Where to go in South Korea and why? My itinerary.

Korea is hardly an obvious choice when it comes to holiday destinations. It wasn’t until I decided to visit a friend of mine there in December 2014 that I realized Korea is seriously underrated as a tourist haven. Everyone should consider going there and here is the list of places worth stopping by:

1. Seoul

Seoul is a microcosm of Korean culture and history. It is the mix of the Old and the New. Palaces and temples interwoven with modern skyscrapers in the city’s fabric. Excellent place learn about Korean traditions – take a stroll down the Bukchon Hanok Village – or immerse yourself in the sweet consumerism at one of the boutique stores in Lotte Mall.

A beautiful wooden roof of one of the temples in Korea.
Immerse yourself in Korean history and culture!

2. Busan

Even though I visited the 2nd biggest Korean city in winter, the place still gave off a very beach-style vibe. Take the gorgeous seaside Haedong Yonggung Temple located right at the edge of a stony cliff or go party in the vibrant university area (where I tried my first ever Korean BBQ!).

A view from Yonggungsa Temple, Busan area in South Korea.
A view from Yonggungsa Temple, Busan area

3. Gyeongju

The town is an absolute must for all history fanatics. A heritage of the Korean culture, the entire town is filled with UNESCO sites. Enjoy the stay in one of the traditional guesthouses and don’t worry – heated floors will keep you comfortable even in winter.

Loved the Gyeongju complex in South Korea
Loved the Gyeongju complex

4. Don’t forget the festivals!

What I found out during my visit to Korea is that Koreans are very fond of celebrations – different festivals occur throughout the year. I had the opportunity to go to Boseong Light Festival in a small town on the Southern coast of the peninsula and absolutely loved the atmosphere there.

Light festival in Boesong, South Korea
Boseong Light Festival and wish cards

Korea is a place where you can truly be outdoorsy – as a peninsula, it has a coastline that, well, naturally provides fantastic beaches- and as a mountainous region, it offers plenty of opportunities for trekking and hiking trips.

For more details on Korea’s historical heritage, consult the UNESCO site, which is an excellent resource.

See you in Korea!

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