Don’t get us wrong, Seoul is an incredible city. From its palaces to its bustling nightlife, it’s easily one of our favourite cities in the world. However, it feels like a lot of people only ever visit this one place! Trust us, South Korea is much more than its capital city so here are seven places to visit outside of Seoul to prove just this. Get ready to extend whatever Korean itinerary you had in mind because you won’t want to miss these stunning areas.
7 places to visit outside of Seoul:
1. Jeju’s sunrise peak
Jeju, in general, is one of the prettiest places in Korea. Most Koreans consider it their version of Hawaii. While I wouldn’t compare the two because Hawaii and Jeju are still very different, I do think it manages to have the best of Korea while shedding the worst. This is best seen at Jeju’s Sunrise Peak or Seongsan Ilchulbong. I’ve been to the peak three different times now – at sunrise, in the middle of the day and at sunset. The best time is actually at sunrise and rather than hiking up the peak, walk away from it so you can see it from afar.
2. Boseong tea fields
There are three areas in Korea that are responsible for most of its green tea production: Hadong, Jeju’s O’Sulloc fields and Boseong. With its tall tiers and views to the sea, Boseong is definitely the most impressive. As soon as you walk through the entrance, you’re greeted with rows and rows of green. While there are smaller tea fields around Boseong County, the main one is the Daehan Dawon Tourist Tea Plantation. Don’t forget to grab some green tea ice cream while you visit!
3. Suncheon Bay
Suncheon Bay is the main site to see in Suncheon city and it’s breathtaking. It’s a saltwater wetland and home to 140+ bird species. You’ll first enter through a big reed field that’s a pretty green in summer and a golden colour in autumn, winter and early spring. Then you’ll want to hike up to the top to see the bay from above. If you can time it right, go towards sunset. If you have the whole day, then I’d actually start at the Suncheon Bay Garden and take the Sky Cube over to the bay area.
4. Tongyeong’s Hansando
As one of the main port cities in Korea, Tongyeong is home to a number of beautiful islands only a short ferry ride away. The closest is Hansando, which is famous for its role in Korean military history. Lee Sun Shin, one of the country’s major historical heroes, won a huge battle on this island against the Japanese invasion during the late 1500s. You can see a shrine dedicated to Lee Sun Shin on the island.
5.Wolchulsan National Park
Home to the famous orange suspension bridge, Wolchulsan National Park is such a beautiful hike no matter what time of year you go. The views from and of that bridge are simply stunning. It’s an easy one hour hike up and one hour down, during which you’ll get a real taste of Jeollanam province and Korea’s countryside. If you do the hike, skip the stair trail and go for the rockier one instead. It’s much more fun and the views are better.
6. Hwagae cherry blossom road
If you really want to visit Korea’s countryside for cherry blossom season, you don’t want to miss Hadong’s Hwagae cherry blossom road. With four kilometres of pink trees and Hadong’s own green tea fields, you’ll truly feel like you’ve stepped into a whole new world. Even if you miss the spring season, it’s still beautiful in the summer and autumn.
7. Busan’s Gamcheon culture village
There are a lot of colourful mural villages in Korea but the best by far has to be Gamcheon culture village. The area was once incredibly impoverished but in recent years the locals have turned it into one of the must-see spots in Busan. With brightly painted homes, various museum exhibits and fun restaurants, you could easily spend a day roaming this quirky area.
Planning a trip to Korea? Read these next:
- Is it Safe to Travel South Korea Right Now?
- A First-Timer’s Guide to Seoul
- 100 Beautiful Places in Korea
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Have you been to any of these beautiful places in Korea? What would you add?