Asia Korea Korea Life Living Abroad Travel Resources

10 Apps to Download When Traveling to Korea

Spread the love
  • 66
  •  
  • 1.5K
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1.5K
    Shares

In today’s age, we all carry around a rectangular device to help us stay connected to our friends, family and followers. Some of us carry around more than one device (I am one of those people). When you travel to a foreign place, it’s even more imperative that your precious device is with you so that you can easily find your way around.

Korea apps to download: Streets of Busan

Streets of Busan, South Korea.

The internet speed in Korea is amazingly fast! If you don’t have a Korean phone, you can purchase a SIM card at the airport or a local phone shop (there’s one on every corner!). Or you can purchase a pocket WiFi (a popular one is the Olleh Egg) so you can stay connected on the street. Most cafés and restaurants have free WiFi that you can use (as long as you purchase something). Even the subway system has free WiFi!

I’ve compiled a list of smartphone apps, and important websites worth bookmarking, that will help you survive whilst traveling and living in Korea — all in English I may add!

KakaoTalk

KakaoTalk is the epitome of communication in Korea. E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e uses it. It’s a great app to use with other foreigners and expats you meet along your travels to make plans and be in the know (I was in a bunch of chat groups with my fellow teachers). You can even order food, send money and go shopping on the app!

Korea apps to download: Kakao Talk

Love the cute Kakao characters, too!

KakaoMap

Never get lost down alley ways to find your favourite bbq place again with KakaoMap. What I like about this map in particular is that there’s an English version that turns the street names from Hanguel to English, which makes it easier to pronounce the street names if you’re not familiar with the language. The app gives you driving directions, bus stops and recommendations of restaurants in the area you are navigating.

Korea apps to download: KakaoMap directions

KakaoMap helps to navigate the small streets of Korea.

Subway App

Korea apps to download: Subway App logoAny traveler that looks at the Seoul subway map will probably have their head spinning in five seconds. Enter the Subway app that is a godsend when hopping on the super fast (and reliable) subway system in the major cities of Korea. This app has both a Korean and English version and gives a real-time update of each subway line in Seoul, Busan, Daejeon and Daegu. The interface is simple and very easy to understand. No more staring at the map and figuring out transfers from one line to the other!

Google Translate

The landlady that owns my building is the sweetest and friendliest lady in the world. Although not speaking a word of English, we somehow communicate and understand each other through body language. But thank goodness for Google translate that helps me out in a pinch when body language just doesn’t cut it. Although it doesn’t directly translate word-for-word, you can get the gist by turning on the speaking option and having the Korean speaker talk directly into the app.

TRAVELER TIP: Use the camera function to hover over menus when you need direct translation fast!

Wonderful (formally Ask Ajumma)

Ask Ajumma is a time (and life) saver for living in Korea. If you have any question – from ordering food to sending a package home to delivering groceriesAsk Ajumma Wonderful is that personal assistant you’ve always wanted!

Air Quality

One of the downsides of living in Korea is the air pollution, also known as “yellow dust” that often blows over from China. Koreans take this very seriously and when you see locals wearing masks, you know the air quality is baaaad.

Korea apps to download: Yongsang-gu

Yongsang-gu. Photo by Lucien Tan via Flickr CC.

You can prepare for this by downloading the Air Quality app, which will tell you the current AQI (air quality index) number. It’s coloured-coded so if it’s in the green, you know it’s clean! AQI can change throughout the day so make sure you carry a mask with you in case you need it!

McDonald’s Delivery

Asia definitely knows what’s up with glorious McDelivery! When I first arrived in Korea, I noticed the number of motorbikes on the road (and sidewalks!) – the majority of them yellow with the golden arches on the back. You can order McDonald’s 24/7 and within 30-60 minutes, you’ve got someone knocking at your door. Talk about a happy meal!

Korea apps to download: McDonald's

McDonalds. Photo by Daniel Wendell via Flickr CC.

Yogiyo

If you’re tired of fast food and you want some Korean cuisine, YoGiYo can deliver just about anything to your door. Oh, and when you do order Korean food, they’ll deliver real plates and cutlery. When you’re finished eating, simply wrap your food up in the garbage bag provided, and leave it outside your door. Someone will come back and pick up your dirty dishes!

Korea apps to download: YoGiYo App

YoGiYo App

iherb

There are some items that are difficult to find in Korea – such as health supplements and vegetarian/vegan products – so ordering from iherb.com is the way to go! However, according to Korean customs, you can only import up to 6 bottles of vitamins/supplements per order. But the good news is, turn around time is fast!

Want to get 5% off your order? Use my link to receive your discount, HERE!

Korea apps to download: iHerb

iHerb haul

Gmarket

You can get just about anything on Gmarket – both that are sold in stores as well as items that are hard to find. You can even order groceries and have them sent to you! 

Would you consider these Korean apps to download on your travels? Have you used any of them before? Let me know in the comments below!

Pin it for Later

korea apps to download: Pinterest Pin for Later

You Might Also Like

17 Comments

  • Reply
    ansh997x
    January 7, 2018 at 7:50 am

    I may be visiting Korea this year, I think this post will help me travel hassle free.

  • Reply
    Céline CLudik
    January 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve never been to Korea but I can easily imagine how apps would be useful and very handy. Mapping apps are always something I use. I definitively love the KakaoTalk characters 🙂

  • Reply
    Brittany
    January 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    These apps are great! It’s so funny to see how different the tech culture is. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I head there!

  • Reply
    Tom
    January 5, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    This is the type of post that shows that no matter how connected the world is, there are serious differences around the world. I love how different countries find totally different apps for the same purposes, talking, maps, and such.

  • Reply
    Teesh Osita
    December 31, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Oh wow, I’m heading to Seoul in a few weeks and I already have some of these apps. But I will definitely try out Yogiyo!

  • Reply
    Bailey Mills
    December 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Awesome list, I haven’t heard of Kakao before! I will definitely have to check it out. iHerb sounds like a great idea for health conscious travellers.. It can be hard to find healthy options while abroad sometimes. I love that they even have an air pollution app available for you. Thanks for an awesome read!

  • Reply
    Helena
    December 28, 2017 at 12:06 am

    Thank you for giving such a good and comprehensive list for apps. I always try and download a bunch of them before I travel to try and make my life easier. I will definitely come back to this list when I go to Korea. Thanks!!

  • Reply
    apackedlife
    December 27, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    That’s fascinating. Such a great insight into the life of the expat community, and also the local lifestyle. I love that you can get trad cuisine with all the accoutrements of real dining, and just leave your washing up to be collected. The air quality app is interesting too. I live in a big city and very rarely check the quality reports here.

  • Reply
    Amy Alton
    December 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Sounds like there’s a big English community. Thanks for the helpful app tips.

  • Reply
    Kerri
    December 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Having never been to Korea I found this very interesting, to see the breadth of what you would require to easily live here. Can absolutely imagine a translation app would be useful and I’m sure it would be very handy (although a little sad) that an app for the air conditions exist. Mapping apps are always something I use.

  • Reply
    findworldsbeauty
    December 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Great article, will definitely use this when going to Korea, these apps always come in handy, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Soaringtraveler
    December 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Great tips for traveling to Korea! When I travel I research helpful apps for the area, but sometimes its hard to find information for them. You’ve laid it all out for us!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    December 24, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I use Google Translate when I travel and find language o be a barrier, but I never knew there was a speech option. That will come in very handy! And, it’s nice to know there are regional apps to help make getting acclimated to Korea easier…sounds like you know your way around!

  • Reply
    Julien Mordret
    December 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

    It’s amazing the level of technology they live in and all the apps that make our life easier when traveling to countries where the language is SO different. The food delivery options seem pretty cool, I can imagine myself in a nice Airbnb ordering a nice Korean meal from YoGiYo!

  • Reply
    Bonbon Montero
    December 23, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Oh wow… you got it all covered here:) Awesome tip… bookmarking this since I’m planning a trip next year:) Thank you so much

  • Reply
    kelizhunter
    December 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

    This may be a silly question, but is it possible to bring a Samsung phone from Canada to ROK just to use the Wifi (no phone service)? I don’t know anything about technology! lol

    • Reply
      Expat and the City
      December 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Hi! Yes it’s absolutely possible! I had an old iphone that was wi-fi only. But if your phone is unlocked, you could purchase a sim card with data so that you could use the phone whenever, wherever! I did that when I traveled through South East Asia.

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: