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What Time Is Rush Hour in Seoul?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Rush Hour is between 6.30 am, and 8:00 am, and between 5 pm to 7 pm, Seoul’s subway stations become busy with commuters transferring from other lines or commuting for work in business districts.

When I was visiting Korea as an international student in 2018, I took the subway at 8 am in Sinchon, and a notice came on saying that Seoul Metro apologizes for delaying the trains due to heavy traffic. The subway was so crowded with people trying to get to work that it was delayed for about half an hour.

There was no way you were going to get a foot in there for about 3 minutes before they even began thinking about opening the doors properly.

The best time is after 7 pm because there are fewer people and the majority are already at home.

If you’re planning to travel during the rush hours, make sure to visit to get a good idea of what time you should arrive at the station. This really helped me plan my day, and I was able to go out in the morning before 9 am and then head into Seoul for lunch or dinner.

Is Traffic in Seoul Bad?

No, it’s not. Traffic in Seoul is not as bad as you might think. Traffic in Seoul is quite good compared to traffic in the US. Generally speaking, you won’t have any issues traveling through Seoul if you go outside the rush hours.

If you do have to travel during the rush hours, then it can be very busy. Normally, you should expect a delay of 30 to 40 minutes if you travel during the rush hours, but on rare occasions, it can be a lot worse.

Here are some tips on how to avoid the rush hours:

  • Leave on time. If you leave early then, you will be at your destination on time.
  • Bring a book or something to keep yourself busy during the commute.
  • Take an earlier train or bus rather than taking the later one.

As you can see, traffic isn’t as bad as most people think. The trains and buses are 99.99% on time, and you’ll be able to get where you need to go on time. Try not to worry. Just plan ahead and going early.

Is It Easy to Get Around in Seoul?

Yes, getting around in Seoul is very easy. There are metro stations, buses, and taxis everywhere. There are also plenty of signboards up in different parts of the city, so it is very easy to find your way around Seoul.

Some people are intimidated by the size of Seoul, but it is actually a very easy city to navigate. There are many ways to get around in Seoul if you know where and how to use them. The many times that I’ve been to Seoul were very fun, and everything is available in English, which makes it even easier.

Make sure to use the app if you’re planning to go by bus, and the transportation systems are very easy to use because they have detailed instructions in English. What I really like about the transportation system in Korea is that it’s very clean and everyone minds their own business.

If you plan to go around Seoul, I would suggest using the subway. It is very convenient and can take you anywhere in Seoul.

Are Taxis Expensive in Korea?

No, taxis are not expensive in Korea. Expect to pay anywhere from $5 up to $20 for your ride, depending on where you are going. In order to catch a taxi, just look for the relatively small taxis on the street or go up to a bus stop and look for one with a lighted sign.

There are apps like Uber or Kakao Taxi which you can use to catch a taxi. The prices are also pretty affordable, and they come faster than other taxis in the city.

But you can also take local taxis, which often require cash, these types of taxis are very traditional and are usually orange.

Using the subway is also a great way to get around town because it is very affordable and cheap as well. If you’re planning on taking a taxi, you might want to look for one that comes from one of the major companies.

No matter what transportation system you use, there is one thing you will always need. That would be your subway or train e-ticket and card, which can be used all over Korea. These are very helpful if you plan to use public transportation on a regular basis because it’s easy and fast.

Should You Travel by Taxi, Subway, Bus, or Walk during the rush hours?

The easiest way would be to walk during the rush hours. However, if you have to travel really far, then a taxi might be the best option. On the other hand, going by subway will be the cheapest and most convenient option. The bus can also be used if you want to take a break and enjoy the city.

Here below I’ve explained why you should or shouldn’t use each one of them.

  • Taxi – takes a long time to get from one place to another, plus traffic can be very heavy during the rush hours.
  • Subway – cheapest and most convenient option
  • Bus – The bus is not as fast as the other methods of transportation so it might take longer than your normal commute time. I don’t recommend that you travel by bus unless you’re looking for a break.
  • Walk – You will have to walk long distances but it is the best option if you want to get some exercise during the commute time.

As you can see it really depends on where you are going and what time.


All in all, getting around in Seoul is very easy. There are many options that you can choose from and they are all fast, efficient, and cheap. Just use these options depending on what suits you best. The thing that will always make it easy for you to travel around in Seoul is your transportation card, so remember to keep it safe.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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