South Korea Travel Guide

South Korea is an incredible country with exciting destinations, ancient temples and modern high tech cities. Highlights of visiting Korea include sampling the local cuisine, exploring cities like Seoul, checking new technology and seeing ancient temples. Get inspired to travel to Korea today.

 
 

Activities in South Korea

Find experiences and the best things to do if you would like to travel or go backpacking in Korea.

South Korea Travel Guide

South Korea Travel Guide

  • Capital - Seoul
  • Government - Republic
  • Currency - Won (₩)
  • Country Size - 98,480 km²
  • Population - 49,044,790 (approx)
  • Language - Korean

 

How to Get to South Korea

The only way to get to South Korea is by air or by sea. Most international tourists arrive via flights which into lang into Incheon internationa in Seoul. An alternative is to arrive by boat from Japan or China. You can find direct flights from the UK to South Korea, the journey takes around 11 hours. From the US several international airlines fly direct from airports throughout the country with the journey taking around 14 hours.

 

Best Time to Visit South Korea

You can visit South Korea all year round but we highly recommend arriving during spring which is around April to June. The climate is not too warm and this is when the flowers are blooming and it is very pleasant to travel around the country. Summer, July to September is generally very warm and also has a lot of rain due to it being monsoon season. Winter in South Korea, around December to March can be extremely cold.

 

Top Places to Visit in South Korea 

There are so many places you should consider adding to your South Korea travel itinerary, here are some of our top recommendations:

  • Seoul
  • Busan
  • Gyeongju
  • Seoraksan National Park
  • Jeju Island
  • Jinhae
  • Yeongam Gurim Village
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Boseong
  • Gyeongju
  • Deokjeokdo
  • The Demiliterized Zone (DMZ)
  • Andong and Hahoe Folk Villages

 

Festivals

There are a number of famous local festivals held throughout the year in South Korea, here are some you should try to catch:

April

  • Cherry blossom festivals 
  • Jeonju International Film Festival 

May

  • Buddha’s Birthday 
  • International Mime Festival

June

  • Dano 

July

  • Boryeong Mud Festival 

August

  • International Puppet Festival 
  • Firefly Festival

September–December

  • Gwangju Biennale
  • Andong Mask Dance
  • Busan International Film Festival
  • Baekje Festival
  • World Martial Arts Festival
  • Gimchi Festival
  • Pepero Day

 

South Korea Travel Tips

Budget: 
The cost of traveling in Korea is one of the biggest things which might hold you back, this is a very expensive destination even by Western standards. Food is one of the biggest appeals of visiting this country, you can find restaurants for all budgets and bowls of noodles are generally very cheap.

Accommodation: 
This can be your biggest cost here, hotels charge high prices whilst there are not that many budget range hostels on offer. This is why you might want to apply to join a tour where accommodation is usually included in the price you pay.

Food & Eating Out: 
To save money you might want to get food at local markets and at supermarkets where you can buy packet food like noodles fairly cheaply. There are Western food options available so if you are having cravings for 'normal' cuisine or feeling a bit homesick you can usually get a burger and chips is most locations.