Technology is everywhere in South Korea. In Seoul, the population is so jacked in that even the subway has WiFi these days. This massive metropolis has an app for everything, from travel guides to translators. If you don't have a smart phone attached to your hand, you will be the odd one out. Here are some of the best apps out there for visitors.
While Google has quite the presence in Korea, the majority of internet users in Korea go to Daum for their maps and searches. The map function of Daum is much like Google Maps; it shows the streets from a variety of views, which also includes an augmented reality function, so that visiting can see everything in a specific area. Daum is also, at its core, is a search engine, and while in Seoul, it is preferable to Google as it is going to show more Korean results. Like Google, the Daum search engine works together with its map function so the establishments that one searches for are shown on the map. The smart phone app even comes with a 'Find Me' function that taps into the GPS of the user’s smart phone and finds them. This way, users can see what is around them. This lovely little app is available for free for Android and iPhone devices.
This app is helpful to Seoul visitors who also plan on seeing more locations within South Korea. It is in its third version and is growing each day. The front page of the app showcases travel highlights, weather, and travel news, such as upcoming festivals. Users can pick from a variety of categories based on what they are looking for and have every location within that category show up on the map. For a more specific search, the app taps into the GPS of a smart phone and will display everything around the user. Once app users have decided on what they want to do, the app will plot the fastest route from your current location via walking or bus route. If users choose to plot via bus route, the app locates the nearest bus stop and even shows what bus to get on. As Visit Korea is a travel guide in its essence, it provides reviews on the attractions, as well as recommendations. The app is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
Public transportation is the best way to get around Seoul. While buses are just fine, the majority of Seoul residents choose to hop on the subway. It's quick and clean, and with the Jihachul app it can be easy. It shows all the subway routes that run through Seoul, colour coding them and showing where each one runs to. With route planning, app users can put in an address of where they want to go and it will show which train lines to get on to, as well as what station to transfer at. The app even keeps track of how much time you will have in between transfers on plotted travel routes. It keeps track of the subway timetable as well, right down to the minute. This app is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
Deciding where to eat in Seoul can be a tough decision even for a local. Wingspoon is the most popular foodie app in Seoul. It allows for users to search restaurants, cuisine types and even dishes that can be found within the city. Craving galbi in Gangnam or hamburger in Dobang? Then Wingspoon can pretty much find it. The app also includes a long list of dishes with pictures and descriptions, so that foreigners to the city can find something that piques their interest. For those who are not particularly picky about what they want, the 'Around Me' feature taps into the GPS function of a smart phone to find every restaurant around app users locations. Wingspoon allows users to rate and review the restaurants that they visit, as well as allowing them to post pictures of the food they eat there. This app is available for $2.99 for Android and Iphone devices.
I Tour Seoul
Many foreign visitors to Seoul pick up this app as it gives quite a few ideas of things to do in the city. It is a bit like a visitor's own personal tour guide for the city, as it not only lists attractions, restaurants and sites, but compiles them into different tours. That way, visitors can plot their own travel itinerary or follow one of the apps pre-plotted guides. The app also taps into the GPS of a smart phone with the 'Around Me' feature to find nearby restaurants, attractions, bus stop and ATMs. This is a fairly decent app for those who get lost easily. Users can bookmark favourite places, like their hotel, and by clicking it, the app will navigate users back there from their current location. It is available for free for iPhone and Android devices.
Korean to English Dictionary
Knowing the basics of Korean will take visitors a long way. It is also a polite and respectful to at least make the effort to learn some of the language. The Korean to English Dictionary is the handiest phrasebook for those traveling to Seoul. Users can look up both English and Korean words and it will spit out their translations. However, the app also hosts a handy little phrase book that showcases essential phrases such as 'where is the toilet?' and 'how do I get there?' The phrase book is particularly essential for those who are going to be taking taxis around the city. This handy app is available for free for Android and iPhone devices.