aerial view of intersection in Seoul

Getting Around

Getting around in Korea is easier than you think.

Tourist maps, chain restaurant menus and road and subway signs almost always are written in both English and Korean, at least in most sizable cities. With a few basic words, you can point and gesture your way almost anywhere.

Use Landmarks

As a backup plan, when all else fails, know the name of a landmark in the area you are staying. For example, I was staying in a small neighborhood with a very long name. If I couldn't communicate that to my driver, I would ask him to take me to the Grand Hotel, and I could find my way to the apartment from there.

Also, keep in mind that the Korean language does not end words in consonants, so even if a landmark has an English name it may be pronounced "Grand-ah Hotel-ah," instead of "Grand Hotel."

Basic Korean Phrases

Korean greetings Korean phrases to ask directions