Tourist Passes in Korea

Category : Travel/Events
Nov 28, 2014

You’re only here for a short period and you want to make the most of it! Consider picking up a tourist pass. There are many options to suit every traveler’s needs. Check out the quick table to get a general overview of your options and then read on for more details. Keep in mind these aren’t tour packages. If you want to have a scheduled tour in Korea, you’ll need to contact a tour operator.

 

Card Name

Card Type

Method of Use

For you if:

Korea Pass

Discount Card

Pre-paid

You want to shop and see all the major sites

M-Pass

Transportation Card

Unlimited use

You plan to be here for 7-days or only use the subway, not buses

Seoul City Pass

Transportation Card

Unlimited use

You will be here for 1-3 days

Seoul City Pass Plus

Transportation Card

Pre-paid

You don’t want time constraints

KR Pass

Train Pass

Unlimited use

You’re a tourist and you will be traveling around the country

Happy Pass

Train Pass

Unlimited use

You’re an expat travelling around the country

 

The Korea Pass

What’s the Deal?

This is the ultimate tourist pass in Korea. It provides discounts on accommodations, attractions, entrance fees, and shopping. It can also be activated to be a transportation card that can be used to automatically ride subways and buses and pay for taxis. You don’t need to buy a ticket with a transportation card; you can simply swipe your card and go. It’s not just a discount card but it can be used like a pre-paid credit card.

 

How does it Work?

  1. You can choose to put 50,000KRW, 100,000KRW, 300,000KRW or 500,000KRW on the card when you get it, which then can be used however you want.
  2. It can be reloaded whenever you run out of money.
  3. To use the card as a transportation card you must activate it at any 7-Eleven convenience stores, in the subway stations and at street kiosks.
  4. The transportation technology embedded in the Korea Pass is Cashbee in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do, and MyBi in Busan. It is not compatible with the transportation in Daejeon, Daegu and Gwangju.
  5. You can get a refund for the cash at Tax Free Booths and 7-Eleven stores if there is less than 20% of the original balance remaining.
  6. If you have more than 20% remaining, you can only get a refund at Tax Free Booths and you’ll be charge 5% for service, so try to spend most of the money.

 

Check out just a few of the great deals you can get!

Entertainment

N Seoul Tower, National Museum of Korea, 63 City, Lotte World, Lotte Cinema (65 branches), Korea House, Nanta, Drawing Show: HERO, Traditional Performing Arts Theater: PAN, Sachoom

5~30% off

Shopping

Lotte Duty Free (9 branches), Lotte Mart (90 branches), 7-Eleven (4,000 branches), Lotte Super, Lotte Department Store,

5~10% off

Accommodations

Lotte Hotel (5 branches)

10~30% off

Currency Exchange

Hana Bank

Special 30~50% rate

Food and Beverages

TGIF, Lotteria, Korea House

10~30% off

Beauty & Health

Zen Hair Salon, Bella Skin Care

10% off

 

Where to Buy it?

  • The Incheon International Airport
  • 7-Eleven convenience stores
  • Lotte Marts
  • Korea Tourism Organization Headquarters
  • Gimhae International Airport (near Busan)
  • Busan International Ferry Terminal
  • KTX Busan Station

 

Seoul City Transportation and Tourist Passes

 

The M-Pass

What’s the Deal?

The M-Pass is a transportation card made for tourists. An M-Pass allows for up to 20 subway rides per day, and it can be used like a T-Money transportation card on buses and in taxis. You can receive discounted admission to major tourist attractions, such as N Seoul Tower, Chongdong Theater and Lotte World. You can also use the money on the card at stores which accept t-money payment—mainly convenience stores.

 

How does it Work?

  1. This card comes in 1-day (10,000KRW), 2-day (18,000KRW), 3-day (25,500KRW), 5-day (42,500KRW) and 7-day (59,500KRW) passes.
  2. You can top up the T-money balance at any convenience store (GS25, CU, and Mini Stop) or inside subway stations at the ticket machines.
  3. It expires at midnight on the last day of validity.
  4. Don’t forget to return your card at the airport when you are finished with it—you’ll get the remaining balance back in cash and the deposit.

 

Where to Buy it?

 

Seoul City Pass/Seoul City Tour Bus

What’s the Deal?

It’s a transportation pass that provides up to 20 rides per day on the subways and buses. You can ride the hop-on-hop-off Seoul City Tour Bus ‘downtown’ route as much as you want, which stops on major attractions in Seoul. You’ll get a 20% discount on the Seoul City Tour Bus ‘evening’ route.

 

How does it Work?

  • It comes in 1-day (15,000KRW), 2-day (25,000KRW), and 3-day (35,000KRW) passes.
  • It expires at midnight on the last day of validity.
  • Blue, Green and Yellow buses all accept the Seoul City Pass, but Red express buses and buses in Gyeonggi-do and Incheon don’t.
  • It is not a T-Money card, so you can’t top it up and use it as money.
  • You can’t get a refund for the card, nor is the running balance given back. The set fee allows for 20 rides per day.

 

Where to Buy it?

  • Convenience stores (GS25, CU, and Mini Stop),
  • Passenger Arrival Terminal (1F) of the Incheon International Airport,
  • Tourist Information Kiosks in Dongdaemun, Gwanghwamun, Itaewon, Gimpo Airport, Samilgyo, Namdaemun, and Jamsil in Seoul.
     

Seoul City Pass Plus

What’s the Deal?

This card is a basic T-money card which can be used on subways, buses and in taxis in Seoul (although most other cities accept T-money too). You can get a discount at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine. The card also offers 5% off on the Seoul City Tour Bus. You can get loads of other discounts provided in a coupon booklet that comes with the purchase of the card.

 

How does it Work?

  1. It’s just like a regular T-money card. It can be reloaded inside subway stations and at convenience stores.
  2. You can put as much money as you want at a time (recommended refill around=10,000KRW to 20,000KRW at one time).
  3. When the balance runs out you can top it up again.
  4. The card itself doesn’t provide any discounts. The coupon booklet does.
  5. You can refund the balance when you leave Korea or just spend the cash shopping in convenience stores.

 

Where to Buy it?

  • You can purchase the card for 3,000KRW at convenience stores (GS25, CU, Mini Stop, and Buy The Way) or any other vendors with the T-money logo out front.

 

KORAIL Transportation Passes

 

KR Pass

What’s the Deal?

This is a Korean Rail pass that allows unlimited rail use on all trains (including the KTX) within the designated period. This pass is only available for tourists, not expats living in Korea. The pass must be purchased prior to arrival in Korea either from a travel agent or through the KORAIL website.

 

How does it Work?

  1. Once you purchase the pass from outside of Korea, you need to exchange the receipt for a real rail pass. This can be done at any train station in Korea.
  2. You cannot use the pass to travel during any of Korea’s national holidays unless there is standing room available. See the article on Korean National Holidays 2013 for dates.
  3. Tickets are for regular seats only. You can upgrade to first class at a 50% discount.
  4. Prices are subject to change and you have 60 days to pay for your reservation after making it.

 

Price Chart for the KR Pass

Period

Normal Pass –KRW (for individuals, Children under 4 are free)

Saver Pass –KRW

(for groups of 2-5)

 

Youth Pass –KRW

(for those holding an Student Identification Card)

Adults

Children (4-12)

1 Day

58,200

29,100

52,400

46,600

3 Days

84,600

42,300

76,100

67,700

5 Days

127,000

63,500

114,300

101,600

7 Days

160,400

80,200

144,400

128,300

10 Days

185,100

92,500

166,600

148,100

 

Where to Buy it?

  • Reserve your KR Pass online at the KORAIL Website.
  • Contact the following if you have problems or want more information:
    • Incheon Airport Railroad Information: + 82-32-741-7788 /+ 82-2-3149-2973
    • Seoul Station: +82-2-3149-2024
    • Busan Station:+ 82-51-440-2506
    • Information line: Tel: +82-1599-7777 (English) / e-mail:rhy855@korail.com

 

Happy Pass

What’s the Deal?

That Happy Pass is very similar to the KR Pass except foreigners that have been in Korea longer than six months can purchase this pass. It’s primarily for expats living in Korea. You can use it for unlimited train travel on any train throughout Korea (including the KTX). The pass is valid only within the designated period.

 

How does it Work?

  1. You can purchase the pass online and then exchange the receipt for a real rail pass. This can be done at any train station in Korea.
  2. You cannot use the pass to travel during any of Korea’s national holidays unless there is standing room available. See the article on Korean National Holidays 2013 for dates. Tickets are for regular seats only. You can upgrade to first class at a 50% discount.
  3. Prices are subject to change and you have 60 days to pay for your reservation after making it.

 

Price Chart for the Happy Pass

Period

Normal Pass (for individuals, Children under 4 are free)

Saver Pass

(for groups of 2-5)

Youth Pass

(for those holding an Student Identification Card)

Adults

Children (4-12)

1 day

87,000

43,500

78,300

69,600

3 days

102,700

51,300

92,400

82,200

5 days

179,900

89,900

161,900

143,900

 

Where to Buy it?

  • Reserve your KR Pass online at the KORAIL Website.
  • Contact the following if you have problems or want more information:
    • Incheon Airport Railroad Information Center: + 82-32-741-7788 /+ 82-2-3149-2973
    • Seoul Station: +82-2-3149-2024
    • Busan Station: + 82-51-440-2506
    • Information line: Tel: +82-1599-7777 (English) / e-mail:rhy855@korail.com

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Korea.net

Tags : Culture. Travel. Tourism.

Lindsey lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for over 5 years. While there, she dabbled in different areas of work and explored the culture. She spent time teaching elementary students, business English to adults and high school students about college preparation. She also studied Korean, wrote blogs and tasted as many foods as she possibly could including fermented skate fish. Over the years, Lindsey developed a love for Korea and the culture. She is keen to share her knowledge of Korea with others and she will always consider Korea a second home.

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