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“Easy and Safe” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Seoul Metro

Seoul Metro
Ranked #1 of 734 things to do in Seoul
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Springfield, Tennessee
Level Contributor
33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Easy and Safe”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

First you need to get the card (the card ALONE cost KRW 3,000) then you will need to load it/add funds to it so you can actually use it. This T-card can be used for bus, train, cab fares and even in some stores and you can just keep adding funds to it from convenience stores/marts. Their subway system is easy to learn. There's just a lot of walking involved just getting in/out of the station and you should take the time to find out which exit you need to take. There's a map on every station right after you get off the train. Wifi is accessible anywhere even in the train. We went as far as Nami Island using the train. Its fast and very little wait time for the next train. Just get one of those subway maps and you'll learn how to connect from one train to the other using their color coding system. Really easy to learn.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Bellarosie63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Best on Seoul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

Excellent system of transportation. Very user friendly. Cheap and very clean. Ask in your hotel the name of the streets because they are named like Jogno 1, Jogno 2, and its easy to get lost. Other than that is excellent. Be prepared to use multiple stairs.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ive_Gabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Clean safe efficient”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Seoul's metro system is very easy to understand and it has many exits that makes it convenient to head closer to where you're going. If you are a tourist, almost all points of attractions and shopping districts are included in the metro stops thus making it easy to use and very cheap.
I felt very safe and it is very clean. If in case you're lost or need directions, the metro staff are very accommodating to help

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Xtinemd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Outstanding public transportation system! Safe, clean, efficient and cheap”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

As a Chicago native, I am very well versed in public transportation systems. With that said, I will admit that I was at first intimidated by the map showing the sprawling network of subway trains on the wall when I first walked into Seoul Station, but that feeling quickly subsided as I realized how excellent and well thought out this metro really is. Station layouts couldn't be easier: you get a ticket at an automated booth by typing in your destination and paying. A card is dispensed that you place on the top of the turnstyles to enter the subway after you find your line number. When you get to the subway platform, there are signs everywhere (including in English) that tell you which way to go to get to your destination. One of my favorite parts are the walls that separate passengers from the trains while waiting on the platform, as a common occurance in Chicago is suicide by train; this system avoids that and maintains a safe platform at all times. The trains are clean and smooth, and very safe. I was walking around with an expensive camera around my neck and never felt threatened, which is something I cannot say about my hometown. Also, did I mention the price? The train is very cheap and gets you anywhere you would like to go. If you're in Seoul or anywhere nearby, definitely consider taking the Metro over cabs!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank BBuotS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Seoul Metro with Children”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

We initially plan to follow a private subway tour organised by a Malaysian student for our Seoul trip. But he backed out at last minute including hotel booking one month after we have paid our deposit. All praise to God we managed to book a good apartment (Njoy Seoul) 3 weeks before Christmas. And as a last resort, we had to figure out how to get around Seoul by ourselves. There were 7 of us from 2 families - 4 adults and 3 kids (17, 12 and 5). We bring a stroller for the 5 year old as he gets tired easily.

First step for us was to go to Seoul Tourist Center in KL where we got our maps including Subway map. It took us few days trying to figure out the locations of the place we were planning to visit and how to get there using subway - which stations etc. We are used to MRT in Singapore and tube in London, but I think Seoul has so many stations with names you cannot quite pronounce, so it took us sometime to familiarise ourselves. We also studied Seoul map to understand the suburbs and the city centere and where attractions are located. So before we took our flight to Seoul, we sort of have a rough idea of where to go and how to get there. We also read about T-Money and where to buy them. All these information were very useful if you plan to tour Seoul on subway yourselves.

These are few things that may help you if you plan to take Seoul subway :

1. You can buy T-Money card at 7 eleven. You just ask for T-Money card. The first time you buy, there are some values in the card for you to use, but once the value finish, or about to finish, just top it up at a machine at any station. The machine has english language so it was easy. I think we paid 2500KRW for the card first time and then we topped up 5000 every other day. On the last day we really count how much we think we are going to use so we do not over top up. Each short journey (like 4-5 stops) would cost you a base price of 1050KRW (I think or about that). If it is a longer journey (for example from Hongik Univ station to Lotte World - I think it was like more than 20 stations which took us about 1 hour), it will charge more to your card, but not so much more - I think that journey cost us about 2000KRW. They are really cheapest way to get around Seoul. We spent 7 days in Seoul and I think each of us only had to spend less than 30000KRW each. This includes all city travel back and forth for 7 days, also a 1 hour bus trip to Paju Premium Outlet (although I think we tapped too many times once and so we wasted some KRW in our card)

2. The T-Money cannot be used for their fast train (AREX) or the bus from airport. You would probably use the fast train on 2 occasions - from airport to Seoul and from Seoul to the nearest station for a visit to Nami Island. Maybe they are different operators. But you can use your T Money for the subway trains and buses. I think u can use it to pay for entrance fee too but I am not sure. But you can still go to faraway place like Nami Island using normal subway, it is just that it is a lot of stops. In terms of fare, AREX is faster but a littlemore expensive. I would like to try the AREX train, but with the children, we decided to take trip buses which you can buy from Seoul Tourist Center which cost us about 23000KRW return including ferry tickets. I think this is the cheapest and most convenient but the disadvantage is it goes only once a day at specific time i.e departs 9am and comes back at 4pm. I do not think you can use T Money for this. You can google "Nami Island Budget Travel" for more information.

3. I think Seoul Metro is more like MRT in Singapore - a lot of long walk to change lines. And it is not just walk, it also involve a lot of stairs climbing. Some of the station has no alternative elevator. So you have to take the stairs anyway. And these stairs can be quite steep. It was a bit tiring for us because we have a child in a stroller. Sometimes he is sleeping, so we had to carry the stroller down or up the stairs with a 5 year old inside the stroller. And there are a lot of changing lines. It can be very tiring as we experienced it. Even our 12 year old was very tired with all the walking when changing lines.

4. The fare of Seoul Metro is the same for kids and adults. But the 7 Eleven guy told us, the 5 year old need not pay. You just push him through the gate using an adult ticket. I am nots ure what is the age limit because we can barely understand what the 7-E guy said.

5. I am also unimpressed with the attitude of many of the subway users - young and old. They just push you to get ahead like you are not there. And even when they realised they pushed you, they do not seem to be taught the use of the phrase "excuse me". We were pushed so many times from behind and sideways - you are normally pushed sideways when you exit the station as there are people coming from different directions - I tell you, the just pushed you to make way for themselves to the point of being really rude - and never once anyone would say excuse me. Once we were queueing for the escalator and there is one old guy, he just pushed us aside and when we show unhappy faces, he was very upset and scolded us in a language we do not understand as he went up the escalator. I am not sure if this is Korean culture, I hope it is not, but generally this was what happened to us, and a great spoiler everytime.

Overall Seoul Metro is very convenient and cheap, but I will not advise it if you have small kids with strollers, especially if you travel during winter. Also before you take off to Seoul, do take the time to study the subway map as to where you want to go and how to get there, so you will not waste your holiday time trying to figure out.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank ummi_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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