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South Korea

South Korea could be considered a far eastern country with an exotic blend of ultra-modern commerce and ancient tradition. It is a country of temples, skyscrapers, beaches, and major cities.

It is also a country of fascinating political intrigue, situated right next to a neighbor that is also a geopolitical adversary. South Korea’s “Western” way of thinking, paired with its traditional Eastern context, perfectly envelopes the country’s remarkable capacity for welcoming tourists. 

The country shares its culture and heritage generously, which includes broad influences of Buddhism, Confucianism, and technology. There’s also the intrigue of the region’s cuisine and history, the strong presence of Western cultural influences (mainly from the US), and the warm and friendly people. 

This is a country that I have had the absolute pleasure of visiting, and these articles share some of what I recommend you see and do in South Korea. 

The Importance of Planning Your Visit to South Korea

The range of options may feel intimidating when visiting a foreign country. That’s why I like to create an itinerary. 

For example, 14 days in South Korea can easily be too short or too long. It all depends on what you plan (or don’t plan) to do. That’s why an efficient and well-thought-out South Korean itinerary is excellent for keeping your checklist on track. 

When to Visit South Korea

One highly recommended time to visit Korea is when cherry blossoms or Sakuras are in bloom. Cherry blossoms in Korea carry an extraordinary significance — they symbolise purity in Korean culture. The thing is that the flowers only bloom for about two weeks, around the end of March. So plan your trip accordingly. 

If you don’t make it for the blossoms, don’t worry. These flowers aren’t the only natural beauty to be found in Korea. There are, in fact, dozens of beautiful places in South Korea worth seeing. The 26 I found are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Notable Towns and Cities to Visit

Undoubtedly, much of your visit will be spent in one of South Korea’s great cities or tourist destinations. As mentioned, they offer a unique blend of the modern and ancient. This is where cutting-edge technology and architecture blend with old-world philosophy, tradition and culture. Here are a few to consider. 


As South Korea’s capital and cultural centre, planning an epic Seoul itinerary makes total sense. It’s also the first city you are likely to find yourself in, so you may as well make the most of your time here. Fortunately, it is fascinating and central to many activities tourists may want to partake in. 

Between the super-impressive skyscrapers and urban developments are similarly breathtaking Seoul boutique hotels awaiting your patronage. Many of them are also in fantastic neighborhoods that are well worth exploring. 

Tip: Another great way to get to know the country from Seoul is through one of the many Seoul day trips on offer. 


Myeongdong isn’t its own city but rather a district within Seoul. It is a shopper’s paradise. Basically, if you run out of items to buy or things to do in Myeongdong, you are probably a thousand years old and have seen everything there is to see in life. 

You can often attend one of several annual festivals that happen annually in the Myeongdong area. 


Nine out of ten people probably know the 2012 worldwide smash hit Gangnam Style by Korean artist PSY. The Gangnam in question is a very wealthy suburb in Seoul. This is considered Seoul’s economic driver and many major corporations base their headquarters here. 

Not surprisingly, there are some really fun (and sometimes pricey) things to do in Gangnam, including shopping. Think designer stores, high-end eateries, and general luxury. You could refer to this district as the Beverly Hills of East Asia. 

Side note: Gangnam is used colloquially to refer to the upper class in Korea. 


Are you heading to the coast? Busan is an excellent bet for a beautiful seaside vacation. As I mentioned before, a Busan itinerary will be helpful so you can catch all of the essential bits. 

That way, you’ll be able to plan enough time to enjoy the area’s beaches, museums, restaurants, and temples without feeling like you’re running out of time or ideas. 

This is an opportunity to be spoilt for choice regarding where to stay in Busan as well. There are several excellent hotels and neighbourhoods to pique your interest. 

Jeju Island

The island of Jeju is more than just popular with tourists. It also happens to be where many Koreans choose to go on holiday. So, it does provide a slightly “local” feel to your getaway, if that makes sense. Because of this, the island has fewer English-speaking citizens than in more tourist-friendly areas of the country. 

That doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of things to do in Jeju for English speakers, too. The island offers natural beauty born from a volcanic origin and beaches to enjoy, of course. 

To help, here’s a handy Jeju itinerary to help you get the most out of a three-day trip to the island paradise. 


Here’s an interesting observation: many of the things to do in Incheon seem to be free or close to free. At least, it seems more so than in most other tourist cities. It’s unclear why this appears to be the case or whether it’s objectively true. The city just seems to feel that way. 

I know that Incheon is less busy than Seoul despite being a city of nearly three million people. 

Side note: Incheon has an International Airport. Despite being less known than other major airports, it remains one of the busiest in the world. 


Daegu is the third-largest city in South Korea and sits in the North Gyeongsang Province. Remarkably, Daegu’s origins date back to around 60 BCE. It is often called the Textile City or Apple City. 

Among the top things to do in Daegu are visiting Medicine Street and Kim Kwang Seok Street. You can also opt for day trips like those to Jeonju for a look at the beautiful mountains and temples in the region.