Although South Korea has numerous international airports, only a handful offer regular flights. Over the past decade, South Korea has been engulfed in an airport construction frenzy. Many major cities have specialized airports that handle a small number of aircraft each week.
The country’s main airport, Incheon International Airport, is located approximately an hour west of Seoul and is serviced by a number of international airlines. There are many flight choices available from Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as flights to South America and Africa. This airport is often regarded as the best-run and-designed in the world. Direct intercity buses run from right outside the international arrival hall to a variety of destinations throughout South Korea. The airport has a metro line that runs directly to both Seoul Gimpo airport and Seoul Station (express AREX 43 minutes and all-stop subway 56 minutes). (The Seoul station has an airline check-in facility.) In addition, the newly launched KTX high-speed rail service links the whole nation in about three hours.
Cambodia, China, Guam, Japan, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam all have international connections via Busan’s Gimhae International Airport. Gimhae also offers a few daily flights straight from Seoul Incheon, which is much more convenient than changing planes in Seoul Gimpo after a lengthy overseas trip. A light rail line connects Gimhae and West Busan from the airport.
Many South Korean cities have flights to Jeju, as well as international flights to major Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese cities. The (Seoul) Gimpo-Jeju line is the world’s busiest flight corridor, and the island is also well serviced by Korean airports.
Domestic flights to most South Korean cities are available from Seoul Gimpo Airport, while international “city shuttle” services from Tokyo-Haneda, Beijing, Shanghai-Hongqiao, and Taipei-Songshan are also available. It is more centrally situated than Incheon in relation to Seoul. You may take the rail or the limousine bus from Incheon Airport.
Yangyang Airport is a small, quiet airport in the country’s far north east. Korea Express Air flies between Busan Gimhae International Airport, Seoul Gimpo Airport, and Gwangju Airport on domestic flights. Charter flights are also available to Chinese cities. The Seoraksan National Park and portions of Northeast Gangwon-do are also accessible through this airport. The main airlines to and from South Korea are Korean Air and Asiana. Budget airlines like as Air Busan and Jeju Air, which operate both local and international routes, are on the rise.
The main full-service airlines to and from South Korea that fly throughout the globe are Korean Air (대한항공) and Asiana (아시아나 항공). Air Busan, Jin Air, Jeju Air, Eastar Jet, and T’Way Airlines are low-cost airlines that provide both domestic and international flights to Jeju.
Train journeys between Japan and Korea may be completed through a boat ride in the middle thanks to an agreement between the two nations’ rail systems. Train passengers traveling from or continuing to Japan may buy special through tickets that provide savings of up to 30% on KTX services and 9-30% on Busan-Fukuoka ferries and Japanese trains.
It is not possible to go to North Korea via rail. On the North Korean side of the border, there is a railway track linking the Korean Rail network with North Korea, as well as an operational Korean Rail station (although with no regular trains). However, since there is no traffic, it will most likely stay more of a political statement than a viable mode of transportation for some years.
Please keep in mind that the services mentioned here may change often, and English-language websites may not be up to date. Before you travel, double-check.
The Busan Port International Passenger Terminal is the country’s biggest seaport, with ferries mostly to and from Japan. JR’s Beetle hydrofoil service connects Busan and Fukuoka in about three hours, with up to five connections per day. It also provides service to Tsushima, which is close by. All other connections are slower nighttime ferries, such as the Shimonoseki services provided by Pukwan Ferry Company. Panstar Line Co., Ltd. operates a Busan-Osaka ferry.
International Ferry Terminal 1 (Yeonan Budu,) in Incheon offers services to many Chinese cities, including Weihai, Dandong, Qingdao, and Tianjin. Jinchon is the biggest operator, although Incheon Port provides a complete listing on their website. Ferries run from Pyeongtaek to the Chinese ports of Rizhao, Rongcheng, and Lianyungang, all in Shandong province.
Dong Chun Ferry offers weekly departures from Sokcho (Gangwon-do) to Vladivostok for USD270, while DBS Cruise Ferry Co offers weekly departures from Donghae (Gangwon-do) to Vladivostok for USD205.
Overland entry into South Korea is not feasible because to the political and military situation with North Korea. The border between North and South Korea is often regarded as the world’s most highly guarded border, and illegal incursions near the truce town of Panmunjeom have typically resulted in shooting.
Surprisingly, a small number of South Korean businesspeople used to cross the border every day by bus to operate in the joint industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong until recently. The industrial park, however, has been shuttered since 2016, as a result of inter-Korean tensions.