Travel from Seoul to Busan : What is the best transportation?

Why Busan is beloved by tourists

Busan, the second-largest city in South Korea, is a beloved destination for tourists from around the world. With its beautiful beaches, unique blend of traditional and modern attractions, and vibrant atmosphere, Busan offers a memorable experience for travelers.

Foreign tourists have been captivated by Busan’s charm and natural beauty. The city attracts millions of visitors each year, with its stunning beaches, such as Haeundae Beach, being a major draw. Busan’s rich cultural heritage, bustling markets, and even night attractions offer a diverse range of experiences for travelers.

To get the most out of your visit to Busan, it’s important to choose the right time to travel. The best season to visit Busan is summer, obviously, but spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are also recommended when the weather is mild and pleasant. During these seasons, you can enjoy outdoor activities, visit popular attractions without large crowds, and experience the city at its finest.

Options from Seoul to Busan

It’s important to note that Busan is located on the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula and has a population of over 3.5 million people. The city is approximately 325 kilometers (202 miles) away from Seoul, which is across the country. Foreign tourists may encounter difficulties when searching for the best way to visit Busan due to language barriers or unfamiliarity with local systems.

Let’s explore the various transportation options available for traveling from Seoul to Busan and provide detailed information to help you plan your journey.

Traveling by Train:

The KTX high-speed train is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Seoul to Busan. It takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. The KTX train offers a comfortable and efficient travel experience with spacious seating, onboard amenities, and high-speed connectivity.

SRT is another option. Almost same like KTX, beside using Suseo Station in Seoul.

  • Goods:
    • You can easily book tickets online through the official Korail website.
    • The trains cover all day long, so hundreds of time options are available
  • Bads:
    • The fare for a one-way KTX train ticket from Seoul to Busan starts at approximately 59,800KRW, which is quite expensive.
    • Even though there are plenty of trains running a day, often most of seats is sold out.

Traveling by Bus:

Buses are another popular option for traveling from Seoul to Busan. Several bus companies operate direct routes between the two cities. The journey takes around 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic conditions. You can purchase bus tickets at major bus terminals or through online ticketing platforms such as Kobus or T-Money. The fare for a one-way bus ticket from Seoul to Busan starts at approximately 25,000 KRW.

  • Goods:
    • Buses are a cheapest option compared to trains or flights.
    • They offer various seating options and onboard facilities such as business-class(Excellent Bus) and first-class(Premium Bus) seats.
Premium Express Bus offers first-class quality facilities and comfortness
  • Bads:
    • The journey takes around 4 to 5 hours, or even more depending on traffic conditions.
    • The bus stops only one or two times at service area for the restroom and snacks.

Traveling by Plane:

If you prefer a quicker option, you can take a domestic flight from Gimpo to Gimhae International Airport in Busan. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour. You can use flights through major airlines such as Korean Air or Asiana Airlines, or many low cost carriers such as Air Busan and Jeju Air. Flights provide convenience and time-saving benefits for travelers with limited time. The fare for a one-way flight starts at approximately 50,000 KRW.

  • Goods:
    • Flights are the fastest option for traveling long distances.
    • They provide convenience and time-saving benefits for travelers with limited time.
  • Bads:
    • The schedule, available seats, and cost vary(unpredictable) following the dates and time.
    • Distance bewteen both airports and city centers is quite far.

Recommended Travel Destinations around Busan

When visiting Busan, there are several nearby cities worth exploring if you have a day to spare. Here are three cities around Busan that are worth a visit:

  1. Gyeongju: Known as the “museum without walls,” Gyeongju is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with ancient temples, tombs, and historical artifacts. It’s located about an hour away from Busan by train.
  2. Daegu: Known as the “Apple City,” (or more known as “Daefrica” for younsters because of its exteremly hot weather in summer) Daegu is famous for its apples and historical spots, and BTS tour. It’s located about 1 hour away from Busan by train.
  3. Tongyeong: A coastal city located about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Busan by bus, Tongyeong is known for its beautiful scenery, seafood, and cultural attractions.