Let this sink in: the United States is over 97 times larger than South Korea. Yet in this tiny East Asian peninsula, a deluge of fascinating history, deep-seated culture, and unity of tradition and modernity prevail.
With the influences of KPop and KDramas igniting an overwhelming flame of interest worldwide, it is no wonder tourists flock to South Korea year round. Whether you are there for the bibimbap and kimchi, for the next NewJeans public appearance, or for the uncountable temples bespeckled throughout the nation, it is of utmost importance to be fully prepared for your South Korea adventure.
You might also like: South Korea Tourism Statistics
In order to get the most of your K-culture immersion, we suggest booking a private tour with a local guide. In this way, you will not lose time getting lost in translation (or simply lost on the subway!). Save your stress for another day by traveling with a guide who knows the language, the culture, the sights, and the sounds.
Is hiring a tour guide for you? In this article, we collated a list of frequently asked questions about hiring a tour guide.
Q: Is hiring a tour guide worth it?
A: The answer is more often than not, yes! Having a tour guide elevates your experiences and eliminates all chances of miscommunication, stress, and cultural hurdles that may come your way. If you are one to stick with a group, then group tours are your best bet for a wonderful time. Otherwise, private, customizable tours of any length are also available for personalization with GoWithGuide.
Of course, going on a private tour may not be for you. This is why we created a list of pros and cons of hiring a tour guide.
Q: What are the advantages of hiring a tour guide?
1. Local guides are experts at navigating through the nooks and crannies of the region. If you are looking for a particular activity, event, or experience, our professional tour guides are happy to recommend the best places for your wishes.
In particular, food lovers will love our street food walking tours in various villages and markets. If you are in search of some culture, sign up for a historical tour through Hwaseong Fortress, Doseon-sa, or other parts of Seoul.
2. Although some South Koreans do speak English, Korean (or Hangul) is still the most spoken language in the peninsula. If you do decide to hire a private tour guide for a customized tour, then any and all issues of miscommunication are zero to nothing.
3. The cost of hiring a tour guide is not as expensive as you might think! By choosing the duration of your tour, you can save a lot of time and money. Three hour tours are available for street markets and other savory adventures, whilst half-day and day-tours are also viable options for those who seek a little bit more.
4. By hiring a tour guide, you actually have more time to explore at your own pace. There is no need to be stuck in a bus with 40 other tourists. Nor is there need to be rushed from one attraction to another. On the other hand, if you do not have enough time, a private guide can breeze you through the attractions you are not too keen on, and give you more time to visit the places you really want to go. Our professional guides are trained to cater to you and your expectations.
5. Your tour guide is your fount of knowledge. No longer is there a need to trudge along whilst nose-deep in a travel book just so you can understand the art and history or get to your next destination. Information on the local culture and knowledge is available right next to you! For recommendations as to where and when to go, just ask your guide.
6. Finally, having a tour guide is perfect for those who value privacy and exclusivity. Whether you are traveling with family, searching for some adventure, or simply crave to see South Korea’s beautiful culture in leisure, then hiring a tour guide is 100% for you.
Q: What are the disadvantages of hiring a tour guide?
1. Private tours may not be the best way to meet a lot of new people. Although it is possible to chat with some friendly locals and fellow tourists, private tours are definitely exclusive and can be very private. If privacy is what you are looking for, then this is definitely an advantage. Although, if meeting new people is one of your non-negotiables, then we suggest joining a group tour, as South Korea is one of the safest countries in the world
2. Group tours, on the other hand, can have inflexible tour schedules. This would mean that you would be stopping off and visiting some places that may not be in your bucket list. In fact, 47% of visitors to South Korea go for the culinary experience. If this is not your cup of tea, then private and customized tours are the best options moving forward.
Q: What does a private tour mean?
A: A private tour is a tour exclusively for you and your family or friends. This means that you are familiar with everyone in your tour group, making it a very comfortable experience. Private tours are also very flexible when it comes to time management, itineraries, and travel dates.
Q: How much are private tours?
A: Private tours are actually not too expensive! They can be even cheaper than group tours if you look well enough. Depending on your itinerary, private tours can range from $20 to $450. This figure will change relative to how long you want the tour to be, as well as how many people will be joining the tour.
Q: Can you hire a tour guide in South Korea?
A: Absolutely! Local guides who speak various languages are available throughout the Korean Peninsula. These guides are professional, kind, and very willing to share their culture with you.
Having a local tour guide who speaks the language and knows the ins and outs of the area will not only land you in the most popular restaurants and the best attractions, but it will also ease your burden whilst traveling from one spot to another.
With K-beauty, K-fashion, and the whole of K-culture taking over the world, it is expected that more and more travelers will flock to the Korean Peninsula in the next few years. Be the first to share these valuable tips and advice to your friends and family. They’ll absolutely love you for it!