South Korea, occupying the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, is divided by a hair-trigger military border from North Korea. Sadly, after the slight improvements of the last few years, the relations between the two countries, which are technically still at war, suddenly became harsher.
Yet, despite the problematic relations with its “northern brother”, South Korea offers everything a traveller could ever imagine: engaging history, tasty food, friendly people and amazing tourist sights. Moreover, the country strikes visitors with its fascinating contrast between archaic and modernity … something that only a few countries in the world can boast! Not only the country’s capital Seoul, visitors should explore South Korea in all its facets. Here are listed some of the most beautiful sights that South Korea offers.
For further information about the best sights in South Korea, visit the German website Backpacketrail.
Best period to visit South Korea
South Korea has generally a temperate climate with four distinct seasons: long cold winters, short hot (and particularly humid) summers, as well as mild springs and autumns. According to numerous important travel guides, the best period to visit South Korea goes from March to May (spring) and from September to November (autumn). During these two periods, visitors will encounter pleasant temperatures as well as inexpensive prices. It is highly suggested against travelling in summer, since, besides the extremely hot temperatures, this period coincides with the monsoon season.
Best sights in South Korea
Seoul, the capital city of the country, is the largest city in East Asia and by far the most touristic sight. Not only this vibrant city offers visitors futuristic architecture, nightlife opportunities and a great amount of fun, but history and culture are also well-marked here. Fashion is moreover an extremely important sector in the country, therefore, fashion lovers will find something that suits their taste as well. Finally, when visiting Seoul, visitors should not miss the opportunity to climb the high N Seoul Tower, which located on a hill at 500 meters, offers a breathtaking view of the city!
Established more than 2000 years ago and ancient capital of the former Silla Kingdom, Gyeongju is one of the most beautiful places in South Korea. The picturesque city, which is also viewed by many as an open-air museum, offers a great variety of typical temples. The most important one, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Bulguksa Temple.
Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, offers a great variety of attractions: temples and museums, international festivals, gorgeous beach resorts and breathtaking hikes. Here, visitors will surely find something that will surely suit their taste! Don’t forget to visit the nearby European-style village of Gamecheon, which located on the cliffs above the sea, reminds Santorini.
The DMZ – Demilitarised Zone – stretches out for more than four kilometres at the border with North Korea. The area, which proliferates of guards, weapons and mines, can be visited only on official guided tours. Here, while visiting the Military Armistice Commission Conference Room, which is built exactly on the boundary line, visitors have the possibility to step also into North Korea.
Seoraksan National Park
The “Temple of a Hundred Pools”, located only 3 hours away from Seoul,is Korea’s first national park. Paradise on earth for nature lovers, the park stuns visitors with its gorgeous landscapes – lakes, waterfalls, mountains – and its variegated biodiversity. Here, in fact, not only boasts the park more than 1500 animal species, but also approximately 1000 different types of plants. If you are too lazy to walk, don’t worry, there is a cable car that will take you from the city to the tower’s base area.
Situated only 85 kilometers off the coast, Jeju Island is probably the most popular destination in the country. Named also the Island of God, the island attracts thousands of visitors every year for its gorgeous beaches, lava tubes and spectacular landscapes. Yet, the award for the most bizarre (and also controversial) attraction goes to Loveland, an adults-only theme park.