vcc_0200915204004459392091.jpg

Before tackling on how to get around Seoul, I will first be writing about transportation cards and passes.

Commuting and dealing with public transportation can be very stressful that is why the pivot is towards more convenient ways to travel. In Seoul, if you want to avoid hassles of commuting, it is imperative to purchase a transportation money (t-money) card or city passes. These cards and passes are convenient ways to pay for all your fares on subways and buses without having to queue at ticket counters or machine.

Regular Cards and Passes

20190227_171806-014795732551779406914.jpeg
A regular TMoney Card.

Transportation Money Card

More popularly called by its abbreviated name, t-money card, this is the most commonly used transportation card. The locals also use it. It is a reloadable card that can be used to pay public transportation among many other things.

Where to Buy: The card can be purchased in subway kiosks and in convenience stores with the t-money logo such as Family Mart, 7-Eleven, Mini Stop and GS25.

How Much: The card costs ₩2,500 while base reloadable fare is ₩3,000. The amount to be reloaded to the card will depend on how frequent you are going to use the public transportation system. Reloading can be done in convenience stores or in kiosks in every subway station.

How To Use: To use the card, simply tap it on the payment sensor upon entering and leaving subway stations and buses. For a visual representation of how to use to reload in subway kiosks, please refer to this link: Seoul Citypass Plus

Features: The card gives a ₩100 fare discount for subway and city buses, as well as additional transfer discounts between buses and subway lines. It can also be used to pay for purchases in affiliated convenience stores, bookstores, department stores, vending machines, and payphones. T-money cards can also be used in other cities like Gyeongju, Sokcho, and Busan.

Refund: The card can be returned at any metro ticket office and the remaining balance can be refunded. For easier processing, ensure that the amount to be refunded is not beyond ₩50,000.

vcc_00858237451154259269994.jpg
The changing of the guards at Gyeongbokgung is a must witness while in Seoul.

Seoul City Pass

The Seoul City Pass is another type of travel pass that tourists can avail of while in Seoul.

Where to Buy: The card can be purchased in different convenience stores such as GS25, Family Mart and MiniStop. It can also be purchased in different tourist information offices like the Dongdaemun, Gwanghwamun and Myeongdong Tourist Information offices.

How Much: The cost for the pass depends on the length of stay:

₩15,000 – 24-hour pass
₩25,000 – 48-hour pass
₩30,000 – 72-hour pass

Features: It can be used to ride bus or subway up to 20 times in a day. It also allows tourists to hop on and off the Seoul City Tour Bus for an unlimited number of times. When one purchases a Seoul City Pass, a guidebook and coupons is provided. The coupons can be used in famous tourist spots to receive either free entrance or discounted entrance fees. Card users can also receive a 20% discount when going on the night tour.

Seoul City Pass Plus

Disambiguation: The Seoul City Pass Plus is entirely different from Seoul City Pass although they share some similarities.

The Seoul City Pass PLUS is a card for foreigners that operates just like a Tmoney Card.

Where to Buy: The card can be purchased in subway kiosks and in convenience stores with the t-money logo such as Family Mart, 7-Eleven, Mini Stop and GS25.

How Much: The card alone costs ₩3,000 while base reloadable fare is ₩3,000. The amount to be reloaded to the card will depend on how frequent you are going to use the public transportation system. Reloading can be done in convenience stores or in kiosks in every subway station.

Features: The Seoul City Pass Plus is a fusion of both the tmoney card and the Seoul City Pass. It offers discounts at various tourist attractions such as the Four Royal Palaces and the Jongmyo Shrine. The card also offers 5% off rides on the Seoul City Tour Bus and discounts at dozens of tourist sites and shops, including restaurants, exhibitions, opticians and beauty salons. The card also works anywhere in Korea where T-money is accepted like Busan and Jeju.

*Important Notes

1)Never forget to tap the card on the sensors whenever you drop off from the subway or bus. Those who forget to do so will be penalized by either paying the full fare without discount for transfers or being charged the longest-distance fare. If you are unsure on how to use the cards, observe how the locals use it.

2) Aside from subways an d buses, the TMoney and Seoul City Pass PLUS can also be used to pay taxi fare in taxis WITH the tmoney logo (shown below).

Tmoney_Brand_Logo

Special and Exclusive Passes

Apart from the three cards and passes enumerated above, there are other special and exclusive passes that one can avail of while traveling around Seoul.

Metropolitan Pass or MPass

The MPass is an exclusive card for foreign tourists and is an extended version of the Seoul City Pass.

Where to Buy: When buying an M-Pass, you must pay a refundable deposit of 4,500 won and a nonrefundable service charge of 500 won. The card can be bought in any of the following retail locations (operating hours are indicated as well):

  • Incheon International Aiport Tourist Information Center, Passenger Terminal 1, 1F, in front of Gates 5 & 10 / 07:000-22:00
  • Airport Railroad Travel Center: Passenger Terminal 1, B1, in front of Airport Railroad All Stop Train Gate / 5:30-23:00;
  • Seoul Station Tmoney Town 1 F, Seoul City Tower near Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 4 AREX), Exit 10 / 09:00-18:00; and
  • Myeongdong Tourist Information Center in front of Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 5 / 9:00-18:00

How Much: There are five different types of Mpasses: one-day, two-day, three-day, five-day, and seven-day passes. Price range is from ₩10,000 for one day pass to ₩59,500 for seven-day pass.

Features: Unlike the Seoul City Pass, the MPass can be used in the Seoul Metropolitan area, including Seoul Subway Lines 1-9, Incheon Subway, Airport Express (AREX) standard train (i.e. not the express train), and metropolitan trains (except the Sinbundang Line,) and Seoul Buses (except red buses). It can also be used in Jeju. Mpasses also come with discount admission coupons to popular tourist attractions.

Refund: The deposit as well as any remaining t-money balance on the M-pass can be refunded when returned to any of the I-Tour Seoul Centers. Refund at the airport is only available at the Incheon tourist information center.

Notes:

1. M-Passes are valid for one month from the date of the purchase and is activated upon first use. It expires at the midnight of the last day.

2. It cannot be used to pay for taxis and may not be accepted at convenience stores.

To learn more about the perks of the MPass, please check their site: tmoneympass.co.kr

20171021_210652-01.jpeg
Incheon International Airport is one of the world’s best and is the gateway to the treasures of South Korea.

Amazing Pay TMoney

The Amazing Pay Tmoney is another exclusive pass which can be availed of by international visitors taking airport buses from Incheon International Airport. It works like a regular Tmoney card.

Where to Buy: The card can be purchased at the airport bus ticket booth at Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal 1, 1F Arrival Hall (Gates 4 & 9)

How Much: The price for an Amazing Pay TMoney Card is ₩50,000. ₩4,000 is for the card and ₩46,000 is the starting balance.

Features: The card offers a discount of 10% on most bus routes that connect Seoul and Incheon. It also offers transfer discounts when taking public transportation and can be used to pay purchases at affiliated convenience stores. It also has discount benefits at restaurants, cultural performances and even at major attractions like Lotte World and 63 Square.

To learn more about the perks of the Amazing Pay TMoney, please check their site: http://www.t-money.co.kr

Discover Seoul Pass

Discover Seoul Pass is similar to the previous passes which functions like a tmoney card and a free admission pass to major tourist attractions in Seoul.

Where to Buy: The pass can be purchased at Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal and additional 23 retail locations available throughout Seoul

How Much: Similar to the Seoul City Pass, the price depends on the length of stay:

₩39,900 – 24-hour pass
₩55,000 – 48-hour pass
₩70,000 – 72-hour pass

Features: It offers discount benefits for watching cultural performances and shopping at duty free shops. Users can load the card to use as a tmoney card for public transportation. Unlike the previous passes and cards, Discover Seoul Pass has its own app, Discover Seoul Pass App. It can be used to check the card’s remaining hours and affiliated attractions. Moreover, it can also act as a mobile pass. Those who have the app can use it to purchase the pass with added perks like:

24-hour use of the Seoul city’s public bicycles;
One-way ride on the Airport Express train from Incheon to Seoul; and
One free ride on Seoul City Tour.

Refund:
₩30,000 won or less – convenience stores and tmoney service desks at subway stations.
₩50,000 won or less – tmoney service desks at subway stations.

Affiliated attractions: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Seodaemun Prison History Museum, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, SM Town, Namsangol Hanok Village and others

To learn more about the perks of the Discover Seoul Pass, please check their site: discoverseoulpass.com

20171021_183617-01.jpeg
Seoul dazzles even in the dark.
Advertisements