South Korea SIM Cards: Everything You Need To Know | 2022
Are you visiting South Korea soon? Make sure to know what to expect when it comes to purchasing a South Korean SIM card.
Fortunately, Asia is one of the best places where you can buy a SIM card easily. You should be able to find a cheap SIM card pretty much anywhere in Asia. In fact, most data packages are affordable, which makes the whole thing easier!
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In this guide, we’ll explain where to buy a SIM card in South Korea in person and online. We’ll also discuss prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs if your mobile supports them.
Before you read this guide, you may wonder if you actually need a SIM card in South Korea. If you don’t mind not having Internet, you’ll likely find free Wifi in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotels.
That said, if you need data to get around, call a cab, or translate Korean – you may want to get a SIM card for your travels in South Korea.
Best SIM Cards In South Korea
If you’re traveling in South Korea, we recommend using a SIM card from LG U+, SK, KT, or Airalo. (I’ll get back to Airalo later on, so keep reading to learn more!)
That said, if you’re planning on visiting other countries during your trip to Asia, you might want to make sure to pick an option that offers coverage in other Asian countries.
How To Buy A SIM Card In South Korea
You can either buy a South Korean prepaid SIM card in person in some international airports, mobile provider stores, convenience stores, or online.
Usually, you can expect higher costs and low data offers at the airport, so we don’t recommend buying a SIM card at the airport. That said, you won’t necessarily find SIM card shops in every airport, so it’s essential to keep this in mind. And, when you see a shop, you might also have limited options.
For this reason, I’d recommend buying a SIM card directly from the mobile provider store. Note that you may need your passport to buy one.
Although, this means you won’t get data right upon your arrival. So, if you prefer to be connected at all times, you could use an eSIM or purchase an Asia prepaid SIM card online.
Now, let’s take a look at the data plans offered by LG U+, SK, and KT.
LG U+ SIM Cards
LG U+ offers a data SIM, the price is dependent on the hours used:
- 120 hours used, valid for 5 days for KRW 25,000 ($17.38)
- 168 hours used, valid 7 days for KRW 32,000 ($22.25)
- 240 hours, valid for 10 days for KRW 35,000 ($24.33)
- 360 hours, valid for 15 days for KRW 50,000 ($34.76)
- 480 hours, valid for 20 days for KRW 55,000 ($38.24)
- 720 hours, valid for 30 days for KRW 65,000 ($45.19)
- 960 hours, valid for 40 days for KRW 90,000 ($62.57)
- 1440 hours, valid for 60 days for KRW 130,000 ($90.37)
SK Telecom SIM Cards
SK Telecom has two different tourist plans available:
- Unlimited data, 1-day pass for KRW 6,600 ($4.59)
- Unlimited data, 3-day pass for KRW 18,000 ($12.51)
KT SIM Cards
KT (Korea Telecom) offers five SIM-only plans:
- Unlimited data, valid for 1 day for KRW 6,600 ($4.59)
- Unlimited data, valid for 5 days for KRW 24,700 ($17.17)
- Unlimited data, valid for 10 days for KRW 34,600 ($24.05)
- Unlimited data, valid for 20 days for KRW 54,400 ($27.82)
- Unlimited data, valid for 30 days for KRW 64,300 ($44.70)
Overall, we think LG U+ is the best option if you plan to buy your SIM card in person. That said, any would do if you can’t find their store!
How To Buy A South Korea Prepaid SIM Card Online
If you wish to have your SIM card ready for your arrival, you could purchase it online or on websites like Amazon.
You’ll find different plans on Amazon. For example, the Prepaid Asia-Pacific SIM Card works in more than 17 countries and gives you unlimited data for 14 days. South Korea is included.
But there are many other options worth considering, so have a look and make sure the countries you plan on visiting are listed.
Another option is to purchase a prepaid Asian SIM card on Simify. This works if you live in the United States or Australia. They currently offer 3 different packages that cover South Korea:
- 6 GB, valid for 12 days for $25 – works in 13 countries
- 6 GB, valid for 15 days for $40 – works in 18 countries
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $29 – works in 13 countries
Finally, the last option is to buy an eSIM card for South Korea or, if you’re traveling to multiple countries, an eSIM plan for Asia.
How To Buy An eSIM Card For South Korea
eSIM is a new concept allowing you to have a virtual SIM card inside your phone. If your mobile phone supports eSIM cards – it’s definitely one of the best options to get data in South Korea.
Curious? Learn more about eSIMs for travelers on eSIM Roamers.
I started using eSIM as soon as my mobile phone supported it. And I first tried it when visiting my family in Canada. To buy eSIMs, I usually use Airalo. Keep reading to learn more about the best eSIMs for South Korea.
Airalo South Korea
If you want to buy an eSIM for South Korea, you could purchase one on Airalo. This website offers many eSIM cards worldwide and special plans for Asia and South Korea. I’ve been using Airalo for several months, and it works fine.
Here are the options available:
- LG U+: Unlimited data, valid for 10 days for $32
- LG U+: Unlimited data, valid for 30 days for $62
Here’s an overview of the options available for Asia:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $5
- 3 GB, valid for 30 days for $13
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $20
- 10 GB, valid for 30 days for $37
- 50 GB, valid for 90 days for $100
- 100 GB, valid for 180 days for $185
The options mentioned above are part of Asialink and offer coverage in 14 countries, including South Korea.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling in other countries that are not mentioned on the list, you can try Discover Global, which offers coverage in 87 countries, including South Korea.
Here’s an overview of the options available on Discover Global:
- 1 GB, valid for 7 days for $9
- 3 GB, valid for 15 days for $24
- 5 GB, valid for 30 days for $35
- 10 GB, valid for 60 days for $59
- 20 GB, valid for 180 days for $89
Now, one important thing to note about Airalo is that you’ll need to keep an eye out for the provider in each country. Suppose you ever have trouble connecting to the Internet during your trip. In that case, it might be because you’re connecting automatically to networks and need to select a network manually instead.
When you purchase the eSIM, you’ll get access to the list of networks supported in each country.
Holafly South Korea
Alternatively, you could look at your options on Holafly. You can read our Holafly review to learn more about this eSIM store.
Here’s an overview of their plans for South Korea:
- 8 GB data for 30 days for $47
Their Asia eSIM work in 12 countries (including South Korea), and they offer the following plan:
- 8 GB data for 30 days for $47
Nomad South Korea
Finally, Nomad is also a great eSIM provider. Here’s an overview of the plans available for South Korea:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $5
- 2GB, valid for 30 days for $10
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $13
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $15
Nomad also has APAC, an eSIM plan for Asia. This plan offers coverage in South Korea. Here’s an overview:
- 1GB, valid for 7 days for $6
- 3GB, valid for 30 days for $15
- 5GB, valid for 30 days for $17
- 10GB, valid for 30 days for $50
- 20GB, valid for 30 days for $69
Final Thoughts On SIM Cards In South Korea
As you can see, getting a prepaid SIM card in South Korea or even an eSIM for your travels in South Korea is pretty straightforward. You’ll even be able to stay connected wherever you go in Asia without changing your SIM card, especially if you purchase an Asia plan.
I believe the eSIM card is the most convenient way to get data in South Korea if you wish to have data upon your arrival. This way, you won’t need to go to a store to buy a SIM card. Obviously, you need to make sure your mobile phone supports eSIM first.
Traveling to Asia soon? Read one of the following blog posts: