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The Award-Winning Tour Specialist
South Korea Rail Holidays

South Korea Rail Holidays

China Week

One of Asia’s most dynamic destinations, South Korea is a land of contrasts, a place known both as a hub of modernity and for the richness of its 5,000-year-old culture and history. Here, you can flit from old palaces and peaceful Buddhist temples to admiring futuristic architecture and shopping in unmanned stores, from spectacular national parks to rugged, volcanic coastline, all while embracing local life, be it ancient traditions or K-Pop.

Don’t forget to indulge in the show-stopping local food, found everywhere on street stalls and in all manner of restaurants. At the heart of it all is capital Seoul, the ultimate mash up of all things South Korean, where you’ll experience what it’s like when deeply traditional meets future forward in one glittering metropolis.

The amount of rail travel you'll be enjoying varies from tour to tour. You may be exploring a country travelling predominantly by train or perhaps just getting a flavour of how the locals get about with one or two select journeys. We've also included those tours that include a journey on iconic scenic trains. Take a look at the tour inclusions to see how many rail journeys you'll be enjoying in each instance.

Our Rail Holidays

South Korea's Railways

Travelling by Train in South Korea

Travelling by Train in South Korea

South Korea’s train network is extensive, linking all major towns and cities fast and efficiently. Thanks to the high-speed train service KTX, which goes at up to 305 kilometres an hour, you can travel anywhere in the country in under three hours. These state-of-the-art trains rival Japan’s shinkansen for their smooth ride, comfort, convenience, and onboard amenities.

Regular trains also run everywhere at around 90 kilometres an hour; perhaps better for admiring the countryside you’re passing through they don’t offer the thrill of speed that the KTX does! Korean train stations are usually large, inter-modal hubs serving trains, buses, metros etc, but are always well-signed, modern, and clean. They are also buzzy, full of shops and restaurants, so you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to picking up train snacks.

High-Speed Trains

High-Speed Trains

South Korea’s high-speed line, called KTX, was built around French TGV technology, the bullet trains currently able to travel up to 305 kilometres an hour though planned upgrades may allow trains to zoom to up to 420 kilometres an hour in the near future.

Onboard, the standard class carriages are in a 2+2 layout, the seats spacious with plenty of leg room and a slight recline. Each has a folding table and power outlets at the seat and high-speed internet available. There are also toilets throughout the train.

Eating on trains is permitted though there is no café car – some trains may have vending machines with a selection of drinks and snacks, but it may be a better idea to pick them up at the station. There is train etiquette in South Korea to note, everyone should be quiet and respectful to those around them.

You can experience KTX trains on our Essence of South Korea & Japan tour.

Standard Trains

Standard Trains

There are several types of train that serve South Korea that could be classed as standard. These include:

ITX-Saemaeul express trains, which run on a higher-speed line, travel up to 165 kilometres an hour and are commonly used for inter-city travel. With a striking black and red colour scheme on the exterior, inside they are spacious and comfortable with panoramic windows and free high-speed internet available.

Mugunghwa-ho trains are stopping services that run the suburban lines. With plenty of legroom and even vending machines from which to buy snacks and drinks, these trains may be slower (up to 90 kilometres an hour), but they are certainly comfortable.