9 Korea Travel Tips to Know Before You Fly in 2024

Korea Travel Tips

Korea Travel Tips to Know Before You Fly – Buying a T-Money card is one of the Korean travel tips you need to keep in mind to save time and money when participating in public transportation in big cities. 

Korea Travel Tips to Know Before You Fly

Learn a few basic phrases – the most essential Korean travel tips

Do you remember the game of expressing a phrase using body language? The ability to play this game can help you a lot when traveling  to the land of kimchi , where people often do not speak English and therefore there are no signs or instructions in English. To make your experience in this country easier, memorize a few basic Korean phrases first. 

Go to places frequented by local people

Many tourists want to experience the culture of the land of kimchi without having to squeeze into famous destinations crowded with visitors. If you belong to this group, try walking around the up-and-coming neighborhoods near those destinations. For example, to enjoy cheap street food and enjoy youthful energy, you can go to Mangwon instead of Hongdae university area. Other alternatives include Apgujeong (instead of around Gangnam station), Hangangjin (instead of Itaewon) and Dongdaemun (instead of Myeongdong).

Read Also: 13 Best Things to do in Seoul Attractions

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Don’t be afraid to take photos on the street. Korean youth are very fond of taking photos and always know their most beautiful face, so they often take pictures over and over again until they are satisfied. 

Dongdaemun Market
(Photo Credit: Busy Tourist)

Dongdaemun Market is one of the places where you can experience shopping culture without being too crowded like Myeongdong. 

Street food is very clean and safe

Many tourists are often wary of dishes sold in the middle of the street, so cautious that they only dare to eat after being there for a few days. However, Korean street food in big cities, especially the capital Seoul, is very clean, so you can safely enjoy it without having to worry too much about food hygiene. Diverse street food is one of the attractions of Seoul.

Read Also: 12 Must Eat Food in Jeju Island, Local Jeju Food Guide

Buy a T-Money card to save time and money

The T-Money card costs 2,500 won, allowing you to load cash onto it and use it quickly at smart services that use sensors. Instead of standing in long lines and counting every coin in your wallet, you can swipe your T-Money card when shopping at convenience stores or using public transportation (tickets are always 100 won cheaper). This is an extremely useful  Korean travel tip that you should not ignore.

Plain cards cost 2,500 won, cards with funny pictures cost 4,000 won.

T-Money card to save time and money

Most stores accept credit cards

Travelers who don’t like to carry too much cash will certainly be happy to know this information. Prepare a credit card, preferably with foreign currency transaction fees, before leaving. Of course, you should still have some spare cash, use it when buying street food, recharging your T-money card, and shopping for souvenirs at local markets. 

Advice for first-time visitors to Korea is not to rush to change all the money you plan to spend right at the airport. Only change enough to cover the cost of transportation to the hotel, because currency exchange services at the airport often charge a higher fee. Currency exchange centers are located on every busy street, even right at the hotel where you register to stay. 

Politely bargain at markets

Sellers at markets can charge high prices for certain products, and they are not at all uncomfortable with being bargained. Most Koreans bargain very politely, without raising their voices, cursing or waving their arms and legs. You should also observe the shoppers around you, check prices in a few places and don’t rush to buy right away at the initially offered price. 

Take off your shoes when entering local restaurants

Taking off your shoes when entering religious spaces is a common practice in Asian culture. Therefore, when visiting temples in Korea, you also need to keep this in mind. Not only that, some local guesthouses, museums, tea shops and restaurants also request the same. Usually in spaces where you have to sit on the floor, remember to take off your shoes before entering. 

Spaces with traditional Korean style are often places where you have to take off your shoes before entering.

Yelling in restaurants is completely normal

With Korean drinking culture , the atmosphere at the drinking table is always very lively and you can freely express your happiness. People often have the habit of going out drinking after work, eating delicious food while drinking beer, or sipping soju and drinking in a refreshing way. Try once to immerse yourself in that intimate atmosphere like what you often see in movies. 

There are many stairs when entering and exiting the subway

If you wonder why Korean girls often have beautiful, slim legs, this could be a reason! The subway is a popular means of public transportation, and the stairs around the entrance probably provide locals with a good workout. Remember to prepare suitable shoes for a lot of movement, especially climbing stairs. 

South Korea is one of the most homogeneous societies in the world with less than 2% of the population being foreigners (of whom the majority are Chinese). Their culture is very distinctive and recognizable. However, you don’t necessarily have to buy Korean fashion clothes or apply Korean makeup to look like them. Show respect for the culture by understanding the above Korean travel tips , you will have a meaningful trip and integrate as quickly as possible with the people of the land of kimchi. 

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