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Let’s talk about how to travel from Seoul to Daejeon. Lucky for you, it is super easy to travel from Seoul to Daejeon, so there is no excuse not to make the trip!
Daejeon is South Korea’s 5th largest city and is home to arguably the most gorgeous bridge in the entire country.
It isn’t the most conventional city to visit while in South Korea, but that is what makes it so special! You’ll be away from all the other tourists and get to experience a more authentic, less touristy side of South Korea.
Daejeon is a gorgeous city, and you should seriously considering visiting it if you have an extended period of time in Korea.
There are a number of different ways you can travel from Seoul to Daejeon. You can take the high-speed KTX train, a slower local train, the bus, or fly. The quickest way to travel from Seoul to Daejeon is the KTX. Your two best options are taking the KTX or slow train from Seoul to Daejeon.
This article is going to cover all the different ways you can travel from Seoul to Daejeon, include all the information (e.g. price and departure/arrival locations) about each form of transportation, and give you the pros and cons of each.
It is a one-stop, in-depth analysis of how to travel from Seoul to Daejeon.
After reading it, you’ll have all the information you need to decide what form of transportation makes the most sense for you and your way of travelling.
Before We Get Started
I love writing these transportation guides for you. I loath trying to figure out how to travel from one city to another and really appreciate when a blogger makes it really easy and breaks down all my options.
That’s what I try to do with these transportation guides!
I’ve written a number of transportation guides for South Korea. If you’re touring the country, you may want to check some of my other transportation guides out.
They might make your travels through South Korea a little nicer and the planning a littler easier!
- How to Travel from Seoul to Busan
- How to Travel from Seoul to Gyeongju
- How to Travel from Seoul to Daegu
- How to Travel from Busan to Daegu
Option One: Take the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon
The high-speed rail system in South Korea is called the KTX. It covers basically the entire country and is normally the quickest and most efficient way to travel between cities.
I love the KTX system, and in most cases it is how I get around South Korea.
The downside to taking a KTX train is that it is normally the most expensive way to travel in Korea. Some of the prices are quite expensive (like travelling from Seoul to Busan).
You need to weigh the pros of getting to your destination quickly with the cons of paying a higher price to see if the KTX is worth it for you.
The KTX from Seoul to Daejeon runs basically all day every day. The first train leaves at 0:00 and the last one leaves at 11:45.
There are 57 departures per day, so you’ll easily be able to find a KTX train that suits your schedule and travel needs.
How Long Does the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon Take?
The average travel time on the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon is 50 minutes and the longest is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
That is pretty impressive considering the two cities are located over 160km away from one another!
KTX trains reach a top speed of 300km/hour, which is a super fun way to travel. I never get tired of racing through the country.
So. Much. Fun!
How Much Does a KTX Ticket from Seoul to Daejeon Cost?
The cost of your KTX ticket depends on a lot of things:
- What time of day you’re travelling
- Whether you’re travelling on a weekday or weekend
- If there is a public holiday
- What class you’re travelling in
Because of these reasons, it is difficult to nail down exactly how much your KTX ticket will cost.
Second class tickets start at 48,000 won (approximately $40 USD), and first class tickets start at 65,000 won (approximately $54 USD).
Prices go up from there.
You probably won’t get the very lowest price possible, so you can expect to pay a little bit more than the prices listed above.
Or a lot more if you’re travelling during a peak time on a weekend that happens to be a holiday.
In terms of deciding what class to book, you don’t need to book a first class ticket.
The seats in second class are super nice, very comfortable, and quite spacious.
First class is not worth the extra money- especially on such a short ride!
Where to Purchase KTX Tickets
You can either purchase your KTX tickets online or in person.
I always purchase my KTX tickets online.
It is super easy and convenient. The website easily translates to English and accepts foreign credit cards.
It doesn’t get better than that!
If you’re interested in purchasing tickets online, be sure to go through the Korean Railway website. It is the official rail website in Korea, so you know you’re getting a legit ticket at a fair price.
The website will tell you that you need to print your ticket before you get on the train. This is what I personally do since I normally have access to a printer.
However, I’ve heard from many other travellers that an electronic copy of their ticket worked just fine.
Just make sure your electronic ticket or screenshot shows the entire ticket and can be enlarged in order to be scanned.
My recommendation is to print out your ticket if you’re staying at a hotel or apartment that has a printer. It is better safe than sorry!
If I didn’t have access to a printer, I would take the risk and have an electronic ticket. You can always play the part of naive tourist if you need to!
The other option you have is to purchase your tickets in person at the train station.
You can either purchase your tickets in person at a ticket booth that is manned by a human or at a ticketing machine.
Both options are great, and it just depends on your travel style.
If you want to purchase your ticket with cash rather than card, your only option is to purchase your ticket in person at a ticket booth.
Purchasing your tickets in person is the perfect option for people who are spontaneous and don’t want to pre-plan when you’ll travel from Seoul to Daejeon.
It can be a little bit limiting to purchase your ticket on the day of departure though.
You may not get exactly the train you wanted and may have to wait for the next train. It isn’t a big deal though since trains depart so frequently.
Where Does the KTX Depart from in Seoul?
The KTX departs from Seoul Station.
Seoul Station is an ideal departure station because it is the heart of Seoul. It is easily accessible by metro, bus, taxi, and foot.
I normally stay on the outskirts of the Myeong-dong area when I visit Seoul, and I normally walk to Seoul Station. It doesn’t take me more than 20 minutes and would be significantly quicker if I took public transportation.
Taxis are super inexpensive in Korea, so they are a good option if you have a lot of luggage.
It is best to pre-arrange your taxi rather than trying to hail one on the street. Some taxis won’t stop for you on the street and only pick up pre-booked guests.
Where Does the KTX Arrive at in Daejeon?
There are 2 KTX stations in Daejeon. Your KTX train will either arrive at Daejeon Station of Seodaejeon Station.
Daejeon Station is the main station in Daejeon, and Seodaejeon Station is located on the west side of the city.
The distance between the 2 stations is approximately 700m, so what station your train arrives at isn’t make it or break it.
The best station for you to arrive at depends on what part of Daejeon you’re staying in.
If you’re staying in the heart of Daejeon, you should try to pick a train that arrives at Daejeon Station. If you’re staying on the western side of the city, Seodaejeon is the station for you.
A lot of the KTX trains from Seoul to Daejeon stop at both stations, but it is a good thing to keep in mind when booking your ticket.
Pros of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon
- Very quick
- Clean and comfortable trains/seats
- Has lots of luggage storage that doesn’t require you to lift luggage overhead
- Departs from Seoul Station, which is centrally located
- Have choice of getting off in the centre of Daejeon or on the western side of the city
Cons of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon
- Quite expensive for such a short journey
Option Two: Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Daejeon
The next option you have is to take a slow train from Seoul to Daejeon. This is a great option for people on a budget, but you sacrifice the speed of the KTX.
The slow train is one of the best ways to travel from Seoul to Daejeon. It is significantly less expensive than the KTX; however, it leaves from a number of different train stations, and many of them aren’t in central Seoul.
It takes twice the time as the KTX, but the decrease in ticket price makes it worth the extra travel time.
How Long Does the Slow Train from Seoul to Daejeon Take?
The average journey time for a slow train travelling from Seoul to Daejeon is 2 hours.
Some trains are as quick as 90 minutes, but they are few and far between. You can expect your trip will take 2 hours.
How Much Does a Slow Train Ticket from Seoul to Daejeon Cost?
There are two types of train tickets you can purchase: reserved seating and standing/non-reserved seating.
Again, it is a bit difficult to give you an exact price because there are so many factors that go into what a ticket costs.
The average reserved seating ticket will cost an adult 11,000 won (approximately $9 USD). The average standing/non-reserved ticket will cost an adult 9,000 won (approximately $7.50 USD).
The biggest factor you should consider when deciding what ticket type to get is when you’re travelling.
If you’re travelling in the middle of the day on a weekday, you can probably get by without a reserved seat. If you’re travelling on the weekend or holiday, you should probably get a reserved seat.
You don’t want to be standing for 2 hours if you don’t have to!
I think the significantly cheaper ticket is worth spending an extra hour on the train. Yes, the travel time is technically twice as long as the KTX, but 2 hours is still super quick.
You could even manage a day trip from Seoul to Daejeon with taking a slow train. You would just have to be sure to get on a morning train and take an evening train back.
Where to Purchase Slow Train Tickets
You have the same 2 options as you did with the KTX.
Tickets can be purchased online through the Korean Rail website or in person at the train station.
Th choice is yours, but I always recommend booking your tickets online through the website.
Where Does the Slow Train Depart from in Seoul?
The major problem with taking the slow train is that they often don’t depart from Seoul Station. They tend to depart from lesser known train station that are outside of central Seoul.
Slow trains depart from the following stations:
- Seoul Station
- Yeongdeungpo Station
- Suseo Station
- Yongsan Station
Of these stations, Seoul Station is the most convenient station for tourists to depart from.
The other stations 30 to 60 minutes to get to by public transportation from central Seoul.
This means you’re adding a lot of extra time to your journey by taking a slow train that doesn’t depart from Seoul Station. If you choose to take the slow train, be sure to book one that is departing from Seoul Station.
It may cost a few extra dollars, but it is worth it. You will save a ton of time by departing from Seoul Station, and it is well worth spending a few extra dollars for the convenience.
Where Do Slow Trains Arrive at in Daejeon?
Most slow trains arrive at Daejeon Station and a few arrive at Seodaejeon Station. Some stop at both stations.
Just as with the KTX, choose the arrival station that suits you best.
You want to get off at Daejeon Station if you’re staying in the heart of the city and Seodeajeon Station if you’re staying closer to the western side of the city.
Both stations are convenient and good options, so choose what works best for you!
Pros of Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Daejeon
- Significantly less expensive than the KTX
- Clean and comfortable seats
Cons of Taking the Slow Train from Seoul to Daejeon
- Travel time is twice as long as the KTX
- Many trains don’t depart from Seoul Station
- Overhead luggage compared to luggage storage areas on KTX
Option Three: Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daejeon
The next option is taking the bus from Seoul to Daejeon. This isn’t a very popular option, but it can be quite handy for people who flying into Seoul and want to travel directly to Daejeon.
There is a direct bus from Incheon International Airport to Daejeon, and I would recommend using the bus in this situation.
If you’re traveling from the heart of Seoul to Daejeon, I think either the KTX or the slow train is a better option than the bus.
How Long Does the Bus from Seoul to Daejeon Take?
The bus ride from Seoul to Daejeon takes about 2 hours and the bus from Incheon Airport to Daejeon takes about 3 hours.
As you can see, the journey time for the bus and slow train from Seoul to Daejeon is essentially the same.
How Much Does a Bus Ticket from Seoul to Daejeon Cost?
The bus costs pretty much the exactly the same as the the slow train.
The average bus ticket will cost you between 13,000 won (approximately $11 USD) and 21,000 won (approximately $18 USD).
Buses are a great, affordable option!
Where to Purchase Bus Tickets
You can purchase bus tickets either online or in person.
You can purchase tickets online through the Korean Bus website.
The website is easy to navigate, has an English translation option, and accepts foreign bank cards.
There are a few extra advantages and perks to booking your bus ticket online:
- 10% discount if you purchase your ticket more than 48 hours in advance
- 10% discount if you purchase a roundtrip ticket
- 10% discount if you book one of the back 4 seats on the bus
If you know when you want to travel from Seoul to Daejeon, it is definitely advantageous to book your bus ticket online in advance.
I mean who doesn’t want to save 10% just because you booked a ticket more than 2 days in advance? I sure do!
The other option you have is purchasing your bus tickets in person right before departure.
You can easily arrive at the bus station whenever you fancy and purchase a ticket for the next available bus.
This is the perfect option for spontaneous people or people who want to pay with cash.
Just be sure you leave yourself enough time to potentially stand in line to get a ticket. I recommend arriving at the bus station at least 15 minutes before your bus departs if you don’t have a ticket.
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Seoul?
Buses depart from Seoul Express Bus Terminal. There is also a direct bus that departs from Incheon International Airport.
The Express Bus Terminal is located outside of central Seoul and takes about 30 minutes to get to on public transportation.
You should definitely keep that in mind when you’re deciding whether to take the bus or the slow train.
If you can get a slow train that departs from Seoul Station, that is your best option.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Daejeon?
Buses from Seoul arrive at Daejeon Express Bus Terminal.
The Express Bus Terminal is located on the eastern side of the city and is a fair distance from central Daejeon.
It takes about 35 minutes to get from Daejeon Express Bus Terminal to Daejeon Station. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Seodaejeon Station.
So it isn’t the most convenient option.
The good news is that there is a metro line that connects the bus terminal to Daejeon Station, so it is super easy to navigate your way from the bus station to central Daejeon.
Pros of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daejeon
- There is a direct bus from the airport to Daejeon
- Very comfortable seats
Cons of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daejeon
- Arrival and departure stations (minus Incheon Airport) aren’t all that convenient
- Similar price and journey time to slow train that offers a departure from Seoul Station
- Can be delayed due to traffic
Option Four: Flying from Seoul to Daejeon
Your final option is flying from Seoul to Daejeon.
This isn’t a great option, and I don’t really recommend it to anybody. Even people who are flying into Seoul and want to travel directly to Daejeon.
There are a number of reasons I don’t recommend flying:
- Most expensive option
- Can take a long time if you don’t have a direct flight
- Are limited in terms of baggage and liquid
- Not environmentally friendly
- Have to travel to and from airports, which takes a long time
How Long Does a Flight from Seoul to Daejeon Take?
Your flight time will vary depending on your layover time. If you have a favourable layover, your trip will take just under 3 hours. Your trip could be a lot longer if you have a longer layover.
You would think there would be a direct flight from Seoul to Daejeon, but they are few and far between.
Most flights require you to fly to Jeju Island then connect to a flight to Daejeon.
It is a bit of a pain.
How Much Does a Plane Ticket from Seoul to Daejeon Cost?
I’m sure you’re well aware of how fickle airline tickets are and how much they vary.
Sometimes you could be lucky and find a flight for less than $100USD, but it is normally more expensive than that.
I’ve even seen flights that are over $300USD!!!
It just isn’t worth the time or price to fly from Seoul to Daejeon when there is a direct bus that departs from the airport.
Where to Purchase Plane Tickets
I normally start searching for flights on Skyscanner.
From there, I go to the airline’s website to see what their price is. If it is a better price, I book with them. If not, I book through the third-party site.
Where Do Flights Depart from in Seoul
Flights depart from both Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport.
You’re most likely to find a cheaper flight that departs out of Gimpo rather than Incheon.
But, again, I don’t recommend flying from Seoul to Daejeon.
Where do Flights Arrive at in Daejeon?
Flights arrive at Cheongju Airport.
It is about 30 minutes outside of Daejeon, but there is a direct bus that takes you from the airport to central Daejeon.
It is quite easy to navigate, but it is a pain to have a half hour bus ride into Daejeon from the airport.
Pros of Flying from Seoul to Daejeon
Cons of Flying from Seoul to Daejeon
- Most likely have a connecting flight
- Long(ish) bus ride from airport to Daejeon after landing
- Luggage and liquid restrictions
I think the best way to travel from Seoul to Daejeon is on the slow train as long as you depart from Seoul Station.
If you can’t get a ticket for a slow train that departs from Seoul Station, I recommend taking the KTX.
The extra money is worth the convenience of not have to spend over half and hour getting to your train or bus station in Seoul and potentially having to get from the bus station into central Daejeon.
If you’re on a really tight budget, can’t afford a KTX ticket, and can’t get a ticket for a slow train departing from Seoul Station, I recommend taking a slow train that departs from the closest station to where you’re staying in Seoul.
I prefer that over the bus because you’ll likely get a train that arrives at Daejeon Station, and you don’t have to worry about getting from the Daejeon Express Bus Terminal to central Daejeon.
No matter how you choose to travel from Seoul to Daejeon, you should definitely considering visiting Daejeon while in South Korea.
It is a super cool city with a great vibe. It also gives you the opportunity to get out of Seoul and experience a different side of South Korea.
Even if you don’t have a ton of time in South Korea, you can easily visit Daejeon on a day trip from Seoul.
It is well worth the trip!