The 5 Best Places to Exchange Money in Seoul

Seoul Travel Guides / November 02, 2016
The 5 Best Places to Exchange Money in Seoul Image credit: prakobkit

The currency in South Korea is called won (KRW). Banknotes come in denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 50,000 KRW. Coins are available in 10, 50, 100, and 500 won.

South Korea is one of the few countries in the world where we can get good exchange rates from banks. You can rely on bank’s service while being in Seoul.

The advantage of exchanging money in banks is that there are staff speaking English and Japanese to serve us at the counter. You will surely enjoy this specialized service at banks like KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank, and Woori Bank, which is particularly designed to cater for visitors.

The only downside to bank service is their limited business hours (standard bank hours are 09:00 – 16:00 from Monday to Friday).

Besides banks, there are also good individual money changers for us to stock Korean wons for our fashion and cuisine adventures. You can find them at Myeong-dong, Dongdaemun, and Itaewon. Apart from these famous tourist areas, you seldom find a service provider with advantageous rates in other parts of the city.

Although most of the money changers in Seoul are authorized, visitors are advised to avoid the quirky currency exchange stalls with huge umbrellas on the sidewalks.

Traveler’s cheques can be exchanged in banks and at some service booths. Just remember to only sign the bottom section (of the cheque) in the presence of the teller. Otherwise, your cheque will not be accepted.

Also, make sure to bring a valid ID because some banks will ask for one when making transactions.

Below is the list of the best places and banks to exchange money in Seoul, which will help you get more wons for your trip.

1. Money Changers in Myeongdong

Money Changers in Myeongdong Image credit: poppinbanana

Myeongdong is one of the most popular tourist and shopping districts in Seoul. As such, money exchanging is an indispensable part in the business life of the area.

You can find a myriad of money changers in Myeongdong, which offer the best rates in Seoul. They occupy many commercial spaces on Myeongdong 2-gil street, which is also home to the Chinese Embassy.

A major plus of these forex shops is their extended trading hours covering both weekdays and weekends. Some are even open 24 hours a day.

It’s recommended to spend your first day in Seoul at Myeongdong to explore this famous tourist attraction and buy Korean won at the same time.

You can get to the area by metro, alight at Myeong-dong, the nearest station.

Best rates for
– USD
– JPY
– HKD
– TWD
– SGD
– EUR
– GBP
– AUD
– CNY/RMB

Recommended money changers
1. Money changer @ 26 Myeongdong 2-gil

– This money changer is the most popular in the area for its advantageous rates
– It is located right in front of the big red gate of the Chinese Embassy
– Address: 26 Myeongdong 2-gil, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-776-8927
– Opening hours: Daily 09:00 – 21:00

2. Money changer @ Namdaemun-ro
– This money changer is situated in the middle of the small lane Namdaemun-ro, just 50m away from the Chinese Embassy
– Address: Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-310-9297
– Opening hours: Daily 09:00 – 21:00

3. Money changer @ Chungmuro
– This money changer is located 100m south of the Chinese Embassy.
– Address: 22-13 Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Open 24 hours from Monday to Saturday

4. Shinhan Bank
– This branch has a Foreign Customer Desk with English and Japanese speaking staff
– Located at 53-1 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82-2-776-9851
– Opening hours: Mon to Fri 09:00 – 16:00; Sat and Sun 10:00 – 16:00 (Foreign exchange only)

5. Woori Bank
– Located at Sunshine Building, 11-1 Chungmu-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82-2-753-9105
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

2. Money Changers in Dongdaemun

Money Changers in Dongdaemun Image credit: yencha

If you are fond of shopping, you might find yourself in the Dongdaemun district in Seoul. You could also be wandering around the historical landmarks or strolling along the Cheongyecheon Stream.

To get your Korean won in Dongdaemun area, you can head to one of the bank branches that are recommended below. There are also a few independent money changers near Dongdaemun Market that will give you rates closer to banks’ offers.

If you get to the district by riding metro, you can alight at Dongdaemun station and walk to your chosen bank branches.

Best rates for
– USD
– JPY
– CNY/RMB
– CAD
– AUD

Recommended money changers
1. KEB Hana Bank @ Dongdaemun

– This bank branch is in the vicinity of the Dongdaemun Market and accessible from the Cheongyecheon Stream
– Address: 18-12 Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-2267-2311
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

2. Shinhan Bank @ Dongdaemun
– It is located right across the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park at Majang-ro
– Address: 775 Sindang 1(il)-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-2231-5151
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

3. Woori Bank @ Dongdaemun
– You can reach this bank branch while strolling along the Cheongyecheon Stream
– Address: 436-64 Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-745-2101
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

4. Kookmin Bank @ Dongdaemun
– This branch is near the Dongdaemun Market
– Address: 17-45 Eulji-ro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-2265-9173
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

3. Money Changers in Itaewon

Money Changers in Itaewon Image credit: Shinhan Bank

Itaewon is well-known as an international home of foreigners in Seoul. The main streets of this lively area are lined with shops, restaurants, and hotels. Itaewon is also famed for its vibrant nightlife that attracts locals and visitors alike.

To cater for people with the need of converting currency, all the big banks have their forex outlets here. Most of them are strategically located within walking distance from Itaewon station.

Besides bank services, there are also numerous independent money changers in the area. They are nestled amidst shops on the main streets.

Best rates for
– USD
– JPY
– EUR
– GBP
– AUD

Recommended money changers
1. KEB Hana Bank @ Itaewon

– This branch has Foreign VIP Service and Global Desk
– It is located in the Special Tourist Zone, within walking distance from Itaewon station
– Address: 145 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-792-3911
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00
KEB Hana Bank exchange rates

2. Industrial Bank of Korea @ Itaewon
– This branch is only 3-minute walk from Itaewon Station
– Services: Foreign exchange and remittance
– Address: 127 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-749-9418
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 18:00; Saturday & Sunday 09:00 – 16:00
IBK exchange rates

3. Shinhan Bank @ Itaewon
– This branch is situated in the same building with Hamilton Hotel
– It has a Foreign Customer Desk for Japanese and English-speaking guests
– Address: 119-24 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-793-7011
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00
Shinhan Bank exchange rates

4. Woori Bank @ Itaewon
– This branch has a Global Desk providing specialized service for foreigners
– Address: 738-20 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2- 794-8111
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00
Woori Bank exchange rates

5. Kookmin Bank @ Itaewon
– Its location is right across Itaewon Station
– Address: 127-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-793-4689
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

Note: Itaewon and Noksapyeong stations are the two nearest metro stations that help you easily reach the above-mentioned bank’s branches.

4. KEB Hana Bank (formerly Korean Exchange Bank)

KEB Hana Bank (formerly Korean Exchange Bank) Image credit: KEB Hana Bank

As the largest foreign exchange bank in Korea, KEB Hana Bank has specialized services that serve visitors with the need of exchanging money. The bank is highly recommended because its buying and selling rates are often better than its counterparts’.

KEB Hana Bank has more than 20 branches in Seoul, which are conveniently located in commercial and tourist districts. Most of the branches have Global Desks with dedicated English-speaking staff.

Although the standard operating hours of Seoul banks are on Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:00, some of KEB Hana Bank’s branches open their doors to cater for people’s needs on Sundays.

Best rates for
– EUR
– GBP
– USD
– JPY
– CNY
– CAD
– AUD
– MYR
– SGD

Recommended branches
1. KEB Hana Bank @ Sogong-dong

– This branch is within walking distance from Seoul City Hall and Chinese Embassy
– Address: 16 Namdaemun-ro 7-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-754-6050
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

2. KEB Hana Bank @ Sejongno
– This branch is only 2-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace
– Address: 42 Jong-Ro 1-Gil Jongno-Gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2- 733-9911
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

3. KEB Hana Bank @ Itaewon
– It is easy to walk from Itaewon Station to this branch
– Address: 737-28 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-794-1111
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

4. KEB Hana Bank @ Gangnam-gu
– There are Foreign VIP Service and Global Desk at this branch
– It is within walking distance from Yeoksam station, which is one station away from Gangnam station
– Address: 152 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2- 554-2745
– Opening hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00

5. KEB Hana Bank @ Toegye-ro
– This branch is open 6 days a week, including Sunday
– It is 3-minute walk from Myeong-dong station
– Address: 299 Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-279-2171
– Opening hours: Monday Friday 09:00 – 16:00; Sunday 10:00 – 16:00

Note: You can check KEB Hana Bank exchange rates at this link

5. Pacific Exchange in Mapo-gu

Pacific Exchange in Mapo-gu Image credit: Pacific Exchange

Pacific Exchange is an independent money changer in Mapo-gu district, which is home to Seoul World Cup Stadium, Hongik University, Hongdae Free Market, and Hello Kitty Cafe.

Its rates are not the best but are very reasonable. This service provider accepts all major currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, CHF, AUD, and CAD. So, Pacific Exchange is a good place to get Korean won quickly when you are in Mapo-gu.

Its location is just a 2-minute walk from the popular Hongdae Free Market, and a 6-minute walk from Hongik University station.

Accepted currencies
– USD
– EUR
– GBP
– JPY
– HKD
– CNY
– CHF
– CAD
– AUD

Note: Remember to bring a valid ID when you exchange money here.

Contact
– Address: 17 Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Phone: +82 2-3144-2341
– Opening hours: Daily 10:00 – 23:00