The elusive, exotic land of South Korea beckons every traveler and backpacker to experience its many wonders. You’ll be spoilt for choice when shortlisting places to visit in South Korea, which offers such an unbelievable range of unexplored natural sites and urban delights.
There are tradition folk villages and swanky cities, gorgeous islands and breathtaking natural vistas. If you were wondering where to go in South Korea then here is a list of our top picks of places to visit in South Korea, from the popular to the unexplored, from countryside villages, grand Buddhist temples & palaces to ancient fortresses and high-tech urban cities. An interesting fact is that when it comes to South Korea most people only know about the capital city, Seoul and think that it is the only place worth visiting in the country. However, that is not the case. We have listed out some of the most amazing places in South Korea here that you can visit and explore.
Top 28 Places To Visit In South Korea
So, you have come here which means you really do wanna know about the places to visit in South Korea! Well, if you’re planning to visit South Korea soon, here is the perfectly curated list of places to visit in South Korea on your next trip. Keep scrolling down and read along the best South Korea tourist places to visit. Go on!
- Seoul: The Dazzling Capital City
- Jeju Island: A Stunning Island
- The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Engage With Modern History
- Busan: Something For Everyone
- Gyeongju: A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites
- Dadohaehaesang National Park: The Largest National Park In Korea
- Pyeongchang County: Paradise For Hikers
- Suwon: Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Seoraksan National Park: A Tentative World Heritage Site
- Andong Hahoe Folk Village: Travel Back In Time
- Upo Marsh: The Largest Inland Wetland In Korea
- Juknokwon: The Slow City
- Boseong Green Tea Field: A Stunning Scenery
- Seongsan Sunrise Peak: For Gorgeous Sunset Views
- Ggotji Beach: Something For Beach Lovers
- Darangee Village: A Quaint And Photogenic Village
- Jeungdo Salt Farm: A Treasure Island
- Haeinsa Temple : World’s Oldest Intact Buddhist Canon
- Chunwang Peak: The Second Highest Peak In South Korea
- Naganeupseong Folk Village: An Appealing Little Village
- Gwang-An-Bridge: The Famous Diamond Bridge
- Kyeong-Wha Station: Capture The Essence Of Cherry Blossoms
- Gongryong Ridge: Ideal For Taking A Hike
- Bulguksa Temple: A UNESCO Listed Heritage Site
- Uleung Island Seaside Road: The Mysterious Island
- Chuncheon: Spectacular Lakes & Mighty Mountains
- Jeonju: With A Rich And Fascinating History
- Halla Mountain: Offers Spectacular Views
1. Seoul: The Dazzling Capital City
The dazzling capital city will impress you with its dizzying mix of modern architecture, party vibes, pop culture, beautiful parks & glittering promenades making it one of the most famous places in South Korea and the best cities to visit in South Korea. Vibrant Seoul is not just a buzzing urban hub but also rich in history and culture. With gorgeous palaces, chic restaurants and stylish boutiques, Seoul is among the charming places to visit in South Korea during autumn. The National Museum and War Memorial take you through the history of the country, while the cool shopping district of Gangnam gives you a taste of the city’s ritzy side on your reasons to visit South Korea.
Ideal for: Nightlife, Shopping, Culture, Architecture
Key attractions: Changdeokgung Palace (with an amazing Secret Garden), Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok village (for its pagodas and old-world charm), Lotte World amusement park, Bukhansan National Park, N Seoul Tower for panoramic views.
Must Read: 26 Places To Visit In Korea During Winter That Would Hook You With Their Charm
2. Jeju Island: A Stunning Island
This stunning island just 85 Kilometers off the coast is one of the most beautiful places in South Korea and one of the most famous places in South Korea. Having been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the pristine beauty of Jeju-do will take your breath away. Surreal white sand beaches surrounded by pine forests, volcanic craters and lava caves, beautiful botanical gardens and a rich culture are some of the high-points of this natural paradise amongst places near Seoul that are a must-visit.
Ideal for: Nature, Photography
Key attractions: Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Halassang national park, Seopjikoji promontory, Hyeopjae & Hamdeok beach, Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls
3. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Engage With Modern History
Amongst famous South Korea attractions, The DMZ is one of the most unique places to visit in South Korea to get a better understanding of the conflict between North and South Korea & the current state of affairs. The DMZ is full of interesting sites that make for an engaging lesson in modern history. You can take a peek into North Korea at the Observation Post and feel the rush of adventure while walking through the Infiltration Tunnel. It is advisable to take a guided tour that includes a visit to the Joint Security Area (JSA).
Ideal for: Historical Sites
Key Attractions: Freedom Park, Dorasan Station & Observatory
Suggested Read: 26 Places To Visit In Korea During Winter That Would Hook You With Their Charm
4. Busan: Something For Everyone
If you’re visiting places in South Korea then not addisng this place to your list would be unfair. This second largest city of South Korea is known across the world for hosting Asia’s largest International film festival. Busan is an interesting amalgamation of skyscrapers, majestic mountains, beautiful beaches and magnificent Buddhist temples and amongst the best places to visit in South Korea. Amongst the popular places to visit in Korea Busan is the Haedong Yonggungsa temple along the coast and the interesting Jagalchi fish market. Foodies can relish the sea food spread at the numerous restaurants and enjoy local delicacies at the ubiquitous street food stalls.
Ideal for: Beaches, Culture, Food
Key attractions: Haeundae Beach (with the Sea Life Aquarium and Folk Square), Beomeosa Temple, Gwangalli Beach with beautiful views of the Diamond bridge, Hurshimchung Hot Springs
5. Gyeongju: A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites
One of the places to visit in South Korea in May, the coastal city of Gyeongju, often called an open-air museum, is one of the best things to do in South Korea to discover its traditional roots and rich heritage. The erstwhile capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, Gyeongju is a treasure trove of cultural and historical sites and ruins going back to a thousand years. With the UNESCO world heritage site, Bulguksa temple and the National Museum with its unparalleled collection of artefacts, this city gives you a glimpse into South Korea’s cultural roots.
Ideal for: Culture, History, Nature
Key attractions: Anapji pond, Tumuli Park (the giant burial mounds covered in grass), the majestic Seokguram Grotto
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6. Dadohaehaesang National Park: The Largest National Park In Korea
One of the most beautiful tourist destinations in South Korea, it is the largest National Park in Korea, this slice of paradise covers 1700 large and small islands and some rock structures. One of the most scenic and islands is the Cheongsando island considered one of the best places to visit in South Korea for it surreal landscapes and the slow city movement. Hongdo and Heuksando are the other popular islands where you can take a boat trip to admire the overwhelming natural sites. This is one of the top famous places to visit in South Korea for your next vacation!
Ideal for: Nature, Tranquility, Photography
7. Pyeongchang County: Paradise For Hikers
This is one of the must visit places in South Korea to experience tranquillity and awe-inspiring scenic beauty of the best places to visit in Korea. Located in the Taebaek Mountains, this picturesque county 180 Kms away from Seoul hosted the prestigious Winter Olympics in February 2018. The Odaesan National Park is a hikers’ delight with trails going up the snow-peaked mountains, while the ski resorts Alpensia and Yongpyong are popular with skiers and snowboarders. The mountains are also home to many beautiful Buddhist shrines. This place is surely one of the best places to visit in South Korea during winters!
Ideal for: Nature, Photography, Spirituality
Key Attractions: Woljeongsa temple, Pyeongchang Hyanggyo
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8. Suwon: Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Capital of the Gyeonggi province bordering Seoul, Suwon is known for its unique Hwaseong Fortress with its imposing stone walls and impressive archways and this has made it one of the best places to visit in Korea. Built by the Joseon dynasty the fortresses wall is a UNESCO world heritage site with four pagoda-style gates, artillery towers and observation decks. Another magnificent structure at the site is the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace. With all that said, don’t forget to indulge in shopping in Suwon. With many more exciting things to do, Suwon is one of the top places to visit in South Korea.
Ideal for: History, Architecture
Key Attractions: Suwon Hwaseong Museum to understand the history of the majestic fortress, Gwanggyosan Mountain (for hiking trails), Samsung Innovation Museum
9. Seoraksan National Park: A Tentative World Heritage Site
The vivid strokes of nature will greet you every step of the way in the UNESCO protected Seoraksan National Park and is one of the most mesmerizing places to witness autumn in Korea. Being one of the best places to visit in South Korea, this is literally meaning the Snowy Crag Mountains, the Seoraksan range with its snow-covered peaks forms a majestic backdrop to the park temple. It is a great place to hike the myriad trails including the formidable Ulsan Rock or simply enjoy the gondola ride up the mountain for some spectacular views. As you stroll through the 400000 sq km biosphere protection site, prepare to be awestruck by the giant Buddha statue on your path.
Ideal for: Hiking, Adventure, Photography, Nature
Key Attractions: Baekdam sa Buddhist temple, Gyejo-am hermitage, Yukdam-Pokpo waterfall
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10. Andong Hahoe Folk Village: Travel Back In Time
Literally meaning ‘the village enveloped by water’ this charming traditional Korean village located in Andong is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entering the Hahoe village is like travelling back in time to the simple Korean village way of life displaying local traditions and culture. The beautiful setting alongside the Nakdong river is accentuated by the rural tile and thatched roof houses, sandy beaches and pine trees. The village is also a great place to try out traditional Korean delicacies and marvel at the mask dance performed by the locals, read through Korea travel tips to know more.
Ideal for: Culture, Tranquility, nature
Nearby attractions: Bongjeongsa temple, Buyongdae Cliff (take a boat for breathtaking views of the village)
11. Upo Marsh: The Largest Inland Wetland In Korea
Considered to be the largest inland wetland in Korea, Upo March is a must-visit site for all tourists and one of the best free tourist attractions in South Korea. It is said that this land was formed over almost 140 million years ago and it is home to about 1500 species of plants and animals too. Some of these animals are, however, currently endangered. You can also spot a few migratory birds here which are found to be flying low as you walk or bike through the land. This surely tops the list of good places to visit in South Korea!
Ideal for: Biking, nature walks, photography, bird-watching
Nearby attractions: NA
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12. Juknokwon: The Slow City
Explore South Kore and enjoy the slow pace life. Also known as the ‘slow city’, Damyang offers a variety of tourist attractions, out of which, Juknokwon cannot be missed for sure. The thick bamboo land that has 8 different trails has 8 unique themes that you can walk through. If you look close enough, you can spot some green tea shoots growing from the dew that falls off the bamboo leaves, known as Jukro tea.
Ideal for: Nature walk, photography
Nearby attractions: Gwanbangjerim, May 18th National Cemetery and Gangcheonsan County Park
13. Boseong Green Tea Field: A Stunning Scenery
With a major 40 % of the total tea produced in Korea being produced at these famous fields, this place is nothing less than a scenic beauty in itself which is also used as a backdrop of many Korean movies and drama shows. If you’re planning to visit this place in May, make sure you don’t miss out on the grand Green-tea festival or click a picture of the stunning scenery as this place is well lit by light bulbs during winter season which is the best time to explore South Korea. This field is amongst the best places to visit in South Korea during summer!
Ideal for: Nature walk, photography
Nearby attractions: Songjeong Station Market, Darangee Village
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14. Seongsan Sunrise Peak: For Gorgeous Sunset Views
If you are heading to Jeju Island anyway, then you should not miss watching the sunrise at Seongsan Peak. The best of South Korea tourist attractions, this spot has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was formed by the hydrovolcanic eruptions 5000 years ago. You will even find a variety of rare species of plants. The magnificent sunrise is the most spectacular thing on this volcanic mountain.
Ideal for: Hiking, Nature
Key attractions: Sunrise, Rare plant species, lush greenery,magnificent views of nature
15. Ggotji Beach: Something For Beach Lovers
For those who live for beautiful sunsets should not miss this place on Jeju Island, one of the best South Korea destinations. The white sandy beach is a delight to the beach babies. The sunset here is nothing like you have seen before. You will find two large rock formations on the beach that are known as Granny and Grandpa Rocks. There is an interesting story behind the names too. According to the legends, the wife of a commander from the Shilla Dynasty became a rock waiting faithfully for her husband. When the sun sinks between the two rocks, it looks so magnificent and the sky lights up in tangerine color.
Ideal for: Sunsets, diving
Key attractions: Granny Rock, Grandpa Rock
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16. Darangee Village: A Quaint And Photogenic Village
If you want to explore the village life of South Korea, then you should visit Darangee which is a well-preserved village. The tiny step fields look so photogenic. This is your shot of experiencing a traditional Korean life while backpacking in South Korea. It is amazing to see how a country like such can have two opposite sides; one completely modern and another so bucolic.
Ideal for: Backpacking
Key attractions: Countless tiny fields
17. Jeungdo Salt Farm: A Treasure Island
You have seen nothing like the soft beach and salt farms in Jeungdo. This is a treasure island not only because of all the salt produced but also the artifacts from the Song Dynasty found at the bottom of the ocean. The marine life that you will find in the mudflat town will amaze you. It is one of the best places to see in South Korea.
Ideal for: Sightseeing
Key attractions: Salt farms, Mudflat town, marine life of the mud flat
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18. Haeinsa Temple: World’s Oldest Intact Buddhist Canon
Did you know that the world’s oldest intact Buddhist canon is restored inside Haeinsa Temple that itself is 1200 years old? The curiosity alone should make you visit this temple and if you are an avid Buddhist practitioner, then you should definitely visit this place on your vacation in South Korea and several other popular castles in Korea to get a glance into the history of Korea.
Ideal for: Sightseeing, Religious
Key attractions:Janggyeong Panjeon, the oldest wooden Buddha Statue in Korea.
19. Chunwang Peak: The Second Highest Peak In South Korea
The second highest peak in the country should definitely be one of your South Korea points of interest. Standing tall at 1,915 meters, this peak is a beloved for many Korean mountain climbers. If climbing mountains give you the thrill, then we see no reason why you should sit this one out. There is even a national park on the mountain that stretches over three provinces. The clean air and freshwater from the spring will be a delight to your internal organs.
Ideal for: Nature, hiking
Key attractions: Chunwang Spring, sunrise, dazzling flora and fauna
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20. Naganeupseong Folk Village: An Appealing Little Village
To enjoy South Korea sightseeing, plan a trip to Naganeupseong Folk Village where you will observe the lifestyle from the ear of the Chosun Dynasty. The straw-roofed houses, government offices, castles, guesthouse, all look so pretty and photogenic. You would really enjoy your time here even if you are not a history buff.
Ideal for: Sightseeing
Key attractions: Overnight homestay
21. Gwang-An-Bridge: The Famous Diamond Bridge
Famously known as the Diamond Bridge, it is a suspension bridge located in Busan, South Korea that connectes Haeundae-gu to Suyeong-gu. The road surface is about 6,500 m long and although it is not a pedestrian bridge, you can still enjoy the stunning views of bridge and the surrounding region from afar.
Ideal for: Views, Photography
Key attractions: The lighting system
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22. Kyeong-Wha Station: Capture The Essence Of Cherry Blossoms
This place is a favourite haunt for photographers who can capture the true essence of the Cherry blossoms falling down on the track and making a picture perfect moment. The visual delight of the train is approaching the station under the cherry blossom tunnel is absolutely unmissable and surreal.
Ideal for: Photography
Key attractions: Cherry blossom tunnel
23. Gongryong Ridge: Ideal For Taking A Hike
Wondering where to visit in South Korea? Well, why not give Gongryong Ridge a try? Shaped like the spine of a dinosaur, this place is ideal for trekkers and hiking enthusiasts who would love a great climb along with sublime views of the surrounding mountain range. This ricky ridge offers spectacular views of Gongryong Ridge.
Ideal for: Sighseeing, hiking, nature enthusiasts
Key attractions: Seorak mountain range
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24. Bulguksa Temple: A UNESCO Listed Heritage Site
This temple is a UNESCO listed heritage site that is considered to be amongst the most famous historic places to visit in South Korea and one of the most popular South Korea tourist places. It features two granite pagodas on either sides of the temple that add to the grandeur beauty of this place.
Ideal for: Historic sightseeing
Key attractions: Dabotap and Seokgatap
25. Uleung Island Seaside Road: The Mysterious Island
Also known as “Mysterious Island’, Uleung Island Seaside Road is one of the most interesting places to go in South Korea. It is a famous weekend getaway spot for the people of Seoul and will serve as a calming site for you. With its interesting rock formations, many waterfalls, and shore cliffs, the Uleung Island Seaside Road is magical and something you shouldn’t miss!
Ideal for: Sightseeing, weekend getaways
Key attractions: Haengnam Coastal Walking Path and Dokdo Observatory
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26. Chuncheon: Spectacular Lakes & Mighty Mountains
With its spectacular lakes and mighty mountains, Chuncheon happens to be one of the most well known South Korea tourist places. It is also the capital city of the Gangwon Province and is the location where many popular Korean soap operas are filmed. Many visit the destination for this reason too! The city is also known as a foodies’ paradise and you can try many Korean delicacies here.
Ideal for: Sightseeing
Key attractions: Namiseom Island and Cheongpyeong Lake
27. Jeonju: With A Rich And Fascinating History
If you are wondering about where to go in South Korea, then Jeonju is the answer! During the reign of the Joseon Dynasty the place happened to be the spiritual capital. It still has many temples and museums and is one of the best places to know about the rich and fascinating history of the country. If you are a history buff and wish to see traditional homes dating back to the early 20th century then make sure you stop at Jeonju and have a good time.
Ideal for: Historic sightseeing
Key attractions: Jeonju National Museum and Jeondong Cathedral
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28. Halla Mountain: Offers Spectacular Views
If you are looking for tourist places in South Korea then Halla Mountain is one and you can’t miss this one! The snowflakes make for a gorgeous view and the icicles that cover the tea branches inspired the Halla Snow Festival which used to be held annually in late January or early February. Due to some reason, it does not happen anymore but the snowflakes are still there, and the mountain makes for a great sight and must not be missed!
Ideal for: Hiking
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Looking at the above places to visit in South Korea, it sure looks like an awesome destination for a holiday. From nature to the best of lifestyle and modern experiences – do what you love here and tell us about it in the comments section below. So, pack your bags and book your trip to South Korea right away!
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Planning Your Next Holiday In South Korea?
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In South Korea
Which are the best places to visit in South Korea?
Some of the best places to visit in South Korea are Seoul, Jeju Island, Busan, Gyeongju, Dadohaehaesang National Park, Andong Hahoe Folk Village, Boseong Green Tea Field, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Halla Mountain, Jeonju, and Chuncheon.
Where should I go for the first time in South Korea?
Wondering where to go in South Korea for the first time? Here are some of the places you should not miss:
1. Bulguksa Temple
2. Gongryong Ridge
4. Ggotji Beach
5. Haeinsa Temple
Which is the most visited place in South Korea?
Seoul is the most visited place in South Korea.
How many days are enough for South Korea?
If you want to have a balance of relaxing and adventurous vacation and explore beautiful places in South Korea to the fullest, then at least 10-14 days are required.
What are the popular outdoor activities in South Korea?
During your visit to South Korea, you may indulge in top outdoor activities such as Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping, Zip Lining, Paragliding, Scuba Diving, Para Sailing, Surfing, Rafting, and the thrilling rides in the adventure parks.
Which are some of the safest places to visit in South Korea for families with kids?
Seoul, Busan, and Juju Island are some of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea which are perfectly safe to visit while travelling with family and kids. Being metropolitan centres, you can expect a large number of tourists during the seasonal months, making it a safe place for anyone planning a trip.
Which are some of the must-visit places in South Korea for couples?
Some of the must-visit places in South Korea for couples include N Seoul Tower, Han River, Ihwa Mural, Lotte World, Trick Eye Museum, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Boseong Green Tea Field, and Nami Island.
What is South Korea famous for?
South Korea is famous for its booming economy and entertainment industry. Moreover, the food segment does not lag behind and offers a variety of tasty foods to relish like Kimchi and Bibimbap that no one can afford to miss.
Which are the best national parks in South Korea?
South Korea is famous for its natural beauty which is an important trait that attracts so many visitors from around the world. Some of the enthralling national parks in South Korea are Dadohaehaesang, Seoraksan, Bukhansan, Hallasan, Gyeongju National Park, Jirisan, Songnisan, and Mudeungsan.
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