Korea, a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern marvels, offers an incredible travel experience that will leave you enchanted. With its vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and delectable cuisine, planning a trip to Korea is an excellent choice for any avid traveler. In this article, we present a comprehensive Korea itinerary 7-days to help you make the most of your journey to this remarkable country.
Planning your itinerary for a trip to Korea is an exciting task that allows you to make the most of your time and experience the country’s diverse offerings. Begin by researching the top attractions, cultural sites, and natural wonders that pique your interest. Consider the duration of your trip and allocate sufficient time for each destination.
How to Travel around South Korea
The best ways to travel around South Korea include taking the subway, bus, or train. The subway is the most convenient and affordable option for getting around major cities like Seoul and Busan. Buses are also a great option for traveling between cities and towns, while trains are ideal for longer distances and scenic routes.
Taxis and rental cars are also available but can be more expensive. When looking for affordable tickets, I make sure to check out Skyscanner and trip.com. These websites often have great deals and discounts that can help me save money on my travels.
Recommended Tours & Tickets
Topmost South Korea Tourist Attractions
Seoul City Attractions:
Seoul, the capital city, is a must-visit, offering a blend of history, modernity, and cultural delights. Explore other regions such as Gyeongju for its ancient treasures, Busan for its coastal charm, and Jeju Island for its natural beauty. Strike a balance between iconic landmarks, off-the-beaten-path experiences, and leisurely exploration to create a well-rounded itinerary.
Don’t forget to savor the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Korea. Additionally, be mindful of seasonal weather and local events that may impact your plans. With careful planning, you can create a memorable and fulfilling journey through the wonders of Korea.
Korea is a country brimming with incredible attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Among its topmost attractions is the magnificent Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. This grand palace, built during the Joseon Dynasty, stands as a symbol of Korea’s rich cultural heritage. Its vast courtyards, ornate halls, and stunning architectural details make it a must-visit destination.
The palace complex is home to stunning architectural masterpieces, including Geunjeongjeon Hall, where royal ceremonies were held, and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, surrounded by a serene lotus pond. Stroll along the picturesque palace grounds, adorned with beautiful gardens and intricate pavilions.
To complete your visit, catch the mesmerizing Changing of the Guard ceremony, a colorful display of traditional costumes and martial arts. Gyeongbokgung Palace is a true gem that offers a captivating glimpse into Korea’s majestic past, making it an absolute must-see attraction for any traveler visiting the country.
The UNESCO-listed Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul, with its beautiful Secret Garden, offers a serene escape from the bustling city. This is considered a World Heritage site because of its unique architecture in sync with the nature in the backdrop. King Taejong built the site as an auspicious site consisting of both official and residential sites.
Lava Tube in Jeju-do:
Another popular spot is Jeju Island, a natural paradise known for its volcanic landscapes, pristine beaches, and picturesque waterfalls. Jeju-do has the most refreshing hiking trails, mind blowing beaches and great seafood. It’s a must-stop destination for Korea visitors.
Haeundae Beach in Busan:
Haeundae Beach in Busan is a must-visit destination for those who love the sun, sand, and sea. With its stunning golden sands and crystal-clear waters, it’s no wonder why it’s a top choice for beachgoers.
But Busan has more to offer than just its beautiful coastline. The province is also famous for its mouth-watering seafood and delicious snacks, giving visitors a taste of the diverse culinary scene in the country.
Seoraksan National Park:
And for nature enthusiasts, Seoraksan National Park’s dramatic peaks and lush trails provide breathtaking views and unforgettable hiking experiences. These attractions, among many others, showcase the diverse beauty and cultural richness of Korea, making it a captivating destination for travelers.
Explore Nature in Nami Island:
Nami Island has the most serene trekking trail within the forest. Get away from the hustle, bustle of the city and go to Nami Island to walk along the forest road with white birch, pines, sequoia. It is a great destination for a day trip from Seoul as the location is just 1 hour from the city. Enjoy a day in the forest as well as explore the delicious restaurants in the area.
South Korea Itinerary 7 Days
Within 7 days, one can only plan to visit the absolute jewels of this country and the most renowned cities and provinces that best represents Korea. The three spots you must visit if you are there only for a week are Seoul, Busan and Jeju-do. Here’s
how your travel days might look like.
Day-1: Arrival in Seoul
On the day of your arrival the engagement for seeing around should be less. If you have arrived early, after lodging in your accommodations and taking a little rest, you can visit the Myeongdong area and Gyeongbokgung palace. If you have more time in hand, you may visit the traditional Bukchon Hanok village.
Day-2: Seoul Itinerary
You can start your day by visiting the heritage sites in the city. Around 9 to 10 AM head over to the Changdeokgung Palace, and the adjacent secret garden and roam around the UNESCO heritage site. From there, move to Insadong where you can explore traditional tea shops, galleries, and antique shops.
The last site that you must visit is the center of Buddhism, Jogeysa temple. End your day by exploring insta-worthy cafes and restaurants in Hongdae.
Day-3: Trip to Busan
On your third day make a trip to Busan, the port city of South Korea and famously known for their enormous fish market. It is 320 km south of Seoul. The high-speed train from Seoul takes about two and half hours. After reaching the city, first explore the colorful Gamcheon village, with vibrant houses and street art. It is located in the Saha district and the entrance is completely free.
The trip to Busan cannot finish without visiting the Jagalchi fish market, one of the largest fish markets. And then, walk along the beautiful Haundae beach and Gwangalli beach and its famous bridges.
Day-4: Busan City Tour
For a day in Busan, you must visit the historical and Buddhist sites like the Beomeosa temple nestled in forest and mountains. From there, go to the Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park where you will get the most stunning view of the beautiful city. Then go to the most famous markets like Gukje and Bupyeong to get delicious snacks, and different types of merchandise. Then to finish the day, stroll around the lighthouse of Taejongdae park.
Day-5: Visiting Jeju Island
As you will need time to spend a reasonable amount of time on this beautiful island it will be advised to take a flight from Busan to Jeju-do. The flight is only an hour. Jeju do is known for its UNESCO heritage site Manjanggul cave. It is one of the largest lava tunnels in the world. The Jeju Island trip can’t even start without taking in the beauty of beaches like Jungmun or Hyeopjae.
Day-6: Exploring Jeju-do
Jeju-do has been one of the top tourist destinations in Korea. Your second day there will be quite full if you are to embrace nature closely. Hike up the Hallasan mountain and visit the Hallasan national park. Hallasan is the highest peak of South Korea. On your way, also go to the Jusangjeolli Cliff to explore the volcanic formation. And, on your visit to Jeju-do, don’t forget to taste their black pork.
Day-7: Returning to Seoul
On your last day, fly back to Seoul and spend the last few hours exploring the streets, cuisines and culture in Hongdae or Gangnam. You can also spend the days exploring the Namsan tower and then bid farewell to this unique country.
The itinerary can always be customized for the specific seasons you are going and if you are revisiting the country, customize the itinerary with other provinces like Gyeonju, Andong, Boesong and more. Also, make sure to check the opening hours of the landmarks you are planning to visit to create an easy and efficient itinerary.
Things to Bring While Planning a Trip to South Korea
Planning and preparing for your trip to Korea is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. Here are some essential pre-trip preparations to consider:
Valid Travel Documents: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Check if you need a visa to enter Korea and apply for one if necessary. Familiarize yourself with the visa requirements and gather all the required documents.
Research and Itinerary Planning: Conduct thorough research on Korea’s top attractions, local customs, transportation options, and weather conditions during your travel dates. Create a detailed itinerary that aligns with your interests, including the must-visit destinations, activities, and any special events or festivals happening during your visit.
Vaccinations and Travel Insurance: Check with your healthcare provider regarding recommended vaccinations for travel to Korea. It’s also advisable to purchase travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost belongings.
Currency and Banking: Familiarize yourself with the local currency, the South Korean Won (KRW), and exchange some currency before your trip. Notify your bank of your travel plans to ensure your credit/debit cards work abroad and inquire about any associated fees.
Language and Communication: While many Koreans speak English, it can be helpful to learn a few basic Korean phrases or carry a translation app. Consider renting a mobile Wi-Fi device or purchasing a local SIM card to stay connected throughout your trip.
Pack Appropriately: Check the weather forecast for your travel dates and pack accordingly. Korea experiences four distinct seasons, so dress in layers and bring appropriate clothing, including comfortable shoes for walking and exploring.
Electrical Adapters: Korea uses a 220V electrical system with Type C and Type F outlets. If your devices use a different plug type, purchase the necessary adapters or converters.
Cultural Etiquette: Research and familiarize yourself with Korean customs and etiquette. Koreans value politeness and respect, so understanding local customs, greetings, and dining etiquette will enhance your experience and interactions with locals.
Transportation and Navigation: Familiarize yourself with Korea’s public transportation system, including trains, buses, and subways, which are efficient and well-connected. Consider obtaining a transportation card for ease of use. Download navigation apps or purchase a reliable map to help you navigate the cities and public transportation networks.
Safety and Emergency Contacts: Keep a copy of your passport, travel insurance information, and emergency contact numbers. Familiarize yourself with local emergency services and know the contact details of your country’s embassy or consulate in Korea.
By taking these pre-trip preparations, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on a memorable and hassle-free journey through the wonders of Korea.
Explore Popular Korean Dishes & Diverse Cuisine
When traveling to Korea, one of the most delightful aspects to embrace is the country’s cuisine. Korean food is renowned for its bold flavours, diverse ingredients, and harmonious balance of textures. From sizzling barbecue and comforting stews to tantalising street food and vibrant side dishes, Korean cuisine offers a culinary adventure for every palate.
Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in iconic dishes such as bibimbap, a colorful bowl of rice topped with various vegetables, meat, and a fried egg, or try the fiery and addictive flavours of kimchi, Korea’s famous fermented cabbage side dish.
Treat yourself to a barbecue feast, grilling succulent marinated meats right at your table. Explore the bustling food markets and street stalls, where you can savor delicious treats like tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) and hotteok (sweet pancakes filled with syrup and nuts).
Whether you’re a fan of spicy, savoury, or mild flavours, embracing Korea’s cuisine is a delightful journey that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the country’s culinary traditions. Korean cuisine goes beyond its famous dishes, offering a vast array of flavours and culinary experiences.
Embrace the art of banchan, the assortment of small side dishes that accompany every Korean meal, showcasing an assortment of pickled vegetables, seasoned tofu, and savoury pancakes.
Expand your taste buds with a bowl of hearty and comforting doenjang jjigae, a fermented soybean paste stew packed with vegetables and tofu. Indulge in the delicate flavours of haemul pajeon, a savoury seafood pancake, or enjoy the crispy goodness of Korean fried chicken, known for its addictive crunch and variety of sauces.
Dive into the world of street food, from spicy tteokbokki to crispy hotteok and gyeran-bbang (egg bread). Don’t forget to experience the joy of a traditional Korean barbecue, grilling marinated meats like bulgogi and samgyeopsal to perfection.
To complement your meals, explore Korea’s wide range of beverages, including traditional rice wine called makgeolli, refreshing fruit soju cocktails, and aromatic teas like omija and yuja cha. Embracing Korea’s cuisine means immersing yourself in a world of flavours, textures, and culinary traditions that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Planning a trip to Korea requires careful consideration of your budget to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The overall cost of your trip will depend on various factors such as the duration of your stay, accommodation choices, transportation options, dining preferences, and activities you wish to engage in.
Setting a daily expenditure limit, researching discounts and deals, and planning your itinerary accordingly can help you manage your expenses effectively.
Planning Budget for Korea Trip:
It is advisable to have a slightly flexible budget range, allowing for unexpected expenses or opportunities that may arise during your trip. With proper planning and budgeting, you can experience the wonders of Korea while staying within your financial means. When budgeting for a trip to Korea, it’s important to consider the following aspects to have a realistic estimate of your expenses.
Firstly, accommodation prices can vary depending on the type of lodging you choose, ranging from budget hostels and guesthouses to mid-range hotels and luxury resorts. Researching and comparing prices in different areas will help you find the best option for your budget.
Secondly, transportation costs can be managed by utilizing cost-effective options like public buses and subways, which are affordable and efficient in major cities. Consider purchasing transportation cards for discounted fares.
If you plan to travel extensively, look into the Korea Rail Pass, which offers unlimited train travel within a specific period. Food expenses can be flexible depending on your dining choices. Sampling street food and local eateries can be affordable, while dining in upscale restaurants or trying specialty dishes may increase your spending.
Additionally, allocate a portion of your budget for attractions and activities, such as entrance fees to museums, palaces, and cultural performances. Lastly, factor in miscellaneous expenses like shopping, souvenirs, and unforeseen costs.
By considering these aspects and setting a budget, you can make informed decisions and enjoy your trip to Korea without breaking the bank.
Must-do Activities in Korea Itinerary
When planning a trip to Korea, there are several essential tips to keep in mind to ensure the experience is joyful and easygoing for you. Here are few of them:
Research Seasonal Festivals and Events: Korea hosts a wide array of cultural festivals and events throughout the year. Research and align your travel dates with any festivals or events that interest you, such as the cherry blossom festivals in spring or the lantern festivals in autumn. These events offer unique cultural experiences and can add an extra layer of excitement to your trip.
Purchase a T-Money Card: A T-Money card is a rechargeable transportation card that can be used for buses, subways, taxis, and even some convenience stores. It not only provides convenience but also offers discounted fares compared to purchasing individual tickets. Purchase a T-Money card upon arrival at the airport or any convenience store, and load it with credit for easy and seamless transportation throughout your trip.
Consider a Hanbok Experience: Hanbok is the traditional Korean attire. Consider renting a Hanbok and exploring historical sites or palaces while dressed in this elegant garment. It not only adds a unique cultural touch to your trip but also provides an excellent opportunity for stunning photographs.
Explore Beyond Seoul: While Seoul offers a wealth of attractions, don’t limit your trip to the capital city alone. Consider venturing out to other regions like Busan, Gyeongju, Jeju Island, or the countryside to experience the diverse beauty and cultural heritage of Korea. Each region has its own unique charm and attractions to offer.
Stay Connected with Wi-Fi: To stay connected and access maps, translation apps, and other online resources during your trip, consider renting a portable Wi-Fi device or purchasing a local SIM card. Having reliable internet access will make navigating, communicating, and researching much more convenient.
Try the Jimjilbang Experience: Jimjilbangs are traditional Korean bathhouses that offer rejuvenating experiences. Consider visiting one to relax in saunas, indulge in spa treatments, and even spend the night in sleeping quarters. It’s a unique cultural experience and a great way to unwind after a long day of exploring.
Be Adventurous with Food: Korean cuisine is diverse and delicious. Don’t be afraid to try new dishes and flavours, even if they may seem unfamiliar. From street food stalls to traditional restaurants, Korea offers an incredible array of culinary delights. Be adventurous and savor the local specialties.
Check the weather conditions: Keeping in check of the weather for your travel dates and pack accordingly is essential. Korea experiences distinct seasons, so be prepared with appropriate clothing and accessories.
Stay informed about local customs and guidelines: Keeping up with current news and following any travel advisories is essential.
By considering these additional tips, you can enhance your trip to Korea, immerse yourself in its culture, and create lasting memories.
In conclusion, planning a trip to Korea requires careful research, preparation, and consideration of various factors. From creating a well-thought-out itinerary and familiarizing yourself with Korean customs to managing your budget and staying connected, each step plays a crucial role in ensuring a memorable and enjoyable journey.
Embracing Korea’s rich cultural heritage, exploring its top attractions, indulging in its delectable cuisine, and venturing beyond the bustling cities to experience the country’s natural beauty are all part of the allure of a trip to Korea.
By following essential tips, such as researching seasonal festivals, obtaining necessary travel documents, and considering transportation options, you can navigate your way through this vibrant and captivating destination with ease.
Whether you’re exploring the historic palaces of Seoul, relaxing in a traditional bathhouse, or immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of Jeju Island, a well-planned trip to Korea promises an incredible adventure filled with memorable experiences. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to discover the wonders of Korea.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many days is enough to visit Korea?
While it’s possible to see some of the highlights of Korea in just a few days, we recommend spending at least a week in the country to truly experience its culture, food, and history. A 7-day itinerary is a great starting point, allowing you to visit Seoul, explore the countryside, and even take a day trip to the DMZ.
Is 7 days enough for South Korea?
While 7 days may not be enough to see everything South Korea has to offer, it is definitely enough time to experience some of the highlights. With careful planning and prioritizing, you can visit popular destinations like Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island and still have time to immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine of this fascinating country.
How much does 7 days in South Korea cost?
The cost of a 7-day trip to South Korea can vary depending on y