South Korea Holidays & Accommodation Guide

East Asia

asian accommodation guide

Korean food isn't as well known as Japanese or Thai food – or rather, it's unfortunately associated with eating dog! – but it is delicious all the same. Kimchi, spicy pickled and fermented cabbage, is a national obsession, and you should also try dak galbi, a stir fry which, in some restaurants, is cooked in front of you. Korea is a popular destination with backpackers; it also has a thriving expat scene, and attracts Westerners to teach English. Saunas are very popular, and you can stay overnight in some, making them a cost-effective alternative to hotels. Korean cities are generally great for nightlife – you must try some shogu, some of the local spirit.

South Korea – Regions or Cities to Visit

South Korea Holidays Planner

Seoul is one of the best places to start. There are five Royal Palaces in this enormous city, as well as parks, shrines, markets and theme parks; it would take weeks to work your way around everything. One uniquely Korean destination is the Demilitarised Zone, or DMZ – something of a misnomer, given the amount of firepower that both North and South Korea have pointed at each other. You can see propaganda villages on the other side of the border, and visit tunnels that the Northern Koreans have dug underneath the boundary. Less alarmingly, you can visit Korea's many excellent beaches and pretty islands.

Busan is the second city and has similar attractions to Seoul, however it's particularly famous for its beaches and hot springs. Daejeon also has a fantastic hot springs resort, and there are a dozen high-tech ski resort areas with man-made guaranteed powder snow. Perhaps surprisingly, hiking is very popular with the locals with Seoraksan National Park with its spectacular cliffs a favourite – you can follow hiking trails into the mountains. Baseball and soccer also attract crowds, and you should definitely consider attending a match. South Korea is very stable, but there are occasional spats with North Korea – check the news before you go.

Travel Tips

South Korea Holiday Tips
South Korea Travel Info
You cannot travel from North Korea to South Korea (in fact, it's very difficult to get into North Korea generally), but you can fly or get a ferry from China or Japan.