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You’re on your way to Seoul, and all of a sudden you realise you have no idea what to do. What should you buy? Where should you eat? What should you see? It can be overwhelming!
Luckily, we’ve got some great ideas for things to do in South Korea that will let you start exploring this beautiful country. From Museums to Hikes to food stops, we’ve got just the itinerary for your trip.
Although enormous high-tech metropolis and a thriving entertainment sector may be South Korea’s most well-known features, this peninsular country is also home to some truly amazing natural wonders.
There are many rocky mountains and lush forests to discover, from the island-rich southern shore to the northern border. In the near future, if you’re planning a vacation to Seoul, be sure to leave some additional time in your schedule to discover South Korea’s wild side.
Home to 22 national parks, South Korea offers huge selection of nature walks raging from forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and even tea fields to check out. Also, check out our dedicated post about the best hikes and walks in South Korea.
South Korea is known for its superb shopping experience! There are huge malls and outdoor markets filled with unique vendors selling everything from clothes and toys to cosmetics and electronics.
One of the biggest markets in Asia is the South Korean retail sector. According to investment firm CBRE, the number of hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, and online retailers has increased significantly over time. South Korea currently ranks fourth in Asia and 12th globally in terms of economic size.
If you want to go shopping while visiting the capital, Myeong-dong is the place to go. It is one of the best shopping areas in South Korea and is home to numerous department stores, shopping centres, and independent merchants.
One of the biggest wholesale and retail shopping areas in South Korea is Dongdaemun. There are around 26 malls, 30,000 specialty stores, and 50,000 manufacturers there. The products include anything from leather goods, toys, electronics, and office equipment to textiles, apparel, shoes, and jewellery.
If you’ve had a hard day at work and need a coffee then South Korea won’t let you down. There are so many ways to enjoy the coffee- from consuming it straight, adding various flavouring ingredients, or having it blended with milk or sugar.
Perhaps one of the most unique flavors to find is makgeolli, which is made by fermenting rice wine. Some people drink it sweetened (with sugar) or mixed with water, but you can also buy it purenthe result of the process after drinking several bottles of fermented beer.
You may have heard about oolong tea, which has been around for years. It’s green tea that has been aged and pressed to release some of the flavor within.
To make oolong tea yourself, just buy some dry tea leaves and pour over hot water for awhile. You can also add extra ingredients like spices or flowers.
South Korea is known for its unique cuisine, which is filled with fresh ingredients and spices. A few common dishes are japchae, made from flat noodles that you cook in your cast-iron skillet or soup dish; gimachi rice, cooked in coconut oil over an open fire; and sam, bibimbap flavored with veggies and herbs.
Jjigae is another popular meal, made of potatoes, meat (usually beef), onions, and spice eggs. It’s similar to soupe de peche. You may notice that many meals include foods like tofu or bean sprouts. These foods maybe part of your diet eventually after living in Seoul for a while.
Visiting one of the 900 Buddhist temples spread out across South Korea is one of the must-do activities for all tourists. Every temple contains special Buddha-related decorations, such as sculptures, meditation spaces, and ceremonial tea rooms. In South Korea, visiting temples is growing increasingly popular.
You can learn more about Buddhism, meditate with the monks, and converse with them about philosophy over a cup of tea while you’re there.
By hosting the amazing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang in 2018, South Korea made an impression on the world stage. It is straightforward and easy to go to their skiing areas thanks to the enormous investment they made in the high-speed rail route to the Olympic resorts in the Korean Alps (Taebaek Mountains).
From Busan in the south all the way up to Wonsan in the north, the Taebaek mountain range runs along the eastern border of the nation. Gangwon-do has the highest peak, with its highest point reaching 1,708 m, making it the most popular place to visit.
The Konjiam Ski Resort and the Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort, both approximately an hour’s drive from Seoul, are two other nearby ski destinations that may be reached in a day trip by shuttle buses.
There are always interesting new things to see and do in South Korea, regardless of the time of year you visit. Keep discovering all of its natural and man-made beauties!