How to get From Seoul to Busan: A Complete Guide

Planning a trip from Seoul to Busan and not sure how to get there? Do not worry, I have you covered! Busan is South Korea’s second biggest city and becoming more popular. It draws in a large number of visitors every year.

In this blog post we will cover everything you need to know on how to get from Seoul to Busan. This includes planes, trains, and automobiles.

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When to Visit Busan


Spring is a delightful time to visit Busan when the city comes alive with cherry blossoms blooming in parks and along streets. The weather is mild, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking in the picturesque mountains surrounding the city or strolling along the coastline. Plus, you can experience cultural events like the Busan International Film Festival or the Lotus Lantern Festival.


Summer in Busan brings warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect time to hit the city’s famous beaches like Haeundae and Gwangalli. You can enjoy water sports, beachside cafes, and vibrant nightlife. However, be prepared for higher humidity levels and occasional rainfall during the monsoon season in July and August.


Fall is another fantastic time to visit Busan, with comfortable temperatures and stunning foliage colors blanketing the city’s parks and mountains. It’s an excellent season for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and exploring cultural sites such as Beomeosa Temple and Gamcheon Culture Village. Don’t miss the Busan International Fireworks Festival in October, a dazzling display of lights and colors over Gwangalli Beach.


While winters in Busan are relatively mild compared to other parts of South Korea, it’s still the low season for tourism. If you don’t mind cooler temperatures, visiting during winter can offer quieter attractions, cheaper accommodations, and the opportunity to experience traditional winter festivals like the Haeundae Polar Bear Plunge or the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival in early spring.

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Seoul to Busan: A Quick Glance

Don’t have time to read the full blog post on how to get from Seoul to Busan? No problem, here are the highlights including costs, time and pros and cons.

A chart of transportation modes for Seoul to Busan

How to get from Seoul to Busan

On my recent trip to South Korea, I decided to visit Busan, and I am so glad that I did. Figuring out the best way to get from Seoul to Busan can be a bit hectic. Not only did I go one way, but I also went from Busan back to Seoul. 

I decided to make it a little bit of an adventure and use a few different modes of transportation, to give you the best insight. Let’s take a more detailed look at how to get from Seoul to Busan by train, plane, and via the highway.

Train in South Korea (KRT)

Train from Seoul to Busan

The easiest way to get from Seoul to Busan is using the high speed rail system. The Korail (KTX) can take you from Seoul to Busan in only two hours and thirty minutes. You will see the landscape flying by as the train operates around 300 miles per hour, similar to that of a bullet train in Tokyo.

Trains run throughout the day with the first training leaving Seoul at 5:15 am, while the last train leaves at 9:00 pm. One of the most important things to watch for when booking a ticket is to make sure that it is a non-stop from Seoul to Busan. Some trains make additional stops on the way, and some are local trains. This can change what you might have thought to be a short train to 5-hour journey. We want to avoid that at all costs.

The KTX has two different classes of seats that you can choose from. Economy class and first class. First class provides passengers with larger, more comfortable seats, often with extra legroom and enhanced reclining features. Additionally, first class passengers may enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks, and newspapers, along with individual power outlets and reading lights for added convenience. While first class offers a more spacious and tranquil environment, it typically comes at a higher price point compared to economy class. In contrast, economy class provides more basic amenities and seating arrangements. For me on this short journey economy class was more than enough.

Booking tickets online can be kind of confusing because there are many sites that will charge more than booking direct. Korail has an official site that tickets can be booked through found here. Economy class tickets can range from around 48,000 KRW to around 70,000 KRW. First class can range from around 60,000 KRW to 90,000 KRW depending on the route. If you plan on taking the train throughout your trip, it is worth looking into the Korail Pass, which gives you unlimited rides on the train and subway.

Jeju Air Plane

Flying from Seoul to Busan

Another great option is taking a domestic flight from Seoul to Busan. The short flight will only take about an hour to get there. South Korea has a large number of domestic airlines such as Air Busan, Jeju Air and Jin Air. For example, look at this flight below that I found on Jin Air. A one-way ticket from Seoul to Busan for only $25.00 USD. It is best if you can be flexible on departure date.

There are a few key takeaways about flying from Seoul to Busan that need to be pointed out. First is going to be the distance between your accommodation and the airport. Both Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport are about 45 minutes to an hour away from the city center of Seoul. This could actually make your trip longer than what a train trip from Seoul to Busan would be.

The second item to remember when flying from Seoul to Busan is that many of these airlines are low-cost carriers. This means that if you want to choose a seat you can expect to pay more, as does luggage fee. I will say most of these airlines offer a more gracious carry-on policy, than the United States. However, if you go overweight or size and have to check a bag, the fees can add up fast. 

If you are traveling light and find a great flight deal, I would say that this is a viable option for getting from Seoul to Busan.

Read More About South Korea

  • Jeju Air Review
  • Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival: How to Have a Perfect Visit

Seoul to Busan via the Highway (Bus, Rental Car, etc.)

The last option that I would recommend from getting from Seoul to Busan would be using the highway. I decided to group both traveling via bus and rental car in the same category because they have similar pros and cons.

Driving from Seoul to Busan without stopping would take about four and a half hours. However, if you get stuck in any traffic coming from Seoul expect this journey to take longer. My journey from Seoul to Busan took just over 6 hours. I decided to take a tourist bus and it did stop at a rest stop for about 30 minutes for a bathroom break and food.

Bus tickets can be purchased for around $20.00 USD, so about half of the cost of the train. Of course, it comes down to the decision if you want to save money, or would rather save time. The bus was comfortable with large reclining chairs and air conditioning. However, given the opportunity again I would skip the bus and pay the extra to take the train.

If you are renting a car remember that South Korea does require an international driver’s permit. This is easy enough to get in the United States. Simply contact your nearest AAA and bring in the required forms, and pictures. No test of any sort is required to obtain an international driver’s permit. Also beware that it is an express highway, so expect to pay tolls. This is usually upon exiting the expressway.

Conclusion: How to Get from Seoul to Busan

There isn’t one perfect way to get from Seoul to Busan. For me it is the train, but everyone has the rhymes and reasons.

What is your favorite way on getting from Seoul to Busan?

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