You'll need it for every exit out of the system..
This is what keeps Seoul moving
Clean and efficient, Seoul's metro will take you anywhere in the city. Signs are in English and all the most interesting spots of the city have a station. That means no worries about being cheated, getting lost or language barrier.
Seoul subway system
Seoul has quite a developed subway system. There are many lines, and it's everywhere. therefore, wherever you wish to go, usually it's there, All you gotta do is to buy a ticket and get it. However, to get the right place, you may have to transfer many lines, and that's not real easy. Usually subway's packed with people.. But anyways..
since you are down here to experience everything as a tourist, being packed in a subway won't be too bad, just for once.. maybe.
The cost is pretty cheap.. can be vary depends on how far you travel... it can cost from about 0.8 $to 2$ maximum.
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The best and worst way to travel is via the subway system. Sure it's extensive and will get you everywhere but only if yoiu can figure out how it works.
Looking at the subway map, you can help but feel a little overwhelm. There are lines intersecting, oversecting and undersecting each other. It's more than likely you'll get lost within this system nadnever see daylight again.
So if you can ask the local, or anyone who's not running away from you.... Crazy foreigners
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