How to Conveniently Transfer to Another Subway Line

           Have you had an experience of missing transfer spot to another subway line in Seoul? It is quite common for foreigners to lose their ways by getting confused with transfer due to many subway lines and complex metro system. Seoul has the largest subway system in Korea with 20 different subway lines. However, if you utilize Seoul subway application and pay attention to the announcement on loudspeaker, you would not have any problem directing yourself to go one place to another! Here are several tips on how to transfer conveniently to another subway line.

  1. Utilize metro application to find your way out.

It is very convenient to use subway application in order to find your way out. The most common application is called “KakaoMetro.” Most Koreans also utilize this app to go from one place to another.


When you set the language to English, the application changes all the names of stations in English. To give you an idea of how to use this app, here are several spots that a lot of exchange students like to visit. All of these directions are from Heukseok station, the nearest station from Chung-Ang University.

This is the way from Heukseok station to Itaewon.
As you can see, you would have to transfer twice on your way.
(from line 9 to line 5, from line 5 to line 6)
This is the way from Heukseok station to Myeong-dong.
As you can see, you would have to transfer once on your way.
(from line 9 to line 4)
Hongik University (Hongdae)
This is the way from Heukseok station to Hongik University station.
In this case, the app is showing the fastest way to get to the destination.
It tells you to take the express train of line 9 at Dongjak station.
This express train stops at certain stations and passes by others.
Therefore, you would have to check whether your destination is on the express line if you like to take it.
If the transfer to the express train is included, you need to transfer twice on your way to Hongik University station.
(from line 9 to Express line 9, from express line 9 to line 2 )

The application does not only show how many stations you would pass before transferring to another line, but also inform the nearest place to transfer and exit. On the images of the application, you would be able to see numbers(1-1, 3-2, 7-3…etc.) next to Transfer and Nearest exit. These numbers tell you where to stand in the station so that you can find your way to transfer or exit easily and quickly. These numbers are written on the floor right in front of the screen door.

The key to successfully transfer from one line to another is to ascertain the correct transfer station. If you follow the signs marked “Transfer” and “Direction to Transfer,” you will be able to easily get to the platform of a transfer station. In addition, you do not have to purchase a separate ticket when you transfer. You can still use the t-money card you have to transfer just by tapping it on the way to passageway.

2. Pay attention to the announcement before every station stops.

When you are waiting for the train to come, you will be able to hear announcements that tell you what type of train it is, and where it is headed both in Korean and English. In Korean, you will hear the name of the location followed by “Hang” which means it is heading in that direction. Another word you would hear is “Geup-Hang” which means it is a more direct train route, also known as express line. This train skips less popular stations, so you need to look at the map to find out where you need to go and see if the station is on the express line.

 When you are on the subway train, you will notice a voice on the loudspeaker that announces the name of the stations and information about which lines you can transfer to. The stations and transfer lines are announced in both English and Korean, so listen carefully to the announcement so that you would not miss your destination.

※ Transferring between Subway and Bus

When you use a transportation card, you are able to transfer between subway and bus. You need to contact the card reader when getting on or off the transportation. If the transportation card does not properly touch the reader when getting off, the benefit of free transfer is lost. Integrated fare system is applied if the latter public transportation is used within 30 minutes of getting off from the former transportation. If you get on after 30 minutes, it is regarded as a separate transportation, which would charge you a separate fare. Based on the distance, additional fare can be charged in proportionally discounted amount. For further information, please refer here to read more about subway fare.

These are the tips to use for transferring from one subway line to another. If you still feel like you would lose your way to reach to a destination, you can always try asking Koreans around you or go to information desk to get some help. You can even use English if you are polite and speak slowly. Koreans will try to help you to figure out where you need to go.

Getting lost is not a big of a deal and it happens to everyone. However, if you are perceptive to where you are currently at, you will be able to get to the destination just fine. For your information, here is the link of a helpful video that will guide you on how to ride the Seoul Subway. Also, if you would like to know how to use transportation card, click here to watch this video. Also, if you would like to know how to use transportation card, click here to watch this video.

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