Seoul Travel Tips

  

Seoul Travel Tips

Seoul's vibrant and multicultural atmosphere, its efficient transport and its varied entertainment offer make it an ideal destination for all sorts of travelers.

Airport Transfer to your Hotel
When it comes to air travel, it might be cheaper to fly with Korean Air if South Korea is your final destination. Once you land at the airport, you have two options to make it into the city: train and taxi. While a cab ride might be more comfortable than the train, it does take longer and it is not entirely safe as there are black market taxis and they may get somewhat aggressive when they approach you at the airport. There's always the safe option, however, of priorly booking a taxi online and you can even request an English-speaking driver. The cost varies from US$65-75 from ICN to most hotels in Seoul.
Getting Around the City
Although the easiest and fastest way to get around Seoul is by subway, traveling by bus is particularly convenient for visitors who want to get a closer look at the city sights since the bus takes tourists on routes past major attractions. If you choose to travel by metro, regardless, write down or memorize the exit number and station at the start of your trip. To make your journeys easier, download the Metro App. Getting around by taxi is also affordable and convenient, but you should have your address in Korean handy as not all drivers can communicate in English.
Customs and etiquette
Seoul may be a modern and innovative capital city, but traditional Korean customs still apply here. Although most Koreans wear Westernized clothes, visitors should still dress modestly, particularly when visiting temples and palaces.
When eating out, it is polite to use chopsticks rather than requesting Western cutlery, and avoid stabbing pieces of food with these chopsticks. Tipping is not customary in Seoul as the price of most goods and services already include a 10 percent service tax. Although tip isn't expected, it is accepted gratefully if you offer.
Money
The unit of currency in Seoul is the won (W). The best banks for foreigners to use in Seoul are Citibank, Hana Bank, Korea Exchange Bank and Shinhan Bank, and fortunately, they are scattered all over the city, which is rather convenient as the highest note of Won available is worth US$10. Therefore, most visitors will find it cumbersome to carry tons of cash on them. Seoul is a very credit card friendly city, however, and most restaurants, retails and taxis accept card payments. What you might need cash for is street food, but that won't require many notes.
Weather
There are four distinct seasons in Seoul. The best times to visit are spring and summer. Although most tourists flock to Seoul during the summer months from June to August, temperatures are quite high, so for those sensitive to the heat, it might be a better idea to visit in spring, enjoy the city in bloom. The months of autumn from September through to November are also enjoyable as the temperatures are mind and with the leaves falling from the trees, the scenery is beautiful.
Shopping
Even though clothing and accessories are inexpensive, sizing may be small. If you buy face moisturizer, you must be aware some are meant to bleach the skin - in some Asian cultures, they value pale skin and they have many products that whiten the skin. Although customer service complies with Western standards, retailers may be pushy from time to time when it involves clothing, skincare/makeup and portrait services. Leaving generic brands aside, some shops will allow to haggle with them.
Wi-Fi/Internet connection
Barring hotels, it is hard to find free Wi-Fi in Seoul. This might be fortunate, however, as it might be dangerous to use free Wi-Fi from untrusted sources, particularly when you are traveling and in a foreign country. The best solution to this dilemma is to rent a pocket Wi-Fi from one of the stores at the airport. For a reasonable price they give you a considerable amount of GB, it is supposed to be safe and you will find it extremely useful to get around, get your bearings, request an UBER, and/or book tours.

 

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