Top 11 Apps to Download if You Live in South Korea

living in south korea apps
CC courtesy of Pixabay

It can be tough adjusting to life in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the local language well. Living in South Korea is no exception.

The team at 10 Magazine has compiled the following list of 11 essential apps if you live in South Korea

1. Chickadee (App Store | Google Play)

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Screenshot of Chickadee App

Traveling or living in South Korea is exciting, but there are many things to figure out, with the Chickadee app a great option for those wanting to avoid problems.

Upon sign-up, you will be assigned a dedicated team of bilingual professionals who live in South Korea. Just tell them what you need done and they will take care of it while are busy living.

Use the coupon “10mag“, without quotation marks, to get $100 off of your first Chickadee plan! 

2. Kakao Talk Messenger (App Store | Google Play)


KakaoTalk is THE messaging app in South Korea. Out of the 11 apps listed in this article, this one is arguably the most essential if you plan on living in South Korea for any length of time.

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KakaoTalk has all the features of any other messaging app you’ve probably used so far: send/receive messages, create group chats, share photos, videos, and your location. Whether for work or play, you’re bound to use KakaoTalk on a daily basis if living in Korea.

To learn more about the features of KakaoTalk and how to use the app, visit “What is KaKaoTalk? The Complete 2021 Guide“.

3. Naver Dictionary (App Store | Google Play)

naver dictionary

Google Translate can be helpful at times, but it has limitations. In Korea, Naver Dictionary can be a better alternative to Google Translate as it provides several translation options instead of just one that may not necessarily suit the context of your search.

Naver Dictionary also has an audio option, which is helpful for those who are trying to improve their pronunciation to make living in South Korea a bit easier.

4. Subway Korea (App Store | Google Play)

living in south korea

South Korea’s subway system is top-notch and easy to navigate, but the Subway Korea app makes things even easier. Available in English and Korean, this app provides information for every major subway system in the country.

The Subway Korea app also helps you find the quickest route to your destination with minimal transfers: when the next train will arrive, the first and last trains for each day, and which car is most convenient if you have to transfer during your commute.

5. KakaoBus (App Store | Google Play)

kakao bus

Riding a bus in Korea might seem more daunting than the subway, but once you get used to wherever you’re residing, commuting via bus can be quicker and easier than taking the metro.

Kakao bus keeps track of buses in over 57 South Korean metropolitan areas. You can also check arrival/departure times and set alarms for buses that you take regularly.

6. KakaoMap (App Store | Google Play)

kakao map app

Google Maps doesn’t work as well as KakaoMap in South Korea, with another very reliable option being Naver Map (App Store/Google Play). KakaoMap automatically tracks your current location, calculate the best route to a destination, and guides you there.

This app also has modes for automobiles, bicycles, public transportation, and going by foot.

7. KakaoTaxi (App Store | Google Play)

kakao taxi app

South Korea has an abundance of taxis, so it’s usually easy to hail one, but during busier times or late at night, things can be more complicated, so you can benefit from having KakaoTaxi (KakaoT).

KakaoT is Uber’s Korean counterpart, but this app will bring you a licensed taxi without the extra fees associated with using a call service. Like Uber, KakaoT tracks your current location and hail a cab nearby.

Just type in your destination as Kakao Taxi is available in English, but just note that some drivers may call for confirmation, if they cannot see you, etc.

KakaoT also allows you to send the taxi’s license plate number, departure time, and expected arrival time to contacts, friends, and family members.

8. Shuttle Delivery (App Store | Google Play)

shuttle delivery app

Shuttle Delivery is the holy grail of apps for English speakers who want food delivery, with a wide range of restaurants available using the service.

Use this link to sign up and get 4,000 KRW off your first order!

For more food delivery apps, check out top 5 food delivery apps in Korea and how to use them.

9. Air Visual Air Quality (App Store | Google Play)

air visual app

Fine dust in Korea is no joke, especially at certain times of the year. Air Visual Air Quality allows you to monitor the air quality wherever you are on the peninsula, so you can adjust your commute or outdoor plans.

This app also sends you alerts if the fine dust in your location reaches dangerous levels. Misae Misae (App Store/Google Play) is another quality option.

To learn more about protecting yourself from fine dust, see 10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Pollution | Yellow Dust in Korea.

10. KorailTalk (Apple Store | Google Play)

Available in Korean, English, and Chinese, the KorailTalk app is an easy and convenient way to purchase tickets for KTX, ITX, and Mugunghwa trains, just search for trains by date & time and pay using a credit card. Unlike the Korail website, you do not need to print out your ticket when using Korailtalk, just use your phone.

For more information on KorailTalk and South Korea’s train network, see “How to Travel by Train in Korea” .

11. Seoul Public Bike 서울자전거 따릉이 (Apple Store | Google Play)

If you live in Seoul, you can use the city’s bike-sharing system as an alternative to public transportation or for leisure ride. Seoul Bike utilizes stations across the city so you can conveniently rent and return bikes for as little as 1,000 KRW per hour. This app is also available in English and has an option for non-Koreans.

For more information on Seoul Bike (서울자전거 따릉이) and how to use it, see “How to Use The Seoul Citywide Bike Rental System“.

If we missed anything that is helpful for living in South Korea, leave a comment below!