South Korea

Seoul, Busan, Jeju Island, Gyeongju, Incheon, Suwon, Daegu, Daejeon, Sokcho, Andong

About Destination

Travel to South Korea

South Korea, a captivating blend of tradition and modernity, beckons with its dynamic culture, picturesque landscapes, and bustling cities. Delve into its rich history by wandering through ancient palaces, serene temples, and traditional villages frozen in time. Indulge your senses with the tantalizing flavors of Korean cuisine, from spicy kimchi to savory bulgogi, while sipping on refreshing makgeolli.

Nature enthusiasts will be awe-inspired by South Korea's diverse terrain, from the jagged peaks of Seoraksan National Park to the pristine beaches of Jeju Island. Hike along scenic trails, soak in natural hot springs, or unwind in lush botanical gardens. Urban explorers will be mesmerized by the neon-lit streets of Seoul, where modern skyscrapers stand alongside centuries-old landmarks like Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of South Korea's cultural scene, from traditional performances of pansori and samulnori to cutting-edge K-pop concerts and fashion shows. Shopaholics can indulge in a shopping spree at bustling markets, trendy boutiques, and sprawling shopping malls. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, South Korea offers an unforgettable journey filled with endless discoveries.

The temple in Busan, South Korea.
The temple in Busan, South Korea.

Getting to South Korea

Getting to South Korea is relatively easy thanks to its well-developed transportation infrastructure and numerous international airports. If you're traveling from overseas, your primary point of entry will likely be Incheon International Airport (ICN) near Seoul, South Korea's capital. Many major airlines offer direct flights to Incheon from cities around the world. Alternatively, you can fly into Gimhae International Airport (PUS) in Busan, which also serves international flights, albeit to a lesser extent than Incheon. Depending on your location, you may also find flights to other regional airports like Gimpo International Airport (GMP) in Seoul or Jeju International Airport (CJU) on Jeju Island. Once in South Korea, you can easily navigate the country via its efficient domestic transportation network, which includes high-speed trains, intercity buses, and domestic flights, making it convenient to explore various regions and attractions throughout the country.

Alternative and off the beaten track stays and experiences in South Korea

South Korea offers a plethora of non-specialist and alternative experiences for travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures. One such destination is the quirky Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, where vibrant murals adorn narrow alleyways, creating a kaleidoscope of colors against the backdrop of traditional houses stacked on hillsides. It's a haven for art enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering unique insights into the local community and its creative spirit.

For nature lovers, Seoraksan National Park provides an idyllic retreat away from the hustle and bustle. Located on the eastern coast, this rugged expanse of mountains, valleys, and waterfalls offers endless hiking opportunities, with trails leading to panoramic vistas and serene temples tucked amid the foliage. Those seeking tranquility will find solace in the park's peaceful surroundings, far removed from the urban clamor.

In the heart of South Korea's countryside lies the charming village of Hahoe, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its well-preserved traditional architecture and cultural heritage. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in centuries-old traditions, participating in folk performances, crafting workshops, and homestay experiences with local residents, gaining insight into rural life in Korea's bygone eras.

Venturing off the mainland, the volcanic island of Ulleungdo beckons with its rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and emerald forests. Accessible by ferry from the mainland, Ulleungdo offers a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers, with opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and exploring hidden caves and coastal cliffs.

These off-the-beaten-track destinations in South Korea promise unforgettable experiences for travelers willing to stray from the usual tourist paths, providing glimpses into the country's diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and hidden gems awaiting discovery.

Hallasan azalea flowers
Hallasan azalea flowers

Top 10 things to do in South Korea

  1. Explore Seoul: Discover the vibrant capital's blend of ancient palaces, modern skyscrapers, bustling markets, and vibrant nightlife.
  2. Visit Jeju Island: Relax on stunning beaches, hike scenic trails, explore lava caves, and marvel at volcanic landscapes.
  3. Wander through Gyeongbokgung Palace: Immerse yourself in Korean history at this grand royal palace in Seoul, dating back to the Joseon Dynasty.
  4. Shop in Myeongdong: Indulge in a shopping spree at this bustling district, known for its trendy boutiques, street food stalls, and vibrant atmosphere.
  5. Sample Korean cuisine: Dive into the diverse flavors of Korean food, from spicy kimchi and savory bibimbap to succulent Korean barbecue and refreshing makgeolli.
  6. Hike in Seoraksan National Park: Explore the stunning landscapes of this mountainous park, renowned for its scenic trails, waterfalls, and temples.
  7. Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Gain insight into the divided Korean peninsula with a tour of this heavily fortified border area.
  8. Experience traditional culture in Hanok villages: Step back in time at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul or Hahoe Folk Village in Andong to experience traditional Korean architecture and culture.
  9. Attend a K-pop concert: Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of K-pop with a live concert or visit K-pop entertainment districts like Gangnam in Seoul.
  10. Relax in a jjimjilbang: Unwind Korean-style at a traditional bathhouse, where you can soak in hot tubs, enjoy saunas, and indulge in body scrubs.
Sunrise of Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.
Sunrise of Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.

The climate of South Korea

South Korea experiences a diverse climate influenced by its geographical location and varied topography. Generally, South Korea has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Spring (March to May) brings mild temperatures and blooming cherry blossoms across the country, making it a popular time for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Summer (June to August) is characterized by hot and humid weather, with temperatures often reaching over 30°C (86°F). Monsoon rains typically occur during the summer months, especially in July and August, bringing heavy rainfall and occasional flooding.

Autumn (September to November) boasts mild temperatures and stunning foliage as the leaves change color. It's an ideal time to explore South Korea's natural beauty, including its national parks and hiking trails.

Winter (December to February) brings cold temperatures and occasional snowfall, particularly in the northern and mountainous regions. Seoul and other major cities experience winter temperatures ranging from -5°C to 5°C (23°F to 41°F), while the southern coastal areas remain milder.

Overall, South Korea's climate varies from temperate in the south to subarctic in the north, offering diverse seasonal experiences for travelers throughout the year.

Jeju Island, South Korea
Jeju Island, South Korea