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The BEST Korea SIM card for tourists (2022-2023 guide)

If you’re looking for the best Korea SIM card for tourists, we can help.

We’ve compiled a list of all the Korea travel SIM cards that can be pre-ordered and picked up at the airport.

In some Asian countries, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to name just a few, it’s also possible to have the SIM mailed to your home or to collect it at the airport of departure.

We used a Korea data SIM card from KT Olleh ourselves and we can honestly say that it was a big advantage. 

Not only to use excellent navigational apps such as Naver apps, Google Maps is pretty useless in South Korea, we also loaded a lot of other Korean apps on our phone.  Thanks to these apps we could eat where the locals eat, translate Korean texts and it also became much easier to interact with Koreans. 

I’ve listed some of the apps we used further down in this article.

We cover all the important details about the various Korean Sim card for foreigners, as well as all the aspects that you need to keep in mind when you’re making your selection.

Read on to find the best Korea prepaid SIM card for you.

There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no extra cost to you.

In a hurry? Our picks for the best Korean SIM cards

If you are short on time or you don’t want to read the complete post, these are our top choices: 

Tip: Be sure to become a member of our brand new Korea Travel Planning and Tips Facebook group. The purpose of this group is to help you plan an amazing vacation to South Korea.  You can ask questions and exchange tips with fellow travelers.

Why buy a Korea prepaid SIM card

It’s easy to travel independently around Korea, especially if you can use your smartphone as your travel companion.

We used our data connection a lot in South Korea, the country has several very useful apps for tourists.

Here are the apps that we used the most during our road trip in South Korea: 

  • XE currency provides real-time conversion rates between the South Korean Won and your home currency.  
  • Kakao Metro guides you through Seoul’s spaghetti-like metro network.  The app also works in Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon.
  • Kakao T, this app enables you to call and pay for a taxi similar to Uber.  You can also use it to rent an electric bike. 
  • Mangoplate, information on nearby restaurants including reviews
  • Papago, fast and accurate translation of South Korean to 13 languages including English,  French, German, Japanese and Chinese.  It works offline and the quality of the translations beats those of Google Translate.
  • Emergency Ready, an app provided by the Ministry of Interior and Safety. The app contains information about shelters, police and fire stations.  The government will share updates in case of natural disasters such as typhoons. ( Google PlayApple Store)
  • Visit Korea, an app provided by the Korea Tourism Organization.  It contains opening hours, prices and lots of other useful information about the many sights of the country.  To get the app, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “KTO Mobile apps”
  • If you go to Lotte World or Everland you can use the apps of those theme parks to check the waiting times at the attractions.

Roaming costs are insane and Korea prepaid SIM cards are relatively cheap.  This makes it a good investment, even if you won’t be using your data connection on a daily basis.

South Korea has the world’s best 4G network so it would be a shame not to use it when you visit the country.

Larger cities such as Seoul also count numerous WiFi hotspots.  We tested these with mixed results.  Our experience with these WiFi hotspots is described below.

Free WiFi Attractions Seoul Skypark
Some Attractions in Seoul offer free WiFI

Free WiFi in Korea

You can find over 500,000 public WiFi hotspots in Seoul alone. With this number, you would think that a data connection is a superfluous luxury but it turned out that it was not.

First of all, it is a hassle to register your phone over and over again at each new hotspot that you come across.  If it would stop there it wouldn’t be such a big thing.

Some registration forms are in Korean only though, making the task extra tedious. And then, to make things worse, after you have finally deciphered the form, you’re sometimes met with the notice that they only accept Korean phone numbers.

We went through this process a few times only to decide that the low cost of a local tourist SIM card, or a pocket WiFi rental, is not worth all the effort registering your phone at each hotspot hoping that it will work. 

Don’t think that none of the WiFi hotspots work for tourists. 

There’re free WiFi hotspots you can use, certainly those in hotels and restaurants, but you shouldn’t be blindsided by these huge numbers. 

 

Here is an overview of free WiFi hotspots in South Korea

South Korea SIM cards – The top choices

KT Olleh and SK Telecom offer Korea travel SIM’s. 

On top of that, a bunch of other providers have their own travel SIM’s that also work in South Korea and that can be picked up abroad.

Further down in this article we list all the SIM cards that we could find along with all the information you need such as the included data plan and the fair usage policy.

In this section, we share our top choices.  These are the best data-only SIM’s and the best SIM that support voice calls and text messages.

For short stays

This KT Olleh card offered by Klook is the best for all stays of 30 days or less where a data connection is all you need. 

The SIM comes with unlimited data and nothing is mentioned about a fair usage policy. There may be none but even if there is one you are safe to assume that the first 3GB of data each day will be at 4G/LTE speeds. 3 GB is more than enough for normal use.

If your plans change and you need to extend your rental you can do so online.

Check prices and availability:
KT Olleh Tourist SIM

For longer stays

Most SIM cards have a maximum duration of 30 days.  If you want to stay in Korea for longer than 30 days you will either need to buy multiple SIMs, something that not all providers allow, or extend your rental. The easiest option is to go for this SIM from KT Olleh which can be used for up to 90 days.

There are options for data-lite and data-heavy users.  The data-lite plan has 300MB of fast data per month, the other plan offers 10GB of 4G/LTE data.  Once the treshold is reached both plans offer unlimited data at 3 Mbps speed.

Voice-calls and texts are also possible but require that you top-up your SIM.

Check prices and availability:
KT Olleh long-term SIM

For voice calls

All the SIM cards we cover in this article will allow calls with Skype or other similar tools but in some instances, it is still better to make a traditional phone call.  

To do so you will need to buy one of the KT Olleh SIMs that support voice+text.

Note that some of them only allow domestic calls. SIM cards that you top up will typically allow international calls, other SIMS that support voice calls will typically only support domestic calling.

These are the KT rates for international calls.

These SIMs can be pre-ordered through Klook and Trazy. 

When pre-ordered through Klook you will need to top-up your SIM yourself.

The SIMs pre-ordered through Trazy will have a starting balance of KRW 11,000, enough for about 42 minutes of domestic calling. You can add more credits if necessary.

Both options are similar in price. KRW 11,000 is about 7 USD at the time of writing and the preloaded SIM is also 7 USD more expensive than the other one. So you do not financially benefit by choosing the preloaded option, it is just a matter of convenience. You can start calling right away and you don’t have to worry about the top-up process.

At Klook you have to select the package option “data + domestic call and texts (extra topup)”.

In addition to voice calls the SIMs also offer unlimited data.  Trazy stipulates 3GB of data at high speed per day + unlimited data at 5Mbps.  Klook doesn’t mention a fair usage policy.  Assuming it is the same we can safely state that this is more than sufficient for most users.

KT Olleh SIM South Korea
A KT Olleh Tourist SIM for South Korea

Pocket WiFi or Data SIM Korea – what is best

Both are perfect options to stay connected.  

During our past journeys, we used both. 

A WiFi device might be somewhat easier because all you need to do is turn it on and connect to the broadcasted WiFi signal. It is, of course, an extra device to drag along.

Below are some pros and cons of each.

Pocket WiFi for Korea

The main reason to opt for a pocket WiFi device would be that you don’t need to switch SIMs and you don’t need to change any settings on your phone.  You just need to make sure that your data connection is disabled to avoid any nasty data roaming fees. 

This is great if you’re not really tech-savvy and another advantage is that friends, family, work relations and anybody else who has your phone number will be able to reach you as if you were home.

If you want people to be able to reach you at all times then this is probably the best option.

Another advantage is that you can share the internet connection. Some devices support just 3 simultaneous connections, others as much as 10. Some smartphones have a hotspot function that does the same but in our experience, this function drains the phone’s battery pretty quickly.

The principal disadvantage of a pocket WiFi device is that it is one extra device that you need to carry around and that you will need to charge on a daily basis if you use it frequently.

Check prices and availability:
Pocket WIFI device

Read Also:

or read our detailed post about the best pocket WiFi rental for Korea.

Prepaid SIM card in Korea

The moment that you install the local tourist SIM in your phone people will no longer be able to reach you on your home carrier’s number.  This may be a blessing, it’s time for a vacation after all. 

If you don’t mind cutting the ties with the home front for the duration of your holiday then a SIM card is by far still the most convenient option if you’re traveling solo or if you will not be sharing the connection with anyone else.

Everybody will still be able to contact you on Skype, as well as other similar tools such as Google Hangouts, or if you prefer you can opt for a SIM which supports voice+data. 

If you opt for such a SIM you will get a local phone number which you could share with relatives at home.

Below is an overview of the different South Korean tourist SIM cards. We included all the important details to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden Seoul South Korea
The Secret Garden in Changdeokgung Palace

Network providers in South Korea

South Korea has the fastest 4G network in the world.  Regardless of which network you use,  you will surf at speeds that you probably can only dream of at home.

The three mobile operators in South Korea are LG U+, SK Telecom, and KT.  They all have an excellent coverage of the country. LG U+ is the winner with a coverage of 99,5% but both other operators also achieve a coverage of at least 95%.

The average download speed is a whopping 40 Mbps, SK Telecom even achieves 65 Mbps.  Upload speeds are lightning-fast as well. 

You will enjoy at least 10 Mbps with peaks to 15 Mbps with the networks of SK Telecom and LG U+.

All these figures just to show that you don’t need to worry too much about the operator when you choose your SIM card.

What you need to know and check before buying a Korean travel SIM

When you rent a Korean Pocket WiFi device you can be sure that it works. Before you buy a travel SIM you better check a few things to avoid some nasty surprises.

Here’s a checklist of the things to check before placing your order.

What you need to know before buying a SIM card for South Korea

Make sure to check these 3 things about your phone. 

Googling “technical specs X” where you replace X with the model of your phone should tell you everything you need to know.

Which size of SIM card do you need

Over the years the size of SIM cards has decreased.  Old models had the standard SIM, newer phones use the Micro-SIM and the Nano-SIM.

Almost all Korean travel SIM’s are so-called multi-size SIM’s which means they can be adapted to the required size.

You can’t do anything wrong with these multi-size SIMs but if the operator only offers Nano SIMs (like some do) you better check in advance if this is the right size for your phone.

To check what kind of SIM you need you can open your phone or you can check the technical specifications.

Is your phone unlocked?

Locked phones will not work in South Korea, they come with software that prevents them from being used on another network. 

If your phone is locked you might be able to unlock it by calling your phone carrier. 

Locking phones is not common in Europe but many US, Canadian and Japanese carriers lock phones that are bought through them.

Does your phone or pocket WiFi device works in Korea

If your phone is not compatible with the country’s network it will not work.

These are the network frequencies used by SK Telecom and KT Olleh, the two providers which offer tourist SIM cards in South Korea:

  • 4G LTE Bands: Band 1(2100MHz), Band 3(1800MHz), Band 5(850MHz), Band 8(900MHz)
  • 3G Bands: HSDPA 2100MHz/HSDPA+

Make sure to check if your phone supports these frequencies.  The technical specs of your phone will show the supported frequencies or you could check this page for your telephone.

Seoul Sign South Korea
Welcome to Seoul! This is where you Korea tour adventure starts

What to check before buying a South Korean SIM Card

There are of course important differences between the different SIM cards. Here we indicate what to look for when choosing your Korean SIM card.

Data or Data + Voice

Data-only SIM cards are by far the most common flavor among the tourist SIM cards. 

For most visitors, this type of SIM will be all they need. You can’t make any voice calls, and you cannot send text messages either, but you can still call and text using Skype, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, and other similar apps. 

If you do need a local phone number you will need to choose a Data+Voice SIM.

Duration

All prepaid SIM cards can be used for a certain number of days.  This period starts when you activate the SIM. In some cases this period can be extended, it is not guaranteed so be sure to check whether extensions are possible when you order your SIM.  

If extensios are not possible you could see if it is possible to buy 2 cards. However, not all providers allow multiple cards to be purchased by the same person.

In any case, the maximum rental period is 90 days. For longer periods a residence card will be required.

Data allowance

Many SIM cards offer unlimited data but the fair usage policy (FUP) varies wildly among the different options.  A fair usage policy means that the speed will be throttled after a certain amount of data is used in a certain period of time, usually over the course of a day.

Some providers will cap the speed after 2 or 3 GB is used in one day.  This is, in our experience, relatively generous.  3GB is the equivalent of browsing the internet for 36 hours, streaming 600 songs, or watching 6 hours of standard definition video.

Others only allow 500 MB of high-speed data per day.  This is sufficient if you will only occasionally connect to the internet but you will quickly reach the limits of this subscription if you stream audio, video or often check your social media canals.

Once you reach the data limit the speed is reduced to either 3G or 2G.  A speed that may be workable to check some basic webpages but frustrating low if you’re used to 4G.

Sometimes the cards can be topped up to increase the FUP but this is an exception rather than the rule.

In our below overview you can see all the details about the fair usage policy and if the card can be topped-up we also mention this.

Pick up

Some SIM cards are shipped (for free) but most SIMs need to be collected at the airport. 

  • Make sure to write down or print out the details of the pick-up location as well as the opening hours. (you will not be able to access the internet until after you’ve picked-up your SIM)
  • In some cases, the order page or the confirmation mail includes a small map that shows where to pick up your SIM.  As you will not have internet until after you have collected your SIM it is a good idea to print this map or you could store it locally on your phone.  
  • Not all collection points are open 24/7.  Make sure to check if the location will be open at the time you arrive and bear in mind that you will need to pass migration. It’s also best to provide a little margin in case your flight ends up being delayed.
multi-size SIM
How a multi-size SIM looks

Korea SIM card with airport pick-up

Preorder your Korea SIM card online

Here’s an overview of the different prepaid Korean SIM cards you can preorder online. The overview is organized by provider. 

For each, we list the most important details, if you need more information you can click on the associated links.

The advantage of ordering your Korean SIM card in advance

If you have just come from a long-haul flight, you are probably drowsy and not in the best shape to make a decision about which SIM you need. 

For this reason, we advise you to pre-order your South Korea SIM card online and have it sent to your home address or ready for pick-up at the airport.

Another advantage of ordering online is that you can take all the time you need to compare the different options. 

Busan Skyline South Korea
The impressive Skyline of Busan at night

Korea SIM cards with pick-up at Seoul and/or Busan airport

KT Olleh (data or data + international calls & texts)

KT, short for Korea Telecom, is South Korea’s largest telephone company. Olleh is the brand name used for cellular broadband services. 

You can choose a data-only SIM or a prepaid SIM card that also supports outgoing voice calls and text messages.  

SIM cards from KT can be pre-ordered online from:

All SIMs, including the data-only SIMs, support incoming calls and text messages.  These are always free. Only the single-day card than can be ordered through Trazy does not come with a local Korean number.

All SIM cards can be recharged and extended online.  You have to do this before they expire.

  • Size: Multi-size SIM cards (Normal, Nano and Micro).  The SIM can be adapted to work in any mobile phone.
  • Network: KT Olleh
  • Duration: 1 day (only available on Trazy), 5 days, 10 days or 30 days
  • Pick-up: 
    • Not all websites offer all pick-up options.
    • Make sure to check the opening hours of the pick-up locations, most are not open 24/7.
    • When you order with Klook you can choose between  Seoul Incheon airport terminal 1 & 2
    • GetYourGuide offers Incheon, Busan, and Gimpo airport + 2 downtown Seoul locations. (Hongdae & Myeong-dong)
    • At Trazy you can select to pick up the SIM at Incheon, Gimpo, or Busan airport. They also have pick-up locations at the Hongik University Subway station and the Myeongdong Subway station.
  • Activation: The SIM card will be activated at the counter.  If, for some reason, the SIM would not work a refund will be arranged.  Data-only SIM’s can be activated at a later date if you prefer. If you want to activate your prepaid SIM on a later date you will need to inform the staff at the moment of pick-up.
  • Topping Up: Is only required if you want to make voice-calls or send text messages.
  • Price: $

GetYourGuide: Data-only SIM ( top-up for voice calls possible )

  • 5 days: KRW 35,700
  • 10 days: KRW 47,590
  • 20 days: KRW 74.787
  • 30 days: KRW 90,079

Check prices and availability:
SIM Getyourguide

Klook: Data-only SIM ( top-up for voice calls possible )

  • 5 days: KRW 24,400
  • 10 days: KRW 34,700
  • 20 days: KRW 60.500
  • 30 days: KRW 64,400

Check prices and availability:
Data only SIM Klook

Pay attention to select the correct service type when you order

 Trazy: data-only SIM

At the time of writing there’s an ongoing promo. The first price is the promo price, the second is the regular price.

  • 1 day: KRW 5,900 – KRW 6,600
  • 5 days: KRW 24,800 – KRW 27,500
  • 10 days: KRW 33,000 – KRW 38,500
  • 20 days: KRW 54.450 – KRW 60,500
  • 30 days: KRW 62,000 – KRW 71,500

Check prices and availability:
SIM voice Korea Trazy

Trazy SIM Including 11,000 KRW for voice calls

  • 1 day: KRW 5,900 – KRW 6,600 (data-only, no voice calls supported)
  • 5 days: KRW 35,800 – KRW 38,500
  • 10 days: KRW 44,000 – KRW 49,500
  • 20 days: KRW 64.450 – KRW 71,500
  • 30 days: KRW 73,000 – KRW 82,500

Check prices and availability:
Data + domestic calls and texts Klook

KT Olleh (data + unlimited domestic calls & texts)

This SIM is interesting if you won’t be making international phone calls. The calling rate of this SIM card is cheaper.

You are able to receive an unlimited number of international and domestic phone calls and text messages and you can call for 100 minutes to domestic numbers.  You’re also able to send 100 domestic text messages.

The data plan is unlimited.  There is a fair usage policy.  Your speed will be throttled to 400Kbps after you’ve used 10Gb of data.

The SIM card can be extended once for a maximum of 30 days.  The price to extend the duration of the SIM is KRW 3,000/day.  

  • Size: Multi-size SIM cards (Normal, Nano, and Micro).  You get a Nano SIM card with an adapter to the Micro and Normal format.
  • Network: KT Olleh
  • Duration: 5 days, 7 days,10 days, 15 days, or 30 days
  • Pick-up:  The SIM card can be collected at Seoul Incheon airport terminal 1. Make your way to the CU convenience store on the 1st level between arrival gates D & E.  The card can be picked up 24/7. 
  • Activation: Somebody is available on-site from 12 PM to 6 PM to help with the activation.  You can also register and activate the card yourself.
  • Topping Up: Topping up is not possible.
  • Price: $

Trazy:

At the time of writing there’s an ongoing promo. The first price is the promo price, the second is the regular price.

  • 5 days: KRW 24,500 – KRW 29,900
  • 7 days: KRW 29,900 – KRW 33,490
  • 10 days: KRW 34,200 – KRW 39,900
  • 15 days: KRW 43,200 – KRW 50,490
  • 30 days: KRW 63,100 – KRW 73,900

Check prices and availability:
KT Olleh data + domestic calls

Seoul Sign South Korea
Welcome to Seoul!
KT Olleh (longer stays)

This SIM card can be used for stays from 30 to 90 days.  It comes in 4 flavors.  3 variants have an initial duration of 30 days and can be extended twice for another 30 days. Maximum two extensions are possible, up to 90 days, unless you have a Residence Card. 

The extensions can be done online, a manual with the steps to do so will be provided together with your SIM.

The fourth SIM is valid for 90 days out of the box.

Let’s have a look at the different options in detail:

30-day data-lite SIM – KRW 36,400 (Normal price KRW 45,100)

This SIM card offers:

  • Unlimited domestic calls and text messages
  • All incoming calls are free
  • 300 MB of high-speed 4G/LTE data.  Once this has been consumed you will get unlimited data at a limited speed of 3Mbps.
  • Extend this SIM for another 30 days at KRW 36,400 (2 extensions MAX)

30-day data-heavy SIM – KRW 58,800 (Normal price KRW 67,300)

This SIM card offers:

  • Unlimited domestic calls and text messages
  • All incoming calls are free
  • 10 GB of high-speed 4G/LTE data.  Once this has been consumed you will get unlimited data at a limited speed of 3Mbps.
  • Extend this SIM for another 30 days at KRW 36,400 (2 extensions MAX)

30-day data-max SIM with limited calls – KRW 43,500 (Normal price KRW 48,400)

This SIM card offers:

  • 100 minutes of local calls, additional calls cost 1.98 won/sec
  • 100 local text messages, additional messages cost 22 won/message
  • All incoming calls are free
  • 15 GB of high-speed 4G/LTE data.  Once 15GB has been consumed your speed is throttled to 3Mbps until the end of your contract.
  • The SIM cannot be topped-up. When additional costs are incurred these will shorten the duration of your contract.
  • Extend this SIM for another 30 days at KRW 39,600 (2 extensions MAX)

90-day Prepaid SIM card – KRW 39,900 – KRW 74,900 (Normal price KRW 62,800 – KRW 112,800 )

This SIM card offers:

  • This is a prepaid SIM card. You can choose from a prepaid balance of KRW 50,000 or KRW 100,000 to start. The card can be topped up during your 90-day period.
  • The balance is used towards messages, calls, and data
  • These are the rates
  • All incoming calls are free
  • The possibility to make international calls

The following details apply to all 4 plans:

  • Size: Multi-size SIM cards (Normal, Nano, and Micro).
  • Network: KT Olleh
  • Duration: 30 days, 60 days, 90 days 
  • Pick-up:  The SIM card can be collected at the KT Office near Hongik University Station or the Myeongdong Subway station.   Pay close attention to the opening hours of the pick-up locations.
  • Activation: The SIM card will be activated instantly.
  • Topping Up: Only the 90-day SIM card can be topped up.
  • Price: $

Check prices and availability:
KT Olleh long-term SIM

Seoraksan National Park, South Korea
South Korea has many great national parks for hikers. This is Seoraksan National Park.

Korea SIM cards with pick-up at Jeju airport

Unfortunately, there are no SIMs available for pick-up at Jeju. If you will be in Seoul before you go to Jeje you can use one of the above SIM cards. If not, have a look at the next section to see if there’s a SIM that can be shipped internationally to your home address.

Another alternative would be an E-SIM if your phone supports this.

SK Telecom

SK Telecom is the country’s largest wireless operator.  They have a roaming desk at Jeju international airport where you can collect your SIM card. The cards can be pre-ordered at Klook and Trazy.

The SIM cards support incoming calls and text messages but you cannot make voice calls or send text messages.  All incoming calls and texts, both domestic and international, are free.  

  • Size: Multi-size SIM cards (Normal, Nano and Micro).  The SIM can be adapted to fit in any mobile phone.
  • Network: SK Telecom
  • Duration: 1 day, 3 days (only on Klook), 5 days, 10 days, 20 days (only on Klook) or 30 days (only on Klook)
  • Pick-up:  The SIM card can be collected at Jeju international airport, at the SKT Roaming desk on the 1st floor in the arrivals hall, open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM.
  • Activation: To activate the SIM, install it in your phone and restart your phone.  We advise doing this at the counter. If the activation would not work you can arrange a full refund.  It is also possible to activate the card at a later date.
  • Topping Up & Extending: This is not possible.
  • Fair usage policy: If you use more than 1GB in 24 hours your speed will be capped to 3G ( 400 Kbps) for the remainder of the day.
  • Price: $

Trazy: 

  • 1 day: KRW 6,600
  • 5 days: KRW 27,500
  • 10 days: KRW 38,500

Check prices and availability:
Trazy Korea Jeju SIM card

Klook: 

  • 1 day KRW 5,800
  • 3 days KRW 15,900
  • 5 days KRW 24,700
  • 10 days KRW 33,700
  • 20 days KRW 54,000
  • 30 days KRW 62,600

Check prices and availability:
Jeju SIM Card Klook

Hanbok picture Palace South Korea
Get free access to the palaces with a Hanbok and instantly share these moments with your friends at home with your Korea tourist SIM

Prepaid SIM cards for Korea with pick-up abroad (via Klook)

Here are a few extra options for those who live in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, China, or India.

The following providers offer SIM cards that are either shipped to your home or that can be collected at your airport of departure.

These SIM cards are sometimes cheaper than the local SIM cards.  A disadvantage is that nobody can assist you with the activation or the settings on your phone.  In the unlikely event that you would encounter problems, you will need to rely on phone or e-mail support.

Pick-upDurationDataVoice+textTotal cost ( click for more information and to buy)Additional info
Bangkok10 days12 GB (top-up possible)NoKRW 12,300Multi-size SIM by Dtac GO Inter SIM
Works in Asia excluding Thailand & Australia)
Fair usage policy after 12GB, speed drops to 128kbps

Pick up at Klook counter at Bangkok airport or CentralWorld
Kuala Lumpur8 days6 GBNoKRW 13,600Multi-size SIM
Connects to SK Telekom network
After 6GB of high-speed data, speed is capped to 2G/3G for unlimited data

The SIM card can be collected at Seri Kembangan
Kuala Lumpur7 days4 GBNoKRW 16,900Multi-size SIM offered by Tune Talk

The SIM card can be collected at the Tune Traveller Store at KUL2 airport.
Singapore, West & East Malaysia8 days6 GBNoKRW 13,600Multi-size SIM.
Connects to SK Telekom network

After 6GB of high-speed data, speed is capped to 2G/3G for unlimited data

The SIM card is mailed to your home.
Kuala Lumpur8 days6 GB
No
KRW 15,400

Multi-size SIM from Hello1010
Connects to SK Telekom network

Pick-up at the office in Ara Damansara
West Malaysia8 days6 GBYesKRW 17,200 (+ KRW 1,800 postage)Multi-size SIM
Connects to SK Telekom network
You can use this SIM to make calls but they will be deducted from your data plan.

Delivered to any address in West Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur8 days
4 GBNoKRW 17,700Multi-size SIM

After 4GB of high-speed data, speed is capped to 2G/3G for unlimited data

The SIM card can be collected at Seri Kembangan

The SIM works on most parts of Asia and Australia
Singapore7 days
2,5 GB (top-up possible)NoKRW 15,000
Multi-size SIM from Xplori

Delivered to any address in Singapore
Singapore20 days
5 GB (top-up possible)NoKRW 25,100
Multi-size SIM from Xplori

Delivered to any address in Singapore
India
10 days
6 GB (top-up possible)NoKRW 21,300
Multi-size SIM from star roam
6GB of high-speed data, speed is capped to 3G afterward

You will need to send across a scanned copy of your passport and visa.

Delivered to the whole of India. Allow 1-2 business days for delivery in major cities. 3-4 business days for delivery

SIM works in Asia and Australia
Hong Kong10 days500 MB/dayNoKRW 29,100Multi-size SIM
Unlimited data at 256 Kbps.

Delivered to any address in Hong Kong

Works in most countries in Asia-Pacific (follow link for details)
Hong Kong, Beijing, Taiwan, Macau3 – 5 – 7 – 14 days3 GB or 5 GBNoKRW 5,500 – KRW 24,200Multi-size SIM, connects to SK telecom network

3 or 5 days : 3GB of high-speed data, speed reduced to 256 Kbps afterward.
7 or 14 days : 3 GB or 5 GB of high-speed data, speed reduced to 256 Kbps afterward.

Delivered to any address in Hong Kong, Beijing, Taiwan and Macau.
Indonesia7 – 20 days2.5 GB or 5 GB (top-up possible)NoKRW 15,500 – KRW 25,200Multi-size SIM by Xplori

7-day package has 2.5 GB of data, the 20-day package has 5 GB.

Delivery to Jakarta, Bandung, Yogakarta, Bali, Surabaya & Medan.
Vietnam
5 days
1 GB/dayNoKRW 14,300Multi-size SIM that connects to the SK telecom network

Fair usage policy: 1GB/day high-speed 4G data daily + unlimited data at 3G

Delivery to any address in Hanoi, Halong Bay & Ho Chi Minh
Vietnam
30 days
3 GBYesKRW 29,800
Multi-size SIM

Fair usage policy: After 3 GB of high-speed 4G data is used unlimited data at 3G

Delivery to any address in Hanoi, Halong Bay & Ho Chi Minh

This is a Global SIM which works in many countries worldwide.

Use an eSIM to stay connected in Korea

It will require a modern phone, but if your phone supports it, an eSIM might be one of the easiest, most hassle-free ways, to stay connected in Korea.

Phones that support eSIMS typically allow to have multiple network connections at once. This means that there’s no need to switch SIM cards. You can leave your physical SIM in your phone and all you need to do is scan the QR code to connect to the other network. From that point on you can switch back and forward between your 2 SIMs using your phone’s menu.

To take it one step further. Some phones support to have 2 active networks. You could keep your own SIM for voice calls and only use the Korean eSIM for data. This would be the best of both worlds. Your friends and family can still reach you on your familiar phone number while you avoid nasty roaming fees when browsing the internet in Korea.

eSIM from Frewie

You can choose from a duration of 14 or 30 days and data packages of 15 GB or 30 GB. Once your data treshold is reached your speed will be downgraded to 128 kbps. If you want to continue surfing at high speed you can top-up your SIM.

These are data-only contracts so voice calls are not supported.

  • Size: eSIM card. You will receive a QR in the mail to activate your SIM
  • Network: KT Olleh & SK Telecom
  • Duration: 14 or 30 days
  • Pick-up: the QR code to install the SIM on your phone will be mailed to you after your order. The QR code remains valid for 45 days from the moment that you ordered it.
  • Activation: The SIM card will be activated at the moment that you scan the QR code. You will need a WiFi connection to activate it.
  • Topping Up: Is possible.
  • Price: $

Check prices and availability:
eSIM Korea

Buying a SIM card in Korea

Your options are limited if you’re already in South Korea when you’re reading this but it is still possible to get a local SIM. 

You will either need to head back to an airport or you can visit the KT center near Hongik University Station in Seoul.

At the airport

It’s a bit unfortunate, but unless you’re still in Seoul, the only way to buy a SIM is to go back to the airport. You can buy your SIM there but in most cases, pre-ordering using one of the links above will be cheaper.

In Seoul

To be honest, we were surprised by how few options there are to get a SIM card as a foreigner.  Except for the airports the only place you can go to is the KT Center in downtown Seoul near the Hongik University Station.

The office is about a 3 minutes walk from the subway station (take exit 5).  It’s open daily from 9 AM until 6 PM.

This is the address: Link Korea, 2F, Floren B/D, 176-8 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea

You can head to the office and buy your SIM card on the spot or you can pre-order it online which will grant you a small discount.

Conclusion

We used one of the KT Olleh SIM’s in Korea and it turned out to be invaluable. We used Naver maps during our road trip as well as many other local apps.  The connection was always stable and very fast.

Previously, when there were no tourist SIM cards, we managed to discover a country without them, but since the introduction of these SIM’s it has become much easier to discover off-the-beaten-path locations. 

It helps to travel deeper and get a better, less touristy experience of South Korea.

All information is accurate at the time of writing (June 2021).

We will regularly update this article but if you notice any changes we would appreciate it if you let us know so we can update our post.

Enjoy South Korea!