Incheon International Airport offers only two domestic routes (Incheon↔Jeju / Incheon↔Busan: available only on the weekend / Inchenon↔Daegu: once a day).
To travel to Busan, Jeju or Daegu, Gimpo Airport is a better option. Incheon International Airport is expected to have more domestic routes in the near future.
Gimhae (Busan) Airport
From Busan to Seoul takes 5~6 hours by bus, but a flight takes just an hour. So this route (Seoul-Busan) is the most popular one on the domestic line. Gimhae Airport has separate domestic arrivals and international arrivals. Each arrivals area has information centers.
Gimpo Airport was the largest international airport in Korea. After Incheon International Airport opened, Gimpo Airport transformed into a domestic airport. It offers the most domestic flight routes in Korea.
Gimpo Airport has two terminals - Domestic Terminal and City Air Terminal. International passengers departing from Incheon International Airport can receive their boarding pass, check in their baggage, buy a 30%-discounted Passenger Service Charge ticket, complete immigration clearance, and board a non-stop limousine bus to Incheon International Airport at the City Air Terminal.
Location: 3rd floor
Jejudo Tourist Association Tourist Information Center
Location: in front of the arrival gate on the 1st floor in the Domestic Terminal
Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese
KTO Tourist Information Center
Location: in front of the arrival gate on the 1st floor in the Domestic Terminal
Languages: English, Japanese, Chinese
From mid-March through late-May and mid-September through mid-November you can wear long-sleeved shirts and slacks plus possibly a cardigan or a jacket. During summer, June through August, short-sleeved shirts and shorts would be a good idea. Late November through early March you must be prepared for the cold. A scarf and gloves are recommended for January and February, and remember that it snows at higher elevations in Korea.
The cool breeze and warm sunlight make spring in Korea a great season to travel. However, be aware that the daily temperature varies over a wide range at this time of year. Light long-sleeved shirts are adequate during daytime, but a light jacket or a sweater will often be needed in the evenings. In March, the coldness of winter still lingers and you need to wear a jacket even during the daytime. In April and May, you do not need a jacket, at least during the warm daytime, but you may need a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong ultra-violet rays.
As a result of global warming, summer in Korea is definitely getting longer and hotter. It also rains more than in the past. June was once considered part of spring but feels more like summer now. People start to wear light slacks and short-sleeved shirts in June. In July and August, the temperature on any given day can rise to as much as 35~40, so short pants, sleeveless shirts, sunglasses, and hats are now the common fashion.
Fall, a season for trench coats, is the best season to visit Korea because of clear skies and low humidity. In September and October, long slacks, long-sleeved shirts, and cardigans or jackets are ideal. November feels quite chilly, so a thick jacket is usually needed. In Korea, the sunlight in fall may feel more intense than in mid-summer, so sunglasses and hats are recommended.
Winter in Korea can be bitter. No matter how hot the summer may be, on a cold winter day, you will need a good down-filled jacket or wool coat, a heavy sweater, warm pants, a scarf, and gloves. On the very coldest days, children and students wear fur-lined earmuffs and boots. Many women also wear fur-lined boots.
Korea`s official monetary unit is the won.
The Korean currency consists of a ten thousand, five thousand, and one thousand won note, and five hundred, one hundred, fifty and ten won coins.
Currency Exchange Rate
One U.S. dollar is roughly equivalent to 1,200 won. Please note that exchange rates fluctuate daily; it is recommended to check current rates before making any large transactions.
When you need to exchange your foreign currency into Korean won, visit a bank, exchange service center, or an authorized exchange.
Bank: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm except Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Exchange service center: 9:30 am - 10 pm, everyday
Authorized exchange: 24 hours in hotels, and 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at other places.
Don`t forget to take your receipt.
Traveler's checks are economical because they will receive higher exchange rates and can be purchased at a cheaper rate. Travelers should not have to worry about damages if checks are lost or stolen. Traveler's checks are used like cash at major hotels, department stores, restaurants and shops, but it is usually more convenient to exchange them for cash as needed. Visa, American Express, and Thomas Cook are used in Korea, and these checks can be exchanged for cash at banks or exchange booths.
Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and others are used at hotels, department stores, large restaurants, and stores.
Plan your travel and exchange money carefully.
After exchanging your money, check the money and exchange rate with a calculator.
When you exchange your traveler's checks, you need to sign your name in the presence of a bank teller. Don't transfer your checks to another person.
Hangeul, Korea’s official alphabet was first invented by King Sejong during the Joseon Dynasty. Originally called Hunminjeongeum, the language was conceived in 1443, and further promulgated by the King in 1446. At the time of its inception, the language consisted of 17 consonants and 11 vowels however, since then, 3 of the originally established consonants and 1 vowel have fallen into disuse bringing the total number of characters to 24. Syllables are formed by the selective combination of vowels and consonants to create words.
The official name for the Korean language was changed to 'Hangeul' in 1910. Hunminjeongeum Proclamation Day was called ‘Gagya Proclamation Day’ up until 1926, and it wasn’t until 1928 that it was changed to its current title, ‘Hangeul Proclamation Day’.
There are many hospitals where some English is spoken. International clinics are large general hospitals like Severance Hospital, Asan Medical Center or Samsung Medical Center are recommended.
This ticket is exclusively for foreign travelers. Foreign travelers can buy a KR PASS voucher (e-ticket) from overseas distributors or from the KORAIL homepage. They can exchange the e-ticket at major train stations in Korea, and use the ticket for the designated period of time. KR PASS holders can travel for free on all trains managed by KORAIL, which includes KTX trains, but not subways or tourism trains. There are no limits on the frequency of travel or travel area.
Train Stations in Seoul
Seoul Station is the most important train station in Korea. From this station, you can travel to Busan and Gyeongju, by taking the Gyeongbu line. In fact, most railroad routes start from Seoul Station with the exception of the Jungang line and the Gyeongchun line.
From Cheongnyangni Station, you can travel to Gyeongju and other places in Gyeongsangbuk-do province and to Gangwon-do province. Particularly popular destinations from Cheongnyangni Station are Gangneung in Gangwon-do province and Andong in Gyeongsangbuk-do province.
The Gyeongchun line runs from Seongbuk station. The line runs along the Hangang River to various tourist attractions and resorts, and has many scenic views. Popular destinations for one-day or weekend trips are Chuncheon, Cheongpyeong, Gapyeong and Gangchon Stations.
Since the introduction of the KTX express train, Yongsan station has been an important transportation hub in Seoul. Along with Seoul Station, Yongsan Station is one of the main train stations in Seoul. Be sure you check your ticket to make sure you go to the right station. The Honam line departs from Yongsan station.
Seoul Express Bus Terminal
Bus lines to Gyeongsang-do and Gangwon-do start from Seoul Express Bus Terminal. The newly constructed Central City Terminal next to Seoul Express Bus Terminal offers the Honamseon Line, which connects Seoul to Jeolla-do.
Central City Bus Terminal
Central City Bus Terminal offers the Honamseon Line (Jeolla-do), and the Namhaeseon Line (southern coastal area). It is located next to Seoul Express Bus Terminal.
Dong Seoul Bus Terminal
Nambu Bus Terminal
Sangbong Bus Terminal
Taxis are plentiful, clean, safe, and inexpensive in Korea. They can be found at taxi stands in most busy city areas or hailed on the streets. There are also certain taxis that can be requested by phone; however, the fare is slightly higher than regular taxis. An increasing number of taxi drivers nowadays speak some English which may prove extremely useful for first-time visitors.
Beginning March 2007, credit cards and pre-paid money cards used for buses and subways in Seoul will be accepted in taxis through the city’s newly introduced system. As new technology is being installed in all taxis, it will take another 3 to 4 years to fully implement the revised system. Only deluxe taxis are currently equipped with the new system.
In Korea, renting a car is easy. If you plan to travel around metropolitan cities, you are recommended to use public transportation instead of a car. However, for longer journeys to many provincial sites or especially around Jeju Island renting may prove to be a better option. The largest car rental services in Korea are Kumho Rent a Car and AVIS Rent a Car. Both companies have dozens of branches throughout Korea and have alliances with companies that have networks all around the world. As long as there is a branch, you can rent a car from anywhere in the world including Korea. Car rental service is available at Incheon International Airport, Gimpo Airport, provincial airports, KTX Station, major railway stations, and express bus terminals throughout Korea. For branch information, go to the websites of the car rental companies.
Any foreign visitors wishing to enter the Republic of Korea must have a valid passport and obtain a Korean visa before their arrival.
Tourist & Business Visas
Visitors from countries not under Visa Exemption Agreements must apply for a visa extension if planning to stay for more than 30 days. Barring unforeseen circumstances, visa extension will be issued 1 to 3 days from the day of application. Applicants require a completed application form, a recent passport-sized color photo and the application fee. Visitors are not required to show an outbound ticket. Visas may usually be extended for a period of up to 90 days.
All visas including long-term visas are for a single visit (single-entry visa). Therefore anyone who wishes to leave the country and re-enter during the visa period should obtain a Re-entry Permit from the Ministry of Justice prior to departure. For business visas, the intention of activities must be clearly stated on the visa application form.
Visitors may obtain work visas in their home country with the endorsement of the employer in Korea. If the visitor is already in Korea, he/she must obtain the work visa from an embassy or consulate in a country outside Korea. Work visas are usually valid for 1 year from the date of issue and take about 2-4 weeks to process. Work visa extensions are possible if a visitor remains with the same employer. Visitors with work visas must obtain a residence permit from the Immigration Office. Visitors engaging in remunerative activities without a work visa can be subject to fines and/or deportation.
Application for Visas
Visa applications should be made at Korean embassies or consulates abroad. It is required that visa applicants submit a passport, application forms, a recent passport-size, color photograph, and such other documents as determined by the status of stay.
Extensions for tourist visas are possible in special cases such as accidents, health problems, flight cancellation, etc. Visitors may apply for a visa extension at a local immigration office. Applications must be submitted at least one day prior to current visa's date of expiration.
Korea has four seasons, with a wet monsoon/summer season in the middle of the year, and a cold winter from November to March. The island of Jeju off the southern coast is the warmest and wettest place in the country. The ideal time to visit Korea is during the autumn months (September-November). During this time, the country experiences warm, sunny weather, skies that are cobalt blue and spectacular foliage that is perhaps the biggest draw. Winters are cold and dry and are a good time to visit if you are interested in winter sports as there are numerous ski resorts. Spring (April-May) is also beautiful with all the cherry blossoms in bloom. However, it is very busy and one needs to book in advance to ensure accommodation is available. The summer months are muggy and hot, and rather crowded. It is also when the monsoon season begins so many activities are subject to the fluctuations of heavy rain.