The pros and cons of transportation cards and tourist cards for traveling in Korea, as told by a Korean.

Hi, this is Loah’s dad!

Today, we’re going to take a look at the most popular transportation and tourist cards for traveling in Korea from a local’s perspective.

In this post, we’ll explain the transportation and tourist cards offered in South Korea in more detail to help you plan your trip.

1. Mpass.

korea tour card, korea transportation card, visit korea, Mpass

Transportation daily pass which enables the users to ride
the public transportation such as Seoul metropolitan subway, Seoul bus,
and Airport Railroad Express up to 20 times a day

ClassificationPrice(KRW)Discount Price after 5PM
1 day pass15,00012,000
2 day pass23,00020,000
3 day pass30,50027,500
5 day pass47,50044,500
7 day pass64,50061,500
※ Discount will be applicable when you purchase Mpass after 5PM.
※ The price includes 5,000KRW deposit. You can get a refund of 4,500KRW when returning the card. (Service fee of 500KRW will be deducted.)
※ When returning the card, remaining balance will be refunded. If the balance is over 500KRW, service fee of 500KRW will be deducted.

*Source :

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MPass Guide – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an MPass?

A: MPass is a ticket designed for frequent riders of public transportation in Seoul. It allows you to make up to 20 trips per day on eligible routes.

Q: For which routes can MPass be used?

A: MPass can be used on the following routes:

  • Seoul subway
  • Airport Railroad Regular trains
  • Green, blue and yellow buses in Seoul
  • Village buses
  • Seoul late night buses

Q: How does the MPass work?

A: MPass works like a transportation card and also includes a T-Money function. You can use it for the above routes. If you want to use it for other means of transportation like cabs, you need to charge the T-Money function separately.

Q: How is the useful life of MPass calculated?

A: MPass usage time is calculated in 1-day increments. A 1-day pass is valid from the first marker until midnight of the same day. A 2-7 day pass can only be used on consecutive days.

Q: Can I extend or change the usage period of MPass?

A: No, once you use MPass, you cannot extend or change the period of use. It is important that you respect the validity period of the passport and plan your trips accordingly.

Q: What happens if I do not use the MPass within 30 days of issuance?

A: If you do not use the MPass within 30 days of its issuance, it will expire and become invalid. It is recommended to use the pass within the designated period.

!! Payment must be made in Korean won (KRW) cash only!!

At the airport = Terminal 1 General Information Desk, located on the first floor of the arrivals hall at Gates 5 and 10. Open from 07:00 to 22:00.

In the city center, there are two locations

Seoul Station Timoney Town 1F, Seoul City Tower, Exit 10, Seoul Station 09:00~18:00 (Closed on Saturdays and Sundays)

Myeongdong Tourist Information Center 120 meters from Euljiro Entrance, Exit 5 09:00-20:00

In my opinion, it is recommended to buy it at Incheon Airport if possible.

For 15,000 won per day, which is the price of 10 uses for most Koreans, you can use it 20 times, which is a big advantage.

I recommend buying it at the airport first.

However, you can’t use the Airport Railroad (direct) and Seoul Red Bus (local bus). ((Taxis require a separate T-money top-up))

I wrote about 4 ways to get to Seoul from the airport last time.

Check out the links below

4 Pros and Cons of Getting to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Let’s look at the pros and cons from a Korean perspective.

The advantage of the M Pass is that you can use it up to 20 times a day, which is a great deal if you use it well.

Usually, Koreans spend about 1,400 won to 1,600 won for a single transportation trip, but even if you only use the M Pass 10 times, it’s worth it.

((But?? If you don’t use it more than 10 times a day, it’s worth thinking about))

2. There is a T-money function!!! Koreans use T-money or credit cards with a transportation function.

If you go to a CU convenience store and charge T-money, you can buy things at the convenience store or use a taxi!

  1. Unlike other cards, you can get the rest of the money back except for a 500 won refund fee.


  1. too few issuing locations
  2. There is no tourist benefit service.

2. Discover Seoul Pass (Transportation cards and tourist services all in one!)

You can think of it as a free-use tourist pass created by Seoul.

If the Mpass above allows you to use transportation services 20 times a day, this card can be recharged and use transit services like a Seoulite.

For more information, read the article below.

Source :

While the Empass above is a transportation card, the Discover Seoul Pass is the best card for 1 to 3 days, depending on the card’s features, with free access to Seoul’s attractions and cultural facilities.

If you have a lot of paid sightseeing spots to visit in Seoul, it’s a good idea to purchase this card.

For more tourism and cultural information

You can get more accurate information by visiting their sites.

I’ve checked out all of these sites and will give you the pros and cons, as well as my thoughts and information as a Korean.

The price is

Prices range from 50,000 KRW for 1 day up to 90,000 KRW for 3 days.

Not a bad deal considering the high cost of living in Korea.

Of course, if you only have a few places to visit, you’ll need to strategize well so you don’t lose money.

There are two ways to download the physical card and the mobile app,

If you download the mobile app, you won’t be able to use the transportation feature, but it’s nice to see how much money you have left,

If you apply with a physical card, if you use the transportation function, you can charge it separately.

You can use the transit service in Seoul.

Seoul Transportation’s transfer service is one of the most attractive in the world.

For example, you can transfer to another bus or subway within 30 minutes after getting off the bus,

Similarly, you can transfer to a bus within 30 minutes after getting off the subway.

And of course, transfers between subways.

  • Card age starts counting 24 hours from the first use.

Where can I purchase a card?


Source :


Source :

Advantages and disadvantages of the Discover Seoul Pass


  1. For 50,000 won per day, you can experience a lot of different things, and depending on your schedule, it’s definitely worth it. Especially the 3 days for 90,000 won is really attractive.
  2. If you follow the link to their website, you’ll see that you can also use roaming and baggage services.
  3. If you want to use it as a transportation card, you just need to charge it and you can use Seoul’s bus and subway transit services.
    • (For example, if you get off the bus and take the subway within 30 minutes, it’s just a transfer. Of course, bus to bus is also possible, and subway to subway is also possible. However, you can only make up to 5 transfers).
  4. There are more places to buy online, in the app, and offline than Mpass.
    • (You can even buy it at Korean convenience store CU.)


  1. well….. You need to charge separately when using a transportation card?
  2. No refunds after 90 days?

These are two good cards for transportation and tourism in Korea.

Now I’ll add some more personal stories.

If my friend is coming to Seoul from abroad
Depending on your schedule, I would definitely recommend getting the Discover Seoul Pass card.
If you have a lot of tourist spots you want to visit, you should definitely get it.
Otherwise, there will be days when you don’t need it, such as when you’re traveling to outlying areas or visiting free attractions.

The Discover Seoul Pass is better than the Mpass if you plan to visit fewer than 5 places per day using public transportation.

In this case, it may be better to use the Discover Seoul Pass card and use the transit service.

However, if you’re going to be traveling around Seoul a lot, you should definitely get the Mpass to get around.

As Koreans think, 10 times is enough, but if you have 7 places to visit, for example, you can use it 14 times for round trips, which is a good deal!!!

If you have any questions about this, leave them in the comments and I’ll check and let you know!

I’ll try to be more informative next time!


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