South Korea is a place of many wonders. A slice of eastern life almost surrounded by the East China Sea, South Korea has got something for everyone and it’s so hard to experience a little bit of everything on your holiday. Our carefully compiled list of places to visit in South Korea is the perfect way to see it all, from traditional eastern culture, to the bright lights of Seoul, to the mountains and the hidden gems of serenity in this faraway place.

Visit Andong

Andong South Korea

It’s so easy to stumble into a world heritage site or a traditional, Korean landmark in Andong. Andong represents rural Korean life and preserves the culture unlike anywhere else. The Andong Hahoe folk village is definitely the most popular place to visit in South Korea’s culture capital! The village has been preserved since the 16th century and is a serene place just to wonder and explore.

The village does get very busy throughout the peak season and some of the tranquillity can be lost, be sure to visit early in the morning if you can! Don’t forget to compare travel prices, too. The views throughout the city, especially towards the winding Nakdong River are utterly beautiful. You can easily spend an afternoon or an early morning soaking in the sights and relaxing in the shade of bright green leaves.

Andong is also the best place to visit in South Korea to experience authentic cuisine. Andong is worth visiting just for the foodie pilgrimage alone, check out these hotspots:

  • Maeil Tongdak (Jjimdak Golmok)
  • Andong Gan Godeungeo
  • Kkachi Gumeong House

Visit Seoul

South Korea Seoul

A trip to South Korea would not be complete without visiting this iconic city. A hub of buzzing noise and 24-activitiy in the heart of utter serenity. There’s so much to do and explore it’s hard to narrow it down. Wondering around and drinking in the sensations is an activity itself, though we do recommend walking around the Gwangjang market for delicious Korean treats. You can also wander to the Namdaemun Market for souvenirs and a larger variety of stalls and places to shop!

If you are staying in Seoul, you can still experience traditional South Korea by visiting any number of temples. The juxtaposition of the Buddhist temple’s traditional architecture with the metropolitan surroundings of this sparkling city is astounding!

Of course, half the charm of Seoul is the crazy sights and quirky places to visit. Check out these off-the-beaten-track destinations whilst staying right in the heart of Seoul for an accurate Korean experience.

  • Themed Cafes (Princess Café & Raccoon Café are highlights)
  • Haewoojae Museum (Mr Toilet House)
  • Love Motels
  • Yongma Land – Abandoned Theme Park
  • Ihwa Mural Village
  • Seoullo 7017 – the Seoul High Line

Seoul is a massive and immersive city; it is recommended that you stay in the centre for the best access to all the quirky sights and things to do! Make sure you compare your hotel; Prices will vary as Seoul is the most visited place in South Korea.

Visit The Islands

Jeju Island

Another blend of new and old, the islands are often overlooked and can be much less congested. No experience would be complete without these places to visit in South Korea:

Jeju Island – to the south of the mainland, Jeju international has direct flights to Australia, Asia, USA and Europe. The island has a culture and a landscape unto itself, featuring completely breath taking mountains coated in mist and dramatic coastlines bleeding onto magnificent white beeches. Jeju is the perfect place to end your South Korean adventure and to enjoy a little relaxation time.

Hongdo Island – This island still has a great traditional culture and is preferred by locals for its serenity. A population of around 1000 permanent residents, Hongdo is a stunning place to hike in the green hills and experience the real, rural Korea away from the crowds.

Visit PyeongChang

Ski and snow enthusiasts know that Korea is a secret hotspot for fantastic slopes. In fact, the PyeongChang region hosted the Winter Olympics in 2018. The PyeongChang region is one of the places to visit in South Korea if you like awesome landscapes and epic scenery. The Taebaek mountain range traverses across the border into North Korea and is visited most during the winter months when the snow is at it’s peak. Although the snow fall isn’t in the same leagues as Aspen or other 5-star ski areas, South Korea makes up for it with their après ski activities:

  • Night Skiing
  • 24 Hour Casinos
  • Karaoke Bars Galore – known as Noraebang
  • Bath spas – known as Jimjilbang
  • Chimaek – Beer & Fried Chicken

Of course, there is also the more recognisable night clubs and European-style après bars where you might find holidaymakers dancing on benches, but our list features the more unique things to do and places to visit in South Korea’s ski resorts!

Alternatively, if you’re unable to get to PyeongChang, those staying in Seoul can visit the resorts closer to the city and then return the city’s night life.

South Korea is often an overlooked gem altogether, but the culture is as diverse and exciting as other eastern alternatives, including Japan! Are you planning a trip, or have you already been? Where are your must-visit places in South Korea?

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