Subway in Korea: How to Use, Lines, Fee, Transfers, and Tips

Subway in Korea: How to Use, Lines, Fee, Transfers, and Tips for a Smooth Journey

Subway in Korea


Navigating a foreign country’s transportation system can be both exciting and challenging. When it comes to exploring South Korea, one of the most efficient and reliable modes of transportation is its subway system. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through using the subway in Korea, detailing the multitude of lines, explaining the fare structure, providing insights on transferring between lines, and offering essential tips to enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re a first-time traveler or a seasoned explorer, this article is your ultimate companion for conquering Korea’s subway network.

Subway in Korea: How to Use, and How Many Lines, Fee, How to Transfer, Tips

Using the Subway: A User-Friendly Guide

Using the subway in Korea might seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite user-friendly. Here’s how you can get started:

    1. Purchase a T-Money Card: The T-Money card is your ticket to seamless subway travel. This rechargeable card can be used on subways, buses, and even taxis, making it incredibly convenient. You can easily purchase one at subway stations and convenience stores.
    2. Understanding the Subway Map: The subway map might look complex, but it’s color-coded and labeled in both Korean and English. Identify your starting and ending stations, along with any transfers you might need to make.
    3. Entering the Station: Approach the automated gates, tap your T-Money card on the card reader, and walk through. Remember to tap again when you exit to calculate the correct fare.
    4. Platform Etiquette: While waiting for the train, stand behind the designated safety line. Allow passengers to exit before boarding, and once inside, offer your seat to those in need.

Exploring the Extensive Subway Lines

Korea’s subway system boasts an extensive network of lines that cover virtually every corner of the city. With more than 20 lines, each color-coded and numbered, getting around has never been easier. Here are some noteworthy lines:

  • Line 2 (Green Line): One of the busiest lines, it connects major attractions like Hongik University, Gangnam, and COEX Mall.
  • Line 4 (Blue Line): This line is perfect for shopping enthusiasts as it stops at Myeongdong and Dongdaemun Market.
  • Line 9 (Gold Line): Connecting Gimpo Airport and the sprawling Lotte World, this line is a tourist’s dream.

Understanding the Fare Structure

Korea’s subway fare system is distance-based, ensuring you pay only for the distance traveled. The fare is calculated by the number of stations you pass through. Fortunately, the T-Money card automatically calculates the fare for you, making your journey hassle-free.

Transferring Between Lines

Transferring between subway lines is a breeze in Korea. Follow these steps for a smooth transition:



  1. Follow Transfer Signs: Upon exiting one line, follow the signs indicating the direction of your connecting line.
  2. Use the Same Card: There’s no need to tap out and tap in again if you’re transferring between lines. Just keep using your T-Money card.

Tips for a Seamless Subway Experience

To make the most of your subway experience in Korea, consider these valuable tips:

  • Peak Hours: Avoid the morning (7:00 AM – 9:00 AM) and evening (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) rush hours for a more comfortable journey.
  • Korean Subway App: Download a subway app for real-time information on train schedules, delays, and station exits.



  • Signage and Announcements: Most subway stations have signage and announcements in English, ensuring you won’t get lost.

FAQs about Using the Subway in Korea

Q: Can I use my credit card to pay for subway fares? A: While some stations have credit card machines, it’s more convenient to use a T-Money card.

Q: Is the subway system accessible for individuals with disabilities? A: Yes, most subway stations are equipped with elevators and ramps for easy accessibility.

Q: Are there English-speaking staff available for assistance? A: Yes, many stations have information desks with English-speaking staff to assist travelers.

Q: How frequent are the trains during off-peak hours? A: Trains usually run every 5-10 minutes during off-peak hours.

Q: Can I bring my luggage on the subway? A: Yes, you can bring luggage, but it’s recommended to avoid peak hours.

Q: Are there any discounts available for frequent travelers? A: Yes, there are monthly passes available for regular commuters at a discounted rate.

In short..

Exploring Korea’s vibrant cities and cultural treasures is a delight, made all the more accessible with its efficient subway system. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you’ll confidently navigate the subway in Korea, explore its diverse neighborhoods, and create unforgettable memories. So, pack your T-Money card, grab a subway map, and embark on a journey through the heart of South Korea.

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