If you have ever taken a walk along the Han River then you have definitely noticed many Seoulites riding white and green bikes alongside the walking path. These are the Seoul CIty bikes that are part of the city’s bike-sharing system! There are 800 bike parking stations situated around Seoul where you can pick up and drop off these bikes, all you need to do is scan your phone or enter your code and you’re good to go! If you have never rented a city bike before the process might seem a bit daunting, but rest assured the whole process takes about 5 minutes and after that, you’ll be ready to ride!
The whole process of renting a Seoul city bike can be done from your laptop. However, it is much more convenient and realistic for you to use the Seoul Bike app to plan your trip and purchase your voucher. The app is free to purchase from the Apple app store and the Google Play store. You find it by searching “Seoul Bike” or “따릉이”, which is the name of the app in Korean. Once you download it, there is an English language option.
Once you have downloaded the app, you can locate a bike rental station closest to you on the map. The green dots indicate that LCD and QR bikes are available to rent and the yellow dots indicate that only OR bikes are available to rent. The number on the dot is how many bikes are available at that station, and if you click on a dot it will tell you exactly how many LCD and how many QR bikes are there. The map updates in real-time so make sure to check before you go to rent your bike.
To rent a Seoul bike, you can register with an account or sign in as a non-member and pay via the mobile app or PC. Once you get your code it is valid to use for 24 hours. If you do not use the code within 24 hours your money will be refunded and the code will become invalid. The code can be used at any location and the rental period does not start until you actually remove the bike from the dock.
Open the app.
Select the language of your choice.
Select the menu button on the left side and click “Purchase Ticket”.
Choose the amount of time you would like to rent a bike for. It costs ₩1,000 for an hour, ₩2,000 for 2 hours, and ₩5,000 for a day pass. If you are late to return the bike, you will be charged ₩200 for every 5 minutes you are late.
Select the method of payment and enter your credit card number.
Press “make payment”.
Enter the rest of your card information.
Once the payment is processed you will receive an 8-digit registration number that you can enter to unlock the bike.
Because you do not have an account and are renting with a one time password, you will need to look for an LCD bike. These bikes have screens that are necessary for inputting the rental number.
Press the power button to turn on the bike.
Press the “Foreign Tourist” option.
Enter the first 4 digits in the 8-digit rental number.
Wait a moment and then enter the last 4 digits of the 8-digit rental number.
Remove the green lock on the side of the bike and remove the bike from the stand.
When you are finished riding your bike you can return it to the closest station that has space available. You can check the app again to locate a docking station that is closest to you.
Place the bike back onto the slot on the rack and reattach the lock on the side of the bike.
If there are no available spots to return your bike, you can connect your bike to another bike by attaching its supplementary lock (white lock) to yours to secure it.
Make sure the lock is properly secured and the bike makes a *bling* sound. If it is not properly registered as returned, you will still be charged the late fee.
If you will be using the Seoul City bikes more often, you should consider buying a membership! For ₩5,000 you can get daily usage for one month. For ₩30,000 won, you can get access to the bikes for one year. You can link your membership account to your Tmoney card if you have one! Membership allows you to use both the LCD bikes and the QR bikes. All you need to do is press the power button, scan your card, type in your personal 4-digit pin, and you’re free to go!
Open the Seoul Bike Rental (따릉이) app.
Click “Buy Ticket” at the bottom menu bar, and choose “Season Ticket”.
Choose the ticket you want and follow the instructions to purchase.
Then click “My Place” at the bottom menu bar.
Select “Register Card”.
Enter the card number on the back of your Tmoney card or another form of payment.
Go to “My Place” and choose “Register/change rental password” and choose a password – make sure it’s easy to remember!