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Money and duty free for South Korea

Currency and Money

Currency information

Won (KRW; symbol ₩). Notes are in denominations of ₩50,000, 10,000, 5,000 and 1,000. Chon means 'one thousand'. Coins are in denominations of ₩500, 100, 50 and 10.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted at major hotels, shops and restaurants in the larger cities. You may not be able use credit cards at small businesses and in rural areas. You may also want to check whether your credit card is accepted by looking at door signs before you enter an establishment. ATMs are available in all major cities, but not all of them will accept international cards. Just keep trying different outlets until you see a logo you recognise on the machine. Cards with the Plus and Cirrus logos are the easiest to use and most widely accepted in Korea.


ATMs are available in all major cities, but not all of them will accept international cards. KB bank is one of the most reliable for foreign cards. Many of the ATMs in Seoul subways accept foreign cards as well.

Travellers cheques

Accepted, but may be difficult to change in smaller towns. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US dollars.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1700.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 or equivalent must be declared.

Currency exchange

Foreign banknotes and travellers cheques can be exchanged at foreign exchange banks and other authorised money changers.

South Korea duty free


The following goods may be imported into South Korea by travellers aged 19 and over without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes/ e-cigarettes/ 20 ml liquid nicotine.
• 2 bottles of alcohol (total volume up to 2L and a max value of 400 US$).
• 60ml of perfume.
• Goods to the value of US$800.

Banned Imports

Prohibited and restricted goods include weapons, food (small quantities allowed, but you must declare it), counterfeit goods and money, publications infringing upon the constitution and public peace, narcotics and endangered species.

Banned Exports

The export of counterfeit goods is taken very seriously and can be subject to a prison sentence.

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