US State Dept Travel Advisory
The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise normal precautions in South Korea. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.
US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required for stays of less than 90 days.
 (2) 397-4114; US Embassy Seoul, 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea; seoulinfoACS@state.gov; https://kr.usembassy.gov/ 03141
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.
Local Emergency Phone
Ambulance: 119; Fire: 119; Police: 112
See WHO recommendations
Temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter; cold winters
South Korean won (KRW)
220 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): F
Protestant 19.7%, Buddhist 15.5%, Catholic 7.9%, none 56.9%; note: many people also practice some Confucian practices
UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Yes, but some opt for bottled water
International Driving Permit
Road Driving Side
Gamcheon Culture Village; Jeonju Hanok Village; Bridge of No Return; Hwaseong Fortress; Ganghwa Peace Observatory; Jindo Sea Parting; Seoraksan National Park; Seokguram Grotto & Bulguksa Temple; Jongmyo Shrine; Boryeong Mud Festival
Taekwondo, soccer, baseball
It is regarded as rude to point with your fingers. Better to gesture with your arm or hand. Casual physical contact, such as back slapping, is considered rude.
South Korea has a no-tip culture. Staff in restaurants and hotels, as well as taxi drivers, porters, and bellhops do not expect tips. Telling the taxi driver "keep the change" is appreciated. Most hotels add a compulsory 10% service charge to the bill.
Hanbok fashion and dolls, decorated masks, leather goods, jewelry, lacquerware/woodcarvings, cosmetics, seaweeds and teas, Soju stationary, electronics
Kimchi — various vegetables (cabbage, radish, or scallion are commonly used) seasoned using ginger, brine, garlic, etc., and put through a fermentation or pickling process; Bulgogi – thinly sliced, prime cuts of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, sugar, and wine and then grilled
Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.
World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.
US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.
To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)
How to get help in an emergency?
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444
Page last updated: Wednesday, May 03, 2023