South Korea is famous for its K-pop, K-drama, and cosmetics. It is also a popular tourist destination with 24/7 convenience stores, outstanding landmarks, bustling shopping streets, and countless fun activities. Thanks to the advancement of technology, now traveling to Korea is much easier if you have the right applications on your phone.
So if you are planning a trip to the land of the morning calm, make sure to check out these 14 great apps that will help you make the most out of your trip!
Apps Communication in South Korea
Kakao Talk (카카오톡)
Kakao Talk is the number one communication app in Korea. It has a diverse range of features and a cute chat interface. You can also buy a variety of chat emoticons on it. The app is no just for text messages or video calls, you can also send or receive files, share locations, and even pay with it!
Papago is a Korean translation software that I recommend to every Korean learner. It provides translation between Korean and 10 languages including English. Papago belongs to Naver, the largest search engine in South Korea. Papago translates Korean much more accurately than google translate. It can definitely help you communicate with native Koreans more effectively.
If you are thinking about learning the Korean language, LingoDeer is your best choice. Whether you wish to just learn some travel phrases or dig deeper into the language, LingoDeer has something for you. It allows you to learn a variety of useful phrases in a relatively short period of time. If you want to learn how to order at a restaurant, simple hello and goodbye, thank you, and other Korean that you may use during your trip, you must try it!
Apps that Help you Find out Where to go in South Korea
Naver Map (네이버 지도)
Google Maps or Apple Maps are not very useful when traveling in Korea. Naver Maps, like papago(Korean translator), was developed by Naver, the largest search engine company in Korea. It is available in multiple languages and has very comprehensive traffic navigation. Even for hiking, it has planned hiking routes! All the bus and subway information is in there, and with it, you don’t have to worry about getting lost in Korea at all!
Kakao Map (카카오 지도)
Kakao Map is also the choice of many people, and it belongs to the same company as Kakao Talk, the most used chat app in Korea! It’s similar to Naver Map, so you can choose between them!
Tips: In Korea, each subway gate will have a corresponding number, and both maps will show you on your subway navigation which subway gate you should wait at to be able to transfer or exit the station most easily and quickly!
I Tour Seoul (아이 투어 서울)
I Tour Seoul app is Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official travel app. If you plan to spend much time in Seoul, this app can save you a lot of time by providing popular tourist attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Seoul.
Visit Korea (한국 관광)
Visit Korea app is quite an official tourist app developed by the Korea Tourism Organisation. You can find plenty travel information in the app, including events, tourist attractions, restaurants, accommodations, etc.
Apps for Transportation in South Korea
Kakao T(카카오 택시)
Uber is not quite popular in South Korea. So if you want to take a taxi, you should try its Korean counterpart – Kakao T. Kakao T is a must-have Korean taxi app that can be set up in multiple languages including English. You can choose from different rates and directly pay via the app when you’ve reached your destination.
Speaking of taking taxi, be sure to note that in South Korea, there are black cabs with much high prices than regular cabs! If you want to save money, don’t wave when you see a black cab.
Korail talk (코레일톡)
If you wish to travel by train, try Korail app. Korail is a software to buy tickets for high-speed trains in Korea and supports many kinds of online payments. Transportation in Korea is very well developed and you can reach almost all inland cities by high-speed trains, and they are usually very punctual. Be sure to first get a Korail Pass before booking tickets on it.
Besides the high-speed train, another way to travel is by bus. Bus is a very comfortable option in Korea and it has a fixed price that does not change with the time or date. It has spacious seats, so you don’t have to worry even if you are traveling long distances. They have their own passing lanes on the road, so you don’t have to worry about traffic jams or being late at all!
Apps for Food Delivery in South Korea
Baemin is one of the most used delivery app in Korea for everything from gourmet food to all kinds of vegetables, fruits, and necessities. You can even order clothes, shoes, flowers, and more. It also newly added a live shopping function, from which you can order discounted food or other goods! The only downside is that it only supports the Korean language, which is not suitable for foreigners who don’t know Korean.
Yogiyo has basically the same features as Baemin. From my personal experience of using this app, I found it’s often cheaper than Baemin, giving away more discount coupons. You can order take-out from a wide variety of restaurants, from Korean, Chinese, Western, KFC, Mcdonalds, pizza, even dessert or coffee, you name it! And it supports both Korean and English! So if you don’t know Korean, got with this app!
Coupang Eats (쿠팡 이즈)
Coupang Eats is another foreigner-friendly food delivery app. If you don’t speak Korean, I recommend you download it! By the way, new users are usually given discount coupons when they sign up, so don’t forget to use them when you pay! With so many 24-hour restaurants in Korea, you can even have your fried chicken with beer delivered at 3 am!
Apps for Accommodation in South Korea
Airbnb has made overseas accommodation booking so convenient. If you don’t have a Korean bank card, don’t speak Korean, and don’t have a Korean cell phone number, you can still easily book a room at a fair price with Airbnb. The app is also becoming more and more popular in South Korea, so you have plenty of choices when booking a room. Most residences in Korea use code door locks and the check-in time is very flexible.
If you wish to live for a longer period in South Korea, consider renting a room or apartment. Dabang is one of the apps that can help you rent in South Korea. You can filter rooms according to your own preferences and location. There is also third-party personnel that can help you complete the whole process. However, using Dabang can be quite hard if you speak zero Korean, because of all the false listings and potential scams.
Yanolja (야놀자) is one of the most commonly used accommodation booking app in South Korea. You can even book flight tickets on it. Sometimes they give various limited-time discounts. The disadvantage is that it does not support foreign bank card payments and English interface.
Yeogie-eottae (여기어때) is similar to Yanolja, but it also doesn’t support foreign bank card payment and English interface, and you can’t use foreign cell phone number to register, so if you live in Korea and speak fluent Korean, it’s a good app for hotel booking!