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Seoul-Incheon International airport, is a major hub in South Korea connecting travelers to several cities and countries in the region and beyond. The airport is located a fair distance away from Seoul and it can take anywhere between 60-90 minutes by public transport. The options to connect from Incheon airport to Seoul city include Airport express train, buses (airport limousines and city buses) and taxis. While the train is normally my preferred mode of transportation, my final destination was Grand Hyatt Seoul hotel which was a taxi ride away from the train station. As it turned out, the airport bus makes an official stop inside the Grand Hyatt hotel so it would be a door to door service!
Incheon airport to Seoul city
Upon clearing customs, I walked across the arrivals hall to the ticket counter and scoped my city transit options. The person at the desk informed me that Grand Hyatt hotel was an official stop on the bus route and would be a better option. These direct buses from Incheon to Seoul are also called Limousine buses and have designated drop-off and pick-up locations in the city. They are different from city buses that make several stops and take much longer to get to Seoul.
I was able to buy a ticket for the airport limousine bus using my credit card, and it cost me 16,000 Won (~$14 USD). Two key pieces of information on that ticket were marked by the attendant issuing the ticket, the bus stop number (10B) and the bus route number (6702).
Armed with my ticket I exited the doors and walked over to the pillar/post that read 10B, the same side of the curb as the exit doors. Once at the bus stop, I scanned the map for route 6702 and was able to confirm that Grand Hyatt hotel was a legit stop on this route. The display also laid out the bus timings for each hour, in my case was 19:19 and 19:45, as highlighted.
Ticket vending machines were also available along the curb. Credit cards were the only mode of payment and they obviously didn’t have a human being for further directions. Given this was first time at Incheon airport, I was glad I bought my ticket inside and could get additional directions from an attendant.
Curbside limousine attendants were also present and directing passengers, helping them navigate the bus stops and routes. Note that while they were Korean airways employees, you dont have to be traveling KE to avail the KAL limousine bus services.
My bus was running 10 minutes late and we were promptly informed by the employees in advance. Once the bus pulled up at the bus stop, the driver verified and collected my ticket before boarding.
The bus was temperature controlled and the leather seats were spacious and comfortable. While my ticket indicated a seat number, I could not find seat assignments on the bus so I picked a window seat and settled in for the ride.
The seats were well appointed, clean and offered plenty of leg room and recline.
The bus unfortunately did not have WiFi service, but was comfortable enough to stretch and snooze for the hour long drive. Once we entered the city, the bus made several stops at city hotels including one at Grand Hyatt Seoul, my final destination.
My return journey to the airport was on the bus as well. I bought the return ticket from the hotel during check-out, before hopping on the bus right outside the hotel door.
While express train would have been a tad quicker, airport limousine bus was an ideal way to get into Seoul city since it provided a door to door experience. Its best to map your hotel and figure out the distance from Seoul train station if you plan to take the train instead. If your hotel is listed as a stop on the bus route or is a walking distance from one, I would recommend the airport bus limousine for a seamless transit.
If you have taken the airport bus limousine or another transit option, share with a comment below.
[…] Hotels in Seoul which are legit bus stops. Credit: Travel Update […]
[…] Image credit: https://travelupdate.com/incheon-airport-seoul-bus/ […]
The last time I was in Seoul, was with my family in 2008. After going through customs, my Brother arranged for transportation into Seoul. I have no idea how much he paid for the trip. We had a very roomy van and a great trip into the City. I enjoyed the ride, but was more surprised at Seoul itself. I’d returned to Seoul ten years earlier, but this latest trip was extremely exciting as I watched the City and residents as well. It was beautiful, almost enchanting. Seoul had really changed in the years since I had returned to our Family Home last. One thing I rapidly discovered was that while there I would never want to drive a car myself. There’s far too much traffic and parking would be a very difficult proposition.
Though a native born American, I had grown up in Korea and even though trips back to Korea now are far, and few between, I have friends and family in the US who speak Korean. Even so, our speech is a little rusty.
My Sister, Brother, and I do speak Korean, however, My Wife, Brother-in-law, and Niece do not. I really believe that without us, they’d have had a very hard time navigating while they were there..
After our arrival and getting settled in, We decided to go exploring, asking for help from neighbors and people on the streets as needed. The people of Seoul have lost none of their charm and friendliness, so, if you know where you’re going, getting directions and recommendations is usually an easy question away. Armed with plenty of advice we discovered the subway. It only took a short trip that cost us next to nothing, and suddenly we were at the City Hall.
Over the next two weeks it was a whirlwind of activity. Between buses, the subway, and taxis we visited old haunts, new places, made tons of new friends, and had great reunions. Though I had several speaking engagements, our time there was a remarkably wonderful experience, and all too soon was over.
My Wife and I were asked to come back and that if I chose to return to live, I’d be given a teaching position, a pastorate close by, have our Family Home made available and be welcomed Home to live out the rest of our lives comfortably. Boy, was that tempting. If much of my Family and my work weren’t in the US, I’d have jumped at the offer. However, it was necessary to say some very tearful goodbyes, and get aboard a van only to return to the Airport.
It’s been eight years since, and my Wife and I hope to return to Korea next year. Even so, I well remember the bittersweet feeling of watching out the window to see Korea recede into the distance once again. I am still torn between two worlds, here in the US, and Korea. I long to be able to live in both.
My Christopulos, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Seoul. I loved reading it. Your love for the land and its people clearly shines through. Seoul-ites are totally charming and a friendly bunch. This was my first trip to Seoul and yet I felt like I was a local, thanks to the smiles on the street and the ever helpful demeanor of the locals. All I had to do was ask, and they went above and beyond in not only helping me navigate but also suggested some terrific local jaunts!
I sincerely hope you get to return next year and I would love to hear new stories and observations. Your enthusiasm and story-telling is infectious and its travelers like you that make us wanderlust! Thank you once again for sharing your story.
Thank you Bling. I really do love Korea, and even though I’ve lived in the US for the last Thirty years, still consider myself an ex-patriot Korean. I’ve gone back several times now, and it gets harder and harder to leave each time.
God Bless you my friend.
KAL limo buses look very similar to the ones I took to airport in 2003 when I lived in Seoul. Price is the same as well. They were very convenient as there were numerous routes from Incheon out across greater Seoul.
KAL runs a pretty tight operation, I was impressed. And if it was indeed the same service back in 2003, amazing to know that the prices haven’t changed in 13 years! Thanks for sharing, cheers!