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Seoul is one of the most amazing cities in Asia. It is full of culture, history, and an unbeatable vibe. You’ll want to share every moment of your trip, so you need to learn all about Wifi in Seoul.
Public wifi in Seoul isn’t as easy to find as many people suggest. There is no city-wide wifi network, and you can only connect to wifi in Seoul at restaurants, cafés, hotels, and some tourist attractions. Renting pocket wifi in Seoul is affordable and a great alternative to relying on public wifi infrastructure.
This post breaks down everything you need to know about wifi in Seoul, so you can choose what the best option for you is.
There is a lot you need to know before you arrive in Seoul.
I made the mistake of assuming that Seoul had a good public wifi system the first time I visited the city. Boy was I wrong.
Don’t make the same mistake I did!
Even if you plan to rely on public wifi in Seoul, you need a basic understanding of the best places to find it.
This will make navigating Seoul a lot easier!
Public Wifi in Seoul
Seoul has a reputation for being a technological city, so it is easy to assume that there will be a great public wifi system.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Most people living in Seoul rely on phone data or pocket wifi, so there isn’t a need for the city to develop a strong public wifi system.
It isn’t ideal for tourists, but you can find ways to work within the public wifi system in Seoul.
The most important thing you need to know is where you’re most likely be able to access complimentary wifi.
Also, please be sure you protect your phone, tablet, and laptop and install a VPN on all your devices.
It is so easy for hackers to access your online data when you’re using a public wifi account. Installing a VPN is super easy and an essential thing to do before you travel anywhere!
There are a few tourist attractions that offer guests free wifi.
Most of the attractions that do offer free wifi are museums.
Outside of museums, most tourist attractions in Seoul don’t offer free wifi to guests. This includes Gyeongbokgung Palace and the other royal palaces, unfortunately.
Because so few tourist attractions have free wifi, you shouldn’t rely on them to provide you with access to the internet throughout the day.
You need to have a more in-depth plan and strategy if you plan on relying on public wifi in Seoul.
Restaurants and Cafés
Pretty much every café in Seoul provides guests with complimentary wifi. The passcode is normally written at the bottom of the receipt, so only paying customers can access the internet.
Cafés are the best place to go in Seoul to access free wifi.
The wifi is really quick, and there normally isn’t a limit on the amount of time you can access the internet. You can stay in a café for hours using the internet as long as you purchase something.
Seoul has an amazing coffee culture, so you are never more than a few steps away from a café. There are literally coffee shops wherever you look! Be sure to look up because a lot of cafés are located on the second or third floor of buildings.
Cafés are the best place to access public wifi in Seoul, but you can also find free wifi at some restaurants.
Not every restaurant offers guests free wifi, and most of the small, local restaurants don’t offer wifi.
Your best bet is going to a chain restaurant. You’re more likely to find free wifi there.
If push comes to shove, there are a few places you can always find free wifi. You won’t be surprised to hear that they are fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Subway.
But, overall, you’re far more likely to find free wifi at cafés than restaurants.
Plus you get to indulge in the incredible coffee and snacks that Seoul is so well known for! Seoul is the place I fell in love with matcha lattes, so this is the place to give them a try if you’re interesting in matcha at all!
Hotels and Airbnb
Without a doubt, the most reliable place to access free wifi in Seoul is at your hotel or Airbnb. It is extremely rare for a hotel/Airbnb to not offer free wifi to guests.
It is an expected feature of any accommodation, and I don’t think anybody would survive in the accommodation business if they didn’t offer free wifi!
The problem with relying on hotel wifi is that you can only access it when you’re in your hotel, so you’re quite limited. You probably only have access to it in the morning and evenings. The rest of the day you’ll be out exploring Seoul.
Hotel wifi is useful because you can download Google maps offline to make it easier to navigate your way through the city.
Just be sure to have a VPN on your devices to protect your online safety! Even if the hotel wifi has a passcode, it is still a public network that pretty much anybody can access!
The situation at Airbnbs is more promising!
The majority of Airbnbs in Seoul provide guests with a wifi egg!
You can take the wifi egg from the apartment and use it while you’re out and about in the city.
This means you have access to the internet wherever you are!
Getting a wifi egg as part of your Airbnb stay is amazing! It makes connecting to the internet seamless, and you don’t have to find the nearest café if you are lost and need to access Google maps to get home.
Renting Pocket Wifi in Seoul
Renting pocket wifi is the best way to access internet in Seoul.
A pocket wifi device is small portable wifi router that allows you to access the internet no matter where you are as long as you are in range of the device. The device normally has a range of about 100 feet, and you can easily fit it in your pocket or purse.
Pocket wifi costs dollars per day, so it is an affordable addition to your trip!
The freedom you get with having access to the internet no matter where you are in incredible! You can look up restaurants nearby to see who has the best food, post on social media, and easily navigate with Google maps.
It is an unbeatable feeling!
I always rent my pocket wifi through Klook. They have really good prices, and you can cancel up until the day before you’re scheduled to pick up your device if your plans change.
Where to Pick Up and Drop Off Pocket Wifi in Seoul
It is super easy to pick up and drop off your rental pocket wifi device.
You can pick up and drop off your pocket wifi device at Incheon International Airport.
There are locations in both terminals right outside the secure area. They are near the exit door straight in front of the doors you walk out of after gathering your luggage.
It is impossible to miss it!
There is a drop off location in both terminals before you enter the secure area.
You get a map of the airport showing the return location as part of your pocket wifi rental, so you’ll have no problem finding the drop off booth.
You can also return your pocket wifi at Gimhae International Airport (Busan) or Busan Harbour if you’re travelling throughout South Korea.
No matter where you choose to pick up and return your pocket wifi, the process is incredibly easy and smooth.
It only takes a few minutes, and you can start using your pocket wifi right away!
Other Things to Know About Renting Pocket Wifi in Seoul
There are a few more things you need to know before deciding if renting a pocket wifi device is the right option for you.
You Need a Credit Card
You need a credit card to rent pocket wifi in Seoul. There is no way around it!
An Interact debit card doesn’t cut it either.
You can pre-pay for your pocket wifi rental with an Interact debit card, but you need a credit card when you pick up your device.
The employee charges a small amount to your credit card (and immediately reverses it) to ensure there is room on your card.
Then the credit card information it put on your file, so they can charge your card in the event of the device being lost or damaged.
It is the company’s way of protecting themselves in case you run away with the device or ruin it.
If you don’t provide them with a credit card when you pick up your pocket wifi at Incheon International Airport, you will not be given the device.
Your Whole Group Can Use It
Most pocket wifi devices allow 6 to 10 devices to connect to it!
This means you can connect all your devices and the devices of your travelling companions (if applicable) on one device.
Your pocket wifi device becomes even more affordable when you share it amongst your group!
You Can Extend Your Rental
One of the cool things about renting pocket wifi through Klook is that you can keep your pocket wifi if you spontaneously decide to extend your trip.
You simply pay for the extra days you kept the device when you return it!
The Battery Has a Decent Life
The listing on Klook claims the battery lasts 8 hours, but that isn’t the case in my experience.
In my experience, the battery lasts way longer than 8 hours!
One time I forgot to charge it over night after using it all day, and I was still able to use it for the majority of the next day until it finally died!
I only had one device connect to it, so I image the battery would deplete quicker if there were multiple devices connected.
Even if the battery does only last 8 hours if there are multiple devices connected to it, that is a fairly long time!
It easily lasts you the majority of the time you’re out exploring the city.
I’m very impressed by the battery life of pocket wifi devices, and I highly recommend you look into renting one next time you’re in Seoul!
A Wifi Alternative for Serious Travellers
The final option for accessing wifi in Seoul is purchasing a Skyroam.
It is your own personal pocket wifi that you can use everywhere and anywhere in the world (with a few exceptions like Cuba).
I purchased my Skyroam in 2019 and am so glad I splurged on it. It has made my travels so much more enjoyable. I love being connected to the internet and the freedom it gives me.
You use the Skyroam as you would with any other pocket wifi device. You have an app you download on your phone that has your profile and wifi passes, and you simply click “activate”, and it connects you to the internet.
It can connect up to 6 devices, and it is small enough it can fit in your pocket.
You have to pay a one-time cost for the device, and then you own it outright forever.
After you purchase the device, you have to pay to access the internet. This is where things can get a bit expensive.
I personally think the day passes are a bit overpriced, but there are ways to get around that.
You can purchase a monthly pass that costs about the same as 10 day passes. This is the best option if you’re travelling for more than a week.
The other option is to wait until Skyroam has a sale on day passes and stock up on them then. They do have an expiry date so make sure you have enough travel planned in the near future to use all the day passes you purchase.
Only day passes purchased on a sale have an expiry date. Day passes purchased at full price don’t expire.
Skyroam has multiple day pass sales throughout the year, so there is a pretty good chance there will be a sale that works with your travel schedule.
I love my Skyroam and think it is worth the investment. Especially if you travel more than once or twice a year!
How to Protect Your Online Information
Not enough people take their online safety seriously, but you should.
Connecting to a public wifi network puts you at risk of having your online data stolen. This includes hotel and café wifi networks that have a passcode on them.
You’re still at risk of being hacked and having your data stolen!
It is easier than you think for hackers to get your online data and passwords. It happens everyday, and it has ruined a lot of traveller’s vacations.
There is hardly anything worse than having your banking information stolen while you’re on holiday and trying to sort it out while you’re abroad.
Your debit and credit cards are frozen, and you’re stuck in a different country trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for the rest of your trip.
It isn’t a pretty situation.
The only way to effectively protect your devices from prying eyes is to install a VPN on them.
A VPN cloaks your online activity and makes it so no one can see your online data. It is as safe as using your home wifi where you’re the only person who knows the passcode.
Every travellers needs a VPN. No excuses!
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my years of travel.
Most of them slow down your devices to a crawl. It becomes so frustrating to use them that you end up turning off your VPN and exposing yourself to potential danger.
All that changed when I started using NordVPN. I discovered them in 2018 and haven’t looked back!
They are fast, ultra-secure, and one of the top rated VPNs in the world!
You can protect up to 6 devices with one subscription, so it is super affordable to protect all your devices.
One of the best parts on NordVPN is that you can cloak your location through the app, so it looks like you’re in a different country all together.
This is amazing because it lets you access the Netflix catalogue from the country you’re cloaked as being in. You can binge watch shows you wouldn’t have access to if you didn’t have your VPN on!
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with NordVPN. I made my parents get a subscription and raved about it all my friends and other family members.
NordVPN is super affordable, and they’re almost always running a sale to make it even more affordable for you!
You can often get a two-year subscription for 68% off!
The price of your subscription works out to less than one latte from Starbucks.
It is a tiny price to pay to protect your online data and privacy!
As you can see, there is a lot you need to know about wifi in Seoul.
Seoul is a technologically advanced city, but it still has a ways to go before it has an extensive wifi network that tourists can take advantage of.
There are ways to connect to free wifi in Seoul, but you have to rely mostly on cafés and chain restaurants.
Museums are the only tourist attractions that offer free wifi to guests.
The best way to work around the lack of public wifi in Seoul is to rent a pocket wifi device.
It costs just dollars per day and gives you 24/7 access to wifi no matter where in Seoul you are!
The freedom renting a pocket wifi device gives you is worth the small rental cost!
The other alternative is to purchase a Skyroam pocket wifi device. This option is for serious travellers only.
I don’t want you to spend money on purchasing a pocket wifi device if you rarely travel! That wouldn’t be worth the money!
If you travel multiple times per year, you may want to consider purchasing a Skyroam. It may save you money in the long run, and it is definitely the most convenient way to access the internet!
No matter how you choose to get your wifi in Seoul, you need a VPN to protect your online privacy and data.
As long as you have a VPN and a wifi plan, you’ll be off to the races when you land in Seoul! It is a spectacular city, and I know you’ll love it!