1. Kakao Talk Messenger

What You Should Know About KakaoTalk - AddThis

Kakao Talk is the most popular tool for communication and is a must-have for anyone planning to visit Korea. This app is a free, multi-platform, instant messaging application. It is available in both Korean and English.


  • Instant messaging
  • Video and Audio calls
  • Voice notes
  • File Sharing
  • Picture Sharing
  • Sending gifts
  • Group chats / Open chats
  • Search engine

Notes- Some people use an extension called KakaoPay, this acts as a debit card and is linked to your bank account to make paying for things or transferring money easier.

You can also send cute and animated emoticons (Kakao Friends) who are the mascots of Kakao.

There are features that allow you to keep up to date in news and society in South Korea too.

Download: Apple | Android

2. Naver Maps

Naver maps is another crucial app that will help you during your stay in Korea. It is a navigation app that allows you to pick a location and will show you how to get there either via public transport, car, foot, and even bike!

NAVER Map, Navigation - Apps on Google Play

It is free to download and is available in Korean and English. You can use functions to find the closest cafes,restaurants, bus stops, stations e.t.c

It is a more precise/reliable app than Google Maps as some locations may not show up due to military reasons if you are it; Naver Maps is made to make navigating around Korea easy~


  • Fastest Route
  • Best Route
  • Bus/Car/Foot/Bike Options
  • Taxi Fare Calculation
  • Nearest Amenities

Download: Apple | Android

3. Kakao Metro

카카오, '카카오지하철' 앱 출시 | Bloter.net

When it comes to transportation in Seoul you have a few options: buses, taxis and the subway. At some point, you will find yourself using the subway, but how will you know where to go?

Kakao Metro is a really easy-to-use app that will help you to navigate around Seoul’s subway. It is  free to download and is available in both Korean and English.

It will not only show you the quickest route to go but also how long the journey will take. It shows you the different lines you can take along with what time the trains will arrive.


  • To/From destinations
  • Fastest Route
  • Simplest Route
  • Stopovers
  • Arrive/Departure Time
  • Easiest Exit Route (The app will show you which carriage is closest to the exits at the subway station you want to arrive at, so you can leave smoothly).

Download: Apple | Android

4. Papago

So you’ve come to Korea but you don’t know the language, or maybe you are still learning it. Papago (or Naver Papago) is a great way to translate Korean into a variety of languages.

Papago (Translate App) | iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE

It uses a neural machine to learn from its mistakes and learn what type of translation the user needs. This is one of the reasons why it is more reliable when compared to other translators such as Google Translate.

It is FREE to download, is available in Korean an English, and it can be used either in its app form or on the website: https://papago.naver.com/

In its translation Papago also gives definitions for individual words within the translation and also shows different synonyms for them too.


  • Korean – Desired Language
  • Desired Language – Korean
  • Voice Translation
  • Image Translation
  • Conversation Translation
  • Honorific/Informal

Download: Apple | Android

5. MangoPlate

It’s always a struggle finding good places to eat at, or to find a specific food that you have been craving. MangoPlate is the perfect app for this. Do you know the word 맛집? (matjib), it’s the Korean word for ‘famous restaurant’ or a restaurant that sells really tasty food. Mangoplate is an app to help you search for these.

MangoPlate: App Redesign. Re-envisioning Eat, Share, Be Happy | by ...

It helps you search for restaurants in your area, gives you a range of places depending on what you are looking for and it can also give you great recommendations based on other people’s experiences/blog posts.

The app is available in Korean and English, and is free to download off either the Google Play Store or App Store. The company also has a website you can use:


Note! – The app’s title is in Korean but if you type it in English it will still pop up


  • Top Picks
  • Stories
  • Feed (similar to a blog)
  • Bookmark/Wannago
  • Location-based Search
  • Food-based Search

Download: Apple | Android