Using a public bus is an affordable and quick way to get around in Seoul. However, it may be confusing for a foreigner to use buses in Seoul because most buses don’t have signs in English.
There are four types of Seoul buses, which are color-coded: Blue, Green, Yellow and Red.
Blue buses run long-distance trips and link central Seoul with the city’s suburbs.
Green buses do short-distance trips and connect subway stations and major blue bus routes with residential areas. There are also green mini buses that run short-distance trips within a district or neighborhood.
Yellow buses run circular trips in central Seoul and connect major shopping and tourist areas. These buses provide travelers a fun and cheap way to get around and explore central Seoul.
Red buses do express routes between Seoul and the city’s metropolitan area. Red buses don’t offer discounts even if you’re using a transportation card and are best used to go to places such as Suwon and Incheon.
Taking a bus in Seoul during rush hours is not a good idea as they tend to get crowded. And using a bus in Seoul while not knowing some Korean won’t get you far (… or will get you so far you’ll need hours to get out of there).
It is best to have your destinations written on a piece of paper (to show bus drivers later) if you want to explore the city on buses.
Bus hours: Vary depending on the route, but most routes service from 04:30 to 01:00 every day
Bus schedule: 5 to 15 minutes
– Blue and green buses: 1,050 won ($0.92) first 10 km, then from 10 km 100 won ($0.09) for every 5 km
– Yellow buses: 850 won ($0.75) first 10 km, then from 10 km 100 won ($0.09) for every 5 km
– Red buses: 1,850 won ($1.63) first 10 km, then from 10 km 100 won ($0.09) for every 5 km
– Fares above are provided for T-Money cards. If you’re using a single-journey card, you’ll have to pay 100 won more ($0.09).
– If you are using T-Money cards, transfer from and to metro and buses up to 5 times for no additional fees. Free transfer only applies when you get on the other metro or bus within 30 minutes (or within 1 hour from 21:00 to 07:00) after you get off the previous one.