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Bus Booking Apps

How to buy a bus ticket on Korea’s bus booking apps.

Want to reserve your seat on an express or intercity bus. Korea has a few apps that allow you to get your tickets in advance.

Why would I book online? Can’t I buy a ticket at the bus terminal? Of course. But during major Korean holidays, like Chuseok, Seollal, tickets for trains, planes, and buses sell out in hours, sometimes minutes. So book ahead.

Also, tickets bought through apps a few days before departure receive up to a ten percent discount.

Korean Cards

Before you read on, know this. Every bus booking app allows payment with domestic Korean debit or credit cards only.

Don’t have a Korean card? Become best friends with a Korean or expat. Or swing by a bus terminal and buy your tickets in advance.

The Big Three Plus One

Korea has three popular bus booking companies that compete for your patronage. Besides a booking website, two of them created apps. TxBus exists only on a website.

Each app and website books either intercity or express buses. And some apps only provide Korean language settings. Confusing? Check our breakdowns below.

Bustago

A screenshot of the BusTago bus booking app.
The BusTago app lets you view bus timetables and routes. Have a domestic card? You can buy a ticket and select your seat.

BusTago (버스타고) is an intercity bus booking company. Cashbee, a transportation card company, operates the app.

You’ll find English language options for both their app and website. The Kobus apps have a Korean language option.

The app and website only books intercity buses. For express bus reservations, go to Kobus’s apps and website.

You can download an e-ticket and keep it on your phone. However, you need to switch to the Korean language setting to check your reservation.

Kobus

Kobus Intercity Bus App
Kobus Express Bus App

 

A screenshot of the KoBus bus booking app.
Although Korean-language only, both the Intercity and Express KoBus booking apps give you insight into available buses and timetables.

T-Money is a transportation service that competes with Cashbee. It operates the Kobus apps.

Kobus splits intercity and express bus services into two different apps. The Intercity Kobus (시외버스 티머니) app is green. The Express Kobus (고속버스 티머니) app is blue.

Both apps lack an English language setting. If you pick up some basic Hangul (한글), you can muddle your way to buying a ticket.

If you get through the payment process, you can download an e-ticket to your phone.

TxBus & Kobus Websites

Not only did T-Money create two different apps, they built two websites with different names.

The TxBus allows you to book intercity buses.

The Kobus website lets customers book express buses.

Unlike their associated apps, the websites have English language settings.

There’s a way around the Kobus app’s Korean language roadblock. Buy your tickets on the website. Open the app, find your reservation, and download your e-ticket.

Korean Search Engines

Just want to check a bus terminal’s timetable without downloading a bus booking app? Try Naver and Daum. These two domestic search engines will connect you to helpful blogs.

There’s a catch, though. You must read and write in Korean.

Just kidding. Use a translation app like Naver’s Papago (Google Play; App Store) or Google Translate (Google Play; App Store).

In English, type in your [departure city] and “intercity (or express) bus timetable.”

For example, “Ulsan intercity bus timetable” becomes “울산 시외 버스 시간표” after translation.

Tap copy on your app, then paste it into Naver. In the “View” results, you’ll find detailed blogs breaking down how the terminal operates. If you use the Chrome (Google Play; App Store) or Firefox (Google Play; App Store) browsers, you can translate the site, too.

Naver Maps

If you use Naver Maps (Google Play; App Store), type in 버스 터미널 (bus terminal). A list of nearby bus terminals will pop-up. You can scroll around and tap “search here” to find more terminals. 

When you select a terminal, in the listing’s information you’ll find twin drop-down boxes separated by double arrows (⇄). Above it, you’ll see 운행정보 (operation information).

Naver grays out the first box. Why? Because it’s the terminal you selected. The second drop-down box gives you the full list of destination terminals.

Tap the double arrows (⇄). The boxes will switch. Now the first box lists all the terminals leading to the selected terminal.

There’s a catch. Everything’s written in Hangul (한글). Learn to read Korean characters, though. It’s simple and you’ll be reading city names in no time.