South Korea power adapters - what plugs are used in South Korea?

South Korean power outlet

What adapter do I need for South Korea?

Use a Type F plug adapter [3] for South Korea if the plug you intend on using won't fit into a South Korean power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need when visiting South Korea all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to use in a South Korean power outlet. If you're unclear about what voltage your device can use then please read the section below about how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device first.

  • If you are travelling to South Korea from America then you will need to bring a power adapter to fit a US plug into a South Korean power outlet. Because the voltage is different in South Korea pack a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in a South Korean power outlet then you can use it in South Korea.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in a South Korean power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for South Korea such a Type F plug adapter [3]. Please be aware that a plug adapter for South Korea (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in South Korea, but isn't designed to change the voltage from 220 volts to another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for South Korea to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for South Korea if your power converter doesn't have the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you only want to recharge one or more USB devices such as a mobile phone or tablet then a USB travel power adapter will be more suited and it should work with any voltage, however ensure that you choose to bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to use a suitable plug adapter for South Korea.
  • Increased use of a mobile phone during a vacation to South Korea can create an extra demand on the battery, we suggest bringing a power bank [4] if you need to recharge your phone whilst visiting an unfamiliar country.

Warning: If your device won't handle the 220 volts used in South Korea you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in South Korea read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

South Korea power adapters

Power adapters for South Korea

When packing for a holiday it can be useful to know in advance if you can charge your indispensable gadgets when you arrive. However without knowing which power socket is used in South Korea you are likely to bring the wrong power adaptor, meaning needing to purchase a potentially overpriced power adaptor when you're there. Varying different combinations of voltages and standards can often be confusing when planning to travel to a different country to the first time traveller. However this isn't as complicated as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your electronics in South Korea. This page has links to instructions showing which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices in South Korea by using the standard types F or C South Korean 220 volt 60Hz wall outlets, most South Koreans use Type F sockets in their power outlets. Most power adapters will change from country to country so please read the WikiConnections travel power adapters guide where you'll find a complete list of powering devices in different countries.

What is the best power adapter for South Korea?

The best power adapter for South Korea will be a Type F plug adapter [3] which will allow you to use any 220 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for South Korea?

What is a power adapter for a South Korean power outlet?

A power adapter for South Korea is a small and cheap plastic adapter which permits a South Korean power outlet to accept a different type of power plug from an appliance from another country.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in South Korea?

Power adapters only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt South Korean power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you need to safely use any 100-120 volt device then you will also need a step down power converter along with the correct power adapter.

Do I need a plug adapter for South Korea?

This depends on the shape of plug you want to use in South Korea.

Will I need a power adapter if I'm visiting South Korea from America?

If you are visiting from the US then you will need to bring a plug adapter for South Korea because a US plug won't physically fit in a South Korean power outlet, and as the voltage is 220 volts you will also need to use a power converter for South Korea to prevent damage or overheating to your device or appliance if it isn't dual voltage.

What does a power adapter for South Korea do?

A power adapter for South Korea allows visitors from a different country to use electronic and electrical devices in South Korea by adapting the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Where can I buy a power adapter for South Korea?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for South Korea?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

South Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in South Korea?

Type C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in South Korea?

There are two different types of power supply used in South Korea, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this wall outlet by two 4.8mm round adjacent holes next to each other and grounding clips on the top and bottom.

Do US plugs work in South Korea?

No; a US plug won't work in South Korea because it doesn't fit in a South Korean power outlet without the use of a plug adapter. Also the voltage is different therefore you will also need to use a power converter if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage.

Is the voltage in South Korea the same as the US?

The voltage from a South Korean power outlet is 220 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your American appliance or power charger doesn't support dual voltage then you will need use a suitable power converter for South Korea which can change the voltage from 220 volts to 120 volts.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in South Korea?

Use a step down power converter if you need to use a 110 volt appliance in a South Korean power outlet.

Is an electrical outlet in South Korea the same as the US?

American plugs won't fit in a South Korean power outlet so use a power adapter for South Korea. The frequency is the same in the US however the voltage is different so you will need to use a power converter for South Korea if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage.

What electrical frequency is used with a South Korean power outlet?

The frequency from a South Korean power outlet is 60 Hz.

How reliable is electric in South Korea?

Though power cuts are unpredictable, the power in South Korea is dependable with no history of persistent power blackouts compared to other countries.

What is access to electricity like in South Korea?

South Korea has excellent access to power outlets throughout the country.

Do I need a portable charger for South Korea?

A power bank

Do I need a portable charger for South Korea?

Even though electrical outages in South Korea aren't common and power is available to the entire population, visitors should still bring a power bank to recharge mobile phones and other USB powered devices.

  • The dependence on mobile phones for some people is high and the thought of being without a phone can cause anxiety, especially when being needed abroad. During a trip to South Korea increased reliance on cell phones for storing itineraries, taking photos, social network sharing, getting directions and streaming videos will drain the batteries excessively. A flat smart phone battery could potentially leave you without enough power to make emergency calls or being able to use satellite navigation to return back to your accommodation or hotel.
  • Using a portable charger [4] in South Korea lowers the risk as it allows you to keep your mobile phone powered on the move.
  • A typical 10,000mAh portable charger [4] can store enough energy to cover around 3 full charges while a 20,000mAh portable charger [9] should keep an average cell phone charged for roughly seven days depending on the model of phone and usage. The mAh rating (or milli ampere-hours) describes the capacity of the battery giving an indication of how many charges the power bank can do, therefore a higher value is more suitable for travellers.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop with a power bank in South Korea and your laptop it supports USB-C charging then use a portable charger for a laptop [10] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies 20 Wh or more.
  • Before travelling be aware that some airlines prohibit portable chargers on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must be kept in carry-on luggage only so we recommended checking ahead with the airline first.
  • Small consumer power banks aren't powerful enough for high wattage items, although a rechargeable hair dryer [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] are designed for travelling.
Will a solar charger work in South Korea?

A solar backpack recharging

Will a solar charger work in South Korea?

The climate in South Korea might be suitable for a solar power bank [12] but is likely to take time to recharge. Because of the smaller surface area of the cells a solar power bank will need to be kept in powerful daylight for a long period of time to provide enough energy for a single charge, and this might prove difficult to repeatedly pack and unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges between cloud cover.

  • Instead, the bigger durable solar cells found on a solar backpack [11] give the bag the ability to generate more power within a faster period of time.
  • A phone that is directly plugged into the USB charging port of a backpack should trickle charge the battery during sunny periods in South Korea, but might prove inconvenient to have a phone constantly tethered in the bag during the day should it be needed frequently. A power bank [4] plugged in a solar backpack can be constantly topped up inside the bag during sunlight, afterwards the phone can be recharged using the power bank at any time without sunshine.
  • A solar bag that is suitable for South Korea should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or greater.
  • Solar bags are available in backpack, messenger and rucksack styles making them ideal for travel, work and domestic use.
  • Unlike normal solid solar panels, the flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags have been built to survive bending and scratches.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

South Korea chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for South Korea?

If travelling with more than just one device or visiting multiple countries the best travel charger for South Korea is a multiple USB charger which includes swappable plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [13]. There are two different standards of power outlets in South Korea (types F and C) and using a power adapter like this ensures that you are covered for type C. Because these chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and handle 100 to 240 volts will mean that you can travel to over 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa just by changing the included heads. If your device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from faster recharging times by using one of these types of USB travel adapters, and additional support for certain power demanding devices. Unlike other chargers having a four port charger will also allow you to recharge more than one device simultaneously without needing to buy individual power chargers or using up additional wall outlets. By only needing to pack a single international USB travel charger will also keep the overall size down, making it perfect to store in hand baggage as well as being convenient for charging your devices at the airport or on the plane. Because of their space saving versatility these types of travel chargers can be used when you return home so when you're not on holiday they can be used overnight charging multiple phones and tablets without using up an additional wall outlet.

We suggest buying this type of flexible power charger online, the multipurpose power charger illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [13] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous countries with perfect reliably.

What USB charger do I need for South Korea?

Why use a travel USB charger for South Korea?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers it becomes only necessary to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 individual devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your luggage.
  • Travel USB chargers include interchangeable plug heads for different power outlet types making them perfect if travelling across multiple countries across Asia which are likely to use a different outlet to South Korea.
  • Good chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight - ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair or replace in South Korea.
  • USB travel chargers can accept both the 220 volts used in South Korea power outlets and different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a chance that accommodation or hotel rooms in South Korea might only have a single wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single power supply with family or other traveler rather than waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Due to their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of visiting any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be sparse and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets before a flight can be high, so a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes and will help prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in South Korea could prove to be inconvenient and expensive.
  • Higher priced USB chargers also feature power outlet strips to use low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our section on using travel appliances in South Korea for advice and guidelines on the best power adapter to use with a South Korean power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Some mobile phones could require more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should any of your devices draw additional power.
  • Travel USB chargers can also be useful back at home by recharging multiple cell phones and tablets on a daily basis using only a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for South Korea?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to charge devices via USB, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be necessary when visiting counties with unreliable or unstable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected appliances from voltage spikes. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both South Korea and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact option for travellers originating from North America going to South Korea.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from the US using type B plugs and gives practically the same set of features as the BESTEK with just 1 less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting South Korea.

Power converters for South Korea

What does a power converter for a South Korean power outlet do?

A power converter enables you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical appliance with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter for South Korea?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in South Korea, but a heavier and more expensive power converter [14] transforms a 220 volt South Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for South Korea?

When you are travelling to South Korea from another region please ensure the device can be charged using a 220 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [15] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device is incompatible with 220 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a 220 volt single voltage appliance or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to use a lower voltage (for example 120 volts) and used in a 220 volt outlet run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device unless you use a step down power converter [15].
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you are attempting to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, but please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as clothes irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16].
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more practical and cost effective than carrying a much heavier power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read our guides on using clothes irons, curling wands, hair straighteners and blow dryers with a South Korean power outlet , along with advice on affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter for South Korea if I'm visiting from the US?

The voltage from a plug outlet in South Korea is different to a 110 volt US outlet so use a step down power converter if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for South Korea?

You will need to buy a step down power converter [15] which allows you to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in a 220 volt South Korean power outlet.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for South Korea before plugging that into a South Korean power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet.
What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

What voltage is used in South Korea?

South Korea uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets.

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

The way to tell if your device is dual voltage is to look for numbers printed on the power plug or on the device itself, normally on the rear of the device or near to where the power cord goes. This location might depend on the make and model of your appliance and could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a South Korean power outlet?

Travel appliances that can connect to a South Korean power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a South Korean power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a South Korean power outlet

Mobile phones which can connect to the South Korean power outlet

Apple iPhones which work with the South Korean power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a South Korean power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a South Korean power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a South Korean power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting South Korea, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [17].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korea - South Korea country page on wikipedia.org.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  15. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  16. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets