All the plans are made, and your trip to South Korea is about to begin. You’re pretty excited, mainly because you are visiting some of the most exciting places in South Korea. But where do you visit if you spend only 3 days in Seoul? How about a weekend in Busan or one day in Jeju Island?
Will you see all the famous tourist attractions or will you explore the countryside? Well, this blog post is here to save you that dilemma since we have put together a list of the top 15 Places to visit in Korea! South Korea is a country that offers so much to see and do. If you visit South Korea, don’t forget to pack your camera! I’ll provide all the necessary details about travelling there from this article. Before packing up this article, I will add some tips about what to do or what not to do in South Korea. So stick with it till the end!!!
Top 15 Places to visit in Korea
Don’t miss out on the best of South Korea! Here are the top 15 places to visit in Korea that you must visit. With each location, there’s an amazing food and accommodation option that will make your trip all worth it in terms of quality alone- but we’re not done just yet because these spots also boast some pretty spectacular landmarks too–like castles or gothic churches for instance (or even both!). Check ’em all out here:
Seoul, the brightest city of South Korea stands as the capital of it. If you want to enjoy both modern architecture and ancient culture, then this place is for you. The capital city of South Korea tops our list of places to visit in Korea for its combination of modern and well-preserved architecture.
Here you will find 100-floor skyscrapers which are a modern-day tourist attraction. And you will also find above thousand-year-old Buddhist temples that will introduce you to the history and culture of the country. You will get to click many Instagram-worthy pictures in Seoul, especially during the night.
● Gyeongbokgung Palace ( One of the largest Palaces in Seoul, which helps to Korean heritage)
● Seoul Tower ( 500 meters tall observation tower providing a broad view of the city)
● Bukchon Hanok Village (ancient architecture of houses and pagodas which gives the taste of traditional culture)
● Blue House ( House of the Korean President compared to White House)
● Bukhansan National Park ( holding amusing natural beauty with the ancient temple and hiking place)
● Lotte World Tower ( World’s 5th tallest building with an amusement park and observatory)
● Insadong( Korean ritual product selling market with the cultural exhibition of dance and music)
● Gwangjang Market ( Seoul’s best food market)
2. Andong Hahoe Folk Village
Surrounded by a river, this village is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a great example of Korean traditional culture and rural life. You will be able to get the real touch of nature. The village is renowned for much traditional food, cultural festivals, and handmade products. For any tourist who visits this place, the Andong jjimdak, a spicy chicken dish is a must-try.
Almost all houses in the village are with thatched roofs which makes them look quite similar. But such roofs are rarely seen in villages in other parts of the world which makes these houses unique of all. Every house has a history of the people who lived there centuries ago. The most notable thing about Andong Hahoe Folk Village is that it dates back to the 9th century and both commoners and noblemen lived there.
● Traditional South Korean houses
● Mask Museum
● Ritual Mask Dance ( performed by villagers)
● Boat Riding
From hiking to surfing, natural blessings to architectural beauties, mountains to sea beaches, temples to towers – Busan has everything in its midst. This 2nd largest city in South Korea has a different type of place in its tourist’s heart. Too many varieties in one place.
The city is a relaxing getaway and a stunning tourist spot among all the other places to visit in Korea. It is often underrated as most tourists visit Seoul and forget about Busan. But those who visited this city even for once, just don’t stop talking about their mesmerizing experience.
● Gamcheon Culture Village ( Acolourful village with the brightly painted house and multi-layer streets)
● Haeundae Beach ( A beach which is located in the middle of the city offers a lot of festivals)
● Jagalchi Market ( a fish market with thousands of types of fishes which made it an exploratory place)
● Busan Tower ( Best way to explore Busan and its skyline from 120 m high view)
● Taejongdae( sea-side Park with a beautiful coastal view and evergreen forests )
● Nampodong Market( Downtown area of Busan where you can explore the cityjust by walking )
● Songdo beach ( Human-made beach with a less crowded area. Just a relaxing spot nearby where you can do Skywalk, Cliff Bridge Walk and Cable Car)
● U.N. Memorial Cemetery ( Only United Nations Cemetery in the world)
● Beomeosa Temple ( One of the best urban temples where you can meditate and clear your mind)
● Gwangbokdong Food Street ( The most famous food street in Busan to try different kinds of foods)
4. Jeju Island
If you’re looking for a breathtaking natural scenario in your tour, then Jeju Island is the place for you. It’s the most famous Island in South Korea and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. It is the favourite place for newlyweds and for couples planning a romantic getaway. The beautiful beaches and coastal trails are enough to impress you to a whole new level. And then, the delicious seafood will be a cherry on the top.
● Seongsan Sunrise Peak ( famous for its marvellous sunrise view)
● Mount Hallasan (The highest mountain in Korea but easy for hiking with great natural beauty)
● Manjanggul Cave ( One of the longest lava tanel with a magical view)
● Cheonjiyeon Waterfall ( A magnificent view holding waterfall carrying 3 sections of water)
● Jeju Folk Village ( Able to take you for a travel back in time )
● JungmunSaekdal Beach ( spreading charm with its huge wave and favourite to surfers)
● Seogwipo Submarine ( A trip under the sea )
● Osulloc Tea Garden & Museum ( Can be a favourite place to tea lovers for knowing the tea history)
● Seopjikoji( A famous cape in South Korea with Canola flowers)
● Yeomiji Botanical Garden ( A loving place for botanic lovers with a vast collection of plants)
● Jeongbang Waterfall ( One of the unique waterfalls because it falls directly into the ocean)
Now it’s time to explore the historical property of South Korea. Gyeongju is the former capital of this country which is enriched with so many earliest and prehistoric sites. History admirers will find their home here. It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site also known as “the museum without walls” due to the presence of a vast number of cultural properties and archaeological sites. From the 5th century to date, it has been an important centre of Korean Buddhism.
● Bulguksa Temple ( pagodas made with stone and wood and representing Buddhist culture.
● Gyeongju National Park ( historical resources blended with nature which is available for hiking)
● Cheomseongdae Observatory ( oldest astronomical observatory in Asia)
● Gyeongju Bird Park ( Best place to spend time with birds along with very close interaction)
● Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond ( A Pagoda shaped Palace floating on a mesmerizing pond)
● Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village ( a small village with traditional touch)
● Gyeongju National Museum ( a small but well-organized museum dedicated to Silla culture)
● Seokguram( An ancient temple situated at the top of a mountain with a great view of the sunset)
● Cheonmachong Tomb ( a tomb with a cultural museum)
6. Seoraksan National Park
Where are the hikers? Seoraksan National Park is the heavenly kingdom for hikers as they can enjoy temples, waterfalls, cable cars etc., during the hike. It unleashes its best view during the winter with foggy, snowy mountains. Both locals and foreigners come to this park to enjoy the rugged wilderness. It is one of the most visited parks in South Korea.
● Bronze Buddha Statue ( 48 feet high bronze statue situated only a few minutes away from the entrance)
● Sinheungsa Temple ( standing near Buddha Statue holding traditional Korean construction)
● Geumganggul Cave ( used for worshipping. You will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of mountains )
● Ulsanbawi Rock ( An exclusive rock formation with an astonishing view from 900m top)
● Seoraksan Cable Car ( will be able to see the whole park view from Cable Cars )
Suwon is famous for its fortress, Palace and many gates. The eye-catching stone-made wall of the fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The structural beauty has made the city different from others. Now, it is renowned as both a historical town and a multicultural city. In Suwon, one of my favourite places to visit in Korea, you will get to know about the dramatic and golden succession of Korean history and alongside enjoy the modern architectural sites.
● Hwaseong Fortress ( UNESCO World Heritage site which was built a long ago to protect the city with 4 main gates)
● Suwon Hwaseong Museum ( Presents the whole history and culture of Hwaseong Fortress)
● Paldalmun Gate ( One of the most important gates of the fortress surrounded by modern buildings)
● Haenggung Palace ( Venue of cultural and traditional festivals with a lot of attractions)
● Hwahongmun Gate ( Another gate of Hwaseong Fortress presents traditional history)
● Toilet Museum ( A totally different concept based museum to accelerate the awareness of sanitation)
● Wolhwawon Garden ( A traditional Chinese Garden which is a quiet place with lovely nature and charming architecture)
● Janganmun Gate ( Northern Gate of Hwaseong Fortress, which is also the main gate of the fortress)
● Yeonmudae( Huge pavilion offers both city view and Fortress view)
● Hwaseomun Gate ( Considered as the most impressive gate of Hwaseong Fortress)
● Everland ( South Korea’s largest theme park with zoo, garden and festivals)
● Samsung Innovation Museum ( All about Samsung. Their rise to rule in the world as a tech company)
● Suwon World Cup Stadium ( Football World Cup venue in 2002 where the roof is designed like a bird’s wing and seats are referred to Hwaseong Fortress)
8. Boseong Green Tea Field
This is one of the major green tea producing fields in South Korea, which offers a vital scenic beauty. A lot of people already know about it as it has been used as a filming site for a lot of Korean dramas. There are places to hike and enjoy the spot from the top, which can heal your soul. Alongside, Korean green tea is much different from normal ones because it can reduce bitterness and increase the taste.
Out of all the must-visit places in Korea, Boseong Green Tea Field is a notable one. In fact, it should be the first one on your priority list if you are a nature lover. The tea of this place is also very healthy and the beautiful green tea fields are a blessing to the eyes.
● Green Tea Farm Observatory ( situatedat the top to explore the whole view)
● Waterfall Area ( A little waterfall to boost up your energy)
● Botjae Dawon Tea Plantation ( another tea Field which is a 5-minute walk from the Boseong Green Tea Field )
● Green tea cafe ( A coffee shop sitting on the hill of the field with a full length view of the total area)
● Korea Tea Museum ( holding the history of Korean tea)
● Yulpo Beach ( a great place to enjoy the sunset and beach view)
9. Haeinsa Temple
It’s considered the most authentic and major temple in South Korea. It has the oldest Buddhist canon reserved here for a long time. It’s popular both for religious and historical value. A lot of people who are not interested in any of these only go there to experience the calmness and purity of nature.
The temple houses the Tripitaka Koreana which is the most complete collection of Buddhist texts. The four buildings of the temple complex have a unique structure. It is a famous destination for both local and international Buddhists and scholars.
● The oldest Wooden Buddha Statue in Asia
● Complete Collection of Buddhist Canon
● Nearby Mountains (soothing eyesight)
● Neighbour Villages ( for roaming around)
10. Pyeongchang County
Pyeongchang County is a place occupied by mountains. It’s an excellent place for hiking, skiing and snowboarding. You will also find temples in the midst of hills. The best time to visit here is autumn or winter to perform all the exciting activities. It is a city of nature and sports. A huge number of nature lovers and adventurers come here every year.
● Odaesan National Park ( 70% of this place is covered by mountains. Great place for trekking while observing a bunch of flora and fauna)
● Woljeongsa Temple ( One of the best temples in Pyeongchang County surrounded by streams and hills. You will be able to walk through the woods while observing it)
● Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch ( Can be a quick stop in the time of hiking to interact with cute little sheep)
● Bongpyeong Village ( If your trip is planned for autumn, make sure to go there to explore buckwheat flowers fields)
● Yongpyong Ski Resort ( your best chance to do some skiing and snowboarding)
11. The Korean Demilitarized Zone
This is the place holding the history of the division of North and South Korea. This 160 the mile-long area has a bunch of spots that are the witness of such modern history. It’s a living example of what can be done when two neighbouring countries go through conflict.
There are a specific set of rules that every tourist must follow when visiting this place. It’s different from other tourist spots so you should always follow your tour guide. You might even be required to follow a strict dress code and might not be allowed to take pictures without permission.
● 3rd Tunnel of Aggregation ( secret tunnel made by North Korea and discovered by South Korea after 8 years)
● Freedom Bridge – Imjingak( A spot made to remember the divided family. It was also used for the exchange of people once)
● Dora Observatory ( can catch a sight of North Korea without going there)
● Dorasan Station ( Gateway to North Korea which is left unused nowadays)
12. Dadohaehaesang National Park
Now it’s time to spend some memorable time in the midst of the ocean. Dadohaehaesang National Park is the largest national park in South Korea which is a bundle of 1700 small and large islands and rocks located in the East and West Sea. This is the place where you can only choose to relax sitting by the ocean or make a hardcore adventure list with trekking in the mountains and boating in the ocean. The majority of islands in Dadohaehaesang National Park are uninhabited. It is better to go to the inhabited and touristy islands to avoid all kinds of harm.
● Heuksando and Hongdo Districts ( famous for their striking view of islands and sea)
● Baekdo District ( containingBaekdo Island where a unique form of rock pinnacles are found. Spreading beauty of towns and nature)
● Palyeongsan District ( only spot without beach area but enriched with high mountains)
● Bigeum District( most beautiful beaches like Uido and Shimmok Beach)
● Geumodo District ( having dark forest and beautiful view of sunrise)
● Naro Island District ( the most different one because it has Naro Space Center)
What about just a peaceful walk through a bamboo forest that has 8 different paths with 8 other concepts? If you’re interested in a short tour of 3 to 4 hours wandering into a forest full of tall bamboo trees, then this place is the ideal form for you. The most interesting part is Juknokwon is almost an evergreen forest which means in the cold winter, under snowy cover, this forest keeps its greenery version fresh and charming.
This is one of the most interesting places to visit in Korea. Here you will be able to breathe in fresh oxygen away from the pollution of bustling cities. The cooling breeze throughout the lush forest is really relaxing to the mind and body.
● 8 Different Trails ( This includes Lover’s Lane, Philosopher’s Way,Old Friend’s Trail, Old Memories Byway, Scholar’s Road, Good Luck Road, Seonginsan Trail and Meditation Road )
● Bonghwangnu Observatory ( An observation tower to get the whole view)
● Traditional Pavilions ( You will get them all around the forest for just sitting there and enjoy the scenario)
● Siga Culture Village ( A village with prominent people’s work, stream, sculpture and historical site)
Whether you are looking for yummy Chinese food or concession-era architecture, Incheon is the place for you. Out of all the top places to visit in Korea, Incheon is a different one. In Incheon, you will find parks, markets, temples, quaint islands and a fairytale village where fairytales seem to come alive. This city that lies on the borders of Seoul and Gyeonggi has played a tremendous role during the Korean War. So, it is a great place to visit to learn about the history of Korea. Whether you are interested in history or architecture, islands or parks, hilltops or villages, here you will find every tourist attraction that interests you.
- Incheon Chinatown (The only official Chinatown in Korea where you can explore the remains of Korea’s past, history, and culture, and enjoy mouthwatering Chinese cuisines)
- Muuido (A small and peaceful island which is a great spot for camping, trekking, zip-lining, and clam digging)
- Wolmido Island (A busy island containing a theme park and many entertaining tourist attractions)
- Incheon Grand Park (The main nature park of the city offering rural landscape-like refreshing air and views)
- Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village (A cultural village filled with murals, designs, and paintings of fairytale characters)
- Jayu Park (The first westernized park in Korea that is home to several historical monuments)
- Jeondeungsa Temple (A Buddhist temple with beautiful architecture and picturesque surroundings)
- Sinpo International Market (A busy outdoor market selling food, clothing, and other local products)
- Daeryong Market (A unique traditional market selling local goods)
- Haengjusanseong (A hilltop fortress famous for its mesmerizing view and history of the Haengju battle)
- Incheon Bridge (A cable-stayed bridge that looks stunning at night due to the amazing light works)
- Yeongjong Bridge (A double-deck suspension bridge offering amazing foreshore views, it looks tremendously beautiful during the bridge lights at night)
- Jajangmyeon Museum (A museum dedicated to the Jajangmyeon dish (black soybean noodles), its history and development)
- Geomdan Prehistory Museum (A museum that hosts unique special exhibits of cultural artefacts from the palaeolithic era)
Eye-catching inland mountains and beautiful beaches are reasons why Gangneung is a popular tourist destination. If you want to escape city life, Gangneung is a place where you should go for a peaceful vacation. Out of all the top places to visit in Korea, it is the most tranquil tourist destination. This city is a perfect blend of natural beauty, modern technology and culture.
- Gyeongpo Beach (A beautiful sandy beach with a great view)
- Gangmun Beach (A huge beach with beautiful sand and shells, clear waters and a peaceful environment, ocean-fresh seafood, and excellent coffee shops)
- Jeongdongjin Sculpture Park (A Sculpture park with a green lawn looking out at the vast ocean offering a great sunrise view)
- Daegwallyeong Natural Recreation Forest (A very nice recreation forest popular for its well-known pine trees)
- Haslla Art World (A Instagrammable art museum with a breathtaking sea view from the top)
- Pinocchio Art Museum (An Art museum housing a wooden doll of the fictional character Pinocchio, a great tourist spot for both children and adults)
- Nochusan Mojeongtap-gil Trail (A serene place for walking or hiking with a beautiful folk tale)
- Adeul Rocky Park (Around 150 million years old natural rocks can be found here, and the place has a beautiful scenery)
- Heo Gyun Heo Nanseolheon Memorial Park (A must-see historic site containing a single-story Korean architectural wooden building made of Korean roof tiles)
- Gyeongpo Provincial Park (A must-visit park in South Korea with beautiful sea and mountain views)
- Anbandegi (A tranquil village situated amid mountains at a highland of 1100 m with a panoramic view)
- Seongyojang House (An elegant and traditional hanok historical settlement from the 18th-century that is a museum now)
- Aranaby zipline (A zipline at an 18 meter-high tower offering a thrilling sightseeing adventure)
- Chewang-san (A mountain at an elevation of 841 metres above sea level)
Some Special Manner You Should Always Maintain when in South Korea
The South Korean culture is one of a kind. You must maintain particular mannerisms when visiting this beautiful country, mainly if your travels occur in urban centres such as Seoul or Busan. The following rules will help you to cope up with South Koreans. They’re really dedicated to following those rules, so to enjoy your trip to your fullest, you should try to maintain them.
1. Whenever you’re receiving or giving anything to a person, always hold that thing with two hands. They take it as a matter of modesty.
2. After eating, always place your chopsticks parallel to your cup or plate. Never leave them upside down. It’s standard etiquette in South Korea.
3. If you’re taking public transportation like the train, try to keep your voice low. It’s very rare to find anyone talking loudly on a train in South Korea.
4. Never get into a fight. South Korea is a peace-loving country, and the people there are very kind to each other.
5. Try to avoid the use of red ink in any type of writing. In South Korea, red ink is considered a bad intention.
Don’t panic over these matters. It’s nothing like if you make a mistake, it’s over. Just keep these things in your mind and be confident.
South Korea is home to diverse tourist attractions. We have only listed 15 famous places to visit in Korea, and there are actually more. So, which one of these places to visit in Korea is your favourite? After reading this whole article, I hope you’re now able to sort out your plan. You know what to do, when to do and where to do it. So buckle up and try to make this tour The Memorable One.