With a multitude of Korean apps just a click away, life has never been so easy. Gone are the times of carrying huge dictionaries and meter wide city maps. With a single touch, you can have a plethora of apps to make your life in Korea just that bit easier.

Below, I have devised a list of the best Korean apps that will change your life for the better.

Table Of Contents

Kakao Talk

A screenshot of the Kakao app

Let’s start with the most popular app in Korea- Kakao Talk. This has to be the instant messaging heavyweight in South Korea which trumps Whatsapp and Wechat.

Kakao talk is an indispensable app which you will need when you want to communicate to people in Korea. Koreans use it daily to send messages, videos, and cute emojis.

If you want to keep in contact with your recent friends, prioritize downloading this app first when you travel to Korea.


Kakao maps

A screenshot of Kakao maps

At the moment, I’m weighing up the best map to use in Korea. Some people prefer Naver maps, which works fine, but my favorite is Kakao maps. It’s easy to use and has all the functions you possibly need, including live public transport timetables, bike paths- which are highlighted in red- and an accurate map to get you from point A to B.

*Google map is very basic in Korea so you’ll struggle to get around if only use this.


Kakao Taxi

A screenshot of Kakao taxi

The multinational ride-hailing company Uber wasn’t able to get a foothold in Korea due to the strong taxi Union. With that in mind, standard taxis are abundant, albeit, in late-night Seoul, you might find it difficult to hail one down.

In Korea, you have two options to hail a cab. One is the tried and tested sporadic wave, or another, which is more common to the 21st century, using a taxi app.

Kakao Taxi is an app that lets you choose your destination, and then with a few clicks, a taxi will appear shortly after. I’ve been using it for years with splendid success. It has saved me a lot of time instead of walking around looking for a taxi.


Naver dictionary

A screenshot of naver map

If you struggle to make out some Korean words, flip open your Korean keyboard and type it into the search bar. Within seconds, you will find the translated meaning.

Overall, it’s a great app to learn Korean. One way to get the most out of the app is to look at the example sentences it offers. You can see the most common way to use the word in sentences.


Papago

This is one of the best Korean apps you will find in Korea. It’s an absolute game-changer. This translation app lets you translate many sentences and words with relative ease. One feature I like, because I’m lazy, is the option to take a picture of a sentence which you want to understand. The app then reads what you’ve underlined and translates it with a high degree of accuracy. A perfect solution to crushing the language barrier.

This is useful if your Korean skills are zero. It’s convenient if you’re trying to order food in a restaurant. Type in what your food, hit the translate button, and show the waiter. You’ll get an immediate answer. Or if you want to save time, just take a picture and highlight the sentence.


Yogiyo

Yogiyo might be the best food delivering app you can use in Korea. Input your address, choose from the selection of restaurants, and finally click order. You can pay by cash or card. This app works just like Uber eats or Just eat in the UK.


Plume

A screen shot of plume

I like to check pollution levels every day. With Plume, you can get a highly accurate reading for the day and weeks ahead. It will give you an AQI rating and color to determine if it’s safe to exercise. Today reads 31AQI. That means it’s a glorious time to hop on my bike and burn some calories.


Reddit

I think Reddit is a great app to have, especially Reddit/ Korea. If you’re wanting to see the reaction of news headlines and everyday life from people living in Korea, you can find it here in this extensive forum. Or if you have a few questions that you’re unsure about, you can ask away.



Wrap up.

I’ve tried to list the best apps in Korea- the ones popular among Koreans, Expats, and tourists alike. Others, which you might already have, like Facebook, which is useful for Expat communities and Instagram for restaurant reviews, are also useful and popular.

I hope these Korean apps help you with your stay in Korea. If you know of any more that might be beneficial please drop a comment below and I will add them to the list.