Come December, South Korea is one of the best places to visit for an unforgettable winter holiday experience. Cities like Busan have become one of the most popular choices among travellers at year end, with seasonal activities like snowboarding, ice fishing and skiing aplenty during the cold months. You can still get lots of shopping done too, just in case you’re wondering.
Besides planning and doing your research before heading to South Korea, you can also download a few apps in your phone to make the most of your holiday there. Our list of Must Have Korean Apps When Travelling In South Korea works if you have a basic grasp of the local language. But what if you didn’t? From restaurant discovery to simply user-friendly map apps, here are a few tools (primarily in English) you’ll want pinned in your phone during your time there!
Whenever you’re in a foreign country, it’s always good to have a map app on your phone. While you can still use your Google maps in South Korea, the app has its limitations. Due to governmental laws, Google maps has limited data on South Korea and can only give you directions for public transport.
Enter Waze, a map application you need to have in your phone. There are tons of local map applications available but many of them are in Korean. Waze, however, is in English which is pretty important if you want to know how to get from one place to another in Korea.
Do you like to immerse yourself in a more local experience when you’re abroad? The Korean subway should be your preferred means of getting around. Korea has a pretty advanced subway system and it can be quite overwhelming at the beginning. This app is the go-to app for South Korea’s 5 largest cities – Seoul, Busan, Taejeon, Kwangjoo and Taegu – and it’s just what you need in your back pocket.
From train arrival time to transfer time and a route map, Subway Korea is a fantastic app to keep you updated on the latest information. Even if you’re thinking of hailing a taxi from place to place, you might want to keep this app in your phone just in case!
Launched by the Korean Tourism Office, lots of useful information is compacted in this handy app. You can find recommended hotels, attractions, restaurants near you – perfect for those who do little planning and like to “see what happens” during the trip. What’s more, you can even book tours and themed travels too! No need to spend hours scrolling through the internet.
Mangoplate is great because it has a long list of food recommendations sorted out in different lists. What’s more, it’s in English so you’ll know just what kinds of cuisines to expect when you visit a recommended cafe or restaurant! With a database of more than 200,000 restaurants, the real challenge is choosing the most tantalising option to fill your cravings.
KakaoT (previously Kakao Taxi)
Every Korean knows about this app. This taxi hailing app is perfect for those times when you can’t seem to have any luck flagging down a ride. Seeing that you won’t be able to get a Grab or Uber in South Korea, the KakaoTaxi app is going to come in handy. Since KakaoTaxi only works with domestically licensed drivers, it’s a pretty safe and reliable taxi hailing app. They recently rebranded and the “T” now represents Transportation (because they’ve included many other transportation services other than just taxi hailing. How smart).
We just can’t leave this out. If you’re a language junkie and you’re excited about learning a new phrase or two during your time in South Korea, you’ll want to have this app on your phone. The cool thing about this app is that after keying in a word or phrase, you can choose a result that best represents your situation. This definitely gives you a more accurate translation that the direct translation you find with Google Translate. Naver Dictionary was specifically designed to translate between Korean and English so it definitely has an edge over Google Translate.
Language barriers can be tricky but having the right apps in your phone can help you avoid unnecessary mishaps. With South Korea’s super accessible wifi, you’ll be able to use these apps any time you need to! Whether you need to book a taxi to get to your ski resort or you want to find the most underrated cafes around, you’ll be thankful you’ve got these nifty apps in your phone!
Reserve your ChangiWiFi router for unlimited internet 24/7 for as low as $5/day* and breeze through your trip to South Korea as you use the apps on the road.
Read about these 4 Cafes to Check Out in Hip Enclave Yeonnam-dong, how to Navigate Tourist Traps and Scams in Seoul and join us as We Walk You Through Our Favourite Street Food In Korea