Travelling to Korea and want to save money on public transport, popular attractions, and cultural experiences? Then you should check out the Korea Tour Card, Korea’s tourist-only transportation card that not only offers you all the benefits of a T-Money card, it also saves you money at top attractions. Pick one up at Incheon Airport and travel with ease across Korea.
This article will explain where and how to buy a Korea Tour Card, how to add credit to it, and where you can use it to get discounts on popular attractions, shows, shopping, and more. Not sure if you need a transportation card? This article will also explain the benefits of these essential travel cards.
If you’re travelling to Korea and plan to use public transport to get around, which I’d really recommend as it’s amazing, then you’ll definitely want to pick up a Korea Tour Card. Find out why below.
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What Is The Korea Tour Card
The Korea Tour Card is a pre-paid transportation card with T-Money functions that is exclusively available for tourists to South Korea. Tourists can use the Korea Tour Card to pay for public transportation on Korea’s subways and buses, as well as to receive discounts at attractions and shops.
Here are the key details of the Korea Tour Card. Details about how and where to buy the Korea Tour Card, how and where to use it, and further information will be provided throughout this article.
|4,000 Korean Won.
|Where To Buy:
|Airports and harbours in Korea.
|Where To Use:
|Subways, buses, taxis, and selected shops, attractions, stores, and hotels.
|Rechargable public transportation card.
|Discounts and free goods in select locations.
Korea Tour Card Vs. T-Money
T-Money is the main rechargeable transportation card in Korea and is found in the T-Money card and other prepaid cards, including the Korea Tour Card. It is used to pay for public transportation in Korea.
The Korea Tour Card includes T-Money functions, including paying for public transportation, but also provides exclusive benefits for tourists in Korea.
With The Korea Tour Card, tourists can gain discounts on hundreds of attractions, shops, hotels, and restaurants. A regular T-Money card costs ₩2,500 and the Korea Tour Card costs ₩4,000.
Korea Tour Card Vs. Discover Seoul Pass
The Discover Seoul Pass is a city pass that provides free or discounted entry to dozens of premium attractions in Seoul. The Discover Seoul Pass is valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours. Like the Korea Tour Card, the Discover Seoul Pass includes T-Money functions to pay for public transportation.
Both the Discover Seoul Pass and Korea Tour Card offer discounts to tourists, however, the price and value of those discounts are significantly different. The Discover Seoul Pass starts at ₩50,000 for a 24 hour pass and gives you free or discounted entry to top attractions.
If you plan to visit Seoul with children, the Discover Seoul Pass can be a great way to save money visiting some of the city’s premium family-friendly attractions. Here are some of the fun places that the Discover Seoul Pass gives you free entry to:
- Lotte World Adventure Theme Park
- COEX Aquarium
- Seoul E-Land FC Stadium
- Nami Island
- Sealala Sauna
- N Seoul Tower
- Color Pool Museum
- Alive Museum
- Seoul Zoo
- Zoolung Zoolung
Check out my Discover Seoul Pass itineraries article to find out more about this card and how to use it effectively in Seoul. It comes with 1, 2, and 3 day suggested itineraries to save you more.
Planning to visit Korea? These travel essentials will help you plan your trip, get the best deals, and save you time and money before and during your Korean adventure.
Where To Buy The Korea Tour Card
The Korea Tour Card is exclusively designed for tourists to Korea and can be purchased at most points of entry into Korea, including major airports and harbours. You can also preorder a Korea Tour Card online and collect it at one of the following locations, which is also where you can buy them in person.
Korea Tour Card purchase locations:
- Incheon Airport, Terminal 1
- Incheon Airport, Terminal 2
- Gimpo Airport (Seoul)
- Gimhae Airport (Busan)
- Jeju International Airport
- Daegu International Airport
- Busan Port Passenger Terminal
Buying A Korea Tour Card At Incheon Airport
Most travellers to Korea arrive at Incheon Airport near Seoul. You can purchase a Korea Tour Card from the transportation centres inside Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 of Incheon Airport. The Korea Tour Card is sold from a vending machine (pictured) near the entrance to the subway that connects Incheon Airport to parts of Seoul.
Please note: You will need cash to purchase the Korea Tour Card (₩4,000) and cash to top up the T-Money balance so you can use it for public transport. Details about how to top up later in this article.
I don’t recommend exchanging money at Incheon Airport at the foreign exchange counters as the rates aren’t good. The exchange rates at money exchanges in Myeongdong, Hongdae, or other popular tourist areas are much better. If you need to get cash to top up your Korea Tour Card, exchange a small amount (less than $50 USD) and convert the rest of your cash in Seoul.
If you are using a travel money card, such as Wise or Revolut, you can withdraw KRW cash from a global ATM at the airport and get a better exchange rate. You can then use this to top up the T-Money balance. Alternatively, you can purchase a WOWPASS Airport Package, which comes with a built in T-Money card with 10,000 KRW starting balance.
Korea Tour Card Designs
There are several designs of the Korea Tour Card that depend on where you purchase the card. These are the main designs you can see in Korea now:
Regular Korea Tour Card
The regular edition of the Korea Tour Card has a blue and pink design and the T-Money logo in the bottom corner. This is the Korea Tour Card design that’s sold at Incheon Airport and most airports, except on the south coast of Korea.
The Korea Tour Card offers T-Money functions as well as discounts in over 200 locations across Korea.
Southern Coast Edition (Busan)
The Southern Coast of Korea edition of the Korea Tour Card, also known as the Namhaean Coast design, is sold in the southern regions of Korea, which stretch from Busan all the way to Mokpo.
There are over 40 exclusive benefits for tourists visiting this part of Korea with this version of the card, as well as the regular benefits of the Korea Tour Card.
Visit Korea Year Limited Edition
The Visit Korea Year Korea Tour Card is a limited edition version of the card that celebrates the Visit Korea project, which runs from 2023 to 2024. There are two designs of the Visit Korea Year edition of the Korea Tour Card – a dark background card and a light background card.
This version of the Korea Tour Card is the same as the regular version and comes with all of the same features and benefits.
How To Top Up The Korea Tour Card
The Korea Tour Card is the tourist version of a T-Money card and can be topped up in the same way a regular T-Money card can be topped up. You can top up the Korea Tour Card at convenience stores in Korea and at subway stations in major cities, as well as at the T-Money head office in Seoul.
Convenience store chains in Korea include GS25, CU, Emart 24, Story Way, 7/11 and Ministop. There are fives areas in Korea with subway systems, these are the Seoul Capital Area (which includes Incheon), Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Gwangju. You can top up at thousands of locations in Korea.
You can only top up the Korea Tour Card with cash. Credit cards aren’t accepted for top ups.
Remember, you will need to have Korean won to top up the Korea Tour Card. All transportation cards in Korea can only be topped up using cash and can’t be topped up using credit or debit cards. The only exception is the mobile versions of these cards, which can be topped up with card payments.
Top Up In Subway Stations
Topping up the Korea Tour Card T-Money balance at a subway station is the easiest option as the top up machines usually have English instructions. Here are the steps to top up at a subway station:
- Select ‘recharge card’ on the screen.
- Select the value to top up.
- Confirm the top up value.
- Insert cash into the machine.
- Place your card on the card reader.
- Wait for the card to recharge.
- Take the card and use it.
Top Up At Convenience Stores
Topping up the Korea Tour Card at a convenience store is the most convenient option as there are thousands of these stores across all of Korea. Here are the steps to top up at a convenience store:
- Go into a convenience store.
- Ask the cashier to top up the card.
- State your desired top up value.
- Pay cash to the cashier.
- Place your card on the card reader.
- Wait for the top up.
- Collect your card and use it.
Where To Use The Korea Tour Card
There are dozens of places you can get discounts on a range of things, including attractions, shopping, services, restaurants, cafes, hanbok rental, river cruises, and more. Discounts are available at popular tourist destinations such as N Seoul Tower, Lotte World Adventure, and the COEX Aquarium.
You’ll find discounts in the major cities of South Korea – Seoul, Incheon, Busan, and Daegu. Also, there are select discounts in major tourist areas, such as Jeju Island, Gangneung, Gangjin, and the Namhaean Coast. Use the Korea Tour Card website for a full list of available benefits and locations.
Below is a summary of some of the best benefits available with the Korea Tour Card for each of the different categories (attractions, experiences, shopping, etc.).
Tourists can get discounts at more than 30 popular tourist attractions across Korea with the Korea Tour Card. Here are some of the best attractions benefits:
- N Seoul Tower (20-30% discount)
- Busan X The Sky (10% discount)
- Gwangmyeong Cave (50% discount)
- Korean Folk Village (₩10,000 off)
- Jeju Folk Village (10% discount)
- Nami Island (₩1,000 gift coin)
- Petite France (₩11,000 discount)
The Korea Tour Card offers a range of discounts on family-friendly entertainment options in Seoul and across Korea. Here are some of the best benefits:
- COEX Aquarium (20% discount)
- Everland Resort (30% discount)
- Caribbean Bay (30% discount)
- Hanbok Day (50% discount)
- Lotte World Adventure (30% off)
- Seoul Sky (10% discount)
- Sea Life Busan (30% discount)
Performance / Exhibition
Save money on cultural performances, museums, and exhibitions while you travel in Korea, including family-fun places. Here are some of the best savings:
- Museum Kimchikan (20% discount)
- Brick Campus Jeju (10% discount)
- Animation Museum (20% discount)
- World Doll Musem (20% discount)
- Alive Museum (₩2,000 discount)
- Gangneung Coffee Museum
- Hahoe Mask Museum (10% off)
- Robot Studio (20% discount)
Shopping / Duty-Free
The Korea Tour Card has been designed to allow tourists to Korea to save more when shopping. Here are some places where you can get benefits when shopping:
- The Shilla Duty Free Seoul
- Shinsegae Duty Free Seoul
- Lotte Duty Free
- Hyundai Department Stores
- Hyundai City Outlet Mall
- Gyeongbokgung Duty Free
- Doota Mall
Experience more of Korea than just the main sights and attractions. Here are some of the best discounted experiences you can try with the Korea Tour Card:
- Eland River Cruise (10% discount)
- Hwagyesa Templestay (10% off)
- K-Pop Central (20% discount)
- 3355 Hanbok (20% discount)
- Canoe Kayak Experience (10% off)
- Dynamic Maze (₩2,000 discount)
- Grande Bleu Yacht Tour (30% off)
- Incheon City Tour (20% discount)
- Hyanggyo-Pottery (10% discount)
Namhaean Coast Benefits
If you’re visiting Korea’s southern coast, you can get 40 more discounts across this area with the Namhaean Coast version of the Korea Tour Card. Popular attractions in this area that are discounted include:
- Aqua Planet Yeosu
- Tongyeong Cable Car
- Lotte Water Park
- Skyline Luge Tongyeong
- Geoju Blue City Tour
- Yeosu Cable Car
- Suncheon Filming Locations
- Blue Marina Yachts Tour
- Busan Museum Of Movies
- Geojedo Sea Spa
Korea Tour Card App Mobile Version
There is a mobile version of the Korea Tour Card available to Android users. This version of the card is free and comes with the same T-Money benefits as the regular card (through your phone’s NFC function).
The main difference between the mobile and card versions of the Korea Tour Card is that you can top up using a credit card with the mobile version, whereas the card version can only be topped up with cash.
Should you get the mobile version of the Korea Tour Card instead of the physical version? Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. Although the mobile version is free, the reviews of the app are not good (2.2 / 5) and to use the card you need an active Internet connection to use your phone’s NFC function.
The card version of the Korea Tour Card is easier to use and topping up in cash isn’t a problem once you have some local currency. There is no risk of the card not working, unlike the app, and it’s also faster as you don’t have to wait for anything to load (a big problem according to reviews of the app).
Alternative Korean Transportation Cards
Transportation cards are a hassle-free and money saving way to travel on Korea’s public transportation and can double as nice souvenirs when you get one with a nice design. Besides the Korea Tour Card, here are a range of other Korean transportation cards that provide the same or similar functions:
The T-Money card is the most popular transportation card in Korea and is cheaper than a Korea Tour Card. You can buy, top up, and pay for things with a T-Money card at the same locations as the Korea Tour Card, but it doesn’t any offer discounts. The T-Money card can be used to pay for small purchases in shops, restaurants, and cafes, including McDonalds and Starbucks.
The WOWPASS card includes T-Money functions, but is more versatile as it is also a Korean debit card. You can top up the WOWPASS card and use it to pay like a local, not just for transportation, but for all your shopping and spending needs. Add up to ₩1,000.000 with 16 different currencies. Check out my guide to WOWPASS to learn more about how to use this useful card.
Cashbee Transportation Card
The main competition to T-Money is the Cashbee transportation card, which can be purchased from convenience stores and subway stations across Korea. Like T-Money, you can use Cashbee to pay for public transportation and small purchases. Cashbee, by Lotte, can also be used in Lotte locations, including Lotte Department Store and Lotte Cinema.
Railplus Transportation Card
The third option for transportation cards in Korea is the Railplus card, which is provided by Korea Rail. These cards are available through Namanecard vending machines in train stations and department stores across Korea. These allow you to personalise your transportation card by uploading a picture which is printed onto the card. Railplus cards can be used on Korea’s train network (unlike other cards).
Is The Korea Tour Card Worth Buying?
Should you get the Korea Tour Card when visiting Korea? I would definitely recommend getting a Korean transportation card to make travelling in Korea easier, cheaper, and more convenient. Whether you get a Korea Tour Card or one of the other transportation cards depends on how you’ll use it.
The price of the Korea Tour Card is ₩4,000, which is only a bit more expensive than a regular T-Money card, but the discounts of the Korea Tour Card can easily save you more. If you plan to visit premium attractions such as the N Seoul Tower, COEX Aquarium, or Lotte World, it’s certainly worth it.
Finally, the Korea Tour Card is available at convenient locations, such as Incheon Airport, which makes it useful for travellers arriving in Korea who want to use the all-stop train to get into Seoul. As public transportation is cheap, effective, and widely available, buying a Korea Tour Card is worth it.
Does The Korea Tour Card Offer The Best Savings?
I wouldn’t rely solely on the discounts of the Korea Tour Card when planning what to see and do in Korea. There are discounted tickets online that might save you more, such as those offered by Klook, Viator, and Get Your Guide. Sometimes the Korea Tour Card is cheaper, sometimes not.
The table below will show you a comparison between the prices you’ll pay with the Korea Tour Card and Klook, which offers the widest range of discounted tours and tickets in Korea. As you can see, the Korea Tour Card is cheaper only when visiting the N Seoul Tower, otherwise Klook has better prices.
|Korea Tour Card
|N Seoul Tower
|Busan X The Sky
Korea Tour Card FAQs
Finally, here are a few FAQs about the Korea Tour Card, in case the above information didn’t cover enough for you. If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to leave a comment.
How much does the Korea Tour Card cost?
The Korea Tour Card costs 4,000 Korean won. This is the price for the card, but doesn’t include any T-Money balance. A regular T-Money card starts at 2,500 Korean won.
Does the Korea Tour Card include T-Money
The Korea Tour Card includes full T-Money functions, which means you can use it to travel on Korea’s subway and bus networks. The T-Money function also allows you to use the Korea Tour Card to pay for taxis and purchases at a range of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Is the Korea Tour Card better than a T-Money card
The Korea Tour Card is better than a T-Money Card as it includes all the functions of the T-Money Card, but also offers discounts on popular tourists sights across Korea, as well as shopping, meals out, experiences, and performance discounts. It can save travellers to Korea more than the small difference in price between the Korea Tour Card and the T-Money Card (1,500 Korean won).
Can you buy the Korea Tour Card at Incheon Airport?
The Korea Tour Card can be purchased at terminals 1 and 2 of Incheon Airport, as well as at major international airports across Korea. The Korea Tour Card can be purchased from vending machines at the transportation centres in either terminal, which is where the all-stop train and Airport Express train depart from to travel into Seoul.
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