Welcome to South Korea! Getting a local SIM card should be one of the first things you do upon arrival at Incheon International Airport to stay connected during your trip. In this article, we’ll walk you through the best options for purchasing a airport sim card at Incheon Airport, including recommended providers, costs, required documents, and more.

sim card at incheon airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Incheon Airport

There are several locations inside Incheon Airport terminals to purchase a SIM card:

KT Olleh & LG U+ Stores: These are the physical stores of two major Korean telecom operators. You'll find them in the arrivals area at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. These stores sell SIM cards from their respective networks.
  • KT Olleh & LG U+ Stores: These are the physical stores of two major Korean telecom operators. You’ll find them in the arrivals area at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. These stores sell SIM cards from their respective networks.
  • Convenience stores: Popular convenience stores like GS25, 7-Eleven and CU also sell prepaid SIM cards from various providers. They’re located throughout the arrival halls.
  • Vending machines: SIM card dispensing machines can be found in the arrival areas. Purchase a SIM by selecting a provider and data plan, paying with cash or card, and scanning your passport.
  • Duty free shops: Many duty free stores sell local SIM cards, though selection may be more limited. Prices could be slightly higher than other locations.
I recommend visiting the KT Olleh or LG U+ stores if you already know which carrier you want. Convenience stores give you flexibility across providers in one spot. Vending machines are quick and easy but have limited plan options.

I recommend visiting the KT Olleh or LG U+ stores if you already know which carrier you want. Convenience stores give you flexibility across providers in one spot. Vending machines are quick and easy but have limited plan options.

II. SIM Card at Incheon Airport – Options and Costs

You'll find SIM cards from the three major Korean carriers at Incheon Airport - KT Olleh, LG U+, and SK Telecom. Here's a rundown of what's available:

You’ll find SIM cards from the three major Korean carriers at Incheon Airport – KT Olleh, LG U+, and SK Telecom. Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

ProviderData AllowanceValidity PeriodPrice (30 days)
KT OllehUnlimited 5G data2 weeks – 1 month60,000 won (~$45 USD)
LG U+Unlimited 4G/5G data30 days55,000 won (~$40 USD)
SK TelecomUnlimited LTE dataUp to 30 days60,000 won (~$45 USD)
Rentafone KoreaUnlimited 4G/5G data (on KT Olleh or LG U+ network)30 days38,000 won (~$28 USD)
*Note: USD price estimates were calculated based on an exchange rate of approximately 1,200 KRW per 1 USD. Exchange rates will fluctuate over time.

When comparing plans, check the fine print for throttling or “unlimited max” caps which can limit speeds after several GB of usage. Tourist SIMs often provide the best deals.

III. What You Need to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Incheon Airport

Purchasing a SIM card at Incheon Airport as a foreign traveler is very straightforward. However, make sure you have the following:

  • Passport – Your passport is required when buying and activating any SIM card in South Korea as a foreigner.
  • Cash – Have local currency (South Korean Won) ready if possible. Some vendors may accept credit cards.
  • Activated phone – Your device needs to be unlocked to use a foreign SIM. Enable data roaming if it’s disabled.
  • Basic Korean – Staff may only speak limited English. Hand gestures and simplified keywords usually suffice.
  • Activation time – Count on the activation process taking 10-15 minutes for staff to input your info and setup the plan.
  • Electricity plug adapter – You may want to also buy an adapter to charge your phone if needed. Korea uses Type C/F plugs.

As long as you have your unlocked phone and passport, you can easily purchase a SIM after you land at Incheon Airport and CJU.

IV. eSIM as an Alternative to SIM Card at Incheon Airport

Travellers arriving at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea no longer need to spend time searching for a SIM card counter. eSIM provides a more convenient digital solution for getting a local data plan.

Travellers arriving at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea no longer need to spend time searching for a SIM card counter. eSIM provides a more convenient digital solution for getting a local data plan.

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that can be installed on compatible smartphones and devices without the need for a physical nano-SIM. Once purchased online before the trip, the eSIM plan can be seamlessly activated over WiFi just by scanning a QR code – no fussing around airport shops needed.

best esimkr.com plans

Using eSIM, tourists to Korea can stay connected right from the moment they land. Plans from esim Korea start at just $6 for 3 days of data. We offer multi-day pass options up to 30 days, with data allowances ranging from 1GB to 50GB per day. The plans work on Korea’s fastest 4G and 5G networks for high-speed internet access anywhere in the country.

With a high 4.7/5 customer rating, esimkr.com is a reliable eSIM service. There are no roaming fees, and getting connected is easy – just scan the QR code without any complicated setup.

Purchase a convenient and budget-friendly Korea eSIM data plan from esimkr.com ahead of your trip. Upon arriving at the airport, you can instantly get online. Stay connected seamlessly with data for navigation, social media uploads, and more during your travels.

Go global without the hassle. Travel Korea with esimkr.com!

V. FAQs About Buying a SIM Card at Incheon Airport

What mobile networks can I buy a SIM card for at the airport?

You can buy prepaid SIM cards for all three major networks at the airport – SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+. SK Telecom and KT generally have counters in the arrival hall where you can pick up SIM cards you’ve pre-ordered online.

Do I need to pre-order a SIM card or can I buy one on the spot?

For some SIM cards like SK Telecom’s Korea SIM Gold, it’s best to pre-order online and pick it up at the airport. But you can also buy some SIMs directly at the airport without pre-ordering, like KT’s Korea SIM Blue Plus or LG U+’s eSIM plans.

How long does SIM card activation take?

SIM card activation is usually quick, taking around 20-60 minutes. Make sure to select a designated device for your SIM and don’t swap SIMs between devices until it’s activated. Some eSIM plans activate instantly after downloading the profile.

What type of identification do I need to buy a SIM card?

You’ll need to show your passport to buy a SIM card. Some retailers may also accept other valid photo IDs for foreigners like an alien registration card. Make sure to provide your passport details accurately during online registration if pre-ordering.

How long is the SIM card valid for and can I extend it?

Most prepaid SIM cards are valid for periods ranging from 1-30 days. Some cheaper daily passes can’t be extended while monthly passes usually can’t either. Check the specific SIM’s terms on extensions.

What mobile data speeds and allowances do the SIM cards provide?

Speeds and data allowances vary by SIM card. Many offer unlimited data, typically at speeds around 5-10Mbps with some full speed data included (e.g. first 5GB at LTE speeds). Check the individual SIM provider’s website for details.


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