5 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Seoul

Here are 5 things that I would have liked to know before traveling to Seoul, Korea. I hope these little tidbits of advice will help you out!

1. T-Money Card

If you know that you are going to be using the subway or bus for the majority of your stay in Seoul, I would recommend buying a T-money card.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Not all T-money cards will look like this, but they should have that little “T” that you see on the bottom right hand corner of this card.

Not only will having one save you the hassle of buying a single journey subway/bus ticket for every single ride you take, but you will also be charged less when using the card.

These cards can be found in convenience stores (starting from around  ₩2,500) – and you can find some in the airport as well! So, once you get to the airport, you can purchase a T-money card before going to your first destination.

You will be able to “charge” (i.e., put money into) your T-money card at subway stations, and I believe also at convenience stores. Although, I am not a 100% sure about the latter as I always charged my card at the subway stations.


2. There are washrooms EVERYWHERE

“Why is this important Iman?” “Why would you even care?”

Well… I know that whenever I go to European countries I find myself stressing over the fact that I have to pay to go to bathrooms (and so, I try not to drink liquids and try to schedule my day around my bathroom breaks – silly, I know).

However, not only are there an abundance of free bathrooms in Seoul, but they are also so well taken care of! I can’t think of a time where I went into a public bathroom and it was not clean.


3. There is a lack of garbage cans

Know ahead of time that if you have to throw something out (e.g., a container that your take-out food was in), you may have a harder time finding a garbage can than if you were in another country.

In Canada, there is an abundance of garbage cans all around. You don’t need to worry about having to carry your garbage around with you because you will find a garbage can every few minutes.

However, the opposite is the case in Seoul. I did see some garbage cans in the subway stations, and I did see one or two in the streets – but in my opinion, they are so uncommon!

HOWEVER – this in no way means that the streets of Seoul are filthy. In all the countries that I have visited, there is no doubt in my mind that Seoul has been one of the cleanest.


4. Easy to navigate

In Seoul, I would say that 99.9% of signs also have English written on them. Not only that, but the subways also announce each station in English (and Japanese, and Chinese).

So, don’t worry about not being able to find your destination. (However, I would also recommend that you try learning the Korean alphabet before going on your trip – it is simple to learn and will help you very much when you do see subway stop names written in Korean)

The subway and bus system in Seoul is also magical. You can literally get wherever you want in a decent amount of time with the least amount of hassle.

This is the subway map. It may look confusing at first, but it’s actually quite simple to use!


5. People will help

Okay, so say you do get lost – what do you do?
The people, although they may not be able to communicate with you (if you don’t know Korean that is), will help you.

Everyone I asked for help was so amazing. Even though I only knew very few words in Korean (and had horrible pronunciation of the words I did know), they still tried to help me get to my destination. One lady even got off at the bus stop I was wanting to get off at and walked me to the subway station I was looking for!

I hope these five tips/facts were helpful! Let me know if there’s anything else you would like to add to this list!


8 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Seoul

  1. It’s interesting that you found it easy to navigate Seoul. I always found the transfer stations confusing and got lost so many times trying to change trains. I didn’t always see English either. But yes to the T-money.


    1. That’s really interesting, did you go recently? Because everywhere I went (thankfully) had English signs as well as the Korean ones – I wonder if perhaps that’s because I went to places where tourists might frequent often?


        1. That would make sense! I wonder if it’s also because you were just outside of Seoul? (Totally guessing here, I have no idea since I haven’t actually gone anywhere in Korea other than Seoul) And how did you enjoy your one year stay? It must have been loads of amazing!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Korea people were so helpful with my suitcase everywhere but didn’t stay to chat. Also remember NEVER to sit on the free seat at the end of the subway carriage they are for elderly people. I was wondering g why I was the only one sitting until I realized !!! But people didn’t tell me off. Also if you went too far in the subway don’t think that you can get off at the next one and take à train in the opposite direction with the same ticket . Only in stations with the Korean flag. Otherwise you need to exit and pay again.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s