7 Best eSIM cards for Digital Nomads in South Korea

You are a long-term traveler searching for an eSIM or a SIM card in Korea, but you're not sure what to choose? Here's our complete guide to get the best data for the cheapest price.

If you’re a long-term traveler, chances are you won’t find your happiness with the traditional tourist SIM cards.

They’re usually expensive, don’t last long enough and don’t provide enough data or phone calls for remote work. Sometimes, they don’t even come with a phone number, which you’ll want to have in Korea to be able to access many services.

So here are the best eSIM and SIM card options for digital nomads coming to Korea for more than to weeks.

Foreigner-friendly services

The following companies speak great English and let you use the same SIM card as long as you extend your plan.

1. Chingu Mobile

With airport and store pickup, as well as a delivery option, Chingu Mobile might just be the most practical service at the moment. Their plans get considerably cheaper if you subscribe for three months at a time.

We’d recommend their A_USIM_BASIC PLAN or ESIM_MEDIUM PLAN especially to long-term nomads who need to often call local numbers. If you have an iPhone, go for the cheaper C_USIM_BASIC PLAN.

Be careful when looking at the speed of the unlimited internet. Most plans are capped at 3mbps (which is fast enough for messaging apps, social media and web browsing, but can lag a little bit when streaming videos), which is why they are so much cheaper. They get a bit pricier if you want 5mbps - which could still be too low depending on your needs.

2. Link Korea

Link Korea has been a reliable service for years when it comes to SIM cards. We recommend their Purple prepaid plan if you need fast data (it’s LTE data which can go up to 110-150mbps in Korea) as well as some voice calls.

It has however become a bit of a hassle to get the SIM card, recently. You can only get it in their office, on a weekday, between 9am and 5pm. Once you’ve picked it up though, everything, including extending, can be easily done online.

Link also has a prepaid eSIM plan which is more expensive than Chingu's for a similar service. 

For Korean-speaking foreigners or residents

There are three main telecom companies in Korea: SKT, KT and LG U+. All three provide very reliable and fast connection, but are overall more expensive than Chingu and Link.

3. KT

KT’s plans are quite expensive on their website or at the airport, but if you go to their 'flagship' store next to Hongdae station and speak a little bit of Korean, you can get a permanent monthly pre-paid foreigner SIM card. Expect to pay around ₩35.000 per month.

We do not recommend this option for first-time visitors or very short-term visitors.

Another option is KT M Mobile, the low-cost division of KT. If you have a visa, and the ARC that goes with it (the resident card), you could opt for their cheap plan that starts with 7GB/month (with options to go up to 15GB) at high speed for ₩17.800 per month.

4. LG U+

LG is the cheapest option out of the three main providers. If you reserve online, you can get a three month sim card for ₩130.000 (₩43.000 per month) and you need to tell the counter you want a Korean phone number. It can get picked up at the airport or in any LG store which is a big plus.

But if you need voice calls minutes though, it’s quite expensive to top-up your card.

5. SK Telecom

SKT is the fastest internet and main provider in Korea. For foreigners though, we find their plans to be quite expensive (₩71.000) compared to te others. We don’t really recommend to go with them.

Digital Nomad eSIMs (NO local phone number)

The following providers are practical because they give you data plans SIM cards in any country you visit and adapt well to the digital nomad lifestyle requirements… But they don’t give you a phone number which, as we said at the beginning of this article, is not very convenient in Korea.

6. Ubigi

The options with Ubugi are flexible (you can get 3, 10 and other amounts of GB). You probably don’t need unlimited data in Korea because there’s a lot of free wifi throughout the big cities (especially in Seoul and Jeju) and all cafes provide free wifi!

7. Airalo

Airalo’s two options, unlimited data for 10 days (32 dollars) and 30 days (62 dollars), are quite expensive for Korea.

You can also look at the eSIM database website to compare more options.

. . . . .

FAQ

How much data do I need in Korea?

Not as much as you think. Free WiFi is everywhere in Korea. Cafes all have free WiFi and there are many fast free public WiFis (city WiFi, bus WiFi, etc). Usually, digital nomads are fine with 3GB to 7GB plans. 

Why do I need a phone number in Korea?

Phone numbers are at the heart of all administration and identity checks in Korea. You do not have access to their ID check system as a non-resident, but it means a local phone number can be mandatory in some situations. When booking a ticket or ordering online for example, or when queuing at restaurants or in cafes to get a spot inside. Some shops also require a phone number for you to order because they'll send you a message to tell you your order is ready (and everything is done via ordering at the machine). 

If you want to know more tips for living as a Digital Nomad in Korea, we wrote a comprehensive guide on the topic!

7 Best eSIM cards for Digital Nomads in South Korea

You are a long-term traveler searching for an eSIM or a SIM card in Korea, but you're not sure what to choose? Here's our complete guide to get the best data for the cheapest price.

If you’re a long-term traveler, chances are you won’t find your happiness with the traditional tourist SIM cards.

They’re usually expensive, don’t last long enough and don’t provide enough data or phone calls for remote work. Sometimes, they don’t even come with a phone number, which you’ll want to have in Korea to be able to access many services.

So here are the best eSIM and SIM card options for digital nomads coming to Korea for more than to weeks.

Foreigner-friendly services

The following companies speak great English and let you use the same SIM card as long as you extend your plan.

1. Chingu Mobile

With airport and store pickup, as well as a delivery option, Chingu Mobile might just be the most practical service at the moment. Their plans get considerably cheaper if you subscribe for three months at a time.

We’d recommend their A_USIM_BASIC PLAN or ESIM_MEDIUM PLAN especially to long-term nomads who need to often call local numbers. If you have an iPhone, go for the cheaper C_USIM_BASIC PLAN.

Be careful when looking at the speed of the unlimited internet. Most plans are capped at 3mbps (which is fast enough for messaging apps, social media and web browsing, but can lag a little bit when streaming videos), which is why they are so much cheaper. They get a bit pricier if you want 5mbps - which could still be too low depending on your needs.

2. Link Korea

Link Korea has been a reliable service for years when it comes to SIM cards. We recommend their Purple prepaid plan if you need fast data (it’s LTE data which can go up to 110-150mbps in Korea) as well as some voice calls.

It has however become a bit of a hassle to get the SIM card, recently. You can only get it in their office, on a weekday, between 9am and 5pm. Once you’ve picked it up though, everything, including extending, can be easily done online.

Link also has a prepaid eSIM plan which is more expensive than Chingu's for a similar service. 

For Korean-speaking foreigners or residents

There are three main telecom companies in Korea: SKT, KT and LG U+. All three provide very reliable and fast connection, but are overall more expensive than Chingu and Link.

3. KT

KT’s plans are quite expensive on their website or at the airport, but if you go to their 'flagship' store next to Hongdae station and speak a little bit of Korean, you can get a permanent monthly pre-paid foreigner SIM card. Expect to pay around ₩35.000 per month.

We do not recommend this option for first-time visitors or very short-term visitors.

Another option is KT M Mobile, the low-cost division of KT. If you have a visa, and the ARC that goes with it (the resident card), you could opt for their cheap plan that starts with 7GB/month (with options to go up to 15GB) at high speed for ₩17.800 per month.

4. LG U+

LG is the cheapest option out of the three main providers. If you reserve online, you can get a three month sim card for ₩130.000 (₩43.000 per month) and you need to tell the counter you want a Korean phone number. It can get picked up at the airport or in any LG store which is a big plus.

But if you need voice calls minutes though, it’s quite expensive to top-up your card.

5. SK Telecom

SKT is the fastest internet and main provider in Korea. For foreigners though, we find their plans to be quite expensive (₩71.000) compared to te others. We don’t really recommend to go with them.

Digital Nomad eSIMs (NO local phone number)

The following providers are practical because they give you data plans SIM cards in any country you visit and adapt well to the digital nomad lifestyle requirements… But they don’t give you a phone number which, as we said at the beginning of this article, is not very convenient in Korea.

6. Ubigi

The options with Ubugi are flexible (you can get 3, 10 and other amounts of GB). You probably don’t need unlimited data in Korea because there’s a lot of free wifi throughout the big cities (especially in Seoul and Jeju) and all cafes provide free wifi!

7. Airalo

Airalo’s two options, unlimited data for 10 days (32 dollars) and 30 days (62 dollars), are quite expensive for Korea.

You can also look at the eSIM database website to compare more options.

. . . . .

FAQ

How much data do I need in Korea?

Not as much as you think. Free WiFi is everywhere in Korea. Cafes all have free WiFi and there are many fast free public WiFis (city WiFi, bus WiFi, etc). Usually, digital nomads are fine with 3GB to 7GB plans. 

Why do I need a phone number in Korea?

Phone numbers are at the heart of all administration and identity checks in Korea. You do not have access to their ID check system as a non-resident, but it means a local phone number can be mandatory in some situations. When booking a ticket or ordering online for example, or when queuing at restaurants or in cafes to get a spot inside. Some shops also require a phone number for you to order because they'll send you a message to tell you your order is ready (and everything is done via ordering at the machine). 

If you want to know more tips for living as a Digital Nomad in Korea, we wrote a comprehensive guide on the topic!

7 Best eSIM cards for Digital Nomads in South Korea

You are a long-term traveler searching for an eSIM or a SIM card in Korea, but you're not sure what to choose? Here's our complete guide to get the best data for the cheapest price.

If you’re a long-term traveler, chances are you won’t find your happiness with the traditional tourist SIM cards.

They’re usually expensive, don’t last long enough and don’t provide enough data or phone calls for remote work. Sometimes, they don’t even come with a phone number, which you’ll want to have in Korea to be able to access many services.

So here are the best eSIM and SIM card options for digital nomads coming to Korea for more than to weeks.

Foreigner-friendly services

The following companies speak great English and let you use the same SIM card as long as you extend your plan.

1. Chingu Mobile

With airport and store pickup, as well as a delivery option, Chingu Mobile might just be the most practical service at the moment. Their plans get considerably cheaper if you subscribe for three months at a time.

We’d recommend their A_USIM_BASIC PLAN or ESIM_MEDIUM PLAN especially to long-term nomads who need to often call local numbers. If you have an iPhone, go for the cheaper C_USIM_BASIC PLAN.

Be careful when looking at the speed of the unlimited internet. Most plans are capped at 3mbps (which is fast enough for messaging apps, social media and web browsing, but can lag a little bit when streaming videos), which is why they are so much cheaper. They get a bit pricier if you want 5mbps - which could still be too low depending on your needs.

2. Link Korea

Link Korea has been a reliable service for years when it comes to SIM cards. We recommend their Purple prepaid plan if you need fast data (it’s LTE data which can go up to 110-150mbps in Korea) as well as some voice calls.

It has however become a bit of a hassle to get the SIM card, recently. You can only get it in their office, on a weekday, between 9am and 5pm. Once you’ve picked it up though, everything, including extending, can be easily done online.

Link also has a prepaid eSIM plan which is more expensive than Chingu's for a similar service. 

For Korean-speaking foreigners or residents

There are three main telecom companies in Korea: SKT, KT and LG U+. All three provide very reliable and fast connection, but are overall more expensive than Chingu and Link.

3. KT

KT’s plans are quite expensive on their website or at the airport, but if you go to their 'flagship' store next to Hongdae station and speak a little bit of Korean, you can get a permanent monthly pre-paid foreigner SIM card. Expect to pay around ₩35.000 per month.

We do not recommend this option for first-time visitors or very short-term visitors.

Another option is KT M Mobile, the low-cost division of KT. If you have a visa, and the ARC that goes with it (the resident card), you could opt for their cheap plan that starts with 7GB/month (with options to go up to 15GB) at high speed for ₩17.800 per month.

4. LG U+

LG is the cheapest option out of the three main providers. If you reserve online, you can get a three month sim card for ₩130.000 (₩43.000 per month) and you need to tell the counter you want a Korean phone number. It can get picked up at the airport or in any LG store which is a big plus.

But if you need voice calls minutes though, it’s quite expensive to top-up your card.

5. SK Telecom

SKT is the fastest internet and main provider in Korea. For foreigners though, we find their plans to be quite expensive (₩71.000) compared to te others. We don’t really recommend to go with them.

Digital Nomad eSIMs (NO local phone number)

The following providers are practical because they give you data plans SIM cards in any country you visit and adapt well to the digital nomad lifestyle requirements… But they don’t give you a phone number which, as we said at the beginning of this article, is not very convenient in Korea.

6. Ubigi

The options with Ubugi are flexible (you can get 3, 10 and other amounts of GB). You probably don’t need unlimited data in Korea because there’s a lot of free wifi throughout the big cities (especially in Seoul and Jeju) and all cafes provide free wifi!

7. Airalo

Airalo’s two options, unlimited data for 10 days (32 dollars) and 30 days (62 dollars), are quite expensive for Korea.

You can also look at the eSIM database website to compare more options.

. . . . .

FAQ

How much data do I need in Korea?

Not as much as you think. Free WiFi is everywhere in Korea. Cafes all have free WiFi and there are many fast free public WiFis (city WiFi, bus WiFi, etc). Usually, digital nomads are fine with 3GB to 7GB plans. 

Why do I need a phone number in Korea?

Phone numbers are at the heart of all administration and identity checks in Korea. You do not have access to their ID check system as a non-resident, but it means a local phone number can be mandatory in some situations. When booking a ticket or ordering online for example, or when queuing at restaurants or in cafes to get a spot inside. Some shops also require a phone number for you to order because they'll send you a message to tell you your order is ready (and everything is done via ordering at the machine). 

If you want to know more tips for living as a Digital Nomad in Korea, we wrote a comprehensive guide on the topic!