busan to seoul

How to Get to Busan from Seoul

While Seoul grabs all the attention as Korea’s top destination, Busan shouldn’t be missed on your Korean adventure. Busan is packed with accessible mountains, bustling seafood markets, and serene beaches, truly offering something for everyone. But Busan isn’t exactly next door to Seoul. It’s about 320 kilometers away on the southeast coast of the peninsula! Thankfully, Korea’s got a top-notch public transport system, so getting there is a piece of cake. Let’s check out all the options for getting to Busan from Seoul!

How to get to Busan from Seoul

Gimpo International Airport
Gimpo International Airport

Flying from Seoul to Busan is the quickest option, especially considering the short flight duration of about an hour. Here’s a summary of the process:

  • Booking a Flight: You can choose from several airlines operating flights between Seoul Gimpo Airport and Busan Gimhae Airport, including Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Busan Airlines, Jeju Airlines, and Esta Airlines. Flight prices typically range from 30,000 KRW ($21.8) to 80,000 KRW ($58) for a one-way ticket, but they can vary based on factors like the time of booking and demand.
  • Check-in: Aim to arrive at the airport about 30 minutes to an hour before your flight’s departure time. This allows sufficient time for check-in, security screening, and other pre-flight procedures.
  • Flight: Once boarded, the flight will take around an hour to reach Busan Gimhae Airport from Seoul Gimpo Airport. Enjoy the short journey and the views from above!
  • Arrival in Busan: Upon landing at Gimhae Airport, you must go to Central Busan. The most convenient option is to take the subway, which typically takes about 30 minutes to travel from the airport to West Busan station.

For the simplest trip from Seoul to Busan, hop on a train. It’s the preferred choice for many locals, especially on weekends when buses get stuck in traffic. Here’s a simple guide on how to travel from Seoul to Busan by train:

  • Step 1: Take a subway to the departure station.
  • Step 2: Purchase your train ticket at the station or have your e-ticket ready if booked online.
  • Step 3: Once you have your ticket, locate the correct platform for your train. If needed, ask station staff for assistance. Remember to bring your passport and train ticket when boarding.
  • Step 4: Upon arrival at Busan Train Station, proceed to Gate 2 and walk straight to reach the Busan Metro Station. From there, you can catch a subway to reach your final destination.

Four types of trains are available, but we’ve covered you with all the details you need.

Korea Rail KTX Sancheon
  • Ticket Price: 59,800 KRW ($43.6) (1 way)
  • Duration: About 2.5 to 3 hours 
  • Departs from Seoul Station, Busan Station
  • Train schedule and online booking: www.letskorail.com

The fastest and simplest way to travel from Seoul to Busan is by taking the KTX train. This high-speed train in Korea can reach up to 300 km/h and completes the journey in about three hours. While tickets may be costly, the KTX offers a swift, secure, and comfortable ride between the cities.

If you plan to travel to multiple cities using the KTX train, consider getting the Korail Pass, only available to foreigners. It helps you save money compared to buying individual tickets. For more information on using the KTX and Korail Pass, check out our guide “All About Korean Trains (KORAIL) & KTX & KORAIL Pass.”


  • Ticket Price: 42,600 KRW ($31) (1 way)
  • Duration: About 4.5 hours 
  • Departs from Seoul Station, Yeongdeungpo Station, Busan Station
  • Train schedule and online booking: www.letskorail.com

The ITX Saemaeul, or Intercity Train Express-Saemaeul, offers a convenient alternative to the KTX, although it’s not as fast.

Mugunghwa Train

By official Instagram
  • Ticket Price: 28,600 KRW ($20.8)(1 way)
  • Duration: About 5 to 6 hours 
  • Departs from Seoul Station, Yeongdeungpo Station, Busan Station
  • Train schedule and online booking: www.letskorail.com

The Mugunghwa is the most affordable train for traveling between Seoul and Busan, but it’s slower than the KTX. It’s a suitable choice if you’re on a tight budget or prefer a leisurely journey. Unlike the faster KTX trains, the Mugunghwa lets you appreciate the Korean countryside more relaxedly.

SRT (Super Rapid Train)

  • Ticket Price: 51,700 KRW ($37.7)
  • Duration: About 2.5 hours 
  • Departs from Suseo Station, Busan Station
  • Train schedule and online booking: SRT site

The SRT train is a quicker and more budget-friendly option than the KTX when heading from Seoul to Busan. Remember that it only leaves Suseo Station, which might be far from downtown Seoul. 

Download Naver Map on your trip to Korea. Here, you can see the best routes to Busan and other places around Korea. Read also 18 Best Apps for Korea Travel: Easy & Convenient.

Seoul Bus Express
  • Ticket Price: 25,400 KRW – 49,100 KRW ($18.5 – $35.8)
  • Duration: About 4 hours
  • Bus schedule and online booking: www.kobus.co.kr

Another transportation option that Koreans sometimes prefer is taking a bus. It’s a cost-saving alternative to riding the KTX, SRT, or other trains. Night buses are particularly popular as they allow you to travel overnight and arrive in Busan the next morning. 

Three types of express buses are available: General, Luxury, and Premium. Korean buses are known for their luxury, with amenities like fully reclining seats, TV screens, and even Wi-Fi on some of the top-tier coaches. Tickets are easily purchased at self-service machines in terminals or online through the Korean bus website.

Busan day tour
By klook.com

For limited-time travelers, a private tour is an excellent alternative to public transport between Seoul and Busan. With a private day tour of Busan from Seoul, you can experience all the city highlights in one day, starting and ending in Seoul.

This comprehensive tour package typically includes two return tickets on the KTX train, private transportation within Busan, and admission fees for various attractions around the city. It’s a convenient and efficient way to maximize your time while exploring Busan.

You can find these tours on platforms like Viator and Klook.

So, there you have it! Whether you’re hopping on trains, catching buses, or going for a private tour, there’s a ride that fits your style. Just consider your budget, schedule, and what you’re itching to see, and get ready for an unforgettable journey from Seoul to Busan—where the memories are waiting to be made!

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