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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

How to Get to Incheon Airport

UPDATE: June 2014 to include information about the new DIRECT KTX line to Incheon Airport. Service starts June 30, 2014


We’ve had a lot of enquiries recently, on the Facebook group, about the best way to get to various places. Most of the basic info on routes is available in the intercity travel guide, but it can be a little confusing. This time, we’ll take a look at the options for getting to Incheon Airport (reverse this advice to get to Ulsan).  (Prices and schedules are subject to change)

Incheon Airport

Bus: The Incheon Airport Bus runs from the Intercity Bus Terminal (not the Express Bus Terminal), near Lotte Department Store in Samsandong. It takes approximately 5 hours, and leaves 3 times a day: 24:30, 05:40, 10:00. If you’re buying a ticket for the midnight bus, be clear about the date (ie, the “Saturday night” bus would actually be Sunday morning), and that you want a ticket for the Airport (gong hang) not just Incheon city (nowhere near the airport). Tickets for this bus have recently increased, with the night bus now being 47,000, and the day buses slightly cheaper. If you have a lot of luggage, this way can be the smoothest journey, as there are no transfers involved. As there are only 3 per day, tickets sell quickly, particularly for the midnight bus, so you may want to buy them in advance, particularly during busy travel seasons (Chuseok, Seolal, August holiday, etc).

The cheaper, longer option is to take an Express bus to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (approx. 23,000 won and 4-5 hours depending on traffic), then take the subway to Seoul Station (1,500 won, 25 mins), and finally, the Airport Railroad (see below) to Incheon Airport (45 mins Express, 8,000 won, 55 mins Commuter, 3,950 + a 500 won deposit that you can get back from a special Refund machine in the station).

Train: The KTX runs from Ulsan Station (not Taewhagang Station) in Eonyang to Incheon Airport, 4 times a day; 05:22, 08:22, 12:22, 14:32 (59,000 won standard seat, 82,600 First Class). This direct train takes approximately 3 hours and 22 minutes (it is high-speed to Seoul, but then joins the Airport Railroad track, on which it must go normal speeds, and Seoul – Incheon is approx. 1 hr). To choose this option when booking tickets online, Incheon Airport is not on the main list of stations, so you must choose it from the Alphabetized List below – click “I” and it is one of the options.


Train times to and from Incheon Airport

The KTX also runs to Seoul Station, and from there, you can transfer onto the Airport Railway to Incheon (or Gimpo) Airport. It takes approximately 2hrs 20 minutes Ulsan to Seoul,  costs 47,500 (66,500 First Class), and 30 trains run between 05:22 and 22:52. The Airport Railway has both express and commuter trains. The commuter has 10 stops, takes approximately 55 minutes, and costs 3,950 (plus a 500 won deposit which you can get back at the end of the trip at a special Refund machine in all subway stations). The express is non-stop, takes 45 minutes, and costs 8,000. Total travel time is therefore approximately 3.5 hours. It’s also important to keep in mind the travel time to Eonyang – it’s approximately 20 minutes from Mugeodong, 30-40 mintues from Samsandong/Seongnamdong and 45min – 1hr from Donggu. If you live in Donggu or Bukgu, it may make more sense to take the local train from Hogye Station to Dong-Daegu Station, and catch the KTX from there.

Plane: There are no direct flights from Ulsan to Incheon. Ulsan’s flights land in Gimpo Airport, instead. Both Korean Air and Asiana have flights from Ulsan Airport, near Hwabongdong in Bukgu. Korean Air has 5 flights between 08:30 and 20:55, for 69,000. Asiana flies twice a day (12:55, 18:25) for 89,000 (though discounts are often available). Flying time is about 45 mins (plus check in and security of course). Since the Airport Railroad was built (see in Trains, above), it’s easy to get from Gimpo to Incheon Airport (35 mins). There is also an Airport Shuttle Bus that runs between the two Seoul airports that takes about 35 mins, and costs 7,000. If you live in Donggu or Bukgu, this may be easier than taking the KTX.

If you are traveling TO Ulsan, the Incheon Airport website has detailed information on how to find the buses or trains. It’s also one of the most traveller-friendly airports in the world, with lots of clearly marked signs and helpful Info Desk staff.