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What should I gift my Korean friend?


When it comes to gifting, it’s always a challenge to choose the perfect gift that is both thoughtful and appropriate. If you have a Korean friend, you may be wondering what kind of gift would be suitable for them. Whether it’s for a birthday, holiday or any other occasion, choosing the right gift requires consideration of their culture, personality, and preferences.

Consider their culture

Korean culture is rich with traditions and customs that can influence your gift choice. You may consider gifting something that reflects their heritage, such as traditional Korean clothing like Hanbok or Korean pottery. You may also want to avoid gifts that are considered taboo or inappropriate in their culture. For example, avoid giving gifts in sets of four as the number four is considered unlucky in Korea.

Personalize your gift

A personalized gift can show your thoughtfulness and appreciation for your Korean friend. Consider their hobbies, interests or favorite things when choosing a gift. You can personalize it further by adding a handwritten note or engraving their name on the gift.

Food and drinks

Korean cuisine is diverse and delicious, which makes food and drinks an excellent option for gifting. You can choose from a variety of Korean snacks, tea or traditional rice wine called Makgeolli. If you’re not sure what kind of food they prefer, you can opt for a gift card to a Korean restaurant.

Beauty products

Korean beauty products are renowned for their quality and effectiveness. You can choose from skincare sets, face masks or makeup products that are popular in Korea. However, make sure to check if your friend has any allergies or skin sensitivities before gifting any beauty products.

Home decor

Home decor items such as candles, picture frames or decorative pillows can be a thoughtful gift for your Korean friend. You can choose from traditional Korean designs or modern styles that match their taste.

Technology accessories

Koreans are known for their love of technology, so a tech accessory can be a practical and useful gift. You can choose from phone cases, wireless chargers or Bluetooth speakers that are popular in Korea.

Books and stationery

If your Korean friend is a bookworm or enjoys writing, you can gift them books or stationery items. You can choose from Korean literature, language learning books or stylish notebooks and pens.

Unique experiences

Gifting an experience such as a cooking class, spa day or concert tickets can make lasting memories with your Korean friend. It’s a thoughtful way to spend time together while enjoying something you both love.

Consider the occasion

The occasion for gifting can also influence your gift choice. For example, a birthday gift may differ from a wedding gift. Make sure to consider the occasion when choosing the appropriate gift.

Price range

Your budget can also influence your gift choice. You don’t have to break the bank to find a meaningful gift. Consider handmade items, DIY gifts or thoughtful gestures that don’t require spending money.


Choosing the perfect gift for your Korean friend requires thoughtfulness and consideration of their culture, personality, preferences and the occasion. Whether it’s food and drinks, beauty products, home decor or unique experiences, there are plenty of options available. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to find a thoughtful gift that will make your Korean friend feel appreciated and loved.

What do Korean people like as a gift?

There are many great gift options in Korea, including health supplements, teas, vitamins, and red ginseng. When giving gifts to Korean in-laws, ginseng is a popular choice. High-end food products such as Hanwoo beef, expensive mushrooms, and wild ginseng can also make great gifts.

What Korean girls like as gift?

Jewelry items like earrings, necklaces, bracelets, ankle bracelets, and rings can be considered, but coordinating pieces of jewelry are even more ideal. Birthstone jewelry is also a thoughtful option as it holds significance and sentimental value for the wearer. This could encourage them to keep it for an extended period of time.

What to bring to a Korean friends house?

It is advisable to bring refreshments, such as food and drinks, when attending a Korean home party, even if the host is a close friend. Korean culture places importance on one’s appearance, even in casual settings, and it is considered impolite to wear dirty or smelly clothing, especially since shoes are typically removed upon entering a home.

What do Koreans give as birthday gifts?

In present-day Korea, it is not typical for people to exchange birthday gifts. Instead, they prefer to celebrate by going out for a meal or having drinks together. Nonetheless, many families and friend groups make an effort to have a cake for the birthday person.

How do you show respect in Korean?

Showing respect to elders is important and includes listening to their opinions, waiting for their input, and lowering your gaze when speaking to them. It is also appropriate to offer objects, gifts, and food with two hands and to remove your hat when indoors.

What do Koreans value the most?

Even in today’s modern society, the traditional Korean values of hard work, respect for family, family protection, and proper behavior within the family are still highly respected.

Consider the packaging

The way you package your gift can also make a difference. Koreans appreciate beautiful and elegant packaging, so take the time to wrap your gift nicely. You can use traditional Korean wrapping paper or use a simple but elegant wrapping paper with a ribbon.

Ask for advice

If you’re still unsure about what to gift your Korean friend, don’t hesitate to ask for advice. You can ask mutual friends, colleagues or even your Korean friend directly about what they would like. They may have some suggestions that you haven’t thought of.

Avoid stereotypes

It’s important to remember that not all Koreans are the same, and it’s best to avoid gifting something based on stereotypes. For example, not all Koreans love K-Pop, so don’t assume that they do. Instead, focus on their individual interests and preferences.

Don’t forget the card

A handwritten note or card can add a personal touch to your gift. Take the time to write a thoughtful message that expresses your appreciation and gratitude for your Korean friend.

Respect cultural differences

Respecting cultural differences is crucial when gifting to someone from a different culture. Make sure to avoid any gift that could be considered offensive or inappropriate in their culture. Do some research beforehand if you’re unsure about any cultural differences.

Give from the heart

Ultimately, the best gift is one that comes from the heart. It’s not about the cost or size of the gift but rather the thought behind it. Show your Korean friend how much you care by giving them a thoughtful and meaningful gift that reflects their personality and interests.

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