Top Places to Travel in Korea: 5 Must See Destinations

A person could spend years traveling around Korea and not see all of the beautiful sites in the country. If you don’t have years to travel, no worries! Here are our five top places to travel in Korea. You won’t want to miss out on these top spots filled with history, natural beauty, and delicious food.

1. Suwon

Suwon is a bustling suburb of Seoul. It’s conveniently accessible by the subway, buses and the KTX and SRT bullet trains. The legendary Hwaseong Fortress is the centenarian UNESCO World Heritage Site of the area with a walkable 5.5km long wall. It’s complete with cannons and a commanding view of the modern city below. An abundance of activities is available, including historical screenings, archery lessons, giant bell ringing and fortress shuttle tours. Outside of the fortress, Suwon’s attractions range between a serene Chinese-inspired garden to a thriving expat community rocking the lively nightlife. There’s something for everybody to enjoy in this convenient jaunt outside Seoul.

top places to travel in korea - Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon

2. Busan

Named one of the top 100 destinations for 2017 by Lonely Planet, it’s no surprise why Korea’s 2nd largest city is the sapphire gem of the nation. Multiple beaches, art mural villages, breathtaking coastal walks, unique seaside and mountaintop temples, outstanding architecture and foodie bazaars are all here. The Busan International Film Festival and the Busan Fireworks Festival dazzle crowds of visitors every year. A trip to Korea would be amiss without a visit to Dynamic Busan!

busan

3. Jeonju

A UNESCO City of Gastronomy is what Jeonju is! That’s a fancy way of saying the food here is REALLY good thanks to its being in a thriving agricultural province. The home of bibimbap and the freshest ingredients around, you won’t be disappointed with any traditional dish you savour here. To top it off, Jeonju was the capital of the Joseon Dynasty and is home of the famed Hanok Village. In the village, all the houses are built with traditional Hanok roofs. Make the best of your exploring by renting a colourful hanbok (traditonal Korean clothes) to glide around in. If you’re feeling sprightly in the evening, find yourself one of Jeonju’s famed makgeolli (rice wine) bars in the Samcheon-dong district. Food will come out by the tableful!

jeonju

4. Boseong

There’s nothing quite as Asian as green tea. And a visit to the Boseong Green Tea Fields will deliver fistfuls of the potent green stuff! 40% of Korea’s finest green tea is produced here. And the best of it sells for $50 a cup at luxury hotels in Seoul. But the gorgeously lush sea of manicured tea in rows rising up a hillside is what will get the shutterbug in you all jittery. You can even jump between the rows for some larger than life shots. Also, you can climb to the top of the hill for a bird’s eye view all the way to the sea. Stop by the souvenir shop to buy as much green tea and green tea cookies you can carry. Enter the pavilion diner above and tickle your tongue with green tea noodles and indulge on a cone of silk green tea soft serve your way out. For an extra experience, look into signing up for a tour of a green tea plantation in the area. Tea masters will guide you through a traditional tea ceremony and explain the intricacies of green tea in Korea. (Did we mention there’s a lot of green tea in Boseong?)

boseong

5. Gyeongju

Gyeongju is to Korea what Kyoto is to Japan: it’s the capital of a former empire teeming with mystical history from a millennia past. As the capital of the old Shilla kingdom, Gyeongju is rife with 1,400 year old temples, royal tombs and gardens, giant Buddhas and even the oldest standing observatory in Asia. Renting a bicycle or hopping on the Gyeongju tour shuttle will fit all the sights into one day. Don’t forget about hitting up one of the famed ssambap restaurants. Enjoy a meal of grilled meat and a table absolutely covered with as many fresh side dishes as your tummy can handle.

gyeongju

Can’t get enough of Korea?

Check out these 10 amazing (and cheap) things to do in Korea! Ready to take the leap and teach in Korea? Apply today! You should probably (definitely) do this.

Barun Sarkar

Barun Sarkar

Regional director of a tour company, writer, professor and charity event planner are just a few of the hats Barun Sarkar has worn as a Canadian expat in Korea. To top it off, he just finished a 10 month world tour covering 14 countries, 80 cities and countless waterfalls! Follow him at @barileetraveling!
Barun Sarkar

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