South Korea Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in South Korea

8 /10
In Ullungdo Island, South Korea, wonder and beauty awaits. Here, you can get plenty of sun, sea, sumptuous food and beautiful scenery for you to feast on and enjoy. It is one great place to relax with family and friends. Because of its picturesque scenery, Ullungdo Island is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The island is blessed with unique topographical features due to violent volcano eruptions and spans 73 kilometers. These are lined with high, steep cliffs that make you feel you are between the awesome sea and equally awesome cliffs. This gorgeous South Korean island is to be found in the east of the East Sea, around 120 kilometers east of the Korean Peninsula.

First stop is Dodong Harbor, which is the main ferry port between the Korean mainland and Ullungdo Island. Dodong Harbor is unique since it looks like a village nestled securely in the mountains... read more arrow
7.9 /10
The Seoul Festival of Lights, organized by The Seoul foundation for Arts and Culture, is the biggest winter festival in Seoul, South Korea.

Title: 2009 Seoul Festival of Lights
Theme: De:Light of Seoul
Slogan: "Seoul, Delightful City"
Period: 12. 19(Sat)2009 ~1. 24(Sun)2010, 37days
Venue: Gwanghwamun Square
Organization: Seoul Metropolitan Government/ Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture
Events: Exbibition of Nam June Paik's "Fractal Turtleship", Large-scale Media Facade and Interactive Media Experience
Details: Site-specific programs that represent the history and significance of Gwanghwamun Square and neighboring major buildings(Storytelling of five-theme zones: History/Culture/Communication/Creation/Repose)

"Seoul, Delightful City"

In December 2009, Gwanghwamun Square transforms itself into the 'Square of Lights'... read more arrow
7.5 /10
The HI SEOUL FESTIVAL is a global city festival where you can experience the true colors of Seoul, one of the most attractive city in the world.

Hi Seoul Festival 2010 will invite the World with motion, bringing Spring.

It begins on the 1st of May down by the Han River basin (main stage), and will spread to the entire metropolitan area of Seoul until the 9th of May.
Every street in Seoul is connected to the festival, with the Han River being the central spot.

This year's theme is "Physical Theatre" which is used to describe any kind of performance that pursues storytelling or drama through primarily and secondarily physical acting/motion. Therefore, the program of the Hi Seoul Festival 2010 will be comprised of 80 domestic and foreign prominent physical theatre troupes, and over 200 performances such as artistic fireworks, big-scale parades and much more... read more arrow
7.4 /10
Nandaemun (or Sungnyemun) is a prime example of the old majestically mixing with the new and the modern. Amidst the hustle and bustle of traffic and the skyscrapers that seem to sprout in the area, it is a refreshing reminder of Korea's glorious past. Namdaemun is a historic city gate, one among the four belonging to the old city walls. It is located right at the heart of Seoul and is considered as South Korea's National Treasure #1. It is also one of the country's most famous and recognizable landmarks.

The Great South Gate, the literal translation of Namdaemun, is actually a large castle stone structure. In its middle, you will see an arched entrance. It has two stories, delineated by a column on top of a platform. The gate was completed in 1398. It was originally called Sungnyemun. Construction began during the reign of King Taejo (of the Joseon Dynasty) in 1395... read more arrow
7.4 /10
No matter where you are in Seoul, look to the horizon and you will be sure to find the Seoul Tower. This landmark stands at the top of Mt. Namsan. This broadcasting tower is 370 meters tall (above sea level) and was erected in 1969. The digital observatory features cutting edge digital equipment such as a high powered telescope. There is also an analogue observatory in the lower floor. Its formal name is "YTN Seoul Tower" but it is usually called the N Seoul Tower. N, they say, stands for "new".

It was only opened to the public in 1980, when it began to gain popularity as a tourist attraction. This is because it gives you great views of the city from its observation deck. When the weather is clear, you can see how the bustling city looks like in its totality. Particularly memorable is the sight of Seoul at night. In addition, you can also visit the exhibition halls that are in the Seoul Tower complex... read more arrow
7.4 /10
Gyeryongsan (or Kyeryongsan) National Park is a favorite tourist destination in South Korea. And indeed, the park is chockfull of attractions that has something for everybody – a wide variety of flora and fauna for nature lovers, 15 peaks for avid mountain climbers and hikers, temples and ruins for the culture vulture, plus a calm and tranquil atmosphere for those who want to get away from the hubbub of city life.

Gyeryongsan owes its name to its unique ridgeline – seen from afar, the mountain's ridgeline looks like a dragon wearing a chicken's crest at the top of its head. It is a place full of mystique and fascinating folk tales.

Delight in the many species of migratory birds (some of them rare!) and wild animals. The park is an excellent place to go bird-watching. Exert your mountain climbing powers and trek to the summits of Cheonhwangbong, Gwanembong, Sambulbng and Sinseongbong... read more arrow
7.4 /10
The Changdokkung Palace (or Palace of of Prospering Virtue in English) in Seoul, South Korea, enthralls with its secret garden and magnificent architecture of the Joseon Dynasty. For over 250 years, it served as the seat of the royal regime and has largely preserved its architectural style.

The design of the palace was based on the specification from the Three Kingdoms Period. This makes the palace design predominantly Korean, as opposed to the other palaces that had foreign influences. The palace is unique in that it was built to blend with its natural environment. The palace is just gorgeous come autumn when the leaves turn red and gold.

Changdokkung has 41 structures, including the Donhwamun (the gate), Geumcheongyo (the granite bridge) and the Daejojeon (which comprised the private apartments of the King and Queen, plus the rooms where the princes were tutored). Some parts have been rearranged, destroyed and reconstructed, so that the current structures are more of a combination of the Korean and Western styles... read more arrow
7.4 /10
Gyeongbokgung / Kyongbokkung Palace (Heavenly Blessed Palace) in Seoul, South Korea, is among the Five Grand Palaces that was built during the Joseon Dynasty. It is also the dynasty's largest palace, and probably the most beautiful. It is massive and awe-inspiring – with its 330 buildings and over 5,000 rooms. Yes, the Royal family estate is a majestic symbol of power and wealth – it has over 400,000 square meters! It is a treasure trove of architectural structures, gardens, sculpture art and so much more. At present, you can also visit the National Folk Museum of Korea, which is also situated in the compound.

The palace was devastated during the Japanese invasion. Only 10 of the original buildings survived. However, major parts have since been restored.

Here is a lowdown of the major buildings of the Gyeongbokgung Palace:

The Geonchunmun is the east gate of the palace... read more arrow
7.4 /10
Standing proudly at a busy intersection in downtown Seoul is Deoksugung (Toksukung) Palace. It is known for its stately stone-wall road. It was built during the rule of the Choson dynasty.

Its features include the Taehanmun Gate, which is the palace's main gate. Moving inward, you can see the Chunghwa-jeon Hall, which is the throne room of the Palace. It is also an audience hall. Here, people had the chance to seek an audience with the king. Have a glimpse (albeit brief and far from grandiose when compared to the actual ceremony) of what happens during royal ceremonies. In the courtyard, you can stand on the stones that were used as markers to indicate where a certain official is supposed to stand when a royal ceremony is performed. The throne and its surroundings are also very intriguing. Behind the throne, you can see pictures of the moon, the sun and five peaks depicted behind the throne... read more arrow
7.4 /10
Straddling the border between South and North Korea is the "truce village" – Panmunjom. It is a relatively small village, only 800 meters in diameter. It lies in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two sides ever since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The zone is filled with soldiers carrying loads of ammunition. Mind you, tension and emotions run high in this area. But in spite of this (or maybe because of this), Panmunjom Village is a popular tourist destination. It has its own fascinating charm that just draws people in. This small village was where envoys from North Korea and the United Nations had their armistice talks after the Korean War. These talks, which continued from October 1951 to July 1953, established the DMZ and made Panmunjeom the headquarters of the Military Armistice Commission.

The Truce Village is unique in that it is co-managed by both North Korea and the United Nations Command... read more arrow
7.3 /10
The Jongmyo (or Chongmyo) in Seoul, South Korea, is a royal shrine dedicated to the ancestors of the Choson dynasty, starting from King Taejo (who founded the Joseon dynasty). Among Confucian shrines, this is the most authentic and also the oldest. It is well preserved – what you see goes as far back as the 16th century. During the era of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, there were quite a number of shrines similar to Jongmyo. However, only the shrines for the Choson family have been preserved.

The Chongmyo enshrines the kings and queens of the Choson dynasty (that is, all except two). The shrine also preserves tablets containing the teachings of the Choson kings and queens. Through the years, it is the site of ritual ceremonies that can be traced to as far back as the 14th century. The ceremony cleverly combines the elements of music, costumes and dance. The ritual, called Chongmyo Daeje, is currently performed once a year, in May, The Choson dynasty's descendants, all bedecked in colorful and elaborate costumes, meet together at the court... read more arrow
7.3 /10
The Geumjeongsanseong(or Geungjeong or Kumjongsansong) Mountain Fortress is all about size and the spirit of patriotism. Located south of Beomeosa, on Mt. Geumjeongsan in Busan, it stands as a symbol of the glory of Korea. If it is hiking and nature tripping you like, coupled with some history and culture, Mt. Geumjeongsan is the place to visit.

As for the Kumjongsansong Fortress, this sits along the upper plateaus and the ridgeline of the mountain and overlooks the village below. It is perched on its location because it was designated to watch out for coastal attacks. Designated as National Cultural Asset No. 215, the Fortress is the largest walled fortress of its kind in Korea. Its role in the history of Korea is also the reason for its accreditation as a national historic site.

This walled fortress is made of natural stones, with the weaker parts strengthened by stone blocks hewn into square shapes... read more arrow
7.1 /10
Find serenity in Beomeosa (also Pomosa) Temple (Mt. Kumjong, Busan). In spite of tourists and worshippers milling about the temple, you can still feel a sense of tranquility in the midst of the hubbub. Its name means the "Temple of the Fish from Nirvana". The temple, which is one of South Korea's five oldest temples, is a tapestry that will delight your senses. You can marvel at the artistry of the pagoda paintings, the architectural delights provided by the pagodas and temple hall and the lush forests that surround the temple. There is also the delightful smell of incense wafting about the temple. Its symbolism stimulates your imagination.

According to records, the temple was founded by Master Uisang during the reign of Shilla King Munmu. The monk Uisang is recognized to have built ten great Havom temples including the Beomeosa Temple... read more arrow
6.7 /10
Delve deeper into Korean culture by visiting Gyeongju and its Cheomseongdae Observatory. Gyeongju, South Korea, used to be the capital of Silla (an ancient kingdom that existed from 57 B.C. to 935A.D.). It is described by some as an open air museum and this is shown by a visit to Cheomseongdae Observatory and other nearby attractions and relics. In fact, UNESCO designated Gyeongju as among the world's ten most historically significant sites.

The structure was built by Queen Sandok-yowang (of the Shilla Kingdom) in 646 A.D. The Cheomseongdae Observatory's is 9.4 meters tall and 5.17 meters in diameter. Located west of Manwoldae, the observatory has the distinction of being one of the world's oldest observatories and also one of the well-preserved relics of the Shilla kingdom. Archeologists acknowledge the ingenious design and cultural significance of the observatory... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite South Korea sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in South Korea by visiting the individual South Korea attraction pages.