Where is Korea?
Government office hours are usually from 9:00 to 18:00 on weekdays. Banks are open from 9:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. Most stores are open every day from 10:30 to 20:00, including Sundays.
Currency & Exchange
The currency of Korea is the South Korean won, or won for short. The currency sign for the won is ₩. There are currency exchanges at the airports and select locations around Seoul and elsewhere, but the best way to get money all over Korea would be through ATMs. You can find ATMs at airports, subway stations and most convenient stores. You would use them the same way you would at home and there will likely be a transaction fee of about $3-$5. It is generally a good idea for all travelers to bring at least $100 USD on them that they can exchange when they arrive in Korea in case they have issues with their card
Tip & Tax
Service charges are included in your bill for rooms, meals, and other services at hotels and upscale restaurants. Koreans occasionally do tip when they are especially pleased with the service they receive. Foreign tourists can receive nearly 10 % VAT refunds for purchases at Duty Free shops. Goods must be taken out of Korea within three months of purchase to be eligible for a tax refund. Visitors can receive a refund on a receipt for a minimum purchase of KRW 50,000 (around USD 43). To receive this refund, present receipts with the purchased goods at the customs clearance desk at Incheon International Airport when departing.
The standard electricity supply is 220 volts AC/60 cycles. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for 110 and 220 volts. Participants are recommended to check with the hotel beforehand.
Emergency Phone Numbers
1339: Medical Emergency
119: Emergencies for Fire, Rescue & Hospital Services
129: First Aid Services
Korea Tourism Organization: Go
Gateway to Korea: Go
Seoul Tourism Organization: Go
Seoul Metropolitan Government: Go
Korea Immigration Service: Go
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Go
Incheon International Airport: Go
Foreign nationals entering Korea are required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa issued by the Korean embassy or consular offices in their country. However, citizens from many countries are now permitted visa-free entry for a limited period under certain conditions. In order to check whether you are allowed to enter Korea without visa issuance and for other requirements, please contact a Korean embassy or consular office in your country or visit the following websites to confirm.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Korean
Korea Immigration Service Korean English
Hi Korea Korean English
Example of Entry Visa to Korea
Countries under Visa Waiver Agreements
Nationals of visa waiver countries can enter Korea without a visa as long as the purpose of their visit is tourism or temporary visit. If they want to engage in profitable activities such as employment, they must apply for a Korean visa suitable for their purpose.
Designated visa-free entry
Taking into consideration international convention, mutuality doctrine, national profit and other such factors, certain countries are granted visa-free entry permissions (48 countries as of 1 September 2018). Nationals of the following countries are allowed up to 30 days of visa-free sojourn for tourism or visitation. Exceptions: 1) Canada is allowed up to 6 months 2) The United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Slovenia and Japan are allowed up to 90 days.
|Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic, government official, and general passport holders
|Asia||Macao(90 days), Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Japan (90 days), Qatar, Taiwan(90 days), Hong Kong (90 days), Kuwait(90 days), Bahrain[10 countries]|
|North America||United States(90 days), Canada (6 months) [2 countries]|
|South America||Guyana, Argentina, Ecuador(90),Paraguay, Honduras [5 countries]|
|Europe||Monaco, Vatican, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Cyprus, San Marino, Serbia(90), Montenegro, Slovenia (90 days), Andorra, Croatia(90) [11 countries]|
|Oceania||Guam, Nauru, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Fiji, Australia (90 days), Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Tonga [13 countries]|
|Africa||South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Swaziland, Botswana (5 Countries)|
|Countries that are granted visa-free entry for diplomatic and government official passport holders
|Gyeongbokgung, the main palace of The Joseon Dynasty, has returned. After an over 20-year-long restoration project, Gyeonbokgung now stands tall at the foot of Bugak Mountain looking down Gwanghwamun Plaza, with its old dignity fully regained.
N Seoul Tower
|Like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, the N Seoul Tower stands for Seoul. The tower, soaring from the top of Namsan, is beautifully lit at night and has been decorating the skyline of Seoul for decades.
|This beautiful stream, lined on each side by vertical walls, is located in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Seoul. It’s the perfect place to go for a stroll with a friend or significant other and a refreshing combination of nature and urban environments.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
|Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has attracted much attention from all levels of society since it opened in 2014. It has now become an architectural space and cultural complex representing Seoul.
|This is the largest general market in metropolitan Seoul and receives more than 400,000 visitors everyday. According to them, they have “everything except nothing” and the charms and sights you will find in the market are as vast and overwhelming as the amount of products that fill the place.