It always requires a bit of preparation while you are travelling to a foreign country, but if you are travelling to Korea, your to-do list should have one extra point listed in it – downloading some must-have Korean app in your smartphone! Koreans use their mother tongue Korean which has a writing system called Hangul as the solitary language in everything and everywhere. So, if you happened to be like US who doesn’t understand Korean at all, spare some time and download the Korean apps recommended below before boarding on the plane.
- Visit Korea
Visit Korea, the Korean app, officially developed by none other than the Korea Tourism Organization itself.It has a very rich database of tourist attractions that Korea has to offer and everything is in English. From mountains to temples to museums, the app has a list of everything that you would want to see in Korea and it gets regularly updated too. In addition to the addresses and directions, the app also provides the contact information as well as a brief summary of what you can expect to see when visiting a particular destination.
- Subway Korea
Previously known as Jihachul (the Korean word for Subway), Subway Korea is the most amazing free Korean app which should absolutely be downloaded in your smartphone while travelling to Korea. Along with the obvious features, like accurate timetable, exact subway navigation map, fares, etc., this app is also packed with some detailing features that no other Korean app has. The location based search option, the option to check which station door will get you in quickly to your car, the exit door & toilet indicators – all adds up to the apps’ value and its usefulness to foreign travelers.
- Naver Map
Naver Map is basically the Korean app based on the most accurate iteration of the world’s most popular mapping app Google Maps. The accuracy of the GPS locator and the real time traffic update is even better than the Google, plus its store and restaurant location is incredibly accurate. The map also features ‘Hiking Maps’ and some of the major ‘Bicycle route Maps’ which can be very handy if you are as adventurous as I am. This Korean app is more accurate with Korean language though, so, it would be better if you can manage to input the Korean name of the location you are looking for.
- Kakao Talk
It’s basically a Korean version of iMessage or any other messenger app you use, which is available for free in both Android and IOS. This is the most popular Korean app for messaging, which is used by millions of people every day to make calls, send messages and pictures, doing group conversation and whatnot. It comes with a great collection of funny emoticons too. So, if you are staying in Korea for a while or are visiting there for business, Kakao Talk will solve your connectivity problem at ease.
- Google Translate
You surely know about it and its purpose, but its usefulness can still be mind boggling while travelling in Korea. Like everything else, even the second and the third app in our list work best in Korean language. So, instead of trying to type Hangul in those apps, search bar, you can just copy the English name of this app and use the Korean expression wherever you want to. It can also help immensely in case you need to communicate with a someone in Korean.
Although not as detail oriented as Subway Korea, but Korail is a Korean app for its train system navigation that can come handy if you are planning to visit some other major cities apart from Seoul. You can use this app to check the intercity train schedule while they also have the option to make an advance booking. Unfortunately, though, it works only in Korean. So, you might need to take help from your already downloaded google translator or your hotel receptionist.
That’s basically it. You are now fully equipped to travel Korea in Gangnam Style, if you please!