Do you want to recreate some famous scenes from your favourite K-drama or K-movie? I want to share a list of 17 unique Korean experiences. You can use some of these ideas to create your own bucket list.
You might be familiar with some of these, hopefully there will be one or two unique Korean experiences that you have never heard of.
Here’s a list of the 17 most amazingly unique Korean experiences that you’ll absolutely want to add to your South Korea bucket list:
Eat Delicious Korean Street Food at A Market
I am quite certain that this is top on most people’s South Korea bucket lists. From spicy tteokbokki to salty odeng, or even sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken.
Korea’s markets have an incredible array of tastes, smells, and options for you to try out.
It is good to know that these street foods are cheap so no worries!
Stroll Through the Palace
Seoul has five beautiful palaces of the Joseon Dynasty where you can peek into ancient times and experience the life of an emperor. Each of them has an interesting history and worth your time to visit. The 5 royal palaces in Seoul are Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung. They are all magnificent. Try to visit one during your stay in south korea.
Wear a Traditional Korean Hanbok
Hanbok, a type of traditional Korean clothing, was worn as everyday apparel among Korean ancestors. What could be a more unique Korean experience than dressing up in a gorgeous Korean hanbok feeling like one of the ancestors? Hanboks are available for both men and women and come in a range of styles and colour. They are affordable and the prices starts from around 10,000 won (about $10 USD); you will not regret when you think about the Instagram-worthy photos with you dressed up as a Korean royalty.
Immerse Yourself in Nature
There are a lot of natural landscapes in South Korea where you can find natural wonders. One of such places is the Nami Island. It is a natural wonder that’s amazing all year round and has many beautiful attractions to discover. It is the perfect getaway for families, couples, and those looking for some tranquil peace.
Eat Korean BBQ
This is the most delicious of these unique Korean experiences. You may even yourself indulging in it while you are visiting. Truth be told, if you do not get taken out for “samgyeopsal” or “galbi” during your first week in Korea, your visit isn’t complete.
The meal is prepared over an open grill where you cook your own meat at your table. It is sometimes accompanied by of beer and soju. Non-alcoholic drinkers step it down with soft drinks. You get to spend less than 15,000 won per person.
If you are not a fan of pork, you can also try Korean BBQ with beef. If you are a vegetarian but do not want to miss any unique Korean experiences, most restaurants also serve mushrooms that can be fried over the grill, as well as dishes like fried rice, veggies and salads.
Visit the DMZ
Korea is the last divided country in the world, and it’s divided into South Korea and North Korea. They are technically still at war, despite recent attempts to finally bring peace to the peninsula. Fortunately, it’s not that dangerous most of the time, which means you can go and see it for yourself while travelling to Seoul. Here, you can actually peep at the other side through binoculars, tour an underground infiltration tunnel secretly dug by North Koreans.
DMZ is the closest place to North Korea you can get from South Korea. Due to security concerns, you can only visit with a group tour.
See Seoul From the N Seoul Tower
Every big city has at least one sky tower, and Seoul is no exception. The N Seoul Tower is an iconic location in Seoul, viewable from all around thanks to its location on top of Namsan Mountain in central Seoul.
You can get to the N Seoul Tower on foot, hiking up the small hill, but the best way is by the cable car. On a nice, clear day, you can enjoy a scenic view of Seoul on the observatory deck. At night between 7:00 P.M. and midnight, the tower illuminates in dazzling colours.
Learn About Hallyu Culture In Gangnam
Is K-Pop on your South Korean bucket list? If so, then Gangnam is the place for you. Gangnam is the life of the party! Why do you think “Gangnam Style” was such a popular song? There are loads of attractions in this area to learn about Hallyu. This is the headquarters of several entertainment companies, restaurants and cafes owned by K-Pop stars, and you will find a Statue of the Gangnam style singer. It can actually be quite overwhelming here, but you certainly wouldn’t run out of ideas here.
Visit the famous and beautiful Cherry Blossoms in Spring
If you are visiting Korea in spring, or seen Instagram pictures of the gorgeous cherry blossoms, seeing them in person would certainly be on your bucket list of things to do in South Korea. Korea has so many wonderful spots to view these beauties.
Visit the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Korea has a history of conflict, with many walls and fortresses needed to protect Korea. One of the best fortresses that remains standing is the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. It is one of Korea’s UNESCO World Heritage sights and is worth the trip.
Sing at A Korean Noraebang
Korean people love to sing. The word noraebang translates to singing room, and that’s what it is. If you’re travelling with some friends, then check out the singing rooms where you pay a small fee and sing for hours. There are singing booths too for a solo traveller. You can even get drinks (lots of drinks) and food delivered to you in there. You can’t walk around a city of any size in Korea without bumping into one. Music lovers will want this as one of their unique experiences.
Have fun in Korea Theme Parks
One of such theme parks is the Everland. It Is the largest theme park, great for fun loving travellers. The Caribbean Bay is one of the world’s largest water parks with a variety of ride which makes it a great place to cool off the summer heat.
Cruise on The Han River
The Han River is the main river that crosses Seoul. A place where the locals love to spend their pastime. You could either enjoy a stroll along the river or go for a picnic during the day, or even visit the Banpo Bridge at Banpo Han River Park at nighttime for a magnificent “rainbow show.” The river is the perfect place to see the sights of Seoul, where you can see the N Seoul Tower. You could also take a cruise on the Han River.
Visit the Jjimjilbang
Life in Korea is hectic and there’s nothing better than soaking in a hot pool after a long day. Here you can let the stress and tiredness wash off your body. A Jimjilbang or sauna is extremely popular in Korea. When you go to the Jjimjilbang, you are provided with 2 towels, a uniform, and two lockers (one for your shoes and one for your clothes). The bathhouse is usually separated by gender. Once you check in and get your locker assignment, you will first have to take a shower and clean your body thoroughly before you are able to enjoy the different Jacuzzis. Once you are done relaxing in the Jacuzzi, you can dry off and change into the uniform they provided you with.
These indoor hot springs have something for everyone, from steaming saunas to a freezing cold pool and everything in between. You can even sleep in a rest area with free pyjamas provided for you. Jjimjilbangs also act as cheap overnight accommodation or emergency hotel rooms when you are stuck without somewhere to stay as blankets and sleeping mats are readily available.
It’s important to note that all Jjimjilbangs are not equal, and you’ll find a different range of options at different Jjimjilbangs. (this is a much cheaper and better alternative to an expensive hotel!).
Experience the zipline!
This experience is so amazing, and I would say it’s one of the unique experiences to have in South Korea! There are several zipline outlets but the one that comes to mind is the one at the leports garisan.
Cleanse Your Mind at A Korean Tea Room
Tea is a core part of Korean culture and visiting a good tearoom can be a welcome break for busy tourists and locals. Enjoy the tea in a traditional hanok building with peaceful surroundings and calm interiors that will help you unwind.
View the Heights of The Seoul Sky Observatory
The best place to see Seoul is from the Seoul Sky Observatory on the 120th floor of the Lotte World Tower. There are a lot of things to do here. Would you be brave to take a walk on sky bridge or glass floor? This certainly is one unique experience in South Korea.