A Simple Seoul Subway Map for Tourists

Seoul is a very large city and the Seoul subways are an extensive public transport system which makes it easy to get around. In addition, there are also many Seoul bus options which can sometimes be the more direct route, however when there is a large amount of traffic (which happens often), the subways are still the better option to get around.

If you look at the overall map of the Seoul subway or metro, it can be very daunting to even know where to start. Fortunately, most attractions in Seoul are located in the downtown area, and are easy to get to by using only a small number of Seoul subway lines.

In this article we will provide an overview of the Seoul train map, including which train stations in Seoul to use to access the major attractions.

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Seoul Subway Lines for Tourists

Seoul has 9 main subway lines, however as a tourist you will typically only use Lines 1 to 4 to access the main attractions. Below is a map of the Seoul metro which I have annotated to help you understand the main Subway lines and stations.

Seoul Subway Map for Tourists
Seoul Subway Map for Tourists with Lines 1 to 4

Seoul Subway Line 1

Seoul Subway Line 1 is coloured Dark Blue and travels north from Seoul Station and then tracks east to Dongdaemun and beyond. You can easily change to Line 2 at City Hall Station or Line 3 at Jongno 3 Station. You can also travel in the opposite direction to visit Noryangjin Market.

Tony getting up close and personal with a lobster at Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea
Tony getting up close and personal with a lobster at Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, South Korea

Seoul Subway Line 2

Seoul Subway Line 2 is coloured Dark Green and is the only loop line around downtown Seoul, travelling through the centre of the Seoul downtown area and also connecting with Gangnum and Lotte World on the south side of the river. There are many stations where you can change to other subway lines.

View over the mostly indoor Lotte World Theme Park in Seoul
View over the mostly indoor Lotte World Theme Park in Seoul

Seoul Subway Line 3

Seoul Subway Line 3 is coloured Tan (not to be mixed up with Line 6!) and cuts diagonally across the Seoul downtown area, and is the only train line to use to get to Gyeongbokgung Palace to the north of the downtown Seoul area. There are many stations where you can change to other subway lines

Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Seoul Subway Line 4

Seoul Subway Line 4 is coloured Light Blue and travels east from Seoul Station and then tracks north to Dongdaemun Station. You can travel to Myeongdong Station on this line. There are many stations where you can change to other subway lines .

Night time view of Dongdaemun in Seoul, South Korea
Night time view of Dongdaemun in Seoul, South Korea

Seoul Transport Cards

The main local transport cards are a Railplus Transport card or the T-money card. Another option is the Cashbee card for use in Busan, however you can use your either the Rail Pass Plus and T-money cards in Busan and all for all other local transport within cities throughout South Korea. You can purchase and load credit to your local transport card at any convenience store or train station.

All three transport card options are rechargeable smart cards that can be used to pay for bus and train/subway fares as well as for taxis displaying the T-money or Cashbee logo. One of the many benefits of using a rechargeable smart card is that the fares are discounted compared to paying for the fare with cash. They can also be used to make payments at places such as convenience stores.

The tranport cards are very easy to use, you just tap on and off as you go and recharge your credit as required with cash only. You can easily obtain a refund of your remaining credit before departing from South Korea at convenience stores and train stations.

Note that when you travel between cities in South Korea either by train or bus, you will need to separately purchase your ticket.

Seoul Subway Train

Seoul Public Transport Apps

South Korea is unique as you cannot use Google Maps to easily get around like you can in most other countries – it shows most public transport options from station to station but cannot show the walking or driving sections.

Our preferred app to use is KakaoMap (Google Play Store and Apple App Store) – we do not speak Korean and were able to use this app to easily get around all of South Korea on public transport and when walking. It shows various route options, which includes transport times, public transport fares, and which Subway or bus lines to catch.

There is an option to set your language to English. It is a good idea to set up and save your planned destinations to the app to make it easier to use while you are out and about. You can easily search for where you want to go – it does not auto fill destinations, so you may need to have a go at typing it in, press search and then relevant options will appear to choose from.

Click here to check out our detailed article on recommended apps for your visit to South Korea

Kakao Map App in (mostly) English

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Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.