Seoul Important Info
Collection of useful service information about Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Business Hours
Banks 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday,
ATMs 7am to 11pm
Bars 6pm to 1am, longer hours Friday and Saturday
Cafes 7am to 10pm
Post offices 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
Restaurants 11am to 10pm
Shops 10am to 8pm
Seoul Discount Cards
Korea Pass is a prepaid card, available in denominations from ₩50,000 to ₩500,000, that provides discounts on a range of goods and services. It can be bought at Lotte Mart and conveniences stores in Seoul as well as the A’REX booth at Incheon International Airport.
If no English-speaking staff are available, ring the 24-hour tourist information and help line 1330.
Fire Department 119
South Korean Money
The South Korean unit of currency is the won (₩), with ₩10, ₩50, ₩100 and ₩500 coins. Notes come in denominations of ₩1000, ₩5000, ₩10,000 and ₩50,000. See www.xe.com for up-to-date exchange rates.
ATMs that accept foreign cards are common: look for ones that have a ‘Global’ sign or the logo of your credit-card company. ATMs often operate only from 7am to 11pm, but some are open 24 hours. Restrictions on the amount you can withdraw vary. It can be as low as ₩100,000 per day.
Changing Money in Seoul
Many banks in Seoul offer a foreign-exchange service. There are also licensed money changers, particularly in Itaewon, that keep longer hours than the banks and provide a faster service, but may only exchange US dollars cash.
Hotels, shops and restaurants accept foreign credit cards, but plenty of places including budget accommodation and stalls require cash.
Public Holidays in South Korea
Restaurants, shops and tourist sights in Seoul stay open during most holidays, but may close over the three-day Lunar New Year and Chuseok (harvest festival) holidays.
New Year’s Day (1 January)
Lunar New Year (click here)
Independence Movement Day (1 March)
Children’s Day (5 May)
Buddha’s Birthday (click here)
Memorial Day (6 June)
Constitution Day (17 July)
Liberation Day (15 August)
Chuseok (click here)
National Foundation Day (3 October)
Christmas Day (25 December)
Seoul Tourist Information Centers
If you need interpretation help on practically any topic, any time of the day or night, you can call 1330. There are scores of tourist information booths around the city. In major tourist areas look for red-jacketed city tourist guides, who can also help with information in various languages.
Handy tourist information centers:
Cheong-gye-cheon Tourist Information Center ( Sejongdaero, Gwanghwamun; 9am-6pm; bLine 5 to Gwanghwamun, Exit 5)
Gangnam Tourist Information Center (161 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu; 10am-7pm; bLine 3 to Apgujeong, Exit 6)
KTO Tourist Information Center (9am-8pm; c; bLine 1 to Jonggak, Exit 5)
Insa-dong Tourist Information Center (02-734 0222; Insa-dong 11-gil; 10am-10pm; bLine 3 to Anguk, Exit 6)
Myeong-dong Tourist Information Center (02-778 0333; 9am-8pm; bLine 2 to Eulji-ro 1-ga, Exit 6)
Travellers with Disabilities
Seoul is slowly getting better at catering for people with disabilities. Many subway stations now have stair lifts and elevators, and toilets for disabled people have been built. A few hotels have specially adapted rooms.
With a confirmed onward ticket, visitors from the USA, nearly all Western European countries, New Zealand, Australia and around 30 other countries receive 90-day permits on arrival. Visitors from a handful of countries receive 60- or 30-day permits, while Canadians get 180 days.