Seoul

Seoul is a business and cultural center of South Korea, where skyscrapers are over the Buddhist temples. The industry boom and technological growth have turned Seoul into the worldwide city. The picturesque view opens up on the whole city from the Seoul TV Tower, which was built on the top of the Namsan mountain. It is the best observational spot in the entire South Korea. In order to feel the true spirit of the country its worth to stroll along the Insadong Street, with numerous tea houses. Visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace Complex and enjoy the finest example of the Korean ancient architecture at the Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Above all worth to mention that Seoul is a city with extraordinary dining out places where you can enjoy myriad mouthwatering dishes. Seoul is a safe destination for both male and female tourists. 95% of all reported crimes involve pick-pocketing, bag/purse-snatching and thefts from the hotel rooms. Evidently simple avoidance of carrying valuables in backpacks, big amount of cash can minimize the risk of being robed. However, there have also been reports of the sexual assaults. For that reason, we advice refraining from visiting any places alone at night. In order to make your journey as smooth and relaxed as possible, SafeAround compiled information concerning all possible risks in the Seoul’s neighborhoods. SafeAround will allow you to see on a map the city’s safest and most dangerous areas, details on scams and other possible risks, as well as some useful travel advices in order not to let anything spoil such a wonderful journey.

SAFETY INDEX

See others cities in South Korea

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : LOW

Osaka is an overall safe city with a rating of 57.3, it is ranked 75th out of 162 on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocketing and bag snatching are the main crimes in Seoul, especially in tourist areas in the capital and big transportation hubs.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : LOW

There is no kidnapping risk. Mugging is rare but still, happens.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

The most common scams are ripping off in the cafes, bars, and taxi.  Drink / Food spiking is known.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Risky behavior on the road is common, thus the Republic of Korea has one of the highest rates of traffic deaths for a developed country. Be careful while driving and check carefully before stepping onto the road.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH

South Korea has experienced earthquakes, but a majority causes little damage. Typhoons may occur in August and September. Flooding and mudslides frequently interrupt transportation. South Korea located in the oceanic region, thus there is a risk of tsunamis. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.  

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorism is considered as a worldwide threat. Korean government undertakes various measures for preventing terrorism activity.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

South Korea is very safe for women travelers. The assaults are rare and almost doesn’t exist.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Jongno

It is the heart of the city. Many palaces and official establishments are here. There are numerous touristic spots in this neighborhood as well, among them Five Grand Joseon Palaces, Changdeokgung, Changyeonggung, and Buckon. SafeAround advises to follow common sense and keep an eye on your belongings as the area famous for its high cluster of pickpockets.

Jung

This neighborhood consists areas like Myeongdong.  It is the large shopping area, which is included in the top ten most expensive districts in the world by rent. Further, in the district, the Namsan Mountain can be found, where the Seoul Tower was built. Pickpockets risk are present on this tourist destination. Keep an eye on your belongings.

Itaewon, Sinchon, Gangnam, and Hongdae

These areas are widely known shopping and entertainment districts. Crowds, drug and alcohol activity present a high risk of crime. Particularly, Itaewon has the worst reputation, because of the con artists and drunk people around that might harass you. We recommend following the high level of cautiousness. Drink-spiking is common in various establishments.

HaWolGokDong and ChungRangRi Train Station

The area closely around is known as a red light district of Seoul. Numerous massage parlours are there. Prostitution is illegal in Seoul, so this criminal activity attracts the rest of the underground world, with unpredictable consequences. SafeAround advises avoiding this are.

Useful Information

Visa and other entry and exit conditions change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the ROK for the most up to date information. Foreign nationals are finger-printed on arrival in the Republic of Korea. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
South Korean Won is an official currency. SafeAround doesn’t recommend exchange money in street money changers.  The best exchange rate can be found in the official banks.  Withdrawing money in the local ATM’s may also be a good option.
Winters in South Korea are cold and dry. Mean temperature in Seoul in January is around -5°C. Summers are sunny and the temperature goes up to 25°C.
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page.