Most of the main cities in developed and even some developing countries are featured with fabulously convenient public transport. Whether it is O-Bahn buses in Adelaide, trams in Amsterdam, subway in Tokyo, or trains in Barcelona.
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 should triumph as the best subway system in the world hands down.
Many areas in the city are accessible by the subway, as well as some towns of the province around Seoul and the number of destinations is yet to be increasing. Hop on the subway in Seoul, destinations can be reached fast and easy especially for travellers; if not directly, it would just be an easy transfer to the bus. Subway entrances can be found right at the front of the great royal palace of Joseon, entrances are located on several parts of a shopping district, and some right by the beautiful Han river where one can take a stroll before sunset after a long day exploring the city.
I find Seoul Metro a lot more user-friendly than the one in Barcelona 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 it all. Multiple routes make traveling exceptionally convenient in Seoul, and again, new routes are increasing or extending every year. Transfer between lines is a piece of cake with clear signs and also announcement in both Korean and English. Transfer to buses is also not a big drama especially with the help of the app. Transfers are free within an hour or more depends 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 lets you know exactly how far away your subway is or if you have to make a short race down the platform (not recommendable! Not worth the risk of tripping as the next train won’t be more than a few minutes anyway.) In addition to that, the metro app provides an accurate real time schedule and time estimated of the journey between stations.
Other than the subway information, the screens in the station and on the subway often play a series of entertaining Korean commercials and animations. The next time when you take the subway in Seoul, look away from your smartphones and check out the screens. 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. Forget your sandwich on the way to work? 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, but you would appreciate it when it’s -20ºC outside.
The last but not least, free wifi is really the icing on the cake. Seoul is known as the world most wired city. Internet speed in Korea in general is incomparable. Free wifi is almost everywhere in Korea, especially in Seoul. Beyond question free wifi is available at most subway stations and also on the subway.
Seoul Metro is more than merely a subway ride. What more could you ask for? By all means, Seoul is amazing in many ways. If you haven’t, visit Seoul on your next vacation and check out Seoul Metro.