Explore South Korea
South Korea
Escape the Ordinary

South Korea, situated on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, is an East Asian nation full of fascinating attractions. Its urban delights are unforgettable and so is its bountiful nature. The exotic land is dotted with rich flora, ancient Buddhist temples, hilly areas, high-tech cities, sub-tropical islands and coastal fishing villages. Much of its rich tradition has, despite wars, been preserved and in some cases rebuilt. South Korea is indeed a divine amalgamation of history, nature and adventure. 


Popular cities: 

  • Seoul

  • Busan

  • Daejeon

  • Incheon 

Climate
South Korea has a temperate climate. The best time to visit the country is between March and May and from September to November.

  • January — Cold
  • February — Cold
  • March — Cool
  • April — Cool
  • May — Warm
  • June — Wet
  • July — Wet
  • August — Wet
  • September — Warm
  • October — Warm
  • November — Cool
  • December — Cold
Things to do
City Life
Majority of South Korea’s cities display a perfect melange of ultramodern architectural wonders and quaint past gems. Seoul is one such city in South Korea. Seoul Tower offers the best views of the city. A cable takes you up the side of the mountain to the base of the tower making your trip here even more exciting. You can then witness the city's stunning panoramic views from observation decks. Bukchon Hanok Village, situated between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung palace, is a must visit when you are in Seoul. Lotte World in Seoul is a fun amusement park where you can immerse yourself in real Korean commercial culture. Cheong Wa Dae, Myeongdong Market are also worth a visit. Busan is the second largest city in South Korea. Its coast is lined with some scenic beaches and resorts that'll steal your heart away. The nearby Gamecheon village is a must visit to experience Korea's version of Santorini. Jagalchi fish market is an ideal spot for seafood lovers. With the vibrant lights of the famous Diamond Bridge, Busan comes alive in the darkness of the night. BIFF (Busan International Film Festival) square is an ideal place to visit for a film enthusiast. It's home to one of the most consequential film festivals of the country held in autumn annually. To experience ancient Korea you must visit Jeonju. It has preserved the real essence of Korea's traditions and culture which reflects from the ancient temples, old neighborhoods and old homes (hanoks) is houses. To enjoy nightlife you can visit Itaewon. It's filled with street food, shops and fine restaurants. It's a popular strolling spot for locals and the lively energy of these streets truly defines the cosmopolitan city. Chinatown in Incheon city resembles the true essence of authentic Chinese culture. Its intricately designed tall gateways, Chinese architecture, and red coloured street walls help you discover Chinese traditions and lifestyle in South Korea.
Historic/Architectural Heritage
Changdeokgung Palace, located in Seoul, was always the preferred royal residence of the five grand palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. Built in the 15th century, this complex of buildings houses a beautiful palace garden, streams, pagodas and lakes. Gyeongbokgung Palace, also known as the Northern Palace, looks divine during the cherry blossom season. Hyangwonjeong Pond and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion are the two remaining structures from the Josean period housed by this palace. Bukchon Hanok village for pagodas and old world charm. This village is home to Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center, Owl Museum, Bukchon Asian Art Museum and many other centers and museums displaying Korea's art, culture and traditions. The National Museum of Korea houses a vast collection combining art, architecture, archeology and history, presented to show Korean culture. The National Museum and War Memorial takes you through the war history of the country. South Korea shares an undying history and conflicts with North Korea. This can be understood better at the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). It is full of interesting historical sites that make for an engaging lesson in modern history. A guided tour to the Doran Station and Observatory is a must. Jeonju National Museum, Suwon Hwaseong Museum, National Museum of Gyeongju, Gwanghwamun Gate are few other South Korea’s attractions which you can visit to know more about the country.
Nature & Adventure
Bukhansan National Park in Seoul houses lush green forests, granite peaks and temples. The hiking trails are so popular that they are closed on a rotation basis to protect the local environment. Beside trails to reach the Baegundae Peak, the Bukhansanseong Fortress is the prime attraction of this park. Seoraksan National Park is a UNESCO protected natural wonder. With its mountains, waterfalls, streams and lakes, it is one of the most beautiful places to witness autumn in Korea. The park is also known for its natural diversity as it has over 1,000 different kinds of plants and animals. If you are tired of walking you can opt for the cable car that will take you up Seoraksan Mountain for splendid views of the valleys. You can also take up the hiking trails to reach the top for more adventurous moments. Yukdam-Pokpo waterfall, Temple of a Hundred Pools( Baekdamsa) and Gyejo-am hermitage are the key attractions of this place. Dadohaehaesang is the largest national park in Korea. This beautiful site covers small islands and interesting rock structures. Cheongsando Island is located near this park. You can take a boat trip to this island or Hongo and Heuksando islands to admire the overwhelming natural sites. Hallyeo Maritime National Park includes miles of raw coastline on over 300 separate islands. Enjoy panoramic views of this place via Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway, the only automatic circulating gondola system in the country. If you are in South Korea for cherry blossoms you must visit Kyeong-Wha Station for a surreal experience as the train approaches the station under the cherry blossom tunnel. Another scenic place to visit is the Boseong Green Tea Field. Majority of tea produced in Korea comes from these famous fields. Upo Marsh is the largest wetland in Korea. It is home to nearly 1500 species of plants and different animals. You can indulge in biking, bird-watching, photography and nature walks. The Odaesan National Park, located in Pyeongchang County, is a trekkers delight with rough trails going up the snow-peaked mountains. The ski resorts Yongpyong and Alpensia are famous among skiers and snowboarders. Chunwang Peak, the second highest peak in South Korea, is a delightful treat for mountain climbers. Standing tall at 1,915 meters, climbing this mountain will give you the adrenaline rush like never before. The clean air, exquisite flora and fauna make your climb even more refreshing. Another scenic and enthralling place for hiking is the Gongryong Ridge. Shaped like the spine of a dinosaur, you'll have a memorable climb along with majestic views of the surrounding mountain range. Naejangsan and Juwangsan are other popular hiking destinations in South Korea. Palgongsan, Apsan Park are great places to try out different adventurous activities. Hallasan mountain offers different levels of hiking trails. It is the second tallest mountain in Korea. Yeongsil course is considered to be the shortest and easiest trail. So, if you are running short on time you can definitely hike this scenic mountain. Seongpanak trail is the most popular one due to its gradual incline. Jirisan mountain offers a myriad of trails which range from a quick three-hour return hike to a multi-day hike that includes a stunning sunrise view from the top of Cheonwangbong Peak. You can also visit the Jirisan National Park that spans over three provinces to witness its rich biodiversity conservation and ancient stone carvings. Daewangam Park, Hanbat Arboretum, Anapji Pond, Tumuli Park, Incheon Grand Park, Gwanggyosan Mountain, Cheongpyeong lake are few of the other places that offer sublime views of nature and enthralling sports activities.
Islands
Jeju Island is voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, and it truly stands up to it. With its surreal white sand beaches, volcanic craters, botanical gardens and pine forests, Jeju will take your breath away. Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls, Seongsan Sunrise Park, Seopjikoji promontory; Jungmun, Hyeopjae and Hamdeok beach are the key attractions of this island. Formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions about 5000 years ago, Seongsan Peak is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sunrise is the most magnificent thing on this volcanic mountain. Ganghwa Island is one of the most peaceful destinations in South Korea as it completely detaches itself from bustling cities. The Bomon-sa temple, Goryeo Gangji Palace and Manisan mountain are the key attractions of this island. Wolmido Island in Incheon is famous for its Wander Culture Street and Wolmi Theme Park. Besides artworks and enthralling rides, you can also witness nature's beauty at the Wolmi Traditional Park which is home to some beautiful flowers, ponds and streams. Ulleung Island, also known as Mysterious Island, is a popular weekend getaway spot for the people of Seoul. It features beautiful waterfalls, interesting rock formations and a coastal walking path that offers splendid views of the island. Namiseom Island, located in Gangwon Province, is more like an amusement park. Thousands of people visit this island annually to enjoy its scenic landscapes and nature. Muuido Island, Jindo Island, and Geoje Island are other beautiful islands.
Beaches
Haeundae Beach is known for the Sea Life Aquarium that encompasses about 250 species of marine animals. You get to watch the marine animals being fed inside the well preserved coral rich waters. Hajodae beach is famous for surfing activity. The Hajodae lighthouse offers mesmerising views of the beach. Seobin beach is one of the most famous beaches in South Korea. Its bright white sand and turquoise color water make your stay here blissful. Ggotji beach on Jeju Island is one of the ideal places in Korea for peace seekers. The white sandy beach and spectacular sunsets enhance the beauty of this natural wonder. The sun setting between two famous rocks namely Granny and Grandpa Rocks is a sight to behold. Eurwangni beach, located in Yeongjong Island, offers not only scenic views but also interesting activities such as jet-skiing and banana boating. Gwangalli Beach is the perfect location to get a good tan, play volleyball and walk by the shores to rejuvenate. Hamdeok Beach, Muchangpo Beach, Daecheon Beach, Naksan Beach are some of the other famous beaches in South Korea.
Places of Worship
South Korea is home to around 20,000 temples. Each one of them are someway culturally or historically significant. Haeinsa Temple houses the world's oldest Buddhist canon which is still intact. The oldest wooden Buddha statue in Korea housed by this beautiful temple all adds to its religious importance. Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers mesmerising sunrise views. Bulguksa Temple is famous for its architecture, and two granite pagodas on its either sides that add to the grandeur beauty of this place. Besides this the temple is also famous for housing six of the country's national treasures, statues of Buddha and sacred pagodas. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Woljeongsa Temple, Jingwansa Temple, Beomeosa Temple, Gagwonsa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple, Tapsa Temple are some of other famous places of worship in South Korea.
How to spend time / how long will it take?

A major chunk of South Korea can be covered in 7 to 10 days. Your trip can be subjected to an increase or decrease according to the hiking trails you choose. You can spend two days in Seoul exploring the city, markets, palaces, Bukhansan National Park, and nearby beaches. A day trip for Bukchon Village walking tour is the perfect way to relax away from bustling cities. As Seoraksan National Park is in close proximity to Seoul you can visit the scenic park for a day. Spend a day in Incheon relaxing by the Eurwangni beach or the Wolmido island and enjoying the nightlife. Moving downwards, spend two days in Busan as there is so much to explore in and around the city. From here, end your trip by spending two days at Jeju Island as it offers a natural retreat through its beaches, water sports, and scenic views. 

Cuisine
  • South Korea cuisine is largely based on rice, seafood and vegetables. Top must-fry dishes include Kimchi, Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Korean stew, Samgyeopsal, Red rice cakes and many more. Every Korean dish is extremely savoury and nutritious.
Costs
  • Meal prices in South Korea can vary, the average cost of food is usually ₩ 7,500 (USD 6.51) per meal.
Visa
  • Indians require a Visa.
  • Other nationalities may or may not require a Visa.
Season to Visit
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • September
  • October
  • November

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 7 - 10 days

Known For
  • Buddhist Temples
  • Islands
  • Hills
  • Biodiversity
  • Architecture
  • Beaches
  • Hiking
Areas to Visit
  • Seoul for cityscapes, urban delights and historic palaces
  • Bukchon Hanok Village for its cultural importance
  • Bukhansan National Park, Seoraksan National Park, Hallasan mountain for hiking and biodiversity
  • Busan for temples, islands beaches and nightlife
  • Jeju-do off the southern coast for beaches, mountains, biodiversity

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