Are you feeling nervous about the moment you step off the plane into Seoul?
What if it’s not everything you thought it would be?
What if you haven’t done enough research beforehand?
Don’t worry! With this list off apps for traveling to Seoul, you won’t have to worry about the details of your trip. You’ll be able to do it all, from communicate with locals to navigate the expansive metro system.
Let’s look at how these apps can make your Seoul travel dreams come true.
Seoul Travel Apps Are a Necessity, Not an Option
Don’t show up to this incredible metropolis with only Facebook and Instagram on your phone.
You’ll need to consider your own safety and travel needs when you come to Seoul. There are numerous apps out there that will make your stay so much easier. Here’s why:
- Navigating Seoul is nearly impossible without a navigation app. Seoul is a city that spans over 233 square miles and has a complex metro system. Even if you’re confident in your Korean language skills, figuring out how to get around won’t be easy in such a bustling city. Navigation tools and maps can save you some serious headaches while traveling.
- Translation apps are vital for communicating with native Seoul residents if your Korean is rusty. Korean isn’t an easy language to learn and could take some time to master. In the meantime, don’t let that push you away from traveling to Korea! Translation apps can be very useful in communicating with locals and in reading maps, signs, magazines, etc.
- You’ll want to stay up to date on Seoul’s unpredictable weather. Seoul is a beautiful place, but the weather can be a bit random. A weather app will make planning excursions into the city much easier. And drier.
Seoul Searching: Download These 10 Essential Seoul Travel Apps
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iOS | Android
Want to kick your Korean language skills up a notch for your big trip to Seoul? FluentU is here to help.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized Korean language learning lessons.
No lectures, no homework. You learn a new language the old fashioned way, by listening to the language spoken in real time by native speakers.
It’s an entertaining method to immerse yourself in Korean the way native speakers really use it, while actively building your vocabulary.
But FluentU is about so much more than videos: You also get access to interactive flashcards and vocab lists, annotated subtitles and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn.
That means each user’s experience is 100% personalized! So if you plan on eating your way around Seoul, FluentU can direct you to videos about restaurants and food, then quiz you over specific vocabulary you need help with.
Access the full video library for free with a FluentU trial!
iOS | Android
It’s always wise to have an official transit app on your phone, no matter where you decide to travel to.
The Seoul subway system is intense if you’re not used to Korea or big cities, but Subway Korea can make navigating it much easier.
Access the most accurate Korean subway timetable out there and plan out your trip in the app. You’ll also get live updates on delays or cancellations so unwelcome surprises won’t put a damper on your day.
This is handy because rush hour can be really unpredictable in Seoul. But this app will let you know when the transit system is a bit behind.
Subway Korea is free to use and offers in-app purchases for additional features.
iOS | Android
MAPS.ME has an accurate, detailed mapping system of Seoul.
It works offline in case you hit a snag with your data and has various types of navigation settings, such as driving, walking or cycling. You can even find hiking trails in this app.
Save locations with the “bookmarks” feature so you can return to places of interest easily. You can also check out live traffic data to avoid getting stuck in rush hour.
MAPS.ME is available for free with in-app purchases.
Seoul Travel Guide by Triposo
iOS | Android
Triposo’s Seoul Travel Guide is perfect for travelers who want an all-in-one app for their trip to Seoul. This app includes:
- A complex and accurate map system with detailed navigation
- Offline capabilities
- Sightseeing and tourist destination recommendations
- A currency converter
- A brief but accurate phrasebook for Korean
- Weather forecasts
- Public transportation directions
- Hotel and tour booking
You can essentially plan your whole trip to Seoul with this one app. The design is sleek and simple to use, so you won’t have trouble using it on the go.
Seoul Travel Guide by Triposo contains ads and in-app purchases but is otherwise free to use.
iOS | Android
Once again, Google Translate makes one of our lists of awesome travel apps!
This app is super dependable and easy to use. You can type in a phrase you wish to communicate to a local Korean speaker and translate it quickly. The audio function makes one-on-one communication a breeze.
Another cool feature of this app is its live word-scanning ability. Use your camera to snap a picture of something written in Korean, such as a sign or map. Google Translate will detect the text in the photo and translate it into English for you.
How cool is that? And it doesn’t cost a penny to use!
Seoul Offline Travel Guide
Like Seoul Travel Guide by Triposo, this app is great for finding tourist hotspots in Seoul and traveling around the city without the risk of getting lost.
Seoul Offline Travel Guide provides:
- An offline map complete with pedestrian, cyclist and automotive navigation
- Search functions for tourist destinations that don’t require an internet connection
- Lists of nearby attractions and historic monuments so you don’t have to travel far to discover something incredible
- A weather sub-app
- Cloud storage for storing locations
This travel guide is great for finding things to do all over the city, from eating at restaurants to exploring museums.
Seoul Offline Travel Guide is free to download and contains in-app purchases.
Not a fan of the subway?
This app will help you navigate the Seoul bus system instead. It may take a bit longer to get where you need to go, but what’s wrong with enjoying a slow trip to really take in the atmosphere of Korea?
With SeoulBus, you can access real-time bus arrival information and use its useful GPS navigation feature to find the right bus stops. This app also has an arrival alarm so you won’t accidentally miss your bus while reading a book or studying your Korean at the bus stop.
Download SeoulBus for free.
Seoul Metro Map
If the other navigation apps we’ve provided don’t tickle your fancy, maybe Seoul Metro Map will.
If you’re looking for something more akin to a physical paper map than something littered with additional data-sucking features, this app could be perfect for you.
It’s simply a color-coded, interactive map of Seoul’s metro, train and tram system. And it works offline!
This app is free to download.
Weather South Korea
As I mentioned earlier, Seoul’s weather can be a bit testy. With this handy app, you can monitor the weather across all of South Korea, not just Seoul.
The interface is super clean and simple to use. The weather descriptions are quite detailed and easy to understand, as well.
You can also use Weather South Korea offline. It’s a simple app, but it gets the job done.
And it’s free!
iOS | Android
Emergency situations happen everywhere. If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to take steps to keep yourself safe. The Emergency Ready app is here to make staying safe in Seoul easy as pie.
With this app, you can:
- Find local shelters
- Locate emergency medical centers, urgent care locations and fire stations
- Contact police through different emergency and local phone numbers
- Learn how to perform CPR, provide first aid and use Korean fire extinguishers
This app was released by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety of the Republic of Korea, so you can surely trust it.
And it’s completely free!
Ready to explore the incredible city of Seoul?
Let these 10 apps take the stress out of your trip.
Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.