South Korea Travel Information
The spread of the coronavirus affects the entire
international community, and a number of measures and
restrictions have been introduced. With effect from
March 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends
travel to all countries that are not strictly necessary.
The number of new cases of infection in South Korea has
been sharply reduced, but the authorities continue to
keep the danger level for viruses "red". This is true
for the whole country, but the city of Daegu and the
province of Gyeongsangbuk-do have been particularly hard
hit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has therefore
issued its own travel advice for this region. The
Institute of Public Health has introduced a 14-day
mandatory home quarantine for all people who come to
Norway, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
From April 13, South Korea has temporarily suspended
visa waivers for citizens from 90 countries, including
Norway. Norwegian citizens wishing to travel to South
Korea must contact a South Korean embassy to apply for a
visa. A 14-day mandatory quarantine has also been
introduced for all South Korean travelers, as well as
mandatory coronation tests for all European travelers.
Since the start of 2018, there has been new direct
contact between authorities in North and South Korea, as
well as between North Korea and the United States. As a
result, tensions on the Korea Peninsula have been lower
lately. In the past, periods of diplomatic contact have
been interrupted by new tests of North Korean nuclear
weapons and missiles (DPRK). The voltage level in the
region can change quickly. Tensions have often been
shown to increase in time around the annual military
exercises under the auspices of South Korea and the
United States, ie in March and August. North Korean
tests and subsequent increased tensions have generally
not affected daily life in South Korea.
Norwegian citizens who are staying in the country for
a shorter or longer period are encouraged to register
their contact information on reiseregistrering.no.
On the embassy website you can read recommendations
on what the individual should do before and during a
- Countryaah: Seoul is the capital
of South Korea. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
South Korean authorities have developed a useful
English-language app that can be downloaded to a mobile
phone/tablet: the "Emergency Ready App".
Most trips to South Korea are made without any
special problems. The greatest risk is related to road
traffic and traffic safety.
Risk of terrorist incidents is considered low. South
Korea is regarded as a safe and secure country where
bagging, pocket theft and robbery are not widespread.
However, it is always best to take usual precautions.
South Korea is regularly hit by floods during the
monsoon season which can cause landslides and floods.
Occasionally, cyclones also occur, causing major damage
along the coast. Listen to local alerts.
Especially in central parts of Seoul, demonstrations
occur regularly. These are usually peaceful and are
usually directed at the authorities. Demonstrations can
still lead to large police raids and closed roads in
central parts of Seoul.
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid
Local emergency numbers: Police 112, Fire 119,
Medical Emergency 1339, Korea Travel Hotline 1330, Lost
and Found 112.
In the event of a crisis or emergency, the embassy
can be contacted. Contact information can be found on
the Norgesportalen - Embassy website
Outside the embassy's opening hours, the public can
contact the UD's 24-hour operating center on tel: +47 23
95 00 00 or by e-mail: UDops@mfa.no.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
With effect from April 13, South Korean authorities
have temporarily suspended visa waivers for citizens
from 90 countries, including Norway. Short-term visas
(types C1 and C3) issued by the South Korean Embassy
through April 5 are no longer valid. Norwegian citizens
wishing to travel to South Korea should contact the
nearest South Korean embassy to apply for a new visa and
Long-term visas that have already been issued should
still be valid for entry. Also, no changes are made to
the validity of visas for people who have already
entered South Korea. For current visa regulations,
contact the South Korean Embassy in Oslo or the Korea
Immigration Service Hotline: 1345.
With effect from April 1, a compulsory 14 day
quarantine has been introduced for all travelers to
South Korea. If you do not have your own place of
residence, you will be transported to a separate
reception center. At present, the cost per day is
100,000 Korean won, that is about NOK 900 with the
current exchange rate.
All travelers entering South Korea from Europe are
tested for covid-19 upon arrival. Norwegian citizens
must expect an overnight stay in a quarantine facility
while waiting for the result of the test. Quarantine is
also imposed if the test shows a negative result.
Upon arrival, you must fill out a health declaration,
you must provide information about your
telephone/residence in South Korea and you must download
software on your own mobile phone which is used to
report your own health information. Information on
procedures is provided on arrival.
Upon departure, the passport control will ask to see
the passport you entered on. If a new passport has been
issued in the meantime, the canceled must be presented
or the new one registered with the Immigration Office.
Transfers of legal residence result in penalty fees
that must be paid before departure, or possibly
expulsion. An application for an extended stay must be
made two months before the permit expires. The procedure
for applying for an extension, as well as other useful
information, can be found on the websites of the Korea
Airlines are still making continuous changes to their
routes, including a number of cancellations. Travelers
should therefore keep in close contact with their
Many countries, including Norway, have introduced
entry restrictions for people coming from residence in
South Korea. An overview of some of the changes can be
found on Travel news powered by Iata Timatic, but the
list is not exhaustive and both countries and airlines
will be able to make changes continuously.
Coronavirus (covid-19): From March
14, travel advice has been introduced where the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs recommends travel to all countries
that are not strictly necessary. Particularly for South
Korea, the Foreign Ministry on March 6 introduced a
travel advisory advising all travel to the city of Daegu
and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do that are not
strictly necessary. This advice is still valid.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has
introduced a 14-day mandatory home quarantine for all
persons coming from abroad to Norway, even though there
are no symptoms of illness. See the Public Health
Institute's (FHI) pages on travel advice and quarantine
The number of new infections in South Korea has been
sharply reduced, but the authorities continue to keep
the virus level at "red" (highest level of four). This
is true for the whole country, but the city of Daegu and
the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do Southeast have been
declared a separate zone due to higher rates of
infection than elsewhere in the country.
From May 6, South Korean authorities introduced what
they call the "Everyday Life Quarantine scheme". This is
a set of precautions that the population should take to
prevent the spread of covid-19. With the introduction of
these rules, the authorities simultaneously ended the
campaign for stricter social distancing. This means that
institutions such as museums, galleries and gyms are
The most important precautions are: Do not go out if
you have a fever or are ill. Keep arm's length away from
other people. Remember hand washing and cough hygiene.
Use mouthwash when in populous places.
By downloading the EmergencyReadyApp application on a
mobile phone, advice will be sent from local authorities
(English translation is automatic).
Norwegian travelers are encouraged to register on
www.reiseregistrering.no so that they can receive
information from the embassy via sms or e-mail. Also
remember to unsubscribe when your stay is over.
For updated information on covid-19 in South Korea,
see the Korean Center for Disease Control. KCDC has
created its own hotline for people who suspect they are
infected with covid-19. The number is 1339. The service
offers English-language interpreting services and can
provide information about the nearest place where tests
See also other information on the number of infected
and advice from South Korean authorities. .
The general health situation in South Korea is good,
and the standard in hospitals is good. Travelers to
South Korea are encouraged to take reasonable
precautions, and there are usually stomach ailments that
can be brought home from a vacation or work trip. Water
should be bottled or filtered before ingestion. Air
quality can be very poor at times, due to local air
pollution and long-range air pollution from China.
The biggest problems facing the health care system
are the language barrier and the cultural peculiarities
of care and nursing. However, the largest hospitals have
an international clinic with English-speaking personnel
who assist with medical and practical questions. In
addition, there are a number of private international
clinics where there are also English-speaking medical
Malaria can occur to a small extent in northwestern
areas (Gyeonggi and Gangwon Province).
The Institute of Public Health recommends vaccines
for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and
poliomyelitis. Adults who are ground vaccinated should
take one dose of refreshment vaccine for these diseases
approx. every ten years. For longer stays in areas with
poor hygienic and sanitary conditions, vaccines against
hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, Japanese
encephalitis and rabies are recommended.
All kinds of medicines can be obtained, albeit
sometimes from other drug manufacturers.
The import of medicines that do not contain narcotics
can be imported in small quantities for personal use if
a doctor's confirmation is required. Information on the
import of medicines can be found on the local Ministry
of Health website.
The area code for calls from Norway to South Korea is
The time difference to Norway is + seven hours in summer
and + eight hours in winter.
The Internet domain is.kr
Electricity: Normally 220 volts and 60 periods, but
some older homes still have 110 volts. Sockets are the
same type as in Norway. Therefore, no need to bring a
The mobile network (CDMA) is unique to South Korea.
Norwegian GSM mobile cannot be used, but Norwegian 3G
phones work. Mobile phones can be rented from operators
at the airport and in a number of different locations in
the country, such as hotels. SK Telecom has an agreement
with Telenor and Netcom and leases mobiles where you can
use a Norwegian sim card. These do not always work well,
and service is usually in Korean.
The currency unit is South Korean Won (KRW).
Recently, the exchange rate has been well over NOK 70
per 10,000 won.
The major credit cards such as Visa, American
Express, MasterCard etc. are accepted at hotels and most
businesses. Credit cards can be used in ATMs marked with
Global Service or "foreign card acceptable".
Normal opening hours are for shops: approx.
10.00-22.00, bank: 09.00-16.00 (closed Saturday and
Sunday), post: 09.00-18.00 (Saturday 09.00-13.00 at some
offices, closed Sunday), public offices: 09.00-18.00
(November - February 09.00-17.00, closed Saturday and
National Holidays: January (New Year's Day), February
18 - 20, 2015 (Korean New Year), March 1, May 5
(Children's Day), May 25 (Buddha's Birthday), June 6
(Memorial Day for the Fallen)), July 17 (Constitution
Day), August 15 (Release Day), September 26 - 28, 2015 (Chuseok/Korean
Autumn Thanksgiving), October 3 (Founding Day), October
9 (Hangeul Day), Christmas Day.
Tips/tips at restaurants or other places are not
common. Korean is the daily language of South Korea.
Society is characterized by a hierarchical structure. If
you want to say something in Korean, it is recommended
that you use one of the polite speeches. The young
generation speaks a little English, but the knowledge is
It can be helpful to learn simple rules for South
Korean customs and customs. Do not touch the head of an
adult, bow easily when thanking for something, and
accept and give with both hands. The relationships
between people are largely determined by the hierarchy
between young and adult. Therefore, always offer a seat
for the elderly on the bus or subway, and generally be
extra polite to those older than you.
South Koreans dress formally both in work and
everyday life. Most companies require that they wear
suits for work, but ties are often optional. Women
should avoid wearing tops that show too much shoulders
or cuffs, and high heels are common in work. The skirt
length is often shorter than usual in Norway.
The winter is cold and dry, strongly characterized by
cold air currents from Central Asia, but with plenty of
sunshine. Spring is short with an intense flowering
period. Summer is hot and humid. The summer climate is
influenced by the East Asian monsoon which provides
rainy season in South Korea as well. The harvest is dry
and clear. Spring and autumn are the best seasons, as
there are pleasant temperatures and lots of sun.
The domestic flight network is well developed. The
trains are comfortable and fast. The bus network covers
the whole country, but it can be a little difficult to
orientate with regard to which bus goes where. The
capital's subway network is very good. There is also a
"subway app" in English that provides information about
timetables, making it easy to get around when you are
Travelers should always carry an identification card
with them. If you need help with translation or travel
information, call 1330 (02-1330 from mobile outside
Seoul). A bilingual operator will help you.