When traveling to cities in Korea, city buses that move along diverse, spider web-like routes are immensely helpful means of transportation for travelers. A big advantage of city buses is that they reach places that subways cannot go. If you wish to experience various corners of Korea, the answer is to travel by city bus. Scenes of streets viewed outside the windows on the way to the destination are another element of joy of a city bus trip.
Riding city bus
You can check city bus routes at bus stops and it also helps to use a map app. In city centers, there are also digital bus stops where you can see real-time location and information of buses. In small- to medium-sized cities, however, buses may operate at longer intervals so we recommend to check the routes in advance using a map app.
With most buses in Korea, you get on through the front door, pay the fare and get off through the rear door. You can use cash but, if you use a transportation card (T-Money, NAMANE Card, etc.), you may receive a discount and also transfer to another bus for free. When you get off a bus, you need to press a bell (red button) installed in the bus before it arrives at the bus stop to express your intention to get off. In Seoul, night buses operate until the wee hours after public transportation finishes. Please note that night buses have the “N” mark attached to their routes.
Q1. How do I transfer between city buses for free?
A: Free bus transfers are only available when using a Transportation Cards such as the NAMANE Card or T-Money Card and, if you use cash, you may not receive free transfer benefits. When you get on a bus, tap your transportation card on the terminal by the front door and, when you get off, tap the card on the terminal by the rear door. Free transfers are available not only between buses but also when using a subway after getting off a bus.
* Example of a transfer → Bus on Route A + Bus on Route B + Bus on Route C / Bus on Route A + Subway + Bus on Route B / Subway + Bus on Route A + Bus on Route B / Bus on Route A + Bus on Route B + Subway
Q2. Are all transfers free?
A: No, they are not. Free transfers are available only when tapping a terminal upon getting off a bus and then using another bus or a subway within 30 minutes (07:00-21:00) or an hour (21:00-07:00). If you get off a bus and then get on a bus of the same number, a free transfer will not be applied. Up to four free transfers are available (five rides).
This page was last updated in March 2023, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.
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