Buying a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport (GMP) 2024: Travelers Guide

Gimpo Airport is the second and smaller airport in Seoul, South Korea. Despite being smaller than Incheon International Airport, it is still the arrival point for foreigners to South Korea. 

This article will guide you on buying a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport once you arrive and give you some advice on alternatives to staying connected while traveling in Seoul that will help save you money and time. 

Keep reading to learn how to buy a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport for tourists. Let’s start!

Buying SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport GMP

I. Why buy a SIM Card in Seoul?

To stay connected while traveling Seoul, you have several options to choose from like using free WiFi, renting or buying pocket WiFi, roaming with your primary SIM card, or getting a SIM card/eSIM for South Korea. Among these options, getting a SIM card for your phone is highly recommended because of advantages over others.

With a local SIM card: 

  • You won’t have to pay high roaming charges on your cellular data
  • Your private information will be more secure compared to using public WiFi
  • You don’t need to rent or buying a pocket WiFi device which costs you much

SIM cards for South Korea provide reliable cellular coverage and fast data speeds. With a SIM card, you can enjoy unlimited and high-speed 4G data throughout your trip. 

▶ Our recommendation:

  • If you only need Internet access, choose a prepaid SIM with data only. By this way, you still stay online and in contact with your family/friends back home through messaging apps. 
  • If you need to make outbound calls while traveling in Korea, choose a prepaid SIM with data and voice/text. 
  • If your phone supports eSIM, get the eSIM for a better experience:
    • No swapping physical SIM cards
    • No waiting in store lines or for delivery if ordering online
    • Just scan a QR code to instantly activate your plan

Important Note: Check if your phone is unlocked: most modern phones are unlocked nowadays, but you still need to double-check. A Korean travel SIM card will not work on your international phone if it is not unlocked.

II. Where to buy a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport (GMP)?

Where to buy SIM card in stores at GMP airport

Good to know:

  • Seoul is home to 02 airports: Seoul Incheon International airport (ICN) and Seoul Gimpo International Airport. The Gimpo airport was the main international airport of Seoul city until 2001 when the Incheon got the role due to being too small.
  • Gimpo airport nowadays is favored by businessmen and travelers from other airports like Tokyo-Haneda AIrport, Taipei-Songshan airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International airport.
  • All three mobile network operators of South Korea have kiosks in the arrivals hall of the Gimpo airport’s international terminals. You will see their booths when leaving the secure area. It is easy to find.

There are 02 ways to buy a South Korea SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport:

1. Buy SIM card online before departure and pick it up at Gimpo airport

  • First, you need to find a prestigious website offering travel SIM for South Korea. 
  • Choose from a wide range of plans that fits your needs and budget and also choose the “SIM plan with pickup at Gimpo Airport”. 
  • After your order is confirmed, you will receive an email that describes how and where to pick up the SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport.
  • Then, after arriving at the airport and getting through customs, you can pick up the SIM at the airport counter on the 1st floor of the arrivals terminal at Gate 1. There will be a greeter at the airport counter who can help you buy and setup the SIM.
  • Make sure to ask your SIM provider to know more details. 
Gimpo airport map - sim card at GMP airport
Map of Seoul Gimpo International Airport (GMP)

2. Buy SIM card in Stores of South Korea Mobile Network Operators at Gimpo Airport

This is an old-fashioned method to buy a SIM card for tourists. You can get Internet access instantly upon arrival.

To buy the SIM card, follow these instructions:

  • After landing at Seoul Gimpo Airport, you enter the arrivals hall, then head towards Gate 1 and you will see the stands of Korean mobile network operators (KT Olleh, SK telecom, LG U+) located on the right. 
  • Once you get to the stand, ask for a prepaid SIM plan, and the staff will support you from there.
  • Chances are, you need to queue in lines to get the SIM if it is busy. 

Opening hours: 6 am – 11 pm (KT South Korea) and 24/24 for others (double check for sure).

Location: Simply walk through customs into the main arrivals terminal and you will see several different providers.

Requirements: passport for registration, unlocked phone, cash or card for payment. 

Pros: get instant Internet access after arrival

Cons: less plans to choose, expensive than online or  in-city options, require passport for registration, queue in lines 

Important Note:

  • Be aware of the opening hours of kiosks at the airport. Check if they are still open if your flight lands late at night.
  • Lines at the stands can be long, especially during busy times, so expect waits of up to an hour.

▶ Our recommendation: If your phone supports eSIM, it is highly recommended to buy an eSIM so you can skip the line and stay connected almost instantly as long as your phone receives the signals of the chosen network carrier. Besides, it is not necessary to present your passport for registration. 

III. How much does a SIM card cost at Seoul Gimpo Airport?

The SIM card plan for travelers of SK Telecom, KT South Korea, or LG U+ usually range in price from 6600 KRW (5.05 USD) to 143 000 KRW (109.20 USD). The cost depends on factors like the plan features, the validity and the service provider. 

The validity for these plans can range from 1 day up to 90 days.

Gimpo international airport in Seoul

IV. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Seoul Gimpo Airport – Registration Process

To buy South Korea SIM card at Seoul Gimpo airport, customers need to prepare: 

  • Passport for identification verification
  • Cash (in Korean Won) or card for payment
  • Unlocked phone

The process of registering will take about 1-2 minutes

Factors to consider before buying a SIM card at Gimpo Airport:

  • Check if your phone is unlocked
  • Decide whether or not you need to make outbound calls. The plans that have no features of making outbound calls are much cheaper. 
  • Check the time your flight lands: be aware of the opening hours of kiosks at the airport. For example, KT South Korea’s kiosk just opens from 6 am to 11pm. If you arrive after 11pm, then you can still order it online but have to pick the SIM at the store in Myeongdong or Hongdae.

▶ Our recommendation: To avoid this registration scheme, consider buying eSIM for South Korea. This can be done online before departure or after arrival.

V. Best Tourist Seoul Airport SIM Cards Options and Price

1. SK Telecom SIM Plans for Tourists and Price at Gimpo Airport

Here are packages of SK Telecom at Seoul Gimpo airport:

DataValidityPrice
Unlimited1 day6600 KRW
Unlimited3 days18 000 KRW
Unlimited5 days27 500 KRW
Unlimited10 days38 500 KRW
Unlimited20 days60 500 KRW
Unlimited30 days71 500 KRW

These plans are data only and do not allow customers to top up, but do allow them to receive calls.

Note: 

  • Unlimited data at 3 Mbps after the data allowance runs out.
  • SK Telecom restricts the speed of its plans at 10 Mbps.

3. KT South Korea SIM Plans for Tourists and Price at Gimpo Airport

Here are 10 plans of KT Telecom at Gimpo Airport:

Data ValidityPrice
10 GB + 2 GB1 day6600 KRW (offline only)
10 GB + 2 GB/day (6 GB)3 days18 000 KRW (offline only)
10 GB + 2 GB/day (10 GB)5 days27 500 KRW
10 GB + 2 GB/day (14 GB)7 days33 500 KRW
10 GB + 2 GB/day (20 GB)10 days38 500 KRW
10 GB + 2 GB/day (30 GB)15 days47 300 KRW (online only)
10 GB + 2 GB/day (40 GB)20 days60 500 KRW (offline only)
10 GB + 2 GB/day (60 GB)30 days71 500 KRW
10 GB + 2 GB/day (120 GB)60 days107 200 KRW
10 GB + 2 GB/day (180 GB)90 days143 000 KRW

Note: 

  • Unlike SK Telecom, KT South Korea does not restrict the speeds of its travel SIM card.
  • KT South Korea (and LG U+) allow customers to add credit for making outgoing calls/texts.

4. LG U+ SIM Plans for Tourists and Price at Seoul Gimpo Airport

Here are 8 plans of KT Telecom at Gimpo Airport:

DataValidityPrice
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (15 GB)5 days27 500 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (21 GB)7 days35 000 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (30 GB)10 days38 500 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (45 GB)15 days55 000 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (60 GB)20 days60 500 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (90 GB)30 days71 500 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (120 GB)40 days99 000 KRW
“Unlimited”, 3 GB/day (180 GB)60 days143 000 KRW

Note: Unlike the two major carriers SK Telecom and KT, you cannot order a SIM card online from LG U+  in advance through their website.

V. Best Mobile Network in Seoul – Coverage & Speed

As mentioned earlier, there are 3 major mobile network providers in South Korea:

  • SK Telecom,
  • KT South Korea
  • LG U+

Besides, there are also other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in South Korea, such as EG SIM.

Because you are going to travel Seoul, it is not necessary to worry about coverage and speed of the Internet here. All Internet providers offer good coverage and high speed data in the capital of South Korea. 

Therefore, it does not matter which provider you choose, it matters now which provider has plans that suit your needs. 

Refer the images below to understand more about these 3 mobile network operators, their coverage map and speed in Seoul:

Mobile experience awards in South Korea by June 2023 (Source: Opensignal)

5G availability of KT South Korea, LG U+ and SK Telecom in South Korea (Source: Opensignal) 

Our recommendation: According to Opensignal, among these South Korea cellular network operators, SK Telecom has the best overall performance (the most consistent experience, fastest 5G experience, in addition to other awards). Thus, it is recommended to choose SKT for your trip to South Korea. 

VI. Prepaid South Korea eSIM data plan – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card Seoul

South Korea eSIM Gigago - alternative to buying at gimpo airport

This option is always available no matter where you are. Buying a prepaid eSIM data plan allows you to skip the hassle of finding a physical SIM card at the airport.

You can land at the Gimpo airport and feel confident that you have Internet access right after arrival. The data connection of eSIM plan will be on your phone automatically as long as it connects with the South Korean network operator. 

To buy eSIM for South Korea, you can choose Gigago – one of the best eSIM providers in the world. Plans of Gigago eSIM are considered the most diversifying in comparison with others. For South Korea, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from a 3-day plan with 1GB of data per day for $5.90 as their most minimal plan. They also have 5-day, 7-day, 10-day, 15-day, 20-day, and 30-day plans ranging from 1GB to unlimited data per day, with prices from $5.90 up to $106.50.

Once you have purchased the plan, you can activate it by scanning a QR code directly using your phone camera. It will automatically load on your device. That’s simple.

► See more details about Gigago eSIM plans for South Korea.

VII. FAQs about Gimpo Airport SIM Card Buying

Can I buy a SIM card at Gimpo Airport at night?

It depends on the carrier you choose. KT South Korea’s booths are open from 6 am to 11 pm. If you arrive outside of these opening hours, you may not be able to buy KT SIM cards. Other carriers open 24/24. For the most updated information, check with your provider in advance. 

How much do SIM cards at Seoul Gimpo airport cost?

The price of SIM cards at Seoul Gimpo Airport typically ranges from 6600 KRW (5.05 USD) to 143,000 KRW (109.20 USD), depending on the plan features and validity.

What is the validity period of SIM cards purchased at Seoul Gimpo Airport?

The validity period for SIM cards purchased at Seoul Gimpo Airport can range from 1 day to 90 days.

Are there any other options for buying a SIM card in Seoul besides the airport?

Yes, besides the airport, you can find SIM cards at local telecom stores or online platforms.

What documents do I need to buy a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport?

You may need to present your passport when purchasing a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport. It’s advisable to have a copy of your passport and any necessary identification documents.

Can I use the SIM card purchased at Seoul Gimpo Airport in other cities in South Korea?

Yes, the SIM card purchased at Seoul Gimpo Airport can be used in other cities in South Korea without any issues.

VIII. Conclusion

There you have learnt how to buy a SIM card at Seoul Gimpo Airport. As we discussed, buying at the airport can be fast but the cost is rather expensive in comparison with other options. You can consider buying eSIM as an alternative that offers all benefits of what you will get if buying at the airport but eliminates all hassles associated as well. Just make sure you prepare your best for the trip.