10 Apps to Download in South Korea

10 Apps to Download in South Korea

Spread the love

I cannot function without my phone. It is my lifeline especially when you go and live in a different country. South Korea is a different world altogether. So you need to be prepared to fish out a lot of information quickly.

The good thing is that South Korea lives in the future. And they have an app for everything! You may also make do with the regular travelling apps, but if you are staying in South Korea for a bit longer, I think your life will be much easier using their native apps with a lot more local information.

Here are some of the apps that you will need. You will need a map, a taxi app, an app for translation and perhaps one for information on tourist attractions. The others are always available based on your needs.

1. Naver or Kakao Maps

Tourist or not, you will need a map app to get around not only in Seoul but all of South Korea. While Google Maps are available, they are not efficient in South Korea and a lot of integrations are missing. This is because South Korea does not share information openly given their ongoing cold war with North Korea.

Instead, you can download the Naver app or Kakao Maps which are extremely detailed. You will be able to find bus and subway routes along with walkways, crossovers and pedestrian crossing details. It will tell you the best routes, platforms travel time and real-time tracking of the next bus or train. Plus it also estimates the cost of your travel. I think it is out of the world and will make your life very easy.

It is available in English language and you do not need a Korean mobile number to access it. I would prefer Naver maps over Kakao. But both are great.

2. Kakao Taxi

Even if you plan to travel by public transport, you should know how to book a taxi in South Korea, just in case. Uber or Grab is not available in South Korea. Instead, you can use Kakao Taxi to find and book a taxi. You will also find a few other options in the same superapp like bikes, car rental, send packages, charter buses and a few more. 

You will need to create an account on the Kakao Talk app before you can log in to the Kakao T app. It is slightly difficult to navigate since sometimes some parts of the website appear in Korean. But it’s good enough to be able to book a taxi, even as a foreigner and you can select from different types of cabs available. You can pay using cash or have Kakao Pay installed and add money to its wallet (optional).

3. Klook or Trazy

During my visit, I took quite a few day tours and visited a lot of tourist attractions. Because that’s what makes a great tourist 😛 So you will need to buy a fair number of tickets, entry passes and maybe even guided city and day tours. Klook is a great app/website for this. So is GetYourGuide. It is really upto you where you get the best deal and a great tour. But it does help to add up some points and easily get in touch with some locals to get to know about their life.

Trazy is another website and app that offers similar tours but is currently available only in South Korea. I recommend them because they have some great tours that are not present anywhere else. These tours also seem to be more customized, sometimes run by authorized companies.

For example, the JSA tour inside the DMZ (Demilitarized Area) is only available in a handful of places including Trazy. So it would be fruitful to check your options for unique experiences and compare prices when booking such experiences or buying tickets.

4. Kakao Talk

Kakao Talk is the Korean version of WhatsApp, Line, Telegram or whatever you use. You don’t necessarily need to download it unless you need to talk to any local individual or a local business inside South Korea. But you may also need to download it if you need to download a few other Kakao apps like Kakao T (as we mentioned above).

If you need to download Kakao Talk, then you can still use your international phone number to do so. It is available in English.

5. Visit Korea & Odii

Visit Korea is both a website and an app by the Korean Tourism Board that has an insane amount of information. You can find creative itineraries around Seoul, Busan and other major towns in Korea with places that you do not usually appear in popular blogs. You can find information on transportation, Korean history, Korean life, cultural activities, performing arts, festivals and a lot more.

But I think it is extremely useful to find information on tourist attractions. For example, you will be able to find not only Gyeongbokgung Palace’s opening timings, and ticket prices but also the free guided tours offered in different languages at different times of the day along with the timings for changing of the guard ceremony. Just so you don’t miss anything. You can still do without this app, but it is a great place for accurate and reliable information.

6. Coupang Eats Food Delivery

This app is for someone planning to order food delivery. Because after a long tiring day, you may just want to hang out at your hotel. Coupang Eats is a food delivery app that is very friendly for tourists and expats. You can download it and change the settings of the app to English which will enable you to access a large selection of restaurants and their menus for food delivery.

There is only one cache here. You will need to register yourself on Coupang (an e-commerce company and their subsidiary) before you can sign up for Coupang Eats. But once you do, you can order easily and pay by card. It is also great for someone with special dietary requirements or allergies since you can specify the same in the app while placing your order.

7. Papago or Google Translate

Papago or Google Translate are going to assist you with translation. Because you will need it. I wouldn’t say that it is too difficult to navigate around South Korea. But understand that very few people speak English. So it can get challenging at times, especially if you need some complex translation. And while Google Translate can help, I cannot say it’s too accurate. It translates too literally and doesn’t consider local lingo and slang.

Papago is a better solution in some ways. It is an app by Naver. Papago can also help you translate documents, presentations and complex documentation. Papago’s roots are from Korea so they have worked very hard to perfect the translation. However, if you are a tourist in Korea for a short period of time, Google Translate will. But if you need something more, check out Papago.

8. T Locker App

T Locker is an app for travellers that lets you find lockers near you. You can see if there are any available at the moment, shows you the price and types of lockers available and even lets you book the locker beforehand while you can pay online. However, using the app can be quite challenging since some parts of it do not work too well.

To South Korea’s credit, lockers are available at every subway station that shows up on this app. However, the lockers can get full fast during peak hours. So you may want to check availability beforehand. If you are booking a locker in advance, you can even store your luggage for upto a month.

Lockers are also available at several other public places in South Korea like malls or museums. You can use Lugstay, another app to find lockers other than subway stations

9. Seoul Bike

The Seoul Public Bike, also known as Ttareungi has its own mobile application that lets people rent bikes across Seoul city. The app is available in English and you can access it on the web as well (https://www.bikeseoul.com).

You can pick up and drop off a bike at any bike station around Seoul. To do this, you can first go to their app or website to check if a bike is available for rent. You can identify it by the number on the circles that correlate with the number of bikes available. The next step is registering and payment which you can do online. Once you get your code, you can use it to pick up your bike from the station.

You can find more details on how to rent and return a bike on their official website. But this works great for short-distance transportation in Seoul or even if you simply wish to enjoy the city at your own pace.

Seoul Bike website
Seoul Bike website
Seoul Bike Map
Seoul Bike Map

10. Korail and Bustago

If you are planning to travel anywhere outside Seoul, then you may need any of these. Korail (also accessible on www.letskorail.com) is the website/app for the national railway of South Korea. You can use the website to book a train to anywhere inside South Korea. Similarly, Bustago (check it out at www.bustago.or.kr) is the official website of South Korea’s National Bus Service. You can book a bus ticket on this website if you need to.

While app versions are available for both of these websites, you may not be able to download them outside South Korea. On top of that, the experience of booking on these websites is much better and more comfortable on the desktop, so I would suggest you try doing that first.

Korail website
Korail website
* indicates required

Related Articles

Spread the love
Snigdha Jaiswal
No Comments

Post A Comment