Best Day Trips From Seoul (In Winter, Autumn, Summer And Spring)
After spending some time in the K-Pop capital, the city can become quite overwhelming. Sometimes we need a short break! You can find many things to do in Korea under 2 hours away from Seoul. Some more off the beaten track than others. Luckily, due to Seoul’s amazing public transport system, you can easily go on day trips from Seoul without spending hours on the bus or subway. Read on for the best day trips from Seoul!
As Korea is a rather small country it is possible to travel from Seoul to any major city in just a few hours, by Korea’s national speed train. Make sure to bring your T-Money Card for the subway and consider purchasing a foreigner discount train pass when travelling by KTX.
Day Trips From Seoul (1-2 Hours Away)
There are many nice day trips from Seoul available which take less than 2 hours to reach by public transport. Below is a list of the best places to go out of Seoul all year around. Most of these trips can be done using public transport or by booking a package trip. Check out my full guide on using public transport in Seoul and Korea here.
1. DMZ + JSA Tour
** Note: the JSA often closes due to political restlessness or if any diseases brake out. **
There’s no other place in Korea where you can get closer to North Korea, and actually set foot on North Korean soil than in the Korean demilitarized zone. This is one of the most interesting places in South Korea as you can clearly feel the tension between the North and the South. Unfortunately the area is only accessible with a guide that needs to be booked in advance. But not to worry, a DMZ and JSA tour is totally worth your money! This exciting tour takes you to different spots with historic value, such as infiltration tunnels, the bridge of no return, an observation deck and the JSA (Joint Security Area).
If you want to see the North Korean soldiers and step foot on North Korean soil make sure to book a tour that includes visiting the JSA area! More info here. It will be a side trips from Seoul to remember!
2. Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Love history? Wondering where to go in Korea? Then Suwon is the place for you! Suwon is located a 30 minute KTX train ride from Seoul and is known for its Hwaseong palace and fortress which is UNESCO world heritage. The palace used to be the biggest temporary palace dating back to the Joseon Dynasty. It was built in 1796 and entirely surrounded by defense walls, now the walls have wide walking trails, which is perfect for an afternoon stroll on a sunny day.
Other places that are worth paying a visit in Suwon are the Korean Traditional Village, the quirky toilet museum and the KBS Television Studios which need to be booked in advance. Check the best things to do in Suwon here.
2.1 How To Get From Seoul To Suwon
You can get to Suwon from Seoul by taking the KTX from Seoul station (30 minutes & around 8000 won one way) or take subway line 1 towards Sinchang (60 minutes & around 2000 won one way). From Suwon station, you can take the bus to the fortress from exit 4 or 5. You can also take bus 3000 from Gangnam station, or bus 7700 from Sadang station. To take the bus make sure to get a transport card which can be used on the public transport like subway, bus and taxi.
2.2 Hotels In Suwon
- Novotel Suwon – $$$ – The contemporary designed hotel lies conveniently located just next to the subway line 1 which connects Suwon with Seoul. Check latest prices here.
- Ibis Ambassador Suwon – $$ – A four star hotel for a very affordable price (starting at 72 000 KRW per night). The hotels lies in the city center, a 2 minutes walk from the City Hall. Check latest prices here.
- Ivy Stay – $ – The three star hotel lies 2 kilometers from the city center. All rooms are equipped with flat-screen TV with cable channels, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a desk. Some rooms even have a small kitchen. Check latest prices here.
3. Everland Amusement Park And Zoo
The Everland Amusement Park is one of Korea’s biggest theme parks with multiple different theme areas like a zoo, a safari, the amusement park and a water park. All this can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
All throughout the year, the park houses different themed festivals including the Tulip, Rose, Halloween and many other festivals.
For foreigners there are special 50% discounted tickets available, but only when purchased online in advance. Check prices and info here. Tickets include the entrance and a shuttle bus from different locations in Seoul.
4. China Town In Incheon
Incheon, home to Korea’s most popular airport, is also the home to China town, Fairy Tale Village, Japanese Settlement and a ton of beautiful islands. The city had a great impact in the victory of the Korean war, and was the home to the majority of the Chinese immigrants that came to Korea in the search of work.
For foodies Incheon is one of the top things to do in Korea! Chinese dumplings, fresh seafood and Jajangmyeon, also called black bean noodles which were imported by the Chinese immigrants to Korea. The colourful streets of China town are filled with small shops, Chinese restaurants, souvenir shop and museums. The entrance gates, the red lanterns and bright red facades add to the vibrant ‘Chinese’ atmosphere of the area. Just next to China town lies Songwol-Dong Fairy Tale Village which is quite picturesque.
4.1 Other Things To Do In Incheon
Muuido Island is the nicest island to visit in Incheon, perfect for sunny day trips from Seoul. Easily accessible from Incheon port or even from Incheon airport. If you have a short stopover at Incheon International Airport (check best Incheon Airport Transit Hotels here), you might want to consider visiting Muuido. On the island you’ll find a number of sandy beaches, hiking trails, spots dedicated for fishing and of course fresh fish restaurants. One of the must places to visit in Korea during summer!
4.2 How To Get From Seoul To Incheon
To get to Incheon take subway line 1 to Incheon (1h & around 2500won one way). Get off at the last stop. China town, Fairy Tale Village and the Japanese Settlement are located just next to the subway station. This is a very easy day trip from Seoul.
4.3 How To Get From Seoul To Muuido
From Incheon Airport Terminal 2 take bus 2-2 or 222 and get off at the Muuido Port (10 minutes). Buy a ferry return ticket and hop on the ferry which comes two time every hour. Check how to get to Incheon Airport from Myeongdong here.
5. Paju Heyri Art Village
Northwest to Seoul lies Paju, a fairy tale village, which houses the stunning Heyri Art Village, the French style Provence village, a peaceful botanical garden, a fresh wine farm, the Pinocchio museum and much more! Paju became quickly one of the more popular tourist places in Korea after being featured in a couple Korean dramas like ‘The Master’s Sun ’, ‘My Love from the Star ’, and ‘The Girl Who Sees Smells’.
5.1 How To Get From Seoul To Paju
Paju is located just out of Seoul, so very easy to get to by taking the Gyeongui-Jungang Line from Seoul (1h & around 2500 won one way).
6. Gapyeong Nami Island
Gapyeong is an area located north west from Seoul famous for Nami Island, The Garden of the Morning Calm and La Petite France. Nami island is the best place in Korea to enjoy the four seasons, the colourful European style building of Petite France transport visitors to the other side of the world, while the Garden of the Morning calm is the place for the perfect Instagram picture! Nami Island is beautiful all year around but you’ll have an extra special experience if you visit Nami Island in October. Check how to go to Nami Island from Seoul here.
7. Pocheon Herb Garden
Pocheon is famous for 2 tourist spots, namely Pocheon herb island and Pocheon Art Valley. Herb Island was selected as one of the 25 must visit wellness centers and during spring, the lavender fields of the island are in full bloom!
8. Paragliding Near Seoul
Want to enjoy South Korea from above? Then paragliding is the perfect adventurous activity. There are quite a few paragliding clubs in Korea but one of the closest to Seoul is located in Yangpyeong. Learn more about paragliding near Seoul here.
9. Anseong Farmland
If you want to see stunning flower fields and spend time with farm animals, then Anseong is the best place to visit. Anseong Farmland is especially beautiful during the spring and autumn season.
Weekend or Full Day Trips From Seoul
If you’re willing to travel further or are looking for the best weekend trips from Seoul then you will definitely like Jeongju, Gyeongju, Busan or even Jeju Island. These destinations are perfect to visit all year around.
1. Jeonju Hanok Village
Jeonju is one of the most popular places in Korea for international and Korean travellers. The bibimbab capital is famous for its beautiful Hanok village, a traditional Korean folk village. Streets filled with slate-tilled roofs that once belonged to the Korean upper class during the Joseon Dynasty. Few houses are still inhabited today but instead are turned into picturesque boutiques, art galleries and coffee shops. Check more things to do in Jeongju here.
1.1 How To Get From Seoul To Jeonju
From Seoul to Jeonju you can take the KTX train form Suseo Station (Gangnam) or Seoul Station (2 hours & around 30 000 one way) or by express bus from Gosok Gangnam Bus terminal (2h50 & around 16000won one way).
1.2 Visit Jeonju In Winter
2. Sokcho & Seoraksan National Park
Sokcho is located in the northeast of the Gangwon-do province not far from the North Korean border. The city attracts a lot of national and international visitors because of Seoraksan National Park, the delicious sea food and the stunning beaches which are perfect for surfing. There are even a couple of hot springs in the Sokcho which were later developed into saunas and swimming pools. Sokcho is a great destination if you’re looking for day trips outside Seoul.
The Seoraksan National Park lies just outside Sokcho and is easily accessible by bus from Sokcho express bus terminal. It you are looking for hiking day trips from Seoul, then Seoraksan must be at the top of your list.
2.1 How To Get From Seoul To Sokcho
From Dong Seoul bus terminal you can take an express bus to Sokcho. Bus rides take around 3 hours, depending on traffic. From Sokcho Bus Terminal you can take the bus number 7 or 7-1 and get off at the Sogongwon stop. Or go on an organised bus trip leaving from Seoul. Check prices and info here.
3. Beaches In Busan
Going to Busan for a day is only possible when travelling by KTX as the bus takes too long (5 hours one way). The city is located on the south coast or the Korean peninsula and is well known for its beautiful beaches, the delicious sea food and stunning temples. It is also the 3rd largest city in the country and is completely different from Seoul. There are loads of things to do in spring, summer, autumn and winter in Busan.
Also Read: A 2 Day Itinerary In Busan
3.1 Going From Seoul To Busan
Check how to go day trip from Incheon or Seoul to Busan.
Gyeongju is the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty with more than 1500 years of history. Its most impressive sights are Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, the Tumuli Park, Anapji Pond and Cheomseongdae Observatory. You can at least spend 2 to 3 days in the city as it is one of the best weekend trips in Korea, but a day trip is also possible as the KTX takes you to Gyeongju in 2,5 hours. Make sure to try the special Gyeongju bread which can be bought in one of the many shops around the Gyeongju bus terminal. Check more things to do in Gyeongju here.
4.1 How To Get To Gyeongju From Seoul
Gyeongju is easily accessible by KTX train from Seoul Station or Suseo Station. The train takes around 2,5 hours and costs 55 000 krw.
5. Paragliding In Danyang
If you are looking to do some paragliding in Korea, then Danyang is the place to go. Fly over Sobaeksan and Woraksan National park with a licensed tandem instructor. The flight is around 15 minutes but can go up to 30 minutes on a good day. From the landing zone to the mountain it takes around an hour drive.
Check prices and info for paragliding in Korea here.
6. Exotic Weather In Jeju Island
Jeju is the biggest island of Korea, it is special because of it exotic climate and its diversity in beaches. Going on a one day trip to Jeju island from Seoul is possible but will be a bit tight, so staying longer is definitely recommended. As Jeju island has it all: sand beaches, stone beaches, hiking trails, caves, city life, outdoor activities like horse riding, diving and much more.
Check out more info on how to go on a one day trip from Seoul to Jeju here.
Best Places To Visit In Korea During Winter Only
If you’ll be visiting Seoul during the winter season, then consider going on one of these best day trips from Seoul in winter! For those who have never seen snow, this will be a treat as there is a lot of snow in Korea in winter, especially in Gangwon-do. Also check out this guide on what to wear in Korea during winter.
1. Skiing In Korea At Vivaldi Ski Resort
One of the best things about winter in Korea is the start of the ski season! With many ski resorts shattered all over the country, there are quite a few resorts that are located within 2 hours of the capital Seoul; which makes this one of the best day trips from Seoul in winter. The resort I would personally recommend is Vivaldi park; as it is the biggest resort in the Seoul area and has free daily shuttle buses.
Looking for the best ski trip package? Click here for more information and foreigner discount prices!
2. Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival
Each year in January the Hwacheon Sancheoneo ice festival takes place. This extraordinary winter festival takes place on a stream covered with a 40 centimeters thick ice layer; and is one of the biggest winter events running in South Korea. It is a huge festival that attracts thousands of Koreans from all over the country packed closely together on a frozen river. Luckily for foreigners there’s a dedicated fishing zone which is way less busy.
Planning a day trip to the Ice Festival? Click here for more information and prices for a cheap Korea tour package!
One Day Trips From Seoul In Autumn
Fall in Korea is famous for the beautiful golden leaves. This means the national parks are the place to go to see autumn leaves in Korea. Check out this blog post for what to wear in Korea in autumn.
1. Naejangsan National Park
Naejangsan is the most famous mountain in the Jeolla-do province south west of the country. It is the place to go to see the beautiful autumn leaves. Inside the park are multiple waterfalls, stunning temples, cliffs and stunning trees.
In is not only impressive to visit during autumn but also during spring as the park is filled with azaleas and cherry blossoms.
When To Go: Late-October to mid-November
How To Go: From Central City Terminal (Honam Line) take a bus to Jeongeup Intercity Bus Terminal (3 hours). Take Bus No. 171 and get off at the Naejangsan Bus Terminal (30 minutes). An easier option would be to go on a tour leaving from Seoul. Check more info here.
2. Jirisan National Park
Jirisan National Park was the first designated national park in South Korea and covers three provinces. It is the largest mountain type national park with an abundance of wildlife and plants.
When To Go: Mid-October to early November
How To Go: From Seoul, take a bus from the Nambu Bus Terminal to Wonji and then transfer to a bus for Jungsan-ni (3 hours). Or join a tour leaving daily form Seoul. Check more info here.
3. Odaesan National Park
The Odaesan National Park is the most vibrant when it comes to fall foliage. It is a popular vacations spot all year around for campers and hikers but reaches it peak during autumn.
Want to visit Odaesan but don’t want to use public transport? Then check out this one day package trip leaving from Seoul. Check prices and info here.
When To Go: Mid-October to early November
How To Go: Take a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Jinbu (2 hours). From Jinbu Bus Terminal take 57 bus bound for Woljeongsa Temple (월정사) or bus 55 for Sangwonsa Temple (상원사) (40 minutes).
4. Autumn In Gyeongju
Even though Gyeongju is beautiful all year around, in autumn the city turns into a little paradise. The best places to visit during autumn are Bulguksa Temple, Bomun Lake and the Cheomseongdae pink muhly field which only blooms at the end of Autumn.
Trazy offers two very affordable autumn day trip packages to Gyeongju. One to the pink muhly fields and the other to Bulguksa Temple and Bomun lake.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many fun winter activities to do during winter outside Seoul like skiing in Vivaldi Park or visiting an ice fishing festival.
There are many nice day trips to go on from Seoul which can be done on a low budget. Look for destinations which can be used using the Seoul subway like Incheon China Town or Suwon Fortress.
The best places close to Seoul to see cherry blossoms are Island lake park, Gwanggyo lake park, Namhansanseong Fortress and many more.
Great tips! I have lived in Busan but barely know Seoul and its surroundings. I intend to go to Korea again soon, and visit Seoul this time for a couple of days. This post will definitely help to plan my itinerary! Thanks for sharing!
That’s great to hear! I hope this post helps you plan your trip to Seoul and South Korea!