Most Beautiful Places to Visit in South Korea
Are you planning to visit South Korea for your next vacation? If so, you are in for a treat. South Korea is a country that offers a mix of ancient and modern, natural and urban, traditional and trendy. Whether you are interested in exploring the historical and cultural sites, enjoying the scenic and diverse landscapes, or experiencing the vibrant and dynamic cities, South Korea has something for everyone.
In this article, we will explore some of the most beautiful places to visit in South Korea, from the top cities to the off-the-beaten-path destinations.
- A. Seoul: The Capital and Heart of South Korea
- B. Busan: The Coastal City of South Korea
- C. Jeju City: The Gateway to Jeju Island
South Korea has many cities that showcase the country's economic and cultural development. These cities are full of attractions that cater to different tastes and preferences. Here are some of the best cities to visit in South Korea for culture and entertainment.
Seoul is the capital and largest city of South Korea, and the center of culture, entertainment, and innovation. Seoul has a long and rich history that dates back to over 2,000 years ago, and you can find many historical and cultural sites in the city. Some of the must-see places in Seoul are:
► Gyeongbokgung Palace: The largest and most impressive of the five royal palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It was the main residence of the kings and the center of state affairs. The palace complex consists of hundreds of buildings, pavilions, gardens, and gates, each with its own architectural and artistic features. You can also watch the changing of the royal guard ceremony, which takes place every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
► Bukchon Hanok Village: A traditional Korean village that preserves the atmosphere and architecture of the Joseon Dynasty. Hanok are wooden houses with tiled roofs and curved eaves that reflect the harmony between nature and human beings. You can stroll around the narrow alleys and admire the elegant hanok, some of which have been converted into museums, galleries, cafes, or guesthouses.
► Namsan Tower: A 236-meter-high communication and observation tower that stands on top of Namsan Mountain in central Seoul. It offers panoramic views of the cityscape and the surrounding mountains. You can also enjoy various attractions at the tower, such as a digital observatory, a revolving restaurant, a teddy bear museum, and a love lock fence.
Busan is the second-largest city and the largest port in South Korea, located on the southeastern coast of the Korean Peninsula. Busan is known for its beautiful beaches, seafood markets, and festivals. Some of the best places to visit in Busan are:
► Haeundae Beach: One of the most popular and famous beaches in South Korea, attracting millions of visitors every year. The beach stretches for 1.5 kilometers along the coast of Haeundae-gu district, offering white sand, clear water, and a lively atmosphere. You can enjoy various water sports, such as surfing, jet skiing, or banana boating, or relax at one of the many cafes, restaurants, or bars along the beach.
► Gamcheon Culture Village: A colorful and artistic community that was built on a hillside overlooking the sea. The village was originally a slum area where refugees settled after the Korean War (1950-1953), but it was transformed into a cultural attraction by local artists and residents who painted murals and installed sculptures on the walls and roofs of the houses. You can explore the maze-like alleys and discover various artworks and viewpoints.
► Jagalchi Fish Market: The largest seafood market in South Korea, where you can find all kinds of fresh and dried fish and shellfish. The market is located near Nampo Port in Jung-gu district, and it consists of an indoor market and an outdoor market along the waterfront. You can browse through the stalls and see various marine creatures on display, or buy some seafood and have it cooked at one of the nearby restaurants.
Jeju City is the capital and largest city of Jeju Island, which is a volcanic island off the southern coast of South Korea. Jeju Island is famous for its natural wonders, such as waterfalls, caves, craters, and lava tubes. Jeju City is also a cultural center that showcases the island's unique history and traditions. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in Jeju City are:
► Manjanggul Cave: One of the longest lava tubes in the world, formed by volcanic eruptions about 2.6 million years ago. The cave is about 13 kilometers long, but only 1 kilometer is open to the public. You can walk along the wooden walkway and see various formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and lava rafts. The most impressive feature of the cave is the 7.6-meter-high lava column, which is the largest in the world.
► Jeju Folk Village Museum: A cultural attraction that recreates the life and customs of Jeju Island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum covers an area of about 40 hectares and has over 100 traditional houses and facilities that are divided into four themes: mountain village, fishing village, Confucian village, and shamanism village. You can also see various folk performances, such as horse riding, tightrope walking, and folk music.
► Hallasan National Park: A natural reserve that encompasses Hallasan Mountain, which is the highest mountain in South Korea and a dormant volcano. The park has various hiking trails that lead to the summit or the crater lake, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the island and the sea. The park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, deer, and woodpeckers.
If you want to experience a different side of South Korea, you can venture to some of the off-the-beaten-path destinations that are less crowded and more authentic. Here are some of the most beautiful hidden gems that you can discover in South Korea.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves the traditional culture and architecture of the Joseon Dynasty. The village is located in Andong City in North Gyeongsang Province, and it is famous for its mask dance festival that takes place every autumn. The village has about 130 houses that are arranged in a lotus shape along the Nakdong River. You can also see various cultural relics, such as a Confucian school, a shrine, and a pavilion.
A botanical garden that showcases the beauty and diversity of plants from around the world. The garden is located in Suncheon City in South Jeolla Province, and it covers an area of about 1.1 square kilometers. The garden has various themed zones, such as a Mediterranean garden, a tropical garden, a rose garden, and a wetland garden. You can also enjoy scenic views of Suncheon Bay, which is a coastal wetland that hosts millions of migratory birds every year.
A cable car system that connects Dolsan Island and Odongdo Island in Yeosu City in South Jeolla Province. The cable car offers stunning views of the sea and the cityscape from a height of about 70 meters. You can also choose to ride on a crystal cabin, which has a transparent floor that allows you to see the water below. The cable car operates from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it takes about 15 minutes for a round trip.
South Korea is a country that has something for everyone, whether you are looking for history, culture, nature, or entertainment. You can visit some of the most beautiful cities in South Korea and enjoy their attractions, or explore some of the most beautiful off-the beaten-path destinations and discover their charms. South Korea is a place that will surprise you with its beauty and diversity.