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Traveling to Korea for the First Time: A Guide to the Basics

Are you planning a trip to Korea for the first time? From stunning palaces to bustling city life and delicious street food, this East Asian gem has much to offer. Before you pack your bags and hop on a plane, here are some essential tips to make your journey smooth and memorable.


Best Time to Visit: Spring and Autumn

Korea boasts four distinct seasons, each offering a unique experience. However, the best times to visit are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). During these months, the weather is pleasant, and you'll witness the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and the breathtaking foliage in autumn.


Visa Application and COVID-19 Protocols

Make sure to apply for a visa through the K-ETA app before your trip. Additionally, due to the ongoing pandemic, it's essential to be aware of the COVID-19 protocols. Fill out the Q-Code form within 72 hours of your flight to ensure a smooth entry. The form can be found here.


Affordable Data Phone Plans

Staying connected during your trip is essential. If you need a data plan for your phone, Seoul airport offers very affordable options, so you don't have to worry about staying connected while exploring the country.


Currency Exchange and Transportation

When it comes to currency exchange, the current conversion rate is 1 USD = 1306 Won. While credit cards are widely accepted, it's advisable to carry cash, especially for smaller transactions.


Public Transportation Card: T-MONEY

To navigate the city conveniently, get yourself a T-MONEY card for just 3,000 Won. This card allows you to travel on buses, subways, and taxis (in Seoul only) with ease. Remember to beep in and out when using the bus and keep in mind that the card is non-refundable.

* Transportation is very cheap in Seoul!


Navigating the City

While public transportation is excellent, avoid the subway from 5-7 pm as it can get overly crowded during rush hours. Instead, opt for other modes of transportation, like taxis. To hail a taxi, consider using apps like Kakao T, which make calling taxis a breeze.


Maps and Navigation

Google Maps might not be the best option for navigating in Korea. Instead, try using KakaoMap or Naver Map, which are popular local alternatives and provide accurate and up-to-date information.


Accommodation and Shopping

For a central location in Seoul, consider staying near Myeongdong, a vibrant area known for its shopping and street food. If flying into Korea, Gimpo Airport might be a more convenient choice for some travelers.


Exploring the Palaces

Visiting Korea's palaces is a must, and there's a clever way to save on entrance fees. Rent a Hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, and wear it to the palaces. Many places offer free or discounted entry to those dressed in Hanbok.


 

I hope this guide has provided you with a solid foundation to start planning your first trip to Korea. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email through the contact page or DM me and I'd be happy to answer!

 



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ABOUT ME

Thanks for taking time to read my blog post! I hope you find value in it! If you're new to seeing my content, Hi my name is Mariah! I love sharing my take on fashion, travel, beauty, lifestyle, relationships, bridal and more!

I have been writing + creating photo/video content since I was about 12 years old (2007) - never in my wildest dreams thinking I could be doing this as a full time job 10 years down the road.

I moved to South Africa shortly after meeting my husband and we got married 5 years later (2020)! We often travel back and forth between Florida, USA and Cape Town, South Africa - both of them home to us.

I have two puppies, Chai + Bentley. And I hope to be telling you about children some day soon!

Until then, I will keep sharing my current passions, tips + tricks, thoughts + tools for life! The adventure continues....!

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