In Love with Seoul Metro
Most of the main cities in developed and some developing countries are featured with convenient public transport; such as O-Bahn buses in Adelaide, subways in Tokyo, trams in Frankfurt, the Tube in London, and the Athens Metro.
Having lived in Seoul for 4 years, the capital city of South Korea has never ceased to amaze me with its wonders. The incredible subway system tops the list of my favourite things about Seoul. Seoul Metro triumphs as the best subway system I have ever encountered so far.
Multiple lines and destinations
Many areas in the city are accessible by the subway, as well as some towns of the provinces outside Seoul; and the number of destinations is yet to be increasing. Destinations can be reached within minutes. Subway entrances can be found right at the front of the great royal palace of Joseon, some are located on several parts of a shopping district, and some right by the beautiful Han river where you can take a stroll before sunset.
I find Seoul Metro a lot more user-friendly than many other metro systems; Barcelona Metro for instance, and even Tokyo’s. I have not personally been to New York City, but I have heard similar comments made by friends from the big apple that Seoul Metro beats all. Multiple lines and routes make traveling hassle-free in Seoul, and again, new routes are being extended every year. Transferring between lines is a piece of cake with clear signs and also announcements made in both Korean and English. Transferring to buses is not a big drama either, especially with the help of the metro app. Transfers are free within an hour or more depending on the time of day.
Can it be better?
The answer is: Yes. The subway is always on time. The real time location tracking of the subway’s whereabouts on the screens at the station shows exactly how far away your subway is or if you have to make a short race (not recommendable!) down the platform. In addition, the metro app provides an accurate real time schedule and time estimated of the journey between stations.
More than just the subway
Other than the subway information, the screens in the station and on the subway often play a series of entertaining Korean commercials and animations. Vending machines, ATMs, convenience stores, and even shops are commonly seen in the station. Snack booths can also be found on the platforms in some stations. Didn’t pack your sandwich? No problem, grab a kimbab (Korean rice roll) at the booth. Major stations like Gangnam Station and Jamsil Station are located within the underground shopping area. As convenient as it is, you won’t even need to get out to the street to get your shopping done if you are having the “anti-sun” mode on (just kidding! We love the sun). But you would appreciate it when it’s -20ºC outside.
The last but not least, free Wi-Fi is really the icing on the cake. Seoul is known for its fast speed internet. Free Wi-Fi is almost everywhere in Korea, especially in Seoul. Beyond question it is available at most subway stations and also on the subways.
Seoul Metro is more than merely a subway ride. By all means, Seoul is amazing in many ways. If you haven’t, visit Seoul on your next vacation and explore Seoul the metro way!
Don’t forget to learn or practice Korean with Eggbun before your trip to Seoul. Chat with Lanny now to start!