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Pinpoint Korea

So you’re coming to South Korea! Maybe it’s the first time, maybe it’s your fifth time, or maybe you’re coming here to live— whatever your reason, we have travel recommendations, hidden spots, and tips and tricks for every occasion!
Choose your special interest below to find the best ideas for your trip, or scroll down for more information and help for first-time vacationers and people coming to live in Korea.







Before You Travel

Wondering what you need to get ready before you set foot in South Korea? Don’t worry about it! Below are the questions we get asked most frequently, and our handy answers. If you have another question that we haven’t answered, take a look through our travel tips or contact us on Facebook or Instagram.

Do I need to speak Korean?

South Korea is a fairly globalized country and so, with English being the language of the world, if you’re an English-speaker you’ll probably be fine. However, as language students, we are advocates for learning at least the basics of Korean before you visit. Knowing ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, and basic etiquette will go a long way to getting you good treatment and making friends during your stay in Korea.

Do I need a VISA?

The answer to this question is entirely dependent on the passport you’re traveling on. Visitors from the U.S. and the U.K. (like us!) can spend 90 days in Korea VISA-free. Some other countries have the same rule, but the best advice we can give is to check with the Korean embassy in your country.

What’s the weather like?

Korea is a country of weather extremes! In the height of winter it’s bitterly cold and dry, sometimes with snow. In summer it’s very hot and humid, and there is a month-long rainy season with near-daily downpours. Spring and autumn are mild and beautiful, but are fast transitional seasons lasting sometimes less than two months. Check the easy guide below for the month you’re planning to travel.

South Korea’s Seasons:

December – March: winter (coldest month: January)
April – May: spring
June – September: summer (rainy season: July, hottest month: August)
October – November: autumn

When is the best time of year to visit South Korea?

All year round! Korea has something to offer for everyone in all seasons. Of course, if you have an allergy to the cold then we wouldn’t recommend visiting in January, and if you’re prone to heatstroke then you probably shouldn’t come in August. But if you just can’t wait and need to come to Korea right now, or if you only have a certain couple of weeks off from work, then get booking those flights! You’ll find something you love regardless of the season.

Our Top Seasonal Picks:

Spring: Spot Seoul’s off the beaten path cherry blossoms.
Summer: Take a road trip along Korea’s beautiful southern coast.
Autumn: Visit stunning Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do to see Korea’s famous fall foliage.
Winter: Snack on street food and peep the mountain views of Chungcheong-do.

How can I buy things in South Korea?

Many of the travel debit cards accessible to the general public face issues when coming to Korea. Monzo, Revlout and the like might have you standing at an ATM with a blank look on your face and no cash in your wallet.

We recommend bringing physical cash in Korea if you’re staying a short while or taking out money from reliable bank ATMs. The most popular options are Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Hana Bank. To avoid fees, consider taking out larger amounts at a time.

How can I learn more about Korea?

You’re asking the right people! Allie is a scholar of Korean history and art, and has written several posts to help answer this question. She’s shared with you exactly how she studied Korean art and archaeology and offers a beginner’s guide to some of the best Korean history books in English. Check out more on our History page.