8 Best Day Trips from Seoul

Explore More of South Korea on a Tour

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    For all there is to see in Seoul itself, the city is perfectly positioned to let you discover prime attractions all across the country. A day trip from Seoul can take you almost anywhere in South Korea, from high mountains and ancient heritage sites to the boundary of the Demilitarised Zone – and bring you back to your hotel for the night. Whether you’d like to reconnect with nature, explore Korean history, see the roots of Korean Buddhism, or just snap some incredible photos, one of these tours might be the perfect companion for your visit to Seoul.

    1

    Ganghwa Island

    Tour duration – 8 hrs 30 mins

    Some of the most historic sites in Korea await you on this trip into the cultural heartland at the mouth of the Han River. Just across the water from the ancient capital of Kaesong – now in North Korean territory – the island has plenty of attractions that take you back to the grand days of antiquity. You can explore 5,000 years' worth of relics and national treasures at the Ganghwa History Museum, and then ride up into the forests of Jeongjok Mountain to walk through the grand halls of Jeondeungsa Temple. Check out the giant stone slabs that mark a prehistoric cemetery and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the site of the palace where Korea’s 13th-century rulers resisted a Mongol invasion for nearly 40 years. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: David Serrault (CC BY 2.0) Pakeista

    2

    Nami Island & Petite France

    Tour duration – 9 hrs

    Explore a realm of natural charm and cultural touchstones northeast of Seoul. This tour takes you south along the Han River to the towering pine trees of Nami Island, made famous as a filming location for the hit K-drama series, Winter Sonata. If you're a fan, you can recognise the romantic boulevards and spot landmarks commemorating the story of star-crossed love – or you can just admire the soothing atmosphere of nature and wildlife around you. Then it's onward down the river to Petite France, where you can see a quaint French village recreated as a theme park that evokes the settings of The Little Prince. Read more...

    3

    Gyeongju heritage sites

    Tour duration – 13 hrs

    The ancient city of Gyeongju holds some of the most venerable landmarks in the country, and is a perfect place to discover Korea's rich history. Your first stop is at the 8th-century temple of Bulguksa for a look back at the golden age of Buddhist artistry, followed by a journey into the heights of Mount Toham to see the exquisite Buddha sculptures at the Seokguram grotto. Step even further back into the history of the Silla kingdom at Tumuli Park, where 2,000-year-old stone tombs are set along the hillside. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: xiquinhosilva (CC BY 2.0) Pakeista

    4

    Seoraksan National Park

    Tour duration – 11 hrs

    Head into the mountains for a day of lush scenery, wildlife, and ancient strongholds among the cliffs. This journey leads you into the heart of one of Korea’s richest habitats for rare plants and animals, so keep an eye out for flying squirrels, sparrowhawks, and Korean musk deer as your guide leads you up the well-maintained trail. A spectacular cable-car ride carries you up Mount Seorak for a chance to visit the remains of Gwongeumseong Fortress, complete with views that stretch all the way to the sea. Once you’ve had a look at the giant bronze Buddha at Shinheungsa Temple, head back down to visit the fish market at Daepohang Port ahead of your ride back to Seoul. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: Sabrina Ariana (CC BY-SA 2.0) Pakeista

    5

    Demilitarised Zone

    Tour duration – 9 hrs

    One of the last outposts of the Cold War lies just outside of Seoul, and a journey along the DMZ offers a unique look at this backdrop of modern Korean life. The tour starts with a visit to the city of Paju, home to one of Seoul’s primary lines of defence and plenty of Korean War weaponry, and then takes you on to the edge of the Demilitarised Zone itself. At exhibition halls, lookout points, military infiltration tunnels, and a traditional village holding on in the shadow of the frontier, you see the whole range of ways the conflict between North and South is reflected in life to this day. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: Johannes Barre (CC BY-SA 3.0) Pakeista

    6

    Haeinsa Temple

    Tour duration – 12 hrs

    A day trip to Haeinsa Temple lets you explore the heart of Korean Buddhism at one of the grandest places of worship in the country. Set amid the idyllic wilderness of Mount Gaya, the Haeinsa lets you discover a wealth of artefacts and cultural heritage with the insights of a well-versed guide. Get a look at the complex that houses the original 14th-century scriptures of the Tripitaka Koreana, one of the most complete collections of Buddhist texts in the world, and learn some incredible stories from the temple’s 1,200-year history. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: Lcarrion88 (CC BY-SA 3.0) Pakeista

    7

    Baekje historic areas

    Tour duration – 8 hrs

    Take a journey through one of the oldest chapters of Korean history with a visit to the historic areas of Gongju and Buyeo. First, a visit to the Gongju National Museum shows off an extensive collection of relics from the 2,000-year-old Baekje Kingdom. Then you’re taken out for a look at some of the region’s archaeological sites, ranging from the 5th-century fortress of Gongsanseong to the famed cliff face of Nakhwaam Rock. Look forward to the stop at Goransa Temple, whose fresh spring waters are said to make pilgrims 3 years younger. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: Schölla Schwarz (CC BY 3.0) Pakeista

    8

    Icheon Ceramics Village & pottery class

    Tour duration – 8 hrs 30 mins

    Try your hand at Korean ceramics and learn about the grand heritage behind the art on this visit to a modern-day centre of the craft. You can elect to take a walking tour of the modern ceramics village, or you can visit a museum that takes you through a history of the traditional craft. You’re then treated to a live demonstration by an expert potter who prepares you to take to the wheel and create a piece of your own. Read more...

    Nuotraukos autorius: InSapphoWeTrust (CC BY-SA 2.0) Pakeista

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