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Digital Nomad Information to Dwelling in Seoul, South Korea

When thinking about South Korea, probably the first things that come to mind are mobile phones, K-pop, North Korea, and Netflix’s hit series, the Squid Games. After living in Seoul as a digital nomad for a year, I discovered that there is infinitely more to that country than the few things Westerners associate with it […]

The post Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Seoul, South Korea appeared first on Goats On The Road.



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When eager about South Korea, in all probability the primary issues that come to thoughts are cell phones, Okay-pop, North Korea, and Netflix’s hit sequence, the Squid Video games.

After residing in Seoul as a digital nomad for a 12 months, I found that there's infinitely extra to that nation than the few issues Westerners affiliate with it — that is an underrated digital nomad city.

For instance, do you know that Christianity is the biggest non secular group in Korea? Or that golf is considered one of South Koreans favourite leisure actions together with baseball? That the meals is unbelievable? Or that they're completely in love with espresso outlets?

Gwangjang things to do in seoul

The Republic of Korea, because the nation is formally referred to as, it's positioned on the southern half of the Korean peninsula. As such, it's circled on three sides by the ocean, whereas to the north, it borders the Democratic Folks Republic of Korea, a.okay.a. North Korea.

South Korea, dubbed the Land of the Morning Calm, is a tremendous place the place high-tech, sci-fi-like city landscapes combine with historical monasteries, palaces, and conventional neighborhoods.

But, for me, Korea will all the time be the land of lovely nature landscapes: pristine mountain pine woods, wonderful bamboo forests, lush tea plantations, breathtaking seashores, rigorously maintained city parks, and scrupulously tended nature preserves.

Living in Seoul, South Korea

The guts of the nation is town of Seoul; its metropolitan space contains nearly half of the nation’s inhabitants, with almost 24 million inhabitants.

The town correct has circa 10 million residents; it has twice the inhabitants density of New York’s and eight occasions greater than Rome’s – nonetheless, the streets are clear and tremendous secure, public transportation is wonderful, and public companies are environment friendly.

If I nonetheless haven’t managed to pique your curiosity, Seoul has one of many fastest internet speeds on the globe — which is what each digital nomad needs! 

In abstract, Seoul is a good metropolis, inhabited by stunning folks, good meals and drinks, high-tech facilities in a clear, inexperienced atmosphere, all of it surrounded by wonderful mountains and seashores.

The detailed information beneath will comprise extra data about residing in Seoul, South Korea as a digital nomad.

What's the Visa State of affairs?

Moving into South Korea on a long-term visa can show to be difficult. The nation continues to be very a lot closed to the skin world, however it isn't inconceivable to return on a research or work visa.

There are lots of sorts of visas, and folks coming from sure international locations (together with the US) can keep in South Korea with no visa for as much as 90 days. Moreover, there are nationalities that may enter South Korea and keep for as much as 30 days with a journey visa.

It is usually value investigating the H-1 visa type, that permits residents of sure international locations which have signed an settlement with South Korea to spend as much as 1 12 months within the nation, work, and journey.  

Climate in Seoul

Seoul, and South Korea, have comparatively delicate climate with 4 seasons all year long. Whereas summers can get fairly scorching and humid, throughout winter temperatures drop beneath 0, with February because the coldest month.

As additional south you get, temperatures shall be milder and there shall be fewer probabilities of heavy snow. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply which you could escape winter altogether, however it's merely a bit friendlier.

Actions and Issues To Do in Seoul

A bustling metropolis, Seoul has loads of things to do and see, and also you received't threat becoming bored regardless of how lengthy you select to remain on the town.

Every season comes with its personal highlights, and Koreans know how you can make the very best out of their free time. Nature lovers could have loads of alternatives to discover, climbing locations, but additionally ocean-side escapes.

Go to the Cheonggyecheon stream

The Cheonggyecheon stream is a tranquil oasis within the coronary heart of town, in between skyscrapers and workplace buildings you'll discover this contemporary recreation space liked by each locals and vacationers alike. Come right here in the course of the lantern season and have your digital camera able to snap some memorable photos. 

See the Palaces

The Palaces district is one other space liked not solely by vacationers but additionally by locals, particularly in the course of the cherry blossom or the autumn foliage seasons.

All 5 palaces on the town are surrounded by hip cafes, Korean eating places serving scrumptious native meals, and conventional hanok homes, providing the right setting for a day on the town.

Go to the Parks

Nature and sports activities lovers can all the time bike within the parks alongside the Han River, go climbing in Bukhansan Nationwide Park, and even go for some waters sports activities on the river. 

Do Some Bar Hopping

For some enjoyable and fancy moments, head to the favored Gangnam district, filled with hip eating places, golf equipment and bars.

living in Seoul as a foreigner

Go to the Historic Locations

Additionally, there's an countless record of locations to see for historical past buffs, ranging from the central space of Seoul, temples, and palaces, but additionally Gyeongju – the traditional capital of Silla, or Suwon with its 18th-century Fortress.

Espresso lovers, but additionally images passionate folks received’t get bored exploring all of the photogenic cafes in South Korea, some provide rather more than simply espresso.

Day Journeys and Weekends Away

The South Coast with locations like Yeosu, the tea plantations in Boseong, Namhae Island, or Mokpo make for nice weekend locations for sea and seashore lovers.

Jeju Island is likely one of the hottest locations for Koreans and foreigners alike, primarily due to its distinctive local weather and volcanic panorama.

☞ SEE ALSO: 5 Requirements for Teaching English in Seoul 

Is Seoul Secure?

South Korea is extraordinarily secure and is likely one of the few locations on the earth the place you'll be able to actually go away your belongings unattended with out fearing they may get stolen.

Even renting a automobile right here is shocking in some instances: you don’t have to satisfy anybody and so they merely go away the automobile with the important thing inside and the doorways open.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply that you simply shouldn’t use widespread sense and take note of your environment, particularly in the course of the night time and in areas identified for his or her social gathering scene.

Utilizing taxis

Whereas hailing taxies on the road is feasible, the safer and simpler possibility is to make use of a taxi app, like Kakao Taxi. You'll be able to select to pay straight within the app, and all the pieces shall be recorded.

Additionally, it's a lot simpler significantly once you don’t converse Korean, as a result of most of the taxi drivers don’t converse English and it will probably get sophisticated having to elucidate the place you have to go, should you don’t have the tackle written in Korean.

Other than that, taxies are regulated and it's unlawful for a taxi driver to show down a trip.

Highway Security

Whereas folks complain in regards to the site visitors right here, coming from Japanese Europe I really feel like driving in South Korea is a breeze. Many of the drivers right here comply with the principles, and the infrastructure is excellent and which makes it straightforward to get from one place to the opposite.

Finest Areas to dwell in Seoul/South Korea

The inhabitants of South Korea is concentrated in just a few huge cities, making residing within the countryside comparatively extra reasonably priced.

Dwelling in Seoul can show to be a bit sophisticated and costly, particularly in case you are evaluating the price of residing with locations in close by Southeast Asia.

With a inhabitants of roughly 10 million folks, it's straightforward to know why Seoul will get costly and it will probably show to be difficult to seek out reasonably priced lodging.

To place that into perspective, New York has half the inhabitants density of Seoul, whereas Rome has 8 occasions fewer folks per sq. meter.

An alternative choice value trying into once you don’t should be in Seoul is staying near a prepare/subway station in one of many cities near Seoul.

Suwon is roughly 1 hour away from Seoul, conveniently positioned within the subway line no 1, and at over 1 million inhabitants you can't name it small.

If nevertheless, you select to remain in Seoul, I recommend staying away from the areas widespread with foreigners (corresponding to Itaewon or Hannam), if you wish to get monetary savings.

Moreover, Gangnam is likely one of the most trendy and hype areas on the town, but additionally the most costly place in the case of lodging.

Hongdae, Sangam, Mangwon, or DMC, are all nice areas with comparatively extra reasonably priced costs and nice connections to town middle.

The right way to Discover Flats in Seoul

If you're planning to remain for an extended interval in South Korea, and wish to hire a long-term condo, there are particular issues value contemplating.

At the moment, the market may be very aggressive in Seoul, with costs that went up constantly up to now years. Moreover, you don’t have the luxurious to suppose an excessive amount of after seeing an condo, as a result of flats are normally rented on the identical day.

Different issues value understanding when on the lookout for an condo in Seoul:

  1. Contracts are normally for two years.
  2. Staying in an older-style constructing would price lower than an condo in a high-rise constructing.
  3. In Korea, there are 3 fee phrases that change from space to space:
    • Jeonse time period (full deposit with out month-to-month hire) the deposit shall be returned on the finish of the contract, however it may be as much as 80-90% of the value of the condo. It is a nice possibility in case you are planning to remain for two years and have a better quantity to speculate, because you received’t be really paying hire.
    • Wolse time period (deposit + month-to-month hire) the deposit is about by the condo proprietor and may be anyplace between 10,000 – 20,000 USD, or much less.
    • Up-front fee (you pay the entire quantity up-front, however you don’t should pay any deposit). It's common principally within the expat-friendly areas, like Itaewon or Hannam.
    • Month-to-month hire (there are just a few serviced flats or officetels that settle for month-to-month funds). Nonetheless, hire in these locations is usually greater than within the different residential choices. 

4. Most long-term flats come unfurnished, however it's doable to seek out furnished ones as effectively.

5. You'll be able to anticipate fairly excessive vitality prices, particularly throughout summer time.

6. Rubbish is collected individually and every “gu” (district) has its guidelines and rules.

The simplest technique to discover an condo once you first get to South Korea is thru VRBO or Airbnb. Even so, at a easy search on Airbnb, you'll discover that it's difficult to discover a studio condo beneath 1 million received per thirty days ($830 USD).

Itaewon Seoul

Wifi Velocity in Seoul

The web connection in South Korea is likely one of the quickest on the earth with a median velocity of 215Mbps, making it the right vacation spot for digital nomads on the lookout for a spot the place they will work from anyplace.

Free web is out there on buses, trains, and in any café or restaurant.

Co-working Areas in Seoul

Whereas culturally Koreans work loads from the workplace, there are additionally loads of co-working areas accessible in huge cities like Seoul or Busan.

WeWork is likely one of the hottest co-working areas, with 18 buildings in Seoul and a couple of buildings in Busan. They provide cleansing companies, high-speed web, printing, workplace provides, free espresso, and rather more.

As you'll be able to anticipate, all these items include a value, and that is for positive not one of many least expensive co-working choices accessible available on the market.

FastFive is another choice that gives greater than 20 places throughout Seoul, but it surely is perhaps just a little tougher to navigate since their web site is just in Korean. Their inside design is easy, colourful, and enjoyable, and their buildings are conveniently positioned near subway stations.

What's the Price of Dwelling in South Korea?

The price of residing in South Korea can differ a lot relying on the place you select to remain, with the biggest a part of the fee being the hire.

Hire in Seoul can set you again anyplace between 1 million received (roughly $830 USD) for a one-bedroom condo, to as much as 8 million received ($6600 USD) or much more for greater luxurious flats or homes in widespread areas corresponding to Gangnam, Yeonhui, or Yeouido.

The funds is roughly 100 USD for public transportation, 50 USD for a cell phone subscription, and round 100 USD for a co-working area.

Consuming out in Seoul may be each extraordinarily low-cost, and really costly.

Consuming at an area restaurant in a much less touristic space can price round 7 USD whereas having lunch at a café may be round 15 USD (together with espresso).

Avenue meals on the native market may be as low-cost as 2-3 USD, however you may as well anticipate to pay round 50 USD for a meal in lots of conventional or bbq locations.

Fruit and greens may be actually costly as in comparison with different locations on the earth, however purchasing on the native market as an alternative of from the grocery store will show you how to save on that as effectively.

All in all, a low-range month-to-month funds excluding hire may be round 6-700.000 received ($500-$600 USD), whereas a mid-range funds together with leisure actions may be round 1 – 1.1 mil. Gained ($850-$1000 USD).

Namdaemun Seoul

Execs and Cons of Dwelling in South Korea

Like several place on the earth, residing in South Korea, and Seoul specifically has each professionals and cons.

Execs of Dwelling in Seoul:

  • South Korea is a extremely developed nation with a terrific infrastructure and loads of alternatives on your free time
  • Seoul is likely one of the most secure cities on the earth
  • Excessive-tech and high-speed web that makes distant working in Seoul very straightforward
  • For a metropolis with such a giant inhabitants, Seoul and the metropolitan space, may be very effectively organized and clear
  • Getting anyplace round Seoul or its environment is well performed by public transportation, and at a low price
  • Locals are very pleasant in Seoul and you'll not really feel like an outsider
  • Consuming out in Seoul may be very reasonably priced when selecting native delicacies
  • In each season, Seoul presents so many actions and festivities to discover and expertise

Cons of Dwelling in Seoul:

  • It's a comparatively costly vacation spot, with Seoul because the 11th most costly metropolis on the earth (Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2021)
  • The cultural shock is huge even for people who have lived earlier than in different places in Asia since South Korea has its personal means of doing issues in lots of respects
  • Throughout spring, particularly in Seoul however not solely, the degrees of air pollution skyrocket
  • Seoul has excessive temperatures in summer time and winter
  • In Seoul, groceries are comparatively costly as in comparison with many elements of the world, particularly fruit and vegetable accessible in supermarkets
  • When you don’t converse Korean it may be troublesome particularly should you exit of the touristic areas, since folks don’t converse English
  • Site visitors can show to be a problem, particularly throughout holidays and weekends


South Korea has gained lots of recognition lately and has managed to emerge from the shadow of locations like Japan or cheaper locations in South East Asia.

With plenty of issues to supply culturally, incredible delicacies, and tremendous quick wifi, spending just a few months residing in South Korea and exploring the nation must be on any digital nomad’s bucket record.

The submit Digital Nomad Guide to Living in Seoul, South Korea appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Goats On The Road blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!