With world-class shopping, fiery cuisine, historic palaces and museums, scenic mountain views and an ancient culture, South Korea may be Asia’s most overlooked and underrated destination. If you want to shop in Seoul and laze on Busan’s beaches in the same trip, consider traveling via train.
Korea’s rail network, run by Korail, has recently been revitalized to include more comfortable trains and more frequent routes, all at budget-friendly prices. Today, traveling between major Korean cities by train is competitive with bus travel for cost and time, but trains are safer and offer greater comfort and varied views of the Korean countryside.
Since Korail introduced its Korea Train eXpress (KTX) recently, you can now travel from Seoul to Busan in just over two hours. Even if you’re staying in Seoul, the commuter trains are an easy and cost-efficient way to get around town. All the stations have signage and self-service ticket machines in English, and there’s a stop near almost every major attraction in the city.
Whether you’re traveling on a tight budget, it might be worth investing in a KR Pass if you plan to do a fair amount of traveling by train. KR Passes are only available to nonresident foreigners and grant you unlimited travel on any Korail train, including the eXpress. Buy them in one, three, five, seven or 10 day increments online before arrive in Korea.