100 places to go in South Korea – Iconic attractions you should never miss
South Korea is a country with many graceful aspects of beauty. Its beauty is the fusion of a rich history, epic natural landscapes, traditional artificial constructions,… These gems will bring you a wonderful unforgettable trip. Now let take a look at 100 places to go in South Korea.
1. South Korea Demilitarized Zone
Embrace yourself for a heart-pounding adventure to one of the most dangerous place in the world.
This is the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. DMZ is the border barrier dividing the Korean Peninsula into two halves. It was agreed upon that human settlements would not exist in this zone and therefore, it is home to many wildlife. DMZ is famous for its ecotourism.
2. Panmunjom (JSA)
This is the place where North Koreans and South Koreans can meet each other without the barrier between, also known as Truce Village. Within the JSA, Panmunjom is situated where the South and North Korea Summit as well as the Military Armistice Commission took place. This is one of the best places to go in South Korea. Interestingly, the only way to visit DMZ & JSA is through a licensed tour operator.
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3. Gyeongbokgung Palace
It goes without saying that a Seoul bucket list should never be devoid of the remaining royal palaces. Known as the most famous of all, Gyeongbokgung Palace (also known as the Northern palace) was built in 1395. Through the ups and downs of the history, this palace is still the representative of the Joseon Dynasty. Among 5 main palaces, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the biggest and most important one. Indeed, Visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace is second to none when it comes to top things to do in Seoul.
4. Changdeokgung Palace
This palace is the second palace that was built after the Gyeongbokgung Palace in 1405. Since the time of King Seongjong, this palace became the place of residence for the King. This palace includes the public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden.
5. Changgyeonggung Palace
This palace was used as the residence for the queen and concubines. However, at first King Sejong built this palace for his father, King Taejong. This palace is in the center of Seoul making it an easily accessible point of interest.
6. Deoksugung Palace
This palace is situated on the busiest road of Seoul. It bring to this road a distinctive beauty of ancient construction. Because of this difference, it stands out from other buildings in this road. This palace was used as the residence as well as an official palace in the past.
7. Jongmyo Shrine
Different from the four aforementioned palaces, this place is a place for worship. This is the oldest royal Confucian shrine dedicated to the deceased kings and queens of the Joseon dynasty.
8. Bukcheon Hanok Village
Hanok is the name of traditional house in Korea. This village is between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. Exploring this village, you have a chance to see a village with 400 traditional houses. An ancient village is in front of your eyes.
9. Myeongdong street
This is one of the largest shopping area in Seoul. You can find many kinds of items in Myeongdong: from the fashion to skin care products from many famous brands all over the world. Myeongdong is the shopping paradise, the largest and hottest shopping spot in Korea and apparently, shopping in Myeongdong is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in your Korea trip. You also can try many countries’ cuisines here to fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger.
Read more: Korea Travel Tips
10. Nami Island
Nami island is a picturesque landmark that you should not miss. This place is the location where the famous Korean drama Winter Sonata was filmed. The beautiful view here is often featured in the romantic scenes of many Korean movies.
This place was opened by Samsung group and became the largest park in Seoul. This park is famous, featuring 40 rides and attractions, many species of animals, many different kinds of plants and flowers.
12. Lotte world
This entertainment complex in Seoul includes the largest indoor theme park and an outdoor park named “Magic Island”. Besides, there are other attractions such as hotels, shopping malls, museum,…
This street is the image of a traditional Korean culture because the shops in this streets selling the traditional craft and souvenirs. Moreover, there are many restaurants serving traditional food inside the hanoks (traditional houses).
14. The Garden of Morning Calm
This is the oldest private garden in Korea which was conceptualized by Professor Han Sang-kyung. The aim of this garden is to spread the beauty of the plans in Korea throughout the world. When you visit this place, you can explore many species of plants and flowers from all over the country.
Namsan Tower is the second highest point in Seoul so from here you will have a wide panoramic view of the beautiful city below. It has become the representative landmark and the symbol of Seoul. A checklist of places to go in South Korea can not be completed without Namsan Tower.
16. Seoraksan National Park (Mount Seorak)
This park is in northeast Korea in the Gangwon-do Province. It owns very epic natural scenes with many amazing activities include: hiking, cable car riding, sightseeing, temple visiting,…
17. Gwangjang Market
This is the oldest and largest market in South Korea selling seafood at first but now thanks to the development of the tourism, it sells many other kinds of items.
If you are young and you want to experience the young energetic life of Korean youth, Hongdae is your ideal destination. This street is full of coffee shops, bars, clubs,… attracting many natives as well as foreign people.
19. Ikseon-dong Hanok Village
As you can see in the name of the village, this village is full of the hanoks. The distinctive point of this village is that it is very peaceful without the crowd as other streets. This is a old image of Seoul that you must discover.
20. Cheonggyecheon Stream
This stream runs longer than 11 km and was one of the most important streams of the Joseon Dynasty. Nowadays, it runs through Seoul, creating a picturesque scene wherever it flows.
21. Incheon China Town
This is a complex of museums, galleries, and green spaces. Incheon China Town is also popular for its cuisines, architectural style,… Incheon China Town is a small version of China inside Incheon.
22. Songdo Central Park
Songdo Central Park is situated in the midst of many skyscrapers in the busy city, providing a safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
23. Hwaseong Fortress
This wall surrounding the centre of Suwon was built in only three years from 1794 to 1796. This is also an ancient construction from Joseon dynasty. King Jeongjo built Hwáeong Fortress in dedication of his father – Prince Sado.
24. Korean Folk Village
Korean Folk Village provides visitors the chance to explore the traditional culture of South Korea. They find a special ways to drive the traditional culture to the visitors by the classes so that you can experience true Korea customs. Among the places to go in South Korea, you should not miss this place with all of its traditional beauty.
25. Gwangmyeong Cave
This is a tourist attraction in Gwangmyeong which was built and used when Japan invaded Korea. This cave can be seen as a witness of the war.
26. Korea National Arboretum and Forest Museum (Gwangneung Forest)
The Korea National Arboretum (KNA) is in Gwangneung forest. Forest Museum is also a part of KNA where they exhibit all information about the forestry.
27. Hantangang River Resort
In Hantangang River Resort, you can find many volcanic rocks from the last volcano activity. Coming to this resort, the beauty of forest, river and the distinctive rocks will make it become a ideal place to refresh and go sightseeing.
28. Seoulland and Seoul Grand Park
Seoul Land is a part of the Seoul Grand Park providing the visitors a variety of amusement options that range from thrilling games, adventure games and other games for kids so that all people can enjoy themselves!
29. Yangpyeong Dumulmeori
Dumulmeori in Korean means the place where two rivers meet each other. The spirit of the landscape here is a 400-year-old Zelkova tree. Because of the poetic scene, this place has been the background for many Korean romantic movies.
30. Heyri Art Valley
This art valley contains the artworks from many fields of art: music, painting, drawing, books, poet,… all of them contributing to the greatness of artworks in this art valley.
31. Daegwallyeong Special Tourist Zone
Daegwallyeong Special Tourist Zone is the combination of five cities and counties. It welcomes you with the beautiful scenery of the highland landscape.
32. Odaesan National Park
Odaesan National Park is situated in Gangwon-do. This is the largest natural forest in South Korea also being the home of many wild animals such as boars, musk deer, turtledoves, woodpeckers,…
33. Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village
Because the development of the country, many people begin rushing to the big cities so that the village became so lonely. In order to make it revive, the government started to paint and decorate the walls by the fairy tales.
34. Daemyung Resort Vivaldi Park and Ocean World
Ocean World is a part of Daemyung Resort Vivaldi that has many thrilling and adventure games attracting many tourists to come here. Because they provide a variety of entertainment, this place is very crowded in the summers.
35. Yangim-dong Historical Culture Village
This is the largest traditional village in Korea. Therefore, you will have opportunity to experience the traditional culture and custom from Joseon Dynasty that are still well-preserved to this day. Besides, the nature around this village is also very beautiful harmony with the beauty of the ancient house bring to the visitors the gorgeous scene.
36. Sokcho Beach
What can be more wonderful than swimming in the beach with blue water, white sand and the green pines on the seaside? Sokcho Beach is near the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal so that the transportation is very convenient. In addition, Sokcho Beach is also close to the Seorak mountain so that you can enjoy both swimming and hiking activities in the same area.
37. Gyeongpodae Pavilion
This Pavilion provides you a look into the Korean traditional architectural style with the paljak – eight roofs – the architectural style that you can easily see in many other Korean ancient constructions. Gyeongpodae Pavilion is famous for its view of the moon in the middle of each lunar month – a epic vision you should not miss.
38. Museum San
Museum San is located in Oak Valley of Wonju. This museum emphasizes the interaction and the harmony of art and nature. This Museum is the combination of three smaller gardens include the flower garden, water garden and the stone garden.
39. Wondaeri Birch Forest
This place is a suitable visiting place for children to discover a wild forest with 690,000 birch trees. This forest is designed in order to educate and help the children recognize the importance and the beauty of the nature.
40. Jeju Stone Park
Jeju Stone Park is situated in Jeju Island. This park is the combination of the beauty of the stone and the abundant myth of Jeju Island. The park will tell the visitors about the legend of how the Jeju island was created. This legend’s main character is Seolmundae Halmang (Grandmother Seolmundae) who created Jeju island according to the myth.
Seopjikoji will surprise you with an amazing view and the breathless beauty of nature. The best time to visit Seopjikoji is in the April when the yellow canola flowers bloom. A yellow carpet will stretch as far as your eyes can see.
42. Eight Scenic Views of Danyang
Eight Scenic Views of Danyang are the symbol of Danyang, comprised of Haseonam, Jungseonam, Sangseonam, Sainam, Gudambong, Oksunbong, Dodamsambong, and Seokmun. This place does not just display the natural values but also the historical values because of the existence of so many historical relics here.
43. Somaemuldo Island
What makes Somaemuldo Island stand out from other scenes is the combination of bizarre rocks and stratified bluffs of Deungdaeseom. Somaemuldo Island is a present of the Mother nature without the hand of people.
44. Haeinsa Temple (Hapcheon)
This temple was built in 802 by two monks. Nowadays, more than 200 treasures are enshrined here so this temple has very high historical values.
45. Gongju Gongsanseong Fortress [UNESCO World Heritage]
Gongsanseong Fortress is a mountain castle situated in Gongju. It was built matching with the natural features of this place and was used as a defense as well as a royal palace.
46. Songsan-ri Tombs and Royal Tomb of King Muryeong [UNESCO World Heritage]
This is the Tomb of King Muryeong who ruled the Baekje from 501 to 523, and many relics currently in this tomb are from his dynasty. The most special construction in this place is the carving on the wall in the 6th tomb about the ancient myth and legend.
47. Bulguksa Temple [UNESCO World Heritage] and Seokguram Grotto [UNESCO World Heritage]
Seokguram Grotto has a monumental statue of Buddha looking at the sea. However, Seokguram is quite hard to get to because it is on a high position in the mountain. However, Bulguksa Temple is more attractive. The charm of the temple and the special stones here has been popular all around the country.
48. National Institute of Ecology (Seocheon)
This place is not just for visiting but it is also a researching and exhibiting center. In this place, you can see many species of animals coming from the different region.
49. Haemieupseong Fortress
This Fortress has existed since Joseon dynasty so that it is a historical witness from a long time ago from the past.
50. Gwangju Daein Market (Daein Arts Market)
This is the place where the small art exhibition takes place and also the place for creating the artwork. At first, this market is the traditional market but it changed in order to suit the modern life.
Beside these 50 above destinations, we also list out 50 more places to go in South Korea below:
51 – 60
- Jijil Trail
- Jeonju Hanok Village
- Maisan Provincial Park
- Wanju Samrye Culture & Arts Village
- Imsil Cheese Village
- Gunsan Time Travel
- Byeonsanbando National Park
- Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve and Suncheonman Bay National Garden
- Juknokwon (Bamboo Garden)
- Hongdo Island
- Cheongsando Island (Wando)
- Jeongnamjin Jangheung Saturday Market
- Odongdo Island and Expo Ocean Park
- Gaudo Island
- Daehan Dawon Tourist Tea Plantation (Boseong Green Tea Plantation)
- Steam Engine Train and Rail Bike along Seomjingang River
- Busan Gamcheon Culture Village
- Gukje Market and Bupyeong (Kkangtong) Market
- Wondosim Story Tour
- Taejongdae Recreation Area
- Bangcheon Market and Kim Kwangseok-gil Street
- Daegu Modern Street
- Yeongnam Alps
- Ganjeolgot Cape
- Taehwagang River Simnidae Forest
- Daewangam Park
- Ulleungdo Island and Dokdo Island
- Anmyeondo Island
- Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond and Cheomseongdae Observatory
- Andong Hahoe Folk Village [UNESCO World Heritage]
- Uljin Geumgang Pine Forest Trail
- Pohang Canal and Pohang Jukdo Market
- Yeongdeok Snowcrab Street
- Jinjuseong Fortress
- Haeinsa Temple (Hapcheon)
- Changnyeong Upo Wetland
- Dongpirang Village
- Windy Hill
- German Village
- Eco Land Theme Park
- Geoje Haegeumgang Island
- Hallasan National Park [UNESCO World Heritage]
- Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak [UNESCO World Heritage]
- Olle-gil Trail
- Jeju Jeolmul Recreational Forest
- Udo Maritime Park (Udo Island)
- Soesokkak Estuary
- Gyejoksan Mountain Red Clay Trail
- Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market
- Bijarim Forest and Saryeoni Forest Trail