Here’s a list of the top ten things you should do if
you visit South Korea. These suggestions arebased on my experience when I lived in Seoul.The activities will give you a good taste of whatKorea has to offer. My ranking is based on howfun they are and how close they are to Seoul.
Walking tour (Seoul):
Take a walkingtour of Gyeongbokgung,the royal palace of Korea's last dynasty, theJoseon.Stop by theChongwadae,or Blue House, the officialresidence of the South Korean president. Walk alongCheonggyecheon,a canal walk just two blocks south of Gyeongbokgung off the main thoroughfare downtown, Sejongno.Keep walking a couple blocks south to Seoul'sCity Hall.There aren't many residential orshopping areas in the heart of downtown, but you will feel the pulse of Korea there.2.
Shop for souvenirs andgood deals at any one of a number of open-airmarkets and shopping districts in Seoul. Themost popular areNamdaemun,Dongdaemun,Myeongdong,andInsadong.Namdaemun isthe most famous and lies near Korea's #1Treasure,Namdaemun Gate.It's your best bet for Korean souvenirs. For moretraditional arts and crafts, try Insadong.Myeongdong is a trendy shopping area.Dongdaemun is less touristy and a bit off the beaten tourist path.3.
Namsan Mountain (Seoul):
a cablecar to the top of Namsan Mountainin theheart of Seoul forsome of the bestpanoramic views of the city.NSeoulTowerismorefunctionalthan
beautiful but has a great view. Explore the paths inNamsan Park and check out the frequent events heldthere. Then visit nearby Namsangol Hanok ,atraditional Korean village inPildongon the north sideof the mountain, for a taste of pre-modern Seoul.4.
Dining and Entertainment:
The diningand entertainment options in South Koreaare endless. Great Korean food is availablethroughout the country; the bestinternational cuisine is in Seoul and Busan.Try something different than bulgogi.Havesomegalbijim(beef ribs), bibimbap,or spicy takgogi along withkimchiand other banchan(side dishes). For vegetarians, dine at aBuddhist restaurant. Wash it down withsoju,a Korean rice alcohol that some say tasteslike vodka, or baekseju,a sweet alcohol. Then head out for noraebang(karaoke)and sing your heart out with friends. Enjoy the nightlife inHongdae,the bohemian area of Seoul,or trendy Gangnam.Seoul is a happening place at night. If you're out late and need torefresh yourself, try somehaejangguk (hangover soup) and then head to thechimjilbang(sauna) to relax.5.
Panmunjomand take a bus tour of the NoMan's Land between the two Koreas. Notall foreign nationals are allowed to tourPanmunjom, so check with a tour guideto see if you're allowed to visit.
Korean Folk Village:
Located in Giheung,45 minutes south of Seoul, theKorean Folk Village was built for tourists but is arguably the best example of Joseon-era Korean life.The attraction also has a lot of kiddie ridesgreat for children. A fun daytrip from Seoul.7.
Seoraksan National Park:
With greathiking and awesome views,Seoraksanisconsidered by many Koreans to be the most beautiful national park in South Korea. Visita nearby hot springs to relax after a longhike. Seoraksan is not far from other greatdestinations in mountainous GangwonProvince, includingPyeongchang,future siteof the2018 Winter Olympics; YongpyongSki Resortin Pyeongchang, made famous by
935 AD).Thehistoric areais full of artifacts, includinggrassy burial mounds holding the tombs of theSilla kings and the CheomseongdaeObservatory. The area offers beautiful views of the Korean countryside. Numerous Buddhisttemples and statues are hidden in the hills,and the Pacific Ocean is a half hour driveaway.10.
A large island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula,Jeju Islandis beloved by many Koreans for its beauty, warm weather, interesting rock formations created by volcanic lava flows, and a local culture unique to Korea. Stay in Jeju City and explore theisland's beaches, parks, and towns in several daytrips.