Top Things To Do In South Korea

The Walled City Of SuwonSouth Korea is a modern country that has truly embraced the technological revolution that has happened over recent decades, and is a nation that has often tried to emulate the success of its neighbor Japan.  The country itself is filled with beautiful sites and interesting places to visit, but most people will make a beeline for the capital of the country, Seoul.  Seoul may be the biggest city in the country by some distance, but it is certainly not the only place worth going to in this wonderful country.

Visit The Walled City Of Suwon

Lying a short distance from the city of Seoul is the amazing walled city of Suwon.  The fortifications themselves were raised during the latter years of the eighteenth century, and make this small city an absolute delight to explore.  These thick walls were originally designed to protect the tomb of King Jeongjo’s father, who had been brutally murdered.  These fortifications run for three and a half miles around the circumference of the city, and with only four gates allowing access to the city, it gives Suwon a very different atmosphere to many other cities.

As the city has grown there are now developments outside the walls of the city too, but the walls have been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO.  For those who are also interested in sport, football is one of the great passions of the people of Suwon, and the Suwon Samsung Bluewings are among the most successful football teams in the country.

 Explore The Seoraksan National Park

SeoraksanNational Park is one of the most popular natural attractions in South Korea, and thousands of people visit the area every year to enjoy the mountain scenery and the wealth of plant species to be found in the park.  One of the characteristic features of Seoraksan is the exposed rocky ridges and mountains that rise above the forested lower areas.

As well as being especially beautiful, the national park also has a number of important animal species living within its boundaries, including the Asian Black Bear and Musk Deer.  Those with an interest in flowers and plants will also enjoy a visit to the park, which can boast over a thousand individual species of plants.

Get Dirty In The Boryeong Mud Festival

One of the quirkiest festivals to be explored in South Korea is the annual Boryeong Mud Festival, which celebrates the beneficial qualities of mud from the Boryeong Mud Flats.  The festival itself was launched in 1998, and now the festival attracts tens of thousands of people every year.  Attractions for those looking to get dirty include a mud pool and mud slides, and there are also a number of beauty attractions there to supplement the cosmetic purpose of the mud.


Although South Korea has plenty of attractions to draw visitors from around the world, there is no escaping the fact that Seoul is a truly amazing city to visit.  As a city, Seoul has truly embraced commercialism and has a series of large shopping malls offering the latest designer fashion brands and popular goods, while still having plenty of local markets offering a more informal shopping experience.  After a hard day spending money, the city also boasts a number of different historical sites and museums that can provide an interesting change of pace away from the bustling city centre.

zeju Island

The south coast of South Korea is peppered with small islands, but the volcanic isle of JejuIsland is one of the most remarkable destinations in South Korea.  This idyllic retreat is as beautiful as you can get in the country, with a series of stunning waterfalls and rural lakes that are a sight to behold.

The economy of the island was historically made up of the industries related to the sea, and many of the residents made their living by free diving in the cold waters around the island harvesting crustaceans.  The island also boasts a series of coastal hiking trails that are perfect for the more adventurous explorer.

The Top Historic Sites In Seoul

seoul_south_koreaMany people consider the giant city of Seoul to simply be a large metropolis, but the reality is that it is also an important area in the history of South Korea, and it is well worth exploring the historical sites in the city.  These range from the prehistoric folk that lived in the area millennia ago to the monuments of recent history in the city, and here we include five of the best historic sites in the city of Seoul.

Amsa-Dong Prehistoric Settlement Site

The settlement site at Amsa-Dong was only revealed by flooding of the Han River in 1925, but exploration of the site actually found it to be one of the largest prehistoric settlements found in the region.  The main attraction at Amsa-Dong is the opportunity to explore the re-created dwellings on the site, where the early men and women would have lived in single room huts.  The nine huts on the site circle around a large central area for fire and would have been the communal space for the people living on the site.

Today the site has two halls displaying many of the examples of early earthenware, stone axes and stone arrow heads that were discovered, along with the representations of the traditional huts.

 The Five Grand Palaces Of Seoul

The Joseon dynasty ruled South Korea for many centuries, and one of the most impressive achievements of this dynasty can be enjoyed as a part of a tour of the city of Seoul.  The Five Grand Palaces are all within easy reach from the city centre, and all exhibit some of the traditional Korean architecture and are also wonderfully ornate.  Many people will make a particular effort to visit these sites in the springtime, as all of the palaces also have attractive gardens, and the flowering cherry blossom in the spring make these spaces almost idyllic.

The restoration of the grandest of these palaces, Gyeongbokgung, is one of the most ambitious projects currently underway in Korea, as hundreds of buildings on the site were demolished during the Japanese invasion at the start of the twentieth century.  One of the most impressive buildings to be found in the palace is the Royal Banquet Hall which has been built on a foundation of stone pillars that have been sunk into an artificial lake, and is truly stunning.

The National Folk Museum Of Korea

Within the grounds of the GyeongbokgungPalace lies the National Folk Museum of Korea, and a visit here is certainly worth combining with a visit to the palace.  This museum looks at the history and customs of the people of South Korea, and how the traditions of the country developed and grew.  The museum itself has thousands of exhibits spread through three main buildings, and these cover the development of Korean culture and lifestyle from ancient times through until the beginning of the twentieth century.

The Fortress Wall Of Seoul

There are parts of the old Fortress wall to be found around much of the old city of Seoul, and these areas are among the green natural areas to be found in the city. With some parts of the wall itself dating from the end of the fourteenth century, these historic fortifications were all created during the Joseon dynasty, and the period of construction can often be spotted in the type of stones used in each part of the wall.

Today there are many parts of the fortress wall that are used for hiking and relaxing, and two of the best sites can be found in WaryongPark and NamsanPark, where the historic walls are set in attractive natural areas.

Independence Gate

As a relatively small country that had historically been invaded by China and Japan, the Independence Gate was built at the end of the nineteenth century to celebrate the independence of South Korea.  The design of the independence gate was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and was completed in 1897.  The gate is to be found in the SeodaemunIndependencePark, which also incorporates a number of other attractions such as two important monuments and a museum based in the building of the former Seodaemun Prison.

The Top Cities To Visit In South Korea

seoul_south_koreaThe country of South Korea is one that is often overshadowed by its giant neighbor China and the economic powerhouse of Japan, but when it comes to tourism it is a great country to visit.  The economic boom in South Korea over the last two decades really has been remarkable, and has seen many cities that would previously be considered to be large towns to really flourish into regional hubs.  Because of this growth of cityscapes around old towns, this also means that there are many cities that will see skyscrapers of glass and steel within a stone’s throw from historic classical South Korean architecture.


If there is one city that dominates the country more than any other, Seoul is over five times larger than the second largest city, and is one of the largest cities in the world.  The financial center of the city is truly a sight to behold, with hundreds of skyscrapers making the best use of the space available in this packed city.  As well as being a financial hub, Seoul is also one of the most technologically developed cities in the world, with more fiber-optic broadband connections and 4G mobile internet coverage than any other city in the world.

Despite being the most important economic center in the country, Seoul also has a number of historic sites that are often small pockets of calm in this busy town.  The five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty are truly spectacular, and make for an excellent day trip visiting each one.  A short distance from the city there is also a prehistoric site where ancient dwellings were found after a flood washed away the surrounding soil to expose the area.


Busan is the second city of South Korea, and lying on the banks of the Nakdong River has long been an important trading town in the country.  As the second city Busan has developed a significant financial district, but is also host to cultural events such as the Busan International Film Festival, which is one of the largest in Asia.  Haeundae Beach is one of the nicest places to relax during a sunny day, while the city also has a number of attractive temples such as the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and the Beomeosa Temple.


For those with a keen interest in history, the city of Gyeongju has to be on the itinerary of any visit to South Korea, and will be fascinating even for those without a pressing interest in the subject.  The city was one of the ancient capitals of the kingdom of Silla which dominated the Korean peninsula for centuries.  Many of the sites in the city have been recognized as important cultural sites, and the Bulguska temple complex is a beautiful and fascinating Buddhist temple including some remarkable examples of art and sculpture.


Daegu is one of the most important cities in South Korea, and lying close to the center of the country is at the heart of much that happens in South Korea.  Visitors to the city will certainly want to explore Apsan, which is a wilderness park just a few miles to the south of the city center that has some wonderful trails to explore, and can also boast a number of beautiful Buddhist temples.


One of the most remarkable settlements in the whole of South Korea is the walled city of Suwon, with fortifications of three and a half miles surrounding the city.  These walls were raised in the eighteenth century to protect the tomb of Prince Sado by his son King Jeongjo.  With four gates allowing access in and out of the city, exploring Suwon is a real joy, and all parts of the city are easily reached on foot.  For those looking to explore the culture of the city, Suwon is famous for galbi, which is a type of beef rib that is usually barbecued.