Travel to Seoul

Flying to Seoul

Airlines offering flights to Seoul include Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Finnair and KLM. Direct flights to Seoul from the UK take 12 hours 30 minutes or less. Peak travel times are generally March/April, July/August and December, with cheaper fares to be found outside these times.

Flight times

From London - 11 hours to 12 hours 30 minutes; New York - 14 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 11 hours to 13 hours 30 minutes; Toronto - 13 hours 30 minutes; Sydney - 10 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by road

Summary:

Road conditions are generally good in Seoul. Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 18 years old. Speed limits are 60kph (37mph) on regular roads and 80-110kph (50-68mph) on expressways.

A good metro system and intercity train service means you are unlikely to need a car in Seoul, but if you do decide to hire one, you’ll need an international driving licence and most rental companies will require you to be over 21 years old with at least one year’s driving experience, or over 26 with three years’ experience if you wish to rent a 4-wheel drive.

Emergency breakdown service:

Korea Automobile Association (tel: (02) 565 7001).

Routes:

Due to the division between North and South Korea, it is impossible to enter Seoul by overland routes, however, of the nine major highways connecting cities throughout South Korea, six radiate into the city making it easily accessible by road from other parts of the country.

Coaches:

Seoul Express Bus Terminal, 19-4 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, is the main depot for regular and deluxe intercity express bus services. Deluxe services have spacious seats, mobile phones and on-route movies. Real-time schedules and seating details are available through Kobus (tel: (02) 5366 4602; www.kobus.co.kr/web/eng/index.jsp), the Express Bus Lines Association.

Travel by rail

Services:

The main railway station is Seoul Station. It's the main hub for the über-modern, high-speed Korean Train Express (KTX), bookable in advance, which takes just 2 hours 40 minutes to reach Busan in the far south.

Operators:

Korail, the Korean National Railroad (tel: (32) 741 7788; www.korail.com) operates fast, comfortable and reliable trains to most parts of the country from Seoul. It also sells the KR Pass, which offers discount rail travel to foreigners for limited periods (three, five, seven and 10 days) and can be purchased at overseas offices or online. Korail Pack includes accommodation and sightseeing and can only be purchased through AJU Incentive (www.ajutours.co.kr).

Journey times:

From Daejeon - 1 hour; Dongdaegu - 1 hour 50 minutes; Busan – 2 hours 40 minutes; Gwangju - 3 hours 15 minutes; Mokpo - 3 hours 30 minutes.

Travel over water

Summary:

Ferry companies operate between the international port of Incheon, 1-2 Hang 7(chil)-dong, Jung-gu (tel: (32) 888 0116; www.incheonferry.co.kr), and eight cities in China, including Shanghai.

Ferry services:

The Jinchon Ferry (tel: (32) 777 8260; www.jinchon.co.kr) travels between Tianjin and Incheon, and Dae-a Travel Agency (tel: (2) 514 6226) offers a 20-day ticket which includes ferry travel between the two and discount rides on luxury trains in Korea and Seoul.

Edited by Tina Banerjee
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