When visiting the southern part of the Korean peninsula, you might be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into the future. The neon signs of Seoul, Pusan, Kwangju and Taejon reveal a country in love with technology, but what else is there to South Korea? Its long and rich history has left behind a great legacy of fascinating architecture and amazing landmarks like the serene Jeju Island. The Kyeongbokgung Palace and Secret Garden in Seoul are proof of how Buddhism plays a big part in daily life here, while more modern structures such as the Seoul Tower astound visitors in equal measure. In Gyeongju, there are a number of World Heritage sites, while local dishes like kimchi can surprise you with their intense flavour.
Driving in South Korea
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Some of the highways in South Korea are toll roads, so make sure you have a credit card or spare change ready.
Just in case you’re involved in an accident, you might need to bring a disposable camera with you, no matter how minor it may be.
Be prepared to wait to find a good parking space. As cars are very popular here, finding a space can take a while, even on the narrow streets.
Driving culture in South Korea
What are the roads like in South Korea?
Just about every road in the country is in good condition, especially the expressways which link all the major cities. The road signs are written in both Korean and English. Some roads in cities have bus-only lanes, which should not be driven on by any vehicle carrying less than six people. There is the odd rural route which is poorly maintained.
What are the drivers like in South Korea?
Despite the traffic problems which plague Seoul and Pusan, drivers in South Korea are generally polite and respect the country’s equivalent of the Highway Code. Some of the laws in this country are pretty heavily enforced, which is why it’s so rare to see them flouted by reckless or inexperienced drivers.
What are the best times to drive?
Ideally, you should avoid driving in major cities in the morning and during the evening on weekdays. The traffic in the major cities at peak times can be horrendous and test the patience of even the most laidback driver. Driving at night isn’t much of a problem on major routes and in cities as the streets are pretty well-lit.
What are the driving laws?
A driving licence is essential, as is wearing seatbelts at all times. Children in the front passenger seat have to make sure they wear a seatbelt or sit in an appropriate child seat. Insurance is also mandatory, as is all the relevant paperwork proving that your car is covered. Some of the fines given for breaching any of these laws can be hefty.