I'm flying to Korea in a couple of days, I live in the UK and never been outside Europe, also I'm have never traveled much, been to Italy and UK mostly. I'd like to be able to use Whatsapp, mainly to communicate with my family, and internet access in general, maybe few things like google maps etc.

I've been suggested to buy a SIM card, or even a cheap smartphone to use as router, with a Korean SIM card.

Are these two the only options? Is there a specific type of SIM I should look for? I've read of unlimited plans that can be used for a few days with no need to return the sim, if it is only data (which I assume translates into internet access).

How about buying a cheap phone instead? Is there a particular benefit over just buying the sim card?

(I'm staying for 7 days, including the flight which narrows the 7 days essentially to 5 days).

Also if you've already been at that airport and can suggest a shop where I can look for these that would be great, I don't speak Korean at all, and I'm trying to plan things so I won't get confused.

Thank you

  • First, ask you home carrier about their roaming data options. Some carriers have temporary options, other, such as T-Mobile in the US include 2G or higher globally.
    – DTRT
    May 11, 2018 at 11:11
  • What do you mean by "home carrier"? May 11, 2018 at 11:48
  • Whoever you use at home.
    – DTRT
    May 11, 2018 at 11:48
  • I see what you mean. You think I might just be able to use my sim in the way it is, is that correct? May 11, 2018 at 11:52
  • I find that unlikely though. And even if that would work, I guess would be better having a local SIM anyway. May 11, 2018 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


The best solution I've found at the airport was to buy a prepaid SIM with unlimited data (no return), straightforward to configure. It was in a small shop in the airport at the arrivals. You can also rent a small router with a SIM card, the offer was ok but there was an issue with my debit card that I couldn't manage to sort out (it did require a credit card basically). Renting a SIM can be done with either debit card or credit card, but there was also a possible issue with my phone whose brand is XIAOMI. One of the ladies said it works with some devices it doesn't with others and I didn't want to risk, I couldn't try the SIM card. The sim I bought with unlimited data for 7 days costed about 25 pounds. The owner of the shop where I bought the SIM card couldn't speak english (except for some terms) asking information in general though is totally fine, most of the staff at the airport does speak english, so you can ask all the info you need.

For who has a Xiaomi phone like me, the SIM I bought was of the KT operator, it was data only.

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