Go to contents Local Menu

Essential Information

10 Things You Must Know Before Traveling to Korea

1Visa

Foreign nationals entering Korea are generally required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa;
however, some countries are permitted visa free under certain conditions (see table below). 

For inquiries regarding visa, please visit the following websites:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs-www.mofa.go.kr (Korean, English) Korea Immigration Service-www.immigration.go.kr (Korean, English)
Designated Countries & Regions Granted Visa-Free Entry to Korea Allowed to stay in Korea for 30 days only(unless otherwise specified below) for the purposes of tourism and visitation only.
Countries
Designated Countries & Regions Granted Visa-Free Entry to Korea(Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Oceania, Africa)
Asia Japan(90 Days), Hong Kong(90 Days), Macao(90 Days), Taiwan(90 Days),
Kuwait(90 Days), Brunei, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates,
Bahrain(90 Days)
North America United States(90 Days), Canada(6 Months)
South America Argentina, Honduras, Paraguay, Uruguay(90 Days), Ecuador, Guyana
Europe Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Cyprus, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia(90 Days), Vatican, Bosnla-Hezegovina, Serbla, Montenegro
Oceania Australlia(90 Days), Guam, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga
Africa Repulic of South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Egypt

2 Korean Currency and
Money Exchange

Korea's official monetary unit is the won.(₩, KRW)
Korean Bills
specimen fifty thousand won
fifty thousand won(o-man-won)
specimen ten thousand won
ten thousand won(man-won)
specimen five thousand won
five thousand won(o-cheon-won)
specimen one thousand won
one thousand won(cheon-won)
Money Exchange
When you need to exchange your foreign currency
into Korean won, visit a bank or authorized exchange
service centers.
Credit Card
Most businesses in Korea widely accept payment by
credit cards, including major hotels, department stores
and shops. Be sure check the service availability before
making any purchases.
ATM
Global ATMs exclusively for international travelers
are readily available for those who need to withdraw
cash in Korean won.
Traveler’s Check
Traveler's checks can be exchanged for cash at banks or
exchange booths; however, very few stores accept
checks these days.

3 Business
Hours

Banks
Weekdays : 09:00-16:00
Exceptions : Standard Chartered Bank weekdays 09:30-16:30,
Everrich Bank weekdays 09:00-16:30
Closed on : weekends & public holidays
Government Offices and Organizations
Weekdays : 09:00-18:00
Closed on : weekends & public holidays
Post Offices
Weekdays : 09:00-18:00
Closed on : weekends & public holidays
homepage www.koreapost.go.kr (Korean, English)
Department Stores
Monday – Thursday : 10:30 – 20:00
Friday – Sunday : 10:30 – 20:30
Operating hours may vary according to store policy.

4National Holidays

Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar. During official holidays, offices and banks are closed but palaces,
museums, most restaurants, department stores, and amusement facilities are open.

2017 Official Kerean Holidays

  • January 1 New Year's Day
  • February 15-18 Seollal (Lunar New Year's Day)
  • March 1 Independence Movement Day
  • May 5 Children's Day
  • May 22 Buddha's Birthday
  • June 6 Memorial Day
  • June 13 Local
    Election Day
  • August 15 Liberation Day
  • October 3 National
    Foundation Day
  • September 23-26 Chuseok(Korea Thanksgiving Day)
  • October 9 Hangeul Day (Korean Alphabet Day)
  • December 25 Christmas

5Electricity/Voltage

The standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts. The outlet has two round holes and is same type as that of which are used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey, and many other countries.

If you do not have a travel adapter, you can borrow one from your hotel's front desk. It is available for purchase in duty-free shops or convenience stores at Incheon International Airport.

6Weather

You can enjoy all four seasons in Korea. Summer starts on June until August, Autumn begins on September until early November, the weather drops negative during winter on December until March, and everything blossoms on spring from April to May.

Make sure to bring the appropriate clothing for the time you visit Korea.

Average Weather in Korea
Average Weather in Korea(Element, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec)
Element Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec
Minimum
temperature(°C)
-6.1 -4.1 1.1 7.3 12.6 17.8 21.8 22.1 16.7 9.8 2.9 -3.4
Maximum
temperature(°C)
1.6 4.1 10.2 17.6 22.8 26.9 28.8 29.5 25.6 19.7 11.5 4.2
Rainfall(mm) 21.6 23.6 45.8 77.0 102.2 133.3 327.9 348.0 137.6 49.3 53.0 24.9

7Connectivity/Wi-Fi

As a leading nation in information technology, Korea provides one of the best internet connections worldwide.
Enjoy the world’s fastest internet speed through Wi-Fi for your convenience during your time in Korea.

8Transportation

You can always rely on Korea's public transportation to take you from one point to another. From express trains, subways, buses - everything is very easy to use, plus you can always expect them to arrive on time.
Purchase a Transportation Card
Two T-money cards(left:국토교통부 인증 전국호환, right:CityPass+, Korea transportation Card) To avoid buying a ticket each time you ride a subway or search for coins and bills when paying taxis and buses,
a transportation card is a must-buy! You can buy or recharge them on stations or convenience stores.
Look for International Taxis
Cab front, side on cab roof/ Taxi side and side view/ Total number of taxi riders(3 people) Taxis in Korea are super-convenient, safe, and are often cheaper than those in the West. International Taxis are available in major cities, and the drivers can usually converse in English, Japanese,
or Chinese

9Time Difference

Time difference by city with Korea
Seoul, Tokyo (Korea Time) 01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00
Taipei, Manlia, Hong Kong,
Kuala Lumpur, Singapore
24:00 03:00 06:00 09:00 12:00 15:00 18:00 21:00
Bangkok, Jakarta 23:00 02:00 05:00 08:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00
New Delhi, Calcutta 22:00 01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00
Tehran, Kuwait,
Jeddah
19:00 22:00 01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00 16:00
Hamburg, Rome,
Paris, Amsterdam
17:00 20:00 23:00 02:00 05:00 08:00 11:00 14:00
London 16:00 19:00 22:00 01:00 04:00 07:00 10:00 13:00
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00 01:00 04:00 07:00 11:00
New York, Montreal,
Bogota, Toronto
11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00 02:00 05:00 08:00
Chicago, Houston 10:00 13:00 16:00 19:00 22:00 01:00 04:00 07:00
Vancouver, Seattle,
San Francisco, Los Angeles
08:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00 02:00 05:00
Sydney, Melbourne 02:00 05:00 08:00 11:00 14:00 17:00 20:00 23:00
How to use
  • Read the graph vertically to compare the time differences between cities from around the world.
  • Please note the there is no daylight savings in Korea.
  • Shaded boxes designate times that fall in the previous calendar day.

10Helpful Numbers

Finally, make sure to have some of these numbers registered on your mobile in case of emergency situations or to ask assistance while traveling.
Korea Travel Hotline, 1330
1330 Korea Travel Hotline Available 24/7, you can call and ask assistance for any travel related issues or complaints when in Korea.
Service is offered in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese.
Emergency Calls
  • Police Department 112
  • Fire Department 119
  • Medical Emergencies 1339
How to call Korea
IDD + Country code + Area Code + Tel. number

Country code : 82
Area code :
  • Seoul 2
  • Gyeonggi 31
  • Incheon 32
  • Gangwon 33
  • Chungnam 41
  • Daejeon 42
  • Chungbuk 43
  • Sejong 44
  • Busan 51
  • Ulsan 52
  • Daegu 53
  • Gyeongbuk 54
  • Gyeongnam 55
  • Jeonnam 61
  • Gwangju 62
  • Jeonbuk 63
  • Jeju 64

*IDD - International Direct Dialing / Exit Code

Lost and Found, 182
  • National Police Agency, 97, Tongil-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
  • www.lost112.go.kr
    (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)