How to have internet in Seoul: eSIM, SIM card, roaming and pocket wifi | May 2024

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Last update: May 6, 2024
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In a nutshell

To access the internet in Seoul, you have several options: buy a prepaid SIM card, activate your company's roaming or connect to a public or portable wifi network. But the alternative we recommend is to sign up for an eSIM card, as they are fast, cheap and very easy to activate from your mobile phone.

Sign up here for your Seoul eSIM with Holafly

Internet in Seoul: all the alternatives

Internet connection is probably one of your main concerns now that you are organising your trip to Seoul. It's normal that you want mobile data abroad, as it will allow you to make all kinds of bookings and queries that will be constant during your stay in the Korean capital.

But don't worry, because there are plenty of options available to you to get a good internet connection in Seoul. Our intention is to detail each of them with all their advantages and disadvantages.

But first, we leave you with this table so that you can get an idea of what you would have to pay for each of the options:

How much internet costs in Seoul
Service Price/Days Data
eSIM Seoul
  • £37/30 days
  • 8GB
SIM Card SK Telecom in Seoul
  • £45/month
  • Unlimited
Wifi in Seoul:
  • Portable
  • Public

  • From £7/day
  • Free

  • 1GB/day
  • Unlimited
Roaming in Seoul
  • From £6/1 day
  • From 1GB

eSIM Seoul: the fastest and most convenient option

Although you have a wide range of possibilities, we recommend you to get an eSIM. This is a digital card that you will receive in your email as soon as you pay for it. All you have to do is activate it with a code from your phone once you arrive at your destination.

One thing to bear in mind is that not all mobile phones are compatible with eSIM. iPhones and the latest generation of smartphones support these cards, but yours may not. We recommend that you check before you buy anything.

What is an eSim card?

Getting an eSIM is one of the most convenient ways to get mobile data in Seoul. Not for nothing are these digital cards limiting the market for traditional SIM cards (1) . Mainly because they allow you to save valuable time to enjoy your trip.

There are many companies offering these digital products, such as Maya Mobile, UP, Ubigi or TravelSim. But you won't find any as fast and convenient as the eSIM Holafly for Seoul.

  • Advantages of signing up for an eSIM to travel to Seoul with Holafly
    • When you arrive at the airport, all you have to do is activate it from your phone using the QR code.
    • You will be able to make calls with your old number via WhatsApp.
    • Their helpdesk will assist you at any time of the day, 365 days a year.
    • As soon as you buy the eSIM, you will receive it directly in your email.
    • You can keep your old SIM card in case you ever need to use it.
  • Disadvantages of the Holafly Seoul eSIM card
    • You will not be able to share your mobile data with other devices.
    • While you will be able to call via WhatsApp, you won't be able to do so from your phone as usual.

Clearly, the advantages of entrusting your mobile data to Holafly far outweigh the disadvantages. That's why we think you should get Holafly's eSIM for Seoul. This way, you'll get the most out of your trip, as you won't have to spend time searching for a SIM card or portable wifi to access the internet.

eSim South Korea
Prepaid: 30 days expiry
Data 8 GB

Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£4730 days expiry
taxes included

Another great advantage of this eSIM is that it offers the best coverage. After all, it connects to the local network of SK Telecom, one of the largest phone operators in South Korea.

And if you are planning to travel to a neighbouring country during your stay in Seoul, you might want to check the conditions of the Holafly eSIM for Asia.

Buy an Unlimited data eSIM for Seoul with a 5% OFF. Code ROAMS

Buy a SIM Card in Seoul

If your mobile doesn't support eSIM, we recommend buying one of the usual prepaid cards. Many of them don't include calls, but chances are you won't need to use them.

The big disadvantage is that it will take time out of your trip, as you will have to find a supermarket or specialised shop as soon as you arrive in Seoul. You can also buy it online, but you will have to wait for it to be delivered to your hotel or home.

Our recommendation is to avoid buying your SIM card at the airport at all costs. You may think it's the best option because it's convenient, but you'll usually pay a lot more than you should. Even if you're going to waste time on your trip, it's worth moving to a supermarket or specialised shop in the city centre.

That said, there are a few phone companies that offer interesting mobile data plans at very competitive prices:

  • SK Telecom SIM card: for £45/month, you will have an unlimited data plan with which to connect to the internet in Seoul.
  • KT Olleh prepaid card: another of the country's major operators, KT Olleh offers interesting plans starting at £18/month.
  • LTE data SIM card: it's true that it doesn't offer the best coverage of all, but you can choose from different options to make a plan to suit your needs.

However, you must make sure that your phone is unlocked for the SIM card to work. As you know, many phones are configured to only accept prepaid cards from the carrier you bought it from.

Connecting to a wifi network in Seoul

I'm sure you are thinking about connecting to a public wifi network to solve your internet access problems. The truth is that it can save you a lot of trouble at many times, as Seoul is a city that is full of wifi access both in the street and in different establishments and hotels.

One of the public places where you can connect to a free wifi network is the Cheonggyecheon Stream. This is a promenade that runs for almost 6 kilometres through the centre of Seoul. Here you will find families and tourists spending the afternoon and sharing their selfies on social media.

If you decide to connect to one of these networks, be very careful with your personal details. You should not make any bank transactions or online purchases. Unfortunately, these networks are very insecure, so someone could gain access to your details and bank accounts. To avoid such scares, we recommend that you cover your back with a VPN connection.

Renting portable wifi equipment in Seoul

What can solve your problem is a pocket wifi, portable wifi or MiFi. This is a piece of equipment that you can rent from a company and take with you to access the internet when you need it.

Here are some of the companies from which you can request this service:

  • Wifivox: offers 1GB per day for £7/day with the ability to connect up to five devices.
  • MioWifi: for €8/day, you get a robust 4G connection and can connect up to five devices.
  • Klook Wifi: offers from 500MB to 4GB of mobile data from £7/day.
  • Travel Wifi: this company offers a maximum of 1GB per day for £9/day.
  • XOXO Wifi: its great attraction is that it has plans of up to 10GB starting at £8/day.

The best thing about these portable wifi devices is that they offer a very good internet connection speed. The downside is that their plans are not very cost-effective from a financial point of view.

Of course, you have to return the device as it was left. If you don't, you will have to pay a penalty that won't be cheap. And in case of loss or theft, you could leave your personal data exposed. Be aware of this before renting anything and make sure you are travelling to a safe place.

Activating roaming in Seoul

Another option is to activate the roaming service offered by your phone company. It's true that this can be convenient because you won't have to do much of anything, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. Especially if you are travelling to a city like Seoul, which is outside the European Union.

All the mobile network providers including Vodafone, O2, EE and Three all charge their customers to use their data roaming outside Europe.

This also applies to MVNO's carriers such as Lebara, Plusnet, Tesco and ASDA because to roam outside the EU can be expensive for carriers so they have to charge customers.

However, mobile network providers give information to customers of exactly how much they need to pay for the country that they want to travel to and use their data roaming. This allows customers to see how much they are paying and they can manage the way they data roam in those countries to save money.

Buy an Unlimited data eSIM for Seoul with a 5% OFF. Code ROAMS

Internet coverage and speed in Seoul

The truth is that South Korea is one of the countries with the best internet coverage and speed in the world. The average broadband internet download speed is 95.74Mbit/second (2) . In other words, if you travel to Seoul, the country's capital, you'll have more than reliable internet access.

The most commonly found networks are 4G and 5G, as they are the most widespread in major cities. Should you decide to move to rural areas of South Korea, you will also find 3G and 2G bands.

Why should you have mobile data in Seoul?

From contacting your family to sharing your adventures on social media, there are many reasons why you should have internet access in Seoul:

  • Make WhatsApp calls: making calls from your number abroad is always a hassle, so you'll want to be able to make them via WhatsApp at no extra cost.
  • Make reservations in hotels and restaurants: in addition to your accommodation, you will be able to enjoy the best restaurants in the city of Seoul. If you have internet on your phone, it will be much easier to book a place in one of them.
  • Pay with your smartphone: this is a really convenient method of payment, as you don't have to take out your wallet all the time. What's more, more and more establishments around the world support it.
  • Orient yourself with Google Maps: if you want to get around the city comfortably, you will need an application of this type on your phone.
  • Design your own routes: there are many natural parks that you can visit around Seoul, so you may want to leave the hotel with your own predefined route.

Beyond the conveniences of mobile data, mobile data also allows you to make the most of your stay in Seoul. With internet on your mobile, you can book a table at the famous Jungsik Soul restaurant, visit Jogyesa Temple or take a trip to the Gangnam district. That's why we think your best option is to buy the Holafly eSIM for Seoul.

eSim South Korea
Prepaid: 30 days expiry
Data 8 GB

Connection speed 4G
Pay as you go£4730 days expiry
taxes included

FAQs: Internet in Seoul

How do I get internet in Seoul?

You can buy a prepaid SIM card, activate your carrier's roaming or rent a portable wifi device. But we recommend that you buy a cheap virtual eSIM that you can easily activate from your mobile phone when you arrive at your destination.

How do I activate roaming when travelling to Seoul?

Not all carriers do this, but roaming is usually activated once you leave the country. If you want to avoid unexpected charges, we recommend that you turn off data roaming in your phone's settings.

How much mobile data do I need for my trip to Seoul?

It is very difficult to know the exact amount of mobile data you will need on your trip, but you can get an idea. If you are clear about which apps you will be using during your stay, you can check the data they consume in the specifications for each app.

Fuentes del artículo
  1. eSIM : A Silent Revolution. ESIM.
  2. Telecommunication in South Korea. Worlddata.Info. Consulted in
Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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