Getting Around South Korea: Insider Tips for Public Transport Users


Getting Around South Korea: Insider Tips for Public Transport Users


South Korea is a fascinating country with rich culture, vibrant cities, and breathtaking landscapes. Exploring this dynamic country can be a delightful experience, especially with its efficient public transportation system. Whether you’re visiting Seoul, Busan, or any other major city, here are some insider tips to help you navigate South Korea’s public transport with ease.

1. T-Money Card – Your Go-to Ticket

Invest in a T-Money card, a rechargeable contactless smart card that serves as the unified payment method for most public transportation in South Korea. By purchasing and topping up this card, you can seamlessly use it on subways, buses, taxis, and even at convenience stores.

2. Subway Networks – The Lifeline of Cities

South Korea’s subway systems are efficient, reliable, and cover extensive networks. In major cities like Seoul and Busan, the subway is the most convenient mode of transport. Download subway apps or pick up a subway map at information centers to navigate different lines easily. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the operating hours, especially if you plan to stay out late.

3. Buses – A Wider Network

Buses in South Korea are plentiful and cover areas that might be inaccessible by subway. Local buses are an affordable option, and long-distance coaches connect various cities across the country. Make use of smartphone apps or websites to check bus schedules, routes, and ticket fare information.

4. KTX – The High-Speed Rail Experience

If you’re planning to travel between major cities such as Seoul, Busan, or Gwangju, consider taking the KTX (Korea Train Express). This high-speed rail network is comfortable, reliable, and offers breathtaking views of the countryside. Purchase your tickets in advance to secure a seat, especially during peak travel seasons.

5. Taxis – A Convenient Option

Taxis are readily available throughout South Korea, making them a convenient mode of transportation, particularly for short distances. Look for well-marked taxi stands or hail one on the street. Most taxis accept T-Money as a payment method, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash as well. Keep a note of your destination written in Korean to show the driver if there is a language barrier.

6. Bike Rentals – Exploring at Your Leisure

Many cities in South Korea offer bike rental services, allowing you to explore the local sights at your own pace. These rental bikes can be found at designated stations, usually near parks or tourist attractions. Download bike rental apps to locate nearby rental stations and register for a rental account. Remember to always follow traffic rules and wear a helmet for safety.

7. Etiquette and Courtesy

When using public transport in South Korea, it’s essential to be mindful of local customs and etiquette. Avoid talking loudly, especially on trains and buses, and keep your phone on silent mode. Offer your seat to the elderly, disabled, or pregnant passengers. Additionally, stand on the right side of escalators to allow others to pass on the left.


South Korea’s extensive and efficient public transport system is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get around the country. With a T-Money card in hand and these insider tips in mind, you’ll be able to navigate the bustling cities and picturesque landscapes of South Korea with ease, making your travel experience even more memorable. So, hop on a subway, catch a bus, or take a taxi – adventure awaits in this captivating country.

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