How to Buy Eyeglasses and Contact Lens in Korea

Having a 20/20 vision is what we all aspire to have but of course, not everyone is blessed with that vision. Thus, some people have to wear eyeglasses or contact lens so they could see clearly. But in some instances, for example while traveling, you might find yourself in need of a new pair of eyeglass or contact lens. It could be because of various reasons like broken glasses or frame, expired contact lens or eye grade adjustment. This happened to me too while I’m staying in Korea. Originally, I got my pair of eyeglass and contact lens from an optical shop in my home country but because of travel restictions, I didn’t have a choice but to buy it here in Korea. So here are the steps on how you can buy eyeglasses and contact lens in Korea.

Step 1: Go to an Optical or Eye Clinic Shop

First step is to go to an optical or eye clinic shop near you. I noticed that there are a lot of optical shops in Korea especially in large cities. But you can also find one in countryside areas and they are mostly located near traditional markets. These optical shops or eye clinic would probably have “안경” (eyeglass) or “안과병원” (eye hospital) in their names. Don’t worry if you are not fluent in Korean because most of the eye doctors in Korea can speak in English.

Step 2: Do a Quick Eye Check to Know Your Grade

The next step is to have your eyes checked to know your grade. You can skip this step if you already know your grade and you think that it didn’t change. Some doctors could ask for the eyeglasses that you are using so they could check its grade as well using their machine. As for me, I asked them to check my eyes again because I suspected that it has changed over time, and it actually did.

Step 3: Select Your Frame or Contact Lens

Then you will have to choose your frame or the color of your contact lens. If you already have an exisitng frame, then you can use it again and they will just have to replace your the lens. While if you are buying a contact lens, you can choose from variety of colors and designs. Remember also that in buying contact lens, you must specify the validity that you want. Usually, you can choose from 1-day use, 1-month use, 3 months to 6 months. I almost forgot to specify this when buying a new pair of contact lens and they thought I was only meaning to buy a dispodable one that I will use for only a day.

Step 4: Payment

The last step is the payment. The amount that you will have to pay varies on the item(s) that you will buy. For example, in buying a new pair of eyeglass, its cost depends on the frame that you will choose. But if you already have a frame, you can get your new lens for as low as 30,000 to 40,000 KRW in some optical shops. While for contact lens, its price ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 KRW. Its cost also varies per color, design and validity. Some shops even give discounts for students. You can pay in cash or in card. Other shops located in traditional market even accepts Onnuri Gift Certicate (온누리 상품권). And if you use at least 60% of its amount, you can get a change in cash.

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🇵🇭 Joey

A scholar, marketer, educator, traveler, and ultimately, a fangirl currently living in South Korea. I mostly write about Hallyu-related places as well tips on traveling and living in Korea.