Like most first world countries, Korea has an efficient and cost-effective public transport system that, in the bigger cities, will get you anywhere you want to be for a few thousand Won (couple a dollars). This will also spare you the suffering of driving in Korea where traffic jams are a part of life and driver etiquette will most likely be very different than you’re used to. Unless you’re a convenience-fanatic, save yourself the time and money and use the subway or bus to get around in Korea.
Buses – Major city streets are congested through large parts of the day, but dedicated bus lanes mean bus transport will get you to your destination quicker than it might by car. Bus fares start at 1000 Won and are valid for as long as you stay on the bus. Buying a bus pass or Mybi Card as it’s known it Korea is a convenient way to pay to bus fares. These tokens are preloaded with cash and you swipe them upon entry in the bus and even get a discount.
Subways – All major cities have subways systems, and Seoul’s is apparently the largest in the world, crisscrossing the city and extending out to the suburbs on the outskirts. Subways usually provide the fastest method of transportation. All stations are numbered and station names are printed in Korean and English. Like with most modern subway systems, transferring between different subway lines is easy and free. Fares are 1000 Won standard, but can be more expensive the longer you travel or if you’re going to special destinations like the airport.
Taxi – Regular taxi fares starts at 2,200 won for the first 2 kilometres. Each additional 144 meters costs 100 won. An additional 100 won is added each 35 seconds if the taxi travels slower than 15 km/h. Taxi’s are everywhere to be found in all cities and while most drivers won’t speak a word of English, Taxi’s in Seoul have a free translator service via telephone. Unlike back home, you don’t have to tip a taxi driver.
Trains – Korea has three major train services between the different cities, one of which is the fancy KTX high speed train that’ll take you from Seoul to Busan (cross country) in under three hours. Trains are fairly inexpensive and remain a great way to see the country or travel between major cities.