In this article, we share our top 10 tips for travelers exploring Seoul and the surrounding provinces in South Korea. Discover the food, customs, dos and don’ts, how to travel around the country, where to stay, and when is the best time to visit all from a budget-friendly perspective.
The Republic of Korea has proven to be a top destination for travelers in the last decade or so. It’s not as expensive as Japan, and it’s also convenient. It’s good for solo travelers and its size means it can be seen in a relatively short stay.
There are four distinct seasons when you go to Japan. Spring (March — May) is vibrant and blooming, with a lot of pink cherry blossoms around. Summer (June — August) is good for hiking in the high mountains, but hot and humid lower down. Fall (September — November) is warm enough to explore away from the chaos of the cities. And Winter is very cold indeed, with skiing in the hills, but it also means there’s not much else going on outside of the cities.
Let’s get started then!
Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea
South Koreans are willing to help those who are open and friendly. Just remember not to expect much English from the locals, since they’re very quiet in comparison to other places, but rest assured you’ll receive help if you’re polite and courteous to them.
Over 400 years old, Seoul is on the map right now, surpassing major cities like London in terms of popularity. Sungwoo says it’s not a matter of creating something new, but merging this digital industry with traditional aspects of its past. Each day you’ll find neon billboards, craft stalls with traditional artisan skills, and also art galleries that have a sense of tranquility to them. They all fit together seamlessly without being incongruous.
Step back in time in order to create high-impact headlines
Not many travellers appreciate the history, culture and beauty of Korea. When visiting and taking a walk through these ancient palaces, you’ll fall in love with everything that this spectacular country has to offer. Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the five grand palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty.
One of the best ways to experience Korean culture is to visit a living museum, like Namsangol Hanok Village. Humble one-room shacks and stately homes from across various strata of society are decorated as they would have been during the classical Joseon era, and its beautiful surroundings and peaceful atmosphere make this trip back in time an absolutely wonderful experience. It’s free to enter on Tuesdays.
Many Koreans enjoy eating and singing.
If you’re traveling alone, the best way to meet new people is by singing karaoke. Koreans love a good sing-a-long, and Hongdae is the perfect spot for it! Come in and grab some fried chicken and a couple of cold beers and join in on the fun!
For meat-eaters, Korean food might be hard to get a hold of. Vegetables, noodles and rice make up the bulk of what you’ll find on your plate. Bear in mind that often food is served with meat included. It may take some time to learn how to access what you don’t want with chopsticks, but it’s worth it!
South Korea has an excellent transport network, which ensures that travelers can get to the area they want to explore easily. This is coupled with a relatively small size of the country and makes it difficult for visitors to not experience everything that South Korea has to offer.
Busan is the second-largest city in South Korea and the country’s largest port. It has been termed as “Densely built in narrow valleys between mountain ridges and two rivers.” With a coastline that borders the ocean, it spreads out along its coast and into forests. It’s also a main destination for many people with an annual amount of tourists. Aside from beautiful beaches, trails through the woods, conservation efforts, and more Busan can also offer you some other wonderful sites to check out such as Daejeo Ecological Park and its bird sanctuary, as well as Seonyup Small World Museum.
Daegu and Busan are two neighboring cities in South Korea that have been together since the Joseon Dynasty. Today, Daegu is home to many people who need a place where they can study English or learn new skills, as well as a fun, vibrant city. This city is complete with cutting-edge technology and fashion industries, along with strong Buddhist beliefs. It’s also not an obvious city like Seoul.
Old Seoul, called Namsangol Hanok Village, is a living museum in the capital city that tells the story of ancient Korea. Jeonju’s example is an actual village with living and breathing residents. The contrast of traditional architecture with modern day buildings around it creates a beautiful sight to behold.
Peace and quiet
You can get an insight into the life of Koreans through high-quality, hands-on experiences. Architects in South Korea are most commonly influenced by traditional hanoks, a type of house that you can find in the countryside near villages and towns or within cities as a residence for well-off people.
Hanoks are typically wooden framed houses, with curves and tiled roofs. Some have sliding doors with which to enter, and a small mattress on the floor for sleeping. They’re typically simple in design, with no inherent features save for a community meal or traditional breakfast.