by Mark Albert
Top Travel Tips in Two Minutes
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Love it? Live it!
U.S. State Department – South Korea
A colorful festival near Seoul City Hall in South Korea
South Korea Tourism Organization
Jeju Volcanic Island & Lava Tunes (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Pyeongchang, South Korea, will host to the 2018 Winter Olympics February 9-25 and skiing is a top attraction in the country.
All major transportation services are available, including trains, subway, light rapid transit, rental cars, tour groups, and drivers for hire.
Seoul is served by Incheon International Airport (ICN), about 30 miles from the capital city. The airport is opening a new terminal in 2017, which means the existing airport will be renamed Terminal 1 and the new terminal will be called Terminal 2.
A couple reflected in the metalic scultpure outside the Seoul Design Center
Some taxi drivers do not speak English, particularly outside of the capital. So if hailing a taxi, a good practice is to find the Korean spelling of the name of your destination and show it to the driver.
The subway system, however, is infinitely cheaper and the trains run like clockwork.
Also, while nearly 30,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea, base tours are generally not allowed. As the US 8th Army notes: “The Korean War never ended.”
Be aware of Korean holidays, which can affect your travel plans (and the crowds you find). Here is a list of the major ones.
Inside an elaborate shrine at Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea
Skip the taxis and ride-hailing services when you arrive at Incheon International Airport. The Airport Railroad Express (AREX) train is super convenient and costs about $14.50 one way. Passengers on Jeju Air, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and China Southern Airlines can get a discount.
While traveling within Korea, consider an all-you-can-ride KR Pass (KORAIL) that’s only available to foreign visitors. The pass does have conditions, including that it isn’t valid on national holidays. Groups of two to five people as well as travelers 25 and under are eligible for discounts.
Many, many areas of Seoul, including the trains, offer free wifi. The city says there are “nearly 10,000” free wifi spots in all.
When Mark visited SEOUL, he stayed in a studio in the trendy Myeong-dong shopping district listed on Airbnb. The owner even joined Mark for dinner one night. First time Airbnb users can get $40 off by using our referral link.
For more advice, check out LONELY PLANET’S KOREA guide on Amazon.com. Thank you for using our referral (“affiliate”) link to support our journalism.
The front of Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea
What are your tips and tricks for visiting South Korea?
Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comment section below!
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