Seoul airports serve as the main arrival points for foreign travellers looking to visit the capital city of South Korea. Catering to its ever-thriving tourism industry, there are two international airports in Seoul, both of which feature spacious terminals, top-notch facilities, dining venues, retail outlets, efficient public transportation to the city centre, and quality accommodations situated within walking distances, perfect for jetsetters on stopover flights.
All visitors are required to submit completed forms for immigration and customs clearance forms upon their arrival in all Seoul airports. Do note that passengers from countries with endemic diseases are also required to complete a quarantine questionnaire.
Incheon International Airport
Seoul’s primary airport is Incheon International Airport, serving as a hub for over 80 local and international airlines such as British Airways, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Thai Airways, and Polar Air Cargo.
The largest in Korea, Incheon International Airport also hosts a golf course, driving range, spa centres, award-wining duty free shopping malls, food courts, Korean restaurants and fast-food outlets, internet lounges, an ice-skating rink, cinema, casino, and indoor gardens. Visitors can watch various cultural performances and classical concerts or visit the Museum of Korean Culture while waiting for their flight.
For the convenience of travellers on transit flights in Seoul, there are four stylish hotels situated around Incheon International Airport, with complementary shuttle bus services. These are the Best Western Premier Incheon Airport Hotel, Sheraton Walker Hill Transit Hotel, Grand Hyatt Incheon, and Hotel Hue Incheon Airport.
Located 48 km west of Seoul, there are several ways to travel from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul, including the Airport Railroad Express (A’REX), airport limousine buses, and taxis.
A'REX is Seoul’s airport railway line that connects Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport to downtown Seoul. Operating from Incheon International Airport, express trains carry travellers to Seoul Station in 43 minutes. Tickets are priced at 14,500 won for adults and 6,900 won for children. Airport limousine buses run from Incheon International Airport to most parts of Seoul, with tickets prices between 14,000 won to 15,000 won for a deluxe limousine bus and 9,000 won to 10,000 won for a standard limousine bus.
Finally, taxis are convenient for visitors who are not comfortable with riding the subway or the buses. A downside is the cost. Depending on your destination, the fare for a standard taxi from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul can be anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 won, and passengers are required to pay the Incheon Bridge tollgate fee, which is an extra 8,000 won.
Until 2001, Gimpo Airport was the main Seoul airport for international and local airlines. Hosting two runways, two passenger terminals, and one cargo terminal within its grounds, facilities available here include currency exchange counters, a pharmacy, tourist information centre, duty-free shops, restaurants, and taxi counters.
Following the opening of Incheon International Airport, Gimpo Airport was converted into a largely domestic airport, with selected international flights to Tokyo (All Nippon Airways), Osaka (Japan Airlines), Nagoya (Jeju Air), Beijing (China Southern Airlines and Air China), Shanghai (China Eastern Airlines), and Taipei (Eastar Jet and EVA Air). If you’re planning on making an extended trip to Busan, Jeju Island, and Daegu from Seoul, it is recommended to make your way to Gimpo Airport as it carries most of South Korea’s domestic flight traffic.
The easiest way to get to downtown Seoul from Gimpo Airport is via the all-stop train which travels on the Airport Railroad Express (A’REX). Priced at 1,250 won, it takes about 20 minutes to get to Seoul Station from Gimpo Airport.
Alternatively, guests can opt for airport limousine buses (tickets are priced at 2,500 won), intercity buses (6,500 won) as well as luxury and regular taxi services (priced between 20,000 won and 40,000 won).