How to Travel from Seoul to Busan by Bus

There are other options to travel from Seoul to Busan. While KTX remains the first option that I have often read in other blogs, traveling by bus is cheaper and convenient as well.

Since budget is one of the most important thing I always consider when I travel, I would always look for a more affordable alternative. I was reluctant to push through with our travel to Busan because it was unplanned but since my friends were also eager to check out South Korea’s second largest city and since I am a big fan of CNBLUE  (Yong Hwa and Jong Hyun are from Busan), I got swayed and gave in but I insisted that we travel by bus which is 50% cheaper compared to KTX with only less than 2 hours difference in travel time. We are so used to getting stuck in traffic in Manila so the time difference did not bother us at all.

TIP: It is better if you buy a multi-city airplane ticket to save money on transportation and to save time (Example: Manila to Busan and Seoul to Manila).

Here are the details of how we traveled by bus from Seoul to Busan and vice versa:

The Express Bus Terminal is accessible through Seoul Subway Line 3, 7, 9.  Since we are staying in Myeongdong (Seoul Subway Line 4), we alighted at the next station (Chungmuro) to transfer to Line 3.  From Chungmuro Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), we alighted at Express Bus Terminal Station Exit 1.  

We took the underground passage that leads to Seoul Express Bus Terminal and followed the Gyeongbuseon Line signs. We also asked for directions just to make sure we are on the right track and the student was very helpful that she even accompanied and lead us to the ticket booth.

Seoul to Busan by Bus_LeiTbloomer 1
Express Bus Terminal Ticket Booth
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Our bus ticket from Seoul to Busan. We just chose the regular bus which is the cheapest at W23,000. The standard class ticket for KTX is W59,800.

Upon purchasing regular bus tickets worth W23,000, we looked for the correct platform to locate our bus. There is English translation so it was easier to find it. Since we still have time to spare before our departure, we immediately bought bread and drinks from Paris Baguette.  We were in a hurry to  leave Zaza Backpackers so we did not have time to avail of their free breakfast. There are a lot of food establishments to choose from, so getting hungry will be the least of your worries here.

Seoul to Busan by Bus_LeiTbloomer 2
Busan-bound buses are in Platform 1 an 2.
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Waiting area at Seoul Express Bus Terminal

When it was a few minutes before our departure time, we went outside to where our bus was located. The regular bus is clean and comfortable. We were able to sleep comfortably during our trip. Since we traveled during autumn season, the view was also very beautiful. Lots of mountains filled with autumn foliage of red, yellow, orange and brown! :-)

Seoul to Busan by Bus_LeiTbloomer 3
Our bus is at Platform 2
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Interior of regular bus from Seoul to Busan

After two hours of travel time, we had a quick break at Sunsan Service Area. I have seen it in Korean TV dramas and variety shows, so I was excited to see and experience it myself. After a quick restroom break, we headed immediately to the food stalls. We paid first at the cashier then presented the receipt to the food stall to claim our food. They have pictures at the cashier for easy reference so you can just point out the food that you wanted to buy. No worries if you cannot speak the Korean language! :-)

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Gorgeous autumn foliage seen at the parking lot of Sunsan Service Area
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Sunsan Service Area provides clean restrooms and variety of food choices for travelers
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Sunsan Service Area
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Sunsan Service Area
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Hotteok – Korean pancake with sugar and cinnamon.
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Hot Ba – Fried fish cake
LeiTbloomer Hot Ba
Another type of Hot Ba

Upon arriving in Busan, we went inside the bus terminal station and followed the signs that lead to the subway station. The bus terminal is located near Nopo Station which is at the end of Busan Subway Line 1.

If you went to Busan unprepared like us, there are a lot of shops selling clothes, bags, toiletries and food inside the bus terminal. My friends spent a few minutes buying their stuff here before we went to look for our accommodation in Haeundae.

How to Travel from Busan to Seoul by Bus

After spending 2 days and 1 night in Busan, we headed back to Seoul. We just traced our path back to Nopo Station Line 1 all the way to the same bus terminal station where we got off. Since we were pressed for time and wanted to attend the Seoul Lantern Festival that night at Cheonggyecheon Stream, we purchased the earliest bus schedule we can get which was excellent bus for W34,200. It costed us a lot more but it was definitely more spacious and the seats are more comfortable and well cushioned (only 3 seats per row with USB plug and earphone plug for electronic devices).

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Interior of the excellent bus from Busan to Seoul
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USB plug and earphone plug at the side of our seats so we can conveniently charge and use our electronic devices for the duration of our trip.

If I were to visit Busan again, I would still consider taking the bus on my next trip.  But if I have very little time and I have enough budget, I would definitely try out KTX too. It was a short trip to Busan but we enjoyed it a lot. Hope you will have a nice trip in Busan too. Feel free to leave a comment if you find this guide helpful. :-)

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24 thoughts on “How to Travel from Seoul to Busan by Bus

  1. Wow!! Upon reading your blog, i feel like adding this to our itinerary. How much does it cost going to busan from seoul? Is it really just 4-5 hours travel? What time did you leave for busan? Is there any traffic durinh your trip?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Gian! You should try going to Busan too because there are a lot of places to explore there! In fact, I’ll be going back there again in November. During our trip, our bus ticket was between 23,000 won to 34,000 won and travel time is just about 4 to 5 hours depending on the traffic. On the way to Busan, there was no traffic but when we got back to Seoul there was a heavy traffic but still tolerable compared to what we usually have in Manila. Safe travels!

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  2. hi! i chanced upon your blogpost while searching on ways to go to busan from seoul. may i ask if you know what are the operating hours of the ticketing counters at the seoul express bus terminal? I’m planning to buy the 01:40am bus ticket!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi! Yes you can buy them on the spot. However, if you want to travel at a particular time, it is best to book tickets in advance or go to the bus terminal early.

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  3. What an interesting story😉 ohya, i wanna ask, is it there’s sign in english or romanized at booth ticket in terminal (seoul + busan)? because i can’t read hangul…thanks in advance😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, My family and I want to take a one day trip to Busan. This really helps since we are on a budget. Is there an English site for information on the bus timetables?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! The Sunsan break lasted I guess around 10-15 minutes. Just enough for you to use the restroom and get a quick snack. I was keeping an eye on our bus the whole time during the break haha! Have a safe trip @snowkinz and thank you for visiting my site! :)

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  5. Hi Lei T,

    Thanks for your great sharing. I intend to go to Busan at end of Aug and considering to buy the bus ticket from airport instead of moving to the Express Bus terminal. Can we do that? if yes, pls advice for the cost also
    Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stella! Renting a car will be a lot more convenient and can take you to more places in one day but it can cost more unless you are traveling as a group and can split the cost among yourselves. The transportation system in Busan is reliable. While we were there, we used the subway, bus and taxi. Taking a taxi is convenient too if the distance from the bus stop and the tourist spot involves a lot of walking.

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  6. Hi, I’m currently planning our Korea trip and came across your blog. I just want to confirm there’s a compartment for luggage right? The three of us will be bringing 1 large luggage and 1 carry-on each. Woudln’t have been a problem if Cebupac didn’t cancel their routes to Busan. :(

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, I will be arriving in Korea on Nov. 9 – actually i will be traveling there till 13 – it’s just 5 days but I wanted to include Busan for a night only- and I plan to make it the first place to visit the moment I arrive. Is there a bus from the airport going directly to Busan? I think it would save my time instead of transferring to Seoul Station. I want to try to take the bus on the way to Busan and a train from Busan to Seoul. What do you think on this? Is this fine?

    Liked by 1 person

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