South Korea Travel Guide

South Korea Travel Guide

South Korea is quickly becoming one of the most interesting travel destinations in Northeast Asia.  Many associate this country with the vibrant and fashionable city of Seoul; yet beyond the city border lies a beautiful countryside.  Dubbed the “Land of the Morning Calm,” here you will find another side to South Korea, a country of souring mountain peaks and serene temples.

Of course if you prefer round-the-clock action, Seoul has you covered!  Fill your shopping bags at the luxurious Gangnam shopping centers, or bargain for treasures at the markets near Ehwa and Insadong. Feast on delicious Korean barbeque and wash it down with some soju, a popular potato-starch liquor.

From the lively metropolitan to the peaceful countryside, every visitor will find unique beauty in the Korean culture.

Destination Guides

South Korea

Planning your budget

$1 USD is ≈ 1,100 KRW (Won)

For 1,100 Won ($1) you can buy…

  • 1 bottle of soju
  • 1 subway ticket
  • 1 red bean fish toast (and various other street food items)

*All exchange rates are approximate. Try the XE Currency app for the latest rates. 

Accommodation in South Korea is extremely reasonable compared to neighboring countries such as Japan. From cheap to traditional, below is a breakdown of accommodation options for the budget traveler:

  • Jjimjilbang Bathhouse $10
  • Guesthouse $20
  • Love Hotel ≈ $45
  • 3-4 Star Hotel ≈ $80

Recommend booking via Kimchee Guesthouse, Agoda, Airbnb

South Korea has an extensive and efficient transportation system. It’s very easy to get around, and almost all public transportation signs are in Korean and English. Taxis are extremely reasonable, usually less than $20 for a 25 minute taxi ride.

  • City bus $1
  • Local train $2
  • Ferry (domestic) $50
  • KTX, High Speed Train $45 each way

Recommend booking via Korail

Korean food is intricately woven into the Korean culture. People travel from all over the world to experience some of these unique dishes first-hand:

  • Hoeddeok Sweet Pancake $3
  • Bibimbap $5
  • Ddukbokkie Rice Cake $6
  • Korean BBQ $8
  • Yangnyeom Tongdak Fried Chicken $9

*Tipping is not common in South Korea. 

Within the city, many people visit simply for the shopping and bargain deals. Seoul is also a prime destination in the new phenomena of medical tourism. The cost of laser eye surgery, for example, is around only $600 compared to $5,000+ in many other countries.
Outside of Seoul, enjoy a more natural setting of beautiful hiking trails, zen temples, and quiet villages.

  • Jimjilbang Spa & Sauna $10
  • Lotte World Theme Park $25
  • Day tour $70
  • DMZ Tour $80

Recommend booking via Dragonhill Spa, O’ngo Food Tours, DMZ Tours


South Korea Bucket List