South Korea is a very mountainous country (about 70% of its land is mountains) and it is full of wonderful pockets of culture to explore. It has a hodge podge of traditional and new tourist spots. If this is your first time in the Land of Morning Calm, then these are the top 3 South Korea travel sopts you should check out:
1. Gyeongbokgung Palace
As the residence of the royal family during the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) , Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most iconic sights in all of South Korea. The palace was dubbed “a place where the new king can enjoy prosperity of great blessings.”
Visitors can stroll through the palace grounds and explore a myriad of buildings that were restored and maintained, each with its own unique purpose.
If you wear a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), you may enter for free – making the palace an IG-worthy destination, as well. Autumn is a perfect time for travel to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Address: 161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Fees: 3,000 won (Adults) and 1,500 won (Teenagers & Children)
- 5 minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3, exit 5)
- 10 minute walk from Exit 2 of Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5)
- Gyeongbokgung South: 109, 171, 272, 601, 606, 1020, 7025
- Gyeongbokgung Palace West: 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022, 7212, 6011, 9703
2. Namsan Seoul Tower
Taiwan has Taipei 101 and Malaysia has KL Tower, then South Korea has N Seoul Tower. Namsan Seoul Tower’s been featured in K-dramas “My Love from the Star” and “Legend of the Blue Sea.” A go-to tourist attraction, the tower has become a much-loved Seoul landmark.
Sitting atop Namsan Mountain, the tower offers a breathtaking view of the cityscape at night. Guests can enjoy the view from the observation deck, or from either one of the restaurants or cafes.
The tower's Digital Observatory is so popular and such a source of pride, offering an astonishing 360 degree panorama over the city, and 32 LCD screens recounting the 600-year history of Seoul. Spring is one of the most popular seasons to travel here.
Address: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Fees: 10,000 won (Adults) and 8,000 won (Children)
Namsan Cable Car
- Namsan Seoul Tower shuttle bus
- Electric bus available - Circulation Bus No. 2, 3, 5
3. Namiseom Island
Originally a hilltop, “Nami Island” was transformed to what it was during the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.
Namiseom Island is a half moon-shaped isle. It has 553,560 square yards with beautiful chestnut tree and poplar tree roads. The beautiful scenery will leave you breathless.
It also has a swimming pool and water-sports facilities for motorboats and water skiing, as well as them park with a merry-go-round, shooting range, and roller skating rink.
The island is small enough for guests to tour around in half a day and is a must-see for fans of the popular K-drama, “Winter Sonata.” Spring and autumn are the most popular times to visit.
Address: 1, Namiseom-gil, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Fees: 10,000 won (Adults), 8,000 won (Teens), 4,000 won (Age 3 to elementary) and 8,000 won (foreign tourists)
Direct shuttle bus
- Insadong, Namdaemun, Myeongdong
- ITX, Gyeongchun Line (Get off at Gapyeong Station)
I would definitely go to tourist attractions like Nami Island and get advance reservations to be assured of your seat for travel takes some time. It isn't a cheap country to visit but isn't very expensive either. Hotels and Air Bnb can be reasonable. And check the weather on the dates you plan to go. Watch out though, Winter is really cold!