Travel Bloggers Recommend these 7 Seoul Day Trips!
Do you have more than 4 days in Seoul or have already explored the city before? If yes, I highly recommend adding day trips from Seoul to your Korea itinerary.
Seoul never bores me with millions of things to do, see, and eat that satiate my voracious appetite for something new. For anyone looking to venture out of the city, Korea’s capital city is also an excellent transport hub to base yourself for fantastic day trips.
Here are 7 Seoul day trip ideas as recommended by travel bloggers!
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DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)
Best Time to Visit: Any time, except when tours are restricted.
How To Get There: Join various DMZ tours as it is the only way to visit this high-security military zone.
Embarking on a tour to the controversial Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Korea will be one of the highlights of your trip to South Korea. If you’re the adventurous kind and have the desire to create unforgettable moments during your trip, taking DMZ Tours is a must.
Keep in mind that you can only visit the DMZ by tours and not as an individual tourist. The area is closed off to civilians and would require you to have a military escort. Excursions to the DMZ vary (Cheorwon DMZ Tour), so pick one that sticks to your budget and offers highlights you would like to explore.
The following areas are highly recommended: the Joint Security Area (JSA), Third Tunnel of Aggression, and Dorasan Peace Park.
The JSA (Joint Security Area) is a point of interest where two countries – North and South Koreas – coexist. Located in Panmunjom, it is the only place where you can see forces of both nations stand together in peace, with the help from the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission. It is also the only place where you can see the North Korean military as close as possible without getting into serious trouble. If you wish to visit JSA, make sure to book your tour in advance and only with approved agencies.
The Third Tunnel of Aggression, on the other hand, is the exhilarating tour that is not meant for the faint of heart or the claustrophobic. These are narrow tunnel dug by North Korea in the 1970s. It served as a secret passageway to South Korea as part of the North’s plan to launch an assault.
If you want to relax while learning more about the Korean conflict, visiting the Dorasan Peace Park will be a great idea. Located in Paju, this ecological park exhibits the information regarding the history of Dorasan Station, which used to be a railway station connecting two nations.
Submitted by Lucile Hernandez Rodriguez from Lucile HR
Best Time to Visit: Each season features different scenery. It really depends on personal preference, but I loved the autumn foliage in Nami Island.
How To Get There: You can use public transportations like trains or buses to get to Nami Island. However, the easiest, most convenient way is to take a direct shuttle from Seoul to Nami Island. Visit here for detailed information.
Nami Island is a half-moon shaped, privately-owned island between Gyeonggi-do and Gangwon-do of Korea. Only two hours away from the capital city, it is one of the most popular day trip destinations from Seoul.
Many Korean drama series have featured gorgeous tree-lined Nami Island. Instantly, it has become a hot destination by locals and tourists from around the world to witness its beautiful scenery all year round.
No matter which season you visit Nami Island, you can enjoy the seasonally diverse natural beauty. In Spring, cherry blossom blooms. Lush green metasequoia trees provide pleasant shade under the sun in summer. Golden ginkgo and red maple leaves color the entire island in fall. When it snows, Nami Island is covered in a white snow blanket.
Next time you are in Seoul, do not miss this picturesque island. I recommend taking this tour to visit Nami Island, Gardens of Morning Calm, and Petite France in one day.
Written by Me from Chloe’s Travelogue (Instagram)
>> I highly recommend joining this day tour to Nami Island and Garden of Morning calm, conveniently taking you to two gorgeous locations in Gangwondo. The round trip is offered from Hongdae, Myeongdong, or Dongdaemun.
Korean Folk Village in Yongin
Best time to visit: The Korean Folk Village can be enjoyed at any time of year, but it’s especially nice in autumn with the changing foliage. The events and performances change according to the season. There is always something on schedule no matter what time of year you visit. The important thing is to choose a non-rainy day and dress according to the weather since you will be outdoors all day.
How to get there: To visit the Korean Folk Village, you will need to travel by subway to Suwon Station on Line 1. Once you arrive at Suwon Station, there is a free shuttle that runs to the Korean Folk Village at 10:30, 12:30 and 14:30. This shuttle then returns from the Korean Folk Village to Suwon Station at 13:50 and 16:00. The journey is 30 minutes, but keep in mind that the bus can fill up, especially if you are visiting during the holidays or on the weekend.
Alternatively, you can take the subway to Suwon Station and then transfer to bus #37 or #10-5, which will take 50 minutes and bring you to the Korean Folk Village. [open Kakao map]
If you are looking for a fun and easy day trip not too far from Seoul, the Korean Folk Village is a great option.
The Korean Folk Village situates in Yongin, in the Gyeonggi province, which circles Seoul. This outdoor living museum allows you to travel back in time and imagine what life must have been like during the late Joseon dynasty. All of the structures found at the folk village were either relocated from different parts of the country or reconstructed using traditional methods. You can see how people would have lived and how their homes would have varied, depending on whether they were a peasant, landowner, or member of the ruling class.
What makes this place interesting is that there are actors in costume going about their daily Joseon life. As you wander through the folk village, you will encounter dance performances, drumming processions, a traditional Korean wedding ceremony, and farmers harvesting crops. You can interact with the actors and, in some cases, even participate in their task at hand.
Another fun aspect of spending the day at the folk village is that you can try classic Korean dishes like bulgogi, dolsot bibimbap, and sundubu jjigae at an outdoor food court in the village center.
All in all, the Korean Folk Village is a fun and educational place that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. It is a must-do day trip when visiting Seoul.
Submitted by Audrey Bergner from That Back Packer (YouTube)
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Best Time to Visit: Weekdays, as during weekends, it can get a bit crowded. The most beautiful time to visit is in spring or autumn when flowers are in full bloom or when you can see the autumn foliage.
How to Get There: Suwon lies on Line 1 and Bundang Line of the Seoul Subway network. It takes about an hour from Seoul. [open Kakao map]
Suwon lies south of Seoul in Gyeonggi-do province. The city lies on the Seoul subway network, which makes it very easily accessible by public transport. There are loads of things to do in Suwon, but one of the must-see sites is the Suwon Hwaseong fortress.
The Suwon fortress was built in 1796 by King Jeongjo in honor of his father, who was accused of treason and killed at the age of 27. The fortress is absolutely stunning and has become the filming location of many Korean dramas, music videos, and films.
The walls of the fortress stretch for about 5.74 kilometers, surrounding a big part of Suwon city. The Suwon Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was registered in 1997, so not only is it a great site with lots of historical value, but you can also enjoy walking all along the fortress walls.
To get the best view of the fortress, it is highly recommended to take the Flying Suwon experience. It is a hot air balloon experience that rises up to 100 meters above the fortress and allows you to see the whole fortress and other points of interest in Suwon.
Visiting the fortress is free. But if you want to visit the Haenggung Palace, which lies along the fortress walls, there is an entrance fee of 1$. It is highly recommended to pay a visit to this stunning place.
Submitted by Marie Boes from Be Marie Korea (Facebook)
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Bukhansan National Park
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is during the early summer when everything goes green again after the winter. And then again, once the autumn leaves changes their color for the foliage season. No matter the time of the year, visitors can enjoy stunning vistas from the trail.
How to get there: It is quite easy to get here from Seoul by public transport. Take subway line 3 to Gupabal Station and get out at Exit 1. Transfer to bus #704 bound for Bukhansanseong Fortress (북한산성). Or, it is a short 35-minute drive outside the city center. [open Kakao map]
Bukhansan National Park – also known as Bukhan Mountain, or 북한산 in Korean – is a popular full-day hiking destination for locals in Seoul. The national park is easy to reach from central Seoul. And more than 5 million hikers annually visit the national park.
There are three major peaks of the Bukhansan mountain, where the tallest one has a height of 836.5 meters. It’s the highest mountain nearby Seoul. From the top of Bukhansan, you can enjoy panoramic views of Seoul.
Within the national park, you can visit the Bukhansanseong Fortress that was first built in 132 AD to protect Seoul and the surrounding area from invasions from foreigners. The 9.5 kilometer-long defensive wall of the fortress is an exciting place to visit.
Bukhan Mountain covers an area of 79.92 square kilometers. Make sure to wear a good pair of shoes. It’s not a good idea to bring sneakers or flip flops as the terrain can be slippery from time to time.
Also, there are several hiking routes to choose from in Bukhansan. The entrance to the routes is rotated from year to year to give a break to the environment due to a large number of visitors.
Best time to visit: Any season.
How to get there: Take subway Line 7 and get off at Cheolsan Station, Exit 2. Transfer to bus #17 to Gwangmyeong Cave. [open Kakao map]
Gwangmyeong Cave is an abandoned mine transformed into the best cave theme park in Korea. It locates in the outskirt of Seoul in the city of Gwangmyeong in Gyeonggi-do.
The industrial heritage site was initially developed as a mine in 1912 during the Japanese occupation period. The mine produced gold, silver, bronze, and zinc for 60 years until it was closed in 1972. The cave was used as a storage for fermented shrimps for the next 40 years until the city of Gwangmyeong re-opened it as a historical theme park in 2011.
The theme park is a perfect day trip for families with young children. Besides learning its history through the exhibit, get ready to be mesmerized with under the sea light show. The attractions also feature underground passage, an underground lake, and an aquarium that will get children’s attention.
If you are not as excited about this theme park as your kiddos, think again. Tracing the glittering gold along the walls will absolutely fascinate anyone. Also, you might be delighted to know that there is a Wine Cafe. Here, you can taste and buy award-winning wines from all over Korea.
When you are out of the cave, be sure to stop by Recycling Center. The center showcases art and furniture exhibits created by recycled wood, metals, fabrics, and papers. You can also buy souvenirs and grab something to eat or drink upstairs as well.
Written by Me from Chloe’s Travelogue (Facebook)
Trip to Busan?
If you have more than a couple of days in Korea, you might want to explore beyond Seoul. Busan is the largest port city in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula. The marine city is a popular vacation destination for its stunning beach, coastal landscape, and fresh seafood.
Best time to visit: A warm summer weekend
How to get there: Take Seoul Metro Line 1 and get off at Incheon Station.
If you ever have a weekend to spare while in Seoul, consider heading over to neighboring Incheon City. While Incheon is most famous for its large international airport, which primarily serves the South Korean capital, this charming city offers so much more, including lovely beaches, delicious food, and fun activities for visitors of any age.
Incheon is easily and inexpensively accessible from Seoul via public transportation. Also, some of the cities best attractions are located closely together; you can visit them all in one day.
Once you arrive at Incheon Station, you will find yourself directly in front of Chinatown. Chinatown is one of the best places to indulge in the delicious Chinese-Korean cuisine (hint: jjajangmyeon!), so eat lunch here. You can also buy cute little toys from vending machines.
Next, head over to the famous Songwol-dong Fairytale Village. This town is a row of brightly colored houses with fairytale depictions that will let your childhood dreams come to life again.
From Fairytale Village, you have two options to enjoy the nearby coast. One option is to take a relaxing little hike to Wolmido, a nearby peninsula with a large amusement park. Conclude the day by enjoying a beautiful sunset with your favorite Korean street foods and taking a ride or two if you’re into thrills.
Another way is to enjoy a relaxing evening on the quiet beach. My recommendation is a lesser-known Masian Beach, located on Yeongjong Island right next to Incheon International Airport. You can quickly get there by taking a bus from Fairytale Village. You can enjoy the tidal flats.
While you are enjoying your day trip in Incheon, beware of the time. Once the metro stops operating, you will probably have to spend the night outside of Seoul!
Submitted by Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl