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Things to do in South Korea

Things to do in  South Korea

Welcome to South Korea

Nicknamed the Land of Morning Calm, South Korea is a nation of extremes. Major cities like Seoul and Busan are abuzz with bright lights and a 24-hour lifestyle, while the pace of life in sleepy rural communities ticks by the same way it has for centuries. Seasonal weather changes see glorious sunshine, heavy monsoons, clear skies, and harsh humidity as the months pass, and South Koreans swing between their traditional hearty cuisine and the latest international fast-food chains. Travelers to South Korea can find new discoveries round every corner, with activities and adventures to suit all tastes and ages. In the capital city, Seoul, visitors can explore UNESCO World Heritage–listed landmarks such as Changdeokgung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace on sightseeing tours, and experience the bustling markets of Gwangjang, Insadong, or Namdaemun, where locals shop for everything from fresh produce to valuable antiques. Savor the diverse flavors of Korean cuisine on a food and craft beer walking tour, or visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where the tension between North and South Korea is palpable. In the countryside outside Seoul and Busan, day-trippers can rub shoulders with locals along popular hiking trails around Mt. Geumgangsan, Mt. Hallasan, and Mt. Taebaeksan, or relax in sunshine as the waves roll in on Jeju Island, South Korea's popular paradise retreat.

Top 10 attractions in South Korea

#1
DMZ

DMZ

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Nowhere is the tension between North and South Korea more palpable than in the no-man's-land known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. As a divided nation, only 2.5 miles (4 km) separate the North from the South at what is the most heavily armed border on earth. The 150-mile (241-km) zone has served as a buffer since the 1953 cease-fire agreement between the United Nations and North Korea that put the Korean War on hold.More
#2
Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Arguably the most beautiful and easily the biggest of Seoul’s five main palaces, Gyeongbokgung (also known as the Northern Palace) is one of South Korea’s must-visit attractions. Built in the 14th century, this is the oldest Joseon Dynasty palace in the nation, and it’s right in the heart of Jongno-Gu, the most culturally happening part of Seoul. Come for 600 years of history—and one brilliant changing of guards ceremony.More
#3
Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower)

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Head to the top of Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower) in hilly Namsan Park, the largest in Seoul, for some of the best panoramic views over the South Korean capital. The 777-foot (237-meter) tower offers three observation decks and half a dozen restaurants where you can soak in the views, day or night.More
#4
Korean Folk Village

Korean Folk Village

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Travelers to Korean Folk Village can explore 250 acres of natural landscape, dotted with 260 replica houses from the Joseon Dynasty. Learn about traditional foods, handicrafts, and clothing while visiting the workshops and open-air attractions; take in a live performance; or treat the kids to the rides and craft workshops in Play Village.More
#5
Namiseom (Nami) Island

Namiseom (Nami) Island

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This half-moon-shaped island in the southwest of Chuncheon served as a setting in the popular Korean TV dramaWinter Sonata. Namiseom (Nami) offers a peaceful escape from the bustle of Seoul with facilities for bike riding, ziplining, camping, and boating. The island’s redwoods, ginkgos, and pines offer a habitat for roaming deer and waterfowl.More
#6
Han River (Hangang)

Han River (Hangang)

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Running through the Korean Peninsula for more than 310 miles (500 kilometers), the Han River (Hangang) is one of the most important rivers in South Korea. As it flows through the heart of Seoul, the river has become a gathering place complete with recreational paths and riverside parks with playgrounds and cafés.More
#7
Lotte World

Lotte World

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Lotte World ranks among the largest indoor amusement parks on the planet. Housed largely in glass to permit natural light, the complex offers country-themed districts, complete with full-scale parades, feature films, laser light shows, souvenir shops, rides, and an impressive array of international cuisine.More
#8
Joint Security Area (Panmunjom)

Joint Security Area (Panmunjom)

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The Joint Security Area (JSA), aka Panmunjom, offers a look at the still simmering tensions that remain from the Korean War. The North and South technically remain at war, and the JSA, located deep within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), is the only place where visitors can see the actual border and North Korean soldiers on the other side.Within the town at the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) Conference Room, visitors can even cross the border without a visa. The blue building is still used for face-to-face negotiation between the two sides and is bisected by the border, meaning travelers can technically cross into North Korea by walking to the other side of the room.More
#9
Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae)

Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae)

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Known for the blue tiles that cover its roof, Seoul’s Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae or Cheongwadae) sits at the foot of Mount Bugaksan and is the official residence of South Korea’s president. The house was built in the traditional Korean architectural style within a Joseon Dynasty–era royal garden.More
#10
Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

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Flanked by Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace—two of Seoul’s Joseon Dynasty palaces—Bukchon Hanok Village comprises hundreds of traditionalhanok houses that today are home to restaurants, teahouses, cultural centers, art galleries, and B&Bs. It’s one of the best places to experience a taste of old Seoul.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Seoul

How to Spend 3 Days in Seoul

How to Choose a DMZ Tour

How to Choose a DMZ Tour

Top activities in South Korea

JSA & DMZ Tour(Tue-Fri)

JSA & DMZ Tour(Tue-Fri)

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Recent reviews from experiences in South Korea

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Wonderful day with the best guide !!
Rina_K, Jan 2022
Private Busan Highlight Tour with Gamcheon Culture Village and Beomeosa Temple
He speaks fantastic English and went the extra mile to show us different areas of Busan.
star-5
Great Tour and Guide!
Valeria_B, Dec 2021
DMZ Small Group Tour from Seoul Including Dora Observatory
The tour guides English was great and she told us many interesting interesting facts about the DMZ and North Korea.
star-5
Wish it didn't end 😁
Jacinta_A, Sep 2021
Private Tour Guide Seoul with a Local: Kickstart your Trip, Personalized
Yujin is fluent in English and is so laid back.
star-5
Delicious, fun and amazing
Zenobia_H, Feb 2021
Fun & Informative Mokpo Food Virtual Tour in Korea
It makes me wish I was there already to see Korea and to try the food!!
star-4
Very good
BrandiyM, Dec 2019
Layover Tour from Incheon Airport to Seoul
Although the temperature was only 25 degrees Fahrenheit that day we still got to see enough of Korea to make a second visit.
star-4
DMZ was exceptionnally closed so went to NLL.
tristan_s, Nov 2019
Morning DMZ-Infiltration Tunnel Tour with North Korean Defector
The DMZ was closed because of the pig flu so we went to see the frontier in another area : the northern limit line.
star-5
Great tour with a great guide!
l0uhan, Oct 2019
Day Trip to Nami Island with The Garden of Morning Calm
He speaks perfect English (lived in Australia) and a super nice guy.
star-5
Excellent tour!!
Alexia_D, Aug 2019
Best Half Day DMZ Tour (No Forced Shopping)
The guide spoke excellent English and told us so many interesting stories about Korea.
star-5
Great experience
Jet65852797588, Aug 2019
Best Half Day DMZ Tour (No Forced Shopping)
It was quite emotional to see the families in north and south being separated.
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Very Informative
Dora_M, Jun 2019
DMZ Small Group Tour from Seoul Including Dora Observatory
I got to know many things that I did not know about Korea, we have visited many different sites for a short time but it was enough to see the most important things.
star-4
A must see
Akua N, May 2019
Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Half-Day Tour from Seoul
If possible, try to see the JSA as well.
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Interesting to see
Chuforden, Apr 2019
No shopping Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour from Seoul
Very interesting to see the DMZ, view the border with N.
star-5
Great korean city experience
Trail12774794613, Apr 2019
Small-Group Seoul Morning Royal Palaces Tour
we went on this tour in springtime and we’re sweating.
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Just great.
kahee_c, Mar 2019
No shopping Full Day Korean DMZ Tour including the War Memorial of Korea
For those who wanted to know more about the korean war and also wanted to visit the DMZ this is for you.
star-5
Great day!
Joel_C, Jan 2019
Seoul Land Theme Park One Day Admission Ticket
Because it was winter, there were almost no people.
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Friendly and best English speaking...
Kanlaya_M, Jun 2018
Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Sites and History Full-Day Tour with Lunch
Friendly and best English speaking guide in Korea.
star-5
This tour was amazing and full of...
Jerome A, Nov 2017
No shopping Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour from Seoul
However changes with the tour were made and we got to visit the war memorial and different vantage points of jorth korea!
star-5
Really nice tour, highly recommend...
LamVi_L, Feb 2018
DMZ Past and Present: Korean Demilitarized Zone Tour from Seoul
Really nice tour, highly recommend to whom want to explore the history of the Korean War or just want to see the famous DMZ in the world.
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Awesome tour! It's an excellent way...
Mary M, May 2018
Busan Tour with Gamcheon Culture Village
It's an excellent way to see the highlights of Busan if you're on tight schedule.
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My friends and I had a fun time...
Cindy L, Jan 2018
Traditional Cooking Experience in Korean Style House in Seoul
Chef/guide(Minseon) was proficient in English and we easily understand the lesson.
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