Cheaper way from Itaewon to Myeongdong

If you are on budget and if you like traveling solo you definitely need the tips to reduce your budget. Here is a post on how to enjoy the sight of Seoul using the local bus. Cheaper way from Itaewon to Myeongdong or vice versa while experiencing the exhilarating ride..Haha.

With the current exchange rate which is not helping much (for Malaysians) 1,000 KRW is about MYR3.77 now. T_T Quite huge compared to when I used to round up 1,000 KRW to 3 Ringgit! Let’s save your money!.

There are times that I needed to enjoy the sight of Seoul especially at night, resting my tired feet from the long journey of guiding my delighted guests and the answer was taking the local bus! I miss the green, blue, and the yellow bus and the whole unforgettable experience of taking a local bus in Seoul. If you could, you should try them!

One of my Korean friends’ mother used to hate taking the subways. Her reason is that she felt ‘답답하다다’ whenever she rides them. She loves watching the scenery around her when taking the bus instead of being trapped inside the train underground and you cannot see outside. I agree with her on this one.

An extremely versatile word used to describe situations that are emotionally or physically stifling.- Naver dictionary

I love this word! 🙂

Here is my experience taking the bus number 421 (Blue) from Itaewon to Myeongdong and vice versa. First, I would like to show you the difference in fare and journey time.

First, If you take the subway from Itaewon to Myeongdong, you need to transit at Samgakji Station and trust me, you need to walk a bit inside to make the transfer. Total journey time, 34 minutes for 1,250 KRW (with TMoney card).

While with the bus, total journey time is 25 minutes for a bit lesser 1,200 KRW (with TMoney card). Of course there are variables here where you need to wait for the bus and there might be traffic jam along the way.

But imagine, when your feet are dead tired and you don’t have any energy left to walk the staircase down into the subway station, then bus is the answer.

My suggestion, is to not take any of the public transportation during the rush hour (working hours).

However, if you are 4-in a group, taking the taxi is much much better when you have so much shopping done in Myeongdong or Itaewon and amazingly your boarding is at either of this two locations.

Taking the taxis between Myeongdong and Itaewon is about 11 minutes of 4,900 KRW, divided by 4 pax is only about 1,225 KRW which is quite affordable and relaxing.

Anyway, let’s see how we can take this bus number 421 from Itaewon to Myeongdong, shall we?

First, locate the famous landmark of Itaewon – Hamilton Hotel. Then walk towards the bus stop which is near the shop Aritaum about 50 meters.

When the bus number 421 arrived, get on the bus and tap your TMoney card on the card scanner near the bus driver. Find your seat if there is any available. You need to be fast because the bus driver will just drive away without waiting for everyone to find their seat first. You might be shocked but this is the culture. 🙂

The bus have a few stops along the way and among them are,

War Memorial of Korea which is awesome and you should visit this place. Read more here to know about the place.

Then the bus will also pass by Seoul Station. There is another spot which is worth visiting here which is the building of the former Seoul Station. If you have been to Tokyo before, compare this with Tokyo station’s building. They look almost the same!

The next spot is Namdameun! OMG, so many places to stop by but don’t forget that our destination is Myeongdong and not any of the previous famous tourist spots okay?

Finally, we reach Myeongdong! When you hear the announcement in the bus for Myeongdong, make sure you press the red button to notify the bus driver that you will get down there. It is a courtesy to get up from your seat before the bus stops.

Don’t forget to tap your card again at the card scanner which is near the back door before you step down the bus. If you are clueless, just observe how the locals do it. Absorb.:)

Alternatively, you can watch a very useful video down below on how to use the local Bus in Seoul as shown by AhaKorea team. Enjoy your bus ride!


14 thoughts on “Cheaper way from Itaewon to Myeongdong

  1. Hi, what if we want to go to itaewon from Myeongdong? Do we take the bus from the same bus stop or on the opposite side from the picture? Thanks

  2. Hi Zarina..which one is better…in term of price and quality….namdaemon or dongdemon..or is there any better market…normally at namdaemon we bargain how many percent than the quoted price..I will be in seoul in early april for cherry blossom..

    1. Hi Rusli,
      Both market have different products. Namdaemun is more like your day markets but Dongdaemun is all about fashion.
      Try to bargain from 50% up.

  3. Hi,can u describe what is the near building that bus 421 will stop at myeongdong for me recognize the bus stop station ?for example itaewon bus stop near to hamilton hotel ..

    1. Hi ema,
      Near the bus stop at Myeongdong for bus #421 for route Itaewon to Myeongdong , there is a bakery called as Paris Baguette.
      However, if you want to take the same bus number from Myeongdong to Itaewon, you have to wait at the bus stop at the other side of the road, not at the same bus stop.

  4. Hi! Thanks for the super helpful info! Curious though, why would I tap my card getting on and then off? If that doesn’t charge me twice, what does it do? Also is that only for Seoul or should it be done anywhere in Korea on any type of bus? thank you!

    1. Hi Chantelle,
      The first tap when you board- is to activate the payment with the T-moeny
      The second tap when you alight- is to end the usage of the card and the appropriate amount will be deducted. Not only that, the T-Money card will also save the data like time and the distance of your trip to allow for the discount if you transfer to the next public transport.

  5. hi zarina.. i went to seoul last march. the airport bus’s driver no 6015 did not allow my sister to tap the t- money card when we reached at the airport. Is there any different way of using the card when we use airport and city buses?

    1. Hi Sinchann,
      Only cash is allowed in the airport bus from Seoul to the airport.
      From the airport to the city, you may buy a ticket from the counter at the airport or pay cash to the driver in the bus.
      T-money can be used majorly for public bus, subway, taxi and at the convenience stores.

  6. Hi Zarina… do u think bus no. 421 will still take us to Myeondong now in 2019? since ur last post was in 2017. is the bus still running now?

    1. Yes, bus # 421 still running fine to-fro Itaewon-Myeongdong and vice versa even now in 2019. The bus ride cost 1,200 KRW.

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