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Seoul

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, Seoul

Practical Info about Seoul

Getting around the city

The easiest and quickest way to traverse the crowded city is on the subway, which serves all the main areas of interest. Station signs are written in English as well as Korean, and most lines have English announcements too. Subways are extremely crowded during the morning and evening rush hours, but are generally safe, though plagued with hawkers and beggars. Tickets are bought from vending machines or at ticket windows. Buses are frequent and cover the whole city, but tend to be very crowded. Tickets can be bought on boarding, or debit tickets can be purchased. Taxis are readily available. Regular taxis (white or silver) charge KRW 1,600 as an initial fee and have a complex system of metering thereafter. Black luxury taxis, called Mobeom taxis, are superior both in condition and service, fares being charged as KRW 4,000 at commencement.

Time

GMT +9.

Electricity

Electrical current is 110 or 220 volts, 60Hz. Most hotels operate on 220 volts. Two-pin round plugs are standard.

Currency

The official currency is the South Korean Won (KRW). Currency can be exchanged at most banks and at casinos. Most merchants in the cities accept major credit cards, but Koreans traditionally prefer cash. ATMs at banks are usually accessible only during banking hours, and instructions are generally only in Korean. Most public ATMs at convenience stores and subway stations are available 24 hours. US Dollars are an accepted form of foreign currency and can be used in the areas in and around the American military bases in South Korea.

Communication

The international dialling code for South Korea is +82. Telecommunications are well developed and internet cafes are widely available. Although mobile telephones are widely used by locals, there is no GSM network and some foreign phones will not work in South Korea, even when on international roaming. It's possible to hire a local mobile phone.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 112 (Police); 119 (Ambulance)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Seollal (Lunar New Year) 31 Jan 19 Feb
Independence Movement Day 1 Mar 1 Mar
Labour Day 1 May 1 May
Orininal (Childrens Day) 5 May 5 May
Buddhas Birthday 6 May 6 May
Memorial Day 6 Jun 6 Jun
Kwang Bok Jul (Independence Day) 15 Aug 15 Aug
Chuseok (Harvest Moon Festival) 8 Sep 27 Sep
Kae Chun Jul (National Foundation Day) 3 Oct 3 Oct
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Seoul is classed as having a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, but temperature differences between the hottest part of summer and the depths of winter are extreme. Summer brings hot, humid weather with temperatures soaring as high as 95°F (35°C) on occasion; in winter temperatures drop as low as 7°F (-13.7°C). The most pleasant seasons in the city are spring and autumn, when blue skies and comfortable temperatures are a sure bet. The city experiences heavy rainfall, but most of it falls in the summer monsoon period between June and September.

Seoul Incheon International Airport

www.airport.kr/eng/airport/

Getting to the city

An express railway connection operates between Gimpo Airport (which handles domestic flights) and Incheon International. Visitors can transfer to the city along the Airport Expressway by public or courtesy bus from the airport Transportation Centre. The journey takes about an hour and a half. Tickets and information can be obtained from the Bus Ticketing Office at Exits 4 and 9 (indoors) and Exits 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, and 9C (outdoors). There is also a ferry service from Incheon port to Yeongjong-do.

Car rental

Avis, Hertz and Kumho Rent-A-Car operate from kiosks at airport arrivals.

Airport taxi's

To catch a taxi into Seoul, exit Arrivals via Gates 4 through 8, cross the street, and make your way to the taxi stands located at 4D to 8C. The taxi ride to Seoul central will cost between KRW 60,000 and 100,000 during the day, and take around one hour. Road tolls and surcharges may be added to the fare. Drivers seldom speak English so write down your destination in Korean on a piece of paper.

Transfer between terminals

The two terminals are connected by moving walkways and inter-terminal shuttles.

Facilities

The well-equipped airport has bureaux de change and banks, a large variety of restaurants and other eateries, numerous duty-free shops, and a supermarket. There is a mobile phone rental outlet and internet kiosks, pharmacies, saunas, hair salons, a post office and luggage storage facilities.

Parking

There is short and long-term parking located within walking distance of the main terminal. Short-term parking rates start at KRW 1,200 for the first 30 minutes, to a daily maximum of KRW 12,000, but prices vary according to parking lot. Long-term parking, connected to the terminal building via shuttle, is charged at KRW 8,000 per day,

Internet

Seoul Incheon International Airport offers free wifi throughout the airport. The strongest signal is found in Arrivals Halls B and E, and on the second and third levels of the departures area.