There are few ways to get to Seoul – only a plane or a train-ferry link. Direct flights can be found in the schedule of Moscow Sheremetyevo, mostly with transfers, fly from St. Petersburg. Those who do not like to travel by air will first have to travel by train to Vladivostok (and this is almost a week on the road), then transfer to the ferry to Donghae and only from there head for Seoul.
According to simplyyellowpages, Seoul is divided into two parts by the Hangam River. Historical sights and business districts are located mainly in the center and on the north bank, the areas south of the river are considered to be sleeping areas. There are 25 districts in the city, the most expensive of them are Gangnam-gu, Chung-gu and Jong-no-gu. The last two are part of the old city, where the most ancient Seoul sights are concentrated. Gangnam, to the south of the river, is considered one of the most prosperous areas, it is full of signs for luxury hotels. It is also the business center of the city.
Another high-priced district of gleaming offices is Yeongdeungpo-gu. Rising above it is the “golden tower” Yuksam Building. In the Yongsan-gu area, which is across the river, tourists rush to look at the most international street in Seoul – Itaewon.
The western and eastern neighbors of Yongsan-gu are still central, but much more budget-friendly areas in terms of living: Mapo-gu, Sodaemun-gu, Sondong-gu, Dongdaemun-gu. The latter is known as the “Russian Quarter”, there are many signboards native to the eye, and even some Koreans speak Russian at the very least. People go to Seondong for the opportunity to take a break from the hustle and bustle in the Seoul Forest.
They are interesting for their proximity to the center of Dongjak-gu and Seochogu (or rather, their northern quarters), and there are many attractions here: the tombs of six vassals or Servit, an artificial island designed in the shape of a flower.
In search of inexpensive housing, it is quite possible to consider the periphery. It’s a bit far to drive to the center, yet Seoul is a metropolis. But in terms of security in the city, everything is consistently good.
Seoul offers travelers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Economical and at the same time a good option – small hotels yeogwan. The set of services is minimal.
The cost of living in 3 * hotels in the central districts starts from 60,000 KRW. A standard room in a five-star hotel in the luxurious areas of Chung-gu, Jongno-gu and Gangnam-gu will cost 100,000-150,000 KRW, for a suite they will ask for 500,000-600,000 KRW.
Some tourists choose a very exotic accommodation option, or rather overnight stays in Korean saunas – jjimjilbang. Sleeping accommodations are provided for everyone. In the morning you can take a shower, leave things in the storage room until the evening or take them with you to spend the next night in another bathhouse. Prices – from 7000 KRW per night.
When booking, we recommend that you pay attention to the availability of a bed in the hotel. Traditionally, Koreans sleep on the floor, so a hard bed in a hotel is not uncommon. If you prefer mattresses and pillows, you should discuss this issue with the administration.
As part of the fight against traffic jams, the Seoul government has made every effort to make public transport convenient and punctual. For an inexperienced tourist, colorful traffic patterns can confuse, but there is nothing to worry about – in fact, this system is very convenient, you just have to ride.
Each line of the Seoul subway has its own color and number, in the lobbies in the eyes dazzled by signs, including in English, so you won’t get lost in the local subway.
Tickets can be purchased from vending machines located near the turnstiles. A single trip costs 1250 KRW. In addition to the cost of the card, the bill acceptor will “ask” for a deposit of 500 KRW. To return it at the exit, you need to insert a ticket into the device with the inscription “deposit return device”.
Colorful buses are the most popular transport in Seoul. They do not stand in traffic jams thanks to dedicated lines and deliver passengers to any corner of the city. Yellow buses run in the business part of the city and the surrounding areas. Green and red buses are brought to residential areas and metro stations, the latter follow even further – out of the city. Blue routes connect the suburbs with the business center. The ticket price varies from 800 to 1800 KRW.
Sightseeing buses are very popular among the guests of the city. These walks from the Seoul City Bus company (website with English version) are the fastest way to get to know the capital of South Korea.
Taxis and bicycles
Almost all taxi drivers in Seoul accept transport and bank cards for payment, many speak English
Seoul taxis stand out in a bright orange color in the traffic. For landing and the first kilometers, a fee of 1800-2200 KRW is set, then about 600 KRW per km. At night, rates increase by 20%. Increased comfort is offered to passengers in Deluxe taxis (black with a yellow stripe), where prices are twice as high, but stable at any time of the day.
It’s nice to ride a bike in Seoul’s parks. An hour of rent costs 4000-6000 KRW, the whole – 10,000-12,000 KRW.
It is convenient and profitable to move around Seoul with a rechargeable t-money card worth 2500 KRW. It is sold at the subway, airport, stores and allows you to travel by subway, bus and even taxi cheaper than cash. Unspent balance can be returned.
Another transport card is the Seoul City Pass, which entitles you to make up to 20 trips per day on any type of transport, including taxis. The validity period of the card is limited – 1, 2 or 3 days, it is non-refundable. The fare is from 15,000 to 30,000 KRW.
A variation of the Seoul City Pass is a rechargeable Seoul City Pass Plus card. In public transport, it works like t-money and makes the journey cheaper by 100 KRW. In addition, the holder of a card marked Plus will receive good discounts on visiting restaurants and attractions. The rest of the funds on the card can be returned.
- Seoul Map
Rent a Car
The decision to travel around Seoul in a rented car will provide the tourist with freedom in choosing a route, but will also add a headache. Despite the large-scale fight against traffic jams, which is actively waged by the city authorities, traffic congestion is not uncommon.
As part of the same fight a few years ago, the number of parking lots in downtown areas was significantly reduced, the cost of parking increased to 2000 KRW, and on some roads there were even restrictions on movement.
But the motivation to drive in Seoul is also serious – after all, just an hour’s drive from the city there is the Yellow Sea, and in the east there are picturesque mountains and waterfalls.
The international company Avis has a representative office in Seoul, AJ rentacar and Lotte rent-a-car received worthy reviews from the locals. Daily car rental will cost 50,000-70,000 KRW. A liter of petrol costs 1400 KRW.