*January 2018 UPDATE: This App is now old, and there are new and better apps. But knowing the Korean words on this blog post can still be helpful in navigating through the new app.
When you travel within Korea, express buses are one of the most affordable and convenient ways to travel. The KTX is of course the most comfortable, and airplane flights are fastest, but they are much more expensive.
In most occasions, it would be fine to purchase a ticket at the station on the day of, but if it’s a busy weekend, or if you just want to save some time, I recommend reserving tickets ahead of time with this app.
Here are the 10 steps you need get an express bus ticket with the app.
1. First download this app (전국고속버스운송조합- 코버스) or this app (전국시외/고속버스 예매). These two generally have the same function, but there was a time when I was able to find tickets from one app but not the other.
2. Click on the upper left “시외버스 예약/운행정보 안내” to see which buses are available at what time and for how much.
3. You must select your departure terminal by clicking 출발지 찾기.
On the top there will be a list of the main bus terminals. If you can’t find your departure terminal on that list, look it up in the bottom portion, which puts the bus terminal names in alphabetical order.
In Seoul there is 서울남부버스터미널, which is near the Express Bus Terminal Station, and there is 동서울버스터미널, which is near Gangbyeon Station.
4. When you click the bus terminal name, you will automatically go to the next page. Now you’ll have to select the arrival terminal by clicking 도착지 찾기.
5. If you have both your departure and arrival bus terminals, next you will select your departure date. Don’t forget that it’s YYYY/MM/DD! The last row allows you to show buses that leave after that time.
6. This is a list of the buses available. It shows the departure time, if it’s a direct bus or not, the bus company name, approximate duration of the ride, seat availability, price for an adult, “see detail” button, and a “make a reservation” button.
7. After you click the reservation button, you will go onto the next page, which has a description of ticket exchange and cancellation policies.
- You must print out your ticket before the departure time. There will be no ticket after your departure time.
- There is no fee for changing the departure time, or decreasing the number of people.
- But you cannot change the departure date, increase the number of people, or change the route.
- No cancellation fee: 1. Day of reservation, 2. Two days before departure, 3. Within an hour of your departure-day-reservation.
- 10% Cancellation fee: 1. One day before departure, 2. Over an hour after your departure-day-reservation.
- 20% Cancellation fee: 1. Couldn’t exchange the ticket before the departure time 2. Didn’t cancel the reservation.
Just click 확인 to show that you understand their policies.
8. Now you can select where you want to sit on the bus. The top is the front of the bus, and the bottom is the back of the bus. Click 확인 after your seat selection.
Now you must enter your payment information.
For the first row (카드구분) choose 개인 unless you are using your company’s card or something.
On the second row, enter your card number.
On the third row, enter the card expiry year and month.
On the last row, enter the first six digits of your alien registration number (this is most likely your birthday YYMMDD). I’m assuming that this means that you need to use a Korean card that is linked to your alien registration number.
*typo! registration number… haha
Click 확인 after you enter your payment information. Your reservation is complete!
10. You can go back to the home page, click 예약확인/취소/변경 and enter your card number to check/cancel/change your reservation.
When you get to the bus terminal, you have to find a machine to swipe your card or enter your card number, so you can print the ticket. If you can’t find a machine, just give your teller your card number.
The only downside to traveling by bus is that you will definitely be stuck in traffic on weekends, or during big festivals like the Jinju Lantern Festival and the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival. Prepare yourself to be sitting in a bus for long hours… but on normal days, the bus rides are quite comfortable!
Good luck on purchasing your express bus ticket and enjoy traveling in Korea! If you have any more questions, please leave a message in the comments section.