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15 Top Tourist Attractions in South Korea

Last updated on February 5, 2024 by Touropia Editors - 2 Comments

A nation ripe with cultural, historical, and natural tourist attractions, South Korea has a plethora of interesting sights. Aside from the obvious tourist attractions, including mega-city Seoul, the country offers wide open spaces boasting incredible natural beauty characterized by rock formations, green pastures, and dense forest.

On the whole, the country has had a rich history, where various rulers and kingdoms have dominated throughout the ages. Their reigns are still visible in the ruins and restored palaces scattered throughout the country. South Korea has an interesting cultural landscape to boot; the nation is rich with festivals, cultural events and tasty food.

15. Ganghwado Island [SEE MAP]

Ganghwado Island

Located in the West Sea, Ganghwado Island is brimming with history. It has been occupied since prehistoric times and even enjoyed a period when it was the capital of Korea in the 13th century. In the 19th century, the island was used strategically to defend against the French and Japanese.

Aside from historical sites, Ganghwado Island offers impressive scenery, with several trails leading around the island; including Manisan Mountain with its expansive sea views. Only a short 90 minutes from Seoul, the island is close to the North Korean border and connected to the mainland via a bridge, so it is very accessible.

14. Pocheon Art Valley [SEE MAP]

Pocheon Art Valley

This area near the city of Pocheon was once a working quarry which was closed to the public. However, in what was Pocheon’s first environmental restoration project, the quarry was transformed into a beautiful park.

The turquoise lake lies in sharp contrast to the rock cliff’s sheer faces, and is visited by thousands of tourists a year. There is an outdoor stage located next to the water where the art center sometimes hold performances, with numerous events held per year, as well as daily art workshops.

13. Seoraksan National Park [SEE MAP]

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park is an unspoiled landscape of sharp, rocky outcrops and windswept pine trees. There are crystal clear streams and rivers that run through the park’s valley, providing hydration for the 2000 plus animals that live within its boundaries. The area is extremely popular for hiking, with well-marked trails varying in difficulty.

Near the entrance of the park, visitors are greeted by a massive Buddha statue, situated at Sinheungsa Temple. At times, hikers can hear monks chanting in the distance as they explore. There are plenty of food and drink options within the park boundaries, but they tend to more expensive then dining facilities outside of the park.

12. Bulguksa Temple [SEE MAP]

Bulguksa Temple

Gyeongju’s Bulguksa Temple was originally built in 528, but has endured a number of renovations and extensions throughout history. Just outside of Busan, the temple was very important to many dynasties.

The complex is made up of many buildings with intricate carvings and statues and harbors some of South Korea’s most important national treasures, such as the Sinheungsa and Dabotap pagodas. The garden is very impressive year-round, but is even more stunning when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. It is best to visit with a guide, who will bring the scenery to life with tales of yesteryear.

11. Jindo Sea Parting [SEE MAP]

Jindo and Modo

South Korea has its own modern version of the famous biblical story of Moses. Every year, visitors from around the world flock to Jindo to witness this natural phenomenon of the ‘sea parting’.

However, it is not as magical as it might first appear; the natural bridge is the result of a yearly accumulation of pebbles and sand which have collected due to the tide. In total, the sea parting is 2.8 kilometers long, and at low tide, 40-60 meters wide. A number of exciting exhibitions and programs take place for the duration of the festival; including parades and cultural events.

10. Jeonju Hanok Village [SEE MAP]

Jeonju Hanok Village

The roads of Jeonju Hanok Village are lined with street-food vendors and restaurants carrying dishes that are traditional to Jeonju. One such dish is Jeonju bibimbay; it was considered a royal dish during the Jeonju dynasty.

Besides the culinary aspects, the town is famous for its many hanoks: traditional Korean houses which pay considerable attention to the positioning of the house. The ideal hanok would feature a mountain in the back and a river out front. They typically utilize a courtyard to retain heat within the house, especially the floor, since Koreans traditionally sit on the floor to eat and entertain.

9. Gamcheon Culture Village [SEE MAP]

Gamcheon Culture Village

Colorful, terraced houses that look seaward characterize Gamcheon Cultural Village in Busan. Before 2009, Gamcheon was a slum; home to refugees from the Korean War. However, various government agencies undertook an initiative to redevelop the area as a tourist attraction and artistic hub. As such, the city received funding to beautify their town. Artists flocked to the area and now art lives around every corner, whether it’s outdoor statues or street art.

Today, the best way to experience the city is simply to lose yourself in the colorful alleyways of this unique town.

8. Boryeong Mud Festival [SEE MAP]

Boryeong

Once a year on Daecheon Beach, the dirtiest festival in South Korea takes place. The mud at the Annual Boryeong Mud Festival is believed to have special beautifying mineral properties.

Each year it is brought to the beach in truck loads from the nearby Boryeong mud flats. The festival began in 1998 to promote cosmetics that used Boryeong mud in their products. Since then, the event has exploded. Each year millions visit for the two-week affair. Some of the most popular events take place on the last weekend; including the Mud Prison, mud skiing, and mud wrestling.

7. Boseong Tea Fields [SEE MAP]

Boseong Tea Fields

The beautiful, rolling green hills of Boseong Tea Fields are the only fields of their kind open in Korea, and are just begging for a photo. There are many walking trails and viewing points where you can take in the beauty of the verdant gardens and watch the skilled workers selecting the best tea leaves. Tea is an integral part of Korean culture and you can experience a traditional Korean tea ceremony while you are here. It is a great way to dive into learning about Korean culture and get a chance to sample some fresh tea too.

Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the beautiful bamboo forest on the outskirts of the fields.

6. Hallasan National Park [SEE MAP]

Hallasan National Park

Hallasan National Park is home to South Korea’s tallest mountain: Hallasan Mountain. Traditionally, Hallasan Mountain was called Mount Yeongjusan, meaning ‘the mountain high enough to pull the galaxy’. The park is situated in South Korea’s Jeju Island . There are trails suited to every fitness level snaking around the area.

Even the hike to the summit of Mont Hallasan is pretty relaxing, and suited to intermediate level hikers. This mountain was once an active volcano; at the summit, you can find evidence of this in the form of a stunning crater lake.

5. Hwaseong Fortress [SEE MAP]

Hwaseong Fortress

This marvelous fortress is a true testament to Korea’s unique history and military might. Built to surround the town of Suwan by King Jeongko between 1794 and 1796, it has received many battle scars since then. King Jeongko built the fortress to honor his father, who was murdered by his grandfather. The complex features an elaborate palace, almost six kilometers of fortress walls, and various gate towers. Every autumn, the Suwan Hwaseng Cultural Festival takes places; featuring reenactments and other cultural events and exhibits.

4. Huwon Secret Garden [SEE MAP]

Huwon Secret Garden

Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul was the principal place of residence for a number of powerful kings and their royal families throughout history. It is one of the best-preserved palaces in South Korea at this moment.

However, the Huwon Secret Garden is one of the stars of the property. This huge garden features an incredible array of plants, trees, rivers, lotus ponds, pavilions and sitting areas. Some of the trees on the property are over 300 years old. The garden was granted its name because it had an air of mystery about it; it was a place where no one but the royal families were permitted to enter without permission.

3. Namiseom Island [SEE MAP]

Namiseom Island

Namiseom Island, part of the larger Gapyeong county, is blanketed in a beautiful natural landscape. It enjoys distinct seasons and is a very popular destination for domestic tourism. The half-moon island results from the creation of Cheongpyeong Dam, which sectioned off the land from the rest of the river.

The island was named after the famous general Nami who was buried here in the 17th century. Aside from the surreal scenery and historical references, the island is known for its delicious pan-fried rice cake.

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace [SEE MAP]

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Located in the heart of Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of South Korea’s most iconic buildings. The incredible palace finished construction in 1395. However, over the years, various other rooms and structures were added to this incredible building.

The two museums that reside within the palace walls include the Museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. There are still a number of ongoing restoration efforts aimed at restoring this fabulous building back to the epitome of its former glory.

1. DMZ [SEE MAP]

#1 of Tourist Attractions In South Korea

The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is one of the tensest borders in recent times. For some visiting the area, the DMZ zone is the only glimpse of the mysterious and brutal country, North Korea, that they will ever get.

There are various viewing platforms from the South Korean side that look northward toward North Korea. The strip that borders each country was decided at the end of the Korean Wars as part of the Korean Armistice Agreement.

The area is often used as a place of self-reflection: to reflect upon the state of our political systems and the freedoms we enjoy today. Guided tours are available at the DMZ, which explain in detail the political and social atmospheres of each distinct country.

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Huwon Secret Garden (No 4) is Biwon Secret Garden.

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The Top 10 Destinations in South Korea

tourist spot sa korea

Manfred Gottschalk/Getty Images

Filled with historic palaces, lively markets, and buzzing nightlife, Seoul is certainly a dynamic destination. But there’s more to the captivating country of South Korea than its compelling capital. From ancient burial grounds and wild national parks, to colorful Buddhist temples, and white sand beaches reminiscent of Hawaii, South Korea has a multitude of enchanting locales to fill your itinerary to the brim.

Chaiwat Phuengpheng / EyeEm / Getty Images

There’s no doubt that exploring Seoul is a must when traveling to South Korea. This modern metropolis home to 10 million people is a hodgepodge of culture, history, and culinary delights. No visit to this vibrant capital is complete without a stop at Gyeongbokgung Palace to see impressive examples of Joseon-era architecture and a recreation of the royal changing of the guard ceremony. Follow it up by checking out the city skyline views from the top of N Seoul Tower , then catch a glimpse of Seoul’s storied past amid the exhibits at the National Museum of Korea .

 Insung Jeon / Getty Images

This quiet southeastern city was the country’s former capital, and home of Korea’s illustrious monarchs during the Silla Kingdom, which lasted for nearly 1,000 years. Only two hours from Seoul by high-speed train, Gyeongju can easily be a day trip if you’re short on time. Highlights include Daereungwon Tomb Complex (popularly known as Tumuli Park), where otherworldly burial mounds enclose ancient treasures; elegant Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond , the pleasure palace of Silla kings; and the UNESCO sites and Korea National Treasures of Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto —a granite temple containing a seated Buddha statue.

 VDCM image / Getty Images

Home of the Busan International Film Festival which takes place every October, this southern port city is filled with a pulsating energy all its own. Only three hours from the capital via the KTX high-speed train, Busan is acclaimed for its Waikiki-esque Haeundae Beach . But there are plenty of other sights to see and things to do in South Korea’s second largest city . Start your tour with the multicolored 14th-century Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (one of the few in the country built next to the sea), then watch from Gwangalli Beach as twinkling lights spread across the iconic Diamond Bridge at night.

Jeju Island

Eric Hevesy / Getty Images

Jeju is commonly referred to as the “Hawaii of South Korea,” and for good reason—tranquil beaches, volcanic landscapes, and a plethora of palm trees give the island a decidedly tropical vibe. Watch the sunrise over Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak , a 5,000-year-old volcanic cone jutting into the sea, then head for the white sands and turquoise waters found at Hyeopjae Beach on the island’s west coast. Continue with a hike up Hallasan , South Korea’s highest peak, which also happens to be an active volcano. Jeju can easily be reached via domestic flights from Seoul or Busan.

Seoraksan National Park

Henn Photography/Getty Images

The easygoing city of Sokcho in South Korea’s northeast corner is home to a stretch of golden coastline, but it's perhaps mostly known as the location of Seoraksan National Park . Celebrated as the country’s most beautiful national park, Seoraksan is a hiking enthusiast’s dream come true. Miles of trails wind through jagged peaks and vast forests, past streams, waterfalls, and dignified Buddhist temples. For a visual treat, plan your visit during the months of October or November when the fiery fall leaves create a blanket of color.

Note: While autumn makes for the best leaf-peeping opportunity, it’s also one of the park’s busiest times of year.

Jirisan National Park

Heegab / Imazins / Getty Images

Meaning “the mountain of the odd and wise people,” Jirisan is considered one of Korea’s three most legendary mountains and is a place where spiritual seekers have flocked for thousands of years. In 1967, the mountain and surrounding area became South Korea’s first national park (it’s also the largest terrestrial national park). Jirisan is known for its incredibly diverse flora and fauna, including the leopard cat and the Asiatic black bear, both considered endangered species and protected in Korea. Buses and trains reach Namwon Station from Seoul in approximately three hours, from which it’s another hour’s bus or taxi ride to Jirisan National Park.

PictureLake / Getty Images

Only 30 minutes south of Seoul, Suwon is an often overlooked but culturally important site in the history of South Korea. Suwon is home to Hwaseong Fortress , an imposing 18th-century stone and brick structure built both as a tomb and a political stronghold, with walls stretching for nearly 4 miles. For those looking for more in-the-moment thrills, just outside Suwon lies Everland , Korea’s largest theme park and the 16th most visited amusement park in the world. Suwon is also home to Mr. Toilet House ; the commode-shaped home of the city’s former mayor, which is now a quirky museum dedicated to public sanitation.

Dadohaehaesang National Park

taeung / Getty Images

As South Korea’s largest national park, Dadohaehaesang spans a collection of rocky islands along the country’s southern coast. Though a challenge to get to (a three-hour train ride from Seoul followed by numerous taxis and ferries), a visit to Dadohaehaesang National Park is well worth the effort for those who enjoy unspoiled natural beauty. A swath of evergreen forests plunge to craggy shorelines, and the park houses a broad assortment of endangered plant and animal species. The area is also notable for its maritime past as the site of multiple sea battles between Korea and invading Japanese armies.

Julien Viry / Getty Images

Set in the central Gyeongbuk province, the laid-back city of Andong framed by the Nakdong River is most famous for the UNESCO-listed Hahoe Folk Village . Dating to the 15th century, this quaint assemblage of thatched or tile-roofed houses evokes bygone images of the country’s Joseon Dynasty, and makes for one of South Korea’s most charming tourist attractions. Andong has long been considered the capital of Korean traditional culture, and other draws include renowned Andong soju (distilled rice whiskey), and the annual Andong Mask Dance Festival .

Tapsa Temple

Iseo Yang / Getty Images 

Although it’s not one of South Korea’s largest or most famous temples, Tapsa Temple may well be the most interesting both visually and historically. Set at the base of a towering cliff, the temple grounds house over 80 stone pagodas built by a retired scholar-turned-hermit in the 19th century. Although no adhesive materials were used to build the pagodas, some of which stand 18 feet high, they have mysteriously withstood typhoons and strong winds over the centuries. Visit during the Maisan Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring, when the trees surrounding the temple come alive with cherry blossoms. Buses from Seoul reach Jinan Intercity Bus Stop in just under four hours, and from there it’s easy to take a taxi or local bus to the temple.

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Must-see attractions in South Korea

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Gyeongbokgung

Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Like a phoenix, Seoul’s premier palace has risen several times from the ashes of destruction. Hordes of tourists have replaced the thousands of government…

Biwon Garden at Changdeokgung, Gwanghwamun.

Changdeokgung

The World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung is the most beautiful of Seoul's five main palaces. You must join a one-hour guided tour to look around. English…

Jeonju Hanok Village with over 800 traditional Korean houses remaining in central Jeonju. Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea.

Jeonju Hanok Maeul

This maeul (village) has more than 800 hanok (traditional wooden homes), making it one of the largest such concentrations in the country. Virtually all of…

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, Asia

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

Itaewon & Yongsan-gu

Amid the celebrity-owned apartments on the leafy southern slope of Namsan is Korea's premier art gallery. Beautifully designed and laid-out, it balances…

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Seongsan Ilchul-bong

This majestic 182m-high, extinct tuff volcano, shaped like a giant punchbowl, is one of Jeju-do's most impressive sights and a Unesco World Heritage site…

tourist spot sa korea

Ssanggye-sa

Gyeongsangnam-do

The visual imagery of this temple is a feast for the eyes and, like any exquisite dinner, should be savoured with deliberation. Stone walls supporting…

Jagged ridges, 400m-high peaks, ropes, ladders and awe-inspiring views await travellers looking for a challenging hike. Most travellers disembark the…

A woman walks along the walls of Hwaseong Fortress.

The World Heritage–listed fortress wall that encloses the original town of Suwon is what brings most travellers to the city. Snaking up and down Paldal…

Deoksugung Palace in Korea .

Myeong-dong & Jung-gu

One of Seoul's five grand palaces built during the Joseon dynasty, Deoksugung (meaning Palace of Virtuous Longevity) is the only one you can visit in the…

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2004:  South Korea - North Kyongsang - Andong surroundings - Historic village of Hahoe (UNESCO World Heritage List, 2010), typical house.  (Photo By DEA / M. BORCHI/De Agostini/Getty Images)

Hahoe Folk Village

Gyeongsangbuk-do

This delightful traditional riverside village – a Unesco World Heritage site – is a place to commune with the traditional fabric of old Korea and, in the…

National Museum of Korea at night

National Museum of Korea

This vast and imposing concrete slab of a museum takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Korea's past from prehistory all the way to the Korean…

sunrise of Baegundae peak, Bukhansan mountains  in Seoul, South Korea; Shutterstock ID 296386961; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/LP.com Destination Galleries

Bukhansan National Park

Gyeonggi-do

Granite-peak-studded Bukhansan National Park's sweeping mountaintop vistas, maple leaves, rushing streams and remote temples draw over 5 million hikers…

Detail of ROK Airforce plane outside War Memorial and Museum, north of river.

War Memorial of Korea

This huge museum documents the history of the Korean War (1950–53) using multimedia exhibits and black-and-white documentary footage, along with artefacts…

Magic Hour of Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam, Seoul

Gangnam & Southern Seoul

Located in the heart of ritzy Gangnam, the shrines and halls of the Buddhist temple Bongeun-sa, with its tree-filled hillside location, stand in direct…

DDP Entrance

Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park

Dongdaemun & Eastern Seoul

Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, this neofuturistic cultural complex was commissioned to replace the Dongdaemun Stadium, built during Japanese rule in the…

tourist spot sa korea

Noryangjin Fish Market

Providing terrific photo opportunities, Korea's largest fish market supplies every kind of aquatic life form to restaurants, fish shops and the general…

Namdaemun traditional market

Namdaemun Market

You could spend all day in this swarming night-and-day market and not see it at all. The largest market in Korea, each section has hundreds of stalls,…

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This magnificent temple is Busan’s best sight. Despite its city location, Beomeo-sa is a world away from the urban jungle, with beautiful architecture set…

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Jagalchi Fish Market

Anyone with a love of seafood and a tolerance for powerful odours could easily spend an hour exploring the country’s largest fish market. Narrow lanes…

Exterior of Seodaemun Prison, north of river.

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

Northern Seoul

Built in 1908, this former prison is a potent symbol of Korean suffering at the hands of Japan during colonial occupation in the early 20th century…

Revered as the birthplace of the paragon of Korean womanhood, Sin Saimdang (1504–51), and her son, the philosopher and government official Yi Yulgok (1536…

The Cheonggyecheon Stream draws crowds of locals out in early evening.

Cheong-gye-cheon

With its landscaped walkways, footbridges, waterfalls and a variety of public artworks, such as the enormous pink-and-blue shell entitled Spring in Cheong…

Seoul City and N Seoul Tower, South Korea

N Seoul Tower & Namsan

The iconic N Seoul tower (236m), atop the city’s guardian mountain Namsan, offers panoramic views of this immense metropolis from its observation deck…

Traditional Korean style architecture at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.; Shutterstock ID 284085128; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/LP.com Destination Galleries

Bukchon Hanok Village

Meaning ‘North Village’, Bukchon, between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, is home to around 900 hanok, Seoul’s largest concentration of these traditional…

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Gamcheon Culture Village

This historically rich, mountainside slum became a tourist destination after an arty makeover in 2009, when students decided to brighten up the…

Haeundae beach, Busan

Haeundae is the country’s most famous beach. During the peak August travel season, umbrellas mushroom across the 2km-long beach while frolickers fill the…

View of Tangent building

Hyundai Development Company commissioned Daniel Libeskind to work with Seoul-based firm Himma on its headquarters opposite COEX Mall. The result, Tangent,…

Gyeongui Line Forest Park

This 6.3km park, named for the former Gyeongui Line (on which it was built), is a narrow, long green space that runs along the discarded railroad tracks…

Tumuli-gongwon

The huge, walled park has 23 tombs of Silla monarchs and family members. From the outside, they resemble substantial grassy hillocks that echo the…

Korean Stone Art Museum

A score of centuries-old stone sentinels stand guard on the hillside at this terrific museum overlooking Seongbuk-dong. A road winds through sculpted…

Korea Furniture Museum

You need to apply several days in advance via a reservation page on the website to visit this museum, but you absolutely should to admire the fabulous…

Seoul K-Medi Center

Learn about the history and practice of traditional Korean medicine at this impressive facility styled to resemble Bojewon, a clinic from the early Joseon…

Opened in 1976, Everland is Korea's largest theme park, with five zones of rides, fantasy buildings and impressive seasonal gardens. The lush hillside…

Noseo-dong Tombs

Near the main shopping area is the Noseo-dong district, where you'll find Silla tombs. Seobongchong and Geumgwanchong are adjacent tombs built between the…

Ihwa Mural Village

High on the slopes of Naksan is one of the city's old daldongnae (literally ‘moon villages’) where refugees lived in shacks after the Korean War. Sixty…

Jeju Folk Village

The educational Jeju Folk Village gathers together traditional buildings from across the island (some reconstructions, others hundreds of years old) in an…

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral

An icon and motif of Daegu, this lovely cruciform church is quite a sight, with its twin spires. Originally constructed in wood, the first incarnation…

KT&G SangsangMadang

Funded by Korea’s top tobacco company, this visually striking building is home to an art-house cinema, a concert space (hosting top indie bands) and…

National Maritime Museum

This is the only museum in Korea dedicated to the country’s maritime history. The highlights are two shipwrecks, one dating from the 11th century and the…

Olympic Park with pond and ducks in foreground.

Olympic Park

This large and pleasant park was the focus of the 1988 Olympics. Strolling its paths takes you past its stadiums surrounded by plenty of greenery, ponds…

Not South Korea... but still worth the visit

Taj Mahal

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Best things to do in South Korea

tourist spot sa korea

Destination Expert

Friday September 30 2022, 05:46am

It couldn’t be easier to explore South Korea and its capital Seoul : especially now the country has dropped the last of its pandemic travel rules. An extensive system of buses and the nation’s high-speed train system make it possible to zip across the country in a matter of hours — and incredible national parks dotted with temples and waterfalls await. Take an hour-long flight to Jeju Island to hear haenyeo (female divers; the name translates literally as “sea women”) sing and swim in crystal-blue waters; watch traditional dance come to life in the historical Andong Hahoe Village; and see first-hand the divide that keeps North and South Korea apart.

Main photo: pavilions at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul (Getty Images)

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1. Contemplate nature and art at Museum SAN

When building this ethereal structure in the mountains of Wonju, architect Tadao Ando claimed that he wanted to “create a garden museum in the sky, a dreamlike museum like no other”. Though “san” literally means mountain, the name is an acronym for space, art, nature and the creations at the museum are intended to enhance your connection to the landscape. Buy a complete ticket, which allows you entry to everything from the paper museum to the meditation hall and James Turrell exhibition, and take time to go through the entire space one thoughtful gaze at a time.

Taking the USO tour of the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone is one of the best things to do in South Koresa

2. Take the USO tour of the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone

After a few days in contemporary Seoul, it may be difficult to remember that North and South Korea are still technically at war. Take time to learn about this living history with a trip to the Joint Security Area (called Panmunjeom), where the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953. Of the many tours available there, the one run by the United Service Organizations should be your top pick based on how extensive and affordable it is. The full-day option picks you up from central Seoul and takes you to all of DMZ’s must-see sights: 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dorasan Observatory and the JSA. You’ll need to book four days in advance.

Cooking temple food with star chef Jeong Kwan is one of the best things to do in South Korea

3. Cook temple food with star chef Jeong Kwan

If you’re a fan of Chef’s Table , you might remember Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan, from the show’s third season. In the episode, the mother of temple food cuisine walks through the wild mountainside and collects vegetables that she fashions into delicious meals. The striking temple from that very episode is Baekyangsa, located in Naejangsan National Park — and it’s possible to spend a night there meditating and learning how to cook with the famous chef herself on the overnight visit hosted by Templestay. The mountain is known for its vibrant foliage, so snag an autumn spot if possible.

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tourist spot sa korea

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  • Enjoy a tea ceremony in Kyoto at the 17th century Kiyomizu temple
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  • Visit Hiroshima and stroll through the Peace Memorial Park 

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Listening to the sea songs of Jeju’s female divers is one of the best things to do in South Korea

4. Listen to the sea songs of Jeju’s female divers

The island of Jeju, located off the southern coast of the peninsula, is home to a few hundred haenyeo. Haenyeo are typically older women who dive, without gear, to catch seafood and other edibles from the ocean, and Jeju’s haenyeo culture was inscribed into Unesco intangible cultural heritage in 2016. Head to the Haenyeo Women Diver Show at Seongsan Ilchulbong at 1.30pm or 3pm to listen to the women sing traditional songs and see them dive.

A slow train ride to see Mount Taebaek is one of the best things to do in South Korea

5. Roll down the windows for a slow train ride to see Mount Taebaek

Korail, South Korea’s national rail service, has a handful of sightseeing trains that tick off the country’s most scenic sights. The V-Train, which leaves from Buncheon Station in Gyeongsangbuk, whisks you through the Baekdudaegan valleys and leaves ample time to explore the stops along the way. Two highlights are the quaint Santa’s Village town near the starting point and the view of Mount Taebaek — with the windows down ­— towards the end of the journey. Taebaek is said to be best when it’s covered in snow, so aim for a trip in the winter months if you can.

Swimming off Jeju’s northeast coast is one of the best things to do in South Korea

6. Go for a swim off Jeju’s northeast coast

Few know that white sand and crystal-blue waters exist in South Korea, but venture to Woljeongri Beach on Jeju Island and you will see Korea’s semi-tropics in a whole new light. The name of the beach, which literally means “the moon stays”, could be a poetic interpretation of its landscape, as the jagged, black rock surrounding the waters is not unlike that of Earth’s natural satellite. Woljeongri gets busy in July and August, but is also swimmable in late May and June. If you can’t go in the summer, the area’s cafés and bars make it equally stirring in wintertime.

7. Examine an abandoned airstrip off the beaten path on Jeju Island

At first glance, Alddreu Airfield in the Seogwipo district of Jeju looks like it might not be more than unclaimed farmland, but peer a bit closer and you’ll see remnants of an unofficial airport built by the Imperial Japanese Army. Historians suspect that it could have been built in the 1920s and might eventually have been used as the training site for suicide bombers — a contrast to the peacefulness of the land today. Every so often you’ll come across aircraft-shaped structures, placed at the site to commemorate its history.

Visiting the Andong Hahoe Folk Village is one of the best things to do in South Korea

8. Visit the Andong Hahoe Folk Village

Often considered the most authentic representation of Korean life during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897), the Andong Hahoe Folk Village is the birthplace of 16th-century prime minister Ryu Seongryong. The village, which is still inhabited by the Ryu clan, was designated a Unesco world heritage site in 2010. It has well-preserved thatched roofs and is in a picturesque location by the Nakdong River, but the main reason to go is to watch the village’s famous “mask dance” performance — a ritual that dates back to the preceding mid-Goryeo dynasty and is not only lively and entertaining but also addresses class and society in Korean society.

9. Go stargazing at Firefly Ecological Park

The Firefly Ecological Park in Yeongyang county has a silver tier ranking — meaning that artificial light is limited, which allows the Milky Way to be visible here during summer and winter. The park is divided into two sections: an exhibition space with information about the stars, planets and light pollution, and an observation deck with telescopes to peer into these other worlds yourself. The destination is quite remote, with not too much to do in the surrounding area, but it’s a unique opportunity to learn about the relevance of astrology to Korean culture and see a phenomenal night sky in East Asia.

Seeing cherry blossoms en route to Gyeryongsan National Park is one of the best things to do in South Korea

10. See cherry blossoms en route to Gyeryongsan National Park

This national park on the outskirts of Daejeon’s peaks is best during cherry blossom season in spring and again during autumn, when the leaves begin to change colour. Although it’s almost impossible to avoid crowds during early April, there are plenty of smaller paths en route to the park for chances to take photos. Once inside, head over to one of the park’s quieter temples, Sinwonsa, which is surrounded by striking plum blossom trees.

11. Luge down hills in Tongyeong

Looking for something a little more fast-paced while travelling the southern coast? Try going luging down the hills of Tongyeong. While the combination racing and sledding sport is available at a few facilities across the country, this location in Tongyeong is one of the longest at 2.1km and the ten-minute downhill journey provides views of the emerald-green ocean. There’s a package with tickets that provide access for up to five rides in one day, as well as discounts for tickets bought in sets of four — making it an easy place to hang with the family for an afternoon.

Hiking up Mount Seoraksan is one of the best things to do in South Korea

12. Hike up Mount Seoraksan

The favourite spot of many avid Korean hikers, Seoraksan is part of a vast mountain range in the Gangwon province that reaches 1,708m at Daechongbong Peak. There are various routes, depending on your athletic abilities, but one of the most popular destinations is Ulsanbawi — a six-peak formation with overarching views. The 7.2km trail takes approximately four hours one way and allows for stops at several Buddhist monuments and temples. The less energetic can opt to take a cable car to near Gwongeumseong Peak, a shortcut that allows you to take in the beauty without the huffing and puffing.

Having a seafood dinner at Jagalchi Market is one of the best things to do in South Korea

13. Have a seafood dinner at Jagalchi Market

Located in Busan’s Nampo-dong, Jagalchi Market is the largest fish market in South Korea. While there are some vendors outdoors, most stalls are in one main indoor facility, where you can purchase dried and fresh seafood. Though the market is more about the experience than the food itself, one of the highlights is walking through the first floor, picking out a fish or mollusc for yourself, and having it served to you — raw, grilled or in a stew — at one of the restaurants on the second floor.

14. Get sweaty and get clean at Spa Land

While jjimjilbangs (traditional bathhouses) can be found across the country, there are few as clean and well-managed as Spa Land in Busan’s Centum City. The facilities here are divided into two zones: the first floor has sweat rooms and public baths segregated by sex, and the second focuses on entertainment. Jjimjilbang first-timers can check in, undress in the locker room, take a shower and bath, get sweaty in a hot room, and then pay a little extra for an all-body exfoliation before another bath. For a truly zen experience try the outdoor hot springs in the bathing section.

15. Explore the hip Seoul neighbourhood of Euljiro

Head to Seoul’s Euljiro district to find the country’s most innovative bars and stylish cafés. Euljiro was once known for its printing presses, lighting and electrical equipment but recently lower rents have attracted young entrepreneurs. Check out Tacqueria Stan for the city’s best Mexican tacos, Suldabang for cocktails mixed with traditional Korean liquor and After Jerk Off for wine and beers in an edgy, sexy backdrop. Around 8pm, bars in Nogari Alley fill up with customers eager to have chicken, beer and nogari (dried pollack).

  • Best things to do in Seoul

Booking a moonlight tour at one of Seoul’s royal palaces is one of the best things to do in South Korea

16. Book a moonlight tour at one of Seoul’s royal palaces

The capital has five striking royal palaces that are worth your time: Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Gyeonghuigung. Each is charming in its own way and the city often runs moonlight tours that allow you to see them in the glow of the night. The most popular takes place at Changdeokgung — often claimed to be the most beautiful of the five. Check the official royal palace website to see which is hosting a tour at the time of your visit.

17. Cycle around Modo, Sido and Sindo

Located off the coast of Incheon, these three lesser-known islands are connected by bridges. The terrain is mostly flat and not much has been developed, making it an easy place to experience the Korean countryside on two wheels. Depart from Sammok Quay and take the ferry to Sindo, where you can rent a bicycle from a small café named Anyeong Bada. Two of the places you’ll want to see while exploring the islands are Sugi Beach on Sido and Baemikkumi Sculpture Park. The former was the location for 2004 Korean TV series Full House and the latter, facing the ocean, is a series of large-scale sculptures on the theme of eroticism.

Brewing your own traditional Korean alcohol with the Sool Company is one of the best things to do in South Korea

18. Brew your own traditional Korean alcohol with the Sool Company

Want to know how you can make authentic Korean liquor? The Sool Company, a school and tour company run by specialist Julia Mellor, is here to help. Options range from bar crawls around Seoul to day trips to breweries across the country; guides help you understand the difference between commercially produced makgeolli (rice wine) and homemade varieties made without additives. While learning how to brew, you’ll also absorb plenty of the country’s history — so you can pass off that second sip of soju (distilled alcohol) as a culture lesson.

19. Take the ferry out to Cheongpyeongsa Temple

A visit to Cheongpyeongsa Temple is one of the easiest day trips from Seoul and is a great option if you’re in Korea for a limited period. The ITX-Cheongchun Line from central Seoul takes you to Chuncheon (capital of Gangwon province) in just 68 minutes; from there, you’ll hop on a bus to Soyang Dam, the world’s fourth largest rock-filled dam. Take a quick look around before boarding the short ferry to Cheongpyeongsa nearby, where a relatively easy trail to the temple is situated next to a gorgeous river valley. Take a break on your way up and dip your feet into the water.

20. Time travel to the past in the historical city of Gunsan

The Japanese settled in this port city in the North Jeolla Province during the late 19th century and it is known for several colonial-era buildings that survived the Korean War. Start an exploration of Gunsan with a stamp card, available at the city’s tourist office, and cross off the locations, such as the country’s oldest bakery, Lee Sung Dang. Other must-see sights include Hirotsu House, the former home of a Japanese fabric maker, the Old Gunsan Customs House, where you can see official papers used during the era, and Donguksa Temple, the only Japanese-style temple left in the country. Before leaving, walk along Gyeongamdong Railroad Town, a stretch of railway that ran from Gunsan Station to Gunsan Post — and have a great beef radish soup for dinner at Hanilok.

Eating soft tofu in the seaside town of Gangneung is one of the best things to do in South Korea

21. Have soft tofu in the seaside town of Gangneung

The Chodang Dubu Village is a collection of restaurants and cafés dedicated to the art of bean curd; tofu is said to taste better here because of the saltiness of the East Sea water. While the subtle dish can be eaten after just a light steam and dip in soy sauce, try it served as a spicy, bubbling stew topped with silkened tofu — soondubu jigae. A local favourite in the village is Chodang Halmoni Soondubu, where both versions are served — though you can also try tofu gelato at Sonamu Jip Chodang Soondubu.

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The Most Beautiful Places To Visit In South Korea

From the coastal city of busan to the snow-peaked trails in gangwon province, here are the most beautiful places in south korea..

By Shubhanjana Das Published on Nov 05, 2023, 04:00 PM

The Most Beautiful Places To Visit In South Korea

From Jeju’s pristine southern shores to the vibrant urban landscapes of Seoul and Busan, South Korea is a mosaic of beauty. Palaces like Gyeongbokgung in Seoul echo rich cultural history woven into contemporary lifestyles.

Imagine strolling along cherry blossom-lined streets, finding tranquillity in ancient temples, and feeling the pulsating rhythm of K-pop in the air. These beautiful places in South Korea aren’t just destinations; they are portals to a realm where tradition partners with the avant-garde. Despite its modest size compared to its neighbours China and Russia, South Korea boasts diverse natural wonders and cultural treasures, seamlessly connected by an efficient public transit system. Explore historical gems and modern marvels that invite you to savour its captivating tapestry of South Korea’s beautiful places.

Best time to visit scenic & beautiful places in South Korea

South Korea is most inviting during the spring months of April, May, and June, as well as the autumn months of September, October, and November. These seasons offer generally sunny and dry days, characterised by comfortably moderate temperatures.

Most beautiful and scenic tourist places in South Korea

tourist spot sa korea

Busan, South Korea’s vibrant coastal city, boasts Asia’s largest film festival and a maritime culture reflected in its bustling port, the country’s largest. Explore the National Maritime Museum and the oceanside Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Jagalchi Fish Market offers a seafood haven, while Busan’s diverse landscape includes beautiful beaches like Haeundae and Gwangalli.

Marvel at the annual Lotus Lantern Festival. With skyscrapers, ancient temples, and the artistic Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan is a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, making it a must-visit among South Korea’s picturesque destinations. You can even experience the cherry blossoms here in Spring at Jinhae, among the beautiful places in South Korea to witness cherry blossoms.

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How to reach: By air:  Gimhae International Airport is the nearest airport, around 11 km away

Best places to stay: Signiel Busan, Lotte Hotel Busan, Park Hyatt Busan

Best time to explore: Cherry blossoms bloom from late March to mid-April and peak beach time is in May-June.

Book your stay at Signiel Busan via Booking.com

Book your stay at Signiel Busan via Agoda.com

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

South Korea beautiful places

Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace, often called the Northern Palace, is the largest and arguably the most beautiful of Seoul’s five palaces. Despite destruction during the Imjin War, restoration under Heungseon Daewongun and King Gojong preserved its iconic structures. The Throne Hall, a Joseon Dynasty centrepiece, once stored looted ancient Korean royal books.

Noteworthy is the nearly unchanged Gyeonghoeru Pavilion. Amidst serene ponds, Geunjeongjeon’s raised dais and Hyangwonjeong Pavilion’s stone markers showcase timeless art. The National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum enrich the experience. A testament to South Korea’s rich history, Gyeongbokgung Palace stands as a must-visit among beautiful places in South Korea.

How to reach: By air: Incheon International Airport is the busiest airport in the city

Best places to stay: Orakai Insadong Suites, Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun, Four Seasons Hotel Seoul

Best time to explore: March to May and September to November

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul via Booking.com

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul via Agoda.com

Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

tourist spot sa korea

Nestled in Jeonju’s southwestern embrace, the essence of the city resides in its Hanok Village, which gets its name from the 800+ meticulously preserved traditional Korean homes. Amidst Seoul’s modernity, Bukchon Hanok Village stands as an oasis of tranquillity, with many hanoks now serving as tea houses and galleries.

Once the residential quarter for Joseon period dignitaries, Bukchon’s charm lies in its preserved heritage. As part of neighbourhoods like Wonseo-dong and Gye-dong, it’s a serene escape, showcasing South Korea’s cultural richness. This living museum echoes the melodies of traditional instruments as artisans skillfully craft intricate fans and beautiful pottery.

Best places to stay: Hanok Guesthouse 201, Usimdang Hanok Guesthouse, Yeonwoo Guesthouse

Jeju Island

South Korea beautiful places

Situated in the Yellow Sea, Jeju Island beckons with its subtropical allure, drawing travellers to its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and captivating volcanic landscapes. The busiest air route globally connects Seoul to Jeju City, a testament to its popularity. Beyond sun-soaked shores, the island offers diverse adventures like Hallasan’s summit, surfing at Woljeongri, and exploring the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System.

Seopjikoji’s romantic coast and the family-friendly Hyeopjae Beach add charm. During a short window of time in Spring, cherry blossoms grace Jeonnong-Ro and the Halla Arboretum, while Samseonghyeol Shrine provides an enchanting spring spectacle, among other places in Jeju . One of South Korea’s most beautiful places, the Jeju Island cherry blossom season is simply unmissable.

How to reach: By air: Jeju International Airport is the busiest airport on the Island

Best places to stay: Grand Hyatt Jeju, Lotte Resort Art Villas, Somerset Jeju Shinhwa Hotel

Best time to explore: April to June to September-October

Book your stay at Grand Hyatt Jeju via Booking.com

Book your stay at Grand Hyatt Jeju via Agoda.com

tourist spot sa korea

Gyeongju, the former Donggyeong of the Silla Kingdom, unfolds its rich history as South Korea’s open-air museum. Home to the Gyeongju National Museum, housing treasures from ornate jewellery to Buddha statues, the city itself is a museum without walls. Explore Tumuli Park’s royal tombs, the ancient observatory Cheomseongdae, and the Buddhist haven, Seokguram.

Witness the picturesque Donggung Palace and the architectural marvels of Bulguksa with its captivating Woljeonggyo bridge. Discover the UNESCO -listed wonders and the timeless beauty of Bulguksa Temple. Gyeongju, a cultural gem and one of the most scenic places in South Korea, lets you step into the country’s heritage, offering an immersive experience in its traditional roots amid scenic landscapes.

How to reach: By air:  Pohang Gyeongju Airport is the nearest airport, around 25.5 km away

Best places to stay: Hilton Gyeongju, Lahan Select Gyeongju

Best time to explore: March to May

Book your stay at Hilton Gyeongju via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hilton Gyeongju via Agoda.com

Boseong County

South Korea beautiful places

Boseong Green Tea Fields, producing 40 percent of South Korea’s green tea, is a visual masterpiece attracting photographers and filmmakers. The annual Green Tea Festival immerses visitors in tea-picking activities. Daehan Dawon Tourist Plantation, a crown jewel, offers captivating vistas. Yulpo Beach, a short drive away, blends spa treatments with green tea extracts. Boseong is a symphony of nature and tradition, representing tranquillity and South Korea’s agricultural heritage. A visit to this beautiful place in South Korea promises not just a scenic delight but also a serene retreat into the heart of its tea culture.

How to reach: By air:  Gwangju Airport is the nearest airport, around 47 km away

Best places to stay: Boseong Green Tea Resort, Golmantae Pension, Chungnokdang – Korean Traditional House

Best time to explore: All year round, except July

Shop the best travel experiences here

Gangwon Province

tourist spot sa korea

Gangwon Province, famed for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, boasts South Korea’s premier ski resorts. Explore Yongpyong, the oldest and largest, or High 1, featuring a casino and revolving restaurant. Winter festivals like the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival offer ice fishing and sledging, while the Taebaeksan Snow Festival showcases colossal ice sculptures.

Pyeongchang County, nestled in the Taebaek Mountains, offers tranquillity and scenic beauty. Odaesan National Park beckons hikers with snow-peaked trails, and ski resorts like Alpensia and Yongpyong attract winter sports enthusiasts. Explore Buddhist shrines amid the mountains which make Gangwon one of the most beautiful places to visit in South Korea.

How to reach: By air:  Wonju Airport is the nearest airport, 12.1 km away

Best places to stay: SEAMARQ Hotel, Park Roche, Healience Seonmaeul

Best time to explore: May-June, August to September

Book your stay at PARK ROCHE Resort & Wellness via Booking.com

Book your stay at PARK ROCHE Resort & Wellness via Agoda.com

Hahoe Folk Village

South Korea beautiful places

Andong’s Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a picturesque Korean village on the Nakdong River. Preserving traditional life, it features tile and thatched roof houses amid sandy beaches and pine trees. For 600 years, the Ryu family has thrived here, producing notable figures like Ryu Unryong and Ryu Seongryong.

The village’s name reflects the Nakdong River’s S-shaped flow, creating a unique layout. Noteworthy are the 600-year-old zelkova tree, called Samsindang, and cultural practices like the Hahoe Byeolsingut Mask Dance. As South Korea’s iconic folk village, Hahoe offers a glimpse into Joseon-era living, complete with workshops and traditional homes.

How to reach: By air:  Daegu International Airport is the nearest airport, around 102 km away

Best places to stay: Rakkojae Hahoe Hanok Hotel – Choga Annex, Gurume, Andong Hakbong Jongtaek

Best time to explore: April to early June, September-November

tourist spot sa korea

Nestled in South Korea’s southern region, Suncheon captivates with its blend of natural wonders and historical gems, earning the title of the ecological capital. The Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve, a haven for birdwatchers, features expansive reed fields and breathtaking sunset vistas.

The Suncheon Open Film Set immerses visitors in Korea’s past, portraying urban and rural life from the 1950s to the 1970s. Songgwangsa Temple, a revered site, offers spiritual tranquillity amid dense forests. Culinary delights, especially the distinctive Suncheon bibimbap, highlight the city’s agricultural heritage. Suncheon promises a diverse travel experience, showcasing the many facets of South Korea’s beauty.

How to reach: By air:  Yeosu Airport is the nearest airport, around 19 km away

Best places to stay: Hotel Raum Suncheon, Yeosu Fisterra Spa Poolvilla

Best time to explore: September to November

Book your stay at Hotel Raum Suncheon via Booking.com

Nami Island

South Korea beautiful places

Discover the allure of Nami Island, a historic gem near Seoul. Once connected to the mainland, it transformed into an island with the Cheongpyeong dam in the 1940s. Named after Minister Nami from the Chosun Dynasty, it gained fame through the iconic Hallyu drama “Winter Sonata.”

Renowned for its picturesque Metasequoia road, woodlands, and riverside walks, Nami Island provides a captivating escape all year round. Its romantic ambience, showcased in various Korean dramas , makes it a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the charm that has enchanted travellers, and explore the beauty of Nami Island, one of South Korea’s most beautiful places.

How to reach: By air: Incheon International Airport is the nearest airport, 91.5 km away

Best places to stay: Hotel Jeonggwanru, Gapyeong Laputa Resort, Gapyeong Grang Narang Pool Villa

Book your stay at Gapyeong Laputa Resort via Agoda.com

(Hero image credit: chanchai duangdoosan/Shutterstock, feature image credit: chanchai duangdoosan/Shutterstock)

Related: What’s Hot Among Locals In South Korea? A Guide To The Trendiest Things To Do On Your Trip

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What makes Jeju Island a popular scenic destination? Jeju’s captivating landscapes, from volcanic craters to pristine beaches, allure visitors.

– Why is Seoraksan National Park considered a must-visit for hikers and nature enthusiasts? Seoraksan’s majestic peaks, diverse fauna, and lush trails create a hiker’s paradise.

– What can visitors expect to see and do on Nami Island? Nami Island offers scenic landscapes, tree-lined paths, and recreational activities like biking and picnics.

– Why is Gyeongju known as the “museum without walls”? Gyeongju showcases ancient relics, palaces, and temples, creating an outdoor historical museum ambience.

– What are the natural attractions in Bukhansan National Park? Bukhansan National Park boasts scenic peaks, crystal-clear streams, serene temples, and diverse flora and fauna.

– Are there any hidden gems in South Korea for travellers seeking scenic beauty? Suncheon, Boseong County, Hahoe Folk Village.

– When is the best time to visit these scenic destinations in South Korea? Spring months of April-June, as well as the autumn months of September-November.

– Are these scenic places suitable for families and travellers of all ages? Some places might need hiking and walking for a long time, so make sure to check the health levels required to do the same for every respective destination.

  • South Korea
  • travel guide

Shubhanjana Das

Shubhanjana Das

An English Major, Shubhanjana is an independent culture and lifestyle journalist with extensive experience in fashion and travel writing. Her bylines have appeared in Vogue, Vice, FirstPost, and Mint Lounge, among others. She is a wannabe wine-taster and given the chance, wants to travel for a living and treats true crime podcasts like her lullaby. .. Read More An avid reader, Shubhanjana loves reading magic realism and surrealism literature. Read Less

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Tourist Places in South Korea

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Must Visit Places in South Korea

Seoul tower.

Seoul Tower

Lotte World

Lotte World

Jeju Island

Jeju Island

Dadohaehaesang National Park

Dadohaehaesang National Park

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park

Seongsan Sunrise Peak

Seongsan Sunrise Peak

Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gwang-An-Bridge

Gwang-An-Bridge

Ggotji Beach

Ggotji Beach

Daewangam Park

Daewangam Park

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple

Places to Visit in Seoul

National museum of korea.

National Museum Of Korea

Seoul Museum Of Art

Seoul Museum Of Art

Cheong Wa Dae

Cheong Wa Dae

Love museum Seoul

Love museum Seoul

Trickeye Museum Seoul

Trickeye Museum Seoul

Namiseom Island

Namiseom Island

Alive Museum

Alive Museum

Korean Film Archive

Korean Film Archive

Places to Visit in Busan

Beomeosa temple.

Beomeosa Temple

Gwangalli Beach

Gwangalli Beach

3d Trick Eye Museum Ticket In Busan

3d Trick Eye Museum Ticket In Busan

Hur Shim Chung Spa

Hur Shim Chung Spa

Sea Life Busan Aquarium

Sea Life Busan Aquarium

Oryukdo Skywalk

Oryukdo Skywalk

Biff Square

Biff Square

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village

Places to Visit in Incheon

Incheon grand park.

Incheon Grand Park

Eurwangni Beach

Eurwangni Beach

Wolmido Island

Wolmido Island

Ganghwa Island

Ganghwa Island

Places to Visit in Daegu

E · world 83tower.

E · WORLD 83Tower

Seomun Market

Seomun Market

Places to Visit in Daejeon

Skyroad

Yuseong Hot Springs Public Foot Bath

Hanbat arboretum.

Hanbat Arboretum

KIGAM Geological Museum

KIGAM Geological Museum

Currency Museum

Currency Museum

Places to Visit in Ulsan

Sinbulsan

Taehwa River

Taehwa River

Bukhansanseong

Bukhansanseong

People Also Ask About South Korea

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16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Seoul

Written by Freddy Sherman Updated Dec 23, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Freddy Sherman has visited South Korea multiple times, most recently exploring Seoul and the DMZ in 2022.

Seoul, South Korea is a vibrant and exciting city, one that deftly combines ancient history with ultra-modern design and technology. This city is filled with a wide range of fun things to do and tourist attractions of all types, from outdoor adventures like exploring Mount Namsan and its surrounding park to indoor fun like visiting one of Seoul's many museums.

Seoul is also a city of palaces, with five huge palace complexes located throughout the city and now restored to their former glory. Of course, it's also known for its food, with a mouthwatering array of street food, Korean specialties like barbecue, and even fine-dining options.

Discover the best places to visit in this exciting city with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Seoul.

1. N Seoul Tower

2. explore the bukchon hanok traditional village, 3. national museum of korea, 4. lotte world tower, 5. visit the dmz, 6. gyeongbokgung palace, 7. seoul museum of art, 8. blue house, 9. bongeunsa temple, 10. gwanghwamun gate, 11. take a walk along cheonggyecheon, seoul's urban stream, 12. jingwansa temple, bukhansan national park, 13. people watch in itaewon, 14. dongdaemun design plaza, 15. gwangjang market, 16. spend a sunday in insadong, where to stay in seoul for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in seoul, seoul, south korea - climate chart.

Cherry blossoms in front of N Seoul Tower

Rising almost 500 meters above the city, this communications and observation tower provides dramatic views of the city from its perch on the side of Mount Namsan. A cable car whisks you up the side of the mountain to the base of the tower. From here, you can go up in the tower and visit any one of four observation decks, one of which is a rotating restaurant.

There are five different dining experiences at the N Seoul Tower and, of course, several gift shops. The n.GRILL, on the top level, is considered one of Seoul's best French fine-dining restaurants. Be sure to visit the new Inside Seoul immersive media art exhibition, where 40 laser projectors create a virtual display of the city via five-dimensional mapping, with the tower at the center.

The views from the tower are great, but so are the views of the tower from most parts of the city. Computer-controlled LED lighting on the exterior of the tower provides a digital, visual cultural experience of Seoul with changing themed lighting presentations.

Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Traditionally dressed Korean girls at Bukchon Hanok Village

For a taste of Korean traditional culture and architecture, a visit to the Bukchon Hanok Village is a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon. This preserved district of several ancient neighborhoods gives you a feel for what it was like to live in Korea 600 years ago. It's right in central Seoul, in the area between the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Changdeokgung Palace.

The neighborhoods of narrow streets feature hanoks or traditional Korean houses. It's a unique place, as it's a historic area, very popular with tourists, but it's also a real neighborhood because the houses are all occupied.

Some of the hanoks are now guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts , and a few are museums and can be toured. Others are cultural centers showcasing traditional crafts and other historic aspects of Korean life, but most are private homes.

National Museum of Korea

This must-see attraction in Seoul showcases the incredible history and artwork of Korea and the Korean people. The National Museum of Korea , one of the largest in Asia, is in the city's Yongsan District (close to Itaewon).

It focuses on archeology, history, and art and includes a vast collection of works and objects going back more than a million years. There are ancient and prehistoric artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and other artwork along with a large collection of objects and antiques.

Before or after your museum visit, head down the street to Yongsan Family Park , a nice outdoor space to relax. Another important museum worth a visit, The War Memorial of Korea is also close by.

Address: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu

Lotte World Tower

One of the newest attractions in Seoul is the Lotte World Tower skyscraper. The tallest building in South Korea, it's 500 meters above the ground and currently the fifth-tallest building in the world . The vase-like shape, with gentle curves, is designed to mimic traditional Korean ceramic pieces.

There are several indoor and outdoor observation areas (called Seoul Sky) at the top on the 117th-123 rd floors. Views are spectacular both during the day and at night, and you can see 360 degrees around the city.

On the 118 th floor, there's the Sky Deck with the world's highest glass floor. Like magic, the floor changes from opaque to clear, terrifying unsuspecting visitors. Even getting to the top is fun, and the journey is done via super fast, double-decker elevators, with windows on one side and LED screens on the other three and on the ceiling.

Inside the tower are offices, luxury residences, and the SIGNIEL SEOUL luxury hotel. There's also the Lotte World Aquarium, the Lotte Museum of Art, and an enormous shopping mall. The tower is home to the Lotte Concert Hall and the Lotte Cinema, a state-of-the-art, 21-screen MoviePlex with the world's largest movie screen. The tower is adjacent to the Lotte World amusement park, which is a great thing to do in Seoul for families.

Address: Songpa-gu, Jamsil 6(yuk)-dong, Olympic-ro, 300, Seoul

DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone)

A remnant of the Korean War, the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is the area located along the border between North and South Korea. This highly sensitive and highly fortified area can only be visited during an official tour. Aside from the visit to the DMZ, a tour gives you a chance to get out of urban Seoul and see a bit of the Korean countryside.

The Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour , which includes pickup and drop-off in central Seoul, takes you to the important sites in the DMZ area and gets you back to Seoul right after lunch (if you take the early morning tour). The guided tour includes visits to landmarks like the 3rd Tunnel, dug by the North in anticipation of an invasion, and the Dora Observatory, where you can look over into North Korea.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

First built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Seoul's five grand palaces built during the powerful Joseon dynasty. Destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it was restored to its original glory after the Second World War and totally restored in the 1990s.

A visit to the Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the best things to do in Seoul because within the palace grounds, you can also find the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea , and both are worth a visit. The palace museum is especially fascinating as it presents items from the palaces of the Joseon Dynasty.

This includes priceless antiques and artwork, as well as everyday items for cooking, cleaning, and daily life. The National Folk Museum focuses on items from daily life, as well as clothing and dioramas, to tell the story of the Korean people since prehistoric times.

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Sunset over the Seoul Museum of Art

Located behind the Deoksugung Palace, the Seoul Museum of Art , or SeMa as it's known to locals, has a large collection of artwork, mainly from the modern era. The art museum focuses on Korean art and Korean artists but has a decent selection of international works and creators. Changing temporary and visiting exhibitions also showcase unique collections and artwork.

The collection is displayed over three floors in a large building that was formerly the home of the Korean Supreme Court. The museum has six additional satellite locations in other parts of Seoul, and these feature rotating exhibits from the museum's main collection, as well as special exhibitions.

Don't miss the museum's Nam June Paik Memorial House, an exhibition and workshop space inside the house of legendary Korean contemporary artist Nam June Paik. The house is located in Seoul's Changsin-Dong neighborhood.

Address: 61, Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

The Blue House

The Blue House is Korea's version of the White House. It's the official residence of the Korean president , as well as the location of his and related executive offices of state. The Blue House isn't really a single building, it's an entire campus of buildings, all built in the traditional Korean style and all featuring the distinctive blue tile roofs where it gets its name.

One of the coolest things to do in Seoul is to take a tour of the Blue House. Hour-long tours are given, but participants must apply and schedule their tour in advance, online. The tour takes you to many parts of the palace complex including meeting rooms, reception rooms, and the Korean version of the Rose Garden, where the Korean president holds press conferences.

Ask your hotel concierge to help with reservations.

Address: 1 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Bongeunsa

Bongeunsa is one of many Buddhist temples in and around Seoul. It first opened in the year 794 and is a complex of multiple buildings and shrines. It's easy to visit, as it's centrally located in the exciting Gangnam area. If you're spending the day sightseeing and exploring the city, this is a wonderful place to take a break.

The temple is on the side of a low mountain, directly across the street from the massive COEX convention center and mall. It's a popular spot for convention-goers to take a break and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Visitors are welcome, and the temple even has a program that allows guests to experience the daily life of a monk for a few hours.

Address: 531 Bongeunsa-ro, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Gwanghwamun Gate at night

The largest and main gate to Seoul's Gyeongbokgung Palace , Gwanghwamun Gate is home to the changing of the guards ceremony (performed since 1469), which happens daily (except Tuesdays) at 10am and 2pm.

The gate has undergone many renovations and rebuilding, most recently in 2010, when it was restored to its original location and reconstructed with native materials using traditional tools and building techniques.

There's a large plaza in front, and the gate sits in front of the vast Gwanghwamun Square , home to frequent political demonstrations, a large subway station, a giant fountain, and some huge statues of Joseon-era leaders.

Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul

This natural creek that flows through central Seoul was covered over by highways in the post-Korean War economic boom. Seven miles of the creek were uncovered as part of an urban revitalization project and turned into an outdoor recreation area, opening in 2005.

There are now seven miles of creek-side hiking, walking and biking trails. It really has changed the CBD of Seoul by bringing an artery of water and green into what was a very urbanized, crowded area.

The creek is also home to the spectacular Seoul Lantern Festival , held each November. Ornate, lighted paper lanterns are displayed in and along the creek, and each night, thousands of people line the creek to view and enjoy the floating artwork. It's a fun, nighttime activity for families, as a lot of the art installations are geared toward children.

Baegundae Peak, Bukhansan National Park

Set within the strikingly beautiful landscape of the Bukhansan National Park , Jingwansa is an ancient temple complex offering many ways to experience and learn about Buddhism and temple life. The traditional buildings are surrounded by miles of hiking trails (you can come here just to hike) snaking through the mountains.

The temple, which grows most of its own food (and even ferments its own kimchee), has a range of public programs. There's a temple stay program, which includes an overnight visit, plus there are cultural and learning programs. They also offer foodie experiences like a traditional vegetarian temple meal, as eaten by the monks.

Jingwansa is on the far west side of the city, it's one of the four major temples of Seoul first built around 1,000 BC.

Address: 73 Jingwan-gil, Jingwan-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul

Itaewon at dusk

Itaewon is a bustling neighborhood of Seoul focused on a few pedestrian streets filled with shops, cafés, and other consumer businesses. If you have limited time in the city, it's one of those places that can give you a real feel for Korean retail culture in a short time period. There are food carts and street performers, and some of the side streets are filled with restaurants. It's a great place for people-watching.

This is an excellent place to wander around and just lose yourself in the energy of the city. Be sure to wander down pedestrian-only Gyeongnidan Street, as it's lined with all kinds of restaurants and is a place to buy many international foods not easily available in Korea (like pizza and American-style barbecue). It's a fun thing to do in Seoul for families, and you'll see many parents and children here.

Another street, literally called Itaewon Antique Furniture Street, is filled with antique shops, and this is always an excellent place to buy unique gifts.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Known by its initials, the DDP is a very cool design center in Seoul's Dongdaemun area. Dongdaemun, Seoul's fashion district, is also known for its shopping; there are a lot of department stores and discount clothing and houseware stores in the area. The DDP has changing art and creative exhibitions open to the public, as well as a very cool store inside.

The silver, orb-like flowing Dongdaemun Design Plaza building looks like something from outer space. It was designed by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, considered one of the great female architects of the modern era. In perhaps Seoul's ultimate contrast, there are ruins of the ancient city fortress preserved just outside the front entrance of the design center.

The complex is filled with showrooms, workspaces, offices, and design studios. There is also what has to be Seoul's coolest shop, with small craft vendors selling all kinds of interesting items showcasing contemporary design and locally made, handcrafted items. It's an excellent place to buy unique gifts.

A visit to the DDP is one of the best things to do in Seoul at night — the design center comes alive when the sun goes down, the highlight being 25,550 white LED roses that light up. The silver-colored, modern, curving building and the rows of artificial flowers make the DDP one of Seoul's best Instagram spots.

After your visit, head across the street for a burger and crinkle-cut fries at one of Seoul's most popular new dining spots, Shake Shack. It's right across from the DDP in the Doota shopping mall.

Address: 281 Eulji-ro, Euljiro 7(chil)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

Food stall at the Gwangjang Market

Seoul's best street food market combines a taste-bud tempting array of street food vendors under one large roof. The market features rows of food stalls, offering every kind of Korean food you can imagine.

Most stalls have small chairs or stools in front of them, creating tiny restaurants, where you can sit and have a meal. It's all about tasting things here, and a smile and request will usually get you a sample of most of the things on offer.

The market is in central Seoul, and it's open from 9am to 10pm. The most popular things sold here are bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), bibimbap (rice mixed with sauteed beef, vegetables, and gochujang red chili paste), gimbap (Korean sushi), sundae (blood sausage), tteokbokki (stir-fried spicy rice cakes), and various types of noodles.

Other parts of the market have vendors selling meat and seafood, and other sections have clothes and household items.

Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Traditional Korean masks at a store in Insadong

This unique neighborhood in central Seoul is filled with small stores that sell Korean traditional folk and handicrafts, along with art galleries. Stores sell things like hanji (traditional, hand-made paper), hanbok (traditional clothing), teas, pottery, and unique artwork.

The galleries in Insadong feature Korean fine art of all types. There are also a lot of tea houses and small cafes, perfect for a break during your shopping adventures.

The Insadong area really comes alive on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday, when streets are closed to traffic and it becomes a giant craft and culture fair. Aside from food stalls and vendors, there are traditional music and dance performances and other cultural exhibits.

Luxury Hotels:

  • Grand Mercure Ambassador Hotel and Residences Seoul Yongsan is one of Seoul's top 5-star resorts. Located in the heart of downtown, it offers a range of poshly decorated rooms and suites, all with stunning city views, especially after dark. Amenities include multiple restaurants, an indoor golf room, a fitness center, and spa. There is also a swimming pool, hot tub, and sauna. If you're traveling with the family, there is a kids' club, and if that family includes a dog, the hotel is pet friendly.
  • Designed with relaxation in mind, SIGNIEL SEOUL has luxurious and comfortable rooms with beautiful decor. It's located high up in Seoul's Lotte World Tower, so the rooms and suites have some spectacular views. There are several restaurants in the hotel and a wide variety close by in the tower and mall complex below. Other on-site amenities include an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub and a spa with a full range of treatments. There is also a fitness center on-site.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Seoul is the largest hotel in the South Korean capital city and the first in South Korea. The 5-star property has 317 rooms, including 43 suites, and all feature elegant luxe decor. Expect customizable beds with high-quality linens, spa-style bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows with great city views. The hotel is family-friendly and has a kids' pool and a children's menu at its restaurants. Other amenities include a posh spa, a heated indoor swimming pool, an indoor golf driving range, and a fitness center.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • May Place Seoul Dongdaemun is a top mid-range choice. It offers a mix of rooms and suites that are spartan but comfortable, with wood floors and white linen-draped beds. They also come with air purifiers and blackout curtains. Amenities include a restaurant, a hot tub, and a rooftop terrace where you can check out the panoramic city and mountain views.
  • In the middle of Seoul's cultural district, Hotel28 Myeongdong is another excellent good-value choice, especially if you like sleek and modern décor. The hotel has glass walls of windows and well-appointed rooms and suites. Amenities include a restaurant and workout room.
  • GLAD Gangnam COEX Center Hotel has a convenient locale just outside Exit 1 of the Samseong Subway Station. Rooms feature contemporary décor, floor-to-ceiling windows, and giant wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Amenities include a restaurant with a breakfast buffet, a workout room, and a 24-hour front desk.

Budget Hotels :

  • Delight Hotel is a clean and comfortable budget choice with contemporary rooms featuring luxury linens, marble bathrooms with rain showers, and large windows. Amenities include a restaurant serving complimentary breakfast, 24-hour room service, a hot tub, and even rental bikes to explore the area.
  • Also, try the Grid Inn Hotel for budget-friendly lodging. Centrally located in the Gwanak-Gu district, it offers tidy rooms with refrigerators, blackout curtains, and safes. There is a restaurant and coffee shop on-site. The front desk is open 24 hours, and there is self-service laundry for guests.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Beyond Seoul: While many of the country's highlights are in Seoul, have a look at our article on the top attractions in South Korea for ideas on places to visit throughout the country.

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30 Things to Do in South Korea: The Ultimate Bucket List

08/18/2023 by Guest Blogger 2 Comments

If you’re the type of traveler who enjoys good food, beautiful architecture, festivals and unique culture (and who doesn’t?) South Korea is incredible to explore. Rich with cultural history and merged perfectly with modern design, events and technology, the list of things to do in South Korea is practically endless.

Since you have so many choices in South Korea, I’ve narrowed it down to an ultimate bucket list. These are 30 of the best things to do in South Korea:

things to do in south korea

Table of Contents

1. Karaoke is a MUST

Korean karaoke is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Get a group of friends together, rent a karaoke room, order food, order drinks, and grab the mic! Unlike karaoke in the U.S., you don’t have to sing in front of a bunch of strangers or wait your turn. Pass around a book of songs and take full control of the evening. 

2. Play in mud at the Boryeong Mud Festival

Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea

Even the mud in Korea adds to the Korean beauty experience… well, at least in Boryeong it does.  Visit the Boryeong Mud Festival  in the summer to experience K-Pop concerts, fireworks, and lots of mud.

This mud is imported from the Boryeong mud flats and brought into playscapes on the beach of Boryeong. This mud is used in many Korean mud beauty products, which is silky smooth and has a ton of health benefits. Needless to say, locals and foreigners line up to roll and play in the mud.

3. Ride the KTX cross country

One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to explore the country of South Korea is via KTX train. The KTX is a high-speed express train that travels all over the country. The routes are still expanding, but, for the most part, you can go nearly anywhere around the country by using the KTX and/or other train services.  KTX scheduling information and tickets  can be found and purchased online or at the train station. 

4. Visit Busan in the summer 

Bridge in Busan, South Korea

Busan is the second largest city in South Korea. It sits on the southeast corner of the country surrounded by the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. Where there’s seas, there’s beaches. One of the most popular beaches in the country of South Korea is Busan’s Haeundae Beach. Busan is great to visit any time of year, but the city really comes to life in the warmer months when festivals are plentiful and the beach season is at its prime.  

5. Connect with the Expats

Many expats gravitate towards areas in Seoul and Busan to teach English abroad. Visiting a foreign country that doesn’t speak your native language can be tough.

Connect with these seasoned foreigners via Facebook groups or by hanging around foreigner hot-spots, such as Itaewon or Hongdae. One of the best traits about expats? Most are very welcoming and open to meeting new people. 

6. Immerse yourself in the golf culture of South Korea

Locals  love  to golf in South Korea. Stop by a golf course, driving range, or head to one of the many indoor screen golf experiences – many of which offer private rooms with food and beverage services. 

7. Look and feel flawless with Korean beauty

South Korean cosmetics and skincare products

Feel your absolute best with the abundance of  Korean beauty options  in South Korea. Get your nails done at a Korean salon (add some bling for the real Korean experience). Shop for skincare and cosmetic products at one of the many cosmetics shops in the country.

You can even give plastic surgery a try with some of the best plastic surgeons in the world. Or, you can go easy with a simple procedure such as laser hair removal, which is super cheap in South Korea!  

8. Get your fit on at an outdoor gym

The Korean culture is very active. Locals are always hiking, biking, walking around, at a workout class or at the gym. One of the cheapest and most convenient forms of exercise is at one of the many outdoor gyms that are scattered throughout cities, parks, around lakes, and in many other spots around the country. These gyms consist of simple equipment to work different parts of the body. Some of the exercises may look silly, but they really do hit the right spots if performing them properly. 

9. See an impressive firework display

Koreans love to celebrate, and what better way than firework displays? Many festivals or celebrations throughout the year in South Korea have a specific night that features a firework show, such as on New Year’s Eve or the final evening of the Boryeong Mud Festival. There are also a few festivals that are solely centered around fireworks, such as the International Fireworks Festival , which typically takes place in Busan and Seoul in the month of October each year. 

10. Try all the macarons 

Macarons from cafe in South Korea

If you thought France was the only country big on macarons, you thought wrong. Macarons are  everywhere  in South Korea. Many cafés sell the macarons along with cakes and other sweets, or there are stand-alone macaron shops scattered throughout the country.

Some are quite elaborate, stuffed with icing and decorated in fun, Instagrammable ways (focusing more looks than taste). Whereas others are simple, delicate, and quite tasty. 

11. Visit N Seoul Tower at Night

Take a cable car ride up to the hilltop of Namsan Park, where the infamous N Seoul Tower (use code KOREA10OFFAUG for 10% off!) is located. If you are a K-drama fan, you might recognize the area as many Korean dramas shot romantic scenes here! Speaking of romance, here you will see young couples seal their romantic promises with a padlock on trees, perhaps inspired by the love lock bridge in Paris. N Seoul Tower also offers stunning views of the city, especially at night.

12. Check out a gazillion cafés 

Coffee shop in South Korea

The best thing about South Korea is the abundance of cafés. Don’t even mention the name Starbucks when deciding on where to get your morning cup o’ joe!

Koreans take their coffee (and cafés) seriously. Watching the baristas make the coffee is an experience in itself. Want a vanilla latte? Some places will actually grind a real vanilla bean to blend into your caffeinated concoction, with, of course, a handcrafted foam design on top. Don’t forget to grab a piece of cake or macaron to accompany your drink!

13. Attend a K-pop concert

The moment one arrives to South Korea, K-pop will suddenly appear  everywhere  ­– on billboards, on apparel, in cabs, and on TV. K-pop is a genre of music that originated in South Korea. It means ‘Korean Popular Music’. Many other genres of music fall into this category: hip hop, rap, electronic, rock, R&B, etc. What makes this different than good ole’ regular pop? The experience.

K-pop groups consist of young Korean groups that perform these popular genres of music, along with perfectly-choreographed dancing, vibrant costumes, and lots of energy. 

14. Visit the DMZ 

The demilitarized zone is the border that separates North and South Korea. Tourists are allowed to visit the South Korean side of this border through an  organized tour (use code KOREA10OFFAUG for 10% off!). There are many different tours to choose from and most depart from Seoul.

The different tours will visit different parts of the DMZ. When tensions are low, choosing a tour that visits JSA (Joint Security Area – Truce Village) will allow you to actually step into North Korea. 

15. Try a hotteok 

Hotteok Korean pancake with brown sugar syrup in South Korea

Hotteoks, also known as Korean sweet pancakes, are a popular street food in South Korea. They look like pancakes, but have filling inside of them – most times a brown sugar syrup, honey, or crushed peanuts with cinnamon. Look for the places that cook these on a griddle, as opposed to frying them. 

16. Visit Jeju Island 

things to do in south korea

Jeju (use code KOREA10OFFAUG for 10% off!) is an island getaway on the southwest coast of South Korea and a short flight away from any domestic airport. There are also ferries that depart from different cities, but take much longer.

There are beaches, museums, hiking and more. One of the highlights of the island is the erotic Love Land museum . 

17. Attend a Korean baseball game

Baseball games in South Korea are pretty comparable to football games in America. The energy is electric and fans go wild for their teams. Locals and foreigners crowd the stadiums with inflatable noise-makers and lots of yelling. It’s a must-do experience. 

18. Drink soju 

Soju Korean alcoholic beverage

Soju is a clear, nearly tasteless, alcoholic beverage that originated in South Korea. There are many different flavors if the ‘Fresh’ tasteless variety isn’t your jam. Soju can be found almost anywhere in South Korea ­– at convenience stores, restaurants, bars and more. A common soju mixed drink that locals love is soju mixed with either Hite or Cass beer.

19. Cure your hangover

Korean hangover drinks at convenience store

Make sure to prepare before a night of indulging in soju (or any alcoholic beverage). Head to a convenience store for a ‘hangover drink’, called Condition. This little glass bottle is packed with vitamins to help you feel 110% the next morning.  It really works! 

Each bottle contains Hovenia fruit extract from an oriental raisin tree. Note that the dark green bottle, or pink bottle specifically for ladies, is for drinking at night before and/or after consuming alcohol. There is also a gold bottle with a smooth cap for the morning after.

20. Experience Korean nightlife

Bartender in South Korea performing a fire show

If soju is involved, there’s bound to be a party nearby. South Korea has tons of fun bars and nightlife. With or without the booze, Korean nightlife is great entertainment. Many local bars will do fire shows for your birthday or special occasion.

There are some bars that will do magic shows for you while you’re sitting at the bar sipping on a soju tower. And, of course, there are karaoke bars, where you can rent a private room with your friends to sing and dance the night away.

21. Enjoy the luxury of Korean bidets 

If you’ve been to Japan , these bidets don’t quite live up to those, but it’s a close second. These fancy toilets are heated, self-cleaning, and drying (and I’m not talking about the toilet), and some will even play music or water sounds to create a relaxing experience.  

Hiking in Gunsan, South Korea

Everyone, and I mean  everyone  – children up to elderly – love to hike. There are a ton of hiking paths everywhere you go. Unlike other hiking spots around the world that zig-zag, trails in South Korea go from point A to point B in the shortest possible distance. Therefore, many trails can be quite steep and difficult.  Find the perfect trail  near you.  

23. Eat bingsu

Bingsu Korean desert before

This delightful dessert is much yummier than it sounds. It’s flavored shaved iced (typically frozen milk), topped with a variety of ingredients and then finished with a drizzle of condensed milk. Some of the tastier topping combinations can include cocoa powder, brownies with whipped cream; cocoa powder, Oreos with mint chocolate chip ice-cream; fresh strawberries with whipped cream; and macarons with vanilla ice-cream. There are others that are a little more adventurous, such as, injeolmi (which is soybean powder), red bean, green tea, and cheese.

24. Eat kimchi

Kimchi, made from fermented cabbage, originated in Korea. Many Korean restaurants will provide all-you-can-eat kimchi throughout your meal. There are tons of amazing health benefits to eating this Korean staple, including lowering cholesterol, providing healthy bacteria, which can aid in stomach health and help prevent yeast infections, slowing the aging process (it’s a wonder why Koreans look so young), and many more.

25. Eat bibimbap from Jeonju

things to do in south korea

Head to the city of Jeonju, where bibimbap originated. Bibimbap is a bowl of white rice with either shaved or ground beef, topped with fresh julienned carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts and lettuce, finished with a fried egg on top. Many people eat this with gochujang (chili pepper paste), or doenjang (soybean paste), along with a side of kimchi. This Jeonju-original is now found in almost every Korean restaurant. 

26. Try beef on a leaf 

Beef on a leaf is a slang term for Korean BBQ because of the large pieces of lettuce you get that you can eat your beef on. Some places call it “galbi”, which refers to Korean ribs.

The Korean BBQ experience is a  must.  Choose your favorite type of meat from the menu and when you’re ready to order, press a button at your table for a server to come by. Once you place your order, the server will bring out tons of sides for the whole table to share and ignite the grill in the middle of the table to start heating up for the meat. Shortly after, the server will come back with plates of raw meat, scissors, and tongs. Sometimes they will cook the meat for you, but many places allow you to cook your own. Cut the meat into small pieces and place it on the grill, along with any sides you want roasted. 

27. Visit Seoul

things to do in south korea

Seoul is the capital and largest city of South Korea. Find a large assortment of shopping, loads of entertainment, “Seoul” much good food and more. Explore the city with a local to get a deeper understanding of life in one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world.

READ NEXT: 18 awesome things to do in Seoul

28. Splurge at Daiso

Daiso is similar to a dollar store but has an incredible selection of items for everyday necessities. It’s basically like the dollar store version of a Target – it will just tell you what you need. 

29. See the cherry blossoms in the spring

Cherry blossoms in Gunsan, South Korea

Hurry, though! They don’t last long. The cherry blossoms bloom throughout the country near the end of March or early April and only last a few weeks. There are many festivals that go on around the country dedicated to these blooming beauties, but the best places to see them are away from the crowds. Try to find a nearby lake or off-the-beaten-path colorful palace to catch a better glimpse. 

30. Check out the oldest bakery in South Korea

Lee Sung Dang Bakery is the oldest bakery in South Korea. It is located in the small town of Gunsan, about two hours south of Seoul. This isn’t a bakery where you grab a loaf of bread and head on your way. Locals  stock up  on these baked goods! Grab a tray and a pair of tongs and wander the shop, adding anything and everything to your tray.

Many locals will grab multiple trays to fill. Once paying for the baked goods, head to the bakery’s counterpart next door (where you can also purchase some of the bakery’s items), and go upstairs to their café to grab a drink and enjoy some of your irresistible pastries.  

Korea Quirks:

Sweet tooth heaven.

Garlic bread in South Korea

Korea is a sweet tooth’s heaven. Everything, and I mean  everything,  is sweet. Pepperoni pizza?  Yup.  Garlic bread?  Yup.  Looking for “actual” sweets? Head to any café and you’re bound to find a case full of cakes and macarons to compliment your sweet potato latte. 

Korean Shirts

Korean sweatshirt

Korean shirts are a novelty to westerners. They’re just so off-the-wall that they’ll bring a smile to your face whenever you see one. They take an ordinary word or phrase and somehow twist it to make it into a deep connotation ­(typically with grammatical errors). They’re almost there, but just not quite right. My favorite I’ve seen is a shirt with a smiley face that says, “BE SMILE”.  

Spiders are the size of birds

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a quirk as much as a nightmare. Starting in late spring and into the summer months, HUGE spiders suddenly appear. Their bodies can be the size of golf balls. Their webs will span  meters -long. Be very cautious walking between trees or even cars. Most times, you will see them up near lamp posts where many bugs are attracted. That’s where most of the “big guys” hang.   

For all of it’s adventures, novelties and oddities, I love exploring South Korea and hope you will, too.

This article was written by Kylie Loyd. Born & raised in Michigan, New Yorker at heart, adventure took ahold of her fate and brought Kylie to her [now] husband, who leads her around the world via U.S. Air Force. Kylie Loyd has lived on three and traveled to four different continents in the past two years. With moving around the world so frequently, finding work with a background in event management was a struggle while living the “drifter life”. Kylie became certified as a personal trainer to appease her passion for fitness, and also started her blog,  gocatchthedrift.com . Today, she blogs about the travel opportunities for military spouses around the world, and also enjoys including ways to stay fit and healthy while on the road.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links to tours we love and recommend. Any purchase you make through these links supports us at no extra cost to you.

Visiting South Korea? Here is a bucket list with 30 awesome things to do to help you plan your South Korea itinerary, with a bunch of local favourites such as karaoke, mud festival, concerts, and street food that you can't find anywhere else! #SouthKorea

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Lisa JoyDellaVita says

08/19/2020 at 8:37 am

Thank you! This post really makes me want to go to SK! *-*

Elena DePree says

08/09/2021 at 11:58 am

We are going to South Korea next June so this really helped me learn some super cool things. I would like know where the picture, with the 2 bridges, was made? I would love to find that and take some pictures.

tourist spot sa korea

Traveloka PH

25 May 2022 - 7 min read

10 Seoul Tourist Spots That You Shouldn't Miss

With the recent announcement that the Embassy of Korea will resume processing of tourist visas starting June 1, 2022, we know everyone's excited to plan their trip to South Korea.

Looking to find a South Korea tourist spot that will leave a mark in your core memory? We have 10 places ready for your next trip to Seoul!

COVID-19 Travel Checklist to South Korea

South Korea is continuing to ease the process of entry for travelers around the world. Let’s look at what we need to know before we book our tickets to Seoul.

Note that travel advisories may change unexpectedly. Check Traveloka's Safe Travel page to be in the loop.

How to get to Seoul, South Korea?

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippine AirAsia are some of the major airlines that provide affordable rates to get you to South Korea.

The travel from Manila to South Korea will take around 3 hours max depending on the seasonal wind during the time of your travel.

The best time to travel to Seoul is between April and October. Although that is the ultimate tourism period, it is a perfect weather condition for a smooth flight and a warm experience outdoors when you are in Seoul.

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

As the residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty, the palace was dubbed “a place where the new king can enjoy prosperity of great blessings."

Visitors can stroll through the palace grounds and explore a myriad of buildings that were restored and maintained, each with its own unique purpose.

If you wear a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), you may enter for free - making the palace an IG-worthy destination, as well.

2. N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

If Taiwan has Taipei 101 and Malaysia has KL Tower, then South Korea has N Seoul Tower.

A go-to tourist attraction, the tower's been featured in K-dramas "My Love from the Star" and "Legend of the Blue Sea."

Sitting atop Namsan Mountain, the tower offers a breathtaking view of the cityscape at night. Guests can enjoy the view from the observation deck, or from either one of the restaurants or cafes.

3. Namiseom Island

Namiseom Island

Originally a hilltop, "Nami Island" was transformed to what it was during the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.

The island is small enough for guests to tour around in half a day and is a must-see for fans of the popular K-drama, "Winter Sonata."

4. Lotte World

Lotte World

Editorial credit: Guitar photographer / Shutterstock.com

Open all year round, Lotte World is located in downtown Seoul making it easily accessible via public transportation.

The park boasts of both indoor and outdoor rides and attractions, with the Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky and Lotte World Shopping Mall close by.

5. Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

Just a stone's throw away fromGyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village was home to the relatives of the royal family.

The traditional houses, called hanok, now operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses.

6. Myeong-dong

Myeongdong

Editorial credit: Pius Lee / Shutterstock.com

Myeong-dong is the go-to for young Koreans and tourists looking for the latest trends and bargains in beauty and fashion.

The kilometer long stretch is lined with several department stores, duty free stores, various brand shops, food stalls and restaurants.

7. Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, the palace was built during the Joseon dynasty and served as the royal residence for several kings.

The buildings were designed and built to seamlessly blend in with the surrounding ponds, rock formations and greenery.

8. The Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm

Editorial credit: MyPixelDiaries / Shutterstock.com

The Garden of Morning Calm is a botanical garden that showcases the best Korea's nature has to offer.

From themed gardens, a pine nut forest to flowerbeds and green pastures, the foliage is so breathtaking that this tourist spot has often served as the backdrop of several Korean dramas and movies.

9. Yeonnam-dong

Yeonnam-dong

Yeonnam-dong is the latest go-to in Seoul as the once "normal" neighborhood has become a hub for students, artists and designers.

Lined with unique shops, chic restaurants, cozy cafes and trendy boutiques - there is so much for visitors to discover, explore and to buy.

There are also trendy alleyways with colorful murals that would be great for adding to your Instagram feed.

10. Museum Kimchikan

Museum Kimchikan

This is a unique museum dedicated to teaching guests about the process of making Kimchi, which was designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Here, guests can get there hands dirty, go through the pickling process and bring home what they made.

There are tours and classes available in English, Japanese and Chinese for international guests.

Ready to visit these top South Korea tourist spots? Discover cheap hotel deals and cheap flights to South Korea from Traveloka!

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Sheiwen Aglibot

  • , September 4, 2023

20 Best Tourist Attractions In South Korea For You!

Tourist Attractions in South Korea Ling App

Last updated on December 19th, 2023 at 03:21 am

Are you a hodophile? Today, why don’t we hop in for an adventure in these beautiful and jaw-dropping tourist attractions in South Korea. In addition, we will also learn some useful Korean words to help you sound like a local in case you visit the country soon. If you are ready for that, then let’s get started!

Have you been to South Korea? 한국에 가본 적이 있습니까? (Hanguge gabon jeogi itseumnikka?) If you’re an avid Korean culture fan, it’s impossible that you have never dreamed about going there. South Korea is truly a gem of East Asia, from historic sites and tourist attractions down to K-drama filming locations. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the beautiful cherry blossoms on Nami Island or the natural scenery in national parks? Who wouldn’t be amazed at historical sites with fascinating history?

So now, we will walk you through some tourist attractions in South Korea that international visitors want to see. These tourist attractions will truly reveal South Korea’s scenic beauty.

Tourist Attractions In South Korea

South Korea’s Tourist Attractions

Aside from cosmetic and skincare products , K-dramas , and the K-pop ind ustry , South Korea is also known for its high-tech cities, breathtaking sceneries, sub-tropical islands, and historical sites. It is a country with highly contrasting attractions ranging from temples, palaces, mountains, and extremely modern skyscrapers. Even just for half a day, you can really have an amazing trip and adventure in South Korea. There are a lot of wonderful places to visit in this East Asian country, and that is what we are going to discover now. So, fasten your seatbelt because this will be going to be a long journey.

1. North And South Korea Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

Korean: 한반도 비무장 지대 (hanbando bimujang jidae).

Remember the heartbreaking scene of Se-ri and Captain Ri that happened in this place? Well, every “Crash Landing On You” fan will never forget about this place in South Korea. Just like in this K-drama, South Korea, and North Korea are still at war. So, the first must-visit attraction in South Korea that we will discuss is the DMZ.

The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a no-man’s land border between the two Korean nations. The Korean Armistice Agreement determined the border strip between each country at the end of the Korean Wars. It is also formerly known as the Joint Security Area (JSA).

The DMZ is heavily guided by military personnel, but tourists can still visit through an official and guided tour. This tour will let you see some fascinating things like the 3rd tunnel dug by North Koreans for invasions and the Dora Observatory, where you can take a glimpse of North Korea.

Changdeokgung Palace_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

2. Changdeokgung Palace

Korean: 창덕궁인정문 (changdeokgunginjeongmun).

The Changdeokgung Palace is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in South Korea that tourists shouldn’t miss. It is one of the Five Grand Palaces built during the Joseon era. It is also the second royal residence.

The palace boasts an amazing view of nature, but this palace is more than just the principal residence of the royals. Hides beneath this beautiful palace is the Huwon Secret Garden. It is called a secret garden because no one but the royals can enter without permission. This garden will give you a majestic view of trees, plants, rivers, and lotus ponds.

3. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Korean: 경복궁 (gyeongbokkung).

History and resilience. These might be some of the best words you can associate with Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is the place where the royal family lived, and in fact, it was always the preferred residence of the royal. This palace was built during the early times of the Joseon dynasty.

This palace, built in 1395 during the Joseon dynasty, has gone through an incredible state of great disturbance. It was destroyed, bombed, occupied by the Japanese, and rebuilt many times, but it is still standing strong after being restored. If only the walls of pillars of this palace could talk, they would share a lot about Korean history.

4. Gwanghwamun Gate

Korean: 광화문 (gwanghwamun).

This tourist attraction was originally built with the Gyeongbokgung Palace in the 15th century. It is the main gate of this palace. This giant gate has also been destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times over the years, but it remains one of the most iconic structures in South Korea, especially in Seoul. It is one of the most popular filming locations of K-dramas. If you happen to visit Gwanghwamun Gate, make sure to watch the Changing of Guards Ceremony that has been performed since 1469.

Hwaseong Fortress_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

5. Hwaseong Fortress

Korean: 화성 ( hwaseong).

The Hwaseong Fortress is also one of the historical tourist attractions in South Korea. This fortress surrounds the town of Suwon with imposing stone walls and archways, which hide a lot of battle scars from the past. It was built between 1794 and 1796 by King Jeongko to honor his father. King Jeongko’s father had a horrible death under his grandfather’s hand. From this, we can say that this fortress is truly a statement of South Korea’s rich history and culture. Because of its capturing beauty, it became a UNESCO world heritage site.

Featuring a majestic palace, fortress walls, pagoda-style gates, and artillery towers, Hwaseong Fortress is a paradise for South Koreans. If you’re planning to visit this tourist attraction, it is better to do it during the autumn season when they celebrate the Suwan Hwaseng Cultural Festival. Enjoy their cultural exhibits and events and some of the historical reenactments.

6. Bulguksa Temple (Gyeongju)

Korean: 불국사 (bulguksa).

Being the ancient capital city of the Shilla Kingdom, Gyeongju has a massive collection of historical tourist attractions in South Korea. One of these attractions is the Bulguksa Temple. It is a UNESCO-listed heritage site that was built in 528. Like the other historic sites, this temple has also gone through many renovations throughout its history.

This temple will amaze you with its buildings with intricate carvings and some of South Korea’s most valuable treasures. Since there is so much history to unravel, it is better to bring a knowledgeable tour guide with you to make your trip meaningful and worth it.

7. Namsan Seoul Tower/ N Seoul Tower

Korean: 남산서울타워 (namsanseoultawo).

This is exactly the tower where Jan Di and Jun Pyo in “Boys Over Flowers” had their first date. Remember how they were trapped in a cable car? Well, you don’t exactly have to be a K-drama fan to recognize this tower. It is one of the most iconic towers in Seoul.

Namsan Seoul Tower is indeed one of the must-visit tourist attractions in South Korea. You can never leave this country without visiting this 500-meter above-sea-level tower. With this height, you can completely see the city below. It’s near Mount Namsan, which will give you a great view. When you’re on top of the tower, you can enjoy the indoor and outdoor viewing decks, restaurants, a cable car, and more. This tower also illuminates when the night strikes, especially during seasonal light shows.

Lotte World_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

8. Lotte World

Korean: 롯데월드 (rottewoldeu).

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in K-drama today is the breakup scenes of Choi Woong (Choi Woo-shik) and Kook Yeon-soo (Kim Da-mi) in the hit K-drama series “ Our Beloved Summer.” One of these breakup scenes happened in an amusement park called the Lotte World.

Aside from the historical sites, South Korea also has a lot of ultra-modern tourist attractions. One of them is the Lotte World. This amusement park can be found in the middle of downtown Seoul and is based on the Lotte World Tower, the tallest building in South Korea. The Lotte World Tower also offers a great view from its multiple observation areas. Visitors can also shop, dine, and have a great experience in a luxury hotel.

This theme park is perfect for having fun times with your family, friends, and partners. Both adults and children can enjoy this because a hotel folk museum features traditional performances, movie theaters, and more.

9. Jeju Island

Korean: 제주도 (jejudo).

South Korea is known for its skincare products. When we talk about skincare products, there’s one that will always be associated with – Jeju Island. This volcanic island is one of the most beautiful places and tourist attractions in South Korea. To give you an idea of how beautiful it is, go back to the K-dramas “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” “Secret Garden,” “Boys Over Flowers,” and “Squid Game.”

Jeju Island is one of the most sought-after travel destinations in South Korea because of its incredible beauty. It is the home of Hallasan, a shield volcano, and is considered the highest mountain in South Korea. Jeju Island is interesting for tourists because of the volcanic mountains and lava tubes. It is called “Korea’s Hawaii.” This island is also known as the “Island of the Gods.” This appellation came from the legend that demi-gods once lived on this island.

10. Jeonju Hanok Village

Korean: 전북 전주 한옥마을 (jeonbuk jeonju hanokmaeul ).

The city of Jeonju is one of the most visited cities in South Korea, along with Seoul and Busan. It is one of the most loved tourist attractions in South Korea because of the hanoks or traditional Korean houses. The Hanok Village managed to maintain its cultural values and traditional shape even if the city of Jeonju is already highly industrialized.

One of the best things that you can enjoy in this city that you can’t get from the major cities of South Korea is a slow life as if time has stopped. Life is simple; that’s why it is also known as the “slow city.”

There are many things you can do when you’re in Jeonju Hanok Village. If you take pictures, why not wear a hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) since you’re in a traditional village? Jeonju may not have the grandest skyscrapers and high-tech buildings, but it’s the home of traditional Korean cuisine. What’s more interesting is that Jeonju is where the traditional Korean food bibimbap originated. So, it’s a sin not to eat Bibimbap when you get there. Other fun stuff to do is take a tour of local historical sites and spend a night in Hanok houses.

Bukchon Hanok Village_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

11. Bukchon Hanok Village

북촌한옥마을 (bukchonhanokmaeul).

Another village in South Korea where you can have a fantastic view and experience of traditional Korean houses is the Bukchon Hanok Village. This is one of the most historical and important tourist attractions in South Korea because this is where the government officials and relatives of the royal family live.

Hanok villages like Bukchon Hanok Village are significant in Korean culture because they preserve the ancient culture. The traditional Korean houses located there are either privately owned by real residents or rented to enjoy the experience. These living museums, like Bukchon Hanok Village, will take visitors back to ancient Korea about 600 years ago.

12. Namiseom Island/Nami Island

Korean: 남이섬 종합휴양지 (namiseom jonghaphyuyangji).

Calling all Winter Sonata fans out there! You have seen Nami Island a couple of times for K-drama fans, but for OG fans, it’s Winter Sonata that made it so popular worldwide. Nami Island is one of the most unforgettable tourist attractions in South Korea. It was named after the famous general buried in that place in the 17th century.

This half-moon-shaped island located in the province of Gangwon is best known for its autumn foliage. You can just spend your time walking on the walking trails or riding a bike. Walking in the different lanes will make you feel closer to nature. The Central Korean Pine Tree Lane, Ginkgo Tree Lane, and Metasequoia Lane are there. You can also stroll in the woods and riverside paths located in the Southern part of the island. Aside from the surreal scenery, you can also try to enjoy their pan-fried rice cake.

Korean: 부산 (Busan)

Who would forget the hit Korean action horror film Train to Busan? This movie will make you feel tense and scared, but I want you to know that Busan is far from being that scary. Busan is the 2nd largest city in South Korea, and it’s known for many different reasons. It is a large port city. It is also known for its mountains, temples, and beaches. It is a gem of South Korea.

One of the most notable tourist attractions in South Korea, located in Busan, is the Gamcheon Cultural Village. This village has a really interesting story because it used to be a slum or a home for the refugees from the Korean War. But, after different government agencies redeveloped it, it became a tourist attraction. From then, it became the artistic hub where artists could go there and freely express themselves in any form of art. The houses are so colorful, and you can feel the art all around you.

14. Dadohaehaesang National Park

Korean: 다도해해상국립공원 금오도지구 (dadohaehaesang gukripgong won geumodojigu).

To all nature lovers, this is one of the tourist attractions in South Korea that you will enjoy. The Dadohaehaesang National Park is the largest national park in South Korea. It covers almost 1,700 islands along the southwestern part of the Korean Peninsula.

This heaven on earth offers an amazing combination of mountains, beaches, islands, and forests. It’s blessed with both land and water attractions that visitors can enjoy. Dadohaehaesang National Park is a perfect place to go because of its versatility to visitors.

Every type of tourist can enjoy this place whether they come to relax, take a vacation, or experience a thrilling adventure. You can go hiking or mountain climbing and enjoy the view of the sea from the top. The hiking trails will give you an extra dose of adventure, which will make your trip memorable.

If you just want to relax, you can just swim in the clear waters and explore the virgin islands. Since the climate is humid during summer, flora & fauna are in abundance. For animal lovers, there are lots of species that can be found, ranging from mammals, birds, reptiles, freshwater fish, and ocean water fish.

The diversity of Dadohaehaesang National Park makes it one of the best tourist spots in South Korea. For a fun-filled and relaxing travel experience, going to Dadohaehaesang National Park is a no-brainer.

Bukhansan National Park_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

15. Bukhansan National Park

  korean: 북한산국립공원 (bukhansan gukripgong won).

Finding a national park within a city is very rare; that’s why Bukhansan National Park is one of the most visited tourist attractions in South Korea. Because metropolitan areas surround it, the national park is like an ecological island, so think of it as a green lung for the city. Since it’s located within the city, it is visited by around five million visitors each year; that’s why it’s listed as the “Most Visited National Park per Unit Area” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Bukhansan National Park is rich in historical, cultural, and ecological treasures. This national park is truly a nature gem found in the city from the mountaintops, maple leaves, streams, and temples. There are lots of hiking trails and three granite peaks to climb. From there, you can enjoy the view of crystal-clear streams flowing. Along the hiking trails, you can also find ruins of an ancient fortress.

However, maintaining it is very challenging because of the number of hikers and visitors annually. The national park’s ecosystem gradually weakens; that’s why it is strictly advised to follow the restrictions and guidelines for safety and maintenance purposes.

16. Odaesan National Park

Korean: 오대산국립공원 (odaesan gukripgong won).

The Odaesan National Park was designated as the 11th national park in South Korea in Gangwon-do province. The name Odaesan means “Five Plains Mountains.” It’s perfect for hikers because they will enjoy the pathways that go up to the snow-capped mountains, while skiers and snowboarders will enjoy Alpensia and Yongpyong.

Having the largest natural forest in Korea, Odaesan National Park is home to different kinds of plants and wildlife. There are 25 species of mammals and 860 species of alpine flora. It is also known for a wild type of ginseng (isnam) called sansam that grows in its forest. It is believed that this rare root has health benefits and can last a long time. It is also said that the waters from this mountain can also cure diseases.

Another interesting fact about Odaesan National Park is that a part of it is located in Pyeongchang-gun. This is the third-largest county in South Korea, and it is well known for different winter sports. It hosted the Winter Olympics last 2018. The area has wonderful ski resorts, snow trekking, sledding, and other winter activities.

17. Seoraksan National Park

Korean: 설악산국립공원 ( seoraksangukripgongwon ).

One of the most beautiful mountains in Korea is found in the Seokrasan National Park – the Seoraksan Mountain. The word Seokarsan means ‘ Snowy Peaks Mountain,’ and you’ll get an idea of what it looks like from this name. This mountain is Korea’s third-largest mountain, known for its beautiful hiking trails and majestic scenery of nature like waterfalls and cliffs. With this, it’s not that surprising that it’s one of the best tourist attractions in South Korea.

Aside from Seokarsan Mountain, the park also has several hills, smaller mountains, and rock formations like Ulsanbawi Rock. But, if you’re not into hiking, Seokarsan National Park has a cable car. You can enjoy the park’s scenic beauty without any hassle or struggle. The best place to stay for fantastic scenery is in the Outer Seorak (Oeseorak) area.

Being the first area to be designated as a national park, Seoraksan National Park offers a lot of beautiful sceneries, historical sites, cultural sites, and adventure. Two Buddhist temples can be found in this park – Baekdamsa and Sinheungsa. These two temples are not just about history and culture; they are also true natural beauty.

The Sinheungsa temple is currently the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is also the oldest Seon temple in the world. On the other hand, Baekdamsa is a temple translated to ‘Hundred Pool Temple’ because of the hundred pools surrounding the temple complex.

Seokarsan National Park’s flora and fauna will also amaze you. The park is a UNESCO Biosphere Protection site. It has been a nature reserve since 1965 because of the abundance of plants and diversity of animals found there, including the rare ones. You can see a rare Korean musk deer, Korean goral, otters, Asian black bear, and Siberian flying squirrel if you’re lucky enough. For animal lovers, this is a priceless experience.

National Museum Of Korea_Tourist Attractions In South Korea Ling App

18. National Museum Of Korea

Korean: 국립중앙박물관 (gukripjungangbakmulgwan).

Where else can you easily learn about traditional Korean culture in this modern time aside from the museums? Luckily, there are many museums in Seoul since it’s South Korea’s capital city. When we talk about museums, the first museum to be on top of your list is the National Museum of Korea, the largest museum in Seoul.

The National Museum of Korea has incredibly vast collections ranging from history, art, and archeology. These are very important in giving a glimpse of the history of Korea and how Korean people lived from the Stone Age to modern times. You can never go wrong with visiting a museum; this is one of the ideal tourist attractions in South Korea when you have limited time. Adults and children can enjoy it.

19. Seoul’s Street Food Markets

Korean: 서울의 길거리 음식 시장 (seourui gilgeori eumsik sijang).

One of the reasons why visitors and foreigners are drawn to Korean culture is their food. Of course, what is travel without trying authentic Korean food ? There might be a lot of Korean restaurants in different parts of the world, but eating Korean street food along the streets of South Korea offers a different kind of authenticity and experience. Enjoy the open-air dining experience while embracing the South Korean vibe, like in K-dramas.

The street of Seoul, South Korea, is a haven for the best Korean street food like hotteok (stuffed pancake), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), odeng (fish cake), and bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes). There’s an infinite number of street food vendors in different parts of Seoul. Some of the famous food markets are Gwangjang Market (광장시장), Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market (서울 밤도깨비 야시장), and Myeongdong Street Food Alley.

20. War Memorial Of Korea 

Korean: 전쟁기념관 (jeonjaengginyeomgwan).

 The Korean War that happened during 1950–1953 is a significant part of the history of South Korea. To document this part of their history, they built a huge museum called the War Memorial of Korea. They have different multimedia exhibits, documentary footage, artifacts, weapons, maps, and uniforms from the Korean War. They also have helicopters, tanks, and planes; in fact, they still have a replica of the patrol boat sunk by North Korea in 2002.

Other Tourist Attractions In South Korea

Traveling to south korea pack some basic korean words.

A trip to South Korea is one of the greatest travel experiences you’ll never forget. The richness of their culture and the scenic beauty of different tourist attractions in South Korea truly amaze you. But, your South Korean travel experience will never be complete if you do not make meaningful connections with the locals. Whether it’s only small talks or deep conversations, learning Korean is still essential and very helpful. So, if you’re eager to learn Korean, why not start a free lesson with the Ling app now?

With this app, learning Korean and any other language feels like just playing a game. You can easily download it on your mobile phone or access the web version so you can learn anywhere and anytime you want. Say goodbye hassles of bulky dictionaries and the awkwardness of the language barrier. Since you’re in the land of high-tech gadgets, why not extend it to learning Korean? Download it from  Play Store  or  App Store  now!

Sheiwen Aglibot

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tourist spot sa korea

A Tourist’s Guide to Visiting N Seoul Tower

Haneul

 9,344 total views,  5 views today

tourist spot sa korea

Namsan Tower , also called Seoul Tower, is an iconic Seoul landmark with panoramic views of the city. It provides a breathtaking view of the Seoul cityscape and the Han River day and night, making it Korea’s number one tourist destination. It’s a tower that rises above the city of Seoul, both an observation and communication station located on Namsan Mountain at the city’s geographical center. Topped by its observation deck, N Seoul Tower is a highly visited tourist attraction and one of Korea’s most popular sights. It is also a hotspot among locals for meeting up.

N SEOUL TOWER: An Overview

N Seoul Tower was built in 1969 as Korea’s first transmission tower to help with television and radio broadcasts. The communication function is no longer relevant as most broadcasting has gone digital, but the tower remains a popular tourist destination for its incredible cityscape views. The tower is also home to a number of restaurants, cafes, and shops.

The N Seoul Tower observation deck is open to the public and offers 360-degree views of the city. It is possible to see Incheon in the west and Bukhansan Mountain in the north. The view at night is just as stunning, with the city’s lights twinkling below. You can take some great photos from N Seoul Tower. It is one of the best vantage points for seeing the city from above.

How to get there?

Namsan Tower is a quick trip from the city that it’s easy to tack on to any excursion. As you zip from place to place, seeing what there is to see in Seoul, do NOT miss this lovely location as you flit from one sightseeing spot to the next.

By Cable Car

Take the subway to Myeong-Dong station. When you come upon the Pacific Hotel, walk for about 15 minutes keeping to your right. Take the elevator to reach the boarding station. The cable car operates from 10 am to 11 pm, with a journey time of around 7 minutes.

You can reach the Seoul Tower by bus, which runs every 15-20 minutes. On the other hand, the buses do not stop in front of the tower. Depending on how quickly you walk, you’ll have to climb up for up to 5-10 minutes uphill.

You may depart from Subway Line 3 at Dongguk University Station, exit through Exit 6 and take the bus 02 or 03 or 05.

Take the subway line 4 to Seoul Station, exit at Exit 9, and catch bus number 03.

Take subway line 4 to Myeongdong Station, then depart on exit 3 and ride bus number 5.

Reach Chungmuro Station on Subway Line 3 or 4, take Exit 2, which is directly in front of the Daehan Cinema, and take the bus number 5/2.

N Seoul Tower: What to See and Do?

LED Lights of Tower : The tower is lit up with different colors every night. The N Seoul Tower also includes a distinct cultural art experience within, such as the 3D experience. The N Seoul Tower changes color at night according to air quality, which the general public may view from afar.

tourist spot sa korea

360° view from the top observation deck:  The N Seoul Tower is one of Korea’s most popular tourist destinations for a reason – the views are spectacular. From the top of the tower, you can see all the way to Incheon in the west and Bukhansan Mountain in the north. The view at night is just as stunning, with Seoul’s lights twinkling below. 

Love locks:  Legend has it that your love will be everlasting if you write down your love story and lock it to the tower. You can see hundreds of locks at the foot of the tower.

tourist spot sa korea

Namsan Park:  The tower’s base is surrounded by Namsan Park, a great place to take a stroll or have a picnic. It offers various services, including a botanical garden, a library, a pond, a snack bar, and many sports activities.

Namsangol Hanok Village:  If you’re a fan of traditional Korean culture, be sure to check out Namsangol Hanok Village, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the tower. The village features restored hanoks (traditional houses), a traditional garden, and a folk museum.

What to eat?

There are a number of restaurants and cafes located in the tower, offering everything from traditional Korean food to Italian pasta. If you’re looking for something sweet, be sure to check out the dessert cafe on the observation deck.

Take in a spectacular 360-degree view from this beautiful revolving restaurant located at the top of Seoul Tower. Relish the finest full-course French dinner or lunch with premium delights. This Korean restaurant allows you to soak up some of life’s finer pleasures as you enjoy the stunning views. One complete revolution takes approximately 48 minutes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 최은주 (@unlove12088)

In HANCOOK, a historical Korean restaurant, you may sample a blend of contemporary and traditional Korean dishes. It is located on Tower 3F and offers guests 30 distinct types of Korean buffets, so they may pick from a wide range of options while enjoying some of the city’s finest views. The goal of this establishment is to spread awareness about Korean culture.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 남산서울타워 (@namsanseoultower)

N burger is is the best place for eating American-style burgers. You can savor some of the original American burgers from the 1930s at this location on Tower 1F.

Several Koreans consider N Seoul Tower to be one of the top tourist destinations in the country. The views are simply amazing! Whether you’re interested in traditional Korean culture, want to snap some great photos, or enjoy a good meal with a view, the N Seoul Tower is worth a visit.

Haneul is passionate about sharing her love of Korean with the world. She loves to help people connect with Korean culture through her insights about the country.

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