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5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

Summer holidays are just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be looking to reward yourself with a bit of time abroad. However, travelling  can be expensive. Especially in the high season when most Koreans are also on holiday. Luckily, we live in the same country as one of the  best airports in the world,  so cheap flights are in abundance! Pair this with the budget friendly countries within easy reach, and you’ll find that there are plenty of amazing trips to take from Korea this summer.

Here are some of my favourites.

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How to Get There

Fukuoka is, without a doubt, one of the easiest and most hassle free trips to take from Korea. Especially for those of us living in the south provinces.

The ferry from Busan to Fukuoka only takes around 3 hours and return tickets can be found for as little as 100,000 KRW – but you need to look hard for them.

It’s also worth checking flight prices on Kiwi . Return tickets are usually around 200,000KRW from either Busan or Seoul. Both journeys are short- Busan to Fukuoka takes 50 minutes while Seoul to Fukuoka takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

Search flights from Korea to Fukuoka here!

What you Should See

Fukuoka is full to the brim with parks , shrines and castles so it’s the perfect place to relax, feel some zen and brush up on your Japanese history .

If that’s not your thing, there’s also endless shopping at Canal City and Robosquare, Fukuoka’s very own  robot museum!

Top 5 Things to Do in Fukuoka

What you Should Eat

Kyushu ramen , with its thick pork bone broth, is one of the most delicious styles of ramen in Japan and is native to Fukuoka. Ramen shops can be found all around the city and a huge bowl will only set you back around 600 JPY.

Kyushu Food Guide

How Much to Budget

45,000 KRW per Day

Currency:  100 JPY =  1136 KRW

It probably seems a bit weird to see Japan on a list about budget friendly places but take my word for it. This summer is the absolute perfect time to visit since the Yen is weak against the Won . Plus, travel in Fukuoka tends to be cheaper than in other parts of Japan . And, if you manage to score a good deal on your flight or ferry, then you’re off to a really good start.

Dorm beds will set you back around 2,700JPY and double rooms in business hotels can be found for about 6,000JPY.  Accommodation in Fukuoka will be the most expensive part of your trip.

Getting around Fukuoka is cheap and easy- actually, you can get to a lot of places on foot since the city is so compact!  And food shouldn’t cost a fortune either, so long as you stick to ramen , tonkatsu , conveyor belt sushi and convenience store food. Oh, and by the way, convenience store food in Japan is AMAZING so don’t turn your nose up at that last bit!

Fukuoka for Less than $25 a Day

Where to Stay in Fukuoka

Fukuoka Hana Hostel   comes recommended for its convenient location and friendly atmosphere!

Citizens of the UK, Ireland, U.S.A, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are entitled to 90 days visa free, and should get their passport stamped on arrival.

South African citizens must apply for a visa prior to their arrival.

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The perfect trip from Korea for sun worshippers, beach bums and adventure junkies. Pardon the cliche but it really is more fun in The Philippines.

Cebu Air offers direct flights to Manila from both Busan and Seoul. You can pick up a return ticket for less than 200,000 KRW . From there you can take a flight to anywhere in the Philippines. You can pick up domestic flight tickets for as little as 25,000 KRW !

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Manila here!

With 7,500 islands in The Philippines, it’s hard to even scratch the surface in just 1 trip.

Love beaches? Head to Boracay .

Love adventures? Head to  El Nido .

Love wildlife and amazing landscapes? Head to  Bohol .

These are just a few of the amazing places that you can visit in The Philippines, and probably the most accessible in your short 2-week vacation. If you have longer, the possibilities are endless.

10 Best Things to Do in The Philippines

The seafood in The Philippines is amazing , and you should have at least one seafood dinner. However, if you’re eating on a budget, it will soon add up.

Head to the local places and fill your plate with super cheapo noodle and rice dishes for about a quarter of the price of the tourist restaurants.

10 Famous Foods you Must Try in The Philippines

25,000 KRW per Day (Basic- not inc activities/flights)

Currency:  100 PHP =  2466 KRW

Things are cheap in The Philippines but can soon add up- those of you who follow my blog regularly might remember how I went way over budget on my trip.

You’ll want to do a few activities like island hopping, scuba diving or paragliding while you’re there so do remember to factor those costs into your budget. You’ll also want to travel between the different islands – this will also add up, so should be factored into your budget.

Keep Costs Down By:

  • Staying in hostels/Non- AC rooms
  • Prioritising what activities you want to do- don’t try and do everything
  • Eating in local restaurants
  • Buying domestic flights in promo sales
  • Focussing on one area to avoid taking too many domestic flights

Budget Backpacking Guide to The Philippines

Where to Stay in The Philippines

Boracay: Frendz Resort & Hostel   is an awesome budget option on the pristine White Beach

El Nido: Spin Designer Hostel   is the highest rated hostel in the area and a great place to book tours

Bohol: Sea Breeze Hostel   is the perfect place for travellers looking to enjoy both the beaches and jungle of Bohol!

Passport holders of The UK, The U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are entitled to 30 days visa free in The Philippines.

Photo Credit: Life Outside of Texas. Check out her blog and follow her on FB :)

Photo Credit: Life Outside of Texas. Check out her blog and follow her on FB 🙂

Return flights can be found from both Busan and Seoul for less than 250,000 KRW . Flights take around 2 hrs 4o mins. 

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Taipei here

I recently found out that Taipei is extremely cheap and easy to reach from Japan- worth considering for a multi city trip!

Flying Eva Air with Hello Kitty!

Taipei is one of the largest cities in the world and, as you can imagine, there is a lot to explore. Climb to the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world, Taipei 101. Spend a night bartering at the night markets. Wander through the winding Japanese colonial style streets or take a day trip out of the city to visit the famous hot springs.

Check out my Taiwan Itinerary!

EVERYTHING! No seriously, you should.

Taiwan is home to some of the best street food in the world and is the birthplace of bubble tea! 

50 Foods in Taipei you Need to Eat… or at Least Try

35,000 KRW per Day

Currency:  10 TWD =  358 KRW

Dorm rooms can easily be found for under 400 TWD per night and private rooms can be found for under 1000 KRW.

One of the most ubiquitous things to do in Taipei is to visit the night markets – kill 2 birds with 1 stone and fill up on cheap and tasty food here rather than blowing your budget in restaurants.

A lot of the most popular activities in Taipei are free or have very little cover charge , so there is no need for you to spend too much on activities.

Getting around by subway is also really cheap- one-way tickets start at 20 TWD.

How Much it Cost to Travel in Taiwan for 1 Month

Where to Stay in Taipei

Eight Elephants and Dreaming Dragons  is set in a trendy residential area and is perfect for independent travellers looking for a more local experience in Taipei

Meander  is in the heart of the city and more suited to party travellers looking to meet people

Citizens of The UK, Ireland and New Zealand can stay for 90 days visa free.

Citizens of Australia and The U.S.A can stay for 30 days visa free.

Halong Bay-14

Photo Credit: Bobo and Chi Chi! Check out their blog and follow them on FB 🙂

VietAir has a direct flight between Incheon and both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Return tickets can be found for under 200,000 KRW and the flight takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Vietnam here!

It all depends on whether you want to go North or South, and what interests you.

Hit the North and explore the capital city of Hanoi , go trekking in Sapa , cycle around the colonial city of Hoi An and get some amazing clothes made for next to nothing while you’re there. And of course, Halong Bay (pictured above) should be on your itinerary!

Or you could hit the beaches in the South, learn more about the Vietnam War in Ho Chi Minh City and even go sandboarding in Mui Ne.

These are just some of the most popular things to do in Vietnam, and if you have even more time you could go right off the beaten path!

The Best Things to Do in Vietnam

Mmmmm Vietnamese Food.

Eat with locals and sample everything. Street food is super cheap and packed full of healthy greens and so much flavour . Spring rolls , pho (beef noodle soup) and bahn mi (Vietnamese baguettes) are a few traveller favourites!

Budget Food in Vietnam

25,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 20,000 VTD =  1032 KRW

With dorm beds available for as little as 100,000 VTD, and delicious, filling street food available for less than 20,000 VTD, Vietnam is without a doubt one of the cheapest trips to take from Korea.

Much like The Philippines, the cost of activities (for example, cruising through Halong Bay) will add up so you should factor those costs into your budget.

How Much Does it Cost to Travel in Vietnam?

Where to Stay in Vietnam

Hanoi: Luxury Backpackers Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh City: Long Hostel

Mui Ne: Mui Ne Backpackers Village

Nha Trang: Mojzo Dorm

Hoi An: Tribee Kinh

UK citizens can travel to Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days.

Citizens of The U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand all require a visa to visit Vietnam. The visa cost is around $45 and can be applied for online.

Osaka and Kyoto

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Jeju Air and Peach Airlines fly to Osaka from both Seoul and Busan. Return flights can be found for as little as 150,000 KRW and the flight takes less than 2 hours . It’s definitely one of the cheapest flights that you will find from Korea!

Search for cheap flights from Korea to Osaka here!

The best thing about combining a trip to Osaka and Kyoto is that you get to really experience both the old and new sides of Japan.

Kyoto has over 1,600 temples as well as shrines, castles, parks and even a bamboo forest. It’s the perfect place for history buffs. And also one of the best places in Japan for geisha spotting!

Osaka is a complete contrast to Kyoto. Take a stroll down Dotonbori Arcade and marvel at the neon lights and crazy 3D signs that line the streets. Osaka is also home to its own Universal Studios – if Everland isn’t tickling your pickle then you might want to take a trip here!

Discover Kyoto: A 3 Day Itinerary

Don’t Leave Osaka Without….

The Kansai region of Japan is home to some of the country’s best food.  You’ll also find that street food is much more prominent here than in other Japanese cities.

One of the most famous things to try in Osaka is okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese pizza, is a grilled savoury pancake filled with cabbage, green onions, meat, and seafood. There are plenty of places in both Osaka and Kyoto to try it.

40,000 KRW per Day

Currency: 100 JPY =  1136 KRW

Accommodation in Osaka and Kyoto tends to be slightly cheaper than in Fukuoka since it’s a more prominent backpacking destination . Dorm beds can be easily found for less then 200 yen.

With the abundance of FREE temples and shrines to see, there is no need to spend a lot of money on activities. Food shouldn’t set you back too much either as long as you stick to the convenience stores and street food.

And, yes I do realise that Japan is much more expensive than South East Asia- but with flights that cheap and easy and the yen falling , it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Plus you’re probably not always going to be living right on Japan’s doorstep, so you should make the most of it while you’re here!

My Ultimate Budget Guide to Japan!

Where to Stay in Osaka & Kyoto

Osaka: Oshiteruya Ryokan Guesthouse

Kyoto: Mosaic Capsule Hostel

5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

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Disclaimer: All currency conversions, visa information and flight prices are subject to change but were correct at the time of writing. This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own.

Start planning: How to Save for a Big Trip

I hope these tips can help you decide on an amazing trip to take from Korea this summer! Let me know if you found them handy in the comments below, and let me know what your plans are for the holidays! I’d love it if you could share this post with some of your friends and make sure that they really make the most of their holidays this year!

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cheap places to visit from korea

Nicole Louise

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Thanks Gina! That’s so exciting that you’re going to Vietnam! I’m cycling from Seoul to Busan for my summer vacation since I’m going travelling in September- kind of wishing for a summer holiday abroad with my BF though! 🙁

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Whut??! All in one shot, or are you doing it by weekends? I’d like to do that too, well in fact I’d like to do everything you’ve written here- THANKS!

Haha no they are just options! I wish I was going to that many places lol!

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Megan Indoe

Thanks Megan! I also did a visa run to Fukuoka- it now takes 5 days to process a visa for UK citizens so it was a pretty long trip lol! Last year I managed to fit in quite a few trips in the public holidays while I was working in a hagwon but it does end up costing quite a bit since those flights are always in such high demand- this year I have muchmore holidays but have been much more restrained haha!

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These are all great suggestions, Nicole! Personally, I love Japan and Vietnam. Love the info you put about budgets needed. I think these are all very useful. Thank you for sharing 🙂

Thanks Hanani!

I have still to visit Vietnam, but Japan is one of my fave countries ever 🙂

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Thanks for this guide, I’m in search of a budget trip to take during Chuseok but it seems like flights are ridiculously expensive. I’m planning to go to the Philippines soon so this is really helpful.

Chuseok flights are always ridiculously priced, really annoying since it’d be the perfect time to go abroad! Have an amazing time in The Philippines 🙂

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Matt Collamer

This is an awesome guide for summer plans! I’m heading to Bali with a few other English teacher friends in August…pretty amped about that. I might have to plan one of the trips you suggested for another vacation. Great post, Nicole!

Thanks so much Matt!! I would love to visit Bali one day, have an amazing time!

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Korea also has direct flights to Da Nang Vietnam now as well. We’re there right now! Unfortunately a trip to Japan isnt as easy for those of us on the southwest coast as it is for those on the southeast coast of Korea. Otherwise we’d be there every weekend!

Yeah, it must be pretty difficult being down on the South West as you’re a bit of a trek from both Gimhae and Incheon airports- we’re so lucky that Gimhae is only an hour away by bus! Enjoy your time in Vietnam! 🙂

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Shirgie Scf

That’s a shame that you guys need a visa for Japan- my BF does too (he’s from South Africa) and it makes it so much less convenient!

Love The Philippines btw! 🙂

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Thanks for featuring the Philippines. We have amazing beaches and beautiful sceneries. It ain’t expensive, too and of course, there’s the ease of traveling with no language barrier. Which part of the Philippines did you go to?

Hey Wendy! I loved The Philippines so much when I visited- amazing scenery, beautiful beaches and the most kind people I’ve ever met on my travels. Would love to visit again soon! I visited Boracay, Bohol and El Nido 🙂

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Thanks Emre! Japan is amazing, I hope you get the chance to visit one day 🙂

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I’m a US citizen teaching English in South Korea right now. I’ll be visiting Taipei in August and Fukuoka in September. Thanks for providing such helpful info!

Nice one! I’ve still not been to Taipei but Fukuoka is a fab city 🙂 Glad you found this post useful!

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Brian & Noelle

Thanks Brian and Noelle! I agree, it could definitely be the most expensive trip of your life if you make it.. but it certainly doesn’t need to be 🙂

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Alla Ponomareva

Fukuoka Ramen is so amazing, I would just visit for that meal alone! Haven’t been to Taiwan yet, so will keep it on my list next.

I know, I love it… I ate it everyday on my trip! 🙂 I haven’t been to Taiwan either but I would love to go! 🙂

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Laura Nalin

Love this post! I found as a hagwon worker I didn’t get too much time off, but while I visited Hong Kong, Vietnam and Osaka/Kyoto over long weekends and holidays. Great budget breakdown and very informative! Thanks girl!

Thanks Laura! I actually did more travelling last year when I worked in a hagwon- always took advantage of those long weekends! This year at public school I went to The Philippines on Winter vacay but my summer vacay is the 2 weeks before I finish my contract. Absolutely pointless lol….

How Much Money Can you Save Teaching English in South Korea? - Wee Gypsy Girl

[…] Read: 5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea […]

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Chris Whittaker

Hello Nicole,

Thanks for providing the list of budget-friendly destinations and the budget breakdowns. Those were quite informative!

Out of the places listed, I have been to Fukuoka, Osaka, Kyoto, and Taipei while teaching English in South Korea. My budgets ended up being similar for those places. I have been planning to visit Vietnam for about two weeks this winter vacation, and I plan to use some of your tips for that.

Overall, your post was helpful! Thank you so much.

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Great advice ! I’m thinking about heading to Korea next year, is it a good hub to travel around Asia, or is it better to hop from country to country ?

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ICO Law Group

Hey Nicole, thanks for sharing! I’m going to Korea next month. Have you been to all the mentioned places?

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Is it difficult to get a Korean visa?

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rdw kenteken

Seoul has never been that extremely high on my list, but that was before reading this post. The colors, the lights, the water, the temples, things are exciting there, and I am pretty sure we will now go ahead and take the flight that connects through Seoul next time we fly home. Thanks!

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If you are planning a Korea trip then you must read this article right away because here we will be discussing some of the most affordable options for you to take along when you are on your trip. Many people often look to have a cheap trip to South Korea, but as we all know that South Korea is a very expensive country to visit in terms of both cost and quality of life. Before you start planning your trip to South Korea, make sure that you have researched all the different options that you have for a trip such as a backpacking trip that would require a much smaller budget. But no matter what the size of your budget is you must make sure that you have a well planned out itinerary to ensure that you can fit in all the things that you want to during your trip to south Korea. This article will be explaining some of the cheapest options for you to consider for your affordable travel to south Korea.

The first option for an affordable Korea trip is actually a two-week tour to Busan and Seoul. One of the most popular places to visit in South Korea aside from the capital city of Seoul would definitely be Busan. Busan offers you some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable in Asia and it is also a very cultural city with a huge concentration of expatriates. If you do not want to spend that much time in South Korea then this would be a great choice for you to take during your affordable Korea travel guide. You should also make sure that you plan out your backpacking South Korea itinerary so that you do not have to pack so much back when you go back.

The second most affordable option for you to take your affordable Korea travel guide would be a two week itinerary that would include Seoul. Seoul is another popular place in south Korea and it is really popular among westerners as well as the locals. If you are traveling from a western country like the USA or Canada, you will not feel at all left out if you choose to take a trip to Seoul. One good thing about taking a trip to Seoul is that the prices are cheaper than they are back in the west so you can have more fun and comfortable trip without breaking the bank.

Wee Gypsy Girl

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The 4 Best Places to Travel to From Korea

The best places to travel to from korea aren’t necessarily the ones you hear about most often. sure, thailand’s great, and you should definitely go, but here are 4 amazing destinations that you probably hadn’t thought of..

Whether you’re living in Korea or just passing through, you’ve almost certainly given some thought to where you should travel to next. Japan and China are right next door and easy to get to (unless you’re American and have to cough up $130 for the Chinese L visa; for other nationalities it’s $30) – Kyoto is gorgeous and the Great Wall is, well, great – and Thai beaches are the perfect respite from harsh Korean winters.

Your options are broad, is what I’m saying, and the whole of Southeast Asia is on your doorstep, tempting you, luring you in with exotic place names, beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests, and amazing hospitality. And hopefully, once your contract is over, you’re planning to take a few months to backpack through Borneo, climb an Indonesian volcano, or ride a luxury train through Malaysia.

But Korean vacations can be short, and you probably want to get out there and see all the amazing things you left home for – before the school term starts again. So here is my list, in reverse order, of the best places to travel to from Korea (that you could squeeze into your vacation).

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Ha Long Bay, courtesy of Wikimedia

After the Second Indochina War (known to us as the Vietnam War, and them as the American War), Vietnam remained fairly closed off for many years, and has only in the last 15 or so started to open up and invest in tourism. The industry is booming now, with a well-established backpacker trail and good infrastructure, but remains comparatively cheaper and less spoiled than its neighbor, Thailand. Plus, it’s  beautiful .

Attractions:   Ha Long Bay, 4,000 miles of coastline, great food, loads of culture, military history (though be forewarned, communist propaganda prevails)

Getting there:  Direct flights on Asiana, Korean Air, and Vietnam Airlines. Look for cheaper flights through Hong Kong on Dragonair, Manila on Cebu Pacific, or Siem Reap on Sky Wings Asia (this is my favorite little find: an airline that only flies between Seoul, Hanoi, and Siem Reap, almost exclusively for Korean tourists)

Best time of year:  It depends on whether you’re going North or South, since they have opposing monsoon seasons. In any case avoid the lunar new year period, as they celebrate it like Koreans do – with the whole country travelling at once.

Visas: Will be needed. You can’t get them on arrival but you can apply and pay online at one of many travel agencies to avoid an extended wait at the airport. They should cost $30-$35, and are valid for 30 days.

Time needed: See the highlights of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh in 3-4 days, or spend three weeks travelling slowly down the coast by bus or train.

Extend your stay:   Take an overland bus into Cambodia, Laos, or Thailand.

Sekumpul Falls – Bali

Ah, Bali . It’s the furthest away of anything on this list, and correspondingly harder to get to, but you’re also pretty much guaranteed to get away from the massive Korean tour groups you’ll find elsewhere in Asia. And it’s worth it, because Bali has everything: stunning natural beauty, a favorable year-round tropical climate, the friendliest people in the world, and a fascinating local culture that combines Buddhism and Hinduism.

My protip: Sekumpul Falls , on the north side of the island, don’t seem to be in any guide books except for The Rough Guide, and isn’t even advertised locally, but it’s by far the best waterfall on the island. Almost alone, you walk down into the valley and can swim in a pool at the foot of the seven waterfalls that come crashing down around you. Tropical paradise? I’d say so.

Attractions:   Everything: surfing beaches, amazing SCUBA diving, party towns, more culture than you can fit on a 32GB SD card, and hospitality you’d sell your first-born into slavery to afford in the west.

Getting   there:  This is the only tricky part, since Bali is in the southern hemisphere, just off the north coast of Australia. The only direct flights from Seoul are on Asiana and Korean Air, and they can get expensive unless you book early. You can usually find a cheaper flight through Hong Kong, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur and, if you plan it right, you can spend a day exploring those cities, each of which is a destination in itself.

Budget $600-$800 for the tickets and transfer.

Best time of year:  All year. Seriously, it’s a great place to visit year-round. There are festivals going on pretty much any time of the year, and the weather is lovely and moderate.

Visas:  $25 on arrival (bring cash).

Also, bear in mind that the Islamist government up in Jakarta has a heavy-handed policy toward drugs, and you’ll see signs at immigration about the death sentence for drug smuggling. They take it seriously:  this is happening .

Time  needed:  6 days for the supertour (two days on the beach, two days at a dive resort, two days taking in the culture in Ubud)

Extend your stay:  Try heading east into the fairly untouched Indonesian island of Lombok, or go north into the jungles of Borneo. Westward curves back north through Jakarta and Malaysia until you get back to the Asian mainland. Or just stay, you wouldn’t be the first.

The East Gate of Bayon – Siem Reap

2. Siem Reap

Siem Reap is also known as the Gateway to Angkor, and that pretty much sums it up. Angkor Wat itself is but one temple-palace at the center of a massive complex of ruined temples, walls, canals and palaces that was once a sprawling city of over a million people – back when London was a collection of farmer’s huts on the Thames. Most of it was eaten by time and the jungle, and the Khmer Rouge did almost as much damage to Angkor Wat as to the Cambodian people, but in recent years the jungle has been cut back and certain parts have been restored.

Mostly, though, it’s still in ruins, but they’re ruins to which you have a surprising amount of access: almost nothing is cordoned off, and you can walk up and touch just about everything. As money rolls in and conservation efforts are stepped up you can expect this to change, and it won’t be long until you’re kept 30 meters away by barricades and security cameras.

Protip: If you power through it you can do the whole complex in 3 days, but make sure you do one half-day trip out to Beng Mealea: Here, indulge your inner Lara Croft and escape up over the roofs to explore a whole side of the temple that most people don’t get to see.

Attractions:   Angkor Wat, and the surrounding complex comprising dozens of intricate temples and palaces.

Getting   there:  There are direct flights with Asiana and Korean Air, but we found some other great deals that will not come up on your Expedia-type flight aggregator.

  • First, if you get your timing right, Cebu Pacific frequently does ultra-budget deals from Manila to Siem Reap – I’m talking $20 for a return flight. You still need to get to Manila, but that’s much easier. As we found out, however, it’s also really easy to miss the deal window.
  • Second, try Sky Wings Asia Airlines , which I mentioned above in number one. They fly direct from Seoul to Siem Reap every day.

Cost: $300-$500, so long as you get your tickets early.

Best time of year: November through May should be dry, avoiding the monsoon rains that would put a definite damper on a tight schedule. The perfect time would be one of those 4-day weekends that always seem to crop up around April/May.

Visas: $20 visa on arrival, and make sure you bring a passport-size photo with you, or they’ll fine you the ludicrous sum of $1.

Time  needed:  At minimum 3 days, but if you stay a week you can take more time about it, and get in a couple of the day trips around Siem Reap.

Extend your stay:  Go over the border into the neighboring nations of Vietnam, Laos, or Thailand.

Monkey Temple – Kathmandu

1. Kathmandu

Can you think of anywhere that sounds more far-flung, remote, and ancient than Kathmandu ? Maybe Timbuktu, but then you’d have to go to Mali and I hear that’s dangerous nowadays. And despite how it looks on the map, it’s not that far from Korea.

The culture in Nepal is like nowhere else on earth. Walking through the dusty streets of Kathmandu you’ll find ancient shrines, still covered in petals and water from the morning’s offerings, embedded into the brick sides of narrow shops that spill their wares out into the street. You can walk those streets for hours, get impossibly lost, and still be finding new things around every corner.

Attractions:   Trekking for (almost) every ability level, jungles, ancient cultures and temples, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, and even, at certain times of the year, something called parahawking: it’s exactly what it sounds like, hawking crossed with paragliding (they use the hawks to find the best thermals).

Getting   there: There’s a direct flight twice a week, but that’s pricey. You can get really cheap flight deals if you use a sketchy Chinese airline like China Southern and transfer in Guangzhou or Chengdu. You should be paying somewhere between $500 and $800, depending on the time of year.

Best time of year: The high season is spring and late autumn, when the conditions are best for trekking and the snow at a good level. I went in June though, right at the beginning of the monsoon, and loved it: there were few tourists, so everything was discounted and negotiable – including hotel rates and activities. The monsoon made little difference high up in the Annapurnas except to make the high peaks invisible for all but a few hours every day.

Visas: $20 visa on arrival.

Time  needed:  If you want to do any trekking, then at least two weeks; but a week in Kathmandu is enough time to see all the sights, and do two-years worth of gift shopping in the bazaars besides: don’t forget to haggle!

Extend your stay:  There are so many possibilities! On one side of Nepal is India, with all the things to be seen and done there, and on the other is Tibet. Just be aware that the Chinese government can and will close the Tibetan border with little reason and no notice, scuppering the overland Tibetan expedition you’ve been planning for months. If you do go to Tibet, the visa process is complicated, as you’ll need both a Chinese visa  and  a Tibetan travel permit, which you can only obtain by joining a tour with a recognized tour company.

Best possible option? Take three months, fly one way to Kathmandu, then work your way back to Korea overland through the back provinces of China.

What exotic destinations are you planning to jet off to for your next trip? What beautiful places have you been to that you want to tell people about? Drop us a line in the comments.

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13 Quick Weekend Trips You Can Take From Seoul

There's nothing like taking a vacation from your vacation... especially with these day trips from Seoul!

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More Weekend Trips From Seoul

For any traveler thinking of visiting South Korea , Seoul is the number one destination on their list. With an astonishing number of shops, cafes, restaurants, and wild nightlife, it's hard to grow tired of a city that offers so much. But sometimes it's nice to get out of the city and change up the scenery. South Korea is only 100, 210 km². To put that in perspective, it would take nearly ninety-nine South Koreas to make up the landmass of the United States. NINETY-NINE! The country's landscape is notable for its rolling mountains and abundance of beaches. Luckily for both visitors and residents, South Korea is a small enough country where a quick four-hour road trip could actually bring you to the other side of the country.

UPDATE: 2023/05/18 12:31 EST BY KHYATI DAND

Staying in Seoul doesn't mean that one must confine themselves to the attractions of the Korean capital. With plenty of picturesque islands, smaller cities, and historic towns a skip away, visitors can easily hop onto a bus or a train for a weekend getaway. Which is why, this list was updated to include more weekend trips from Seoul that travelers can embark on.

Related: 20 Reasons South Korea Should Be Every Traveler's Next Destination

13 Chuncheon

Chuncheon, which quite literally means spring river, is the capital of Gangwon Province. Located on a basin formed by two rivers, Chuncheon's name is quite apt, for it's a city that's surrounded by shimmering lakes and mountains. The city is famous for its outdoor activities, a spicy chicken dish called dak-galbi, and thriving nightlight thanks to a young population of university-going students that reside there.

  • Seoul to Chuncheon: Approximately an hour by bus

At first sight, Ansan seems like nothing but an industrial city with little to attract tourists and visitors from Seoul. But Ansan sits on the coast of the Yellow Sea and parts of the Yellow Sea Islands lie within its jurisdiction, including the stunning Daebu Island. With easy connectivity to the capital, visitors can enjoy a quick seaside trip to Ansan from Seoul. Even better, the tidal wave constantly shifts in Ansan, revealing new coastal paths to walk on every day.

  • Seoul to Ansan: Approximately 30 minutes by cab

11 Ganghwado

Seoul may offer all the thrills of a big city but to truly explore South Korea's history, one must venture outside its borders. Ganghwado is home to several prehistoric sites, including various dolmens or tombs that are World Heritage Sites , fortresses, temples, and churches. Because Ganghwado sits on the edges of South Korea's border, visitors may even catch a glimpse of North Korean villages that are located less than two kilometers away on a good day

  • Seoul to Ganghwado: Approximately 50 minutes by cab

Related: South Korea For History Buffs: Exploring 10 Locations Rich In Culture & Heritage

Muuido is a small island that is just two hours away from Seoul by public transportation. If you're coming from Incheon Airport, the island is actually directly west of the airport. This island is a great place to relax. There's tons of seafood and clean beaches. Muuido is known for its little huts that are available to rent along the beach. At low tide, you can even walk to Silmido island from Silmi beach! Gather a few friends for a quick weekend away from the city. So close to Seoul it could easily be a quick day trip.

  • Seoul to Muuido Island: Approximately two hours by bus

9 Nami Island

Nami Island is easy to get to and is about an hour away from Seoul. With transportation direct through the subway line or the KTX (Korea's highspeed train), you can find yourself on Nami Island after a quick nap on the train. Famed for its charming tree-lined pathways, the island has been featured on a couple of K-dramas, such as Winter Sonata. Nami Island is beautiful during any season. Rent a bike during Spring or Summer and cruise along the bike paths. Or visit during the Autumn season to witness the beautiful fall foliage.

  • Seoul to Nami Island: Approximately an hour by train

Being the second largest city in the country, it is no wonder that Busan is one of the top places to visit in Korea . There are so many things to see and do. Busan has the world famous Jalgachi Fish Market. Walk in and savor the smell of fresh seafood as vendors try to sell you their catch of the day. Once you decide between any of the fresh catches, be it salmon, king crab, mussels or lobsters, the vendors will escort you to the second level where restaurant stalls are ready to prepare your food. Sling back a couple of shots of soju before heading out to experience the nightlife. If clubbing isn't your scene, then the beach is where you'll want to be. Buy a few fireworks then launch them at Haeundae beach and watch them explode in the night sky. While you're in Busan, you won't want to miss Gamcheon Cultural Village either -- a fun colorful village on the hills of Busan.

  • Seoul to Busan: Approximately three hours by train

Related: Try These 10 Unique Activities In Charming Busan, South Korea

For some adventuring, Sokcho is the perfect place to go. Here you'll find one of Korea's most beautiful mountains, Seoraksan Mountain. Seoraksan is 1,708 meters above ground and offers gorgeous views any time of the year. It's the third tallest in the country. With all these mountains, its no wonder that hiking is a popular weekend activity in Korea. If you plan well, you'll be able to hike during the fall to see the leaves change to bright reds and orange. The trip from Seoul is about three hours by car and four hours by public transportation.

  • Seoul to Sokcho: Approximately two hours by bus

The Gyeongju Historic Area has 52 registered sites under the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. This place is packed with history. Most sites are free to visit as they're out in the open for anyone to explore. While there are dozens of tourist sites to see, some of the most visited locations would be the Gyeongju Royal Tomb of King Naemul. Biking past it, you probably wouldn't realize you've been zipping through the park past royal tombstones as the tombs look like massive green mounds popping out of the ground, these are called tumuli.

  • Seoul to Gyeongju: Approximately two and a half hours by train

Jeonju is another historical town that famed for their Jeonju Hanok Village, magkeollis (a light rice wine) and bibimbap. In Jeonju, it is a must to sample the bibimbap, a staple in Korean cuisine which is made up of rice and a variety of colorful vegetables all served in a hot stone bowl, and often topped with meat and an egg. Visiting this town is like stepping back in time. Tourists, both domestic and international, come to walk through the old village and wear hanboks (traditional Korean clothing). Stop by Wansan Park to take in all the nature. The park is filled with all kinds of flowers and beautiful aromas.

  • Seoul to Jeonju: Approximately two and a half hours by train

4 Jindo Island

Jindo is a unique little island found in the southwestern part of Korea. It is famously known for the festival in the month of February during the Lunar New Year. During this time of year hundreds of tourist flock to Jindo Island to witness the parting of the seas leaving a narrow pathway to walk between the two bodies of water. It's a pretty extraordinary sight to see. Jindo Island is about 4 1/2 hours from Seoul, six hours if you are driving. Apart from the mysterious sea dividing, Jindo is also famously known for its dog Jindo Gae, the jindo dog.

  • Seoul to Jindo Island: Approximately four and a half hours by train

Just four and a half hours from Seoul is Korea's largest green tea fields in Boseong. Aim to visit in May when the green tea leaves are at their greenest. During this time, Boseong also hosts its Green Tea Festival with tea exhibitions and shops. Try their famous teas or even sample their green tea infused pajeon (fried Korean pancake). If you are visiting during the holidays, Boseong also has their Tea Plantation Light Festival for visitors to see the rolling fields light up in beautiful twinkling colors.

  • Seoul to Boseong: Approximately four and a half hours by train

Suncheon Bay is a great romantic weekend getaway . But you don't need a significant other to enjoy the beauty this bay has to offer. Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve is home to an overwhelming number of bird and tree species. The reeds grow tall and sway for 570 acres. For a complete sea of green, summertime would be the best time to visit. For more yellow colored reeds, then autumn is your best bet. Come with your camera and be prepared to take some incredible sunset photos.

  • Seoul to Suncheon: Approximately three and a half hours by train

There's no need to book a flight to Kyoto to walk amongst towering bamboo trees in Japan's Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. South of Seoul, is Korea's very own bamboo forest. Damyang is a little over a three hour trip from Seoul. Although the forest is blissful and gorgeous in every way, there are not too many tourists to be found in this area making it the perfect spot for photographs. As you explore the path with soaring bamboo shoots overhead, you'll eventually stumble upon a hammock. Hop on and gently swing as you take in the tranquil green forest and appreciate the heights.

  • Seoul to Damyang: Approximately three and a half hours by bus

NEXT: 10 Essential Things To Know If You Plan To Visit North Korea

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South Korea Travel Guide

Last Updated: July 17, 2023

A colorful temple in South Korea near a cherry blossom tree on a bright sunny day

Though South Korea is small (about the size of the US state of Indiana), it punches well above its weight in terms of things to see and do. Boasting a vibrant culture, incredible history, natural beauty, delicious food, and a wild nightlife, it’s home to both major cities and untouched nature, offering something for every traveler.

Seoul, the capital city and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the world (over half the country’s population of 50 million is concentrated here), is a lively hub for food lovers and partying. But while it gets all the attention, there is much more to explore, including 22 national parks, lush Jeju Island, and the infamous Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) bordering North Korea.

Best of all, since South Korea is a manageable size, you can see a good portion of it in a limited amount of time. The transportation here is modern, clean, and efficient, so it’s easy to get around quickly.

The country is also a foodie’s paradise, with cheap street food and delicious dishes like bibimbap, kimchi, and the famed Korean barbecue.

It’s one of my favorite countries in the world and one that I think is super under the radar and often overlooked by travelers. You never see the tourist crowds found in other Asian countries.

This travel guide to South Korea can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your visit.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on South Korea

Top 5 Things to See and Do in South Korea

Historic buildings along the rugged coast of South Korea

1. Explore Seoul

Korea’s capital has a little bit of everything. It’s a bustling metropolis and global technology hub, with sleek and modern neighborhoods like Gangnam and iconic sights like the Lotte World Tower, the sixth-tallest building in the world. Yet there is a lot of history here too, including many museums, palaces, and temples, among them five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. When you’re done exploring for the day, Seoul has a robust street food scene, countless trendy restaurants, and fast-paced, soju-driven nightlife. You could easily spend weeks here and never get bored.

2. Tour the DMZ

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separates North and South Korea and, despite the name, is the most militarized border in the world. You can only visit the Joint Security Area (JSA), which has military personnel from both sides, on a guided tour, but it’s a unique experience and an important way to learn about this ongoing conflict (the war started in 1950 and has not officially ended). On the tour, you’ll be able to actually stand in North Korea, visit the Third Tunnel of Aggression (which North Korea dug to sneak soldiers across the border), see the Freedom Bridge, and catch glimpses of North Korea from the Unification Observatory. Guided tours of the DMZ start from 80,000 KRW.

3. Visit Jeju Island

This volcanic, semitropical island is a popular domestic vacation spot. It’s accessible via cheap daily flights from Seoul that take just one hour. Known as “the Hawaii of Korea,” it’s a natural paradise, home to the tallest mountain in Korea (Mount Hallasan), lava tubes, beautiful beaches, and countless hiking and walking trails. Other attractions include visiting mythic Jeju Stone Park, wandering the Yeomiji Botanical Gardens, and watching the haenyeo divers — women who dive without any protective equipment to gather underwater treasures like shellfish and seaweed, which they then sell on the beaches. You can visit the Jeju Haenyeo Museum as well to learn more about this cultural practice that dates back centuries.

4. Sing karaoke

Known as noraebang , this is a cultural phenomenon and something worth experiencing at least once while visiting Korea. While the karaoke machine was originally invented in Japan, Koreans have adopted the pastime and made it their own. Here, you rent out a private room with a group of friends (instead of singing in a public bar, as is often the case in Western countries). Pricing is determined by the hour, with rates varying wildly depending on the number of people, time of day, day of the week, and whether snacks and drinks are included. Average group karaoke rates range from 5,000 to 15,000 KRW.

5. Step back in time at a hanok village

Other things to see and do in south korea, 1. visit changdeokgung palace.

One of the Joseon dynasty’s Five Grand Palaces, this 15th-century complex in Seoul was built in harmony with the natural environment at the foot of Bugaksan Mountain. Changdeokgung, or “Palace of Prospering Virtue,” was the main royal residence for 13 kings over the course of three centuries. The complex sprawls over 110 acres, 60% of which is taken up by the beautiful Huwon Secret Garden, home to over a hundred species of trees, flowers, and other plants (some of the trees here are over 300 years old!). The main draw is wandering around the exterior, with its restored buildings and gates, though you can also go inside Injeongjeon Hall, the palace’s throne room. Admission to the complex is 3,000 KRW; the Secret Garden is an additional 5,000 KRW. There are guided tours in English as well.

2. Explore Busan

Korea’s second-largest city is located just two hours from Seoul on the KTX high-speed bullet train. A coastal city, Busan boasts great beaches, such as Haeundae Beach, with its miles of sand, and Gwangalli Beach, known for its sunsets. Gamcheon Culture Village, the “mural village of Korea,” is a hillside neighborhood rich in street art and covered in murals, and nearly all the houses are painted bright colors. It’s a great place to wander around for a few hours, popping into the unique shops, cafés, and restaurants.

3. See the National Museum of Korea

If you visit only one museum in Korea, make it this one. Located in Seoul, it covers all aspects of Korean culture, art, and history, from prehistory to the early modern era. It also contains many national treasures and artifacts that have been designated as having special importance and value in Korean culture and history. Some of the most important ones include the sixth-century inscribed Bukhansan Monument, detailing military expansions; sixth-century gilt-bronze Buddhist statues; and the 10-story Gyeongcheonsa Pagoda, which dates to the 14th century. Don’t miss the exterior gardens, which feature indigenous plants, reflecting pools, and traditional Korean sculptures and lanterns. Admission to the main exhibitions and children’s museum is free.

4. Take a food tour

As a foodie, learning about a culture through its food is one of my favorite things to do while traveling. Korea has an incredible variety of amazing dishes to try, as well as a bustling (and delicious) street food scene. Taking a food tour with an experienced guide is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of Korean cuisine. O’ngo Food offers a variety of tours in Seoul, Busan, Jeonju, and Jeju, with prices starting from 70,000 KRW per person.

5. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace

Originally built in the 14th century by the kings of the Joseon dynasty, this palace in Seoul served as the seat of the government for two hundred years until it was destroyed by a fire and abandoned for centuries. Since the 19th century (and still today), it has been undergoing renovations to restore the complex to its former glory. It is considered the most stunning of all five royal palaces in Seoul, featuring grand gates, open courtyards, and terracotta-topped buildings set against the backdrop of Mount Bugak. In addition to wandering through the complex, you can also go into the many administrative halls and residential chambers set up to resemble the palace’s heyday. You can watch the changing-of-the-guard ceremony as well, every day except Monday. The National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum are also located in the complex. Admission is 3,000 KRW.

6. See the cherry blossoms

While cherry blossoms are often associated with Japan, festivities surrounding the blooms are incredibly popular in Korea as well. Here, the season runs from late March to late April, with many festivals throughout the country. Just be prepared for crowds at the more popular ones, like the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival in Seoul.

7. Try taekwondo

Korean’s native martial art, taekwondo, is characterized by high kicks and punches and, like all such disciplines, emphasizes mental training. An Olympic event since 2000, taekwondo has only grown in popularity in recent years and is a point of pride in Korean culture. Kang’s Global Taekwondo in Seoul offers classes to adults and foreigners that cost around 43,000 KRW for one hour.

8. Learn to cook classic Korean foods

If you’d like to take your knowledge of Korean food one step further, take a cooking class, where you’ll learn to prepare classics like bibimbap, kimchi, bulgogi, and Korean pancakes. Hello K Cooking in Seoul offers a class where you’ll learn how to cook three main dishes and one stew — recipes and skills that you can bring home with you. Classes are 107,000 KRW.

9. Go hiking

Korea is an incredibly mountainous country, so hiking is a favorite pastime for locals. Be sure to immerse yourself in nature while visiting this lush land. There are even hiking spots near the bigger cities if you don’t have enough time or don’t want to venture too far afield. Bukhansan National Park, just outside Seoul, is a popular place to go hiking, offering panoramic views over the capital (expect crowds due to its proximity to the city, though). Yet with 22 national parks spread across the country, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds (including lots of guided hikes if you don’t want to organize one yourself). For a multiday hike, the Jirisan Ridge Trek in Jirisan National Park is one of the most famous — a four-day walk from mountain shelter to mountain shelter.

10. Wander around Seoul Olympic Park

In 1988, Seoul hosted the Summer Olympics, which was only the second time the summer games had been held in Asia (the first was in Tokyo in 1964). Today, you can visit the massive park where the games were staged, and while Olympic Park does have many sports facilities, there’s much more to explore here as well. The park is divided into four sections, focusing on the arts, history, nature, and sports. In the arts section, you’ll find the SOMA Museum of Art and a park with over 200 sculptures, while in the history section, you can see the third-century defensive Mongchontoseong Earthen Fortifications, excavated dugout huts and storage pits left in the state in which they were uncovered. You can easily spend an entire afternoon here. Admission to the park is free.

11. Discover Jirisan National Park

Located in the southern part of the country (Namwon is the nearest city), this park is named after Jirisan (Mt. Jiri for short), the tallest mountain on mainland Korea. As it’s South Korea’s first national park (as well as its largest), hiking trails and cultural sites abound. You can visit seven major Buddhist temples and see several of Korea’s national treasures of ancient carved stonework from the seventh to the tenth centuries. One of the most important sites here is Samseonggung, or Three Sages Palace, a mountainside shrine dedicated to the legendary founders of Korea. Admission to the park is 1,600 KRW.

South Korea Travel Costs

Locals and tourists on a busy street in Seoul Korea at night with lots of bright signs

Cheap hotel rooms start at 28,000 KRW for a room that sleeps one, while a double room generally costs at least 40,000 KRW. Expect basic amenities like Wi-Fi, a TV, air conditioning, and an electric teapot. Breakfast is usually not included at budget hotels.

Airbnb is available around the country, with private rooms starting at 25,000-30,000 KRW. For an entire home or apartment, expect to pay at least 50,000-70,000 KRW per night.

While wild camping is illegal in Korea, there are plenty of campgrounds should you want to pitch a tent. Expect to pay 7,000-20,000 KRW for a plot with access to bathroom and shower facilities, and usually even Wi-Fi.

Food – Korean cuisine has developed its own traditions and flavors over the centuries, with a unique emphasis on using uncooked, fermented, and pickled vegetables. Traditional Korean meals are often composed of a variety of side dishes, eaten with short-grain rice. A meal isn’t considered complete unless there’s kimchi on the table.

Common dishes include bulgogi (marinated, grilled beef), samgye-tang (chicken and ginseng soup), bibimbap (a mixed rice bowl), chap chae (a glass noodle dish), and many other noodle and rice dishes. Popular street foods include hotteok (a sweet, filled pancake), tteokbokki (spicy cylindrical rice cakes), and bungeo-ppang (a fish-shaped pastry filled with red bean paste).

Dining out in South Korea is relatively inexpensive. A meal at a casual restaurant serving traditional Korean food is around 9,000-15,000 KRW, while a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant is around 25,000-30,000 KRW. Expect higher prices in larger cities.

Western food is more expensive. Expect to pay at least 20,000 KRW for a pasta dish at an Italian restaurant.

In terms of fast food, a combo meal (think McDonald’s) is around 7,000 KRW, while a burger is around 4,500 KRW. A typical Korean street food dish is 1,500-3,000 KRW.

A pint of beer is 4,000-5,000 KRW, a glass of wine is 6,000 KRW and up, and a cocktail is 7,000 KRW and up. A latte or cappuccino is 5,000 KRW.

If you cook your own food, expect to pay 50,000-70,000 KRW per week for basic staples like rice, pasta, vegetables, and some meat. Shopping at local markets is the best way to get great fresh produce for cheap.

Backpacking South Korea: Suggested Budgets

On a backpacking budget of 75,000 KRW per day, you can stay in a hostel dorm, cook all your meals, use public transportation and intercity buses to get around, skip the alcohol, and do mostly free activities like walking tours and hiking.

On a mid-range budget of 135,000 KRW per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb or cheap hotel, eat out for most meals at casual restaurants, enjoy a few drinks, take the occasional taxi as well as trains between cities, and do more paid activities like museum visits and food tours.

On a “luxury” budget of 255,000 KRW or more per day, you can stay in a nicer hotel or entire Airbnb apartment, eat out pretty much anywhere you want, drink at the bar, get a high-speed rail pass, and do as many guided tours and activities as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury, though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get an idea of how much you need to budget daily. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in KRW.

South Korea Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

I find South Korea to be one of the best value countries out there. It’s a really affordable place to visit. Accommodation can add up but food and drinks are generally cheap. Here are some ways to save money when you travel around South Korea:

  • Visit the free attractions – With countless museums, shrines, temples, historic neighborhoods, and parks, Korea is filled with opportunities to become immersed in its culture. Many of the nation’s museums and cultural attractions are free, so don’t pass them up!
  • Purchase a KORAIL Pass – If you want to travel by train, getting a rail pass is the most economical way to do so. You’ll get unlimited train travel for the time period you choose (2-5-day increments). Prices start at 121,000 KRW.
  • Get a transit pass – Most major cities in Korea offer a day pass for public transit, which means great savings if you plan to hop around using buses and subways. Seoul’s day pass costs 15,000 KRW, though the longer you stay, the more you’ll save (a seven-day pass is 64,500 KRW).
  • Buy a city pass – If you plan on visiting a lot of attractions, buy a city pass . Seoul and Busan both offer ones that include admission to popular sights, a transit pass, and discounts to restaurants and other attractions. A one-day pass starts at 33,000 KRW.
  • Eat from the convenience stores – Convenience stores in Korea offer not only snacks and drinks but prepared boxed meals and cheap alcohol. If you’re on a tight budget, shop in those.
  • Take the bus – While the trains are fun, the cheapest way to get around Korea is by bus. They take longer but are much cheaper, so if you have the time, opt for long-distance buses. Just show up at the bus station to reserve your tickets in advance, as most websites and apps are in Korean.
  • Stay with a local – Couchsurfing lets you stay with a local for free, cutting your accommodation costs drastically. You’ll get to spend time with someone who can share their tips and advice in exchange for your own travel stories and culture. You can also use the app to meet people for activities (coffee, museum visits, etc.) if you don’t feel comfortable staying with a stranger.
  • Drink like the locals – Soju, the national alcohol of Korea, is incredibly cheap, as is domestic beer. Just be careful to not let it sneak up on you — both monetarily and physically. Korea’s drinking culture is infamous!
  • Stay in capsule hotels – If you don’t want to Couchsurf or stay in hostels but still want to save money, capsule or pod hotels are great options. These offer just what you need to sleep (a small, basic pod) yet can be surprisingly comfy and much more affordable than a traditional hotel. Prices start as low as 45,000 KRW per night.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink, so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand, as its bottles have built-in filters to ensure that your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in South Korea

South Korea has plenty of budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses. Here are some of my recommended places to stay when you visit:

  • Time Travelers Relax Guesthouse (Seoul)
  • Zzzip Guesthouse (Seoul)
  • Time Travelers party Hostel (Seoul)
  • INSIDE Busan (Busan)
  • Jeju Hiking Inn (Jeju)
  • Backpacker’s Home (Jeju)

How to Get Around South Korea

The rugged mountains and greenery of South Korea

Bus – Taking a long-distance bus is the cheapest and most popular way to get around the country. There are two types: express (which makes few to no stops) and intercity (which travels between smaller destinations and makes more stops).

Your best bet for reserving tickets in advance is to go directly to the bus terminal, as most bus websites and booking apps are in Korean and only accept Korean credit or debit cards.

Pricing depends on what class ticket you choose: standard, luxury, or premium. The four-hour bus ride from Seoul to Busan costs around 36,000 KRW for a standard ticket, Incheon to Busan takes just over four hours and costs 38,000 KRW, and Seoul to Daegu is 29,000 KRW and takes just under four hours.

Train – South Korea has a robust train system that can take you all over the country. Korean Train Express (KTX) is the country’s bullet train, regularly running at speeds up to 305 kilometers (190 miles) per hour. However, these only go between major cities, have limited schedules, and are more expensive, so KTX may not always be the most convenient choice.

KORAIL (the national railway service) operates slower-speed, intercity trains that offer a wider range of schedules and destination choices. You can also get the unlimited KORAIL Pass, which is offered exclusively to international tourists. A two-day adult pass is 121,000 KRW; a five-day adult pass is 210,000 KRW.

As a comparison of the two train types: the journey from Seoul to Busan on a KRX train costs around 90,000 KRW and takes 2.5 hours, while on a regular intercity train, it takes 5.5 hours and costs 47,500 KRW.

The further out you book, the cheaper KTX train prices get, while intercity prices stay about the same. You can book up to a year in advance.

Flying – South Korea is so small that flying around the country doesn’t really make sense. Trains can get you anywhere pretty quickly. However, if you’re very pressed for time and have cash to burn, there are a few budget airlines offering domestic flights between major cities. Most are around one hour long.

The flight from Seoul to Busan is around 30,500 KRW, Seoul to Jeju is 55,000 KRW, and Busan to Jeju is 22,000 KRW. However, you can find flights even cheaper when you book further in advance.

Low-cost airlines in South Korea include the following:

Car rental – Renting a car isn’t incredibly cheap in South Korea. However, it is one of the best ways to explore all the natural wonders that the country has to offer, many of which are inaccessible by public transportation. Expect to pay around 50,000-55,000 KRW per day on a multiday rental. Drivers need to be at least 21 years old.

When to Go to South Korea

Generally, the best times to visit South Korea are March-May and September-November. During these periods, the weather is mild, with temperatures of 10-24°C (50-75°F); prices for accommodation and transportation are lower; and there are fewer crowds.

In the spring, the cherry blossoms are in bloom all over the country, while the fall brings the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. Also, if you plan on doing a lot of hiking, the fall is the best time to visit.

The summer starts with monsoon season, from June through mid-July, and the rest of the summer is hot and humid in the cities (though it cools down in the mountains and along the coasts). Prices for accommodation are also very high during this time.

Winters in South Korea get very cold, with temperatures dipping as low as -6°C (21°F), so unless you plan on skiing, visiting from December through February might not be the best option (though the temples and landscapes look beautiful covered in snow).

How to Stay Safe in South Korea

South Korea is an incredibly safe place to backpack and travel around. Petty crime is rare here, though it never hurts to be cautious on public transportation and around popular tourist landmarks. Always keep your wallet and valuables secure and out of reach, just in case. Violent crime is even more rare.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here. However, the standard safety precautions apply as always. For specific tips, consult one of the many solo female travel blogs on the web.

While scams are super rare in South Korea, to avoid getting ripped off, you can check out this list of common travel scams to avoid .

When hiking, always bring water and sunscreen. Be sure to check the weather before you depart and dress accordingly.

Earthquakes occur regularly in the region, so it’s best to be prepared and download the Emergency Ready app, which the Korean government developed to provide information in English to foreign residents and tourists. It has all kinds of advice and tips for natural disasters, shows you where nearby emergency shelters are, and sends out warnings and notifications should a disaster occur.

If you do experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID, and forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they’ll know where you are.

South Korea Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

South Korea Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Asia travel and continue planning your trip:

The 4 Best Hostels in Singapore

The 4 Best Hostels in Singapore

Where to Stay in Singapore: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Singapore: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The 13 Best Things to See and Do in Taipei

The 13 Best Things to See and Do in Taipei

The 23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong

The 23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong

17 Things to See and Do in Taiwan

17 Things to See and Do in Taiwan

How to Get Around Southeast Asia on the Cheap

How to Get Around Southeast Asia on the Cheap

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

Never Ending Footsteps

The Cost of Travel in South Korea: A 2023 Budget Breakdown

Jagged mountain peaks on the left meet dense forest on the right. In the centre, a calm turquoise river trickles past boulders and pebbles

I was so excited to return to South Korea.

I haven’t been to many places where I’ve felt such a cohesive blend of old and new, but South Korea is one of them. Steeped with 5000 years of culture and history, but integrated with modern music, technology, and infrastructure, it’s a country that surprised and delighted me at every turn.

And Seoul? It’s one of my favourite cities in the world. If you think New York City is the place that never sleeps, just wait until you arrive in Seoul. During my first visit to the country, I landed in the South Korean capital expecting to spend three or four days in town, but ended up leaving after three weeks . Yes, I loved this city so much that I simply couldn’t bring myself to leave.

I’d be walking the bustling streets of popular neighbourhood Hongdae in the early hours of the morning and realise that there was nowhere on earth quite like it. Street performers are sharing their best routines to the latest K-pop songs, shops are bright and open, karaoke is everywhere, and clubs have lines out the door. Talk about a sensory overload, but in the best possible way. 

On my return visit, though, I knew I needed to see more of this wonderful country. South Korea is so much more than it’s biggest city.

From the colourful houses in Busan to the scenic coastal views and tea plantations on Jeju Island to the towering mountains of Seoraksan National Park: I loved each and every destination I visited in the country. Get ready to be swept away by all that Korea has to offer, from Korean BBQ, K-pop, karaoke, palaces, temples, and arcades.

But how are the prices? In this post-pandemic world, the cost of travel has been skyrocketing, but this country has managed to remain relatively inexpensive.

Today, I’m going to be revealing exactly how much you can expect to spend on a trip to South Korea.

I’ve been recording every single dollar, peso, and baht that I’ve spent on my travels since 2011 (I now have  over 65 budget breakdowns on the site !), aiming to give you an accurate picture of how much you can expect to spend in every country around the world. Today, it’s South Korea’s turn and I’m so excited to start sharing.

Grab yourself a cold bottle of soju because this post’s a long one!

cheap places to visit from korea

What’s Included in this Post 

This budget breakdown covers how much I spent on accommodation, transportation, activities, and food during my trips to South Korea — my most recent visit was May 2023.

The amounts in the guide are listed in U.S. dollars, simply because the vast majority of my readers are from the U.S. I’ve also included prices in the South Korean won (KRW) — the local currency — as you’ll be using that throughout your time in the country.

At the time of writing (August 2023):

  • 1 USD: 1,300 KRW
  • 1 EUR: 1,450 KRW
  • 1 GBP: 1,675 KRW
  • 1 AUD: 875 KRW

Yes, this does make calculating the prices of things rather tricky when you’re in South Korea! For me, I kept in mind that 10,000 KRW is roughly 8 USD (€7, £6, or 11.50 AUD) and it made figuring out the prices of things far easier.

One quick note I do want to make about travel in South Korea is that it’s kind of complicated to pay for things! Korea is, these days, a cashless society — everybody pays with cards and there aren’t a lot of places that are happy to accept cash.

Now, that would be all well and good if it wasn’t for the fact that the vast majority of payment terminals don’t accept foreign bank cards. Apple Pay is very limited and Google Pay doesn’t exist at all.

Yes, really.

I’d say that we were able to successfully use our debit/credit cards 30% of the time in South Korea — and it made no difference whether we were using our U.K., Australian, or New Zealand cards.

So, what to do?

Honestly, there isn’t an elegant solution. Expect that every time you try to buy something, you might need to try four cards until one of them works. Carry a lot of cash with you in case none of your cards are accepted. It didn’t end up being a huge problem for us, as we were able to pay with cash whenever our cards were declined, but it was frustrating to have to continually deal with payment rejections everywhere we went!

Okay, let’s get started! Up first: accommodation!

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cheapest Accommodation Options in South Korea

Like practically every country in the world, prices have increased post-pandemic in South Korea, so you’ll be paying a little more for everything than you would have done a few years ago. Despite that, costs are lower than most Western countries, so accommodation in the country still offers up good value for money.

Let’s start on the lower end of the spectrum. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it’s possible to avoid paying for accommodation entirely.

Couchsurfing  exists in South Korea and allows you to stay with a local for free, usually sleeping on their sofa and enjoying a local’s insight into life in their country. It’s not the most comfortable of living situations, but if your budget’s tight, it’s worth sending out a few requests to hosts to see if anything comes of it. You can browse through the 150,000+ Korean hosts on  the Couchsurfing site .

Housesitting  is a more upmarket option, aimed at mid-range and luxury travellers. Housesitting involves taking care of somebody’s house for free while they’re away, often (but not always) looking after their pets, too. It’s best for long-term travellers or retirees, as you can’t pick and choose dates and destinations, so you’ll need to have a lot of flexibility as to where you go and at what time of year. If you do have that freedom, though it’s a wonderful way to cut down your travel expenses, soak up some home comforts, and live like a local for a while. Trusted Housesitters  is the best site for getting started with housesitting, as they have the highest number of listings.

And then we have hostels . In South Korea, you’ll come across hostels all over the country, finding them on tiny islands, large cities, and even within the national parks. They’re one of your best options for saving money.

All prices are in U.S. Dollars, by the way, as that’s where the vast majority of my readers are from.

Hostels in Korea  are on a par with the rest of major cities in East Asia, and you can expect to spend between  $18 a night for a dorm bed  for a well-reviewed hostel, with the price increasing slightly to about  $24 a night  for the absolute best of the best.

When it comes to private rooms in hostels, you’ll be looking at  $30 a night  for a clean, basic room in a good location, so if you’re travelling with friends or with your partner, you may find it cheaper to grab some privacy over settling for two beds in a dorm room.  $70 a night  will get you an exceptionally well-reviewed private room in a hostel.

I use  HostelWorld  to find the cheapest hostels, as they tend to have the greatest number of listings at the lowest prices.

And then there are hotels, which I’m going to jump into next.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Accommodation in South Korea 

I found hotels in South Korea to be pretty reasonably priced. You won’t get the cheap, cheap rates that you do in places like Southeast Asia, but prices are generally lower than more expensive countries in Western Europe.

  • As mentioned, well-rated hostels come in at an average price of $18 a night for a dorm bed, while private rooms are around $30 a night .
  • Inexpensive guesthouses are typically around $50 a night .
  • Four-star hotels are between $150 and $200 a night
  • And five-star hotels are $250-350 a night

As always with these posts, I like to share where I personally stayed in the country and what I thought of each of my accommodation choices. On my most recent trip, I splurged in Seoul because I wanted to stay in two of the best-rated hotels in the country, but kept my accommodation costs relatively low in the other destinations I visited.

Seoul (Hongdae): RYSE Hotel (240,000 KRW, or $183 per night)

If you’re going to stay anywhere in Hongdae (my favourite Seoul neighbourhood), RYSE Hotel is the place to be. It’s one of the best hotels in the city! It’s in the perfect location, in the heart of Hongdae’s cafe-and-nightlife scene, but so well-insulated that you don’t hear any of it. The rooms had a modern, industrial design, great views over the city, and there were tons of freebies, from facemasks (this is Korea, after all!) to local games to even a bottle of wine. There’s a rooftop bar with some of the best views in Seoul, one of the best equipped hotel gyms I’ve ever used, and the staff were amazing. I’d absolutely stay here again on future visits!

Seoul (Myeongdong): Hotel 28 (189,000 KRW, or $144 per night)

Our itinerary in South Korea saw us spending two separate stints in Seoul, so for our second visit, I dragged myself away from my beloved Hongdae and gave Myeongdong a try — this is the neighbourhood to head to if you want to shop ’til you drop then eat ’til you’re… replete! We chose Hotel28, which is the best-rated option in the area; one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It’s a cinema-themed hotel (you get bags of free popcorn when you check in!) in one of the best areas for eating in the city. The rooms are spacious, the bathroom had the best bath ever, and the staff were so sweet. It’s right by one of the city’s best night markets, too, which was so much fun to eat my way around! The hotel gym was great. If you’re a light sleeper and can’t use earplugs, however, this is probably a hotel to stay away from — it’s pretty noisy outside until midnight. The hotel provides free earplugs and we both slept well when using them, but it’s still a minor downside.

Gyeongju: Maison Mini Hotel (62,000 KRW, or $49 per night)

Dave and I loved our stay at the adorable Maison Mini Hotel in Gyeongju and found it to be a fantastic mid-range accommodation option. The rooms were spotless and cleaned everyday throughout our stay. The owner was so sweet and welcoming, and the shared kitchen and laundry facilities were definitely appreciated. Having access to a proper coffee machine was particularly useful! The guesthouse is a 10 minute walk from all of the wonderful sights of Gyeongju and a five minute walk from the main bus station, so it made for a great base while we were in town. I can’t recommend this place highly enough!

Busan: Urbanstay Seomyeon (61,000 KRW, or $47 per night)

Like Seoul, Busan is a big old city with plenty of neighbourhoods to choose from. Seomyeon, however, is the best spot for new visitors to town — it’s in a convenient location for visiting all of the most popular spots and has plenty of vibrant nightlife and restaurants to explore. Urbanstay is right beside a metro station, which makes getting around even easier. The rooms are clean, modern, and basic — very minimalist! — with lightning-fast Wi-Fi. There actually aren’t any staff at the hotel, so you’ll be emailed a key code to get into your room, which works well. The washing machines are, as always, very much appreciated!

cheap places to visit from korea

Seoraksan National Park: Smile Resort (70,000 KRW, or $53 per night)

If you’re going to be hiking in Seoraksan National Park, you’ll want to be staying as close to the park entrance as possible. Unfortunately, this area of South Korea seems to be full of mediocre accommodation options. Still, Smile Resort was the best option that was close to the entrance while not being obscenely expensive. While the interior was a little old and tired, it was a perfectly acceptable place to stay! The owners were welcoming and kind, the free breakfast (a rarity in South Korea) was definitely appreciated before a big day of hiking, and it’s just a five-minute walk from the bus that takes you to the national park entrance. Rooms also have a private kitchenette and fridge, which was useful for keeping our water cold overnight.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Transportation in South Korea 

I’m somebody who doesn’t get an awful lot out of travel days in unfamiliar places, but even I can admit that travelling around South Korea is a joy! From the buses to the high-speed trains to the comprehensive subways: getting around this country is convenient, comfortable, and hassle-free.

Your first encounter with the transportation system will be at the airport. There’s two options for getting the train from Incheon International Airport to Seoul: the Airport Railroad Express (AREX) or the All Stop Train. The former takes 43 minutes and costs 9,500 KRW ( $7.20 ), while the latter is half the price at 4,150 KRW ( $3.15 ) and takes 53 minutes.

I recommend jumping on the All Stop Train, then, as it’s cheaper, takes just 10 minutes longer, and runs more frequently than the AREX so will most likely get you into Seoul faster anyway.

I wouldn’t recommend taking the bus or the taxi, as both are more expensive and slower than the train. The bus costs 10-15,000 KRW ( $9 ) and takes around 80 minutes, while taxis cost a whopping 70,000 KRW, or $55 , and take around an hour.

cheap places to visit from korea

What to Know About T-Money Cards

Before we go any further, it’s time for a primer on T-Money! This is my one travel essential in South Korea and I highly recommend getting your hands on one before you leave the airport.

A T-Money card is designed to make your public transportation experiences seamless. You simply buy your T-Money card from any convenience store, or the vending machines at the airport, and then you can use it on subways, buses, taxis, and even vending machines and grocery stores — all across the country. Simply tap your card on the T-Money scanner and you’re good to go!

I recommend buying yours at the airport, where there are T-Money vending machines located beside the All Stop Train (and then you’ll pay for said train journey with the card). You’ll pay 4,000 KRW ( $3 ) for the card.

Once you’ve bought your card, remember to top it up with some cash. I topped-up with 40,000 KRW ( $30 ), which was the perfect amount for two weeks in the country — I had 2,000 KRW left over at the end. If you do end up with any money left on your T-Money card at the end of your trip, you can get that refunded to you at any subway station (including the airport) in Seoul.

I mentioned in the photo caption above that Dave’s T-Money card came free with his SIM card purchase. He bought his SIM card in advance from LG and picked it up in the arrivals hall at the airport. The SIM card included unlimited data (35,000 KRW or $25 for 10 days of usage) plus a Korean phone number — the latter of which is surprisingly useful in Korea (you often need a local phone number just to join a queue for a restaurant!) but tricky to get from many other providers.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Trains in South Korea

If you’ll be venturing outside of Seoul then odds are, you’ll be travelling by train. This is one of the best ways to explore the country, thanks to the modern carriages and speedy services. And expect your trains to be punctual — just as in nearby Japan , this country thrives on an on-time departure.

I’m a huge fan of the KTX — the Korean Travel Express — which whips you up and down the length of the country at speeds of 300+ kilometres an hour (190 mph). It’s the priciest option, for sure, but the amount of time you’ll save will likely make it worth it.

As an example, the KTX from Seoul to Busan — running from the top to the bottom of the country — takes just over two hours (at a price of 59,800 KRW/$45 ). In comparison, the equivalent buses and slower trains complete the journey anywhere between four and six hours (but costing 28,000 KRW/$21 ).

Buy your KTX tickets through the official Korail website to score the cheapest fare — we had no problems using it with our foreign debit/credit cards.

I’ll briefly mention the existence of the Korea Rail Pass (KR Pass) here, which works similarly to the Japan Rail Pass or a Eurail Pass. You can choose from either a consecutive pass or a flexible pass, but to be honest, the prices are around the same amount as the individual tickets, so I didn’t see the point. If you’ll be racing around the country and visiting multiple places in a single day, it may be worth it, but it wasn’t for us.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Buses in South Korea

You can take the bus to just about anywhere in South Korea.

There are two types of long-distance buses in the country: express and intercity; due to time constraints, we opted for the express option for every journey we took (intercity buses are cheaper but take way longer because they make stops all along the way; express buses take you directly to your destination). Our two-hour express bus from Seoul to Sokcho ( 21,000W, or $16 ) was bordering on luxurious with wide, comfortable reclining leather seats, tons of legroom, and even power sockets.

You can find bus departures either through Kobus (express buses only) or Bustago (express and intercity buses). However , you can only purchase through these sites if you have a Korean bank card and a local number — yes, it’s frustrating and only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Korea making travel difficult for foreign visitors.

We used these booking sites, therefore, to see which departure time we wanted to aim for and to check there were still tickets available. We then bought the tickets from the bus station an hour or so beforehand — departures typically run multiple times an hour so you don’t have to worry too much about buses being booked.

To give you a sense of ticket prices, here are some average one-way costs for a few routes you might take: 

  • Seoul to Busan: 33,000 KRW ($26)
  • Seoul to Gyeongju: 20,000 KRW ($15)
  • Busan to Daegu: 12,000 KRW ($9)
  • Seoul to Jeonju: 20,000 KRW ($15)

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Flying in South Korea

South Korea isn’t a gargantuan country. And with fast and frequent overland options available throughout, you probably won’t need to fly very often — if it all. But if you plan on going to wonderful Jeju Island (which you should), then flying is the easiest way to get there.

A one-way direct flight from Seoul to Jeju will cost around $42 , and if you’re flying from Busan, a one-way fare is roughly $33 . 

In terms of alternative options to flying, you do have the ferry from Busan. At a journey time of around 12 hours, though, and a cost of 60,000W ($45) , there’s no real reason to put yourself through the discomfort.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of the Metro in South Korea

The underground systems in Seoul and Busan are in a league of their own. In fact, Seoul has one of the most extensive subway systems in the world — it’s clean, modern, and safe. If you don’t have to use it during rush hour, it’s pretty calm, too. It’s one of the best and most efficient ways to get around Seoul, and with the exception of a couple of local bus trips, I relied on the subway during my entire stint in the city.

Fare is calculated by distance, so a subway ride of less than 10 km will cost 1,350 KRW ($1) with 100 KRW added on for every additional 5km (you’re unlikely to take a journey this far, though). When taking the subway over a typical day of sightseeing, I usually averaged around 5,000 KRW ($4) per day . 

Overall, my daily transportation costs in South Korea worked out to: $10.20 per day

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Food in South Korea

Long-time readers of the site will already know that food is my primary driver to travel. It won’t come as any surprise, then, to learn that my favourite thing to do in Korea was eat .

There are so many incredible local dishes to sample in this country that I often found myself panicking that there weren’t going to be enough meals in the day. By the end of my weeks in the country, I was officially inducting South Korea into my list of the top five places to eat in the world (the others being India, Vietnam, Mexico, and Greece).

Yes, you’ve got all the classics you’ve probably come across before, like kimchi, bibimbap, and bulgogi, and you’ll be able to find them on practically every street you walk along. But for me, the delight came in wandering into a crowded restaurant without any idea what was on the menu, sitting down and being presented with one of the best dishes I’ve ever tried. Yes, I’m looking at you, samgyetang.

cheap places to visit from korea

Of course, Korean BBQ reigns supreme and provides a super-fun food experience — I definitely recommend trying it at least once while you’re in the country. Gather around a table with a group of friends, order yourselves an inordinate amount of meat, marinate it in a variety of sauces, then cook it up at your table on your own little grill.

And let me tell you that Korean fried chicken may have ruined me for all of my future fried chicken experiences. Before arriving in the country, I’d made a vow to never eat the same thing twice while I was there. After my first taste of crispy fried chicken, however, I found myself meekly eating it again a couple of days later. It was just so freaking good!

The kimchi in South Korea is amazing and I was regularly blown away by the depth of flavour that was contained in such a simple dish. You’ll be given a couple of versions of it (cabbage and radish) as a free side with practically every meal you order, and it was nearly always a flavourful highlight for me.

One particularly epic food experience we had in the country is depicted in the photo at the very top of this section — the one where I’m surrounded by about 35 different dishes! Hongsi Hanjungsik in Gyeongju offers up a traditional Korean banquet, run out of the owner’s home, with so many high-quality, tasty things to try. And despite the multitude of dishes, we didn’t come away feeling overly full. At a price of 20,000W (or $15.50) each, it felt like phenomenally good value!

cheap places to visit from korea

So let’s get into the food prices.

In general, if you’re eating out at a Korean restaurant, look to spend around 10,000 – 15,000 KRW ($7.50 – $11.50) for a meal. When eating at a more Western restaurant (which you absolutely should not do because the Western food in Korea is probably the worst I’ve ever eaten — a ham and cheese sandwich I ordered was drizzled with condensed milk!) then you might spend 20,000 KRW ($15) for a meal. Fast food, street food, or a smaller meal will range around 5,000 – 7,000 KRW ($4 – $5) . 

Here’s some examples of what we spent on some of the various dishes we tried:

  • Fried chicken for lunch: 10,000 KRW ($7.50)
  • Bibimbap for lunch: 9,500 KRW ($7)
  • Bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) as a street food snack: 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Dakgalbi (stir-fried chicken) for dinner: 6,500 KRW ($4.50)
  • Unlimited Korean BBQ on a weekday lunch: 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) at a fancy restaurant for lunch: 19,000 KRW ($14.50)
  • Street food snacks: 3,000 KRW ($2) each
  • A pint of local draft beer in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • A bottle of soju in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • A 750ml bottle of makgeolli in a restaurant: 4,000 KRW ($3)
  • An extremely fancy cocktail in a world-class bar: 23,000 KRW ($17.50)

Dave and I are usually intermittent fasters when we travel, so we rarely opted for breakfast while we were travelling in South Korea. Instead, we’d have a large meal for an early lunch and often hit the street food carts for dinner. Our daily meal costs were sometimes then as little as 15,000 KRW ($11.50) a day but averaged out at 25,000 KRW ($19) a day .

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Activities and Entrance Fees in South Korea    

When it comes to activities in South Korea, there’s so much to keep you entertained — and it’s pretty affordable, too.

If there’s one activity to cross off your list when you’re in Seoul, it has to be the royal palaces. For just 10,000 KRW , you can purchase a combo ticket that gives you entrance to Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung (and its separate secret garden), Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, and Jongmyo Shrine. To visit each of these individually would cost 14,000 KRW , so it’s well-worth getting the combo and crossing all of them off. We managed to see all of them in a single day of hardcore sightseeing, and while we were undoubtedly templed-out by the end of it, we were still glad we’d made the effort to do so.

If you only have a limited amount of time, then just head to Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung — the two most impressive of the palaces. You’ll be able to catch the impressive changing of the guard in the morning at Gyeongbokgung, then take a tour of the wonderful secret garden at Changdeokgung in the afternoon.

cheap places to visit from korea

Many visitors to Seoul spend their time shopping, eating, and partying. This is one livable, lively city, crammed full of excellent skincare products, world-class vintage stores, delicious street eats, and more karaoke bars than you could possibly imagine. There’s lots to keep you entertained.

Simply strolling through the different neighbourhoods provides a way to keep costs down. I loved spending my time cafe-hopping in student-filled Hongdae, shopping in bustling Myeongdong, picking up traditional souvenirs in Insadong, and admiring the street art in Itaewon.

One particular highlight from my most recent trip was walking the 10 kilometre, or seven mile, Cheonggyecheon Stream, which runs through downtown Seoul from Cheonggye Plaza to Dongdaemun. Once a busy highway, it has since been transformed into a peaceful oasis, where friends come to chill beside the water, surrounded by plants, trees, and fun water features.

Most visitors to South Korea want to hit up the DMZ: the border between South and North Korea, and specifically the Joint Security Area (JSA) — those famous blue barracks where North and South Korean soldiers stand face-to-face. It’s the closest you can get to North Korea without actually entering it.

You’ll want to be careful, then, when you do book your DMZ tour. There are plenty of these general DMZ tours running (priced at 76,000 KRW/$56 ), but the closest you’ll get to North Korea is standing on a hill and looking into the country from afar with binoculars. You won’t visit the JSA on these trips. It is, however, a third of the price of the JSA tours, so a great option for budget travellers. These non-JSA tours are incredibly popular, so do book early to ensure you manage to get a space. You can check availability for your travel dates using the widget below:

The JSA-specific tours are even more popular, especially because they have only recently (in mid-2023) started back up again. As I write this in August, tours are fully sold out until October.

VVIP Travel and Hana Tour are the two JSA tour operators to go with, so check out their websites just in case they do have availability. Tours cost 195,000 KRW ($150) per person and last for a full day.

cheap places to visit from korea

I knew I wanted to get out into nature while I was in South Korea, as I didn’t want my entire trip to focus around gigantic, bustling cities. This country, after all, is 70% mountains. Seoraksan National Park provided the perfect opportunity to do just that. It’s a two-hour bus ride from Seoul and when you arrive, you’ll feel as though you’re in a whole other country.

With an entrance fee of just 3,500 KRW ($2.50), this was an affordable way to see a part of the country that few tourists opt to explore. The scenery was incredible and a couple of days in town enabled us to tackle all of the most popular hikes.

Speaking of gigantic, bustling cities: Busan!

Busan often ends up being most people’s favorite spot in South Korea and there’s plenty to do while you’re there. From beach-hopping your days away (my favourite free activity!) to hitting up bustling fish markets; eating allll the street food then exploring amazing colourful villages, blanketed with murals. Busan is well-worth visiting, that’s for sure. But for us? We quickly realised that nearby Gyeongju was more our type of place.

cheap places to visit from korea

Dave and I adored Gyeongju, a compact city that’s perfect for some respite after a few days in Busan. Gyeongju is crammed full of cultural sites and attractions, from royal tombs to ancient observatories, to one of the most impressive Buddha statues we’ve ever seen. The vast majority of attractions in town were free to visit, so we spent very little money while we were there, too — an added bonus!

And I can’t write about South Korea and not include beautiful Jeju Island — the iconic volcanic island off the southern coast of the country that’s known for its beaches, waterfalls, and mountains, as well as its local delicacies. Just wait until you try the local black pork! There’s tons to do on the island — you could spend two weeks on Jeju alone — but so much of it is focused around landscapes and scenery (so much hiking!) that you can easily visit on a budget.

With all that being said, here’s a breakdown of the main activity costs you may encounter in South Korea:

  • Entry to Donggung Palace, Gyeongju – 3000 KRW ($2)
  • Bulguksa Temple & Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju – 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Gyeongju Expo Park – 8,000 KRW ($6)
  • Daereungwon Tomb Complex, Cheomseongdae Observatory, Woljeonggyo Bridge, Gyochon Traditional Village – Free
  • Royal palaces combo ticket, Seoul – 10,000 KRW ($7.50)
  • N Seoul Tower – 21,000 KRW ($16)
  • Kimchi Museum entrance – 5,000 KRW ($4)
  • Nanta cooking show – 44,000 KRW ($34)
  • Lotte World entrance – 62,000 KRW ($47)
  • Bukchon Hanok village, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Cheonggyecheon Stream, War Memorial of Korea, National Museum of Korea, Seoul – Free
  • Entrance to Seoraksan National Park – 3,500 KRW ($2.50)
  • Busan Sky Capsule – 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Songdo cable car, Busan – 15,000 KRW ($11.50)
  • Busan Tower Observatory – 7,000 KRW ($5)
  • Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Gamcheon Cultural Village, Busan – Free
  • Jeongbang Waterfalls entrance, Jeju Island – 2,000 KRW ($1.50)
  • Camellia Hill entrance, Jeju Island – 7,000 KRW ($5)
  • Jeju Folk Village, Jeju Island – 12,000 KRW ($9)

As you can see, there’s very little that’s going to break the bank in South Korea — there’s tons of free attractions and any entrance fees are reasonable.

Over my two weeks in Korea, I averaged just $3 a day on activities and entrance fees.

cheap places to visit from korea

The Cost of Miscellaneous Expenses in South Korea

An eSIM:  A few years ago, I made the switch to eSIMs and it’s an act that’s significantly improved my travels.

I used to hate having to spend my first few hours in a new country wandering around in search of a way to get connected. There’s locating a store that will sell you one, language barriers to deal with (I was surprised to discover South Korea has one of the highest language barriers I’ve ever encountered!), various forms of ID and information you might need to bring, scams to navigate, and… well, it’s a headache.

These days, I buy my SIM cards in advance through AloSIM , which sells local e-SIMs for travellers. What that means is that you can buy your SIM card online  before  you arrive in South Korea, and then as soon as you land in Seoul, can switch on your phone and be online before the plane’s even come to a halt. It’s worked flawlessly for me in over a dozen countries, including South Korea.

I paid  $15 for 5 GB of data for 30 days in South Korea. Readers of Never Ending Footsteps can get a 5% discount on AloSIM eSIMs by using the code FOOTSTEPS.

There’s one small detail I need to mention. Before arriving in South Korea, I read dozens of articles insisting that you need a local Korean phone number to successfully travel in the country.

Most of the taxi apps require a local number (especially if you want to pay by card in the app), and most popular restaurants operate a waitlist where they call or text you on a local number when a table is ready — if you don’t have one, you can’t join the queue!

Dave specifically bought an LG SIM card that gave you a local phone number and… we used it close to zero times. It turned out, we didn’t need to call a taxi even once and none of the restaurants we went to had waiting lists. A couple of takeaway joints that we went to required a local number to place an order, but that was it. I’m glad we had at least one SIM card with a Korean number for peace of mind but we also didn’t really need to use it, so I don’t think it’s as much of a travel essential as people say.

Travel insurance : If you’ve read any other posts on Never Ending Footsteps, you’ll know that I’m a great believer in travelling with travel insurance. I’ve seen far too many Go Fund Me campaigns from destitute backpackers that are unexpectedly stranded in a foreign country after a scooter accident/being attacked/breaking a leg with no way of getting home or paying for their healthcare. In short, if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. These costs can quickly land you with a six-figure bill to pay at the end of it.

Travel insurance  will cover you if your flight is cancelled and you need to book a new one, if your luggage gets lost and you need to replace your belongings, if you suddenly get struck down by appendicitis and have to be hospitalised, or discover a family member has died and you need to get home immediately. If you fall seriously ill, your insurance will cover the costs to fly you home to receive medical treatment.

I used  SafetyWing  as my travel insurance provider in South Korea. They provide worldwide coverage, don’t require you to have a return ticket, and even allow you to buy coverage after you’ve left home. If you’re on a long-term trip, you can pay monthly instead of up-front, and can cancel at any time. Finally, they’re affordable, and have a clear, easy-to-understand pricing structure, which is always appreciated.

The cost of two weeks of travel insurance with SafetyWing was $21, or $1.50 a day.

cheap places to visit from korea

How Much Does it Cost to Travel in South Korea? 

It’s time to tally up all of my expenses to see my total travel costs! In U.S. dollars, my average daily costs in South Korea were:

  • Accommodation: $104.50 per day
  • Transportation: $10.20 per day
  • Food: $19 per day
  • Activities/Entrance Fees: $3 per day

Average amount spent in South Korea: $137 a day!

As I mentioned in the accommodation section, I did splurge a little when it came to accommodation, so if you’re on a tighter budget, that’s where you’ll be able to cut costs.

For example, if you’re a backpacker who plans on staying in dorm rooms, you can expect to spend $18 a night on accommodation, making your total daily costs around $50 a day .

Alternatively, if you’re part of a couple and staying in budget-to-mid-range guesthouses, you’ll be looking at $50 a night for accommodation, which will make your daily total costs $82 a day .

So what do you think? Is South Korea more or less expensive than you expected? Let me know in the comments below!

Lauren juliff.

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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11 comments.

Thank you so much for sharing all your infos, they are always clear and straight to the point which makes it really handy, i have been reading you for a while and always enjoy, i am now doing a 3 months trip through bali, south korea and japan, and your infos on south korea are going to be usefull, once again, Lauren,thank you!

Thanks a lot for your excellent article Lauren! South Korea is much more affordable than I thought it was. And apparently there’s nature too :) We just decided against a South Africa trip this September due to the safely situation and power outages, but now adding South Korea to the wishlist for when the boy is a little older and traveling purely by public transport is more feasible.

We’ve been living in the SoKorea for almost 2 years now. A couple things …

* DMA/JSA tours ARE available through visitjsa.com. US military and USDoD-associated individuals have first dibs, but we booked the end of July as “general tourists” without an issue. These tours leave from right OUTside several US military bases in SoKorea, include lunch and are half the price of just DMZ tours from Seoul. There is a dress code, which is STRICTLY enforced.

* In regard to the language barrier. Many Koreans – especially “younger” generation Koreans – DO know English. They, as a whole, are EXTREMELY shy about using it, though. I have found most have excellent English skills – much better than my Korean skills!! Give grace here, folks. And, download the Papago app as EVERYONE (Koreans & foreigners) uses this to communicate. Don’t be shy – just Papago it!

* Korean phone number – during covid, you needed a Korean number to register at restaurants and retail shops for contact- tracing/tracking purposes. We haven’t been anywhere lately that required a Korean # to get a table or anything.

* For taxis, subway directions/maps, download Kakao – there are various Kakao apps – 1 for subway, 1 for taxis, etc.

* Credit cards – AMEX tends to work more places than my Chase or Citibank VISA cards. I carry a couple hundred kwon with me just in case my cc doesn’t work. If you have significant leftover kwon when you leave, I’d suggest looking for Americans at the airport and strike up a conversation – with so many US military bases here, there’s a good chance someone will buy your kwon off you at a reasonable exchange rate.

Thanks for all the extra information!

The language barrier wasn’t a criticism or complaint — just in case you interpreted it as one! I came across a few younger Koreans who spoke excellent English and I didn’t personally have any problems with the lack of English spoken. It was just a brief sidenote that after travelling to 100-odd countries, the language barrier was higher in South Korea than the vast majority of other places I’ve visited.

I used Papago and Naver and Kakao, etc while I was in the country, but as this is an article about the cost of travel, I didn’t want to turn it into a travel guide and add too much detail that was unrelated to the costs. I’ll definitely publish a more general travel guide over the coming months!

The Korean phone number thing wasn’t a reference to COVID contact tracing but rather that the popular restaurants operate waitlists — and to join those waitlists, you’ll sometimes be asked to give your phone number so that they can text/call/KakaoTalk you when your table is available. I had one restaurant turn me away because Dave wasn’t with me so I couldn’t give them a local number, and a couple of takeaway places, where you ordered from a screen, required a local number to confirm the order. I read about this on r/KoreaTravel ( example ) quite a bit before getting here — it wasn’t as bad as expected but it does still seem to be a good idea to get a local number just in case.

Good to know that AMEX works well — the one bank we don’t have accounts with! I’m not American so wasn’t sure if US cards would fare better than ours.

Great to see new articles again! Cant wait to hear what you have been up to!

Thanks so much! I’m relieved to see I still have readers after my extended break! Lots to share from the past year, but the biggest news is probably gaining my Australian permanent residency and setting up a new home base in Melbourne! Other than that, lots of travel in Southeast Asia, as always :-)

Hi! Thanks so much for this :) we are travelling in October to South Korea & Tokyo and I too have read about needing a korean number. Do you happen to know if you need a local number for Kakao app? Thank you!

Hi Lucy! Yes, you can use an international number to sign up for Kakao, but the app won’t let you add a credit or debit card. You’ll need to pay the driver directly with cash.

Just wanted to let you know I found this post incredibly helpful as I´m planning a South Korea trip for later this year! Great to have an idea of costs, and you´ve made me consider putting Jeju island on our itinerary (would mean cutting time in other countries on the way – still figuring it out!).

Thank you so much for all the info! I just have one more question: Do you happen to know of any budget travel agency that organizes Korean land tours for a week or so? I found a few, but the prices are rather high.

wow..learnt so much from your article. thanks a ton. planing a 4day trip to S.Korea and 4 days in Taiwan… do you have any info on taiwan? also is S.Korea clean and safe? Im planning to stay in Seoul. would love to know where i can do some clothes shopping……..also are there any night markets around?

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15 Cheap Things to Do in Seoul for Under S$12

cheap places to visit from korea

A marriage of tradition and modernity, Seoul showcases an aspect of Korean life that is truly unlike any other culture in Asia. With colourful hanboks, Hallyu (k-wave) and endless shopping districts, it is not surprising that South Korea is such a highly sought after travel destination in Asia.

As Seoul is the capital of South Korea, you may think it’s an expensive place to visit, much less a place to travel, eat and live in for a week or two. However, it is not impossible to experience the daily life and culture of South Korea for under S$12. Hence, here are 15 cheap things to do in Seoul that will definitely leave happy memories for a lifetime!

Read Also:  7d Korea Itinerary Under S$800 — Seoul, Jeonju, Busan

1) View Seoul’s Skyline at the N Seoul Tower 서울타워

N Seoul Tower 1 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Hike up the Namsan Park, or take a cable car to reach the famous N Seoul Tower. This tourist attraction is iconically Seoul, and has played host to many popular Korean drama series including The Legend of the Blue Sea and My Love From Another Star. The N Seoul Tower is known as the Seoul romance hotspot, and many couples visit the tower to put a love lock for keepsake. Best viewed at night, you can enjoy a luxurious 360° panoramic view of the city’s skyline from the Observation Deck.

N Seoul Tower 2 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Address:  1-5, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. 서울특별시 용산구 남산공원길 105 (용산동2가) (Myeong-dong Stn., Line 4, Exit 7/8) Price:  ₩10,000 for 2-3hrs in the Namsan Tower Observatory Deck Opening Hours:  Monday – Friday, Sunday (10am – 11pm); Saturday (10am – 12am)

*Pro-tip:  5pm is the best time to enjoy the hike with a sunset view!

2) Walk through the luscious green lawns of Ewha Woman’s University 이화여자대학교

Ewha Womans University 2 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Think a university campus is all books and lecture halls? Ewha’s Woman’s University dispels all notions of a dull and grey school environment with its luscious green and well-manicured lawns. With natural greenery, ancient stone churches and halls, and Korea’s largest ever underground campus, this university is set to wow any local or tourist alike!

Address:  52, Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gi, Seoul. 서울특별시 서대문구 이화여대길 52 (대현동,이화여자대학교) (Ewha Woman’s University Stn., Line 2, Exit 2) Price: Free Opening Hours:  24 hours

3) Feel Young Again at Hongdae district 홍대

Hongdae 1 (Style Nanda) - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

One of the most popular districts in Seoul, Hongik University Stn. is the best place to be for unique cafe food, KBBQ, shopping and of course… the city’s nightlife! Hongdae is always packed no matter what time you go, which stands testament to its popularity and happening lifestyle. Don’t forget to check out the Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe , and the Hello Kitty Cafe while you’re there!

Hongdae 2 (Thanks Nature Cafe) - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Address: Seogyo-dong, Seoul. l 서울특별시 마포구 어울마당로 일대 (Hongik University Stn., Line 3, Exit 9) Opening Hours:  24 hours

*Pro-tip:  Bring more cash while you’re here 😉

4) Hike up Bukhansan National Park 북한산국립공원 (도봉 지구)

Bukhansan National Park - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Bukhansan National Park is extremely popular amongst the older generation, and I actually met many ahjummas and ahjussis who hike up the park daily! Their main motivation to do so was mainly to stay fit, and to enjoy the rewarding, breathtaking view at the peak.

You can choose to hike through the Golden Buddha route (1hr), or the Baegundae route (4hrs) to reach the top of Bukhansan. The Golden Buddha route is shorter and steeper, while the Baegundae route includes a more comfortable hike through the park’s gentle slopes. To top the experience off, bring along some soju and noodles to enjoy on the peak!

Address:  262, Bogungmun-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul. 경기도 의정부시 , 서울특별시 은평구, 종로구, 강북구, 성북구, 경기도 고양시 (Gupabal Stn., Line 3, Exit 1). From here, make a U-turn and find a nearby bus stop (2min walk). Take either bus 704 and get off at the entrance to the park (or simply follow the crowd!) Price: Free Opening Hours:  Hiking at night is prohibited (from sunset to 2hrs before sunrise)

*Pro-tip:  Appropriate sports outerwear and shoes are highly recommended.

5) Act like a King in Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁

Gyeongbokgung Palace - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Don on your hanboks and step into the Gyeongbokgung Palace ; a place deeply steeped in Korean history and pride. Its destruction by the Japanese occupation during WWII is still evident but the Korean government is aiming to fully restore this historic beauty by 2030. While you’re there, you can also visit the National Palace Museum of Korea, and the National Folk Museum of Korea to learn more about Korea’s history.

Address:  161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul. 서울특별시 종로구 사직로 161 (세종로) (Gyeongbukgung Stn., Line 3, Exit 1) Price:  Adults aged 19-64 (₩3,000); Children aged 7-18 (₩1,500) Opening Hours:  Closed on Tuesdays; 9am – ~ 5/6.30pm (depending on month)

*Pro-tip:  Wear a hanbok and you will get to enter for free.

6) Relax in Siloam Sauna and Spa 실로암불가마사우나

Siloam 1 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Still a top favourite throughout my 2 week stay in South Korea, the Siloam Sauna and Spa was much larger and cosier than I expected. After a long day of shopping on a cold, rainy day, this place felt like heaven.

Head over for a jjimjilbang (sauna) experience, gym, play ping pong or simply watch Running Man while eating the iconic boiled eggs in Korea.

The sauna is open 24hours so you are welcome any time you’re ready to let loose and relax. Once you experience jjimjilbang, you’ll be ready to trade your hotel beds to relax here instead.

Address: 49 Jungnim-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 중구 중림로 49 (중림동) (Seoul Stn., Line 1, Exit 1) Price [Bath + Jjimjilbang (Sauna)]:  Adults (₩10,000); Children aged under 10 (₩9,000) Opening Hours:  Open 24 hours

7) Bask in the beauty of the Hangang River 한강

Hangang River - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Stretched across the entire city of Seoul, the Hangang River is exceptionally romantic and mesmerising at night. A place perfect for heart-to-heart talks and one too many bottles of soju, Hangang River will be the perfect respite from the bustling nightlife.

There are a whopping 38 bridges along this river, and you can choose to either head to more recommended cafe hotspots along the river , or exit in a random station and enjoy a quiet night with your travel buddies.

Address:  서울 성동구 성수1가1동 685-124 (왕십리길 544) Price:  Free Opening Hours:   24 hours

8) Find Inner Peace with Seoul’s Templestay

Templestay - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Seoul’s temple stay may not be as popular as the rest of its recommended itineraries, but it is a very unique cultural program open to all locals and tourists. Experiencing a stay at the temple may be a first for many of you, but you’ll settle right in with the friendly monks and other participants from all around the world.

A one day programme will allow you to learn about the teachings of Buddhism through lotus flower lantern making, ingyeong (wood block printing), making temple food, and so on. Otherwise, you can choose from a one night stay or free-style recuperation programme to enjoy greater freedom during your stay in one of Seoul’s 32 listed temples .

Price:  Donations are up to your own discretion *Reservations on the website is required

Templestay Information Center Address: 56, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongnu-gu, Seoul. Phone: +82 2-2031-2000

9) Shop at Express Bus Terminal Station 서울고속버스터미널

Express Bus Terminal - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

A heaven for all shopaholics, the Express Bus Terminal is one of the cheapest places you can shop in Seoul. Ranging from ₩5,000 (S$6), you can get quality shirts, bags, shoes and other accessories from this expansive underground shopping centre.

Address:  Express Bus Terminal Stn. 서울특별시 서초구 신반포로 194 (반포동) (Line 3/7/9, Exit 8). Price:  From ₩5,000 Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Closed every Thursday on the third week of each month).

10) Appreciate Art in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) 동대문디자인플라자

Dongdaemun Design Plaza 1 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

The best place to fulfill your Instagram dreams is none other than the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) , which showcases an entirely new dimension of Seoul. From art exhibits to museums in this area, you’ll love this place if you enjoy appreciating the beauty of design and architecture.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza 2 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Address:  281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. 서울특별시 중구 을지로 281 (을지로7가) (Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Stn., Line 2/4/5, Exit 1) Price: Free Opening hours:  Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday (10am – 7pm); Friday – Saturday (10am – 9pm); Closed on Mondays

11) Eat Street Food in Myeongdong 명동

Myeongdong Street Food - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Shopping in Myeongdong is incomplete without a bite of its amazing street food! Grilled cheese lobster, eomuk (fishcake), hotteok (sweet Korean pancake)… this is the street that will satisfy your taste buds, especially if you’re a huge fan of street delights. If you’re hungry for more, you can also venture into the restaurants and eateries dotted along Myeongdong for a more wholesome dining experience.

Address:  서울특별시 중구 명동길 (명동1가) (Myeongdong Stn., Line 4, Exit 6) Price:  ₩2,000 – 5,000 Opening Hours: 24 hours Pro-tip: Bring small change to get your street snacks as fast as possible!

12) Grant your Fairytale Wishes in Petite France 쁘띠프랑스

Petit France - Korea Itinerary Korail Pass

Watch Petite France come alive with its bold colours and enthusiastic puppeteers as this magical wonderland will play host to many fun events and art performances. With its childlike innocence theme, a day’s stay in Petite France will guarantee that you leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Address: 1063 Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 가평군 청평면 호반로 1063 Take the Gapyeong Tour Bus at 1:15PM, 2:15PM or 3:15PM (Bus leaves at the bus station after ferry jetty and car park). Price: Adults ₩8,000 Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm

Find out how to cover Petite France as well as other gorgeous sights in the Gapyeong area with our Nami Island Day Trip Guide .

13) Step into the Colourful Ihwa Mural Village 이화 벽화마을

Ihwa Mural Village - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Think painted murals at random nook and crannies on the streets, or entire stairwells covered with abstract, bold drawings. If Instagrammable backgrounds and cafes are a must-visit on your itinerary, the Ihwa Mural Village deserves to be ranked high in your Seoul bucket list.

Address: Ihwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 이화벽화마을 (Hyehwa Stn. Line 4, Exit 2) Price: Free Opening Hours: 24 hours Pro-tip:  Keep your noise level down to prevent disturbing the residents in the area.

14) Immerse in Namdaemun Market 남대문시장

Namdaemun Market - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Officially the largest traditional market in the whole of South Korea, the Namdaemun Market is amazingly huge and sells everything under the sun. Whether it’s clothing, food, accessories or shoes, Namdaemun Market has it all, and will be a perfect place to visit to grab some souvenirs.

Address:  21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 중구 남대문시장4길 21 (남창동) (Hoehyeon Stn., Line 4, Exit 5/6) Price:  Free Opening Hours: Closed on Sundays;   11pm to 5pm (the next day) *Operating hours vary by shop 

15) Experience Authentic Korean Culture at Gwangjang Market 광장시장

Gwangjang Market 1 - Cheap Things to do in Seoul

Gwangjang Market may not be a top choice in many itineraries, but a trip here is very well worth its experience. Be mesmerised by endless rows of fabric, which are often ordered to create customised hanboks, blankets and other items.

Apart from the shopping experience, you can also try authentic Korean food made by ahjummas who have been here for years. Top choices include barley bibimbap, mungbean pancake, and soondae (blood sausages)!

Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88 (예지동) (Jongno 5(o)-ga Stn., Line 1, Exit 11) Price: 3,000won and above Opening Hours:  General stores (8.30am – 6pm); Restaurants (8.30am – 11pm)

Seoul may be pricier than other places in South Korea, but there are many affordable activities that still allows you to experience the beauty of Seoul. Whether you’re a K-POP fan, or just a tourist looking to immerse in another culture, these 15 activities will allow you to do so for no more than S$12.

*Pro-tip:  Purchase the Discover Seoul Pass which you can use as a T-money card and get 24 or 48-hour access to 21 of Seoul’s hottest attractions!

Heading to Seoul? Save all these things you can do in Seoul on TripAdvisor to access reviews, address and opening hours while on the go!

Did we miss out on any other interesting things to do in Seoul? Let us know in the comments down below!

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10 Best South Korea Budget Tips + Travel Costs (2024)

Are you wondering how much a trip to South Korea will cost? Here’s our in-depth travel guide on the 10 best South Korea budget tips you should know before your trip. We’ll show you how to plan your South Korea travel costs and many ways to make your trip more budget-friendly. We also share all of our costs for a 2 week trip to Korea from accommodation and snacks to transport and activities.

South Korea is ultimately one of the best countries we’ve travelled to. The country blew us away with its beautiful culture, rich history and delicious food.

Have you been wondering if South Korea is expensive to visit? Depending on the prices of your home country, it’s really not too bad. Compared to the UK it is much more affordable and it’s even slightly less expensive than beloved Japan!

We’ve created this budget guide to share our South Korea travel costs of travelling the country for 2 weeks. We visited Seoul, Gyeongju, Golgulsa Templestay, Busan and Jeonju!

Honestly, we had a great time and can’t wait to go back in the future and we’ll probably still stick to a budget. For now, we’ll show you that South Korea can be done on a budget and what travel costs you can expect.

10 Best South Korea Budget Tips + Travel Costs (2023)

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10 Best South Korea Budget Tips

Table of Contents (Skip to a section!)

Here are our top 10 South Korea Budget tips to help you plan the best trip! After these tips, you’ll find our full South Korea travel cost breakdown split into separate categories.

1. Swap Restaurants for Markets & Street Food

One of the best ways to travel to South Korea on a budget is to choose your food carefully. The price to eat somewhere in South Korea is very reasonable, but some places will be expensive too.

Throughout our 2 weeks in South Korea we ate our food at restaurants, markets, street stalls, convenience stores and grocery stores ! It definitely helps the bank to cook your own food and you can try the endless supply of ramyeon!

Places to eat in South Korea on a budget

  • Myeongdong Street Food (Seoul)
  • Maru – Budget-friendly Korean street food in the heart of Insadong (Seoul)
  • Gwangjang Market – Our favourite! (Seoul)
  • Haeundae Market (Busan)
  • Gwangbokdong Food Street (Busan)
  • Fast-food chains – Places like Lotteria, No Brand Burger and Subway

We highly recommend visiting Gwangjang Market whilst visiting Seoul. Grab a mung bean pancake, bibimbap and dumplings and you’ll be very full ( this food will feed two people )!

A few Korean dishes to try to keep your South Korea travel costs low:

  • Ramyeon (The easiest food to grab at a convenience store)  1,500 ₩
  • Bibimbap (Very popular with a variety of toppings)  6,000 ₩
  • Gimbap (Korean Sushi, you can find these everywhere)! around 2,000 ₩
  • Mandu (Korean Dumplings) 5,000 ₩
  • Tteok-bokki (Spicy & saucy Rice Cakes) 3,000 ₩

You’ll be surprised by how good the food is in the convenience stores in South Korea. Locals grab food from here all the time and it’s perfect for those in South Korea on a budget.

If there are some restaurants you’d like to try, just add that to your budget and eat at convenience stores the next day. International and Western food will also usually cost more than Korean, but Korean food is very good!

Osegye Hyang is our favourite traditional Korean restaurant with affordable prices. We’ve even created a Vegan in South Korea Guide – Best Restaurants & Snacks (2024) !

Note – There is no tipping culture in South Korea. It’s likely the staff will kindly decline your tip! This is common throughout East Asia.

Eat at markets if you're visiting South Korea on a budget

2. Stay in Budget Accommodation in South Korea

Accommodation can take up a big part of your South Korea travel budget. Especially if you choose amazing hotels! Although it’s nice to feel comfortable, maybe take the time to look at some other options before spending more than your budget.

Hostels and small private rooms are going to be the most affordable places to stay in South Korea. Most hostels offer private rooms that are still cheaper than hotels.

It’s really down to preference, but we didn’t stay in one bad accommodation on our South Korea trip and we stayed in private rooms!

Hostels usually cost around 25,000₩ per person with male, female or mixed dorms available. A private room in a hoste l is around 40,000₩ per room and hotels are usually 70,000₩ or more!

Where to stay in South Korea on a budget

  • Seoul  –  Hostel Tommy  – A lovely hostel with dorms & private rooms! –  Find here on Booking.com !
  • Seoul – Kimstay 9 – Basic private rooms! – Find here on Booking.com !
  • Busan  –  Dynamic Guesthouse  – A shared penthouse with great views –  Find here on Booking.com !
  • Gyeongju  –  Doobaki Guesthouse – The best hostel in South Korea! –  Find here on Booking.com !

There are also a few ways to get free accommodation in South Korea :

  • Couchsurfing – Stay in a local house, for free! Find out more here !
  • Workaway – Exchange work/volunteering for free accommodation and food!
  • Worldpackers – Volunteer for free accommodation and food!
  • Trusted Housesitters – Look after a locals pet whilst they’re out of town

It’s also important to note that accommodation will be more expensive in the peak time of year such as the Cherry Blossom season, spring and fall. Winter is usually the cheapest time to visit South Korea on a budget.

Accommodation in South Korea (this one is a Hanok stay)!

3. Do you need a Sim Card in South Korea?

When you start to Google about sim cards or wifi in South Korea, there’s a lot of information telling you to get one! We agree, but it’s definitely possible to travel the country without one.

We have a solution to help your South Korea budget. Pick up an E-Sim for 15,000₩ ! (€10.99 for 12 days)

E-sims are the perfect option if you only need internet or mobile data. You don’t even need to buy them in advance like other sims or wifis.

As we visited South Korea for 2 weeks, we purchased our sim on Day 3 of our trip. This made us realise how much easier it is to have the internet on the go, but luckily Seoul is a very easy place to get around and we downloaded offline Maps.

If there’s more than one of you, it’s also possible to hotspot the E-sim data from one phone, although you’ll have to check your data allowance! The instructions come with the E-sim, but you simply install it into your phone settings. The customer service team answer quickly if you have any problems!

There’s also some great deals if you do need a Korean phone number. Here’s a few other options ranging in price:

E-Sim  – Here’s a  12 Day E-Sim (15,000₩, €10.99 for 12 days and 6gb of data)

Prepaid Sim  – Purchase ahead of time and pick up at the airport. This sim has a Korean number! The price changes depending on how long you need it. Find  a sim card on Klook here ! (£15 for 10 days)

Portable Wifi  – The most expensive option is portable Wifi and this is usually what travellers get if they’re not worried about their South Korea travel costs. Find a  portable Wifi on Klook here ! (£20 for 10 days) Also, pick it up at the airport.

It’s also a good idea to carry around a  portable charger  for your phone so you always have enough battery to last the day. We recommend  Anker Power Bank and just charge it up every few days if you’ve been using it a lot.

Travelling South Korea on a budget

4. Use Buses to get around South Korea on a Budget

The transport in South Korea is some of the best in the world! It’s reliable, well connected and quite affordable considering how good it is.

If you want to stick to your travel budget in South Korea, we recommend catching Intercity and Express Buses around South Korea. They are so comfy and you can book your seats in advance.

Here’s the prices we paid for transport around South Korea on a budget

  • KTX (Fast Train) Seoul to Gyeongju – 2 hours – 49,000₩ (£32)
  • Express Bus – Gyeongju to Busan – 45 minutes – 5,000₩ (£3.30)
  • Express Bus – Busan to Jeonju – 3 hours – 25,000₩ (£16.40)
  • Express bus – Jeonju to Seoul – 2.5 hours – 14,000₩ (£9.20)

The buses from Seoul to Gyeongju will take around 4-5 hours and usually cost around 22,000₩ £46.40 . We took a train as we wanted to arrive in Gyeongju early and also wanted to experience a train in South Korea as we only used buses in Japan.

If you want to add Jeju Island to your South Korea travel costs, then it’s best to book a flight from Seoul or Busan. The ferries are often more expensive and they will take longer.

It’s possible to book trains in advance, but you can only book buses in advance if you have a Korean number. We booked our bus tickets as soon as we arrived at a new destination, usually booking them 2-3 days in advance.

Express & Intercity Buses  – Have a look at bus times on the official Korean website – Kobus tickets

Trains  – Book your train tickets in advance here – Korail tickets here (or a Korea Rail Pass )

Flights  – Flights to Jeju Island from Seoul or Busan –  Check Skyscanner  for flight times and prices !

Bukchon Hanok Village

5. Get a T-Money card

This is another great way to stick to your South Korea budget. A T-Money card is a discounted transport card that works all over South Korea in cities and towns. It’s for local transport to each destination, not for long bus journeys.

Using a T-Money card is not just about saving money, but saving time too! You won’t need to purchase a local ticket every time you use the bus or subway. Simply tap your card when you get on and off transport and you’ll be good to travel around South Korea!

A T-Money Card costs 2,500 ₩ . There’s also tourist cards and designed cards that cost 4,000₩

How to get a T-Money Card?

T-Money cards are available to purchase at the airport, at major stations and convenience stores (such as CU, GS25, 7-Eleven and Ministop).

How to top up my T-Money Card?

You can only top up a T-Money card with cash and not by debit or credit card. Make sure you grab money out of an ATM if you arrive in South Korea without Korean Won! Here’s how you can top up using cash:

  • At Convenience Stores! Hand your card over, give the employee the cash and it’s all done!
  • Some other local newsstands or shops offer top-ups. Look out for the T-Money logo!
  • At major stations, find a ticket machine and choose how much you want to add to your card. The machines can be changed to English!

Gamcheon Culture Village - Free!

6. Use Local Buses and Subway instead of Taxis

Local buses are always the most affordable way to travel around any city and it’s the same with South Korea. However, the subway is also very budget-friendly too!

As the transport is well connected, you won’t need to use taxis anyway! The best way to feel comfortable about using public transport in South Korea is to download the app – Naver Maps . Google Maps doesn’t work in South Korea, so it’s best to use the local navigation app!

It costs 1,250₩ to use the Subway in South Korea which is £0.82p ! For reference, in London, it costs £2.60 to take one journey. We used subways and buses all around Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan and Jeonju without any issues! Naver Maps is perfect with timing and where to go.

7. Shop at Convenience Stores

One of the best South Korea budget tips is to eat and shop at the convenience store! Food and meals are well priced and you can usually heat the food inside the shop too! It makes travelling around South Korea on a budget so much easier!

The tax in South Korea is included in the price, so you don’t have to worry about extra prices at the checkout (like in Canada or the US).

Our favourite convenience store snacks are Ramyeon, Lotus Biscuits, Chocolate Soy Milk (it’s okay to laugh), Japanese Onigiri and Frozen dumplings (to add to your Ramyeon back in a hostel kitchen).

There are plenty of lunches to find in convenience stores based around rice or noodles. The best part is convenience stores are everywhere!

Onigiri at 7/11

8. Make use of the Free Things To Do

This South Korea budget tip may be obvious – activities don’t always have to cost money. There are so many free things to do around the country and some of them are highlights of our trip! Here’s a list of great things to do for free if you’re in South Korea on a budget.

Seoul – A city filled with unique neighbourhoods, hikes and parks. There are so many free things to do in Seoul to help your South Korea budget. Check out our 5 Day Seoul Itinerary !

  • Explore neighbourhoods such as Insa-dong, Ikseon-dong, Myeongdong, Hongdae, Itaewon & Gangnam
  • Walk around the beautiful Bukchon Village & Ihwa Mural Village
  • Feel the nature at Namsan Park

Gyeongju – Some of the best things to do in Gyeongju are free! Browse our 11 Best Things to do in Gyeongju: Itinerary (2024) ! Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Admire Woljeonggyo Bridge, Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond
  • Visit Cheomseongdae & Gyerim Forest 
  • Window shop in Hwangnidan-Gil & explore the Hanok Village

Busan – Another great city for finding budget-friendly activities! We also have a 3 day Busan Itinerary !

  • Gamcheon Culture Village (yes it’s free!) & watch the sunset at Lotte Department Building
  • Walk along the Igidae Coastal Walk & relax at Haeundae Beach
  • Discover Nampo-dong & Haedong Yonggung Temple

Jeonju – Walk through the famous Hanok village and check out the murals, markets and shrines!

  • Explore Jeonju Hanok Village & Jaman Mural Village
  • Walk through Nambu Market & visit Gyeonggijeon Shrine
  • See the views from Omokdae

Jeju Island – Filled with natural wonders, Jeju is filled with free things to do. You’ll just need transport to get around!

Namsan Park - Free things to do in South Korea on a budget

9. Use Klook to Save Money on Activities

Klook is one of the best companies to book activities, tours and things to do in South Korea. It’s similar to GetYourGuide, but Klook is used more in Asia. We’ve used this website in South Korea and Japan to buy discounted tickets such as Disneyland, Seoul Tower and Hanbok rentals .

It’s also a great place to find sim card or portable wifi deals! When using Klook, you can easily book your activity in advance and sometimes there’s an option to pick up the ticket at the airport on arrival.

Activities to buy on Klook in South Korea:

  • Seoul Tower – Go to the top of Seoul Tower in Namsan Park – Buy your ticket in advance!  
  • Hanbok Rental – ( Gyeongbokgung Palace  as it’s the perfect size to explore and there’s a great rental shop nearby!  Find the link on Klook here –  Hanbok Rental Klook
  • DMZ Tour – Visit part of North Korea – Book tickets with Klook here !
  • Korea Rail Pass – If you decide to use the train, consider a rail pass – Here’s more info !
  • Everland 1 Day Pass – One of South Korea’s theme parks – Buy your tickets here !
  • Nami Island – Take a trip to Nami Island from Seoul – Find out more info here !

Staying in a temple is another fantastic activity that can’t be missed on your South Korea trip! It can be booked on Korea’s temple stay website ! Also, check out our Golgulsa Templestay Review !

Hanbok Rental using Klook

10. Travel Off Peak

If you’re planning your travel budget for South Korea, one of the first steps is to figure out which time of year you want to visit.

The most popular time to visit South Korea is between April and May due to the beautiful cherry blossom season. Prices for accommodation and flights will most likely be more expensive and it will also book up fast. There will be more tourists and locals around, especially in the parks.

If you’re travelling to South Korea on a budget, it may be best to avoid these months and visit off-peak.

The off-peak months to travel to South Korea are January, February, late October , November and early March. If you can find good deals on flights and good accommodation prices outside of these months, then go for it! January is usually the cheapest month to travel as it’s cold, but it’s perfect if you want to ski!

Summer isn’t the best time to visit South Korea due to the hot and humid weather, but it’s still a popular time to visit due to worldwide holidays.

When to travel to South Korea on a budget

How to Budget in South Korea

So that’s our 10 South Korea budget tips! There are many ways to travel on a budget, it all depends on how comfortable you are. We love hostels, but some people we know would never stay in them. For us, they’re budget-friendly, comfortable and just a place to sleep or meet new people!

Ultimately it comes down to food, accommodation, transport and activities. Check accommodation in advance before you book your flights just to get an idea of prices for that month. Here’s a few more tips on how to budget in South Korea:

  • If you want to shop, Namdaemun and Dongdaemun are filled with discounts in Seoul
  • Tours will cost money, so make sure you add must-do activities to your budget
  • Eat more street food and at markets
  • Check prices for your visa ( every country is different )
  • Use Skyscanner to browse flight prices for different times of the year

Accommodation in South Korea – We use Hostelworld and  Booking.com  to find accommodation in South Korea. You can filter to the lowest price and check reviews from previous guests.

Travel Insurance  – Don’t forget travel insurance whilst planning your South Korea budget.   SafetyWing  is a flexible monthly-rolling travel insurance to help you stay safe on your trip. You can add more months to your trip too! –  Find out more here!

E-Sim  – Here’s the E-sim we used on our South Kore trip – 12 Day E-Sim (15,000₩, €10.99 for 12 days and 6GB of data)

Shop in markets instead of shops on your South Korea budget trip

Costs compared to other countries in Asia

We have only visited countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Japan.

After visiting both Japan and South Korea, we have to admit that South Korea is slightly cheaper! The country is more affordable meals out and transport (especially the train!)

Comparing South Korea to countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka or the Philippines, we have to say that South Korea is more expensive on every level. Accommodation is almost three times the price compared to countries in Southeast/South Asia. Food and activities are more too.

A full breakdown of our South Korea Travel Costs

Here’s the full breakdown of our South Korea travel costs. We both shared the same card and cash, but for this breakdown, we’ll show you roughly how much the same trip would cost for one person too.

Our full South Korea travel costs for 2 people (2 weeks)

  • Korean E-Visa – 20,600₩ (£14)
  • Intercity Transport -186,800₩ (£123)
  • Local Subway & Buses – 88,000₩ (£58)
  • Activities – 225,800₩ (£148)
  • Restaurants & Markets – 345,600₩ (£227)
  • Groceries – 109,110₩ (£72)
  • Snacks – 120,300₩ (£79)
  • Accommodation – 586,200₩ (£385)
  • Miscellaneous – 20,500₩ (£13.50)

Total Cost – 1702,910₩ (£1,120)

Our Transport Costs – 274,800₩ (£181) – prices for two people

T-Money Cards – We accidentally bought the Korea Tour Cards at the airport so spent 4000₩ instead of 2500₩. We topped up our cards with 80,000₩ (£52.60) to get around the cities in towns during our 2 week trip. There’s a chance we may have a bit of money leftover on our cards too!

Accommodation – 586,200₩ (£385) – prices for two people

  • 5 nights in Seoul (private room in a hostel) – 260,000₩ / £171
  • 2 nights in Gyeongju (private room in a hostel, Korean style beds) 72,000₩ / £47
  • 3 nights in Busan (private room in a shared apartment, shared bathroom) 117,000₩ / £77
  • 1 night in Jeonju (private room in a Hanok with free breakfast) 52,200₩ / £34
  • 2 nights in Seoul – different place – (private room in a guesthouse) 85,000₩ / £56
  • Seoul – 52,000₩ (£34.20) per night / 26,000₩ (£17.10) per person
  • Gyeongju – 36,000₩ (£23.50) per night / 18,000₩ (£11.75) per person
  • Busan – 39,000₩ (£25.60 per night / 19,500₩ (£12.80) per person
  • Jeonju – 52,200₩ (£34 per night / 26,100₩ (£17) per person
  • Seoul – 42,500₩ (£28) per night / 21,250₩ (£14) per person

Our accommodation costs came to 586,200₩ (£385) which is 293,100₩ (£192.50) per person for 2 weeks! One of our nights we spent at Golgulsa Templestay which we’ve included as an activity.

Activities – 225,800₩ (£148) – prices for two people

  • Golgulsa Templstay – 120,000₩ (£79)
  • Archery at Golgulsa Temple – 20,000₩ (£13.20)
  • Palaces – 26,000₩ (£13.20)
  • Hanbok Rental – 24,000₩ (£15.80)
  • Seoul Tower – 8,300₩ (£5.50)
  • Photo Booth – 4,000₩ (£2.60)
  • Bukchon Observatory with free drinks – 6,000₩ (£4)
  • Gamcheon Map – 2,000₩ (£1.30)
  • Arcade games – 15,500₩ (£10.20)

Shopping & Miscellaneous – 20,500₩ (£13.50) – prices for two people

  • Laundry / Laundry Detergent ( 2 washes ) – 4,000₩ (£2.60)
  • Socks & Lip Balm – 12,500₩ (£15.15)
  • Plasters – 4,000₩ (£2.60)

Restaurants & Markets – 345,600₩ (£227.40)

We ate at multiple restaurants and markets during our 2 weeks in South Korea, we also revisited a few if we loved the food. Osegye Hyang is our favourite restaurant (traditional Korean)! Here’s a few examples of our meals:

  • Lunch at a Traditional Korean Restaurant – 27,000₩ (£17.80)
  • Lunch at a Hot Pot Restaurant – 26,000₩ (£17.15)
  • Lunch at 7-Eleven – 83,00₩ (£5.50)
  • Lunch at Lotteria – 14,200₩ (£9.40)
  • Lunch at a Bibimbap Restaurant- 16,000₩ (£10.55)
  • Lunch at a Korean Street Food Restaurant 19,000₩ (£12.50)
  • Dinner at a Japanese Restaurant – 18,000₩ (£18.90)
  • Dinner at Gwangjang Market – 12,000₩ (£7.90)
  • Dinner at a Korean Restaurant – 16,000₩ (£10.55)

Snacks – 120,300₩ (£79.15)

In the snack category, we’ve included random snacks at convenience stores or street food. Here are a few examples of snack prices in South Korea.

  • Lotus Biscuits – 3,800₩ (£2.51)
  • Sweet Potato Street Food – 1,000₩ (£0.65)
  • Chocolate Soy Milk – 1,200₩ (£0.79)
  • Onigiri – 1,200₩ (£0.79)
  • Mochi – 2,500₩ (£1.65)
  • Red Bean Bun – 3,000₩ (£2)
  • Bakery (4 Doughnuts) – 13,100₩ (£8.65)
  • Korean Rice Cakes – 4,000₩ (£2.65)

Groceries (which include meals) 109,110₩ (£71.80)

Our grocery section is very close to snack selection but we tried to split it up into food that we took home or cooked for meals. We bought a lot of instant noodles, frozen dumplings, inari sushi and soy milk.

  • Bread – 2,250₩ (£1.49)
  • Inari Sushi Pack – 4,500₩ (£3)
  • Bananas – 4,900₩ (£3.20)
  • Ramyeon – 2,400₩ (£1.60)
  • Frozen Dumplings – 6,400₩ (£4.20)

Total Food Costs – 575,010₩ (£378.40)- prices for two people

Food Costs per day in South Korea – 41,072₩ (£27) – prices for two people

Total Cost of a 2 week trip in South Korea for 2 people – 1702,910₩ (£1,120) & 141,909₩ (£93) per day

Our total cost doesn’t include flights in and out of the country, but for reference, we flew from Manila to Seoul for £135 each with Jeju Air and Seoul to Bangkok for £105 each with Air Asia. Our flights worked out well as we were already travelling in Asia at the time, we booked them 2 months in advance.

We hope this helps you plan your South Korea budget! We think that £46 per person, per day, is a pretty good price to travel around South Kore. We also had the best time and didn’t feel like we lost out on anything.

Korean food is amazing and we ate at restaurants and markets a lot more than cooking our own food. If we cooked more, our South Korea travel costs would be even less!

Traditional Korean Restaurant in South Korea

Is South Korea expensive to visit?

After looking at all of our South Korea travel costs, we’ve concluded that South Korea isn’t expensive to visit compared to the UK. Depending on your home country, the prices may be more, but we were pleasantly surprised with the prices of food.

The accommodation we booked was also really great! If you’re visiting South Korea on a budget, you’ll need to watch your spending when shopping or eating at fancier restaurants.

How much money to bring to South Korea for 2 weeks?

If you’re planning a travel budget for South Korea, we always recommend budgeting more than you think you need. We spent 1702,910₩ (£1,120) for two people during our 2 weeks in South Korea and although we ate a lot of instant noodles, we did everything we wanted to do!

We recommend budgeting at least 1215,715₩ (£800) if you’re a solo traveller with the addition of flights.

Travel Essentials for a South Korea Trip

Here are a few travel essentials we always bring with us:

  • Eono Packing Cubes  – The best way to pack your bag!
  • Anker Power Bank  – Keep your phone charged on the go!
  • Stainless Steel Water Bottle  – The water in Korea is drinkable, bring a reusable bottle and fill it up!
  • Rain Mac in a Bag  – Carry a lightweight raincoat or umbrella around Korea!
  • Worldwide Travel Adaptor  – The ultimate travel plug when travelling to different countries!
  • Joby GorillaPod 3K Pro Kit  – The best  lightweight  tripod to take anywhere in South Korea! We have a  Joby GorillaPod  and use it for our  Sony A600 . There’s also a  Joby Phone Tripod  if you take photos on your phone.

Let us know if you have any more South Korea budget tips and we’ll have to keep adding to this guide! We highly recommend visiting South Korea even on a budget. Make sure you have extra money just in case anything goes wrong and always have travel insurance! Now you know how to create a travel budget for South Korea!

Don’t forget about Travel Insurance! –  SafetyWing  Nomad Insurance

SafetyWing  is a flexible monthly-rolling travel insurance to help you stay safe on your trip anywhere in the world.  Find out more here!

More  South Korea  guides:

  • Ultimate 2 week South Korea Itinerary: Best Places (2024)
  • 5 Day Seoul Itinerary – Best Things To Do (2024)
  • Staying in Golgulsa Temple: The Best Templestay in Korea (2024)
  • 25+ Best South Korea Travel Tips: What to Know
  • 3 day Busan Itinerary: What to do in Busan (2024)
  • 11 Best Things to do in Gyeongju: Itinerary (2024)
  • Ultimate South Korea Bucket List: 20 Best Things To Do
  • Vegan in South Korea Guide – Best Restaurants & Snacks (2024)
  • All our  South Korea  posts!

That’s the end of our  10 Best South Korea Budget Tips + Travel Costs (2024)!  Have the best time in South Korea on a budget and if you need any more help planning – send us a message on Instagram (@thesunrisedreamers) or leave a comment below!

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Thank you so much for such awesome tips. Planning a trip for early next year so these tips will definitely be useful.

Amazing! You’ll have a great time! 🙂

Thank you this has really helped with my planning a budget travel trip to South Korea. I was just wonder if you, or any other readers used a WOW pass, it seems to get a lot of good reviews?

Hi Ashley! Thank you so much 🙂 Personally, we haven’t used a WOW Pass but know it’s an all-in-one prepaid card for foreign travellers! As we’re from the UK, we just use a debit card that has no foreign charges. (example, Starling or Revolut) Sorry I can’t share more info about it! Safe travels.

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cheap places to visit from korea

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The travel bug continues to bite in 2024, and data indicates growth in both domestic and international trips, along with a cost increase for hotels and transportation. But don't worry as it’s still possible to take an economical vacation whether you want to travel near or far.

Kayak , one of the world’s leading travel search engines, shared with Travel + Leisure a list of domestic and international destinations for low-cost trips. To determine the most wallet-friendly locations, the company analyzed flight searches from July 2023 through December 2023 for travel during 2024. The top 250 most-clicked destinations with the lowest average combined flight and hotel price were considered, excluding outliers based on certain criteria such as travel restrictions and security concerns. Prices and percentages are on average and subject to change.

With that in mind, here are some of the most affordable places to travel in the U.S. and around the world in 2024.

Denver, Colorado

Brad McGinley Photography/Travel + Leisure

With an average price of $486 for flight and hotel, the Mile High City features a walkable downtown with restaurants, museums, entertainment, and shopping. Low-cost rail service from Denver International Airport to Union Station is not only convenient, but it also takes travelers to the historic Beaux-Arts terminal, where there’s an array of restaurants, stores, and a hotel. Visitors can catch a major league baseball game in town or a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre .

Chicago, Illinois

Cory Giguere/Travel + Leisure

In addition to its excellent restaurants, stunning architecture cruise on the Chicago River, and Navy Pier amusement area, Chicago offers museums like the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry . For an average price of $493 for hotel and flight, visitors can enjoy low-cost fun on Lake Michigan’s beaches, the Riverwalk , and Grant Park . Another favorite is Millennium Park, where the gleaming Cloud Gate sculpture — nicknamed “The Bean” — provides a popular photo op. 

Atlanta, Georgia

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For an average of $495 for hotel and flight, vacationers can land in Atlanta, home of world-class restaurants and a lively cultural scene that includes concert venues, theaters, museums, and galleries. For a low-cost way to get to know the city, stroll among its murals and street art. You can also explore Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park , Centennial Olympic Park (which commemorates the 1996 Summer Olympics), the Georgia Aquarium , or Zoo Atlanta .

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Kayak’s average of $503 for flight and hotel can be the start of an enjoyable affordable vacation in Minneapolis. A stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center takes you through 11 acres of outdoor exhibits. Browse the 500-plus stores in America’s largest shopping mall, the Mall of America , or on a smaller scale, there’s the Midtown Global Market with food, crafts, and cultural events. Bike, boat, or jog at the Chain of Lakes Regional Park , or walk the enclosed elevated pathways of the 9.5-mile Skyway .

Portland, Oregon

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Plan around Kayak's average of $509 for hotel and flight, and you can enjoy Portland’s culinary offerings without breaking the bank when you head for the food carts . When in the Rose City, explore the free International Rose Test Garden , home to more than 10,000 roses as well as great views of downtown and Mount Hood. If you visit between March and December, browse the Portland Saturday Market for art, crafts, and food. Book fans will want to check out Powell’s City of Books , the largest used and new bookstore in the world.

Charlotte, North Carolina

espiegle/Travel + Leisure

You don’t have to be a car fan to enjoy the Nascar Hall of Fame , where interactive exhibits and racing simulators entertain and educate. Your $512 average cost for flight and hotel will go far with meals at The Market at 7th Street , an indoor food court. At Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden , spend a relaxing day among flowers, fountains, and walking paths. There’s more action at Whitewater Center , which has more than 30 land and water activities, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more.

Orlando, Florida

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

For an average of $516 for flight and hotel, you can get to Orlando, where you’ll find there’s more to enjoy than the famous theme parks. Get to know the historic Winter Park area on a cruise among lakes, canals, opulent homes, and wildlife. Rent a pedal-powered swan boat at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando or stroll through Lake Nona Sculpture Garden , an outdoor art gallery set among lush landscaping. When you get hungry, browse and nosh on fresh fruit and local specialties at one of Orlando’s farmers markets .

Tampa, Florida

Michela Sieman/Travel + Leisure

Walk along Tampa’s 2.6-mile Riverwalk , visit the Tampa Museum of Art , hop on the Pirate Water Taxi , or tour the American Victory Ship . Save on these attractions and more with a Riverwalk Pass , making the most of the average flight and hotel cost of $534. At Armature Works on the river, you can grab a snack, shop, or enjoy the view. Take a walking tour of historic Ybor City, once the Cigar Capital of the World. Today, it's home to vintage buildings and Cuban restaurants.

Dallas, Texas

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For an average flight and hotel cost of $553, you'll touch down in Dallas, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the city from Reunion Tower . Then, head to the Arts District , which is home to museums and Klyde Warren Park . Hungry? Food trucks are there every day, and you might catch some live music or a fitness class. Visit one of the many Dallas parks or experience Trinity Groves for dining, entertainment, and views of the Trinity River.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Christopher Larson/Travel + Leisure

The historic City of Brotherly Love offers museums, Independence National Historical Park , and public art such as the Rocky statue and Love sculpture for free and entertaining ways to get to know the city. For an average of $564 for flight and hotel, a trip to Philadelphia is also a delight for foodies. At Reading Terminal Market , there’s food from around the world along with vendors selling handicrafts. The open-air South 9th Street Italian Market ’s gourmet selection includes cheeses, meats, and chocolates — fun for both browsing and dining.

Mexico City, Mexico

Itzel Garrido/Travel + Leisure

For an average cost of $673 for flight and hotel, Mexico City offers an exciting getaway with museums, parks, restaurants, and history. You can spend a day in Bosque de Chapultepec , Mexico City’s largest park featuring a zoo, monuments, a lake with pedal boats, restaurants, and museums, including the Museo Nacional de Antropología . One of the city’s most popular museums is La Casa Azul , once the home of Frida Kahlo and now the place to see work from the artist and her husband, artist Diego Rivera.

Toronto, Canada

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Both locals and visitors enjoy St. Lawrence Market in the historic Old Town, where there’s fresh produce, handcrafts, and gourmet specialties. But for an average flight and hotel cost of $692, Toronto offers even more to see and do, from lively nightlife and sports events. Browse the street art in the Kensington Market neighborhood, explore the Queen Street West area, and check out the shops, galleries, and dining spots in the popular Distillery District . You'll also want to visit Casa Loma , a 1914 castle in the heart of Toronto.

Montreal, Canada

For an average flight and hotel cost of $705, your trip to Montreal might start with one of the city’s famous bagels. Still hungry? Head to the open-air Jean-Talon Market in Little Italy, which sells fresh produce, spices, chocolates, cheeses, and more. At the (free) Barbie Expo , more than 1,000 dolls in designer outfits are on display. Parc du Mont-Royal is a year-round attraction with row boats on the lake during the summer and stunning city views from the top of the hill.

Panama City, Panama

Anna Haines/Travel + Leisure

You can arrive in Panama City for an average flight and hotel cost of $745. First-time visitors will want to see the Panama Canal, and the Miraflores Visitor Center houses a museum and viewing platform. Browse or tour Panama City’s historic Casco Antiguo neighborhood, dating to 1673, with colorful buildings, restaurants, and nightlife. The Amador Causeway features views of the sea and city skyline, restaurants, an artisan market, and places to walk or bike.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Ana Alarcon/Travel + Leisure

For $836 for a flight and hotel, you can enjoy a sunny escape to Puerto Vallarta. This vacation destination has plenty of free and low-cost entertainment, plus you can manage your budget with an all-inclusive hotel . Stroll along the Malecón bordering Banderas Bay to see sculptures, music performances, and street vendors. Visit the Zona Romántica for restaurants, shops, and the popular Los Muertos Beach. Los Arcos National Marine Park offers swimming, paddleboarding, snorkeling, gorgeous scenery, and marine life.

Cozumel, Mexico

YinYang/Travel + Leisure

You can get to Cozumel, off Mexico's east coast, for an average of $846 for flight and hotel, and once there, the beaches are perfect for kayaking, sailing, and water sports. Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park’s marine life and coral reef make it a favorite among divers and snorkelers. The Celarain Lighthouse at Punta Sur Eco Beach Park is popular with hikers who come for the view and visitors who enjoy the museum.

Vancouver, Canada

Rory Fuller/Travel + Leisure

Arrive in Vancouver for an average flight and hotel price of $863. One of your first stops in the city should be Stanley Park , an urban oasis with a nearly 20-mile seawall, views of the waterfront, walking paths, forest trails, and more — all for free. Granville Island , popular with locals and visitors, features boutiques, entertainment, restaurants, and an indoor public market . For skiing, ice skating, and year-round dining and entertainment, head to Grouse Mountain , which also has a zip line, a cinema, a wildlife refuge, and spectacular views.

San José, Costa Rica

MarkHatfield/Travel + Leisure

At an average of $904 for a flight and hotel, San José, Costa Rica’s capital, is an exciting destination with incredible architecture, history, parks, and museums. The National Theater of Costa Rica offers tours of its opulent building with marble statues and plush decor, and La Paz Waterfall Gardens , about 1.5 hours outside the city, includes a butterfly garden, bird sanctuary, rain forest hiking trails, waterfalls, and the largest animal sanctuary in Costa Rica.

Cancun, Mexico

Located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Cancun is popular for its beaches, downtown, restaurants, hotels, and all-inclusive resorts . For an average of $935 for hotel and flight, you can arrive at Cancun International Airport for a sunny getaway. Explore Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá , take the ferry to Isla Mujeres, or find a secluded beach at Playa Delfines. Look for street food and live music at El Parque de las Palapas, a small downtown plaza.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure

For an average of $943 for flight and hotel, you can be in the land of the northern lights and Blue Lagoon . Iceland is home to the nearly 200-mile Golden Circle , where visitors can see waterfalls, geysers, volcanic craters, hot springs, and Thingvellir National Park . In downtown Reykjavik, there’s shopping and dining along Laugavegur, and the must-see Sun Voyager steel sculpture has gorgeous waterfront views.

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7 places you can’t miss in South Korea

Ann Babe

Aug 3, 2022 • 6 min read

Two young women, from Poland and Israel, pause for a selfie while hiking the Gwaneumsa Trail in Hallasan National Park. Located on Jeju Island, Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea.

It may be small, but South Korea packs a punch, from supersonic cities to hiking on Jeju Island © Joel Carillet / Getty Images

South Korea  might be pint-sized compared to nearby giants China and Russia, but this small peninsular country holds its own when it comes to a wide variety of natural, cultural, and entertainment attractions.

It's South Korea’s small size, along with its ultra-reliable public transit system, that makes it all so accessible. Travelers can go from mountaintop to beachside or from village to megacity – and back again – in a single day. Not that we recommend you rush. With so many unique places to visit in South Korea, travelers could dedicate an entire trip to one spot. Here’s a guide to the best places to visit in South Korea.

People gather in the evening in Seoul's restaurant district to enjoy alcohol and grilled meat

Stay out all night in Seoul

Home to half of South Korea’s population, Seoul  is also the most-popular city for tourists to visit. The capital hums with a thrum that’s all its own — at any hour of the day or night. Between the city’s low-key watering holes, high-end cocktail lounges and always-fun noraebang (karaoke bars), Seoul has something to offer every late-night reveler.

Some of the newest trendsetting bars are located in Euljiro, while many longstanding favorites are in the tried-and-true nightlife neighborhoods of Gangnam , Hongdae and Itaewon . Gangnam is where the most expensive clubs are concentrated, while Hongdae is a more affordable option for budget-conscious university students. Itaewon has a reputation for drawing an international crowd.

Various fish stalls and colourful umbrellas at Jagalchi seafood market, Busan's most famous tourist attraction

Dive into maritime culture in Busan

Situated on the southern coast, South Korea’s second city, Busan , overflows with a maritime culture as lively as it is varied. Setting the tone is Busan Port, the oldest and largest in the country (and also the sixth busiest in the world), handling some 80% of South Korea’s container cargo. The nearby National Maritime Museum tells the story. From there, up and down the coastline are any number of beautiful beaches, parks, observatories, villages and even a temple, Haedong Yonggungsa , one of the country’s only oceanside temples.

At Jagalchi , South Korea’s largest fish market, the day’s catch is arranged in stall after stall of fish, eel, crabs, sea squirts, abalone, and more. Shoppers can select their seafood on the ground level and then take it up to one of the restaurants on the floors above, where the staff will expertly de-scale, de-shell, gut or filet and then cook it for you. For other scrumptious seafood bites, look for restaurants along the beach specializing in jogae gui , grilled shellfish served with a variety of dipping sauces like chogochujang (vinegar red pepper sauce), soy sauce with wasabi, and melted butter with onions.

A shrine at the Bulguksa Buddhist temple in Gyeongju, South Korea

Discover ancient treasures in Gyeongju

As the capital of the Silla Kingdom, when the city was called Donggyeong (“eastern capital”), Gyeongju is a treasure trove of ancient relics, religious to royal. Gyeongju National Museum houses a fair number of them – including ornate jewelry, earthenware jars, prayer bells and Buddha statues – but even more artifacts lie beyond. Gyeongju is known as South Korea’s museum without walls.

See the royal tombs of Tumuli Park ; the oldest astrological observatory in East Asia, Cheomseongdae ; the Buddhist grotto of Seokguram ; the picturesque palace of Donggung; and the temple halls, pagodas and bridges of Bulguksa . Woljeonggyo, a covered wooden bridge with striking red columns, green roof beams and two end towers, might be the prettiest bridge in all of South Korea – even more so at night when it’s illuminated with lights.

Get schooled in a contemporary history lesson in Gwangju

Regarded as the birthplace of Korean democracy, Gwangju was the site of the 5.18 Democratic Uprising of 1980, the 10-day-long armed resistance against Chun Doo-hwan’s authoritarian military regime. After the brutal repression of some 600 university student protesters, the people of Gwangju stood up and joined in rebellion, resulting in state massacre and torture. Despite the movement’s suppression, it’s seen as a turning point in South Korea’s struggle for democracy.

To understand the history, go to the 5.18 Memorial Park and 5.18 National Cemetery . You can also stroll down Chungjang-ro, a now-converted shopping and entertainment street that was once ground zero of the uprising.

Jeju Island is for beaches, waterfalls and aquamarine waters

South of the Korean mainland in the Yellow Sea, Jeju Island is blessed with a balmy subtropical climate, making it the country’s most popular vacation destination. The island is in such high demand that the flight between Seoul and Jeju City is the busiest air route in the world. Just one glimpse of Jeju’s glittering white-sand and black-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and volcanic topography of calderas, cones and tuffs, and it’s easy to see why so many mainlanders flock to the island for a bit of R&R.

While Jeju’s beaches make the perfect natural setting for lounging oceanside with a book and a cocktail, the island has plenty more to do than just relax. Aside from climbing the country’s tallest mountain, Hallasan, outdoors adventure seekers can go surfing at Woljeongri or Jungmun beaches, snorkeling and scuba diving at Munseom, spelunking in the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System, waterfall chasing at Jeongbang or Cheonjiyeon, or tewoo rafting aboard a traditional Jeju boatcraft at the Soesokkak Estuary.

Gangwon Province goes all out in winter

The site of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Gangwon Province is home to the best ski resorts in South Korea. For skiing and snowboarding, head to top-rated Yongpyong, the country’s oldest and largest ski resort, or High 1, featuring a casino and revolving restaurant. Other popular options are Phoenix Park, Vivaldi Park and Alpensia.

The frosty fun doesn’t stop there: Gangwon also hosts a number of winter festivals, including the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival , where participants can try ice fishing, curling or sledding, and the Taebaeksan Snow Festival, which puts on enormous ice sculpture and ice fountain displays.

Locals perform a traditional Korean mask dance in Andong's hahoe village

Andong celebrates folk traditions

The capital of Gyeongsangbuk Province, Andong is also referred to as “the capital of Korean spirit”. It is the country’s Confucian culture capital, where you’ll find traditional wooden masks and soju, the Korean national drink. At Andong’s Unesco-listed Hahoe Folk Village , the most famous folk village in South Korea, visitors can immerse themselves in the old Joseon-era way of life. Peek inside the village’s workshops and its special choga homes, distinguished by their straw-thatched roofs, and even book an overnight stay in a guesthouse.

At the Hahoe Mask Museum , you can view the region’s quintessential masks, carved into animated expressions to portray characters like aristocrats, servants and monks. Every fall at the Andong Maskdance Festival, you can see them in action in play performances. You can also tour notable Confucian academies, try traditional soju at the Andong Soju Museum or a local restaurant, and sample Andong’s signature soy-braised chicken dish, jjimdak .

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Traveling Korea on the Cheap

Travel can be an expensive hobby. Whether we are roaming around South Korea or flying to some exciting country on vacation, we are always being mindful of our finances and the cost of our adventures. By budgeting and seeking out affordable alternatives to what is easy and first presented, we are able to more easily embark on trips and make the most of our time. We have discussed a few tips for budgeting while on vacation where we have experience, but we’ve never shared our strategies while in Korea for saving money and maximizing funds. Below is an introductory guide to traveling South Korea "on the cheap."

Whether you are making a trip to South Korea or live here and simply want to focus on affordable options for touring other areas, we want to share some tips that we employ to make regular weekend trips not break the bank. Most people find Korea to be a very affordable country in terms of food cost and public transportation, but often the most easily found option is not the most fiscally responsible one.

Transportation

The first element of travel is means of transport. Transportation is often an unexpectedly expensive aspect that many people do not expect. South Korea is often praised for its public transportation network due to availability and reach. We have always been impressed by the simple navigation and use of public systems in Korea, but some choices are more affordable if you know where to look.

The KTX is the most obvious choice for people short on time, but is also the most expensive choice of trains in the KoRail fleet. If you have a few more hours to complete your ride, the Mugunghwa Train is about 40% less and about that much more time. To get even cheaper tickets, a traveler on a very tight budget, or anyone wanting to save their money for any reason, can reserve a standing ticket. Most Korean trains offer this option, and they are far cheaper. The catch is- you can have any available seat until someone else claims it. While not ideal for couples or families, as it is possible that only one person gets a seat, you can save significant money using this option.

Having to suffer through traffic, buses are slightly slower than trains but are often very cheap and sometimes go places that train tracks prevent. Bus terminals can be found in almost every town or city and allow for the most consistent form of public transport. The only real options for buses is to differentiate between direct limousine bus (우등) and “all stop” buses (일반)- the direct being slightly more expensive. These buses can easily be used to get to the nearest train station if you really know what you’re doing, but also have comfortable seats to ease into if you’re riding the whole way. The English KoBus website is extremely useful for looking up schedules and available seats, but does not allow for purchasing unless you can sign up and use the Korean site.

cheap places to visit from korea

If you are in a city with a subway system, ride it religiously. It’s as simple as that. Your fare will be around $1.10 or 1,300won for a single ride. There are some rules for when this price goes up on longer trips, but it remains relatively cheap compared to anything else in the city.

Also cheap, taxis are a great way to get from Point A to Point B. In many cities, get into the orange ones and avoid the black ones. Trust me. Also, the ones advertising “Foreigner Only” are much more expensive and have about the same number of foreign language speaking drivers as the normal orange ones.

How to Get Out and Explore Rural Korea

Necessary for the most basic instances of living, food is both important and enjoyable. Korean food is legendary and typically cheap, but can also be found for incredibly cheap.

KIMBAP AND KIMBAP RESTAURANTS

Korea’s seaweed-wrapped rice rolls are everywhere and very cheap. For around a dollar (more if you add meat or other ingredients), these filling meals are a saver’s delight. Somewhat healthy and very cheap, these rolls can be a lifesaver for anyone wanting to save a lot of money on food that is already very cheap. Kimbap restaurants can be find in almost any corner of South Korea and generally offer meals ranging from $3-$5. Take-out options make for perfect cheap picnic food as well, if that’s your thing.

MANDU SHOPS

This popular Korean food is not only delicious and filling, but cheap! They come in different sizes (even king sized, 왕 만두) and with different fillings. We have eaten these steamed and stuffed dumplings many times when trying to eat on the cheap. Mandu shops can be found all over Korea and prices range from 1,000 won for a King sized mandu to 3,000 won for 6-10 regular sized dumplings. The best way to find these places is to look for the large silver steamers outside the store.

cheap places to visit from korea

Far fresher and supporting the source providers of many food groups, visiting a local market not only is cheaper than buying ingredients at the big box stores, but you're supporting local farmers, fishermen, and producers of quality products in general. If you’re visiting South Korea, visit markets and try a few things for the cultural experience, if you’re living here, support your market community and save a few bucks. Win-win!

This one is easy: if you want to save money on alcohol in Korea, avoid all foreign products. South Korean beer, soju, and makgeolli are all very cheap and a great way to “experience Korea” while saving money on more expensive options.

13 Budget Food Ideas in South Korea

Only in korea - korean booze, korean noms video series, accommodations.

You've got to sleep somewhere! Why not save money on your bed so that you can put it toward whatever you value more? If you like having a luxurious bed, you can skip this option for saving money, but most of them are better than you'd probably expect.

Korean spas, or jjimjilbang (찜질방), are not only places of uniquely Korean relaxation, but also allow customers to stay overnight for very little extra money. Many jjimjilbangs cost only $5-6 and offer an array of services, but a small additional fee $2-3 will allow customers to stay overnight in a common quiet room on the floor. Some jjimjilbangs also offer private rooms for $15-25 (which includes access to the spa) but some do not. For the most savings, just leave your belongings in your locker and enjoy a night of sleeping on the floor like it’s a night at camp as a child.

cheap places to visit from korea

COUCHSURFING

Many foreigners across Korea offer couches and floor space in their apartments to travellers for little-to-no money, which makes couchsurfing one of the more affordable options for accommodation in South Korea. While there is little guarantee for comfort or privacy, you can often find honest people willing to show you around and give you a place to stay in their own homes.

LOVE MOTELS

Much cheaper than regular hotels, these specialty motels have a stigma in Korea that, generally, guarantees cleanliness, discretion, and affordability. If you must have a room with a private bathroom, shower, parking, or television, go for a Love Motel. Normally they are found in areas just off of the “restaurant and bar” districts, in droves. They can average around $30-$50/night depending on the area and how modern they are! Always hop around from place to place to price check before settling.

A favorite option here at Hedgers Abroad, camping is another great option for a cheap place to stay in Korea. Many of the most beautiful locations in this country are devoid of hotels and lend themselves easily to pitching a tent and camping. Some of the most popular camping areas have paid camping plots, but often a short walk or drive away from these areas are unregulated and very conducive to a private campsite. Obviously, this option is most applicable to people living in Korea, but I know many travelers take a tent with them on each adventure and will surely find numerous beaches and clearings in/on which to spend a unique night under the stars. You can also spend 20,000 - 50,000 won on a cheap tent, so that could take care of multiple nights of sleeping for cheap!

cheap places to visit from korea

If you plan to camp in a national park, you must now make all reservations in advance on the website. Fortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, there is a very easy booking system for foreigners which is all in English, shows maps and photos of each campsite, and only needs an email address to register! Click here for the " Korea National Park Service Reservation Totally Service " (what a name!).

Check out the Camping in Korea Facebook page for campsite locations and tents/equipment for sale!

Neighborhood Guide – Where to Stay in Seoul

Only in korea – themed hotels, the rooftop jeonju hanok guesthouse, beyond nudity - what to expect at a jjimjilbang.

There are many things to do and enjoy in Korea, but many of the options do a good job of NOT breaking the bank. Below are our top options for enjoying a day or weekend of activities.

WALKING TOURS

What’s free and takes little effort? Walking! Many cities in Korea have beautiful and historic locations near each other and within easy reach of public transportation. Major cities have rivers rife with natural beauty which provide perfect avenues between different cultural sites, but local neighborhoods also provide apt areas to wander for a leisurely afternoon.

The landscape of South Korea is littered with mountains and, while National Parks may charge a small entrance fee, many mountains are free. You can hike the large majority of these beautiful mountains without paying much more than the cost of your local makgeolli, and that means very cheap entertainment. Not only does hiking provide a healthy activity, but often produces some of the most spectacular landscapes in Korea from above the obtrusive high-rise buildings and skyscrapers.

cheap places to visit from korea

TEMPLES, PALACES, AND MUSEUMS

South Korea is a country laden with rich culture and tradition. There are few places better to experience artifacts and relics of this long history than temples, palaces, and museums. Most of these are free and offer wonderful chances to experience Korea, but a seldom few require a few dollars as an entrance fee (museums and palaces, only). Some of the most beautiful historic relics of Korea, being religious, historical, or cultural, are often found in these places. Thankfully, these are some of the most affordable options for entertainment!

BEACHES, RIVERS, AND PICNICS

Some of our most relaxing days in South Korea have been walking along beaches and rivers. There are few better ways to experience and enjoy Korea than a day spent enjoying its water ways with a picnic thrown into the mix. From the Han River in Seoul to the beautiful beaches of the southern coast, these areas are magical and worth every small cent.

cheap places to visit from korea

READ MORE CHEAP ACTIVITIES:

Top things to do on the han river, gyeongbokgung palace – what to expect, three terrific treks in seoul.

While not the most affordable country in Asia, South Korea is easily experienced in an affordable way. While we cannot say that this is a 100% comprehensive guide, it is a great way to start thinking about spending less of your hard earned dollars while experiencing this amazing country.

If you have more tips to share for spending less money in South Korea, please share them in the comments section below or shoot us an email. I hope this guide will give some assistance to you during your time here.

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cheap places to visit from korea

28 Comments

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These are great tips for traveling Korea on the cheap! Jimjilbangs are a great place to stay if you’re a cheapskate! 😉

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Glad you enjoyed this guide. Jjimjilbangs are interesting because most foreigners don’t have an equivalent establishment from their own country. Definitely cheap, and worth considering.

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This post will be super helpful for people visiting and need to get around on a budget! I love how affordable the subway in Seoul is! Korea’s accommodation took us some time to get used to sadly. We hadn’t learned about jimjilbangs until late in the game and were always staying at seedy love motels. I hadn’t even heard of a pension until 6 months into living here, and they are not cheap options! (so wise to not even include them) Depending on where you visit in Korea we found AirBnb to be affordable as well and sometimes include a full meal! Thanks for sharing such a thorough and helpful list!

We, too, didn’t know about many of these options until we had been here a while and, in all honesty, we didn’t muster the courage to show off our Birthday Suits at the jjimjilbang until very recently. Pensions were easy to leave off the list, as were Hanok houses , but they are awesome experiences in their own, albeit expensive, way. We’ve found Airbnb to be great as well, especially when my mom was visiting and we could rent a fully furnished apartment with stellar views of Seoul for less than putting 3 people up in hotel rooms. If you can think of any other Pro Tips, feel free to add them!

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Great post! I love visiting Korea and there are some tips I haven’t yet tried.

As many experienced travelers and expats can tell you, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Getting creative and actively trying to be financially responsible while on the road can be a fun challenge. Korea makes it pretty easy to save money, but these are our favorite ways. Let us know what you think if you give any of these a shot in the future!

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Definitely big super markets can be overpriced, so local produce markets are better! And I’m always impressed by the number or free or nearly free public facilities like museums and gardens. Hostels are great options for accommodation too, especially if you don’t mind staying in a dormitory style room.

There are so many options for saving your money in Korea, it’s wonderful. The added benefit for some of these tips is that you’re supporting local communities, farmers, and business owners rather than larger corporations. Hostels are a great idea, too! We don’t normally stay in hostels, but that’s a great suggestion.

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“The first element of travel is means of transport. Transportation is often an unexpectedly expensive aspect that many people do not expect.” — I always preach this! Its crazy how so many people neglect to take travel costs into account!

Great post on how to travel Korea for cheap. I especially like your recommendation about hiking. I feel like Korea has some of the best trails in the world and its a free activity too. Also when I was trying to save money, gimbab became an everyday staple so much so that I can’t stand the sight of it now! And standing tickets… good for the budget traveler but not when you’re feeling tired (or hungover) 😛 Missing cheap soju here in Vietnam although its pretty good that I’m staying away from that deadly stuff.

Hiking is Korea is really great. So many mountains around, so you’d be crazy not to use them for both their natural beauty and as a cheap form of entertainment/exercise!

And I hear you about kimbap. We lived off of the stuff while living in Seoul and now Stephanie is hard to convince. Thankfully, there are some fancy kimbap places near our house that do more exciting ingredients than the normal fare. Really good stuff, and perfect for picnics.

Glad you’re loving Vietnam! I’m sure your body is happy be be away from “The Soj” as much as your tastebuds are loving Vietnam’s amazing cuisine. We might need some tips for traveling cheaply on our (hopefully) upcoming trip!

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Wow! This is a very extensive list, one that I would recommend. Thanks for sharing.

I didn’t know about the Mugunghwa train till now. I’ll have to look it up. My sons are not fans of kimbap but they are of mandu and ramyeon from convenience stores:-).

And for travellers, it’s better to get yourselves t-money cards. Using the t-money guarantees that your fare is carried over to the next transpo you get as long as you properly log out. Example, your 1,150-won fare in the subway will be used (additional fare depending on distance) if you get on the bus or another subway within 30mins. That’s great savings, too.

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Korea is SO CHEAP to explore and the transportation system is incredible. I do appreciate the affordability of the country, though I found the food to be so boring in comparison to its neighboring countries. I DO like the fancier kimbap that has cream cheese, etc. inside as I found it to be a refreshing change of pace from the typical, more traditional type. I do miss those little kimbap shops, though. Best places in my opinion. Thanks for sharing!

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You’ve hit all the basics! I took the KTX for the first time a few weeks ago and was shocked by how expensive it was to go to Seoul, in comparison to the bus. KIMBAP IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! I love how yummy and cheap it is! And love motels are definitely for the win! They are relatively cheap and comfortable. This is a great guide and I agree with all your points. Thank you for sharing!

Thank you so much for your compliment! Glad you enjoyed the post, and we agree- the KTX is a lot of money, but invaluable if time is limited. We live in Yeosu (almost as far from Seoul as possible) so we get on at the last stop and get offf at the last and it’s not cheap. Buses are great most of the time, but they’re way too hot in the Winter when the driver can’t feel the torture he’s putting the other passengers through. Thanks for commenting and reading!

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Minbaks are also a good accomodation option. I’ve mostly seen them in the beach towns or more touristy places, like Gyeongju. They’re similar to pensions but much more basic (floor sleeping only) but they can be very, very cheap. There are also a lot of hostels popping up. We stayed at a really nice one in Gwangju (dorm room since it was just my group of friends) and we spent 27,000w each for two nights.

You are right, minbaks are totally cheap! They are usually only in the rural areas unfortunately and locals run them which definitely makes for a difficult communication barrier.

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Thanks for the info. I’m debating about whether to pop up to Korea before we leave Asia. So many places, so little time!

I know, it’s really hard to choose where to go and which places to prioritize. We are certainly biased on South Korea, but everyone we’ve had visit us has been more than impressed. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Tourism don’t do as much as many SEAsian countries to promote tourism, but Korea is absolutely worth a visit if you get the chance!

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These are great tips. Thanks for the info. I’m planning to visit Seoul this fall. I heard Dragon Pavilion Park Observatory is a great place to see Seoul’s view, especially at night. However, I can’t find any information on it. Can you please help? I’d like to know how to get there via subway if I can. Thank you!!!

Hi, Dianne! I’m glad you found this post useful and we hope it helps you out on your trip this fall! Seoul is a beautiful city and has many great places to see night views, but we’ve never heard of the Dragon Pavilion Park Observatory. From a quick google search, I think this park is actually located in China. We have some recommendations for night views in Seoul if you’re interested, though! The view from Ansan Mountain and Namsan Tower are both great places to see the city at night. Click the link below and check it out!

http://hedgersabroad.com/2014/03/13/3treks/

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Oh Korea sounds great! I am excited and curious about the food. Hopefully someday I can visit Korea 🙂 x

You absolutely should! Let us know if you have any question or need recommendations during your planning!

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Can you please tell me what camera do you use? Love the article btw

Most of these photos are taken with our Canon 6D, but all of our gear is listed in this post: http://hedgersabroad.com/2016/10/04/popular-request-camera-gear/

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Really really helpful!! Thanks!

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This is very helpful when you’re on a budget. Thank you! What’s exciting about going to Korea is to experience Han River Cruise, for sure.

[…] Traveling Korea on the Cheap […]

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One Week Itinerary For Korea: Your Perfect Guide To 7 Days In Korea

Your Ultimate One Week Itinerary For Korea 2023

Discover the best places to stay in Korea, what foods you shouldn’t miss out on, the incredible sights, the history & culture, and how to make the most of your precious time. This classic one week itinerary for Korea is the perfect place to get started on your wonderful journey. It’ll inspire you to travel more and see the best that Korea has to offer.

I’ve created this one week itinerary for Korea to make planning your week-long adventure in the Land of Morning Calm a breeze. This detailed, yet easy-to-follow guide to the best places to see in Korea will take you on a 7 day journey through Korea’s bustling capital, on thrilling day trips, to the beautiful southern shores, show you Korea’s UNESCO-worthy history and culture, and beyond.

Firstly, congratulations on deciding to visit South Korea. It’s an amazing country that I’ve been living in since 2015 and there are so many awesome things to see, do, eat, try, and experience. Follow this detailed one week itinerary for Korea and make your Korea trip planning a lot easier.

If you want to know how much it costs to travel to Korea, check out my article all about how much you can expect to pay for accommodation, food, sightseeing, and transportation, as well as other expected costs.

Cost To Travel In Korea: Korea Budget Guide

In case you only have a limited amount of time, or want to know about what you can see in Seoul for a few days, then you might like my really simple, yet packed guide to spending 2 – 3 days in Korea’s capital:

What To See In Seoul In A Weekend

Knowing when to visit Korea is also one of the key considerations you should think about before planning your one week itinerary for Korea. To make life easier, I’ve made a detailed guide to all of Korea’s seasons for you.

The Best Time To Visit Korea

Now read on to see the best that Korea has to offer with 3 easy to follow itineraries for Korea and start planning your dream trip.

Korea Essentials:

Here are some of my favourite resources that will help you save time and money on your journey to Seoul:

Flights To Korea: Trip.com | JetRadar

Hotels In Seoul: Myeongdong | Hongdae | Gangnam

Recommended Tour Companies: Klook | Trazy | Get Your Guide | Voyagin

Travel & Tour Passes: T-Money Card | Discover Seoul Pass

Internet / Mobile: 4g Sim Card | Portable 4g WiFi

Airport Transportation: AREX Train Ticket | Incheon Airport Pickup

Follow Me On Social Media:

Disclaimer: This site contains affiliate links and I may earn commission for purchases made after clicking one of these links. Affiliate Disclaimer

Myeongdong, a great place to stay in Seoul during a one week itinerary for Korea.

One Week Itinerary For Korea 1: The Classic Route

This one week itinerary for Korea covers the two largest cities in Korea – Seoul and Busan . You’ll also have the chance to take day trips to some amazing sights, such as the beautiful historic city of Gyeongju . This is actually similar to my first trip to Korea back in 2012, but includes lots of other great places I missed out on at that time.

You’ll get a feel for Korea’s busy lifestyle, and also have time to relax on gorgeous beaches in the south. Sample a wide range of yummy foods from Seoul and Busan and beyond. Not only that, you’ll have time for shopping and a chance to soak up Korea’s unique culture – past and present.

Let’s get started in one of the best cities to visit in the world, Seoul.

1: Day 1 – Welcome To Seoul

You’re about to start your awesome 7 days in Korea with a gentle day seeing some of the main sights. Be ready to dress up, take lots of pictures, and have a great time!

I’m going to assume you’re already in Seoul, but in case you need to know how to get from Incheon Airport into the centre, you should definitely check out this guide:

How To Get To Seoul From Incheon Airport

Once you’re in the centre, we’re going to get started with some of the top sights Seoul has to offer, and show you a glimpse of royal life in the Joseon era.

Before you get started, I’d definitely recommend getting a T-Money Card as this will help you a lot when travelling around Seoul, especially if you plan to use the subway or buses. You can buy these at the airport, any train or subway station, or even at convenience stores. You can find out more about the T-Money Card here:

What Is The T-Money Card & Why It’s Essential

Hanbok Rental In Gyeongbokgung - a must during a one week itinerary in Seoul

Morning – Seoul’s Grand Palaces

No trip to Seoul would be complete without a trip to Gyeongbokgung Palace – the biggest and most impressive of Seoul’s royal palaces. That’s why it’s one of the first activities on this one week itinerary, and one that really can’t be missed.

The best way to experience the life and sights of this palace is by dressing up in Korean hanbok – traditional Korean clothes that are probably like nothing you’ve worn before. Dressing up in Korean traditional hanbok will not only give you a feeling for Korea’s culture, it’ll also get you free entry to all of Seoul’s main palaces .

Spend the morning at Gyeongbokgung Palace exploring the many sights of the palace, as well as the National Folk Museum and Children’s Museum , which you can find by the East Gate.

Joel’s Tip: I’d definitely recommend wearing hanbok as this first day is all about embracing Korea’s culture. Also, you’ll want to wear it in the afternoon as you’ll visit Bukchon Hanok Village and wearing hanbok will give you loads of incredible photo opportunities.

You can find hanbok rental shops around the palace, or you can book them online before you arrive.

Book Discount Hanbok Rental Online

How to get there : Take the subway (Line 3 – orange) to Gyeongbokgung Station or Anguk Station . Alternatively, walk from Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5 – purple) or Jonggak Station (Line 1 – dark blue) if they’re more convenient.

Hanbok rental at Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul - a great addition to your one week itinerary for Korea

Afternoon – Traditional Seoul In Bukchon Hanok Village

Once you’ve finished with the palace, head out of the south or east gates and make your way towards the Bukchon Hanok Village . Located between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, the Bukchon Hanok Village has lots of traditional hanok houses, tea rooms, art galleries, and narrow streets with artsy shops to discover.

In case you’re in need of some coffee first (it’s a very full schedule!), then there are loads of great cafes between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village, including one of my favourites – Blue Bottle Coffee .

You can also grab some lunch in the nearby restaurants and cafes, or wait until you get to Bukchon Hanok Village to experience eating in one of the beautiful traditional houses that are now restaurants and tea houses.

The Bukchon Hanok Village itself is spread over two main areas that you can explore at your leisure. You’re sure to recognise some of the famous postcard-picture views from Seoul. Walk up and down the streets and take pictures with incredible backgrounds, including the N Seoul Tower standing in the hills behind.

There’s so much to do in this area, it can definitely take the whole afternoon. For more details about what to see in this area, and the best spots to eat, drink, shop, explore, photo, and experience, check out my detailed guide to the area:

What To Do & See In Bukchon Hanok Village

Finish exploring this area, then head back towards Anguk Station and on towards Insadong for an early dinner.

Joel’s Tip : If you finish early and want more palaces to explore, then there’s some good news. Changdeokgung Palace is only 10 minutes away by foot. You can visit here before or after visiting Bukchon Hanok Village as a great way to get more of Korea’s Joseon-era culture.

I actually prefer Changdeokgung Palace during autumn as it’s got some of the best views of autumn leaves in central Seoul. If you are travelling during October, you’ll definitely want to read more about those:

Where To See Autumn Leaves In Seoul & Korea

Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul, South Korea

Early Evening – Insadong Art Street

Insadong Art Street is a lovely place to browse art shops, galleries, museums, experience traditional culture, and relax in cosy old wooden tea houses. The Insadong area also has lots of street food and stalls and is a great place to buy some cheap souvenirs.

Explore the many wonderful shops and sights here, such as the Kimchi Museum , Ssamziegil Culture Complex , the Alive Museum , and the Anyoung Insadong Mall . They have a collection of shops that range from goods by local artists to famous Korean brands. You’ll find many unique stores here that you won’t find in other parts of Seoul.

If you’re looking for an unusual cafe experience, that doubles up as a great place to get some insta-worthy shots, then check out the Poop Cafe in the Ssamziegil Culture Complex. Here you can get coffee served in a toilet-shaped cup, and some delicious ddong-bbang (poop bread). Check it out.

If you have enough time, also check out one of the main temples in Seoul – Jogyesa Temple . This stunning temple is located just off of the main Insadong street and often has seasonal displays such as Buddhist lanterns or flower arrangements. The temple itself is worth the trip alone.

Once you’ve had your fill of Insadong Art Street, keep following the street down, past a small park, and you’ll soon find a stream cutting across your path. Head down the steps and you’ve arrived at the Cheonggyecheon Stream . This stream is a beautiful pathway that cuts through central Seoul and often has light displays or lanterns to see.

Follow the stream west and you’ll arrive at the Cheonggyecheon Plaza where you’ll be greeted by a gigantic seashell. There’s lots to see and do in this area, including the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sunshin . You should notice Gyeongbokgung Palace in the background at the end of the long street.

Now it’s time to jump on the subway and travel to a different part of the city for a romantic night cruise along the river.

River Cruise on the Han River

Late Evening – A Majestic Han River Cruise

Make your way to Gwanghwamun Station and take the subway (Line 5 – purple) to Yeouinaru Station on the other side of the Han River. Once you exit the station, you’ll be greeted by the slow-moving Han River and long, gentle grassy slopes leading down to the river, which will probably be packed with locals and tourists enjoying the view.

This area is one of my favourite places to spend the evening (or any time) in Seoul. There are lots of places to sit, relax, have a picnic, and enjoy a bit of nature in this busy metropolis. There are often local musicians singing in the evenings, as well as some impromptu performances.

Not only that, there are some incredible festivals here during the year, including the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival where you’ll see countless cherry blossoms.

One of the best ways to enjoy this area is to book a cruise along the river , passing under the main bridges, seeing the city’s skyscrapers and lights, and seeing which famous sights you can see along the way.

Book A Cruise On The Han River

After the cruise, head back to your hotel for a rest, or find a spot to have a quiet drink in the evening. Some cafes are open 24 hours and Seoul never sleeps.

Joel’s Tip: It’s best to book a cruise before you arrive as they can be sold out early. If you want to combine a cruise and some dinner, then there’s an option to eat at the nearby Ashley Marine Buffet restaurant, which is based on the water’s edge and has great views to enjoy while you eat.

Book A Cruise & Dinner Combo Package

War Memorial of Korea, Seoul, South Korea

2: Day 2 – Exploring Seoul’s Markets, Culture, & History

On the second day of this one week itinerary for Korea it’s time to check out some more of Seoul’s history , see the bustling, vibrant traditional markets , and get some great views of the city .

For those who want to stay up late, visit the busy night bars and restaurants of the city’s international district .

Morning – Understanding Korea’s History & Culture

I’d recommend spending the morning understanding some of Korea’s long and varied history. There are a wealth of museums around Seoul that will both entertain and educate you for a whole morning.

I’d personally recommend the War Memorial of Korea. It has some really interesting displays and will provide some information about the Korean War that many people probably aren’t aware of. Plus there’s loads of tanks and planes to see outside, which is fun.

Here are some of the top museums and galleries to explore in Seoul:

War Memorial Of Korea – An interesting insight into the history of conflict in Korea, especially the war between North and South Korea. Includes a lot of military equipment outside the main museum.

National Museum Of Korea – The definitive history museum for Korea that covers all history from early stone age settlements to modern history.

Seoul Museum Of History – A colourful collection of artefacts and displays that explore the history of Korea’s capital.

Seoul Museum Of Art – The Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) opened in 1988 and has earned a reputation as one of Korea’s leading art venues with a series of world-famous exhibitions. Situated in the centre of Seoul, its convenient location and outstanding collections attract large numbers of locals and tourists.

National Museum Of Modern & Contemporary Art – The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) focuses on introducing global contemporary art. Equipped with multiple facilities, including a library, theatre, and a multipurpose hall.

Depending on where you’re staying in Seoul, some of these locations might be easier for you to get to. Therefore, choose one that seems more interesting for you, or convenient. I wouldn’t try to visit them all in one day.

Joel’s Tip: If you are expecting rain or bad weather for one day of your one week in Korea, I’d recommend these activities above for that day. They’re perfect for when the weather doesn’t want to help you out. In case it does rain at any time, then this guide will certainly help you:

Things To Do In Seoul When It’s Raining

Seoul's Fortress Wall Walk

Morning – Alternative Activity

If you don’t feel like learning about Korea’s history, then an alternative could be to walk along Seoul’s fortress walls . The walls stretch along the mountains behind Gyeongbokgung Palace, and curve in through the heart of the city. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do any heavy hiking as there are many places you can enjoy them in the city centre.

One of the best places to see the fortress walls is from Naksan Park in Ihwa-dong. You’ll get great views of the city and a feel for life as a City Guard patrolling the walls. You can follow the walls north or south and see some incredible sights as you go.

After you’ve explored the walls, check out the Iwha Mural Village , which has lots of wall murals and is a great place for dressing up in old-style Korean school uniforms. You’ll find lots of cafes in the areas where you can enjoy the view with a refreshing coffee and some Korean desserts.

Please note: some residents have complained about tourists in this area, so please be respectful as you explore this area as people live there.

How to get there: Take a subway to Hyehwa Station (Line 4 – light blue) and walk east up the hill towards the park. Alternatively, head to Dongdaemun Station (Line 4 – light blue) and you’ll find fortress walls here, too.

Gwangjang Market in Seoul, Korea

Afternoon – Seoul’s Traditional Markets

Most people who visit Korea can’t wait to try the incredible local food and Seoul’s traditional markets are some of the best places for authentic, cheap, and delicious places to eat.

Seoul has a range of traditional markets that are more popular than ever. If you’ve watched Netflix’s Street Food series, you should recognise Gwangjang Marke t – home to dozens of tiny restaurants packed with locals and tourists looking for the best bites to eat.

Not only will you find fantastic food to eat, there are also many types of shops selling pretty much everything. If you enjoyed wearing hanbok on the first day, you can even get one custom made to take back and show your friends back home. Not only this, there are souvenirs, snacks, health-foods, Korea’s famous cosmetics & clothes, and lots more.

These are the markets I’d recommend visiting in central Seoul. You might have already seen them, depending on where you’re staying. Try to visit at least one or two, as each one specialises in something different. Follow the link to find out why you should visit, what you’ll find, and how to get there.

Namdaemun Market & Myeongdong Market – best for cheap clothes and souvenirs. These two markets are right next to each other. Be sure to check out the great street food .

Gwangjang Market – famous for its awesome food, also a great place to get custom-made hanbok.

Seoul Folk Flea Market – one for those who like retro and vintage goods.

Noryangjin Fish Market – even better before the sun rises. Watch the fish auctions in the early morning and sample some delicious fresh seafood.

If you’d like to know more about Korea’s traditional markets, which you can find in all major cities across Korea, then check out my guide to the 10 best traditional markets in Korea:

The 10 Best Traditional Markets In Korea

If you have more time available and want to experience more amazing shops, but in a very modern setting instead, then take a trip to Dongdaemun Design Plaza . It’s close to Namdaemun, Dongdaemun, Gwangjang, and Myeongdong Markets and you can reach there by subway, bus, or even walking.

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a gigantic alien-looking building that houses a range of different attractions, including temporary art exhibitions, art shops, unique markets, cafes, and a long, sloping lawn on the roof.

I’d recommend checking out the Kakao Friends shop for some fun souvenirs for this place. You might want to come back here later if you have more free time on another day as there’s a lot to see.

N Seoul Tower should be on your one week itinerary for Korea

Early Evening – Night Views From N Seoul Tower

Before the sun sets, make your way to Namsan Mountain for the second great night view on your one week itinerary for Korea. Located in the heart of Seoul, the N Seoul Tower gives incredible 360 degree views of the city.

To get there, head to Myeongdong Station and then either hike up the small hill or ride the nearby Namsan Cable Car . Alternatively, there are shuttle buses that will take you to the top from around the city.

Joel’s Tip: I’d definitely recommend taking the cable car. If you time it right, you can watch the sunset over the city , then see the night views afterwards. Take as many pictures as you can, there is a lot to see from every side.

There are several  r estaurants that you can dine in at the top, as well as cafes and gift shops. Enjoy views of the whole of Seoul while you dine in style in one of the highest points in Seoul.

Restaurants At N Seoul Tower

Joel’s Tip: If you want to save money on sightseeing and get combo tickets for the observatory and other attractions there, such as the, cafes, restaurants, and a VR experience, book online before you visit.

Discount Tickets For N Seoul Tower

Make sure to explore the area around the tower itself, too. You can find some interesting artworks, love locks, and even take a stroll through down the hill a short way.

Itaewon, a great place to add to a one week itinerary for Korea

Late Evening – Myeongdong’s Night Markets Or Itaewon

Here are two great options to end the second day in Korea for different types of travellers.

First option: after you’ve finished sightseeing at the tower, take the cable car back down and explore Myeongdong’s Night Markets and the rest of Myeongdong. The night markets run until late at night and you can pick up some tasty street food desserts or a late night snack.

Seoul is a 24-hour city and you’ll find cafes and bars (and even shops) open until midnight and beyond. If you have the energy, then walk around and explore this area more. There’s a lot of interesting sights to see and this area is a lot more family friendly than the second option.

Second option: if the night is young and you want to enjoy yourself more, head down in the opposite direction of the hill (south) towards Itaewon for some night life.

Itaewon is the international district of Seoul and was formerly the home to an American military base. Thanks to this, there are loads of great international restaurants, bars, and clubs in the area and it’s the perfect place to unwind with a few drinks.

This area has some of the best international food in the city. There are also many bars and clubs here, especially in the area just north of Itaewon Station .

Despite it being known as the international district, it’s actually most popular with Koreans who want to experience foreign drinks and foods and you’ll see the area packed out on most nights of the week.

Best Foods To Try In Korea:

One of the best things about travelling to any country is the chance to sample new and delicious foods. There is a lot to offer in Korea that you might not find in other countries. Here are 3 of my favourites:

Korean BBQ – most people have this at the top of their to-try list when they come to Korea and for a good reason. This is a serious meal and a cultural experience. Be sure to try it.

Pajeon & Makgeolli – Pictured below, this is a great treat to have after a busy day of walking around sightseeing. Korean-style pancake with different fillings, served with traditonal Korean rice wine. The perfect combo!

Tteokbokki – A must-try street food or meal in Korea, this spicy, salty dish is a favourite with Koreans and tourists alike. A simple mix of rice cakes, fish cakes and a hot spicy sauce, it’s the perfect food for winter, or any time.

Want To Know More About Korea’s Traditional Foods?

Want to know about the best Korean foods to try when you visit Korea? From street food to big meals for all the family, Korean cuisine has a lot to offer. Check out this great article with 20 of the most mouth watering traditional Korean dishes you really should try when you visit Korea.

The 20 Best Traditional Korean Dishes

DMZ in Korea

3: Day 3 – A Day Trip From Seoul

Although Seoul is an incredible city and you could spend the whole 7 days in Korea just visiting the sights of this wonderful place, there’s a lot to see outside of Korea that is also worth your time.

There are many great day trips available from Seoul that will introduce you to some of Korea’s varied culture, nature, history, and attractions that you’ll only find outside of the capital.

I’d recommend one of these following day trips as part of your one week itinerary for Korea. They might only take half a day or more, in which case I’ve also added some suggestions for other things to do with the rest of your 3rd day.

I’ve written an in-depth guide to the top 10 day trips from Seoul, so instead of giving too many details here, you can find out more in the links below.

DMZ Day Tour:

Probably top on everyone’s list of the best day trips from Seoul is a trip to the  demilitarized zone  (DMZ) along Korea’s border. This is something that you can only experience in Korea, which is why it’s hard to resist.

There are so many reasons to visit the DMZ. Whether you want to learn about Korean history, experience a real-life war zone border, or simply want a chance to step into North Korea , this is the trip for you.

Day Trip To The DMZ

Nami Island, South Korea - a great addition to any one week itinerary for Korea

Nami Island, The Garden Of Morning Calm, And Gangchon Rail Bike:

A visit to Nami Island is one of the top day trips you can take as it’s fun in any season, as you can see from the picture above. See the  giant metasequoia  and golden ginkgo trees , as well as cherry blossoms , pines, and many other natural beauties.

This area is home to many attractions, which makes it a great place to visit from Seoul. You can pick and choose from combinations of several places nearby for the perfect day trip for you. These include:

Garden of Morning Calm : this is a beautifully crafted garden with lots to see. There are lots of flower festivals throughout the year, even in winter where you can see amazing light displays .

Gangchon Rail Bike Park : you can ride a rail bike along an abandoned railway line and take in the picturesque scenery along the way.

Petite France: dedicated to the novel ‘The Little Prince’, this is a recreation of an idyllic French village in the Korean countryside. Worth a visit if only for the uniqueness and to see how Koreans view France.

Day Trip To Nami Island & Other Places

Joel’s Tip: I’d recommend seeing at least Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm. If you want to see more, then the Gangchon Rail Bike Park is also fun. In winter, I’d stick to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm to see the winter festivals and displays here.

Booking a tour is more expensive than getting there by public transport, but also a lot more convenient. Time is precious when you only have 7 days in Korea. There are many tour operators in Korea and the price to visit these places together in one tour isn’t really that expensive.

Caribbean Bay - one of the best day trips from Seoul

Everland & Caribbean Bay Theme Park:

Theme park fans and thrill seekers will probably find this to be one of the best day trips from Seoul. If you’re visiting in the summer, or even spring and autumn, these are great places to have fun with all the family. Here are two of the best places to visit:

Everland is Korea’s largest theme park and boasts one of the world’s steepest roller coasters . Great for thrill seekers, families, couples looking to create some unforgettable memories, and even animal lovers.

Caribbean Bay , modelled after the gorgeous beaches of the Caribbean, is the premier destination for water park lovers in South Korea

With loads of rides, this is a perfect way to spend a fun day out during your trip to Korea.

Everland & Caribbean Bay Day Trip

Joel’s Tip: There are a lot of discounts available for these theme parks for tourists. Booking online often saves you a lot of money over the usual entrance price.

Cookin' Nanta - One of South Korea's Funniest Performances

Alternatives To A Day Trip From Seoul:

If you don’t feel like taking a day trip from Seoul, then why not spend the day in Seoul checking out some of these fun activities instead:

H iking in Bukhansan National Park – take a hike through Seoul’s own national park and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Trick Eye Museum – fun for all the family. Not only are there the traditional trick eye pictures to amaze and confuse, there’s also new AR (augmented reality) illusions.

Explore Gangnam – There’s so much to see in Gangnam, including the Starfield COEX Mall , which includes the COEX Aquarium . K-Pop fans will love K Star Road and SM Town . Take some time out to visit Bongeunsa Temple , too.

Nanta Cooking Musical Theatre – This is a unique, wacky theatrical performance where energetic chefs bang pots and pans while preparing delicious traditional Korean foods. Includes lots of audience participation.

Seoul Forest Park – This beautiful forest includes children’s parks, deer, a small petting zoo, and lots of charming walks through nature. Lots of cosy cafes nearby, too.

Try a Korean cooking class – There are so many wonderful  traditional Korean dishes  to sample when visiting Seoul, wouldn’t it be even better if you could learn some to share with your friends?

Visit some of Seoul’s other museums – There are plenty of great museums in Seoul. For example, there’s the Seoul Museum of Art , Leeum Samsung Museum of Art , the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art , and lots more.

Lotte World Tower – Head to Jamsil and check out the world’s 6th tallest building. Nearby you’ll also find Lotte World Theme Park and the gorgeous Seokchon Lake – perfect for seeing cherry blossoms in April.

Korean saunas are a great way to relax

Evening – Experience Some Real Korean Culture

After your 3rd busy day in Seoul, why not relax and unwind like the locals do. Here are three fun ways that you can embrace Korean culture like a local in the evening.

1: Korean sauna – there’s nothing better after a busy day walking around than soaking in a jjimjjilbang (찜질방) – a Korean sauna. These are great places to unwind and recharge your batteries in hot (or cold) water, in a steam room, or in the communal hot rooms.

You can find many jjimjjilbang saunas throughout Seoul.

2: Korean karaoke – why not spend your free time singing your heart out at a Korean noraebang (노래방 ) – Korea’s own karaoke rooms?

If you’re travelling with some friends then check out the singing rooms. You can order drinks and pay a small fee to sing for as many hours as you’d like.

3: Try Chimaek – one of my favourite ways to spend an evening is with a trip to a chimaek (치맥) restaurant. Chimaek is a portmanteau of chicken and maekju (beer) and you can guess what you’ll find inside.

Check out one of the many awesome chimaek restaurants in Seoul and try some beer and soju mixed together ( somaek ). Maybe some locals will even join you for a glass or two.

I’d recommend including at least one of these activities in your one week itinerary for Korea so you can really embrace Korean culture.

Find More Great Day Trips From Seoul

There are many incredible day trips you can take from Seoul Covering Korea’s stunning natural beauty , Korean temples , a modern-day war zone , theme parks , and lots more. You’re sure to have a fun time exploring Korea on these day trips. Find out more in my guide to Seoul’s top 10 day trips

Top 10 Day Trips From Seoul

Locations In Seoul In This One Week Itinerary For Korea

Click the link below to see a map of all the locations in Seoul mentioned above, as well as for the 7th day, of this one week in Korea itinerary.

Seoul One Week Itinerary Locations

Please note: you will need Google Maps to be able to view this map.

Ride The KTX from Seoul To Busan during your one week itinerary for Korea

4: Day 4 – Greetings From Busan

You’re not done with Seoul, there’s still time to check out the city on the last day, but for now it’s time to leave Korea’s capital and head down through the spine of the country to the second biggest city in Korea – Busan.

This lesser-known Korean gem is often overlooked in favour of Seoul, but also has a lot to offer tourists. Packed full of sights, traditional culture & markets, stunning seaside temples, and overflowing with seafood and other dining options, there’s plenty of reasons to make your way to Busan.

Find out below all about what to see and do for a couple of days there.

Morning – Travelling From Seoul To Busan

Unfortunately, most of the morning is going to be spent getting from Seoul to Busan. This isn’t necessarily time wasted, however, as you can see some of the marvellous Korean countryside on the way.

There are three options for getting to Busan by train – the KTX , ITX , and Mugunghwa trains. The easiest way to get there is to take the KTX and travel along Korea’s well-run high speed network all the way to the coastal city.

To help you plan your time and costs, here’s some details about getting from Seoul to Busan:

The KTX is the fastest and easiest option. – A one-way ticket will cost around 60,000 / 30,000 won for an adult / child. – Travel times are approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes .

The ITX is slower and therefore costs a bit less. – A one-way ticket will cost around 42,000 / 21,000 won for an adult / child. – Travel times are approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes .

The Mugunghwa trains are older, slower, but much cheaper. – A one-way ticket will cost around 28,000 / 14,000 won for an adult / child. – Travel times are much longer at approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes .

Joel’s Tip: I’d personally recommend that you take the KTX . This will leave you with a lot more time to enjoy Busan. Budget travellers may want to take the Mugunghwa to save some money, In which case, try to get the earliest train possible and sleep on the way.

You can book tickets and find out about train times on the Let’s Korail website .

Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan, one of the largest traditional markets in korea

Afternoon – Busan’s Traditional Markets

After checking into your hotel (or just leaving your bags there), head straight out to Jagalchi Market in the Nampodong area. This is a great spot to get some lunch and sample Busan’s wonderful seafood. This is one of the main spots to see in Busan and there’s loads to do nearby.

Located outside Jagalchi Subway Station (Line 1 – orange), this sprawling market can be found along the harbour’s edge. Wander through and see all manner of delicious, strange, and colourful sea life and sample some in the nearby restaurants.

After visiting this market, there’s lots more to check out in this area, including Nampodong Street – Busan’s main downtown area with lots of shops and sights.

Nearby you’ll find two other very interesting traditional Korean markets – Gukje Market and Bupyeong Market . See the various goods on sale here and pick up some souvenirs of Busan.

Busan is also famous for the annual Busan International Film Festival , held in October each year. In this area you’ll find lots of monuments dedicated to Korea’s film industry. See if you can recognise some of the movie references in this area.

Marvel fans may also recognise this area as the setting for the parts of the Black Panther movie . See the famous scenes from the movie in real life.

Book lovers should definitely check out Bosu-Dong Book Alley just to the north of this area. Here you’ll find a collection of small bookshops packed full of books of all types and ages.

Busan Tower is a great spot to add to your one week itinerary for Korea

Evening – Seeing The Sights From Busan Tower

Before it gets dark, head up to the Busan Tower (pictured above) for some romantic pictures of the sea, Busan’s sights, and some cute photo zones. You’ll also find thousands of love locks from couples who wanted to leave a romantic memento from their trip here.

You can walk up to the tower or take a short taxi ride from wherever you end up after exploring the markets. It’s close to Jagalchi Market and you should be able to spot the tower above you.

After seeing the sights from here and hopefully watching the sunset, head back down towards Busan Station to explore Busan’s Chinatown , or back towards Nampodong Street to see the lights and shops at night.

Both are good places to experience more of Busan’s famous food and local culture.

If you’re still up for going out after all this, then you should find plenty of bars to drink in, noraebang singing rooms, or cosy cafes to relax in.

Gyeongju should definitely be on your one week itinerary for Korea

5: Day 5 – A Day Trip To Gyeongju

A popular day trip from Busan is going to the historic city of Gyeongju . If you’re only planning to visit Korea once, then I’d definitely recommend including it in your trip.

Known as a ‘ museum without walls ‘, Gyeongju was once Korea’s capital city and has more historical sites and artefacts from the medieval period than anywhere else in Korea.

You can see all the top spots of Gyeongju in one day and a day trip from Busan to Gyeongju will be all you need to check out the many wonderful sights and learn about Korean history.

Top spots to visit in Gyeongju include:

  • Cheomseongdae Observatory
  • Gyerim Woodland
  • Tumuli Park (Daereungwon Tomb Complex)
  • Gyeongju National Museum
  • Bulguksa Temple

You can book a day trip to Gyeongju from Busan for a convenient and easy trip to this interesting city.

Alternatively, you can take the KTX train from Busan directly to Gyeongju, then arrange your own way around the city. The KTX takes about 30 minutes and costs 12,000 won.

I’ll assume you’re coming back from Gyeonju late and going to bed early in preparation for the next day of your active one week itinerary for Korea.

If not, there are always plenty of night spots in Busan to check out.

If you never made it to Busan, or you want to skip the city and still see all the incredible sights of Gyeongju, then you can travel directly from Seoul. Read more about how to get from Seoul to Gyeongju . This guide covers all the ways you can travel there by public transport, great if you want to avoid expensive tours.

Why not add Gyeongju to your one week itinerary for Korea?

A Fantastic Guide To Gyeongju

Here’s an excellent guide to everything there is to do, see, and eat in Gyeongju:

Amazing Guide To Visiting Gyeongju

It includes a very detailed plan for spending a day in Gyeongju, as well as an overnight itinerary for those who want more time to explore this historic marvel.

Haeundae Beach in Busan should be on any one week itinerary for Korea

6: Day 6 – Busan’s Beautiful Beaches

As long as the weather is good, then it’s time to check out some of Busan’s most famous shores – Haeundae Beach and Gwangali Beach .

Before that, though, a quick trip to one of the most unique and beautiful temples in Korea – Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – is a must.

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan, South Korea

Morning – Quick Trip To Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Wake up early and make a short trip to  Haedong Yonggungsa Temple . This is a rare chance to see the beautiful southern coast and one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Korea.

The clear blue seas are on par with what you’ll find in  Haeundae Beach . However, when contrasted by the rugged rocks and unique architecture, this is an even more amazing view.

There are several ways to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, including buses or a taxi. Getting there isn’t too difficult. Follow this guide to see how to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple .

Alternatively, you could book a day tour from Klook that will also take you to the Busan Oryukdo Skywalk and Gamcheon Culture Village .

This should take up the best part of the morning, then it’s time to head back to Busan and check out the more of Busan’s hotspots.

Be sure to get off the bus near Haeundae Beach for the next stop on this one week itinerary for Korea.

Afternoon – Busan’s Best Beaches

After coming back from the temple, head to Busan’s most famous beach – Haeundae . If you’re staying in this area, then you may have already seen this area. If not, make sure to check out all there is to see and do.

Depending on the season, you may want to just chill out on the beach, however, if it’s too chilly, then you can see some of the many attractions nearby.

Here are some of the best things to do in this area:

The Sea Life Aquarium – great for families looking to see more of the sea without getting wet themselves. Good for a rainy day in Busan.

Walk around Dongbaek Island Park – despite being called an island, this is actually attached to the land. You can walk around this small hill and get great views of the beach, the city, and the surrounding area. It should take about 1 hour in total.

The Bay 101 – if the weather is warm, why not try some water sports? Have fun riding a banana boat, jet-ski, semi-submarine boat, and lots more.

Haeundae Market – sample some of Busan’s fresh seafood and specialty dishes here in this traditional market. You’ll find lots of restaurants in this area, too.

Cafe In Busan – fun insta-worthy cafe on Dalmaji Hill with views over the coast.

Bars, pubs and clubs – if you’re in this area at night, you’ll see that it becomes very lively. A popular place for Koreans and tourists to party, you’ll find lots of places to have fun here.

Joel’s Tip: If you’re travelling to Korea in summer, then I’d definitely recommend spending time at a beach or two. This is one of my favourite summer activities. For more great fun things to do in summer in Korea, check out this article:

20 Awesome Summer Activities In Korea

How to get there: Take the subway to Haeundae Station (Line 2 – green) and walk towards the coast.

The Gwangan Bridge in Busan, Korea

Early Evening – Night Views At Gwangali Beach

From Haeundae Beach , take a subway from Haeundae Station or Dongbaek Station towards Geumnyeonsan Station a few stops along the green line. If you’re feeling active, you can walk along the coast all the way from Haeundae Beach.

From here you will enter another of Busan’s fine beaches – Gwangali Beach . Arguably one of the finest in Busan, Gwangali Beach has fine powdery sands and great views of the Gwangan Bridge .

Once it starts to get dark, head to Millak Waterfront Park to get the best views of Gwangan Bridge at night. The enormous Gwangan Bridge is equipped with thousands of LED lights and provides a spectacular light show in the evenings. Join hundreds of other people staring out into the ocean and the colourful performance put on by the bridge.

Finally, head back to Gwangali Beach to experience the peaceful open-air cafes, bars, and restaurants. You can even do a bit of shopping in the many stores nearby.

Grab some dinner at one of the nearby seafood restaurants (or other restaurants if you’re not a fan) and get a taste of the ocean for your evening meal. Enjoy fine food with views of the golden sands.

How to get there: Take a subway to Geumnyeonsan Station or Gwangan Station (Line 2 – green) and head towarrds the beach.

Night spots to add to your one week itinerary for Korea

Late Evening – Busan’s Busy Centre That Never Sleeps

There are plenty of places for nightlife and bars to add to your one week itinerary for Korea. Seoul and Busan have lots of good places to spend the dark hours at night.

If you still have lots of energy and want to party in Busan, then I’d recommend checking out the Seomyeon area in Central Busan.

This area is great for the evening even if you don’t want to drink, with many late-night cafes and busy streets to explore.

To get to this area, take the subway to Seomyeon Station (Line 1 – orange or Line 2 – green). This area is easily accessed from both the Jagalchi / Nampo area and the Haeundea area.

Locations In Busan In This One Week Itinerary For Korea

Click the link below to see a map of all the locations in Busan mentioned above in this one week itinerary for Korea.

Busan One Week Itinerary Locations

Busan Gamcheon Culture Village, South Korea

7: Day 7 – Last Busan Sights Then Shopping In Seoul

It’s the final day on your one week itinerary in Korea and time to head back to Seoul.

You can choose to spend the morning in Busan, or jump straight onto the train and head back to Seoul for a full day there.

Before leaving Busan, I’d recommend a quick trip to Gamcheon Culture Village before taking the KTX back to Seoul around lunch time. Find out more about this colourful area of Busan below.

Morning – See The Sights Of Gamcheon Culture Village

If you want to head straight back to Seoul to have more time there, then you can skip this section.

However, to get the most out of your one week itinerary for Korea, then definitely visit the Gamcheon Culture Village . Known as the Machu Picchu of Korea,  Gamcheon Culture Village  is high on photographers’ lists.

See hundreds of colourful buildings on the slopes of these coastal hills, and the murals and sculptures created by local residents. A lot of the art makes use of boring parts of the local landscape, turning them into  Instagram-worthy locales .

If you’re limited in time, enter via the North Entrance and you’ll find a lot of the most famous sites. These include The Little Prince , Love Locks , Socks Shops , the Library Stairs , and more.

How To Navigate The Gamcheon Culture Village.

Spend a couple of hours here and then head back to Busan Station for the train to Seoul.

How to get there: Take the subway to Toseong Station (Line 1 – orange) and walk up the hill to the village. Alternatively, take the 87 bus from Busan Station directly there.

Hongdae at night, Seoul, Korea

Afternoon – Shopping And Culture In Hongdae

On the last day of your one week itinerary for Korea, you probably want to start thinking about unique and wonderful souvenirs to take back home for your friends and family.

There are several great places to get gifts in Seoul, including Hongdae , Insadong , Myeongdong , Dongdaemun , and many shopping centres and department stores .

You might choose any of these places, however, I’d recommend going to Hongdae if you haven’t already been there.

Hongdae is Seoul’s answer to  Harajuku in Tokyo, with lots of unique fashion and hairstyles, as well as boutique stores. There are several reasons to check out this area.

Firstly, the streets are packed with shops selling clothes (boutique or mainstream), artsy goods, souvenirs, and, perhaps best of all,  lots of Korean snacks  to sample!

Secondly, there’s also a vibrant community and youth art scene in the area. There is a strong art influence here from the nearby Hongik University (Korea’s top Art School).

Head here for the afternoon to shop, eat in the many great restaurants , and check out the street art and performances.

Plane Arriving at Incheon Airport in Korea

Evening – Heading Home With Happy Memories

The end of your one week itinerary in Korea is here. It’s time to head to Incheon Airport from wherever you are.

If your flight isn’t until the morning, then you can stay in Hongdae for the night, or book a hotel at Incheon Airport .

If you’re in Hongdae , then you can take Airport Limousine Bus 6002 , or the all-stop train from Hongik University Station .

Find out more about transport options to Incheon Airport with my article all about getting between Seoul and Incheon Airport.

How To Get From Seoul To Incheon Airport

Asan Gingko Tree Road in South Korea, perfect for a one week itinerary for Korea during autumn

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Again

Surely a very sad time, but hopefully you’ll be inspired to plan another one week trip to Korea as soon as you get home!

Korea is different in every season, so be sure to visit again at another time.

Don’t miss out on the beautiful autumn leaves , fun summer activities , winter fun , or cherry blossoms in spring .

There’s still plenty left to explore in Korea!

Alternative One Week Itinerary For Korea

I’m going to post a couple of very short alternative one week itineraries for Korea below. I won’t go into as much detail, but these should help you start planning an alternative course.

Remember, if you have any questions about your one week itinerary for Korea, or about Korea in general, be sure to ask the experts in the Korea Travel Advice & Planning Facebook Group .

Seoraksan - an awesome day trip from Seoul and another addition to your one week itinerary for Korea

One Week Itinerary 2: For Nature Lovers & Hikers

If you want to see more of Korea’s natural beauty , then an alternative one week itinerary for Korea could be as follows:

Days 1 to 3: Exploring Seoul

You can follow a similar itinerary for Seoul, or check out more of Seoul’s natural beauty, including Seoul Forest Park , Seokchon Lake , Haneul (Sky) Park , Bukhansan National Park , Children’s Grand Park , and others.

Day 4: Head To Gangneung City On The East Coast.

Gangneung is a lovely coastal city with lots of beaches, cosy cafes, and access to the nearby mountains.

This is a great place to watch the sunrise, relax with a coffee, or try some water sports on the beach.

How To Get To Gangneung From Seoul

Day 5: Hike Odaesan Then On To Sokcho

Odaesan National Park is a short train journey from Gangneung and provides a great chance to see some of Korea’s natural beauty.

Follow the gentle walking course from the temple near the entrance, or hike to the top of the mountains. You can choose.

After returning to Gangneung, take an intercity bus from Gangneung Bus Terminal to Sokcho . The ride only takes an hour.

Day 6: Seoraksan National Park And Sokcho

There are plenty of things to do in Sokcho , however, the main reason people stay there is to get to Seoraksan National Park .

Seoraksan is one of the most stunning national parks and is especially great to visit in autumn to see the autumn leaves .

Take the shuttle bus from Sokcho Bus Terminal to Seoraksan and spend the day at Seoraksan.

Check out the temples, ride the cable car, hike to the top, or just take it easy with a gentle stroll in the valley.

Either head back to Seoul at night, or wait until the morning and stay in Sokcho. Buses take about 2 hours and run regularly.

Transport Details For Sokcho To Seoul

Day 7: Seoul For Last Minute Shopping

As with my other one week itinerary for Korea, you can spend the last day doing some last minute sightseeing or shopping in various locations.

Jeju Island - one of the new 7 wonders of nature.

One Week Itinerary 3: Seoul & Jeju Island

Finally, this third one week itinerary for Korea focuses on one of the new 7 Natural Wonders of the World – Jeju Island .

You can follow any of the activities mentioned in the other two one week itineraries for Korea.

Days 4 to 6: Magical Jeju Island

Instead of travelling to Busan and Gyeongju, take a flight from Incheon or Gimpo Airport to Jeju Island for 2 or 3 days and explore the island.

There’s so much to do there, including many weird museums , hiking South Korea’s highest mountain , eating lots of delicious Jeju Island food , relaxing on the beaches, and connecting with Korean nature.

Hire a rental car to get around more easily. The island isn’t that big and you can see a lot in a short time.

Many things are out of the main city, so driving is a lot more convenient.

To help you plan, here’s an awesome guide to sightseeing in Jeju.

Read more: Guide To Sightseeing For Jeju Island

Day 7: Back To Seoul With Jeju Gifts

Fly back to Seoul on your last day with lots of great souvenirs from Jeju Island , including healthy Korean green tea.

Jeju Island souvenirs

Joel’s Tips For An Amazing 7 Days In Korea

There is a lot to consider before going to any country, such as vaccines, converting money, using the Internet, and when to travel to another country. I’ll try to answer a few of these issues briefly below.

However, for a more detailed guide to pre-planning your trip to South Korea, please read my guide below:

What To Know Before Travelling To Korea .

For now, here are some pointers to get you thinking more about your one week itinerary for Korea and what to expect.

Where To Stay In Seoul and Korea

Where to Stay In Seoul

Seoul is a BIG city and to help you decide where to stay, I’ve made a guide to the best places to stay in Seoul . Below are a few recommendations to get you started.

For budget travellers , Myeongdong and Dongdaemun are good places to stay and you’ll be able to pick up lots of cheap clothes, gifts, and street food.

People looking for lots of night life would enjoy the Hongdae area, which also has lots of good cafes, bars, and restaurants. Accommodation here is reasonably priced .

If you have a bit more money to spend and want to check out some of the designer stores or hunt for celebrities, then the Gangnam district is probably best for you.

All of these areas have good subway connections and will easily get you to other areas.

Where To Stay In Seoul

Where to stay in Busan for your one week itinerary for Korea

Where To Stay In Busan

Busan is a great city with lots to see and do. Two of the most popular areas to stay in Busan are in Haeundae (the famous beach area) and Seomyeon (the downtown heart of Busan). Whichever area you choose, here are some great hotels for each type of traveller.

Haeundae : The hot place to go in Busan. Gorgeous beaches and great bars and nightlife, as well as traditional markets and cosy cafes. Dalmaji-gil Road in Haeundae has some great views.

Budget Travellers : Toyoko Inn Haeundae No. 2

Families & Couples: Good Day Mate

Luxury Travellers: Paradise Hotel Busan

Seomyeon : The heart of inner Busan. Away from the coast, but conveniently located with access to two of the main subway lines. No shortage of good bars, restaurants, and places to shop here. Good for getting almost anywhere else in the city.

Budget Travellers : Uniqstay Bed & Breakfast

Families & Couples: Arban Hotel

Luxury Travellers: Lotte Hotel Busan

Joel’s Tip: There might be nicer hotels that have better availability when you travel. This list is just to get you started. Try to find the hotel that’s right for you and you’ll certainly enjoy your stay in Busan more.

Cherry Blossoms are a must for any one week itinerary for Korea

Best Times To Visit Korea

If you have the luxury of being able to travel to Korea at any time, then there are some definite must-visit times you’ll want to travel to South Korea.

Firstly, the best times to visit Korea are in the spring and autumn when the weather is cooler and nature is at its best.

Spring runs from late March until the end of May and during the first two weeks of April is the best time to see the amazing Korean cherry blossoms and captivating spring festivals .

Autumn starts off in mid-September and runs until mid-November, before rapidly changing to winter. During mid-October to early November you can see the stunning autumn leaves in Korea .

Summer is hot (around 35 degrees) and winter is cold (below zero in January). That’s not to say you can’t travel, but be prepared for the harsher weather. There are still many things to do in winter in Korea and lots of awesome summer activities in Korea .

Whatever time of year you’re visiting, I’d recommend you check out the incredible festivals that occur throughout the year. These can make your week in Korea even more memorable.

For a full breakdown of the different seasons in Korea, what to do each month, and when to visit for that perfect holiday, check out this article about the best time to visit Korea:

When To Visit Korea: Korean Season Guide

Take the AREX from Incheon Airport to Seoul

How To Get Around Korea

One of the best things that makes living and travelling in Korea so easy is the wide range of good public transport.

Even if you don’t speak any Korean, you can still get around on the buses, subways, trains, and in taxis.

There are many apps for booking taxis and to guide you around Korea, including Kakao Taxi and Naver Maps . You can use these to get around Korea more easily.

Sadly the buses usually aren’t in English, but using the map app will help you figure out which bus to take, where to get on, and where to get off.

Be sure to pick up a T-Money Card or Korea Tour Card (which includes T-Money) when you arrive to make getting around Korea easier. If you plan to visit a lot of expensive attractions in Seoul, then you may want to get a Discover Seoul Pass . This pass gives you free entry to many attractions and a free Airport Express ticket.

The trains and subways have English translations on the maps, as well as English announcements. This makes it very easy to get around Seoul and travel to other places.

Getting from Incheon Airport to Seoul is also easy and there are many cheap and convenient options available.

If you want the freedom to travel around Korea as you like, then try renting a car . Please note that you will need a valid International Driver’s Permit (IDP) to rent a car in Korea. It must also be the ‘ book type ‘, not just a card.

Korean won - what you need to know for your one week itinerary for Korea

Costs For One Week In Korea

This is a very difficult question to answer and all depends on your own personal spending habits. For a one week trip to Korea, I would suggest budgeting the following daily amounts per person:

Accommodation: 50,000 – 100,000 KRW

Food: 30,000 – 50,000 KRW

Activities: 15,000 – 30,000 KRW

Transportation: 5,000 – 20,000 KRW

This gives a range of about 100,000 – 200,000 KRW per person, per day . These costs can swing a lot depending on the type of person travelling and also just because different days have different costs.

The figures above are based on budget to mid-level travellers.

Please note: 100,000 KRW is worth approximately $85.00 USD

However, there are many other costs than just these, including day trips, Internet connections, travel insurance, visas, etc. For a full breakdown of the cost to travel to Korea, check out the article below:

Cost To Travel In Korea: Korean Budget Guide

I really would recommend reading the guide above for lots of my best tips about how much money to expect to pay in Korea, as well as some other very handy tips.

That’s all for this one week itinerary for Korea. I hope you’ve found lots of ideas to help you plan your trip. If you want to share any other ideas, please feel free to post a comment at the end. Thanks.

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Here are some other great articles that you might want to read about travelling in Korea. Remember, if you have any questions about anything, please feel free to post a comment or join the  Korea Travel Advice Facebook Group .

Summer In Korea: 20 Awesome Summer Activities

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Cost of a Trip to South Korea & the Cheapest Time to Visit South Korea

The average price of a 7-day trip to South Korea is $1,452 for a solo traveler, $2,504 for a couple, and $1,084 for a family of 4 . South Korea hotels range from $45 to $202 per night with an average of $67, while most vacation rentals will cost $110 to $440 per night for the entire home. Average worldwide flight costs to South Korea (from all airports) are between $953 and $1,513 per person for economy flights and $2,992 to $4,751 for first class. Depending on activities, we recommend budgeting $34 to $69 per person per day for transportation and enjoying local restaurants.

See below for average , budget , and luxury trip costs. You can also look up flight costs from your airport for more tailored flight pricing.

The Cheapest Times to Visit South Korea

On average, these will be the cheapest dates to fly to South Korea and stay in a South Korea hotel:

  • January 8th to March 18th
  • August 20th to December 9th

The absolute cheapest time to take a vacation in South Korea is usually early September .

Average South Korea Trip Costs

Average solo traveler.

The average cost for one person to visit South Korea for a week is $1,109-$2,277 ($158-$325 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $34 to $69 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $535 to $1,308 for economy

Lodging : $56 to $74 per night for one 2 or 3-star hotel room

or $66 to $81 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Average Couple’s Trip

The average cost for a couple to visit South Korea for a week is $1,875-$4,068 ($268-$581 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $67 to $138 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,070 to $2,616 for economy

Average Family Vacation

The average cost for 4 people to visit South Korea for a week is $3,678-$8,060 ($525-$1,151 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $134 to $277 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,140 to $5,233 for economy

Lodging : $112 to $148 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

or $100 to $120 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Traveling Cheap to South Korea

How cheap can you make a vacation to South Korea? The cheapest trip to South Korea is about $126 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights, deal with inconvenience, and otherwise limit travel expenses. About 5% of rentals are available in the $0 to $100 range for an entire place, and vacation rentals can be booked for as low as $16 per night. These inexpensive rentals must be booked as early as possible and may not be in the most desirable areas. 1-star hotels are more likely to be available, with rooms starting at around $38.

Even cheaper trips are possible depending on where you live and whether you can drive. Check the cheapest times to fly for more saving ideas.

Budget Solo Traveler

The lowest cost for one person to visit South Korea for a week is $882-$2,116 ($126-$302 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $17 to $34 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Lodging : $38 to $45 per night for one 1-star hotel room

or $66 to $95 per night for a 1-bed vacation rental

Budget Couple’s Trip

The lowest cost for a couple to visit South Korea for a week is $1,536-$3,662 ($219-$523 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $34 to $68 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Budget Family Vacation

The lowest cost for 4 people to visit South Korea for a week is $3,078-$7,037 ($440-$1,005 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $68 to $136 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Lodging : $77 to $90 per night for two 1-star hotel rooms

or $98 to $142 per night for a 2-bed vacation rental

Overall it is easy to travel to South Korea cheaply.

The Cost of a Luxury South Korea Trip

There is no true ceiling on the cost of a luxury trip, so our estimates are based on what most people do in South Korea.

Luxury Solo Traveler

The high-end price for one person to visit South Korea for a week is $2,421-$9,507 ($346-$1,358 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $68 to $138 per day for one person’s daily expenses

Flights : $1,333 to $3,303 for first class

Lodging : $102 to $202 per night for one 4 or 5-star hotel room

or $441 to $873 per night for a preferred vacation rental

Luxury Couple’s Trip

The high-end price for a couple to visit South Korea for a week is $4,229-$13,776 ($604-$1,968 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $136 to $276 per day for two people’s daily expenses

Flights : $2,665 to $6,606 for first class

Luxury Family Vacation

The high-end price for 4 people to visit South Korea for a week is $8,452-$24,942 ($1,207-$3,563 per day)

Food, Travel, and Sightseeing : $271 to $552 per day for four people’s daily expenses

Flights : $5,331 to $13,212 for first class

Lodging : $204 to $404 per night for two 4 or 5-star hotel rooms

or $666 to $1,311 per night for a preferred vacation rental

South Korea Hotel Prices

The cost of staying in South Korea is lower than the average city. On average hotels are less expensive than vacation rentals. Luxury vacation rentals are more expensive in South Korea due to very high property costs. The graphs below show how much cost can vary depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

South Korea Lodging Cost by Star Status

The average price for the class of hotel is on the (y) axis. The hotel class (out of 5 stars) is on the (x) axis.

Prices are based on South Korea hotel averages and may not reflect current prices. In some cases, we extrapolate prices to estimate costs, and hotels with your desired star rating may not be available.

Vacation Rental Prices

The percent of vacation rentals in the price range is on the left (y) axis. Price range is on the bottom (x) axis.

There are a healthy amount of vacation rentals serving all budgets in South Korea.

Flight Costs to South Korea

Averaging flights around the world, prices go from a high of $1,513 average in mid December to a low of $953 in early September. Median flight price is $1,051. These prices are based on millions of flights. For South Korea our data includes thousands of originating airports, and hundreds of airlines. The area has average variance in price compared with other locations.

Average Flight Cost by Season

Average flight cost by day of week.

The cheapest day to fly in is typically Wednesday, and the cheapest day to fly back is usually Wednesday. Click here to see data for the cost of flights from your airport. In South Korea, the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive week is about $560, so you can easily save about 59% simply by using our free flight guides and booking in advance.

Daily Expenses Budget

Daily vacation expenses vary more based on what you’re interested in doing. A fine dining restaurant with drinks around South Korea can easily cost $255 per person or more, while a standard nice meal might be about $17 per person. Private tours can cost $510 per day, but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free. Costs vary wildly, so recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we see for this type of vacation.

Other South Korea Guides

Travel costs nearby.

  • Daejeon, South Korea
  • Geumsan, South Korea
  • Boeun, South Korea
  • Cheongju, South Korea
  • Nonsan, South Korea
  • Gongju, South Korea
  • Muju, South Korea
  • Wanju, South Korea
  • Goesan, South Korea
  • Cheonan, South Korea

Travel Costs in Popular Places

  • Gulf State Park, the United States
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Makassar, Indonesia

The Frugal Expat

The Frugal Expat

These 24 Countries Are So Affordable, You’ll Never Want to Travel to Expensive Places Again

Posted: November 19, 2023 | Last updated: December 19, 2023

<p>Finding an excellent place to travel too can be challenging, especially when we look at the prices of flights, accommodations, and food. For many people that enjoy traveling, there cannot be a better way to enjoy travel than visiting some of the cheapest countries in the world. These countries will be easy on your wallet and offer many great adventures to experience and enjoy. </p> <p>So here are the 23 Cheapest Countries to visit while on a budget. </p>

Finding an excellent place to travel too can be challenging, especially when we look at the prices of flights, accommodations, and food. For many people that enjoy traveling, there cannot be a better way to enjoy travel than visiting some of the cheapest countries in the world. These countries will be easy on your wallet and offer many great adventures to experience and enjoy. 

So here are the 23 Cheapest Countries to visit while on a budget. 

credit: depositphotos

1. Thailand

Thailand is known for its beauty, great food like pad thai, and the affordability of visiting there. Many expats go there to retire because money can go a long way there. The street food is cheap, and you can find great accommodations on a budget. Head up north to Chiang Mai and enjoy the relaxed feeling or even go to the islands of Phuket and enjoy scuba diving. There is something for everyone, and it is economical. 

<p>Istanbul is known for being the connection between Europe and Asia. It contains Byzantine architecture, Turkish coffee and food, and the excellent Hagia Sophia. So much culture and history set this city apart from many others. This city should be on everyone's list to see and explore.</p>

Turkey is a massive country with many things to do and see, but many items that people flock to see, like a hot air balloon ride, can cost you lots of money. If you stick with cheap food, affordable accommodations, and good intercity transportation, you can make Turkey a cheap country to visit. With seeing the Blue Mosque of Istanbul and eating the fantastic street food, Turkey is super affordable. 

<p>Albania is an untouched beauty. It has coastlines as beautiful as Greece, but without the price tag. Many people are starting to discover Albania and see how wonderful this Balkan country truly is. It could be the cheapest country to visit in Europe, with affordable rooms and cheap eats. It may be time to book a visit to Albania.</p>

Albania is an untouched beauty. It has coastlines as beautiful as Greece, but without the price tag. Many people are starting to discover Albania and see how wonderful this Balkan country truly is. It could be the cheapest country to visit in Europe, with affordable rooms and cheap eats. It may be time to book a visit to Albania.

<p>Mexico is a country full of adventures, beautiful beaches, and of course, delicious food. Some people may fear the dangers, but do not worry, the people are friendly, and it is very affordable to travel there. Food can cost a few bucks per meal, and accommodations can be a great bargain. Just enjoy a relaxing time down in Mexico.</p>

Mexico is a country full of adventures, beautiful beaches, and of course, delicious food. Some people may fear the dangers, but do not worry, the people are friendly, and it is very affordable to travel there. Food can cost a few bucks per meal, and accommodations can be a great bargain. Just enjoy a relaxing time down in Mexico.

<p>One of the best places in Central America to visit is Guatemala. It is full of lush jungles, incredible Mayan ruins, volcanoes, excellent hospitality, and affordable food. Staying in hostels also makes it cheap, but Guatemala is full of so much and is a great place to visit on a budget. </p>

5. Guatemala

One of the best places in Central America to visit is Guatemala. It is full of lush jungles, incredible Mayan ruins, volcanoes, excellent hospitality, and affordable food. Staying in hostels also makes it cheap, but Guatemala is full of so much and is a great place to visit on a budget. 

<p>One city that many people have been <a href="https://thefrugalexpat.com/things-to-do-in-portugal/">flocking to is Lisbon, Portugal</a>. This Portuguese capital boasts beautiful beaches just 20 minutes away, seven hills, and fantastic food and wine to enjoy as you relax on your vacation. There is so much to see and do in Portugal, but Lisbon should be on your list when visiting Europe. </p>

6. Portugal

Visiting Portugal is becoming an expat thing to do. The reason is that the culture is excellent, the healthcare is terrific, and the country is so affordable to live in and visit. Portugal has many fantastic things to do , and the significant part is that the food and transportation are very cheap. You can visit places like Lisbon and then off to Porto and enjoy the relaxed feeling of living in the southern part of Europe. Portugal is a place that is easy on the wallet with a laid-back feel. 

<p>Vietnam has much to offer to tourists. From the beautiful beaches to the islands of Ha Long Bay, you will find it hard to leave after spending time there. One of the best parts is how affordable everything is. The Pho is excellent and costs just a dollar or two, and then the Vietnamese coffee is so cheap and delicious. You can get away with spending like $35 a day visiting Vietnam. </p>

Vietnam has much to offer to tourists. From the beautiful beaches to the islands of Ha Long Bay, you will find it hard to leave after spending time there. One of the best parts is how affordable everything is. The Pho is excellent and costs just a dollar or two, and then the Vietnamese coffee is so cheap and delicious. You can get away with spending like $35 a day visiting Vietnam. 

<p>If you are looking for a beautiful and affordable place, do not skip Malaysia. It has one of the more developed economies in South East Asia and affordable items everywhere. You can go to Borneo and get certified as a PADI Open Water SCUBA diver for a very cheap. Check out this beautiful place and save your money for the adventures.</p>

8. Malaysia

If you are looking for a beautiful and affordable place, do not skip Malaysia. It has one of the more developed economies in South East Asia and affordable items everywhere. You can go to Borneo and get certified as a PADI Open Water SCUBA diver for a very cheap. Check out this beautiful place and save your money for the adventures.

credit: Depositphotos

9. The Philippines

If you want to see beauty on a budget, you must go to the Philippines. The archipelago is full of beautiful sights, fantastic food, and great hospitality. Transportation from one spot to the next may cost money, so bargain, look for deals, and take an adventure on a motorbike. With the costs of hostels being $7-20 and food can range from $5-15 a day, it is no wonder people flock there for a good vacation. 

<p>Bolivia could be one of the most overlooked countries on this list. It is one of the most affordable countries in South America, having such a contrast of adventure activities that you can handle. You can mountain bike down the deadliest road in the world, see 11,000 square kilometers of salt flats, adventure through the jungles, visit volcanoes, and so much more. The food is so tasty and cheap it will keep you coming for more. Take a trip to this South American country. </p>

10. Bolivia

Bolivia could be one of the most overlooked countries on this list. It is one of the most affordable countries in South America, having such a contrast of adventure activities that you can handle. You can mountain bike down the deadliest road in the world, see 11,000 square kilometers of salt flats, adventure through the jungles, visit volcanoes, and so much more. The food is so tasty and cheap it will keep you coming for more. Take a trip to this South American country. 

Cambodia

11. Cambodia

Cambodia has many beautiful things to see, and it is very cost-effective as well. A whole month in Cambodia could cost you $1000. That means staying in basic hostels, but you can enjoy cheap eats like meat skewers and enjoy little towns as you see some fantastic sights like Angkor Wat. Spend less and see more in Cambodia.

credit: depositphotos

12. Romania

Romania, over the last couple of years, is becoming more popular, and that is due to the affordability of the country. The Medieval towns, Dracula, and so much more make Romania a place where budget travelers flock to enjoy more on less. 

<p>Bosnia is often associated with the war that happened in the 90s. Now Bosnia is offering many travelers an affordable place to visit. Mostar is one of the crown jewels on your travels through Bosnia. It is a Medieval city with an iconic bridge that connected trade routes from Venice to Constantinople. If you are traveling in Southern Europe, like in Croatia or even through the Balkans, stop in on Bosnia. </p>

13. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia is often associated with the war that happened in the 90s. Now Bosnia is offering many travelers an affordable place to visit. Mostar is one of the crown jewels on your travels through Bosnia. It is a Medieval city with an iconic bridge that connected trade routes from Venice to Constantinople. If you are traveling in Southern Europe, like in Croatia or even through the Balkans, stop in on Bosnia. 

<p>Nepal is someplace some travelers need to think about. It is located in the Himalayas and offers many opportunities to hike, have fun adventures, and travel on a budget. The country is full of many options to keep costs down, like street food, local food at restaurants, and visiting some of the local guesthouses. </p>

Nepal is someplace some travelers need to think about. It is located in the Himalayas and offers many opportunities to hike, have fun adventures, and travel on a budget. The country is full of many options to keep costs down, like street food, local food at restaurants, and visiting some of the local guesthouses. 

<p>Indonesia is full of many islands to visit and see, but seeing so many islands, the cost of travel can increase. If you are good with money, it can cost as little as $35 per day. If you want to save money and enjoy your time, pick one region or two and enjoy the affordable food, the fantastic accommodations, and the remarkable life of Indonesia. There is so much to see at such a great price. </p>

15. Indonesia

Indonesia is full of many islands to visit and see, but seeing so many islands, the cost of travel can increase. If you are good with money, it can cost as little as $35 per day. If you want to save money and enjoy your time, pick one region or two and enjoy the affordable food, the fantastic accommodations, and the remarkable life of Indonesia. There is so much to see at such a great price. 

<p>Cuba is like stepping into a time machine back to the 60s. So if you are looking for an affordable country to visit, hop on a plane to Cuba. Do it soon before all the resorts start coming and jacking up prices. Stick to the local run accommodations, and you will save enjoying this country. </p>

Cuba is like stepping into a time machine back to the 60s. So if you are looking for an affordable country to visit, hop on a plane to Cuba. Do it soon before all the resorts start coming and jacking up prices. Stick to the local run accommodations, and you will save enjoying this country. 

<p>The Republic of Georgia is one of the more underrated countries in Europe. Food can be found as low as $3 in a restaurant, and accommodations are excellent and affordable. The great thing is that many people can enter Georgia visa-free for a whole year. Talk about a Nomad's dream. So come check out this underrated beautiful country. </p>

17. The Republic of Georgia

The Republic of Georgia is one of the more underrated countries in Europe. Food can be found as low as $3 in a restaurant, and accommodations are excellent and affordable. The great thing is that many people can enter Georgia visa-free for a whole year. Talk about a Nomad’s dream. So come check out this underrated beautiful country. 

<p>Sri Lanka is a country on many backpackers' lists. It has fantastic food that is dirt cheap. The transportation is affordable; make sure you get a local price on some of the buses. The accommodations can range from $8-20 a day, with food as low as $5. The tickets to safaris and other attractions may cost a bit more, but if you want to travel on a budget, work those in, and you will have fun seeing Elephants, Jaguars, and so many other beautiful things this country. </p>

18. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a country on many backpackers’ lists. It has fantastic food that is dirt cheap. The transportation is affordable; make sure you get a local price on some of the buses. The accommodations can range from $8-20 a day, with food as low as $5. The tickets to safaris and other attractions may cost a bit more, but if you want to travel on a budget, work those in, and you will have fun seeing Elephants, Jaguars, and so many other beautiful things this country. 

<p>Laos may be one of the cheapest countries to visit on this list. It boasts beautiful scenery and inexpensive transportation. It is like a less touristy version of Thailand, and everyone wants to visit Thailand. You can go rent a motorbike and see many places for just a few bucks. Food can range from $3 to $10 daily, and accommodations will not break the bank either. </p>

Laos may be one of the cheapest countries to visit on this list. It boasts beautiful scenery and inexpensive transportation. It is like a less touristy version of Thailand, and everyone wants to visit Thailand. You can go rent a motorbike and see many places for just a few bucks. Food can range from $3 to $10 daily, and accommodations will not break the bank either. 

<p>Being one of the largest economies in Asia, you would think Taiwan would not be on this list. Still, with the efficiency of transportation and food affordability, it makes this list. Food can range from $2-$3 for an excellent affordable meal, and transportation via bus or train can range from $5-10 between the different cities. There is much to see from mountains, beaches, islands, and the landscape. You must take advantage of this <a href="https://thefrugalexpat.com/frugal-vs-cheap/" rel="noopener">frugal</a> destination. </p>

Being one of the largest economies in Asia, you would think Taiwan would not be on this list. Still, with the efficiency of transportation and food affordability, it makes this list. Food can range from $2-$3 for an excellent affordable meal, and transportation via bus or train can range from $5-10 between the different cities. There is much to see from mountains, beaches, islands, and the landscape. You must take advantage of this frugal destination. 

bucket list ideas

India is by far one of the cheapest countries on this list. With dirt-cheap street food, affordable accommodations, and beautiful beaches down south, there are many places to visit and discover. Be aware of the Delhi Belly from street food( food poisoning), and realize that the cheapest rooms are very basic. Besides those things, India is a great place to visit on a budget. 

<p>One of the best-looking cities in all of Europe has to be Prague. With the architecture and being able to walk the whole city, you will find loads to see and do, like the Lennon Wall, The Charles Bridge, and of course<a href="https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/prague-castle" rel="noopener"> the Prague Castle</a>. Remember that the beer is cheap and good. Prague is one city you want to put on your European must-see list. </p>

22. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic was once one of the cheapest countries to visit in Europe, but it has slowly become a bit pricier over the years. It is still cheap and affordable, but as tourists flock to cities like Prague, prices have risen. Beer is still cheaper than water, and most of the accommodation and transportation is affordable. So if you are looking for a place with cheap beer, hearty food, and a great time check out the Czech Republic.

credit: depositphotos

24. Estonia

Visiting some of the Baltic States is a must-do if you are looking for more budget-friendly travel. Estonia is a great place to stop for those nature lovers. You can enjoy hiking, biking, and exploring the little small towns of Estonia. The great thing is that transportation and food are very affordable. So enjoy this Baltic state on a budget. 

<p>The Netherlands is renowned for its exceptionally pedestrian-friendly cities, with Amsterdam being a prime example. The country’s urban areas are characterized by compact city blocks and speed limits that prioritize pedestrian safety. Amsterdam’s city center is particularly walkable, housing many of the city’s key attractions within a short distance. This setup encourages walking and enhances the overall experience of exploring the city. </p><p>Major attractions like Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Van Gogh Museum, and Burger’s Zoo are easily accessible, offering a blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Dutch cities’ pedestrian-friendly nature, rich history, and vibrant street life make the Netherlands a top destination for those who prefer to explore on foot.</p>

Top 11 Pedestrian-Friendly Countries Where You Can Get Around Best Without a Car

Pedestrian-friendly countries offer a unique blend of accessibility, safety, and cultural richness, making them ideal destinations for those seeking to explore without needing a car. These countries prioritize walkable urban designs, extensive public transportation networks, and vibrant street life. Their cities are often characterized by well-maintained sidewalks, ample crosswalks, and a general respect for pedestrian rights, enhancing the experience of walking as not just a mode of transport but a pleasurable activity. 

<p>Everyone makes mistakes while traveling, no matter whether they’re a newbie or a seasoned traveler. But some travel mishaps are more cringe-worthy than others. Travel lovers on an online forum share their stories of dumb mistakes they made while abroad.</p><p><a href="https://thefrugalexpat.com/tourists-dumbest-mistakes/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Tourists’ Dumbest Mistakes: 10 Hilariously Cringe-Worthy Confessions</a></p>

Tourists’ Dumbest Mistakes: 10 Hilariously Cringe-Worthy Confessions

Everyone makes mistakes while traveling, no matter whether they’re a newbie or a seasoned traveler. But some travel mishaps are more cringe-worthy than others. Travel lovers on an online forum share their stories of dumb mistakes they made while abroad.

<p>Snuggled in Central Europe is Budapest, Hungary. It is this old city with a fantastic riverside. It has incredible architecture, culture, and excellent food to go along with it. Make sure you are there in August to stay for the national day on August 20th, when all the celebrations and Hungarians come out to eat, drink and have a good time. </p>

These 16 European Cities Will Make You Question Why You Ever Spent So Much on Travel

Traveling to Europe is usually more expensive for frugal travelers. The cities have higher costs than those countries in South East Asia in which you can live on pennies. Europe does have a variety of affordable cities to visit. Here are the 16 cheapest cities in Europe to visit for frugal travelers.

The 16 Cheapest Cities in Europe to Visit for Frugal Travelers!

<p>People often try to save money as they travel when looking for places to visit. That means they can travel longer and have their money go farther in lower-cost destinations. Asia has many different sites and locations that offer affordable travel opportunities. </p><p><a href="https://thefrugalexpat.com/budget-friendly-countries-in-asia/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Discover the Top 11 Budget-Friendly Countries in Asia for Frugal Travelers!</a></p>

Discover the Top 11 Budget-Friendly Countries in Asia for Frugal Travelers!

People often try to save money as they travel when looking for places to visit. That means they can travel longer and have their money go farther in lower-cost destinations. Asia has many different sites and locations that offer affordable travel opportunities. 

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Korea Travel Budget – How Much Does It Cost To Visit Korea? [2024]

My Korean Addiction

Want to travel to Korea but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you! For this post, we’ll be detailing everything you need to know about how to budget your Korea trip. Whether you’re a budget or a luxury kind of traveler, you’ll definitely learn something new from us today.

Like every other country in the world, travel in Korea has changed a lot post-pandemic. Prices have definitely shifted and things that were accessible before have been altered quite a bit now. That’s why we’ll be giving you an updated guide to make sure your Korea travel budget is as accurate as possible!

Cost Of Accommodation In South Korea

Guest houses.

One way to cut down costs is to choose a cheaper kind of accommodation. Take note, “cheap” doesn’t necessarily mean bad! There are plenty of clean and comfortable guest houses in Korea that you can choose from. Known locally as “yeogwan,” guest houses are typically older and a little less polished than their hotel siblings.

These affordable guest houses can be found near bus and train stations in Seoul which makes them super convenient for travelers. Accommodation usually comes in the form of double rooms with en-suite bathrooms. A double room costs around ₩20,000-₩35,000 (~$15-$26) a night. For such an affordable price, you can already have a good place to sleep!

Guest houses are perfect for those who want to maximize their travel experiences and do not care much about their accommodation since they’ll be out the whole day anyway. Besides, staying in a guest house is also a great way to get more in touch with the local culture!

Book Hostels In Seoul Here >>

If you have a bit more of a budget, then hotels are the way to go. Mind you, you do not have to break the bank just to stay at a hotel! There are plenty of affordable and reasonably priced hotels in South Korea. In addition to having quaint clean rooms that are definitely more spacious than guest houses and having private bathrooms, most even offer free Wi-Fi!

Private rooms in well-rated hotels cost around ₩40,000 (~$30) for a one-night stay. If you’re looking to splurge a little, you can also go for more luxurious four-star hotels that will definitely make your travel experience unique and comfortable! These cost around ₩200,000-₩265,000 ($150-$200) a night.

You May Also Like : The Coolest Hotels in Seoul

Now if you really want a true cultural experience to be part of your travel, then staying at a hanok might just be for you! A hanok is a traditional Korean house with beautiful architecture that will surely make your stay a unique one. These hanok stays offer a tranquil environment with wooden frames, sliding doors, and a unique underfloor heating system called ondol.

Many hanok stays also include fun traditional activities like tea ceremonies and kimchi-making for the guests. While there are hanok villages in Seoul, most hanok are located in Jeonju. Jeonju hanok can go as low as ₩32,000 (~$24) per night.

If you want to stay in a Hanok in Korea, make sure to read the following articles:

  • Best Hanok Stays In Seoul
  • Best Hanok Stays In Gyeongju
  • Best Hanok Stays In Jeonju

Cost Of Transportation In South Korea

Another important thing to keep in mind while traveling is the cost of public transportation! South Korea has a super streamlined public transport system that will definitely make your travel hassle-free. You just need to know how it works.

From buses to lightning-fast trains and subways, using public transport to get around Korea–especially Seoul–is super convenient. If you’re planning on traveling around the city, then we definitely suggest getting a T-Money Card. A T-Money Card is definitely a travel must-have as it will serve as your ticket to all the buses, subways, taxis, and even vending machines all over the country. You can buy it at the airport and load it there so you can use it when you travel.

For navigating Seoul and other places, we definitely recommend going by train or subway. Aside from being much faster than buses and taxis, they’re also a lot cheaper. Korea has a very efficient subway system that can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go.

The cost of tickets is based on the distance traveled, with children paying ₩450 (~$0.40) for the base fare while adult tickets cost around ₩1350 (~$1) .

For the cost of train between cities, here is how KTX train tickets usually cost:

  • Seoul to Busan: ₩105,000 (~$79)
  • Seoul to Gangwon: ₩27,600 (~$21)
  • Seoul to Gyeongju: ₩64,000 (~$48)
  • Seoul to Jeonju: ₩56,000 (~$42)
  • Seoul to Pyeongchang: ₩33,000 (~$25)

To save money while you visit Korea with unlimited KTX train rides, you can also get the Korea Rail Pass !

Cost Of Food In South Korea

We’re sure many of you would agree that food is one of–if not  the– best parts about traveling. Not only is eating while traveling a necessity but it also gives you unique insights into the local people and culture–all in a super delicious way! Korean cuisine has gone global over the past few years. Korean BBQ is a staple in almost all major cities around the world, as well as favorites like gimbap, tteokbeokki, and of course, kimchi.

But of course, nothing beats the original. If you’re in Korea and looking to try some local dishes, a meal would generally cost around ₩10,000-₩15,000 (~$7-$11) at a Korean restaurant. If you want a true taste of the local cuisine, then you shouldn’t just eat at restaurants. You should also explore all the bright street food stalls you can find all over the country! These range around ₩3,000-₩7,000 (~$2-$5) .

You May Also Like : The Weirdest Korean Foods We Dare You To Try

Cost Of Drinking In South Korea

Another fun part about traveling is getting a taste of all the unique liquors and alcohols each country has! Korea has an incredibly rich drinking culture. You would often find plenty of college students, office workers, and even middle-aged people having a drink no matter the time of the day. Drinks are best paired with fun stories and even karaoke, another popular pastime in Korea.

Beer and soju are probably the most popular drinks in Korea, as well as their combined cocktail called “somaek” which comes from the words “soju” and “maekju,” the Korean word for “beer.” These drinks are available everywhere, in almost every convenience store and restaurant, and they cost around ₩4,000 (~$3) for a bottle. Another alcohol you must try is makgeolli, a sparkling rice wine that tastes milky sweet with a bit of a tang. An entire 750 ml bottle of makgeolli also costs around ₩4,000 (~$3) .

Read More : Most Popular Korean Alcoholic Drinks You Should Try

Cost Of Activities In South Korea (entrance fees, paid tours…)

Sightseeing is the way to go when you travel to Korea. Even just in Seoul, there’s a  huge variety of places you just have to check out. From historic temples and palaces to beautiful natural gardens and mountainscapes, Seoul has it all. While some places  do charge an entrance fee, some are also free so we suggest that you be strategic when planning out your daily sightseeing trips.

Read More : Top 15 Hidden Gems in Seoul You Have To Visit

It’s ultimately up to you which places you want to go to, but we  do have some recommendations that we think you have to visit when you go to Korea. One of those is the royal palaces! These gorgeous pieces of ancient architecture are perfect for learning more about the history and culture of Korea, as well as for taking incredible pictures!

For just ₩10,000 (~$7) , you can get a combo ticket that will give you access to Gyeongbokgung, Chandeokgung (plus its secret garden!), Deoksugung, Changgeyonggung, and Jongmo Shrine.

In general, entrance fees to other places like museums and parks cost around ₩3,000-₩20,000 (~$2-$15) . A good way to enjoy free sightseeing is to visit temples! Temples in general do not charge entrance fees or if they do, they charge very little. We definitely recommend visiting the Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple, and Bongwonsa Temple right here in Seoul.

To find good deals, it’s better sometimes to book your tickets in advance. Check out for example what kind of experiences Klook have in South Korea .

Any Other Travel Expenses

Another travel must-have is definitely an eSIM. We all know how complicated it can get to set up a new SIM and number when you travel abroad, but eSIMs make the entire process so much more convenient. Basically, with eSIMs, you can buy a SIM card online before you even go to your travel destination.

Once you get to Korea, you can easily switch your phone on and be online–as easy as that. The Wi-Fi signal in Korea is known to be super fast, so you won’t have a lot of trouble when it comes to that department. Usually, travelers spend about ₩20,000 (~$15) for 5 GB of data which can last for an entire month!

Here are some interesting offers for:

  • SIM Card In Korea
  • Pocket Wifi In Korea

Another important thing when we travel is insurance. While we hope nothing bad happens during our travels, we also have to be prepared for any emergencies, and travel insurance helps us as a safety net in these kinds of situations. A good and reliable travel insurance is SafetyWing, which costs $1.50 a day.

Total Daily Budget For Each Type Of Traveler

Budget traveler / backpacker.

For budget travelers, the priority is not on comfort but on maximizing the travel experience. The lowest cost for a person to visit Korea for a week is around $760 or about a million Won. This includes economy flight tickets that can cost around $535 , with the cheapest guest house lodging that can go for around $15 per night, and daily expenses which can go as low as $17 a day if you’re thrifty!

Average Traveler

For those with a little more budget to spare, the average cost to visit Korea for one week would be around $980 or around ₩1,300,000 . This already includes economy flight tickets which cost around $535 , as well as the daily cost of food, travel, and sightseeing which could go as low as $34 a day if you’re strategic. This cost also includes lodging which goes around $30 for a decent hotel room.

Luxury Traveler

Now, luxury traveling is a whole different story! This is for those who really have the budget to spare for travel and comfort. The high-end price for a one-week visit to Korea would be around $2,500 or around ₩3,300,000 . This includes business class tickets which cost around $1,333 , as well as daily expenses that can go about $68 per day which includes food, transportation, and sightseeing. Lodging at a well-rated hotel would cost around $100 a night.

We hope you liked our guide to your Korea travel budget! What kind of traveler are you: the budget kind, the average kind, or the luxury kind? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Traveling is everyone’s dream, and it’s a lot less hassle when you have a thoroughly planned budget for the trip. Ultimately, each traveler will have a unique experience and it’s best to budget according to what you want to prioritize during your travel. Nevertheless, we hope we’ve helped you in getting an idea of how much money you would need to spend once you get to Korea!

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Best (and Worst) Times to Visit South Korea in 2024/2025

Best (and Worst) Times to Visit South Korea in 2024/2025

South Korea experiences four distinct seasons. Generally, the best times to visit South Korea are in spring (March to May) for the cherry blossoms and autumn (September to November) for the fall foliage . Both periods have mild temperatures with an average range of around 10–16°C (50–61°F), with more clear days than summer/winter.

The best time for you to visit South Korea could be different however, depending on what you want to see and your travel preferences. Read our article to find out the best times to visit South Korea based on different factors.

  • 1.South Korea Weather and Climate
  • 2. The Worst Times to Visit South Korea
  • 3. Best Times for Pleasant Weather and Fewer Crowds
  • 4. The Cheapest Time to Visit South Korea
  • 5. South Korea Travel Guide by Month

South Korea Weather and Climate

South Korea has four distinct seasons:

Spring (March to May): Being one of the best times to visit South Korea, the average temperature ranges from 8–16°C (46–61°F) , providing pleasant weather to enjoy the cherry blossoms and outdoor activities.

Summer (June to August): The sweltering conditions may make it uncomfortable for you to explore sightseeing spots during summer in South Korea. The average daily high during this season is 30°C (86°F) and there is frequent rainfall due to the rainy season. June is a better time to travel compared to July and August as it's cooler and has fewer crowds, with an average daily temperature range of 18–27°C (64–81°F).

Autumn (September to November): This is another one of the best times to visit South Korea. Cooler temperatures and decreased rainfall are the main features of this season. The average night-day temperature range is from 10 to 18°C (50–64°F). Many locals choose to go hiking during fall.

Winter (December to February): It is the coldest and driest time of the year, with temperatures ranging from 3 to 5°C (37–41°F) on a typical day. We don't usually advise visiting South Korea during this period because it is too cold for comfort. However, if you are going for skiing or snowboarding activities, it's a different story. A Japanese skiing/ winter experience is even better though.

Suggested reading: How to Plan a Trip to South Korea >>>

The Worst Times to Visit South Korea

The summer months (July to August) in South Korea are the worst time to visit. High temperatures usually reach up 35°C (95°F) on the hottest days, and two-thirds of the annual rainfall occurs during this season, making heavy rainfall common. Therefore, you're recommended to avoid this period if you have a flexible schedule.

The second worst time to visit South Korea is in winter , from December to February. January is the coldest month of the year, with temperatures in Seoul sometimes dropping below -10°C (14°F) and occasionally falling below -15°C (5°F).

Suggested reading: Plan a Family Trip to South Korea >>>

Best Times for Pleasant Weather and Fewer Crowds

Late April to May has mild weather in South Korea , with average daily temperatures ranging from 13 to 23°C (55–73°F), and there are more sunny days before the rainy season arrives. The crowds of people viewing the cherry blossoms have disappeared and the summer vacation has not yet started, making it a perfect time to do outdoor activities and go sightseeing.

June is the start of summer and the rainy season in South Korea. The night-day temperature range is about 18–27°C (64–81°F) and rainfall typically consists of steady drizzles, but it doesn't rain every day.

September marks the tail end of the summer crowds and the rainy season. The weather tends to be drier and cooler, with an average daily temperature range of 17–26°C (63–79°F). More crowds arrive in October and November for the colorful autumn scenery. South Korea usually has a 3-day holiday in September for the important Chuseok (Mid-Autumn) festival and some stores may close or open late. Chuseok would not affect your trip and could be a chance to see more of Korea's culture.

Suggested reading: Plan a 2-Week Itinerary in Japan and South Korea >>>

The Cheapest Time to Visit South Korea

Winter (December to February) is the cheapest time to visit South Korea, except during Christmas and New Year (usually from December 23rd to January 5th). Not only could you benefit from lower hotel prices and better deals on international flights, but also you would see fewer crowds. However, be prepared for the chilly weather!

South Korea Travel Guide by Month

January and february: cold and dry.

  • Average temperature: -4–5°C (25–41°F)
  • Average rainfall: 23 mm (1 in)

January and February in South Korea have the coldest and driest weather of the year, with temperatures dropping as low as -10°C (14°F). It's quite cold and it may not be an ideal time for you to visit the country.

Festivals and events: Seollal, Korean Lunar New Year, is the most important festival in South Korea. During this time, you could immerse yourself in Korean culture at a temple fair to experience traditional Korean performances, sample local cuisines, and pray for the coming year.

March to April: Best Time for Cherry Blossoms

  • Average temperature: 5–14°C (41–57°F)
  • Average rainfall: 56 mm (2 in)

The cherry blossom season, from March to April, is one of the best times to visit South Korea due to the pleasant weather and increased number of sunny days. The cherry blossoms are usually in full bloom from late March to early April.

Festivals and events: Cherry blossom festivals are held in many cities in South Korea to view the charming pink blossoms, and it's the most popular event in spring.

May: Warm with Clearer Days

  • Average temperature: 13–23°C (55–73°F)
  • Average rainfall: 106 mm (4 in)

May offers an excellent opportunity for travel in South Korea due to its pleasant climate and sunny days. It's a perfect time to travel, particularly if you have a flexible schedule , as the rainy season and summer vacation crowds have yet to arrive.

June: Coolest Summer Month

  • Average temperature: 18–27°C (64–81°F)
  • Average rainfall: 133 mm (5 in)

June marks the beginning of summer in South Korea and is considered to be the coolest month to travel during the summer season. However, it is also the start of the rainy season, which typically means a steady drizzle rather than downpours.

June is a better month for families with school-age children (if you can get time off school) compared to July and August because you could enjoy fewer crowds and lower costs.

Festivals and events: South Korea celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival. As well as seeing dragon boat races, you could also eat aizi cake (wormwood rice dumplings) and appreciate captivating traditional performances.

July to August: Hot and Humid

  • Average temperature: 22–31°C (72–88°F)
  • Average rainfall: 380 mm (15 in)

July and August are the hottest months of the year, and the rainfall is very high and sometimes stormy. However, it does not rain every day. High temperatures could exceed 35°C (95°F), creating an uncomfortable feeling of heat and humidity while doing outdoor sightseeing on some days. There are also the summer vacation crowds. If you are flexible with when you can go, it is suggested that you avoid this period.

September: End of the Rainy Season with Fewer Crowds

  • Average temperature: 17–26°C (63–79°F)
  • Average rainfall: 169 mm (7 in)

The weather becomes cooler and drier in September. You could expect fewer crowds and cheaper costs when traveling to South Korea during this month.

Festivals and events: The Chuseok festival is another important festival in South Korea where you could appreciate the full moon and enjoy traditional performances, immersing yourself in the festive atmosphere.

October to November: Best Time for Autumn Foliage

  • Average temperature: 7–16°C (45–61°F)
  • Average rainfall: 52 mm (2 in)

October to November is one of the peak times to travel to South Korea due to the comfortable weather and sunny days. The whole country explodes with colors and you could enjoy the stunning red and yellow fall foliage scenery.

December: Celebrating Christmas

  • Average temperature: -3–4°C (27–39°F)
  • Average rainfall: 22 mm (1 in)

December is cold and dry in South Korea. Although it's not quite as cold as January, it's too cold for travel without being encumbered by lots of warm clothing. If you want to celebrate Christmas with your family in South Korea, remember to book your Christmas feast in advance.

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We had a great 4,5 days tour in Guilin with Vincent! Vincent has a lot of information about the history and culture of the area, he is always attentive to the details, proposes items originally not included in the tour but which might be of interest (like the show in Yangshuo, hiking routes, going to RUYI peak, tea party, etc.), considers individual diet requirements. In addition, Vincent's English is advanced and professional.

Our trip to Zhangjiajie was fantastic. We had Terry as our tour guide for a few days and we loved all the experiences. He is a very capable guide and knows a lot about history. We needed him to translate many things in the city and he was very patient with us. He speaks very good English and is punctual. He took many pictures to us

We did a visit to Yangshuo with China Highlights. We really enjoy our visit, our guide, Gary Wei was so friendly and kind. Very good company on the River Li Cruise and on our visit to Guilin and Yangshuo. We did a very fun bike ride to the country side, visit the West Street and to the wonderful show. We really recommend all of this!

Excellent first trip to Lijiang. Our guide Alice was very kind and patient and also very accommodating with last minute changes and itinerary change given one of the places we were supposed to go to was shut for maintenance work. She explained everything to us and also answered our many many random questions!

We reserved a 4-days trip with China Highlights for Guilin and Yangshuo. We normally travel only relying on our own, but this time we decided to apply to a local agency.

We visited Longji rice terraces, Li River cruise, Yangshuo impressions show and Yangshuo county ebike tour, spending 2 nights in Guilin and one in Yangshuo. Our guide Tony did a great job for our Guilin and Yangshuo tour, we would recommend this company.

As compared to another guide I had back in 2019 for Huangshan with another agency, Jack’s services were exemplary. He was patient and flexible to accommodate to our requests. Very knowledgeable, responsible and responsive. Throughout the trip he was always telling us the best angles and spots for nice pictures. Most importantly, he speaks English, hence we are able to communicate comfortably with a mix of Chinese and English.

We reserved a 4-days trip with China Highlights for Guilin and Yangshuo. We normally travel only relying on our own, but this time we decided to apply to a local agency. It may sound pretty expensive, but we valued every moment.

We had Kenny as our guide for Suzhou and she was amazing! We were all very impressed with her attentive service, professionalism and knowledge of the tourist spots and also China in general.She was definitely one of our highlights of our trip!

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Top 10 Insanely Cheapest Places To Travel In South Korea Today

Sally Polly

South Korea , the enigmatic, unique kingdom, beckons every tourist and traveller to explore its many wonders. When it comes to locations to visit in South Korea, you'll be spoiled for choice, since the country has an incredible selection of undiscovered natural wonders and urban delights.

An interesting fact about South Korea is that most people only know about the capital city, Seoul, and believe it is the only destination worth visiting in the country. That, however, is not the case. Here are some of the most incredible sites in South Korea that you can visit and explore on a budget.

How to travel around South Korea on a budget

1. Hop on the KTX Express for all your inter-province travels

When travelling via the KTX, foreigners can get the Korail Pass: A discounted pass that lets you travel around unlimitedly for a certain number of days! For instance, you can travel to Seoul, Jeonju, and Busan in a span of ten days without having to burn a hole in your pocket.

The best part? It’s a convenient and reliable transport service that you can hop back on if you wish to continue on your journey.

2. Get a T-Money card for transportation (and more)

Get a T-Money card to cut the cost of your subway, bus, and cab rides if you're traveling in Korea on a tight budget.

In other words, using your T-Money card will result in much lower fares than purchasing single-trip tickets. Transfers from the subway to the bus might also be cost-free, depending on the bus's color code and the distance traveled. The most important benefit of carrying a T-Money card is that it eliminates the need to wait in line for single-journey tickets or look for change when taking the bus. T-Money is accepted in many local governments, including those in Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daejeon, and Daegu.

3. Skip the hotels and stay at a hostel instead

There are many unique and cozy hostels in South Korea. Although these hostels typically don't offer breakfast buffets, you can still expect all the essentials like cereal, bread, and eggs, as well as coffee, tea, and juice.

Anyway, with so many cafes lining the streets of Korea, it won't take you long to find a delicious place to start your day at!

4. Exchange work for free accommodation

Snatching up a free deal perfectly describes cheap travel in South Korea! Therefore, why not work for a free room if you plan to stay in Korea for a few weeks or a month? The fact that most hostels only ask you to work for at least three hours per day in exchange for free lodging and meals is undoubtedly the best part.

Additionally, you have the option of WWOOFing, which entails working on an organic farm in return for food and lodging.

5. Join a free guided tour

Yes, you read that right. Group tours don't actually cost a lot of money.

For instance, guided tours are offered at historical and cultural sites without costing anything. It's also a great way to meet other travelers and discover the city's undiscovered attractions that aren't typically covered in guidebooks.

6. Prioritise tourist spots with no admission fee

The easiest way to budget travel in Korea is by heading to tourist spots that are free of charge! Our favourites in the provinces around the country are:

Seoul‘s Bukchon Hanok Village, Han River, Ihwa Mural Village, Cheonggyecheon Stream, and Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Busan‘s Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach, and Gamcheon Culture Village

Jeonju‘s Hanok Village Omokdae, Deokjin Park, and Hanbyeokdang Pavilion

Incheon‘s Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village, Wolmido, and Freedom Park

Reasons to visit South Korea

History and Culture

South Korea, which is rich in traditional culture, is proud of its past and heritage. Learn all about the nation's imperial past at one of the 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in cities like Seoul, Gyeonggi, and Jeju. These sites include temples, palaces, and fortresses. Haeinsa Temple, Jongmyo Shrine, and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty should be on your list of places to see.

Similar to Indians, South Koreans place a lot of importance on food in their daily lives, and for good reason! Korean cuisine is superbly delicious. For the most part, regional dishes like kimchi, gimbap, and japchae are made with rice, vegetables, and meats. In South Korea, eating on the go is very common, and you can try freshly prepared vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes at stalls dotted around the country.

Caffeine Culture

Coffee is very popular in South Korea. The nation's café culture is flourishing, with a large number of establishments, including both national and international branded chains, providing a hot cup of brew whenever you'd like. The cafés are great places for people of all ages to gather for more than just coffee. A lot of South Koreans set up their virtual offices and work there in addition to socializing there.

Cosmetic Blitz

Worldwide distribution of Korean cosmetics is now complete. The pursuit of flawless porcelain skin and the "it" look has no bounds when popular K-pop bands are setting the standards for beauty. Treating yourself to a skin or hair treatment while visiting South Korea will make you feel and look younger. Who knows? While traveling, you might just discover the fountain of youth!

Buying Binge

South Korea is the best place in the world to indulge in retail therapy, the ultimate sport. You'll be spoiled for choice at the malls and markets in Seoul, in particular. For skincare products, visit Myeongdong. For trendy clothing and accessories, visit Ewha Woman's University Shopping Street. For products that are "made in Korea," visit Common Ground. For Korean crafts, visit Insadong Street. Expect to simultaneously feel overwhelmed and awed by the abundance of options.

What are the cheapest places to visit in South Korea?

1. ujeongbu.

Due to its proximity to Seoul to the north, Uijeongbu is easily accessible by bus or subway.

North of the Korean capital Seoul, Uijeongbu commands a natural choke point across the primary traditional invasion route from the North into Seoul. It is located inside a defile with mountains on two sides. As a result, it retains military importance and is home to Korean and American bases that are positioned to defend the Korean capital. The U.S. Second Infantry Division has set up camp in Uijeongbu, with the majority of its soldiers coming from Dongducheon city.

Despite being known for its military presence, the region has developed into a satellite neighborhood of Seoul, complete with stores, theaters, restaurants, bars, PC bangs, and DVD bangs. It is well-liked by English hagwon (a for-profit private institute, academy, or cram school), in addition to American service members. Many mountains exist, including Mt. Dobong (Dobongsan), Mt. Surak, and Mt. Soyo. Residents of the Seoul Metropolitan area frequently visit the mountains, which are well-liked hiking destinations.

Additionally, this city is well-known for its hot dog and SPAM-based budae-jjigae (also known as "army base stew"). Many people wanted the dish to be called Uijeongbu jjigae in the late 20th century to get rid of the military or wartime associations it had. But not many restaurants adhered to this rule. Some eateries have started referring to their food as Uijeongbu budae jjigae. A street with a high concentration of eateries serving army base stew is known by the locals as "buddaejjigae street" and is located in the city.

A 7-day trip to Uijeongbu costs, on average, $1,600 for a single traveler, $2,874 for a couple, and $5,387 for a family of four. Hotels in Uijeongbu cost between $40 and $184 per night, on average $54, while most vacation homes cost between $80 and $420 per night. Gimpo International Airport (GMP) average international flight costs range from $1,307 to $1,841 per person for economy class travel and from $4,101 to $5,777 for first class. Depending on the day's activities, we advise setting aside $34 to $52 per person per day for travel and dining at nearby establishments.

How affordable is a trip to Uijeongbu? For travelers prepared to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs, the least expensive trip to Uijeongbu costs about $132 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be reserved for as little as $20 per night, or about 8% of total rentals are available for between $0 and $100. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $33.

South Korea's Gyeonggi Province contains the city of Paju. Paju was previously a county but became a city in 1997.

The city of Paju, which is situated on the 38th parallel just south of Panmunjeom, has a total area of 672.78 km2 (259.76 sq mi). Paju had a population of over 427,000 in 2015. Numerous bases of the South Korean and American armies have been established nearby to defend Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The northernmost train station in South Korea, Dorasan, opened its doors in 2002. From Mount Dora in the city, one can see Kaesong City and North Korean territory.

Paju City has low-type geographic characteristics to the east and west. Eastern Paju is home to a number of mountains that come together to form the border with Yangzhou. Mountains in Paju's northern region define its border with Goyang. Additionally, some lower mountains extend southward from central Paju. Imjin River and Han River are Paju's two main rivers. Han River flows in the western region south of Paju, while Imjin River flows between the northern west and west. Paju experiences an average annual temperature of 10.5 °C, with an average low of -4 °C in January and an average high of 25 °C in August. Finally, Paju receives about 1,300mm of precipitation each year.

Attractions for travelers

Heyri Art Valley is the biggest art community in South Korea, and it draws tourists because of its diverse artistic styles and emphasis on Korean culture. The neighborhood has artist-designed residences, studios, galleries, museums, and performance venues. Its name, Heyri, comes from a Paju farming song and it was planned since 1998. When making their plans, architects tried to incorporate the valley's valley view. Every age group can enjoy the art performances held in the valley. Every weekend, tourists flock to the region because of the alluring theme, and in the spring and fall, when the valley hosts an art festival, more tourists come.

Jangdan bean: One of Paju's well-known traditional specialties is jangdan bean. Because of the suitability of the land and environment for agriculture, crops have been significant for the livelihood of the Korean people for a very long time. As a result, two important crops—rice and beans—have evolved over time. One of these crops that has been harvested in Paju is the jangdan bean. Before the Korean War, there was a village in Paju with the same name as Jangdan. Because the former village was so well known for these beans, even though the village has since disappeared, people still refer to the bean as the Jangdan bean. Jangdan beans are now primarily found in Panmunjom, a border town between South Korea and North Korea.

A 7-day vacation to Paju costs, on average, $1,797 for a single traveler, $3,227 for a couple, and $6,050 for a family of four. Paju hotels have nightly rates that range from $32 to $209, with an average of $72, while the majority of vacation homes cost $60 to $660 per night for the whole house. Gimpo International Airport (GMP) average international flight costs range from $1,307 to $1,841 per person for economy class travel and from $4,101 to $5,777 for first class. We advise setting aside between $36 and $80 per person per day, depending on the activities, for dining out at nearby restaurants.

When to Travel Cheaply to Paju, Korea

The cheapest times, on average, to travel to GMP and stay in a Paju hotel are as follows:

8 January to 18 March

20 August to 9 December

In general, late October to early November are the most affordable times to travel to Paju.

How affordable can you make a trip to Paju? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Paju for about $134 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $20 per night, which represents about 9% of all available rentals in the $0 to $100 range. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $28.

South Korea's South Chungcheong Province contains the city of Nonsan. The coordinates are 36°12′N 127°5′E. According to legend, the small garden "Nolmoe," which rises amidst agricultural land and is said to reflect geographical features such as mountains and rice paddies, is where Nonsan's place names originated. The metropolitan area of Daejeon includes the city.

Nonsan has had a long history.[2] Nonsan is thought to have been a part of Mahan territory during the Samhan era. The district belonged to Hwangdeungyasan-gun during the Baekje era. It is believed that Nonsan was the general location of the pivotal conflict in which Silla defeated Baekje. Nonsan was later divided into the towns of Deogeun and Hwangsan during the Silla period.

The rail line through the Nonsan plain was finished in 1911, the same year the train station was constructed.

In 1914, the four counties of Yeonsan-gun, Eunjin-gun, Noseong-gun, and Seoksung-gun were merged to form the current city of Nonsan.

The United States and South Korea established a POW camp during the Korean War. Thousands of POWs fled their prison camps on June 18, 1953, in order to avoid being sent back to North Korea, at the Nonsan camp as well as at the POW camps in Busan, Masan, and Kwangju.

A 7-day trip to Nonsan costs, on average, $892 for a single traveler, $1,602 for a couple, and $3,003 for a family of four. While most vacation rentals cost between $100 and $520 per night for the entire home, Nonsan hotels range from $50 to $230 per night with an average rate of $85. The average price of a flight from anywhere in the world to Kunsan AB Airport (KUV) is between $212 and $231 per person for first class, and $665 to $725 for economy. Depending on the day's activities, we advise setting aside $35 to $69 per person per day for travel and dining out.

How affordable can you make a trip to Nonsan? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Nonsan for about $85 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be reserved for as little as $100 per night, or about 2% of total rentals are available in the range of $0 to $100. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $42.

4. Changwon

Gyeongsangnam-do's capital is Changwon, which is located on South Korea's southeast coast. As of 2015, Changwon had a population of 1.07 million, making it the ninth-most populous city in South Korea.

Masan Bay to the south and the cities of Busan and Gimhae to the east encircle Changwon, a port city. To the northeast is the city of Miryang, and to the west is Jinju.

The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and throughout history, its urban areas have undergone numerous renaming and reorganization processes. The three historically interdependent cities of Masan, Jinhae, and Changwon started to experience significant economic development in 1974 with the establishment of the Changwon National Industrial Complex, becoming a significant industrial hub. The current city of Changwon was created on July 1st, 2010, through the merger of Changwon, Jinhae, and Masan.

Changwon, the first planned city in Korea, was based on Canberra, Australia, and uses open urban planning techniques, such as numerous parks and distinct residential and industrial areas. The municipality of the city has positioned itself as a "environmental capital" by actively participating in climate change conferences and committing to the creation of sustainable policies like the widely known Nubija bike-sharing program.

Being a planned city, Changwon was constructed to have more greenery than many other Korean cities, including dozens of parks, gardens, trails, and plazas. Numerous beaches can be found in the city because of its coastal location.

A few well-known parks in Changwon are the ecological reserve Jinhae Dream Park, the reservoir and bird sanctuary Junamjeosuji, the hanok village and educational facility House of Changwon, and the Changwon Marine Park on Dotseom Island.

The Changwon Exhibition Convention Centre (CECO) is located in Changwon.

Gyeongsannam-do's capital and largest city, Changwon, is a hub for media production in the region. It is also the location of the Kyongnam Shinmun newspaper and television and radio station Changwon KBS, which annually hosts the K-Pop World Festival.

A 7-day trip to Changwon costs, on average, $1,328 for a single traveler, $2,385 for a couple, and $4,471 for a family of four. While most vacation rentals in Changwon cost between $120 and $420 per night for the entire home, Changwon hotels range from $35 to $160 per night with an average price of $42. Gimhae International Airport (PUS) typically costs $853 to $1,386 per person on international flights in economy, and $2,677 to $4,349 in first class. Depending on the day's activities, we advise allocating $25 to $46 per person per day for travel and dining out.

How affordable is a trip to Changwon? Travelers willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Changwon for about $107 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $80 per night, which represents about 1% of all available rentals in the $0 to $100 range. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $29.

Pohang is a city in the province of North Gyeongsang, South Korea, and a main seaport in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region. The built-up area of Pohang is located on the alluvium of the mouth of the Hyeongsan River. The city is divided into two wards (gu), Buk-gu or Northern Ward (북구; 北區) and Nam-gu or Southern Ward (남구; 南區).

This city has the third-largest land area of any city (si) in South Korea and the largest population in North Gyeongsang Province.

Each summer, thousands of people come to Yeongildae Beach to watch the fireworks display. To see the show, people travel from all over the nation. The 1995-opened Culture & Arts Center hosts performances and exhibitions in its various theaters and galleries. Pohang hosts an annual Gwamegi Festival and is known for its gwamegi. The Gwamegi Festival is held every November. In 2015, people of all ages were invited to the festival. The festival is open to a large audience and is supported by banks like Suhyeop, Nonghyeop, Shinhan, and POSCO. It is possible to experience old traditional Korean culture during the festival, such as competing with someone who sells yeot. Additionally, a large number of singers from different countries, including the Philippines, are invited to perform for the public. You can sample Gwamegi, dried squid known as Pidegi, and large crabs in Guryongpo.

Near the city's center and the port, there is a sizable, active traditional market called the Jukdo Market. It is well known as a significant seafood market throughout Korea. Restaurants serving raw fish are widely available. Here, fish is less expensive than in Daegu or Seoul.

Duho-dong, which is in the northern part of the city's built-up area, is where Bukbu Beach is situated. Commercial developments like bars, restaurants, and low-cost lodgings dubbed Yeogwan have centered on the beachfront. Just north of the developed area are a number of Sea of Japan beaches, including Chilpo and Wolpo.

East of the city of Pohang in the Daebo-myeon region is a point of land known as Homigot that protrudes into the Sea of Japan. Given that Homigot is one of the easternmost points on the Korean peninsula, thousands of people gather there each year to witness Korea's first sunrise of the New Year. The 'Hands of Harmony' sculpture is also located on the beach.

Major Buddhist temple Bogyeongsa is located in Songna-myeon, a region in the far north of Pohang, at the foot of Mount Naeyeon (710 m), in a steep, green valley. The same mountain valley is home to Yeonsan Waterfall, which is close by. From the temple, there are hiking routes that ascend into the mountains. Additionally, Bogyeongsa is close to a number of mountain hermitages.

The Oeosa Temple is situated in the far southern region of Pohang, just inside the mountains south of the Naengcheon River's created coastal plain. It is situated in a narrow valley in Daesong-myeon at the base of Mt. Unjae (481 m). The well-traveled Silla monk Wonhyo, according to signs erected in and around Oeosa, is credited with founding the temple.

A 7-day trip to Pohang costs, on average, $753 for a single traveler, $1,352 for a couple, and $2,535 for a family of four. Hotels in Pohang cost between $39 and $179 per night, on average $56, while most vacation homes cost between $120 and $480 per night. Pohang Airport (KPO) typically costs $226 to $226 per person on international flights in economy, and $709 to $709 in first class. We advise setting aside $30 to $63 per person per day, depending on the activities, for transportation and dining out at nearby establishments.

How reasonably priced is a trip to Pohang? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Pohang for about $74 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $100 per night, which represents about 1% of all available rentals in the $0 to $100 range. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $31.

Prices range from a high of $226 on average in mid-October to a low of $226 in mid-October for flights all over the world. The typical flight costs $226. Millions of flights were used to determine these prices. Our data for Pohang includes 2 airlines and 2 airports of origin. Compared to other places, the area's price variation is less.

Jeonju is the 16th largest city in South Korea and the capital of North Jeolla Province. It is both urban and rural due to the closeness of Wanju County which almost entirely surrounds Jeonju (Wanju County has many residents who work in Jeonju). The name Jeonju literally means "Perfect Region" (from the hanja 全 (전; jeon) for perfect, 州 (주; ju) for region). It is an important tourist center famous for Korean food, historic buildings, sports activities, and innovative festivals.

In May 2012, Jeonju was chosen as a Creative Cities for Gastronomy as part of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. This honour recognizes the city's traditional home cooking handed down over thousands of years, its active public and private food research, a system of nurturing talented chefs, and its hosting of distinctive food festivals.

Jeonju bibimbap 전주비빔밥, a traditional local food, is well known across South Korea. There are several very popular vegetarian restaurants serving Jeonju style food and pine wine.

Exhibited at the National Jeonju Museum are antiquities from the Baekje era.

Numerous royal museums, temples, a hilltop castle fort, a well-known paper museum, a yearly paper fashion show showcasing the most recent trends, and traditional Korean clothing made of paper are all present.

With over 800 traditional "hanok" style buildings, Jeonju's Hanok Village (Hanok Maeul) is a traditional-style village in the city. There are numerous traditional tea shops, gift shops, and dining establishments there.

On the site of the Korean Catholic martyrs in 1791 and 1801, French priest Xavier Baudonet constructed the Jeongdong Catholic Church between 1908 and 1914. The Korea National Treasure No. 288 is this Byzantine and Romanesque church.

2014's Songlines list of the 25 Best International Festivals included the Jeonju International Sori Festival.

Every year, the Jeonju International Film Festival receives around 50,000 visitors.

The international Battle of the Year champion breakdancing group Last for One is from Jeonju.

Due to its rural location, the nearby mountains and parks are a favorite destination for outdoor recreation. There are historic locations nearby. In addition to the Hanguk Sound and Culture Hall, a sizable, contemporary concert venue on the campus of Chonbuk National University, the city has a zoo and a park.

A 7-day trip to Jeonju costs, on average, $717 for a single traveler, $1,288 for a couple, and $2,414 for a family of four. Hotels in Jeonju cost between $40 and $181 per night, on average $51, while most vacation homes cost between $140 and $320 per night. The average price of a flight from anywhere in the world to Kunsan AB Airport (KUV) is between $212 and $231 per person for first class, and $665 to $725 for economy. We advise setting aside $28 to $62 per person per day, depending on the activities, for transportation and dining at nearby restaurants.

How affordable can you make a trip to Jeonju? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Jeonju for about $63 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $20 per night, which represents about 4% of all available rentals in the $0 to $100 range. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $32.

Depending on what you want to do during your vacation, your daily costs will vary more. A standard nice meal might cost around $15 per person, while a fine dining restaurant with drinks around Jeonju can easily cost $230 per person or more. Although self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free, private tours can cost up to $452 per day. Recommendations are made based on the cost of living and averages we observe for this kind of vacation because costs vary greatly.

Sejong, officially the Sejong Special Self-Governing City[2] (세종특별자치시; 世宗特別自治市), is a special self-governing city and de facto administrative capital of South Korea.

In order to relieve congestion in South Korea's current capital and largest city, Seoul, and to promote investment in the country's central region, Sejong was established in 2007 as the country's new planned capital from many areas of the South Chungcheong province and some areas of the North Chungcheong province. Although the South Korean government has moved many ministries and agencies to Sejong since 2012, many still call other cities, particularly Seoul, home, including the National Assembly and many other significant government bodies.

Sejong is the least populous and smallest first-level administrative division in South Korea, with a population of 351,007 as of 2020 and an area of 465.23 km2 (179.63 sq mi). Sejong, which borders South Chungcheong to the west, Daejeon Metropolitan City to the south, and North Chungcheong to the east, is situated in the west-central Hoseo region.

In 2030, the city's construction should be finished. All governmental institutions ought to be relocated to Sejong in the same year. In 2030, 500,000 people are anticipated to reside there.

Sejong Lake Park was finished in March 2013 and features a number of theme-related amenities, such as the square fountain. The lake area is 322,800 square meters, and the size is 705,768 square meters.

The National Sejong Arboretum is Korea's largest indoor arboretum and the country's first urban arboretum. There are 1.72 million plants available, representing 2834 species. For adults, there is a 5,000 won admission charge.

located in the southern part of Korea, The South Korean municipality of Sejong includes Sejong. In the city of Sejong, people reside.

Here are some quick facts about the region and current price trends: According to our cost of living index, Korea, South is ranked 16th, which indicates that it is a very expensive place to visit and live, with a high standard of living but high travel expenses.A meal at a street vendor may occasionally be less expensive but is still expensive, and restaurant prices are generally thought to be high.Although there are some more affordable food chains, supermarket shopping is still relatively expensive when compared to other nations.

In Sejong, a bus or train fare runs about $1.74 USD.

However, if you intend to travel throughout the region frequently, you may want to purchase a monthly pass for public transportation, which in Sejong costs about 49.44 USD.

If you decide to take a taxi, be aware that in Sejong, the cost per mile is approximately US$1.3.

Here are some crucial figures to know if you intend to relocate to the city or lease an apartment for an extended period of time:

Cost of electricity

Sejong about 156.55 USD is the typical cost of electricity for a medium-sized apartment.

Internet cost

In Sejong, a home internet connection will set you back about 25.68 USD.

movie theater

In Sejong, the price of a movie ticket at a neighborhood theater is approximately $10.65 USD.

Gwangju is the sixth-largest metropolis in South Korea. It is a designated metropolitan area directly supervised by the Home Minister of the federal government. When Gwangju was elevated to the status of a metropolitan city and became independent from South Jeolla province in 2005, the provincial office was relocated from the city to the southern village of Namak in Muan County.

Its name is made up of the words Gwang, which means "light" in Korean, and Ju, which means "province" in Hanja. Historically, Gwangju was known as Muju (; ), where "Silla merged all of the land to establish the provinces of Gwangju, Ungju, Jeonju, Muju and various counties, plus the southern boundary of Goguryeo and the ancient territories of Silla" according to the Samguk Sagi. The city, located in the agricultural Jeolla region, is renowned for its delectable cuisine.

There are four distinct seasons and year-round rainfall in Gwangju's cooler subtropical climate, with the summer East Asian Monsoon Season being the wettest time of the year.

Due to the city's southwesterly location on the Korean peninsula, winters there, while still cold, are milder than in Seoul and other cities further north. A lot of precipitation, especially in the form of thunderstorms, falls during the hot and muggy summer months. Due to its location, Gwangju ranks among the warmest cities in Korea during the summer.

A 7-day trip to Gwangju costs, on average, $1,124 for a single traveler, $2,019 for a couple, and $3,785 for a family of four. While the majority of vacation rentals cost between $100 and $420 per night for the entire home, Gwangju hotels range from $37 to $170 per night with an average rate of $53. The average price per person for an international flight to Gwangju Airport (KWJ) is between $682 and $1,021 for economy class, and $2,140 to $3,204 for first class. We advise setting aside $27 to $55 per person per day, depending on the activities, for transportation and dining at nearby restaurants.

How reasonably priced is a trip to Gwangju? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Gwangju for about $90 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $20 per night, which represents about 9% of all available rentals in the $0 to $100 range. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $31.

The average cost of a flight around the world ranges from $682 in late November to early December to $1,021 in mid-December. The typical flight costs $368. Millions of flights were used to determine these prices. Our data for Gwangju includes 15 airlines and 8 originating airports. When compared to other places, the area's price variation is typical. The average trip fare to Gwangju from John F. Kennedy International (JFK) in New York, NY (the United States) is $1,532, which is obviously much more expensive than the average trip fare from Jeju International (CJU) in Jeju (South Korea), which is only $142.

With a population of more than 1.1 million, Ulsan—officially known as the Ulsan Metropolitan City—is the eighth-largest city overall and the seventh-largest metropolitan area in South Korea. It is situated in the southeast of the nation, bordering Gyeongju to the north and Busan to the south.

The center of the Ulsan Industrial District, Ulsan is South Korea's industrial powerhouse. It has the largest shipyard in the world, run by Hyundai Heavy Industries, the largest auto assembly plant in the world, and the third-largest oil refinery in the world, owned by SK Energy. Ulsan had the highest GDP per capita in South Korea in 2020, at $65,352.

The city's transportation division intends to construct a light-rail system. The public transportation is comparable to that of other significant Korean cities. At the majority of bus stops, the bus system displays an exact ETA.

More than 20 flights per day travel to and from Seoul's Gimpo International Airport from Ulsan Airport, which was built in 1970 and expanded in 1997. Four flights per week travel to and from Jeju International Airport. Ulsan was added to Korea's KTX high-speed train network in November 2010. With a traveling time of just over two hours, this offers a high-speed connection to Seoul. The nearby Eonyang neighborhood is home to the new KTX station (Ulsan Station), which is served by a number of express buses (5001–5005) as well as some city buses. Taehwa River Station is the new name of the original city station.

A 7-day trip to Ulsan costs, on average, $861 for a single traveler, $1,546 for a couple, and $2,899 for a family of four. Hotels in Ulsan cost between $31 and $101 per night, on average, while most vacation homes cost between $80 and $460 per night. The average price of a round-trip ticket from anywhere in the world to Ulsan Airport (USN) is between $123 and $714 for economy class, and $386 to $2,241 for first class. Depending on the day's activities, we advise setting aside $21 to $51 per person per day for travel and dining at nearby establishments.

How affordable can you make an Ulsan vacation? Travelers willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Ulsan for about $54 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be reserved for as little as $60 per night, or about 14% of total rentals are available for between $0 and $100. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $25.

Prices range from a high of $714 on average in late July to a low of $123 in mid- to late-November for flights all over the world. The typical flight costs $239. Millions of flights were used to determine these prices. Our data for Ulsan includes 5 airlines and 6 originating airports. Compared to other places, the area's price range is significantly wider. The average round-trip fare for a flight to Ulsan from Washington Dulles International (IAD) in Washington, DC (the United States) is $2,508, which is obviously much more expensive than the average fare from Jeju International (CJU) in Jeju (South Korea), which is only $170.

With a population of more than 3.4 million, Busan, also referred to as Busan Metropolitan City, is the second-most populous city in South Korea after Seoul. Formerly known as Pusan, it is the economic, cultural, and educational hub of southeast South Korea, with the sixth-busiest port in the world and Korea's busiest port. The largest industrial region in South Korea is the neighborhood "Southeast Economic Zone" that includes Ulsan and South Gyeongsang.

A total of 3.6 million people live in the 15 major administrative districts and one county that make up Busan. There are about 8 million people living in the Southeastern Maritime Industrial Region, which includes the entire metropolitan area. The city's most densely populated regions are found in several confined valleys between the Nakdong and the Suyeong Rivers, with mountains dividing the majority of the districts. Both Busan's Haeundae Beach and Korea's longest river, the Nakdong, are located in Busan.

International conventions are frequently held in Busan, which hosted APEC in 2005. In addition, it serves as a hub for sporting events in Korea, having hosted the Asian Games and FIFA World Cup in 2002. The Shinsegae Centum City, the biggest department store in the world, is located there. In December 2014, Busan was designated as a "City of Film" and added to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

A 7-day trip to Busan costs, on average, $1,253 for a single traveler, $2,250 for a couple, and $4,219 for a family of four. The majority of vacation rentals cost between $110 and $380 per night for the entire home, while hotel rates in Busan range from $33 to $149 per night with an average price of $41. Gimhae International Airport (PUS) typically costs $853 to $1,386 per person on international flights in economy, and $2,677 to $4,349 in first class. Depending on the day's activities, we advise allocating $30 to $48 per person per day for travel and dining out.

How affordable can you make a trip to Busan? Travelers who are willing to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and otherwise minimize travel costs can get to Busan for about $99 per person per day. Vacation rentals can be reserved for as little as $21 per night, or about 2% of total rentals are available for between $0 and $100. These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most desirable locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $27.

Prices for international flights range from an average high of $1,386 in mid-December to an average low of $853 in mid- to late-September. The typical flight costs $1,029. Millions of flights were used to determine these prices. Our data for Busan includes 132 airlines and 135 originating airports. Compared to other places, the area has a wider price range. It is obvious that a flight to Busan from Salta (SLA), Salta, Argentina, will be much more expensive than one from Jeju International (CJU), Jeju, South Korea , where a flight costs, on average, just $119.

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Smart Ways to Find Cheap Yet Good Accommodation in Korea

Smart Ways to Find Cheap Yet Good Accommodation in Korea

Are you planning to travel to Korea and looking for a place to stay? Finding the right accommodation in Korea is a big consideration and you should plan it if you want to save money. It is because bulk of the cost of traveling within Korea is for the accommodation tself and it depends on the type of place that you would want to stay, its location and the dates. For example, during peak season, expect the cost of the accommodations near popular tourist spots could go up to two to three times. So here are smart ways to find cheap yet good accommodation in Korea:

1. Book in Advance

One of the important tips that you shoud take note in looking for cheap yet good accommodation in Korea, actually, anywhere in the world, is to book it in advance. Booking or reserving it in advance for it at least a month before your travel date can save you few bucks. Because in doing that, you could have more options that are cheaper than booking it on a later date. But if you are off to a sudden adventure and has no ample time to book accommodation in advance, you can also find limited places that offer discounts for “on-the-day” booking from apps and sites.

2. Use Booking Apps or Sites

Speaking of apps and sites, using the services of booking apps like Agoda, AirBnb and Expedia in booking your accommodation would be of great help. Using these apps, you can filter the location, the price range, the facilities and amenities while searching for a place that you like. The cheapest place in Seoul that I was able to book using these apps only cost me 7,000 Korean won per night. Moreover, these booking apps usually have reward or loyalty program if you use it frequently so you can also get discounts and special perks.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

3. Read Reviews

In relation to using booking apps and websites, you can also read reviews on these platforms to make sure that a certain place is not just good according to its decription and pictures. Reading reviews from those who have previously stayed on that place will help you in deciding where to stay. From there, you can gauge if it is really what it claims to be and if it is where you want to spend your days while traveling around Korea. Doing this will also help you manage your expectation when you arrive in your chosen accommodation. Of course, you want want your expectation to be exceeded and not the other way.

4. Consider Your Itinerary

And lastlty, in choosing a place to stay in Korea, another important consideration is your itinerary. Note that staying in a more touristy area can be more expensive than staying in less popular neighborhood, especially in Seoul. But, if you are planning to visit those tourist places anyway, then it might benefit you to just stay within their vicinity to save time in commuting. That is why you should study well your itinerary and see if the place of your accommodation is strategic in your travel plan.

As starter, here are simple itineraries and guides to help you plan your trip to Korea:

  • 1-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
  • 2-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
  • 3-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
  • 4-day Seoul Itinerary for Kdrama Fans
  • 5-day Seoul + Gangwon + Gyeonggi Itinerary
  • 1-day Seoul Itinerary for Kpop Fans
  • 1-day Busan Itinerary
  • 2-day Busan Itinerary
  • Busan Cultural Itinerary

In addition to that, you also need to consider your travel dates and the season. Naturally, traveling during holidays can be more expensice than normal days. But planning in advance can help you minimize your budget in traveling within Korea.

Here are other readings that may help you in managing your finances while you are in Korea.

  • Cash or Card? Which is better to use when traveling to Korea?
  • Where to Exchange Your Currency to Won in Korea
  • Cost of Traveling Within Korea
  • Smart Ways to Travel Korea on a Cheap Budget

If you find this article interesting and helpful, share it with your friends. For more Korea travel tips like this, subscribe to KoreabyMe and read  my other published articles  on the site. You can follow me on  Instagram  too!

A scholar, marketer, educator, traveler, and ultimately, a fangirl currently living in South Korea. I mostly write about Hallyu-related places as well tips on traveling and living in Korea.

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Is Seoul Expensive To Visit? (It’s Cheaper Than You Think)

cheap places to visit from korea

Editorial Note: Earth Curious contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

So, is Seoul expensive? *Sigh* We’ve all been there—the make or break it travel question that lets you know whether or not some seemingly awesome-looking tourist destination is where you’ll spend your next vacation.

Fortunately, Seoul is one of those popular regions of the world where you can actually do a lot on a small budget—more bang for your buck, as the saying goes.

And the best way to tell if Seoul is expensive is by breaking down the region’s prices into 3 fundamental tourist-related categories:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation

Table of Contents

Food: the street food is amazing, transportation: public transport is great, accommodation: there are so many options, should you visit seoul.

Where there are street food markets, there will always be cheap cuisine, and Seoul’s got plenty of them.  

Sure, a little wine and dining at a fancy restaurant in Seoul is fine, but there’s nothing like a fun, immersive culinary experience where you can fill your belly with local snacks and cuisine on a budget. And that’s where Seoul’s Gwangjang, Namdaemun, and Dondaemun’s street food markets, come into play.

There, you’ll find everything from traditional rice cakes, meat skewers, and kimbap, to green onion pancakes, fried chicken, and a variety of kimchi, at prices anywhere between 1,000 to 6,000 Won ($.75-$4.50).  

Of course, there are thousands of upscale places to eat around, too, but as street food markets are staple attractions of Seoul, chances are you’ll wind up living there after your first visit, and thus, we’ll mark Seoul as inexpensive when it comes to food.

Seoul’s equipped with 3 essential forms of public transportation—subway, bus, and taxi—to help you commute to hotels, attractions, department stores, and nightlife hubs, conveniently and affordably.

View a picture of Seoul’s subway map and you’d see why it’s one of the most extensive metro line networks in the world. As for the price? The basic fare for a single journey is 1,350 won—about $1 as of 9/2022—for adults and teens, and 450 won for kids ages 6-12. Hey, that’s not bad at all!

Seoul’s sprawling public bus system is also very well organized and convenient. Buses are color-coded to represent different routes, and English apps can be used by foreign visitors to help navigate its system. Fares for adults can run anywhere from 1,300-2,400 won (about $1-$1.75).  

Taxis in Seoul are widely available too, and the base fare for a regular taxi starts at 3,800 won for the first 2km, and 100 won for every 132m therein after. There are also international taxis specifically created for English, Chinese, or Japanese speakers, making touring the city even easier.   

All in all, getting around Seoul, a vast mega city with over 10 million people, is pretty easygoing, convenient, and inexpensive , and because we consider transportation as one of the most important factors in deciding whether a potential travel destination is too expensive to visit, t hat definitely gets our stamp of approval.

When it comes to travel, the price of accommodation in any city is always tricky. There will always be high-end, mid-range, and cheap options, but those “cheap” options could still be pretty expensive in, let’s say, places like Los Angeles and New York.

And let’s not forget that Seoul is not only Korea’s largest city—it’s also the capital, meaning that any given time of year can bring in an insane amount of local and foreign nationals and tourists. With that, the cost of hotels in Seoul can be very wide-ranging, from about $50-$200 per night. Eh, not bad, depending on your budget and what you’re looking for.

Nevertheless, like Seoul’s street food markets, where there are hostels and Airbnb, there are always cheaper places to stay. And yep, Seoul’s got plenty of them.

Hostels are very common throughout Seoul, especially in popular districts like Hongdae, Myeongdong, Gangnam, Itaewon, Namdaemun, and Dongdaemun. Sure, they’re significantly smaller than a hotel and are often shared spaces, but they’re usually conveniently located near attractions, are a great way to meet other tourists, and are considerably cheap. The cost for a hostel in Seoul usually falls between $15 and $40 per night.   

And as for AirBnB? Fortunately, the U.S.-born lodging app is allowed for use in Seoul, and everything from apartments, homes, and beach houses can be rented at affordable rates.

With so many great options to choose, let’s just say that accommodation in Seoul is inexpensive.

Yes, and, now , if possible. Seoul is an amazing city brimming with history, culture, beautiful architecture, wonderful people, fun entertainment, and more. Plus, now that you know that the 3 fundamentals of travel—food, transportation, and accommodation—are inexpensive in Seoul, I’d say that it’s abundantly clear why you should make a trip to South Korea’s largest city the next adventurer on your travel bucket list. Safe and happy travels!

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  • 28 Stunning Places To Visit In South Korea In 2024

23 Mar 2023

The elusive, exotic land of South Korea beckons every traveler and backpacker to experience its many wonders. You’ll be spoilt for choice when shortlisting places to visit in South Korea , which offers such an unbelievable range of unexplored natural sites and urban delights.

There are tradition folk villages and swanky cities, gorgeous islands and breathtaking natural vistas. If you were wondering where to go in South Korea then here is a list of our top picks of places to visit in South Korea , from the popular to the unexplored, from countryside villages, grand Buddhist temples & palaces to ancient fortresses and high-tech urban cities. An interesting fact is that when it comes to South Korea most people only know about the capital city, Seoul and think that it is the only place worth visiting in the country. However, that is not the case. We have listed out some of the most amazing places in South Korea here that you can visit and explore.

Top 28 Places To Visit In South Korea 2024

So, you have come here which means you really do wanna know about the places to visit in South Korea ! Well, if you’re planning to visit South Korea soon, here is the perfectly curated list of places to visit in South Korea on your next trip. Keep scrolling down and read along the best South Korea tourist places to visit. Go on!

  • Seoul : The Dazzling Capital City
  • Jeju Island : A Stunning Island
  • The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ):  Engage With Modern History
  • Busan:  Something For Everyone
  • Gyeongju:  A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites
  • Dadohaehaesang National Park:  The Largest National Park In Korea
  • Pyeongchang County:  Paradise For Hikers
  • Suwon:  Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Seoraksan National Park:  A Tentative World Heritage Site
  • Andong Hahoe Folk Village:  Travel Back In Time
  • Upo Marsh:  The Largest Inland Wetland In Korea
  • Juknokwon:  The Slow City
  • Boseong Green Tea Field:  A Stunning Scenery
  • Seongsan Sunrise Peak:  For Gorgeous Sunset Views
  • Ggotji Beach:  Something For Beach Lovers
  • Darangee Village:  A Quaint And Photogenic Village
  • Jeungdo Salt Farm:  A Treasure Island
  • Haeinsa Temple : World’s Oldest Intact Buddhist Canon
  • Chunwang Peak:  The Second Highest Peak In South Korea
  • Naganeupseong Folk Village:  An Appealing Little Village
  • Gwang-An-Bridge:  The Famous Diamond Bridge
  • Kyeong-Wha Station:  Capture The Essence Of Cherry Blossoms
  • Gongryong Ridge:  Ideal For Taking A Hike
  • Bulguksa Temple : A UNESCO Listed Heritage Site
  • Uleung Island Seaside Road: The Mysterious Island
  • Chuncheon : Spectacular Lakes & Mighty Mountains
  • Jeonju:  With A Rich And Fascinating History
  • Halla Mountain: Offers Spectacular Views

1. Seoul: The Dazzling Capital City

beautiful parks and many amazing places to visit in South Korea

The dazzling capital city will impress you with its dizzying mix of modern architecture, party vibes, pop culture, beautiful parks & glittering promenades making it one of the most famous places in South Korea and the best cities to visit in South Korea. Vibrant Seoul is not just a buzzing urban hub but also rich in history and culture. With gorgeous palaces, chic restaurants and stylish boutiques, Seoul is among the charming places to visit in South Korea during autumn . The National Museum and War Memorial take you through the history of the country, while the cool shopping district of Gangnam gives you a taste of the city’s ritzy side on your reasons to visit South Korea .

Ideal for: Nightlife, Shopping, Culture, Architecture Key attractions: Changdeokgung Palace (with an amazing Secret Garden), Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok village (for its pagodas and old-world charm), Lotte World amusement park, Bukhansan National Park, N Seoul Tower for panoramic views.

Must Read: 26 Places To Visit In Korea During Winter That Would Hook You With Their Charm

2. Jeju Island: A Stunning Island

the pristine beauty of Jeju Island, one of the stunning places to visit in South Korea

This stunning island just 85 Kilometers off the coast is one of the most beautiful places in South Korea and one of the most famous places in South Korea. Having been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the pristine beauty of Jeju-do will take your breath away. Surreal white sand beaches surrounded by pine forests, volcanic craters and lava caves, beautiful botanical gardens and a rich culture are some of the high-points of this natural paradise amongst places near Seoul that are a must-visit.

Ideal for: Nature, Photography Key attractions: Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Halassang national park, Seopjikoji promontory, Hyeopjae & Hamdeok beach, Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls

3. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ): Engage With Modern History

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), one of the interesting places to visit in South Korea

Amongst famous South Korea attractions, The DMZ is one of the most unique places to visit in South Korea to get a better understanding of the conflict between North and South Korea & the current state of affairs. The DMZ is full of interesting sites that make for an engaging lesson in modern history. You can take a peek into North Korea at the Observation Post and feel the rush of adventure while walking through the Infiltration Tunnel. It is advisable to take a guided tour that includes a visit to the Joint Security Area (JSA).

Ideal for: Historical Sites Key Attractions: Freedom Park, Dorasan Station & Observatory

Suggested Read: 26 Places To Visit In Korea During Winter

4. Busan: Something For Everyone

Visit Busan, the second largest city and one of the famous places to visit in South Korea

If you’re visiting places in South Korea then not addisng this place to your list would be unfair. This second largest city of South Korea is known across the world for hosting Asia’s largest International film festival. Busan is an interesting amalgamation of skyscrapers, majestic mountains, beautiful beaches and magnificent Buddhist temples and amongst the best places to visit in South Korea . Amongst the popular places to visit in Korea Busan is the Haedong Yonggungsa temple along the coast and the interesting Jagalchi fish market. Foodies can relish the sea food spread at the numerous restaurants and enjoy local delicacies at the ubiquitous street food stalls.

Ideal for: Beaches, Culture, Food Key attractions: Haeundae Beach (with the Sea Life Aquarium and Folk Square), Beomeosa Temple, Gwangalli Beach with beautiful views of the Diamond bridge, Hurshimchung Hot Springs

5. Gyeongju: A Treasure Trove Of Cultural Sites

Experience the traditional roots, rich heritage, and one of the best places to visit in South Korea, Gyeongju

One of the places to visit in South Korea in May , the coastal city of Gyeongju, often called an open-air museum, is one of the best things to do in South Korea to discover its traditional roots and rich heritage. The erstwhile capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, Gyeongju is a treasure trove of cultural and historical sites and ruins going back to a thousand years. With the UNESCO world heritage site, Bulguksa temple and the National Museum with its unparalleled collection of artefacts, this city gives you a glimpse into South Korea’s cultural roots.

Ideal for: Culture, History, Nature Key attractions: Anapji pond, Tumuli Park (the giant burial mounds covered in grass), the majestic Seokguram Grotto

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Planning Your Next Holiday In South Korea?

cheap places to visit from korea

6. Dadohaehaesang National Park: The Largest National Park In Korea

Hongdo Island is among the most scenic places to visit in South Korea

Image Credit: Justinjfj for Wikimedia Commons

One of the most beautiful tourist destinations in South Korea, it is the largest National Park in Korea, this slice of paradise covers 1700 large and small islands and some rock structures. One of the most scenic and islands is the Cheongsando island considered one of the best places to visit in South Korea for it surreal landscapes and the slow city movement. Hongdo and Heuksando are the other popular islands where you can take a boat trip to admire the overwhelming natural sites. This is one of the top famous places to visit in South Korea for your next vacation!

Ideal for: Nature, Tranquility, Photography

7. Pyeongchang County: Paradise For Hikers

Witness the awe inspiring scenic beauty at one of the best hiking places to visit in South Korea in Pyeongchang County

This is one of the must visit places in South Korea to experience tranquillity and awe-inspiring scenic beauty of the best places to visit in Korea . Located in the Taebaek Mountains, this picturesque county 180 Kms away from Seoul hosted the prestigious Winter Olympics in February 2018. The Odaesan National Park is a hikers’ delight with trails going up the snow-peaked mountains, while the ski resorts Alpensia and Yongpyong are popular with skiers and snowboarders. The mountains are also home to many beautiful Buddhist shrines. This place is surely one of the best places to visit in South Korea during winters !

Ideal for: Nature, Photography, Spirituality Key Attractions: Woljeongsa temple, Pyeongchang Hyanggyo

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8. Suwon: Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Suwon is among the magnificent places to visit in South Korea

Capital of the Gyeonggi province bordering Seoul, Suwon is known for its unique Hwaseong Fortress with its imposing stone walls and impressive archways and this has made it one of the best places to visit in Korea . Built by the Joseon dynasty the fortresses wall is a UNESCO world heritage site with four pagoda-style gates, artillery towers and observation decks. Another magnificent structure at the site is the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace. With all that said, don’t forget to indulge in shopping in Suwon . With many more exciting things to do, Suwon is one of the top places to visit in South Korea .

Ideal for: History, Architecture Key Attractions: Suwon Hwaseong Museum to understand the history of the majestic fortress, Gwanggyosan Mountain (for hiking trails), Samsung Innovation Museum

9. Seoraksan National Park: A Tentative World Heritage Site

awestruck by the giant Buddha

The vivid strokes of nature will greet you every step of the way in the UNESCO protected Seoraksan National Park and is one of the most mesmerizing places to witness autumn in Korea . Being one of the best places to visit in South Korea , this is l iterally meaning the Snowy Crag Mountains, the Seoraksan range with its snow-covered peaks forms a majestic backdrop to the park temple. It is a great place to hike the myriad trails including the formidable Ulsan Rock or simply enjoy the gondola ride up the mountain for some spectacular views. As you stroll through the 400000 sq km biosphere protection site, prepare to be awestruck by the giant Buddha statue on your path.

Ideal for: Hiking, Adventure, Photography, Nature Key Attractions: Baekdam sa Buddhist temple, Gyejo-am hermitage, Yukdam-Pokpo waterfall

Suggested Read : class=”mustread-link” href=”https://traveltriangle.com/blog/reasons-to-visit-south-korea/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Top 10 Reasons To Visit South Korea

10. Andong Hahoe Folk Village: Travel Back In Time

charming traditional Korean village

Literally meaning ‘the village enveloped by water’ this charming traditional Korean village located in Andong is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Entering the Hahoe village is like travelling back in time to the simple Korean village way of life displaying local traditions and culture. The beautiful setting alongside the Nakdong river is accentuated by the rural tile and thatched roof houses, sandy beaches and pine trees. The village is also a great place to try out traditional Korean delicacies and marvel at the mask dance performed by the locals, read through Korea travel tips to know more.

Ideal for: Culture, Tranquility, nature Nearby attractions: Bongjeongsa temple, Buyongdae Cliff (take a boat for breathtaking views of the village)

11. Upo Marsh: The Largest Inland Wetland In Korea

wetland in South Korea

Image Credit: Travel in Korea for Wikimedia Commons

Considered to be the largest inland wetland in Korea, Upo March is a must-visit site for all tourists and one of the best free tourist attractions in South Korea. It is said that this land was formed over almost 140 million years ago and it is home to about 1500 species of plants and animals too. Some of these animals are, however, currently endangered. You can also spot a few migratory birds here which are found to be flying low as you walk or bike through the land. This surely tops the list of good places to visit in South Korea !

Ideal for: Biking, nature walks, photography, bird-watching Nearby attractions: NA

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12. Juknokwon: The Slow City

bamboo land

Image Credit: UNC – CFC – USFK for Wikipedia

Explore South Kore and enjoy the slow pace life. Also known as the ‘slow city’, Damyang offers a variety of tourist attractions, out of which, Juknokwon cannot be missed for sure. The thick bamboo land that has 8 different trails has 8 unique themes that you can walk through. If you look close enough, you can spot some green tea shoots growing from the dew that falls off the bamboo leaves, known as Jukro tea.

Ideal for: Nature walk, photography Nearby attractions: Gwanbangjerim, May 18th National Cemetery and Gangcheonsan County Park

13. Boseong Green Tea Field: A Stunning Scenery

tea field

Image Credit: ~Mers for Wikimedia Commons

With a major 40 % of the total tea produced in Korea being produced at these famous fields, this place is nothing less than a scenic beauty in itself which is also used as a backdrop of many Korean movies and drama shows. It is among the top 5 places to visit in South Korea and is perfect to plan a vacation in May, make sure you don’t miss out on the grand Green-tea festival or click a picture of the stunning scenery as this place is well lit by light bulbs during winter season which is also the best time to explore South Korea. This field is amongst the best places to visit in South Korea during summer !

Ideal for: Nature walk, photography Nearby attractions: Songjeong Station Market, Darangee Village

Suggested Read: 10 Places Near Seoul That Are Must-Visit Attractions In South Korea

14. Seongsan Sunrise Peak: For Gorgeous Sunset Views

Seongsan

Image Credit: 螺钉 for Wikimedia Commons

If you are heading to Jeju Island anyway, then you should not miss watching the sunrise at Seongsan Peak. The best of South Korea tourist attractions , this spot has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was formed by the hydrovolcanic eruptions 5000 years ago. You will even find a variety of rare species of plants. The magnificent sunrise is the most spectacular thing on this volcanic mountain.

Ideal for: Hiking, Nature Key attractions: Sunrise, Rare plant species, lush greenery,magnificent views of nature

15. Ggotji Beach: Something For Beach Lovers

Ggotji Beach

For those who live for beautiful sunsets should not miss this place on Jeju Island, one of the best South Korea destinations . The white sandy beach is a delight to the beach babies. The sunset here is nothing like you have seen before. You will find two large rock formations on the beach that are known as Granny and Grandpa Rocks. There is an interesting story behind the names too. According to the legends, the wife of a commander from the Shilla Dynasty became a rock waiting faithfully for her husband. When the sun sinks between the two rocks, it looks so magnificent and the sky lights up in tangerine color.

Ideal for: Sunsets, diving Key attractions: Granny Rock, Grandpa Rock

Suggested Read: 6 Places To Visit In Seoul For A Spellbinding Trip To South Korea

16. Darangee Village: A Quaint And Photogenic Village

Darangee village

If you want to explore the village life of South Korea, then you should visit Darangee which is a well-preserved village. The tiny step fields look so photogenic. This is your shot of experiencing a traditional Korean life while backpacking in South Korea. It is amazing to see how a country like such can have two opposite sides; one completely modern and another so bucolic.

Ideal for: Backpacking Key attractions: Countless tiny fields

17. Jeungdo Salt Farm: A Treasure Island

Scenic view of mud flats of the sea near Taepyeong Salt Farm at Jeungdo Island

Image Source

You have seen nothing like the soft beach and salt farms in Jeungdo. This is a treasure island not only because of all the salt produced but also the artifacts from the Song Dynasty found at the bottom of the ocean. The marine life that you will find in the mudflat town will amaze you. It is one of the best places to see in South Korea .

Ideal for: Sightseeing Key attractions: Salt farms, Mudflat town, marine life of the mud flat

18. Haeinsa Temple: World’s Oldest Intact Buddhist Canon

haeinsa Temple

Image Credit: Lcarrion88 for Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that the world’s oldest intact Buddhist canon is restored inside Haeinsa Temple that itself is 1200 years old? The curiosity alone should make you visit this temple and if you are an avid Buddhist practitioner, then you should definitely visit this place on your vacation in South Korea and several other popular castles in Korea to get a glance into the history of Korea.

Ideal for: Sightseeing, Religious Key attractions: Janggyeong Panjeon, the oldest wooden Buddha Statue in Korea.

19. Chunwang Peak: The Second Highest Peak In South Korea

Chunwang

Image Credit: Eimoberg for Wikipedia

The second highest peak in the country should definitely be one of your South Korea points of interest . Standing tall at 1,915 meters, this peak is a beloved for many Korean mountain climbers. If climbing mountains give you the thrill, then we see no reason why you should sit this one out. There is even a national park on the mountain that stretches over three provinces. The clean air and freshwater from the spring will be a delight to your internal organs.

Ideal for: Nature, hiking Key attractions: Chunwang Spring, sunrise, dazzling flora and fauna

Suggested Read: Rejoice Your Hearts By Shopping In Seoul

20. Naganeupseong Folk Village: An Appealing Little Village

Naganeupseong

Image Credit: Marco Schmidt for Wikimedia Commons

To enjoy South Korea sightseeing , plan a trip to Naganeupseong Folk Village where you will observe the lifestyle from the ear of the Chosun Dynasty. The straw-roofed houses, government offices, castles, guesthouse, all look so pretty and photogenic. You would really enjoy your time here even if you are not a history buff.

Ideal for: Sightseeing Key attractions: Overnight homestay

21. Gwang-An-Bridge: The Famous Diamond Bridge

cheap places to visit from korea

Image Credit: Doo-ho Kim for Wikimedia Commons

Famously known as the Diamond Bridge, it is a suspension bridge located in Busan, South Korea that connectes Haeundae-gu to Suyeong-gu. The road surface is about 6,500 m long and although it is not a pedestrian bridge, you can still enjoy the stunning views of bridge and the surrounding region from afar. 

Ideal for : Views, Photography Key attractions : The lighting system

Suggested Read: 6 Best Places To Visit In Suwon

22. Kyeong-Wha Station: Capture The Essence Of Cherry Blossoms

cheap places to visit from korea

Image Credit: 날개 for Wikimedia Commons

This place is a favourite haunt for photographers who can capture the true essence of the Cherry blossoms falling down on the track and making a picture perfect moment. The visual delight of the train is approaching the station under the cherry blossom tunnel is absolutely unmissable and surreal.

Ideal for : Photography Key attractions: Cherry blossom tunnel

23. Gongryong Ridge: Ideal For Taking A Hike

mountain peaks covered by mists

Wondering where to visit in South Korea? Well, why not give Gongryong Ridge a try? Shaped like the spine of a dinosaur, this place is ideal for trekkers and hiking enthusiasts who would love a great climb along with sublime views of the surrounding mountain range. This ricky ridge offers spectacular views of Gongryong Ridge.

Ideal for : Sighseeing, hiking, nature enthusiasts Key attractions : Seorak mountain range

Suggested Read: 8 Best Places To Visit In Incheon

24. Bulguksa Temple: A UNESCO Listed Heritage Site

Bulguksa Temple View In Korea

This temple is a UNESCO listed heritage site that is considered to be amongst the most famous historic places to visit in South Korea and one of the most popular South Korea tourist places. It features two granite pagodas on either sides of the temple that add to the grandeur beauty of this place.

Ideal for : Historic sightseeing Key attractions : Dabotap and Seokgatap

25. Uleung Island Seaside Road: The Mysterious Island

Uleung Island Seaside Road South Korea

Image Credit: Husen Mansurov for Pixabay

Also known as “Mysterious Island’, Uleung Island Seaside Road is one of the most interesting places to go in South Korea.  It is a famous weekend getaway spot for the people of Seoul and will serve as a calming site for you. With its interesting rock formations, many waterfalls, and shore cliffs, the Uleung Island Seaside Road is magical and something you shouldn’t miss! 

Ideal for : Sightseeing, weekend getaways Key attractions : Haengnam Coastal Walking Path and Dokdo Observatory

Suggested Read:  15 Seoul Cafes

26. Chuncheon: Spectacular Lakes & Mighty Mountains

Chuncheon South Korea

Image Credit: Mark Zastrow for Wikimedia Commons

With its spectacular lakes and mighty mountains, Chuncheon happens to be one of the most well known South Korea tourist places.  It is also the capital city of the Gangwon Province and is the location where many popular Korean soap operas are filmed. Many visit the destination for this reason too! The city is also known as a foodies’ paradise and you can try many Korean delicacies here.

Ideal for : Sightseeing Key attractions : Namiseom Island and Cheongpyeong Lake

27. Jeonju: With A Rich And Fascinating History

Jeonju South Korea

If you are wondering about where to go in South Korea,  then Jeonju is the answer! During the reign of the Joseon Dynasty the place happened to be the spiritual capital. It still has many temples and museums and is one of the best places to know about the rich and exciting history of the country. If you are a history buff and wish to see traditional homes dating back to the early 20th century then make sure you stop at Jeonju and have a good time. It is recommended as one of the best places to go in Korea if you are fascinated to know the background of this pleasing landmark.

Ideal for : Historic sightseeing Key attractions : Jeonju National Museum and Jeondong Cathedral

Suggested Read:  Seoul Festivals

28. Halla Mountain: Offers Spectacular Views

Halla Mountain in South Korea

If you are looking for tourist places in South Korea  then Halla Mountain is one and you can’t miss this one! The snowflakes make for a gorgeous view and the icicles that cover the tea branches inspired the Halla Snow Festival which used to be held annually in late January or early February.  Due to some reason, it does not happen anymore but the snowflakes are still there, and the mountain makes for a great sight and must not be missed!

Ideal for : Hiking

Further Read: Top Adventure Honeymoon Destinations

Looking at the above places to visit in South Korea, it sure looks like an awesome destination for a holiday. From nature to the best of lifestyle and modern experiences – do what you love here and tell us about it in the comments section below. So, pack your bags and book your trip to South Korea right away!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In South Korea

Which are the best places to visit in South Korea?

Some of the best places to visit in South Korea are Seoul, Jeju Island, Busan, Gyeongju, Dadohaehaesang National Park, Andong Hahoe Folk Village, Boseong Green Tea Field, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Halla Mountain, Jeonju, and Chuncheon.

Where should I go for the first time in South Korea?

Wondering where to go in South Korea for the first time? Here are some of the places you should not miss: 1. Bulguksa Temple 2. Gongryong Ridge 3. Gwang-An-Bridge 4. Ggotji Beach 5. Haeinsa Temple

Which is the most visited place in South Korea?

Seoul is the most visited place in South Korea. It is the capital city that covers the major coastal area and include famous Buddha temples, palaces, and other landmarks.

How many days are enough for South Korea?

If you want to have a balance of relaxing and adventurous vacation and explore beautiful places in South Korea to the fullest, then at least 10-14 days are required.

What are the popular outdoor activities in South Korea?

During your visit to South Korea, you may indulge in top outdoor activities such as Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping, Zip Lining, Paragliding, Scuba Diving, Para Sailing, Surfing, Rafting, and the thrilling rides in the adventure parks.

Which are some of the best places to visit in South Korea for families with kids?

Seoul, Busan, and Juju Island are some of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea which are perfect to visit while travelling with family and kids. Being metropolitan centres, you can expect a large number of tourists during the seasonal months, making it a safe place for anyone planning a trip.

Which are some of the must-visit places in South Korea for couples?

Some of the must-visit places in South Korea for couples include N Seoul Tower, Han River, Ihwa Mural, Lotte World, Trick Eye Museum, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Boseong Green Tea Field, and Nami Island.

What is South Korea famous for?

South Korea is famous for its booming economy and entertainment industry. Moreover, the food segment does not lag behind and offers a variety of tasty foods to relish like Kimchi and Bibimbap that no one can afford to miss.

Which are the best national parks in South Korea?

South Korea is famous for its natural beauty which is an important trait that attracts so many visitors from around the world. Some of the enthralling national parks in South Korea are Dadohaehaesang, Seoraksan, Bukhansan, Hallasan, Gyeongju National Park, Jirisan, Songnisan, and Mudeungsan.

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  1. 20 Best Places to Visit in South Korea in 2024

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  1. 5 Easy and Budget Friendly Trips to Take from Korea

    Budget Food in Vietnam. How Much to Budget. 25,000 KRW per Day. Currency: 20,000 VTD = 1032 KRW. With dorm beds available for as little as 100,000 VTD, and delicious, filling street food available for less than 20,000 VTD, Vietnam is without a doubt one of the cheapest trips to take from Korea.

  2. The 4 Best Places to Travel to From Korea

    Japan and China are right next door and easy to get to (unless you're American and have to cough up $130 for the Chinese L visa; for other nationalities it's $30) - Kyoto is gorgeous and the Great Wall is, well, great - and Thai beaches are the perfect respite from harsh Korean winters.

  3. 13 Quick Weekend Trips You Can Take From Seoul

    9 Nami Island. Unsplash. Woods in Nami Island, South Korea. Nami Island is easy to get to and is about an hour away from Seoul. With transportation direct through the subway line or the KTX (Korea's highspeed train), you can find yourself on Nami Island after a quick nap on the train.

  4. South Korea on a budget

    Look for the budget-friendly Mugunghwa trains. As the most sluggish class of trains, they'll slow down your journey considerably (Seoul to Busan, for example, takes an extra three hours by Mugunghwa than by KTX), but they offer a chance to take in the stunning scenery out the window at a more leisurely (and less nauseating) pace.

  5. South Korea Budget Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    Money-Saving Tips Where to Stay How to Get Around When to Go How to Stay Safe Best Places to Book Your Trip Related Blogs on South Korea Top 5 Things to See and Do in South Korea 1. Explore Seoul Korea's capital has a little bit of everything.

  6. THE 10 BEST Cheap Things to Do in South Korea

    Best Budget-Friendly Things to Do in South Korea Enter dates Attractions Filters • 1 Sort All things to do Category types Attractions Tours Day Trips Outdoor Activities Concerts & Shows Food & Drink Events Classes & Workshops Shopping Transportation Traveler Resources Types of Attractions Sights & Landmarks Nature & Parks Museums Fun & Games

  7. The Cost of Travel in South Korea: A 2023 Budget Breakdown

    Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul, and where old meets new What's Included in this Post This budget breakdown covers how much I spent on accommodation, transportation, activities, and food during my trips to South Korea — my most recent visit was May 2023.

  8. Seoul on a budget

    Both locals and visitors can take advantage of, say, discounted tickets to the Coex Aquarium, free entrance to the royal palace of Gyeongbokgung and movie theater tickets priced at ₩5000 (US$4). Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter. Don't forget your tax refund

  9. 15 Cheap Things to Do in Seoul for Under S$12

    4) Hike up Bukhansan National Park 북한산국립공원 (도봉 지구) 5) Act like a King in Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁 6) Relax in Siloam Sauna and Spa 실로암불가마사우나 7) Bask in the beauty of the Hangang River 한강 8) Find Inner Peace with Seoul's Templestay 9) Shop at Express Bus Terminal Station 서울고속버스터미널 10) Appreciate Art in Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) 동대문디자인플라자

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    Places to eat in South Korea on a budget. Myeongdong Street Food (Seoul) Maru - Budget-friendly Korean street food in the heart of Insadong (Seoul) ... Winter is usually the cheapest time to visit South Korea on a budget. Accommodation in South Korea (this one is a Hanok stay)! Ultimate 2 week South Korea Itinerary: Best Places (2023) 3. Do ...

  11. THE 10 BEST Cheap Things to Do in Seoul

    16. Kwangjang Market. 2,341. Points of Interest & Landmarks • Flea & Street Markets. Jong-ro. By joshuaaE8243CE. Definitely a must visit for tourists in Seoul and the combination with cheap and delicious food is hard to beat.

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    For an average price of $493 for hotel and flight, visitors can enjoy low-cost fun on Lake Michigan's beaches, the Riverwalk, and Grant Park. Another favorite is Millennium Park, where the ...

  13. Best places to visit in South Korea

    The site of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Gangwon Province is home to the best ski resorts in South Korea. For skiing and snowboarding, head to top-rated Yongpyong, the country's oldest and largest ski resort, or High 1, featuring a casino and revolving restaurant. Other popular options are Phoenix Park, Vivaldi Park and Alpensia.

  14. South Korea Trip Budget: 7 Tips From a Frequent Traveller

    3. Find a good hostel or guesthouse. Myeongdong (L) and Hongdae (R) are two of the best neighbourhoods to stay in Seoul. Hotels are fine, but choosing affordable accommodations is much better for your South Korea trip budget. Lucky for tourists, there are plenty of great-value Airbnbs in Seoul, from old-school hanoks to stylish guesthouses.

  15. Traveling Korea on the Cheap

    Your fare will be around $1.10 or 1,300won for a single ride. There are some rules for when this price goes up on longer trips, but it remains relatively cheap compared to anything else in the city. TAXI Also cheap, taxis are a great way to get from Point A to Point B. In many cities, get into the orange ones and avoid the black ones. Trust me.

  16. Your Ultimate One Week Itinerary For Korea 2023

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    Average Family Vacation The average cost for 4 people to visit South Korea for a week is $3,678-$8,060 ($525-$1,151 per day) Food, Travel, and Sightseeing: $134 to $277 per day for four people's daily expenses Flights: $2,140 to $5,233 for economy Lodging: $112 to $148 per night for two 2 or 3-star hotel rooms

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  19. Korea Travel Budget

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  20. 20 Best Places to Visit in South Korea in 2024

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  22. Top 10 Insanely Cheapest Places To Travel In South Korea Today

    Table of Content How to travel around South Korea on a budget Reasons to visit South Korea What are the cheapest places to visit in South Korea? 1. Ujeongbu 2. Paju 3. Nonsan 4. Changwon 5. Pohang 6. Jeonju 7. Sejong 8. Gwangju 9. Ulsan 10. Busan

  23. Smart Ways to Find Cheap Yet Good Accommodation in Korea

    1. Book in Advance One of the important tips that you shoud take note in looking for cheap yet good accommodation in Korea, actually, anywhere in the world, is to book it in advance. Booking or reserving it in advance for it at least a month before your travel date can save you few bucks.

  24. Is Seoul Expensive To Visit? (It's Cheaper Than You Think)

    Fortunately, Seoul is one of those popular regions of the world where you can actually do a lot on a small budget—more bang for your buck, as the saying goes. And the best way to tell if Seoul is expensive is by breaking down the region's prices into 3 fundamental tourist-related categories: Food. Transportation. Accommodation. 10,000 ...

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    If you were wondering where to go in South Korea then here is a list of our top picks of places to visit in South Korea, from the popular to the unexplored, from countryside villages, grand Buddhist temples & palaces to ancient fortresses and high-tech urban cities.