No matter what, Seoul is always the first city that comes to mind whenever we think about planning a trip to Korea. Although Seoul is amazing on its own, there are definitely some other fascinating cities around the peninsula you must visit while you’re in Korea.
Jeonju: Foodie’s Paradise
Jeonju, located in the center of South Korea, is a place where tradition meets modernity. It is a fascinating city where you can appreciate Korean culture and countryside traditions. At Jeonju Hanok Villa area you can rent a Hanbok and walk around traditional Korean houses while visiting some local shops that offer different Korean handcrafting classes. It has become a center for traditional culture tourism for both domestic and international tourists alike.
Jeonju is an amazing visit for history lovers. It dates back to around 57 BCE and was once the capital of Baekje Kingdom.
One of the best historical sites to visit is Pungnammun Gate. It is a Pagoda-shaped gateway of the former Jeonju fortress. Here you can take amazing pictures and learn a bit more about Korean history at Jeonju’s National Museum located right next to it.
Also, Jeonju is the birthplace of Bibimbap! The Bibimbap served in this city is the best in the world. But, beyond bibimbap, Jeonju is a go-to destination for food lovers.
Jeonju is also known to be the home of the famous Korean snack, Chocopie. Here you can visit the very first bakery to create the snack. Jeonju is definitely a city full of history and treasures for you to discover.
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Gyeongju: Korean Traditional Dream
If you want to escape from the big city and feel the purest colors of Korean culture, Gyeongju is the right city for you. This is the most traditional city in Korea. Here you can see everything from both traditional and modern hanbok to the most artistic Korean handicraft shops.
Additionally, you can find hundreds of traditional buildings and historic sites. Including, temples and palaces such as Donggung Palace, Wolji Pond, and Bulguksa. Their beautiful gardens and pagodas will definitely take your breath away.
We all know Starbucks Coffee right? Well, let me tell you that Geyongju holds one of the most beautiful Starbucks shops EVER. Here, all buildings are required to be built using traditional Korean architecture and that includes Starbucks!
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Busan: Shopping with an Ocean View
Do you like surfing, splendid Buddhist temples, department stores, and beautiful sea landscapes? Then Busan is the right place for you! You can find all of this and more in this coastal city located in the very south part of the peninsula.
Busan has a lot to offer, starting from one of the most impressive Buddhist temples I’ve ever seen: Haedong Yonggungsa temple. Located right next to the sea, it offers you a wonderful view of both the sea and the temple itself. You can walk around and explore the area while enjoying the sea breeze.
Besides that, Busan has a number of beautiful beaches, ideal for surfing and relaxing. Yacht ridings around Haeundae beach are also a must-do activity. Night views in Busan are also stunning.
But, that’s not all because Busan also has the biggest department store in the whole world! Shinsaege Department Store in Busan covers an area of almost 300,000m² for you to enjoy shopping. And so, Busan is the ideal place for shopping with an ocean view.
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Incheon: Diverse Experience
Incheon is definitely much more than just an airport. It is Korea’s most diverse city – in more ways than one. While the population is among the most diverse in the country, there are also numerous different land and cityscapes to be seen in this vast city. It has everything from seascapes, marshlands, agricultural areas, and even shining new neighborhoods that have become global models for eco-friendly cities.
Incheon is conveniently located just outside of Seoul. It is considered an international city where you can meet friends from all around the world. You can visit Incheon’s ethnic neighborhoods like China Town.
Incheon also has its very own Central Park called Songdo park, where you can try many activities like having a ramen picnic while enjoying street performances.
Another main attraction is Incheon Bridge which connects the island with the metropolitan area. It offers a spectacular view, especially at night, and has been featured in many dramas and movies.
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Jeju Island: All Natural Oasis
If you have already visited Korea but didn’t get the chance to visit Jeju island, then it’s time to bring your butt back to Korea! This is the all-time favorite spot in Korea for almost all who have visited the island.
Jeju is basically Korea’s Hawaii. It’s the closest thing we’ve got to a tropical paradise. Once in Jeju, you might not feel like you’re even in Korea anymore. You will get to see palm trees and enjoy pristine natural landscapes.
But also, Jeju is known for having all kinds of museums and unique cafés. from Green Tea to Car museums Jeju do is the most visited place during national vacations.
Here you will also find the tallest mountain of all Korea which once was a volcano. The now dormant volcano has given birth to a variety of unique vegetation and animals!
Jeju also has its very own unique orange-like fruit called hallabong, which is not only delicious but also very healthy. It also has special volcanic green tea that grows there which the island has become famous for. Plus, there is the adorable Jeju mini-horse!
Besides its geographic uniqueness, Jeju also has a unique culture. Jeju is home to Korea’s only traditionally matriarchal society called the Haenyeo. The Haenyeo are a group of female divers who have been running Jeju’s economy for hundreds of years. How cool is that!
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