Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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South Korea: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018

Tips for fans travelling to the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang, Korea.

Visit the SafeTravel website to read our travel advisory for South Korea and register with SafeTravel to receive updates.

Plan well in advance

There will be large numbers of spectators and fans travelling to South Korea in February and March for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

If you are planning to travel to the Games, we recommend that you organise your trip well in advance. Accommodation in the Pyeongchang area is limited - and demand will be high around Games time. Winter Olympic venues are in somewhat isolated areas, so New Zealanders will need to be well aware of public transportation schedules to ensure they can return to any accommodation outside of the Pyeongchang area. Transportation access to the event venues will also be strictly controlled.

To avoid disappointment, plan and book your visit as early as possible - well in advance of your arrival in South Korea.

Before you go…

If you have a New Zealand passport - and an onward or return air ticket - you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa.

Your passport will need to be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry into South Korea.

Security on the Korean Peninsula…

Relations between South and North Korea can be tense. North Korea has conducted nuclear and ballistic missile tests with increased frequency, leading to further tensions.

The level of tension and the security situation can change with little notice, so you need to keep yourself well-informed by monitoring local and international media, and reading our travel advisory in advance. Register with Safetravel so you receive notifications if the travel advisory changes.

The South Korean government has developed a smartphone application with civil emergency advice, including shelter locations, different types of alarms, medical facilities and emergency services. Search for ‘emergency ready app’ on Android or Apple app stores.

Complying with the law

In South Korea you are subject to South Korean law.

For example, the penalties for possession, use and trafficking of illegal drugs can result in long jail sentences and large fines. This applies to personal use of small amounts of marijuana.

Carry some form of identification on you at all times (and make sure your next-of-kin details have been entered into the back of your passport).

Travel insurance

Before travelling make sure you have suitable insurance and that your policy covers you for any activities you plan to do (e.g., before you hire a scooter, make sure your policy covers that activity.)

The winter in South Korea is predominantly cold (very cold!), with dry north-westerly winds. Warm clothes, down jackets, gloves and hats are advised. Temperatures can reach as low as -20°C in February/March.

About Pyeongchang

Pyeongchang is a county in South Korea’s Gangwon Province. It is approximately 180km east of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. There are a limited number of cash machines in the Pyeongchang area and not all establishments accept international credit or debit cards.

Travel to Pyeongchang

For transport advice, see the Pyeongchang 2018 Transportation Network page.

Useful information and links

Check out additional information about the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics
The official homepage of the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul
The Dialing Code for South Korea is +82
Emergency Numbers in South Korea Police: 112 Medical/Fire/Emergency: 119
A Call Service for Foreigners (travel information and translation assistance) is available by dialing 13

New Zealand Embassy in Seoul contact details

New Zealand Embassy Seoul

Level 8, Jeong Dong Building, 21-15 Jeongdong-Gil, Jung-Gu

Seoul 110-110

Republic of Korea

Phone: +82 2 3701 7700

Emergency Consular Phone Number for NZ Citizens: +82 10 5267 7743


Facebook: 주한뉴질랜드대사관 – New Zealand Embassy, SEOUL

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