Seoul is known best as a city that has the most complete and sophisticated public transportation system in the world. Almost every location is reached easily through public transportation no matter how crowded the city is. So, it won’t be impossible to get on a subway train, taxi, or bus.
As like other big cities in East Asia, Seoul has extensive public transportation which is well organized. As a result, riding a scooter in Seoul is rarely done for getting around the Seoul area. Seoul offers various transportation methods which include buses, subway, and taxis. You can rent a car here, but it is not recommended remembering the terrible traffic in Seoul. The drivers there are too courteous that they can stop immediately when you cross the street on foot. Besides, the drivers will not really think about the parking situation.
Korea Transportation Card and Passes
The best thing about using transportation in Korea is the transportation cards and passes. It saves your time as a tourist in exchanging some money for travelling. It also saves you from the long queue at the ticket counters or ticket machine. The cards used commonly are Seoul City Pass Plus or T-money Card. They are not only used for paying transportation, but also for buying something at the department stores, convenience stores, bookstores, pay phones, or vending machines. The detail description of the cards are:
1. Seoul City Pass
The card is used for allowing foreign tourists to ride a bus or subway until 20 trips in a day. You can also take the Seoul City Tour Bus as many as you can. This pass costs 15,000, 25,000 and 30,000 wons for a day, two, or three days respectively.
2. Seoul City Pass Plus
It is a bit the same as a T-money card which is reloadable and adds value to the 3,000 wons for the base value card. The Seoul City Pass Plus offers some discounts for attracting tourists. The good thing is that the card also can be used anywhere in Korea, not just in Seoul.
3. T-money Card
It is a reloadable card which can be used for paying public transportation. The base fee is 3,000 won and you just need to touch the card on the payment sensor. The sensor is located at the entry and exit access of subway and buses station. What the best is you can return the card to any metro ticket when you are about to go home. If you return the pass on time, the metro ticket office will return your balance.
Seoul Public Transportations
1. Seoul Buses
There are some colours for certain lines of buses. So, it is really helpful for foreign tourists who cannot speak Korean.
- Blue Buses: the lines go around the entire city of Seoul (1,300 won/ride)
- Yellow Buses: the lines go around the downtown Seoul (1,200 won/ride)
- Green Buses: the lines are short and run between the major stations and other blue bus routes (1,300 won/ride)
- Red Buses: the lines go to suburban areas outside the city (2,400 won/ride)
- Night Buses: regular buses that go at night.
2. Seoul Subways
To take this transportation, you need to load up your Seoul City Pass Plus and T-money card. Just scan the card simply at the subway entrance and exit gates.
3. Seoul Taxis
There are two categories of Seoul taxis based on its function:
- Ilban/Regular Taxis: the colour is orange, silver, white, or blue with the “Taxi” sign on it (2,200 – 3,000 won)
- Mobeum/Deluxe Taxis: the colour is black and yellow stripe (3,200 to 5,000 won). You can pay with credit cards, get the receipts and no nighttime surcharges.
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