Whether you’re traveling to South Korea for business, leisure, or a study abroad program, you’ll want to make the most of your time in this incredible country. From bustling cities to ancient villages to quiet islands, check out these top five places during your visit to South Korea.
The moment you set foot into Seoul, you’ll be completely enamored. This sprawling capital city has it all, from futuristic skyscrapers to mesmerizing palaces to peaceful temples. Browse a Seoul city guide to get a handle on the top sights and design your ideal itinerary. No matter where you start your city tour, you’ll want to add highlights like the fantastic Gyeongbokgung Palace, the bustling Myeong-dong District, and the out-of-this-world Dongdaemun Design Plaza to your list.
Seoul may be the most significant and best-known city in South Korea, but it’s hundreds of miles and a world apart from Busan, the most extensive metro area in the south. Busan has plenty of seaside flavors to go around, and its Haeundae Beach is a favorite place to soak up the sunshine. If you’d instead climb a mountain, head to the north side of town where you’ll find tons of trails and hot springs to explore on Geumjeongsan Mountain. Don’t miss seaside temples like Haedong Yonggungsa or thriving shopping centers like Gukje Market or Shinsegae Centum City, either.
Gyeongju Yangdong Village
If you’re looking for a quieter spot, head to Gyeongju Yangdong Village, where you can step back in time to the 14th century. This historic clan village has been preserved for centuries, and today you can stroll through the streets, which are still lined with timber-framed homes modeled on the Joseon Dynasty’s Confucian culture. The surrounding landscape, which includes mountains and forests, make this historic village picture perfect.
When you want to get away from it all in South Korea, make your way to Jeju Island. Just off the southern end of South Korea, Jeju Island boasts a distinctive volcanic landscape, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and gorgeous vistas in every direction. Whether you want to go for an epic hike, wander among the lava tubes, get lost in massive wildflower fields, or book an unforgettable massage, this is the place to do it.
Dadohaehaesang National Park
As South Korea’s largest national park, Dadohaehaesang National Park is a must for nature lovers. It spans an archipelago off the country’s southwestern coast, and it’s the ideal place to plan an outdoor adventure and to learn about South Korea’s maritime history. Take on one of the multi-day hiking courses to see some of this national park’s unique flora and fauna, visit the famous fishing grounds, and watch for porpoises, sea coral, and orchids.
Whether you want to take in the countless sights in Seoul or Busan, step back in time in Gyeongju Yangdong Village, or escape to Jeju Island or Dadohaehaesang National Park, South Korea has just what you’re looking for. Get ready to enjoy the trip of a lifetime in South Korea.