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10 BEST Apps You Need in South Korea!

  • By Dennis Scharpf
  • on 12 Dec 2018
  • Categories : Destinations, Life Experiences

South Korea is well-known for being technologically forward, boasting the fast internet speed and high smartphone penetration, making it the perfect place for apps to flourish!

Having the right mobile applications can make all the difference in your experience abroad.

These apps can help you with many things, from finding your way around, keeping in contact with your Korean friends to finding what to eat for dinner.

If you're looking to travel or stay in South Korea, we recommend taking some time to check out these apps.

Here are our top 10 picks for applications to install during your Korea internship!

1. KakaoTalk


KakaoTalk is the messaging application of choice if you are doing your internship or working in South Korea.

Prepare your own KakaoID to share with your new friends and co-workers! Like WhatsApp, LINE, and WeChat, the app is free and provides text and multimedia chat, group chat and calls.

The application is developed by a South Korean company, hence its popularity with the locals. If you would like to keep in touch with the friends you've made on your adventures, keep this app handy.

Kakao also develops many other useful applications that integrate well with Kakaotalk, such as KakaoStory, KakaoBus, and KakaoPlace.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

2. Mangoplate

korean food

Wingspoon was the go-to restaurant discovery app for food in South Korea until it shut down early 2014.

Since then, startups have battled to become Korea's food application, with Mangoplate coming out on top.

Aside from the appetizing name, Mangoplate serves up a database of over 200,000 restaurants updated daily.

Finding and searching for new places to eat is made easy! Even if you can't read the reviews written in Korean, the score rating makes it easy to see what place is popular.

Despite being only useful in South Korea, this app is also available in English!

That may seem insignificant, but this is something you will soon see is sometimes an issue with useful applications for living in South Korea.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

3. CGV

The days of looking up movie times in the paper are long over! When a new movie comes out, people are using an app or website to check the times and book their tickets.

In Korea, that app is CGV. The only downside to this application is that it is all in Korean. However, with help from a friend, you can have an account set up with your local nearby cinema favorited for easy access.

The intuitive layout makes it easy to look up the time and duration of the movie, as well as check out reviews.

Having an app to book your tickets ensures you won't miss out on being one of the first to see an anticipated movie release.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

4. Air Visual

air quality

South Korea has seasonal issues with air quality that you need to be prepared for.

Though the government is taking many steps to clean up the air domestically, the issue is a complicated one.

Especially since it's difficult to control the natural and man-made pollution from neighboring countries.

Using Air Visual allows you to keep track of the state of air you are breathing in South Korea, regardless of your area.

You can find all the air quality information you need from historical, real-time to forecast on air pollution data.

If you have respiratory illnesses or are sensitive to air quality, there are special forecasts for that as well.

On top of that, it also doubles as a weather forecast application, all ad-free.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

5. Yogiyo

food delivery

Ordering food in a foreign country can be intimidating, especially if you have to call and communicate in a foreign language.

Using Yogiyo helps bypass issues of anxiety regarding calls, and is one way to order food. Like CGV, this application is in Korean.

However, it's very easy to figure out the app, with the help of a friend or a guide on the internet.

You don't have to take my word for it either! Master Yogiyo with these guides: here is one written by Bridgett (The Naked Foreigner) and here is one written by BnBHero.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

6. Waze


Google Maps is pretty good for the most part but is limited as it can only reliably provide directions for public transport due to lack of data.

Korean law does not allow the country's map data of the country to be exported for the sake of national security.

Such limitations do not apply on local map applications. Unfortunately, local maps like Naver Maps (iOS, Google Play) are all in Korean.

Waze does a decent job with the limitations in place on map data and is one of the more reliable map applications to use.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

7. Subway Korea

korea subway

If you are looking for a map of the public transportation, Subway Korea is the go-to app for subway trains in South Korea's 5 major cities: Seoul, Busan, Taejeon, Kwangjoo and Taegu.

Everything you need to know about the trains is available in this app. From a search function, navigator, train timetable, route map, transfer time and more!

The data is identical to the official city railway system data, so it's the most accurate application for the subway available.

Subway Korea is also the Winner of Google Play App of the Year in 2015 and updates its app frequently to keep up with the times, including downloading new train schedules.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

8. Naver Dictionary


Stuck on a phrase or having communication issues due to a language barrier?

Having a translator or dictionary is handy is a must when in a foreign country if you don't speak the native language.

Naver's application provides both and much, much more! While there is nothing wrong with Google Translate, Naver Dictionary was developed with translating between English and Korean in mind.

If English is not your first language, Naver also features Dictionaries translating Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, German, Russian, Swedish, French to Korean and more!

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

9. Visit Korea

discover korea

Get travel information is available at the touch of your fingertips!

Visit Korea is an official app created by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) to provide all you need to know.

This app is a jack of all trades and provides information on attractions, food, accommodation, festivals, directions, exchange rates and more.

A great feature this app is that if you have no active internet connection, you can even save information in various categories for use.

You can even see the score an attraction or location has from TripAdvisor.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

10. Learn Korean Phrasebook

learn korean

As you can see from the few examples above, many applications useful in Korea sometimes don't have an option for English language.

The same is true when traveling and exploring South Korea, there isn't always a translation available to help you.

Picking up some Korean words and phrases can go a long way when spending time abroad!

Unlike a dictionary, the phrasebook has a pre-determined set of words and phrases for specific scenarios for you to use.

There are 400+ words and phrases are available in the free version of the app, however, you can unlock the full 900+ by purchasing Pro.

Available for iOS and Android.

App StoreGoogle Play

Try These Apps During Your South Korea Internship

Immerse yourself in the technologically connected of South Korea with these mobile apps.

Asia Internship Program will be providing a SIM card as part of your package upon arrival, so you can take full advantage of these applications during your internship in South Korea.

If you are looking for a more tropical destination, check out the 10 BEST Apps to Survive in Thailand!

Start your journey with a short application at Apply Now or find out more about a Korea internship by clicking the Learn More button below!


South Korea

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