Travel Tips

Public Transportation: Apps that you need

Going for the first time to an unknown country can be overwhelming. Questions such as ‘How will I not get lost?’ arise in our minds. By consequence, we start to get worried. And for sure, one of the biggest worries is how to move around the city. Because of this, we will recommend you some practicals apps that you need in public transportation. So you know what to do once you arrive to South Korea! And do not feel lost.

With this in mind, you might want to get your phone ready. Because once you see how life saver are these, you might want to download them now!


Technology is here to save us!

And we say this, because it indeed helps you a lot in not getting lost!

South Korea is indeed one of the best when it comes to technology. That is the reason to why it is not a surprise that they have developed such practical apps. Thanks to this, life here is convenient in a way.

And now, it is time for you to prove it yourself by downloading these apps that you need in public transportation! Which will make your experience, the best.



Naver Map


Forget about Google Maps! In South Korea, they have their own maps’ apps. And ‘Naver Map’ is one of them. Because of this, it is one of the most needed apps for public transportation.

There, you can look for the best route to get to your destination. And of course, by choosing the transportation method you want to take. In other words, bus, subway, driving by yourself, etc.

You can save the places you want to visit, as well. Because of this, you wont have to remember where exactly are they. You will just need to enter to your list, and choose one of your saved directions. Then, you will be told what is the best way to arrive there.



What makes this app different to ‘Naver Map’, is that it is more accurate with the bus routes and schedules. Even in countryside, there are some cities in which you can use with no problem. While ‘Naver Map’ might not work properly.

In addition, you can write in english. Because of this, you wont have to know korean to use it.


T-Balance Check

If you use public transportation, you might know how painful it is to get into the bus and realize that you do not have money left in the T-money. But now, that is about to change with this app. Because here, you can check what is your current balance. So you do not have to feel embarrassed about the card not going through in the bus.

To use it, you simply need to enable your NFC function and slide your T-money in the back of your phone. It will scan the QR and tell you how much money you have left.


Subway Korea (지하철)

Subway Korea

This app has the subway map of some big cities. Such as Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju.

The best thing is that it is english ㅡ and also in other languages ㅡ. Due to this, it is really easy to use it.

There, you can mark from where to where you want to go. And it will tell you what is your best route and what would be the price. It indicates you what is the exit door as well. Because of this, you will know where you need to stand up when the subway is full.

This app is indeed a life saver. Because it helps you by showing you which transfers you need to do. And prevents you from getting lost.

The downside could be that it is not available in countryside cities. There, you will need to use ’Naver Map’.



Korail Talk

Here, you can buy train tickets to travel to other cities. However, you will need to have a korean bank account to be able to use it.

In addition, you can check the available routes from your city. And how much time does it take from one point to another.

You can check the schedule as well. So as the type of train you can choose.




This app contains all the bus routes and schedules. But only of some cities.

If your city is not listed, you will need to use ’kakaomap’ instead.


고속버스 티머니

In this app, you can buy bus tickets to go to another city. However, you need to have a korean bank account to be able to pay. Or at least, your T-money charged. Since it is also a valid payment method.

You can also check the different type of buses available and their prices. The cheapest is ‘일반고속’, while the most expensive it is ‘프리미엄’.

In addition, you can check the bus schedules. By choosing the day that you want to travel.

Bonus Tip!

In countryside, many of these apps might not work properly. Because of this, you should write the city’s name in korean + 버스. Since some of these cities have their own apps.

For example, I live in Nonsan. Therefore, there is an app called ’논산버스’. Where I can check the accurate time.


Kakao T (카카오 T)


This taxi app is indeed the most complete. Because it has various services.

For the taxi, you can order it through the app. Just by selecting the route you wish to take. Then, it will tell you how much time it will take, what is the total price and who is your driver.

The payment is done automatically when you arrive to your destination. And what it is the best, is that you do not need a korean credit card. Since you can use Paypal as well!

You can also choose between different types of taxis. There are some that arrive faster.

In this app you can also check the nearest rental bicycles to you. And the nearest parking lots as well.

In addition, you can check the shuttle buses.

But what has surprise me the most about this app, is that it even lets you to rent a van ride outside the country! For example, right now there is a ride available from Vietnam airport the city.

마카롱 택시


What I like about this app, is that you can reserve a taxi in advance. In other words, if you do not want to take the taxi right now ㅡ but you might need it later ㅡ, you can reserve it to come at the hour you are ready.

The downside, is that it is only available for iOS.


You indeed need these apps for public transportation in South Korea. Because this, are definitely a life saver! The reason is that some of them will help you to not get lost. And others, will help you to buy tickets.

If you already live in South Korea, what other apps do you think are necessary? Let us know in the comments!

In case that you do not speak korean, we recommend you to read the following article we have prepared for you:

Also, don’t forget to visit my profile to continue reading interesting posts about South Korea! Click here

🇲🇽 Fernanda L. Negrete

Fernanda is an integral designer and korean language student. Who wants to share about her travel experiences and korean history.