Travellers will be greeted with picturesque views and wonderful attractions when they visit South Korea. These sites have appealed to the masses with the proliferation of its media, placing them in bucket lists of many travel enthusiasts.
Whether you are one who enjoys the city or nature, Korea has an abundance of options to choose from. So buckle up and discover the top tourist locations that will make this trip one of the most memorable ones you’ve taken!
As the largest metropolis in South Korea, it is a must-visit for any tourist, especially if you are first-time visitors. Seoul boasts a seamless and balanced combination of all things modern and traditional. For instance, you may opt for a regular apartment or hotel during your stay. Otherwise, you can choose to spend your days in a traditional house like the hanok or choga to have an authentic Korean experience.
This urban hub also has historical spots and events that allow you to delve into their rich history. Witness the elegant Korean royal court cultural ceremony at the Gyeongbokgung Palace. Also known as Wanggung Sumunjang, this Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place twice a day and provides a small peek into their history.
Seoul is also known for its shopping spots and vibrant nightlife. After spending hours shopping in Myeongdong and Hongdae, have fun with your friends as you party the night away. It’s a great way to end the day.
2. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
For history enthusiasts, the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a must-go location. It is somewhat ironic that such a volatile and tensed area has been made into a tourist attraction. That being said, it stands to reason that you can never get as close to the North and South Korean conflict than going to the DMZ. It’s comparable to the Berlin Wall that separated both East and West Germany.
Ensure your safety by cooperating with your local tour guide. Learn the history that resulted in the heartbreaking separation of the peninsula, and overlook the mysterious North Korea at the Dora Observatory. You can also venture into the Infiltration Tunnels, with the 4th tunnel being the only one that grants full access to tour groups. Remember to make a reservation in advance and bring your passport with you, lest they forbid you from entering.
Coming second only to Seoul, Busan is the centre for international conventions within South Korea. The area has hosted APEC in 2005, the 2002 Asian Games and the FIFA World Cup. Coined as the ‘City of Film’ by UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2014, here you can also enjoy Asia’s largest film festival, the Busan International Film Festival.
Adopting another moniker, this summer capital of Korea attracts locals and tourists alike with their beautiful beaches. One of their beaches, the Ilgwang Beach, is not only a popular vacation spot but is also the go-to spot for the Gaetmaeul Outdoor Drama Festival. You can enjoy traditional Korean music performances, outdoor drama plays and many others.
4. Jeju Island
Even though South Korea is known for its bustling cities, this republic state is also known for its picturesque nature. In particular, Jeju Island serves as a respite from all the hustle and bustle of the city. The tranquil and scenic views have gained them votes to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. This charming island has beautiful attractions such as 23-metres-high Jeongbang Waterfall, the ancient Hallasan volcano and Manjanggul Cave.
This island also boasts a rich culture and regularly hosts several festivals for the locals and tourists to enjoy. For instance, experience their Jeju Fire Festival in March and take part in various folk games and hands-on programmes.
You can travel fine if you only know how to converse in English. That being said, if you are heading towards a less touristy area, it’d be best to equip yourself with the basics of the Korean language to facilitate easier navigation. At Sejong Korean Language School, we hold Korean lessons for beginners. With assistance from our native Korean teachers, you will have a firm grasp of the language before your trip. Enrol in Singapore’s #1 Korean Language School today!