10 Things to Know Before Travelling to Seoul Alone

Seoul is one of my favourite cities in Asia! It is an extremely underrated solo travel destination, but it shouldn’t be. The best part about travelling to Seoul alone is that it is so easy!

Anybody can have a successful solo trip to Seoul.

No matter how experienced or inexperienced a solo traveller you are!

Travelling to Seoul alone is a great starting point for any solo traveller visiting Asia for the first time. Seoul is easy to navigate, modern (but still full of history), has amazing food, and is less expensive than you may think. Seoul is 100% safe for solo travellers- even at night! I highly recommend a solo trip to Seoul for anybody even remotely considering it!

But there are definitely some things you need to be aware of before your solo trip to Seoul!

This post has you covered!

I’m going to share my top tips and tricks for travelling to Seoul alone.

These are tips I picked up during my multiple solo trips to Seoul. I definitely wish I had known some of these things before my first solo trip to Seoul!

PS- check out all my articles about South Korea here!

1. Seoul is Less Expensive than You Think

When I planned my first solo trip to Seoul, I read blog after blog and heard person after person say that it is expensive to visit South Korea.

I think that narrative has to do with how close South Korea is to Japan. Korea gets lumped into Japan and thought of as an expensive country, but that isn’t the case at all!

I was shocked at how affordable Seoul is!

It is less expensive than Hong Kong, which is not what I expected when planing my trip.

You can get a restaurant meal for 10,000 won (about $9 USD), get tickets to a baseball game for the same price, and visit the most popular attraction Gyeongbokgung Palace for just 4,000 won (approximately $3.50 USD).

Pretty good prices for an East Asian country hey!

The two things that tend to be expensive are inter-city travel and hotels.

PS- learn how to travel from Seoul to Busan the easy way!

But even those aren’t unreasonably expensive.

You can find a good hotel for about $100 USD per night!

If you’re holding off travelling to Seoul alone because you want someone to split the costs with, you don’t need to!

South Korea is far more affordable than you’re led to believe.

The best part is if you’re travelling to other parts of the country, they are even more affordable!

I highly recommend you visit Gyeongju. It is one of my favourite cities in the entire country!

Seoul, South Korea

2. Seoul is Safe for Solo Travellers- Even at Night

Seoul is one of the safest cities in the world.

There is hardly any crime. Including petty crime!

Of course, there is still crime that happens in the city, but it is significantly less than in other countries around the world.

I’m normally very weary of being out and about when I travel alone.

I feel jumpy, on edge, and sweat more than I want to admit.

But, surprisingly, I do not feel that same level of anxiety when I’m alone in Seoul at night.

There is still some heart racing- especially if I’m walking alone down a dark street-, but it is so much less than I experience even in my home town.

Maybe it is because I know how safe it is when I’m there, how friendly the locals are, or how brightly lit and busy the main streets are.

No matter the reason, walking alone at night in Seoul is not an issue.

The city is completely safe any other time of the day as well!

Unlike some other cities around the world, you’re not a target just because you’re a solo traveller!

PS- check out the 10 things nobody tells you about solo travel.

3. Be Careful Where You Stay

Okay. This definitely contradicts my last points, but it is important you stay in the right areas.

I had the mistake of staying not quite in the right area the first time I visited Seoul (and Gyeongju and Busan for that matter), and I don’t want you to make the same mistake as me!

When you Google where to stay in Seoul, there will be a number of neighbourhoods that my fellow bloggers recommend.

My personal favourite neighbourhood to stay in is Myeong-dong btw.

Then you go to your favourite hotel website (mine is Hotels.com) and start searching for hotels in that area.

It won’t take long to notice a pattern.

The hotels in the heart of said neighbourhood are more expensive than the hotels at the outer part of the area.

So being the frugal-minded person you are, you try to find the best deal on a hotel in a good neighbourhood.

Wrong!

That is what I’ve done every time I visit a new city in Korea, and it has always turned into a regret.

You see, the least expensive hotels near the popular neighbourhoods look good but oftentimes are not what they seem.

Seoul, South Korea

My Experience

The first time I visited Seoul, I stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of the Myeong-dong area.

The hotel looked fine from photos, and it was half the price of other hotels in the district.

Turns out there was a reason for that!

It was located down some sketchy alley, and it just had a scummy vibe to the hotel.

That particular hotel was fine. Decently clean and a nice place to sleep at night.

It could have been much worse though! My experiences in Gyeongju and Busan taught me that!

In both those cities, I stayed at hotels on the outskirts of the most popular tourist neighbourhoods, and both times the hotels turned out to be (how to put this delicately) the type of hotel you can rent by the hour.

It resulted in terrible sleeps with people being loud in the rooms above and beside me. Plus the whole vibe of the hotels deeply changed after my first night and the sounds I heard.

I don’t want to say that every inexpensive hotel on the outskirts of the popular tourist neighbourhoods is like this.

That wouldn’t be fair, and it would be wrong of me to slander businesses I haven’t actually stayed at.

But I do want to warn you that it is probably worth paying a little bit more for a hotel in the heart of the popular areas.

That way you know you’ll be comfortable and won’t feel uneasy in your hotel.

That is, of course, extremely important when travelling to Seoul alone.

4. You Need a Wifi Strategy

Almost every blog you read about South Korea and Seoul will tell you that there is free public wifi all over the place, but that hasn’t been my experience in the country.

You need a wifi plan when travelling to Seoul alone because it isn’t as easy to find reliable free wifi as the internet would allow you to believe.

I have a in-depth post about wifi in Seoul you can read here, but I’ll give you a basic run down of your wifi options right now!

Essentially, you have three options when it comes to wifi in Seoul:

  • Rely on public wifi at cafés, restaurants, museums, and hotels
  • Rent pocked wifi at the airport (my recommendation)

If you don’t already have a Skyroam, I highly recommend you rent pocket wifi when you land in Seoul.

It is super affordable and only costs a few dollars per day!

A pocket wifi device allows you to connect to the internet no matter where you are. You don’t have to rely on free public wifi (and the effort it can take to find it!).

I love being connected to the internet all the time when I travel alone. It is freeing to know I can always connect to Google maps, message my mom, or post on social media whenever I want.

And not be limited to just when I’m at a café or someone else with public wifi.

If you don’t want to rent a pocket wifi device, then your best chances at finding public wifi that actually works is at cafés, restaurants, museums (which are normally free to enter), and hotels.

It isn’t terribly common to be able to access wifi when you’re just out and about walking around, but it can happen.

No matter what your internet preferences are, it is best to have a plan before you arrive in Seoul.

You don’t want to be like me my first solo trip to Seoul where I was expecting for there to be wifi everywhere when there actually isn’t.

Seoul, South Korea

You Need to be Internet Safe

I preach this in almost all of my posts, but you need to be internet safe when you travel.

Especially when you’re a solo traveller.

You will be using public wifi at some point during your solo trip to Seoul.

Yes. Even if you rent a pocket wifi device or use your Skyroam.

Eventually, your wifi device needs to be charged, and you will be using the public wifi at the hotel.

Even if a wifi network has a password, it is still a public wifi network. Anybody who knows the password can access it, and it isn’t a secure network.

You leave yourself vulnerable when using a public wifi network. Anybody else who uses that network (and wants to/knows how to) can access your online data.

And steal it.

I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a nightmare to try to cancel your credit cards because someone stole your banking information while you’re alone in Seoul.

The only way to keep your online data safe when using a public wifi network is by installing a VPN on your devices.

A VPN essentially puts a forcefield around your phone that keeps unwanted eyes from seeing and stealing your personal information.

It makes using a public wifi network just as safe as using your home wifi where you’re the only person who know the login information!

My Favourite VPN

As you can imagine, I’ve used multiple VPNs in my travel career. I cancelled every single one of them after the first year because they slowed down my phone to the point where I got so frustrated and stopped using the VPN.

That is until I found NordVPN.

It is the quickest VPN on the market and blows the competitive away speed wise.

One of my favourite features of NordVPN is that they have a strict no logs policy. This means they do not collect or share your private information!

They are based in Panama, which does not require them to collect logs like many other countries do.

Your data is 100% safe with Nord!

My other favourite feature (and one that is arguably more sexy) is the ability to cloak your location.

You can choose for it to appear like you’re in a different country than you actually are.

This means you can access that country’s Netflix library and watch shows that may not be available in your area!

There is no better way to pass the evenings when you’re alone in Seoul than watching a lot of Netflix!

All this for a very low price.

The monthly cost of a NordVPN subscription is less than the price of a Starbuck’s latte!

Plus you can connect up to six devices on the same subscription, so all your devices are covered for one low fee.

There is no excuse not to protect your online data and privacy with a VPN!

I always say that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online information!

Seoul, South Korea

5. Koreans Can be Blunt

I learnt this that hard way when someone in a skincare store I was wandering through was visibly horrified by my acne-riddled face and told me that it had to be fixed.

Another time, a lady commented on my weight.

I was so nervous about how blunt Koreans can be that I lost 20lbs before my next solo trip to Seoul. I met up with my Korean friend one evening for dinner, and she said “you look better than last time I saw you”.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Koreans being blunt. It is part of their culture, and they don’t mean it in a mean way.

In fact, their compliments are often disguised as backhanded ones.

Like my friend’s comment the second time I was travelling to Seoul alone.

I’m telling you, so you know what to expect.

If you know that you may possibly encounter bluntness or a backhanded compliment, then you’re prepared when they happen.

You don’t end up taking it the wrong way and feeling bad about yourself.

Or going back to your hotel to cry like I did after my interaction with the lady in the store.

You probably won’t experience any bluntness when travelling to Seoul alone unless you’re befriending some locals or something along those lines.

So don’t let it impact your decision on whether or not to visit Seoul alone!

6. The Café Culture is Strong

I’ve never seen so many cafés as I have in Korea.

They are literally everywhere!

Seriously! You can’t walk a block without there being at least one and probably two or three cafés!

An essential activity when alone in Seoul is visiting cafés and people watching!

It is so much fun. Especially in Myeong-dong and Insadong where there is lots of stuff going on!

A lot of cafés are on the second or third story of buildings, so you get a great bird’s eye view the area.

It is the perfect way to relax and have an afternoon break.

Plus the tea, coffee, and snacks at Korean cafés are delicious!

Seoul is where my love of matcha originated!

Plus you can find some of the cutest and most unique cafés in the world.

So definitely set some time aside during your solo trip to Seoul to relax, have a cup of tea, and take in the sights and sounds of Seoul from a café.

Innisfree cafe Myeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea

7. Be Careful What You Wear!

This one is more for the readers who identify as female.

Sorry everyone else!

For the most part, there isn’t much of a dress code for women in Korea.

You can wear short skirts, shorts, tight clothes. Pretty much anything is okay.

And people in Seoul are stylish!

The only thing you want to avoid is bare shoulders.

No tank tops and no strappy dresses. Unless you’re wearing a sweater over them.

You won’t be asked to leave an establishment, and nobody will say anything to your face.

But you will get some weird looks.

Trust me, I wore a tank top on my first solo trip to Seoul, and you definitely notice people staring. And it isn’t because I was white. It was because of my bare shoulders!

Again, nothing will happen if you choose to show your shoulders, but you will definitely feel like the odd one out!

8. Street Food is Your Best Food

Seoul has some of the best street food around, and you don’t want to miss out on it!

Plus it means you don’t have to eat at a restaurant alone. I know a lot of new solo travellers are very nervous about eating alone, and this takes that worry away.

There is street food all over Seoul! Even in quiet side streets you wouldn’t expect have a vendor or two.

The best places for tourists to find street food is at Myeong-dong or Insadong. They are popular tourist areas, and street vendors know that is the place to set up shop!

You can find pretty much any type of street food in Seoul!

There are traditional Korean foods, ice cream s’mores, potato spirals, porridge, and so much more.

There are literally streets lined with street vendors, and you can find anything you’re craving (for the most part).

Seoul, South Korea

One area where the street food lacks is in vegetarian options. 🙁

You can still find plenty of vegetarian options, but you have to look a little harder! Also, if there is a sauce be sure to ask the vendor if there is fish in the sauce. That is quite common.

Oh. Did I mention that the street food is quite affordable too!

You can get a number of different items and have it cost less than a sit-down restaurant meal.

Yum. Yum!

I love that street food allows you to try a number of different items and experience different traditional dishes without committing to a large portion of it.

Pick an evening and dedicate to exploring Myeong-dong and trying all the street food.

It will be one of the highlights of your solo trip to Seoul!

9. Have a Plan for Myeong-dong

Speaking of Myeong-dong, you need to have a plan before you arrive.

There is temptations everywhere, and before you know it, you’ll have blown your budget and have to buy an extra suitcase for your flight home because you have so many skincare products!

You have nobody with you to reign in your spending, and things can get out of hand quickly because there are so many temptations!

That is why you need a plan before you visit the shopping district.

Even if you’re not a skincare lover.

It will suck you in!

Set a budget or have a list of items you are going to purchase before heading to Myeong-dong.

It is one of the best tips for planning a solo trip to Seoul I can give you!

Having restraint is easier said than done in such a busy and exciting area!

Seoul, South Korea

10. Koreans are Friendly but Reserved

But, Erica, you said Koreans are blunt!

Yes, yes I did, and it is true.

Koreans are both friendly and reserved but can also be blunt.

For the most part, Koreans won’t approach you and strike up a conversation. You will mostly be left alone to do your own thing.

If you choose to strike up a conversation with someone, they will likely be reserved and friendly to you.

Your attempts at conversations probably won’t go beyond small talk, but that’s okay!

If you’re lost or need assistance in any way, the locals are more than happy to help you!

There are even tourist booths set up in the major tourist locations where volunteers answer questions and help tourists when they are lost.

Expect all your interactions with the locals to be friendly!

Yay! We love that as a solo traveller.

Solo Travel Myths

Conclusion

Are you ready for your solo trip to Seoul yet?!

I truly believe travelling to Seoul alone is one of the best decisions you can make! It is such an amazing city with a mix of modern and traditional wrapped into one bustling city.

I hope these tips and tricks help you plan your solo trip to Seoul and convinced you that it is a great destination for solo travellers.

Seoul is such an easy city to get around. The transportation system is a breeze, and you can walk to a lot of the major tourist attractions.

Plus now you know that the rumour that Seoul is an expensive city is false! You won’t break the budget when travelling to Seoul alone, so you don’t need to worry about saving up thousands of dollars for your trip.

And the food is to die for!

So what are you waiting for? Seoul is waiting for you to explore it!

How to Travel from Seoul to Gwangju (The Easy Way!)

Gwangju isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you think of South Korea. It is an underrated city in South Korea for tourists, and the best part is that it is super easy to travel from Seoul to Gwangju.

You can even visit Gwangju as a day trip from Seoul if you don’t want to spend a few days in the city.

There are three ways you can travel from Seoul to Gwangju: KTX high-speed trail, bus, or flying. Without a doubt the best way to travel to Gwangju from Seoul is by the high-speed train. It, surprisingly, is less expensive than the bus!

Normally I caution people to way the price versus speed of the high-speed train and the bus.

In this case, it isn’t necessary!

The high-speed train is a star and should be the first place you look when deciding how to travel from Seoul to Gwangju.

Before We Get Started

I write a lot of these transportation guides for you!

One of my least favourite things about travel is figuring out how to travel from one city to another, so I like to compile all that information for you in one handy spot!

Here are the other South Korea transportation guides I’ve written. I hope they help you in planning your Korean vacation!

Seoul, South Korea

Option One: Taking the KTX High-Speed Train from Seoul to Gwangju

As mentioned, the quickest and easiest way to travel from Seoul to Gwangju is taking the high-speed train.

The high-speed rail system in Korea is amazing.

It is quick, efficient, super clean, and comfortable.

The downside to taking the KTX normally is that is quite expensive, but that isn’t the case with the Seoul to Gwangju train!

The Seoul to Gwangju train is very fairly priced, so it is very attractive to both tourists and locals.

How Long Does the KTX from Seoul to Gwangju Take?

The average journey time to Gwangju to Seoul on the KTX is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

That’s not too bad considering you’re travelling over 250km!

How Much Does a KTX Ticket Cost?

The cost of a ticket varies depending on what time of day you leave and what day of the week you travel on.

Trains that depart during peak hours on the weekend will be significantly more expensive than trains that depart during off-peak hours on a weekday.

You can expect, on average, for the KTX from Seoul to Gwangju to cost between 23,000 won (approximately $21USD) and 67,000 won (approximately $60USD).

That’s quite a wide range of prices.

I suggest you take a look at different departure times to find a less expensive ticket that will get you to Gwangju around the time you want to arrive.

I find that morning tickets (say 7am) are the least expensive.

If you’re a morning person, it is definitely worth getting up a bit early to save some money on your KTX ticket!

Where to Purchase KTX Tickets

You can either purchase your tickets online or in person at the train station.

No matter where to choose to purchase your tickets, I suggest you buy it at least 24 hours before departure.

Online

I prefer to purchase my KTX tickets online.

It is the easiest and most convenient way to purchase your Seoul to Gwangju train ticket.

Tickets are purchased through the Korean Rail website.

The website has an English option and accepts foreign credit cards.

It is very user friendly and a great platform!

The only thing to note is that Korean Rail states it requires people to have a physical ticket. This means you have to print out the ticket you purchase online and bring a paper copy with you on the train.

I normally print out my ticket because I have access to a printer, but I’ve heard stories from fellow travellers that they didn’t have an issue showing an electronic version of their ticket.

Just make sure the full ticket is available electronically, and you can zoom in for the ticket to be scanned.

I always recommend printing your ticket if you have the ability.

You never know when a conductor won’t accept your electronic ticket and then you’re hooped.

In Person

The other way you can purchase your KTX ticket is in person at the train station.

You can purchase your ticket either with a ticketing machine or by seeing an actual human employee.

This is a great option for people who prefer to pay with cash rather than a credit card, but I don’t see much advantage outside that.

It can be a bit of a pain to go all the way to the station, get your ticket, and then go on with your day assuming you’re pre-buying your ticket a day or two in advance.

If you’re buying a ticket the day you leave, buying it at the station is a great option.

Just be sure you leave extra time before the train departs just in case there is a long line to buy tickets!

Also, it is important to realize that you may not get the exact departure time you want if you purchase a same-day ticket. You may have to be flexible in your plans.

N Seoul Tower Seoul South Korea

Where Does the KTX Depart from in Seoul?

The KTX departs from Seoul Station.

It is in the heart of central Seoul and very easy to get to. You can often walk to Seoul Station from where you’re staying. Assuming you’re staying in one of the major tourist hubs like Myeong-dong or Insadong.

Where Does the KTX Arrive at in Gwangju?

The KTX arrives at Gwangju Songjeong Station.

The KTX station is a bit outside of Gwangju city centre. Lucky for there is a metro station right at Gwangju Songjeong Station that takes you directly to downtown Gwangju in 15 minutes!

The downside is that the metro only runs once per hour. Yikes!

If you get stuck and just missed the metro, taxis in South Korea and pretty affordable, and it won’t break the bank to grab a taxi downtown!

Pros of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Gwangju

  • Affordable
  • Quick
  • Departure station is in downtown Seoul

Cons of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Gwangju

  • Can be busy and have to purchase tickets in advance
  • Arrival station is outside central Gwangju
  • Tickets have a wide range of cost, so you have to strategically pick an inexpensive time

Option Two: Taking the Bus from Seoul to Gwangju

The next best way to travel to Gwangju to Seoul is taking the bus.

It isn’t quite as convenient as the KTX, but it is still a good option.

How Long Does the Bus from Seoul to Gwangju Take?

As it is to be expected, the bus is quite a bit slower than the KTX.

It has to deal with traffic and wasn’t designed to go 300km/hour.

You can expect the bus ride from Seoul to Gwangju to last at least four hours and sometimes even longer.

The longest the bus journey should take is about five hours, but that isn’t very common.

Bibimbap South Korea

How Much Does a Slow Train Ticket Cost?

This is where things get a little odd. It actually costs more to take the bus to Gwangju from Seoul than it does the KTX!

It takes at least an hour longer to get to your destination, and it costs more. That just doesn’t add up!

You can expect a bus ticket to run you between 27,000 won (approximately $24 USD) and 67,000 won (approximately $60 USD).

It is definitely possible to find bus tickets that are less expensive than KTX tickets.

Both modes of transportation have a range of prices, and you want to look for the least expensive price that suits your travel schedule.

But, it is hard to ignore the fact that the least expensive bus ticket is more expensive than the least expensive KTX ticket.

Shocking!

Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket

Just like the KTX, you can either purchase your bus ticket online or in person.

Online

It is less important to purchase your bus ticket online in advance, but it is still the best option in my opinion.

You can purchase your ticket through the Korean Bus website.

It is easy to use, and just like with the train, you can easily use a foreign credit card, and the website translates to English.

One of the major advantages to buying your ticket online in advance is you can get a 10% discount on your ticket.

Any of these three things gets you a 10% discount on bus tickets purchased online:

  • Buying your ticket more than 48 hours in advance
  • Purchasing a round-trip ticket
  • Buying a ticket for one of the back four seats on the bus

I don’t know about you, but I’m not than happy buy my ticket two days in advance or sit at the back of the bus if it means I save a little bit of money!

In Person

The other option you have for buying bus tickets is buying them at the bus station.

You can easily purchase your ticket at the bus station the day you depart. There are ticket windows, and you just need to make sure you line up at the proper window.

There are signs above each ticket window showing the destination, so it is pretty hard to jump into the wrong line.

I highly recommend you get to the bus station early.

You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus, so you want to save a little extra time in case there is a long line to buy a ticket!

Where Does the Bus Depart from in Seoul?

The bus from Seoul to Gwangju departs from Seoul Central Bus Terminal.

The bus station is a bit outside central Seoul and is on the opposite side of the Han River than Myeong-dong and Insadong.

There is a metro station that stops right at the bus terminal, and it takes a little under half an hour to travel from central Seoul to Seoul Central Bus Terminal on the metro.

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Gwangju?

The bus drops you off at Gwangju Bus Terminal.

The really good news is that the bus terminal is right in the heart of the city!

You don’t have to worry about getting from the outskirts of Gwangju to the city centre like you do with the KTX.

You can pretty much walk to your accommodation from the bus terminal, so it is super convenient. Far more convenient than the KTX station.

Seoul, South Korea

Pros of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Gwangju

  • Arrival location very convenient
  • Isn’t necessary to buy tickets in advance
  • Designated luggage storage under the bus

Cons of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Gwangju

  • Significantly longer travel time compared to KTX
  • More expensive than the KTX
  • Departure location outside of central Seoul

Option Three: Flying from Seoul to Gwangju

The final option you have to travel to Gwangju from Seoul is to fly.

This is not an ideal option, and I don’t really recommend it to anybody.

It is expensive, time consuming, and comes with all those annoying air plane restrictions.

There are normally six direct flights a day from Seoul to Gwangju. Three in the morning and three in the evening.

How Long is the Flight from Seoul to Gwangju?

The flight from Seoul to Gwangju is very quick and is only 55 to 65 minutes.

You’re up and down before you know it!

But that doesn’t take into consideration everything that goes along with flying.

You need to factor in:

  • The time it takes to get to the airport
  • Time to check-in
  • The time it takes to get through security
  • Boarding
  • Flying
  • Deplaning
  • Collecting your luggage
  • Travelling from the airport into Gwangju

When you factor everything in, flying is probably the most time intensive way to travel from Seoul to Gwangju.

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

How Much Does a Plane Ticket Cost?

Anybody who has flown before knows that the price of a plane ticket fluctuates a lot.

The price depends on what time of day you leave, the day of the week, what time of year it is, how in advance (or last minute) you purchase your ticket, and who you are flying with.

You may be lucky and find a ticket that costs as little as 25,000 won (about $25 USD) or may be unlucky and have to shell out 165,000 won (about $150 USD) or more.

It is pretty much impossible to give you an exact answer as to how much a plane ticket will cost because of all the factors that go into it.

Most tickets should be under $50 USD though!

Where to Purchase Plane Tickets

There are countless places to purchase your plane tickets!

I like using either SkyScanner or Google Flights to find available flights. I then go to the airline’s website to see what their prices are compared to the third-party site’s and book whatever is cheapest.

Where Do Flights Depart from in Seoul?

All the direct flights from Seoul to Gwangju depart from Gimpo Airport.

There is a direct metro line from Seoul Station in central Seoul to Gimpo Airport, and the entire trip takes about 25 minutes!

Where Do Flights Arrive at in Gwangju?

Flights from Seoul arrive at Gwangju Airport.

The airport is very close to the city centre and is actually closer to downtown Gwangju than the KTX station!

There is a metro station right at the airport, and it gets you downtown in less than 15 minutes!

You can always jump into a taxi if you prefer. The airport is so close to central Gwangju that a taxi from the airport won’t break the bank.

Pros of Flying from Seoul to Gwangju

I don’t really think that are any advantages to flying to Gwangju from Seoul.

You may be able to find a flight that is less expensive than the KTX or bus, but you’re paying the price in the inconvenience of flying from Seoul to Gwangju.

It really is kind of a pain!

Cons of Flying from Seoul to Gwangju

  • Time intensive
  • Luggage is restricted by airline rules
  • Can be the most expensive option
Seoul South Korea

Conclusion

There are three main ways to travel from Seoul to Gwangju: KTX, bus, or plane.

I personally think the KTX is the clear winner, but this post was designed to help you make the best travel choice based on your preferences and needs.

This post hopefully helped you decide how you want to travel from Seoul to Gwangju.

One thing to note is that both the bus and KTX offer complimentary wifi to guests! It is quite fast and makes the entire journey more enjoyable.

If you choose to connect to their free wifi, be sure you have a VPN installed on your phone to protect your privacy and keep your devices safe!

Happy travels!

Tourist’s Guide to Wifi in Seoul (It May Surprise You!)

Seoul is one of the most amazing cities in Asia. It is full of culture, history, and an unbeatable vibe. You’ll want to share every moment of your trip, so you need to learn all about Wifi in Seoul.

Public wifi in Seoul isn’t as easy to find as many people suggest. There is no city-wide wifi network, and you can only connect to wifi in Seoul at restaurants, cafés, hotels, and some tourist attractions. Renting pocket wifi in Seoul is affordable and a great alternative to relying on public wifi infrastructure.

This post breaks down everything you need to know about wifi in Seoul, so you can choose what the best option for you is.

We discuss public wifi in Seoul, renting pocket wifi, Skyroam (a wifi alternative for avid travellers), and how to protect your online safety with a VPN.

There is a lot you need to know before you arrive in Seoul.

I made the mistake of assuming that Seoul had a good public wifi system the first time I visited the city. Boy was I wrong.

Don’t make the same mistake I did!

Even if you plan to rely on public wifi in Seoul, you need a basic understanding of the best places to find it.

This will make navigating Seoul a lot easier!

Public Wifi in Seoul

Seoul has a reputation for being a technological city, so it is easy to assume that there will be a great public wifi system.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

Most people living in Seoul rely on phone data or pocket wifi, so there isn’t a need for the city to develop a strong public wifi system.

It isn’t ideal for tourists, but you can find ways to work within the public wifi system in Seoul.

The most important thing you need to know is where you’re most likely be able to access complimentary wifi.

Also, please be sure you protect your phone, tablet, and laptop and install a VPN on all your devices.

It is so easy for hackers to access your online data when you’re using a public wifi account. Installing a VPN is super easy and an essential thing to do before you travel anywhere!

N Seoul Tower Seoul South Korea

Tourist Attractions

There are a few tourist attractions that offer guests free wifi.

Most of the attractions that do offer free wifi are museums.

Outside of museums, most tourist attractions in Seoul don’t offer free wifi to guests. This includes Gyeongbokgung Palace and the other royal palaces, unfortunately.

Because so few tourist attractions have free wifi, you shouldn’t rely on them to provide you with access to the internet throughout the day.

You need to have a more in-depth plan and strategy if you plan on relying on public wifi in Seoul.

Restaurants and Cafés

Pretty much every café in Seoul provides guests with complimentary wifi. The passcode is normally written at the bottom of the receipt, so only paying customers can access the internet.

Cafés are the best place to go in Seoul to access free wifi.

The wifi is really quick, and there normally isn’t a limit on the amount of time you can access the internet. You can stay in a café for hours using the internet as long as you purchase something.

Seoul has an amazing coffee culture, so you are never more than a few steps away from a café. There are literally coffee shops wherever you look! Be sure to look up because a lot of cafés are located on the second or third floor of buildings.

Cafés are the best place to access public wifi in Seoul, but you can also find free wifi at some restaurants.

Not every restaurant offers guests free wifi, and most of the small, local restaurants don’t offer wifi.

Your best bet is going to a chain restaurant. You’re more likely to find free wifi there.

If push comes to shove, there are a few places you can always find free wifi. You won’t be surprised to hear that they are fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Subway.

But, overall, you’re far more likely to find free wifi at cafés than restaurants.

Plus you get to indulge in the incredible coffee and snacks that Seoul is so well known for! Seoul is the place I fell in love with matcha lattes, so this is the place to give them a try if you’re interesting in matcha at all!

Hotels and Airbnb

Without a doubt, the most reliable place to access free wifi in Seoul is at your hotel or Airbnb. It is extremely rare for a hotel/Airbnb to not offer free wifi to guests.

It is an expected feature of any accommodation, and I don’t think anybody would survive in the accommodation business if they didn’t offer free wifi!

The problem with relying on hotel wifi is that you can only access it when you’re in your hotel, so you’re quite limited. You probably only have access to it in the morning and evenings. The rest of the day you’ll be out exploring Seoul.

Hotel wifi is useful because you can download Google maps offline to make it easier to navigate your way through the city.

Just be sure to have a VPN on your devices to protect your online safety! Even if the hotel wifi has a passcode, it is still a public network that pretty much anybody can access!

The situation at Airbnbs is more promising!

The majority of Airbnbs in Seoul provide guests with a wifi egg!

You can take the wifi egg from the apartment and use it while you’re out and about in the city.

This means you have access to the internet wherever you are!

Getting a wifi egg as part of your Airbnb stay is amazing! It makes connecting to the internet seamless, and you don’t have to find the nearest café if you are lost and need to access Google maps to get home.

Gyeongbok Palace Seoul, South Korea

Renting Pocket Wifi in Seoul

Renting pocket wifi is the best way to access internet in Seoul.

A pocket wifi device is small portable wifi router that allows you to access the internet no matter where you are as long as you are in range of the device. The device normally has a range of about 100 feet, and you can easily fit it in your pocket or purse.

Pocket wifi costs dollars per day, so it is an affordable addition to your trip!

The freedom you get with having access to the internet no matter where you are in incredible! You can look up restaurants nearby to see who has the best food, post on social media, and easily navigate with Google maps.

It is an unbeatable feeling!

I always rent my pocket wifi through Klook. They have really good prices, and you can cancel up until the day before you’re scheduled to pick up your device if your plans change.

Where to Pick Up and Drop Off Pocket Wifi in Seoul

It is super easy to pick up and drop off your rental pocket wifi device.

You can pick up and drop off your pocket wifi device at Incheon International Airport.

There are locations in both terminals right outside the secure area. They are near the exit door straight in front of the doors you walk out of after gathering your luggage.

It is impossible to miss it!

There is a drop off location in both terminals before you enter the secure area.

You get a map of the airport showing the return location as part of your pocket wifi rental, so you’ll have no problem finding the drop off booth.

You can also return your pocket wifi at Gimhae International Airport (Busan) or Busan Harbour if you’re travelling throughout South Korea.

PS- check out my guide on the best way to travel from Seoul to Busan!

No matter where you choose to pick up and return your pocket wifi, the process is incredibly easy and smooth.

It only takes a few minutes, and you can start using your pocket wifi right away!

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Other Things to Know About Renting Pocket Wifi in Seoul

There are a few more things you need to know before deciding if renting a pocket wifi device is the right option for you.

You Need a Credit Card

You need a credit card to rent pocket wifi in Seoul. There is no way around it!

An Interact debit card doesn’t cut it either.

You can pre-pay for your pocket wifi rental with an Interact debit card, but you need a credit card when you pick up your device.

The employee charges a small amount to your credit card (and immediately reverses it) to ensure there is room on your card.

Then the credit card information it put on your file, so they can charge your card in the event of the device being lost or damaged.

It is the company’s way of protecting themselves in case you run away with the device or ruin it.

If you don’t provide them with a credit card when you pick up your pocket wifi at Incheon International Airport, you will not be given the device.

Your Whole Group Can Use It

Most pocket wifi devices allow 6 to 10 devices to connect to it!

This means you can connect all your devices and the devices of your travelling companions (if applicable) on one device.

Your pocket wifi device becomes even more affordable when you share it amongst your group!

You Can Extend Your Rental

One of the cool things about renting pocket wifi through Klook is that you can keep your pocket wifi if you spontaneously decide to extend your trip.

You simply pay for the extra days you kept the device when you return it!

The Battery Has a Decent Life

The listing on Klook claims the battery lasts 8 hours, but that isn’t the case in my experience.

In my experience, the battery lasts way longer than 8 hours!

One time I forgot to charge it over night after using it all day, and I was still able to use it for the majority of the next day until it finally died!

I only had one device connect to it, so I image the battery would deplete quicker if there were multiple devices connected.

Even if the battery does only last 8 hours if there are multiple devices connected to it, that is a fairly long time!

It easily lasts you the majority of the time you’re out exploring the city.

I’m very impressed by the battery life of pocket wifi devices, and I highly recommend you look into renting one next time you’re in Seoul!

A Wifi Alternative for Serious Travellers

The final option for accessing wifi in Seoul is purchasing a Skyroam.

It is your own personal pocket wifi that you can use everywhere and anywhere in the world (with a few exceptions like Cuba).

I purchased my Skyroam in 2019 and am so glad I splurged on it. It has made my travels so much more enjoyable. I love being connected to the internet and the freedom it gives me.

You use the Skyroam as you would with any other pocket wifi device. You have an app you download on your phone that has your profile and wifi passes, and you simply click “activate”, and it connects you to the internet.

It can connect up to 6 devices, and it is small enough it can fit in your pocket.

You have to pay a one-time cost for the device, and then you own it outright forever.

After you purchase the device, you have to pay to access the internet. This is where things can get a bit expensive.

Read my full Skyroam review here!

Seoul South Korea

I personally think the day passes are a bit overpriced, but there are ways to get around that.

You can purchase a monthly pass that costs about the same as 10 day passes. This is the best option if you’re travelling for more than a week.

The other option is to wait until Skyroam has a sale on day passes and stock up on them then. They do have an expiry date so make sure you have enough travel planned in the near future to use all the day passes you purchase.

Only day passes purchased on a sale have an expiry date. Day passes purchased at full price don’t expire.

Skyroam has multiple day pass sales throughout the year, so there is a pretty good chance there will be a sale that works with your travel schedule.

I love my Skyroam and think it is worth the investment. Especially if you travel more than once or twice a year!

How to Protect Your Online Information

Not enough people take their online safety seriously, but you should.

Connecting to a public wifi network puts you at risk of having your online data stolen. This includes hotel and café wifi networks that have a passcode on them.

You’re still at risk of being hacked and having your data stolen!

It is easier than you think for hackers to get your online data and passwords. It happens everyday, and it has ruined a lot of traveller’s vacations.

There is hardly anything worse than having your banking information stolen while you’re on holiday and trying to sort it out while you’re abroad.

Your debit and credit cards are frozen, and you’re stuck in a different country trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for the rest of your trip.

It isn’t a pretty situation.

The only way to effectively protect your devices from prying eyes is to install a VPN on them.

A VPN cloaks your online activity and makes it so no one can see your online data. It is as safe as using your home wifi where you’re the only person who knows the passcode.

Every travellers needs a VPN. No excuses!

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my years of travel.

Most of them slow down your devices to a crawl. It becomes so frustrating to use them that you end up turning off your VPN and exposing yourself to potential danger.

All that changed when I started using NordVPN. I discovered them in 2018 and haven’t looked back!

They are fast, ultra-secure, and one of the top rated VPNs in the world!

You can protect up to 6 devices with one subscription, so it is super affordable to protect all your devices.

One of the best parts on NordVPN is that you can cloak your location through the app, so it looks like you’re in a different country all together.

This is amazing because it lets you access the Netflix catalogue from the country you’re cloaked as being in. You can binge watch shows you wouldn’t have access to if you didn’t have your VPN on!

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with NordVPN. I made my parents get a subscription and raved about it all my friends and other family members.

NordVPN is super affordable, and they’re almost always running a sale to make it even more affordable for you!

You can often get a two-year subscription for 68% off!

The price of your subscription works out to less than one latte from Starbucks.

It is a tiny price to pay to protect your online data and privacy!

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot you need to know about wifi in Seoul.

Seoul is a technologically advanced city, but it still has a ways to go before it has an extensive wifi network that tourists can take advantage of.

There are ways to connect to free wifi in Seoul, but you have to rely mostly on cafés and chain restaurants.

Museums are the only tourist attractions that offer free wifi to guests.

The best way to work around the lack of public wifi in Seoul is to rent a pocket wifi device.

It costs just dollars per day and gives you 24/7 access to wifi no matter where in Seoul you are!

The freedom renting a pocket wifi device gives you is worth the small rental cost!

The other alternative is to purchase a Skyroam pocket wifi device. This option is for serious travellers only.

I don’t want you to spend money on purchasing a pocket wifi device if you rarely travel! That wouldn’t be worth the money!

If you travel multiple times per year, you may want to consider purchasing a Skyroam. It may save you money in the long run, and it is definitely the most convenient way to access the internet!

No matter how you choose to get your wifi in Seoul, you need a VPN to protect your online privacy and data.

As long as you have a VPN and a wifi plan, you’ll be off to the races when you land in Seoul! It is a spectacular city, and I know you’ll love it!

How to Travel from Busan to Seoul (The Easy Way!)

Seoul and Busan are the two most popular cities in South Korea for tourists to visit. It is incredibly easy to travel from Busan to Seoul, so there is no excuse not to explore both these beautiful cities!

The easiest and most popular way to travel from Busan to Seoul is on the KTX high-speed train. It will get you from Busan to Seoul in under three hours, but it is the most expensive option. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the KTX, the next best option is taking the slow train, but you’ll arrive at a train station outside of central Seoul and will have to take public transportation into the city centre, which will take upwards of 30 minutes.

You also have the option of taking a bus or flying from Busan to Seoul, but they are less popular and less convenient than taking the KTX or slow train.

No matter what transportation method you choose, it is easy and straightforward to travel between Busan and Seoul.

Busan Gamcheon Culture Village

My personal preference is to take the KTX from Busan to Seoul. The convenience of the high-speed train is worth the additional price tag. Plus it drops you off in the heart of downtown Seoul, so it is super easy to get to your hotel or Airbnb.

But everybody has their own travel style and transportation preference, so this post is going to cover every transportation method you can take from Busan to Seoul.

It also discusses the pros and cons of each transportation method, so you can make an informed decision about what is best for you!

By the end of this article, you’ll be fully knowledgable about how to travel from Busan to Seoul and will be able to choose the best transportation method for you!

Before We Get Started

One of my least favourite parts of travel planning is figuring out how to travel from one city to another.

I normally find it difficult to find all the information I need in one place and have to spend way too long scouring the internet to put together a travel plan.

That’s why I love writing these transportation guides for you!

They contain all the information you need to plan you’re journey from one city to another.

If you’re travelling throughout South Korea, you may want to check out some of my other South Korean transportation guides:

Option One: Taking the KTX from Busan to Seoul

The KTX is the most popular way to travel between cities in South Korea.

It is quick, efficient, clean, and comfortable. The only downside to the KTX is that it is the most expensive way to travel throughout Korea.

The convenience and efficiency of the KTX often makes it worth the higher price tag. Especially when you’re travelling across long distances like the journey from Busan to Seoul.

How Long Does the KTX from Busan to Seoul Take?

As mentioned in the introduction, the KTX journey from Busan to Seoul takes less than three hours!

That’s incredibly fast considering the two cities are 329km apart!

KTX trains depart from Busan to Seoul once (and sometimes twice during peak times) per hour and are direct.

You don’t need to worry about transferring trains! You get on in Busan and off in Seoul.

It doesn’t get any easier than that!

How Much Does a KTX Ticket Cost?

The price of a KTX ticket fluctuates.

It depends on what time of day and what day of the week you’re travelling. Tickets will cost more during peak times on the weekend and less on off-peak times on weekdays.

In general, a KTX ticket from Busan to Seoul will cost you between 53,000 won and 60,000 won. That is approximately $44USD to $50USD.

They certainly aren’t cheap, but they are oftentimes worth the splurge!

Gyeongbok Palace Seoul, South Korea

Where to Purchase KTX Tickets

You can purchase KTX tickets either online or in person.

No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, I recommend you purchase them at least 24 hours in advance.

The earlier the better, but a day in advance is the latest I would leave purchasing KTX tickets. Especially if you’re travelling on the weekend or during a holiday!

You can purchase your tickets up to a month in advance if you’re really planning ahead!

Online

Purchasing your tickets online is the easiest way to get your KTX tickets.

You can purchase your tickets through the Korean Rail website. They have an English version of their site and accept foreign credit cards, so it is super easy to get your hands on a KTX ticket!

The website will tell you that you need to print out a hard copy of your ticket before boarding the train.

That is what I always personally do because I’ve always had access to a printer.

I’ve heard from many people that you don’t really need to have a hard copy of your ticket and that an electronic copy of the ticket on your phone will suffice.

If you have access to a printer, you should definitely print out your ticket and take it with you on the train, but I wouldn’t stress out too much if you don’t have access to a printer.

Just make sure you have a copy of your ticket on your phone that can be enlarged. That way the ticket agent can easily scan and view your ticket.

In Person

The other option you have to purchase a KTX ticket is going to the train station and getting your ticket in person.

You can either purchase your ticket from a teller at a ticket booth or at an electronic ticket machine.

The tellers are the only place you can pay for your ticket in cash, so if you are looking to pay with cash, you’ll have to go to the station and purchase your ticket from human ticket salesperson.

I personally think purchasing your ticket online is a better option than buying it in person. It isn’t really the best use of your time to trek all the way to the train station, stand in line, buy your ticket, and then continue on with your day.

Where Does the KTX Depart from in Busan?

All KTX trains depart from Busan Station.

Busan Station is located along metro line 1 and is just seven stops away from Seomyeon, which is the most popular area in Busan for tourists to stay.

It is super central and super easy to get to!

Where Does the KTX Arrive at in Seoul?

The KTX arrives at Seoul Station.

This is super convenient because Seoul Station is located in the heart of central Seoul. You can easily jump on the metro or bus and get to where you’re staying quickly and easily.

The KTX is the only form of transportation from Busan to Seoul that drops you off at Seoul Station.

If you’re staying in central Seoul, the convenience of arriving at Seoul Station is unbeatable!

Pros of Taking the KTX from Busan to Seoul

  • Quickest way to travel from Busan to Seoul
  • Comfortable and clean with lots of luggage storage
  • Drops you off in central Seoul

Cons of Taking the KTX from Busan to Seoul

  • The most expensive form of transportation
Seoul South Korea

The next best option is to take a slow train from Busan to Seoul.

The slow train takes quite a bit longer than the KTX, but it is significantly more affordable and still a fairly comfortable experience.

This is definitely the option to choose if you’re on a budget!

How Long Does the Slow Train from Busan to Seoul Take?

The travel times vary quite a bit with the slow train.

The journey takes longer during peak times and on weekends because the slow train needs to keep stopping on the tracks to let the KTX pass.

A slow train from Busan to Seoul will take between 4.5 and 5.5 hours on average.

There are a very few occasions where the slow train will take about as long as the KTX, but those are few and far between.

They also tend to be during very off-peak times when the tracks are quiet. We’re talking middle of the night and wee hours of the morning.

Not the times of the day most people choose to travel, so your slow train from Busan to Seoul will most likely fall into the 4.5 to 5.5 hour category.

If you choose to take the slow train, you’re probably looking at spending your entire day in transit so don’t make any plans for the day you arrive in Seoul!

How Much Does a Slow Train Ticket Cost?

Just like the travel time, the cost of slow train tickets vary significantly.

A ticket from Busan to Seoul on the slow train will cost you between 28,000 won and 52,000 won. That is approximately $28USD to $43USD.

The cost of your ticket directly correlates to how long the journey.

The longer the journey the cheaper the ticket.

The shorter the journey the more expensive the ticket.

Some of the slow train tickets cost almost the same as a KTX ticket. In those cases, you should seriously consider spending the extra money on a KTX ticket to save time and arrive in central Seoul.

But if you don’t mind spending 5.5 hours on a train, getting a ticket from Busan to Seoul for only 28,000 won is a pretty sweet deal and is about half the price of a KTX ticket!

Where to Purchase Slow Train Tickets

You purchase slow train tickets exactly the same way you purchase KTX tickets.

They can be purchased online through the Korean Rail website or in person at the train station.

Both methods work equally as well- although I still favour purchasing my ticket online in advance.

It is less important to purchase your slow train tickets in advance because they don’t sell out like the KTX sometimes does, but it is still a good idea to get your ticket a day or two in advance to ensure you get a seat you like!

Slow trains don’t depart as frequently as the KTX, so if you have a specific train you need to catch, you’ll want to book your ticket as early as possible.

Ticket sales open up a month in advance just like the KTX.

Busan, South Korea

Where Do Slow Trains Depart from in Busan?

Slow trains depart from Busan Station.

Busan Station is the main transportation hub in the city, so it is where nearly all forms of transportation depart from.

This makes it super easy to ensure you’re going to the right place. It is pretty hard to go to the wrong station when there is only one to choose from!

Where Do Slow Trains Arrive at in Seoul?

There are three different types of slow trains in South Korea: ITX, SRT, and Mungunghwa.

Each train type arrives at a different location in Seoul, so you’ll need to pay attention to that when you book your ticket.

You’ll either arrive at Yongsan Station, Suseo Station, or Yeongdeungpo Station.

A few ITX trains arrive at Seoul Station. Those trains are few and far between, so you’ll most likely arrive at one of the other three stations.

All three of the main stations the slow trains arrive at are outside of central Seoul, so you’ll have to figure out how to get to your accommodation on public transportation from these stations.

It takes at least half an hour to get to central Seoul from all of these train station and can take up to an hour.

Be sure to take that into consideration when you’re deciding what mode of transportation to take from Busan to Seoul.

Pros of Taking the Slow Train from Busan to Seoul

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable and clean
  • Nice to be able to get up and walk around during the journey

Cons of Taking the Slow Train from Busan to Seoul

  • Takes quite a bit longer than the KTX
  • Most trains arrive outside of central Seoul
  • Not as much luggage space as the KTX
N Seoul Tower Seoul South Korea

Option Three: Taking the Bus from Busan to Seoul

The third option you have is to take a bus from Busan to Seoul.

Buses in South Korea are actually quite nice and comfortable. They are large coach-style buses with luggage storage under the bus.

So you don’t have to worry about finding a place to store your luggage like you do on the KTX and slow trains.

I’ve ridden a number of inter-city buses in South Korea and have always had an excellent experience.

The downside to the buses is that they are a bit slow, can get stuck in a traffic jam, and arrive outside of central Seoul.

How Long Does the Bus from Busan to Seoul Take?

The bus ride from Busan to Seoul takes approximately 4 hours assuming there isn’t a ton of traffic.

You probably won’t have an issue with traffic on the highway, but you may run into heavy traffic when you get closer to Seoul.

Buses often have a dedicated driving lane, so they aren’t as susceptible to traffic jams as a normal car. But they can still happen!

I don’t recommend you make any plans for the first few hours after you’re supposed to arrive in Seoul.

That gives you some wiggle room in case the bus is delayed!

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

A bus ticket from Busan to Seoul will cost you between 23,000 won and 37,000 won. That is approximately $19USD to $30USD.

The variation in the ticket price comes down to the bus company you use and whether you’re on an “express” bus or not.

There isn’t a huge difference in the ticket prices, so I wouldn’t worry too much about getting on the “cheapest” bus.

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

Just like the KTX and slow train, you can either purchase your tickets online or in person.

I recommend purchasing your tickets online in advance because they offer a slight discount.

Busan, South Korea

Online

You can purchase your bus tickets online through the Korean Bus website.

Just like the Korean Railway website, the bus website has an English version and accepts foreign credit cards.

It is super simply to use, and you can use an electronic version of your ticket unlike the KTX or slow trains.

You also get the following discounts if you purchase your tickets online:

  • 10% off if you purchase your ticket at least 48 hours before departure
  • 10% off if you purchase a roundtrip ticket
  • 10% off if you reserve one of the 4 seats at the very back of the bus

These discounts definitely make it worthwhile to book your ticket in advance!

Who doesn’t want to save 10% just by buying a ticket 2 days in advance?! I sure do!

In Person

The other option you have is purchasing your bus ticket in person.

There aren’t ticketing machines that sell bus tickets, so you’ll have to purchase your ticket from a teller. If you want to use cash, this is the method for you!

Buses don’t tend to sell out, so you can easily show up a few minutes before a bus departs and still get a ticket.

It is perfect for spontaneous people!

Just be sure to leave yourself a few extra minutes in case there is a line at the ticket booth!

Where Does the Bus Depart from in Busan?

I doubt you’re surprised to learn that buses depart from Busan Station.

It really the transportation hub in Busan!

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Seoul?

All buses arrive at Seoul Gyeongbu Bus Station. It is also commonly referred to at Seoul Express Bus Station.

They are one in the same, but it can get confusing when the station has two common names!

Seoul Gyeongbu Bus Station is located on the opposite side of the Han River from central Seoul, so you’ll have to use public transportation to get to your accommodation.

It takes approximately 30 minutes to get from the bus station to Seoul Station, and you can use either the metro or city bus to get there.

It is a bit of a pain, but it is your only option if you’re taking the bus from Busan to Seoul.

Pros of Taking the Bus from Busan to Seoul

  • Least expensive mode of transportation
  • Super easy luggage storage
  • Has window shade to block the sun

Cons of Taking the Bus from Busan to Seoul

  • Fairly long journey time
  • Bus arrives outside of central Seoul
  • Can be delayed due to traffic
Seoul South Korea

Option Four: Flying from Busan to Seoul

Your final option is flying between the two cities.

Flying is not recommended.

It is the most expensive, time consuming, and environmentally damaging way to travel from Busan to Seoul.

How Long is the Flight from Busan to Seoul?

The flight itself is only an hour.

However, you have to take into consideration everything else that comes along with flying.

You have to arrive at the airport early enough to check in, go through security, and board the plane.

Then you have to fly to Seoul.

Finally, you have to wait for the plane to taxi, wait your turn to get off the plane, get any baggage you checked, and navigate your way into Seoul and wherever you’re staying.

The flight might not be long, but the entire process of flying is a time suck.

Flying is easily the most time consuming way to travel from Busan to Seoul.

How Much Does a Plane Ticket Cost?

The cost of plane tickets vary drastically.

It depends on how close to your date of departure you purchase the ticket, what day of the week you travel on, what time of day the flight leaves, what airline you fly, and so much more.

It is impossible for me to give you an accurate plane ticket price since there are so many variables.

What I can tell you is that you can find some great flight deals within Korea.

In some cases, you can get a one-way flight from Busan to Seoul for less than the cost of a KTX ticket!

Where to Purchase Plane Tickets

I always like to start looking for flights on Skyscanner and then compare their price with the price listed directly on the airline’s website.

This way you know you’re getting the best ticket price!

Where Do Flights Depart from in Busan?

All flights in and out of Busan depart from Busan International Airport (Gimhae).

Busan International Airport is super close to downtown Busan, and it doesn’t take long to get to the airport.

I always take a taxi from my hotel to the airport. It has never cost my more than 10,000 won (about $8USD).

It is way more convenient than taking public transportation. You’ll have to transfer lines at least once if you take the metro and airport buses stops are fairly spread out around the city.

Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju South Korea

Where Do Flights Arrive at in Seoul?

You will land at either Incheon International Airport or Gimpo Airport.

Both airports are located a fair way outside of central Seoul, so you’ll have to use public transportation to get wherever you’re staying.

It takes about an hour to get to Seoul Station from Incheon International Airport and about 25 minutes from Gimpo Airport.

Flights that land in Gimpo Airport will be less expensive than flights that land at Incheon International Airport, so you’ll likely be landing at Gimpo Airport.

Just jump on the metro at the airport, and you’ll in downtown Seoul in less than half an hour!

If you land at Incheon International Airport, you can either take the metro or an airport bus.

I prefer taking the airport bus because it is more relaxing, and I’m guaranteed a seat. The bus is slightly more expensive than the metro though. Keep that in mind when choosing how to get from the airport to Seoul!

Pros of Flying from Busan to Seoul

  • Can be less expensive than the KTX
  • Convenient if you’re flying out of Seoul on the same day

Cons of Flying from Busan to Seoul

  • Very time consuming
  • Not good for the environment
  • Have luggage and liquid restrictions
Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of different ways you can travel from Busan to Seoul.

They all have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to you to choose which method is best for you and your travel style.

My personal preference is the KTX. I like how quick it is and that it drops me off at Seoul Station. I’m a sucker for little conveniences like that!

But you may be on a tight budget and choose to take the bus or slow train even though the arrival location isn’t the most convenient.

That’s the beauty of having so many transportation options!

If you’re wondering how to pass your time while travelling from Busan to Seoul, be sure to check out my in-depth post all about wifi in Korea for tourists!

It has all the information you need to navigate the wifi situation in Korea.

And don’t forget to use a VPN to protect your online data when on the road!

You never know who’s looking at your online activity without your consent!

Wifi and online safety aside, Busan, Seoul, and South Korea as a whole are amazing! You’ll have a great trip, be immersed in an incredible culture, and eat delicious food.

There is hardly a country in the world I love as much as South Korea, and I hope your trip makes you love it as much as I do!

How to Travel from Seoul to Daejeon (The Easy Way!)

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!

N Seoul Tower Seoul South Korea

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.

Online

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!

In Person

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
Seoul South Korea

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
Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

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.

Online

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!

In Person

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

  • Inexpensive
  • 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
Seoul South Korea

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

  • None

Cons of Flying from Seoul to Daejeon

  • Expensive
  • Most likely have a connecting flight
  • Long(ish) bus ride from airport to Daejeon after landing
  • Luggage and liquid restrictions
Gyeongbok Palace Seoul, South Korea

Conclusion

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!

How to Travel from Seoul to Daegu (The Easy Way!)

Let’s talk about South Korean transportation- specifically how to travel from Seoul to Daegu. Spoiler alert: it is really easy!!

Daegu is a really cool college town in Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It is a fun addition to your South Korean itinerary and lets you see a different side of the country you won’t find in other cities that attract tourists.

You’ll most likely travel from Seoul to Daegu, and lucky for you, it is super easy to travel between the two cities.

There are a number of different ways to travel from Seoul to Daegu, so you can choose the best option for you based on your travel style. You can take a high-speed KTX train, a slower local train, an intercity bus, or a plane. I personally recommend taking the high-speed KTX train. It is not too much more expensive than the slower train and takes half the time to travel from Seoul to Daegu.

The choice is ultimately yours and depends on your travel style, how long you have in Korea, and your budget.

In this post, I’ll cover the different ways you can travel from Seoul to Daegu, break down the pros and cons of each transportation method, and explain more in depth why I recommend the KTX as the best way to travel from Seoul to Daegu.

Before We Get Started

I love writing transportation guides for you!

Trying to figure out how to travel from one city to another is one of my least favourite travel planning tasks, and I always love and appreciate when a fellow blogger has made it really easy for me to learn about how to travel from one city to another all in one place.

And that’s what I hope to do for you!

I have a few other transportation guides for Korea you may want to check out if you’re planning a trip through the country. I hope they help!

Gyeongbok Palace Seoul, South Korea

Option One: Taking the KTX from Seoul to Daegu

The KTX is the name of Korea’s high-speed rail service. KTX trains run all across the country and are my favourite way to travel around South Korea.

They are super fast and get you from point a to point b in no time. KTX trains top out at over 300km per hour, so I’m not exaggerating when I say they’re really, really fast!

The KTX trains are clean, comfortable, and have ample luggage storage room. You really can’t go wrong with booking a KTX train ticket.

How Long Does the KTX from Seoul to Daegu take?

The KTX only takes 1 hour 45 minutes to get from Seoul to Daegu. The slowest train takes closer to 2 hours, but most of the trains are closer to the 1 hour 45 mark than the 2 hour mark.

KTX trains depart from Seoul to Daegu every 20 minutes. The first train leaves at 5:30am and the last around 10pm.

It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!!

How Much Does a KTX Ticket Cost?

KTX trains have both first class and second class seats, so how much you pay for a ticket depends on where you sit.

The price of a ticket varies a little bit depending on when you travel. You’ll typically pay more on a weekend and during peak times and less during off-peak times on weekdays.

Your ticket price will also vary depending on whether you purchase your ticket in advance or purchase it last minute.

On average, you can expect to pay the following for a KTX ticket from Seoul to Daegu:

  • First Class: 48,900 won or approximately $40USD
  • Second Class: 34,900 won or approximately $29 USD

I don’t think you need to purchase a first class ticket for this journey. The ride is so short and the second class cars are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced.

There is a pretty substantial price difference between first class and second class, and I think your money is better spent exploring Daegu than on a first class train ticket.

Where to Purchase KTX Tickets

You can either purchase your KTX tickets online or in person. My preference is to purchase them online, so I don’t have to spend any extra time at the train station standing in line to get tickets.

Online

If you want to purchase tickets online, you simply go the Korean Rail website, search for the route you want, pick a train, and purchase your ticket.

Easy peasy!

The website has an English version, so you don’t have to worry about something getting lost in translation. It is extremely user friendly and easy for tourists to use.

The website tells you to print a copy of your ticket before getting on the train.

I always print my ticket at the hotel or an internet cafe just in case (and I’m a stickler for the rules). That being said, I know many people who have had no issue boarding a KTX train with only an electronic copy of their ticket.

If you are going to use an electronic copy of your ticket, be sure the screenshot you have of your ticket shows the complete ticket, and you’re able to enlarge it to have the QR code scanned.

In Person

The other option you have is purchasing your ticket at the train station.

There are both ticket booths where you can purchase your ticket from a human and ticket machines where you don’t have to interact with a human to buy your ticket.

Buying your ticket in person is a great option if you prefer to use cash rather than your credit card.

Do I Have to Purchase My KTX Ticket in Advance?

Excellent question.

For most routes, I always suggest you purchase your KTX ticket in advance, but this route is a little different.

Since it is such a short journey from Seoul to Daegu and trains depart so frequently, I don’t think it is essential to purchase your ticket ahead of time.

It is still a good idea though!

Purchasing your ticket in advance has a number of benefits:

  • Normally costs a little less than purchasing right before boarding the train
  • More likely to get the departure time you want
  • There are more seat options, so you can choose where you want to sit

That being said, if you’re a spontaneous traveller, taking the KTX from Seoul to Daegu is a great option for you.

There are so many trains that you’re pretty much guaranteed to get on a train that day if you just show up at the station without a plan.

You may have to wait for the next train, but you’ll never have to wait long.

Where Does the KTX Depart from in Seoul?

The only place in Seoul the KTX to Daegu departs from is Seoul Station.

Seoul Station is right in the heart of Seoul so chances are it is pretty close to where you’re staying.

Seoul Station is serviced by the metro and local buses, so you can jump on whatever is most convenient for you and get to the station no problem.

I normally stay in the Myeong-dong area and walk to Seoul Station.

Where Does the KTX Arrive at in Daegu?

The KTX arrives at the Dongdaegu Station.

Dongdaegu Station is the newest train station in Daegu and was built in 2004. It isn’t as central as the Daegu Train Station, but it is still pretty convenient.

Dongdaegu Station is located on the eastern edge of Daegu, so you’ll need to take either a taxi or the metro to get to the heart of Deagu.

Dongdaegu Station is serviced by the number 1 metro line, and you’re able to quickly get to the heart of Deagu from Dongdaegu Station without having to transfer or ride the metro for very long.

Pros of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Daegu

  • Fast
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of luggage storage
  • Runs often

Cons of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Daegu

  • More expensive than taking a slower train or the bus
  • Arrives at Dongdaegu Station and requires you to take the metro into the city
Seoul South Korea

Option Two: Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Daegu

The next option you have is taking a slow train from Seoul to Daegu.

The slow trains are just as comfortable and clean as the KTX trains, so they are a great option for people who are willing to save a little money and spend a lot longer on the train.

One of the only downsides of the slow train is that they don’t have the same designed luggage storage areas at the KTX trains. You have to either lift your luggage and store it on an overhead rack or store it at your feet.

It normally isn’t an issue, but it can be a problem if you have lots of luggage, heave luggage, or large luggage.

How Long Does the Slow Train from Seoul to Daegu Take?

The slow train takes anywhere from 3 hours and 15 minutes to 4 hours.

It all depends on the type of train you take, how busy the train tracks are, and what time of day you leave.

You can expect to be spending at least 3 and a half hours on a slow train though.

So the slow train takes about twice as long to travel from Seoul to Daegu as the KTX. That makes a big difference if you don’t have a lot of time in South Korea.

How Much Does a Slow Train Ticket Cost?

Again, the cost of a slow train ticket varies quite a lot. It depends on what type of slow train you take, what time of day you’re travelling, and whether you’re travelling on a weekday or weekend.

The cost varies quite a bit, so it is difficult to give you an exact price you can expect to pay.

A slow train ticket from Seoul to Daegu can cost anywhere between 20,000 won and 50,000 won. That is between approximately $17 USD and $42 USD.

That’s a huge price range!

You will probably end up paying a ticket price that is somewhere between that high and low price. Most tickets are probably in the $25-$30 USD range.

As you can see from those prices, the slow train costs basically the same as the KTX. It doesn’t make sense to me to pay the same price and spend twice the amount of time on the train.

It doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. In most cases, slow trains are substantially cheaper than their high-speed counterparts, and you can justify spending a lot longer on the train because you’re saving so much money.

That isn’t the case in this situation, and it doesn’t quite make sense to me why the slow train tickets are so expensive.

Where to Purchase Slow Train Tickets

The process for purchasing slow train tickets is exactly the same as purchasing KTX tickets.

You have the option of either purchasing tickets online through the Korean Rail website or in person at the train station.

Please be cautious of third-party sites that sell train tickets. They often charge you a lot more than the official Korean Rail website.

Where Does the Slow Train Depart from in Seoul?

There are a number of different stations your slow train could depart from in Seoul. It depends on what type of train you take.

The most common station for slow trains from Seoul to Daegu to depart from is Seoul Station.

That’s excellent news for you as a tourist because Seoul Station is super easy to get to and centrally located.

Other train stations you may depart from are:

  • Yeongdeungpo Station
  • Suseo Station
  • Yongsan Station

These three train stations are located outside of central Seoul and require you to take the metro or a bus to get to them.

If possible, you’ll want to book a ticket for a train departing from Seoul Station.

This will simplify your entire journey. You won’t have to spend ages on the metro or bus trying to get to the train station and then spend another 3 and a half to 4 hours on the train.

If you think I’m being dramatic about how long it can take to get to the train station if you’re not departing from Seoul Station, I have an example for you!

It takes about an hour to travel from central Seoul (where you’ll probably be staying) to Suseo Station.

That’s a heck of a long time to spend on buses (you’ll have to transfer buses as there is no direct route from central Seoul to Suseo Station) for a relatively short train ride.

It is worth it to spend a few extra dollars to depart from Seoul Station and not have to deal with getting to another train station.

Where Does the Slow Train Arrive at in Daegu?

As mentioned above in the KTX section, there are two train stations in Daegu:

  • Daegu Station
  • Dongdaegu Station

Some slow trains arrive at Daegu Station and others arrive at Dongdaegu Station. Some trains stop at both stations.

Pay attention to the arrival station when you book your ticket and try to book at ticket that stops at Daegu Station.

It is ideal to book a ticket that stops at Daegu Station since it is the centre of the city, and you can probably walk to where you’re staying.

Pros of Taking the Slow Train from Seoul to Daegu

  • Clean
  • Comfortable
  • Many trains arrive at Daegu Station

Cons of Taking the Slow Train from Seoul to Daegu

  • Twice as long as the KTX
  • Cost the same at the KTX
  • May depart from an inconvenient train station
Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Option Three: Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daegu

The third option you have is to take the bus.

There is a direct bus from Seoul to Daegu, so it is a convenient alternative to taking the train.

Buses in Korea are quite nice. They are coach buses, so you get to store your luggage under the bus and not have to worry about it while you’re travelling from one city to the next.

The buses are also quite comfortable. They are modern and have reclining seats and foot rests. There are also curtains, so you can block the sun if it is too bright or hot.

All in all, the bus isn’t a bad option. It takes longer than the KTX or slow train, but it is still a comfortable and enjoyable ride.

How Long Does the Bus from Seoul to Daegu Take?

The bus ride from Seoul to Daegu takes about 4 hours.

Your travel time will, of course, depend on whether there are any traffic jams or not. Buses in Korea have a dedicated lane on the highway, so it is unlikely you will be delayed long due to traffic, but it is still a possibility.

I always recommend you give yourself a time buffer when you’re taking the bus. Don’t book anything within an hour of when you’re supposed to arrive in Daegu. This gives you ample time to get to where you need to go just in case there is a delay.

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

Bus tickets from Seoul to Daegu cost between 17,000 won and 32,500 won. That is approximately $17 USD to $27 USD.

The bus is by far the least expensive way to travel to Daegu from Seoul.

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

Just like the KTX and slow train, you can either purchase your tickets online or at the bus station.

Online

You can purchase your bus ticket online in advance through the Korean Bus website.

The website is super user friendly and has an English option.

There are a number of advantages to booking your bus ticket online:

  • 10% discount if you book 48 hours or more 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 Daegu, it pays to book your bus ticket online in advance.

Who doesn’t want to save 10% just by booking a ticket 2 days in advance?! I sure do!

In Person

You also have the option of purchasing your bus tickets at the bus station on the day of departure.

This is a great option for spontaneous people who want to show up at the station and jump on the next bus.

Unlike the KTX and train, there isn’t the option to use a ticketing machine to purchase a ticket. You have to purchase your ticket from a person.

It isn’t an issue, but you’ll want to get to the station 10-15 minutes earlier than normal just in case there is a line to purchase tickets.

Where Does the Bus Depart from in Seoul?

The departure station depends on whether you’re taking an express train or an intercity bus.

Buses from Seoul to Daegu depart from these bus stations:

  • Seoul Express Bus Terminal
  • Dong-Seoul Station

A word of caution if your bus departs from Seoul Express Bus Terminal, be sure you’re at the right terminal. There is another bus station called Gangnam Bus Terminal right across the street. That is not the bus station you depart from.

Both Seoul Express Bus Station and Dong-Seoul Station aren’t located in central Seoul, so you’ll have to take public transportation to get to them.

The express bus terminal is further outside central Seoul than Dong-Seoul Station, but neither are terribly convenient to get to.

Incheon International Airport

There is a direct bus from Incheon International Airport to Daegu.

It is quite convenient for people who are flying into Seoul and heading directly to Daegu who don’t want to fly.

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Daegu?

The bus arrives at either East-daegu Station or West-daegu Station.

Your arrival station will depend on the bus ticket you booked. If there is a specific terminal you want to arrive at, pay attention to that

Both bus stations are located outside the city centre, and you’ll have to take a different bus to get into central Daegu.

Pros of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daegu

  • Cheapest option
  • Can depart directly from Incheon International Airport
  • Luggage is stored under the bus

Cons of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Daegu

  • Bus stations in both Seoul and Daegu are located outside the city centre
  • Takes 4 hours
A Complete Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace

Option Four: Flying from Seoul to Daegu

The final option you have is to fly from Seoul to Daegu.

I don’t really recommend this option unless you’re flying into Seoul and immediately flying to Daegu. Even in that case, it might be more time effect to take the bus from Incheon International Airport.

You have to take into consideration the time it takes to check into your flight, get through security, and wait around until your flight boards.

Once you take all of that into consideration, the bus from the airport to Daegu may end up being faster.

How Long is the Flight from Seoul to Daegu?

The length of your flight depends on whether you book a direct flight or a flight with a connection.

There aren’t too many direct flights from Seoul to Daegu, and whether or not you’re able to book a direct flight depends on what time of day you want to fly.

Most direct flights from Seoul to Daegu leave before 8am or after 6pm.

You can also book an indirect flight. Most indirect flights connect either through Jeju or Busan.

They are more expensive and take longer (duh!).

On average, you can expect a direct flight from Seoul to Daegu to take 1 hour and 10 minutes. An indirect flight normally takes 2 hours and 40 minutes but can be much longer if you have a longer layover.

How Much Does a Plane Ticket Cost?

I doubt you’re surprised to hear that it is very difficult to give you the price of a plane ticket from Seoul to Daegu.

It depends on so many factors.

  • What time of year you’re travelling
  • What time of day you’re departing
  • Whether you have a direct flight or not
  • What day of the week you’re travelling
  • Whether you’re sitting in economy or business class
  • Whether you booked a one-way flight or round-trip flight

So. Many. Factors!

You can expect to pay $39 USD for a one-way direct flight from Seoul to Daegu. The prices go up from there.

Where to Purchase Plane Tickets

I recommend booking your plane tickets either through your favourite third-party booking site or directly through the airline.

My strategy is to use Skyscanner to get an idea of the flights available and the cost then go to the airline’s website to compare prices.

A lot of the time the prices on the airline’s website are similar or even less expensive than the third-party site.

It is worth it to spend 15-30 minutes looking at different sites to find the best price.

You should also do your research on the third-party site before you purchase from them. Some third-party sites have a terrible reputation, and you don’t want to risk losing your money just to save $3 and book the cheapest ticket.

There needs to be a balance between an inexpensive fare and a reputable website.

Where Do Flights Depart from in Seoul?

Flights depart from both Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport.

You’ll probably find better fares if you fly out of Gimpo Airport, but then you would have to take the metro from Incheon International Airport (where most people land in Seoul) to Gimpo.

In that case, it is 100% worth it to take the bus from Incheon International Airport to Daegu.

Where Do Flights Arrive at in Daegu?

All flights from Seoul arrive at Daegu International Airport.

Daegu International Airport is located very close to Daegu city centre, so it is quite easy to travel from the airport to the city.

You can take the metro, and it takes about 10 minutes. You can also take a taxi or Uber, and it takes about 5 minutes.

It is always a nice treat when an airport is super close to the city, and you don’t have to spend over an hour getting from the airport to the city. I love it!

Pros of Flying from Seoul to Daegu

  • Convenient if you’re arriving in South Korea at Incheon International Airport and want to go directly to Daegu
  • Daegu International Airport is very close to Daegu city centre

Cons of Flying from Seoul to Daegu

  • The most expensive option
  • The longest option if you take into account the time it takes to check into flight, go through security, fly, and then get to Daegu city centre
Changing of the Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Korea 5 Free Things to do in Seoul

My Recommendation

I think the KTX is the best way to travel from Seoul to Daegu. It is quick, convenient, and fairly priced.

I often waver between recommending the high-speed train or the slow train because there is such a difference in price, but that isn’t the case with this journey.

The slow train costs basically the same as the KTX and twice as long, so there is no advantage to choosing that method of transportation.

Plus the KTX departs from Seoul Station, and you can’t beat the convenience of that!

All around, it is hard to beat the KTX when planning a trip from Seoul to Daegu. I always take the KTX and don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different ways you can travel from Seoul to Daegu. You can travel by high-speed train, slow train, bus, or plane.

It really depends on your travel style and what your needs are.

I think the KTX is the best option, but you may have another opinion. That’s the beauty of travel- it is so individual and we all have different experiences.

No matter how you choose to travel from Seoul to Daegu, you won’t regret visiting Daegu. It is a beautiful and interesting city! It is so different than Seoul and is a great place to explore to learn more about Korean culture outside of the capital.

How to Travel from Seoul to Busan (The Easy Way!)

Seoul and Busan are the two most popular cities for tourists to visit in South Korea. Lucky for travellers, it is super easy to travel from Seoul to Busan!

The easiest and most popular way to travel from Seoul to Busan is on the KTX high-speed train. You can also take a slower train, a bus, or fly from Seoul to Busan. No matter which transportation method you choose, it is really easy and straightforward to travel between Seoul and Busan.

My personal preference is to take the KTX. It is the quickest, most convenient, and, in my opinion, funnest way to travel from Seoul to Busan.

But this is your decision to make, so I’m going to cover all the different ways you can travel from Seoul to Busan, so you can choose the best option for you!

I’ll also break down the pros and cons of each transportation method to help you make your decision.

Before we get into the different transportation methods, I wanted to let you know I have a blog post about how to travel from Seoul to Gyeongju in case you’re making that journey while you’re in South Korea. And an in-depth 3-day Gyeongju itinerary you may find helpful!

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Option One: Taking the KTX from Seoul to Busan

The KTX is my favourite way to travel throughout Korea. The KTX is a network of high-speed trains that zip you across the country in no time at all.

The best part about the KTX trains is that they are super clean, comfortable, and have lots of luggage storage space.

I always have tons of Korean skincare in my luggage, so I’m always thankful to board a KTX train and know I don’t have to muster the strength to lift my bag onto an overhead rack. I can store it in the luggage storage area at the back of every car and forget about it until I get off the train.

KTX trains leave Seoul once or twice per hour and are direct! No transferring from one train to another required.

How Long Does the KTX from Seoul to Busan Take?

It takes just under three hours to travel from Seoul to Busan on the KTX. That’s pretty darn fast considering the distance between Seoul and Busan is 329km.

How Much Does a KTX Ticket Cost?

The cost of a KTX ticket depends on when you’re travelling. Your ticket will cost more if you’re travelling during the weekend and the busy season. And much less expensive if you travel on a weekday during off-peak times.

In general, you can expect a one-way ticket from Seoul to Busan on the KTX to cost between 53,000 won and 60,000 won. That is approximately $44 to $50 USD.

You can also get a return ticket, and it costs 120,000 won or $100 USD.

Where to Purchase KTX Tickets

Online

I always purchase my KTX tickets online through the Korean Rail website.

There is an English version of the website, and it is really easy and straightforward to use.

The website tells you to print a copy of your ticket before getting on the KTX. I always print my ticket just to be safe, but I’ve had lots of friends just screenshot their ticket on their phone rather than print it out. They’ve never had anybody take issue with them doing that.

I recommend printing a copy of your ticket just to be safe, but I wouldn’t stress too much about it if you don’t have access to a printer.

You are able to purchase your tickets up to a month in advance, so you’ll be able to print your ticket before you get to Korea if you book far enough in advance.

You normally don’t have to purchase your ticket more than a couple of days in advance, but if you’re travelling on a Korean bank holiday, you’ll want to book as far in advance as possible. Tickets on bank holidays sell out really quickly!

In Person

The other option for purchasing KTX tickets is to go to the station and purchase a ticket there.

You can either purchase a ticket from a ticket agent at the counter or at one of the ticket machines throughout the train station.

I don’t recommend purchasing your ticket at the train station rather than online. If you’re a last-minute traveller and enjoy being spontaneous, then purchasing a KTX ticket at the station may be the right move for you.

But I personally think online is the better option for most travellers. It saves you having to make a trip to the train station to buy your ticket in advance, the online system is super easy to use, and it is really easy to select a seat using the online reservation system.

It just seems like a little bit of a waste of your time, and you could spend that extra time exploring all the beautiful things Seoul has to offer like Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Where Does the KTX Depart from in Seoul?

You can catch a KTX train from Seoul to Busan at either Seoul Station or Yongsan Station.

If you’re a tourist, you’ll probably want to get on the train at Seoul Station. It is much more central than Yongsan Station but pick whatever station is closest to where you’re staying in Seoul.

You can get to both Seoul Station and Yongsan Station by metro and bus, so they’re pretty accessible and easy to get to no matter where you’re staying.

I always try to either walk or take the metro when I have my luggage with me. It is a bit awkward to navigate taking your bags on a public bus. Especially if it is during rush hour!

Where Does the KTX Arrive at in Busan?

The KTX train arrives at Busan Station. Busan Station is super central, so it is really easy to get from the train station to wherever you’re staying in Busan.

You can jump on the metro right at Busan Station, and Seomyeon Station (the most popular district in Busan for tourists to stay) is just seven stops away.

Pros of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Busan

  • Very quick compared to other options
  • Comfortable
  • Great luggage storage options

Cons of Taking the KTX from Seoul to Busan

  • Expensive
Busan Gamcheon Culture Village

Option Two: Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Busan

The next option is taking a slow train from Seoul to Busan. They have some of the benefits of KTX trains like being clean and comfortable, but they are really slow compared to KTX trains.

There are three different types of slow trains that travel from Seoul to Busan:

  • ITX
  • SRT
  • Mugunghwa

These trains may be slower than the KTX, but they are more affordable. They’re a great option for travellers who are on a tight budget and aren’t in a rush to get from Seoul to Busan.

How Long Does the Slow Train from Seoul to Busan Take?

The length of your journey depends on which slow train you choose to take. The trains have the following journey times:

  • ITX: 4.5 hours
  • SRT: 2.5 hours
  • Mugunghwa: 5.5 hours

How Much Does a Slow Train Ticket Cost?

This, again, depends on what type of slow train you’re taking. An average ticket for each train costs:

  • ITX: 42,000 won or approximately $35 USD
  • SRT: 52,000 won or approximately $43 USD
  • Mugunghwa: 28,000 won or approximately $23 USD

You can see that there is a direct correlation between the journey length and the ticket price.

The shorter the journey, the more expensive the ticket. The longer the journey, the less expensive the ticket.

Where to Purchase Slow Train Tickets

The process for purchasing slow train tickets is exactly the same as purchasing KTX tickets.

You can purchase your tickets online through the Korean Railway website or in person at any train station.

It is less important that you purchase slow train tickets in advance as they don’t tend to sell out as quickly as KTX tickets do.

I still recommend purchasing your slow train tickets a day or two in advance just to be safe though. Plus you’ll want to make sure you get the type of seat you want (either window or isle).

Slow trains tend to run less frequently than KTX trains, so you won’t have as many departure times to choose from.

If you have a specific time you want to leave Seoul or arrive in Busan, be sure to book in advance just in case the specific train you want to catch is a popular choice.

Where Do Slow Trains Depart from in Seoul?

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that where you catch the slow train from Seoul to Busan depends on what type of slow train you take.

ITX

You can catch the ITX at either Seoul Station or Yeongdeungpo Station.

Yeongdeungpo Station is located across the river from downtown Seoul near Gimpo Airport, so you probably won’t be catching the ITX from this station. But it is a great option if you’re landing in Gimpo Airport and travelling directly to Busan without going into downtown Seoul.

For the average traveller, you’ll catch the ITX from Seoul to Busan at Seoul Station, which is easy to get to by metro, bus, or on foot. Again, just be cautious of taking luggage on public buses.

You’ll probably want to avoid doing that if at all possible and take the metro instead.

SRT

The SRT is the quickest of the slower trains and is the most comparable to the KTX. It is a fairly quick train and quite an enjoyable ride.

One of the major downsides to taking the SRT is that it only departs from Suseo Station.

Like Yeongdeungpo Station, Suseo Station is located across the river and a fair ways away from downtown Seoul. It is about an hour on public transportation from Seoul Station to Suseo Station to give you an idea of how far away it is.

I wouldn’t recommend you take this train unless you’re staying in either the Jamsil area or Gangnam area.

If you’re not staying in either of those two areas, you’re better off choosing a different mode of transportation to travel from Seoul to Busan.

It simply isn’t worth the time and effort to get to Suseo Station from the heart of Seoul.

Mungunghwa

The Mungunghwa train departs from Yongsan Station.

Yongsan Station is a little ways outside of downtown Seoul, but it is only a 12-15 minute metro ride from Seoul Station. So it isn’t too far out of the way if this is the train you choose to take.

The Mungunghwa train is the slowest train of them all, but it offers stunning views of the Korean countryside that you won’t get to enjoy on a faster train because you’re speeding past it.

The scenery probably isn’t worth the extra 2-3 hours on a train, but it is a nice way to put a positive spin on a long train ride if this is the train you end up choosing.

The train has a cafe in case you get hungry, but I would bring some snacks and water just in case there isn’t anything at the cafe that suits your taste buds.

A word of caution. I don’t suggest buying a non-reserved standing room ticket. These tickets allow you to sit in a seat if one is open, but you’re stuck with standing if there isn’t a seat. Your legs will hate you if you’re forced to stand for the entire 5.5 hour train ride!

It is worth the little bit more money to purchase a ticket with a reserved seat.

Where Do the Slow Trains Arrive at in Busan?

I’m switching things up here.

All the slow trains arrive at Busan Station!

This makes it super easy to navigate your way to where you’re staying. The metro station is there as well as a major bus terminal. Plus taxi’s are super affordable in South Korea if you’re not in the mood to take public transportation after your long journey from Seoul to Busan.

But I recommend using the metro to get to where you need to go. It is super easy to use, really affordable, and pretty hard to get lost on because there is only one line at Busan Station.

Pros of Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Busan

  • Less expensive than the KTX
  • Comfortable
  • Clean

Cons of Taking a Slow Train from Seoul to Busan

  • The journey is quite a bit longer than the KTX
  • Some of the train stations slow trains depart from in Seoul are out of the way and a hassle to get to
  • Some slow trains don’t have good luggage storage, and you have to lift your suitcase overhead to store or keep it at your feet
A Complete Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace

Option Three: Taking the Bus from Seoul to Busan

The third option is to take the bus from Seoul to Busan.

The buses are actually quite nice. They’re large coach-style buses where you store your luggage under the bus and then have a nice, comfortable seat on the bus. There are also shades on the windows you can close if the sun is shining in your eyes.

I actually quite enjoy the journey when I take buses in South Korea.

How Long Does the Bus Ride from Seoul to Busan Take?

The bus ride takes about 4 hours. The actual length of your journey depends on the traffic.

Traffic in South Korea can get quite congested, so it isn’t unheard of for buses to get caught in a traffic jam and arrive at their destinations later than planned.

The good news is that buses often have a dedicated lane, so your chances of being stuck in traffic is much lower than if you were in a car.

Just to be safe, you shouldn’t plan any events or outings right when you’re scheduled to arrive in Busan just in case you encounter traffic.

Give yourself a window of 30-60 minutes just in case your bus is delayed.

How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?

The price of your ticket alters slightly based on what bus you end up taking. There are a number of different types of buses, but they are all priced within a dollar or two of each other. So it doesn’t really matter which bus you end up taking.

You can expect your bus ticket to cost between 23,000 won and 37,000 won. That equates to approximately $19 to $30 USD.

Most of the buses are around the 23,000 won to 25,000 won range ($19 to $20 USD) though. It is the premium buses with luxurious lie down seats that are on the more expensive end of the spectrum.

There are also night buses from Seoul to Busan. The prices for these buses range from 25,000 won to 42,000 won. That is approximately $21 to $35 USD.

Buses depart multiple times per hour, so it is pretty easy to find an affordable bus that fits your schedule.

Where to Purchase Bus Tickets

There are two ways to purchase a bus ticket. You can purchase a ticket online or in person.

You can’t go wrong with either option. They’re both super easy to navigate!

Online

You can purchase your ticket online through the Korean Bus website. There is an English version, and it is quick and easy to navigate.

It is great because it lets you see the price and departure time of each bus, so you’re able to make an informed decision of what bus to get on.

You’ll be able to easily choose the cheapest bus, buy a ticket, and show up at the station ready to start your journey from Seoul to Busan.

In Person

The other option is to purchase a ticket in person at the bus station.

You can easily show up at the bus station the day you want to travel from Seoul to Busan and purchase a ticket for the next available bus.

There are normally three buses departing every hour, so you won’t have to wait long to get on the next bus!

Just be sure to inquire about pricing if you’re quoted a higher than average price. It may be worthwhile to wait a little bit longer and get on a less expensive bus that departs at a later time.

Where Does the Bus Depart from in Seoul?

All the buses depart from Seoul Gyeongbu Bus Station. It is also commonly referred to at the Seoul Express Bus Station.

Seoul Gyeongbu Bus Station is located across the river from downtown Seoul. It takes about 30 minutes on public transportation to get from Seoul Station to Seoul Gyeongbu Bus Station.

It is kind of out of the way, but you have no other choice if you want to take the bus from Seoul to Busan.

Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Busan?

Are you surprised to hear that the bus arrives at Busan Station?

That’s right! Just like all the train options, the bus arrives at Busan Station as well. Busan Station is the main transportation hub in Busan, so it is no surprise that everything arrives and departs out of it.

Just jump on the metro, and you’ll quickly arrive at your hotel! You probably won’t even need to transfer metro lines!

You gotta love when it is as easy as that!

Pros of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Busan

  • Comfortable seats
  • Luggage storage under the bus, so you don’t have to fuss with your luggage
  • Is the least expensive way to travel from Seoul to Busan
  • Can purchase last-minute tickets without worrying about it being sold out

Cons of Taking the Bus from Seoul to Busan

  • Longer than the KTX and most of the slow trains
  • The bus station is a ways out of downtown Seoul
  • Can be delayed if there is traffic
  • Unable to get up and stretch your legs like you can on a train
Seoul South Korea

Option Four: Flying from Seoul to Busan

The final option you have to travel from Seoul to Busan is by flying.

It wouldn’t be my first choice because you have to leave enough time to travel to the airport, check in, go through security, and be at your gate a few minutes before it starts boarding.

Plus you have to deal with the packing restraints of not being able to carry on liquids and don’t have as much luggage flexibility as you do on the KTX, slow train, or bus.

How Long is the Flight from Seoul to Busan?

The upside of flying is that the flight from Seoul to Busan is only an hour, so the travel time is much shorter than taking a train or bus.

But once you factor in the time it takes to check in and go through security, the amount of time it takes to get from Seoul to Busan is pretty much the same as taking the KTX or one of the faster slow trains.

How Much Does a Plane Ticket Cost?

Anybody who has every booked a plane tickets knows there are countless variables that go into how much you pay. It depends on the time of year, day of the week, time of day, what airline you fly, and who you purchase your ticket from.

It is quite difficult to give you an estimate of how much a plane ticket from Seoul to Busan will cost given there are so many factors that go into deciding the price.

You can get a really inexpensive plane ticket if you’re lucky and book on the right day at the right time.

In some instances, a plane ticket can cost less than a KTX ticket!

I wouldn’t go into booking a plane ticket from Seoul to Busan an expect it to be less expensive than the KTX though.

Set the expectation that a plane ticket will cost more than a KTX ticket, and you can be pleasantly surprised if it ends up being less expensive!

Where to Purchase Plane Tickets

You can purchase your plane ticket through your favourite third-party website or through the airline’s website directly.

I personally enjoy using Skyscanner to get an idea of the flight time and prices and then going to the airline’s website to find their price then to third-party websites. I keep searching around until I think I’ve found the best price.

Some third-party websites don’t have a great reputation so be sure to look into that as well before booking your flight.

I’ve found that in most cases the airline has either the lowest price or has a price that is very similar to the cheapest third-party website.

Where Do Flights Depart from in Seoul?

Gimpo Airport

A lot of tourists don’t know about Gimpo Airport when they fly into Seoul, but it is the ideal airport to fly out of when travelling from Seoul to Busan.

It always has cheaper flights than Incheon International Airport. It is also much closer to downtown Seoul and is quicker to get to on the metro, bus, or taxi.

I highly recommend you use Gimpo Airport to fly from Seoul to Busan.

Incheon International Airport

The other option you have is flying out of Incheon International Airport. Incheon is probably the airport you’ll fly into if you’re arriving in Seoul from another country, so you’re most likely aware of it.

I don’t recommend flying from Seoul to Busan via Incheon International Airport.

Flights will be significantly more expensive than Gimpo Airport, and the Incheon Airport is much further from downtown Seoul and takes a while to get to via public transportation.

The only exception to my recommendation to not fly out of Incehon International Airport is if you’re landing at the airport and then getting a flight to Busan the same day.

Even in that case, it might be better to fly out of Gimpo.

The two airports are connected by the metro, so it is super easy to get to Incheon International Airport to Gimpo Airport assuming you have enough time between flights.

Where Do Flights Arrive at in Busan?

Flights from both Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport arrive at Busan International Airport (Gimhae).

The airport in Busan is quite close to downtown Busan, so it is convenient and easy to get to wherever you’re staying.

You can take the metro or bus if you want to use public transportation, but I recommend taking a taxi.

A taxi from Busan International Airport (Gimhae) to downtown Busan will cost you less than $20 USD and is much quicker than taking public transportation.

You will have to transfer at least once if you take public transportation and then walk from the metro station to your hotel.

A taxi is worth the little bit of money for the ease of not having to navigate the public transportation system- especially if you have multiple people in your group.

I’m not suggesting that the public transportation system in Busan is difficult to use by any means!

It is actually really easy to use. I just think it is worth the extra money to save some time and effort by taking a taxi.

Pros of Flying from Seoul to Busan

  • Clean and comfortable
  • Flight is fast
  • Can be very affordable

Cons of Flying from Seoul to Busan

  • You have to deal with all the hassles that come along with flying
  • It isn’t great for the environment
  • The departure and arrival points aren’t as convenient as the KTX
Busan South Korea

Conclusion

As you can tell, it is super easy to travel from Seoul to Busan, and you have many different transportation options to choose from.

There really is an option that fits everybody no matter what your budget or travel style!

I personally opt for the KTX. To me, it is worth the extra price to travel by high-speed train and arrive in Busan as quickly as possible. I also like that the KTX departs from Seoul Station. It is so convenient!

No matter what transportation method you choose, your journey from Seoul to Busan will be comfortable. Every train, bus, and plane is clean and comfortable, so you’ll enjoy your ride.

One final note before you plan your journey from Seoul to Busan:

Trains, buses, and planes depart on time and don’t tend to run late. You’ll want to arrive at the train station, bus station, or airport early enough to allow you to get to where you are departing from 10 to 15 minutes before you’re supposed to leave.

You’ll most likely be left behind if you’re running late!

How to Get From Seoul to Gyeongju

Seoul and Gyeongju are two of the most popular cities for tourists to visit while in South Korea. Many tourists travel from Seoul to Gyeongju and then onto Busan (that is the route I took).

Travelling within Korea is incredibly simple and easy for tourists, and the trip from Seoul to Gyeongju is no exception!

There are three main ways to get to Gyeongju from Seoul: train, bus, and plane. This post will take you through the three main modes of transportation from Seoul to Gyeongju. It will also help you choose what transportation option is best for you!

Getting to Gyeongju by Train

Types of Trains and Where They Stop in Gyeongju

There are two different types of train in Korea. The slow trains are called Seamaeul, and the fast trains are called KTX.

Both the Seamaeul and KTX stop in Gyeongju. There are, however, two different stations in Gyeongju.

The KTX stops of Singyeongju Station, which is approximately 3km from Gyeongju City Centre.

The Seamaeul stops at Gyeongju Station right in the heart of the city.

You may want to look into get a Korail pass if you’re planning on taking a day trip to Gyeongju from Seoul or using the intercity train frequently during your visit to Korea.

Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju South Korea

The KTX and Getting Off at Singyeongju Station

The KTX is the quickest train option and doesn’t require a transfer. It only takes approximately 2 hours from Seoul to Singyeongju. The KTX to Singyeongju Station from Seoul costs 40000 Won or $34USD.

You can purchase tickets at Seoul Station on the day you depart or buy them online from the Korean Rail website. I recommend using the website to purchase your ticket. It is easy to use, and you’ll be sure to have your ticket in advance in case it is busy and fully booked on the day you want to depart. The website is in Korean, but you can use the translation feature in Chrome to easily convert the webpage to English.

If you purchase tickets at Seoul Station, you are able to purchase them either at a ticket machine or at a manned ticket counter. The machine has the option of purchasing tickets in English, and the staff at the ticket counter should be able to speak basic English. So you don’t have to worry about a language barrier. You will be able to purchase your ticket easily without having to use a translator.

You can book first class or economy tickets. Economy seats are quite nice, so you don’t need to splurge to upgrade to first class if you’re on a tight budget.

Be sure to print your ticket if you purchase it online as you are required to have a paper ticket when boarding the train. A mobile ticket is not accepted.

Getting to Gyeongju from Singyongju Station

Once you get off the KTX, you have to take a city bus to Gyeongju city centre. The bus rides is approximately 15 minutes, and you are able to use your transportation card if you got one in Seoul.

You can get on the following buses:

  • 50
  • 60
  • 61
  • 70
  • 203
  • 700

The bus fare is 1300 Won or $1.10USD. You get a 50 Won discount if using your transportation card!

You can ask the bus driver to drop you off at Express Bus Terminal (Gosok Teominal) if you aren’t certain where exactly your hotel is. The bus station has wifi that you can connect to, so you can pull up Google Maps and figure out how to get to your hotel.

The Express Bus Terminal is centrally located, so you shouldn’t have that far of a walk to your accommodation if you’re staying in the heart of Gyeongju.

You will probably need to catch another local bus if you are staying outside the city centre.

Taking a taxi is also another option if you have a lot of luggage or don’t want to take the bus. Taxis are very inexpensive in Korea (especially compared to nearby Japan!), so taking a taxi into the city centre won’t cut into your budget too much.

Getting from Seoul to Gyeongju by Using a Combination of the KTX and Seamaeul Trains

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking a bus from Singyeongju Station into the city, there is another train option available to you.

You take the KTX from Seoul to Dongdaegu then transfer to a slow Seamaeul train from Dongdaegu to Gyeongju Station, which is located right in the heart of the city. You can easily walk anywhere in the city centre from Gyeongju Station!

This is personally the way I got from Seoul to Gyeongju. It was easy, relatively fast, and convenient.

The Practical Information You Need to Know if You Choose This Method

There are a few things you should know before embarking on this route. Hopefully I’ll be able to anticipate all your questions and give you all the information you’re looking for!

  • The total trip, including the time it takes to transfer from one train to the next, is about 3 hours. It isn’t much longer than taking the KTX all the way to Singyeongju.
  • It costs 4700 Won (about $38USD) for the entire trip. This method is slightly more expensive than the KTX, but it drops you off at Gyeongju Station, so you don’t have to deal with getting from outside the city to the city centre like you do on the KTX.
  • The second train from Dongdaegu Station to Gyeongju Station is small and doesn’t have designated luggage storage. I put my luggage behind my seat because I was sitting at the back, but this could be a problem for groups with a lot of luggage.
  • Making the transfer is incredibly easy. All the gates are clearly marked in both Korean and English, so it is easy to determine where you need to catch the second train. There are also audio announcements in both languages.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul South Korea how to get from Seoul to Gyeongju

Once You Arrive at Gyeongju Station

Gyeongju Station is in the heart of the city center, but it is on the opposite side of the city center as the Express Bus Station. It is just as easy to walk to your hotel and most Gyeongju attractions from the train station as it is from the bus terminal. But it is definitely something to be aware of when you’re making plans.

You shouldn’t need to transfer to a local bus to get to your hotel if you arrive at Gyeongju Station. Most hotels are less than a 15 minute walk away from the train station. When you exit the station, you will most likely need to walk down the main street in front of you, and your hotel should be somewhere along the way!

There is luggage storage at Gyeongju Station if you need to store your luggage for any reason. The cost is around 1000 Won or $1USD, so it is very affordable.

So What Train Should You Take from Seoul to Gyeongju?

This is a difficult question to answer because everybody has their own preferences on how they like to travel. Taking the KTX or a combination of the fast and slow train both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Taking the KTX

  • It is an hour quicker
  • The ticket costs slightly less than the combination method
  • There is designated luggage storage for the entire journey

Disadvantages of Taking the KTX

  • You have to get off a few kilometers out of Gyeongju and take a different form of transportation to the city center/your hotel
  • You may be forced to take a taxi rather than a local bus if you have a lot of luggage

Advantages of Taking the Train Combination Method

  • The train drops you off right in the city center
  • You can walk to your hotel/Gyeongju attractions

Disadvantages of Taking the Train Combination Method

  • The ticket is slightly more expensive, and the journey takes an hour longer
  • No designated luggage storage on the second train
  • You have to transfer trains, and this may make some travelers nervous

What Would I Recommend?

I personally prefer transferring trains in Dongdaegu and getting of at Gyeongju Station rather than Singyeongju Station.

I enjoy being able to walk to where I am staying and not having to worry about dealing with my luggage on a public bus, which can be quite busy at times if you arrive during peak transportation hours.

But I also understand the appeal of not having to transfer from one train to another and having a shorter journey time. Taking the KTX train directly from Seoul to Gyeongju is perfect for people who are only taking a day trip or don’t enjoy a slow pace of travel like I do.

So, really, either option is a great option. I know it is annoying to not get a definitive option, but it really comes down to what works best for you. Both train routes have their pros and cons, and you have to decide which is best for you.

No matter which route you take, you will have a quick, comfortable, and safe journey. The train system in Korea is great!

The Bus from Seoul to Gyeongju

From Seoul City Centre

Taking the bus from Seoul to Gyeongju is by far the most cost-effective method. But it is also the longest. The bus costs 20400 Won (about $20USD) and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes. This is assuming there is no traffic. If you run into a traffic jam, your journey could be much longer!

The bus leaves from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal and arrives at the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. They depart approximately even 40 minutes, so it is great for travellers who like to wing things and not have to book ahead. You can just show up and wait for the next bus.

Buses is Korea are quite nice. They are comfortable and always clean, so that is a nice bonus! The buses are equipped with shades at each window, so you can easily keep the sun out of your eyes. Most buses also have USB charging stations at each seat, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery on your device!

If you choose to take the bus, you will have a comfortable and carefree journey!

From Incheon International Airport

You also have the option of taking a limousine bus directly from Incheon International Airport to Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. This is great for people who are landing in Korea and need to go directly to Gyeongju without stopping in Seoul first.

The fare is 39000 Won ($33USD), and the trip takes approximately 5 hours. The buses from from just after midnight until 9:30pm, so you are able to catch a bus basically no matter when you land.

Technically, it could be faster to take a limousine bus into Seoul and then get on the KTX train, but that is a bit of a hassle. It is nice to have the option of getting on a bus right at the airport and not having to get off until you reach Gyeongju.

Is Taking the Bus to Gyeongju Worth It?

I personally don’t think taking the bus is the best option. It is the least expensive option, but it is also the longest option. To me, it is worth paying a little bit more to take the train and cut a few hours from the journey time.

You are only paying $10-15USD more to take the train over the bus, so you’re not saving much money by taking the slower option. The difference in price isn’t worth sitting on a bus for a few extra hours compared to the train.

That being said, I think taking the bus straight from the airport to Gyeongju Station is a great option. It is far more convenient than taking the bus into Seoul and then transferring to a train.

Anapji Pond Gyeongju South Korea 72-Hours in Gyeongju

Flying from Seoul to Gyeongju

The final option to get from Seoul to Gyeongju is to fly. You fly from Seoul to Busan and take a bus from Busan to Gyeongju. Yeah, it is a bit of a trip.

You fly from either Incheon Airport or Gimpo Airport in Seoul and land in Gimhae Airport in Busan. A one-way flight is normally less than $75USD. The flight takes an hour, so it is quick and easy!

You can take a bus directly from Gimhae Airport to Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal. It costs 11000 Won or approximately $8USD. The bus ride takes an hour, and the bus leaves the airport 20 times a day. The first bus leaves at 6:45am, and the last bus leaves at 10:45pm.

Taking a flight is, obviously, the most expensive and time consuming way to get from Seoul to Gyeongju. You need to get to the airport early enough to get through security, fly from Seoul to Busan, get out of the airport, and catch the bus from the airport to Gyeongju. Once you add up all that time, it ends up being longer than taking the bus.

Should You Take a Flight to Gyeongju?

I wouldn’t recommend taking a flight from Seoul to Gyeongju to the average traveler. The only people I could see this being a good option for people who are flying into Korea and landing in Seoul and needing to go Gyeongju right away.

If you’re already at the airport, it might be more convenient to get on another flight rather than getting on a bus. That, of course, would depend on how long you would have to wait to get on a flight to Gyeongju and if flying is worth the added cost.

I personally would still take a bus from the airport in Seoul to Gyeongju, but that is just my preference. I prefer taking ground transportation over flying whenever possible. You may find it easier to fly rather than take the bus.

So What is the Best Way to Get to Gyeongju to Seoul?

Now it is time to answer the question you have been waiting for. Which of the three methods should you use to get from Seoul to Gyeongju?

I think it is pretty obvious from the article so far, but I think the train is the best way to get from Seoul to Gyeongju.

It is the quickest and is also relatively inexpensive. The best of both worlds! The fact that it only costs a few more dollars than the bus and takes a lot less time than the bus. It is also far more convenient than flying- especially if you’re already in the city of Seoul and not the airport.

As previously discussed, both train options are great, and it really depends on your preference on which option you choose. No matter which train route you take, it will be superior to either the bus or a plane.

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Conclusion

To end, I want to reiterate how amazing of a city Gyeongju is. I highly recommend making the trip from Seoul to Gyeongju. It is relatively quick, and Gyeongju is so different from Seoul that it is almost like being in a different country.

Gyeongju is one of my favourite cities in Korea, and I would recommend it to anybody who is looking for recommendations on where to visit in Korea.

As you learnt in this article, it is extremely easy and quick to get from Seoul to Gyeongju, so there is no reason for you not to make the trip!

A Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace

Seoul is the capital of South Korea, and it is home to many historical palaces. Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most well known and visited palace in Seoul.

There is a lot to see and do at Gyeongbokgung Palace, and you can easily miss things as a first-time visitor if you don’t know about them beforehand. This guide aims to help you plan your trip to Gyeongbokgung Palace and give you all the information you need to get the most out of your visit.

Changing of the Guards

The changing of the guards is probably the most well known things about Gyeongbokgung Palace. The ceremony takes place at the top of every hour at 10am and 3pm.

It reacts the traditional changing of the guards ceremony that was performed daily when it was an active palace. There is narration in both English and Korea that explains the ceremony and the importance of each step, so you will be able to understand the history of what is taking place.

The changing of the guards takes places in the courtyard inside the main entrance where you purchase tickets. The ceremony is free to watch, so you don’t need to purchase a ticket to tour Gyeongbokgung Palace if you just want to watch the changing of the guards.

The ceremony takes approximately 10 minutes from start to finish. It is a popular tourist attraction, so I recommend getting to the palace 5-10 minutes before the ceremony to get a good viewing location. You can show up right before it begins, but you risk having to stand on the side and not getting a full view of the ceremony.

The changing of the guards ceremony features a lot of bright colours, and it is always fun to watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. You should definitely plan to watch the ceremony when you’re at Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Changing of the Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Korea 5 Free Things to do in Seoul

Gyeongbokgung PalaceTickets

You can’t purchase tickets to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace online. Tickets have to be purchased when you get to the palace. You don’t have to worry about standing in line too long to purchase a ticket because the queue moves quickly, and there are a lot of ticket windows.

The price for an adult to enter the palace is 3,000 won. This is approximately $2.50 USD. It is an incredible deal, so there is no reason not to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace while in Seoul.

The ticket booths are located on the right-hand side of the courtyard if you’re entering the palace from the main gates. If you are using the side entrance that is closest to Insadong, the ticket booths are directly to your left when you enter.

You will easily be able to find the ticket counter no matter what entrance you use.

Integrated Ticket of Palaces

You have the option to purchase the Integrated Ticket of Palaces when you visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. This ticket costs 10,000 won (approximately $8.75 USD), and it gives you access to all of the major palaces in Seoul.

You will save 4,000 won ($3.50 USD) if you purchase the Integrated Ticket of Palaces rather than tickets to each individual palace.

It is a great deal if you are interested in visiting all the sights included in the ticket. All the sights included in the tickets are located in central Seoul and are walking distance from one another.

The Integrated Ticket of Palaces is valid for 3 months after the date of purchase, so you don’t have to visit every sight in a single day.

Sights Included in the Integrated Ticket of Palaces

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Deoksugung
  • Changdeokgung
  • Changgyeonggung 
  • Jongmyo Shrine (be sure to check times before you arrive as you have to take a guided tour, and they are only offered at certain times each day)
A Complete Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace

Hours of Operation

The palace is open every day of the week except for Tuesdays.

It is open from 9am to 6pm Wednesday through Monday, and it is busiest in the afternoon when a lot of tour groups show up.

Free Guided Tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace

You are able to take a free guided tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The tour is offered in English at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm. The tour takes approximately 1 hour.

You are guided through the main parts of the palace, and the guide explains the importance of the buildings as well as the history of the Korean royal family. You do not go through every building, but you will be shown the most important ones.

The tour moves quite quickly because there is a lot of information. I recommend you soak in all the information the guide gives you rather than worrying about taking pictures. You will be able to go back and take pictures once the tour is over, but you will not have access to the guide after the tour is over.

The guide will give you lots of information about the palace but feel free to ask any questions you have as you are walking from building to building.

The tours are often huge. You should try to stick to the front of the group as much as possible. The guide doesn’t always have time to wait for the entire group to show up to the next location, so you could miss parts of the tour if you are a straggler and not keeping up with the group.

The free guided tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-do for me whenever I am at the palace. You learn so much more than you do by just reading the information cards. Korea has an incredibly interesting history, and this tour is a great way to learn a little bit of it.

A Complete Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeonghoeru Pavillion

Gyeonghoeru Pavillion is one of the most famous and beautiful pavilions in Gyeongbokgung Palace. It opened to the public in 2018 after it was restored.

Gyeonghoeru is a banquet hall that was used when foreign visitors visited the royal family. It is a two-story pavilion located on a man-made lake, and it is absolutely gorgeous.

You are able to visit Gyonghoeru every year from April 1st to October 31st. The only way to tour the palace is on a guided tour, and you have to reserve a spot on the tour via the Gyeongbokgung Palace website. The tour takes approximately 30-40 minutes.

There are extremely limited spots on each tour, so it is quite difficult to get a spot on the tour. Each tour has spots for 60 Korea citizens and 10 foreigners. The tour is only offered in Korean, so you won’t be able to understand what is being said. You will, however, get to go inside the beautiful pavilion, so there are pros and cons.

Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul

Museums at Gyeongbokgung Palace

There are two museums located at Gyeongbokgung Palace: The National Palaces Museum of Korea and The National Folk Museum of Korea.

Both museums are free to enter and are worth spending some time wandering around after you’re done touring Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The National Palaces Museum of Korea

The National Palaces Museum of Korea is a museum dedicated to the royal palaces of Korea. It is located on the other side of the main courtyard as the ticket booths.

It is a two-story museum that gives you a lot of information about the traditions of the royal family and the history of Korea. This museum is a great way to gain additional information about Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Korean royal family after you have toured the palace and gone on your free guided tour.

You can easily spend 3 or 4 hours in the museum if you read everything and watch all of the videos. I would recommend budgeting about an hour in the museum.

The National Folk Museum of Korea

This museum is located on the right-hand side near the back of
Gyeongbokgung Palace. You are able to access the museum either from the inside of the palace or from the sidewalk, so you don’t need to purchase a ticket to Gyeongbokgung Palace to enter the museum.

The National Folk Museum of Korea is free to enter as well. It is partially outdoor with exhibits showing old building and stores and partly indoors.

It is closer to a children’s museum than an adult museum. The museum showcases a lot of the cultural and folk aspects of Korean culture, and children seem to enjoy it. There are a lot of interactive exhibits for children to engage with.

National Palace Museum of Korea

Conclusion

There is a lot to see and do at Gyeongbokgung Palace. You can easily spend an entire day on the property and not run out of things to do.

Gyeongbokgung Palace is an important part of Korean culture and history, and you should make time to visit it during your trip to Seoul. You will learn a lot about Korean culture and have a better understanding of the country and its people.

The palace is extremely reasonably priced, and I always feel like I’m not paying enough to visit the historic sight. It is the perfect tourist attraction for people travelling on a budget because you get a lot more than what you pay for. You will not be disappointed when you spend money to tour Gyeongbokgung Palace.

Gyeongbokgung Palace is constantly undergoing restoration. In fact, less than half of the original palace is rebuilt! You will have a new experience every time you visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, and that is one of my favourite things about it.

The first time I visited the palace, Gyeonghoeru was under restoration. I was able to see the pavilion through a small window in the construction walls, and I fell in love. I knew I needed to go back and see it once it had been restored, and I was not disappointed when I went back. The entire experience was new and wonderful.

Gyeongbokgung Palace is a very special part of Seoul, and your visit to the city would not be complete without visiting it.

5 Free Things to do in Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is one of my favourite cities in the world. The architecture is beautiful, the people are kind, and the food and shopping are to die for.

Seoul has a bit of a reputation for being an expensive county, but I think it doesn’t deserve that reputation at all. Not only is the city not as expensive as many people make it out to be, but there are lots of free things to do as well.

This post showcases 5 free things to do in Seoul. They are all centrally-located, and you can walk from one sight to the next.

1. Changing of the Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most famous sights in Seoul. It is located in the centre of the city, so it is easy to get to no matter where you are staying. Entering the palace itself has an entrance fee of less than $5USD. It is worth paying the money to visit because it is a stunning and is full of history.

However, if you are on an extreme budget, you should still make a point to attend the changing of the guards ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace. The changing of the guards takes place every day of the week except Tuesday at 10am and 2:30pm. The ceremony takes place just inside the main gate. If you are planning on attending the ceremony, I would recommend arriving 5-10 minutes before it starts to get a good viewing spot.

The ceremony takes approximately 10 minutes. It is narrated in both Korean and English, so you will be able to understand the significance of what is happening.

The narration really helps to elevate the ceremony. Being able to understand what is happening throughout the ceremony helps give you a deeper understanding of the palace and Korean culture.

Gyeongbokgung Palace is definitely one of the best free things to do in Seoul. It gives an understanding of past and present Korean culture and traditions.

Changing of the Guards at Gyeongbokgung Palace Seoul Korea 5 Free Things to do  in Seoul

2. Insadong

Just a few blocks away from Gyeongbokgung Palace is Insadong. This is a shopping street where tourists come to fulfill all their souvenir needs.

This street is lined with stalls selling every souvenir a tourist could ask for. From bookmarks to chopsticks to artwork, there is something for everyone. While there are plenty of opportunities to spend money in Insadong, wandering through the street and stores is free.

Insadong is a great place to people watch. Often times there are people walking around in traditional dresses called Hanbok because they get free entrance to the palaces when wearing the traditional outfit.

Insadong is also a great place to get food. While it does not have as many street food offerings as other neighbourhoods, it is my go-to neighbourhood for restaurants. The food is delicious, and it is relatively cheap with most meals costing between $11 and $15USD.

Insadong Seoul Korea 5 Free Things to do in Seoul

3. Explore a Museum

Seoul has many different free museums to choose from. There is the National Folk Museum of Korea, the National Museum of Korea, the National Palace Museum of Korea, the Seoul Children’s Museum, and the National Art Museum just to name a few.

All the museums have English text throughout them, so you will be able to read and learn about the artifacts you are seeing. The museums are also well organized, and you never feel overwhelmed with information. Every museum is well-curated and helps you to learn about Korean culture and tradition.

Korea has a long and complicated history, so it is important to take the time to learn about the beautiful country you are exploring. It is easy to get caught up in the incredible city that Seoul is now; however, it has an equally incredible history that deserves to be explored as well.

National Palace Museum of Korea 5 Free Things to do in Korea

4. Climb Mount Namsan

Most people opt to take the cable car or a bus up Namsan to take in the view, but I say climb that mountain! I will admit that the climb is a bit steep and involves a lot of stairs at times. However, the path up the mountain is beautiful, and the reward of a magnificent view will be worth it in the end.

Climbing Namsan takes between 60 and 90 minutes depending on how slowly or quickly you make your way up. I recommend making the climb in the evening because seeing the city lit up at night is spectacular. Plus it is less hot, and, trust me, you will get a bit sweaty on the climb.

At the top of Namsan is the N-Seoul Tower. You can pay to go up the tower; however, I think the views from the base of the tower are spectacular enough that you can save your money and simply stick to the free viewing area.

Namsan and the N-Seoul Tower are highlights of Seoul. They provide a unique view of the modern Seoul that you can’t get anywhere else.

Mount Namsan N-Seoul Tower Seoul 5 Free Things to do in Seoul

5. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is the main shopping area in Seoul. It is free to walk around and explore; however, if you manage to leave without spending any money, you are an amazing person.

Myeongdong is filled with cosmetic shops, cafes, street food stalls, and clothing shops. If you enjoy shopping, this is the place for you! If you love cute themed cafes, this is also the place for you.

Wandering around Myeongdong is an adventure in and of itself. The streets are normally lined with people, and there are always store associates yelling and trying to lure you into their stores. Yes it can be overwhelming when you first get there, but I promise that it will be a great time.

If you’re tired of the crowds on the streets, there are plenty of cafes on the second floor of the shops that you can visit. If you sit by a window in the cafe, you will be able to people watch as well as enjoy your coffee (or green tea latte, which I highly recommend).

As a word of caution, be sure you know what you want cosmetics you want to purchase in Myeongdong before you go. Having a plan will prevent you from overspending and buying product you don’t need.

Myeongdong Seoul South Korea 5 Free Things to do in Korea

Concluding Thoughts

Seoul deserves to be on everybody’s bucket list. It is a unique city that offers something for everybody to love.

I hope these suggestions for free things to do in Seoul help to convince you to book a trip and explore South Korea. I promise you won’t regret it!

The best part of Seoul is that the central part of the city is very walkable. All 5 of the free sights in this article are within walking distance from one another. Walking from sight to sight will help you take in the modern city of Seoul and walk through some neighbourhoods that you would not be able to see while on the train.

So strap on you’re walking shoes and put away your wallet because free activities in Seoul are waiting for you to explore them!