Is South Korea Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

South Korea is remarkably safe for solo female travelers. With low crime rates and a society that is generally respectful, most women feel comfortable when navigating through both urban and rural areas. However, like in any foreign country, it's important to take precautions such as keeping personal belongings close and avoid dark alleys at night. Be respectful of cultural customs and the South Koreans will surely mirror that respect back. In case of emergencies, the locals and police service can be very helpful.

Safety rating

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How safe is South Korea?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Safe

South Korea is generally very safe for solo female travelers, even at night. Most areas in the city are well lit, and there's a significant police presence. Crime rates are relatively low compared to other countries. However, it is always important to remain cautious of your surroundings
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Very safe

Public transportation in South Korea is highly efficient, punctual and considered very safe, even late at night. Buses and metros are not only reliable but also clean and well maintained. It is common for solo female travelers to use them without encountering any issue. The transportation system is also equipped with CCTVs and easy-to-understand signs in English. Therefore, whether it's day or night, public transportation in South Korea provides a safe and comfortable way to explore the country.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:Low

South Korea is generally safe for solo female travelers. While the culture is deeply respectful and instances of street harassment are comparatively low, some areas known for nightlife may warrant caution. Do not disregard personal safety measures. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and don't be afraid to use Korean customs or language to your advantage if needed.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:Low

South Korea is generally a safe country for solo female travelers with regard to petty crimes. However, it's always important to stay vigilant. Petty thefts such as pickpocketing or bag-snatching can occasionally happen in crowded areas or public transport. Remember to always secure your belongings and avoid flashy displays of wealth.
Tap water:

Tap water:Very safe

The tap water in South Korea is generally safe to drink. The country follows strict water purification standards and tap water is rigorously tested to ensure safety. However, the taste might slightly vary from places to places due to different purification methods. Therefore, it's a common preference among locals and tourists to consume filtered or bottled water instead.

Is South Korea safe to travel?

4.8 /5

Based on 11 experiences

Kamatham

Kamatham

India

Group travel experience

South Korea was very safe, we went to only major tourist places like Seoul, Busan and Jeju and didn’t feel unsafe anywhere. We would definitely recommend using public transport in Seoul, can use a little bit of taxis as well in Busan as they are a little less expensive than in Seoul, and use a personal cab or hire a cab, driver/guide in Jeju as public transport there is a little difficult and the places are sparse so it might feel unsafe at night with no one around, waiting hours for a bus.

Posted: March 7, 2024
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Rebecca

Rebecca

Netherlands

Solo travel experience

I lived in South Korea for 4 months as part of my exchange semester! I studied in Daegu and lived in my dorm on campus but I did plenty of trips to Seoul and Busan where I stayed in airbnbs with my friends. I also visited Pohang, and regret not taking the time to see more places! I felt very safe overall, except be careful when you go clubbing as Korean guys often see foreigners as ‘easy’ and won’t hesitate to try something with you such as literally dragging you along to a motel. Be careful! Otherwise I’d say it’s even safe to walk alone as a woman at night. My personal favourite city was Busan and I’d recommend anyone to go hear. It’s a mix of the calmer Daegu and more touristy and busy Seoul + beautiful beaches. For transportation, get a T-money card at a convenience store or station. You can load it with cash. Taxis are relatively cheap too in my opinion, so if you ever need it, wave one over or call a Kakao taxi. Try as many different foods whilst you’re here! I loved the jjimdak, dakgalbi and also fried chicken here is amazing. Nothing can compare to the kbbq here (duh). Noodle dishes are great. There’s plenty of safer options with food you’re used to as well, so try their spin on it if you want. Also the cafe culture here is amazing. And if you’re ever in a hurry, go to a convenience store. My favourite: banana milk!

Posted: February 5, 2024
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Solo travel experience

I spent there 15 days, visiting Seoul and Busan (10 days is more than enough). I was on a limited budget, so I opted for hostels (very, very clean, very good price-quality ratio, separate for girls/boys). I took a bus (5 hours) to Busan, and on the way back I used a high-speed train, 2 hours. Generally, it's a very safe country where you can watch nature and skyscrapers at any time, with convenience stores open 24/7. Young people speak and understand English, but older people don't necessarily. You definitely need to have cash on you, card payment is not always available (especially at markets).

Posted: September 19, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I recently took a two-week trip to South Korea (Busan, Jeju, and Seoul) by myself and it was an amazing experience. South Korea is a safe place to travel alone, even for women. Most people there understand basic English, and signs are usually in English, but it is helpful to know a few Korean phrases and etiquette rules, as well as being able to read Hangul. Busan and Seoul have affordable metro and buses which are easy to operate. There are also public restrooms (even in the metro) and street maps for those who like to explore on foot. South Korea has many amazing places to visit and things to do. Hotel prices range between 45 and 75 dollars per night. There are also many markets and shops, if you don't want to eat out all the time.

Posted: August 17, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I felt very safe in South Korea, going out alone at night (always being careful, regardless of the circumstances), but I truly felt safe and found it easy to get around the country with minimal or no knowledge of the language. Many signs and instructions have translations in English, and the people are super nice and willing to help. Moreover, many Koreans have to learn English as a second language in school, so they are usually willing to attempt communication.

Posted: May 25, 2023
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Solo travel experience

South Korea is an amazing country, and I adored Seoul (it's easy to get around, you feel safe, there's a lot to do). I would definitely recommend exploring other areas, especially the east coast, like Sokcho or Gangneung, and Jeju Island, if you have the chance! I found that public transportation is really easy. Most signs have English translations. Just use the Naver Map app, not Google. Cost is very subjective. Compared to the situation in the United States, I found it to be economical, but of course it's not as cheap as in other countries, like in Vietnam. If you like hiking, there are trails everywhere. And be brave in trying the food!

Posted: November 9, 2022
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Is South Korea safe for women?

It’s generally pretty safe but being a woman, this is always something to remain cautious about. Korea is safe for transit, though you may find the occasional brush against you in a crowded subway. This has happened to me but with older men. I’d say older men gawk quite a lot, so be mindful of this. There’s a lot of fetishization and sexualization of foreigners here so be careful on dating apps and with sharing too much information about where you live, etc. A common phrase is for men to ask “do you live alone”, and it’s best to always say you live with someone.

Posted: April 14, 2024
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Is South Korea safe right now?

Before your visit to South Korea, it's essential to check travel advisories for South Korea, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
🇺🇸

United States Travel AdvisoryTake normal security precautions

The United States government advises exercising normal precautions in South Korea. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: July 24, 2023
🇨🇦

Canada's Travel AdvisoryTake normal security precautions

**The Canadian government advises taking normal security precautions in South Korea.** Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: June 17, 2024
🇦🇺

Australia's Travel AdvisoryTake normal security precautions

The Australian Government advises exercising normal safety precautions in South Korea. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: May 7, 2024

Is South Korea worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.7 /5

based on 11 experiences

lou-is

lou-is (42)

Taiwan

Solo travel experience

When I lived in hostels in Seoul city, I got to know a lot of people and felt very happy. I also enjoyed the local food, as Korea is considered to have the healthiest diet in the world. Wearing traditional clothes in the palace was an interesting experience. Overall, living in Korea was quite enriching.

Posted: April 20, 2024Experienced: March, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Family travel experience

Beautiful country with amazing nature and people! I spent two weeks travelling with a friend but didn't feel I saw enough so I've already planned to go back! Only thing I struggled with was being vegetarian as a lot of meals contain meat but overall the best place to visit!

Posted: January 3, 2024Experienced: April, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 3/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 5/5
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Meet locals in South Korea

Meet local women in South Korea who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Mykela

Mykela

About Me

I love hiking and the outdoors and would welcome a hiking partner! I'm also a huge animal lover (I've raised animals most of my life!) Aside from that I enjoy eating a delicious brunch with good conversation!

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Corri

Corri

About Me

I’m from Tennessee in the US, I love meeting new friends! My insta is @corri.loves

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Stay with locals in South Korea

Stay with local women in South Korea who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Hahee

Hahee

Gunsan-si

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hi, I am Hahee, a Korean teacher. I would like to share cultural activities. I plan to visit NYC as I missed out a chance 10 years ago. It would be wonderful to see you to share travel stories.

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Lee

Lee

South Korea

Can host for:

7 days

About me

Hi, i am Yujin from South Korea. I have been travelling Europe since last 30/09/2022. It is started in France as Working holiday ! Now i am planing to work in Madrid in Spain on Dec. from the end of Oct to Nov, i am looking for place for staying in Europe ! And most important thing is that i am with my dog , so i hope you are dog lover, my dog , Angkko like hanging out with people but at first time, being quite timid :) During the staying, i can help you learn Korean culture or language. And maybe free hand poke , if you would like to !

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Upcoming visitors to South Korea

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Caylah

Caylah

About Me

I’m a young 32 year old woman interested in travelling the world to meet new people. I enjoy getting outside in nature, reading a book and drinking coffee. I’m currently studying a bachelor of psychological science, with the hope of completing my masters of social work after I’ve travelled to a few more places. I am travelling to south Korea in June, and looking for a place to stay.

Speaking

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Safety in South Korea