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Visiting South Korea: A Short Travel Guide

Here’s a quick guide for those who are planning to visit the country of the famous K-pop stars.

Best time to visit

South Korea has four seasons – the Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Spring and Fall are the seasons when tourists come flooding into the country. These are the seasons that offer the best landscapes and weather. South Korea becomes colorful in the Spring, thanks to the pink and white cherry blossoms. During Autumn, colors change to reds, oranges and yellows.

Tip: Cherry blossoms bloom around the second week of April in Seoul.

Getting Around

You will discover that international flights often land on Incheon International Airport. You have three main ways to go to the city from here.

  1. This is by far the most expensive way to get to the city, but this is considered the most convenient way to do so. This option will let you get to the city in about an hour.
  2. This also stands for the Airport Railroad Express – it’s an all-stop train. Among the three options, this is the most affordable way to get to the city from the Incheon Airport. You can expect to get there by 53 minutes if you take this route. Another alternative is the Express train that can get you to the city faster by 10 minutes.
  3. Buses are a bit more expensive than the train and it will take longer for you to get to the city too. Unlike the train however, these are available after 11:42 PM. Buses to Seoul Station are available from 12:15 to 4:40AM while Gangnam Express Bus Terminal is available from 11:50PM to 4:10AM.

 

Tip: Visit Airport Information Desk if you need more details on how to get to the city.

Must Visit Destinations

Make sure to check out these popular destinations if you visit South Korea:

  1. Gyeongbukgung Palace

It’s one of the most visited sites in Seoul for a reason. Gyeongbukgung Palace was built by the end of 14th century, considered as one of the main palaces during the Korean Joseon Dynasty. It features a courtyard with clay pots that were used as storage containers for their homegrown delicacies, kimchi and chili pastes.

  1. Bukchon Hanok Village

If you want to see traditional Korean homes, then visit this place. This is located near the Gyeongbukgung Palace so you might as well drop by. One of the main attractions at the Bukchon Hanok Village is their tasty Korean street food.

  1. Jogyesa Korean Buddhist Temple

This temple is nestled in the heart of Seoul’s majestic business high-rise buildings. The temple is ever flooded with locals and tourists alike. In here, you will be able to see ancient trees, thought to be over 500 years old. The trees are decorated with banners and paper streamers.

  1. Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress

This Korean castle is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. South Korea considers it as one of their most important historical destinations. It will take you about 30 minutes to get here from Seoul. Be sure to stop by if you’re staying for a day more.

  1. N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower sits on top of the Namsan mountain. It’s a communications tower that is open to tourists. At the top of the N Seoul Tower is a clear view of the city of Seoul. This place is also famous to lovers because people in relationships can lock a padlock as their symbol of love – Koreans consider this very romantic.

Additional tips

Koreans are not known for their English speaking abilities and they have their own alphabet. Plan your travel ahead and print out the names of your destination so that it would be easier to ask for directions if there’s a need to do so.  Purchase a T-money card. This will come in handy for bus and subway rides.

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