DESTINATION SOUTH KOREA
Every tourist and backpacker is enticed to explore the illusive, exotic land of South Korea and its numerous wonders. When making a short list of locations to visit in South Korea, which provides such an incredible variety of undiscovered nature attractions and urban delights, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
There are chic cities and traditional folk towns, lovely islands, and breath-taking natural landscapes. Here is a list of our best recommendations for locations to visit in South Korea, from the well-known to the lesser-known, from rural villages, large Buddhist temples & palaces, old fortifications, and high-tech urban centers. The majority of people only have a basic understanding of South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, and believe that Seoul is the only location in the nation that is worthwhile for travel. That is not the case, though. Here, you can visit and explore some of the most spectacular locations in South Korea that we have mentioned.
Top 28 Places To Visit In South Korea
Seoul: The Dazzling Capital City
Jeju Island: A Stunning Island
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Engage With Modern History
Busan: Something For Everyone
Gyeongju: A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites
Dadohaehaesang National Park: The Largest National Park In Korea
Pyeongchang County: Paradise For Hikers
Suwon: Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Seoraksan National Park: A Tentative World Heritage Site
Andong Hahoe Folk Village: Travel Back In Time
Upo Marsh: The Largest Inland Wetland In Korea
Juknokwon: The Slow City
Boseong Green Tea Field: A Stunning Scenery
Seongsan Sunrise Peak: For Gorgeous Sunset Views
Ggotji Beach: Something For Beach Lovers
Darangee Village: A Quaint And Photogenic Village
Jeungdo Salt Farm: A Treasure Island
Haeinsa Temple : World’s Oldest Intact Buddhist Canon
Chunwang Peak: The Second Highest Peak In South Korea
Naganeupseong Folk Village: An Appealing Little Village
Gwang-An-Bridge: The Famous Diamond Bridge
Kyeong-Wha Station: Capture The Essence Of Cherry Blossoms
Gongryong Ridge: Ideal For Taking A Hike
Bulguksa Temple: A UNESCO Listed Heritage Site
Uleung Island Seaside Road: The Mysterious Island
Chuncheon: Spectacular Lakes & Mighty Mountains
Jeonju: With A Rich And Fascinating History
Halla Mountain: Offers Spectacular Views
1. Seoul: The Dazzling Capital City
The vibrant capital city will astound you with its heady mix of contemporary architecture, party atmosphere, pop culture, lovely parks, and glittering promenades, making it one of South Korea’s most well-known destinations and one of the greatest cities to visit. Seoul, a vibrant city, is not only a thriving urban center but also a haven for history and culture. Seoul is charming in every sense, with gorgeous palaces, upscale dining options, and fashionable shops. You may learn about South Korea’s history at the National Museum and War Memorial, and you can experience the glitzy side of the city at Gangnam’s hip shopping district.
Ideal for: Nightlife, Shopping, Culture, Architecture
Key attractions: Changdeokgung Palace (with an amazing Secret Garden), Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok village (for its pagodas and old world charm), Lotte World amusement park, Bukhansan National Park, N Seoul Tower for panoramic views.
2. Jeju Island: A Stunning Island
One of South Korea’s most beautiful and well-known locations is this magnificent island, located just 85 kilometers off the shore. The unspoiled splendor of Jeju-do, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, will leave you speechless. One of the highlights of this natural paradise near Seoul is its surreal white sand beaches surrounded by pine forests, volcanic craters, lava tunnels, lovely botanical gardens, and a rich culture.
Ideal for: Nature, Photography
Key attractions: Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Halassang national park, Seopjikoji promontory, Hyeopjae & Hamdeok beach, Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls
3. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Engage With Modern History
One of the most well-known spots to visit in South Korea to learn more about the conflict between North and South Korea and the present situation is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ is brimming with fascinating locations that make for an interesting study in contemporary history. At the observation post, you can get a glimpse into North Korea and experience the thrill of exploration while passing through the infiltration tunnel. It is recommended to go on a guided tour that stops at the Joint Security Area (JSA).
Ideal for: Historical Sites
Key Attractions: Freedom Park, Dorasan Station & Observatory
4. Busan: Something For Everyone
It would be unfair not to have this location on your list if you’re traveling through South Korea. The largest international film festival in Asia is held in this city, which is the second largest in South Korea. Among the top destinations to visit in South Korea, Busan is an intriguing combination of skyscrapers, breathtaking mountains, lovely beaches, and magnificent Buddhist temples. The Haedong Yonggungsa temple by the coast and the fascinating Jagalchi fish market are two of the most well-liked attractions in Busan, South Korea. Foodies can indulge in the abundance of seafood at the many restaurants and take advantage of the many street food vendors to sample regional specialties.
Ideal for: Beaches, Culture, Food
Key attractions: Haeundae Beach (with the Sea Life Aquarium and Folk Square), Beomeosa Temple, Gwangalli Beach with beautiful views of the Diamond bridge, Hurshimchung Hot Springs
5. Gyeongju: A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites
The seaside city of Gyeongju, which is frequently referred to as an open-air museum, is one of the best locations to visit in South Korea and one of the best things to do in South Korea to learn about its rich cultural legacy and traditional roots. Gyeongju, the former capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, is home to a wealth of old cultural, historical, and archaeological treasures. This city gives you an insight into South Korea’s cultural origins with the UNESCO world heritage site, Bulguksa temple, and the National Museum with its unmatched collection of artifacts.
Ideal for: Culture, History, Nature
Key attractions: Anapji pond, Tumuli Park (the giant burial mounds covered in grass), the majestic Seokguram Grotto
6. Dadohaehaesang National Park: The Largest National Park In Korea
This slice of paradise includes 1700 large and tiny islands as well as numerous rock formations, making it one of the most beautiful tourist sites in South Korea. Cheongsando Island, one of South Korea’s most beautiful and gorgeous islands, is renowned for its bizarre vistas and leisurely pace of life. The two well-known islands where you can take a boat ride to appreciate the breathtaking natural sights are Hongdo and Heuksando. One of the most well-known locations in South Korea to visit on your next vacation is this o
Ideal for: Nature, Tranquility, Photography
7. Pyeongchang County: Paradise For Hikers
This is one of the must-see locations in South Korea if you want to experience peace and the breathtaking natural beauty of one of the best places to visit in Korea. The famous Winter Olympics were held in this gorgeous county, which is 180 kilometers from Seoul and situated in the Taebaek Mountains, in February 2018. With routes leading up the snow-capped mountains, the Odaesan National Park is a hiker’s paradise, while the ski resorts of Alpensia and Yongpyong are well-liked by skiers and snowboarders. Numerous stunning Buddhist shrines can be found in the Himalayas. This location is unquestionably among the greatest in South Korea to visit in the winter.
Ideal for: Nature, Photography, Spirituality
Key Attractions: Woljeongsa temple, Pyeongchang Hyanggyo
8. Suwon: Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the nicest sites to visit in Korea is Suwon, the capital of the Gyeonggi province, which borders Seoul. Suwon is recognized for its distinctive Hwaseong Fortress, which features strong stone walls and stunning archways. The fortress wall, which was constructed by the Joseon dynasty, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has four entrances designed like pagodas, cannon towers, and observation platforms. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is one of the site’s other beautiful buildings. After all of that, don’t forget to go shopping in Suwon. Suwon is one of the best cities in South Korea to visit because there are so many more fun things to do there.
Ideal for: History, Architecture
Key Attractions: Suwon Hwaseong Museum to understand the history of the majestic fortress, Gwanggyosan Mountain (for hiking trails), Samsung Innovation Museum
9. Seoraksan National Park: A Tentative World Heritage Site
One of the most captivating spots to see autumn in Korea is in the UNESCO-protected Seoraksan National Park, where you will be greeted by the vibrant strokes of nature at every turn. This roughly translates as “Snowy Crag Mountains,” and the Seoraksan range with its snow-covered peaks provides a gorgeous backdrop to the park temple. It is one of the top places to visit in South Korea. There are many paths to trek, including the challenging Ulsan Rock, or you may just take the gondola up the mountain to see the amazing views. Be prepared to be in awe as you walk through the 400 000 sq km biosphere protection site when you see the enormous Buddha statue in your route.
Ideal for: Hiking, Adventure, Photography, Nature
Key Attractions: Baekdam sa Buddhist temple, Gyejo-am hermitage, Yukdam-Pokpo waterfall
10. Andong Hahoe Folk Village: Travel Back In Time
This picturesque traditional Korean town, which is located in Andong, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its name literally translates as “the village encircled by water.” When you enter the village of Hahoe, it’s like going back in time to the straightforward way of life of a Korean village, complete with customs and culture. Sandal beaches, pine trees, and rural homes with tile and thatched roofs all add to the idyllic location along the Nakdong river. The hamlet is a wonderful spot to sample traditional Korean cuisine and marvel at the mask dance done by the inhabitants; for more information, read our guide to traveling in Korea.
Ideal for: Culture, Tranquility, nature
Nearby attractions: Bongjeongsa temple, Buyongdae Cliff (take a boat for breathtaking views of the village)
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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