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Korea Travel Tips

PLANING A TRIP TO KOREA? DOWNLOAD THESE PHONE APPS.

February 10, 2020
Top Korean phone apps

Get a head start on planning your trip to South Korea, and download these apps now to save you some time! This is a personally curated list of my favorite apps to use in Korea, which helped me immensely while I lived there for a bit.

1.    NAVER Map

The equivalent to Google Maps in South Korea, but much more reliable since Google Maps navigation doesn’t exactly work in the country. Like Google maps, you can download the maps before heading out for the day in case you’re offline somewhere and can’t find any reception or WiFi. What I love even more about this app, is that you can download locations in Korean, in case you’re having a hard time finding a place and want to ask a local for advice on directions.

Download here: iPhone | Android

2.    Subway Korea

Seoul is known to have one of the best metro systems in the world, and with about 20 different lines servicing the area, it can also be confusing for visitors to navigate. Lucky for us, the Subway Korea app lets you see train schedules (and counts down the minutes until the next train), tells you the quickest route to take to get to your final destination, and best of all – will even work offline.

Download here: iPhone | Android

3.    AirVisual Air Quality Forecast

Air quality in South Korea has been an ongoing issue for decades, and I’m so thankful for this app that helped me determine whether I should exercise outside or not. Download this app to get you on track if clean air is a concern for you.

Download here: iPhone | Android

4.    MangoPlate

The Korean version of Yelp in the US – this app is very helpful to find highly rated restaurants! The rating system is based on a scale of 5.0, so the higher the number the better rated the restaurant is. Here you can find the business hours, and pricing of each eatery in KRW (South Korean won). You’ll also be able to view tasty photos, as well as see reviews left from other users. If you can’t read Hangul, don’t worry! The app translates Korean reviews to English for you with the tap of a finger.

Download here: iPhone | Android

5.    Kakao Talk

South Korea’s preferred app for communication. This app will be super useful to use if you’re planning to join any tours or stay at Airbnb’s, as it’s mostly what they prefer to use to speak with others. You’ll also note that even some business cards will have their KakaoTalk ID on it since it’s the main form of communication.

Download here: iPhone | Android

6.    Papago

Out of all the different translator apps out there in the world, I’d have to say that this is my favorite for Korean translation…I just found that the translations were a little more on point with this app, as opposed to Google Translate.

Download here: iPhone | Android

34 Shares
  • Reply
    Mike
    February 11, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I have been looking for a good flight to South Korea. Hopefully I can get there this year. Good advice. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      We hope you can too! Please share with us about your experience if you do make it over!

  • Reply
    Jenn
    February 12, 2020 at 11:46 am

    I honestly know nothing about traveling to Korea, but have looked at it for an international connection with a long layover. I appreciate your list of apps… They are super helpful!

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      You should totally go to visit! Keep in mind that it takes about an hour to get to Seoul from the international airport. Feel free to ask us for any advice or questions. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie S.
    February 12, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    I agree with your recommendation to use Subway Korea. It’s so easy to use and was such a helpful app when we visited Seoul. We got lost many times in Seoul as Google Maps is not reliable with the maps and subway information.

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      You’re right! Google Maps is the absolute worst! lol We only wish it worked as well as it does with Japan’s subway systems.

  • Reply
    Iuliana Marchian
    February 12, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    When I traveled to Thailand last year I met a woman from Korea. She has told me so many things I hadn’t known about her country and now I get to see how interesting it would be to visit these places. Congratulations for this advice!

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      We find that Korea is a very underrated country that most people want to go visit, and so…we are advocates for Korea travel! We think that Korea is beautiful, and should be considered just as much as some of the other more popular Asian countries. 🙂

  • Reply
    April Key C. Rode
    February 12, 2020 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips! So perfect for reading this, my sister will be visiting Korea this July. This post will be helpful for her to navigate the country, especially they have small children.

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Ahh I see. I hope they enjoy their trip! Please do feel free to ask us for any advice. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole Hunter
    February 13, 2020 at 4:26 am

    This is a very useful list since so many of the apps that we all rely on and love are a little different in South Korea. Thank you for the helpful info and making my life so much easier.

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      This is exactly why we wanted to write this post! We are glad that you found it helpful.

  • Reply
    Alexander Popkov
    February 14, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Korea is a whole new world for me. I wanted to travel it when I was a kid because I played StarCraft. Now I have… other interests. But nevertheless, I would go there and these look like really useful apps.

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      You’re actually not the first person that we have met that has said that they wanted to visit because of StarCraft! haha We hope that you do get to visit one day. 🙂

  • Reply
    Justine Kimoden
    February 14, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Is the air quality that bad in Korea that it needs to be tracked? Those navigating maps would be very useful, as well, as the translation app 🙂

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      Cherrod here,
      I have found that the air quality comes and goes. The app is something that most people have on their phones if they live there, and I found it to be quite useful when I lived there. I would make sure not to open windows if it was the rating was super high, and I think that it does affect everyone differently so sometimes you’ll see people with masks, and sometimes you will see them with masks on.

  • Reply
    Angella
    February 21, 2020 at 4:36 am

    Ahhh…wish I knew of these apps before our trip last fall! I always use Kakao for messaging my parents within the states & found KakaoMaps was especially useful & more reliable than NaverMaps! Will save this for our next visit!

    • Reply
      Cherrod and Matt
      February 27, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      We were able to convince our Korean family to just text us with WhatsApp after years and years of using Kakao talk…tell me that isn’t a big surprise (considering that Koreans use Kakao talk for everything. lol). Let us know how your next visit goes!

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