The 5 best Cities to Visit in South Korea

Looking for a unique destination for your holiday? Why not visit South Korea, a vibrant and spectacular country, which is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination?

With ancient temples, trendy neighborhoods, tea plantations, and more than 3,000 offshore islands to explore, South Korea is the country you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

Still not convinced? Here are the most picturesque towns in South Korea that are worth visiting if you are looking for a vacation full of culture, magic, and friendly people.

SEOUL

Seoul is the capital of South Korea and one of the largest cities in the world. It is a cosmopolitan city with amazing transportation, modern skyscrapers, and a thriving nightlife with restaurants, pubs, bars, and karaoke rooms. There is so much to do here that you will definitely want to give yourself ample time to explore its historic sites and attractions.

If you are a fan of traditional architecture, you should visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace which was built in 1395 and was the home to Kings of the Joseon dynasty. It’s the most famous palace in South Korea and it actually consists of many different buildings that are spread out across the palace grounds. You will need a couple of hours to explore them. Another palace worth visiting is Changgyeonggung Palace which is smaller but still part of the 5 Grand Palaces.

If you want to experience culture and traditions, a good idea is to wander through Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional village where you can find art galleries, craft shops, and traditional teahouses and try traditional Korean food. In fact, Seoul is probably one of the most walkable cities in Asia.

You will be able to admire Buddhist temples and if you like, you will be able to take part in the Templestay Program and stay there for one or several nights, living like a monk and participating in Buddhist ceremonies and rituals. If you want to talk with monks who are always open for discussion, you can start learning Korean via Skype with a tutor at Preply.

You will enjoy shopping in Dongdaemun, the most famous shopping area in South Korea, and Myeongdong Shopping Street, where you can find a lot of stores and boutiques.

5 Best cities to visit in south korea seoul

BUSAN

Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city, is a very popular destination and for good reason. For one, there is its location on the southeast coast. And then there is the fact that you will never run out of things to do in Busan, with the Korean mountains nearby, lots of stunning buildings, a city center speckled with historic buildings, and a busy street life. All these reasons make Busan one of the best places to visit in South Korea.

If you do decide to visit Busan, make sure to spend a little time on Haeundae Beach . This beach is not only popular among foreign visitors, it is also a local favourite and attracts visitors from across South Korea. This does however mean that it can get very busy. If you prefer quieter beaches, you might want to check out Daedepo or Songdo. 

Do spend a little time shopping. Busan is home to one of the world’s largest department store, as well as many traditional markets. The city itself is modern, cosmopolitan, and fashionable. And foodies will be glad to hear that there are sophisticated restaurants aplenty.

Busan is famous for its traditional market culture which continues to thrive despite luxurious department stores and numerous supermarkets.

If you are fond of street food, go to Changseon-dong’s Meokja Golmok where you can taste affordable traditional Korean food.

For history fans like my husband and I, we would recommend visiting the 14th Century coastal temple of Haedong Yonggungsa.  And for those seeking adventure in the wild, we would suggest a trek to Taejongdae. It’s a massive coastal park that has some epic views across the region. Just make sure to take your hiking shoes, the routes can be a little tough.

The city also offers fantastic hiking opportunities with accessible trails for every fitness level.

Finally, Busan has 450 spas with the biggest Spa Land where 20 spas are fed by all-natural spring water. It’s the best place to go if you need rest and relaxation.

5 Best cities to visit in south korea busan

GYEONGJU

All buildings in Gyeongju are made in the traditional Korean style. A lot of historical sites and national treasures are preserved here so the city is often regarded as an open-air museum. As you walk through the city, you come across shrines, temples, tombs, castles, gardens, remains of palaces, and Buddhist statuary.

Gyeongju is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The best places to see include Bulguksa Temple, Cheomseongdae, the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia, Gyeongju National Museum which contains more than 16,000 artifacts.

5 Best cities to visit in south korea gyeongiu

JINHAE

Jinhae is a popular tourist destination in spring and every year it attracts more than 2 million tourists willing to experience cherry blossom festival.

They say the most beautiful place in the town during this short 10-day period is the Gyeonghwa Station where trains run through a cherry blossom field. During the festival, you can also visit parades and art performances.

5 Best cities to visit in south korea jinhae

DAEGU

Daegu is South Korea third-largest city. It is rooted in tradition and has all the conveniences of a modern metropolis where nature and modernity collide. You can see here Hanok houses and traditional palaces.

The city is the hub of the textile industry and there are a lot of fashion exhibitions. It is also famous for shopping.

Every year, the city hosts Chicken and Beer Festival and Dalgubeol Lantern Festival that are amazing tourist attractions.

5 Best cities to visit in south korea daegu
The 5 best cities in South Korea Beautifully Travelled
Pin this for future reference

Disclaimer: Please note that this post was written in collaboration with Preply who kindly provided all the information I needed.  The opinions stated however are all my own. 

What is your favourite city in South Korea?
Let us know in the comments below!

Did you Enjoy this article?

Share it with your friends and family on FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND PINTEREST

PLANNING A TRIP TO ASIA?

HERE ARE SOME OTHER POSTS YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING.

One week in Tokyo - the full 7 day itinerary
The Complete Itinerary: How To Spend One Week In Tokyo
Two weeks in japan Sumo Wrestling (1 of 1)
What To Expect From A Sumo Match At Tokyo’s Ryogoku Stadium
5 days in Bangkok - A detailed itinerary
5 days in Bangkok - A detailed itinerary

BOOK YOUR TRIP TO ASIA

BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS

Book your flight now through one of our favourite search engines. We love all three of these because they search the entire web for the best prices and deals. Alternatively, book your flight and hotel in a package directly with Expedia, this could be the cheapest option.

BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION

Check out the latest hotel prices in Germany right now. Our personal favourite hotel booking website for Europe, is Booking.com, since they consistently return the cheapest rate for hotels and guesthouses. Expedia is another good option if you are planning to book your hotel in a package with your flight and car.

BOOK YOUR ACTIVITIES AND TOURS

We like to use GetYourGuide to book our activities and tours, ahead of arrival at a destination. This means that we can skip the queue and save time at our destination.

DON'T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT!

We like to read the reviews before booking a hotel or including a restaurant or attraction in our itinerary. And in our opinion the best place to find independent reviews is:

PLEASE NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of the links in this post and purchase something, we might receive a commission. This is a good thing! There is no additional cost to you and we make a tiny bit of money to help fund this website!

ABOUT KATHARINA

Katharina is the founder, editor, photographer and the main travel writer at A Life Beautifully Travelled. She created this British family travel blog in 2017 to document her adventures around the globe with her husband. Born in Munich, Germany she has since lived in Dusseldorf, Paris, Glasgow, and London. She currently resides in Yorkshire with her family.

Katharina started travelling in her early teens and has explored over 4 continents, 16 countries, and 87 cities. Growing up trilingual and having graduated from an international school, she has a strong interest in other cultures. When she isn’t gallivanting around the globe or busy in her 9-to-5 job as an architect, she can be found exploring the UK (the country she currently calls home). There isn’t much Katharina, her husband and their son Finn love more than a fun family weekend getaway.

DESTINATIONS > ASIA

4 thoughts on “The 5 best Cities to Visit in South Korea”

  1. Thank you very much for telling all this, there is really a lot of information in this article which is very beneficial, I am very happy to read the article, it was such a good article that I shared it with my friends too, I hope that everyone must have enjoyed this article like I enjoyed, sir you should make such beneficial and beautiful article for us, it helps us a lot, thank you very much.

    Reply

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.