All You Need to Know about Staying Safe in Seoul
Whether you’re traveling in a group or on your own, you can rest assured that Seoul is a safe place to visit. As long as basic safety precautions are taken, there shouldn’t be any problems to hinder your experience of the city. Here are a few tips to enjoy a safe and memorable trip to Seoul.
First, follow basic safety rules. Most parts of Seoul are safe to freely roam around day and night, even for women traveling alone. As long as basic safety precautions are taken, like avoiding dark alleys and parking lots, it is very unlikely you will encounter dubious or troublesome individuals.
In the event you encounter police in full riot gear, do not be alarmed. In most cases, the riot police are there as a precaution. Simply, keep out of the way of any confrontations that may occur.
In the event of an incident, go to the nearest police station or dial 112. If you are a victim of an assault or other crime, day or night, go to the nearest police station to file a report.
- Check that the cab driver is using the meter and be sure to pay only the price that is shown on the meter, regardless of the number of people in your party (tolls are paid separately).
- You can ask the cab driver to give you a fare estimate for a trip to your desired destination.
Call Van Precautions
- Make sure that the driver understands exactly where you want to go, and always negotiate the price of the fare before you get into the vehicle.
- Call vans are black and larger in size than regular taxis. They do not have meter systems installed, so check the price before you get into the van.
- It is recommended that you shop at stores that clearly list their prices.
- If you have requested that your purchase be delivered to you, take note of the number of items, the condition of the items, the date of delivery, and store contact information, and always ask for a receipt.
Restaurant / Street Vendor Precautions
- At restaurants, it is recommended that you check the prices on the menu before you order.
- Some street food carts may not display their prices. It is recommended that you ask about the prices before you order.
Police stations are located throughout the city. Most police stations do not have English-speaking staff but will be able to provide you with free interpretation services in the event of an emergency. If you are a victim of an assault or other crime, day or night, go to the nearest police station to file a report or dial 112.
Whether traveling in a group or on your own, you can rest assured that Seoul is a safe place to visit. To ensure the maximum safety of all international travelers, tourist police officers patrol the major tourist areas of Seoul, including Myeong-dong, Itaewon, and Dongdaemun. Dial 1330 to locate the nearest tourist police officer.
Tourist Police Services
- Street patrols of the seven major tourist areas in Seoul by 101 tourist police officers
- Crackdown of illicit activities, including overcharging by merchants and taxi drivers
- Tourist assistance and interpretation services in English, Japanese, and Chinese
- Resolution of disputes and complaints that may arise during travels
In the event of an emergency, please contact the relevant department listed below.
Police Department: 112 (for theft, assault, and other crimes)
Fire Department: 119 (for general accidents and ambulance)
Emergency Medical Information Center: 1339 (medical assistance for international visitors)
Tourist Information Center: 1330 (for any other tourism-related assistance)