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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.