South Korea is a fascinating and exciting country to visit! It’s home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, from the ancient capital city of Seoul to beautiful beaches in the south. There’s something for everyone to enjoy here. So, planning your trip carefully and knowing the South Korea’s best travel season is essential.
This guide from Lucia Grilli will outline everything you need to know about how to plan a trip to South Korea. Thus, your visit will be as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
How to plan a trip to South Korea
6 months ahead of time
Participate in Korean Facebook discussion groups
Korean Facebook groups are a great resource for information about South Korea. You can find discussion groups for specific areas such as food, attractions, transportation, and more.
Get plane tickets to South Korea
When you are planning your trip to South Korea, it is important to get plane tickets as soon as possible. The sooner you can purchase your tickets, the cheaper they will be.
The following is a list of airline offices in Seoul; when calling from outside Seoul, add the 02 prefix:
- Call Aeroflot at (551) 10321.
- Call Air Canada at (877) 3788-0100.
- Call 774-6886 to reach Air China.
- Call Air France at (3483) 1033.
- Call 752-5500 to reach All Nippon Airways.
- Call 1588-8000 to reach Asiana Airlines.
- Contact Cathay Pacific at 311-2800.
- Chinese Airlines can be reached at 518-0330.
- Call 775-9070 to reach China Southern Airlines.
- Call 080-773-2092 to reach Garuda Indonesia Airlines.
- Call 757-1711 to reach Japan Airlines.
- Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), phone number 774-1133.
- Call Korean Air at 1588-2001, option 5.
- Call 3420-0400 to reach Lufthansa.
- Call 777-7761 to reach Malaysia Airlines.
- Call 732-1700 to reach Northwest Airlines.
- Call 774-3581 to reach Philippine Airlines.
- Call Qantas at 777-6871.
- Call 755-1226 to reach Singapore Airlines.
- International Thai Airways, phone: 3707-0011.
- United Airlines, tel: 757-1691.
Consider safety and health
Travel insurance is a good idea for any trip, but especially for trips to new and unfamiliar countries. Make sure to get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical expenses, lost luggage, and more.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover.
As cited in www.gov.uk
If you have any questions about safety or health in South Korea, be sure to consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website. The CDC has a wealth of information about traveling to foreign countries, including South Korea.
Get your passports and visas done
When you are planning your trip to South Korea, it is important to get your passports and visas done as soon as possible. The sooner you can get these documents, the less time you will have to spend waiting in line.
A travel agency, the Korean Immigration Service (KIS), or the US Embassy in Seoul can help you with these documents.
Reach out to consulates and embassies
When you are planning your trip to South Korea, it is important to reach out to consulates and embassies to get the most up-to-date information.
The following is a list of consulates in Seoul:
- American Embassy (397-4114)
- British Embassy (3210-5500)
- Chinese Embassy (738-1038)
- French Embassy (3149-4300)
- Japanese Embassy (2170-5200)
- Australian Embassy (2003-0100)
- Singaporean Embassy (774-2464).
Apply for Q code
You will have to lodge an application for a Q-code in order to enter South Korea. This is a QR code which can be obtained after submitting it and holding onto your pertinent health details and contact information. It must be submitted no later than three days prior to arrival; otherwise, you might not get through immigration safely!
Create a 10-day itinerary for your time in Korea
In Seoul (3 days)
Seoul is a bustling metropolis and can be overwhelming if you are trying to see everything in just one day. In Seoul, you can walk along the Cheonggyecheon Stream and explore Namdaemun’s traditional market. You can also visit Gyeongbokgung, a Buddhist temple.
If you are staying in Seoul, try to find a Airbnb or VRBO listing that includes a kitchenette or kitchen. This will save you time and money since you will not have to spend money on food each day.
In Andong (2 days)
Andong is a charming small city located in the Gyeongsang province. It is known for its traditional handicrafts, including pottery, textiles, wood carvings, and iron work. The town also has a number of attractions like Andong Water Cave, Goseong Fortress, and Gyeongsang National Museum.
If you are planning on visiting Andong, be sure to arrive in the afternoon. So, you can take advantage of the outdoor art exhibitions that take place in the evenings.
In Gyeongju (3 days)
Gyeongju is the ancient capital of the Silla kingdom and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha, as well as palaces and tombs from the Goryeo, Joseon, and Japanese periods.
Some of the things that you can do in Gyeongju include visiting Bukchon Hanok Village. This offers a glimpse into traditional Korean life before industrialization. Suncheon Tombs Museum, which houses more than 60 royal tombs, is also worth a visit, as is Gyeongju National Museum.
In Busan (2 days)
Busan is a bustling city that has been rapidly growing in recent years. It is a great place to visit if you are interested in entertainment and nightlife, as it has a large number of nightclubs and bars.
Busan’s beaches, Haeundae’s magnificent views, and Gyeongbokgung Palace are among the things to do.
3 months ahead of time
International driving permit
When you are planning your trip to South Korea, it is important to make sure that you have a valid international driving permit. This will ensure that you can drive in South Korea without any problems.
Make sure to bring your driver’s license and passport with you when you go, as well as your international driving permit. You may also want to photocopy these documents and keep them in a safe place.
Available domestic flights in South Korean
For those who wish to explore the idyllic beauty of South Korea’s mainland, domestic flights are unnecessary. However, if you’d also like to savor the intoxicating atmosphere of Jeju Island, then flying is essential.
Indeed, there are multiple daily departures from Seoul. They may not be quite as inexpensive as booking them three months in advance. Don’t wait too long if you’re traveling during peak season!
1 month ahead of time
If you are planning on visiting South Korea and want to do so in the most efficient manner possible, be sure to have access to internet resources. Before arriving, learn about the country’s culture, history, best places to visit, and what to anticipate.
Free public wifi zones
Many of the major tourist destinations in South Korea have free public wifi zones, so be sure to check out the map before arriving. This will help you find the best spots to stay and connect to the internet.
Wireless internet portable devices
If you are planning on traveling to South Korea during peak season, be sure to bring your wireless internet portable devices. This will allow you to stay connected while on the go.
Prepaid SIM card
For users who want to access the Internet, consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card. With this device, you will have full access and be able to make local calls as well as send text messages.
Purchasing one of these cards is not an easy task for travelers making their way into Incheon Airport. So, it’s best that you procure it directly upon arrival – which makes sense given the difficulty in locating them at all!
Arrange for airport transportation
If you are arriving in South Korea via air, it is important to arrange for airport transportation. This will ensure that you make it to your destination without any hassles.
South Korea’s several airports need travelers to consider their transportation options.
Book South Korea tours in advance
If you would like to take advantage of pre-arranged tours, booking them in advance is a great idea. This way, you can ensure that the tours that you choose are the best fit for your interests and needs.
1 week ahead of time
-Sunscreen and sunglasses
-Basic toiletries such as soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and towels
-Towel service for your room
-Cash or traveler’s checks
-Important documents such as a passport, visa, drivers license, and international driving permit.
-Spare clothes and underwear; medications if needed; and any special dietary needs.
-Entertainment such as books, games, movies, etc.
-Electronic devices such as cameras, ipads, and laptops can be used for surfing the internet and watching Netflix.
Reasons for visiting South Korea
-The breathtaking beauty of the country’s landscapes
-The vibrant culture and history that pervades all aspects of life
-The friendly people who will make your visit unique
-Language learning opportunities with students from all over the world who come to South Korea to learn Korean
-Great shopping opportunities with top brands found throughout the country.
South Korea’s best travel season
- The weather is mild, and there are a plethora of cultural events and festivals happening throughout the country. The best time to visit South Korea during the spring season is between April and May. During this time, you’ll be able to experience beautiful cherry blossoms as well as other seasonal flowers.
- The summer season is hot and humid, so it’s not the best time to visit South Korea. The best time to visit South Korea during the summer is between June and August. During this time, you’ll be able to enjoy the amazing beaches and sunsets that the country has to offer.
- The fall season is a great time to visit South Korea because it’s when the leaves change color and the weather is milder. The best time to visit South Korea during the fall season is between September and November.
- The winter season in South Korea can be quite cold, so it’s not the best time to visit. The best time to visit South Korea during the winter is between December and February.
Korea travel cost
Your round trip ticket from the U.S. to South Korea will cost you an estimated $1,000. This number doesn’t include extra costs like food, housing, and travel while in South Korea.
In Seoul, buses and subways can be used to get around town. The subway is relatively inexpensive and runs frequently. Train tickets can also be purchased and are a bit more expensive, but they offer a scenic view.
For getting around, budgeting for a sum of 250 USD. If you want to visit Jeju along with it too, then plan on spending an additional 100 USD (and bear in mind that you will have to rent a car there).
The price of lodging:Accommodation price in Seoul is quite expensive, especially if you are looking for anything close to the city center. If, however, you are looking for a quieter location or want to take advantage of the amazing weather, then finding a room can be much cheaper.
Hotels offer an average price of $180 USD per night, though those in Gyeongju or Busan might vary somewhat depending on the quality and standard. On a ten-day vacation, you’ll need to budget around $1,800 USD.
Budget for food:
South Korea is famous for its delicious food and it is not difficult to find something to your taste no matter where in the country you are. The cost of food will vary depending on where you are and what type of food you are eating. Generally speaking, dining out will set you back around $30-$40 per person per day.
Costs associated with fun activities:
On the whole, daily activities in Korea are quite affordable. An entrance to a palace could be had for less than 5 USD; museums are often free! For a ten-day itinerary South Korea trip planner approximately 100 USD.
Costs for medical treatment in South Korea:
Medical care in South Korea can be expensive, depending on the province or city where you reside. This range can run anywhere from $250 for a basic check-up to upwards of $10,000 for complex surgeries and treatments.
It is always a good idea to have travel insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances. This can cover anything from medical expenses to lost luggage. It costs around $60 for 10 days in Korea to have this coverage, so it is a good idea to budget for it.
Korean currency transactions
- South Korea accepts credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) practically everywhere. Your bank card may charge a commission for each payment. Make sure your bank supports international payments before you leave. It may be required for international payments.
- During your vacation, you can pay for meals and other necessities using won. We recommend carrying a set amount of cash for street food and market shopping.
- ATMs are available everywhere and most major banks have branches in South Korea. Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank, though the rate may not be favorable. It is always a good idea to carry some foreign cash with you in case of emergencies.
Additional South Korean travel advice
Here are a few cost-saving tips to help make your trip to South Korea more budget-friendly:
– Bring cash rather than a credit card to help reduce the amount of fees your bank may charge you.
– Shop in local markets – prices at these establishments are often much lower than those in malls or other large shopping centers.
– Avoid eating at expensive restaurants; if you must dine out, look for places that serve lower-priced entrees.
– Take public transportation whenever possible; buses and trains are frequently less expensive than taxis.
Maps are not always reliable in South Korea. It is a good idea to have a navigation app such as Naver Maps, Kakao Taxi, or Seoul Metro Navi on your phone in case of emergencies.
220V and 60 Hz make up the voltage and frequency. If you’re from Europe, South Korea’s power outlets will work for you. No adaptor purchase is necessary. An adaptor is necessary for the US.
Some Korean films worth seeing include “Mr. Sunshine” and “Ode to My Father.”
Tipping is not customary in South Korea, though a few percent of the bill is always appreciated in restaurants. When you have a service encounter, such as with a taxi driver, you should not leave any money on the dashboard.
FAQs How to plan a trip to South Korea
South Korea costs how much for travel itinerary 7 days?
Planning 7 days in Seoul is the ideal amount of time. 120 000 krw should be enough for mid-range budgets and 200 000 krw for luxury budgets. Bring $200 cash. In crises or places without currency, utilize this.
Is two weeks too much time in South Korea?
South Korea itinerary: 14 days
There’s no perfect plan for Korea. However, the country is small enough that two weeks is ample time to acclimate to the culture difference and enjoy most things.
Is itinerary 4 days enough for visiting Korea?
Seoul has so much to offer. With four days in Seoul, you’ll have plenty of time to see the major sights and experience this dynamic city.
Is English used in South Korea?
Korean is South Korea’s official language. However, Japanese, English, and Mandarin are commonly understood.
Planning a trip to South Korea can be daunting, but by following these tips it will be much easier. With a bit of research and preparation, you’ll be able to have a great time without breaking the bank. Thanks for reading this post on gonseekorea.com!