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Seoul is ladies’ shopping heaven. If you went to Seoul and left empty-handed, you must be out of your mind! Even guys like Kev who didn’t care about his looks, bought a “luggage-ful” of skincare products and clothing. We were spending money like there’s no tomorrow (not that we had too much money, but things were relatively cheaper compared to North America). On the last day in Seoul, we had to buy an extra luggage to fit everything we had bought 😛
If you are planning to do some shopping like us and have limited budget on transportation, it is highly recommended to take the express train (AREX in short) instead of all-stop train to save all the troubles.
Kev and I were originally planning on taking the subway from our hostel and transferring to Airport Railroad all-stop train to Incheon International Airport. However, the stairs at the stations were killing us. We just couldn’t find elevators and wheelchair ramps to ease up the heavy lifting. By the time we were transferring to the Airport Railroad Line at Seoul Station, we surrendered and invested in AREX. It saved us time and energy from fighting our way through a crowd. All we had to do was sat back and enjoyed the ride 🙂
Here’s how to take AREX from Seoul Station to Incheon International Airport:
- Arrive at Seoul Station B2 level and look for the Express Train Tickets booth.
- Purchase tickets at the ticket booth (as shown in the picture above) or at the tickets vending machine (shown in picture below). The express train typically costs 14,800 won; however, the fare was adjusted at a special rate (until December 31, 2015) so we bought ours at 8,000 won per ticket.
- Check your receipt for the assigned seat number.
- Passengers with international flights with Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air departing from Incheon International Airport can check-in at Seoul Station. However, if you are claiming tax refund, you should bring your luggage and check in at Incheon International Airport. You can see how the tax refund process works with step by step instructions in this article!
- Insert your express ticket at the entrance gate and head towards B7 level to board the train!
After parking your luggage at the designated area, just find your seat, stretch your legs and relax for 43 minutes!
So… back to the question “is it worth it to take the express train”? My answer is….Hell ya! Although there is only 10 minutes difference in travel time, the express train saves you a lot of troubles. If you are bringing heavy luggage, I would surely recommend taking AREX.
Hmm… maybe next time we should consider taking AREX from Incheon International Airport to downtown Seoul!