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If you are visiting Busan any time soon, take a trip from Busan to Gyeongju by bus (or even train) – the journey is relatively short and inexpensive. Gyeongju’s historic charm and quiet streets are the perfect anthesis to the hustle and bustle of Busan.
The trip from Busan to Gyeongju is less than an hour by bus and is a much cheaper option than the KTO Train.
From coach departure times to bus station facilities, here is our guide to getting the bus from Busan to Gyeongju (with prices) in 2023:
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Table of Contents
How long is the bus journey from Busan to Gyeongju?
The bus journey from Busan Central Bus Terminal station to Gyeongju is around 50 minutes direct.
The journey is mainly via expressways / highway and the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal is the first stop.
Note there are several bus terminals in Gyeongju, but the Intercity Busan to Gyeongju bus goes to the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal (also close to the Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal).
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How to get to Busan Central Bus Station / Terminal
The best and most direct way to get to Busan Central Bus Station is to take subway line 1 (orange line) and get off at Nopo Metro Station. Nopo is also the last station on the Northern end of line 1.
Once at Nopo Metro Station, take the stairs or escalator up and you’ll see signs for Busan bus station / central terminal from the Nopo station concourse.
The walk is less than one minute on a flat walkway (ideal if you have heavy backpacks or suitcases) and takes you directly to the bus ticket desks and machines.
You can use money to buy your Metro / train tickets to Busan Central Bus Terminal but we’d recommend getting a T Money card from a station or convenience store and topping it up.
T Money cards initially cost 5,000 Korean Won but last indefinitely and are very convenient to hop on and off public transport in Busan and South Korea.
How to get from Busan Station to Busan Central Bus Terminal / Nopo Station
The journey from Busan Station to Busan Central Bus Station is around 35 to 40 minutes long via the Busan Metro Line 1 (orange line). There are 21 stops between Busan Station and Busan Central Bus Station.
To get from Busan train station to Busan Central Bus Terminal, alight at Nopo station – the Busan bus terminal is connected to Nopo station and is less than one minute walk away.
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Buying Busan to Gyeongju bus tickets
You can sometimes pre purchase Busan to Gyeongju bus tickets online via kobus.co.kr – however, there are regular bus departures (up to two or three per hour), so most travellers and locals buy their Busan to Gyeongju bus tickets at the Busan bus station on the day of travel.
We also found the Kobus website quite difficult to navigate (a lot of Korean transport sites require you to have a Korean cell / mobile number).
There is no need to pre purchase bus / coach tickets for Busan to Gyeongju – there are several ticket machines and ticket counters on level 2 of Busan bus station where you can buy bus tickets for buses leaving within the next few minutes.
How much is the Busan to Gyeongju bus?
The price of a Busan to Gyeongju bus ticket is 6,000 Korean won for a ‘standard’ bus or 7,700 Korean Won for a ‘premium’ bus. This is approximately £3.60 / $4.40 USD / 4.20 Euros for a one way ‘standard’ bus ticket from Busan to Gyeongju or from Gyeongju to Busan.
These Busan bus fares to Gyeongju are based on one way Intercity tickets bought at Busan train station. Bus ticket prices correct as of October 2023. There are also Express bus tickets to Gyeongui but these are less frequent and cost more (and aren’t any quicker than the Intercity buses to be honest).
We paid 7,700 Korean Won for the premium Intercity bus from Busan to Gyeongju and were not disappointed (so much leg room – more on this later).
The last bus of the day from Busan bus station to Gyeongju is classed as a ‘premium late night’ bus and costs 8,000 Korean Won.
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Buying bus tickets
Once at Busan Central Bus Terminal, you can easily buy bus tickets from the automatic bus ticket machines on level 2 (this is the same level you enter from Nopo Metro station).
The bus ticket machines at Busan bus station have an English language setting and only accept debit cards / credit cards – if you want to buy your bus ticket with cash, there are several ticket desks.
To buy a Busan to Gyeongju (or to other destinations from Busan), select your destination – a tab of the next available Busan buses to Gyeongju then comes up.
Select your preferred time and then your preferred seats. The bus ticket machine also shows you how many tickets have already been sold so you can see how busy it is.
Based on our experience, we saw that the next direct bus departing for Gyeongju leaving in 20 or so minutes was pretty full with no double seats remaining. So we checked the next bus 10 minutes after that one and could see we had a free choice of any seat so we opted to take the next bus.
Once you’ve selected your bus time and seats, pay with your debit / credit card and the tickets are issued immediately.
On your Busan to Gyeongju bus ticket, you’ll see your departure time, seat number and platform number where the bus departs from – our Gyeongju bus departed from platform 27 of Busan Central Bus Terminal.
Note the Busan to Gyeongju buses depart from the level below the ticketing hall, so once you’ve bought your ticket, head straight downstairs and find your bus departure gate / platform.
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Busan to Gyeongju bus timetable
Buses from Busan bus station to Gyeongju run very regularly (up to two or three buses an hour) until 10pm at night – the Intercity buses run more frequently than the Express buses.
For instance, when we rocked up at 1pm, there were two Intercity buses departing in the next 30 minutes but the next Express bus was 2.5 hours later. So we just grabbed the Intercity bus as the journey duration is the same given Gyeongju is a direct journey on both bus types.
The Busan to Gyeongju bus departures are generally two to four bus departures per hour.
In the evening after 8pm, there are buses at 8:30pm, 9pm, 9:15pm and a 9:30pm bus – the last departure to Gyeongju on the Intercity bus is 10pm at night.
Busan Central Bus Terminal facilities
Busan Central Bus Station is easy to get to from Nopo Station / Busan Line 1 Metro. It is a little rough around the edges inside but fine if you aren’t waiting around too long.
As well as toilets and a GS25 convenience store, there is a Paris Baguette cafe and several Oden stalls in the main Busan central bus terminal ticket hall area.
There is also a useful Busan Tourist Information desk that is well stocked with tourist leaflets and pamphlets in multiple languages.
On the upper floor of Busan Central Bus Terminal, you’ll find more toilets, a Korean restaurant selling hot food like bibimbaps and kalguksu plus a branch of the South Korean coffee chain Caffe Pascucci.
If you have a little time to spare at Busan Central station before getting the Gyeongju bus, there is also some seating outside and a small park to explore. Plus here you can pose with a big statue of the Busan seagull mascot Boogi (who is eating fish-cakes on a skewer of course!)
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Onboard the Busan to Gyeongju bus
There are two types of Intercity Busan to Gyeongju bus – a standard bus (cost 6,000 Won per ticket) and a premium bus (7,500 Won per ticket).
We opted for a premium bus which meant we got more leg room and the quality of the bus was much nicer – we haven’t ridden on a standard bus but from what we could see, they were perfectly fine but just looked a little older.
Using the bus ticket machines in Busan station, we were able to select the two seats directly behind the driver and had loads of space – there are overhead luggage racks for smaller bags plus reclining chairs, sun blinds / curtains and air conditioning.
In terms of heavy luggage / backpacks, we had to put these under the bus ourselves and then open the compartment and retrieve them when we reached Gyeongju.
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Gyeongju Intercity Bus Station
Less than an hour later after jumping on the Busan to Gyeongju bus, we arrived at Gyeongju Bus Station.
It is a smaller station but has adequate facilities including ticket desks, convenience stores, free toilets and an Ediya coffee shop.
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Other ways to get to Gyeongju – by train
There are also express KTO trains from Busan to Gyeongju (Singyeongju KTX station). The journey time on the train from Busan to Gyeongju is less than half an hour but the Gyeongju train station (Singyeongju) is located quite far out of town (around 7km).
As we were staying centrally and only a five minute walk from the bus station, we found it MUCH quicker to get the Busan to Gyeongju bus as opposed to the express train (as we’d then need to get a bus to downtown Gyeongui from Singyeongju KTX station).
In addition, the bus to Gyeongju from Busan is about a third of the price, so the bus from Busan to Gyeongju is a much cheaper option – and likely more convenient if you’re staying centrally.
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We found it really easy to get from downtown Busan to Busan Central Bus Terminal via line 1 of the Busan Metro.
We bought our Busan to Gyeongju bus tickets last minute (30 minutes before departure) at the station as buses are frequent and up to three times an hour.
Busan to Busan to Gyeongju bus tickets are inexpensive (between 6,000 and 7,500 Korean Won) when travelling on the Intercity Bus and the journey is only 50 minutes long – it is a direct bus.
If you have central accommodation in Gyeongju, the bus journey is likely much more convenient (and cheaper) than the Busan to Gyeongju express train.
Safe travels to Gyeongju!
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