How to Travel to Seoul, Korea

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Travel to the east for your next vacation.
Travel to the east for your next vacation. (Image: korea image by andrea de benedittis from Fotolia.com)

According to the U.S. State Department, “The Republic of Korea (South Korea) is a highly developed, stable, democratic republic with powers shared between the president and the legislature.” Although Korea boasts a modern economy and expansive tourist facilities, travelers should speak some Korean or travel with a guide when traveling outside the main tourist and business centers of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. While most of the population resides in Seoul National Capital Area, you also can find cultural events throughout Seoul as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Passport
  • Airline ticket
  • Toll fees

Renew or apply for a U.S. passport, which is a requirement for entry into the Republic of Korea. You can enter Seoul with a U.S. passport for a visit of up to 90 days. Apply for an Alien Registration Card, if you are visiting for more than 90 days.

Familiarize yourself with travel alerts issued by the State Department in the days and weeks leading up to your travel dates. If a travel warning is issued in the days leading up to your travel dates, consider postponing your trip until the State Department indicates that travel is once again safe. If this option is not possible, understand that the government's ability to assist you might be severely constrained.

Purchase an airline ticket to Seoul Kimpo International, which is 32 miles from Seoul. Exit your arrival port, pass through customs and then transfer to Seoul via the Seoul International Airport Expressway, which is subject to toll charges.

Check in with the U.S. Embassy of Seoul, Republic of Korea upon arrival. You can request up-to-date safety and security announcements and accept calls from friends and family during an emergency. The embassy is located at: U.S. Embassy of Seoul, Republic of Korea 32 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 110-710 APO address is Unit 15550, APO, AP 96205-5550 Telephone: 82-2-397-4114 Drop the “82” and add a “0” when calling from a cell phone in the Republic of Korea.

Contact the Seoul Global Center help line at (02) 1688-0120 if you require assistance while traveling in Seoul. Assistance is available in Korean and English. The SGC accepts questions related to travel. Contact the embassy for lost or stolen travel documents.

Tips & Warnings

  • International airline carriers offer competitive rates for air travel to Seoul, South Korea.
  • Find tourism information for Seoul through the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) website (see resources) or call 1-800-868-7567 from the United States and Canada.
  • A visa is not required for visits shorter than 90 days.
  • The State Department's website updates its travel warnings as information becomes available.
  • The State Department strongly recommends travelers adhere to travel warnings and avoid any country deemed too dangerous or unstable for tourism.

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