Top South Korea Hotels
South Korea Quick Guide
- Banking Hours
- Local Telephone Codes
- International Airports
- International Departure Tax
- Domestic Airports
- Domestic Departure Tax
- Etiquette/Dress Code
- Diplomatic Missions
- Useful Sources of Information
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Visitors to South Korea must possess a passport valid for 6 months, an ongoing ticket and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay. Citizens of many countries are permitted a visa free stay which is issued for a set length of time (depending on nationality) upon arrival. Other visas can be applied for from a Korean Embassy or Consulate abroad, where current information regarding visas should be confirmed as details can change.
Luxury items such as jewellery, cameras, electronic goods and cash in excess of US$10,000 must be declared on arrival. Certain luxury goods, such as jewellery and electronic goods that are purchased in the country may be liable to a duty tax.
Visitors may take the following into Korea duty free:
- Alcoholic beverages - 1 litre of alcohol
- Tobacco - 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
Obscene/Pornographic material contained in any medium is prohibited and will be confiscated.
There are restrictions on items that may be exported from the country such as ginseng, antiques and items of cultural value. If planning to buy any of these goods, check with customs on arrival.
The penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs can be severe, ranging from long prison sentences to the death penalty.
Korean time: GMT +9
- Won (W) - Check current exchange rates.
- Notes issued: W10,000, W5,000, W1,000 & W500
- Coins issued: W500, W100, W50, W10, W5, W1
Korean is the official language. Japanese is spoken amongst the older generation and Chinese within the resident Chinese community. English is used to a very limited extent and usually only amongst young professionals and students.
Tipping is not customary in South Korea, although many restaurants and hotels do add a service charge to the bill. As a polite form of behaviour, people give a slight bow and say thank you for services provided. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped unless they assist with carrying luggage.
Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
The international dialling code for Korea is 82
When making international telephone calls from South Korea first dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number.
Local Telephone Codes
Most of Korea is 110V, although some rural areas are 220V. Visitors should check the voltage before plugging anything in. Many different types of plugs are used and a universal adapter is an important travel item.
Water is considered unsafe for use directly from the tap and ice cubes should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available.
Medical professionals in Korea are highly trained and facilities are good, however health insurance that also covers evacuation is still recommended. Consider inoculations against typhoid, polio, hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis and take advice regarding anti-malarials. It is always best to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.
- Cheju-do - Cheju
- Pusan - Kimhae
- Seoul - Incheon
International Departure Tax
Domestic Departure Tax
Casual clothes are acceptable everywhere, although smarter clothes gain more respect. A level of politeness should be maintained in public and whenever possible, any offer of hospitality should be accepted, since turning down an invitation may cause offence. Always remove shoes before entering a Korean home and use the right hand for giving and receiving.
As with many Asian countries, situations should be avoided which would cause a loss of "face". Try to steer clear of confrontation as it is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation.
Pay close attention to signs stating that photography is not allowed at places such as airports, harbours and military facilities, as these laws are strictly enforced.
Many countries have representative offices and consulates in Korea.
Useful Sources of Information
Further information onKorean culture and tourist attractions:
- Korea National Tourism Organization
|Season||Average temperature||Average rainfall|
|Spring (March - May)||8 - 13°C||114mm|
|Summer (June - August)||21 - 28°C||209mm|
|Autumn (September - November)||12 - 21°C||96mm|
|Winter (December - February)||-1 - 7°C||37mm|
|Season||Average temperature||Average rainfall|
|Spring (March - May)||5 - 16°C||65mm|
|Summer (June - August)||20 - 29°C||285mm|
|Autumn (September - November)||7 - 19°C||68mm|
|Winter (December - February)||-7 - 2°C||25mm|
Korea enjoys a temperate climate which can be divided into four seasons - spring, summer, autumn and winter.
The temperatures vary slightly across the landmass but it is only when altitude exceeds 1,700m that real changes are felt - especially in winter when snowfall is common and skiing is possible.
- Spring - warmer, milder weather edges its way from the south and slowly spreads across the rest of the country. Lightweight clothing is required, although some warmer layers are recommended as the wind can be cool and temperatures do fall away at night.
- Summer - is fairly hot, humid and wet. Lightweight clothes are a necessity and an umbrella is useful for those frequent downpours.
- Autumn - skies tend to be clear. Again, lightweight clothing is required along with a few layers for those cooler days and for the night-time.
- Winter - snow blows down from Siberia in December and winter can be bleak and harsh away from the coastal areas. The south coast and islands rarely see snow and even if they do, it tends to be only slight. At higher altitudes, along the northeast coast and the central mountainous region, snowfall can be high and South Korea becomes a popular ski destination.
Best time to visit: Mid-spring and early autumn are pleasantly mild with light rains. Winter months bring snow to higher ground and are the time to visit for skiing.
Carry a lightweight jumper as it can be chillingly cold inside air-conditioned buildings during summer.