102 Unbelievably Beautiful Places in Korea

I’ve been lucky to visit some of the most beautiful places in Korea while I’ve lived here for a total of 3+ years. Whether it’s some remote hiking trail in the countryside or a famous palace in Seoul, I’ve gathered a pretty huge bucket list.

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One of my main goals in moving to the countryside was to avoid getting myself stuck in one city. When I first lived here, I was a student in Seoul, and I literally never left in the entire 6 weeks I was there. I knew I wanted to change that my second time around. If someone talked about a town or site in Korea, I wanted to know exactly what and where they were talking about.

As a tribute to one of my favorite little countries, I thought I’d round up a huge list of all the must-see and famous places to visit in Korea, whether it’s during summer, winter, or any season.

How many of these incredibly beautiful places in Korea have you visited?

Korea Travel Posts

102 Beautiful Places in Korea

I’ve divided the list into the following sections and within each section, and they’re alphabetically organized. If you want to learn about a specific place, click on the link to read the full post.

Main Cities/Areas

Provinces

Places to Visit in Seoul

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bongeunsa temple seoul
  • Bongeunsa (Bongeun Temple)

    • Seoul | This temple dates all the way back to 794 and is right in the heart of Seoul. It’s a good temple if you wish to experience a Korean temple stay.
  • Bukhansan (Mt. Bukhan)

    • Seoul | The tallest mountain closest to Seoul, this is also one of our favorite spots for fall foliage. Check it out here… Read More
  • Bukchon Hanok Village

    • Seoul | Get lost in this village near Gyeongbokgung and find one of the many observatories for a view all the way to Namsan Tower on a clear day. If you want a good place for the sunset in Seoul, this is one of the best.
  • Changdeokgung + Huwon (Changdeok Palace + the Secret Garden)

    • Seoul | One of the four main palaces, Chandeokgung’s defining characteristic is its secret garden, once used as a place of rest for royals during the Joseon dynasty.
  • Deoksugung Ddoldam-gil

    • Seoul | Check out this lovely song from Yoona that showcases both Deoksugung and the nearby road. It’s an idyllic place when tents aren’t set up around it.
  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza

    • Seoul | Designed by the late Zaha Hadid and home to Seoul’s fairly new fashion week, DDP represents and celebrates the growing creativity of Korea’s newer generations. Go to one of the nearby shopping skyscrapers and take an elevator up to see a bird’s eye view.
About 40 miles away from Seoul lies the Dreamy Camera Cafe, a place that wants to do more than serve you coffee.
  • Dreamy Camera Café

    • Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi-do | This is probably going require a good day trip from Seoul to see, so bring a good book, some work, or a good pal. This café is more than a café, it’s meant to help you relax and learn to dream. Definitely on my list of favorite cafes in Seoul (or near!)
  • Garden of the Morning Calm

    • Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do | A play on one of Korea’s nicknames, “Land of the Morning Calm,” this garden helps spread Korea’s natural beauty. It’s the oldest private garden in the country.
  • Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace)

    • Seoul | Korea’s main palace, consider this the most defining remain of the Joseon Dynasty. It’s massive and just gets more beautiful the farther you go back.
  • Ihwa Mural Village

    • Seoul | A very cheerful village in Seoul, it’s a great afternoon trip and less touristy than other places.
  • Jeongdong Observatory

    • Seoul | Head to this observatory for a full, overhead view of Deoksugung (Deoksu Palace). Grab a coffee in the café and relax by the window.
  • Namsan Tower (Mt. Nam Tower)

    • Seoul | One of Seoul’s most iconic features, this tower gives you a view of the whole city from afar. Bring your significant other and add a lock to the many others (unlike Paris, it’s encouraged here) in tribute to love.
  • Namsangol Hanok Village (Mt. Nam Valley Hanok Village)

    • Seoul | On your way down from visiting Namsan Tower, make a detour to this quieter hanok village. Less crowded, you’ll dodge some of the crowds at Bukchon and have a beautiful view of the tower from below.
  • Seokchon Lake Park

    • Seoul | This lovely lake is right near Lotte World. It’s especially beautiful when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
  • Seoul Grand Park

    • Seoul | This massive park right in the middle of Seoul makes a fun trip, especially if you want to take the ski lift around. It has two different zoos, gardens, and a forest park all within this nearly billion square miles of space… Read More
  • The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

    • From Seoul | A must do in Korea is a trip to the DMZ, even if it is a bit cheesier than you’d think. Get a look at one of the world’s tensest borders and step inside North Korea via the Joint Security Area.

Places to Visit in Busan

  • Gamcheon Culture Village

    • Busan | By far, Gamcheon is one of my favorite places in of Korea and one of the best things to do in Busan. This colorful seaside village is perfect to wander around one afternoon. Check out all the different murals and scenic views.
  • Haedong Yonggungsa (Haedong Yonggung Temple)

    • Busan | This is a beautiful seaside temple built into the cliffs and looks amazing in every photo I’ve ever seen. There are also multiple dagobas spread out.
  • Haeundae (Haeun Beach)

    • Busan | Yes, this beach is crazy popular all the time, and I’d avoid it like the plague during the summer. However, it is beautiful, and seeing the first sunset of 2016 with Elissa and her sister was an easy highlight

Places to Visit in Jeju

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  • Cheonjiyeon Waterfall

    • Jeju | One of Jeju’s defining characteristics is its waterfalls, and at 22m high, the best one to see in Cheonjiyeon down near Seogwipo.
  • Hallasan National Park (Mt. Halla National Park)

    • Jeju, Jeju-do | Top of my list for when I go back to Jeju. I’d like to dedicate a day to hiking the whole mountain. It’s one of Korea’s three main mountains and the tallest.
Here are ALL the top things to do in Jeju, South Korea! This island is a great getaway from the busier mainland, and showcases Korean beauty at its best.
  • Hyeopjae Beach

    • Jeju, Jeju-do | I only got to spend an afternoon here, but it was seriously lovely and the perfect first stop on my Jeju tour. If you can, stay in a storage container Airbnb and try the best pizza ever at Donatos. Hang out on the beach for sunset. I thought it was beautiful, but my hostel host said it was actually cloudy that day, so I can’t imagine how amazing it would be with a clear sky!
Here are ALL the top things to do in Jeju, South Korea! This island is a great getaway from the busier mainland, and showcases Korean beauty at its best.
  • Daepo Jusanjeolli Cliff

    • Jeju, Jeju-do | This cliff was formed after one of Hallasan’s eruptions. What makes it so unique is its pillar-like pattern.
Here are ALL the top things to do in Jeju, South Korea! This island is a great getaway from the busier mainland, and showcases Korean beauty at its best.
  • O’sulloc Tea Fields

    • Seogwipo, Jeju | In the southwest of Jeju, head to these famed green tea fields and walk around the rows and rows of green tea plants. You can try some green tea products in their café, though it was incredibly crowded when I went, or head to Innisfree’s Jeju Café. Get the Hallabong Blender, it’s my favorite!
Here are ALL the top things to do in Jeju, South Korea! This island is a great getaway from the busier mainland, and showcases Korean beauty at its best.
  • Seongsan Ilchulbong (Mt. Seong Sunrise Peak)

    • Seogwipo, Jeju-do | A fairly short hike up, and you can get a gorgeous view even if you miss the sunrise or sunset! This is also where you can find Hanyeo, the awesome women divers who are all around 40 or older. I was bummed I missed their performance by 30 minutes!
  • Yeongduam Coast (Dragon Head Coast)

    • Seogwipo, Jeju-do | This coastline is reminiscent of the Grand Canyon’s rock formations and looks like a dragon extending into the sea. Be careful to go at low tide, it’s closed off if the tide is too high.

Places to Visit in Chuncheongbukdo

  • Guinsa (Guin Temple)

    • Danyang, Chungcheongbukdo | As soon as I saw the Hedgers’ photos of this temple, I knew it would be a must-see upon returning to Korea. As someone who’s seen a ton of temples spread out through Korea, this is definitely one of the most unique ones I’ve yet to come across… Read More
  • Gyeryongsan (Mt. Gyeryong)

    • Daejeon  | This gorgeous hike will hit all the big sites to see in Korean mountains (temples, waterfalls, and peaks). When I saw it on Bobo + Chichi’s site, I was most struck by Donghaksa, a temple used mostly for female Buddhists. Interestingly, one of the roofs they pictured has a mostly yellow color whereas I usually see the signature green…Read More
  • Songnisan National Park (Mt. Songni National Park)

    • Beoun, Chungcheongbukdo | This gorgeous mountain is gorgeous all year round. It’s home to one of Korea’s largest temples, Beopjusa.
  • Woraksan National Park (Mt. Worak National Park)

    • Jecheon, Chungcheongbukdo | In the middle of the country, this beautiful hike is definitely not an easy one. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike an unmarked trail… Read More

Places to Visit in Chuncheongnamdo

Another entry in our hiking in Korea experiences. Here we have the beautiful Daedunsan, famous for both its 81 meter high suspension bridge.
  • Daedunsan Provincial Park (Mt. Daedun Provincial Park)

    • Chuncheongnamdo | This one’s known for its red suspension bridge. When I went it was rainy and foggy, so you could barely see in front of you let alone your surroundings. Made for a fun walk across…
  • Taeanhaean National Park

    • Taean, Chuncheongnamdo | This park is made up of 130 beautiful islands around Anmyeondo and Taean Peninsula.

Places to Visit in Gangwondo

  • Chiaksan National Park (Mt. Chiak National Park)

    • Wonju, Gangwondo | Named after a Korean legend where a man saves a pheasant from a snake and in turn, the pheasant saves the man later, Chiaksan is more known for its longer hikes (the shortest is 9 km). Head here in late September to mid-October to fully enjoy Korea’s autumn season.
  • Chuam Chotdaebwai (Candlestick Rock)

    • Donghae, Gangwondo | The story has it that this rock represents a man who lost both his wife and his concubine because they fought so much a god struck them dead. The man just sat in sadness and turned into this rock. I know… Either way rocky terrain and clear blue of the northern part of the sea is breathtaking even in the dead cold of late November.
  • Gyeongpo Beach

    • Gangneung, Gangwondo | This beach up north is a great summer escape and is a unique blend of beach and culture.
  • Hajodae | Hajo Beach

    • Yangyang, Gangwondo | If you’re traveling and want a truly isolated experience, check out Hajo Beach… Read More
  • Jeongsan (Mt. Jeong)

    • Jeongsan, Gangwondo | Located in the mountains, you’ll have the best scenery for when you work up the nerve to take the 300 ft. high zip line at 60 km/hr (37 mph) across the area! After seeing these photos, I know I’m going back here even if it takes the whole day to organize…
  • Naksan Beach (Mt. Nak Beach)

    • Yangyang, Gangwondo | Beautiful sand, a pine forest, and the East Sea’s characteristically blue water make this an escape I wish I had seen in person! I swear I’m gonna get my international license and learn how to camp in a tent so I can experience places like this more… Read More
Yellow Gingko trees on Nami Island near Seoul
  • Nami Island

    • Chuncheon, Gangwondo | Technically this charming island is called “The Naminara Republic” because it declared itself an independent nation whose main export is imagination. While it was incredibly crowded when I went, it was beautiful. There are tributes to “Winter Sonata’s” famous snowman scene everywhere, but what I loved was the long row of gingko trees in all their bright yellow glory.
  • Odaesan National Park (Mt. Odae National Park)

    • Pyeongchang, Gangwondo | Located in Pyeongchang, home to the 2018 Winter Olympics, Odaesan is best known for its main temple, Woljeongsa, and for being home to Korea’s largest natural woods.
  • Penis Parks

    • Seomcheok, Gangwondo, Jeju, etc | Ahhhh penis parks. For a country that’s so conservative, it’s banned porn, you’d be surprised to know there’s not only one, but two parks filled with penis and sex positions. The biggest ones are Loveland in Jeju and Haesindang Park in Seomcheok, but there are smaller penis attractions spread out through the country (my friend went to a sort of exhibit in Namwon with none other than her older, super Christian co-teacher…). Apparently, Loveland was created to help newlywed couples learn about sex on their honeymoons and Haesindang was built to appease the ghost of a virgin…
  • Seoraksan (Mt. Seorak)

    • Sokcho, Gangwondo | One of Korea’s three main mountains, this is the furthermost north, and it’s stunning. I went on a cold November day when everything was pretty much dead, and it was still amazing.
  • Taebaeksan National Park (Mt. Taebaek)

    • Taebaek, Gangwon | It’s a relatively high, but it’s an easy hike since it has few cliffs and is smooth all around. It’s also home to a really fun snow festival… Read More

Places to Visit in Gyeonggido

  • Hyeri Art Village

    • Paju, Gyeonggi-do | Hyeri is a fun village north of Seoul with lots of interesting, industrial designs and architecture. Such a fun, easy day trip!
Storybook Village, Petite France near Seoul, Korea
  • Petite France

    • Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do | While it’s designed to look like France (as imagined in the Little Prince), it’s truly a Korean take on the country. Step inside a colorful storybook village come to life. If you like Korean dramas, you’ll recognize it from “Secret Garden” or “He Who Came from the Stars.”
  • Odusan Unification Observatory

    • Paju, Gyeonggi-do | Head to this observatory to see into North Korea… Read More
  • Pocheon Art Valley

    • Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do | This quirky art valley is in a rock quarry filled with different sculptures set against a gorgeous natural backdrop. When I say quirky, I mean one of the sculptures is an igloo made of empty makgeolli bottles… Read More
  • Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress

    • Suwon, Gyeonggi-do | Nearly six kilometers long, this stone fortress is adorned with signature traditional style battle stations and entrances.

Places to Visit in Gyeongsangbukdo

  • Andong Hahoe Village (Andong Folk Village)

    • Andong, Gyeongsangbukdo | One of the best places in Korea to see traditional housing, Andong Folk Village is surrounded by Nakdong river. Of all the historical villages, it’s one of the best preserved.
  • Bulguksa (Bulguk Temple)

    • Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | Built in 528, Bulguksa is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest temples in Korea. It’s a representative image of Gyeongju and the Silla Dynasty.
View from Daewangam Park in Uslan, Korea
  • Daewangam Park

    • Ulsan, Gyeongsangbukdo | Ulsan is mostly an incredibly industrial city, so it’s a lovely contrast to get off at Ilsan Beach and climb through this park. As you go, you might even see a kitty or two wandering around!
  • Donggung and Wolji (Dong Palace and Wol Pond)

    • Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | During the Silla dynasty, Donggung was the secondary palace and used for visitors and big events. It’s beautiful especially in late spring and summer when the lotus flowers are in full bloom.

  • Duryu Park

    • Daegu | A mix of industry and traditional architecture, this is a great place to enjoy an otherwise bustling city.
  • Haeinsa (Haein Temple)

    • Seongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | Located in Gayasan National Park, Haeinsa is one of Korea’s “Three Jewel Temples” along with Tongdosa and Songgwangsa. It’s considered the main temple for Korean Buddhism teachings and houses over 80,000 wooden printing blocks or scripture. Combine it with a hike around Gayasan for some nature as well.
  • Juwangsan National Park (Mt. Juwang National Park) 

    • Cheongsong, Gyeongsanbukdo | Juwangsan’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the rumored location of Silla’s King Juwon after turning Silla over the Goryeo. Sprinkled with waterfalls, hermitages, and temples, it’s a fantastic place for a historical hike. At 721m, it’s also the smallest national park!
  • Sinbulsan (Mt. Sinbul)

    • Ulsan, Gyeongsangbukdo | This mountain near Ulsan is great if you want to see the silver grass in all its glory. I found out about it after the fact, but now I know where I’m returning! I love looking at silver grass. There’s something wildly peaceful about it.
  • Sobaeksan National Park (Mt. Sobaek)

    • Yeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | Sobaeksan is particularly gorgeous for wildflowers and azaleas in the spring and summer. You can also see some of the most stunning waterfalls in the province, and it’s where Guinsa is.
  • Tumuli Park 

    • Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | Home to quite a few royal burial tombs dating back to the Silla Dynasty, head in and see Korea’s own version of the pyramids. Cross the street and climb the free tomb park to get a view above.
  • Wolseong Yangdong Village

    • Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbukdo | One of Korea’ best kept and largest historical village, some of the houses date back to 200 years ago. Heck, even Prince Charles has popped in for a visit!

Places to Visit in Gyeongsangnamdo

  • Geojedo (Geoje Island)

    • Geoje, Gyeongsangnamdo | One of Korea’s largest islands, Geoje is one of the best places to enjoy the South Sea. If you’re doing a road trip, combine with Tongyeong.
  • Hallyeohaesang National Marine Park

    • Sacheon, Geoje, Tongyeong, Hadong, + Namhae, Gyeongsangnamdo + Yeosu, Jeollanamdo | This sea park covers most of the southern coast and is best seen from Namhae.
Check out these beautiful photos of a more traditional Korea to make you fall in love with this country and forget all about its city image.
  • Hansando (Hansan Island)

    • Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnamdo | An important naval base during the Joseon dynasty, Hansando pays tribute to Yi Sun Shin and provides a beautiful seascape. The ferry from Tongyeong is fairly short, and make sure to get the pajeon on your way to the shrine!
Best place to see these beautiful pink flowers come spring? The Hwagae Cherry Blossom Festival with its 4km of trees is absolutely stunning!
  • Hwagae Cherry Blossom Road

    • Hadong, Gyeongsangnamdo | This was one of those random trips I went on that I’m so happy I did. Four kilometers of cherry blossoms and it all turns to colorful foliage in autumn. Definitely a must see. Just make sure you get there early in the morning because it will get crowded…
Jinhae Photo by Nicole Palafox
  • Jinhae’s Gyeonghwa Station

    • Changwon, Gyeongsangnamdo | Easily Korea’s most popular cherry blossom festival, it’s flooded with visitors near and far who want to capture the 1.5 kilometers of trees. Nicole went last year and said it was hectic but gorgeous… Read More
  • Jinju Lantern Festival (Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival)

    • Jinju, Gyeongsangnamdo | Jinju is a fairly quiet countryside city, but its biggest event is the Lantern Festival. Everyone I know who’s gone said it’s stunning… Read More

Places to Visit in Jeollabukdo

  • Baemsagol Valley in Jirisan (Baemsagol Valley in Mt. Jiri)

    • Namwon, Jeollabukdo | One of my favorites for a fall hike, this is definitely a bit more intense and will take you the whole day to complete.
  • Baraebong in Jirisan (Barae Peak in Mt. Jiri)

    • Namwon, Jeollabukdo | If you want to see miles of Royal Azaleas, this fairly easy hike is perfect in mid-spring.
  • Byeonsanbando National Park (Byeonsanban Island National Park)

  • Daegang

    • Namwon, Jeollabukdo | This is where one of my schools was at, and it was honestly the most stunning bus ride I’ve ever taken. At least once a week for nearly two years, I rode by this mountain and river, and each season brings something new. Fall it’s a road full of color, in winter, it’s its own wonderland, in spring cherry blossoms are everywhere, and in summer everything is lush and green. If you’re in Namwon and want a break from hiking, get a bike and find the trail to get here. I believe you can camp as well.
  • Deogyusan Ski Resort (Mt. Deogyusan Ski Resort)

    • Muju, Jeollabukdo | One of the best places for skiing in winter, head out to Muju and the beautiful area around it. I didn’t get to go skiing, but I stayed nearby for the Muju Firefly Festival (not recommended by the way) and it was beautiful even without the snow!
Check out these beautiful photos of a more traditional Korea to make you fall in love with this country and forget all about its city image.
  • Gwanghallu

    • Namwon, Jeollabukdo | Gwanghallu is the setting to Korea’s most famous love story, Chunhyangjeon, and is gorgeous no matter what season. I loved walking through here after school. One of my favorite memories was running over here to see the area covered in freshly fallen snow last winter with some friends.

  • Jeonju Hanok Village

    • Jeonju, Jeollabukdo | Personally, this is my favorite hanok village of them all. A little more enclosed than Bukchon, walk around and stay overnight for a full hanok experience. The pace is a bit slower and less crowded than its Seoul counterparts.

  • Jeonju Art Village

    • Jeonju, Jeollabukdo | A friend recommended this before I left, and I just never had the chance to go. I’ve seen photos and it looks so lovely, and she told me she liked it even more than Gamcheon! I’ll definitely have to compare when I return.
  • Maisan Provincial Park | Mt. Mai Provincial Park 

    • Jinan, Jeollabukdo | Legend has it that this mountain, a little outside of Jeonju, was formed when two gods and their child were trying to go back up to the sky but were caught by a village woman and stuck on earth forever. The mountain is known for two curious things: its pagodas made of piles of stones that never break or sway and the fact that you can throw water up from a bowl in winter and it will freeze into a bowl. It’s another place I need to go for sure!
Here's what exactly what happens when you sign-up to experience a Korean monk's life via one of the many temple stay programs offered around the country.
  • Naesosa (Naeso Temple)

    • Buan, Jeollabukdo | This is where I had my temple stay. Nestled in the mountains, it’s a very quiet escape (though I didn’t find the temple stay particularly relaxing…) and taking a small nearby hike lets you see it from above.
  • Naejangsan (Mt. Naejang)

    • Jeongeup, Jeollabukdo | The best place to see fall foliage is Naejangsan hands down. Take a cable car up over the trees (the windows are open and if you take a video, people will wonder if you’re using a drone!) and see the whole mountain covered in color…
  • Namwon’s Baby Peak (Aegibong)

    • Namwon, Jeollabukdo | Across the river from Gwanghallu in Namwon, you can climb up for a very easy, small hike and get a view of the city of love from above.
  • Gangcheonsan (Mt. Gangcheon)

    • Sunchang, Jeollabukdo | This is a lovely mountain for a fall hike. My friend went with her students and took the loveliest photo of fall leaves. With deep valleys, high peaks, and waterfalls, it makes for a lovely, fairly easy hike in the countryside

Places to Visit in Jeollanamdo

  • Bijindo (Bijin Island)

    • Tongyeong, Jeollanamdo | It’s easy to forget that Korea is a peninsula with hundreds of islands off its southern coast that could rival Halong Bay for their beauty. Bijindo is particularly known for its bikini top shape… Read More
  • Boriamsa (Boriam Temple)

    • Namhae, Jeollanamdo | Located cliffside in Namhae, this temple creates a beautiful match to the sea. It’s a bit of a trek to get to and there are a lot of stairs.
  • Boseong Green Tea Fields

    • Boseong, Jeollanamdo | One of my favorite places in Korea, you can spend all day roaming through (and up) these tea fields. Climb to the top for a view of the sea.
  • Dadohaehaesang National Park

    • Wando, Jeollanamdo | The largest of all the national parks, Dadohaehaesang is comprised of thousands of tiny islands along the southern coast. It’s also the setting for many of Korea’s most famous admiral, Yi Sun Shin’s, wartime achievements.
View of Bridge from Dolsan Island, Yeosu
  • Dolsando (Dolsan Island)

    • Yeosu, Jeollanamdo | The Hedgers took me to the park to watch the sunset over Yeosu, and it’s easily one of the best views of the city. Watch the sun go down and then watch the main bridge put on a bit of a light show. You can spend the day on the island exploring all other parts as well.
  • Enrogel Teapot Café

    • Jangseong, Jeollanamdo | It’s a café shaped like a teapot! Even more in the middle of nowhere than the Dreamy Camera Café, this one is best if you’re planning a road trip.
While April sees the brief bloom of the cherry blossoms, May is when all the roses come out! Check out the Gokseong Rose Festival for a truly lovely time.

  • Gokseong Rose Garden

    • Gokseong, Jeollanamdo | Gokseong’s famous rose garden is within its train village, and come May the whole area is bursting with fresh blooms.
  • Gurye

    • Gurye, Jeollanamdo | Gurye is one of the best countryside escapes. I spent my first Christmas at the Hanok Pension and saw the best sunsets I’ve seen in Korea. It’s beautiful for fall, and for some temple hiking…
  • Gwanygang Maehwa Village

    • Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo | Buried in Gwagyang’s countryside is a beautiful farm filled with maehwa trees. Every March, it’s full of light pink blossoms that signal the start to cherry blossom season and spring.
  • Jindo (Jin Island)

    • Jeollanamdo | Most famous for its sea parting festival each year where you can quite literally walk through water. My friend went and said it was worth the super early start. It’s also where the Jindo dog originated from.
  • Jogyesan (Mt. Jogyesan)

    • Suncheon, Jeollanamdo | Jogyesan is home to two beautiful temples, Seonamsa and Sogwangsa. You can hike between them and enjoy the mountain’s gorgeous nature and views.
  • Juknokwon (Bamboo Forest)

    • Damyang, Jeollanamdo | Korea’s own bamboo forest, Juknokwon is slightly uphill and quite expansive (much bigger than you think when starting!)
  • Metasequoia Roads

    • Damyang, Jeollanamdo or Chuncheon, Gangwondo | These beautiful, tall trees create a stunning pathway. While often times they will be a bit crowded, they’re well worth seeing in person. You can head down to Damyang and bike there from the park or make the road a stop on your trip to Nami Island near Seoul. If you’re a K-drama fan you’ll recognize the trees from the classic, “Winter Sonata.”
Down in Damyang, Korea, there's a quirky, French inspired village called Meta Provence.
  • Meta Provence

    • Damyang, Jeollanamdo | A colorful village inspired by Provence, France (with a decidedly Korean filter) and near the Metasequoia Road, Meta Provence is a colorful, storybook village. Walk around the colorful buildings, take fun photos, and enjoy this fun place in the middle of the countryside.
  • Mireuksan (Mt. Mireuk)

    • Tongyeong, Jeollanamdo | Take a cable car or hike up this mountain near Tongyeong and get a gorgeous view of all the islands and the city from afar.
  • Mudeungsan National Park (Mt. Mudeung National Park)

    • Hwasun, Damyang, + Gwangju, Jeollanamdo | Mudeungsan, the newest national park, makes for a great fall hike, especially as the grass starts to brown. It also is home to hexagonal rocks that date back to over 70 million years ago. Another hike I need to try (or I might be lazy and use the cable cars to another area of the mountain instead :p)… Read More
  • Odongdo (Odong Island) 

    • Yeosu, Jeollanamdo | This island is accessible via a short bridge walk and gives the loveliest view of Yeosu’s skyline.
  • Saryangdo (Saryang Island)

    • Tongyeong, Jeollanamdo | Another of Tongyeong’s gorgeous islands! This one is a little separated from the rest (you’ll go to as separate ferry area to go). Check out some hiking tips here.
Suncheon Bay is one of Korea's best natural landmarks! Down in Jeollanamdo, here's how you can visit this beautiful wetland.
  • Suncheon Bay Wetland Reserve

    • Suncheon, Jeollanamdo | Walk through a field of reeds and up a mountain to get a gorgeous view of this coastal wetland. The bay is over 8,000 years old and home to a variety of species and has managed to escape much of the pollution from Korea’s quick build up in the last six decades.
  • Suncheon Bay Garden

    • Suncheon, Jeollanamdo | This gorgeous garden is like a mini-Epcot! With two different entrance gates a plenty of little gardens and sculptures, you could easily spend all day wandering around.
Have you seen photos of the Cloud Bridge? Only accessible via hiking Wolchulsan, it's a must-see in Korea!
  • Wolchulsan | Mt. Wolchul

    • Yeongnam, Jeollanamdo | Home to the Cloud Bridge, a beautiful, orange suspension bridge 122 m high, Wolchulsan makes for a beautiful hike in the countryside. The hike to the bridge is high, but not overly difficult (though beyond the peak is much harder), and the views over rice fields are breathtaking. Go in the fall to see them beginning to yellow.
In collaboration with Ryan and Stephanie of Hedgers Abroad, check out this insider look at the beautiful Yeosu.
  • Yeongchuisan Valley | Mt. Yeongchui Valley

    • Yeosu, Jeollanamdo | The Hedgers took me here when they showed me around Yeosu, and it just the loveliest. While, yes there is a mountain you can hike to, you can also relax in the streams below. It’s a beautiful area and perfect for when the summer heat starts to kick in.
View from Yudalsan in Mokpo, Korea
  • Yudalsan | Mt. Yudal

    • Mokpo, Jeollanamdo | One your way to Jeju, make sure to spend some time in Mokpo and take in the port city’s views. They’re the best scene with a small hike up Yudalsan where you can get a view of the sea and the city.
Even writing this list I’ve realized there are so many beautiful places in Korea that I have yet to go! Am I missing any? Who knows, there might have to be a part 2 someday!

If you’re traveling to Korea for the first time, check out my South Korea travel tips post and join my Facebook group!

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Get your wander list ready and see if you've been to any of these incredible places to visit in South Korea!
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19 Comments

  1. November 1, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    The fact that this is in alphabetical order is enough to impress me… holy moly Sam! You have honestly outdone yourself. This is outta control! I haven’t even HEARD about 70% of these places which is pretty sad on my part. The biggest loss of mine I feel like was Boseong Green Tea Fields cause I LOVEEEEEEE tea but also anything Jeju. I never even made it out to Busan in my first year! Oh well… I love that you have linked out to other people’s blogs. Was this a collab then? All in all, this is an incredible feat of blogging and I hope I can replicate this one day for some worthy country. But this is inspiration for sure! ;)

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:59 am

      Haha that’s how I stayed organized! And thank you so much, Izzy! Oh man, you gotta go to Boseong if you return to Korea. Easily one of my favorite places!

      And actually not a collab. These were places I had saved from the sites but wound up not being able to get to, and I figured it’d be best to link to someone who has a better post with information :). Haha you can totally do one for Vietnam!

      • November 4, 2016 / 6:05 am

        So basically like a directory! That I like even more because its way more helpful and you’re strengthening the blogging community. Yea! Let me see if I can get this done for other places too. What a cool post girl! :)

  2. November 1, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Wow I had no idea how varied Korea was, I suppose its typical we only see the most famous parts on tv & media, but it really is worth digging further to really see what the country has to offer! Korea is definitely on my travel list when I make it to Asia! :)

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:57 am

      Definitely, you’ll love it! And yes, the most famous parts aren’t exactly wanderlust-inducing, are they?

  3. November 1, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Oh wow thats quite a list. I have never been to Korea so this will come in handy for sure. Btw, which are the most secluded places, close to nature? I would love to hear your recommendations.

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:56 am

      Yes! You’d enjoy Korea. Any of the hikes without cable cars listed will put you incredibly close to nature and are more secluded (especially if you pick the harder path). Any of the Jirisan trails and Wolchulsan were quite peaceful!

  4. October 31, 2016 / 11:28 pm

    Two things I absolutely love: trees arching to make a walkway and vast landscapes. So if I had to choose a couple of places to visit, it would have to be Nami Island Wolchul Mountain. On any given trip, I typically will only visit 4-5 places, taking it slow to really get a feel for the place. I could sit and watch amazing vastness of Wolchul Mountain all day.

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:54 am

      Yes! I think any of the hikes you choose, you’ll get some pretty amazing places :) Wolchulsan was on my list for SO long, and I’m so happy I fit it in!

  5. October 30, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    Hi Samantha,
    What a list! Korea sounds like a greta place to spend a few years, so many national parks and outdoors opportunities, some of those hikes look epic!!! The Enrogel Teapot Café sounds intriguing, I do love my tea! Have never been to that part of the world yet, will need to put it on to my list!
    Thanks,
    Emily

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:53 am

      Yes, hiking in Korea is insane! I can’t believe it’s not marketed more. You’d definitely like it in Korea, hope you make it out there soon :)

  6. October 29, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Hi Samantha,

    What a list! I was ignorant – BIG TIME LOL – to the gazillion islands off the coast of Korea until recently reading more travel blogger posts. Total wake up call. From the images I’ve seen and knowing how Halong Bay looks you know I need to add the place to my travel list. Stunning beauty, and none seem to be overrun, which makes island hopping much more pleasant ;) Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:50 am

      Right? I had no idea they existed for the longest time either! And definitely add them to your list, so many to see! Thanks for reading :)

  7. October 29, 2016 / 6:03 am

    Props to you for putting so much effort into this blog post! Definitely pinning for later :)

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:45 am

      Haha thank you! It helped me relive some of my adventures the last 2 years and find more for my return trips! And thank you :)

  8. October 27, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    I never would have thought about going to Korea…so far away! But obviously it has a lot to offer!

    • Samantha
      Author
      November 3, 2016 / 10:44 am

      Definitely consider it :) It’s such a beautiful country!

  9. October 27, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Korea looks and sounds so amazing!! We’re hoping to go to Seoul next spring, but this post makes me want to venture out of Seoul too!!

    • Samantha
      Author
      October 27, 2016 / 2:30 pm

      Ahh let me know if you guys need help planning for Seoul! DEFINITELY try to plan visiting outside of it as well :)