Expats moving to Seoul usually have many questions, often about what to expect from life in their new home. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about living in Seoul.
How bad is the pollution in Seoul?
Seoul, like most Asian cities, has its fair share of pollution. Many South Koreans wear face masks to protect themselves from pollution and potential illness. During spring, clouds of yellow dust settle over Seoul. It's strongly advised that everyone going outdoors wears a face mask. Yellow dust originates in China and contains a number of industrial pollutants as well as fine soil particles. The Seoul Metropolitan Government does make a concerted effort to keep the city green.
Is public transport available 24 hours a day?
While there are some forms of transport available in Seoul, the subway and public bus system close at midnight or just after. Metered taxis are always available and many of the drivers understand some English. Metered taxis are cheap for short trips but can be expensive over a longer distance.
Is it easy to get out of Seoul for a weekend?
South Korea has an extensive road and rail network which makes it easy to get out of the city. There are many mountain parks a few hours from Seoul, which have well-maintained facilities and hiking trails. All of the smaller towns in Korea have relatively inexpensive accommodation and a host of Korean restaurants to choose from. Travelling to some of the very small villages will require some knowledge of spoken and written Korean, but locals are typically friendly and are always willing to help.
What is Seoul like for children?
Although Seoul is a significantly large city, it's a fun place for children. There are lots of public parks with playground equipment. There also are ample cinemas and amusement park areas such as Lotte World. Korean culture values children and locals often dote on Western kids. As such, Seoul is a very child-friendly city and it is a safe place to raise a family.
Are you an expat living in Seoul?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Seoul. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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