Things to see in South Korea

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South Korea Attractions

Centuries of relative isolation has allowed South Korea to develop and maintain a distinct and unique culture. The past few decades have seen the country transform into a global powerhouse, with a combination of ancient history and cutting-edge modernity proving a huge pull for travellers.

Despite being a small country, South Korea is home to 11 UNESCO-listed sites. 10 of these are cultural and one is natural. The sites include the Changdeokgung Palace Complex; the ancient dolmen structures found at various sites; the Gyeongju Historic Areas; the Haeinsa Temple; the historic villages of Hahoe and Yangdong; Hwaseong Fortress; Jeju Island; the Jongmyo Shrine; Namhansanseong; the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty; and the Bulguksa Temple.

The Korean Wave has seen a massive appreciation growing internationally for Korean pop culture, with K-pop and fashion hitting the mainstream. The biggest urban attractions are thus often booming entertainment, buzzing nightlife, and restaurants.

Visitors exploring South Korea should consider purchasing passes tailored to their experience or location. These exclusive tourist cards can be used for transport, accommodation, entrance fees, and even shopping.


Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung

The jewel of Seoul's five historic palaces, Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 by Lee Seong-Gye. Founder of the Joseon Dynasty, he established the city as the capital of Korea. The magnificent rectangular palace now contains the National Museum of Korea and National Folk Museum...  see full details



Jeju Island

Jeju Island

Jeju Island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Korea and can be reached by ferry from Busan. Found off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, it enjoys relatively warm weather throughout the year. Visitors generally flock to its...  see full details



Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung

One of the Five Grand Palaces built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty, Changdeokgung is set within a large park in Jongno-gu and the whole complex has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Located east of Gyeongbok, Changdeokgung is also...  see full details



Jogyesa

Jogyesa

Jogyesa serves as the primary temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. First established in 1395, Jogyesa is located in the district of Jongno-gu in central Seoul. In 1998, Jogyesa made international news when several monks occupied the temple for more than 40...  see full details



Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and celebrated as one of Korea's foremost cultural treasures. Built in 1394, it's the oldest Confucian shine in the world and often holds ceremonies, rituals, and traditional dance performances. Jongmyo is the official shrine of Korea's...  see full details



Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon

Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress is yet another of South Korea's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The fortress is situated in Suwon, south of Seoul central but still within the greater Seoul area. Hwaseong Fortress was completed in 1796 in order to protect the capital from Japanese invasions.

The...  see full details



Beautiful flowers on display at Everland

Everland

Everland is South Korea's version of Disney Land. This massive amusement park is situated on the outskirts of Seoul and is the perfect daytrip for visitors travelling with kids. Everland has a selection of rides ranging from heart stopping to sedate.

The amusement park...  see full details



Fall in Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan National Park

The mountain of Seoraksan in Gangwan Province is one of the most scenic settings in South Korea and is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Seoraksan National Park is home to the country's third highest peak, reached by means of a variety of trails up...  see full details



Busan Aquarium

Busan Aquarium

Korea's largest aquarium and one of its most talked about tourist attractions, the Busan Aquarium is a sure-fire winner guaranteed to delight visitors of all ages. The aquarium is a major operation and spread over three levels, with its main tank containing an astounding...  see full details