Upon arrival in the Seoul International Airport – Incheon (ICN) transportation into the city center is quite simple.
Once you pass the baggage claim area and make your way into a hall full of shops and of course currency exchange counters – look up and follow signage to the train. Once you head down the escalator indicating Airport Train you’ll see a line up of automated ticket machines.
Step up to one and select English to follow the prompts (most automated machines across S Korea have an English option btw). You want to head to Seoul station (approximately 45 minutes and less than $10 US). There is also an express train, which doesn’t come as often and is a bit pricier.
Once you get to Seoul station (the city center) you can transfer lines as needed to reach your final destination. The subway system is easy to navigate – see the map here to find the line needed (labeled by color and number). Hongdae is Hongik University – Itaewon and Gangnam have the neighborhood name as station name.
Google maps additionally has the routes shown as an overlay on the map, so you can copy paste your hostel/hotel address in to determine the closest stop/line. See our subway post to learn about the app you can download and read more about how to use the system.