Seoul Subway: Navigating Seoul’s Public Transport System

Seoul is a phenomenally large city and many of the attractions are spaced out. During my stay in Seoul I tried a number of different methods of transport but particularly liked the Seoul Subway. With 20 lines and almost 300 stations, the subway and train system spans across the city and links key tourist destinations.


READ MORE: 14 Best Things To Do In Seoul


Facts about the Seoul Subway

  • First opened: 1974
  • Number of lines: 20
  • Number of stations: 291
  • Track length: 1097.3km
  • Annual ridership: 2.62 billion


Seoul Subway Map In English

Seoul Subway Map English


Cost of Seoul Subway

The subway is an affordable way to get around Seoul. If you are doing more than one journey on the subway, I would strongly recommend getting a T-Money Card which can also be used on different modes of transport. There are many different ticket options:

  • Single journey: 1350 won
  • T money card: 3000 won initially for the card, 1250 won per train journey thereafter


Tickets and the T-Money Card can be purchased from the many ticket vending machines located in the subway stations.


The train service also connects the airports (Gimpo and Incheon) to Seoul which is explained further in the article: Getting Between Seoul and the Airport.


Seoul Subway service

Seoul subway train


The trains run frequently and the stations are around 2 minutes’ apart. From my experience, the trains were punctual and clean. Services cease at 24:00 on weekends and 01:00 on weekdays, so it is not totally ideal for late nights. The first service of the day is 05:30


The T Money Card works like travel cards in most major cities and is quickly accepted by the machines. It is necessary to use the card to both tap on and tap off.


There are reports of petty theft on the subway but this is the same as other cities. My experience was of exceptional safety with good security and CCTV presence at all stations, as well as on trains.


Seoul Subway stations


Seoul Subway station

There are a few key subway stations where you can transfer to multiple lines, but most stations are serviced by only one line. The stations themselves are clean and orderly. However, the walks from the platform to the exits can sometimes be very long!


Elevators are at a lot of stations but can be very difficult to find. Often the elevator will only be accessible from one entrance/exit and it can be a trek to get there. If you require an elevator, factor this in when choosing your entrance/exit point.


The stations are all equipped with free wifi and all signs/notices are in both Korean and English.


Top Tips for Travelling on the Seoul Subway

Overall I found the Seoul subway to be a great way to get around the city. It is safe, clean and fast. I would recommend acquiring a subway map (available in hotels, hostels, around the subway, and in guides like Lonely Planet) to ensure you do not get lost. The T Money Card is the best and most convenient method of ticketing for tourists. There are many alternatives if you feel the subway is not for you, but I would highly recommend giving it a go!



Have you travelled around Seoul or have questions? Please comment below – I would love to hear from you! [icon color=”#34aa3e” icon=”icon-heart2″ size=”24px”]

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Lucy Owens Travel Textbook


My name’s Lucy and I’m the junior doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.


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