Known for its stunning cherry blossoms, Buddhist temples, quiet villages, modern cities and flavorful cuisine, South Korea is a mecca for travelers in search of culture. Whether it’s exploring the outdoors, wandering the holy halls of an ancient temple or cruising the streets of Seoul after dark, it's easy to sample South Korean heritage on a visit to this popular Asian destination. Here are a few of our favorite experiences.
Seoul is a popular home base when exploring South Korea, as it can be used simply as a departure point or as the main attraction in Korea. Spend an evening wandering the city streets with a local guide to sample traditional Korean dishes, or take a day or two to immerse yourself in the art, architecture and history of this capital city. With landmarks like Gyeongbokgung Palace and famous districts such as Gangnam, travelers will get their fill of Korean heritage without even leaving the city.
Full Day Trips
While Seoul has plenty to offer, there’s more to discover around every corner in South Korea, much of which can be seen on a day trip from the city. Head north to the fascinating DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and JSA (Joint Security Area) to get a firsthand look at the North Korea-South Korea border, or take an entertaining day trip to see filming sites from the Korean drama Winter Sonata on Namiseom Island. Alternatively, the southwestern island of Jeju has its own coastal culture with its forested landscape, pleasant beaches and three UNESCO World Heritage sites.
With so much to see and so many locales to experience around the country, a multi-day journey through South Korea may be the way to go. Whether it’s sticking to the east coast to see seaside Busan and Mt Seoraksan or heading west for countryside views and Jeonju Hanok Village, a multi-day ensures you don’t miss anything on your list. Those looking for the grand tour can opt for an epic week-long excursion from Seoul to see a full range of major cities, historical sites, natural landmarks and more.