South Korea is an incredible country to explore. Now, one of the things I love most about the country is how diverse it is. Not only does it have some incredible vistas and protected coastlines, but it also has some of the best places in South Korea that are dotted all across the country.
That’s the thing about South Korea, it’s got a whole heap of places that I’m almost certain you’ll want to explore. It’s the kind of country where you’ll visit once and be questioning where and how you’ll be heading across again. Well, this is the case for me at least.
Truth be told, after visiting Seoul, I just wanted to see so much more of the country. That’s why I wanted to share some of the best places in South Korea I think you should visit. Best of all, I’ve tried to pop a few from all over the country – this way, it doesn’t matter where you’ll fly into.
Take a look below at the best places in South Korea to visit. Have the best trip ever! 🇰🇷
Perched on the south-east coast, Gyeongju is one of the best places in South Korea to visit if you love history.
If Temples are your thing, head straight over to the Bulguksa Temple that dates all the way back to the 8th Century. That being said, you can also pop over to the Seokguram Grotto where you’ll find one monumental Buddha. It also has some incredible views over the city. Best of all, this is a great spot if you want to watch the sunrise.
After exploring these temples and grotto, head straight over to Gyeongju National Museum which has a treasure-trove of history inside. Oh, but if museums aren’t your thing, pop along to (relatively close) Gyeongju National Park. The views and landscape are stunning.
For a great bite to eat, head on over to Cheonnyeon Hanu Bomun who have some of the best Korean beef in the city.
Seoul is easily up there as one of the best places in South Korea to visit. Not only is it super vast, but it’s also got a whole heap of history, neighbourhoods and influences that are so much fun to explore.
Now, for about 600years, Seoul has been Korea’s capital city that is steeped in history. This all means that lots of important historical buildings are based here and is perfect to explore for a long weekend away.
Once here, make sure to visit some of the main places to see in Seoul and spend some time exploring the dazzling neighbourhoods that are dotted across the city. After spending some time wandering, pop over to Changdeokgung Palace, head to Myeongdong for a huge shopping district and finally head to Bukchon Hanok Village.
If you fancy some more temples and history, head straight over to Jogyesa Temple, the Bongeunsa Temple and the Gwanghwamun Gate.
Oh, and if you fancy a tasty bite to eat, wander over to Jungsik for some proper yummy fine dining. Honestly, there are over 100,000 restaurants to Seoul so you’ll be spoilt for choice. That being said, if you’re really struggling to choose, take a look at our post on the best meals to eat in Seoul.
Also, for a great hotel in the city, check into the L7 Myeongdong – it’s a stunning place to rest up.
3.) Jeju City
Perched on Jejudo Island, Jeju City is one of the best places in South Korea to partner with a visit to the island, too. As South Korea’s most southerly city, it’s a popular spot with South Koreans, too.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit Dongmun Market, a traditional Korean Market selling everything you could ever imagine. If that’s not your thing, head over to Jejumok Gwana. Consisting of around seven historical houses, the former central government office dates all the way back to the 14th Century and is an incredible site to see.
After a little city break, make sure to head across to Seongsan Ilchulbong, too. It’s the huge volcanic tuff that was created by Volcanic eruptions underwater. It’s so surreal to see.
Based in the Gyeonggi Province, Suwon is one of the best places in South Korea to visit in the northwest of the county.
Now, one of its most famous spots to see if the Fortress and the huge gates with towering pagodas. Also, not too far away is the palace of Hwaseong Haenggung which is easy to see after the fortress. Just make sure to not miss the incredible banquet room – it’s insane.
If you fancy something a little more quirky, head to Mr Toilet House. This is one of the world’s only toilet museums and easily one of the strangest and peculiar museums you’ll ever visit. Ha!
The museum itself is around 30-minutes from the city centre and is usually free to enter. It’s filled with loads of statues and models of poop, toilets and all things bathroom related.
To be honest, Busan is one of the best places in South Korea to visit due to its location. Perched on the south-east coast, it’s the perfect spot to visit if you want a little city life, but also embrace South Korea’s amazing beaches and mountains.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit the vibrant (and busy) Haeundae Beach and take a trip to the 14th Century coastal temple of Haedong Yonggungsa. If beaches aren’t your thing, head on a trek (or in the car) 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.
For a great place to stay in Busan, check into Solaria Nishitetsu which has one of the best locations in the city.
Not too far away from Seoul, Hwaseong is one of the best places in South Korea to visit for a day trip.
Once here, make sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites like Hwaseong Fortress and head over to the Yongjusa Temple, too. If you’re something of a thrillseeker, head over to Everland and ride the massive wooden rollercoaster they have.
Also, for a yummy Korean BBQ, head to Bonsuwon Galbi, their kalbi is so good.
Nestled on the banks of the Geum River, Gunsan is a lovely South Korean city to visit for a few days exploring. Once you’re here, head over to Hirotsu House, see the Dongguksa Temple and explore the Modern History Museum (which is perfect on a rainy day).
Oh, and don’t forget to head over to Seonyudo Island too. It’s attached by a long bridge and is well worth a visit to see the dramatic mountains and beaches.
Situated in the south corner of the country, Gwangju is one of the best places in South Korea to visit that has a cool mix of old and new.
Once here, make sure to visit the Jeungsimsa Temple with its stone pagoda, explore the Mudeungsan Mountain National Park and gorge at Mahanji. They serve up one of the best Korean BBQs in the city. You’ll be so full, you’ll roll back to your bed. Just make sure to try their pork ribs… they’re so tasty.
Perched in the northerly regions of the country, Chuncheon is a city that’s well worth visiting when travelling through the Gangwon Province.
Once you’ve arrived, make sure to spend some time visiting the ancient Cheongpyeongsa Temple and see the cherry blossoms (around Soyangho Lake) in spring.
Also, if you want to see something a little different, head across to the International Mime Festival too. The festival takes place at the end of May and carries on until the 2nd of June. It’s well worth seeing the fire shows and music that make it so much fun!
Nestled on the Nakdong River, Andong is one of the best places in South Korea to visit if you love museums and history.
Once you’re here, make sure to visit the Folk Museum which showcases local folklore and traditions from this region. Alternatively, head over to Hahoe Folk Village that serves up some traditional Korean dishes within historic buildings.
Afterwards, pop into the Dosanseowon Confucian School, too. It’s a place that almost feels like time has stood still. If you’re taking public transport here, make sure to get bus number sixty-seven from the city itself. It’ll take around 30-minutes in total.
Surrounded by mountains, Daegu is a clean and almost sparkly city to visit (if that makes sense?). Now, one of the most famous things about Daegu is the Oriental Medicine Cultural Center but there’s so much more to it than this.
Once here, make sure to chill out at Donghwasa. The grounds are stunning and it’s a great way to spend a sunny morning. Alternatively, head over to Apsan Park and follow the routes and trails around the area.
For a local bite to eat, pop into Sangju Shikdang that serves up some tasty Korean dishes. Don’t expect anything fancy and you might not even get a menu, but the food is so good!
Nestled in the province of Gangwon-do, Gangneung is one of the best places in South Korea to visit if you want a full itinerary. I mean, there is so much to do! It’s the kind of city you can visit for a week and still not see or experience everything.
Once you’ve arrived, make sure to explore Gyeongpo Beach, see Gangneung Seongyojang and enjoy the views from Gyeongpodae.