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Cheap way to ride KTX in Korea – KR PASS

This summer I spent my vacation for trip inside Korea. Actually Korea is not such a big country, so you can reach end-to-end point for almost 5 hours by bus. But if you don’t want to spend much time in the bus, you have another option. Take a KTX (Korean Train Express). For sure, the fare is much higher compared to the bus.

Luckily for foreigner visiting or residing Korea, we can get saver price for riding KTX by using KR PASS, and for unlimited ride for some period! But, in case you are foreigner residing Korea, you must be under 25 years old or youth with International student identity card. But dont worry, they rarely  check it 🙂

To get KR PASS, first you need to book it online through KORAIL homepage. Just go to the English version, then go to travelling tab, and then you can see the KR PASS tab.


KORAIL homepage – How to reserve

Then you need to fill all the required information. Once you finish filling up the form, you will be guide to the payment page. Remember that I suggest you to use IE browser, because almost all site in Korea require some add in option in IE. You can pay your KR PASS using either credit card or Korea check card.

After Payment, What should I do?

You will be guided to the print e-ticket page. Just print your e-ticket, or you can just save it to pdf to your phone.

Remember: You need to exchange your e-ticket to the youth ticket

Please remember you cannot directly use your e-ticket. You need to go to the ticket counter (in almost of KTX station), and exchange your e-ticket with the KR PASS. And you need to tell the teller where is your destination, they will reserve the seat for you. This is the disadvantage of KR PASS. You cannot reserve a seat for KTX via internet or KORAIL app in your smartphone. So you need to go to station in advance. My suggestion, just book your roundtrip seat in advance, to avoid the possibility of full seat so you can enjoy your travel.

And please spare the time for exchanging your KR PASS. My experience: it took about 20 minutes to exchange the ticket. This happened because the teller didn’t know how to exchange the KR PASS ticket. Maybe she was not familiar with KR PASS at that time. So I missed my train that I wanted to ride because of this. I thought it will be done within 5 minutes. Poor me 😦

The Price?

Yes much cheaper then regular price. Here is the price table.


KR PASS Price Table

See? Much cheaper right? For example, for one day pass, it only cost KRW 46,600. You can do unlimited ride of KTX for all destination inside Korea. It is much cheaper when you want to go one day trip from Seoul to Busan. Regular price one way ticket for Seoul to Busan is around KRW 50,000. So for round trip, you will cost around KRW 100,000. But using KR PASS, you just pay for KRW 46,600. Much cheaper!

Other benefits:

You can get some discount in certain area. For example, Busan museum, Lotte Mart, etc. I forgot the detail. But you can check on the website.

Enjoy travelling in Korea using KR PASS!


45 comments on “Cheap way to ride KTX in Korea – KR PASS

  1. calisc
    November 23, 2013

    hello..can i know is we don’t have credit card then how? can use other people credit card to make reservation? thanks

    • aswantara
      November 23, 2013

      Sure. You can use other people’s credit card to pay it.

      • calisc
        November 23, 2013

        but if tat person is not travelling with us how? still can? just need to take the credit card to show them only?

      • aswantara
        November 23, 2013

        No. I mean you just need a credit card to pay for the ticket. Once you pay, you will get a receipt and you need to exchange the receipt with the KR Pass. So there is no relation whose credit card you use to pay.

      • calisc
        November 24, 2013

        okok..thanks very much =)

  2. mayla
    April 4, 2014

    hi. I booked in for a KR PASS but the e-ticket was not saved (i dont know what happened because I vividly remember saving it). So I went to again to re-print my voucher but it says reservation not found. I tried also to call the number in the website but i cant get through. I also emailed them but to no avail. Please help what do i do..

    • aswantara
      April 4, 2014

      Dear mayla,

      Did you pay already?
      I think you can just go to the Korail front-desk in most of the KTX stations.
      Please bring your ID card or passport that you used when you booked it.
      I think they can track your reservation using that information.
      I hope this can help you.

  3. sadboys
    April 10, 2014

    hey. if we are unable to reserve seats how can we book the seats in advance without first being in korea?
    if i intend to go from seoul to busan and i can only get a seat when i am in korea and exchanging the pass, what happens if i don’t get a seat? 3 hours of standing will be crazy 😦

    • aswantara
      June 4, 2014

      I think if you reserve 4 hours before the departure you can still get a seat. Believe me. Unless it is on the peak season (like Chuseok, Seollal, etc)

  4. nana
    May 21, 2014

    hi. i just want to know if traveling with kids in it worthwhile n risk free if i use kr pass?i mean i dont wanna have to stand with kids if they cant get me seats..

    • aswantara
      May 23, 2014

      Yes for sure. But I advise you to change your ticket at front desk in advance, so you can secure a seat for you and your family. Don’t just change a ticket right before the departure. It will be hard to get a seat then.

  5. Saras
    June 11, 2014

    Hallo Mr. I wanna ask you something. If i dont have a credit card, can i pay it cash in Korail KTX station? And if i’m travel from seoul to busan with my other 2 friends, can we use saver price? do you know something about saver kr pass? Because we still confuse about what will we ride to Busan. Thanks Mr 🙂

    • aswantara
      June 11, 2014

      Hai. If you have a credit card, I think you can buy directly at the station, but a little bit inconvenience.
      Nope. The price is the same for the ticket. You can get lower price if you buy a ticket for a longer period, i.e. you can get lower price for 3 consecutive tickets, than buying one day ticket for 3 days. Hope it will be helpful.

  6. bkjoy
    July 10, 2014

    From the website, it seems that passengers using KR Pass cannot be designated general seating on KTX, Saemaeul (새마을), or Mugunghwa (무궁화) trains during major Korean holidays and peak seasons, such as Lunar New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, summer vacation, and New Year’s. So I cannot buy KR pass to buy sitting tickets and use them during summer seasons? No restriction for happy pass? If with happy pass, can we reserve a seat for KTX via internet or KORAIL app in our smartphone?

    • aswantara
      August 5, 2014

      Hi. Sorry for the late reply. Yes, usually during chuseok, seollal, there is no KR Pass available due to the high traffic of passenger. So, you better to check via KTX website to check the availability. Of course you can check it through internet, but not sure it is available on KORAIL apps. Thanks

  7. lily
    August 1, 2014

    My husband and I will be visiting korea in November this year, how early can we purchase our KTX saver pass from busan to seoul?

    • aswantara
      August 5, 2014

      Hi. I am not sure about this, but I think you can book it 3 months prior to the ticket date. Just have a try! Thanks.

  8. jacqueenmak
    August 19, 2014

    Hi, just want to know if I purchase the KR pass through website…i can only reserve the seat when i go exchange the KR pass?

    • aswantara
      August 19, 2014

      Yes. You need to go to Korail front desk (available at most of KTX station) and then exchange the ticket. A bit inconvenience! Hope there will be an improve for this.

  9. Syarifah Al
    August 28, 2014

    The exchange ticket is only one time or for every destination? For eg if I buy 5-days pass, and within that 5-days i plan to stop at different town. Do i need to do that exchange ticket everytime i bound at any station?

    • aswantara
      August 28, 2014

      No. Based on my experience, you can exchange for several ticket one time in a single day.
      But have to be realistic, i.e. I plan go from Seoul to Daejeon 8AM, then continue from Daejeon to Busan around 1PM. You can book those tickets in Seoul one time.

  10. vianca
    September 1, 2014

    I’m 24 but not residing in Korea nor do I have an ISIC. Can I still get the youth pass?

    • aswantara
      September 1, 2014

      Hi. You still can buy a KR Pass, but not for Student Pass (the cheapest one). You can buy the standard pass. This is bit more expensive than the student pass, but I think it is still economic for travelling using KTX when you travel a lot in a single day.

  11. KELLY
    September 1, 2014

    hi, if i wish to travel from seoul to busan on day 1 and return on day3 from busan to seoul would it still be cheaper to purchase the KR pass? about the seating reservations, it means i can exchange the ticket say the day before i depart and book the seats together + returning as well? lastly, is there any major festival during the first week of Nov resulting in not getting those seats?

    many thanks for replying!

    • aswantara
      September 2, 2014

      If you do like that, I dont think it will be cheaper using KR Pass. Because you just use it for one trip. You can exchange the ticket before the departure, so you can exchange the return ticket when you depart, as long as you can assure your schedule. I dont think so that Korea has major festival in November. The most crowded period is during Chuseok and Seolnal. Please check it here for more detail.

      • KELLY
        September 3, 2014

        Oh but I was trying to compare both KTX and KR pass and it looks like the pass is cheaper though I’m only gping to busan and back?

        “Ktx one way is 51,800won means its 103,600/pax to travel to n fro however KR pass seems to be only 76,100/pax as I travel in pair which entitled me to the saveur discount?”

        So presuming the above prices are accurate I would assume its better to buy KR? Pls advise and thank u so much for your time! 🙂

      • aswantara
        September 4, 2014

        Hi. Yeah. But I think that the price for one day pass right? If you go for one day trip, it is surely cheaper. But if your departure and arrival is 2 days different, so you need 3days pass, which is more expensive, isnt it? 🙂 Just my opinion, feel free to advise.

  12. Ania
    September 2, 2014

    Your information about credit card is incorrect. You HAVE to show the credit card to exchange the voucher. We had to rebook cause I did not have the specific card on me.

    • aswantara
      September 4, 2014

      Hi Ania,
      Sorry if my information was incorrect. When I was there, it does not matter, as long as we can show the receipt of the payment. I just shared what I experienced. I appreciate your input to me. Maybe the others can learn from you. Thanks

  13. Jean
    October 1, 2014

    Hi, I made online booking for the KR pass and apparently my card has already been charged. I thought payment will only be made when I am exchanging my e-ticket? Pls advise, thank you

    • aswantara
      October 14, 2014

      Hi there. I am not sure whether they changed the policy. But dont worry, the rule is pretty fair there. You will not loose your money for nothing 🙂

  14. azurew
    October 10, 2014

    I am wondering what is the difference between Happy Pass and KR pass?
    I’m holding a working holiday visa so I am qualified to buy the Happy Pass but it is more expensive than the KR pass.
    In this case, I’d rather buy the cheaper KR pass.
    Or actually there is some privileges for Happy Pass?
    Please kindly help!
    Many thanks.

    • aswantara
      October 14, 2014

      Hi.. I think it is better to take KR Pass. I dont think there is a privilege for Happy Pass.

  15. janelle
    October 13, 2014


    The website to purchase the KR Pass doesnt seem to work. Tried with Internet Explorer but still didnt work…

    So my questions are;
    Can we pay cash to purchase the KR Pass at ANY KTX Station?
    And what time does the counter opens for purchasing?
    Can we purchase it at Incheon Airport KTX Station?
    Also for the Tmoney card, will we be able to get a refund if there are extra credit at the end of our trip in Korea?

    I am leaving for Seoul tomorrow, so will very much appreciate your early response.
    Thank you!!!!

    • aswantara
      October 14, 2014

      Sorry if my answer was late.. Yes you can just go to any of KORAIL counter and buy for KR Pass, as long as you qualified for that.
      I am not sure but the counter is operating during the operation of KTX, I guess. You can find it at Incheon as well. Yes the remaining balance for Tmoney can be refunded or you just use it to buy something in the most of the convenience store there. Enjoy your holiday!

  16. Ayushaza Amir
    February 10, 2015

    Hello! I have some problem here. I want to reserve the KR pass online. I’ll be going to Korea on 2nd March. I plan to go to Busan on 5th March and come back to Seoul on 7th March. So, there’s part in the online reservation form stating “Expected date of arrival in Korea” So, does this mean the date I’ll arrive in Korea OR the date I plan to go to Busan? (& use the KR pass) In my case, is it 2nd March OR 5th March? I hope you can help me. I am so confused. I don’t want to make mistake when doing the reservation.

  17. kang
    March 27, 2015

    Hello, I’m a university student from Korea. We find a traveler who visited Korea and used KRpass. If you okay to conteck us with e-mail, please give me a e-mail to

    Thank you.:)

  18. kang
    March 27, 2015

    I’m very hppy yo receive your e-mil. So I comfirm for you. I want to talk with you withe-mail about KRpass. Thank you.

  19. Shannon
    May 16, 2015

    Hi, in the part where they ask about the arrival date in korea on the order form, do i put in the date when i arrive in korea or do i put in the date when i head to busan? Because I’m planning to go to Busan few days after I reach korea.
    Sorry if this sound confusing.

  20. Jason
    October 6, 2015

    Hello , I will be going Seoul on the 21st October and will need travel to busan together with my 5 family member. Can I check with you if buying the 3 days saver pass will be better ? and if I can use the same ticket to come back to Seoul on the 23rd Oct before 11.59pm ?

    Can you please advise ?

  21. Pingback: A Travel Guide: Riding KTX from Seoul to Busan

  22. zero745
    January 6, 2016

    Hi! Does the KR Pass cover ITX-Cheongchun Line? My friends and I will be going to Nami Island on the 20th from Yongsan to Gapyeong via ITX. Afterwards, we also plan to go to Busan in the evening via KTX. Was thinking we’d get one day KR pass to save money on both destinations. Thank you for the help! 🙂

  23. Cheryl
    January 17, 2016


    I bought the 5-day KORAIL pass, as I will be going to Busan and Daegu.
    However, I will be arriving in Seoul on the 8th Feb, 2016, but I will be going to Busan on the 14th of February. Can I exchange my ticket on the 8th of Feb for the 14th of Feb – 18th Feb?

    or will it start from the 8th of feb?

    Thank you!!

  24. AREX
    March 19, 2016

    Hi, here is more information about ‘Korail Pass’ for you. I hope your journey was great with ‘Korail pass’ before. Actually, you can buy a ‘Korail pass’ in ICN if you don’t make any reservation in advance. If you are between 13 and 25, you can buy a ‘youth pass’ and also between 2 and 5 people. you can buy a ‘saver pass’. Both has a saving prices. As you said, sometimes foreigners feel like Korea is small. So I recommend you to travel out of Seoul like Busan, Singyeongju etc. And ‘Korail pass’ wiill be so helpful for your journey. Thanks.

  25. AREX
    March 28, 2016

    Very nice information about KTX in Korea. As you know with KTX, you can go to the other city like Busan, Dongdaegu, Singyeongju etc. So here is more tip for you. There is a ‘Korail pass’ and if you have this pass, you can take all KTX whenever you want. So if you are planing to travel out of Seoul, I strongly recommend this pass. There are many option you can choose like if you and your friends are between 2 and 5 people, you can buy a ‘saver pass’ and if your age is between 13 and 25, you can purchase ‘youth pass’. It means you can save your money more. If you are interested in this pass, you can get more information from the website ‘’. Thanks.

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2013 by in Cerita Singkat, Tips.
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