A guide to traveling from Seoul to Busan in South Korea.
Where do you want to go?
Busan I hear?
What’s the best way of going from Seoul to Busan?
Read on to find out.
- A guide to traveling from Seoul to Busan in South Korea.
- Seoul To Busan Flight
- Gimpo to Busan Flights
- Incheon to Busan Flights
- Incheon International Airport to Gimpo Airport.
- Seoul to Busan Train
- Train Options
- Seoul to Busan Bus
- Seoul to Busan By Car
- Wrap Up
With over 3.5 million people living in Busan, this city has a lot to offer you.
To have a great experience, you first have to get there, and this can be tricky. With 325 km between Seoul and Busan, there are many ways depending on your budget.
We’ll guarantee this:
Traveling in Korea is a package deal. Free of charge, you’ll get some stress, a dose of unpredictability, and those long-loved layovers.
However, with some preparation and this helpful Seoul to Busan guide, you save yourself hours. We’ll give you your options and tell you the do’s and don’ts of moving from Seoul to Busan
Seoul To Busan Flight
If you want to save time traveling, just look to the sky.
It can be cheaper and more convenient flying to Busan, rather than traveling by train.
Let’s say I wanted to fly from Gimpo Airport to Busan this afternoon.
A direct flight would have cost me around 43,000 won.
Whereas, a KTX train would cost me around 60,000 won
Always compare and double-check times and prices. You may find that it is cheaper to fly, but in the long run, getting a rail pass and traveling by train might be more convenient for you.
Gimpo to Busan Flights
Seoul has two major airports:
- Gimpo International Airport
- Incheon International Airport
Both have domestic daily flights flying directly to Busan, taking only 55 minutes.
If you want to fly, or if you are already close to Gimpo Airport, then your best option might be departing from this airport. Flying from Gimpo to Gimhae Airport is the cheapest option.
On a lucky day, you can find a return flight for 70,000 won return if you book in advance.
The screenshot below is a direct return from Seoul to Busan. The dates are from:
February 3rd Until February 7th.
It seems flying during weekdays seems to be considerably cheaper.
For instance, the days below were Monday and Friday.
Gimpo Airport is closer to the center of Seoul than Incheon International Airport. Both are also easily accessible by airport, bus, subway, and taxi.
The AREX operates trains from Myeongdong to Gimpo Airport every 10 minutes.
1,600 won to 3,700 won and the journey takes approximately 22 minutes.
Incheon to Busan Flights
There are also flights from Incheon Airport to Busan International, but it’s more expensive.
Therefore, I only recommend flying from Incheon when you have flown internationally to Incheon and then are transferring flights to Busan.
Incheon International Airport to Gimpo Airport.
There are three ways to get from Incheon International Airport to Gimpo Airport.
- Bus (30 mins)
- Subway (40 mins)
- Taxi (30 mins)
6008, 8829,6003, 8844, 6900, 8843, 7500 all go directly to Gimpo Airport.
Prices vary, but it seems to be around 5,000 won, and the duration is around 30 minutes depending on traffic.
Alternatively, you can get the AREX from Incheon International Airport terminal one.
There are two trains.
- The ALL Stop Train, which you need.
- The express train that goes directly to Seoul without stopping.
Standard fare (based on adult prepaid/postpaid transportation card) is 3,750.
The third option is getting a taxi to Gimpo International Airport.
You can hail one down at the taxi rank or request one via Kakao taxi.
If you use a Kakao taxi, the taxi will cost you around the 50,000 daytime rate and will take around 30 minutes depending on the traffic.
Trains in Korea can get a little complicated. There are four major train classes to choose from. Here’s a breakdown.
- KTX (high-speed) (2 hours 50 Minutes)
- SRT (high-speed) (2 hours 50 Minutes)
- ITX (medium-speed)( 4 hours 50 Minutes)
- Mugunghwa (slow-speed) ( 5 hours and 50 Minutes)
Here’s a breakdown of the railroad lines, from A to (KT)X:
How to book Rail Tickets?
The KTX Seoul to Busan Prices vary because of the time of the day you are going. Although I usually see the prices hover around, 53,000 won.
You have three options for purchasing tickets:
- You can buy rail tickets directly at the station.
- Or, you can make a booking online via the Korailtalk App
- Lastly, you can use their English website.
Tickets can be purchased up to one month in advance.
If you are traveling during the busy holiday seasons such as Chuseok i advise you to book them in advance as they will sell out quickly.
The Korailtalk App
Check out our guide to buying KTX Tickets online if you are struggling to use the app.
Bur booking on the KorailTalk (코레일톡) app can be a pain. The English-language version of the app has limited features. You can’t choose your seat, discover new routes, or access the helpful rail map.
You can also book the KTX if you want to go back to Seoul.
Trains depart every two hours from Busan Station starting from: 5:10 AM, with the last train departing at: 22:50 PM.
Korail Pass to Busan.
When you travel to Busan, you can buy a Korail pass to save your money.
If you’re traveling by the KTX train for over two days or with a group of people, then it will definitely save you money!
There are several passes available. It just depends on what you’re looking for. A great place to look is:
Booking the Korail pass on Indiway is incredibly easy.
They have a full guide on the pass benefits, including why it will save you money!
The KTX (Korean Train eXpress) is the famous high-speed train in Korea. It is by far the fastest way to get to from Seoul to Busan. It travels 305 km/h (190 mph) along the Gyeongbu railway line or the Honam railway line.
The SRT (Super Rapid Transit) is a high-speed line similar to the KTX. They have similar prices, use the same railway lines, and travel at the same speed.
What’s the difference? The SRT is newer (2016) and privately owned. In Seoul, the SRT starts in Suseo Station, south of the Han River in Seoul. They end at either Busan Station or to Mokpo Station. (Same as the KTX.)
Taking this train is only recommended if you are staying close to Gangnam or Jamsil.
The ITX (
Unlike the KTX and SRT, ITX trains are not high-speed (165 km/h). However, they make fewer stops and are a little faster than the Mugunghwa diesel trains (140 km/h).
These trains are the oldest and also the slowest trains operating in Korea. However, they serve more cities than the KTX, ITX, or SRT.
Seoul to Busan Bus
Buses are great in Korea.
I’ve taken many during my stay here, and it’s a great option if you want to save money.
It is economical and comfortable.
We have a great guide showing you how to book the buses online.
Going from Seoul to Busan by bus should take around 4 hours. However, it can take a lot longer depending on the traffic.
I’ve once had to sit on the bus for 6 hours! So bring your battery pack as you will need it.
There are buses running three times an hour from Seoul Gyeongbu terminal.
There are two types of busses you can get:
Standard buses have two sets of double seats. Four people per row with an aisle in the middle. If you’re big-framed or desire more comfort, opt for the premium buses as they are laudably spacious.
Premier Buses have three seats to a row. One side has two seats, and the other has one, which is my favorite next to the window. Tickets cost a couple thousand more won, but are defiantly worth it when you get stuck in traffic.
How to Book Seoul to Busan Bus Tickets?
The website is in English, and it’s very easy to navigate and book.
So you can get an idea of the cost. A one-way ticket from East Seoul to Busan Haeundae would cost me around 36,500 won today.
Same – day ticket purchases can be made up to one hour prior to the departure.
You can also use BusTago.
Like TXBus, they have a website and application in English. However, I find their website rather glitchy and hard to use.
Their app and website don’t distinguish between non-stop and multi-stop buses.
Personally i prefer using TXBUS.
Seoul to Busan By Car
If you don’t want to fly, rail, bus or walk, you have one remaining option.
You can drive!
I would suggest driving at night to avoid the rush hour. The driving distance is 400km, but it can be more or less depending on the route you take. I think if you’re not familiar with Korean roads, then I wouldn’t recommend this option.
If you wanted, you could rent a car. However, this would likely be very expensive because of the distance you are traveling. Although it is possible.
For more information, you can read more on the official Korea website.
So there you have it!
Hopefully, this guide can help you get from Seoul to Busan! If you have questions, feel free to comment below.
Thank you and have a great trip.