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Destination: Korea

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current-location

Destination: Korea

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What can I expect from South Korea?

South Korea is probably one of the most underrated countries in East Asia. However, despite its small size, South Korea has a lot to offer: history, UNESCO heritage sites, beaches, islands, modern cities – and delicious food.

There are 9 provinces in South Korea: North Chungcheong, South Chungcheong, Gangwon, Gyeonggi, North Gyeongsang, South Gyeongsang, North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.

COVID-19 Travel Information for Korea

  • December 1: 10-day quarantine on all travelers regardless of vaccination status due to Omikron variant
  • Singapore & Korea travel bubble opens from November 15th.
  • Reduced quarantine time to 10 days.
  • Migrant workers are now allowed into Korea again.
 

LATEST TOURISM UPDATES:

  • The government mandatory quarantine has been reduced from 14 days to 10 days.
  • The cost of this 10 day quarantine is 1,500,000 KRW (About $1,270 USD).
  • The Singapore & Korea Vaccinated Travel Lane opens from November 15th and allows quarantine-free travel between the two countries.
  • Tourism is still not allowed for travelers from most countries, with the exception of the USA, EU, UK, Schengen countries, and some other nations (European countries were added in September 2021).
  • Travelers from 49 countries that can enter Korea for tourism will need to complete the K-ETA online visa.*
*Eligibility for K-ETA is based on your nationality, not your country of residence. Apply for the K-ETA here and find out if you're eligible. https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/apply/index.do
 

LATEST KOREA TRAVEL UPDATES:

  • People vaccinated in Korea (Korean nationals and foreigners living in Korea) no longer need to self-quarantine if they get a negative result when traveling back to Korea. However, you should self-quarantine at home until you get the results.
  • Quarantine-free travel to Korea is possible for humanitarian (funerals, visiting immediate family) and business (high-level only) reasons.
  • Please see the October update for more information about how to apply for the quarantine exemption.
  • Korea is now allowing more migrant workers into the country. However, you will still need to quarantine at your own expense (or the company's).
  • More details about the change for migrant workers here - https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20211105002700315
 

KOREA CORONAVIRUS UPDATES:

  • Vaccination rates are: 80.9% first vaccine. 76.6% fully vaccinated.
  • The government has set a target of 85% fully vaccinated for things to return to 'normal'.
  • Social distancing rules are being eased in 3 stages during the next 3 months, starting from November 1st.

SOURCES >

Things to See and Do in South Korea

  • Explore Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Shop in Myeongdong
  • Walk through Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Swim at Haeundae Beach
  • Do a Templestay
  • Wander through a green tea field
  • Have Korean BBQ
  • Sleep in a Hanok in Jeonju
  • Explore Jeju Island

Typical Costs When Traveling

Accommodation – Traveling in South Korea isn’t as expensive as Japan but also not as cheap as China, for example. Hotels in Seoul are especially pricey in the most popular areas. However, you can find some incredible budget rooms at so-called “love motels” (yes, they are targeted at couples…) with jacuzzi bathtubs and themed rooms.

Food – Korean food is extremely popular around the world right now – so be sure to try as much as possibl! Some of the best dishes include: bibimbap, BBQ, jeon, jjiggae, kimbap and the liquor soju.

Transportation – Because Korea is a relatively small country, you can easily get around using express inter-city buses and the high-speed train KTX. Big cities usually have a subway system and you can purchase a T-money card that allows you to use transportation more conveniently.

Suggested daily budget

35-50 EUR / 40-56 USD

(Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation.

Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)

Money Saving Tips

  • Don’t Exchange Money at Incheon Airport. Conversion rates and fees are generally higher at the airport. Instead of converting your money at the airport, head to a bank in the downtown district of your destination city.
  • Ditch the taxi. Most large cities in Korea have a great public transit system. Buses and subways run super frequently and won't cost you nearly as much as a taxi ride.
  • Get a city pass. The Discover Seoul Pass was created by the Seoul Tourism Organization and Seoul Metropolitan Government with the aim to provide visitors with a complete experience of Seoul, including access to the most prominent landmarks and tourist attractions with ease and flexibility.
  • Take advantage of Lunch Time Deals. Many restaurants in Korea offer discounts on selected items or all of their menu during lunchtime saving you up to 20%.

What can I expect from South Korea?

Be prepared to get your mind blown. Serioulsy, because not many people consider Korea a travel destination, it isn’t much talked about. That’s why you’ll be even more impressed once you explore the vibrant local culture and visit Korea’s many fascinating attractions and natural wonders.