Useful Information
The climate of Korea is characterized by four distinct seasons: spring, summer (wet), fall, and winter (dry). Especially, in October, the season for GSEF2013, is the best time, not rainy season to visit Korea. You can enjoy the beautiful Korean fall including clear blue skies and mild weather. Moreover, the temperature in Seoul is average 10-15 °C (50-59°F). And the weather is usually sunny. For more information, please visit Korea Meteorological Administration.


The unit of currency in Korea is the Korean Won (KRW). Various notes and coins are used. Notes occur in 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 won denominations, while coins occur in 10, 50, 100, and 500 won denominations. The exchange rate is subject to market fluctuations. Calculate live currency and foreign exchange rates by clicking here.
1) Currency exchange
Foreign banknotes can be exchanged at most banks and other authorized money changers.
2) Traveler's checks
Traveler's checks can also be exchanged at most banks, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take Traveler's checks in US Dollars.
3) Banking hours
09:30am -16:00pm, Monday through Friday only.

Tipping & Tax

1) Tipping
Tipping is not a customary practice in Seoul, although a compulsory 10% service charge is added to the bill at some midrange and all top-end hotels and restaurants.
2) Tax
Foreign tourists can receive nearly 10 percent VAT refunds for purchases at duty free shopping outlets. Goods must be taken out of Korea within three months of purchase to be eligible for a tax refund. A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. At hotels, a 10% VAT is applied to rooms, meals and other services and is included in the bill.
Time Difference
Standard Time in Korea is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +9) and does not observe daylight savings time.
Business Hours
Government office hours are usually from 9am to 6pm on weekdays and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Major department stores are open every day from 10:30am to 07:30pm including Sundays.
The standard electricity supply is 220-volts AC at 60Hz. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for 110 and 220 volts. It is advised that you check with the hotel beforehand.
Koreans speak Korean in their everyday lives, and knowing a few words of the language will come in very handy. Fortunately, many Koreans can speak English and will be very willing to help you.
BBB Service (Before Babel Brigade): Volunteer Interpretation Service
Whenever and wherever you encounter communication problems with Koreans, just call 1588-5644 and press a number for your preferred language. Your call will be quickly connected to a BBB volunteer's mobile phone through an automated switchboard, and you will soon receive interpretation service.
※ BBB volunteer services are available in 16 languages
※ For more information, please refer to BBB Korea webpage.
Useful Phone Numbers
• Police 112
• Fire and Ambulance 119
• Medical Referral Service 1339 (English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese)
• Telephone Directory Service 00794 (English)
• International Telephone Call Operator 00799 (English)
• Tourist Information Center 1330 (English, Japanese, Mandarin, Chinese)