With most of the country connected by high-speed bullet trains, getting out of the capital and exploring the surrounding area is a piece of cake. Even heading to Busan, at the opposite end of the country, is less than three hours by train, making it easily doable in just a day trip. To save you the hassle of searching through piles of information on places to head to outside of Seoul, we've rounded up the best of the best for you to visit.
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The Top 6 Day Trips to Take From Seoul
Bukhansan National Park
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A stone's throw from the city, Bukhansan National Park is simply unmissable if you're spending any time in Seoul. A natural paradise of greenery right at the city's doorstep, the park stretches over 80 square kilometers, full of rocky mountain peaks and mysterious forest. Apart from some great places to hike around and admiring the abundance of nature, you can also get an incredible view over the city from the mountains here.
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The classic day trip from Seoul, it might be a path well trodden but there's a good reason for it. The most heavily guarded border in the world with one of the most mysterious countries on the globe, North Korea. Visiting the DMZ brings to reality the capital's proximity to the Hermit Kingdom. Head to the JSA at Panmunjeom, the Joint Security Area where you can step into North Korea.
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This beautiful city in the south of Korea has a lot going for it. At the center you'll find the country's largest 'hanok' a cultural village full of old-style traditional houses and quaint cobbled streets. While the traditional old town is charming, the true highlight to this city is the food. Jeonju was the birthplace for one of Korea's most popular culinary creations, bibimbap, along with being famous for its local beverage of makgeolli.
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This beautiful river islet saw fame through featuring in one of the country's most beloved dramas 'Winter Sonata' and it's easy to see why the island was used as a backdrop for the production. Although Nami is stunning all year round, it's in the autumn where it truly shines, when its trees change to shades of almost all colors of the rainbow. While taking a boat is the usual way of transport here, If you want to truly arrive in style, you can take a zip-line as you fly through the air towards the island.
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Once the old capital of Korea, Gyeongju is an architectural wonderland, full of ancient sites, buildings and palaces enough to excite any lovers of history. Head to the Donggung Palace for one of the most beautiful structures in the country and make sure to stay for the night view. The palace and surrounding lake is lit up with an incredible array of lights that makes the whole area look particularly stunning.
Hahoe Folk Village
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Around three hours drive from Seoul, this old traditional-style village is an easy day trip from the city showcasing beautiful Korean architecture and age-old local crafts. It's the perfect chance to get a window into the traditional rural lifestyle of Korea. Make sure to try the local dish of Andong jjimdak, a delicious Korean soy-based stew with chicken and various vegetables.
If you're looking to visit these places on a tight budget, the government also offers cheap shuttle buses for foreigners to many of the popular destinations around the capital. Only available to foreigners visiting the country, fares can be as low as ten dollars and take you straight from the center of Seoul right to the tourist attraction.