Travel Info The Essentials Essential-Info-article
The legal drinking age in Korea is 19 years of age. Although it is legal to drink alcohol in public, disorderly conduct under the influence of alcohol can result in hefty fines and a visit to the police station.
Banks and Public Institutions: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Tourist Information Centers: 9:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m. (varies by location)
Restaurants/Cafés: 10:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. (many open 24 hours)
Subway: 5:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m. (weekdays) / 5:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. (weekends and holidays)
Bus: 5:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. (select routes operate until 1:00 a.m.)
Taxi: 24 hours (20% late-night surcharge from 12:00 a.m.–4:00 a.m.)
Dongdaemun Shopping Centers: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 a.m. (the following day)
Dasan Call Center (Tel. 120): 24 hours
Finding a mailbox today is a bit more difficult than in the past, but your hotel front desk should be able to put your letter in the mail for you or direct you to the nearest post office. Postal charges for both domestic and international mail, including post cards, are based on weight. Regular post office business hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Public lockers can be found at most subway stations and bus terminals. Newer lockers can be paid for with a credit card or a transit card, but older ones will only takes coins and bills. Most of the subway stations and terminal hubs are equipped with new lockers. Small lockers are KRW 1,500–2,000 for the first 4 hours; medium lockers are KRW 2,500–3,000 for the first 4 hours.
The predominant religions in Korea are traditional Buddhism and Christianity. In a 2010 survey, 31.6% of respondents identified as Christian (24% Protestant, 7.6% Roman Catholic), 24.2% as Buddhist, 0.9% with other religions, and 43.3% reported no affiliation.
Smoking is not permitted at bus stops, city plazas, and many other outdoor public locations. If caught smoking in these areas, you may be fined up to KRW 100,000. Non-smoking areas are clearly marked with signs. Smoking is also not permitted inside restaurants, bars, and cafés with an area larger than 150 square meters. Designated smoking areas can also be found around the city and at major transportation hubs. Cigarettes can be purchased at just about every convenience store. The legal smoking age in Korea is 19 years of age.
The Republic of Korea is on the Korea Time Zone (UTC+9:00) and does not observe daylight saving time.
Seoul has plenty of clean and modern public toilets, most free of charge. Asian-style squat toilets can still be found, but the vast majority of toilets in Seoul are Western-style ones.
Korean tap water is safe to use for hygiene purposes such as brushing your teeth and washing your face and is safe to drink as well. Water coolers are installed in just about every home, office building, hotel, hospital, and restaurant, so finding safe purified water isn’t difficult. Bottled water is also very easy to come by and can be found at any convenience store or market. There are a number of mineral water brands available in Korea, all of which are safe for consumption. The cost of a 500 ml bottle of water will be anywhere from KRW 500–1,500.
The Republic of Korea uses the metric system. Temperature is measured in Celsius, weight is measured in grams, and length is measured in meters.