As a traveler, there are many things that you can do in South Korea. From visiting ancient palaces to exploring modern skyscrapers, there is something for everyone in South Korea. Here are some of the top things that you can do in South Korea:
1. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
Built-in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty. The palace is beautifully preserved and is a great place to learn about Korean history and culture.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the oldest and most iconic landmarks in South Korea.
The palace was first built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty and served as the main royal palace for many years.
The palace was later destroyed by Japanese invaders in 1592 but was rebuilt in 1867.
Today, Gyeongbokgung Palace is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful architecture and rich history.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Gyeongbokgung Palace, be sure to check out our Top Things to Do in Seoul post.
2. Explore Seoul
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and is filled with modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks. Some of the must-see attractions in Seoul include the Namsan Tower, Changdeokgung Palace, and the War Memorial of Korea.
Seoul has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. It is believed to have been founded in the 4th century BCE by the kingdom of Baekje.
Since then, it has been ruled by various kingdoms and empires, including the Joseon Dynasty from 1392-1897. In 1910, Seoul became the capital of Korea under Japanese colonial rule. After World War II ended in 1945, Seoul was divided into North and South Korea.
The Korean War (1950-53) destroyed much of the city, but it was quickly rebuilt afterwards. Today, Seoul is a vibrant metropolis with a rich cultural heritage.
Top Things to Do in Seoul
Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung, also known as the “Northern Palace”, was the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty. Built in 1395, it is the largest and most well-preserved of the Five Grand Palaces still standing in Seoul today.
Explore Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung, or the “Palace of Prospering Virtue”, was built in 1405 as a secondary palace to Gyeongbokgung. It is notable for its beautiful gardens, which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stroll through Insadong Antique Alley
Insadong is a street in central Seoul known for its many antique shops and traditional Korean art galleries. It’s the perfect place to find traditional gifts or just browse for fun.
Visit the War Memorial of Korea
The War Memorial of Korea is a museum dedicated to the history of the Korean War (1950-53). It is one of the largest museums in Asia and houses a large collection of artifacts from the war.
Explore Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun Market is Seoul’s largest and oldest market, dating back to 1414. It’s a great place to find cheap clothes, souvenirs, and delicious street food.
3. Shop Around Traditional Markets
South Korea is home to many traditional markets, which are great places to find unique souvenirs, tasty street food, and good deals on clothing and other items.
Some of the best markets in South Korea include Namdaemun Market in Seoul, Gwangjang Market in Seoul, Bupyeong Kkangtong Market in Incheon, and Jagalchi Market in Busan.
When visiting a traditional market in South Korea, be sure to haggle with the vendors for the best prices.
4. Visit a Buddhist Temple
South Korea is home to many beautiful Buddhist temples, which are great places to learn about the religion and culture, and to get some peace and quiet.
Some of the most popular temples in South Korea include Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, and Beomeosa Temple in Busan.
When visiting a Buddhist temple in South Korea, be sure to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering.
5. Learn about Korean culture and history
There is a lot to learn about Korean culture and history, and one of the best ways to do this is by visiting some of the top historical sites in the country.
A few of the most popular options include Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine. You can also visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to learn more about the country’s recent history.
If you’re interested in art and architecture, be sure to check out some of Korea’s top museums, such as the National Museum of Korea, Seoul Museum of Art, and Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.
For a taste of traditional Korean culture, you can visit one of the many folk villages located around the country.
And of course, no trip to Korea would be complete without trying some of the delicious food! From Korean BBQ to kimchi, there are plenty of delicious dishes to try.
You can also sample some of the locally-brewed soju or makgeolli, or pick up some traditional snacks to take home with you.
6. Eat Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ is a must-try when visiting South Korea. This tasty dish is typically made with beef or pork, and is cooked at your table on a grill.
Be sure to try some of the other traditional Korean side dishes with your Korean BBQ, such as kimchi (fermented cabbage), bibimbap (rice with vegetables and meat), and japchae (stir-fried noodles).
7. Take a hike in Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan National Park is one of the most popular national parks in South Korea, and for a good reason.
This beautiful park is home to towering mountains, crystal clear streams, and rare plant and animal species.
There are many hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. You can even camp overnight in the park if you’re feeling adventurous.
8. Visit N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Korea. This observation deck offers stunning views of the city, and is especially beautiful at night. Be sure to take the time to walk around the base of the tower, where you’ll find a love lock fence, pretty gardens, and a collection of sculptures.
8. Visit Jeju Island
Jeju Island is a popular tourist destination in South Korea due to its beautiful beaches and scenic landscapes.
Some of the top things to do on Jeju Island include hiking up Hallasan Mountain, visiting the Manjanggul Cave, and relaxing at Hamdeok Beach.
Jeju Island is a volcanic island off the coast of South Korea. It is the largest and most populous island in the country, with a population of over 650,000.
The island is home to many historical and cultural sites and natural attractions such as beaches, waterfalls, and hiking trails.
Jeju Island has something to offer everyone, making it one of the top travel destinations in South Korea.
Here are some of the top things to do on Jeju Island:
1. Visit Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak)
Seongsan Ilchulbong is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Jeju Island’s most popular tourist attractions. The peak is an extinct volcano that provides spectacular views of the surrounding area.
2. Hike up Hallasan Mountain
Hallasan is the tallest mountain in South Korea and is located in the center of Jeju Island. The hike to the summit takes about 6 hours, but it is well worth it for the stunning views of the island.
3. Explore the Manjanggul Cave
The Manjanggul Cave is a lava tube cave that is over 13 kilometers long. It is one of the largest lava tube caves in the world and is home to many unique stalactites and stalagmites.
4. Go to the Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls
The Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful waterfalls on Jeju Island. They are located in a forest near Seogwipo and are best seen after a rainstorm.
5. Visit the Loveland Theme Park
The Loveland Theme Park is a unique attraction on Jeju Island that is geared towards adults. The park features over 140 sculptures that depict various sexual positions and activities.
6. Go to the Spirited Garden
The Spirited Garden is a public sculpture garden that is filled with over 200 statues of ghosts, goblins, and other mythical creatures. It is located in the village of Bongseon-ri and is a popular spot for taking photos.
9. Visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)
One of the most popular attractions for visitors is the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ is a 4-kilometer strip of land that runs along the border between North and South Korea.
It was created in 1953 as part of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.
Today, the DMZ is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can learn about the history of the Korean conflict, see firsthand the effects of division on the Korean peninsula, and even meet North Korean soldiers.
There are also several memorials and museums in the DMZ, making it a fascinating place to visit for anyone interested in history or current affairs.
If you’re planning a trip to South Korea, be sure to add the DMZ to your itinerary. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
10. Go Skiing or Snowboarding
South Korea is home to some of the best ski resorts in Asia, so if you’re looking for a winter getaway, this is the place to go.
Some of the most popular ski resorts in South Korea include Yongpyong Resort, High1 Resort, Konjiam Resort, and Muju Deogyusan Resort.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’re sure to have a great time skiing or snowboarding in South Korea.
10. Try your hand at Taekwondo
Taekwondo is the national sport of South Korea, so why not try your hand at it while you’re visiting?
You can find Taekwondo classes all over the country, and it’s a great way to get some exercise and learn about Korean culture.
If you’re interested in competitive Taekwondo, there are many tournaments held throughout the year that you can watch or even participate in.
Thoughts and Conclusion
There are countless things to do in South Korea, whether you’re a traveler or a local.
From exploring the country’s beautiful natural scenery to visiting its vibrant cities and ancient temples, there’s something for everyone in South Korea.