Top 18 Phone Apps for Your South Korea Trip

Phone Apps for South Korea Trip

We have put together 18 recommended apps for your trip to South Korea.  I strongly recommend that you check them out and download them before you depart on your trip to South Korea so they are ready to go on arrival.

Check out our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Recommended Phone SIM Card and Pocket Wifi for South Korea

When you use our recommended apps on your smart phone while in South Korea, you will need access to data.  For most people the best cost-effective option is to rent either a SIM card or pocket wifi device for your time in South Korea.

We have put together detailed articles for both wifi rental and sim cards. Click on the links below to help you find the best pocket wifi or sim card for your trip to South Korea:

If you are also travelling to Japan, you should also check out our articles on the Best Online Pocket Wifi Rental in Japan for Tourists, and the Best Prepaid Data Sim Card in Japan for Tourists

KT Olleh Sim Card Package
KT Olleh Sim Card Package

1.  Korean-English Translator Apps

  • Google Translate is a great option but also check out Naver Dictionary.
  • Naver Dictionary was developed specifically for translating between English and Korean and also features dictionaries if you are a non-English speaker.
  • WayGo is another very handy app which will translate street signs, menus or anything into English by pointing your smartphone camera at it.
  • Another app worth considering is Learn Korean WordPower which is also available as a free app.

Google Translate App – Android – iOS

Naver Dictionary App – Android – iOS

WayGo App – Android – iOS

Learn Korean WordPower – Android – iOS

2.  Korea Map Apps in English

While Google Maps is brilliant in most other countries, it’s only marginally useful in South Korea. This is because it does not help you with navigation or walking directions. This situation has arisen because the South Korean government does not allow for the storage of topographical data on foreign-based servers which gives the inside running to local map apps. Google Maps still works for buses, subways and long distance public transport.

Our two suggested Korean navigation apps in English are Naver Map and KakaoMap. Have a play with both and see which one you like best. Waze is another navigation app well worth considering, particularly for driving.

KakaoMap App – Android

Naver Map App – AndroidiOS

Waze App – AndroidiOS

South Korea Trip Apps - KakaoMap
South Korea Trip Apps – KakaoMap

3.  Korean Subway and Bus Apps in English

KakaoMap is the best option as it includes all trains, buses, driving and walking within a single app and is easy for English speakers to use.

For between city train travel you should also check out the Korail app – it provides an easy option to look up the train schedules, however you cannot book your seats if you have a Korail Pass, and there have been some negative reviews when using the map to actually make a booking.  You can select English to make it easier to read.

For a subway specific app check out the Subway Korea app which is brilliant for subway trains in South Korea’s 5 major cities: Seoul, Busan, Taejeon, Kwangjoo and Taegu. Another handy subway option is the Seoul Subway app.

For a Korea bus app check out KakaoBus. If you’re looking to use taxis in South Korea our suggested app is Kakao T.

KakaoMap App – Android

Subway Korea App – AndroidiOS

Seoul Subway App – AndroidiOS

KakaoBus App – AndroidiOS

Kakao T App – AndroidiOS

In Korea the Korail Pass is a great option to get around between cities on the fast train network.  Click here for more information about how to book your Korail Pass through Klook.

In Japan the best option to get around using local public transport including trains, buses and ferries is with a T-Money tap on tap off card.  You can get a T-Money card either as part of your Discover Seoul Pass or by purchasing a RailPlus Transport Card through Klook.

4. Klook App

A great option to book all of your South Korea tickets and tours is through Klook – they have a wide range of options at cost effective prices.  A great feature of Klook is that they have an app you can use on your phone, and once you have set up your account you will have all of your bookings easily at hand (and most of their products are set up with electronic vouchers), and  you can also make new bookings on the go.

They have a streamlined system to manage your bookings, and you also get loyalty discounts the more you book through them.  You can set up your Klook account both on a desktop/laptop and the mobile app and they all synchronise seamlessly.

Klook App – AndroidiOS – Desktop

South Korea Trip Apps -Klook Bookings
South Korea Trip Apps -Klook Bookings
South Korea Trip Apps - Klook Tours and Tickets
South Korea Trip Apps – Klook Tours and Tickets

5.  Visit Korea App

This is an official app created by the Korea Tourism Organisation. It provides all sorts of travel information including details for attractions, accommodation, festivals and food. It even includes exchange rate information, weather updates and route maps. You can also save information if you don’t have an internet connection.

Visit Korea App – AndroidiOS

6.  I Tour Seoul App

I Tour Seoul is the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official travel app. It gives you great information for Seoul’s best known tourist attractions as well as it’s hidden gems. It also helps with information for restaurants, hotels, weather and public transportation.

I Tour Seoul App – AndroidiOS

7.  Emergency Ready App

This is a really important smartphone application launched by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security. It helps foreign residents in Korea to be updated about various natural disasters and their present conditions.

The Emergency Ready App  worked well on my phone while we were in Korea.  There was a typhoon approaching and we regularly received updates and warnings, which was a good trigger to look up the latest information and make decisions.

Emergency Ready App – AndroidiOS

8. South Korea Weather App

When you travel it is important to have accurate weather forecasts to help you plan our each day.  On our recent trip to South Korea we regularly used the Accuweather app and found it to be a great tool.  you can pre-set up the locations you plan to visit, and it also auto detects your location via GPS.

Through Accuweather you can get both a daily and hourly forecast, and we found the hourly forecast to be very accurate and helped us work out when to plan indoor versus outdoor activities.

Accuweather App – AndroidiOS

South Korea Trip Apps - AccuWeather
South Korea Trip Apps – AccuWeather

9.  Tripit App

We use Tripit extensively to manage and provide easy access to trip information and itineraries. The great thing about Tripit is that you link it to a Gmail account, and whenever a trip booking is sent to that email address it automatically loads that information into the app.  There is a free version which is great, and if you purchase the Pro version it will also notify you of flight changes.

Tripit App – Android – iOS

10.  Accommodation Provider Apps

If you use a large accommodation provider such as Booking.com it’s a great idea to download their app.  Note that Booking.com links to Google Maps, so you may need to copy the accommodation address into the KakaoMap App to find the best route to get there.

Booking.com App

AirBnB App – Android – iOS

11.  XE Currency Converter and Exchange Rate Calculator

The XE Currency app is a great tool to enable you to convert prices in Korean Won into your home currency so that you better understand the real price of things.

XE Currency App – Android – iOS

12.  Gmail

We have our main Gmail email accounts set up on our cell phones which we used to make all of our trip bookings. As a result we had easy access to all booking information and our providers were able to email us with any questions or changes.

Gmail App – Android – iOS

13.  Whatsapp Messenger

Whatsapp messenger is a great data only option for instant messaging and sharing photos with both your travel companions and also family and friends at home. You can set up separate groups for each to enable messaging to go to the right people.  We also use Whatsapp it to make video calls back to home.

Whatsapp App – Android – iOS

14.  Your Preferred Social Media

Our major social media is Facebook so as we travelled we periodically shared photos with our family and friends, and also used Facebook to stay in touch.  Ensure that you have your preferred social media app loaded onto your smart phone.

15.  Dropbox or Google Drive

We don’t want to lose all of our photos and phone data so we have the Dropbox app on our cell phones, and it automatically uploads our photos to our account when there is wifi access and the phone is plugged into power. That means that if we lose or damage our phones that we won’t lose our precious photos. If you prefer to use Google Drive you can also set it up to automatically back up your photos and videos.

Top tips:  Set up Dropbox / Google Drive to auto backup your photos every night using your accommodation wifi to minimise the amount of data you use on your pocket wifi or sim card.

If you are using either a rented pocket wifi or a prepaid sim card, set it up to auto back up every night rather than doing a big batch, as you are more likely to exceed your fair usage policy and then have to survive with a throttled data speed the next day… 😊

Dropbox App – AndroidiOS

Google Drive – AndroidiOS

16.  Entertainment Apps

We also load our cell phones with entertainment – for us that means our Kindle accounts, videos, music and games to while away time as required. Ensure you have loaded your favorite entertainment before you depart.

17.  AirVisual App

Air quality can be big issue in South Korea. If this is a concern to you, get the AirVisual app to keep track.

AirVisual App – AndoidiOS

18.  Theme Park Waiting Apps

If you are planning to visit theme parks while in South Korea you should also load the following theme park ride waiting apps to help you plan your day.

Everland App – AndroidiOS (note that the most useful part of the app is the page with ride waiting times)

Lotte World – Android (note that the most useful part of the app is the page with ride waiting times)

Click below to pre-book your theme park tickets – and don’t forget to book early to have the options to include skip the queue passes in your booking, I can definitely confirm that you will regret not having them…

Phone Apps for South Korea Trip
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You may also like:

Check out our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – you are welcome to join and it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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