Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation: where to stay for the Winter Olympics

If you’re visiting Korea specifically for the Winter Olympics and are trying to work out the Pyeongchang 2018 accommodation situation right now, chances are you’re bouncing all over the internet and not having much luck. On this page I’ll try to provide an overview of the situation as it stands, list the options with relevant links, and post regular updates as & when more information becomes available.

Pyeongchang Olympics January 2018 update:

Mountain Cluster ski resorts: fully booked

Other regional ski resorts: fully booked

Coastal Cluster (Gangneung) hotels: decent availability, at steeply inflated rates (see hotels in Gangneung)

Wonju hotels: very limited availability, normal rates (see hotels in Wonju)

Donghae hotels: very limited availability, at inflated rates (see hotels in Donghae)

Sokcho hotels: limited availability, normal rates (see hotels in Sokcho)

Seoul hotels: good availability (see hotels in Seoul)

Yangpyeong: now that the KTX schedule is confirmed, the small city of Yangpyeong (midway between Seoul & Wonju) also looks like a decent potential base, with 15 trains per day in each direction (although the last few trains of the day skip it, meaning late-finishing events would likely require a lengthy taxi ride from Wonju). There are loads of Airbnbs available in Yangpyeong, and limited hotel availability (but at regular prices) as per here

A Pyeongchang Rail Pass is now available for the Olympics, granting unlimited train travel for 5 or 7 days (approx $200 for the 7-day pass); this pass is exactly what you need if you’re staying in Seoul and travelling back & forth repeatedly to the venues on the KTX. See here for details of the Pyeongchang KTX and here for details of the pass

Airbnb is showing plenty of availability in Seoul, Wonju, Donghae, and Sokcho, and even some in Gangneung (at vastly inflated rates). Airbnbs are also still available near the Mountain Cluster venues, but also at steep prices. At this stage, if you want to actually be in the venue clusters, Airbnb looks the best bet if your budget allows. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register.

Read on for full details on the above options

Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation: overview

As you’ll no doubt already be aware if you’ve bought tickets, the events are split between the Mountain Cluster and the Coastal Cluster, with the Mountain Cluster events spread across 3 established Pyeongchang County ski resorts & 1 purpose-built venue in neighbouring Jeongseon County, and the Costal Cluster events in the city of Gangneung. For more detail see here

The Pyeongchang ski resorts of Alpensia, Yongpyong, and Phoenix Park all have huge hotel / condo developments at their bases, but you’ll be very lucky to find anything available there at this stage (it may not even be possible at all, with block bookings for all the corporate / IOC etc beds required). Likewise, expect available rooms in Gangneung to be thin on the ground.

Additionally, there are a few more ski resorts in the region which aren’t Olympic venues, but which have accommodation and aren’t too far away – namely, Oak Valley Park (near the city of Wonju) and Welli Hilli Park (not too far from Phoenix Park), and High1 (an hour or two south of Gangneung by road) – but again, expect availability to be thin on the ground. Still, it can’t hurt to be aware of them and to check them along with everything else.

Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation: latest situation

As Pyeongchang is a rural area with very little accommodation available away from the ski resorts, and Gangneung is a small city without much of a tourist industry, it was always likely that accommodation was going to be an issue for Pyeongchang 2018 – and organisers recently admitted that that is indeed the case. They’ve announced that several more hotels are under construction and will be ready in time to provide thousands of extra beds, but there’s been scant detail available about what or where exactly these hotels are, or if any of those extra beds will even be available to the general public.

It does seem to be the case that Olympic Games hosts these days tend to look like they’re in disarray, only to pull everything together in the nick of time; furthermore, if you spend a bit of time in Korea you’ll get to know the phrase “pali pali” (meaning roughly “hurry, hurry”) which goes hand-in-hand with a tendency to get things done at the last minute! So extra beds may very well materialise, be they in new hotels, university dorms, or whatever. This page will be updated as soon as (or if) they do, and if you’re still searching by then you may be able to score something – but do be prepared to pay a hefty amount.

In the meantime, you’d surely much prefer to get something nailed down rather than be waiting for those extra hotels to show up; if you can land something in Pyeongchang or Gangneung, great, and lock it in! If not, you can look at options further afield.

Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation: where to stay

With the above in mind, a quick briefing on the geography; Gangneung’s on the east coast, with Pyeongchang just inland from there. Seoul is over near the west coast, near the main Incheon Airport; the city of Wonju lies roughly halfway between Seoul and Gangneung. Along the coast from Gangneung are the cities of Sokcho (50km to the north) and Donghae (20km to the south). With the new Gangneung KTX bullet train (see details) connecting Seoul & Wonju to Pyeongchang & Gangneung, all of these are feasible bases (depending where you’re attending events).

Pyeonchang 2018 accommodation map

Where to stay for Pyeongchang 2018

Red line: Gangneung KTX

Green: venue clusters

Blue: main accommodation options outside venue clusters

Ski resorts
1: Oak Valley (check accommodation and see resort guide)
2: Welli Hilli Park (check accommodation and see resort guide)
3: Bokwang Phoenix Park (check accommodation and see resort guide)
4: Jeongseon Alpine Centre (no accommodation; see details)
5: Yongpyong/Alpensia (many accommodation options; see resort guide for full details & links)
6: High1 (many accommodation options; see resort guide for full details & links)

Airbnb: if you’re going to stay in one of the cities, remember to check Airbnb as well as the hotel listings. It’s a particularly good option in Seoul, where there’s a huge number of places available, and Airbnb’s really convenient in Korea – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!

Airbnb also has listings near Welli Hilli Park, Phoenix Park, Alpensia & Yongpyong, and High1, some of which are still showing availability for the Olympics as of October 2017.

Seoul: it seems likely that many (if not most) Olympic visitors will wind up staying in Seoul, and travelling to the events on the new Gangneung KTX bullet train line. The line is now complete and entered regular service in December 2017; travel time from one end to the other i.e. Incheon Airport to Gangneung is around 2 hours, while travel time from Seoul’s Cheongnyangni Station to the Mountain Cluster is about an hour. Bear in mind that you’ll also need to take a shuttle bus between the train station and the venue you’re heading to, plus a subway or taxi ride in Seoul, depending which part of the city you stay in.

Map showing the route of the Gangneung KTX

The full Gangneung KTX route

And that’s a key point – if you’re staying in Seoul and concerned about journey times or late arrival back in Seoul following late-finishing events, try to stay as close as you possibly can to Cheongnyangni Station. Cheongnyangni is in the northeast of the city so isn’t particularly convenient for the main shopping & sightseeing areas, but it has the greatest frequency of service for the new KTX and Cheongnyangni & Sangbong are the terminals for the midnight trains back from Gangneung (so staying nearby would save you some long taxi rides if you’re attending late events before heading back to Seoul). A good area to stay which isn’t too far from Cheongnyangni is Dongdaemun.

However, if your main concern is easy access to nightlife & sightseeing etc rather than journey logistics, it’s better to stay near Seoul Station and accept you may end up having to take a taxi home from Cheongnyangni or Sangbong when returning from Pyeongchang.

Cheongnyangni and Sangbong are both located in the northeast of Seoul; Sangbong is a smaller station and a bit further out, so Cheongnyangni is the better option of the two for good connections to the rest of the city, in addition to having greater frequency of KTX service.

If you stay south of the river in e.g. Gangnam, you’re looking at a 30 to 40 minute subway ride just to reach Seoul Station or Cheongnyangni, so try to avoid that.

(Note: 청량리 is correctly romanised as Cheongryangri due to Korean spelling rules but the correct pronunciation is Cheongnyangni. Bit of a mouthful either way! You’ll see it written both ways)

Be aware that concerns have been raised about the capacity & schedule of the trains, especially during the Lunar New Year holiday (Feb 14th – 18th), and after the opening ceremony on Feb 9th. If you haven’t booked accommodation yet (as of late January) and are going to the opening ceremony or events on the 14th – 18th, the trains are booked out so you probably want to book somewhere in Pyeongchang or Gangneung rather than Seoul. Standing tickets are also being sold for the trains, but you can only buy them in Korea

With service expected to be from 5am to midnight, it could pose a problem for those needing to get back to Seoul from late-finishing events; if you’re attending an evening event, check the likely finishing time and bear this in mind when considering accommodation & transportation. Update: the schedule has now been confirmed, and the last train back to Seoul leaves Gangneung at 1am, stopping at Jinbu (near Yongpyong & Alpensia) at 1:24. This means that those attending the later-finishing events can still make it back to Seoul the same night (reaching Cheongnyangni at 2:34).

Also due to capacity limitations, it’s strongly advisable to book your train tickets in advance on the Korail site if you want a seat. If you’ll be doing this journey repeatedly, take advantage of the Pyeongchang Rail Pass to keep costs down.

For latest KTX updates see here

Search for hotels in Seoul

Wonju: the largest city in Gangwon-do, Wonju is halfway between Seoul & Gangneung and fairly close to the Mountain Cluster venues, so if you can find accommodation there it should be workable. One issue could be that although the Gangneung KTX stops in Wonju, the trains coming through from Seoul could already be at capacity; if you end up having to go by road, it’s about 50km from Wonju to Phoenix Park, 70km to Alpensia/Yongpyong, and 100km to Gangneung. The distances aren’t huge, but the traffic is likely to be heavy so it could be slow going; still, if you’re struggling to find accommodation in Pyeongchang or Gangneung but don’t want to travel all the way from Seoul, then Wonju could be a good option as long as you’re prepared for possible transportation snags. It’s definitely not an ideal solution if your events are in Gangneung, but those attending the freestyle events at Phoenix Park should definitely look at Wonju as an option. Update: free shuttle buses will connect Wonju to the event venues

Search for hotels in Wonju

Yangpyeong: the small city of Yangpyeong lies halfway between Seoul & Wonju, and with 15 KTX trains per day in each direction could make a good base. However the last few trains of the day skip it, so late-finishing events would likely mean a lengthy taxi ride from Wonju; bear this in mind if considering it.

Search for hotels in Yangpyeong

Mountain Cluster ski resorts: the in-resort accommodations at Alpensia, Yongpyong, and Phoenix Park will be very hard to book, if possible at all. There are some small pension-style places and motels in the nearby towns, they’re all fully-booked already of course but if you keep checking you may just be able to grab a vacancy. See here for details on options in & around Yongpyong / Alpensia, and here for Phoenix Park.

Other ski resorts in the region: Welli Hilli Park is only about 20km from Phoenix Park, and they’re located near adjacent stops on the Gangneung KTX (Dunnae Station and Pyeongchang Station). It would probably work quite well as a base at least for Phoenix Park, and perhaps the other venues too – if you can get a room! You can check their accommodation availability here (if you see anything, I’d jump on it); a nice point if you stay at Welli Hilli is you’ll actually be able to ski there as it’s not hosting any events so will be open as usual.

Oak Valley’s just outside Wonju and located quite close to Manjong Station on the new KTX line; if you can score a room there and if you get train tickets, it’s a good option (and again, you can actually do some skiing while you’re there). Without trains tickets though, the transportation gets tricky as Oak Valley’s on the wrong side of Wonju – to reach the venues by road, you’d have to take the Oak Valley shuttle bus (or taxi) to Wonju, then continue by bus or taxi from there. You can check their room availability here

One more option is High1; if you want to do some skiing, with closures elsewhere High1’s by far the best place to do it during the Olympics. There’s a lot of accommodation in and around High1, see here for details; again, it’s pretty much booked out already but if you keep checking you might just get lucky. However, High1’s probably a bad call for Mountain Cluster events due to the transportation (unless some special buses are made available direct to the venues, but that doesn’t seem likely to be the case at the moment); it would work ok(ish) for events in Gangneung though, being about an hour away by road (but allow a couple of hours for the bus, or expensive taxi rides could end up being necessary). Update: High1 have confirmed that no special transportation arrangements are planned for the Olympics, so keep that in mind. If you do want to stay there, remember to also check hotels & Airbnbs in Gohan/Sabuk towns (see here)

Gangneung (Coastal Cluster): search for Gangneung hotels here. If you find something within your budget, snap it up! Gangneung’s well-placed for any of the events.

Search for hotels in Gangneung

Donghae: this port city 20km south of Gangneung makes for a good base if you’re attending Coastal Cluster events in Gangneung. For Mountain Cluster events, the dogleg through Gangneung makes the transportation tricky (Wonju would be better). Update: free shuttle buses will connect Donghae to the event venues

Search for hotels in Donghae

Sokcho: as with Donghae, the port of Sokcho should work well enough for Coastal Cluster events, though it’s a bit further away (50km) than Donghae is; I’d consider it a last resort for Mountain Cluster events though (Wonju or Seoul would be better). Yangyang is just south of Sokcho and is home to the nearest (very small) airport to the venues, so that’s another possibility. Update: free shuttle buses will connect Sokcho to the event venues.

Search for hotels in Sokcho & Yangyang

Any questions about the Pyeongchang 2018 accommodation situation? Leave a comment below!

See also:

Snow Guide Korea’s Pyeongchang 2018 page; more details on the Gangneung KTX; and the best Korean resorts to ski at during Pyeongchang 2018


126 comments on “Pyeongchang 2018 Accommodation: where to stay for the Winter Olympics
  1. John Tempest says:

    This is some great information and far better than anything else I’ve seen on the internet. Ultimately, though, my takeaway from reading about the accommodation/transport situation is that we’re not going to go. We were borderline as I was able to get tickets, but we’re basically saying the following:

    1. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you won’t get accommodation anywhere near the venues. Yes, it could happen, but for the vast vast majority of people it isn’t even worth thinking about. You’re staying in Seoul.

    2. Once you stay in Seoul you’ll have the chance to book a train to the venues, but this train could cost as much as $100 a day for a return trip, you might not be able to book a ticket anyway as capacity is limited, and if you’re going to an evening event the train stops too early for you to see the end of it so you’ll have to leave early.

    So in other words, you have to buy tickets and flights (from the other side of the world in some cases) in advance and book accommodation in Seoul at a high price all on the chance you might be able to buy prohibitively expensive train tickets that might not even let you see all of the event you want to see anyway. It’s just not doable for most people, there’s far too much uncertainty, and far too much extra cost on top of your trip.

    • snorton says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reading & commenting. I think a lot of people share your concerns right now, so hopefully this page will be of help… seems to me the main problem at the moment (aside from the inherent flaws of the whole bid re accommodation) is the lack of information we’re getting; there may be extra trains but we don’t know yet, there may be extra beds but we don’t know yet, etc!

      Airbnb is definitely still showing some availability in Pyeongchang & Gangneung right now though – did you check it?

  2. Fabian says:

    Hi, we’re looking at attending biathlon events which generally end around 10 pm. Without knowing the schedule of the KTX, it seems like it could be tough getting down from Alpensia after the events, given that we have to take a potentially very crowded shuttle bus to get to the station. Would you be concerned about getting home if we decide to stay in Seoul or Wonju? If we stay in Donghae or Sokcho, would there be any way to get home from Gangneun short of a taxi?

    • snorton says:

      Hi Fabian,

      As things stand, yes I’m afraid I would be concerned about making it back to Seoul or Wonju following a 10pm finish at Alpensia. It all depends how late the day’s last KTX leaves… it’s a fairly short distance from Alpensia to Jinbu Station, but as you say the shuttle buses could be very crowded so it could take some time. At a guess, a midnight train would be fine, but an 11pm train would be pretty darn tight. I really wish they’d hurry up with announcing the KTX schedule!

      From Gangneung there are Mugunghwa (non-bullet) trains to Donghae, and buses to Donghae & Sokcho. The last Mugunghwa train leaves at 23:55, but it goes from Jeongdongjin Station which is a fair distance from the Gangneung KTX station, so I don’t think it’s a reliable option. The Gangneung intercity bus terminal is much closer to the KTX station (a kilometre or so), however buses usually stop well before midnight so that’s no good either unless extra buses get scheduled. If staying in Donghae or Sokcho I think you’d probably have to budget for a taxi from Gangneung, and hope that some sort of bus service materialises in due course!

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions

      • Fabian says:

        Hi,

        Thanks for the response – we ended up staying at an AirBnB listed apartment in YangYang area. It’s quite far away, but they offered pickup service at a reasonable price from the station in Gangneung. If the runs as late as midnight and with a reasonable frequency, we should be quite okay. Otherwise we’ll have to get creative or leave early to get down from the mountain.

        • snorton says:

          Nice one, it sounds like you’ve done the right thing to book that, I think you’ll be ok to get back to Gangneung after the events using some combo of KTX/shuttle bus. And then if all else fails you can get a taxi from Gangneung to Yangyang. Hope you have an awesome trip!

  3. cathy white says:

    First I would like to say thank you for such great information. I’m going crazy trying to figure things out.
    I have lodging by the Phoenix snow park for snowboarding but it says its 22 miles from the olympic village. Is that where the open and closing ceremonies are held and where awards will be given?
    Im not sure if you have any info to share on tickets,past olympics you can get them on site. The US site co-sport offers them in packages with lodging.
    Is there anything to do in the clusters that you know of we arrive on the 8 but event not till 13-14.
    Any information would be great.

    • snorton says:

      Hi Cathy, thanks for reading & commenting!

      You’ve done well to get accommodation near Phoenix Park, especially if you’re attending snowboarding events. And yes that’s right, the Olympic Village is at Alpensia ski resort around 20 miles from Phoenix Park, and that is where the ceremonies will take place. You can travel between Phoenix Park & Alpensia using the new bullet train line, it’s just one station away (Pyeongchang Station to Jinbu Station) with shuttle buses from the stations to the resorts.

      I do believe any unsold tickets will be on general sale in Korea.

      As for things to do, well the obvious thing would be to go skiing! (assuming you ski, anyway) You won’t be able to ski at Phoenix Park, but you can go skiing at Yongpyong (next to Alpensia) or Welli Hilli Park (near Dunnae Station, one station back the other way towards Seoul). To be honest there isn’t much to do in Jangpyeong (the small town near Phoenix Park), but you can also take the train 2 stops to check out Gangneung City.

      Hope this helps, and if you have further questions feel free!

  4. Beko says:

    snorton님 안녕하세요

    저는 원주에 사는 7살아이 아빠입니다.

    외국인 분들에게 평창 올림픽에 대한 많은 정보를 제공해 주시는 모습이

    정말 멋져보이네요. 🙂

  5. Julia says:

    Any update on the Cruise Ships for accommodations as announced earlier this year? Is this still happening? Can you let me know who I can connect with if you are unsure?
    thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Julia – that’s a very good question! I haven’t mentioned the ship option on this page because other than the fact it was somewhat vaguely announced, there’s been no further information whatsoever on how one would book it, or if it’s even actually going to happen. All I know is they said they’d be a cruise ship with 2000 beds available docked at Sokcho port. As soon as I know anything more, I’ll post an update!

  6. Vince says:

    Hi Snorton,

    Thanks for this awesome wealth of information. Been reading information from your site today so far and it’s looking more likely that I might be able to pull off this Olympics trip (from the US) on a budget (or…I will do everything else cheaply to afford the expensive tickets). I have two main questions related to:

    1. Accommodation:
    Looks like Gangneung KTX station might be the best option for me. And avoids all the possible horrors of a super long commute. I can’t seem to find a detailed location of the station itself but can you provide a cross-street/reference of where the station is located exactly? More for logistics purposes relative to where the hotels might be, if walkable.

    2. Tickets
    There are benefits to buying event/KTX tickets in advance. Do you know if event tickets will be cheaper/more expensive if bought in person? Or is this quite risky?

    Will folks still benefit the Pyeongchang Pass if they are closer to the venues? How much does each ticket cost?

    Thanks again. This is it for now. Will keep checking back.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Vince, thanks, good to hear it’s useful!

      To answer your questions, 1: if you search on Google Maps for Gangneung Station (or if that doesn’t work try 강릉역 in Korean) it should find it. Also the coordinates given here are accurate. There isn’t much by way of cheap accommodation left in Gangneung though; if you’re trying to stick to a budget, Sokcho might be better (search here), or you might even want to consider staying in Seoul (see hotels in Seoul) and using the Pyeongchang Pass to commute. I know you want to avoid long journeys back & forth, so it comes down to the trade-off between budget & travel times.

      2: for event tickets, you can either buy them from your country’s official reseller (list here), or buy them in person once you arrive in Korea. If you buy in Korea, the prices are here, so compare those to the prices in the States and make the call. In terms of the risk of selling out, I think there’ll be decent availability in Korea but of course this can’t be guaranteed at all; if you want to be sure of attending specific events, the only way to make certain is to buy in advance.

      As for the Pyeongchang Pass, it’s a great deal if you travel back & forth from Seoul, but if you stay near the venues it’ll be cheaper to buy any necessary train tickets individually (e.g. Gangneung to Jinbu is only 7000 won, or 7 US dollars). You can search trains & check prices here, and my page here has details of the stations for the events.

      Hope this helps – it can definitely be done without breaking the bank! Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheers!

      • Vince says:

        Thanks for the timely response. Really awesome you’re not only responsive but willing to go out of your way to direct us to resources that would have probably taken us forever to find. Kudos to you.

        I thought of the following questions soon after posting my first set of questions. First, is there no way at all to experience the Olympics venues without having to buy tickets? From what I see, the tickets correspond to ‘seated’ accommodations? If I recall correctly, the Olympics website states that it’s ‘free’ for ticketed attendees. So does this mean you have to ‘pay your way’ to use the shuttles to venues? I know I know there’s only so much you can probably see and enjoy when you’re outside and cold. Are there such things as ‘grounds passes’?

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Vince, sorry for the slow reply this time, I’ve had a busy couple of days travelling back to Korea. In Seoul now and ready to rock the season!

          To be honest, I wouldn’t expect to be able to get anywhere near the events without a ticket. I was in Vancouver in 2010, and if it’s anything like that there’ll be several layers of security between the venues and the outside world. Yongpyong is remaining open throughout, but the Rainbow section where the events are being staged is tucked away and can’t be seen from the base area or the open runs. That area’s accessed by the gondola, which is closed for the season. Phoenix Park and Jeongseon Alpine Centre will be totally closed off… I guess it might be possible to go to Alpensia and wander around the resort area a bit, but again I don’t think you’d be able to get anywhere near the actual event infrastructure (ski jump tower, bobsleigh track etc). And again, I’m not sure – in Vancouver they just completely closed off the whole of Cypress Mountain, right from the base of the access road, so if it’s done like that you won’t be able to get close… I’m really not sure.

          The shuttles to event venues are for ticket holders only, you won’t be able to board without one. Separate to that, there’ll be free resort shuttles from Jinbu Station for the use of the general public (i.e. hotel guests & skiers)

          If you’re thinking about going without a ticket just to see what you can see, I think Alpensia’s the best bet and the only place you’d possibly be able to see anything (but only from a distance), but I wouldn’t bank on even that.

          Definitely better to go with an event ticket!

  7. Laura says:

    How difficult will it be to use KTX and to get around the venues with a stroller? I have noted there are restrictions on getting into the stands with a stroller (which is expected), so can I assume there would be a place to park my stroller? What about boarding the KTX trains and shuttle busses? Trying to gauge whether taking a stroller will be a benefit or a nightmare. I will have a 3 month old baby.

    Also, do you know if there are warm places to spend time between events? Like if I am attending an event in the Phoenix Snow Park that ends at 2 pm and then another that starts at 5:30, is there a place to go indoors to wait for the next event? Or would I literally have to stand out in the snow for hours? And if that is the case, is it reasonable to travel back to Gangneung and The Olympic Park or my hotel to wait out the time?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Laura, I’m afraid I can’t answer all your questions satisfactorily, but I’ll tell you what I can.

      Regarding the stroller, generally speaking it’s fine taking strollers on the KTX as there’s plenty of storage space. However, during the Olympics the trains could be really crowded with lots of passengers standing – I think you’d still be able to take the stroller on board, but it just might be a bit more stressful than it usually would. Similar for the shuttle buses, I would guess. As for parking the stroller at the venue, I’m afraid I have literally no idea and can’t even make a guess – but perhaps a better idea would be to leave it at the station. They usually have storage lockers (coin operated) at the train stations here, including large ones that I think should fit a stroller inside (depending how bulky it is), so you could leave the stroller in a locker at the station before getting on the shuttle bus, and pick it up again afterwards. That would at least solve that issue… but then, thinking about it, there may not be enough lockers available, so it’s a good idea in theory but might not work.

      As for waiting between events, I’m really guessing here… Phoenix Park does have a huge base station area where you can normally go inside to escape the cold. However, whether that will be open to ticket holders during the Games I have no idea; security is going to be really tight, and it could literally be that you’re herded from the shuttle bus to the seats, then straight back on the bus to the station afterwards. So you may have no choice but to spend those hours between events at the KTX station. On the other hand, there may be a setup allowing you to wait on site, I just really don’t know I’m afraid. Sorry I can’t give any better answers!

  8. Conrad says:

    I have a reservation for 2 people for 4 nights from the 8th Feb to the 12th Feb 2018 at the Pine Garden Guesthouse. The location is near most Olympic Events in Gangneung. I am unable to attend and need someone to take the reservation. Purchased for $1,500.

    http://www.booking.com/Share-kfG2OQ

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Conrad, if your reservation is on Booking can’t you just cancel it?

      • Conrad says:

        Unfortunately, I forgot to cancel within the 90 day window so I was charged the full price. So I still have the room that I won’t stay in. I called the hotel and they’ll allow me to transfer.

  9. Christopher Levy says:

    You are doing such a great public service ! I am going to the games as media, but my company could only get a suite in the coastal town, and I want to be in the mountain area. I am looking at places. I have spent hours and hours, making some progress bit by bit.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Christopher, hope you manage to find something, let me know if you have any questions. Cheers!

      • Christopher Levy says:

        Hi again Simon.
        Update- I did get a place near the main mountain cluster ( Yongpyong Villa) for the 7/8 of Feb. I keep looking at listings on Agoda, but it is so hard to tell about the exact location of the places (maps are rather useless on Agoda and mainly in Korean). I do not want to book a place now then to get there and find out that the place is on some hill 7 km from the press transport/press center with no transport available. I am hoping that when I get there maybe I can get a better idea as to what is what and maybe there will be a room in a place that works for me available? The games do have an info desk on site, maybe they can help. Communicating with the places has not been easy (to say the least…) Thoughts?

        • Christopher Levy says:

          I did send queries for more info to like 10 places and got one reply . Then the one did not answer my follow up question.
          🙁

  10. Vince says:

    Hi Simon,

    I’m all but certain that I’m going to see the Olympics!

    My questions are about the Gangneung train station, is there only one entrance/exit to it (south side, or where the shuttles might leave from) or there is a way to cross over to the other side? Hard to say judging from dated Google street map views. I ask because if housing is on the north side (same side as the ice cluster venues), I’m guessing one will have to walk around the train station to get to the other side?

    Are the shuttles only available at the train station? Any ideas if they will check credentials when leaving from the venues to the train stations? If someone like me who is crazy enough to entertain the idea of walking from the Gangneung station to the venues, how long of a walk do we plan on making?

    Thanks again. Will follow-up once I’m firmed up itinerary and can actually talk about the Olympic events themselves.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Vince,

      Google Maps doesn’t work very well in Korea – it’s best to download Naver Map. Unfortunately it isn’t available in English, but once you manage to find what you’re looking for the level of detail is excellent. I haven’t been to Gangneung Station yet, but according to Naver it has three exits – exits 1 & 3 to the south, exit 2 to the north side.

      The shuttles leave from the station, and also from some park & ride facilities further out but those are unlikely to be of use to you. The ice venues are only a few km from the station so certainly walkable – however, I’m not sure if the security arrangements will actually permit you to get to the venues on foot. It may well be that the only way to access the venue is on the shuttle buses, though I’ve been unable to confirm this either way. Have you managed to find accommodation in or near Gangneung?

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Vince says:

        Hi Simon,

        It’s official, yes I have a confirmed accommodation (AirBnB) in Gangneung-si (thanks to your recommendation and updates). Actually almost directly across from the coastal cluster complex. So not sure if walking to the ‘entrance’ or taking the shuttle is my only means of getting in. I suppose I can ask my host how things are going the first week of the Olympics if it’s absolute chaos. Or you can provide us that inside knowledge, too. Alternatively, I hope I can safely walk out of the venues on foot when events are done.

        Gets me to my first question, once your event is over, do you have to leave the venue? Or can you hang around in spectator areas? Not sure how it was when you were in Vancouver.

        I am arriving on a flight mid-afternoon on the 16th (Lunar NY). Based on all the anxious discussions, do I even have a chance of taking the KTX since I am supposed to be checking in the same day? I’m with you in hoping that they calculated their capacity estimates correctly.

        I kept my T-money card when I visited in 2016. Am I able to add-money to it for use on the money/subway/KTX? I know there are certain lines that you can’t use it for, but I think you know what I’m getting at.

        I am planning to spend my time in Korea based out of Gangneung (through the 20th). I suppose if things get really bad due to the New Year festivities, I could delay traveling over until the next day and shift everything else by a day (not ideal but still possible). On this note, are there good spots to check since I’m gonna be in Seoul anyway on the 16th? Might as well make lemonade out of lemons, right?

        Will wifi be accessible and available at Olympics venue and throughout greater Seoul area? I didn’t think I had issues connecting on my last visit but I was so jet-lagged and tired, I can’t recall.

        Last (for now) about tickets (yes finally!). I see some events that are still reasonable. This is my first time to any Olympics so just being able to be part of it would be amazing without breaking the bank. I was really hoping to get tickets for Figure Skating but they are quite pricey when available. In your experience from Vancouver, do tickets tend to be more available days before/day of because people’s plans change or have unforeseen events take place? I see there is a Fan to Fan site for reselling but tickets appear to be sold at face value. Not sure if there is any benefit to waiting then (hoping to avoid scalpers). Regardless, I’d like to be able to visit all sites since I’m there long enough and hope transportation is reliable.

        I know I’ve asked this before, but are there sites (Olympic stadium, medal ceremony stage, etc.) where you don’t need tickets for? If possible, I guess will this require us to travel on our own? From what I can see on the venue map, the main olympic stadium is far away from transportation hubs.

        Ok stopping here for now. Thanks again in advance. I’m excited!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi Vince,

          Ok great, sounds like you’re in a good spot!

          Yes I do expect that once an event finishes you’ll have to leave the venue, though I don’t know this for certain.

          For your arrival on the 16th, all I can advise for now is to be ready at 16:00 Korean time on January 17th to get straight on the Korail site and see if you can manage to book a seat. I wouldn’t expect so though, so yes you’ll probably be relying on there being enough standing room. If you’re able to be flexible and stay in Seoul overnight, that might help. If that happens, I wrote up a post on things to do in Seoul here.

          Your T-money card will still work fine, not for the KTX though. But for subways & convenience stores, no worries (I’m still using a T-money card I got in 2013, and I’ve been in & out a bunch of times since then)

          Wifi at the venues – sorry, no idea! But generally speaking in Seoul, you can always get wifi at any cafe, many restaurants, and sometimes in public spaces.

          There are still plenty of tickets left. The political situation is probably putting some people off coming, there won’t be so many Russians coming due to the absence of their team, and also all the confusion surrounding transportation has probably stopped some from coming too. I haven’t bought mine yet, but am probably just going to go and get them from the ticket centre in Seoul maybe next week. Checking the fan to fan site is a good idea, but as for there being any advantage to waiting until the day before, I doubt it – once you know which events you want to go to, may as well buy the tickets. I guess the exception might be last-minute bargains on the fan to fan site, no idea how that will work out but if you’re happy to just wing it and go to whichever events you can score tickets to that might be an option. I don’t think there’s any site you can access without a ticket though.

        • Christopher Levy says:

          My understanding is that in addition to the medal ceremonies at the venues there will also be an evening medals ceremony every night at the main plaza in the mountain hub for which no tickets are needed.

          • Christopher Levy says:

            Oh, I just saw this part :

            All ticket holders for that day are invited to join in the celebrations and witness the world’s best winter sports athletes standing proud on the podium

  11. Michael says:

    Hi Snorton,

    Thanks for all of the information. Your site is probably the best I have seen for tourist information for the games!

    My family and I are staying in Donghae and I had a couple of questions. Where can I book bus tickets from Donghae to Gangneung? What is the name of the bus stations in Donghae and Gangneung? Is there a website for the bus line or do I just have to buy tickets in person? Also, do you know what the schedule for the bus is? I understand that they usually run until around 10pm, but will they extend this during the games?

    Also, I have purchased a PyeongChang Pass for the KTX rail line. If I were to use the Mugunghwa train from Gangneung to Donghae, can I book that with the Pyeongchang pass? It says on the Korail website that the pass works for that train line, but I am having difficulties booking. I understand I should be looking for the Jeongdongjin Station, but it seems like I am unable to book that station to Donghae station on the Korail website. Additionally, I have read that the Pyeongchang pass can be used on buses and subways, do you know where I can find that information?

    In the event that I get back to Gangneung late one night and have no other options do you have any idea how expensive the taxi to Donghae would be?

    Thanks a lot!
    Michael

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Michael, thanks for saying so!

      Ok, so the bus stations are called Gangneung Express Bus Terminal (강릉고속버스터미널, Gangneung Kosok Beos Teomineol) and Donghae Express Bus Terminal (동해고속버스터미널, Donghae Kosok Beos Teomineol). Here’s the website for the Gangneung Express Bus Terminal; third box down, second column shows Gangneung – Donghae. As you can see, the last bus is 22:10; it also says departures are frequent, and takes 40-60 minutes and costs 3500 – 5300 won. You buy the tickets in person, and I’m not aware of any plans to run later buses during the Olympics.

      For the train, reservations can only be made from 30 days in advance, so it’s probably still too early for you to book Donghae-Jeongdongjin. Try again 30 days before your date of travel and it should work. Also, be aware there’s another station in Donghae called Mukho Station, so check which station your accommodation’s closer to.

      For subways & buses, Seoul has a prepaid transport card called T-Money which works the same as the transport cards in London, Tokyo, and elsewhere. When you get your Pyeongchang Pass, you also get a commemorative T-Money card (with 5000 won pre-loaded) to use on the subway.

      Finally, taxis from Gangneung to Donghae would usually be in the 35000 – 40000 won range, though I wonder if some drivers may try to bump things up a bit during the Olympics.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

  12. Nora says:

    Hello everyone,

    I love the comprehensiveness of this website!

    I will be staying at an AirBnB in Gangneung, since the events I’m attending are at the ice arena, but the accommodation is relatively far from the arena (25-minute drive), so I’m wondering if Uber or a similar service operates in the area.

    My landlord did say that there is a taxi stand quite close to the accommodation, but I’ve heard horror stories about cab drivers in Korea, ripping off foreigners like there’s no tomorrow. Also, are credit cards accepted as a form of payment for taxis?
    I could also take a bus. Can you buy tickets on board buses?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nora,

      Glad you’re finding the site useful!

      There’s no Uber in a Korea – instead, people use Kakao Taxi. Unfortunately, you can only use it if you have a Korean credit card (see here for more info)

      Taxis in Seoul do accept credit card payment, however for taxis in Gangneung you’ll probably need to be ready to pay cash. Taxi drivers in Korea use the meter as standard, with the exception of those waiting for in busy drinking areas at night (to overcharge drunk passengers). Hopefully there won’t be any overcharging going on during the Olympics, but if it’s crazy busy you may find they start trying to negotiate fixed (inflated) fares instead of turning the meter on.

      For buses, yes you can just pay cash.

      Are you staying anywhere near Gangneung KTX Station? If so, just head there and take the free shuttle bus to the venue.

      Hope this helps!

  13. Christopher Pappas says:

    very useful info. thanks…

  14. Pompeida says:

    awesome page. i have a question with regards to KTX:
    – do they have standing places too, meaning worst case you need to stand but it’s at least likely you will get a rid
    – did they come out already with the latest KTX train schedule and any possible late/ night service?

    For getting some olympic spirit and people get-together seems Gangneung is the best choice?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi,

      Yes the trains have standing space, and you can see the schedule here (scroll down for the Olympic dates).

      And yes that’s right, if you want to feel like you’re actually staying at the Olympics and soaking up the atmosphere, Gangneung’s the best choice – the Olympic hospitality houses (Canada House, Heineken House, etc) are all going to be in Gangneung, I believe. If you can find something in Gangneung within your budget, lock it down!

  15. Elsie says:

    Hi!

    I SO appreciate your post – we are travelling for the end of the games and have been frustrated trying to piece together all the information for transportation and accommodations.

    A few questions for you…

    1. We are only attending the games on Feb 24 and 25. Do you think it’s worth buying the KTX rail pass if we are staying in Seoul on the 23 and only traveling to and from Pyeongchang on the 24th and 25th?

    2. We are attending the closing ceremony on the 25th and would love to return to Seoul afterwards (for cheaper accommodations), but the last KTX train runs at 20:40 and the ceremony doesn’t end until 22:00. The buses look like they don’t run late either… is there another way to get back to Seoul that night? If not, is there a website to book a taxi to somewhere closer? I’m afraid of not even securing a taxi and then being stuck.

    Thank you!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Elsie!

      1. Definitely not! Just buying the tickets individually will be significantly cheaper than the pass.

      2. The train leaving Gangneung at 20:40 is the last one from Gangneung to Seoul Station, but you can also take one of the later trains to Cheongnyangi Station (also in Seoul); note that you’ll be boarding the train at Jinbu Station, not Gangneung. So, there’s a 22:34 from Jinbu reaching Cheongnyangni at 23:44. That might be too tight for the 22:00 finish though (in fact, I definitely wouldn’t risk it), but you can also take the 22:54 arriving to Sangbong Station at 0:05. Sangbong’s quite far out towards the northeast edge of the city so you’d have to drop perhaps 40 dollars on a cab – not ideal, but it works!

      Let me know if you have any more questions

      • Elsie says:

        Wow thank you so much for the quick reply! Is there a website to book taxis in advance? I’m scared that they will all be taken too…

        • Simon Norton says:

          Well, there is an app called Kakao Taxi, but I’m afraid it’s useless to even know that unless you have a Korean phone number & credit card to register with. Uber isn’t available here either.

          But I wouldn’t have any worries about there being taxis at Sangbong Station at midnight – I expect there’ll be loads of them there. They’ll be well aware that hundreds of Olympics visitors will be spilling out of the station at that time and needing to go all over the city and will gather accordingly! Only problem is you might have to wait a while as everyone else will be getting in taxis too, but I’m perfectly confident you’ll be able to get back to your hotel.

  16. Matt Coomber says:

    Thanks very much for all this great information – far, far better than any of the official websites!

    Do you know anything about booking the train during the Lunar new Year period? I have tickets for Feb 16th and 17th, have bought a railpass (although having now read your website it seems this was probably not a good value option for me), but am being told by Korail that it is not possible to reserve seats during this period. It seems that tickets will be available within Korea first and will probably sell out before they it’s possible for me to book them. Do you know if this is actually the case? And if so if there are any other ways of getting to the venues without your own transport?

    Thanks in advance if you’re able to help me with this!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Matt, glad to be of use!

      So, yeah if you’re only going on the 16th & 17th it’s cheaper to buy individual tickets than a pass – that’s still true even if you’re staying in Seoul and going & returning on both days i.e. 4 one-way tickets.

      And yes, that’s right about the Lunar New Year. The website for those outside Korea will start taking bookings at 16:00 (Korean time) on Jan 17th, but those in Korea can do it from 6:00 which probably means the trains will all be booked out before overseas visitors have a chance. This was just announced the other day, and obviously is causing a bit of a backlash especially as Korail didn’t make it at all clear when they announced the pass (they just said it would be busy on those dates and could be difficult to get a ticket, which does appear rather misleading), and they’ve already taken the money from passholders but are still going to sell seats to local passengers first instead. Standing tickets will be available too, but it’s not remotely clear whether the total capacity including standing will be sufficient for the demand as they won’t say how many standing tickets will be available.

      So, in your case I’d probably advise being ready online on Jan 17th at 16:00 Korean time to see if you can manage to score a seat or standing ticket; if not, cancel your pass and you should get a 95% refund, I believe. You may be thinking you could just cancel it now anyway, and on Jan 17th try to book the tickets as separate bookings as it would work out cheaper, but I’d hold your horses with that at least until the 17th – reason being, they might manage to come up with some sort of alternative e.g. providing coaches for Pyeongchang Pass holders.

      If you don’t manage to get KTX reservations and no additional alternative is provided, there’s also a “mugunghwa” (local train) route that goes from Seoul to Jeongdongjin Station in south Gangneung in 6 hours that you could try – this would be ok for reaching Coastal Cluster events, but would still leave you short of Mountain Cluster venues. The other option is to go by road, either on a highway bus or by taxi. Latter option obviously pretty expensive, but if you could get a group together it wouldn’t be too bad. But again, the highway buses might be hard to get a seat on too.

      Sorry I can’t give you any better solutions, but I’ll be doing my best to keep up with the situation and make what updates I can, so keep checking back. And if you do try to score reservations on the 17th, please let me know how it goes.

      Cheers

  17. KATIE says:

    Hi there

    I am currently living in Korea and have tickets for the Big Air Men’s final on the Saturday at 10am. I will be driving down from Seoul but just wondering how difficult parking is going to be? I was in Pheonix resort a couple of weeks ago and the parking was pretty bad then so do you know where I’ll be able to leave my car for a few hours in that area at all?

    Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Katie,

      Awesome! But be careful, the Big Air’s at Alpensia so don’t go and park at Phoenix Park!

      According to the official site (here):

      When traveling by car, search ‘Daegwallyeong Parking Lot’ on your navigation system.
      Park at Daegwallyeong Parking Lot and walk to the shuttle bus stop.
      Take the spectator shuttle bus to Alpensia Sports Park (North Gate).

      …and if I get myself a ticket, any chance of a ride? 😉

  18. Michael says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks again for all of the information! I had another question for you. We are having trouble booking a seat back from Gangneung to Incheon Airport on February 26th. It seems like all of the seats are booked. Do you know when they will make standing room only tickets available and how many tickets they might have? We have to get back to the airport for our flights on the 26th and are getting kind of worried. If there are no seats available or standing tickets available does it make sense for us to rent a car? Thanks for any information you can provide!

    Thanks!
    Michael

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Michael, yeah looks like the direct KTX trains from Pyeongchang to the airport are booked out on the 26th, so 2 options. One, go for standing tickets as you mention, but it’s risky as Korail won’t say how many standing tickets will be available per train. They say they’re confident the capacity is enough for the demand, but that offers no guarantee you’d be good to make it by a specific time in order to catch a flight.

      Second option, which is more hassle & takes longer but is a safer bet, is to ride the KTX to Seoul Station then take the AREX (Airport Express) train from Seoul Station to the airport. You can see the KTX schedule on page 8 here, and there still appears to be availability left for most of those trains to Seoul (but don’t delay – if you want to go this route, get it booked ASAP). The AREX takes about 70 mins, and the transfer at Seoul Station from KTX to AREX involves lots of escalators & corridors so takes a while, so I’d allow an absolute minimum of 90 minutes from arriving at Seoul Station to reaching Incheon Airport.

      Does all that make sense?

  19. Michael says:

    Sorry, I think I accidentally sent the same question twice. Apologies, haha!

  20. Jeff says:

    Hi Simon,

    Your website is incredible – miles better than anything official. Thanks for all your work.

    I got 2 questions needing your expertise
    1. We have opening ceremony tickets but intended to commute from Seoul. On Feb 9 there’s only 1 train from Jinbu at 2254 that’s reasonably late enough for us to catch (can you believe they only run ONE train after the ceremony?). Seats look to be sold out on KORAIL, but we are fine standing. Question is – how do we get standing tickets? When/where would they be sold?

    2. We are also looking at accommodation around the venues for that night. There are many pensions still available around Pyeongchang but I can’t figure out transportation in the town. Are taxis usually readily available? I could walk but Naver shows at least a 5km walk from the station which is stupid at midnight …

    Thanks in advance.
    Jeff

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Thank you! Believe me, I understand your frustration. To answer your questions as best I can:

      1. Yes, as things stand that’s the only train you can realistically go for without leaving early.
      Unfortunately it doesn’t appear (at this time) that standing tickets can be reserved online – all official info from Korail indicates you have to get standing tickets at the station. I really don’t know if this means it can only be done on the day, or if you could go to a station days in advance and get the tickets – but I would certainly recommend that you attempt to do so, pretty much as soon as you arrive in Korea i.e. when you land go straight to the KTX ticket counter at Incheon Airport and see if you can get those standing tickets for the 9th.

      I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer, but I only have access to the usual public announcements from Korail. That’s what the situation seems to be at the moment, though I do wonder if they might have to add another train to the schedule after the opening ceremony, or something. Keep checking back and I’ll update things here as & when further info comes out.

      2. For this, you can (in fact I think you actually have to) use the spectator shuttle buses from the event to town, and yes from town to your accommodation you’d then need to walk or take a taxi. Latter obviously far preferable! I’d expect that every taxi driver in the region will be looking for fares at Jinbu and Gangneung stations after events… I just wonder if the supply will be enough to meet the demand. Could be a bit of a wait involved.

      Sorry I can’t give you clearer answers than these, but let me know if you have further questions.

  21. iechen says:

    Greetings!

    First off, thank you so much for your work and sharing it, Simon.

    A few questions:

    1. I will be there from 2/20-2/23. Hoping to land lodging in Gangneung. Does anyone have any leads? Perhaps your host has a bed those dates?

    2. How is everyone from the US getting event tickets?

    3. Is it easy to travel from the Gangneung cluster to the Ski cluster?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi there, at this stage you can simply buy tickets on the official Pyeongchang 2018 site. They’re also available from ticketing centres here in Korea. For accommodation, if you check the Agoda links on this page you can still find plenty of availability.

      To get between Gangneung & the mountain events, you can take the KTX (see here) one stop to Jinbu Station (or 2 stops to Pyeongchang Station if you’re going to an event at Phoenix Park) then take the shuttle bus to the venue. It’s also possible to go all the way by free shuttle bus, but this involves 2 or 3 changes of bus so would be slower. The shuttle bus routes are shown here (scroll down), the diagram’s only in Korean unfortunately but it gives you an idea of how the shuttle bus network is set up.

  22. Daniel says:

    Hi Simon

    Thank you for all of the helpful info on this page.

    Apologies if this has already been covered, but can you tell me how long it woud take to travel from the coastal cluster to the mountain cluster? Is it feasible to book events in both clusters for the same day?

    Also, I understand from the info that the mountain cluster is a lot closer to seoul – 1 hr travel rather than 2hrs to the costal cluster. Can I just check this is correct?

    Many thanks!

    Daniel

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Daniel, the Mountain Cluster is closer to Seoul, but not massively so – see the map above. Gangneung (Coastal Cluster) to Seoul Station is indeed about 2 hours, while the Mountain Cluster stations (Pyeonchang & Jinbu) are about 90-100 minutes, or just over an hour if you use Cheongnyangni Station instead of Seoul Station. You can see the exact times here.

      To travel between the clusters, you can either ride the KTX or take the free shuttle buses all the way. The latter takes a lot longer (2 hours or so) as you have to change buses a few times (diagram here, only in Korean unfortunately); much faster by KTX, though you still also have a shuttle bus at either end of the train ride. But yes, it’s certainly possible to attend events in both clusters on the same day, as long as there’s enough time between them.

  23. LL says:

    Hi!

    First of all, thank you for your work!

    We will be visiting the Opening Ceremony and will stay near Seoul Station. I wanted to book the KTX tickets today. Big mistake, far too late… Late trains to Seoul are fully booked on that day!!! A lady from the tourism center told me there are still standing tickets to Cheongnyoungri Station be available. But they are only buyable IN Korea! And furthermore, my host advised against it because it would be too far from Seoul Station. :-(((( Any advice or other ideas?

    Btw, we have one ticket left for the Opening Ceremony and figure skating on 11th. Anyone interested?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, it’s fine to use either Cheongnyangi or Sangbong, it just means you’d have to pay for a taxi. Obviously not ideal, but it does work – if you can get tickets. I would advise making it the first thing you do after clearing immigration to go to the KTX counter at the airport to buy standing tickets for the 22:54 train from Jinbu to Sangbong. There’s also the 22:34 to Cheongnyangni, but you’d probably have to leave slightly early to catch that one.

      Korail definitely appear to have undersupplied for the opening ceremony, so hopefully they’ll add another later train – do keep checking! (I’ll post an update here if they do)

      • LL says:

        Thanks so much for your help.

        The thing is I cannot buy standing tickets because I am not in Korea. And I think 1 day before the Opening Ceremony aren’t any standing tickets available anymore. Or didn’t I understand it right?
        Do you think there are enough taxis waiting at Sangbong and Cheongnyani Station? I already booked tickets for 6 o’ clock. I’m not exited about staying at Jinbu Station over night… We are pretty sure not the only ones to have this problem. I don’t understand why they don’t provide another train. Seriously, why would someone take the train at 6 in the morning from Pyeoungchang to Seoul? Only those who are forced to wait for the train to Seoul…

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again,

          Ok, are you talking about waiting until 6am at Jinbu train station? I’m pretty sure the station will be locked shut overnight, so that isn’t advisable – you may find yourself stuck outside in minus 10 degrees C, and I don’t think there are 24 hour cafes in Jinbu like in the cities… it would be better, for this plan, to go to Gangneung after the ceremony (either by KTX or using the free shuttle buses) and wait the night out there in Starbucks/McDonalds (or whatever other 24 hour place you can find), then ride the early train from Gangneung Station (obviously you’d need to rebook the train tickets).

          Regarding taxis from Cheongnyangi/Sangbong, yes I’m sure there’ll be plenty. There’ll also be lots of passengers so there might be a bit of a wait to get one, but you’d be able to do so. As for buying standing tickets the day before… well, yes it would be a risk. We just don’t know how many standing passengers will be allowed on each train.

          Perhaps I’d suggest this: first of all, (if possible) change your existing reservation to originate from Gangneung, then when you land at Incheon you could go to the KTX counter with your existing tickets and see if you can change them to standing tickets on the 22:54. That way if it’s not possible at least you still have seats booked for the morning, and if you ride the free shuttles to Gangneung Station after the ceremony it’ll be after midnight by the time you get there and you’ll just need to kill 5 hours or so in a cafe. Not ideal, I know… also in the meantime, keep tabs on whether any extra trains get scheduled and jump on it if & when that happens.

          Wish I had a better solution for you. Does all that make sense?

          • LL says:

            Wow, thanks so much for your advice.
            I canceled the tickets from Jinbu Station and asked my host for help to get standing tickets. I’m not sure if she’s willing to help but I am not able to book them. Do you think it’s possible to get the train at 22.54? I thought it’s more realistic to book the train at 0.44 from Jinbu to Sangbong.

            • Simon Norton says:

              Are you travelling with Pyeongchang Passes? Or just single tickets? If you have passes, I’d advise booking the first morning train from Gangneung to Seoul, which gives you a Plan B. Then when you arrive you can try to get standing tickets for the late trains after the ceremony as Plan A; if you can get them, you can just cancel the morning reservations without losing money, and if there aren’t any available, head to Gangneung after the ceremony to wait somewhere warm for the morning train. You could also try this with single tickets, but would have to pay the cancellation fees if you end up cancelling the morning tickets.

  24. Jill Ferris says:

    Hello!
    We’re currently trying to sort out our options from the Closing Ceremony to Seoul, or preferably Incheon, as we have AM flights on the 26th.

    What are your thoughts on the following:
    1) a nightbus from Jinbu or Hoenggye station to Seoul or Incheon before 7 a.m. on February 26th?
    2) KTX adding additional trains to accommodate the huge wave of people leaving the closing ceremony?

    We have Pyeongchang Rail Passes, but our other concern is reading about trains already being booked, since every time we’ve tried to reserve tickets, we get a message that we can’t book until 30 days out.

    Thanks so much!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jill,

      You should already be able to book for Feb 25th, as the bookings are open 60 days in advance during the Olympics – I’m able to book on their site right now, and I can see seats are still available on the 22:54 from Jinbu to Sangbong, which is the train you need to book (others are too early, as you have a 20-minute shuttle bus ride from the event to the station and might have to line up for the bus. You’ll need to take a taxi from Sangbong to your hotel, perhaps 40 dollars for that). You should be able to book this train now, so give it another go!

  25. S.E JI says:

    Hello I am a university student and my uncle is producer of major broadcasts. I am going to france to study so my house near stadiums will be vacant and able to use. My house has high value furnitures and I changed heating system a 3 monthes ago so when I turn on it the floor get so hot fast. Also I renewed the walls and I bought beds and tables and seats newly. I have 3 rooms and 1 restroom. I would like to rent my house to visitors. the term is good as long as possible. If you want to see photos please contact me jse1271@naver.com Thank you.

  26. Dave says:

    Hello Simon, thank you so much for your informations!

    I’m staying at Yangyang for the Olympics but I don’t really know how to get to the venues…
    I saw on some websites that it takes 3 hours by bus to get to the mountain cluster. This can’t be true right?
    Are there any speciel connections? Train to Gangneung? How much do they cost? And when do the last buses (if there are any) drive back to Yangyang?
    Always taking a taxi seems pretty expensive

    Thank you in advance!

    Dave

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Dave, if you take the free shuttle buses from Gangneung to the events at Alpensia, it takes minimum 90 minutes plus the waiting time for 3 transfers, so yes I would think the total travel time from Yangyang to Alpensia would clock in around 3 hours. You can see the shuttle bus diagram here, it’s only in Korean I’m afraid but the route from Gangneung Bus Terminal to Alpensia Olympic Park is TS24 > TS20 > TS31 > TS10 (you can check the times in the drop-down tabs below the diagram – 4th column is departure interval, 5th column is travel time & distance). If you go by taxi from Yangyang to Gangneung, have them drop you at North Gangneung Parking Area (북강릉주차장, Buk Gangneung Juchajang) rather than the bus station – this makes the taxi ride shorter, and also means you just need take shuttles TS31 > TS10. If taking a taxi all the way, have them drop you at Daegwallyeong Parking Area (대관령주차장).

      Much faster than the above routes is to use the KTX from Gangneung Station to Jinbu Station. The train only takes 15 – 20 minutes, and from Jinbu Station you take TS4 to Alpensia Olympic Park which is another 20 minutes. Including the journey from Yangyang to Gangneung Station, this route should be 90 minutes to 2 hours; the train ticket costs about 8 dollars.

      Last bus from Gangneung to Yangyang normally leaves at 10pm, however according to this there’ll be free Olympic shuttles to Sokcho & Yangyang until 2am. At this stage I’m not sure what the details are on those, you may have to work that out on the ground once you get there.

  27. Kristina says:

    Hi Simon,
    Thanks so much for your brilliant advice. Hands down the best resource.
    I’ve been looking at where to stay so we can see events at Gangneung (first day) and Phoenix park (second day and finishes late) plus do some skiing at yongpyong (3rd day). I was thinking of staying close to Pyeongchang station so we can use the KTX to get to and from Gangneung and Jinbu and then we can use the shuttle bus to get to and from Phoenix park. Is the KTX Pyeongchang train station in Pyeongchang-eup? Is Pyeongchang-eup ok to stay in? Do you reckon there’s enough in terms of restaurants and some atmosphere?

    Thanks so much in advance for all your help.
    Kristina

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kristina, Pyeongchang Station is actually located in Jangpyeong-ri, Yongpyeong-myeon, about 20km north of Pyeongchang-eup. Seems confusing, but they’re all part of Pyeongchang-gun, which is what the station is named for (‘gun’=county, ‘eup’=town, ‘myeon’=township, ‘ri’=village). So if you stay in Pyeongchang-eup, you’ll need taxis to get to the KTX (or there may be a local bus you could use). However I’m not sure if there’s anywhere to actually stay in Jangpyeong-ri, it’s a tiny little place, so Pyeongchang-eup might be the closest you can get.

      Actually, I’ve just found this one place in Jangpyeong, but it looks… unspectacular, let’s say. I think for your transportation plans Pyeongchang-eup would be ok, anyway, but for atmosphere Gangneung would definitely be better.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions

      • Kristina says:

        Thank you so much Simon. Absolute legend. I was confused that it would come that far south so makes complete sense now.
        I’ve seen a few places still available at the Phoenix snow park so we might stay there and get the free shuttle to Pyeongchang Station every day. Do you reckon there will be a bit of atmosphere at the Phoenix snow park too and some ok places to eat local food? It looks like it online but good to check.

        Really appreciate all your help.
        Kristina

        • Simon Norton says:

          Not sure to be honest. There isn’t all that much there around the resort, but the resort itself is pretty big. I’d normally say there probably wouldn’t be much to do other than the resort stuff (swimming pool, cafes etc), but they may (or may not) have extra things going on due to the Olympics. Definitely sounds a good plan logistics-wise though

    • Christopher Levy says:

      There are some places near Phoenix Park available.

      Maybe you could spend one night there ?

      Use Agoda.com

  28. Sarah S says:

    Hi Simon – can’t thank you enough for all of the information you have been posting. Can you please provide your thoughts on driving to get to the Olympic venues, specifically in the mountain cluster. Presently we (family of 6) have a pension booked from February 19 – 26 in the Dunnae Gangwon-do area and plan to book a car to drive to the Jinbu transport hub to get the spectator shuttle. We had been thinking of changing to an AirBNB near Seoul Station to get the KTX train to the venues, however, it seems that the reserved seats are sold out (I believe) and there is no guarantee that you can get a standing spot. What are your thoughts and suggestions? Many thanks for any advice you can provide.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Sarah, did you realise Dunnae also has a KTX station? It’s a long shot, but first off you could try to get train tickets from Dunnae to Jinbu (it’s just 2 stops).

      If you drive you can park at Jinbu Transport Mall or Daegwallyeong Transport Mall. The latter is a bit further to drive, but leaves you with a shorter shuttle bus ride to the venues.

      Driving should be ok, though I’d guess the traffic might be bad. Also if you’re not aware of it, there’s an odd/even registration number system limiting cars on the road each day… you’ll want to check the coverage area, it definitely covers Gangneung but I’m not sure exactly where it starts when you approach from the west. It may or may not affect you (I’ll try to find the official info later when I have time to search!)

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi again Sarah,

      I checked and the odd/even car restriction is only for Gangneung, so you won’t need to worry about that

  29. Joe z says:

    Hi, I have been checking places to stay in Gangneung (Coastal Cluster) via your link for Agoda. They don’t seem to respond with requested info. Like how far from the ice hockey arena or the KTX train station. How far is Donghae east side? Having never been to Korea, I have no idea. Not planning on a car.
    I see places listed but unsure of what would be the best
    Also what is meant by a pension as a hotel?
    Any help would be appreciated
    Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Joe, yeah a pension is like a guesthouse-style hotel (rather than a big chain hotel). Some are cheap & cheerful, some are actually expensive health-spa type places, the price should clue you in.

      Donghae is 20km from Gangneung (to the south). Not ideal, but there are free buses connecting Donghae & Gangneung during the games.

      The KTX station is pretty central, while most of the venues are at the Gangneung Olympic Park a few miles north of the station. Careful with the hockey though, there are 2 arenas being used and the other is a bit further out to the south.

      Suggest checking the location of the station & venues on Google Maps, then cross-referencing that with the hotel location maps on the Agoda pages. Or actually, if you’ve narrowed it down to a few options just tell me the names and I’ll give them a quick look and tell you which I think’s best

    • Christopher Levy says:

      I have also been looking on Agoda.
      I travel all over the world, and at this point Korean places win a gold medal for not replying to questions.

      Maybe it is a language thing, I dunno.
      But I feel your pain.

  30. Brigitte says:

    Hi there! You may have answered this already, but we have tickets on the 8th for the Ski Jumping which doesn’t end until 10:40PM. We are trying to get back to Seoul that evening but the train (KTX) we plan on taking to get there has the latest departure of 9:04PM. I saw online that if you can get to Cheongnyangni, there’s a 12:03AM train to Seoul. Do you know the logistics of getting from Jinbu to Cheongnyangni?? Thanks in advance!!

  31. Brigitte says:

    Actually I think I just realized the train in Cheongnyangni is the station that it stops at, at 12:03am. So I guess my question is still, how to get from Jinbu back to Seoul late in the evening after the event (which ends at 10:40PM). Thank you!!!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Brigitte,

      Yes, Cheongnyangni is the station it stops at, and Cheongnyangni Station is in Seoul. In other words, that’s your way home so book it ASAP!

      Cheongnyangni is in northeast Seoul, it’s a little inconvenient at midnight but you’ll just need to take a taxi back to your hotel (depends where you’re staying, but probably something like 20 or 30 dollars for the taxi)

      EDIT: ah, sorry no actually I just checked the train times, and the last train back to the Seoul area that night is at 22:54, terminating at Sangbong Station. The train to Cheongnyangni leaves at 22:34, which is too early for you.

      Unfortunately though, it’s a 20-minute shuttle bus from the jumping centre to Jinbu Station, so even to catch the 22:54 you’re probably going to have to leave slightly early (to allow for waiting time for the bus, and walking time to/from bus stops)

      Also Sangbong’s a bit further out, perhaps 40 dollars for the taxi

      • Brigitte says:

        Thanks so much for getting back to me! We actually live in the middle of Seoul.. I think I might just cancel out train tickets to get out there and plan on driving instead. I’m assuming they will have shuttles late after the event to take you back to the designated shuttle lots since this is going to be an issue for every single person attending the late night Ski Jumping event. If my assumption is wrong, please let me know! Appreciate it!

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hey Brigitte, yes you’ve got that right, what you’d do is park at Jinbu Transport Mall and use shuttle TS4 to access the jumping centre at Alpensia Olympic Park. Alternatively you could park at Daegwallyeong Transport Mall and use shuttle TS10 (the latter route just means slightly further to drive, but a faster shuttle bus). Check out the shuttle bus diagram here (scroll down)

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Brigitte, they’ve added an extra train back to Seoul after the ski jumping on the 8th. It departs Jinbu Station at 0:24 (so technically on the 9th), and arrives to Cheongnyangni Station at 1:40.

      • Christopher Levy says:

        You really think that they would schedule some night trains.

  32. Michael says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks again for all of the information. I noticed that they finally added the shuttle information to the English version of the PyeongChang 2018 website. However, it says that the shuttles going from Donghae to Gangneung only start running at 8:00 AM. That is a bit late for us to get to some of our events and seems late in general for the first bus of the day. Do you know if this might be an error? If this is true, would you suggest we take the regular bus to Gangneung?

    Thanks again for all of your help!
    Michael

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Michael,

      I’ve no information to suggest that’s an error, and yes in that case I’d say just take the regular bus as they start running from 5.20am and you can take shuttle TS24 from Gangneung bus station to the Olympic Park.

      • Michael says:

        Hi Simon,

        Apologies for all of the questions and thank you so much for all of thelp help. I downloaded the official transportation app and it says that it will take me 4 hours to get from Donghae (not far from the Donghae Boyang Hot Spring shuttle stop) to Phoenix park. Does that sound right? Any help on a route that might be quicker than that would be really appreciated.

        Thanks a lot!
        Michael

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again Michael,

          Is that 4 hours by free shuttle bus? That would sound about right actually, due to all the transfers, and also with Phoenix Park being the furthest inland of all the venues.

          The fastest route would be to use the KTX from Gangneung Station to Pyeongchang Station (2 stops), then shuttle bus TS15 to Phoenix Park.

          • Michael says:

            Hi Simon,

            That is actually including the KTX according to the app. It seems like the shuttle from Donghae to Gangneung puts us out of the way at the North Gangneung Transport Mall and then the app is telling us to take some random city buses to the train station. I am thinking about just using a taxi to go to the Gangneung KTX station, which according to Kaokao Taxi should only take us 41 minutes. With that I would think the whole trip should take 2 hours or less. Does that sound right?

            Thanks again for all of your help! You really are a lifesaver as all of the information we can find from the official channels just seems to put us in a state of panic.

            Thanks,
            Michael

            • Simon Norton says:

              Yeah that sounds about right. Taxi to Gangneung Station, KTX to Pyeongchang Station, shuttle TS15 to Phoenix Park, looks like 2 hours or so.

              I think if you take that free Donghae shuttle and it drops you at North Gangneung Transport Mall, then from there you could reach Phoenix Park in about 2 hours by shuttle bus (TS31 > TS30 > TS6).

              Taxi & KTX is definitely your fastest option though.

  33. CC says:

    Hi Simon,

    I saw a post in the Q&A session of Korail which mentioned that shuttle bus T22 from Gangneung station to Gangneung Olympic venues will only be available to ‘vulnerable users’, and the general spectators are expected to walk to the venues as it said it only takes 15 min of walking. Here’s the link from that post about this arrangement:
    http://m.sports.naver.com/general/news/read.nhn?oid=047&aid=0002175668

    Do you know if this is true?
    Do you kbow if it’s easy to walk from the station to the venues? The shuttle bus schedule quoted that it takes 7 mins to drive 2km to the venues, so I guess it will take more than 30 mins to walk.

    Thanks

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, yeah I’m really not sure about this yet, have heard it in a couple of places but still waiting for an official English announcement to confirm it! But judging from the map I think it does look more like a 15-minute walk than a 30-minute walk (seems the shuttle bus has to take a slightly longer route around)

  34. Mikki says:

    Hi Simon! Thanks for writing about this. It’s the best resource I’ve seen so far.

    I’m a foreigner who moved to Pohang just this January. I’d like to watch figure skating on the 16th (10AM-2:30PM), but my budget is pretty tight. I’d prefer a day trip to avoid paying for accommodation, but unfortunately, I won’t make it to the event in the morning because the first bus from Pohang to Gangneung will only arrive in the afternoon.

    Is there any other way I can make this a day trip? Or is that even advisable? I don’t know Korean and I will most likely be traveling alone via public transportation. What do you think? Thank you in advance!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Mikki,

      I’m sorry, Pohang’s quite far and I don’t think there’s any way to reach the venues by 10:00am starting from Pohang. Even if you take the first KTX it only reaches Seoul at 9:53, and then it’s another 2 hours to Gangneung from there. I think you’ll need to travel the day before, and stay overnight. If the accommodation in Gangneung is too high for your budget, try looking for something in Donghae (search hotels in Donghae) and you can take the free bus in the morning from Donghae to Gangneung.

  35. Ken says:

    Hi Simon, thanks so much for all the info! I just found out I have a week off from work (Feb 7-16), and was hoping to go with my wife to see some olympics. Of course this is very late, and I’m having some difficulties finding some information!

    It seems like this is the worst time for train tickets, is staying in Seoul even going to be a possibility with taking the train everyday?

    I see there’s a couple hotels still in Wonju, but again will we even be able to get train tickets to the events? You put an update about shuttle bus from Wonju, any idea of the schedule and how long it will take to Gangneung?

    I see there’s also a couple air bnb places in Gangneung itself, normally about 15min drive to the arenas and train station. Can this be done without a rental car?

    And finally, out flight is out of ICN in the late evening of Thursday night (feb15), would I even be able to get a spot on the train to make it to the airport?

    Thanks again for all the info, it’s been really frustrating trying to put a plan together!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Ken,

      I’m sure you’ll be able to work something out! Start by checking the train availability, you can search dates & routes here. Remember that at the Seoul end there are 3 stations you can use. Seoul Station is best, but you can also use Cheongnyangni Station and Sangbong Station (both in eastern Seoul; Cheongnyangni is more convenient). Also remember that the mountain cluster events are near Jinbu Station (or Pyeongchang Station for events at Phoenix Park).

      If you think there’s availability to get to the events you want to see, then Seoul could work as a base; if not, then Gangneung would be best. I think if you stay a 15-minute drive from the venues, you’d be likely to end up taking taxis there & back every day unless it turns out there’s a convenient bus you can use.

      As for Wonju, I still haven’t seen an actual schedule for the buses from there but would usually be about 90 minutes from Wonju to Gangneung.

      And for your flight out, I’ve just checked Gangneung to Incheon Airport on the 15th and there appear to be plenty of seats available.

      I suggest you check the train availability for the events you’re interested in, and check the accommodation in Seoul & Gangneung; once you’ve made the call on where to base yourself and booked a hotel, then go ahead and book your train tickets ASAP. If neither Seoul or Gangneung looks good for any reason, make Wonju the fallback option.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any more questions!

  36. Abbey says:

    Hi, thank you so much for all of this information!! We just booked a hotel directly between Gangneung and Donghae (Hotel Tops 10). Do you have recommendations on how to get to and from the Olympic events to hotels out there?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Abbey,

      Well, there are free Olympic shuttle buses between Donghae & Gangneung, and also the regular buses that do that route. But I don’t know if they stop anywhere near your accommodation – where exactly are you staying between Donghae & Gangneung? Do you know the town name?

  37. Nick says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thank you for putting all of this together. This is the best resource I’ve read.

    I’m planning my accommodation to be near Yangpyeong. Is there a KTX stop nearby? How would I travel from Seoul Incheon to there and then from there to the mountain cluster?

    Thanks.

    Nick

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nick,

      Yes the KTX does stop at Yangpyeong Station, but only some of the trains make that stop. You can see the schedule here (pages 4 & 5). The main thing to be careful about is that the last train to call at Yangpyeong leaves Gangneung at 22:10 and Jinbu at 22:34, which could be too early for late-finishing events. So do make sure to check your event finishing times; as long as there’s no issue with that, then yes Yangpyeong works as a base (not sure how exciting the town itself is though!)

      As you can see there are no direct KTX services from the airport to Yangpyeong, so you have to change in Seoul. This means either 1) take the KTX from Incheon Airport to Seoul Station, then change to another KTX to Yangpyeong or 2) travel into Seoul from the airport by subway, and then catch the KTX from Seoul Station, Cheongnyangi Station, or Sangbong Station to Yangpyeong. There are also slower ‘mugunghwa’ trains from Cheongnyangni to Yangpyeong, and it’s even possible to go the entire way from the airport to Yangpyeong by subway, though this would take a good 2.5 hours!

      From Yangpyeong to the mountain cluster, take the KTX to Jinbu Station for events at Alpensia/Jeongseon/Yongpyong, or to Pyeongchang Station for events at Phoenix Park. Then from the station you take a shuttle bus as shown here

      Hope all that makes sense!

  38. Poulami says:

    The cross country event starts at 16:15 on Feb 10. The earliest ktx train I got arrives at 14:26 at jinbu station. Will there be sufficient time for me to reach the event in time?

    Also, are there large or small lockers at jinbu station?

    Lastly, among the list of restricted items at the venue, it says “wireless signal equipment”. Does a WiFi egg fall under that category?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Poulami,

      Yes that should be plenty of time. Look at the shuttle bus diagram here (scroll down), you just need to take shuttle TS4 (20 minutes) from Jinbu Station to Alpensia Olympic Park. I’m not sure how long it’ll take to line up & wait for the bus though, so try to make the transfer quickly.

      I wouldn’t rely on being able to get a locker, and I’m sorry but I have no idea about whether wifi eggs are restricted.

  39. Jennifer says:

    First off, this site is a legit godsend, bless your soul.

    This is a long shot, but I’m staying at a mountain home Airbnb (pension?) in Mungok-ri, a little further southeast of Jeongseon Alpine Centre (JAC). If I take the Olympic shuttle from Jinbu station to JAC, is there any hope of hailing a taxi from JAC for that last distance to my Airbnb? I ask because I’m watching the ladies figure skating final the next morning, and have been Googling my butt off to figure out the route from Jinbu –>my Airbnb and vice versa.

    As long as I can get to/from Jinbu, I’m not as worried because of the Olympic shuttle, but wishing I chose less remote accommodation now. >_< Any help is appreciated!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for the nice comment!

      And actually you can go direct from Jeongseon town to Jeongseon Alpine Centre by shuttle bus, so you’d only need the taxi from Jeongseon town to your Airbnb (looks like that’ll just be a couple of km). Check out the shuttle bus diagram here (scroll down), specifically shuttle routes TS13 and TS14.

      I’m not sure where exactly the Jeongseon Park & Ride is located, or how easy it would be to get a taxi from there after the event, but if it’s near your Airbnb that would look like the best way for getting to the venue… but I would think your best route back afterwards would be the TS14 to Jeongseon Bus Terminal and a taxi from there.

      Hope this helps!

  40. gruber Dominique says:

    Hi Simon,

    I am impressed with the vast of information that you are kindly sharing with all of us. Now if I may, and I know it is a last minute decision, would you say or take the risk to show up in alpensia or Yong pyong without any accommodation? Considering I travel a lot and usually always find a solution. Now this is a region of the world and culture I dont know at all. My plan would fly in from France to Seoul on 15 or 16th of Feb for about a week or ten days. Taking the chance for alpin ski competition as well as a hockey game or so.

    I guess with such accurate details you must leave in the country?
    Stay safe and thanks for all. Dominique

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Dominique,

      I wouldn’t try just turning up at Yongpyong or Alpensia – they’re ski resorts, and totally booked out for the Olympics anyway. You could try in the nearby towns (Hoenggye and Daegwallyeong), but again I wouldn’t do it – places are either booked out or at sky-high prices, and bear in mind that it’s a very rural area and it could be minus 20 degrees at night so really not fun to be wandering around looking for somewhere to stay. I say this as someone who also travels a lot while playing things by ear.

      So really for the kind of improvising you want to do, definitely try it in Gangneung rather than Yongpyong/Alpensia. It’s still not so big, but at least it’s a city so if you can’t find a better solution there’s always 24-hour cafes, McDonalds etc. A good thing to know about is jjimjilbangs, basically public bathhouses, which tend to be 24 hours and have space for sleeping – they’re a good fallback option, and also an interesting Korean experience to check out. Here’s the Wikipedia page about them

  41. Andrew Mangan says:

    Hey Simon,

    Great website! We just found out that my sister made the team this morning. We are looking for accommodations and tickets. Do you think train will run on time, and are shuttles reliable enough? We are considering renting a car if you think this isn’t reliable. We are also looking for tickets more than the four we get as family (we are a family of 8!) Do you know if there are fan to fan tickets that we can get there?

    We are deciding between guangnueng, wonju or something in the middle. Given our family size, Airbnb is really only option for us, I would love to hear your thoughts on chances of us getting something close, but i n country (we could only really do this in the car.)

    Thanks so much for all you help!

    Andrew

    • Simon Norton says:

      Cheers Andrew, and congratulations!

      What’s your sister’s event? Some events are sold out, but most still have tickets available at the ticket boxes here in Korea (I just bought one today in fact). If her event’s already sold out though, there is a fan-to-fan sales page on the official ticket site you could try.

      I expect the trains to run punctually, and the shuttle bus system looks pretty solid. If you do rent a car, be careful about the odd/even licence plate rule in Gangneung (only allowed on alternating days, according to the registration number)

      For accommodation, Gangneung would generally be a much better base than Wonju (in terms of travel logistics and also having more going on around town for the Olympics), but Wonju would work too and if her events are at Phoenix Park then Wonju would be convenient (especially if you have a car)

      Hope this helps, and fire away if you have any further questions!

  42. Peter says:

    What happened to the late night trains from Gangneung to Seoul area? There was a number of them initially announced and now they have disappeared. Does that mean there is no chance to get back to Seoul from Alpensia after ski jumping events whatsoever?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Peter,

      Remember that there’s also Cheongnyangni Station and Sangbong Station (both in eastern Seoul) in addition to Seoul Station, and many trains terminate at one of those other stations so do check all 3. Also note that on the booking system the trains after midnight show on the following date. Finally, if those points don’t make any difference (or you’ve already accounted for them), you’ll still hopefully be able to get standing tickets. These can only be booked in person at stations in Korea, but they can be purchased in advance – so if you’re relying on standing tickets for any particular days, once you clear immigration go straight to the Korail counter at the airport and book them all in one go.

  43. Jason says:

    I will be passing through Seoul during the Olympics. Since I will be so close, I was thinking about trying to bounce over there for a few days and see what tickets I can get. In the meantime, I’m having a hard time understanding WHERE EXACTLY EVERYTHING IS (based on the Official Website). I’m pretty clear about the KTX and TS routes they have posted, but I can’t definitely find these locations on Google Maps or Hotels.com. For instance, when I google mapped, Jinbu–>Phoenix Snow Park, it said 3+ hours (which leads me to believe Google doesn’t know these places).

    Basically, where would be good “regions/neighborhoods” to search in hotels.com? Should I try to get near Jinbu Station or Jinbu Bus Terminal? (They are the start of the “TS” routes) What neighborhoods are those? We will be travelling on foot, bus, train, taxi, etc. (Don’t have a car) My thought is, if walking distance to those Jinbu stops, I should be able to get on the TS routes to bounce around the venues?

    I’m pretty flexible and resilient, so I can put up with some hassle to check this off my bucket list…but if you think I’m biting off more than I can chew, please advise.

    Thank You.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Jason,

      I don’t think you’re biting off more than you can chew! Sure you can put something together.

      So if you want to be in the Mountain Cluster the place to search is Daegwallyeong: here’s a direct link to Daegwallyeong on Hotels.com

      As for Google Maps, it’s rubbish in Korea. Download an app called Naver Map to use instead, the level of detail’s excellent and they recently released the English version. Kakao Map is also good, especially for navigating the Seoul subway system

  44. Mike Mirelli says:

    Greetings. Two of us will be in Japan from 15Feb thru 28Feb. As a side trip, we are considering flying to S.Korea from either Tokyo or Osaka and trying to see a few Olympic events (whatever we can get into) and possibly the closing ceremony. Scoping this out, it seems there is no longer availability of Pyeongchang Rail Pass for foreigners? The Korail site says that ended in January…is that correct? So, if we stay in Seoul, wouldn’t it be pretty much useless to attempt this at this point in terms of transportation feasibility to/from the site of the games? Any recommendations?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s correct, you can’t buy the Pyeongchang Pass at this point. But that doesn’t make it unfeasible to come, as you can still buy train tickets individually. You’ll likely have to buy standing tickets much of the time, and best to avoid the 14th – 18th due to the Lunar New Year holiday. But if you come after that (as it sounds like you intend to), it should be ok. See here for more detail on the train situation, and let me know if you have any more questions

  45. CC says:

    Hi Simon,

    Do you know if we need to wait for a long time to get on the shuttle buses? So far, were they efficient enough to clear the crowd after the events finished?

    I have booked trains that leave about one hour after the events finished. Do you think I will have enough time to catch the trains or do I need to leave early before the events finish?

    Thanks
    CC

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi CC,

      My experience of the shuttles has been super smooth, however the only event I’ve actually been to so far was an afternoon event at Phoenix Park. I’ve also used them just for getting around Pyeongchang, but that wasn’t after events so not so busy – the larger venue cluster at Alpensia has reportedly been a bit chaotic after late-finishing events.

      One hour should be fine for getting from Phoenix Park to Pyeongchang Station, but perhaps not for e.g. Alpensia sliding centre to Jinbu Station. Which events & train stations are you talking about? You could always see about switching your train time to a standing ticket on a later one.

      • CC says:

        Hi Simon,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I am going to Ice hockey and Speed skating which are late finishing events and I’ll take shuttles from Gangneung venues to Gangneung station. Hopefully it’ll be smooth after the events.

        Another question is about mobile ticket. I can choose this option for my tickets which I bought from the official websites. But it seems that there is no QR code on the mobile tickets in my phone, do you know if this is Okay?

        Thanks

        • Simon Norton says:

          Sorry, I really don’t know anything about mobile ticketing, I’ve only used paper tickets purchased from the box office in Seoul

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