Essential Korean Travel Apps

Written by on April 23, 2011 in Lifestyle, Travel

Traveling in Korea is easy enough, but getting around in Seoul has gotten even easier. This is thanks to a pair of iOS apps named Seoul Bus 2 and Jihachul.

Each is designed to work on recent iPod Touch devices, iPhones, and iPads and offer a wealth of information. While iPod Touches can use the applications, ultimate usability really defaults to iPhones, since their GPS and mobility make accessing the real time information convenient.

Seoul Bus 2

As the app’s name indicates, this application provides information about Seoul’s buses. But it doesn’t stop there. The application also includes most bus and bus stop information for the greater Gyeonggi province. This becomes extremely useful if one lives outside Seoul proper and needs to commute. Loading in a set of favorite buses or bus stops allows the traveler to quickly access frequently needed information.

Search for more than 2700 bus routes and favorite the ones you use most.

Key in the five-digit bus stop code to get real-time bus information.

Use the GPS map feature to find the closes stop.

While many bus stops provide this same information, Seoul Bus becomes extremely useful before you set out the door. By bringing up your closest stop, one is able to judge just how fast they need to run to be able to catch that bus- or make the decision to leisurely stroll to the bus stop.


The Korean word for subway is 지하철, or Jihachul. This iOS app does exactly what its name implies and gives the user complete information on Korea’s subway systems. That’s right all of Korea’s major subway routes are in this app. Furthermore, it’s available in Korean, Japanese, and English. It truly is the best app out there for navigating the tubes.

Jihachul has a fully scalable map, even showing future lines and extensions.

Clicking on a subway stop brings up door information and the ability to see a local map of the surrounding area.

You can even see the current timetable, to know when the next train is due to depart.

Clicking on the “From” button, takes the user back to the interactive map. Select a new destination and the “To” option, to have Jihachul generate route information with the Fastest Route or Fewest Transfers.

It will even tell you which car to ride in to minimize your transfer time.

Hands down, these are the two best travel apps I’ve encountered for Korea. Best of all, they’re free and updated regularly. If you’re in Korea (and especially Seoul), make sure you add them to your device.

About the Author

Steve Miller

Steve Miller, the QiRanger, is Korea’s best-known travel video blogger-journalist. His videos have been viewed by millions and seen on media outlets in throughout the word. In addition to sharing his entertaining and informative videos, he writes about life abroad and releases a popular podcast. Steve appears regularly on international radio stations, talking about travel, Korean culture and East Asian news. He’s also appeared on Arirang Television sharing unique aspects of Korean life. You can follow Steve on Twitter @QiRanger or visit his site