Going for the first time to another country can be overwhelming. Because you can have the worry of getting lost. Or doing things wrong. Especially if you plan to travel between cities instead of only staying at a tourist spot. This is why we have prepared a guide on how to use trains in South Korea. So you can stop stressing! And just enjoy your trip.
Once you realize how easy is to take them, you might want to visit each city of the country! Because it is one of the most convenient transportation methods, for sure.
And now, we are about to show you how to use them!
The best way to travel
This is undoubtedly the best way to travel. Because you do not have the risk of getting trapped in the traffic jam. Which means that you will always arrive at the hour that you expected.
It is comfortable as well. And you have a great view of the landscapes. What else can you ask for? The only downside could be that there is no train in some cities of the countryside. There, you will need to use bus instead.
Now, let us teach you how to use trains in South Korea through this guide!
How to book a ticket
Before explaining how to do it, we wanted to say that it is not necessary to buy them in advance. In other words, you can just arrive the day of your trip to the station. Where you can book them directly. Unless you plan to travel during holiday season. Such as ‘Seollal’. There, you must buy them in time.
For some tourists it might be scary to go and buy them at the ticket booth. Because it is rare to find someone who speaks english. Due to this, we recommend you to look for your route in the ticket app ㅡ which we will explain you about shortly ㅡ and then show it to the cashier.
If you are in a big city, then you might find a ticket machine that has english instructions. But if you are in the countryside, you probably wont. There, everything is written in korean. Plus it will not accept payment with foreigner card (In the countryside).
The easiest method to book is through the app. Because there, you can do it in advance. And also, compare the prices and see if the route that you want to take is possible.
You can check the schedule as well. And in case you do not want to travel the same day you plan to buy them, you can book for the date you want to have your trip even days before.
You can also buy them through the website.
How to board the train
Time to board!
In the station, you will find a screen in front of the doors that lead to the train tracks. There, you can check the info on when you can board and to which track you must go.
If you see a red blinking light at the side, it means that you gotta run! Since everyone is already boarding the train. And no, they do not wait for all the passengers. When it is time to leave, it will leave.
Once it is time to look for your train, you can just follow the signs. And then, go to the track you must go ㅡ which you should have seen on the screen ㅡ.
Arrive on time!
Now, here is where you need to be careful! Always double check that you are going to the correct side. If not, you will end up in another city. With this I mean that even if the sign has written the same cities, it does not mean that both of the trains go to the same direction.
When we are in a rush, we might not notice this. Due to this, it is a good idea to arrive early. Especially because there is a waiting room. Where you can comfortably wait for your train.
Wait exactly at the spot you need to
There are also some screens. That will remind you to which side you must go. To know what is your train number, you must check your ticket. There, it is written. And the time of depart as well. This way, you will secure not going into the incorrect one.
Since the train always leaves on time, you need to be waiting where the sign tells you that it is where your car will be. And to know your car number, you need to check on the ticket. Every train will show you a different place on where to board. As shown in the picture below.
Time to get in!
When you are in the correct waiting area ㅡ for your car number ㅡ then you need to just get it. As you see, you can double check before boarding the train! Since the number is written in both door and floor.
Which are the best trains?
More than showing you which are the best, we will show you which are most commonly used ㅡ from what I have seen ㅡ. So you can make your decision on which one to ride.
For sure, KTX is by far the best train. Because as it name gives the hint, it is the fastest. Plus it is very comfortable. Which it is the why to why it is expensive.
It is nice to board it at least once in a lifetime. Just to experience it.
This one got to be the cheapest one. In other words, the tickets are low priced.
The downside is that it is much slower than any other one. You need to take that in mind.
This one is my favorite! We can say that it is a middle class train. In other words, it does not look as old as the Mugunghwa. But also not as new as the KTX.
To read more about these trains, we recommend you to read the following article we prepared for you.
One of the biggest concerns when coming for the first time to South Korea, is how to use the trains, but once you have read this guide, you might already realize that it is in fact easy.
Also, don’t forget to visit my profile to continue reading interesting posts about South Korea! Click here.