8 BEST Day Trips from Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is considered to be the most popular destination in South Korea. In fact we have compiled a list of the Best things to do in Seoul already. But there is so much more to the peninsula than just the metropolitan capital.
If you’re looking to escape the bustle of city life and experience a more authentic and less touristy setting, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of the BEST day trips from Seoul that are sure to make you feel worlds away from Seoul even though you’re not actually that far away.
Day Trips from Seoul You Won’t Want To Miss
Find below a list of the best day trips from Seoul, South Korea.
1. Yongin (용인시)
Settled in the middle of Gyeonggi Province is a city called Yongin. While it’s a relatively small city, especially when compared to Seoul, Yongin has become a must-visit destination for foreigners and natives alike.
Whether you’re a rollercoaster junkie or a traditionalist, Yongin has something for everyone. It’s only a 1.5 to 2 hour bus or train ride away and has attractions that are perfect for any age visitor!
The two main attractions of Yongin are Everland and the Korean Folk Village.
Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park and is often referred to as the ‘Disneyland’ of Korea. It hosts several diverse sections ranging from the typical amusement park rides area to a foodie’s dream dining area to even a zoo and safari!
Korean Folk Village (한국민속촌)
While Everland brings out the kid in you, the Korean Folk Village is bound to fill you with a sense of peace. Yongin has the largest traditional folk village in South Korea with almost 260 houses, which all display the late Joseon era style of architecture. Visit one of the 20 traditional workshops to see how crafts were built in the Joseon era.
2. Suwon (수원시)
This next destination on our list is located in Suwon, which is a city about an hour away by train to the south of Seoul.
Hwaseong Fortress (수원 화성)
Suwon is known for the Hwaseong Fortress, which was built in the late Joseon Dynasty era. This fortress is an incredible sight, with four main gates each facing a cardinal direction (North, East, South, West).
There’s also a stream that runs up to the palace, and you can often see people taking leisurely strolls along it every evening.
The Hwaseong Fortress was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in December 1997. As such, there are many festivals and events throughout the year that are suitable for any age group.
If you’re in Korea during October, make sure to check out the Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival (수원화성문화제), which boasts an illuminating Lantern Festival along the Suwoncheon Stream.
3. Ansan (안산시)
Ansan is a city around 1.5 hours southwest of Seoul and can be accessed by subway. Since its located by the Yellow Sea, Ansan is usually known for its history as a fishing city. However, there is a truly unique spot in Ansan that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else in Korea.
Ansan Multicultural Food Street (안산다문화마을특구)
While you might be hunting for the best traditional Korean dishes, don’t overlook the many other cuisines available especially at the Ansan Multicultural Food Street.
The Ansan Multicultural Food Street boasts the most number of foreign food vendors in Korea with cuisines mostly from the surrounding Asian countries: Vietnam, China, Thailand, Pakistan, India, Nepal, etc.
As it’s mostly made up of street food vendors, you can be assured that prices will be cheap without skimping on the quality.
Whether you’re travelling solo, with a partner, or with your family and/or kids, this is the perfect place to dip your toes in some exotic flavors.
4. Gapyeong (가평군)
Less than 2 hours away from Seoul by train or bus is the county of Gapyeong. This area of South Korea is considered the countryside and has a more peaceful and tranquil feeling to it compared to the liveliness of a big city like Seoul.
In Gapyeong are two nuggets of magic: Petit France and the Garden of Morning Calm.
Petit France (쁘띠프랑스)
Petit France is a French cultural village nestled along the lakeside road towards Nami Island. There are 16 French-style buildings, which all encompass the theme of ‘flowers, stars, and The Little Prince’. This is a unique place where kids and adults alike can enjoy the French culture without having to visit France!
Garden of Morning Calm (아침고요수목원)
The Garden of Morning Calm is said to be one of the most beautiful gardens in South Korea. It’s open year-round and has festivals during each season, which means you’re bound to be able to have a special experience no matter what time of year you visit. Bring along a friend, your significant other, or your kids for a walk through the famous gardens that feature the beauty of Korea in the form of flower beds and scenic paths.
5. Nami Island (남이섬)
Another popular tourist destination is Nami Island, which is located around 3.8km from Gapyeong. As its only an hour away from the suburbs of Seoul, many families and couples come to visit on their days off.
There is a ferry that takes you from the mainland to Nami Island where you’ll be able to enjoy an environment without any telephone poles! Instead, all the electric wires were built underground to preserve the authentic natural landscape.
While it is accessible year round, it’s probably best to avoid coming during the winter as the temperatures drop pretty low and snow would mask the beautiful scenery.
You definitely need to visit this half moon-shaped isle for its famous tree lined roads where you can bike or walk along. While you’re there, take part in some pottery and glass-blowing experiences!
6. Korean Demilitarized Zone (한반도 비무장 지대)
An hour or two to the north of Seoul is the famous Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
If you’re a history buff or just want to see this iconic area, then you should definitely make time to book a tour to the DMZ. For some areas, there is an age limit of 10 years or older, so bear that in mind when you plan your itinerary. There’s also a dress code in some areas, so come prepared and do your research beforehand.
Other than that, enjoy learning about the history of North and South Korea while you visit the Panmunjeom (Joint Security Area) where many of the peace talks were held.
You can also visit The 4th Tunnel, which is the only tunnel that gives full access to visitors. There’s also the Dora Observatory where you can overlook North Korea. Near the observatory is the 3rd Tunnel, which has a number of attractions, souvenir shops, and sculptures in front of it.
7. Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village (송월동 동화마을)
Located in Incheon, which is probably the city you flew into, is the Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village.
This village used to be where all the foreigners lived when they came through Incheon Port. After they eventually moved out, the city decided to repaint the village’s buildings with colorful images of classic fairy tales.
This is the perfect place for kids, so if you have a few hours to kill before your flight out, make sure to walk through these magical streets!
8. Jeonju Hanok Village (전주한옥마을)
The last destination on our list is the farthest, taking around 2 to 3 hours by train or bus from Seoul. Jeonju is a city directly south of Seoul and has an incredible traditional Hanok Village that you must see.
With 735 traditional Korean hanok buildings, Jeonju Hanok Village is one of the largest hanok villages in Korea. A hanok house is characterized by the use of ondol, which is a sub-floor heating system unique to South Korea. Since Koreans spend a lot of time sitting and sleeping on the floor, the floors need to be heated at all times.
You can actually experience this by going to the Hanok Life Experience Hall where you’ll be able to sit on floors heated with the ondol system.
Other notable features of the Jeonju Hanok Village are the special roof edges that lift up towards the sky and the dish, bibimbap, which Jeonju is most famous for.
Even though it’s a bit far from Seoul, make sure to check out this incredibly charming traditional village. If you want to do it in style, you can also rent hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) so that you fit in with the historical vibe of this village.
Best Day Trips From Seoul, South Korea
These are the best day trips from Seoul if you are spending time in the capital of South Korea. If you take any of these day trips let us know how you go, we would love to hear from you! Make sure you check out our related posts:
Best things to do in Seoul for Families
Where to find Cherry Blossoms in Seoul
Best things to Eat in Seoul – Traditional Korean Dishes