Travel Highlights

      • More for Less: Smart Ways to Save during Your Korean Vacation

        • 09/25/2023

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        • Korea Tour

        • Transportation card

        • train_station

        • train

        • public_transport

  • Many people save up for months or even years for their dream trip. If Korea is your dream destination, then let us help remove some of that financial burden! From discounted transportation to free admission at popular attractions and discounts for shopping, performances, and dining, tour passes can help you save money in a range of areas. We’ve collected information about Korea’s various tour passes to make it easier for you to choose the right one! With the money you’ll save, your dream trip to Korea can take place even sooner!

    Discover Seoul Pass

    Discover Seoul Pass (Credit: Seoul Tourism Organization)

    What is it? Take the K-limousine from the airport directly to Seoul to start your journey! From the City Tour Bus and Ddareungi, Seoul’s public bicycle rentals, to shopping, performances, and experiences, enjoy Seoul to the fullest with the Discover Seoul Pass!

    The first tourist-exclusive tour pass in Seoul, it includes free admission to many of Seoul’s main tourist attractions, as well as discount benefits. In addition, pass holders can freely use a range of public transportation options to get around, including Seoul’s public bicycles, the City Tour Bus, Airport Railroad Express (AREX; limited to one use), and airport buses (K-limousine).

    The pass comes in three types: 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour validity, and can be purchased as either a card or a mobile pass. The card-type can only be purchased at select locations, but this inconvenience is small when compared to the added benefit of being able to use the pass as a transportation card. Aside from this small difference, the remainder of benefits is the same for both the card pass and mobile pass. The pass can be used freely within the valid period; simply show your card or mobile pass QR code at the ticket booth to get your free admission ticket!

    [How to buy] Online – Available for purchase through the official Discover Seoul Pass website or mobile application. After selecting your pass type (card or mobile), you’ll be prompted to choose the validity period, and pick-up date and location if choosing the card type. After making your selection, pay for the pass and you’re done! Pass pick-up locations are available at Gimpo International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Myeong-dong Tourist Information Center, Busan Port, Incheon International Airport Terminals 1 & 2, and Seoul Tourist Plaza Information Center.

    If you purchased the mobile pass through the official website or app, it will automatically be registered on the app when logging in with the ID used to purchase the pass. For mobile pass purchases done through third-party retail sites, you will receive a voucher which you must then register to the Discover Seoul Pass app by clicking “Activate Your Mobile Pass” to scan the QR code on your voucher.

    Offline – Official Discover Seoul Pass sales locations are located throughout Seoul, including tourist information centers in Myeong-dong, Dongdaemun, and Seoul Tourist Plaza. Passes sold at the bookstores on 1F & 3F of Incheon International Airport Terminal 1, and 3F of Terminal 2 are only available for purchase with cash. Passes which were not activated can be refunded at the place of purchase.The Discover Seoul Pass is also available at 16,000 CU convenience stores throughout Korea, although sales are limited to mobile pass.

    More info

    Top Attractions with the Discover Seoul Pass

    Namsan Seoul Tower (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization Danim 2nd gen Kim No-eul)

    Seoul’s representative palace┃ Gyeongbokgung Palace

    Beauty of vibrant Seoul┃Namsan Seoul Tower

    Best shopping in Korea┃ Dongdaemun Shopping Complex

    Pedal along the Hangang River┃Yeouido Hangang Park

    Unique gallery full of photo spotsHiKR Ground

    Visit Busan Pass

    What is it? Save up to 500,000 won on admission to attractions throughout Busan!

    As of September 12, Busan Pass is back and better than ever after a renewal! The pass allows free admission to over 30 tourist attractions, as well as discounts at over 120 restaurants, shops, activities, and even accommodations!

    Visit Busan Pass comes in a time-limit variety (24- or 48-hour) and a quantity-limit variety (Big 3 or Big 5). Both types can come as a mobile pass or a card pass with the possibility to be used as a transportation card, although there is a 3,000 won additional fee for the card pass. To use the transportation card function, you will need to load the pass with a balance at a nearby convenience store or at a subway station before using it. The transportation card function can be used nationwide.

    [How to buy] Online – After signing up with an email address on the Visit Busan website, you can purchase a mobile pass or card pass. The mobile pass can be used immediately after purchase, but people purchasing the card pass will have to pick up their card in person from the pick-up point of their choice. In addition to the Visit Busan website, pass sales are also available on a range of global travel platforms, including Rakuten Travel, Klook, Kkday, and Trip.com.

    Offline – In-person purchase and card pick-up (for online purchases) is available from a total of 11 locations throughout Busan, including the Visit Busan Pass counter on Busan Station 2F, Gimhae International Airport Tourist Information Center, and Busan Business Hotel.

    More info

    • Prices: 24-hour pass 49,000 won / 48-hour pass 69,000 won / BIG 3 pass 45,000 won / BIG 5 Pass 65,000 won
    • Inquiries: +82-1600-1122
    • Website: www.visitbusanpass.com (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    Top Attractions with the Visit Busan Pass

    Korea Tour Card

    Korea Tour Card (Credit: Visit Korea Committee)

    What is it? An all-in-one card for use throughout the country, with benefits ranging from discounts at franchises like McDonald’s and Starbucks to great exchange rates, transportation, and easy purchasing!

    This foreigner-exclusive transportation card makes it easy to use a range of public transit options, including subway, bus, and even taxi. You can even get special discounts when using the card to make purchases in shops, restaurants, and performances. With no expiration date, you can continue to use the card every time you visit Korea by simply reloading your card balance. One card can hold a balance of up to 500,000 won.

    If you are planning on staying mostly on the southern coast, then try out the Korea Tour Card – Namhaean Coast edition! This card includes even more special benefits for attractions in Busan, Tongyeong, Geoje, Yeosu, and Suncheon.

    [How to buy] Online – The Korea Tour Card can be purchased through the official website, but you must still select a pick-up date and location. The card can be picked up from Incheon International Airport Terminals 1 & 2, Gimpo International Airport, Gimhae International Airport, Jeju International Airport, Daegu International Airport, and Busan Port International Passenger Terminal.

    Offline – The Korea Tour Card is available at 7-Eleven and emart24 convenience stores nationwide, Jeju Airport, Airport Railroad Express (AREX), Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank, Premium Pass International, Como Myeongdong Guesthouse, and more. Refer to the official website for a list of more available locations.

    [Tip: All about transportation cards in Korea]

    More info

    • Price: 4,000 won (Card balance can be added after purchase)
    • Inquiries: +82-2-6272-7300
    • Website: www.koreatourcard.kr (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    Top Attractions with the Korea Tour Card – Namhaean Coast Edition

    Yeosu seafront and maritime cable car (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization Photographer Kim Ji-ho)

    The first maritime cable car in Korea┃Yeosu Maritime Cable Car

    Time travel to Korea’s past┃Naganeupseong Walled Town

    Walk through a picture book village ┃Dongpirang Village

    Korea’s first National Garden┃Suncheonman Bay National Garden

    Traditional market full of fresh seafood┃Tongyeong Jungang Market

    Korail Pass

    Korail Pass promotional poster (Credit: KORAIL)

    What is it? Take a trip here, there, everywhere via train! With no limit on use within the valid period, take time to head off the beaten path and discover hidden gems!

    Korail Pass is a train pass perfect for travelers looking to go to many places. The best part of the pass is that it provides pass holders with unlimited use of general cars throughout the pass duration. Travelers can use the pass to ride KTX, ITX-Cheongchun, ITX-Saemaeul, Saemaeul, Mugunghwa, and Nuriho trains.

    Korail Pass is available for a range of days from two to five days. If you’re traveling with friends or family, you can get the saver pass, available for two to five people! While the use is the general car is unlimited, you can only reserve seats two times per day. If you wish to upgrade to the first-class car, you will have to pay 50% of the seat price. While Korail Pass can be used for most Korail-operated trains, it is not accepted on the SRT, subway, or temporary tourist trains (Donghae Santa Train, Baekdu Valley Train, Jeongseon Arirang Train, Gugak & Wine Train, Traditional Market Tourist Train, Seomjingang Train Village Tourist Train, Rail Cruise Haerang, etc.).

    [How to buy] Online – The Korail Pass is available for purchase through the official Korail ticketing website. Passes purchased online must be printed out to be used.

    Offline – Korail Pass can be purchased from the travel center at Seoul Station, Yongsan Station, and Busan Station. This ticket-type pass cannot be registered on the mobile app or used as a mobile pass.

    Seat requests – Seat requests must be made in advance through the travel center at Seoul Station, Yongsan Station, and Busan Station, or at the ticketing window of other train stations. For request outside of the travel center operating hours (09:00-18:00), visit the main ticketing window.

    [TIP: All about trains in Korea]

    More info

    • Prices: 2-day pass 121,000 won / 5-day pass 210,000 won (Adult basis; 3 and 4-day pass also available)
    • Inquiries: +82-1599-7777
    • Website: info.korail.com (English, Japanese, Chinese)

    Top Attractions with the Korail Pass

    Jeonju Hanok Village

    Play, eat, and relax ┃Jumunjin Beach

    The most Korean city in Korea ┃ Jeonju Hanok Village

    Tourist zone on a grand scale ┃ Mokpo Special Tourist Zone

    Healing with nature ┃ Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch

    Experience beautiful and mysterious outer space┃ Namwon Aircraft & Space Observatory

    Namane Card

    Namane Card (Credit: i-Aurora)

    What is it? Load up the card balance to use wherever. The personalized design makes each card one-of-a-kind!

    The Namane Card is a great choice for tourists who don’t want to carry cash around. Simply load the card balance and you can use it like a debit card to make purchases anywhere, both online and offline, as well as on public transit. What makes Namane Card stand out from other similar cards is the personalization possible. Users can pick one of the standard images, or upload a photo from their phone for the front of the card, as well as write a small phrase.

    Namane Card can hold two separate balances for payment and for transportation, with the amounts easily transferable. When loading the card balance, the minimum limit is 1,000 won, and each balance has a maximum of 500,000 won. After using the card, the remaining payment balance can be refunded, but only if 60% of the total loaded amount has been used. For refunds of a transportation balance under 30,000 won, visit a CU convenience store. If the transportation balance is over 30,000 won, you will have to visit a Korail customer service center at train or subway stations, or a Korail Travel Center. For all refunds, a 500 won service fee applies. Users can easily check their Namane Card balance through the VISITKOREA app.

    To make your Namane Card, the first step is to download the Namane Card mobile application! After designing your card with the image and text you want, save it to get a QR code. With your QR code at hand, scan it at a Namane kiosk and your saved design will be printed for your one-of-a-kind card!

    [How to buy] Online – Download the Namane Card mobile application from Google Play Store or the App Store to load your payment and transportation balances. Payment is accepted via credit/debit card, virtual account, mobile phone payment, simple wire transfer, NaverPay, KakaoPay, and Namane coupon. When paying using a virtual account, the minimum load amount is 10,000 won.

    Offline – Both payment and transportation balances can be topped up at a Namane kiosk. Kiosks are located throughout the country in places frequented by international visitors, including Incheon International Airport, Myeongdong Station, Seoul Station, and Youngpoong Bookstore Hongdae Univ. Branch. Payment is accepted in cash, credit/debit card or Namane coupon. Only the transportation balance can be reloaded at subway and train stations or CU and StoryWay convenience stores, but the funds can easily be transferred to the payment balance afterwards. Only cash is accepted at these locations, with a minimum 10,000 won recharge amount at convenience stores.

    More info

    • Prices: 7,000 won using the kiosk (Cash, credit card, and debit card all accepted)
    • Website: www.namanecard.com (English, Japanese, Chinese)
    • Instagram: @namanecard

    Top Attractions with the Namane Card

    Suwon Hwaseong Fortress (Credit: Korea Tourism Organization – Oh Doyeon)

    World-themed cave theme park┃ Gwangmyeong Cave

    A royal world within the city┃ Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

    Amusement park with a view of the sea┃Wolmi Theme Park

    Activities abound┃Nami Island

    Beautiful fall foliage attraction┃Hwadam Botanic Garden

    Wowpass Card

    Wowpass card (Credit: Orange Square)

    What is it? Enjoy a cashless trip with this all-in-one card, from currency exchange to shopping and transportation!

    Wowpass Card is a foreign tourist-exclusive prepaid card accepted throughout Korea. The card can be loaded with foreign currency, cutting out the need for currency exchange, and can be used as a transportation card as well. All you need is your passport to get a Wowpass card, manage your balance, and even apply for a new card if you lose it. The card is a great asset to have as Korea quickly changes to a cashless society.

    [How to buy] Airport Pick-up –The All-in-One Wowpass Airport Package is available through the Wowpass mobile application up to one day in advance. The package offers 20% off the cost of the Wowpass card, 10% off the cost of an SKT SIM card, and a preloaded transportation balance of 10,000 won (additional balance can be added at subway stations and convenience stores). To get your card, show your mobile voucher to the SK Telecom booth when you arrive at Incheon International Airport Terminal 1, Terminal 2, or Gimpo International Airport.い。

    Kiosk - There are 90 Wowpass kiosks located throughout Korea (check the app for kiosk locations). Scan your passport in the kiosk passport scanner and then load cash onto the card to get it. You can use the card after registering it in the Wowpass mobile application.

    More info

    • Price: All-in-one Wowpass airport package 48,700 won (10-day SIM card rate)
    • Website: www.wowpass.io (English, Japanese, Chinese)
    • Instagram: @wowpass_jp

    Top Attractions with the Wowpass Card

    Oedo-Botania in Geoje (Credit: Travel Leader 11th gen. Choi Min-gyung)

    Unique landscape of strange rocks┃Hajodae Scenic Point

    Paradise in the southern sea┃Oedo-Botania

    Sunrise hotspot┃Homigot Sunrise Square

    Resting place of Silla history┃Gyeongju Daereungwon Ancient Tomb Complex

    Peaceful hanok village┃Andong Hahoe Village

    More info

    • 1330 Korea Travel Helpline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

    * This column was last updated in September 2023, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check for updates before visiting.

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