How to Purchase and Use a Korail Pass [2023]

When you visit South Korea, a Korail Pass is a great option for intercity travel on the KTX fast train network. One of the things we like about the Korail Pass option is that it is easy to make changes as you travel without having to deal with refunds and rebooking of train tickets – you can just change your reservations, and you are good to go.

We used the Korail Pass on our most recent visit to South Korea and found it to be an easy option to use and also to be able to reserve all of our seats in advance of our trip.

The Korail Pass includes up to two seat reservations per day, which includes rides on the KTX bullet train network, slower ITX trains and tourist trains. You can choose either a 3 or 5 day consecutive day pass, or a flexible pass where you can travel on either 2 or 4 days within a 10 day period. There is also a great group saver pass option for groups of 2 to 5 people where you can save up to 10% on your train tickets.

A Korail pass comes with a range of other benefits, including free or discounted entry to a range of museums, attractions and tours, as well as discounts for a range of hotels and duty-free shops.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
From $US 77
Korail Pass

Korail Pass

  • 3 or 5 day consecutive day passes
  • 2 or 4 day flexible passes, which can be used within a 10 day period
  • Very easy to book
  • Cost effective, with savings for larger groups
  • Easy to reserve seats and also make changes
  • Great cancellation options
10
Click Here KlookClick Here Trazy

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Korea Train Map

You can see the detailed Korean train map below which shows the KTX train lines, which are also used by other trains. There are also additional train lines for standard trains which are not shown on this map. Below is an overview of the different types of trains in Korea to help you better understand the options for Korea Rail Pass. All trains with the exception of the SRT are included in the KR Pass.

  • KTX Trains. The Korea Train Express (or KTX) trains are the Korean bullet trains, able to reach a speed of over 305km/hr / 190 mph and only stop at major stations. As a result they are the fastest (and most expensive) option to get around South Korea. From Seoul they depart from Seoul Station on the western side of Seoul or Yongsan Station on the southern side of Seoul.
  • SRT Trains. The Super Rapid Train (or SRT) trains are an alternative Korean bullet train, as they are able to reach a speed of 300 km/hr or 186 mph. From Seoul they depart from Suseo Station, which is located further south in Seoul near Gangnam and they only operate on two train lines. The SRT trains are NOT included in your Korail Pass.
  • ITX Trains. The InterCity train eXpress (ITX or Saemaeul) trains are slower than the KTX trains, and operate at 165 km/hr / 103 mph on three main train lines.
  • Mugunghwa Trains. Local trains which stop at all stations big and small, and as a result are a lot slower to get from place to place.
Chugun, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Scenic Trains in South Korea

Below are the scenic train options in South Korea which are also included in your Korail Pass. Note that post COVID19 that the scenic train options are progressively re-opening, so ensure you check the train status on the official Korail website before planning to visit.

  • The S-Train is the scenic ‘Sea Train’ which travels along the southern and eastern coast of Korea. There are two separate lines, one from Busan Station to Yeosu Station, and the second line from Gwangju to Masan. The train timetables are set up to enable you to transfer between trains at Hadong Station. The total travel time for the full route is approximately 5.5 hours.
  • The V-Train is the scenic ‘Baekdudaegan Mountain Range Canyon Train’ which departs from Buncheon Station to Cheoram Station and return. The one way trip is just over one hour long at a slow pace to enjoy the scenery.
  • The O-Train is the scenic ‘Central Inland Region Train’ which departs from Yongsan Station in Seoul and travels a loop route of 250km / 155 mi over a 5 hour period. This is a great option to explore central Korean mountain landscapes. There are many stops along the way if you want to explore further.
  • The A-Train is the scenic ‘Jeongseon Arirang Train’ which departs from Cheongnyangni Station to travel to Auraji Station to enjoy beautiful views along the way, also with the option to visit the traditional Jeaongseon market which is held weekly.
  • The G-Train is the scenic ‘West Sea Gold Train’ which departs from Yongsan Station in Seoul and travels one way along the beautiful west coast to Iksan Station over 3.5 hours. The train has many amenities to enjoy for which you pay a separate fee.

Purchase Your Korail Pass

The 2, 3, 4 or 5 day Korail pass (a special rail pass for foreign visitors) is a great option for tourists when travelling to South Korea, and can be booked using your normal payment methods. The Korail Pass can be used on all intercity trains, with the exception of SRT trains, and also includes tourist trains. You can book a maximum of two seat reservations per day using your Korail Pass.

A Korail pass comes with a range of other benefits, including free or discounted entry to a range of museums, attractions and tours, as well as discounts for a range of hotels and duty-free shops. Examples of the included benefits are as follows:

  • 45% discount on Seoul Land tickets
  • 30% discount on Hanbok Hire from Hanboknam
  • 30% discount on Seoul Tiger Bus City Tour
  • And many other discounts across South Korea

For us, the biggest benefit of purchasing a Korail Pass is that you can pre-reserve your seats before you depart on your trip and then easily change your reservations as required without needing to work out refunds or pay any extra money.

From a cost comparison perspective, you can also save money when you use a KTX Pass. For example (in Sep 2022), the cost for a single adult for a 2 day flexible Korail Pass through Klook is $US87. The cost for a one way Economy Class KTX train trip from Seoul to Busan (purchased on the Korail website) is Korean Won 59,800, which converts to $US 43. Therefore a Seoul to Busan return trip using the KTX is also $US 87. If you add on any other train trips you will therefore be saving money.

You can choose either consecutive days or flexible days within a 10 day period when purchasing your Korail Pass. If you are travelling as a group, you can also access additional savings for groups of 2-5 people. The Korail Pass options are as follows:

  • Consecutive Day Passes. You can purchase either a 3 or 5 day consecutive day pass, with pricing for adults, youths and children. Children aged 5 years old and younger travel free.
  • Flexible Passes. You can purchase either a 2 day or 4 day pass which can be used on any day within a 10 day period, with pricing for adults, youths and children. Children aged 5 years old and younger travel free.
  • Group Saver Pass. If you are travelling as a group of 2-5 people you can get approximately a 10% discount by selecting the Saver pass option (note that only adult fares are available with the Group Saver option)

Once your Korail Pass has been issued, you can then log into the Korail website to make all of your seat reservations. This process has been detailed below including screen shots.

Our personal example of using a Korail Pass was that we used our 2 Day Flexible Korail pass to pre-book our two major travel legs in advance – Seoul to Jinju and Busan to Seoul.

Unfortunately a typhoon came through which was going to have a major effect on Busan, and we decided to instead return to Seoul early and hope that there would be less rain and wind in that location. We were able to easily change our reservations online and get on with our trip without any hassle.

Note that the Korail Pass is not valid during national holidays and peak summer seasons, usually between late July to early August. On the Klook website it shows available dates.

Klook also offers the option to cancel your Korail Pass booking up to 72 hours prior to your activity commencement and get a full refund. Note that if you have made seat reservations you will first need to cancel those reservations at least 72 hours prior to the activity, before then requesting Klook to refund your Korail Pass.

You can also choose to add the Klook Flex Plus Flexible cancellation option for a small additional fee which will enable you to get a 60% refund after the free refund period with no questions asked.


Klook Korail Pass Booking Page
Klook Korail Pass Booking Page

After you select your preferred pass and have added it to your shopping cart, when you go to finalise your payment, you will need to add extra information to enable your booking to be completed. You will need to add the specific information for each person, including name, passport number, gender, date of birth and nationality. Once this information has been added, you can also choose to add the Klook Flex Plus Flexible cancellation option for a small additional fee. Choose to add any loyalty or promo code discounts before making payment to finalise your booking.

How to Use Your Korail Pass

Once you have received your Korail Pass confirmation from Klook or Trazy, you can go to the official Korail website to make your seat reservations, up to 30 days prior to your planned travel date. Alternatively, you can wait until after you arrive in South Korea, and go to a Korail ticket office to make your seat reservations.

To log in you will need to enter your Korail Pass Number. If your group is using more than one Korail Pass you will need to enter each pass number separately to make your bookings.

How to Select Your Travel Dates for Your Korail Pass

If you are travelling on a flexible Korail pass, you first need to select your dates of travel.  Select your Korea Rail Pass and then click on the ‘Details’ Button. If you have purchased a consecutive day pass, you should instead confirm that the dates are correct.

You are able to make a one time change to your travel start date if required, and the new date needs to be within 31 days of the voucher issue date.

On this screen, you can set the first date of travel with the Korail Pass, and for the flexible pass, you can also select each individual date of travel.  This is an essential step to enable you to reserve your seats online.  This screen also has the details of all people travelling on this Korail pass, including their passport details (which you supplied when purchasing your Korail Pass).

How to Reserve Your Seats with a Korail Pass

After those details have been set, return to the Seat Reservation page option.  You can now select your date of travel, type of train, departure and arrival point, and the number of passengers – it is essential for the number of adults and children to perfectly line up with the details on your Korail pass, otherwise, it will not let you proceed with making your reservation.

Click ‘Inquiry’, and you will then see the available options.

Your Korail Pass enables you to travel in Economy, so select the Economy option for the train you plan to reserve. If you have entered all of the information correctly, it then shows you your seat allocation for each person on the Korail Pass, with no additional cost required. 

If you wish to proceed, click on the ‘Next’ Button.  It then generates your boarding passes for each person on the Korail Pass.  At this stage, you can print your boarding passes and confirm your booking.  Job done!  When you click ‘Confirm’ it then returns you to your main booking page.

When you have made your seat reservations, you will need to generate a printed ticket to use when you travel. You can either print at home, or go to a Korail ticketing window in South Korea to get your tickets.

How to Change Your Seat Reservations with Your Korea Rail Pass

If you need to change your Korail reservations, again log in to the ‘My Reservations’ page and click on the ‘Usage History’ Button, you will then see all of your confirmed seat reservations.  To cancel a seat reservation, click on the Select button on the left hand side of the reservations you wish to cancel and click the ‘Refund’ button.  You must take this action for each seat reservation, and the status will progressively change from ‘Sale’ to ‘Return’.  You can then make new seat reservations as you wish, noting that you will need to reprint your tickets.

You can also use the above screen to reprint your seat reservations if required.  Click on the ‘Details’ button, and it will show you a more detailed overview of the reservation, and also has a button you can click to print the train details.

If you need to get your seat reservation reissued, click on the relevant booking and click on the ‘Reissue’ button.  On this screen, you can click on the Reissue button to get a new print of your seat reservation. 

If you have any issues, you can also get your seat reservation reissued at the train station counter up to 20 minutes prior to your departure time.

Then all you need to do is to arrive at your departure station prior to the departure of your train. Your ticket identifies your car and seat number, so look for the car number, board, find your seat, and you are ready to go!

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
From $US 77
Korail Pass

Korail Pass

  • 3 or 5 day consecutive day passes
  • 2 or 4 day flexible passes, which can be used within a 10 day period
  • Very easy to book
  • Cost effective, with savings for larger groups
  • Easy to reserve seats and also make changes
  • Great cancellation options
10
Click Here KlookClick Here Trazy

You may also like:

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.