Busan For Beginners: A First-Timer’s Guide To Busan

Busan, the place where the vibrant metropolis and breathtaking beaches meet, has become one of the top tourist hotspots in South Korea. Dubbed as the world’s fifth-largest container handling port, Busan is the second-largest city in the country. It lies on the southeast part of the Korean peninsula.

If you plan to go to Busan, you have different options for your transportation. Choose the one that fits your schedule, desired comfort, and the kind of trip you want to experience.



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Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Train

You can reach Busan within 2.5 hours by hopping on the KTX, or Korea Train eXpress, in Seoul. KTX is a high-speed train service that offers rides to over 600 stations on 80 different routes. KTX lines mostly run north to south.

In Seoul, the KTX train stations are:

Seoul Station – 405, Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Yongsan Station – 56-20, Cheongpa-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Cheongnyangni Station – 30-22, Dapsimni-ro 11-gil, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
Yoeungdongpo Station – 846, Gyeongin-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

To reserve or purchase your KTX ticket, you can go to ticket counters in the stations. You can also book your ticket through travel agents or ticketing machines. 

But to save time and get a discount, you can book KKDay’s discounted KORAIL Pass in advance. With this ticket, you can enjoy unlimited rides on the high-speed KTX train and choose from 3 or 5-day consecutive passes or flexible 2 or 4-day passes. The Gyeongbu Line is considered as the most heavily traveled rail line in South Korea, linking Seoul to Busan via Suwon, Daejeon, and Daegu.

You won’t be traveling on an ordinary train. Inside the KTX train, there are ergonomic chairs designed for your comfort, vending machines that offer beverages and snacks, restrooms, and even individual cinema sets.



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Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Plane

If you choose to travel by plane, you can reach Busan in an hour. Of course, you still have to consider your traveling time to the airport and airport check-in, which is 2-3 hours before departure.

Seoul has two airports: Incheon International Airport and Seoul Gimpo Airport. Korean Air and Jeju Air offer 13 flights daily. Upon arrival at the Gimhae International Airport in Busan, you can avail or pick up your 4G/LTE KT Olleh SIM card for an unlimited high-speed Internet that you can use throughout your stay in Busan.

If you are ready to start your journey, you can take a private transfer to Busan City or a shared transfer for up to 20 travelers to reach Busan City or Haeundae District.



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Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Bus

Located in Seocho-gu, Seoul Express Bus Terminal can bring you to Busan’s Central Bus Terminal in about four hours, depending on traffic. The Seoul Express Bus Terminal connects passengers to Gyeonggi-do, Gangwon-do, Chungcheong-do, and Gyeongsang-do. Inside the terminal, you can explore dining and shopping establishments before your departure.  



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Traveling from Seoul to Busan by Car

If you are looking for comfort and fast journey to Busan, you can rent a car. Though it is more expensive, you can enjoy the privacy and convenience. To rent a car in Seoul, you need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can also rent a car and hire a driver, while there are hotels that offer limousine service. However, driving a car from Seoul to Busan may take seven hours. 

If you’re already in Busan, it’s easy to travel within the city through the Busan City Tour bus or an all-inclusive trip to Busan, Tongyeong, Gyeongju, or Daegu.

Whichever ride you pick, don’t forget to purchase your T-Money Card for cashless payments. You can use this card when for public transports, convenience stores, and vending machines.