Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taking the train in Korea

The KTX speed train reaches speeds of 300 kmp, thats 168 mph!
Taking the train offers great views of Korea, such as the Han river.
   South Korea has an amazing railroad system with a wide variety of comfort levels and prices. Once you figure out how to get around by train, exploring Korea will be a piece of cake. You can travel virtually anywhere in the country in about 2-4 hours thanks to the newly improved Korea Train Express (KTX) which will allow you to travel from Seoul to Busan in only 2 hours and 30 minutes. So sit back, relax, and enjoy great views of the Korean country side via the Korean railway.
    My first experience on the Korean railway was this weekend when I took a train down to Daegu to visit a good friend of mine. I took a Muganghwa class train which is an older train to save some money. I actually saved around 70,000 won by not taking the KTX, and it only took me an extra hour and a half. My ticket on the Muganghwa train was 22,000 won instead of the KTX price of 45,000 won, and my ticket back to Seoul was even cheaper at only 16,000 won because the train was booked and I could only buy standing class tickets. Yes, you can buy tickets where you have no seat reserved and they are even cheaper, therefore if all the seats are taken you could be standing. This happened to me on my train back to Seoul, but I didn't want to stand for 3 and 1/2 hours, so I chose to sit casually on the cozy carpeted floor of the dining car.

A view of a KTX train from a platform in Seoul Station.
     Two days before the trip, I used Korail's online booking service through their website. Luckily, this is one of  a few Korean travel sites that has an English page. Simply enter in your desired destination, select your train type, and provide your passport number, Alien Registration Card number, and your credit card info to book a ticket up to one month in advance.
    There are five different train types that will take you around Korea. They each have their perks and flaws, which are important to know before booking a ticket. Lets take a look at what each type of train has to offer:

KTX passengers are offered a luxury travel experience.
    The KTX (short for Korea Train Express): KTX is of course the fastest way to travel in Korea, but it is also the most expensive. For a one way KTX ticket from Seoul to Busan it will cost you about 52,900 won if you sit in standard class. The train runs at a top speed of 300 kph, which is about 186 mph!  KTX trains make fewer stops, but they also run to fewer locations. So they are good to take if you are traveling far distances in a short period of time. KTX makes it easy to plan any day trip from Seoul down to southern parts of the country. (Source: Wikipedia) 

    The Saemaeul-class (새마을): These trains used to be the fastest way to travel around Korea before KTX opened in 1992.  Saemaeul trains are just as nice as KTX trains, but they take a longer. A one way Saemeaul ticket from Seoul to Busan will cost about 39,000 won which is only about 12,000 won cheaper than KTX. This may seem like a high price to pay, when the train takes about 5 hours total. I think your better off taking KTX than Saemaeul trains because you don't save that much by taking a Saemaeu, but the total travel time is a lot longer.

Standard seats inside of a Mugangwha train.
    The Muganghwa-class (무궁화): Old Muganghwa trains are clearly the 3rd class train in Korea, however they are the most affordable. These trains also have giant seats and plenty of space which makes up for the longer travel time, but they are not as nice as KTX or Saemaeul trains. A one way ticket from Seoul to Busan will only cost you 26,500 won and will take about 6 hours. The train will make more stops to smaller cities and stations in Korea. If your willing to tack on some extra travel time, the low price can be a real incentive. I recommend booking this train at 5am in the morning, and then you can just sleep the entire ride!

Mugangwha trains have a more colorful exterior.
    The Tonggeun (통근): These trains are commuter trains, and only run a few specific routes. Most of the routes run to smaller and rural areas such as the northern Gyeonggi-do areas. This  includes the Gyeongwon Line (Dongducheon-Sintan-ri) and the Gyeongui Line (Munsan-Dorasan). But don't get confused this with the subway line of the same name. Keep in mind that you cannot reserve a seat on commuter trains.

    The Nooriro-class (누리로): this  is a new class of trains that will eventually replace longer route Mugangwha trains.  This train actually runs on the same line as line 1 of the subway system,  but it makes fewer stops than the subway does. You pay the same price as the Muganghwa-class train, but you only get there a little faster. So as an obvious result, they aren't very popular yet.

A huge Korail sign in Seoul Station.
If you have any questions or comments about "Taking the train in Korea" please leave them in the comment box below or email them to

Creative Commons License  Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

    29 개의 댓글:

    Anonymous said...

    thanks a lot for the info. very useful.

    Anonymous said...

    not sure if you answer questions in your comments but i checked out ktx prices for a seoul to busan trip and it's 55000 won ONE way. Did the prices double since you posted the article?

    Marie W said...

    Hi! The price I listed is based on the Muganghwa-class train! KTX is double the price, but gets you there way faster! The Mugangwha-class is good if your looking to save money and have plenty of time! : )

    anonymous2012pinoy said...

    Can I ask you some questions: I'll be in Korea in January 2013.

    If I don't take KTX in Seoul, but wanting to take KTX train in Busan KTX Station, can I still buy KTX ticket in Busan or in Seoul? Eventhough we're foreigners (we're both Filipinos but I'm from Australia and my younger cousin is from the Philippines)...

    How do I get reserve KTX tickets? (I know I can do it online) but can I buy 2 ONE WAY tickets for me and my cousin in Busan, for getting back to Seoul? I will buy one maybe in December for January 2013.

    Anonymous said...

    How much is the food (on an average) on the KTX?

    Anonymous said...


    Anonymous said...

    Stumble upon your blog while researching on trains in Korea. Not sure if you still reply your comments, hope you still do!
    I'll be going to Korea next month, plan to take the train from Andong to Gangneung, do you think its save to purchase the train tickets 2 hours before the departure time? Or its better if I buy it the day before? I'll be there on the 28th of oct, Monday, a weekday, not during festive time. Also, I've read about "standing tickets", what are they called in Korean? I want to avoid buy those tickets.

    Thank you so much!

    Marie W said...


    If you only have 2 hours you might want to purchase them in advance depending on what day you are traveling. If it is a public holiday or some other event than it could be very crowded so make sure to check your travel dates! Otherwise, yes it is very easy to get tickets without booking in advance online.

    입석 (Ip Seok) is the name of a standing ticket in Korean.

    Anonymous said...

    i plan to take munghwa train from busan to seoul on 24 nov 2013,expected to arrive in busan from malaysia around 4 in the evening,.. still there a train at night to seoul?... help me, my mail;

    Marie W said...

    Hey Ya'll! The KTX prices have gone up. From Seoul to Busan a one way ticket will cost you about 52,900 Won for a standard class ticket. Enjoy!! : )

    me said...

    Hi. How do I take the nooriro train from seoul to suwon? Is the train station in the same building as the seoul subway station? Do I have to book tickets in advance?

    racesitepro said...

    I simply could not go away your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person supply for your guests?
    Is gonna be back ceaselessly in order to check out new posts 경마사이트

    totopickpro said...

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the
    time and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done. 토토

    88Kenan said...


    QuantumNomad1Q2345 said...

    izmir evden eve nakliyat
    yalova evden eve nakliyat
    çorum evden eve nakliyat
    eskişehir evden eve nakliyat
    sivas evden eve nakliyat

    QuantumBardess said...

    bartın evden eve nakliyat
    edirne evden eve nakliyat
    mersin evden eve nakliyat
    sinop evden eve nakliyat
    siirt evden eve nakliyat

    GalacticWandereress said...

    ankara evden eve nakliyat
    malatya evden eve nakliyat
    antep evden eve nakliyat
    giresun evden eve nakliyat
    kayseri evden eve nakliyat

    4AEA0AnthonyE477E said...

    Adıyaman Parça Eşya Taşıma
    Çerkezköy Çilingir
    Bitexen Güvenilir mi
    Ünye Kurtarıcı
    Antep Şehir İçi Nakliyat
    Giresun Şehir İçi Nakliyat
    Kütahya Şehir İçi Nakliyat
    Kilis Parça Eşya Taşıma
    Bolu Şehirler Arası Nakliyat

    87E3DDanny7B7DC said...

    Binance Neden Tercih Edilir
    Binance Ne Kadar Komisyon Alıyor
    Paribu Borsası Güvenilir mi
    Yeni Çıkacak Coin Nasıl Alınır
    Coin Nasıl Kazılır
    Coin Kazma
    Kripto Para Nasıl Kazılır
    Btcturk Borsası Güvenilir mi
    Bitcoin Üretme Siteleri

    FFDD3TyrellDC272 said...

    şırnak yabancı canlı sohbet
    izmir en iyi sesli sohbet uygulamaları
    erzincan sesli sohbet sitesi
    sinop muhabbet sohbet
    Batman Sesli Mobil Sohbet
    telefonda canlı sohbet
    kars görüntülü sohbet uygulamaları ücretsiz
    bingöl telefonda görüntülü sohbet
    kırklareli en iyi ücretsiz sohbet uygulamaları

    89EF8PaytonBC5A5 said...

    adana sesli sohbet odası
    kayseri canlı sohbet siteleri ücretsiz
    ısparta Canli Sohbet Bedava
    Trabzon Telefonda Sohbet
    canlı sohbet siteleri
    Aksaray En İyi Ücretsiz Görüntülü Sohbet Siteleri
    kilis random görüntülü sohbet
    sohbet siteleri
    ücretsiz sohbet

    AEF13Janiya85BCA said...

    muş sohbet siteleri
    mersin bedava sohbet odaları
    Karabük Mobil Sohbet Odaları
    kırşehir sesli görüntülü sohbet
    adana mobil sohbet et
    bedava sohbet uygulamaları
    mardin rastgele görüntülü sohbet uygulaması
    van en iyi ücretsiz görüntülü sohbet siteleri
    canlı sohbet uygulamaları

    FF1E2Allen92368 said...

    trezor suite
    uwulend finance

    62264Amber49445 said...

    yearn finance
    uwulend finance
    dao maker

    takipci--- said...

    gate io
    bitcoin hangi bankalarda var
    binance referans kimliği
    binance referans kodu

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you for sharing your journey! This article is not only informative but also incredibly inspiring. Taking the train to Korea seems like a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the country's rich history and stunning landscapes. properties in gwalior

    D4B90Christina06571 said...

    canlı show

    D2EB4Marco0ACE3 said...

    ücretli canlı şov

    34C58Ashley51BAD said...

    whatsapp canlı şov

    Post a Comment

    We love comments!

    Total Pageviews


    Creative Commons License
    Gone Seoul Searching by Marie Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
    Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...