How to visit south korea

Travel Tips

How to visit south korea

Paper lanterns in South Korea are as colorful as the country itself. (Photo: Kevin Forest/Photodisc/Getty Images )

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South Korea combines an ancient and storied culture with ultra-modern amenities. In South Korea, bustling urban centers, serene pastoral gardens and palaces stand side by side. Visitors find pop-music sing-alongs and folk dancing, martial arts and street festivals, fast food and long-fermented food specialties full of spice and fire. You easily can find dozens of reasons to justify a vacation to South Korea.

Food: The Spice of Korean Life

Korean food has been catching on in the United States, but South Korea is the place to go for a true taste of authenticity. Its most famous food may be the versatile pickled condiment known as kimchee, commonly made with cabbage and spicy pepper paste, but also made with radishes, cucumber, eggplant and other vegetables. Think of it as Korean sauerkraut. Another characteristic of South Korean cuisine are the plethora of small side dishes known as panchan, or banchan, that accompany every meal. Other iconic dishes include bulgogi, or marinated and grilled beef; the rice bowl bibimbap; and japchae, a dish based on translucent sweet potato noodles. Don’t miss South Korea’s vibrant street-food scene either, offering treats such as hot dogs wrapped in everything from a light tempura-style batter, fish cakes and potatoes, then deep-fried, and fish-shaped pastries filled with red-bean paste.

Music: K-Pop for Everyone

Korean pop music internationally is known as K-pop. It’s not just an auditory experience – the videos that accompany song singles are just as important as the tunes themselves, and one of the attractions of the K-pop genre are the attractive young people who sing the songs. The music itself is fast paced and catchy. Performer Psy introduced much of the American world to K-pop with “Gangnam Style” in 2012, and it quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, but in Asia, the K-pop scene has been going strong since the 1990s. South Korea also has its own variation of karaoke known as noraebang, and plenty of businesses are open to rent you and your friends a room so you can sing and drink all night.

Korean Scenery: A Study in Contrast

South Korea is host to neon-saturated cityscapes, ancient architectural marvels and plenty of enticing formal gardens. No matter your preference, you’re bound to find scenery to please your eyes. Lovers of natural beauty should visit the dramatic volcanic formations at Jeju Island or take a hike in Jiri Mountain National Park. Those who appreciate history will want to stop at sites such as the ancient capital city of Gyeongju, Bulguska Temple or the Changdeokgung Palace in the heart of Seoul. Those who thrive on the sights and sounds of modern urban life can spend their time in Seoul, one of the most densely populated cities on Earth. Visit one of the bustling outdoor markets or head to the top of N Seoul Tower to take in the panoramic view.

Additional Attractions: More to do in South Korea

Seoul is a prime destination for shoppers, who flock to the Myeongdong district to buy the trendiest fashion and accessories. The Myeongdong Lotte Department Store also houses a duty-free shop for international travelers, and lockers for you to store your purchases. Visitors to South Korea should try to schedule a visit to a Korean-style bathhouse, known as a jjimjilbang. Segregated by sex, jjimjilbangs offer moist and dry saunas, swimming pools, massage and many other amenities.

Experience many wonders of nature by exploring the top places to visit in South Korea by selecting our best selling package. – http://bit.ly/2mvxJX6
There are so many beautiful places in South Korea, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shortlisting. From the unexplored natural sites to the urban delights, there’s a lot to be explored
Here is a list of our top picks of famous places in South Korea. You can witness the beauty of the countryside villages, grand Buddhist temples, ancient fortresses and high-tech urban cities.
Top 8 places to visit in South Korea:-

1. Seoul
Seoul is charming in all ways possible. From the charm of bustling high tech city life and the beautiful parks to the panoramic views and party culture, Seoul will steal your heart.

2. Jeju Island
The magnificent island of Jeju is only 85 Km away from the coast and has been named among the seven wonders of nature.

3. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
Get a sneak-peek into the history of conflict between North Korea and South Korea by visiting this zone. It is also one of the most famous places in South Korea for those who’re interested in being a little more than regular tourists.

4. Busan
Busan will fulfill your cravings for local Korean food. Relish the seafood spread at fancy restaurants and enjoy local delicacies at the stalls on the streets.

5. Gyeongju
Visit Anapji pond, Tumuli Park and the majestic Seokguram Grotto in Gyron to bring yourself in touch with the authentic Korean culture.

6. Pyeongchang County
This is one of the best places to visit in South Korea to experience peace and extraordinary scenic beauty. Located in the Taebaek Mountains, this picturesque county, which is 180 km away from Seoul, hosted the Winter Olympics in February 2018.

7. Suwon
Built by the Joseon dynasty, Hwaseong Fortress is a UNESCO world heritage site with four pagoda-style gates, artillery towers, and observation decks. It is a sight to behold.

8. Seoraksan National Park
A day hike in Seoraksan National Park will take you through jungles and the famous Ulsan Rock. If adventure is not your cup of tea, you can simply enjoy the gondola ride up the mountain for some spectacular views.

Few other places to visit in South Korea –
1. Andong Hahoe Folk Village
2. Upo Marsh
3. Juknokwon
4. Boseong Green Tea Field

How to reach South Korea from India : –
South Korea is well connected through Air routes. So taking a flight from the major Airports like Mumbai and Delhi to Seoul (South Korea) would be the best option.
Average return ticket costing: 50000 to 60000 INR
STAY HASSLE-FREE AND JUST VISIT OUR WEBSITE – http://bit.ly/2J3O8JY

FEEL FREE TO CALL US AT :
1800 123 5555

How to visit south korea

Traveling to South Korea for the first time? Get the most out of your visit by brushing up on Korean culture with these useful travel tips.

How to visit south korea

The Korean Alphabet is Easy as A-B-C

Hangul (which translates to “great script”) is the official alphabet of the Korean language. Unlike Chinese, it’s phonetic, meaning it’s made up of letters that can be sounded out rather than characters that have to be memorized. At first sight, the script may come across as incomprehensible, but the alphabet itself is actually quite easy to learn. For some, it can be mastered in just a day. Knowing the alphabet will make traveling in Korea much easier, even if you don’t speak Korean, as you’ll be able to recognize food names on menus and destinations on street signs.

Transportation is Efficient and Inexpensive

Thanks to the country’s amazing public transportation system, it’s incredibly easy (and cheap) to get around. When you arrive, pick up a T-Money card, which can be used on public buses and subways in several different metropolitan cities. It also saves travelers the hassle of purchasing single journey subway tickets for every ride, and provides discounts on rides during transfers. Taxis are just about everywhere and fares, which are calculated based on time and distance, are inexpensive. Avoid black or “deluxe” taxis, which charge a premium for reportedly better services.

How to visit south korea

It’s Okay to Shout at Your Server

At restaurants in Korea, servers will let you eat you meal without interruption, until you call them over to let them know that you need something, like second servings of galbi or another bottle of beer. This can be done in two ways. First, you can shout “Yogiyo!” which mean’s, “I’m here!” Or, at some places, you can simply push the call button, a convenient summoning device built right into the table. When you’re ready to pay, take your bill (which is usually left on the table) straight to the counter.

Tipping isn’t Necessary

Despite the generally good service provided at restaurants (and everywhere, really), tipping is not required or expected. Cab drivers, hairdressers, porters and bellboys are certainly grateful for tips, but the culture is simply not practiced among Koreans. If you do decide to tip, the amount is entirely up to you.

How to visit south korea

Public Bathrooms Can be a Bit Confusing

Even though many public bathrooms boast Western-style toilets, it’s not uncommon to come across the squatty potty. When using it, make sure the tips of your shoes line up with the front of the porcelain to avoid unwanted splashing. Other toilets might be equipped with a remote control like operating system that has the ability to initiate a bidet or warm the toilet seat. In some older buildings, the toilet paper dispenser is located on the outside of the restroom entrance, so be sure to take enough before going into the stall. Toss used toilet paper into a trash bin rather than flushing it, as the toilet may get clogged.

South Korea is One of the Safest Countries in the World, but…

South Korea has one of the lowest crime rates in the modern world. While its metropolitan areas are not free of petty thieves, con artists and drunken brawlers, they remain mostly safe at any hour of the day so long as you remain vigilant of your surroundings and keep a low profile.

That said, it should be noted that some of the country’s legal adjudications are, at times, unfairly biased against international visitors and residents. Should a Korean accost you at a bar, walk away. If you hit him back, you might find yourself incarcerated, as the law is likely to side with the Korean nearly every time.

How to visit south korea

Wear Shower Shoes

It should be noted that many Korean bathrooms do not have a bathtub or enclosed shower. Instead, there is a shower head attached the wall of the same room. While this helps to economize space, it can create a bit of a mess, so communal shower shoes are often available in places like budget hotels. If you’re weird about sharing shoes with strangers, be sure to bring a pair of your own.

There’s No Such Thing as Personal Space

With a population of over 25 million, there is simply no room for personal space in Seoul, or any other Korean metropolis. As a result, pushing and shoving are not uncommon. If anything, they’re the norm, and not seen as rude gestures. So if you happen to find yourself being elbowed in the subway or pushed while you’re waiting in line for the bathroom, don’t take it personally.

How to visit south korea

Gifts Equate to Graciousness

The exchange of gifts is an important part of Korean life – both in personal and business relationships – and is closely linked to showing respect, maintaining harmony and being courteous. If you are invited to someone’s home, it is customary to bring a small gift, such as flowers or a bottle of wine, to show your graciousness. Gifts are given with two hands, and are never opened in front of the giver.

Confucius Rules the Land

South Korea is a vibrant, modern, highly technological state. Despite this, the nation still revolves around traditional customs and values, including Confucianism, a system that promotes social harmony and governs all the interactions – however small they may be – between families, friends, colleagues and even strangers. Newcomers may not recognize the subtleties of the ancient structure, but can quickly learn the basics. Speak politely to elders (the Korean language has a specific honorific speech just for this), always accept when offered a shot of soju, and wait for your boss to eat first before digging into dinner.

Visa Requirements, Weather, Holidays, Currency, and Travel Tips

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How to visit south korea

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Travel to South Korea is on the rise, with over 13 million international tourists arriving in 2015. Most of those travelers take the short flight from neighboring Japan, China, and other places in East Asia. Western travelers who aren’t in country for military service, business, or to teach English are still somewhat of a novelty.

Traveling in South Korea can be a unique and rewarding experience that feels removed from the usual stops along the Banana Pancake Trail in Asia.

If you’re already on your way to one of the well-trodden places on the trail, many of the cheapest flights to Southeast Asia from the United States pass through Seoul. With a little planning, it’s easy enough to tack on an interesting stopover in a new country! Chances are, you’ll enjoy what you see and want to come back.

What to Expect When Traveling to South Korea

  • Great Food: Korean bibimbap with some spicy kimchi is one of those “different” tastes that you’ll miss — and crave — usually when it’s the most inaccessible.
  • A Tech-Savvy Culture: South Korea boasts the world’s fastest internet speeds. There are more mobile phones than people, a cyberwar is continuously being waged with North Korea, and yes, robots are a thing.
  • Crowds: South Korea’s population density is high, with roughly 1,113 people per square mile. As of 2016, Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area were home to over 25 million people with nearly 10 million in the city proper. Don’t expect a lot of privacy or elbow room in Seoul.
  • Compulsory Military: All South Korean males between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to serve in the military. South Korea ranks second in the world for the number of soldiers per capita. The country ranked first? You guessed it: North Korea. Close to 30,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea help to even the odds.

South Korea Visa Requirements

American citizens can enter and stay in South Korea for 90 days (free) without first applying for a visa. If you remain in South Korea for more than 90 days, you must visit a consulate and apply for an Alien Registration Card.

People wishing to teach English in South Korea must apply for an E-2 visa before arriving. Applicants must pass an HIV test and submit a copy of their academic diplomas and transcripts. Visa rules can and do often change. Check the South Korea embassy website for the latest before you arrive.

South Korea Travel Customs

Travelers can bring up to $400 worth of goods into South Korea without paying duties or taxes. This includes one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco products. You need to be at least 19 years old to be in possession of tobacco.

All food items and plant/agricultural materials are prohibited; avoid bringing sunflower seeds, peanuts, or other snacks from the flight.

Just to be safe, carry a copy of your prescription, a medical passport, or a doctor’s note for all prescription drugs that you bring inside of South Korea.

The Best Time to Travel to South Korea

The monsoon season in South Korea runs from June to September. Typhoons and hurricanes can disrupt travel between May and November. Know what to do in the event of destructive weather. July and August are by far the wettest months in South Korea.

Winters in Seoul can be especially bitter; temperatures often dip well below 19 F in January! The ideal time for travel to South Korea is in the cooler fall months after temperatures have dropped and the rain has stopped.

  • See reviews and prices for hotels in Seoul on TripAdvisor.

South Korea Holidays

South Korea has five National Celebration Days, four of which are patriotic events. The fifth, Hangul Day, celebrates the Korean alphabet. As with all big holidays in Asia, plan accordingly to better enjoy the festivities.

In addition to Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Korean New Year (Lunar New Year; three days typically beginning the same day as Chinese New Year) travel to South Korea may be affected during these public holidays:

  • March 1: Independence Movement Day
  • June 6: Memorial Day
  • August 15: Liberation Day
  • October 3: National Foundation Day

Korea also celebrates Buddha’s Birthday and Chuseok (the harvest festival). Both are based on the lunar calendar; dates change annually. Chuseok is usually around the same time as the autumn equinox in September, or less frequently, early October.

Currency in South Korea

South Korea uses the won (KRW). The symbol appears as a “W” with two horizontal lines drawn through ( ₩ ).

Banknotes are typically seen in denominations of 1,000; 5,000; 10,000; and 50,000; although older, smaller bills are still in circulation. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 won.

Don’t get scammed while changing money! Check the current exchange rate before you arrive in South Korea.

Travel to South Korea From the United States

Excellent deals for flights to Seoul are usually easy to find, particularly from Los Angeles and New York.

Korean Air is a great airline, consistently among the top 20 airlines in the world, and is also one of the original founders of the SkyTeam alliance. Juicy SkyMiles will rain in abundance after that flight from LAX to Seoul!

The Language Barrier

Although lots of residents in Seoul speak English, many signs, travel-booking websites, and services are only available in the Korean alphabet. Remember, there’s a national holiday celebrating the alphabet! The good news is that Seoul maintains a hotline to help travelers with translation and language issues.

Contact the Seoul Global Centre by calling 02-1688-0120, or simply dial 120 from within Korea. The SGC is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Korea Tourism Organization

The Korea Tourism Organization, or KTO, (dial +82-2-1330) can answer questions and help with your planning for South Korea travel.

The KTO helpline is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.

“Gimmieaventidecafwithlegsandleaveroom,” a sturdy tourist blurted from across the counter.

The Korean Starbucks barista froze behind her register.

“Give me a venti decaf with legs, and leave room,” the man repeated, this time slower but annoyed.

The barista nodded her head, punched something into the register, and pointed to the card reader. I’m sure the customer got some variant of coffee, but I promise he didn’t get what he meant to order.

I think most tourists would agree that speaking in jargon-filled English at the speed of an auctioneer in any country whose official language isn’t English is rude and, perhaps, a bit ethnocentric. If a visitor did that in the US, people would be annoyed.

But, even if you consider yourself a well-mannered globetrotter, there’s likely a few other South Korean faux paus you could break unwittingly if you aren’t privy to them. If you want to have a fantastic time in Korea and leave a fantastic impression, check out these six things tourists do in South Korea that drive locals crazy before boarding your flight.

1. Wear inappropriate clothing.

If you’re a man traveling to South Korea for sightseeing and soju, feel free to rock Crocs and a fanny pack. But if you’re a man traveling for business or to work in South Korea, it’s better to overdress than to underdress. Jeans and Converses might work in Silicon Valley, but not in South Korea.

The same workplace rules apply to women, who should wear pencil skirts or pants, a blouse, and close-toed shoes.

But for women, there’s more. Ladies, the good news: you can break out your high school mini-skirts and short-shorts; bare all of the leg you want. The not-so-good news: you should leave any cleavage-baring tops, spaghetti straps, and back-bearing shirts at home.

While these sort of tops are more common in some areas in Seoul home to a younger crowd, such as Hongdae, these pieces of clothing will get you extra negative attention elsewhere. Some men might ogle, and older Korean ladies might scold you (Yes, in public!). But this doesn’t mean you have to buy a whole new wardrobe; pairing a cardigan with these types of tops works wonders.

2. Talk loudly on the subway.

After being in Korea for only a year and a half, I can tell if a foreigner on the subway is new to South Korea or not just by their speaking volume. Talking on the subway isn’t taboo. But, Koreans on public transportation speak at a low hum to avoid disrupting others.

Some foreigners who visit Korea have a naturally louder speaking voice, or perhaps aren’t used to taking public transportation, so they often speak louder without realizing it. Keep this Korean pet-peeve in mind to avoid a bus full of glares.

3. Greet friends with hugs.

Where I come from in Florida, friends hug their friends. I learned the awkward way that this isn’t a Korean tradition. The one time I forgot this quirk, I went in to bear-hug my Korean co-teacher I hadn’t seen in months, and she politely dove to the left and patted my shoulder.

Instead, you can do a slight bow. (Please do not do a full half-angle bow for your friends, or they’ll think you’re very strange.) Waving hello and goodbye is also OK with millennials and younger people.

4. Throw toilet paper in the toilet.

Rule number four: Don’t throw toilet tissue in the toilet. Usually.

Korean plumbing systems aren’t so good at dealing with toilet tissue, so most bathrooms require the wastebasket-method. When you’re done with your business, just throw the tissue into the basket. (Yes, even “number two” tissue.) If you just recoiled in disgust, I feel you. But, do you really want to be that one “waygookin” (foreigner) who clogs the toilet and overflows the restroom?

5. Wear shoes indoors.

Remember the co-teacher I mentioned above in the awkward hugging situation? When I first came to Korea, I invited this same co-teacher into my house. She began untying her shoes, so I stopped her and said, “It’s OK! You don’t need to take your shoes off.”

She looked horrified. She said nothing, and she took her shoes off, anyway.

You should follow suit. The same goes for restaurants and even schools. If everyone else is sock-footed or in slippers, you should do the same. If everyone is wearing shoes, it’s OK to keep them on. Honestly, I’m not sure if the tradition stemmed from a germaphobe or if there’s a deeper reason behind it, but in Korea, it’s just what you do.

6. Be insensitive about Japan.

Korea has a long, complicated history with Japan that many tourists, long-term foreign residents, and even presidents don’t fully grasp. It’s best to do some research on Korean-Japanese relations before you pack your bags.

But, if you’re reading this with airline-pretzel crumbs already spilling from your mouth, just play by this rule: approach topics about Japan delicately. Do not refer to the “East Sea” as the “Sea of Japan,” respect the comfort women statues, and for the love of god don’t mention Dokdo.

Visa Requirements, Weather, Holidays, Currency, and Travel Tips

  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email

How to visit south korea

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Travel to South Korea is on the rise, with over 13 million international tourists arriving in 2015. Most of those travelers take the short flight from neighboring Japan, China, and other places in East Asia. Western travelers who aren’t in country for military service, business, or to teach English are still somewhat of a novelty.

Traveling in South Korea can be a unique and rewarding experience that feels removed from the usual stops along the Banana Pancake Trail in Asia.

If you’re already on your way to one of the well-trodden places on the trail, many of the cheapest flights to Southeast Asia from the United States pass through Seoul. With a little planning, it’s easy enough to tack on an interesting stopover in a new country! Chances are, you’ll enjoy what you see and want to come back.

What to Expect When Traveling to South Korea

  • Great Food: Korean bibimbap with some spicy kimchi is one of those “different” tastes that you’ll miss — and crave — usually when it’s the most inaccessible.
  • A Tech-Savvy Culture: South Korea boasts the world’s fastest internet speeds. There are more mobile phones than people, a cyberwar is continuously being waged with North Korea, and yes, robots are a thing.
  • Crowds: South Korea’s population density is high, with roughly 1,113 people per square mile. As of 2016, Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area were home to over 25 million people with nearly 10 million in the city proper. Don’t expect a lot of privacy or elbow room in Seoul.
  • Compulsory Military: All South Korean males between the ages of 18 and 35 are required to serve in the military. South Korea ranks second in the world for the number of soldiers per capita. The country ranked first? You guessed it: North Korea. Close to 30,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in South Korea help to even the odds.

South Korea Visa Requirements

American citizens can enter and stay in South Korea for 90 days (free) without first applying for a visa. If you remain in South Korea for more than 90 days, you must visit a consulate and apply for an Alien Registration Card.

People wishing to teach English in South Korea must apply for an E-2 visa before arriving. Applicants must pass an HIV test and submit a copy of their academic diplomas and transcripts. Visa rules can and do often change. Check the South Korea embassy website for the latest before you arrive.

South Korea Travel Customs

Travelers can bring up to $400 worth of goods into South Korea without paying duties or taxes. This includes one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco products. You need to be at least 19 years old to be in possession of tobacco.

All food items and plant/agricultural materials are prohibited; avoid bringing sunflower seeds, peanuts, or other snacks from the flight.

Just to be safe, carry a copy of your prescription, a medical passport, or a doctor’s note for all prescription drugs that you bring inside of South Korea.

The Best Time to Travel to South Korea

The monsoon season in South Korea runs from June to September. Typhoons and hurricanes can disrupt travel between May and November. Know what to do in the event of destructive weather. July and August are by far the wettest months in South Korea.

Winters in Seoul can be especially bitter; temperatures often dip well below 19 F in January! The ideal time for travel to South Korea is in the cooler fall months after temperatures have dropped and the rain has stopped.

  • See reviews and prices for hotels in Seoul on TripAdvisor.

South Korea Holidays

South Korea has five National Celebration Days, four of which are patriotic events. The fifth, Hangul Day, celebrates the Korean alphabet. As with all big holidays in Asia, plan accordingly to better enjoy the festivities.

In addition to Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Korean New Year (Lunar New Year; three days typically beginning the same day as Chinese New Year) travel to South Korea may be affected during these public holidays:

  • March 1: Independence Movement Day
  • June 6: Memorial Day
  • August 15: Liberation Day
  • October 3: National Foundation Day

Korea also celebrates Buddha’s Birthday and Chuseok (the harvest festival). Both are based on the lunar calendar; dates change annually. Chuseok is usually around the same time as the autumn equinox in September, or less frequently, early October.

Currency in South Korea

South Korea uses the won (KRW). The symbol appears as a “W” with two horizontal lines drawn through ( ₩ ).

Banknotes are typically seen in denominations of 1,000; 5,000; 10,000; and 50,000; although older, smaller bills are still in circulation. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, and 500 won.

Don’t get scammed while changing money! Check the current exchange rate before you arrive in South Korea.

Travel to South Korea From the United States

Excellent deals for flights to Seoul are usually easy to find, particularly from Los Angeles and New York.

Korean Air is a great airline, consistently among the top 20 airlines in the world, and is also one of the original founders of the SkyTeam alliance. Juicy SkyMiles will rain in abundance after that flight from LAX to Seoul!

The Language Barrier

Although lots of residents in Seoul speak English, many signs, travel-booking websites, and services are only available in the Korean alphabet. Remember, there’s a national holiday celebrating the alphabet! The good news is that Seoul maintains a hotline to help travelers with translation and language issues.

Contact the Seoul Global Centre by calling 02-1688-0120, or simply dial 120 from within Korea. The SGC is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Korea Tourism Organization

The Korea Tourism Organization, or KTO, (dial +82-2-1330) can answer questions and help with your planning for South Korea travel.

The KTO helpline is open 24 hours, 365 days a year.

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COVID-19 in South Korea

Key Information for Travelers to South Korea

Level 4: Very High

Level 2: Moderate

Travel Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated Travelers

If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized by emergency use by the World Health Organization:

  • You do NOT have to get tested before leaving the United States, unless your destination requires it.
  • You do NOT have to self-quarantine after you arrive in the United States.

Before travel:

  • Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, masking, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and may be required to return to the United States.

During travel:

  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).
  • Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in South Korea, including mask wearing and social distancing.

Before you travel to the United States by air

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.

After Travel

  • You should get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

Do NOT travel if were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Travel Recommendations for Unvaccinated Travelers

If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, take the following steps:

Before travel:

  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.

During travel:

  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus). CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

Before you travel to the United States by air

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.

After you travel:

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

Do NOT travel if were exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, you test positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

How to visit south korea

Information for people who recently recovered from COVID-19

If you recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the last 3 months, follow all requirements and recommendations for fully vaccinated travelers except you do NOT need to get a test 3-5 days after travel unless you are symptomatic. People can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after diagnosis and not be infectious to others.

More Considerations

If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any health information, test results, or other documents. Check with your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers. Follow any entry requirements or restrictions at your destination which might include testing, quarantine, and providing contact information. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States. If you test positive on arrival, you might be required to isolate. You might be prevented from returning to the United States as scheduled.

If you get sick, you might need medical care. Plan ahead and learn more about Getting Health Care During Travel. You might not be permitted to return to the United States until you can end isolation. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 during travel, you might be quarantined and not be permitted to return to the United States until your quarantine is lifted.

Clinician Information

Clinicians should obtain a detailed travel history for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 infection. If you suspect that a traveler has COVID-19, see Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for information on evaluating, reporting, clinical care guidance, and infection control.