What should I avoid in Seoul

The ultimate survival guide for your trip to Korea

Are you planning a language trip to Korea? Then you will encounter a whole new and foreign culture in Seoul. It is one thing to familiarize oneself with the customs at home, the other to live there for a certain period of time. To avoid the total culture shock, this ultimate Korea survival guide is guaranteed to help you in every situation!

Money, money, money

There are two main forms of payment in Korea: cash and credit card. Your debit card will not work. Get a credit card before you go, as this is always a good "security". You can also pay with your T-Money Card in convenience stores. These cards are primarily for city buses and the subways.

Public transport tickets

Speaking of public transport, it is essential to buy a T-Money or Cashbee Card. You can get these in every mini market (supermarket) and also find them personalized at different points of sale, for example with your favorite Kpop idol. The card is easy to use and super practical in everyday life. You save yourself the step of buying individual tickets and also receive great discounts. An important note: you can only top up with cash.

Wi-Fi Egg vs. SIM card

Depending on how long you stay in Korea, a Wi-Fi Egg or a SIM card makes sense. The Wi-Fi Egg is particularly popular with many students. It is a stable and secure internet access with unlimited data volume. You can easily share the Wi-Fi with other people without having to deduct your own surfing volume. The longer the stay, the cheaper the rental rate. A good provider is e.g. KT Korean Telecom (best to buy directly at the airport). You can even reserve the eggs using the Klook app. The device has to be charged after 15 to 20 hours, you do not have a Korean mobile number and therefore you cannot use some apps. With the SIM card you have a Korean mobile phone number and can always be reached, even without the Internet. Unfortunately, especially outside of Seoul, the internet connection can break down more often. You can also find the cards with unlimited data at the airport. Often there are extra employees who help to install the SIM card in the mobile phone. However, the tickets are in great demand and are therefore often sold out.

Cash is king

Why? You have a much better overview of the money spent and you often get discounts. You also save the exchange rate, which is very common with credit card payments.

Your stomach growls?

Snacks from the mini market or from the train station are the solution. When money is tight, it's a good idea to eat cheaply. However, that doesn't mean you can't buy delicious food anymore. There are all kinds of inexpensive delicacies in the convenience store. In addition to kimbap (Korean "sushi"), ramyun and doshiraks (Korean lunch boxes), there are also various sandwiches, ready-made meals and a hot counter with various dishes. The shops are open 24/7 and even offer you a microwave and kettle for free use. At train stations, snacks are also often offered at good prices. Whether sweet or salty, you will find everything your heart desires here.

Sharing is caring

Use the 2 + 1 or 1 + 1 offers, which are extremely popular in Korea. The principle: Pay for a product and get one for free. Here you can join forces with others, e.g. for food and drinks. You just share the cost and have more choice. There are many such offers, especially in convenience stores or drugstores. In Korea there is a “culture of sharing”, so the dishes in many restaurants are designed for at least 2 people. This will save you a lot of money and will allow you to try more dishes.

Stay in college areas

Cliché - but true. Students in particular often have less money available. Bargain hunters will therefore find a true paradise around the universities. The Sinchon, Kondae and Sangsu neighborhoods have great, inexpensive restaurants and cafes. Koreans love to blog and give reviews, so be sure to check out the Naver app, the Korean Google. It is best to enter the area and "맛집" (Matjib; slang word "delicious / tasty") or in the app MangoPlate watch.

Street food, but the right thing

You should avoid cost traps in the tourist areas. Instead, opt for Myeongdong, the Mecca for all bulk shoppers, cosmetics lovers and Kpop fans. There are relatively cheap restaurants and cafes here, but - dread it - the most expensive street food in Korea. As tasty as it smells and looks, the prices here are tough. If your stomach growls for street food, it's time for the largest traditional market, Gwangjang Market. The prices are okay here and you sit at a table with the locals.

Shop smart

In Myeongdong you will find the best prices for cosmetics, kpop items and lenses. The shops offer large quantities at low prices. For example a mask package with 30 masks for about 4.20 €. You can also get hold of many free samples here. Grab your friends, see what you need, and then split up your loot. Do you want to stock up your wardrobe? Off to Dongdaemun. In addition to luxury shops and expensive malls, there are also huge department stores here. Cozy sweaters for € 8 or nice dresses for € 13 are waiting for you. The only disadvantage: Often you can't try on the clothes. However, this is the case with many shopping opportunities in Seuol. A little tip: If you pay with cash, you can also negotiate further discounts.