South Korea is a land of myriad hues. It is a canvas painted vibrantly with an original festive, cultural and religious heritage. The music and dance vibe of the country is reflective of its lively old world charm and it is no secret that Koreans enjoy year-round festivals. Witnessing Korean women dressed in the traditional hanbok, dancing around the vivacious streets of the country lined with teahouses, paints a colourful picture of the South Korean culture. On the other hand, the current K-Pop rage, represents a totally fresh cultural contradiction, which makes the ethnic landscape of this nation a harmonious marriage of ancient and modern. With the best tourist places to visit in South Korea, it is a place of astounding historic importance. Be it the Gyeongbokgung Palace, or the entire heritage city of Gyeongju, Korea boasts a rich history, embellished with royal tombs, palaces and temples.
People Also Ask About South Korea
· Learn basic words of South Korea as not all the locals are well versed with English Language.
· Carry your passport and other identification copies whenever you go out of your hotel.
· Stay away from all the drug related situations.
· Do not step out at lonely places at night.
· Take care of the manners and etiquettes you express and do not offend anyone in any way.
· Book your stay facilities well in advance so that you do not have to face any kind of last-minute inconvenience.
· Take care of your luggage and all other belongings at public places.
Drinking LawThe Legal age to consume alcoholic drinks in South Korea is 19 years of age and you are advised to carry an age proof in order to verify the same.
Our Recommendations: What you can't afford to miss?Bukchon Hanok Village
If you love destinations which are authentic and picture perfect, you cannot miss a visit to this world-famous sight-seeing destination. This place has traditional hanok houses preserved and used by people till date. You will feel like you have walked centuries back when you visit the place and it is surprising to see a cultural place co-exist amid the infrastructural developed city. The views which you will get here are beyond breathtaking and you will surely get the best pictures from your trip over here.
The royal guard changing ceremony at the Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the most famous activities to witness in South Korea. It happens every hour between 10am to 4pm at the palace, every day, keeping a holiday on Tuesday. This cultural happening is very famous and you can also wear the traditional uniform and take pictures with the palace guards over here.
Korean snacks from Lotte are famous all over the world and you will feel like a dream come true when you visit the Lotte mart. You will find the famous Lotte Brownies, crackers, biscuits and all the other lip-smacking delicious snacks at this mart. You can stock up all your snack supplies here and fulfill all your cravings.
Mount Namsan is one of the must visit attractions in Seoul. Located at 237 meters, this place is one of the greatest adventures you can have and at the end, get a mesmerizing view of the entire city. If you do not wish to hike, you can also take a cable car ride to the top and click some amazing view of the city.
Underground shops are really very famous in South Korea. You will find some of the trendiest, affordable and unique shopping trends in the underground shopping centers. You can visit some of the famous shopping places like the Express Terminal Underground Mall, Gangnam Underground Shopping Centre and the Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall.
Visiting a Cat Café
Cat cafes are really famous in South Korea and one of the most fun activities to do when you are here. Just head to one of the many famous Cat Cafes in South Korea and get to cuddle the little cute fur balls and have the best time of your trip. If you are a cat lover, this experience is going to be nothing less than a dream for you.
Take the Korean Fire Noodle Challenge
The world-famous fire noodle challenge is something you cannot miss to take when you are in South Korea. For this, you need to go to the nearest convenience store and get yourself a packet of Korean Fire Noodles and prepare it at the hotel room. Gobble down the noodles as fast as possible and take the challenge which excites every tourist over here.
What you will like there?Unique activities
South Korea offers you some of the wackiest things to do. Right from weird food items to Fire Noodle Challenges and Cat cafes, there is no end to the different type of things which you can experience in South Korea. You will indeed need a different bucket list just for your trip to this country.
Amazing Street Food
Korea is famous for the awesome street food delicacies it offers. Different types of meats, veggies and street snacks are served in some of the spiciest and most lip-smacking flavors which are a complete treat to your taste buds. You will never forget the taste of the food you eat here.
South Korea is a place where infrastructure is really developed. Despite of this, some cultural residences like the Hanok villages are preserved with their best possible charm. The traditions and culture over here is preserved by the local people here with all the efforts and thus, it reflects the rich heritage of this place.
Convenient for Tourists
There are many restaurants, lodges, hostels and all the other facilities like stay and transport are constructed in a way convenient for the tourists. Hence, anybody visiting South Korea does not feel any inconvenience when it comes to the facilities and it is easy to make the entire trip experience more convenient and accessible.
Safe for Tourists
South Korea is a place which is one of the safest places to be visited by tourists. The crime rates against tourists are very low and the places to be visited are tourist friendly. Hence, the tourists visiting here do not need to worry about their safety at all.
Recommended reads for destinationWebsite: Official Website
Books: Lonely Planet Korea (eBook)
When is the best time to visit South Korea?
April to June is generally regarded the best time to visit South Korea. The flowers are in bloom and a frothy, dust-pink cloak of blossoms covers the country.
The month of September is a pretty good time to visit South Korea too since the temperatures are mild and festivals are easy to come across.
How to reach South Korea?
Take a flight from your city to the Incheon International Airport which is the largest airport of South Korea.
If you want to travel by sea, board a ship from the Port of Mumbai to the Port of Chinhae, South Korea.
Do I need a visa for South Korea? How does one get a South Korea visa?
Yes, you will need a visa to travel from India to South Korea.
There are certain requirements for getting a visa that include a passport, a visa application, a hotel reservation, a confirmed return air ticket and a cover letter stating purpose of visit.
What is the currency of South Korea and where can I get my money exchanged?
The currency of South Korea is the South Korean Won.
In addition to ATM’s and traveller cheques, you can find money changers in Myeongdong that is a popular tourist and shopping district in Seoul. However, money changers can also be found in other areas of Seoul like Dongdaemun, Itaewon and Mapo-Gu. The Keb Hana Bank is a hub for money exchange.
What are the things to do in South Korea?
- Visit the Jeju Glass Castle Theme Park in Jeju-Si.
- Take a look at the Hwaam Cave in Jeongseon which is Asia’s largest limestone cave and home to a world of plastic goblins and gold mining history.
- Go to the Owl Art and Craft Museum which in Seoul, which is one man’s lifetime collection of tiny objects of wisdom, gathered from around the world on display.
- Plan a visit to Jinan-Gun to see the Tapsa Temple.
- If you’re staying in Gangneung, book a room at the Sun Cruise Resort and Yacht which is the world’s first cruise ship shaped hotel perched atop a cliff.
- Pay a visit to the Magoksa Temple in Gongju-Si.
- Go to Museum Kimchikin in Seoul tracking the 1,500 year history of Korea’s star cabbage.
- Make sure to go to Gatbawi which has natural rock formations resembling monks in hats that inspire folk legends.
What is the local food of South Korea? Which are the best places to taste this food?
Local foods of South Korea include Kimchi, a side dish of salted vegetables; Bulgogi fire meat; Bibimbap, which is a bowl of rice mixed with vegetables and Japchae, also called stir-fried glass noodles.
The best restaurants in Seoul for fine dining are
- Tavolo 24,
- La Seine,
- Jungsik and
- JW’s Grill which serve the best traditional South Korean dishes.
- Sinchang Toast,
- Jang Su Sam and
- Bonjeon Dwaeji Gukbap are famous eateries.
Gozipfish is an interesting seafood joint in Jeju Island.
What is the best public transport to commute around South Korea?
Seoul, Busan, Daejeon, Gwangju, Incheon, Daegu have a subway system. This is a cheap and convenient way of getting around these major cities.
Buses, taxis and trains are other options. They can all be paid using the rechargeable T-Money Cards.
Can be used from port cities or islands such as Jeju.
Do I need to have any vaccinations before the trip to South Korea?
You don’t need any vaccinations before going to South Korea, however it is recommended to be prophylaxed against:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Typhoid and
What is the local language in South Korea and which are the most commonly used greetings? (mention at least 4) (Hello, Thank you, Good morning/night, What is the price of ____?, How far is _____?)
Korean is the most widely spoken language in South Korea.
The most common greetings are Hwangyong-hamnida, which means Welcome. Annyeong-hashimnikka translates to Hello.
Annyeong hashimnikka means Good morning.
Annyonghi jumushipsiyo means Good night.
Ui gagyeog-eun eolmaibnikka _____? - What is the price of ________?
Eolmana meolli issni ______? - How far is _________?
Which are the best shopping places in South Korea and what are they famous for?
- Myeongdong in Seoul is a tourist hotspot and is popular for its skincare and cosmetic brands. It is also a great place to shop clothes and latest fashion trends in general.
- The Lotte Department store also boasts dizzying ranges of skincare and cosmetic stores that have amazing sales all year round. Korean brands like Missha, Sulwhasoo and Laneige have their stores there.
- Ewha Woman’s University Shopping Street is a busy place where mostly the young students of Ewha University shop. They have great student discounts and it is a shopping heaven that sells everything including clothes, shoes, accessories, socks, rings and what not.
- For street shopping, Namdaemun Market is a large traditional market selling everything from mountain gear to carpets and wall hangings.
- Goto Mall is a 800- meter long underground alley of clothes, accessories and cosmetics. Many subways are connected here and it is one of the biggest malls in Seoul.
- Dongdaemun has about 26 malls and 30,000 stores. You can find chic Korean brands like Style Nanda and BangBang in many shops in these malls. Countless street stalls surround this place hawking shoes, clothes and delicious Korean food.
Which are the best Adventure activities in South Korea and where can I find them?
- Take a 3 hour guided hiking tour to Bukhansan National Park followed by a languid lunch.
- If you’re in Korea during the winter, enjoy spending a day away from the city and head to the ski slopes and go snow sledding.
- A 3 day tour to Jeju Island is a must if you’re a nature lover. Discover top attractions like Hallim Park, Seolbong Park and Changi Island and follow forested hiking trails to the beautiful Cheonjiyeon Falls. These are important sites for animal-spotting and birdwatching
- Bungee jumping at Cheongpung Land is another thing you must do if you’re an adventure sport lover.
- South Korea has one of the most extensive biking networks in the world and cycling through the Korean landscape is a pleasurable exercise.
- Marine Parks offer an array of water-sports including sea-kayaking and camping.
- Ulleung Island, a volcanic site, offers an exhilarating winter sport called Back-Country Powder Skiing, which attracts most adrenaline junkies.
Where is SMTOWN? What is so special about it?
SMTOWN is basically Disneyland for KPOP lovers. It’s a KPOP hotspot where groups under S.M. Entertainment like EXO, NCT, Red Velvet and Shinee perform on a regular basis. The first floor is the welcome area, whereas you can buy the merchandise of your favourite groups on the second floor. The third floor is the S.M Studio and the fourth floor is the SUM Café and Market. The fifth and sixth floors have the SUM Theatre which displays different posters of concerts and plays.
Here are the best tips Thrillophilia has to offer for your trip to South Korea.
- If you are planning a trip to South Korea, make sure you stay for at least a week to tour the different cities and spend at least a day in each.
- However, language is a huge barrier. The vendors don’t speak English even in touristy areas so be prepared with a translation app if you don’t know Korean.
- Spring and Fall are the best seasons to visit Korea because of the very harsh climates of the Summers and Winters here.
- Korean travel apps are very useful for first time travellers to keep track of buses and trains.