How To Get From Seoul To Busan (Fastest and Cheapest Options)

In this post, you’ll learn how to get from Seoul to Busan in South Korea. The three main options are to take the Seoul to Busan bus, the train or to fly.

The distance between the two cities is just 200 miles (325 km) and the journey takes between one and four hours depending on the mode of transport.

On my trips between the two cities I took the bus, but let’s explore each option in detail below. But first, a quick synopsis of the pros and cons of each.

Quick Overview of How to Get From Seoul to Busan


  • Pros: can take more luggage.
  • Cons: after check-in and security, the journey will take longer than going by road or rail.

Soul to Busan Train

  • Pros: at just 2h40m by KTX, this is the fastest option to get from central Seoul to central Busan.
  • Cons: KTX can be expensive depending on the season and ticket type.

Seoul to Busan Bus

  • Pros: cheapest way to get from Seoul to Busan.
  • Cons: slower than the train.

If you’re looking for things to do in the capital, check out this guide on how to spend three days in Seoul.

Three Ways to Travel from Seoul to Busan

1. Flying from Seoul to Busan

On paper, flying from Seoul to Busan is the quickest option with a flight time of just 55 minutes. However, when you take into account getting to and from each airport, check-in and security, the total time spent travelling is going to be longer than by train or bus.

  • Fly from: Incheon International Airport
  • Fly to: Gimhae International Airport
  • Flight duration: 55 minutes
  • Average cost: $40.00

Where to buy flights: is one of the best places to find cheap flights in Asia.

Getting to Incheon International Airport

Take the AREX (Airport Railroad Express) direct to the airport from Seoul Station. The journey time is 40 minutes and costs 9,500 Won ($8.00).

Getting to Busan City Centre From The Airport

Gimhae International Airport is located 22km from central Busan. From the airport take the BGL (Busan Gimhea Light Rail) to Sasang Station. Transfer to Subway line 2 (green) for Seomyon Station, Haeundae and Gwangan.

2. Taking the Train

Railway Station, South Korea
Seoul Railway Station, South Korea

South Korea has an excellent rail infrastructure with both its fast KTX bullet trains and a slower network covering much of the country.

The quickest and most comfortable way to travel between Seoul and Busan is via the KTX, however for travellers on a tighter budget, the normal KoRail trains are a great option too.

Although it is always best to book tickets in advance (you can book online via and Rail Ninja)

There are 69 KTX trains daily between Seoul and Busan, starting at 05:15 and running to 22:30 at night.


KTX Train, South Korea
KTX Train, South Korea

The KTX is South Korea’s high-speed “bullet” train service. The trains have a top speed of 305km per hour (190 miles per hour), making them a super-efficient way to get around the country.

Departure Station: Seoul Station, 405 Hangang-daero,, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Nearest subway: Seoul Station (lines 1 and 4)

Arrival Station: Busan Station, 206 Jungang-daero, Dong-gu, Busan

Duration: 2h40m

Average cost: $55

Where to buy KTX train tickets: you can book tickets online at and Rail Ninja or buy in person at the station.


KoRail Train, South Korea
KoRail Train, South Korea

koRail is South Korea’s regular train network which covers parts of the country not serviced by KTX (and the same routes too). The KoRail trains are a great option as the trains are modern and comfortable, and cheaper than KTX.

Departure Station: Seoul Station, 405 Hangang-daero,, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Nearest subway: Seoul Station (lines 1 and 4)

Arrival Station: Busan Station, 206 Jungang-daero, Dong-gu, Busan

Duration: 4h30m

Average cost: $30

Where to buy train tickets: you can book tickets online at and Rail Ninja or buy in person at the station.

3. Bus

Seoul to Busan Bus
Seoul to Busan Bus

For backpackers and those on a tight budget, taking the Seoul to Busan bus (a coach actually) is a great way to go and the method I used on this trip. The coaches are modern and comfortable with air conditioning and onboard toilets, and they make one rest stop halfway.

Another good reason for taking the bus is that it departs from Incheon so those arriving at Incheon International Airport or by boat don’t need to travel into central Seoul.

  • Departure stop: Gyeongbu Bus Terminal (Seoul subway lines 3, 7 & 9).
  • Arrival Stop: Nopo (Busan subway line 1)
  • Duration: 4h30m
  • Average cost: $20

Where to buy bus tickets: you can buy tickets from the driver or at the ticket office of the Express Bus Terminal Station in Seoul.

Why go to Busan?

Things to do in Busan
Busan, South Korea

Busan is South Korea’s second-largest city and is an excellent destination thanks to its many beaches, cultural areas like Gamcheon, and street food. It is also the ideal jumping-off point for exploring Jeju Island or nearby Japan, which is only a couple of hours away by Hydrofoil.

Some Highlights include:

  • Gamcheon Culture Village – brightly coloured houses lining the hillside
  • Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – a beautiful temple overlooking the ocean
  • Haeundae Beach – one of the most popular beaches in the city
  • Gwangalli Beach – crescent moon shaped beach with lots of entertainment nearby
  • Gwangbokdong Food Street – some of the best street food in Asia
  • Nampo-Dong Shopping Mall – the largest department store in the world

Where to Stay in Busan

If you are looking for budget options, Hostelworld has plenty of dorms available in Busan.

For hotels and apartments go to or


Know you know the best way to get to Busan from Seoul depending on your budget and time constraints. I personally travelled from Seoul to Busan by bus as this option made the most sense arriving at Incheon Port.

The journey was easy, comfortable and cheap. I’d highly recommend taking the bus or train over flying.

Dunhuang, Gobi Desert, China

About the author:

Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has traveled to over 60 countries, lived in Armenia, China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.

Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of the world by train, bus and boat. He has been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and recently featured in the documentary Scariest Places in the World. See the About page for more info.

Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲

4 thoughts on “How To Get From Seoul To Busan (Fastest and Cheapest Options)

  1. patti says:

    There are a lot of bad reviews about Is this a legit site to buy KTX tickets? Can you confirm if it’s legit? Thanks!

    • steve says:

      Hi Patti, Rail Ninja are a third-party ticket provider and a legit company. You can book direct with KoRail which will likely be cheaper. Cheers, Steve

  2. Doris Gorgo says:

    I will need to travel from Seoul (Myeondong or Insadong) to Busan. I am a solo traveler and from the US and do not know the public transportation system at all. Which would be the easiest for me so that I do not get lost.

    • steve says:

      Hi Doris, the train would probably be easier as it was a little hard to find the right bus stop in Seoul. It’s also the quickest way to get to Busan, though pricier than the bus. Hope this helps. Best, Steve

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