In many places throughout the world, taxis are often thought of as luxuries. And people with small budgets may rule out taxis altogether when traveling. But taxis in Korea are quite affordable, and even if you’re on a tight budget, it might be cheaper to take a taxi. Here’s a friendly reminder to take a cab if you and your friends are coming back from a Korean brand shopping spree to your hotel that’s nearby.
Subway/bus fares in Seoul start at 1050 won, and taxi fares start at 3000 won. Simple math says that if you’re with three other friends (4 people total), it will be cheaper (as a group) to take a taxi if you’re only going a short distance. The distances are an inexact science as traffic and routes may play a role. But a general rule of thumb is to take a cab if you’re only going two to three subway stops on the same line (given you’re with three other people).
A few destinations we’ll recommend taxis for (with 3 other friends!) are:
Myeongdong, Gwanghwamun/Gyeonbokgung Palace, Insadong, Samcheongdong, Namdaemun Market, City Hall, Deoksugung Palace – These places are all fairly close to each other (some can even be walked without even breaking a sweat)! But if you’re not sure of the roads, taking a cab can be worth the money. Some of these will only come out as the initial fare for the taxi, and some might be a little more than paying for 4 subway fares. But you’ll get there fast and quick with no transfers :).
Ehwa Woman’s University, Sinchon, Hongdae – These three are all on Seoul Subway Line 2. And because they’re so easy to access from each other, it might be tempting to take the subway. But they are also quite close to each other. If you’re with several friends, taking a cab should be cheaper.
See these and 25 other places to go on Seoul Line 2!
Gangnam Station, Express Bus Terminal Station – Go to these two underground shopping centers for pretty much the same price as taking the subway or bus.
Note: For many of these, you should be aware of which side of the road you’re on. If you’re catching a cab that’s going in the opposite direction (i.e. supposed to go north, but standing on the road going south), the taxi driver might have to go around, and that will cost you extra money (or they might not pick you up at all!). So be sure to ask someone (maybe someone other than taxi drivers) which side of the road you should be on to get to your destination the cheapest way 🙂
You might not be able to catch a cab sometimes though. See:
Why Taxi’s Might Refuse to Take You!