Using the Korean Subway System

Ready to explore Seoul? Skip out on being stuck in traffic, in a bus or an expensive taxi and take the subway!

If this is your first time taking a subway, it might be a little overwhelming. With all the color lines and numbers, don’t be surprised if you get lost during your first couple of trips on the subway. However after just a few trips, you can become an expert!

The Seoul Subway (Metro) system is clean, safe and easy to use. However, it does get very crowded in the morning when people are going to work and in the evening where people coming home from work. The cars are heated during winter and air-conditioned in the summer. There is free Wi-Fi at station stops and on board as long as you have Korea Telecom for Olleh and SK Telecom for T-zone.

The subway trains operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight and runs every 2-10 minutes. It cost 1,350 KRW for 1-time base fare, additional fees may apply for locations over 10 km.  It is recommended you get a T-money card as it’ll lower the cost to 1,250 KRW per trip. Your CAU student ID also functions as a T-money card. Make sure you load it up before going. You can purchase tickets and reload your T-money card at one of these machines here. These machines have an English option so you should have no problems operating it.

Image result for seoul subway machine

Keep in mind that if you buy a 1-time fare ticket, you’ll be paying a 500 KRW deposit. So your total would come out to be 1,850 KRW. You can retrieve your 500 KRW deposit at one of these machines.

Image result for seoul subway deposit

So now that you have your ticket, you’re ready to head off! Use this link to plan your trip. It’s an interactive map provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation. Select your departure then select your destination. The map will then tell you the estimate of the journey time, how many stations, the fare and the next train arrival.

제목 없음.pngWhen departing from CAU, you are going to be using Heukseok Station, so plan your trip accordingly.

If you have a burning desire to be adventurous, this blog gives you a quick rundown of what you can expect to find at every station stop.

Now you’re ready to explore Seoul. So grab your T-Money card and head out to the Subway Station!


Get a T money card. You’ll save money with every use.
Don’t sit in the red seats. They are reserved for the elderly, disabled or pregnant.
Give up your seat to someone more in need if the train is crowded
Don’t talk too loud.
You can eat on the subway but make sure you keep it down and it’s not smelly.
Allow passengers to exit before getting on the train.
Be prepared to get pushed or bumped into. It’s better to shake it off rather than making a scene.

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