Korean Culture Tips for First-Time Visitors

By Polyglot Petra 2/25/24

In South Korea, not only do traditional buildings and businesses blend in with modern ones, but the way of life, too. Y You have technology and convenience, yet, there are so many traditions the locals follow when they interact with each other.

When in doubt, bow. A gentle bow is a sign of respect. Whether you’re saying hello or thank you, a bow can speak volumes. 

Mind Your Manners at the Table This one's tricky. The Korean table manners really is a dance.

– If you’re dining with the elders, wait for them to lift their utensils before you do. – If you’re drinking with older people (even with a one-year gap), turn your head away from the table when you drink and avoid facing them. – When pouring drinks for anyone older, hold the bottle with both hands and cover the label.

Embrace the Silence in Public Spaces Speaking loudly on public transport is frowned upon, which is why you’ll see everyone on their phones, watching shows and whatnot.

Attend a Cooking Class! Cooking classes with a local have been a lot of fun in every country I visit.  Unlike tasting the food at some restaurants, you really get a glimpse into the culinary traditions in these classes.

SWIPE UP on this slide to find the cooking class I recommend in Seoul!

SWIPE UP  to find the whole article and my best tips to avoid any culture shock in Korea!