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19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in South Korea

Written by Freddy Sherman Updated Mar 20, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Freddy Sherman has traveled to South Korea multiple times, including a recent trip to Seoul in late 2022.

South Korea offers everything a traveler could want in a destination. It has a long and fascinating history, a wonderful culture, amazing food, friendly people, and an excellent tourism infrastructure (including a new high-speed rail system).

It's also a country of contrasts, with tourist attractions ranging from ancient mountaintop Buddhist temples like Bulguksa to the ultra-modern skyscrapers of Seoul, like the Lotte World Tower.

It also has one of the most unique attractions in the world that can be visited: a no man's land, part of a military border between two countries technically still at war (the DMZ). Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top tourist attractions in South Korea.

1. Experience Korean History at Changdeokgung Palace

2. explore beaches and history in busan, 3. visit jeonju, the former spiritual capital of korea, 4. view seoul from above at the n seoul tower, 5. see how people lived 600 years ago at the bukchon hanok village, 6. hike in the mountains at seoraksan national park, 7. look into north korea at the dmz, 8. check out korean art, history, and archeology at the national museum of korea, 9. have fun at korea's largest amusement park, lotte world, 10. gyeongbokgung palace, 11. ride the cable car at hallyeo maritime national park, 12. bulguksa temple, 13. visit the blue house, south korea's white house, 14. enjoy a beach getaway on jeju island, 15. walk through seoul's restored gwanghwamun gate, 16. stay overnight at jingwansa temple, 17. spend a night out in itaewon, 18. enjoy a meal in one of seoul's street food markets, 19. admire cherry blossoms at the jinhae cherry blossom festival, map of tourist attractions in south korea.

Changdeokgung Palace

Of the five grand palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty in the 15 th century around Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace was always the preferred royal residence. It's where the king and royal family lived their daily lives.

The palace isn't just a single building, it's a complex of buildings, and each served a different purpose. Some are accommodations; some are libraries, dining rooms, and meeting rooms, among other uses. Be sure to spend some time in the 78-acre Huwon, or palace garden, located behind the palace. It's filled with pathways, green spaces, pagodas, streams, and lakes.

Address: 99 Yulgok-ro, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Seoul

The hillside village of Gamecheon in Busan

Did you know you can hit the beach in Korea? Busan is the second largest city in the country, and its coast is lined with some beautiful beaches and resorts. There's a lot of culture and history here, too. Be sure to visit the Beomeosa Temple and the hillside village of Gamecheon . Gamecheon is a European-style village on the cliffs above the sea, like Korea's version of Santorini.

Seafood lovers should be sure to visit Jagalchi Market , the country's largest commercial seafood market. Part of the market is open to consumers, and there are many small restaurants that will cook up your purchase, so you can eat it right here.

Getting to Busan is easy, it takes a little more than two hours from Seoul on Korea's KTX high-speed bullet train.

Traditional house with storage pots in Jeonju

Jeonju is a very historic city, once the spiritual capital of the Joseon Dynasty, it's about 90 minutes by train from Seoul. It's home to many ancient temples and shrines along with a hanok village. These are found throughout Korea. They are preserved neighborhoods of ancient and old homes (hanoks), allowing visitors to get a feel for what life was like in ancient Korea.

Some of the homes in the hanok villages are open for tours, and others have been made into museums (and restaurants and lodging, too), but most remain private homes.

N Seoul Tower

Yes, everyone visiting Seoul should go up in the city's iconic observation tower. Its position almost on top of a mountain, plus the height of the tower itself, gets you almost 500 meters above sea level and the city below.

But, leave some time to explore the surrounding mountain area. The tower is near the top of Mount Namsan, and the entire area is Namsan Park, which is run by the city. There are miles of hiking trails to explore, all within a few minutes of downtown Seoul.

The top levels of the N Seoul Tower include indoor and outdoor observation areas and restaurants. The exterior of the tower is covered in LED lighting, which is illuminated each night in seasonal light shows.

There's a cable car that takes you from the city (near Myeongdong) to the tower's base area. You can then hike from here. After climbing the mountain and riding on the cable car, leave time to explore the Namsan Hanok Village . These preserved historic villages, which are located all over Seoul and Korea, are re-creations of ancient Korean neighborhoods. This village includes five restored hanoks or traditional Korean homes.

Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Bukchon Hanok Village at sunset

Hanok villages, which can be found in a few places in Seoul and around Korea, are living museums. They're restored and preserved ancient neighborhoods, some in their original location (like Bukchon) and some re-created with hanoks (traditional Korean homes) moved from elsewhere. They give visitors an opportunity to not only experience what it was like to live in a hanok, but also what it was like to live in Korea 600 years ago.

You can experience the tiny, narrow streets and also explore Korean culture, as many of the hanoks are museums or offer cultural demonstrations. Many are private homes, and some offer accommodations. That's what makes these village areas so special; they are true living history because many of the homes are privately owned and occupied by real local residents.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a popular place to explore, as it's right in central Seoul, in the area between the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Changdeokgung Palace .

Seoraksan National Park

Like the Yosemite of Korea, this majestic natural wonderland (Korea's first national park) has mountains, lakes, waterfalls, streams, and miles of hiking trails that allow you to explore them.

This park is known for its natural diversity, as it has over 1,500 different animal species and over 1,000 different kinds of plants. There are also two Buddhist temples inside the park, one known as the " Temple of a Hundred Pools " due to all the ponds around it fed by mountain streams.

When you get tired of walking, there's a cable car that will take you up Seoraksan Mountain for some incredible views of the mountains and valleys. It takes about four hours by bus or three hours by car to reach the park from Seoul.

Soldiers at the DMZ

DMZ stands for demilitarized zone, and it's the no-man's land border between North and South Korea. Heavily guarded and mined, this strange area can be visited, but only on an official, guided tour. The official area is about four kilometers wide and is formally known as the JSA or Joint Security Area. It's probably the best place to visit in South Korea to learn about this conflict.

The No Shopping Half-Day Korean DMZ Tour from Seoul includes round-trip transportation from Seoul. Official DMZ tours include a visit to the 3rd Tunnel, dug by the North to facilitate an invasion of the South, and to the Dora Observatory, where you can look across no-man's-land into North Korea.

National Museum of Korea

As a world capital, Seoul is filled with a lot of museums. The largest is the National Museum of Korea , and like the Met in New York, it's a place that really can't be explored in a single visit. The vast collection combines art, history, and archeology, presented to show the history of Korean culture and tell the story of the Korean people.

It's also an excellent attraction to see if you only have limited time in Seoul. The collection is beyond vast, as it goes back over a million years. It's fascinating, especially for families and kids as there's such a wide range of objects. Everything from Stone Age tools to modern artwork by Korean artists.

Address: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu

Lotte World, Seoul

There's an amusement park right in the middle of downtown Seoul. It's a fun place to spend the day and a chance to immerse yourself in real Korean commercial culture. Lotte World includes a hotel, movie theaters (one with the world's largest screen), a folk museum with traditional performances, and other things to do like ice skating.

This theme park is at the base of the Lotte World Tower, the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world. The tower has multiple observation areas and experiences, its own luxury hotel (the SIGNIEL SEOUL ), and a range of shopping and dining options inside.

A visit is fun for both kids and adults, and aside from the rides and attractions there's a lot of shopping and also artists' workshops and cultural performances to watch. There's the world's largest indoor theme park and an outdoor theme park area called Magic Island .

For a bigger, outdoor theme park experience, Everland is about 45 minutes outside Seoul and is Korea's version of Disneyland.

Address: Songpa-gu, Jamsil 6(yuk)-dong, Olympic-ro, 300, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace with cherry blossoms

Also known as the Northern Palace, the large Gyeongbokgung Palace complex has gone through some incredible turmoil over the years. It was first built in 1395 during the Joseon dynasty, which built five grand palaces around Seoul. The palace has been bombed, destroyed, and rebuilt several times, occupied by the Japanese (first in 1592), and only finally restored in 1990.

Be sure to check out Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and Hyangwonjeong Pond , two of the remaining original structures from the Joseon period.

The palace compound can be explored on a guided walking tour . There are also two museums inside the grounds (the National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum ), both worth a visit.

Address: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Hallyeo Maritime National Park

The ruggedly beautiful Hallyeo Maritime National Park includes miles of raw coastline on over 300 separate islands. Each has hiking trails with spectacular ocean and cliff views. The area also features a cable car, known as the Hallyeosudo Viewing Ropeway . It's the only dual-cable, automatic circulating gondola system in the country.

The ride is almost 2.4 kilometers long and takes nine minutes to reach the summit. You're rewarded with sweeping views of the countryside and coastline, including the Japanese island of Daemado. The park is about an hour by bus or car from downtown Seoul.

Bulguksa Temple

One of Korea's true must-see Buddhist temples, Bulguksa Temple is considered by many to be the country's most important. It's officially Historic and Scenic Site Number One as classified by the government. The temple is home to seven of the country's national treasures, sacred pagodas, and statues of the Buddha.

The temple is on the slopes of Mount Toham in Gyeongju, the ancient capital city of Korea. It's a city so historic, it's called a "museum without walls" due to all the historic sites and temples. Gyeongju is about two and a half hours from Seoul via the new KTX high-speed train.

Address: 15-1 Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

The Blue House

Named for the striking blue-tile roofs of its many pavilions and buildings, the Blue House, much like the White House, is the home of the Korean president. The very secure complex of buildings also houses many Korean executive government offices and official meeting sites. It's an interesting place to visit, as it gives you a behind-the-scenes look at modern Korean government and Korean formal culture.

A lot of what you see on the guided sightseeing tour are meeting rooms and official state reception rooms where foreign dignitaries are welcomed. Hour-long public tours are given, but you need to apply online in advance for a security check.

Address: 1 Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Jusangjeolli Cliff, Jeju Island

A very popular resort destination (think the Hawaii of Korea), this volcanic island is best reached via a quick hour-long domestic flight from Seoul. The island boasts beautiful beaches along with a lot of culture and history.

The highest mountain in South Korea (a dormant volcano called Hallasan) is here along with miles of giant lava tubes. The lava tubes, which can be explored, are natural air pockets in the hardened lava, the size of railway tunnels.

Be sure to visit Jungmun Beach to see the diving women. These are women who free dive hundreds of feet to catch different types of seafood. This tradition started centuries ago, when the local men were all out on fishing boats. The island also has hundreds of miles of hiking trails and a lot of hot springs and health spas.

Gwanghwamun Gate

This attraction is a giant gate, formerly the opening in the fortress wall to the Gyeongbokgung Palace located within. It was originally built with the palace in the 15 th century but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Most recently in 2010, it was moved back to its original location in front of the palace and Gwanghwamun Square and restored with authentic materials using traditional techniques.

The previous restoration included concrete and other non-traditional construction techniques, but the new gate has been completely constructed with ancient techniques, using only native woods and handmade fittings.

Gwanghwamun Gate is home to the changing of the guards ceremony (performed since 1469), which happens daily (except Tuesdays) at 10am and 2pm. The area in front of the gate, Gwanghwamun Square, is a large public space often used for political and social demonstrations.

Sunset at Bukhansan National Park

This ancient temple complex about 15 minutes from downtown Seoul offers both an authentic Buddhist temple experience (including a temple stay program) and a beautiful national park. The temple, which was first established at the site in 1,000 BCE, has several programs for visitors to learn about and experience Buddhism and the monk lifestyle.

The temple is a must-visit attraction for foodies, as they grow most of their own food on-site. The temple also prepares its own Korean specialties, like pickling kimchi in ancient, giant pottery jars. Jingwansa offers meals to the public (and extended overnight stays) and educational programs that show the sustainability of the ancient temple operation.

You can do a temple stay program, which includes an overnight visit, or just come for a meal (vegetarian) or to explore the buildings and shrines. You can also visit the area just to explore Bukhansan National Park , as the temple is inside it. There are miles of hiking trails and three peaks, which can be climbed. Aside from the mountains and forests and their spectacular scenery, there are also ruins of an ancient fortress along the hiking trails.

Address: 73 Jingwan-gil, Jingwan-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul

Itaewon at night

Yes, it's a touristy, ex-pat area filled with gift shops and street food, but the Itaewon neighborhood is a great place to just spend an afternoon wandering around. It's especially fun in the early evening, when residents also come out to grab dinner and people-watch. There's an energy here that defines the cosmopolitan city, and it's also a popular strolling spot for locals. You'll see a lot of Korean families, kids, and couples enjoying the shops and restaurants.

For those in search of authentic Korean food, this is not the place to come, but it is the place to come for international foods not widely available in Seoul. Things like Italian food, pizza, burgers, and American-style western barbecue.

Street food in Seoul

As one of the world's great food cultures, no visit to Korea is complete without enjoying some street food. The Gwangjang Market, in Central Seoul , is truly a foodie heaven on earth. The large covered market area is filled with multiple food stalls offering a complete array of Korean specialties. It's definitely one of the best places to visit in Seoul if you're hungry.

The cool thing about this market and most food markets in Seoul is that the majority of these food stalls are like little mini restaurants in that they have a row of stools and a counter, so you can sit and eat. It's also cool that most stands will offer you a free sample.

Stalls typically offer bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), bibimbap (rice mixed with sauteed beef, vegetables, and gochujang red chili paste), gimbap (Korean sushi), sundae (blood sausage), tteokbokki (stir-fried spicy rice cakes), and various types of noodles.

Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

Boasting almost 400,000 cherry trees, some over 100 years old, Jinhae is the best place in Korea to enjoy cherry trees blossoming with flowers each spring. This small town, located along South Korea's southern coast, hosts the country's most popular annual cherry blossom festival. Over a million visitors a year come to Jinhae just to see the cherry blossoms.

Formally known as Gunhangjae (Naval Port Festival), the Jinhae cherry blossom festival takes place in late March or early April, depending on when the trees are in flower. Head to Yeojwacheon stream and Jinhae's Gyeonghwa train station for some of the best blossom viewing. You can also enjoy the festival's food markets, public art installations, and live performances.

Getting from Seoul to Jinhae is easy via South Korea's high-speed ATX train — the journey takes just under three hours.

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top 10 tourist attractions in korea

11 Best Things To Do in Seoul

Updated February 11, 2021

In a city of more than 10 million people, it should come as no surprise that many of Seoul's top attractions involve escaping the crowds and reconvening with nature. The city is filled with pockets of serenity like the peaceful gardens of Changdeok

  • All Things To Do

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower free

Home to five warning beacons and a protective city wall during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Mount Namsan now hosts a park and a smattering of tourism sites like an aquarium, a library and a bevy of beautiful walking trails.

But most people visit Namsan Park for its panoramic views of Seoul. To scope it out for free, visit Palgakjeong, an octagon-shaped viewing pavilion that boasts alluring vistas of the city. For an even more breathtaking sight, shell out a few won to get to the observation platform atop N Seoul Tower, Namsan Park's real showstopper. Recent visitors said that on clear days, the view from 1,574 feet up is spectacular. Out on the sky deck, you can't miss the thousands of padlocks attached to the fence; couples lock them there as symbols of everlasting love (bring your own lock if you're feeling romantic). For an extra-special experience, reserve a table for dinner in the rotating French restaurant, n.GRILL, on the tower's top floor. 

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Bukchon Hanok Village Bukchon Hanok Village free

Bukchon Village occupies the hilly neighborhood between Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace in north-central Seoul. The neighborhood has the largest collection of privately owned hanoks , or traditional Korean homes with tiled roofs and stone floors, in Seoul. Not only that, but these 900  hanoks  date all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). While a stroll through Bukchon Village may feel like a trip through the ages, the neighborhood is not frozen in time. Some of the hanoks are still private homes, but others have been converted into tea houses, coffee shops, cafes, art galleries, inns and museums. It is not uncommon to see a Korean couple on a date in a hanok -style restaurant or for tourists to stay in a hanok guesthouse (like the Anguk or the RakKoJae ). Even if you're not bedding down in Bukchon, recent travelers strongly recommend a visit regardless. 

Travelers found the neighborhood to be picture-perfect and a lovely stroll. Make sure to bring sturdy walking shoes though, as the site is pretty hilly and takes a couple hours to cover in its entirety. Some reviewers say that because of Bukchon Village's popularity, it's best to visit early in the morning or late at night to avoid crowds. Regardless of what time you visit, keep in mind that this is still a residential area, so you'll need to heed the signs posted around the village about noise. To get the most of Bukchon Village, stop by the Bukchon Traditional Culture Center  for information on walking tour routes and attractions to see within the village.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Bukhansan National Park Bukhansan National Park free

Located in northern Seoul – but still quite accessible via public transportation – Bukhansan National Park is a mountainous oasis in a bustling metropolis. The park, which covers more than 30 square miles, is home to towering granite peaks, forest-laden valleys and miles of hiking trails in between, as well as about 100 historic Buddhist temples and monks' cells. The historical must-see, though, is Bukhansanseong Fortress, a Joseon stronghold. You also won't want to skip the 5-mile mountain wall that runs along the park's rocky terrain. The fortress was built in 1711 and served as a place of refuge for kings in times of emergency (rebuilt on the foundations of the original, which dates back to A.D. 132). Bukhansan's proximity to Seoul, its natural setting and its historical significance combine to make it the park with the most visitors per square foot, according to the Guinness World Records. That means it can get extremely crowded, especially on weekends.

If it's panoramic vistas you're after, try trekking up Baegundae peak via the Bukhansanseong trail, one of the most popular hikes in the park. From the top, you're in for a great view of Seoul and lands beyond – unless the city is shrouded in smog, which does happen occasionally. Recent visitors do warn that this hike is not for the faint-hearted; the rocky path requires strength, endurance, very sturdy hiking shoes and patience (the trek is estimated to be a 3.5-hour round-trip hike). If the Baegundae hike sounds too strenuous, you might want to consider another one of Bukhansan's trails (don't worry – there are plenty that are equally rewarding).

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

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Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace) Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace)

Changdeokgung may not be the oldest or largest of Seoul's five Joseon Dynasty palaces (that honor goes to Gyeongbokgung ), but it is the most intact. Originally constructed in 1405 as a secondary palace for the king at the time, Changdeokgung, like its sister palaces, was largely razed during the Japanese invasion of 1592. After its reconstruction in 1610, however, the palace served as Korea's principal palace about 270 years after for 13 different kings. Of all the Joseon palaces, Changdeokgung is the longest lived-in residence for the royals. It's this historical significance, in combination with its architectural style and layout (it's lauded for being built around the land's geography, instead of adjusting the land to construct the buildings), that earned Changdeokgung the designation of a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Visitors say that the vibrantly painted structures of the palace grounds are marvelous, but the rear garden – called "Biwon," or the Secret Garden – is nothing short of spectacular. Covering about two-thirds of the 110-acre attraction, the landscaped garden features a lotus pool, fountains and pavilions surrounded by 56,000 species of trees and plants, including a single tree that is more than 300 years old. Visit in the fall to witness the changing foliage, or in the spring to see the trees burst into bloom.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Hongdae Hongdae free

The neighborhood surrounding Hongik University in west-central Seoul is a hub for Korean youth culture. Hongdae beckons to college students and other young adults with its propensity for self-expression and all-around alternative atmosphere, not to mention its plethora of bars, clubs, shops, restaurants and cafes. And because Hongik University is especially renowned for its arts programs, Hongdae is a noticeably creative area. You don't have to stroll far to find art galleries, walls adorned with street art and students singing or selling their craft on the sidewalks. Join the throngs of college students and tourists to hunt for unique souvenirs at Hongdae's two weekend markets, both held in the playground near the university's entrance. The "Free" Market takes place on Saturdays and the "Hope" Market on Sundays, both from about 1 to 7 p.m.

Night owls should head to Hongdae on "Club Day" – the last Friday of each month. On this day, revelers can club-hop among the neighborhood's hottest spots for only 15,000 won (about $14). Also, since Hongdae sits at the epicenter of Seoul's burgeoning underground and indie music scene, make sure to stop by one of the many live music venues that participates in Club Day as well.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Insadong Insadong free

In this quaint central-Seoul neighborhood, you can find everything from hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) to herbal teas to calligraphy supplies. About 40 percent of Korean crafts are exchanged in Insadong, though ceramics are the prized goods here. Insadong's alleys, which are lined with street vendors, wooden tea houses, galleries and restaurants, stretch from the Anguk-dong Rotary to Tapgol Park. By shopping here, you'll be contributing to centuries of Korean history – Insadong was central to painters during the Joseon Dynasty and continues to be a hub for artistry today.

Recent visitors lauded Insadong as a great place to buy cultural souvenirs, but they also appreciate its fun atmosphere. Guests say there are always lots of people coming to and fro as well as street performers and artists hanging around, waiting for interaction. For a trip back in time, visit Insadong on the weekends when motor vehicles are prohibited on its winding streets, adding to its quaint, Old World vibe. While the atmosphere is undoubtedly fun, visitors suggest those wanting to experience Insadong without crowds come during the weekdays. 

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace) Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace)

The ornate Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbokgung Palace) was originally built in A.D. 1395 and served as the focal point and governmental seat of the Joseon Dynasty (1392 to 1910). In Korean, its name translates to "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven," but its history seems to paint it as anything but blessed. Gyeongbokgung was destroyed in the 1590s during a Japanese invasion, after which Korea's rulers abandoned the palace and set up camp about a mile east in Changdeokgung (Changdeok Palace).  That is, until King Gojong began Gyeongbok Palace's restoration during his reign from 1863 to 1907. The site once housed some 500 buildings. But the king's efforts were for naught: Another Japanese invasion resulted in the demolition of the majority of the complex. Restoration of the twice-destroyed palace began afresh in 1990, and visitors today can once again marvel at its magnificent architecture, lustrous grounds and historical significance. 

Recent visitors said the Gyeongbokgung palace is a must-see for anyone interested in Seoul's Joseon Dynasty. Travelers loved learning about the history of the palace and how it played into the larger story of both Seoul and South Korea. Visitors also admired the beautiful yet extensive grounds, saying you'll need at least a couple of hours to see everything the palace has to offer. Reviewers also recommended bringing walking shoes, and if you have flexibility with your schedule, to visit when the changing of the guard ceremony commences (the ceremony is held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day the attraction is open). The only thing that put off some visitors was the touristy nature of the site, noting that crowds, especially on the weekends, can hamper a visit. Try to stop by during a weekday or plan a morning visit to avoid sharing the attraction with hordes of other sightseers. 

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Dongdaemun Market Dongdaemun Market free

Dongdaemun isn't just a market – it's a shopping mecca. Encompassing 10 city blocks, Dongdaemun features 26 malls, 30,000 specialty shops and scores of wholesale stores, making it place to go if you need, well, anything. Make sure to get a map of the district. With all the options available, there's no way you're going to be able to navigate this overwhelming, multi-street shopping complex without some guidance. Though if you want to try, you'll have plenty of time: Dongdaemun Market is open 24 hours per day and many shops stay open till as early as 5 a.m.

Most of the malls in Dongdaemun feature a mix of retail and wholesale shops, though it's good to know which sell the most of what. The best way of navigating this mammoth fashion hub is to split the area up by Jangchungdan-ro, a big street that runs through Dongdaemun Market. West of Jangchungdan-ro, you'll find malls that appeal more to tourists. Doota (located in Doosan Tower), Migliore, Good Morning City and Hello apM sell a mix of retail and wholesale items but have multilingual information desks and currency exchanges. East of Jangchungdan-ro, you'll find more malls that sell more wholesale than not. These include Designer's Club, Gwanghee Fashion Mall and Nuzzon. Though if all you're after is wholesale, hit up Pyeonghwa Fashion town north of the Doosan Tower. When your stomach starts to rumble, head over to Mukja Golmok, which translates to "Let's Eat Alley." There, you can find a smorgasbord of Korean cuisine.  

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

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top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Jongmyo Shrine Jongmyo Shrine

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Jongmyo Shrine is one of the oldest and best-preserved Confucian royal shrines in the world. Built in the late 14th century, the Jongmyo Shrine served as a place of worship for kings part of the Joseon Dynasty. Here, royal family members would come to carry out ancestral rites for deceased king and queens as well as pray for the state and its people. The shrine was later destroyed during the 16th-century Japanese invasion of Korea but rebuilt during the 17th century. Little has been changed since. 

The structure is composed of multiple buildings, including the main shrine (Jeongjeon) and the Hall of Eternal Peace (Yeongnyeongjeon). To this day, people congregate around the shrine once a year for the "Jongmyo Jerye" ritual, in which they honor the ancestors of the Joseon dynasty. The ceremony, which takes place the first Sunday of May, includes songs and dances that date back 600 years, making it one of Korea's prized Important Intangible Cultural Properties, not to mention one of the world's oldest complete ceremonies in the world.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

A mere 35 miles north of Seoul, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a 148-mile-long, 2-mile-wide swath of land marking the division between North and South Korea. Running close to the infamous 38th Parallel (the final front in the Korean War), the DMZ was set up in 1953 as a buffer zone between the two warring countries. The Military Demarcation Line – the actual border between North and South Korea – has been heavily manned on both sides by military personnel ever since. And though there have only been a few minor military altercations in the past 60 years, tensions remain between the two sides. In fact, since the DMZ was set up through an armistice and not a peace treaty, North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war.

You may think a daytrip to the DMZ is a fool's errand, but it is actually an extraordinarily popular thing to do when visiting Seoul. A number of companies run tours to Panmunjom , an abandoned town that straddles the Military Demarcation Line where the famous Joint Security Area is located. It was here that North Korean, South Korean, Chinese, American and United Nations diplomats signed the Korean War Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953. Visitors are invited to place their feet on either side of a line that runs along the building's floor separating the two nations – one foot in South Korea and the other in North Korea. Tourists can also peer out at the mysterious country to the north through mounted telescopes.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Lotte World Lotte World

Lotte World may not be as magical as Disney World , but it is home to the largest indoor theme park in the world. Recent travelers said that if you have children in tow and you're not averse to a little Korean kitsch, it's a good place to spend the day. With high-octane roller coasters like Atlantic Adventure and attractions catered to youngsters like Lotty's Kidstoria (a whimsical room filled with "Alice in Wonderland" characters), Lotte World entertains thrill-seekers and budding adventurists alike. If you're planning a weekend visit, keep in mind that Lotte World's lines can get very long during peak visiting hours. Fortunately, there are two solutions: Visit Lotte World on a weekday or go after 4 p.m. – lines will be shorter, and your ticket price will be reduced. Aside from Lotte World Adventure indoor theme park, Lotte World is home to department stores, a folk museum, a bowling alley, an ice rink, parades and an outdoor adventure theme park located in the middle of Seokchonhosu Lake, Magic Island. Regardless of what time you visit or what you decide to do inside Lotte World, be prepared to pay. Travelers said everything from Lotte World's version of a Disneyland fast pass to snacks were pretty pricey.

Lotte World welcomes visitors year-round from 9:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day. Regular admission tickets cost 36,000 won (about $32) for adults and 29,000 won (about $26) for children. However, if you plan to stay all day, you should consider purchasing admission to all of Lotte World, not just the indoor theme park. This all-inclusive ticket grants you access to all of Lotte World's facilities and costs 52,000 won (about $47) for adults and 41,000 won (about $37) for children. After 4 p.m., all-inclusive tickets cost 41,000 won (about $37) for adults and 32,000 won (about $29) for children. There are also discounts for students and seniors, while children younger than 3 can enter for free. Located south of the Han River, Lotte World can be reached via Jamsil Station on Subway Lines 2 and 8 (Exit 4). For more information, visit Lotte World's official website .

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

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top 10 tourist attractions in korea

100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea – Iconic Attractions You Must Visit

KoreaTravelPost Editor

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top 10 tourist attractions in korea

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) have announced the 100 Must-Visit Tourism Spots of Korea for 2021-2022. Out of these 100 must visit tourist spots in Korea, 51 of the travel destinations are natural attractions and 49 are cultural attractions.

The list of 100 must visit spots was first launched in 2013 and since then, 19 out of the total have been on the list for five consecutive times. All these destinations were selected from a pool of 198 destinations in South Korea.

100 must-visit Korea

According to Choi Bo-guen, head of the Culture Ministry’s Tourism Policy Bureau, “It is sad that we cannot enjoy traveling as we please as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We hope Koreans and tourists can travel freely in the near future, visiting the 100 Must-Visit Tourism Spots of Korea”.

Table of Contents

100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea

You must visit South Korea to check out the magnificent beauty, rich history, epic landscapes, amazing constructions and architecture, and more! Let’s take a look at the 100 must visit tourist spots that’ll make your South Korea trip unforgettable!

Seoul Capital Area – Seoul

1. the five royal palaces of seoul, 2. seoul museum of art (sema), 3. hongik university (hongdae) street, 4. dongdaemun design plaza (ddp), 5. n seoul tower, 6. lotte world, 7. ikseon-dong, 8. seodaemun prison history hall, 9. coex (starfield).

100 must-visit Korea Seoul

Seoul Capital Area – Incheon

10. yeongjongdo island, 11. gangwha old town story walk, 12. open port cultural district & incheon chinatown (songwol-dong fairy tale village), 13. sorae port, 14. songdo central park.

100 must-visit Korea Seoul

Seoul Capital Area – Gyeonggi-do

15. everland, yongin, 16. hwaseong fortress, suwon, 17. seoul grand park (seoul land), 18. korean folk village, 19. gwangmyeong cave, 20. dumulmeori, 21. hwadam botanic garden, 22. jebudo island, 23. imjingak and paju dmz, 24. heyri art valley, paju, 25. the garden of morning calm, gapyeong, 26. nacf anseong farmland, gangwon-do area, 27. wondae-ri birch forest, 28. vivaldi park (ocean world), 29. daegwallyeong, 30. seoraksan national park, 31. hantangang river unesco geopark, 32. jumunjin, 33. museum san, 34. gangneung coffee street, 35. nami island, 36. ganhyeon tourist area (sogeumsan suspension bridge).

100 must-visit Korea

Chungcheong-do Area

37. jangtaesan recreational forest, daejeon, 38. gyejoksan red clay trail, daejeon, 39. cheongpung cable car, chungcheongbuk-do, 40. cheongnamdae (presidential villa), chungcheongbuk-do, 41. uirimji reservoir, chungcheongbuk-do, 42. mancheonha skywalk & danyanggang jando trail, chungcheongbuk-do, 43. daecheon beach, chungcheongnam-do, 44. yedangho suspension bridge & musical fountain, chungcheongnam-do, 45. anmyeondo kkotji beach, chungcheongnam-do, 46. gongsanseong fortress, ancient tombs in songsan-ri , baekje historic areas, gongju, chungcheongnam-do, 47. busosanseong fortress, gungnamji pond , baekje historic areas, buyeo, chungcheongnam-do, 48. yesan stork park, chungcheongnam-do, 49. sindu-ri coastal sand dune, chungcheongnam-do, 50. oeam folk village, asan, chungcheongnam-do, 51. sejong lake park, sejong-si.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Jeolla-do Area

52. purple island, jeollanam-do, 53. ssukseom island (aedo island), jeollanam-do, 54. boseong green tea plantation, (daehan dawon tea plantation ) jeollanam-do, 55. juknokwon, jeollanam-do, 56. odongdo island & yeosu expo, jeollanam-do, 57. suncheonman wetland ( suncheonman national garden ), jeollanam-do, 58. mokpo marine cable car, jeollanam-do, 59. mireuksa temple site, iksan, jeollabuk-do, 60. jeonju hanok village, jeollabuk-do, 61. okjeongho gujeolcho theme park, jeollabuk-do, 62. naejangsan national park, jeollabuk-do, 63. kim byung jong art museum, namwon, jeollabuk-do, 64. maisan provincial park, jeollabuk-do, 65. mudeungsan national park, gwangju, 66. asia culture center, gwangju.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Gyeongsang-do Area

67. taejongdae cliffed coast, busan, 68. yongdusan and jagalchi special tourist zone, 69. haeundae beach, 70. gamcheon culture village, 71. dadaepo beach & dadaepo sunset fountain of dream, 72. songjeong beach, 73. huinnyeoul culture village, 74. songdo beach & yonggung suspension bridge, 75. palgongsan mountain, daegu, 76. suseongmot lake, 77. seomun market, 78. petroglyphs of bangudae terrace, ulsan, 79. cape ganjeolgot, 80. yeongnam alps, 81. daewangam park, 82. taehwagang national garden, 83. haeinsa temple, hapcheon, gyeongsangnam-do, 84. windy hill, geoje, 85. namhae german village, 86. hwangmaesan county park, 87. changnyeong upo wetland, 88. buseoksa temple, gyeongsangbuk-do, 89. hahoe village, andong, 90. byeongsanseowon confucian academy, 91. ulleungdo and dokdo islands, 92. bulguksa temple & seokguram grotto, 93. daereungwon ancient tomb complex, gyeongju.

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Jeju-do Area

94. seongsan ilchulbong tuff cone, 95. hallasan national park, 96. jeju olle trail, 97. cheonjiyeon falls, 98. camellia hill, 99. udo island, 100. bijarim forest.

100 must-visit Korea

Look forward to reading more about these 100 must-visit tourist spots in South Korea in our upcoming posts during the week!

Meanwhile, check out some interesting reads from KoreaTravelPost:

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  • Purple Island (or the Banwol Island) – South Korea’s Latest Instagrammable Destination
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KoreaTravelPost Editor

Hello there! I'm the Features Editor for KoreaTravelPost.

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KoreaToDo - What to Do & See in South Korea

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Top 100 Must-Visit Places in Korea & How to Go Guide 

Discover the  Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea for 2023-2024  that include famous attractions and some of the newly added places to visit across all regions of Korea from Seoul , Incheon , Busan to Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do .

The 6th edition of  Top 100 Must-Visits Tourist Spots in Korea (2023-2024) list was announced by Ministry Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)  on  13 December 2022 . The list is a compilation of recommended tourist attractions that are selected and promoted every 2 years  by MCST and KTO .

Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots Summary​ (2023-2024)

39 natural attractions

61 cultural attractions

14  attractions have been selected for 6 consecutive times (e.g. 5 palaces in Seoul )

33 new additions include Seoul Forest , OSIRIA Tourist Complex , etc

Drop outs include  Seoraksan National Park , etc 

24 in Seoul Capital Area (incl. Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do)

10 in Gangwon-do Province

28 in Gyeongsang-do Province (incl. Busan, Daegu, Ulsan)

6 on Jeju Island

13 in Chungcheong-do Province

17 in Jeolla-do Province

Balloons

Shortlisted Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots (2023-2024) in/out Seoul or Busan

​ To assist travellers to explore these popular and recommended places of interests on your holiday in Korea , KoreaToDo has put together the shortlisted Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots that are:

easily accessed in Seoul

within 3 hours from Seoul

in/from Busan

It includes  detailed guides on how to get there by public transport or join a local tour so as to get the most out of your travel time, when combined with other nearby attractions.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

The largest of all five grand palaces built in the Joseon Dynasty, remaining in Seoul.

Changgyeonggung Palace

Changgyeonggung Palace

A simple and compact palace, surrounded by a forest with about 50,000 trees.

Seoul Forest

Seoul Forest

Known for its cherry blossoms & tulips in Spring, Ginkgo Tree Forest in Autumn & deer.

Lotte World

Lotte World

Include the World's largest Indoor theme park & an outdoor Magic Island.

Ikseondong Hanok Village

Ikseondong Hanok Village

A hot trending place with narrow streets of hip cafes, restaurants and pubs.

Korean Folk Village

Korean Folk Village

A village recreated from the Joseon era with backdrop of mountains and river.

Gwangmyeong Cave

Gwangmyeong Cave

An abandoned mine for 40 years to the best Cave Theme Park in Korea.

Anseong Farmland

Anseong Farmland

The largest agro-livestock theme park in Korea with impressive seasonal flower fields.

Jarasum Island

Jarasum Island

Consists of 4 islands with the southern island transformed into a 'flower island'.

Ganhyeon Tourist Area (Sogeumsan Grand Valley)

Ganhyeon Tourist Area (Sogeumsan Grand Valley)

Experience the longest suspension bridge (200m) in Korea & cliffside walk.

Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm

Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm

Korea’s first sheep farm, located at 850m above sea level in the Alps of Pyeongchang.

Wondae-ri Birch Forest

Wondae-ri Birch Forest

A nature sanctuary with over 700,000 birch trees, paths & lookouts.

Songjeong Beach

Songjeong Beach

Well-known surf beach in Busan. Wet suits & surf boards for rent. Surfing lessons offered.

Gamcheon Culture Village

Gamcheon Culture Village

'The Santorini of Korea', known for its colourful mountainside houses.

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone:  BIFF Square

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone: BIFF Square

Main venue of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) & a well-known food paradise.

Gwangalli Beach

Gwangalli Beach

Enjoy view of Gwangandaegyo Bridge & Gwangalli M Drone Light Show every Saturday.

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Skyline Luge Busan

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Skyline Luge Busan

2nd Skyline Luge in Korea. Enjoy the scenic skyride up & ride downhill on luge carts.

Donggung Palace, Wolji Pond & Cheomseongdae

Donggung Palace, Wolji Pond & Cheomseongdae

Top attractions of Gyeongju, the capital of ancient Silla Dynasty.

Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju Hanok Village

Referred as the 'Slow City' with over 800 traditional Korean hanok houses.

Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden

Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the most well-preserved royal palaces.

Gyeonghuigung Palace

Gyeonghuigung Palace

Once a massive complex with 1,500 buildings and residence for kings for over 200 years.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)

Iconic landmark of Korean design industry, designed by world-renowned architect.

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

Iconic landmark of Seoul with fantastic views of Seoul city.

Incheon Chinatown

Incheon Chinatown

Best Chinese food with nearby fairy tale inspired Songwoldong Fairy Tale Village & Jayu Park.

Everland Theme Park

Everland Theme Park

Korea's largest amusement park with many fun rides, zoo & themed festivals.

Imjingak, Paju

Imjingak, Paju

A famous DMZ tourist spot, built with the hope of Korean unification someday.

Dumulmeori, Yangpyeong

Dumulmeori, Yangpyeong

A place of rustic nature beauty. Known for its over 400-years old Zelkova trees & filming site.

Nami Island

Nami Island

Well-known as the filming location of 'Winter Sonata' Korean drama.

Museum SAN

Located on the mountain, a place where art & architecture are harmonized with nature.

Daegwallyeong: Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch

Daegwallyeong: Daegwallyeong Sky Ranch

A huge ranch with over 540 cows, sheep, horses and goats in the vast grassland.

Taejongdae Park

Taejongdae Park

Offer magnificent view of the sea at Yeongdo Lighthouse on the cliff.

BUSAN X the SKY

BUSAN X the SKY

Observatory on 98-100F of Haeundae LCT The Sharp, the highest building in Busan.

Songdo Yonggung Suspension Bridge

Songdo Yonggung Suspension Bridge

Connect Amnam Park across the sea to Dongseom Island. 127.1m long and 2m wide.

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone: Jagalchi Market

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone: Jagalchi Market

Korea's largest seafood market with indoor & outdoor sections, including restaurants.

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Ananti Cove

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Ananti Cove

Large coastal town consists of Ananti Hilton Busan, hot spring, coastal walk, shops & cafes.

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Lotte Premium Outlets

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Lotte Premium Outlets

Designed with the concept of Santorini. Over 500 famous domestic & international brands.

Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto

Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto

The first historical sites in Korea registered as UNESCO World Heritage.

Cheongpung Lakeside Cable Car

Cheongpung Lakeside Cable Car

Panoramic view of Cheongpung Lake on the 2.3km cable car ride, connected to Mt. Bibongsan.

Deoksugung Palace

Deoksugung Palace

Smallest of the five palaces and the final residence of the last King of the Joseon Dynasty.

Hongdae (Hongik University Area)

Hongdae (Hongik University Area)

A university suburb with youthful streets of shops, cafes & clubs.

Seoul Sky

Observatory located on 117F-123F of South Korea's tallest building, Lotte World Tower.

Seochon Village

Seochon Village

The village resembles the old Seoul with hanoks (traditional Korean houses), shops & cafes.

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

UNESCO World Heritage with impressive structure from Joseon Dynasty.

Seoul Land Amusement Park

Seoul Land Amusement Park

1st large-scale theme park in Korea with over 40 rides & games for all ages.

DMZ, Paju

DMZ, the border that divides the Korean Peninsula. Visit the 3rd Tunnel & Dora Observatory.

Heyri Art Valley, Paju

Heyri Art Valley, Paju

A lovely village formed by artists with shops, cafes, galleries and quirky sculptures.

Chuncheon Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car

Chuncheon Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car

The longest cable car in Korea at 3.61km, connecting Samak Mountain to Lake Uiam.

Gangneung Coffee Street

Gangneung Coffee Street

Anything related to coffee at the 'city of coffee', located on the eastern coast of Korea.

Daegwallyeong: Yongpyong Ski Resort

Daegwallyeong: Yongpyong Ski Resort

The largest ski resort in Korea & host of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach

The most beloved & famous beach of the country. It stretches 1.5km long & 30-50m wide.

Busan Green Railway

Busan Green Railway

Alongside the 9.8km walking trail is the popular Haeundae Sky Capsule & Beach Train.

Songdo Beach

Songdo Beach

1st public beach in Korea. Walking distance to Busan Air Cruise & Songdo Cloud Trails.

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone: Yongdusan Park

Yongdusan & Jagalchi Special Tourist Zone: Yongdusan Park

The most significant structure at Yongdusan Park is the Busan Diamond Tower (120m).

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Lotte World Adventure

OSIRIA Tourist Complex: Lotte World Adventure

1st theme park in Busan. The amusement park features 6 zones with 17 rides & attractions.

Daewangam Park

Daewangam Park

A seaside park, known for its beautiful coastlines and interestingly-shaped rocks.

Naejangsan National Park

Naejangsan National Park

A favourite autumn foliage destination with a beautiful temple in the park.

Balloons

Past Winners of Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

Once a prison, now a museum. A popular K-drama location on their out of prison scenes.

Myeongdong

Well-known shopping, dining & street food paradise.

Jebudo Island

Jebudo Island

Jebu Island, a mysterious island where sea routes open twice a day due to tides.

Pocheon Art Valley

Pocheon Art Valley

Experience the beauty of the quarry at this famous drama filming location.

High1 Ski Resort

High1 Ski Resort

One of the most popular ski resorts in Korea, known for its puffy snow.

Tongyeong Skyline Luge

Tongyeong Skyline Luge

Ride the Skyride to get on board the Luge cart for exhilarating ride downhill.

Seoullo7017

Seoullo7017

A highway, now a beautiful sky garden walkway for pedestrians.

Wolmido Island

Wolmido Island

Cafes, seafood restaurants & theme park along the coast.

The Garden of Morning Calm

The Garden of Morning Calm

A beautiful & artistic private garden to be enjoyed in all seasons.

Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park

Beautiful mountain landscape, hiking courses & cable car rides to the top of the mountain.

Huinnyeoul Culture Village

Huinnyeoul Culture Village

Known for its beautiful coastal cliff landscape and a popular film location.

Oedo-Botania

Oedo-Botania

Famous for its European atmosphere & marine botanical garden.

Itaewon

The global village in Seoul, known for its restaurants & night life.

Hwadam Botanic Garden

Hwadam Botanic Garden

An ecological park divided into 17 themes with forest walking path & monorail courses.

Namhansanseong Provincial Park

Namhansanseong Provincial Park

A UNESCO World Heritage with 12.4km fortress & different hiking trails.

Wonju Suspension Bridge

Wonju Suspension Bridge

Korea's longest suspension bridge across Mt. Segeum's 2 peaks.

Windy Hill

A hill overlooking the sea & the location of many famous Korean dramas.

KoreaToDo TOP PICKS - Tours, Activities & Discount Tickets to TOP 100 MUST-VISIT TOURIST SPOTS

➥ Handpicked experiences by KoreaToDo for their uniqueness, value, popularity, price competitiveness and at times, tedious to reach by public transport.

N Seoul Tower Observatory Ticket

N Seoul Tower Observatory Ticket

enjoy breathtaking views

Hanbok Experience (Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Store)

Hanbok Experience (Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Store)

incl. basic hairstyling & inner skirt

Nail Art & Hairstyling Experience at OLRANG, Hongdae

Nail Art & Hairstyling Experience at OLRANG, Hongdae

onsite English translation

Seoul Moonlight Walking Tour with Local Historian

Seoul Moonlight Walking Tour with Local Historian

Seoul's hidden gems with stories

Seoul City Tour Bus: Myeongdong, Seoul Tower, Palaces, Insadong, Bukchon

Seoul City Tour Bus: Myeongdong, Seoul Tower, Palaces, Insadong, Bukchon

15 stops to hop on & hop off

Namsan Cable Car Round Trip Ticket (weekdays & min. 2 pax)

Namsan Cable Car Round Trip Ticket (weekdays & min. 2 pax)

beautiful scenery of Seoul

Hanbok Rental (& Photoshoot) Experience by Hanbok That Day

Hanbok Rental (& Photoshoot) Experience by Hanbok That Day

3 mins walk fr. Gyeongbokgung

Seoul Personal Color & Make-up Analysis in Hongdae

Seoul Personal Color & Make-up Analysis in Hongdae

with English speaking expert

Cheongwadae Blue House & Gyeongbokgung Palace Walking Tour

Cheongwadae Blue House & Gyeongbokgung Palace Walking Tour

former presidential residence

Seoul City Tour Bus: Night View Course (Mt. Namsan, Han River Bridges...)

Seoul City Tour Bus: Night View Course (Mt. Namsan, Han River Bridges...)

non-stop course with photo time

Lotte World Theme Park 1 Day Pass

Lotte World Theme Park 1 Day Pass

easy access on Seoul Subway

Hanboknam Hanbok Rental Voucher at Changdeokgung Store

Hanboknam Hanbok Rental Voucher at Changdeokgung Store

Alive Museum & Dynamic Maze in Insadong

Alive Museum & Dynamic Maze in Insadong

interactive artworks!

Quaint Changgyeonggung Palace Night Tour

Quaint Changgyeonggung Palace Night Tour

learn about Joseon history

Lotte World 1 Day Pass & Lotte World Aquarium

Lotte World 1 Day Pass & Lotte World Aquarium

located in the heart of Seoul

Hanbok Rental near Changdeokgung Palace by Dorothy Hanbok

Hanbok Rental near Changdeokgung Palace by Dorothy Hanbok

Kid/Male hanbok available.

Coex Aquarium in Seoul Admission Ticket

Coex Aquarium in Seoul Admission Ticket

largest aquarium in Seoul

Discover Seoul Pass (Lotte World, COEX Aquarium, Han River Cruises, etc)

Discover Seoul Pass (Lotte World, COEX Aquarium, Han River Cruises, etc)

free access to >60 attractions

⬇ Tours departing from Seoul

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

bird’s eye view of North Korea

Paju/Gimpo/Cheorwon DMZ Day Tour

Paju/Gimpo/Cheorwon DMZ Day Tour

DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)

Hwadam Botanic Garden & Korean Folk Village Day Tour

Hwadam Botanic Garden & Korean Folk Village Day Tour

garden with 17 themes

Everland 1 Day Pass (instant QR Code for entry incl. on voucher upon booking)

Everland 1 Day Pass (instant QR Code for entry incl. on voucher upon booking)

a large amusement park & zoo!

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Gamaksan Suspension Bridge Day Tour

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Gamaksan Suspension Bridge Day Tour

150m long bridge across valley

Korean Folk Village, Suwon Hwaseong & Suwon Nammun Market Day Tour

Korean Folk Village, Suwon Hwaseong & Suwon Nammun Market Day Tour

Authentic cultural experience

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Dumulmeori Day Tour

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Dumulmeori Day Tour

Everland Day Tour (Admission, Tour Guide & Round Trip Transfer)

Everland Day Tour (Admission, Tour Guide & Round Trip Transfer)

Eng./Mandarin speaking guide

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Majang Lake Suspension Bridge Day Tour

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Majang Lake Suspension Bridge Day Tour

220m long bridge by the lake

Yongin Dae Jang Geum Park (MBC Drama Studio) Tour

Yongin Dae Jang Geum Park (MBC Drama Studio) Tour

BTS Suga music video & ARMY

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Yeoju Outlet Day Tour

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Yeoju Outlet Day Tour

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm

hotel pickup & admissions

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Korea Traditional Boat Voyage Day Tour

DMZ 3rd Invasion Tunnel & Korea Traditional Boat Voyage Day Tour

river flowing out of North Korea

Hwadam Botanic Garden & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

Hwadam Botanic Garden & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

Top 100 Must-Visit Spots

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

Hwadam Forest, Ludencia Theme Park & Gwangmyeong Cave Tour

Pocheon Art Valley, Apple Farm Experience & Herb Island Day Tour

Pocheon Art Valley, Apple Farm Experience & Herb Island Day Tour

apple pie making + monorail

Mt. Seorak & Naksansa Temple Tour

Mt. Seorak & Naksansa Temple Tour

explore Korea’s natural beauty

Nami Island, Petite France & Italian Village Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France & Italian Village Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France, Italian Village & The Morning Calm Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France, Italian Village & The Morning Calm Day Tour

Alpaca World & Nami Island Private Day Tour  (1-5 pax/car)

Alpaca World & Nami Island Private Day Tour (1-5 pax/car)

comfortable & safe travel

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Chuncheon King Canoeing Day Tour

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Chuncheon King Canoeing Day Tour

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Nami Island & Rail Bike (& more)

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Nami Island & Rail Bike (& more)

Seoraksan National Park,  Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Seoraksan National Park, Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

spectacular landscapes of Korea

Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Nami Island & Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France, Italian Village & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Nami Island, Petite France, Italian Village & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Alpaca World, Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike Private Day Tour (1-5 pax/car)

Alpaca World, Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike Private Day Tour (1-5 pax/car)

travel in comfort

Legoland Korea & Nami Island Day Tour

Legoland Korea & Nami Island Day Tour

World's 2nd largest Legoland!

IN THE SOOP BTS Ver. (PyeongChang) Filming Location Tour

IN THE SOOP BTS Ver. (PyeongChang) Filming Location Tour

incl. official merchandise gift!

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Nami Island, Garden of Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

best of Gangwon province!

Alpaca World, Nami Island & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

Alpaca World, Nami Island & Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour

enjoy the best of Gangwon!

Alpaca World, Nami Island & Petite France Private Day Tour (1-5 pax/car)

Alpaca World, Nami Island & Petite France Private Day Tour (1-5 pax/car)

travel with friends & family

Legoland Korea & Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car Day Tour

Legoland Korea & Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car Day Tour

longest 3.61km cable car ride!

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World, Nami Island & Rail Bike

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World, Nami Island & Rail Bike

Nami Island Admission Ticket (incl. return ferry)

Nami Island Admission Ticket (incl. return ferry)

Skip the ticketing queue!

Alpaca World, Nami Island & The Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

Alpaca World, Nami Island & The Garden of Morning Calm Day Tour

walk with adorable alpacas

Nami, Petite France, Italian V., Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Tour

Nami, Petite France, Italian V., Morning Calm & Gangchon Rail Bike Tour

visit them all!

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car Day Tour

Nami Island, Alpaca World & Samaksan Mountain Lake Cable Car Day Tour

longest cable car in Korea!

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World & Nami Island

PRIVATE DAY TOUR: Alpaca World & Nami Island

Incheon Day Tour (Ganghwa Luge, Rail Bike, Wolmido & Fairy Tale Village)

Incheon Day Tour (Ganghwa Luge, Rail Bike, Wolmido & Fairy Tale Village)

enjoy the best of Incheon!

Jeonju Hanok Village

over 800 traditional houses

Lotte World Adventure Busan 1 Day Pass

Lotte World Adventure Busan 1 Day Pass

1st theme park in Busan!

CLUBD OASIS: Spa Ticket @LCT, Haeundae Beach

CLUBD OASIS: Spa Ticket @LCT, Haeundae Beach

hot spring & Korean dry sauna with 5 themes (salt, cypress, red clay, elvan & ice)

Busan Day Tour: Blueline Park - Cheongsapo Station

Busan Day Tour: Blueline Park - Cheongsapo Station

✚Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Huinnyeoul & Gamcheon Villages

Busan City Day Tour (Haeundae Sky Capsule)

Busan City Day Tour (Haeundae Sky Capsule)

✚Oryukdo Skywalk, Huinnyeoul Culture Village & Gamcheon Culture Village

Busan Night Small Group Photo Tour

Busan Night Small Group Photo Tour

Gamcheon Culture Village, Observatory, Waterside Park & Mt. Hwangnyongsan

Skyline Luge Busan Ticket

Skyline Luge Busan Ticket

✚panoramic view sky rides

CLUBD OASIS: Spa & Water Park All-Use Ticket

CLUBD OASIS: Spa & Water Park All-Use Ticket

@Busan's tallest building LCT, Haeundae Beach

Busan Day Tour: Haeundae Sky Capsule

Busan Day Tour: Haeundae Sky Capsule

✚Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Cheongsapo, Huinnyeoul & Gamcheon Culture Villages

Busan City Day Tour (Yacht Course)

Busan City Day Tour (Yacht Course)

✚Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Gwangalli Beach & Gamcheon Culture Village

Gyeongju UNESCO Sites & Haeundae Sky Capsule Tour

Gyeongju UNESCO Sites & Haeundae Sky Capsule Tour

Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju Historic Areas (Daereungwon, Hwangnidan-gil) & Wolji Pond

Busan SEA LIFE Aquarium Admission Ticket

Busan SEA LIFE Aquarium Admission Ticket

Busan Air Cruise Cable Car Ticket

Busan Air Cruise Cable Car Ticket

normal or crystal cabin options

Busan City Day Tour (Classic Course)

Busan City Day Tour (Classic Course)

✚Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Taejongdae, Gamcheon Culture Village & Songdo Skywalk

Busan Must-Visit Day Tour (Sky Capsule & Beach Train)

Busan Must-Visit Day Tour (Sky Capsule & Beach Train)

✚Cheongsapo Skywalk, Jukseong Cathedral & Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

MUSEUM 1 SIGNS of LOSS Ticket (new modern art)

MUSEUM 1 SIGNS of LOSS Ticket (new modern art)

152.4m mega sized LED media art!

Busan Day Tour: Haeundae Beach Train

Busan Day Tour: Haeundae Beach Train

Busan City Day Tour (Haeundae Beach Train)

Busan City Day Tour (Haeundae Beach Train)

✚Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Gamcheon Culture Village & Songdo Skywalk

Busan Night Tour (Western Course)

Busan Night Tour (Western Course)

Songdo Cable Car+Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village & Cheonmasan Road View

⬇ Tours departing from Busan

Gyeongju Old Capital Day Tour

Gyeongju Old Capital Day Tour

Bulguksa Temple, Gyochon Village, Woljeong Bridge, Daereungwon, Wolji Pond++

Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Site Day Trip

Gyeongju UNESCO World Heritage Site Day Trip

Bulguksa Temple, Yangdong Village, Daereungwon, Wolji Pond, Woljeong Bridge++

Oedo Botania Island & Geoje Cable Car Day Tour

Oedo Botania Island & Geoje Cable Car Day Tour

Hill of Wind, Cruise Ship, Haegeumgang, Oedo Botania & Geoje Panorama Cable Car

Busan & Gyeongju Private Customized Tour

Busan & Gyeongju Private Customized Tour

Chinese/English speaking driver, 8hrs, vehicle, parking, toll fee, insurance, hotel pick-up

♔  KoreaToDo recommends  Klook.com , Asia leading in-destination service provider 

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

🌸SEASONAL HOT PICKS🌸 Handpicked Experiences from Seoul

1883 Incheon Chicken & Beer Party Day Tour

1883 Incheon Chicken & Beer Party Day Tour

25 May 2024

K-pop, night market & drone show

2024 Pohang International Fireworks Festival (from Seoul)

2024 Pohang International Fireworks Festival (from Seoul)

incl. Hwanho Park Space Walk

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach & Suspension Bridge Day Tour

2024 Boryeong Mud Festival, Daecheon Beach & Suspension Bridge Day Tour

19 Jul - 4 Aug 2024

Korea's famous mud festival!

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The Top 10 Destinations in South Korea

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Manfred Gottschalk/Getty Images

Filled with historic palaces, lively markets, and buzzing nightlife, Seoul is certainly a dynamic destination. But there’s more to the captivating country of South Korea than its compelling capital. From ancient burial grounds and wild national parks, to colorful Buddhist temples, and white sand beaches reminiscent of Hawaii, South Korea has a multitude of enchanting locales to fill your itinerary to the brim.

Chaiwat Phuengpheng / EyeEm / Getty Images

There’s no doubt that exploring Seoul is a must when traveling to South Korea. This modern metropolis home to 10 million people is a hodgepodge of culture, history, and culinary delights. No visit to this vibrant capital is complete without a stop at Gyeongbokgung Palace to see impressive examples of Joseon-era architecture and a recreation of the royal changing of the guard ceremony. Follow it up by checking out the city skyline views from the top of N Seoul Tower , then catch a glimpse of Seoul’s storied past amid the exhibits at the National Museum of Korea .

 Insung Jeon / Getty Images

This quiet southeastern city was the country’s former capital, and home of Korea’s illustrious monarchs during the Silla Kingdom, which lasted for nearly 1,000 years. Only two hours from Seoul by high-speed train, Gyeongju can easily be a day trip if you’re short on time. Highlights include Daereungwon Tomb Complex (popularly known as Tumuli Park), where otherworldly burial mounds enclose ancient treasures; elegant Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond , the pleasure palace of Silla kings; and the UNESCO sites and Korea National Treasures of Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto —a granite temple containing a seated Buddha statue.

 VDCM image / Getty Images

Home of the Busan International Film Festival which takes place every October, this southern port city is filled with a pulsating energy all its own. Only three hours from the capital via the KTX high-speed train, Busan is acclaimed for its Waikiki-esque Haeundae Beach . But there are plenty of other sights to see and things to do in South Korea’s second largest city . Start your tour with the multicolored 14th-century Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (one of the few in the country built next to the sea), then watch from Gwangalli Beach as twinkling lights spread across the iconic Diamond Bridge at night.

Jeju Island

Eric Hevesy / Getty Images

Jeju is commonly referred to as the “Hawaii of South Korea,” and for good reason—tranquil beaches, volcanic landscapes, and a plethora of palm trees give the island a decidedly tropical vibe. Watch the sunrise over Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak , a 5,000-year-old volcanic cone jutting into the sea, then head for the white sands and turquoise waters found at Hyeopjae Beach on the island’s west coast. Continue with a hike up Hallasan , South Korea’s highest peak, which also happens to be an active volcano. Jeju can easily be reached via domestic flights from Seoul or Busan.

Seoraksan National Park

Henn Photography/Getty Images

The easygoing city of Sokcho in South Korea’s northeast corner is home to a stretch of golden coastline, but it's perhaps mostly known as the location of Seoraksan National Park . Celebrated as the country’s most beautiful national park, Seoraksan is a hiking enthusiast’s dream come true. Miles of trails wind through jagged peaks and vast forests, past streams, waterfalls, and dignified Buddhist temples. For a visual treat, plan your visit during the months of October or November when the fiery fall leaves create a blanket of color.

Note: While autumn makes for the best leaf-peeping opportunity, it’s also one of the park’s busiest times of year.

Jirisan National Park

Heegab / Imazins / Getty Images

Meaning “the mountain of the odd and wise people,” Jirisan is considered one of Korea’s three most legendary mountains and is a place where spiritual seekers have flocked for thousands of years. In 1967, the mountain and surrounding area became South Korea’s first national park (it’s also the largest terrestrial national park). Jirisan is known for its incredibly diverse flora and fauna, including the leopard cat and the Asiatic black bear, both considered endangered species and protected in Korea. Buses and trains reach Namwon Station from Seoul in approximately three hours, from which it’s another hour’s bus or taxi ride to Jirisan National Park.

PictureLake / Getty Images

Only 30 minutes south of Seoul, Suwon is an often overlooked but culturally important site in the history of South Korea. Suwon is home to Hwaseong Fortress , an imposing 18th-century stone and brick structure built both as a tomb and a political stronghold, with walls stretching for nearly 4 miles. For those looking for more in-the-moment thrills, just outside Suwon lies Everland , Korea’s largest theme park and the 16th most visited amusement park in the world. Suwon is also home to Mr. Toilet House ; the commode-shaped home of the city’s former mayor, which is now a quirky museum dedicated to public sanitation.

Dadohaehaesang National Park

taeung / Getty Images

As South Korea’s largest national park, Dadohaehaesang spans a collection of rocky islands along the country’s southern coast. Though a challenge to get to (a three-hour train ride from Seoul followed by numerous taxis and ferries), a visit to Dadohaehaesang National Park is well worth the effort for those who enjoy unspoiled natural beauty. A swath of evergreen forests plunge to craggy shorelines, and the park houses a broad assortment of endangered plant and animal species. The area is also notable for its maritime past as the site of multiple sea battles between Korea and invading Japanese armies.

Julien Viry / Getty Images

Set in the central Gyeongbuk province, the laid-back city of Andong framed by the Nakdong River is most famous for the UNESCO-listed Hahoe Folk Village . Dating to the 15th century, this quaint assemblage of thatched or tile-roofed houses evokes bygone images of the country’s Joseon Dynasty, and makes for one of South Korea’s most charming tourist attractions. Andong has long been considered the capital of Korean traditional culture, and other draws include renowned Andong soju (distilled rice whiskey), and the annual Andong Mask Dance Festival .

Tapsa Temple

Iseo Yang / Getty Images 

Although it’s not one of South Korea’s largest or most famous temples, Tapsa Temple may well be the most interesting both visually and historically. Set at the base of a towering cliff, the temple grounds house over 80 stone pagodas built by a retired scholar-turned-hermit in the 19th century. Although no adhesive materials were used to build the pagodas, some of which stand 18 feet high, they have mysteriously withstood typhoons and strong winds over the centuries. Visit during the Maisan Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring, when the trees surrounding the temple come alive with cherry blossoms. Buses from Seoul reach Jinan Intercity Bus Stop in just under four hours, and from there it’s easy to take a taxi or local bus to the temple.

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10 Best Places to Visit in South Korea

By Vanessa Holmes · Last updated on February 5, 2024

Occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula is the country of South Korea. Completely distinct and independent from neighboring North Korea, South Korea is a thoroughly modern, engaging and thrilling destination for travelers. Major cities like Seoul offers the buzz of an urban metropolis along with fantastic nightlife and a chance to discover the latest technological marvel.

However, South Korea is also home to scenic national parks and plenty of places where you can slow down and enjoy the atmosphere. From islands off the coast to the fearsome border zone in the middle of the Korean Peninsula, there are countless things to do, see and explore on your next trip to South Korea.

10. Suwon [SEE MAP]

Suwon

The city of Suwon is the capital of Gyeonggi Province, and it is just 30 km (20 miles) outside of Seoul. It is easily accessible from Seoul by car or train, but it often skipped over by travelers.

If you visit, you’ll be able to see the World Cup Stadium, affectionately called Big Bird, that hosted the quarter finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. If you’re not a soccer fan, head instead to the historic 18th century Hwaseong Fortress, where you can tour the architecture and even try your hand at archery on the premises.

9. Chuncheon [SEE MAP]

Chuncheon

Surrounded by scenic lakes and towering mountains in Chuncheon, the capital city of Gangwon Province. Chuncheon is the location of a popular Korean soap opera called Winter Sonata, and a lot of visitors in the city come to see some of the most common filming locations.

Other travelers come for the food, because Chuncheon is known as a foodie’s paradise. After touring major attractions like the Soyang Dam, Statue Park or Cheongpyeong-sa Temple, head to Dakgalbi Street. This street features the dish dakgalbi, a grilled chicken meal with spicy vegetables and rice. Dozens of restaurants on the street offer the same iconic dish, each offering slight variations on the recipe.

8. Busan [SEE MAP]

Busan

The second largest city in the entire country is Busan. It’s also a major port, and it is known for boasting beautiful beaches as well as hot springs and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Busan’s Gamcheon Cultural Village, known as the Santorini of Korea, is a stunningly colorful hillside community overlooking the water.

While in Busan, you’ll also have the chance to visit several temples, the most popular of which is Beomeosa Temple. While the city boasts all the shopping and museums you might expect from an urban area of its size, some of the most popular attractions include Haeundae Beach, Taejongdae Park and the beautiful Nakdong River Estuary Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

7. Jeonju [SEE MAP]

Jeonju

At the peak of the Joseon Dynasty, Jeonju was its spiritual capital. Today, Jeonju is filled with temples and museums and is one of the best places to visit in South Korea. If you want to embrace the local culture and get to know its history, make your way to the Jeonju Hanok Village.

There, you can see traditional homes from the early 20th century, make the traditional Hanji paper or sip the locally made soju. Another popular attraction in the city is the impressive Jeonju National Museum, home to a staggering collection of artifacts. While in Jeonju, try the famed Korean dish Bibimbap, which originally comes from this region.

6. Seoraksan National Park [SEE MAP]

Seoraksan National Park

If you want to go hiking, see the best known mountain range in South Korea or just get some epic photos, then make sure you visit the Seoraksan National Park. Within the park you’ll find pine forests, jagged and rocky mountain peaks, crystal clear streams and stunning lakes.

Seoraksan National Park is also home to over 2,000 animal species. Start your visit at the National Park Visitor Centre, where you can pick up free maps in English and Korean. Then, enjoy the miles and miles of signposted hiking trails that crisscross the entire park.

5. Andong [SEE MAP]

Andong

At more than 2,000 years, Andong is sometimes referred to as the Capital City of Korean Spiritual Culture. Perhaps the main attraction in the city is the Andong Hahoe Folk Village, where local cultural heritage has been preserved and is shared with visitors.

However, it is foodies that will most enjoy a visit to Andong. The city boasts all kinds of local specialties, starting with a famed chicken and noodle dish called jjimdak. Andong is also home to a special type of alcohol called soju, so have a sip before you depart the city.

4. Jeju Island [SEE MAP]

Jeju Island

Off the southern coast of South Korea is Jeju Island, the country’s only Special Autonomous Province. Nicknamed Island of the Gods, Jeju is a subtropical destination known as one of the top honeymoon and vacation spots in South Korea. In addition to beautiful beaches, lava tubes and lush green scenery, Jeju boasts a long list of tourist attractions and amusement parks.

You can get to know the local culture at the Seongeup Folklore Village, or you could visit Glass Castle, a theme park that revolves around glass sculptures. Perhaps the oddest and most controversial attraction in Jeju is Loveland, a theme park featuring romantic and adults-only attractions.

3. DMZ [SEE MAP]

DMZ

The DMZ, or demilitarized zone, is the boundary area between North and South Korea. It is considered a cease-fire zone. While travelers can visit the DMZ, not all areas of the zone are safe. Only a small portion of the DMZ, known as the JSA or Joint Security Area, is open to the public.

In the JSA, you can physically stand in North Korea, although you will be within a building that also houses South Korean soldiers. You can also visit a North Korean gift shop that sells stamps, wine and currency from North Korea. Be aware that the only way to visit the DMZ is on an authorized and guided tour.

2. Gyeongju [SEE MAP]

Gyeongju

Gyeongju is the ancient capital of what was once the Silla Kingdom. This makes the city more than 2,000 years old. Gyeongju is an incredible destination that boasts a number of temples and cultural festivals. Start your trip at the Bulguksa Temple, a true masterpiece of Buddhist religion and art that dates back to the 8th century. Then, hike up from the temple to the Seokguram Grotto for even more Buddhist culture and artifacts.

Don’t miss the Covered Market, a collection of vendors selling everything from Silla souvenirs to freshly made Korean delicacies.

1. Seoul [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In South Korea

Seoul is by far the largest city in South Korea and a major destination in East Asia. If you’re spending any time in the country, there’s a good chance you’ll be visiting Seoul at some point. There is no end to the attractions in the city, but many visitors start with some of the many palaces located in Seoul.

Top picks include the incredible Gyeongbok-gung and the 15th century Changdeok-gung. You’ll also find ancient temples and shrines, beautiful public parks, cutting-edge design, shopping malls and some of the best cuisine in all of Asia.

Map of South Korea

South Korea map

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March 7, 2021 at 12:35 am

korea is so beautifull

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September 26, 2019 at 8:21 pm

I am Korean, but live in US and I think you missed Kwangju, where Korean Democracy started and Moodeng Mount is beautiful and lots of performance of Korean traditional music. Whenever I visit Korea, I love to visit that city where you can feel the spirit of Korean.

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Must-see attractions in South Korea

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Gyeongbokgung

Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Like a phoenix, Seoul’s premier palace has risen several times from the ashes of destruction. Hordes of tourists have replaced the thousands of government…

Biwon Garden at Changdeokgung, Gwanghwamun.

Changdeokgung

The World Heritage–listed Changdeokgung is the most beautiful of Seoul's five main palaces. You must join a one-hour guided tour to look around. English…

Jeonju Hanok Village with over 800 traditional Korean houses remaining in central Jeonju. Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea.

Jeonju Hanok Maeul

This maeul (village) has more than 800 hanok (traditional wooden homes), making it one of the largest such concentrations in the country. Virtually all of…

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, Asia

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art

Itaewon & Yongsan-gu

Amid the celebrity-owned apartments on the leafy southern slope of Namsan is Korea's premier art gallery. Beautifully designed and laid-out, it balances…

Seongsan Ilchulbong

Seongsan Ilchul-bong

This majestic 182m-high, extinct tuff volcano, shaped like a giant punchbowl, is one of Jeju-do's most impressive sights and a Unesco World Heritage site…

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Ssanggye-sa

Gyeongsangnam-do

The visual imagery of this temple is a feast for the eyes and, like any exquisite dinner, should be savoured with deliberation. Stone walls supporting…

Jagged ridges, 400m-high peaks, ropes, ladders and awe-inspiring views await travellers looking for a challenging hike. Most travellers disembark the…

A woman walks along the walls of Hwaseong Fortress.

The World Heritage–listed fortress wall that encloses the original town of Suwon is what brings most travellers to the city. Snaking up and down Paldal…

Deoksugung Palace in Korea .

Myeong-dong & Jung-gu

One of Seoul's five grand palaces built during the Joseon dynasty, Deoksugung (meaning Palace of Virtuous Longevity) is the only one you can visit in the…

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 2004:  South Korea - North Kyongsang - Andong surroundings - Historic village of Hahoe (UNESCO World Heritage List, 2010), typical house.  (Photo By DEA / M. BORCHI/De Agostini/Getty Images)

Hahoe Folk Village

Gyeongsangbuk-do

This delightful traditional riverside village – a Unesco World Heritage site – is a place to commune with the traditional fabric of old Korea and, in the…

National Museum of Korea at night

National Museum of Korea

This vast and imposing concrete slab of a museum takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Korea's past from prehistory all the way to the Korean…

sunrise of Baegundae peak, Bukhansan mountains  in Seoul, South Korea; Shutterstock ID 296386961; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/LP.com Destination Galleries

Bukhansan National Park

Gyeonggi-do

Granite-peak-studded Bukhansan National Park's sweeping mountaintop vistas, maple leaves, rushing streams and remote temples draw over 5 million hikers…

Detail of ROK Airforce plane outside War Memorial and Museum, north of river.

War Memorial of Korea

This huge museum documents the history of the Korean War (1950–53) using multimedia exhibits and black-and-white documentary footage, along with artefacts…

Magic Hour of Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam, Seoul

Gangnam & Southern Seoul

Located in the heart of ritzy Gangnam, the shrines and halls of the Buddhist temple Bongeun-sa, with its tree-filled hillside location, stand in direct…

DDP Entrance

Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park

Dongdaemun & Eastern Seoul

Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, this neofuturistic cultural complex was commissioned to replace the Dongdaemun Stadium, built during Japanese rule in the…

top 10 tourist attractions in korea

Noryangjin Fish Market

Providing terrific photo opportunities, Korea's largest fish market supplies every kind of aquatic life form to restaurants, fish shops and the general…

Namdaemun traditional market

Namdaemun Market

You could spend all day in this swarming night-and-day market and not see it at all. The largest market in Korea, each section has hundreds of stalls,…

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This magnificent temple is Busan’s best sight. Despite its city location, Beomeo-sa is a world away from the urban jungle, with beautiful architecture set…

Exterior of Seodaemun Prison, north of river.

Seodaemun Prison History Hall

Northern Seoul

Built in 1908, this former prison is a potent symbol of Korean suffering at the hands of Japan during colonial occupation in the early 20th century…

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Jagalchi Fish Market

Anyone with a love of seafood and a tolerance for powerful odours could easily spend an hour exploring the country’s largest fish market. Narrow lanes…

Revered as the birthplace of the paragon of Korean womanhood, Sin Saimdang (1504–51), and her son, the philosopher and government official Yi Yulgok (1536…

The Cheonggyecheon Stream draws crowds of locals out in early evening.

Cheong-gye-cheon

With its landscaped walkways, footbridges, waterfalls and a variety of public artworks, such as the enormous pink-and-blue shell entitled Spring in Cheong…

Seoul City and N Seoul Tower, South Korea

N Seoul Tower & Namsan

The iconic N Seoul tower (236m), atop the city’s guardian mountain Namsan, offers panoramic views of this immense metropolis from its observation deck…

Traditional Korean style architecture at Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul, South Korea.; Shutterstock ID 284085128; Your name (First / Last): Josh Vogel; Project no. or GL code: 56530; Network activity no. or Cost Centre: Online-Design; Product or Project: 65050/7529/Josh Vogel/LP.com Destination Galleries

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90 Day Korean

The 6 Tourist Attractions in Korea You Can’t Miss

Last modified: Mar 24, 2022 | 9 min read | By Sarah Wigg

If you’re looking for the best tourist attractions in Korea , then you’ve come to the right place!

Mark these spots down on your itinerary and be sure not to miss them. They will make your trip to Korea even more memorable.

Read on for a list of our favorite South Korea tourist attractions, and be sure to let us know in the comments below if you’ve had the chance to visit any of these amazing places!

Tourist Attractions in Korea with A Man And Woman in Hanbok

There’s nothing better than planning a vacation, especially one that you’re really excited about. You buy your tickets, pack your bags, and then the best part: you begin to daydream about your trip as you plan your itinerary, making a list of the places you  must see while you’re away from home . As the list gets longer, your excitement grows, and before you know it it’s time to go!

If you’re studying the Korean language , a trip to Korea is one of the absolute best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you get an unparalleled opportunity to practice the language skills you’ve acquired through your studies — you’ll also get the opportunity to dive deep into the culture , art, restaurants , and shopping that learning Korean gives you access to.

If you’re planning a trip to Seoul or another area in Korea, making an itinerary will be no easy feat! There are innumerable South Korea tourist attractions that you could include on your list of things to do, and depending on your interests, there will be a number of places or activities that are non-negotiable.

Here are the top spots we recommend checking out.

  • 1 Insadong Shopping District (Seoul)
  • 2 Seoraksan National Park
  • 3 Underwater Tomb of King Munmu
  • 4 N Seoul Tower
  • 5 Gyeongbokgung

Insadong Shopping District (Seoul)

One of the best parts about l visiting Seou(aside from all of the delicious Korean food you’ll be eating!) is the seemingly infinite number of shopping possibilities . Whether you’re on the market for clothes , beauty products , or souvenirs for you to bring back home to your loved ones, there will be shops calling your name everywhere you turn. Make sure you bring an extra suitcase with you to bring back all of the great products that you find!

South Korea tourist attractions

While pretty much all of Seoul is packed with a variety of stores, Insadong is special — rather than your typical Korean shops, you’ll find narrow streets full of antique shops and intimate Korean tea shops that are great to stop at if you need a break from all of your shopping. Insadong is always packed with locals and tourists alike, so you’re bound to see plenty of interesting people.

Show up early to get some shopping done, and stay after you’re finished to people watch and walk through the crowds for an authentic Seoul experience .

Seoraksan National Park

While you’ll, of course, want to spend most of your time in Korea in amazing cities like Seoul, make sure you also dedicate enough time to explore all of the natural beauty in South Korea . Seoraksan National Park is home to Seoraksan, the tallest mountain in the mountain range that runs through the Eastern part of the country .

South Korea tourist attractions

There’s no bad time to visit the park — regardless of the season you visit, it’s absolutely beautiful and has plenty of amazing hikes for you to take and views for you to take in. That being said, there’s something truly amazing about visiting this national park in the autumn months , because the trees change color and bring the landscape to life. If you visit the park after the summer is over and done with, it also means you won’t have to put up with the high temperatures that last through the end of August so being outdoors will be more enjoyable.

Whether you’re a fan of hiking, taking beautiful pictures, or picnicking, Seoraksan is a South Korea tourist attraction that should be on your list!

Underwater Tomb of King Munmu

Once you’ve gotten your fill of the city, head out to the ocean to check out the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu , a must-see tourist attraction in Korea. King Munmu was a ruler that lived almost 1,500 years ago, and he is very important to Korean history because he unified three different kingdoms, merging their power into one.

South Korea tourist attractions

Why is he buried underwater, you ask? Believe it or not, he wanted it that way! King Munmu believed that if he were buried in the sea after his death, he would return as a dragon to guard the land he helped lead towards greatness.

Whether you’re a history buff or just a really big fan of Korean seafood , make sure the tomb is on your list of things to do while you’re on your trip. While it’s beautiful to visit year-round, this is another site that is particularly special in the autumn months as the weather cools down and the leaves change color. Make sure to let us know if you see any dragons during your stay!

N Seoul Tower

No trip to Seoul is complete without a trip to the famous N Seoul Tower . N Seoul Tower was the first of its kind — no other tower-like tourist attraction had been built in Korea prior to its construction. The tower sits at 236 meters tall, which means that while you’re at the top, you’re at the second-highest point in the entire city.

South Korea tourist attractions

While you’re visiting the tower, there are a variety of activities that will keep you busy, so make sure you clear several hours for the trip. You’ll initially want to check out the observation decks , which give you an unbeatable panoramic view of Seoul that makes for absolutely perfect photos. While you’re on the deck, you’ll, of course, want photos of the city, but don’t forget to have a friend (or stranger/new friend) snap a picture of you with the city as a backdrop to show your friends back home!

After you check out the observation deck, there’s a restaurant that is technically an observation deck in and of itself. This is a great place for a last meal in Seoul or for a date, because the view of the city as you enjoy your meal is really special. You’ll also get to see the city from all angles, because the restaurant completes one revolution per hour.

Gyeongbokgung

If you ask the people you meet in Seoul what you absolutely must do with your time in the city, most will include Gyeongbokgung Palace somewhere on their list (for good reason). This magnificent palace was built in 1395, so not only is it one of the most beautiful man-made structures in the world, it’s also over 600 years old!

South Korea tourist attractions

This palace is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces, and as such, it’s a quintessential piece of Korean history. The kings of the Joseon dynasty lived in this palace, and its design and architecture reflect that — it is very clearly fit for royalty.

A little over one hundred years ago, Imperial Japan destroyed most of the palace, which was devastating for Korea. While it is still being restored to this day, it is an absolutely amazing complex that will take you hours to see in its entirety. The complex is also home to two different museums, The National Folk Museum and The National Palace Museum of Korea.

Both museums are a lot of fun to see, but if you have a finite amount of time and need to choose between the two you should spend time seeing The National Palace Museum. It’s the type of museum that is interesting for all visitors and not just history buffs. Try to check out the palace and the museums during the week — being a tourist destination, it gets pretty crowded on the weekends.

If you’ve made it to the end of your trip and you feel like you’ve gotten your fill of shopping, nature, and history (impossible, we know!), you should consider visiting Hongdae with the time you have left in Korea.

South Korea tourist attractions

Hongdae is the area immediately surrounding Hongik University, so if you take time to check out the clubs and restaurants in the area be prepared to take a walk on the wild side! The younger crowd in Seoul frequently parties in this area, and if you spend your evening here you’re in for a night full of excitement and intrigue.

To properly enjoy all that Hongdae has to offer, make a full day of it: spend your day perusing the sidewalk art sales that are all over this part of Seoul, and then get dinner at a funky cafe followed by a night of dancing in a neon-lit nightclub. Just make sure you make it back to your hotel in time to get a couple of hours of sleep before making your plane the next morning!

While you’re working on your itinerary, you may want to complete our 90 Minute Challenge to make sure you know the Korean alphabet and that your language skills are as ready for your upcoming trip as you are.

Do you need to learn Korean quickly for your next trip to Korea? We have a fun program that can help you achieve your language goals quickly. With the 90 Day Korean Membership program , you’ll be able to have a 3-minute conversation in just 90 days if you follow our structured course.

Are you ready to visit these sites in Korea? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: http://Bigstock.com

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4 thoughts on “The 6 Tourist Attractions in Korea You Can’t Miss”

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I have been to N Seoul tower and OMG THE NIGHT VIEW IS SOOOOOO PRETTY!!!!

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It’s one of the best tourist sites in Seoul! ^^

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It’s an amazing place to visit! ^^

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13 Most Tourist-Friendly Places Around The World Where You Don’t Have To Worry About Being A Stranger

  • Hospitality and tourist-friendliness are key factors to consider when choosing a travel destination. South Korea, Japan, and Greece are among the most tourist-friendly countries in the world.
  • South Korea is known for its charm and hospitality, with cities like Seoul and Busan worth visiting. Japan offers a blend of cultures and polite residents, while Greece's culture of hospitality to strangers dates back to ancient times.
  • Thailand, Spain, the United States, Australia, Italy, Portugal, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, and Iceland are also known for their tourist-friendly atmospheres, welcoming people, and diverse attractions.

Hospitality and tourist-friendliness are some of the most important things to consider before visiting a place. These factors often determine whether one will have an enjoyable experience or a regrettable one. From pedestrian-friendly cities to those who open their arms to LGBTQ+ travelers , the world is much kinder than we're made to believe.

Many destinations around the world become less appealing by not having these qualities. Some, however, have them, and it helps to know that one will not have to worry about being a stranger when visiting the best tourist-friendly destinations around the world. Out of them all, these are perhaps the most tourist-friendly countries in the world to visit as a foreigner. Pack a bag and get those tickets booked ASAP!

UPDATE: 2023/11/17 18:22 EST BY NOAH STAATS

The Most Tourist-Friendly Places On Earth: More Smiles Ahead

This article has been refreshed with two new friendly countries, both in Asia, as well as expanded attractions to see in each respective place. From the East to the West, and everywhere in between, there is more happiness and kind people to meet this year!

Related: 10 Places Where You Can Go If The World Is About To End (Scientifically Speaking)

South Korea

South Korea is one of the friendlier countries/places for tourists to visit. Known for its charm and hospitality, South Korea is the birthplace of K-Pop Korean BBQ and hosts plenty of cities worth booking a hotel in. Per a Pew Research study, nearly 85% of South Koreans have a positive view of Americans and the West, making this a safe choice for travel. Although some countries may not be as welcoming to foreigners, this is not the case in South Korea. Notable cities include Seoul, Incheon, Ulsan, Busan, Gwanju, and so on.

  • Top attractions in South Korea : Gyeongbokgung Palace, N Seoul Tower, National Museum of Korea, Bukchon Hanok Village, Bulguksa, Lotte World, War Memorial of Korea

Japan is yet another super-friendly Asian country for tourists, following years of smiling faces and blended cultures being allowed in its neighborhoods. With massive tourist hubs like Tokyo, Sapporo, Kyoto, Osaka, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe, etc. Being polite is another major part of Japanese culture, with respect between all age groups and genders, making the country even better for a wide range of visitors. Even for those who don't speak Japanese, Japan's residents are often said to be helpful to foreigners and will help them as much as possible.

  • Top attractions in Japan : Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Imperial Palace, Kinkaku-ji, Osaka Castle

These are a few unique things you can only see and do in Japan .

The culture of hospitality to strangers is ingrained into Greek culture, which is why strangers are often treated with so much respect and care. This culture dates back to ancient times, and Greeks stay true to this as they believe the stranger could be a god in disguise looking to test them.

In addition, Greece is one of the most touristy destinations in the world, and there’s always somebody from every part of the world there, so one will never feel alone or like a total stranger.

  • Top attractions in Greece: Acropolis of Athens, Delphi, Parthenon, Meteora Mountains

Related: 10 Must-Try Bucket List Experiences In Greece In 2023

Millions of people visit Thailand every year , so the country's residents have seen enough tourists that they have become used to them. At any time, tourists are scattered all over the country, so no single tourist is ever alone.

This makes it feel kind of safe here, and the locals often look for ways to please visitors however they can. Thai people are also famous for being very friendly and hospitable. After all, Thailand isn't nicknamed "The Land of Smiles" for nothing.

  • Top attractions in Thailand: The Grand Palace, Railay Beach, Ayutthaya, Tonsai Beach

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world , and that's not just because of its numerous historic and natural attractions and the many vibrant Spanish cities worth visiting . The country is also popular among travelers because of its warm and friendly atmosphere.

While English is not commonly spoken in some places, the people always do their best to make tourists feel welcome and comfortable. Also, many expatriates live and work in this country, so one can easily blend into the population.

  • Top attractions in Spain: La Sagrada Família, Guggenheim Museum, Plaxa Manor

The United States

The US welcomes everybody with open arms regardless of which part of the world they come from. It is one of the most diverse countries in the world, where people from every culture on the planet can be found.

Whether from Europe, Africa, Asia, India, Polynesia, Latin America, or Australia, everybody is welcome in the US. The country is also tourist-friendly, so one does not have to worry about being a stranger here.

  • Top attractions in the US: Grand Canyon, Central Park, Hollywood, Yosemite National Park

The population of Australia is diverse, and the people are welcoming, so tourists will not feel like they're on their toes while visiting. Australians are generally happy and easy-going people, and they have a good sense of humor that benefits everybody.

The only challenge visitors might have in Australia is understanding the accent, but knowledge of popular Aussie slang terms and words will help them get along well. The slang is not really such a huge problem anyway.

  • Top attractions in Australia: Sydney Opera House, Great Ocean Road, Fraser Island, Kakadu National Park

People in Italy have been used to foreigners for a long time; they welcome everybody with open arms. Italians are also kind and hospitable and will usually go to extra lengths to help visitors.

Whether visiting on vacation or looking to live in Italy, one will not have to worry about being a stranger in this country.

  • Top attractions in Italy: Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Uffizi Gallery Museum

Related: Destination Italy: 10 Things To Do In Italy At Least Once In Your Life

Portugal is a very beautiful, peaceful, and welcoming country. Tourists who visit will agree to the fact that the people are super friendly and always looking to help or start up a conversation. While tourists without knowledge of Portuguese might find it difficult to navigate or get things done in some places, there's usually always an English-speaking person around who's willing to help out.

Those who are fortunate enough to learn even just a little bit of Portuguese can even be adopted into a family before their vacation is over.

  • Top attractions in Portugal: Torre de Belem, Geres Mountain Range, Castle of Guimaraes

The Philippines

The Philippines is one of the friendliest countries in the world. The locals are very helpful to everybody, especially tourists, and their smile is warm and contagious. Tourists who are lucky enough can even get shelter and a bowl of rice decorated with eggs, tomatoes, and beef tapa from local people.

There's so much to say about Filipino hospitality - it could fill up a book. It doesn't matter who one is or where one is coming from; the Philippines welcomes everybody.

  • Top attractions in the Philippines: Mayon Volcano, Chocolate Hills, Batad Rice Terraces

Canada is a large and culturally diverse country filled with friendly people, from the streets to the customs office. Whether purchasing something from a shop or asking for directions, visitors to Canada will feel the warmth of Canadians at every turn.

A recent study even placed Canada at the top of a list of the most accepting countries for migrants. This is a reassuring revelation and one that will surely make visitors to the country feel more comfortable.

  • Top attractions in Canada: Banff National Park, Niagara Falls, CN Tower

New Zealand

New Zealand, like many other Polynesian countries in the world , is a place of warmth and hospitality. Here, it's not difficult to blend into the community, as New Zealanders are generally considered to be friendly and down to earth.

Perhaps the abundant natural wonders in New Zealand have something to do with this? It's not totally certain, but it sure is one more thing visitors will enjoy in addition to the welcoming atmosphere in this beautiful country.

  • Top attractions in New Zealand: Hobbiton Movie Set, Fiordland National Park, Abel Tasman National Park

Iceland has long remained at the top of the list of the tourist-friendliest countries in the world. The people here are open-minded and kind, and there's a strong sense of community. Icelandic people are also considered some of the happiest people in the world, and Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world with low crime rates.

These positive features all combine to make visitors feel welcome and safe enough to enjoy all that Iceland has to offer .

  • Top attractions in Iceland: Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon , Golden Circle, Diamond Circle, Hallgrimskirkjs Church

13 Most Tourist-Friendly Places Around The World Where You Don’t Have To Worry About Being A Stranger

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Singer Lee Hyo-ri / Courtesy of Antenna

A new travel reality show featuring top singer Lee Hyo-ri and her mother is set to hit the air on May 26, according to cable channel JTBC, Thursday.

Tentatively titled, "Mom, Will You Go on a Trip With Me?" the upcoming program is a road movie-style show depicting Lee's first trip accompanied only by her mother.

It will be set at two tourist attractions in Korea, which were included on her mother's travel wish list. The exact locations have been kept under wraps.

"A lot of mothers and daughters will find our program relatable as it portrays a close yet distant relationship of an ordinary mother and a daughter instead of highlighting Lee as a celebrity," JTBC said in a statement, Thursday, adding that Lee's mother is as witty as her daughter.

Producers Ma Geon-young and Park Sung-hwan, who were behind the success of "Hyori's Homestay" series (2017-18) and "Camping Club" (2019), will take the helm of the new travel show.

"Hyori's Homestay" is a reality show set at the residence of Lee and her husband Lee Sang-soon on Jeju Island, which enjoyed top viewership ratings for providing therapeutic moments for people. "Camping Club" (2019) is another reality program starring the four members of the first-generation K-pop girl group Fin.K.L, including Lee.

"I hope our program can motivate more daughters to take a trip with their mothers," Ma said.

Lee started her singing career as a Fin.K.L member in 1998 with the album "Blue Rain." She went solo in 2003 and rose to stardom with the mega-hit "10 Minutes," which recently resurfaced as a viral hit on various social media platforms including Instagram.

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Target ship goes down in South China Sea as allies train to thwart a Philippine invasion

Members of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment practice hand-to-hand combat during a Balikatan drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

Members of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment practice hand-to-hand combat during a Balikatan drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

LA PAZ SAND DUNES, Philippines — The sound of artillery shook this adventure tourism mecca on the northwestern coast of Luzon, the country’s main island, Wednesday morning.

American, Philippine and Australian troops pounded a disused oil tanker 10 miles offshore with artillery, rockets, missiles, bombs and machinegun fire.

The demonstration showed what the longtime allies could do in the event of an invasion attempt, Philippine army Lt. Col. Omar Al Assaf said at the dunes.

The ship sinking was the culmination of the annual Balikatan exercise. The training began April 22 and is scheduled to end with a ceremony Friday.

Philippine troops manning 155 mm howitzers prepare for a Balikatan ship-sinking drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

Philippine troops manning 155 mm howitzers prepare for a Balikatan ship-sinking drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

A member of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment tries sandboarding at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

A member of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment tries sandboarding at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

Reporters watched the action unfold on video screens inside a tent overlooking the coast.

An Australian E-7 Wedgetail flew over the target and relayed data to firing units.

A U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship pounded the target vessel with a 105 mm cannon and 30 mm machinegun.

The barrage included fire from Philippine navy vessels, U.S. and Philippine fighter jets, a Philippine helicopter and 155 mm howitzers in the dunes.

Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who hails from the area where the training took place, observed the event from a command center at an undisclosed location, Philippine military spokesman army Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad said at the dunes.

The event showed air, sea and ground assets training to prevent an aggressor landing on Filipino soil, Assaf said after the target ship sank in 1,500 feet of water.

A live feed shows the target going down about 10 miles offshore during a Balikatan ship-sinking drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

A live feed shows the target going down about 10 miles offshore during a Balikatan ship-sinking drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

A live feed of a target ship about 10 miles offshore is displayed during a Balikatan drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

A live feed of a target ship about 10 miles offshore is displayed during a Balikatan drill at the La Paz Sand Dunes in Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

The attacks appeared to find their mark, but a pair of the U.S. Army’s Excalibur 155 mm artillery shells turned out to be duds.

Soldiers detected problems in the electronic signals inside the rounds before they were fired, said Lt. Col. Matt Cahill, commander of 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment.

Tourist attractions at the dunes, including off-roading and sandboarding, were shut down during the live fire.

However, the mayor of Laoag, the town that surrounds the sand dunes, said operators welcomed the attention that the exercise gives the area.

Mayor Michael Marcos Keon speaks with reporters about Balikatan training taking place in his city, Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024.

Mayor Michael Marcos Keon speaks with reporters about Balikatan training taking place in his city, Laoag, Philippines, May 8, 2024. (Jonathan Snyder/Stars and Stripes)

“I feel that it is important that they do it here,” Michael Marcos Keon said as artillery barked nearby. “Please understand what the Chinese navy is doing — trespassing into our territory, harassing our fishermen, harassing our coast guard. It’s not acceptable.”

Last week, a China coast guard ship with water cannons damaged one of two Philippine coast guard vessels at Scarborough Shoal, a feature inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone that’s controlled by Beijing. An escalating number of similar encounters have occurred between the two countries at Second Thomas Shoal, a submerged reef in the South China Sea controlled by Manila.

Filipinos need to send a message to China that they will not be bullied, Keon said, noting that he is a relative of his country’s president.

“We need to do this with our allies, and who are our allies? The United States of America,” he said.

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related stories

  • American forces dust off spartan Philippine airport during Balikatan exercise
  • American troops return to strategic islands near Taiwan for air-assault practice
  • Troops practice defending Philippine coast against invaders from South China Sea

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New attractions set to open at Mandai Wildlife Reserve

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New attractions are set to open at the world-renowned Mandai Wildlife Reserve, including an eco-resort by a luxury hotel chain and a new park modelled after the rainforests of Africa. Dr Sin Harng Luh, Senior Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, talks about the experiences visitors can look forward to with the new attractions. She also discusses the value of the development in Singapore's efforts to attract more eco-tourism dollars.

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IMAGES

  1. Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Seoul Korea with Photos

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  2. Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Seoul Korea with Photos

    top 10 tourist attractions in korea

  3. 20 Best Places to Visit in South Korea in 2023

    top 10 tourist attractions in korea

  4. Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Seoul Korea with Photos

    top 10 tourist attractions in korea

  5. 31 Best & Fun Things To Do In Seoul (South Korea)

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  6. 55 Best Things to Do in Seoul (South Korea)

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VIDEO

  1. Best Tourist Attractions in Korea Top 6#shorts

  2. top 10 tourist attractions in the U S

  3. The Most Popular Places to Visit in Korea

  4. Namsan Tower in Seoul 😉 #seoul #southkorea #place #visit #travel #shorts

  5. Top 10 tourist attraction in the PHILIPPINES😮

  6. Top 10 Tourist Destinations in The World @Diaries365

COMMENTS

  1. 19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in South Korea

    Discover the best places to visit with our list of the top tourist attractions in South Korea. 1. Experience Korean History at Changdeokgung Palace. 2. Explore Beaches and History in Busan. 3. Visit Jeonju, the Former Spiritual Capital of Korea. 4. View Seoul from Above at the N Seoul Tower.

  2. 15 Top Tourist Attractions in South Korea (+Map)

    South Korea has an interesting cultural landscape to boot; the nation is rich with festivals, cultural events and tasty food. 15. Ganghwado Island [SEE MAP] Located in the West Sea, Ganghwado Island is brimming with history. It has been occupied since prehistoric times and even enjoyed a period when it was the capital of Korea in the 13th century.

  3. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in South Korea

    2023. 1. Gyeongbokgung Palace. 10,830. Historic Sites. The National Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum are located on the grounds of this palace, built six centuries ago by the founder of the Chosun dynasty. See full details. See ways to experience (157) 2023.

  4. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in South Korea (UPDATED 2024)

    2023. 6. National Museum of Korea. 2,409. History Museums. This is the largest and most popular museum in Korea with over 420,000 objects in its collection. It has six permanent exhibition galleries such as Calligraphy and Painting and the Room of Quiet Contemplation. Admission is free to all permanent exhibitions - Online reservation required ...

  5. 10 best things to do in South Korea

    In Seoul, Namdaemun Market, Gwangjang Market, Tongin Market and Dongdaemun Market are the most popular. In Busan, go to Gukje Market or Bupyeong Market. Try Dongmun Market in Jeju-do and Jungang Market in Daejeon. 6. Check out the cafe scene. An Instagrammer's dream, South Korea's cafe scene has a spot for every taste.

  6. Top 10 Most Popular Attractions in Korea

    Bukchon Hanok Village, SEOUL. Insadong, SEOUL. Manjanggul Lava Tube, JEJU 🆕. Gamcheon Culture Village, BUSAN. Naejangsan National Park, JEOLLABUK 🆕. Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden, SEOUL. Three new attractions in Gyeonggi, Jeju and Jeollabuk have make it to the top 10 list of 2021.

  7. 7 best places to visit in South Korea

    2. Busan. Best place for maritime culture. Situated on the southern coast, South Korea's second city, Busan, overflows with a maritime culture as lively as it is varied. Setting the tone is Busan Port, the oldest and largest in the country (and also the sixth-busiest in the world), handling some 80% of South Korea's container cargo.

  8. 13 of the best things to do in Seoul

    13. Take a day trip to the DMZ. One of the top day trips from Seoul, a visit to the northern border may well be the most unusual 24 hours you'll spend on the Korean peninsula. The 250km (160-mile) border between North and South known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is one of the world's most closely guarded borders.

  9. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in South Korea (UPDATED 2024)

    2023. 1. Gyeongbokgung Palace. 10,819. Historic Sites. The National Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum are located on the grounds of this palace, built six centuries ago by the founder of the Chosun dynasty. See full details. See ways to experience (150) 2023.

  10. 11 Best Things to Do in Seoul

    Ranking of the top 11 things to do in Seoul. Travelers favorites include #1 Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower, #2 Bukchon Hanok Village and more.

  11. 20 Best Places to Visit in South Korea in 2024

    4. Busan. One of the best cities in South Korea to visit is Busan, a port city that provides a nice contrast to many of the other popular city destinations. The main focus for many visitors to Busan is the city's gorgeous beaches, with Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach the two best known.

  12. 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Korea

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) have announced the 100 Must-Visit Tourism Spots of Korea for 2021-2022. Out of these 100 must visit tourist spots in Korea, 51 of the travel destinations are natural attractions and 49 are cultural attractions.

  13. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Seoul

    2. The War Memorial of Korea. 4,336. Military Museums. Military history museum with a vast array of artifacts across three floors, interactive displays, and an impressive outdoor exhibit of warships and aircraft. Includes a poignant memorial hall. See ways to experience (11) 2023. 3.

  14. Top 100 Must-Visit Places in Korea & How to Go Guide

    The 6th edition of Top 100 Must-Visits Tourist Spots in Korea (2023-2024) list was announced by Ministry Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) on 13 December 2022. The list is a compilation of recommended tourist attractions that are selected and promoted every 2 years by MCST and KTO.

  15. The Top 10 Destinations in South Korea

    Phone +82 33-636-7700. Web Visit website. The easygoing city of Sokcho in South Korea's northeast corner is home to a stretch of golden coastline, but it's perhaps mostly known as the location of Seoraksan National Park. Celebrated as the country's most beautiful national park, Seoraksan is a hiking enthusiast's dream come true.

  16. 14 Days in South Korea: Must-See Attractions and Best Things to Do

    Gyeongbokgung Palace should definitely be at the top of your things to do in Seoul. Originally built in 1935, it served as the Joseon dynasty's main palace, and if you want to learn more, you can also visit the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea also located on palace grounds.

  17. Seoul Most Popular Tourist Attractions

    War Memorial of Korea. The imposing War Memorial of Korea stands as a monument to sacrifices made by soldiers during (primarily) the Korean War, and as a warning against the glorification of conflict. ... It doesn't take a genius to work out why Bukhansan National Park is one of the top 10 tourist attractions in Seoul. Fantastic forests ...

  18. 10 Best Places to Visit in South Korea

    Completely distinct and independent from neighboring North Korea, South Korea is a thoroughly modern, engaging and thrilling destination for travelers. Major cities like Seoul offers the buzz of an urban metropolis al ... 12 Top Tourist Attractions in Jeju Island. 10 Best Things to do in Gyeongju, South Korea. Discover the Hvalsey Church in ...

  19. Must-see attractions South Korea, Asia

    Olympic Park. This large and pleasant park was the focus of the 1988 Olympics. Strolling its paths takes you past its stadiums surrounded by plenty of greenery, ponds…. Discover the best attractions in South Korea including Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Jeonju Hanok Maeul.

  20. The Top 6 Must-See Tourist Attractions in Korea

    N Seoul Tower. No trip to Seoul is complete without a trip to the famous N Seoul Tower. N Seoul Tower was the first of its kind — no other tower-like tourist attraction had been built in Korea prior to its construction. The tower sits at 236 meters tall, which means that while you're at the top, you're at the second-highest point in the ...

  21. 18 Unmissable Things to Do in Seoul → Your Ultimate Guide

    Visit the colorful Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. 18. Have some fun at the Alive Museum and Dynamic Maze. BONUS 1: 13 Extra things to do in Seoul. BONUS 2: Must-try food in Korea. BONUS 3: 4 Day trips from Seoul. BONUS 4: Things To Do in Seoul With Kids. Practical information about traveling to Seoul.

  22. 13 Most Tourist-Friendly Places Around The World Where You Don ...

    South Korea, Japan, and Greece are among the most tourist-friendly countries in the world. South Korea is known for its charm and hospitality, with cities like Seoul and Busan worth visiting.

  23. Singer Lee Hyo-ri's new travelogue to premiere on May 26

    A new travel reality show featuring top singer Lee Hyo-ri and her mother is set to hit the air on May 26, according to cable channel JTBC, Thursday. ... It will be set at two tourist attractions ...

  24. Target ship goes down in South China Sea as allies train to thwart a

    Tourist attractions at the dunes, including off-roading and sandboarding, were shut down during the live fire. ... South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti ...

  25. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of The Republic of Indonesia

    The number of Korean tourists visiting Indonesia reached 347,185 people in 2023, with a growth of 284% from the previous year and ranks 8th in the top ten foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in 2023.

  26. New attractions set to open at Mandai Wildlife Reserve

    South Korean president holds briefing to mark his 2nd year in office. New attractions are set to open at the world-renowned Mandai Wildlife Reserve, including an eco-resort by a luxury hotel chain ...