This is part of a series of blog entries on how to get to countries and places. Here is a link to the index. I plan to eventually cover every country and some other places. If you have a request for a particular country or place please use the email me link at top right, or leave a comment.
The land border with North Korea is closed (excepting the tourist attractions within the Demilitarised Zone DMZ) and there are a few ferries to South Korea from Japan and China. However, almost all visitors arrive by air. Many airlines fly to Seoul, and some Asian airlines also fly to Busan, including:
- Star Alliance - Air Canada, Air China, ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa (also Busan), Shanghai Airlines, Singapore, Thai, Turkish, United
- Oneworld - Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines
- Sky Team - Aeroflot, Air France, China Southern, Delta, KLM, Korean
- Other selected - Emirates
TIP Depending on currency movements, some round-trip and alliance (eg around the world) fares in first or business class from South Korea can be significantly cheaper than starting from other countries.
TIP With few low cost carriers, flights from elsewhere in Asia to South Korea tend to be fairly expensive unless bought as part of a longhaul ticket. Asia airpasses with the alliances can be a good alternative.
TIP Seoul has 2 airports - Incheon used mainly for international flights (including all longhaul flights) and Gimpo used for almost all domestic flights (plus some international flights to/from Osaka, Tokyo and Shanghai). Allow at least 2 1/2 hours for transfers between Seoul and Gimpo.