Transportation Options in South Korea
Urban Mass Transit
If you are not fluent in Korean, the transportation system will undoubtedly be overwhelming at first.
Subways are the best bet for non-Korean speakers, but buses are usually cheaper. Once you get settled in, you’ll find that getting around in Korea is not so daunting. Bring a good guidebook and a Korean-speaking friend with you to get your bearings initially. Since there is no English-language assistance (schedules/information) available on in-city buses, you are probably better off traveling with a Korean speaker or using the subway.
There are extensive subway systems in both Seoul and Busan. This is usually the most convenient method of public transportation for foreigners because all train information is translated into English. Fares are relatively inexpensive.
Taxis are an affordable option in South Korea and an increasing number of drivers speak English; they can be found at stands in major metropolitan areas, or hailed on the streets. There is a “shared taxi” system in South Korea whereby a driver will pick up other customers if they are going the same direction. If there are no taxis around, you can call for one, although calling for taxis is two to three times more expensive than flagging one down.
Deluxe taxis, called mobeom, are black with a yellow sign on top. They offer a high standard of service and are three times the price of regular taxis.
If you’re planning to go to South Korea from Japan you can take one of several ferries. These ferries are also great for quick visa-renewal trips. Popular routes include:
- Osaka to Busan
- Shimonoseki to Busan
Visit this website for more up-to-date information.
Express buses link most major cities in Korea. They depart from the main bus depot in Seoul, the Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
Trains in South Korea are controlled by the Korean National Railroad and are fast and reliable. You can choose from among several types of trains for intercity travel. The fastest trains are always the most expensive. Information for English speakers can be found at most major train stations and by calling the following numbers.
Visit this website for more information about train options.