South Korea is the unexplored Asian treasure that captivates every traveler seeking to uncover the marvels of our vast and talented continent and appears on numerous bucket lists. There are countless fascinating activities to engage in South Korea that will satisfy not only nature and adventure enthusiasts but also culture and history buffs.
The vibrant and eccentric capital offers excellent shopping, delightful cuisine, K-Pop concerts, and a lively nightlife, while other cities are steeped in culture and blessed with natural wonders. Here, we will take you on an exhilarating journey, presenting our choices for some of the finest, wildest, and most enjoyable things to do in South Korea.
Top 10 Activities in South Korea
1. Uncover the Majesty of Seoul’s Palaces
Among the multitude of activities to partake in South Korea, a visit to the breathtaking Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul must be at the top of your list. As one of the five imperial palaces, strolling through this magnificent palace is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the country’s culture and history. Make sure to witness the impressive changing of the guards and take pleasure in the stunning gardens and river view as you leisurely walk around adorned in a traditional Hanbok costume (which grants you free admission and fantastic photo opportunities). The vibrant facades and intricate woodwork truly shine when the palace is illuminated at night.
Operating Hours: March-May & Sept-Oct: 9AM to 6PM; June-August: 9AM to 6:30PM; Nov-Feb: 9AM to 5PM. Closed on Tuesdays.Admission Fee: INR 200 per adult; INR 100 per child. Group discounts available.Location: 161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul
2. Embark on an Adventure Amidst Nature at Bukhansan National Park
One of the finest things to engage in South Korea is hiking the picturesque trails at Bukhansan National Park, located just outside of Seoul. This experience is not only a memorable adventure but also an opportunity to discover the diverse flora, fauna, temples, and fortresses in this region. As you navigate the natural trails, you will be greeted by murmuring streams, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil shrines. For experienced hikers, the Baegundae peak (the highest peak) awaits, while the Wonhyo Bong offers an easy and enjoyable climb for beginners.
Operating Hours: 4AM to 5PM every day of the week. Free admission for hikers.
3. Witness the Breathtaking Landscapes at Seongsan Ilchulbong
Also known as the Seongsan Sunrise Peak, ascending this breathtaking natural site in Jeju Island is among the most exhilarating activities to engage in while in South Korea. Nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers will be amazed by this rewarding hike and the awe-inspiring views of sunrise and sunset from the rim of the magnificent volcanic crater. If you are fortunate, you might catch sight of the intriguing female divers (Haenyeo or Jeju mermaids) who dive into the ocean to collect its abundant treasures.
Operating Hours: Summer-7:10AM to 7PM; Winter – 7:30AM to 6PMAdmission Fee: INR 130/adult; INR 65/child. Group discount available.
4. Explore the National Museum of Korea to Uncover the Past
This majestic marble-adorned building, where you can embark on a journey through ancient and modern Korea with captivating exhibits on each floor, is undoubtedly one of the most significant activities in South Korea. The first floor showcases historical displays (notably the Baekje Incense Burner), while the others feature pottery, paintings, sculptures, and various other aspects of Korean culture. It is a captivating place to spend a few hours marveling at the national relics and artifacts.
Operating Hours: 10AM to 6PM. Opens until 9PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 7PM on Sundays.Admission Fee: Free entry for Permanent Exhibitions and Children’s MuseumLocation: 137, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
5. Indulge in Delectable Delicacies at the Jagalchi Fish Market
Visiting the Jagalchi Market is one of the most enjoyable activities for seafood enthusiasts in South Korea. This country’s largest seafood market is a fantastic place to witness a wide range of fresh and dried seafood varieties, from the ordinary to the exotic and peculiar, all under one roof. Selecting from the impressive selection of seafood delights offered by vendors on the first floor and then having your freshly cooked meal served to you on the second floor is truly an experience to savor.
Operating Hours: 5AM to 10PM. Closed on the first and third Tuesday of every month.Location: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
6. Explore the Lush Boseong Green Tea Fields
The calming sight of neatly terraced rows of green tea bushes as far as the eye can see greet you at this astonishingly beautiful location on the southern coast of Korea. A stroll through the fields breathing in the pleasant aroma of the green tea is a revitalizing and exceptional experience that you should include in your top 10 things to do in South Korea. After wandering through the lush fields and capturing picture-perfect shots, make sure to visit the restaurant to taste the exotic green tea-flavored ice cream and local specialty with a green tea twist!
Hours of Operation: 9AM to 6:30PMAdmission Fee: INR250/adult; INR 200/child or senior citizen.Location: 763-65 Nokcha-ro, Boseong-eup, Boseong, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
7. The Magnificence of Spring at Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival
There is no superior way to encounter the enchantment of spring than witnessing the captivating Jinhae Cherry Blossom festival. Come spring, the entire naval town of Jinhae comes alive with these delicate pink blossoms which are a sight to behold. Observing the enchanting blossoms at the Yeojwacheon stream and the famous ‘Romance’ bridge is definitely one of the most fascinating things to do in South Korea. Additionally, the lovely cherry trees bordering the Gyeonghwa station are a spectacle not to be missed.
Location: Tongsin-dong, Jinhae-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-doBest time to visit: Early April
8. Enjoyment All the way at Lotte World and Magic Island
Spending a few hours at Lotte World, the country’s very own indoor version of the enchanting Disneyland, is one of the most enjoyable things to do in South Korea for both children and adults. There are exhilarating rides, dazzling parades, a fairyland-themed ice skating rink, 3d movies, laser shows, and much more to keep you captivated. The folk museum will engage the kids with a unique depiction of Korean history through animated waxworks and models. The outdoor Magic Island also offers numerous adrenaline-pumping rides, VR thrills, and adventures.
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs – 9:30AM to 10PM; Fri-Sat – 9:30AM to 11PM. Sunday closed.Admission fee: One-day tickets from INR3300/adult and INR 1800/child. Discounted entry after 4PMLocation: 240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
9. A Cultural journey at Bukchon Hanok Village
Near the hustle and bustle of the city lies this charming village with 900 traditional Korean homes (hanoks) bearing witness to the affluent architectural and cultural customs of the nation. It is a joy to wander through the tranquil pathways and appreciate the adorned walls and tile-roofed structure of these exquisite traditional residences. Many of the hanoks function as eateries and cultural centers providing an immersive encounter of the Korean customs and culture.
Working Hours: Mon-Fri – 9AM to 6PM; Sat-Sun – 9AM to 5PMLocation: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
10. Unwind at the exclusive & elegant Cobbler bar
Once you’ve completed exploring the significant historical sites in the city, this cozy bar tastefully located inside a conventional hanok is an excellent spot to unwind and relish some fantastic cocktails. True to its name, every patron is presented with a cobbler pie as their distinctive gesture. Unwinding at the Cobbler Bar with its sophisticated atmosphere, vintage furnishings, and wide selection of personalized beverages, is one of the trendiest things to do in Seoul, South Korea.
Working Hours: Mon-Sat – 7PM to 3AM. Sunday closed.Location: 16 Sajik-ro 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Now that you are aware of all the exhilarating things to do in South Korea, we expect your vacation would be as vibrant as the experiences mentioned above. And if you have already visited South Korea, kindly share your experience in the comments section below.
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