[South korea] Transportaion guide-Taxi, Ktx, must have apps

If you are planning your trip to Korea, I believe you must be starting your research now about South Korea’s transportation. So let’s get started about getting around in South Korea, I will tell you all the real experiences I had with transportations in South Korea- including Taxi, KTX(Korea train express), and the must-download apps for Transport in South Korea!

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South Korea transportation apps you will need

Talking about transportation in Korea, the first thing you have to do is to install apps that will be extremely helpful for you in Korea. (Trust me, Google map in Korea is 💩 )


Naver Map: Map for South Korea


Google map doesn’t really work in South Korea because South Korea doesn’t allow servers outside the country to have their info. But of course, if you type in the specific place that you want to go, you can find it on google. You can’t see how to get there (route), how long will it take you to get there, what public transports to take…

I will recommend you Naver map which is available in English/ Chinese and Japanese. You can see what public transport to take, how long will it take, and your way/route to get there. An extra plus, it will show you approximately how much it will cost you to hail a taxi to your destination!

👉🏻Click here to install (Google store)👈🏻
👉🏻Click here to install (Apple Store)👈🏻

Korea transportation card Tmoney 
(for public transport)

Electronic version Tmoney
Tmoney card


Taxi app for South Korea: Kakao Taxi


Uber works only in Seoul, not in Busan (Korea’s 2nd city), so if you are planning to visit not just Seoul, download 👉🏻Kakao Taxi app. (Remember to download Kaokao taxi app before leaving your country! I will explain below )

How to use Kakao Taxi

  1. Before using Kakao taxi it is necessary to have a Kakao talk account (Korean version of WhatsApp) since they are from the same company.
    (I would recommend you to do all the registers at home before your travel because you will have to verify your phone number…and so on. So if you have not got your Korean number yet, have not registered at Kakao back at home, and you want to hail a taxi but can’t speak Korean…it will be a pain in the** I believe you understand this annoying process.)
  2. You don’t need to register your credit card on Kakao taxi (also you can’t register with a foreign credit card), you just have to choose “pay the driver” when you are booking your ride.
  3. Like uber, Kakao Taxi will tell you the estimated price for your ride and you are able to choose the “level” of your car. Once you get on the car, the driver will start the metre. So the price shows on the app is just an approximate price.

And real talk about the experiences with Korean Taxi drivers…👇🏻scroll down

👉🏻Click to install Kakao talk👈🏻
👉🏻Click to install Kakao Taxi👈🏻

Kakao Taxi app recommendation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I would say English is quite useless in Korea, so to prevent “adventures” with taxi, I highly recommend you download the Kakao Taxi app, which you could call it the “Uber in Korea”. (Uber works only in Seoul)
You can pay by cash, the estimated price is more or less the same as what you’ll pay, and you don’t have to speak during the whole ride and the driver knows exactly where you want to go!

Korea Train Express (KTX) 韓國ktx

Korail official Website to book your train ticket

If you are going to use Korean rail for more than once
, the best deal would be purchasing Korea rail pass 
 You have unlimited train credits in your chosen day! 
📌If you plan to visit more than 2 cities in Korea,
and you are arriving and departing at the same airport
this will be the best option
👉🏻Click here to know more info/ Purchase

About booking Korean KTX Train ticket

  1. You can only check train schedules and purchase tickets up to 1 month in advance on Korail official website.
  2. You can not choose your seat. (Even if you choose Firstclass)
    So if you are 2 people, book your seats in 1 purchase so you can sit together
  3. After booking your ticket online, you don’t have to go to the Korail office to change it into a “real ticket”, just keep the Qr code page you received after your booking. (Recommend to print out in paper form) The issued ticket looks like this👇🏻


Busan to Seoul KTX First-class Experience:

I have to tell you that the beginning of our experience with Ktx wasn’t so pleasant. Firstly, we are traveling with two 30kg luggage, and the gap between the platform and the train was REALLY BIG. We also have to lift the luggage 2, 3 stairs up. so if you are also traveling with big luggage you might want to know this first. Secondly, the place to store luggage was quite small, so one of our luggage filled the ground level, and the 2nd big luggage we have to lift all the way up to the upper storage.

There are sockets to charge your phone on the train but I would say luckily I have my power bank because the Sockets wasn’t working.  Though their Wifi works pretty well.

There will be someone checking if everyone is on an assigned seat, which means they won’t ask for your ticket if you are sitting in the place you are supposed to. And last but not least, there is no free snacks and trolley going around in the train(😅In comparison to Taiwan’s high-speed rail Business class, they offer free snacks and water)


Where is Ktx station in Busan:

Busan Train station 2nd floor. When you arrive at Busan station, 
just take the escalator/elevator directly up to 2 floor 
and follow the KTX sign.

How long does it take from Seoul to Busan wtih KTX
Approx 3 hours

Korea Rail pass
If you plan to visit more than 2 cities in Korea, 
and you are arriving and departing at the same airport 
this will be the best option
👉🏻Click here to know more info/ Purchase


Korean Taxi Experience

International Taxis in Korea (Busan)

Black Taxi or Taxi with “International Taxi” sign on it will be more expensive than a regular taxi (yellow/ silver)

Although I know that a black international taxi would be more expensive than a regular one, since it was my first time in Korea and we are with 2 big luggage and 1 hand luggage, so I don’t want any unpleasant situation to be my first impression, so we took the “black international” taxi anyway (in Busan). What surprised me was that anyhow the taxi driver still didn’t speak any English. He was speaking Korean and I was speaking in English.
So after this 1st experience, I don’t trust those “International Taxis”

Book your ride from Airport to downtown

[Busan taxi] Gimhae International Airport to the city center

[Seoul Limousine Bus Transfer] airport to downtown
[Seoul shared transfer] airport to your hotel

Maxi Taxi in Korea

Large Taxi is more expensive than regular ones. Also, most regular taxis in Korea has a gasoline-like tank in their trunk, so you can’t fit two 30 kg luggage in (which was our case). So here let me tell you how to fit two large luggage and 1 hand luggage in a regular taxi, and is a Maxi taxi necessary?

Maxi Taxi experience

We used the Kakao taxi app I mentioned above to hail this Large taxi. After we put all our luggage in the trunk (which the driver didn’t help at all), the driver told us how much it would cost (It was 20000Krw more than what the Naver map told us!) It was raining heavily outside and thinking about getting all the stuff out then in again…we agreed…
📌Remember to ask for the price before entering a large cab

How to fit 2 large luggage in a regular-sized taxi

In Seoul, we were surprised about all regular-sized taxis have a big gasoline-like tank in their trunk? How do we fit all of our luggage in it (30kg*2, 10kg*1)? While we were waiting for a miracle to happen- a taxi without a gasoline tank in their trunk, a nice lady queuing behind us told us to put one of our big luggage on the passenger’s seat next to the driver.
In the beginning, I thought the taxi drivers won’t agree with this but it seems like they are all used to this and some even have something for you to put under your luggage so it won’t make the passenger’s seat dirty. So please, unless you have more than three 30 kg luggage, otherwise the regular taxi will be very enough!
Spend your money on food, not on a taxi!

Keep in mind that regular silver taxi drivers won’t help you with your luggage, they won’t even get out of the car, they’ll just open the trunk for you

[Seoul]Book your transfer between airport & city center
[Seoul]Shared transfer from Seoul airport to hotel
[Seoul]Limousine Bus Transfers


📌Useful tips for using a taxi in South Korea

  • Choose regular silver or yellow taxi over Black/ international taxi
  • Regular taxi drivers won’t help you with your luggage
  • Unless you have more than 3 pieces of big luggage, or else a regular size taxi will be enough, store one of your big luggage in the front seat!
  • If you are using a Large-sized taxi, before you put your luggage on it, ask for the price.
See also if you are traveling to South Korea:
Busan hotel recommendation


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