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11 Best Seoul Day Trips You Won’t Forget

Looking for the best Seoul Day Trips? Seoul, Korea is a fantastic city for any traveler to visit. This bustling metropolis is modern and ahead of the times in so many ways, while still remaining deeply traditional. 

You can expect to find all kinds of attractions, beauty, and adventures across South Korea’s capital.

While Seoul is a critical part of any Korea Itinerary, it can also serve as an ideal base to explore more of the country from. This city is very close to many major things to do and see in South Korea, and it is the easiest way to make day trips as part of your Seoul Itinerary.

south korea itinerary 14 days

Short on time? The DMZ day trip from Seoul is one of the best day trips I have ever done, let alone the best day trip from Seoul. Don’t miss it!

Using Seoul as a base in South Korea can be an excellent idea. Here are some of my recommendations on the best Seoul day trips, as well as some absolute gems in the city that I loved visiting.


Things to Book Before You Leave Home
Few things are more frustrating on vacation than missing out on that amazing hotel or tour because it is sold out. Here are our top things to book before your vacation.

🏯 Book these popular Seoul Tours before you leave home to avoid disappointment. 
1. Half Day Guided DMZ tour from Seoul
2. Introduction to Seoul Tour
3. Korean Cooking Class

🛏️Where to Stay in Seoul:
1. JW Marriott – my personal favourite – great location and great bar
2. Hotel28 Myeongdong – great location and value, first Korean member of Small Luxury Hotels

11 Best Seoul Day Trips

Whether you love nature, are after adventure, or want to soak up the local culture and traditions, you can do it all from a Seoul day trip. Here are some of the best day trips from Seoul South Korea.



DMZ Tour
✔️Travel to the North Korea Border
✔️ Put one foot in North Korea in the huts
✔️ See the Bridge of No Return



Best for Culture
✔️ Open-air Heritage Museums
✔️ Hahoe Folk Village
✔️ Scenic Stop at Buyongdae Cliff


mount seorak seoul korea

Best for Nature Lovers
Mount Seorak
✔️ Dune Bashing
✔️ Unique sandboarding experience
✔️ Amazing Sand Dunes

1. DMZ Tour

Korea has a fascinating war history, and any visitor to the country should look into it. Full or half day tours are offered from Seoul to explore the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea. 

Visiting this area outside a tour is not allowed. Visiting the DMZ is one of the most popular day trips in Korea.

korea trip itinerary

Through this unique experience, you will get to learn all about Korean war history. You will also get to see some sites of major interest, such as the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, the Dora Observatory, and the Korean War Memorial. These day trips out of Seoul are completely safe and include transport.

It is essential to book your DMZ Korea tour ahead of your visit as they sell out. This one day trip from Seoul is normally an early start with quite a bit of paperwork.

For me, the highlight of the tour was being able to go to the actual border between North and South Korea. The tension in the air is almost visible at the border of the Demilitarized Zone Korea. Soldiers from each side guard the border and are only steps away from each other.


I thought the South Korean border guard was a statue as he was so still! Until I saw the sweat coming down the side of his face.

There are small huts along the border between North and South Korea. These huts were assembled so that meetings could be held with both sides without either side leaving their country. 

Inside the huts are standard meeting tables – and this is your one opportunity to stand in North Korea and have your photo taken!

There are some terrific names in Demilitarized Zone of Korea! The Bridge of No Return was named as such because once you chose which side of the bridge you were going to there was no option to return.

There are so many interesting things to see on this Seoul day trip. The stunning and modern Dorasan train station was created for a border opening and is now virtually never used. 

The Freedom House was built for reunions of families from each side – which never took place. The Fake North Korean village with the doors and windows painted on.

white lanterns in seoul korea

Will I see North Korea on the DMZ tour?

Yes – but from a distance. The observatory offers the best views of North Korea. However, when I went the view that we saw of North Korea showed roads with no cars and countryside with no people.

There are also lots of opportunities to purchase various DMZ souvenirs which all have excellent novelty value.

This was the best thing that I did in Korea – Don’t miss it!

➡️ Book Your DMZ Tour Before You Leave Home

2. Nami Island and Petite France

This full day tour takes the difficulty out of figuring out foreign public transport systems with a return trip to Nami Island. You will take an air-conditioned coach to this tranquil island and experience all of the interesting beauty it has to offer.

namiseom-island-bench in forest korea

This Seoul day tour includes visits to the popular nearby attractions of Petite France and the Garden of Morning Calm. These are must-visit destinations if you are in the area. 

Nami Island has been made popular through Korean dramas, and exploring this stunning place will make you realize why. Enjoy an easy and comfortable day trip from Seoul.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Nami Island

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Seoul:
Seoul Itinerary 5 Days
Things to do in Gangnam
Things to do in Myeongdong
Things to do in Incheon
Best Seoul Boutique Hotels

3. Mount Seorak and Naksana Temple

South Korea is covered in breathtaking mountains, and it can be an absolute hiker’s paradise! If nature and hiking are your thing, then be sure to take this hiking day trip from Seoul to reach the summit of Mount Seorak.

mount seorak seoul korea

Mount Seorak is an impressive peak near the country’s eastern shore located in Seoraksan National Park. This tour takes you to the mountain on an air-conditioned van or shuttle bus, where you can then follow the hiking trails up to the top. The walk up Mount Seorak is completely scenic, and the top is one of the best places to get awesome views in Korea.

temple roof in korea

You also get to visit the famous Naksana Temple included in this tour. This is a great place for nature lovers and those wanting to experience just how majestic South Korea is.

➡️ Book Your Mount Seorak Day Trip

4. Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village

This Seoul day trip lets you experience the UNESCO World Heritage site Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon. This is a guided tour that guarantees you will learn all about the rich culture and history of this area.

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress at night

While you explore the different fortifications and ramparts, you will get to learn about the Joseon Dynasty rule over Korea at Hwaseong Fortress. The Fortress includes King Jeongjo’s palace Haenggung This will be further enjoyed while you get to the Korean Folk Village, which replicates the houses of this era. You will get to witness the traditional arts and crafts demonstrated by tradespeople.

Travel time on this tour is 8 hours and is highly recommended for history and culture fans.

➡️ Book Your Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Day Trip

5. Andong

This has got to be one of the best day trips from Seoul for those wanting to learn more about the country’s traditional culture and history. This trip will take you on a fully guided tour to Andong, a beautiful destination that is well known for its open-air heritage museums.


On the trip, you will visit the Hahoe Folk Village for a real insight into South Korean tradition. This place has some incredible local art and architecture to learn about, which you will absorb between the mask culture and dance displays.

The tour will also include a scenic stop at Buyongdae Cliff, as well as a visit to the largest Confucian school and temple in Andong. A delicious local restaurant lunch is included in your tour.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Andong

6. Snow or Ski Day Trip

Seoul really does have so much going on around it, including snow and ski resorts! Take a ski trip from the city to spend a day of fun in the snow. 

This 9-hour tour takes you to a ski resort just outside the city. The tour gives you access to the ski resort, a guide, ski rental and lessons, as well as hotel pickup. And of course, this one is one of the most popular day trips from Seoul during winter.

seoul tower through trees with red leaves

This trip is perfectly suited to any level of experience or skill and is an ideal trip for families of all ages. Witnessing the snow like this is such a special experience to have while in Korea, and can be incredibly fun for anyone.

➡️ Book Your Skiing Day Trip from Seoul

7. Gyeongju Day Trip

The Gyeongju day trip from Seoul allows you to experience multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day. The whole experience of visiting Gyeongju is very interesting and informative, and it gives you a wonderful break from the busy city.

Gyeongju temple korea

Your ticket includes a trip on the KTX bullet train with a skip the line pass at Seoul Station. Once you arrive at Gyeongju station, you will get comfortable private transportation to the sites. 

The Gyeongju tour from Seoul includes a visit to the stunning Buddhist temple, ancient tombs, and much more – all with a private guide.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Gyeongju

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Korea:
Korea Itinerary
Jeju Island Itinerary
Busan Itinerary
Things to do in Daegu
Things to do on Jeju Island
Beautiful Places in South Korea
Where to stay in Busan
Cherry Blossoms in Korea

Gyeongju temple korea sunset

8. Pocheon

South Korea has so much natural beauty. If you want to experience just how amazing the natural beauty of South Korea is but are staying in Seoul, then this is the day trip for you. This private day tour of Pocheon will make you feel as though the busy city is far, far away.

korea national arboretum

You will experience the crystal clear rivers and shimmering lakes of the Korea National Arboretum Pocheon. The forests here are magnificent, as are the waterfalls, the cliffs, and the general sense of peace. The Pocheon day tour from Seoul includes a delicious lunch, as well as transport to and from your hotel.

If you like the sound of these types of nature activities, you may want to add Jeju Island to your travel plans. Some of the top things to do in Jeju Island are nature-based such as climbing Korea’s highest mountain Hallasan.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Pocheon

9. Everland or Lotte World Theme Park Day Trip

Everland and Lotte World are two massive and popular theme parks outside Seoul. Take the trouble of reaching these Korean theme parks through this convenient Seoul day tour with round-trip transport from your hotel in Seoul.

Lotte World Theme Park Korea

The Lotte World and Everland theme parks are perfect for families, and people of all ages. These Korean theme parks offer many thrills and amusements, and a visit to them will definitely be a real adventure and a fun day trip.

This theme park tour from Seoul makes your theme park experience easy and completely stress-free.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Lotte World

10. Jeonju Hanok Village and Gyeonggijeon

Immerse yourself in the old Korean ways with this 10-hour day trip to Jeonju Hanok Village and Gyeonggijeon. The tour allows you to experience authentic local culture, giving you so much insight into the traditions and history of the country.

back streets of seoul korea

Highlights of a day trip to Jeonju and Gyeonggjieon from Seoul include the incredible architecture, delicious street food, and witnessing many young people in traditional Korean dress. 

If you are running short of time while in Seoul but are heading south as part of your itinerary in Korea, a day trip to Jeonju is one of the top things to do in Daegu.

➡️ Book Your Day Trip to Jeonju and Gyeonggijeon

11. Day Trip to Jeonju

Take a trip to the centuries-old city of Jeonju for a truly cultural day out. There really is so much to experience in Jeonju – one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

You can learn all about local cuisine through the many different food and wine stalls – this city is gastronomical heaven. The Jeonju Traditional Wine Museum can teach you all about the areas of rice wine production and history.


Jeonju is also the home of the classic Korean dish bibimbab. There are a lot of Bibimbab restaurants in Jeonju. We chose to visit Hankook Jib – serving bibimbab in Jeonju since 1952 and still run by the same family.

It is best to have the complete traditional experience, which means sitting on the floor and having your bibimbap served in an extremely hot stone bowl. Bibimbap in Korea also comes with an insane number of side dishes.


There is a 15th-century Gyeonggijeon shrine with portraits of former kings worth visiting. Omokdae and Imokdae are ancient hilltop pavilions that provide some of the best views of the surrounding area.

Without question, though, one of the best things to do in Jeonju is to join the locals and hire some classic Korean fancy dress. A key thing to do in Jeonju is to hire classic Korean costumes and then wander the streets being instagrammed in front of the classic buildings.

We were the only Westerners dressed up in Korean costumes and it was great fun. We also gave much amusement to the locals. The fabrics of the Korean costumes aren’t the most breathable, so about 20 odd minutes of this is more than enough.


The Jeonju old town itself is filled with many cute shops and cafes and many Hanok houses offering home stays.

Jeonju also has an art village outside of the old town. It is necessary to cross the main road and walk up a very steep hill to access the art village. The area is covered in murals and has several cute cafes and is very photogenic.

The tour includes round-trip transport from downtown Seoul locations and is highly recommended for those wanting to dive into Korea’s rich culture.

➡️ Book your day trip from Seoul to Jeonju

Where to Stay in Seoul

Seoul is full of fantastic boutique hotels. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is a hotel in this city that will suit your needs. Here are some of my top places to stay in Seoul.

Metro Hotel

Well located in Jung-Gu, this modern hotel offers all the comforts you want during your travels. The rooms at the Metro Hotel are clean, the wifi is strong, and the breakfast is great. 

metro hotel seoul

The location is really handy for getting around the city, and there are lots of great amenities at the Metro Hotel Seoul.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for Metro Hotel

JW Marriot Dongdaemun Square

This has got to be the finest luxury boutique hotel in Seoul. The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square is located in a popular shopping destination and is the perfect base for an opulent stay in Seoul. 

jw marriott seoul

Enjoy the spa, the pool, fitness, private verandahs, and incredible restaurant. The JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul is a truly special place to stay.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for JW Marriot Dongdaemun Square

The Plaza

Enjoy a luxurious stay at The Plaza for the ultimate Seoul experience. This Autograph Collection hotel is newly renovated and offers guests an unforgettable experience. 

the plaza seoul

Centrally located to many major attractions, this hotel is the perfect home base while in Seoul. Clean, comfortable, and serviced by really helpful staff, The Plaza Seoul is a smart choice.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for The Plaza

Floral Hotel Shin Shin

This fun hotel focuses on modern contemporary design and amazing hospitality. You will have a really great time at the well decorated and comfortable Floral Hotel


This place offers good value for money, especially considering how well maintained it is. The Jung-Gu Flora Hotel Shin Shin Seoul location is also very convenient.

➡️ Check Prices and Availability for Floral Hotel Shin Shin

Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel

You can expect world-class service and style at this modern hotel. The Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel is centrally located near the convention centres, Seoul Arts Center, Central City, and other attractions.

sheraton seoul palace

 The accommodation at the Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam hotel is luxurious, clean, and well equipped with all your hotel needs.

➡️ Check Prices for the Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam Hotel

Where to Eat in Seoul

When visiting Korea, eating amazing food is always a highlight! Here are some of my favourite places to eat in Seoul.

Tosokchon Samgyetang

Located near Gyeongbokgung Palace, this gem of a restaurant serves up top-notch local food. The soups at Tosokchon Samgyetang Seoul are amazing, as is the ginseng chicken stuffed with rice. 

You can expect hearty, traditional fare at Tosokchon Samgyetang in a relaxed and friendly environment.



Haunch Seoul is absolutely perfect for winding down after a busy day with a cold beer and some Korean fried chicken – a must eat when in Seoul. The food at Hanchu is simple and delicious, while the restaurant is always busy. The soju, stuffed fried peppers, and spicy soondubu are all major highlights here.

Omiga Sinsa

This hidden gem located in Gangnam-Gu has so much to offer. The interesting menu is well varied, with meals for all kinds of palates. The food at Omiga Sinsa is made with love by the friendly, warm staff. 

The restaurant is modern, comfortable and homely. You will love every bite here and will definitely want to return to Omiga Sinsa Seoul.

namdaemun-market seoul korea


If you are looking for some of the best, authentic Koren food in Seoul, then Gaehwaok is the place to go! This restaurant also serves amazing bibimbap and Korean BBQ, with some delicious kimchi on offer. 

Located on Sinsa-Dong, Gaehwaok Seoul is the perfect place to end your busy day in the city.

Little Taiwan

Located in Yeonnam-dong, Little Taiwan is an absolute favourite. This restaurant serves up some stellar Taiwanese fried chicken, soups, and noodle dishes. The bubble tea is great too. Little Taiwan is a fun and trendy spot for the great taste of Seoul.

seoul korea street at night

How to get to Seoul and how to get around

Seoul is the capital of Korea and Incheon International Airport has many options for international flights both in and out of the country. Seoul also has a second international airport Gimpo which is smaller than Incheon International and mostly offers flights to and from japan, China and Taiwan as well as domestic flights.

⇒ Flights to Seoul

Incheon International Airport is 49km from Seoul. Traffic in Seoul can be bad, so depending on the time of day, a taxi can be an expensive, lengthy journey (expect it to take at least one hour).

The other options to get from Incheon Airport to Seoul are the Limousine City Bus which takes 70 minutes or the Express Train (45 mins) or All Stop Train (60 mins). Personally, I took the Express train from the airport to Seoul, and this was an excellent option. 

Gimpo Airport is only 16kms from Seoul and a taxi will generally take about 25 minutes. The All Stop Train also goes to Gimpo Airport from Seoul Station and only takes 22 minutes. The final option is to take a bus to Gimpo airport, which takes about 45 minutes. 

Getting around Seoul

 Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world and can be quite intimidating.  The Seoul subway station system is great, but it is not the easiest to understand as I have never seen so many stops on the underground! And the Seoul subway stations are huge!

It is critical to check which is the best station exit for you to use for where you are going, or you could get very confused. And very sore feet! But this subway is one of the best ways to discover Seoul.

There are two excellent ticket options for tourists wishing to get around Seoul via subway. The first is to purchase an MPass card. The MPass card Seoul is exclusively for tourists and offers 20 rides a day for whichever pass duration you choose (passes cover 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days).

The second option is the Discover Seoul Pass. The Discover Seoul Pass offers transport coverage for 24, 48 or 72 hours. This pass also includes free admission to many major tourist sites as well as discounts.

The MPass card and Discover Seoul Pass can be purchased at subway stations or convenience stores.

Of course, it is possible to take taxis around Seoul. However, if you are planning to do this, do make sure you have the name of your destination in Korean and/or an image if possible. Or even better have your hotel or a Korean person who speaks English let your driver know where you would like to go.

Do note some taxi drivers in Korea don’t read the Korean language and this can make communication in taxis very tricky. 

When to Visit Seoul

Summers are long, hot and muggy in Seoul and dry and freezing in the winter. Annoyingly summers tend to be cloudy and winters clear so it can be frustrating for photographers.

The ideal times to visit Seoul for comfortable weather are late May to early July and from late August to early October.

Do you need a Visa for your Korea Trip?

It can be a real pain trying to figure out if you need a visa for a country and then all the hassle of figuring out how to apply, how long you can go without your passport, when the embassy is open etc. 

iVisa has completely revolutionised this process and put it all online and make it super simple and paper and hassle-free! Using iVisa is one of my top travel tips!

NB: Citizens of the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Canada do not need a Visa for Korea if they are staying less than 90 days. Do double check that this still holds when you book your airfares.

⇒ Check if you need a Visa for Korea

Final Thoughts

Seoul is a vibrant city has so much to offer anyone who visits it. There is so much to do and see in the city itself, while there is also so much happening just outside. Seoul trips are varied and exciting, with something out there for everyone.


History, culture, adventure, nature, amazing food and a unique buzz, Seoul is a place with loads on offer. My list of favorite places and trips around Seoul Korea will help you to enjoy this place to its full potential, as this truly is a destination like no other.

Who Paid for What in this Post

I covered all of the costs associated with this Seoul day trips post. However, this Seoul blog post does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in the post and end up making a purchase I may well make a small commission. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.

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images from korea - cherry blossoms outside a building and a fortress temple
cherry blossoms outside a building in korea
red leaves on a tree with seoul tower in the bckground korea
images from across Korea
green wall mural of a woman in korea

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Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Love your post! It is so detailed and you have beautiful pictures. I so would like to visit these places some day <3

Mikaela Ferguson

Sunday 24th of May 2020

I would so love to visit Korea! I just finished a book about the country so this post came at the perfect time!


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Thanks for sharing all the tips and activities in Korea. Did you get to go to the DMZ? Wasn’t it an memory that one can’t erase?

The Boutique Adventurer

Sunday 24th of May 2020

I did get to the DMZ - it was the highlight of my trip to Korea. absolutely fascinating!


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

So many awesome places to see in Korea! Thanks for sharing I will keep them in mind for my next visit!

Yvette @ Yvettheworld

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Seoul has so many cool places, I especially like the architecture. Would love to visit some day :)

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