Cheat Sheet on Traveling around Korea like a Local


There are two kinds of travelers around the world: the noob and the expert. The experts may have experts the ups and downs of travelling – they may have been pickpocketed before, got left behind by their plane, got lost on the subway, or learned a bit of foreign language here and there. All these experiences taught the expert how to deal with common travel mishaps and learned how to travel without thinking any types of burden.

The noob, on the other hand, are those that just got their passport. They got so excited after  receiving it and got very nervous about the whole visa processing that they think the immigration officer is going to eat them when they’re about to submit it through the counter window. The noob are those who are very well prepared with their itinerary and ends up disappointed because they haven’t visited the 20 places they have prepared for the day.

“The guide book says it was just 20-minute walk, how come it took me like forever?”

If you’re a noob who’s planning to visit South Korea, let me show you some tips how to avoid all the unnecessary blunders and delays during your trip!

  1. Spare 15 minutes of your time to learn the Hangul (Korean alphabet)

Yes, the guide book has all the Korean words romanized for you to be able to talk to the locals, but if it fails – perhaps they find it difficult to catch your slang or they fell in love with you at first sight that they couldn’t think straight – the best solution is to actually show them the word written in Hangul! Learning how to write or even just read Hangul will surely save you some time and energy more than 10 times than not learning at all. Don’t worry, it won’t be boring once you get here. Also, you will find some interesting Konglish words that will make you laugh.

2. Download the Subway app

Seoul Subway Map

Seoul Subway Map

Most of the Korean tourist spots are at walking distance from the subway – but, don’t you want to throw up just by looking at the subway map above? Even just finding your location will take much time if you tear that map from your guidebook or save a jpeg of this in your smartphone! Fortunately, an app can help you with that.


3.There are smartphone apps to help you with almost everything

Welcome to the land of Kimchi the fastest internet connection speed in the world! High-speed connections might have inspired South Korean developers to produce an application for almost everything you need in here. Plus you don’t need to worry about where you can get a free wifi – you’d probably be connected instantly from some random café or establishment already before you knew it.

Essential Korean Applications

Essential Korean Applications

HUNGRY but don’t want to leave your room? Have some food delivered… there’s an app for that.

LOST somewhere in Seoul and couldn’t hail a taxi? You can get one… there’s an app for that.

Want to RESERVE tickets for your trip somewhere else but don’t have a printer? Some app will save you.

Here, we’ve listed a few apps that will come handy every time you are here in South Korea!

Kakao Talk


Kakao Taxi


Bus App




Food deliveries
Various apps:



If you’ve mastered reading Hangul, it would be best to use Naver Map (네이버 지도) rather than Google Maps… And don’t bother looking at the smartphone screens of the Korean beside you on the subway, they’d probably be playing candy crush or cookie run to kill the time! Have a great trip!

Tip! Here are important numbers you have to save on your phone for emergencies.

1330 – for English tourism inquiries
119 – Emergency

2 thoughts on “Cheat Sheet on Traveling around Korea like a Local

  1. There is an another app and website that I’ve known. looks like an meeting up with korean university students. but I think other differences is that traveling with them in the Seoul city as private. some payment is needed. Of course, there is a walking tour and having just one cup of coffee with them for free. It’s a good idea to travel real koreans, not a guide. go and check out if you interested in meet up with Koreans. It looks pretty fun experience

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s