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Transportation

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Subway

Subways are available in Seoul and the metropolitan area, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon. In general, the operating hours are from 5:30 am to midnight.
Currently, the base fare is KRW 1,250 in Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Incheon, and an additional fare is charged depending on travel distance. More details about additional fares are available at the Seoul Transportation Corporation website (www.seoulmetro.co.kr).

Buses

Bus Types and Fares
Bus Types and Fares : Characteristics by type,Fares (in Seoul) by type
Type of Bus Blue (Trunk) Bus Green (Branch) Bus Yellow (Circulator) Bus Red (Long-Distance) Bus M-Bus Standard Metropolitan Bus
Characteristics 파랑(간선)버스 초록(지선)버스 노랑(순환)버스 빨강(광역)버스 M버스 광역직행 버스
Connect suburban areas to downtown and travels longer distances within the city than other types of buses (3-digit numbers) Connect major subway stations and bus terminals in downtown Seoul (4-digit numbers) Travel short distances in closed circular routes within downtown and the sub-center of the city (2-digit numbers) Express buses that connect Seoul and neighboring metropolitan areas (4-digit numbers) Express buses for metropolitan areas with fewer stops while prohibiting standing passengers Operate over long distances to connect metropolitan cities and satellite cities while prohibiting standing passengers
Fares (in Seoul) (card) KRW 1,200
(cash) KRW 1,300
(card) KRW 1,100
(cash) KRW 1,200
(card) KRW 2,300
(cash) KRW 2,400
(card) KRW 2,400
(cash) KRW 2,500
(card) KRW 2,300
(cash) KRW 2,400

Express Buses

In Korea, there are two different types of express buses—standard and premium. Premium express buses have fewer, wider seats compared to standard buses and provide TV services.
Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Gyeongbu bus lines and Yeongdong bus lines)
  • Address : 194 Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul (Express Bus Terminal station)
  • Contact Us : 1688-4700
  • Website : www.exterminal.co.kr (Languages: Korean)
Central City (Honam bus lines)
  • Address : Address: 176 Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul
  • Contact Us : 02-6282-0114
  • Website : www.hticket.co.kr (Languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese)

Intercity Buses

In addition to express buses, intercity buses are another option for long-distance travel. You can find the closest bus terminal to the final destination as intercity buses have more terminals.
Bustago
  • Contact Us : 1644-2992
  • Website : www.bustago.or.kr (Languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese)
Purchasing Tickets for Intercity Buses
  • Contact Us : 1644-3070
  • Website : txbuse.t-money.co.kr (Languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese)
Airport Buses and Airport Railroad Express
  • Airport Buses
    Airport buses travel to Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport. Bus routes vary and have different operating schedules and fares depending on the operating region. More details are available at the Incheon and Gimpo International Airports websites.
    • Incheon International Airport
      Website: www.airport.kr > Transportation/Parking > Public Transportation > Search Bus (Languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese)
    • Gimpo International Airport
      Website: www.airport.kr/gimpo/main.do > Transportation/Parking > Public Transportation > Search Bus (Languages: English, Chinese, and Japanese)
  • Airport Railroad Express (AREX)
    In addition to airport buses, the airport railroad is another option for getting to Incheon International Airport quickly and easily. More details are available at the AREX website: www.arex.or.kr (Languages: English, Chinese and Japanese).

Taxis

All taxis operating in Korea use meters. Base fares vary depending on the type of taxi, such as standard, international, premium, and jumbo taxis.

Trains

Four types of trains are available with different stravel times: KTX, SRT, Saemaeul, and Mugunghwa. SRT and KTX are faster but more expensive than the other two options. More details about stations and fares are available at the KORAIL website (www.korail.com) and the SRT website (etk.srail.co.kr).

Driver’s License Acquisition

Exchanging a Foreign License for a Korean License
A person with a driver’s license issued outside Korea is not eligible to drive in Korea. Holders of foreign driver’s licenses issued by an authorized agency may apply to exchange for a Korean license according to the following procedures.
Review documents submitted for the application, including a certificate accredited by the embassy
Additional documents will be required for the examination process if necessary.
Aptitude test (physical examination) and written test
Holders of licenses from the list of recognized nations are exempt from the written test when exchanging for a Korean license.
※ sHolders of licenses issued by Oregon or Idaho must take the written test although the U.S. is on the list of recognized nations for a Korean driver’s license.
Exchange of a foreign license for a Korean license
※ Only full foreign driver’s licenses with valid terms are acceptable for exchange. Temporary licenses, learner’s provisional licenses, probationary licenses, and driver’s permits or certificates cannot be exchanged for Korean licenses.
※ A certificate for the validity and authentication of the license accredited by your embassy or an Apostille: Applicants are required to submit one of the following documents issued within a year from the date of application to verify the foreign driver’s license.
  • A certificate issued in Korean or in English by your country’s embassy in Korea or by the Korean embassy in your country
  • A certificate issued in Korean or in English by a member country of the Apostille Convention
International Driving Permit
International Driving Permit : Category,Content
Category Content
Location for Application
  • Driver’s License Examination Office or Police Station located in Korea
  • International Driving Permit Service Office at Incheon International Airport (within the police station on the 3rd floor of Terminal 1 or the Government Administration Center on the 2nd floor of Terminal 2)
  • 220 local governments that have made arrangements with the Korea Road Traffic Authority (International Driving Permits can only be applied for at local government offices, in addition to the application for a passport. Driving permits cannot be applied for on their own.)
※ When applying at a police station, check if the station can issue international driving permits, and bring a credit/debit card for the application.
Requirements
  • Applying in person: passport (or a copy), driver’s license, a passport photo taken within the last 6 months (3.5x4.5cm, photos other than passport photos are not accepted)
    ※ Agents must present ID cards and a power of attorney
  • For overseas applicants, a copy of the ID card is accepted when submitted along with a certificate of entry and exit, and the applicant’s full name must be written in English exactly as it is written on the passport.
  • Notice for the issuance of an international license of a foreigner holding a Korean driver’s license : the applicant’s passport, driver’s license, and a passport photo taken within the last 6 months (3.5x4.5cm, photos other than passport photos are not accepted) are required.
Valid Period
  • One year from the date of issuance
  • One year from the day after the end of suspension in the event of applying for the international driver’s license during a suspension period of a domestic license
Processing Fee KRW 8,500
Note
  • An international driving permit is not valid if the English name or signature on the permit does not match the applicant’s passport.
  • Only the International Driving Permit is recognized in Korea. It is illegal to drive with an International Driving License in Korea.
  • As Korea is a member of the Geneva Convention, in principle, one can drive in Korea for a year from the date of entry with an international driving permit issued from other members of the Geneva Convention. (As of January 1, 2002, driving with a valid international driving permit issued by members of the Vienna Convention is also permitted and is also valid for a year from the date of entry.)
Foreigners without Driver’s Licenses
  • Foreigners who do not hold driver’s licenses can obtain driver’s licenses in Korea following the same procedures as for local residents.
  • For more details, visit the Korea Road Traffic Authority website or contact its call center .
  • Korea Road Traffic Authority call center : Contact Us : 1577-1120 / Website : www.koroad.or.kr/en_web/index.do

Car Purchases, Registration, and Insurance

Car Purchases
Foreigners planning to buy cars in Korea must present their certificates of alien registration to prove the usual place of vehicle usage.
Car Registration
A car must be registered once it is purchased. An automobile manufacturer or a seller can register the car on behalf of the buyer. Those who drive without a valid registration may be sentenced up to two years in prison or fined not exceeding KRW 5 million.