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Subway print

Today's Blog-Seoul metro

[Experience Korea inside the metro]
The subway of Korea is remembered by tourists as a wondrous and unfamiliar culture. Today's blogger, Matt Kelly introduces Korea's metro. Visit his blog at
*Today's Blog is produced by Arirang TV in partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization.

Click on the Cyber Station map (left) to gain access to the most high-tech Seoul subway guide.
Simply click on your Departure Station, followed by your Arrival Station, and the Cyber Station will show you the train schedule, quickest route, transfer points, and fare information.
This revolutionary program is jointly provided by Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation and Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation.

** Exclusively for foreign nationals

How to Use the Subway

Subway systems offer a convenient way of exploring metropolitan cities in Korea. With some guidance, anyone will be able to use the metropolitan subway systems with ease. Each subway station has a name, number, and color, which represents the Subway Line. Transfer stations, where two or more Lines intersect, are marked differently – usually a larger circle – on a subway map. By looking at the subway map, you can determine your departure and arrival stations.

Subway fares slightly differ by age. (See below for Seoul Subway Fares.) All fares are exchanged for transportation cards, which are required for passing through the security gates. Single Journey Transportations Cards are most suitable for one-time, one-way trips, while Multiple Journey Transportation Cards are most suitable for long-term visitors/residents who make multiple journeys.

Lastly, many subway stations provide convenience facilities like multi-purpose self-storage locker systems and phone-charging stations, as well as a wide variety of attractions including shopping, exhibitions and performances.

• Seoul Subway Fares

Seoul Subway Fares
Basic fare for 10km Age 19 and older Age 13–18 Age 6–12
Multiple Journey
Transportation Cards
1,050 won 900 won 450 won
Single Journey
Transportation Cards
1,150 won 1,000 won 500 won
  • - Children 6 and younger: Free
  • - Total distances exceeding 10km (within Seoul): 100 won for each additional 5km
  • - Total distances exceeding 40km (within Seoul): 100 won for each additional 10km
  • - Total distances exceeding 30km (outside Seoul): 100 won for each additional 5km

Transportation Cards: Single Journeys

Ticket Vending and Card Reload Device

Single Journey Tickets can be purchased using the Ticket Vending and Card Reload Devices located inside subway stations. The Devices are operated in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese. Single journey cards can be used only on the subway.

  1. 1. Select your preferred language.
  2. 2. Touch the ‘1회용 교통카드 (Single Journey Ticket)’ box on the left side of the screen.
  3. 3. Search and select your destination. Subway stations are listed in an alphabetical order.
  4. 4. Select the quantity for each type of Single Journey Tickets desired. General Tickets are for adults and children over age 13, while Discount Tickets are for children ages 6 to 12.
  5. 5. Once you select the quantity, the ticket price will show up on the left side of the screen. (Picture: 1 General Single Journey Ticket) For each General Single Journey Ticket, the minimum fare is 1,150 won, and the deposit is 500 won. You may receive the deposit refund at your destination.
  6. 6. Pay the total ticket price. The Device takes 1,000/5,000/10,000-won bills and 50/100/500-won coins.
  7. 7. Briefly wait for your Single Journey Ticket to print.
  8. 8. Retrieve the Ticket, and head to the security gates.
  9. 9. Spot the security gate with a green arrow; the ones with a red X or restriction symbol are not accessible. Place your ticket on the security gate card reader. After the beep, pass through the gate and head to the subway platform. In order to exit the subway station at your destination, place the ticket once again on the security gate card reader.
<Tip 1 – Transferring>
For most of the time when transferring, you do not have to pass through the security gate system or purchase another ticket. Moreover, subway lines are color-coded for easier navigation. Simply get off at the correct transfer station, and follow the signs towards the other subway platform.
<Tip 2 – Non-Transferable Stations>
There are three stations where transfer is not possible with a Single Journey Ticket.
  • - Seoul Station (Gyeonguiseon Line to/from Subway Line 1, 4)
  • - Noryangjin Station (Subway Line 1 to/from Subway Line 9)
  • - Gyeyang Station (Incheon Subway Line to/from Airport Railway)

Deposit Refunds

Deposit Refund Device

You may receive a 500-won refund for the Single Journey Ticket deposit by returning the Ticket to a Deposit Refund Device at your final destination. Simply insert the Ticket into the Device, and collect your refund.

  1. 1. Spot a Deposit Refund Device.
  2. 2. Insert your Single Journey Ticket into the Device.
  3. 3. Collect your 500-won refund from the Deposit Refund box.

Transportation Cards: T-Money Cards (Multiple Journeys; Rechargeable)

T-money Cards are rechargeable transportation cards, which can be used on subways, buses and taxis. They are not only convenient, especially for frequent subway riders, but also cheaper than Single Journey Tickets when making multiple journeys, since the cards offer at least 10% discount on the basic fare.

T-money Cards can be purchased for 2,500 won each using T-money Vending Devices (limited availability), and recharged with amounts ranging from 1,000 won to 90,000 won using the Ticket Vending and Card Reload Devices located inside subway stations. The Cards can also be purchased and recharged at convenience stores and vendor kiosks with the “T-money” signboard.

Moreover, the Deluxe T-money Cards offer mileage points based on the total fare paid. To find out more about T-money Cards, please review the transportation card information.

• Recharging T-money Cards

  1. 1. Select your preferred languge.
  2. 2. Touch the ‘T-money Card’ box on the right side of the screen.
  3. 3. Place your T-money Card on the recharging pad.
  4. 4. Select the amount of money you wish to recharge.
  5. 5. Pay the total recharge amount. The Device takes 1,000/5,000/10,000-won bills and 50/100/500-won coins.
  6. 6. Wait briefly while the Device recharges your T-money Card. Once the card is recharged, check its pre-/post-recharge balance.

Transportation Cards: M-PASS (Multiple Journeys)

Metropolitan Pass or M-Pass is a transportation card offering limited rides (up to 20 rides per day) in the Seoul Metropolitan City area, including Seoul Subway Lines 1-9, Incheon Metro, Airport Metro Commuter (except Airport Railroad Express) and Seoul bus.

M-Passes come in five different types: 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 5-day and 7-day passes. They are valid for designated time period, and expire at midnight on the last day of validity. (e.g. 3-day M-Pass  Activation: January 1, 2012 / Expiration: Midnight, January 3, 2012)

As M-Pass has the T-money function, it can be used on buses, on taxis, and at select convenience stores as long as there is usable T-money balance. Once you have used up the limited subway rides on M-Pass, you may use its T-money function to ride subways.

M-Passes are available for purchase at Seoul Travel Information Centers (I-Tour Seoul Centers) in Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal. When buying an M-Pass, you must pay a refundable deposit of 4,500 won, and a non-refundable service charge of 500 won. Also, you will receive discount coupons for admission to popular tourist attractions. The deposit as well as any remaining T-money balance on the M-Pass is refunded when you return it to any of the I-Tour Seoul Centers.

Card Types Prices
1-day pass 10,000 won
2-day pass 18,000 won
3-day pass 25,500 won
5-day pass 42,500 won
7-day pass 59,500 won

• M-Pass Sales Locations
Seoul Travel Information Centers (I-Tour Seoul Centers)
- Locations: Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal (1F), Exits 5 & 10
- Inquiries: +82-32-743-3270
- Upon purchasing M-Pass, you will receive coupons for discounted admission to N Seoul Tower, Chongdong Theater, Lotte World, and other tourist attractions.

• M-Pass T-money Recharge Locations
Ticket Vending and Card Reload Devices inside subway stations

• M-Pass Refunds (M-Pass must be returned to its sales location)
- 4,500-won deposit
- Remaining T-money balance

Subway Signs

(1) Exits… Way Out

(2) Transfers

The color coding system of subway systems allows for convenient rides and transfers. For instance, if you need to transfer to Seoul Subway Line 7 from Seoul Subway Line 3, get off at Express Bus Terminal Station, and follow the arrows for Transfer to Line 7 (dark green).

(3) Subway Line Colors

(4) Subway Station Maps

Subway Station Maps displayed inside a subway station provide helpful information on its area, location and bearing. The yellow circles with numbers represent exit numbers, and the red circle shows your current loation. They also show nearby bus stops and other landmarks for easier navigation.

Subway Lockers

Many of the subway stations on Seoul Subway Lines are equipped with paid lockers. In addition to storage, these lockers provide diverse services including shipping and receiving, express delivery, and laundry.

• Locker Usage Fees

  1. 1. Storage: Small lockers 2,000 won / Large lockers 3,000 won (based on 24 hours; extra charge for additional hours)
  2. 2. Home delivery service: Small lockers 2,000 won / Large lockers 3,000 won (based on 24 hours; extra charge for additional hours)
  3. 3. Shipping & Receiving
    - Shipping: General 6,000 won / Jeju Island 8,000 won / Other islands 10,000 won
    - Packing (separate charge): 2,000 won (extra charge for weights over 10kg)
  4. 4. Transferring to another station/storage: 10,000 won per box (based on a small box weighing less than 10kg)
  5. 5. Long-term usage: 100,000 won per month (Inquiries: 1588-2625)

• Features of Subway Lockers

  1. 1. LCD screen storage & pick-up information
  2. 2. T-money Card payment
  3. 3. Credit card payment
  4. 4. Receipt pick-up
  5. 5. CCTV video recording

• How to Store Belongings

  1. 1. Locker Usage Options. Select “1 물품 보관하기 (Storage)” on the screen.
  2. 2. Locker Selection. Select your preferred locker, and select “확인 (Confirm).” Available lockers are shown in blue boxes.
  3. 3. Payment Methods. The first row indicates the locker usage fee. (Picture: 2,000 won for a small locker) Select the method of payment: 1) T-money Card; 2) Credit Card; 3) Cell Phone; 4) Cash. Payment with cell phones may be limited for foreign visitors.
  4. 4. Payment. Pay the locker usage fee. (Picture: After selecting payment method #1, place your T-money Card on the T-money Card reader. Make sure there is enough money in the T-money Card balance.)
  5. 5. Open Locker. When your locker opens, put your belongings inside.
  6. 6. Close Locker. Make sure to put your belongings on the red circle inside the locker. Close the locker, and it will lock automatically.
    * Do not lose the card you used to pay with, as you will need it to open the locker again.

• How to Pick Up Stored Belongings

  1. 1. Locker Usage Options. Select “5 물품찾기 (Pick-Up)” on the screen.
  2. 2. Pick-up Options. #1: 본인이 보관한 물품 찾기 (Pick up my belongings) / #2: 타인에게서 전달 받은 물품 또는 택배물품, 다른 역 이동 물품 찾기 (Pick up delivery packages)
  3. 3. Payment Methods. Select the method of payment you used for storing belongings in the locker.
  4. 4. Payment Confirmation. Confirm the payment of the locker usage fee. (Picture: Place your T-money Card that you used for payment on the T-money Card reader)
  5. 5. Pick-up Options. #1: 예 (Yes; Pick up my belongings) / #2: 아니오 (No; Restore my belongings). Extra charge applies for extended use of the locker.
  6. 6. Open Locker. When your locker opens, take out all your belongings.
  7. 7. Close Locker. Take out all your belongings, and close the locker if no longer using it.

Related Links

Last Updated in April, 2012

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