Korea, South

Travel Facts

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.


Passport/Visa Requirements

For the latest passport and visa requirements for this country, please consult the U.S. State Department’s “Learn About Your Destination” search tool, available through the link below.


US Embassy/Consulate

[82] (2) 397-4114; US Embassy Seoul, 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea; seoulinfoACS@state.gov; https://kr.usembassy.gov/ 03141

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

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.


Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

Ambulance: 119; Fire: 119; Police: 112


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for South Korea: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, COVID-19, and influenza.



Temperate, with rainfall heavier in summer than winter; cold winters

Currency (Code)

South Korean won (KRW)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 60 Hz / plug types(s): F

Plug Type F

Major Languages

Korean, English

Major Religions

Protestant 19.7%, Buddhist 15.5%, Catholic 7.9%, none 56.9%; note: many people also practice some Confucian practices

Time Difference

UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Yes, but some opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

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

Major Sports

Taekwondo, soccer, baseball

Cultural Practices

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.

Tipping Guidelines

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

Traditional Cuisine

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: Thursday, March 28, 2024