How To Get From Seoul To Busan; and Have the Chance to Say You Survived the Train to Busan

By Bella Arti | 23, Nov, 2020
How To Get From Seoul To Busan; and Have the Chance to Say You Survived the Train to Busan

Upon hearing the word “South Korea”, most people would imagine all the glitz and glamor of Seoul, the country’s capital city. And with all the city’s beautiful skyscrapers, food, Gangnam and K-Pop stars, it’s no wonder. However, if you’re also interested in visiting Busan and clicked on this article, congratulations! You are a few of the many!

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with so much to offer. This metropolitan city is located on the southeastern-most side of the Korean Peninsula, allowing Busan to have one of the world’s best natural sights. Other than that, its seafood and natural attractions such as beaches and cliffs are so ready for you to taste, discover and experience.

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Stretched out from the northwestern part to the southeastern-most of South Korea, Seoul to Busan is 325 km away. There are several ways to go to Busan from Seoul and one might suit your preference. Now, here is how you can get to Busan from Seoul.


1. Drive a Car along the one of the oldest expressways in Korea

Driving from Seoul to Busan; Gyeongbu Expressway

Credit: @pw_park_gallery on Instagram

If you want to fully enjoy what's in South Korea and you have plenty of free time, traveling by car might be the best choice. It defines the idea of freedom and flexibility. You can sightsee or stop anywhere you want on the way. However, to be able to travel by car, you need to be at least 21 years old or older and own an International Driving License (IDP) or a South Korean (Local) Driving License.

What you need to know when choosing this option:

The driving distance from Seoul to Busan is 390 km and takes 4 to 5 hours driving time. You will go through the oldest toll road in South Korea called Gyeongbu Expressway. The Expressway toll can be paid using cash, credit card, or a Hi-Pass card that can be purchased at any store that sells automobile electronics. Make sure to top up in advance if you use one. Also remember not to use the blue lane when stopping at toll gates as your On Board Unit (OBU) will be automatically charged. 

Car rental is pretty easy to find in South Korea. You can get it online, from the airport, or rent straight through the car rental agency’s place. You can rent a hatchback car for S$65 and a family car for S$140. We recommend renting a car straight through the car rental agency’s place – and make sure to add insurance too!

Do remember to stay on the right lane when driving. Also, the speed limit on the Expressways is 100-120km/h, and 60-80km/h in the city. Just remember to put the seatbelts and your GPS Map on, and you’re ready to go!


2. Hop on a Bus(an)

Credit: E Fernandez on Unsplash

If you want to enjoy the streets and roads in South Korea from Seoul to Busan but don’t want to drive or don’t have an International Driving Permit, then this is a perfect choice!

Riding a bus from Seoul to Busan takes approximately 4 hours, which is honestly not very long. You can either book a ticket via KOBUS or Easyticket online, or at the station. To get to Busan, you can depart from Seoul Gyeongbu or East Seoul Station. The ticket prices range from S$30 to S$47, and there are economy and premium express options. Late night buses are also available.

Traveling by bus is best suited to those who travel in groups. Travel time will feel short when you are with your friends. Your wallet will definitely thank you for choosing the bus.

You can find more information or book your tickets here.


3. Catch a KTX Train to Busan (we can't assure you there won't be any zombies)

How to get from Seoul to Busan - Train to Busan

Credit: Doyle Shin on Unsplash

This is our most recommended option!

Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Train is the easiest, most convenient and the second fastest. It’s no wonder taking the train is the most popular route in the country. Since Seoul is located in the northwestern part of South Korea and Busan is located in the southeastern-most part, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights of cities in South Korea on your journey. But most of all, you can enjoy what it feels like to be inside the “Train to Busan” – hopefully without the zombies ;)

The train is often referred to as KTX, which is an abbreviation of Korea Train eXpress. KTX is a high speed railway system that was launched in 2004 and is operated by KORAIL, the national railway operator in South Korea. A bullet train ride from Seoul Station to Busan Station is less than 3 hours long, and the shortest ride only takes 2 hours 15 minutes. Very fast, right?

The best thing about choosing the train as your mode of transport from Seoul to Busan is the timing options. You can choose the train departure time that lines up best with your travel itinerary. There are​ 50 departure timings for the Seoul to Busan route. The earliest departure is at 5:15AM and the latest departure is at 10:30PM. A one-way ticket costs approximately around S$64 to S$72.

You can find more information or book your tickets here.


4. Leave Seoul on a jet Plane

Korean Air - How to get from Seoul to Busan

Credit: @drg_aero on Instagram

Airplane is the best mode of transport for those who want a speedy journey, or simply want to check out a bird’s-eye view of South Korea. A plane ride to Gimhae International Airport (Busan) from Gimpo International Airport (Seoul) only takes around 1 hour!

Customize your flight options to suit your preferences – you’ll have an array of departure timings as well as airlines to choose from. You can choose to fly Korean Air, Asiana, T’Way Air, Air Busan, Air Seoul, Jeju Air, or Jin Air. The total number of flights per-day is usually 17, though that could change depending on weather conditions or other factors. The earliest departure is at 7AM and the latest departure is at 9.45PM.

Ticket prices may fluctuate, but based on our research, the best prices you can get from Seoul to Busan are usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. A flight ticket from Seoul to Busan can cost between S$61 and S$300.

You can get cheap tickets through the Skyscanner or Cheapflights websites.

So, have you decided which mode of transportation best suits your preferences? We know every choice has its pros and cons. So, we suggest you sit down, take your time and make notes to make sure you pick the best option. What’s more important for a traveler is to check our health and body condition before traveling; to make sure we are fit enough to travel via whichever mode of transport we are choosing. InshAllah, with Basmalah and mindful planning, your journey will be safe and comfortable.

Make sure to download HalalTrip from Appstore or Playstore for more information about Halal Travel. Stay safe and stay healthy readers!

Bella enjoys sipping on hot soy latte while writing. Through Halaltrip, she communicates her love for travelling.

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