Public transport in Korea is one of the best in the world. Expect convenient routes and on-time buses and trains. The Seoul city subway service stretches to surrounding areas in Incheon and Gyeonggi-do. Additionally, international airports Incheon and Gimpo both have subway stations attached for easy travel.
As a foreigner, you can easily purchase transport cards at convenience stores or subway stations and travel all over the country. What’s more, you can top-up your card at machines located at every station! Use your card on buses, trains, taxis — though tickets are needed for domestic flights and some long-haul journeys. Get a Cashbee transport card and you can use it in a range of shops and malls too. Transport cards are available in a variety of themes, ranging from block colours to cartoon characters and K Pop idols. At major stations, you’ll also find make-your-own card vending machines for you to print a photo of your choice onto.
Announcements on public transport are always read in both Korean and English, making it easy for foreign travellers to get around. Furthermore, apps like Naver and Kakao Maps provide useful travel info, recommended routes and updated timetables. As for taxis, they crawl the city at all hours so you’ll never be stranded. However, many taxi drivers do not speak English, so I recommend using the Kakao T app. Like Uber, Kakao T lets users request taxis in the nearby area and input the destination address ahead of travel. It’s perfect for overcoming the language barrier!
Outdoor Exercise Equipment
Strange, but convenient! Every neighbourhood in Korea has children’s parks and standard exercise equipment. When the weather is fair, you’ll find plenty of people come to exercise in the sunshine. There is a pleasant atmosphere in these parks, surrounded by nature, children playing and friends shooting hoops. If you don’t have money to spend on a gym membership, you can sweat it out here.
24-hours marts on every corner. Yes, you read correctly. Not only are there stores that never close, but convenience stores in Korea are stocked with everything convenient. You’ll find typical items like snacks, cold drinks and toiletries, as well as hot food like fried chicken, a microwave and a boiling water tap for making instant noodles in store! Depending on the size, stores typically have tables and chairs so you can relax and enjoy a quick snack or meal, whatever the time.
They can also include postal services, ATMs, alcohol and pre-paid SIMs. On a warm summer’s evening, it is nice to sit under umbrellas outside with some cheap eats and drink!
From fast food to online shopping, the Korean delivery system is a thing of the future. You can order food anytime, anywhere and next day delivery for packages isn’t even considered express service!
Korea is renowned for its skincare and makeup. Collectively known as K Beauty, if you’re a foreign traveller you might find that your friends beg you to bring back some K Beauty products for them! Olive Young is the go-to cosmetics store, found on nearly every high street. It is easy to find products for every skincare type, as well as daily products in various formats. For example, they don’t just have sun-cream here but sun-spray, sun-sticks and sun-cushions! So whether its style or convenience you’re after, K beauty has you covered.
Korea has the largest market for male cosmetics in the world. This includes both skincare and makeup, both of which may be considered a no-go by men in other countries. But once you try K Beauty, you’ll love it for life.
It’s no lie that Korea was built for two. There are cafes that offer workshops like painting and ring-making as well as experiences such as archery and axe-throwing! No matter what kind of couple you are, there is something for all to enjoy. You’ll also find photo booths dotted around where you can take cute photos together with fun costumes and props. Furthermore, you may notice that some Korean couples like to wear matching outfits!
Finally, couples don’t just celebrate Valentines’ day here, there are dozens of special days for you and your special someone to enjoy! For instance, there’s Peppero day, the day where couples give eachother Peppero sticks!
I am sure this is a known fact. Korea has the best internet speed in the world. WiFi is available almost everywhere and the speed is of the highest quality. You will often see Korean people streaming videos on the subway.
We couldn’t get this far without mentioning food! In Korea, it is customary to eat side dishes with every meal. They range from the nation’s favourite, kimchi, to stir-fried anchovies, steamed veg, bean curd and egg. In the western world, side dishes usually cost money, but when you order a main dish in a Korean restaurant you’ll get a table of side dishes completely free!
Furthermore, Koreans eat food in numerous ways, such as a wrapped up in a “ssam”, stewed in a “jjigae” and always shared with friends. Street food is a definite highlight amongst travellers: cheap, delicious and full of flavour!
Finally, the famous Korean cafe culture. There are 1000s of cafes with a variety of drinks and desserts. Some cafes have unique themes while others offer a chilled out place to relax. They always have WiFi available and franchises often have dedicated places to work/study with convenient plug sockets and USB ports for charging your devices.