Travelling to Seoul and wondering whether you should get the Discover Seoul Pass? This article will explain why you need to Discover Seoul Pass, help you understand the costs of the card, as well as the many benefits. You’ll learn about where you can use the Discover Seoul Pass at some of the best attractions in Seoul. To help you get the most out of the pass, this guide includes suggested 1, 2, and 3 day itineraries for the Discover Seoul Pass.
Overall, the Discover Seoul Pass will probably save you a lot of money, depending on the type of traveller you are. In fact, following even the one day itinerary for the Discover Seoul Pass at the end of this article could easily save you over 50,000 KRW per person! There’s even a few tips to get an extra day out of the pass for free.
That’s enough to book another day trip out of Seoul and create more incredible memories for your Korean journey. If you like saving money, then you’ll definitely want to check out these articles:
I think the Discover Seoul Pass is definitely worthwhile if you’re travelling as a family or couple and intend to see lots of Seoul’s premium attractions, such as Lotte World Adventure, COEX Aquarium, N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, or the Trick Eye Museum.
Not only does it save you money, it also doubles as a T-Money Card, so you can use it to get around the city easily and conveniently. The T-Money Card is essential for travelling around Seoul or Korea, so make sure you pick one up.
Keep on reading to find out all the essential details you need to get the most out of the Discover Seoul Pass.
Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn commission if you book after clicking. This won’t cost you anything extra, but helps me to keep on writing great content for you. Thanks for your support.
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Quick Summary: Should I Get A Discover Seoul Pass?
Here’s a quick summary table to help you decide whether or not you should get a pass:
Yes, get one
- Short stay in Seoul
- First time in Seoul
- Like to see as much as possible
- You want to see many things quickly
- Interested in expensive shows and attractions
- Travelling as a family (many attractions are great for families)
- Plan to stay in one area each day
- Like convenience when planning and won’t book all activities separately in advance
No, skip it
- Plenty of time in Seoul
- Visited major sights in Seoul before
- Want to focus on specific sights
- Prefer to travel slowly
- Budget traveller who isn’t interested in expensive attractions
- Likely to spend lots of time in cafes, restaurants, or bars
- Want flexibility to explore all over Seoul
- Plan to book tours in advance and search for the best price for each attraction
If you want to know more about the pass, including where to buy one, how much they cost, and whether it’s right for you, please keep on reading. In case you’re already convinced, you can use the links to book the Discover Seoul Pass with up to 10% Discount from Klook and Trazy, two great travel agencies in Korea.
What Is The Discover Seoul Pass?
The Discover Seoul Pass is a combination of transit card and discount pass card for attractions. It is only available to foreigners visiting Seoul and can be used for 24 / 48 / 72 hours consecutively.
You can gain access to more than 30 popular tourist attractions for FREE using the pass. Furthermore, you can use the pass to pay for transportation, including buses, subway, and taxis. However, please note, you still need to top-up the card to use it for transportation, which can be done at numerous locations throughout Seoul.
There is another sweetener to the deal which is often overlooked, you also get a one way ticket on the Airport Express* from Seoul to Incheon Airport. That’s worth 9,000 won by itself.
* This does not activate the timer for your pass.
Where Can I Use The Pass?
As mentioned, the pass is flexible and includes a range of benefits. The two main ways that you can use the Discover Seoul Pass are for transportation and sightseeing.
Using The Pass For Transportation
The Discover Seoul Pass includes the T-Money function, which means that you can use it around Seoul wherever you see the T-Money symbol (above). This includes subways, buses, taxis, and also many convenience stores and other locations. To find out more about the T-Money Card, and why it’s essential for travelling around Seoul, then check out this complete guide to the card:
You can also use the Discover Seoul Pass for a single journey between Seoul and Incheon Airport on the Airport Express train (AREX). The AREX is the fastest way to get from Incheon Airport to Seoul and a convenient way to get straight to Seoul Station and begin your travels.
In case you want to get straight to your hotel, or if you’re arriving at night, there are many other ways to get from Incheon Airport to Seoul, such as the limousine buses, subway train, or taxis. Find out which is the best option for you in my detailed guide below:
If the weather is good, and you feel like getting some exercise while you see the sights, you can use the pass to rent a bike for free. This requires you to download the Seoul Bike app, so you’ll probably want to get a sim card of wifi router when you arrive to activate this.
Joel’s Tip: The free AREX trip is really useful and saves you 9,000 KRW before you even take into account the other benefits of the card.
Using The Pass For Sightseeing
You can use the Discover Seoul Pass in dozens of places for free or discounted entry to many of the most popular attractions in Seoul. For example, you can get free access to the 4 Royal Palaces, N Seoul Tower, Lotte World Adventure, the Han River boat cruise, the Trick Eye Museum, the Alive Museum, and many more.
There are also many places where you can get discounted entry or special offers. For example, at some of the best shows, such as Nanta Cookin’ Musical, Fanta-stick, and Jump. There’s also discounted entry for Hello Kitty Island, the Dynamic Maze, PooPoo Land, and many other family friendly attractions in Seoul.
Ways To Use The Discover Seoul Pass
There are two different types of pass available. Firstly, you can order a physical pass which you will carry with you as you travel around Seoul. Secondly, you can download a mobile pass to your mobile phone.
I think the physical pass is probably a bit easier for most people, especially if you’re not going to get a sim card or have a regular internet connection. The mobile pass is more convenient and harder to lose though.
Whichever one you prefer, here are details about both types of pass:
Discover Seoul Pass Card Version
The classic version of the Discover Seoul Pass is the card pass and will give you full access to all the benefits stated previously. You can use this physical card in all the attractions listed on the site, as well as for transportation and on the Airport Express.
When you go to the first place that you want to use the pass, you will activate the pass and you will have 24 / 48 / 72 hours (depending on your pass) from that moment to use your card.
To use the Discover Seoul Pass, simply hand over the pass to the ticket office and receive your ticket (free or discounted).
You can only visit each place once with the pass, but you can use the pass as many times as you like within the designated time limit.
Discover Seoul Pass Mobile Version
The mobile pass is also available for 24 / 48 / 72 hours and gives you access to all of the same discounts and free entry that you get with the regular pass.
It is activated in the same way and will remain active for 24 / 48 / 72 hours after the first time you use the pass.
The main difference with the pass card and mobile pass version is that you can keep multiple copies of the card on one phone. Therefore, there is no need to collect and carry lots of separate cards for each member travelling (you still need to buy one for each person).
Important note – The mobile pass DOES NOT include any T-Money functions, so you CAN NOT use it as a transportation card. You CAN still ride the Airport Express one way.
Joel’s Tip: I would personally go with the physical card pass. It will always work, you can show it more easily, and you have a souvenir at the end of your journey.
Free Things To Do In Seoul
Want to travel Seoul for less? Then read this list of 25 awesome free things to do in Seoul. You can add these to your itinerary before or after using the Discover Seoul Pass, too.
How Much Does The Discover Seoul Pass Cost?
There are three options for the Discover Seoul Pass – 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours and the prices for each pass are as below:
24 hour passes start at 39.900 KRW
(approx. $34 USD)
48 hour passes start at 55,000 KRW
(approx. $47 USD)
72 hour passes start at 70,000 KRW
(approx. $59 USD)
Choosing the pass that is right for you depends on how long you’ll be in Seoul, and what things you plan to see during that time. You can get discounted passes online from a number of different tour companies.
Where Can I Buy The Discover Seoul Pass?
Only the collection point in Incheon Airport Terminal 1 is open 24 hours a day.
You can also buy the pass when you arrive in Seoul at one of many Tourist Information Centers, including in Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, and Hongdae, as well as at Seoul Station and in certain hotels.
A cheaper option is to book the pass through a tour company, where you can often save money over the normal price.
Discover Seoul Pass vs T Money
The T-Money card is a transport card that will allow you to travel throughout Korea on most of the buses, subways, and taxis, as well as allow you to buy goods in convenience stores and certain shops.
Should you get the Discover Seoul Pass or a T-Money card?
That’s a question I’ve seen a lot of times and it certainly depends on whether or not you plan to do a lot of sightseeing in Seoul in a short time. As the pass is limited to 24 / 48 / 72 hours at a time, you should be planning to see a lot of attractions in those time periods for it to be worth it. If that’s the case, go ahead and get a pass.
If, however, you only plan to see a few of the sights, or you’re in Seoul for a long time and want to be flexible, then pick up a T-Money card. To learn more about the T-Money Card, check out this detailed guide:
Discover Seoul Pass vs Korea Tour Card
The Korea Tour Card is a type of transport and discount card for foreign tourists travelling in Korea. Like the Discover Seoul Pass, the Korea Tour Card also offers some discounts on attractions. However, these discounts aren’t the same and the Korea Tour Card does not provide free entry to any attractions in Seoul.
Therefore, the Korea Tour Card is a good option if you want to save money on sightseeing in Seoul and plan to visit many various places. You can save a few thousand won here and there, which certainly helps.
The Korea Tour Card includes the T-Money card, so you can use the Korea Tour Card for transportation as well. The cost of the Korea Tour Card is only a few thousand won higher than the T-Money Card, but the savings can be much higher than that.
To find out if the Korea Tour Card is right for you, check out my guide to the card:
Joel’s Tip: Obviously you won’t need all of these cards, so it’s best to choose just one for whatever your situation is going to be. If you plan to buy the Discover Seoul Pass, then you won’t need a separate T-Money Card or the Korea Tour Card. However, if you don’t use the Discover Seoul Pass, I’d recommend the Korea Tour Card as it gives you extra discounts you can’t get with the T-Money Card.
Suggested Itineraries For The Discover Seoul Pass
Below you can find 3 different itineraries that will save you money when you use the Discover Seoul Pass. This will also help you plan your journey around Seoul and work out what to see and when to visit.
Remember, the Discover Seoul Pass works from the moment that you activate it for 24 / 48 / 72 hours. Therefore, it is possible to use it over 2 / 3 / 4 consecutive days.
At the end of these itineraries, there’s a special tip that will allow you save a lot of extra money and possibly get an extra day out of the Discover Seoul Pass for free. Keep on reading to find out how.
One Day Itinerary For The Discover Seoul Pass
This one day itinerary is perfect for those who only have 48 hours in Seoul or a few days. I won’t go into detail about what each attraction is, but this should give you a rough idea to help you start planning your schedule.
The cost quoted is the money saved using the Discover Seoul Pass. I anticipate you starting this itinerary in the morning.
Gyeongbokgung Palace – 3,000 KRW
Hanboknam Hanbok Rental – 10,000 KRW
Alive Museum – 12,000 KRW
Lunch in Insadong
Museum Kimchikan – 5,000 KRW
Yellow Balloon City Bus from Insadong – 15,000 KRW
Dinner in Myeongdong
Cable Car to N Seoul Tower (not included)
N Seoul Tower – 11,000 KRW
Eland Han River Cruise – up to 23,000 KRW
Remember, you also get one Airport Express Ticket (9,000 KRW) and T-Money (2,500 KRW) card included, which is worth a total of 11,500 KRW.
Total Day 1 Cost = 90,500 KRW
(including Airport Express & T-Money)
1 Day Pass Cost = 39,900 KRW
Total Savings = 50,6000 KRW
As you can see, that’s a big saving for one day and if you want a schedule like this, then the pass is definitely worth it. However, you would also be missing some of the other sights in these areas that I might prioritise above some of the attractions listed.
Therefore, you could probably spread this above itinerary over 2 days and add in the other attractions and sights that aren’t covered by the pass. I wouldn’t want to miss the Bukchon Hanok Village, for example. You could easily spend a few hours walking around there alone.
If you’re interesting in seeing the Bukchon Hanok Village (definitely an unmissable site), then this guide to best activities in the area will definitely help:
Two Day Itinerary For The Discover Seoul Pass
Follow the first day’s itinerary and then explore a different part of Seoul for the second day. You can also replace the first day with this day, of course. This second day is definitely one for families and lovers of K-Pop and modern Korean culture.
Start early and head to Jamsil for Lotte World Adventure, followed up by the giant COEX Mall and surrounding attractions in Gangnam.
Lotte World Adventure – 54,000 KRW
Lunch at Lotte World Tower or COEX Mall
See the Gangnam Style Statue
Explore COEX Mall
COEX Aquarium – 28,000 KRW
Figure Museum W – 15,000 KRW
Dinner in the Apgujeong Area in Gangnam
Evening – head to Itaewon for some international food and culture.
2 Day Costs = 187,500 KRW
(Day 1 Cost = 90,500 KRW)
(Day 2 Cost = 97,000 KRW)
2 Day Pass Cost = 55,000 KRW
Total Savings = 132,500 KRW
Joel’s Tip: The cost savings are even higher on this day due to the premium locations like Lotte World Adventure and COEX Aquarium that really make this pass worthwhile. You could do this itinerary as the one day itinerary instead and save even more money.
Three Day Itinerary For The Discover Seoul Pass
The itinerary for the third day isn’t so much of an itinerary, but more of a selection of the best of the free places. You can pick and choose from these to make plans for the third day.
As with the two day itinerary, I’d recommend following the previous itineraries and adding in some extra activities from the list below.
Seodaemun Prison History Mall – 3,000 KRW – I really enjoyed this disturbing museum, it’s a thought-provoking look into Korea’s dark past in the 20th Century.
Trick Eye Museum – 14,500 KRW – Lots of fun for any group. Located in Hongdae.
Seoul Zoo & Sky Lift – 5,000 KRW – A good day out to see lots of different animals, and plenty of other attractions nearby, including the Seoul Grand Park and botanical gardens.
Seoul Battleship Park – 3,000 KRW – Located in one of the parks along the bank of the Han River. Certainly one not to miss for military enthusiasts.
The Royal Palaces and Jongmyo Shrine – 10,000 KRW – whilst these amazing palaces and shrine are included in the cost of the Discover Seoul Pass. I wouldn’t recommend buying the pass and seeing them with it. You can visit the 4 main palaces and shrine with a combo ticket that only costs 10,000 won. They require a lot of time and using the pass isn’t cost effective.
Sealala Korean Spa – up to 9,000 KRW – try out a Korean spa and wash away the tiredness from your body. A wonderful cultural experience.
Joel’s Tip: I would recommend visiting Seoul Zoo first, then heading to Hongdae in the afternoon for the Trick Eye Museum. There are lots of other free and discounted activities in Hongdae where you can use your Discover Seoul Pass, too. End the night with a soak in a hot tub at the Sealala Korean Spa.
A Tip To Get Even More Out Of The Discover Seoul Pass
One of my readers pointed out a great loop hole in the Discover Seoul Pass that will allow you to add an extra day’s activities to the pass. The timer on the pass begins the moment that you first use it and expires 24 / 48 / 72 hours later.
If you activate the Discover Seoul Pass in the morning and use it for the day, you can gain entrance to attractions under 24 hours later.
So, if you use the pass to go sightseeing from 11:00 am on the first day, you can gain access to somewhere like Lotte World Adventure or COEX Aquarium on the second day, as long as you enter before 11:00 am.
This gives you the chance to get more for your money with the pass. Of course, once you enter these places, you can’t leave and try to enter again as the pass will have expired.
One Week Itinerary For Korea
Planning to travel to Korea for a week but not sure where to go and what to do? Read this detailed one week itinerary for Korea and get lots of great ideas.
Conclusion: Do I Need A Discover Seoul Pass?
This is entirely dependent on your style of travel, whether you want to experience a lot of the expensive attractions, and who is travelling. I hope you’ve made your own mind up after reading this guide. If not, here’s my conclusion to who needs a Discover Seoul Pass, or not.
Yes – if you’re travelling as a family and want lots of fun activities to entertain children. Also if you plan to spend a short amount of time in Seoul.
No – if you’re travelling alone or as a couple, or want to travel at your own pace. Also avoid the pass if you want to spend a lot of time at places like the Royal Palaces. These are cheap and not a good use of money with the Discover Seoul Pass.
Want to get one? Don’t forget you can save 10% by buying them online before you arrive:
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