Must Have Apps for South Korea

Programs for this blog post

Summer Korean Studies

Authored By:

Nicole M.

Photo for blog post Must Have Apps for South Korea
So it seems you're thinking or planning on going to South Korea! But wait, how will things go? Will you get lost easily? Are there apps to help you along the way? What do you need? Such questions may come to mind when wanting to travel somewhere new. Don't worry I got your back! Thanks to today's technology, there are now thousands of applications you can download to make challenges a breeze. Here are a few apps I downloaded during my trip that will help you.

1. Naver & Kakao Map

Being someone with a horrible sense of direction, traveling to a foreign country can be intimidating. Especially with almost everything being in Korean, it can be easy to get lost. Naver & Kakao Map are two of the most popular apps for finding buildings, seeing the bus schedule, your location, etc. I downloaded both apps in case one did not work (if you have T-Mobile or similar carriers, this issue may occur at the moment). Other than that, both apps are simple and easy to use!

2. Papago

If you are someone who knows limited or no Korean then this app WILL be your best friend. Papago is a foreigner-friendly app that allows you to translate conversations, texts, and images. When I felt confused, wanted to ask a question, or say something in general, I would use this app to help translate my words. I remember one time entering a hair salon on the Yonsei campus and having to use it to speak with the stylist. Luckily, I could describe what I wanted and walk out with fabulous hair!

3. Kakao T

Sometimes you travel far or are out too late to catch a subway/bus. What do you do then? Luckily, Kakao T can help you. Kakao T is another foreigner-friendly app that allows you to request a taxi, rent a car, look at the bus, train, shuttle schedules, etc. You can even rent a scooter or bike with it! It is similar to Uber and Lyft, making it simple to use. In addition, although there is the option to pay with a card, I would recommend using the cash method since paying with a card would require further information (such as a Korean number which you may or may not have). Other than that, taking a taxi is fairly cheap. From the dormitory to Lotte World (About a 40-minute drive)it cost around $15.

4. Kakaotalk

KakaoTalk is one of the most used messaging apps in South Korea. Not only does it work with Wi-Fi but, you can customize almost everything to your liking. You will most likely use this app when making new friends but, it is also helpful to have when reaching people back home when you don't have a SIM card yet. 

5. Shuttle 

Although this is not a must-have app, it will come in very handy when you want food but don't feel like going out. Shuttle is a wonderful delivery service app where everything is set in English. Typically, the services provided are quick and easy. On average my food has been delivered within 20-30 minutes.