|Population||Seoul 10,282,821(2016 est.) Seoul city government
South Korea 49,115,196 (July 2015 est.) CIA The World Factbook
(About one-fifth of South Korea’s population in Seoul)
|Size||30.3 km from north to south and 36.78 from east to west|
|Temperatures||+22C to +30C (August), -7C to +1C (January)|
|Time Zone||GMT + 9
(Korea Standard Time KST or Japanese Standard Time JST)
|Electricity||220v, 60 hz throughout the country (same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey)|
|Area Code||Seoul 02 (when dialing from overseas remove the zero)|
|Religion||25% Buddhist, 25% Christian|
|Language||Korean (English, Japanese and Chinese are also spoken)|
Safety and Security
Seoul is a remarkably safe city. The crime rate is very low compared to other major cities around the world. For emergencies call 112 (local police), 119 (fire department), 120 (Seoul’s Dasan call center) or 1330 (a nationwide call center of the KTO that can connect you to emergency services).
Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar, although some holidays are based on the lunar calendar. During national holidays, offices and banks are closed but palaces, museums, most restaurants, department stores, and tourism facilities are usually open.
|New Year's Day||January 1|
|Lunar New Year's Day (Seollal)*||(Jan.~Feb.) First day of 1st month
|Independence Movement Day||March 1|
|Buddha's Birthday*||(May) Eighth day of 4th month
|Children's Day||May 5|
|Memorial Day||June 6|
|Liberation Day||August 15|
|Korean Thanksgiving Day
|Fifteenth day of 8th month (Lunar Calendar)|
|National Foundation Day||October 3|
Cellular Phone Rental
Cellular phones can be rented from Incheon and Gimpo International Airports. Your passport and credit card are required. The charges can be paid with cash or credit card upon return of the handset.
Three companies offer rental services: SK telecom, Korea Telecom, and LG Telecom. Call the Incheon Airport for more information: +82-2-6343-9011 (overseas) or 1599-2011. (in Korea),
Note: Some global telecom companies can extend phone access though roaming services in Korea, but many phones DO NOT have roaming services in Korea at this time. Roaming services can be expensive. Please check with your local cell phone company about services and costs.
In Seoul, there are many modern hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Korea is known for its high-quality medical services without long waiting periods in the event of an emergency or sickness. Many major hospitals offer multilingual interpretation services. Contact your hotel or call 120, 1330 (general information) or 1339 (medical line) for more information.
The 1339 Emergency and Non-Emergency Medical Services for Foreigners
International Health Care Centers in Seoul
|Seoul Global Center||+82-2-2075-4180 (overseas) or 02-2075-4180 (in Korea)
Monday to Friday from 9-6 pm - Call to ask any questions about visiting or living in Seoul.
|Korea Tourism Organization Information Line||+82 2 1330 or 1330
24 hours a day - Tourism information and translation services.
|Seoul’s Dasan 120 Call Center||+82 2 120 or 120, 9am to 10pm daily|
|Seoul MICE Help Desk||+82-2-3788-8151|
|Volunteer Interpretation Service BBB
(Before Babel Brigade)
|1588-5644 Free 24 hour telephone interpretation services.|
|Seoul Emergency Medical Information Center||1339
general medical information also available
|Police Services||112 direct line to the Seoul Metropolitan Police|
|Fire Department||119 direct line to the Seoul Fire Department|
|International Emergency Rescue||+82-2-790-7561
24-hour emergency rescue services with multilingual support.
|H1N1 Information||+82-2-1577-7129 or 1577-7129 (24 hours)|
|Directory Service||114 (English services available)|
|Tourist Complaint Center||+82-2-735-0101|
|Lost and Found Center||Seoul Metropolitan Police Bureau. 102, Hongik-dong, Seongdong-gu or +82-2-2299-1282 (Korean only) or call the Seoul Global Center +82-2-2075-4180|
Business, Money and Banking Currency
Korea's official monetary unit is the South Korean Won (KRW or ₩). The currency consists of notes and coins.
General Business Hours
|Government Offices||9am to 6pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on weekend|
|Banks||9am to 4pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on weekends|
|Restaurants & Retail Stores||Commonly open 11am to around 9pm (in some cases, open until 2 to 3am)|
|Major Convenience Stores||GS25, Family Mart, and 7-11 (24 hours, 7 days a week)|
You can exchange foreign currencies into Korean won at a bank, exchange service center, or an authorized currency exchange.
(closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays)
|Exchange Service Centers||9:30am-10pm (every day)|
|Authorized Currency Exchanges||Hotel Business hours or 24 hours in hotels|
Major Banking Institutions
Traveler's checks can be used in place of cash at hotels, department stores, and some restaurants and shops, but it is better to exchange them into cash for simpler transactions. Visa, American Express, and Thomas Cook traveler’s checks are readily accepted in Korea.
Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and other major credit cards are accepted in Korea. Cash advances are also available at select bank machines.
ATMs and Cash Machines
Cards with the Plus and Cirrus logos are the easiest to use and most widely accepted in Korea. Some ATMs accept most major international bank cards, such as Maestro, Citibank, Citicard, Electron, JCB and others. Most ATM/bank machines operate 24 hours a day, while others are open from 8am to midnight.