My Top 5 Apps for Living in South Korea
Updated: Jun 14
I’ve been living in South Korea for about 9 months now. It feels crazy to type that out— I can’t believe the time is going by so quickly! During my time here, I’ve collected a few apps that I think are absolutely necessary for life in Korea (life in Pyeongtaek, anyways). Here are my top five!
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1. Google Translate. Oh, Google Translate, I love you so. I’ve used this app for everything from translating food labels to figuring out how my washing machine works. There are a few different ways to use it. You can upload a picture and have it scan the text and translate it, you can copy and paste the text in directly, or you can just point your camera at the text and have it do a live translation. 10/10 would recommend, cannot live without.
2. Shuttle. This is our equivalent of UberEats or DoorDash. You can find pretty much any kind of cuisine on Shuttle— we tend to order a lot of pizza and Thai food. They offer delivery discount codes all the time, and their drivers are usually SUPER quick and friendly. We’ve probably used Shuttle 100 times and have only had one or two less-than-stellar experiences.
3. McDelivery. As much as we love trying all the cool Korean cuisine in our area, we still eat a lot of McDonald’s— it’s like comfort food. The Korean menu is a little bit different (shrimp burgers, corn soup, and pineapple chillers), but I honestly think the food is much better than American McDonald’s. We use McDelivery all the time, and they’re always quick and accurate.
4. Waze. “Can you send me the Waze pin?” has become part of my regular vocabulary here. Mostly everyone I know in my area uses Waze because it stays up-to-date with the constant construction going on in Korea and it warns you about speed traps and slowdowns on your route.
5. AccuWeather. In case you hadn’t heard, the air quality in Korea sucks a lot of the time. Before planning a big trip out, I sometimes check AccuWeather to see how the air quality is and determine whether or not I really want to subject my poor lungs and skin to all of that. Always check the weather and air quality before planning a trip!
There are a handful of other apps in my regular rotation here, but these five are by-far my most used. Any fellow Korea-dwelling friends out there? What apps are your holy grails to surviving and thriving in Korea?