South Korea is a hodge podge of new and traditional tourist spots all within driving distance from one another, so it may be overwhelming to take it all in.
If it’s your first time in the Land of the Morning Calm, then these are the top 10 South Korea tourist spots that you should check out:
As the residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty, 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.
If Taiwan has Taipei 101 and Malaysia has KL Tower, then South Korea has N Seoul Tower. A go-to tourist attraction, the tower’s been featured in K-dramas “My Love from the Star” and “Legend of the Blue Sea.”
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.
Originally a hilltop, “Nami Island” was transformed to what it was during the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.
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.”
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Open all year round, Lotte World is located in downtown Seoul making it easily accessible via public transportation.
The park boasts of both indoor and outdoor rides and attractions, with the Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky and Lotte World Shopping Mall close by.
Just a stone’s throw away from Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine, Bukchon Hanok Village was home to the relatives of the royal family.
The traditional houses, called hanok, now operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses.
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Myeong-dong is the go-to for young Koreans and tourists looking for the latest trends and bargains in beauty and fashion.
The kilometer long stretch is lined with several department stores, duty free stores, various brand shops, food stalls and restaurants.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, the palace was built during the Joseon dynasty and served as the royal residence for several kings.
The buildings were designed and built to seamlessly blend in with the surrounding ponds, rock formations and greenery.
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The Garden of Morning Calm is a botanical garden that showcases the best Korea’s nature has to offer.
From themed gardens, a pine nut forest to flowerbeds and green pastures, the foliage is so breathtaking that this tourist spot has often served as the backdrop of several Korean dramas and movies.
Yeonnam-dong is the latest go-to in Seoul as the once “normal” neighborhood has become a hub for students, artists and designers. Lined with unique shops, chic restaurants, cozy cafes and trendy boutiques – there is so much for visitors to discover, explore and to buy.
There are also trendy alleyways with colorful murals that would be great for adding to your Instagram feed.
This is a unique museum dedicated to teaching guests about the process of making Kimchi which was designated as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Here, guests can get there hands dirty, go through the pickling process and bring home what they made. There are tours and classes available in English, Japanese and Chinese for international guests.
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