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Many tourists flock to South Korea because of the hustle and bustle of Seoul, its capital city. However, there’s more to this Asian country than Seoul’s charms. From sprawling national parks to hiking and island hopping, Korea boasts of many beautiful attractions that are well worth the trip.

Curious about where else to go in Korea apart from the cities? Here’s our list of the ten best things to do in Korea outside of Seoul. These different destinations are a must for those looking to uncover Korea’s magnificent sights! Applying for a visa? Don’t worry, we got you covered!  Learn more about the Korea visa on

1. Take A Day Trip To Nami Island (Namiseom)

Just two hours away from Seoul, this picturesque island is perfect for nature lovers who want to visit gardens and go swimming. There are also plenty of galleries and restaurants worth checking out. Try some watersports, bike around, or greet the island’s ostriches! Hot tip: you can zipline your way to Nami Island – a fun activity that beats taking the ferry!

Nami Island | Photo by cattan2011 under creative commons

2. Visit Jeju Island

Another popular destination outside of Seoul is Jeju Island, a tropical paradise that has led it to be called the Korean Hawaii! Go for a hike on this volcanic island to get an awesome view of the coastline. You can also explore the Olle Trail to see more of its natural beauty.

Jeju Island | Photo by KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea under creative commons

You can also take a tour of Manjang Caves, or be awed by the majestic volcanic rock formations of Jusangjeolli Cliffs. The sights and possibilities are endless here – so much so that we recommended taking at least two days here to take them all in!

3. Go For A Soak In Asan’s Hot Springs

Asan is famous for having some of the oldest hot springs in Korea. It’s the perfect destination near Seoul for soaking the weekend away and getting some much-needed time to relax. The water allegedly has over twenty different healing ingredients in it. With the thick forest surrounding the springs, it’s a true woodland getaway.

4. Visit Seoraksan National Park

Just two to three hours outside of Seoul, this is a popular destination in autumn because of its dazzling scenery. Seoraksan offers some of the best hiking spots in Korea – we highly recommend taking the trail going all the way up to the summit of Ulsanbawi to enjoy the natural scenery. For more seasoned hikers, the Biryong Waterfall & Towangseong Falls Observatory Course is highly recommended for its view of Seoraksan’s waterfalls and peaks.

Dinosaur Ridge of Seoraksan
Dinosaur Ridge of Seoraksan | Photo by Taewangkorea under creative commons

You can take a ride on the Seoraksan Cable Car, or take a short 10-minute walk just outside the park to visit Sinheungsa Temple, which was built in the 7th century and features traditional Korean architecture and paintings.

5. Learn History At The Korean DMZ

The ecotourism and duty-free shopping at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) have made it popular with visitors to Korea. However, it’s the rich history of this area that is truly worth the stop – the DMZ is the key area where both North and South Korea maintain a permanent ceasefire. Our recommended stops for a quick history lesson about the Korean War and present regional relations are the Third Tunnel of Aggression, the Joint Security Area, and the Dora Observatory.

Korean Demilitarized Zone
Korean Demilitarized Zone | Photo by Daniel Oberhaus under creative commons

6. Chill Out At Muui Island

A beach destination in Korea? Muui Island is the place to be. It’s just a short ferry trip away from Incheon, and it’s the perfect place to rent a small but comfortable hut and bask in the beauty of Hanagae Beach.

Go for a swim or enjoy fresh local seafood! If you’re looking for a little more adventure, you can also zipline or explore trails that cut through the forests to Horyonggoksan Mountain. If you’re not up for a hike, you can simply enjoy the marine view from the boardwalk – the perfect place to see the sunset!

7. Take A Winter Wonderland Trip To Pyeongchang

Famous for its ski resorts, Pyeongchang is a great destination for those who want to hit the slopes – after all, it did host the 2018 Winter Olympics! Visit Byeongbangchi Skywalk to get incredible views of Bamseom Island and the surrounding cliffs.

Winter in Pyeongchang | Photo by / Korean Culture and Information Service under creative commons

Foodies will also love visiting Pyeonchang’s Jeonggangwon Traditional Korean Food Culture Experience Center, where you can make traditional Korean dishes with a wide selection of ingredients. It’ll be a treat to learn how to make your own flavorful pastes and Korean desserts here!

8. Take A Trip To Gyeongju

Known as Korea’s “Museum Without Walls”, Gyeongju is a hidden gem that is full of incredible artifacts, historic architecture, and temples that are thousands of years old! Make sure you visit Gyeongju National Museum while you’re here, as it houses nearly 30,000 archeological artifacts and artworks!

Yangdong Folk Village in Gyeongju | Photo by Domenico Convertini under creative commons

Stroll through Daereungwon Tumuli Park here to spot the beautiful verdant burial mounds, or look for local crafts like Silla-style earthenware at Gyeongju Folk Craft Village. Foodies will also love Ssambap Alley’s restaurants – they are famous for their ssambap, a huge selection of at least a dozen side dishes, meat, rice, and sauces wrapped in different greens.

9. See Historical And Natural Sights At Ganghwado Island

Just an hour away from Seoul, Ganghwado Island is known for its scenic mud flats and its many historical treasures. Visit the picturesque Yeongheung Palace and Guangsung Castle, or go to Jeondeungsa Temple, which is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Korea.

You can also go to the Ganghwa Peace Observation Deck, where tourists can catch a glimpse of some parts of North Korea. On clear days, you can even see some of the villages! Don’t forget to explore the mudflats and the tidal basin, which is especially beautiful in autumn.

10. Take A Coastal Trip To Sokcho

Lucky enough to be in Korea when Sokcho Beach is open to the public? We highly recommend going there to relax on the beautiful white sand and go for a swim. Treat yourself to freshly-caught seafood at Daepo Port, where you can pick the catch of the day and have it prepared for a meal at Sokcho’s main fish market.

Sokcho from the Lighthouse Observatory | Photo by Christophe95 under creative commons

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