There comes a time in all travel enthusiasts’ lives when they tick off South Korea from their bucket list. Deciding to go to a seemingly disconnected from the rest of the world country is an exciting adventure that requires prior planning to get the most fulfillment out of your trip. In case you have stumbled upon this article in hopes of discovering things to do in South Korea, you are in luck! By the end of reading this article, you will find out what newcomers do once in South Korea and perhaps select a few activities to add to your travel itinerary.
1 The 240-meter Seoul Tower
For all the people who visit South Korea for the first time, it is essential to spend a few days in Seoul, the capital city of this beautiful country. Luxurious boutiques in the heart of the city, busy nightlife, the smell of Korean Charcoal BBQ in the air (which we will get into later), and as the title suggests, the Seoul Tower. This iconic city observation hotspot sits on top of a mountain, its peak at 500 meters above sea level. From the top, you can overlook much of the city, which is even more scenic when admired after the sunset when you can see the city lights flashing in the distance. When getting on top of the mountain to reach the lookout’s base, you can either go on a hike or catch a cable car from the city near the Myeongdong that will bring you to the observation point.
2 The famous Korean Charcoal BBQ
Going to a local Charcoal BBQ restaurant will be a day to remember for everyone who enjoys meat. The entire experience starts even before you enter. It’s the mouthwatering smell that you sense when walking across the narrow streets of suburban areas of Korea. Upon entering the restaurant, the scent will intensify and become more diverse as you start picking up on the smell of side dishes and sauces offered with your meals. All that’s left to be done is pick your meat of choice, order side dishes, a couple of beverages to enjoy, and wait for staff to ignite the charcoal and for the hibachi (alternative to a stove) to heat up before placing your meat on it.
The beauty of the whole experience is in the process of grilling your meat to your taste and having complete control over the experience without having to wait for food to arrive. From many people’s experience, it is a must that you order Kimchi, a spicy Korean salad made from cabbage and radishes, as your side dish, and order a plate of Wagyu beef. This dinner is bound to be perfect!
3 Seoul Nightlife Adventure
Seoul is incredibly famous for its nightclubs, all-night cafes overlooking the city, and markets that remain open long after sunset. All of that ties in with the nightlife culture of the city. Going for an adventure after 10 pm at the heart of the city, you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of people shopping, having late-night feasts, and just casually enjoying themselves. Dongdaemun Night Market is a prime example of a place where you can find an endless amount of clothing, jewelry, handbags, cosmetics any time of day and night. During weekdays it is open from 6:45 am to 3:15 am, and on Saturdays, it stays open for 24 hours. And it’s not just the market that is open during the night. Club Octagon, one of Gangnam’s most elite nightclubs where celebrities hang out, only closes at 5 am. Myeongdong Nanta Theatre hosts traditional Korean comedy shows until late, and other places alike. Visiting South Korea for the first time, you are obliged to experience the nightlife that Seoul has to offer.
4 South Korean Busan Beach
Although Korea doesn’t strike tourists as a coastal country, the city of Busan, which is easily accessible via a 2-hour Seoul – Busan train, is the second-largest city in South Korea and has an incredible coast that is lined with beautiful beaches and resorts. Alongside the summery Haeundae Beach, there are plenty of sightseeing locations to visit in Busan, like the hillside village of Gamcheon where the Beomeosa Temple is situated and the Jagalchi Flea market that sells a wide variety of seafood for you to prepare and enjoy in your apartment. In the evening, the city bursts with its nightlife, when plenty of fancy bars and restaurants open up where you can experience an authentic South Korean vacation away from the busy metropolis life in Seoul.
South Korea is one of the friendliest countries in the world. A place where you will be greeted at every store with a genuine welcome, where strangers will always take time to help you with directions, and most importantly, where the whole country feels like a community of like-minded people. Knowing what to explore and where to go when in South Korea will most certainly help you navigate the town, but as you get to see the city closer, you will start feeling at home. So, don’t put aside your South Korean trip for long, and get ready to plan your journey to the city of opportunities!