The following information about the City of Seoul has been provided by the Seoul Convention Bureau for the convenience of all travelers. Click on each tab for more details.
Seoul 10,450,000 (2009 est.); South Korea 48,508,972 (2009 est.). About one-fifth of South Korea’s population resides in Seoul.
30.3 km from north to south
36.78 from east to west.
+22C to +30C (August), -7C to +1C (January)
GMT + 9 (Korea Standard Time KST or Japanese Standard Time JST)
220v, 60 hz throughout the country (same type used in France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Turkey)
Country Dialing Code:
Seoul 02 (when dialing from overseas remove the zero)
25% Buddhist, 25% Christian
Korean (English, Japanese and Chinese are also spoken)
Korea’s official monetary unit is the South Korean Won (KRW or ₩). The currency consists of notes and coins.
General Business Hours
9am to 6pm (Mon to Fri), Closed on weekends
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.
9:30am-4pm (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
Korea Exchange Bank www.keb.co.kr
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Kookmin (KB) Bank www.kbstar.com
Shinhan Bank www.shinhan.com
(Korean, English, Japanese)
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, MasterCard 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.
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 Korea Tourism Organization that can connect you to emergency services).
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
In the event of an emergency (or non-emergency) situation, a variety of medical services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Information on international medical centers, services and hospitals.
- General consultation on first aid and advice in emergency situations
- Contact for ambulance and medical services
- Information on hospitals for non-emergency patients
- Other useful non-emergency medical information
- Information in English, Japanese, and Chinese
International Health Care Centers in Seoul
Larger Korean hospitals generally operate an international health care center or medical clinics for English and non-Korean speaking patients. Their multilingual medical staff and volunteers can help you receive affordable and quality medical care.
- International Medical Center at Yonsei Sinchon Severance Hospital +82-2-2228-5800
- International Health Care Center at Seoul National University Hospital +82-2-2072-0505
- International Health Care Center at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital +82-2-590-2932
Seoul Global Center
+82 2-1688-0120 (overseas) or 1688-0120 (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