Never Have a Dead Cell Phone in Korea

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Imagine this: you travel to Korea, rent a cell phone at Incheon airport, and meet a few local Korean friends. You’re going out to meet them the next day, but your cell phone is dead! Don’t let your visit to Korea be ruined. Read this Korea travel tip to find out where to charge your cell phone and/or smart phone in Korea! (Of course, useful for those living in Korea too ;))

Essential Tour-Afternoon 620×140 Reservation

Convenience Stores 

This one many people who live in Korea already know. But all convenience stores in Korea offer cell phone charging for a minor fee (sometimes free!). Keep this one in mind because convenience stores are on nearly every block in Korea. That means you can leave your dead cell phone with the attendant, get a bite to eat, and pick up your fully charged phone when you’re done!


This is a Korea travel tip that many local Koreans take advantage of. Whenever Koreans have a dead cell phone, they simply ask the restaurant that they’re at to charge their cell phones for them. And this is not limited to restaurants. Most businesses in Korea will be more than happy to charge your dead cell phone for you free of charge as long as you’re a customer. Wherever you are in Korea  — a bar, restaurant, pc bang, jjimjil bang, etc — most likely they’ll have a cell phone charger. Don’t be afraid. Just ask!

Subway Stations

Subway stations in Korea are great places to go if you have to charge your Korean cell phone in an emergency. Most major Korean subway stations will have cell phone charging services for you poor folks with no batteries. Head over to the station office or look for digital stations. Most of the time, they just ask for you to write a short thank you note. Absolutely free and found all over Korea, these subway stations are places to keep in mind when your Korean cell phone is dead!

Cell Phone Company Stores

Korea has three major telecom networks: SK, KT and LG. Chances are if you’ve rented a cell phone at Incheon or you’re living in Korea and opened your own account, you’re with one of these three Korean cell phone companies. Find the company you’re with and head into any of their stores to drop off your dead cell phone. They’ll definitely have the correct charger, whether you have an iPhone or a Galaxy in Korea. And of course, the cell phone charging service is free of charge. (Hey, you’re already paying them!)

Electronic Stores (i.e. Frisbee, a#, Concierge, etc.) [for iPhones]

This last innovative Korea travel tip is provided by Korean Blogger meshel for those with an iPhone or iPod touch in Korea. Drop into one of Korea’s many electronic stores and find one of those iPhone/iPod stereos. If you have a dead cell phone, just pop it right in and pretend like you’re testing out the stereo. Sneak in a game of Draw Something while you’re at it, just long enough till you’re satisfied with your iPhone or iPod battery level. Here’s to mooching!

Tip: Currently, there are no official Apple stores in Korea. Frisbee and a# are apple focused retailers that will have all your Apple needs.

Language tip: 충전하다 (chungjeonhada) – to charge

Have any other ways you charge your cell phone in Korea? Share with us in the comments section!

About Keith

Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea.Personal Blog: Facebook: Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeithe-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at]


  1. ohthatlove

    I found this article really informative. I went to Korea recently and I feel so lost when my battery went flat due to excess usage. This is a question that I’ve been wondering because I always see the locals with their phones in the subway watching TV, playing games or on Kakao Talk and I wonder how when their battery gone flat. I’ll remember this tip. I didn’t know the convenience stores I saw everywhere at this kind of service. Thanks!

  2. Sorry I didn’t start this blog soon enough! Hope you come back soon more prepared :)

  3. Chris

    Wow, i find it amazing how you can just leave your cellphone to charge in the convenience store and just return to claim it. Here in the Philippines, we also have cellphone charger “machines” in convenience stores but you have to watch over them or else someone might take it.
    Do you know if most cafes in Korea have wall sockets for customers to plug in their laptops? Some cafes here seem to have very few to deter customers from staying too long. Thanks 😀 Awesome videos btw.

  4. Many cafes here do the same too :( But some cafes do have wall sockets and encourage you to use their wifi. Thanks! I got another post idea! 😀

  5. natasha

    Does this include if u brought your own phone :) I THINK ITS brillant idea 😛

  6. Thanks for the information. I’m planning to have trip in Korea next month and your post interest me. Good tips you got here!

  7. Katieee

    You should do a post about chargers & converters and all that. Like do we need two prongs only or do those three pronged ones we have Stateside work over there too?