How to get from Seoul to Sokcho & Seoraksan

Updated: 16 March 2017

We’ve just recently been to Sokcho and the awesome Seoraksan National Park (also known as Mount Seorak) and getting here wasn’t too difficult. Finding out how to actually get to Seoraksan from Seoul was a little bit challenging so I thought I’d whip up a few quick tips for those wanting to do it themselves.

  1. Catch a metro train to Gangbyeon Station in Seoul which is on Line 2 — the green line.
  2. Exit at exit #4 at Gangbyeon Station.
  3. Walk across the road into the bus terminal (known as Dong-Seoul Bus Terminal or the East Seoul Bus Terminal) and simply buy a bus ticket to Sokcho. The cost at time of writing was 17,300 Won and travel time including stops was 3 hours. Don’t get all wound up about whether to buy the express bus or not. Just buy a ticket for the next departing bus — there are over 40 departures per day to Sokcho between about 6am and 11pm.
  4. Note: The Dong-Seoul Terminal is a different terminal to the Seoul Express Terminal which is in Gangnam. If you catch a bus from the Seoul Express Terminal, the instructions below are more or less the same, but the departure point is in Gangnam (Metro Line 3 Orange). Buses from the Seoul Express Terminal are direct whereas buses from Dong-Seoul drop off along the way.
  5. Get off the bus at its final destination, the Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal. You have arrived in Sokcho! Walk to wherever your hotel is or catch a local bus direct to the national park or your hotel if it’s on the road to the Seoraksan national park (see next point).
  6. Walk out of the Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal and turn right. This is important. About 50-100m down the road is a local bus stop (on the same side of the road as the bus terminal). Wait here and flag down bus 7 or 7-1 when it arrives. Buses are supposed to arrive approximately half hourly, but they don’t necessarily run to time. (if you happen to arrive at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, bus 7 and 7-1 can transport you to Seoraksan or Sokcho centre — depends on which side of the road you catch it from)
  7. The bus costs 1,100 Won and needs to be paid in exact change. Pop the money into the plastic box as you enter the bus. Tell the driver where you need to get off and he will stop for you. Best to have the name of your hotel and address on a piece of paper in Korean characters! The journey will take around 40 minutes to most of the hotels along the road to the national park.
  8. Bonus tip: It’s bus 7 and 7-1 which plies the route from Sokcho to Seoraksan National Park all day, back and forth, meaning it’s also the bus you’ll use to get to the national park from your hotel when you’re ready to make that trip.

So there you have it. Seoul to Sokcho and Seorakson in a few easy steps!

P.S. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails asking if it’s possible to self-drive to Seoraksan. Yes it is! All you need to do is hire a car from Seoul and hit the road. It’ll take under 3 hours and you won’t have to stuff around with buses. I’ve recently been using these guys for hiring cars all over the world. They’re basically the skyscanner of car hire. You should be able to get a car for about $50 per day.

P.P.S. People have also been asking where to stay in Seoraksan. I stayed at cheap but decent Goodstay Smile Resort. I got a good deal on booking.com and paid about $35 per night –> Check current prices here.

35 thoughts on “How to get from Seoul to Sokcho & Seoraksan

  1. Hi Adam – Just wanna say a big thank you for your post on “How to get from Seoul to Sokcho & Seoraksan”. It’s simple and straight to to the point ! =)

    1. May I know what is the name of the terminal bus near Gangbyeon Station? I thought I have to go to Seoul Express Bus terminal.

      1. I don’t know. Just follow my instructions in the post and you’ll get to Seoraksan. If you decide to try and catch a bus from Seoul Express Bus Station, let me know how it goes so I can add your information to the post.

      2. If you are trying to go to Gangbyeon you need to get on Line 2 (the green one) and travel towards Gangbyeon. So if you are near Seoul you may be in City Hall. If that is the case you have to go towards Euljiro.

        I hope that helps out a bit.

      3. That is Dong-Seoul station for future readers. The Seoul Express Terminal is on the other side of the Han river near Gangnam area. You take Line 3 Orange line to get there from Seoul. The Express Terminal route goes to Sokcho directly. The Dong-Seoul bus goes through Osaek-ri, Yanyang mini bus terminal, and then Sokcho. They are all in the general same area maybe 30 minutes from one another.

  2. Can Sokcho be visited in just one day ie making it a day trip then back to Seoul? Thank you!!

    1. Ummm… It technically could be, but it would be unwise. It’s a long way! At least stay one night there.

  3. Hi Adam,

    Thank you for the tips on “How to get from Seoul to Sokcho & Seoraksan”!

    The next summer the three of us shall traveling with 3 big suitecase voor 2 weeks in South Korea. Our Route will be, Seoul–>Sokcho–> Busan–> Jeju island. From Jeju we will fly to Japan. What I would like to us you, is it easy to travel in Korea with Bus or should we ren a Car?

    Thank you!!!

    1. I travelled by bus and it was very easy, even though most people don’t speak English. If you want to travel faster and with more flexibility, hire a car! I’ve been using these guys recently and they have been really cheap

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for posting this guide. We just used it to get to Seoraksan a few days ago. Hiked up to Ulsanbawi rock. Gorgeous view, even though it made our legs hurt for the rest of the week.

    1. Hi there, how long to complete Ulsanbawi Rock trail? If can complete within 4 hours, I plan immediately after completing Ulsanbawi Rock trail, i want to hike Biseondae Trail about 3 hours.

      1. It took me about 5 hours up and down Ulsanbawi Rock, but everyone has different fitness levels. I would not have been able to climb any more steps after finishing Ulsanbawi… Maybe if you’re fit, you can continue trekking other trails!

  5. Adam, Sokcho Intercity Bus Terminal vs Sokcho Express Bus Terminal. what is the difference? should i get ticket from the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal back to seoul?

      1. Buses departing from Sokcho Intercity Terminal arrive at Gangbyeon Bus Terminal located in East Seoul, while Sokcho Express Terminal sells tickets bound for Seoul Express Bus Terminal which is located in South Seoul near Gangnam.

  6. “Walk across the road into the bus terminal (Dong-Seoul) and simply buy a bus ticket to Sokcho. The cost at time of writing was 17,300 Won and travel time including stops was 3 hours. ”

    Is the ticket price include round-trip?

  7. Hi there, other name of Dong Seoul Bus Terminal is Eastern Seoul Bus Terminal? Or these two bus terminals are complete two different terminals.

    1. I don’t know if Dong Seoul is also called Eastern Seoul Bus Terminal – where did you see that? But Dong Seoul is definitely in the east and the express bus terminal is definitely in the south.

        1. OK thanks for that. Eastern Seoul Bus Terminal is also known as Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. I will update the post to make this clear.

  8. I plan on traveling from Seoul to Sokcho on July 27 and returning on July 29th. We are a family of 4. Do we need to purchase bus tickets in advance?
    Kelly

    1. You usually don’t need to buy tickets in advance. I don’t know if those days you are travelling are unusual busy…

  9. Hi
    i would like to ask few questions:
    i m going to sokcho from ktx station back from busan, which station should i stop incheon airport ktx station or seoul station
    For the bus ticket to sokcho , should i buy online or just buy directly from the ticketing counter, can i buy at the same time two ways?, need to indicate timing of departure or not.
    Thank you so much for your help
    Best Regards
    Lilian

    1. Hi Lilian. Lots of questions I don’t know the answer to. I bought my tickets at the counter and had no problems because there are so many buses per day travelling this route.

  10. Hi if I follow exactly your instructions meaning I don’t have to ride cable car to go up Seoraksan National Park? Is it a must to climb up the Ulsanbawi Rocks to get up to the Seoraksan National Park or it’s just own preference whether to climb the rocks?

    1. You get to the National Park by following my instructions. You don’t need to climb the rocks. You don’t need to go up the cable car. But you are going to want to do something in the National Park… So you’re probably either going to climb up one of the mountains or go up on a cable car. Otherwise there’s no point going there. I highly recommend climbing up to one of the peaks. It’s awesome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *