AREX: Korea’s Airport Express Train


I’m a self-confessed trainspotter and I would ride a train even for pleasure instead of simply using it as a means of transportation. When in Korea, I take trains all the time and all kinds of trains that I can see.

One train that one cannot miss is the AREX. Visitors from overseas can easily see the sign leading to AREX upon arrival at Incheon International Airport. The aiport is located outside of Seoul which means it would take some time to get to the city center.

Korea figured this out and so they crafted several options for travelers to choose their mode of transport depending on their own circumstances. There are the conventional buses which cost 10,000 won and stop at key points along the way. The trip could take more than an hour. The positive side of which is you don’t need to tow your heavy luggage especially if you have lots of luggage.

Then there’s the regular train which stops at every station until you get to Seoul which could also take more than an hour. However, most travelers would need to transfer lines to get to their destination which could be a burden considering the luggage. Some stations are more burdensome as passengers would need to go up one stair and go down another stair. The price is cheap though at 4,000 won.

AREX is another mode of transport which is the fastest at 43 minutes for 8,000 won. Tickets can be bought at vending machines at the airport. When I took AREX, I checked the time to confirm their claim of 43 minutes travel time. Upon arrival, I checked the time again and it is indeed 43 minutes. The coaches are spacious and spaces for luggage are abundant. First train leaves at 6:00 and the last at 22:10. I’m not sure of the frequency or interval time between each train but I remember not waiting for more than 10 minutes.

There are not much people on the train either when I took it so I had the luxury of owning the whole coach for 43 minutes. The ride was smooth all the way. Like the regular train, it’s terminal station is at Seoul station which requires passengers to transfer lines to get to their destination. And so the burden of carrying luggage is still there upon embarkation.

Aside from that, AREX is excellent for travelers to manage their time and for a relatively cheap price.

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