What to do if you arrive at Seoul Incheon Airport at midnight?

Makgeolli korea alcoholic drink
If you miss the metro and last bus, sit back, chill and have a Makgeolli. You are bound to feel better.

I was thinking of doing a Seoul roundup and I’d realise I’ve a couple more travelling tips on South Korea to share.

I’d hope they will be helpful. For instance, my friend and I took a Scoot flight from Singapore to Seoul, with a stop over at Taiwan. And because of a 90 min flight delay, we arrived at the airport only at midnight, missing the last subway connection to town.

We took a cab which cost us a whooping 76,000 won (SGD 88.54). The total price came up to 69,000 won, excluding 7,000won in toll charges for an hour’s ride.

Well it’s whooping because I haven’t had to take a cab in Europe before. I know comparatively, it will cost much more, but such a price is quite unheard in Singapore. (Our land mass is not big enough!)

The story goes – we managed to book a flight to Seoul with Scoot for a great deal – $150 one way. Hurray! We were due to touch down in Seoul at 10pm in the evening, giving us a sufficient amount of time to clear passport control and catch the metro to downtown Seoul.

But as luck would have it, our flight got delayed for 1.5 hours due to the lack of a spare part. The door at the back of the plane was not able to close properly.

This popular Scoot flight has a stopover at Taiwan before heading to Seoul. When it touch down, it was 11.30pm.

By the time we cleared passport control and got our baggage, it was 15 minutes pass midnight. Based on the schedule of the night buses available (see table below), we had narrowly missed the bus to Seoul Station, which leaves at midnight.

What to do if you arrive at Seoul Incheon Airport at midnight? 

The other option would be to take a bus to the Gangnam terminal (see table), but that was way far away from our hotel at Hapjeong. Of course, we were not about to wait until 3.50am for the next bus to Seoul Station.

Price: (A very decent 9,000 won)

Airport – City Dep.time Arr.time City – Airport Dep.time Arr.time
Seoul Station 00:00 01:10 Seoul Station 22:30 23:40
Gangnam Terminal 01:20 02:30 Gangnam Terminal 02:40 03:50
Yeongdeungpo Station 02:40 03:50 Yeongdeungpo Station 00:00 01:10
Seoul Station 03:50 05:00 Seoul Station 01:20 02:30

Bus Routes

Seoul Station: Incheon Airport -> Songjeong-> Yeomchangdong -> Seoul Station
Yeongdeungpo Station : Incheon Airport -> Songjeong -> Yeomchangdong -> Dangsan- >Yeongdeungpo
Gangnam Terminal : Incheon Airport -> Songjeong -> Yeomchangdong -> Gangnam Terminal

This table will serve you well – http://www.airport.kr/iiacms/pageWork.iia?_scode=C1203010200

My take is, try to avoid flight timings that arrive later than 9pm, especially if it’s a budget airline.

But if for some unfortunate reason you arrival pass midnight, it might be worth taking the night bus to a train station nearest to your hotel and then taking a cab, especially if you’re by yourself.

If you are with friends then I would say go for a cab – it’s much more convenient and the costs will eventually add up to be the same, especially since you’ve got to transfer to a cab eventually later on.

Good luck! Watch this space for my next post of recommended accommodation in Seoul!

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