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6 Best Places to Visit in Korea for First-Time Visitors

Korea is a country with a beautiful history, delicious cuisine, a diverse climate, and views for everyone. When one is planning on a first trip it can at times be stressful when deciding on the destination to take. Here are the top 6 must-see places in Korea for first-time visitors:

1. Seoul

This is the first point of contact that a majority of visitors get to have with the taste of Korea through the capital city. Seoul is a massive city with impressive infrastructures; the modern city is blended with the antique one, where you have fabulous futuristic architectural structures and beautiful palaces. Tourist favorites include the beautiful and imposing Gyeongbokgung Palace, complete with the most colorful changing of guards, the shopping district of Myeongdong, the energetic nightlife area called Hongdae, the quiet and peaceful Bongeunsa temple, the stunning 63 Building with panoramic views of the city, and numerous lotus fields at the World Cup Park. Get to taste every flavor of Korean food from street foods such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) to the glamorous restaurants, dance to the latest beats in some of Gangnam’s most popular nightclubs or explore the traditional Hanok houses at the covered village of Bukchon Hanok.

2. Jeju Island

Jeju Island is another that is fondly referred to as the Hawaii of Korea; it is the favorite honeymoon destination in Korea because of the allure of the place. Indeed, dramatic seaside cliffs, other-worldly waterfalls, sweeping sandy beaches, gorgeous trails through volcanic terrain, and a relaxed resort feel give it an appeal attractive to couples on their honeymoon or families on vacation. Outdoor activities include taking strolls along beautiful coastal routes like Yakcheon-sa Temple or buying oranges at Jeju Mandarin Orchard located at Jungmun. MUST-FROM destinations are Sunrise Peak, watching the sun rise over the ocean, Canola Flowers, Sungsan Sunrise Peak, and Seaside Sunset Point, and Cheonjeyeon Falls which is set amidst beautiful and rare sub-tropical flora not commonly found in the country.

3. Busan

The second biggest city located in South Korea, Busan embraces the country’s southeastern coast with scenic coastline and sea shrines. Hundreds Beach is good for swimming and water activities in the summer and is the backdrop of the Busan International Film Festival in the autumn. Haedong Yonggung Temple which is located along the seashore feels like a jewel on the crown and is as stunning as its location. Full of seafood markets and this stall selling fresh fish alongside the spicy rice fish soup that’s a street food. The city has an equally vibrant street art scene and also has a vibrant shopping scene, especially in Nampo-dong.

4. Jeonju Hanok Village

Go for a stroll in the Hanbok Village, which has buildings in the traditional Korean style of hanok as well as furniture and accessories from Korea’s bygone era. Beside the beautiful traditional houses are tea rooms, art galleries with calligraphy exhibitions, and handicraft shops that produce fans made of bamboo or palm leaves, paper umbrellas, and rice cakes. The village itself is home to the beautiful Gyeonggijeon shrine that dates back to the fourteenth century with a network of cobblestone streets and paths leading to the magnificent-looking pavilion and a lotus pond. Jeonju also serves a traditional dish of rice, vegetables, and beef tenderloin in a hot stone pot so do not forget to try the bibimbap.

5. Nami Island

This is a small half-moon-shaped island situated slightly northeast of Seoul and made famous by the Korean drama series “Winter Sonata”. The island was named after General Nami who liberated locals from extreme hardship in his rule, major sights include; a beautiful love path with maple trees littering the island in October, a natural island arboretum, home to a variety of trees, animals such as squirrels and rabbits in the wild. Entertaining moments include touching the edge of the island through a Zipline adventure, riding swan-shaped paddle boats on Cheongpyeong Lake, and having fun visiting the Manhwa Animation Museum, which consists of life-size manhwa figures in their cartoonish representations of Korean cartoons and comic books.

6. Andong Hahoe Folk Village

This is a living historical site of Korean history with perfectly preserved villages and houses, and some actual preserved houses from the Joseon Dynasty and the upper-class part of Korean scholars. Step through village lanes and learn about life in the past through the simple dwellings and study buildings amongst greens, lotus ponds, and antiques like the Buyongdae Cliff which has poems made by the retired scholar-officials who lived in seclusion in this area. Be fascinated by making pottery using traditional kick wheels or enjoy the traditional mask dance dramas performed by the locals clad in brightly colored robes and wooden masks depicting age, gender, and social status in the old Korean society. Here, visitors can attend the Byeolsin gut ritual through music, prayers, blessings, and shamen.

Go for breakfast to an eatery that prepares Vietnamese dishes and has the mung bean pancakes that are cooked by the village ajummas (older women), or you can take a tour to one of the preserves that make VIRGIN traditional products such as a beverage from acorn or soybean. , surrounded by the picturesque views of the natural environment of deer, herons, and salamanders, Hahoe Village can be touched the Korea.