Travel Information
Useful Information
Useful Information Home > General information > Useful Information
Currency & Exchange
The unit of currency in Korea is the Korean Won (KRW).
Various notes and coins are used. Notes occur in 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 won denominations, while coins occur in 10, 50, 100, and 500 won denominations. As of January 2013, the exchange rate is approximately KRW 1,050 to USD 1 and KRW 1,500 to EUR 1. Foreign bank notes and traveler’s checks can be converted into the Korean won at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money exchange outlets. The exchange rate is subject to market fluctuations.
Time Difference
Standard Time in Korea is 9 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+9).
Although appreciated, tipping is not a customary practice in Korea.
Banking & ATM
There are plenty of places in Korea to change currencies, including banks, authorized currency exchanges and major hotels. ATM machines are ubiquitous, although not all offer services for foreign cards. Cards with the Plus and Cirrus logos are the easiest to use and most widely accepted in Korea. Banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays.
Business Hours
Government office hours are usually from 9:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and are closed on weekends. Most stores are open every day from 10:30 to 20:00, including Sundays.
A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is levied on most goods and services at a standard rate of 10% and is included in the retail price. At hotels, a 10% VAT is applied to rooms, meals and other services and is included in the bill.
The standard electricity supply is 220-volts AC at 60Hz. Most hotels may provide outlet converters for 110 and 220 volts. It is advised that you check with the hotel beforehand.
BBB (Before Babel Brigade): Volunteer Interpretation Service
Whenever and wherever you encounter communication problems with Koreans, just call 1588-5644 and press a number for your preferred language. Your call will be quickly connected to a BBB volunteer's mobile phone through an automated switchboard, and you will soon receive interpretation service.

※ BBB volunteer services are available in 16 languages.
※ For more information, please refer to BBB Korea official webpage (
If you don’t have a mobile phone in Korea, just show a BBB card to any Korean nearby, so that he/she can Help you with their mobile phone.