South Korea 5 Day Itinerary | Must Go Places When 5 Days In Korea

South Korea is surprisingly large – and you could easily spend months here and never come close to seeing everything. But if you only have 5 days in Korea, what are the places you have to see to truly get a flavour of this beautiful country. Read on find your perfect South Korea 5 day itinerary (5 days 4 nights Korea itinerary) in this Korea travel guide.

With only 5 days, it is recommended to focus on two or 3 different places otherwise your trip will become to packed. If you end up really liking your 5 day trip, you’re likely wanting to come back for a second time. The itinerary assumes visitors arrive in Korea at Incheon international airport.

south korea 5 day itinerary

Things To Know When 5 Days In Korea

  • How much to bring to Korea for 5 days – South Korea has 4 seasons and they are quite extreme from 40°C in summer to -20°C in winter.  Check a 5 day Korea packing list here.
  • Travel Adapters – The Korean power outlets are similar to the ones in mainland Europe. If you are coming from the UK, America, etc., make sure to bring the right adapter. More info about Korea travel adapters here.
  • Foreigner train pass – Foreigner discount train passes are available. These allow you to travel all around the country at a discounted rate.  Check more info here.
  • Seoul with kids – are you planning on coming to Seoul with kids, check out the best things to do with kids here.
  • Discount attraction tickets – Many tourist sites and attractions offer discounted tickets for foreigners. There have to be purchased in advance online. Check out the following companies Trazy, GetYourGuide or Klook.
  • T Money Card – at the airport buy a T Money card. This is a transport card which can be used on any city bus or subway. Buy online here.
korea itinerary

Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Day Trips

Don’t want to travel around to much or prefer to stay 5 days in one place and use this as your base. Then this is the perfect itinerary for you. Stay at the same hotel in central Seoul, easy and convenient way to enjoy South Korea.

1. Day 1-3: Seoul

If you love cities, definitely start out in the capital, Seoul city. It is one of the greatest cities in the world, and you could spend all 5 days here and barely scratch the surface. With a few days here you’ll be able to begin to get to know some of the best go-to places and districts. Check out this perfect detailed Seoul 5 day itinerary.

Make the most of your time in Seoul! Book a hop-on hop-off shuttle bus. The tour bus brings you to all the hot spots in the city, including Jongno, Myeongdong, Insadong, Bukchon hanok village, Itaewon, Seoul tower, etc.

Where To Stay In Seoul

  • ALoft – $$ – ALoft is a comfortable and luxury hotel in central Myeongdong, close to all the Myeongdong restaurants and street market. Easily accessible from the airport and within walking distance of the main touristic sites.
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  • G Guesthouse – $ – A cozy, clean and affordable guesthouse in the party area of Seoul. Great for solo or budget travelers in South Korea. Within walking distance of the subway.
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2. Day 4: DMZ Day Trip

For a 5-day Seoul trip keep traveling around to a minimum, but consider going on a day trip to the DMZ. The DMZ is located one hour from Seoul and is the border which divides North Korea and South Korea. This is a zone filled with history related to the Korean war and the conflict between North and South Korea.

The most important area is the JSA (joint security area), which is only accessible with a group tour. These tours leave at 8 am from Seoul and get back around 6 pm. Others sites that are included on most tours are Imjingak Park, the Unification Bridge, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, and Dorasan Station.

TIP! When booking a tour, make sure that the JSA is included, as this is the most memorable and exciting part of the whole trip. Check tour info here. 

3. Day 5: Other Day Trip

On your last day go on another day trip from Seoul to Nami island, La Petite France and the Garden of the Morning Calm or in winter go skiing skiing in Vivaldi Park or attending the Ice Fishing Festival. These would be the perfect change of pace and would allow you to enjoy history and beautiful natural surroundings.

4. Optional: Medical Tourism

Seoul is the capital of medical tourism in the world. You’ll find a wide range of clinics which offer affordable facial treatments like dark circle treatment or acne scar treatment. Apart from skincare treatments you’ll also find Korean medical health checkups, dental work or more invasive treatments like plastic surgery (hair transplant, liposuction, rhinoplasty, LASIK eye correction, etc).

Click here to find out more about medical tourism in South Korea!

What’s especially great about medical tourism is that you can combine it with cultural activities as most procedures have little to no recovery time and only take an hour or two.

Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Busan Itinerary

Seoul And Busan Itinerary

Seoul and Busan are the two major cities in Korea. If you love cities and don’t mind travelling a bit to the completely other side of the country then this is the perfect itinerary for you. Both cities are amazing and vibrant but also completely different from each other.

The best way to get from Seoul to Busan is by KTX or express bus. The KTX is more expensive but is recommended as 5 days in Korea is quite short to spend 4 hours on a bus one way.

1. Day 1-2: Seoul

First, spend two days in Seoul and visit the highlights of the city including one of the palaces, Bukchon village, Insadong, Gwangjang Market and consider taking one day trip to the DMZ or Nami Island.

2. Day 3-4: Busan

On your third day make your way from Seoul to Busan. This is the 3rd biggest city in Korea and is well known for its beautiful ocean views and delicious sea food.

Spend at least 2 days in Busan, on day one explore the fish market and historic center and on day two enjoy the things Haeundae beach has to offer. Check a detailed 2 day Busan itinerary here.

Make the most of your time in Busan! Book a hop-on hop-off shuttle bus that brings you to all the best tourist sites in Busan. 2 different routes are available.

Where To Stay In Busan

  • Hotel Park Hyatt – $$ –  Staying at the Hyatt is perfect to enjoy Busan in comfort. Most of the rooms have views overlooking the stunning Marina City and in the hotel is a spa, fitness center and excellent in-house dining facilities.
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  • Trave Light – $ – Located withing walking distance of the Busan KTX & subway station. The modern interior has a homey and for the ladies, a wide range of cosmetic products are available to use, free of charge. The fun part about this Hostel, is the point system, which long term staying guests can exchange for souvenirs.
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3. Day 5: Seoul

Spend your last day in Seoul checking one out some of the newer areas of the city including Dongdaemun, Hongdae, Itaewon or Gangnam.

Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Jeju Itinerary

Jeju island is a beautiful exotic island that belongs to South Korea. If you want to experience the Korean relaxed island vibe then make your way to Jeju! The island can only be reached by plane from multiple cities in Korea or by boat from Busan.

seoul and jeju itinerary

1. Day 1: Seoul

Spend your first day in Seoul and explore the historic center by visiting one of the palaces, Bukchon village, Insadong, Myeongdong, Gwangjang market and the Dongdaemun Area. Check a Seoul itinerary here.

2. Day 2-4: Jeju

On your second day fly out to Jeju from Gimpo Airport and stay for at least 3 days. The best things to do in Jeju are the wonderful waterfalls in Seogwipo, hiking Hallasan mountain, visiting one of the stunning beaches around the island and eating Jeju black pork. Find a detailed Jeju 3 days itinerary here.

Make the most of your time in Jeju! Book the Jeju hop-on hop-off tour bus that brings you to all the best tourist sites in Jeju. 2 different routes are available.

Consider signing up for a 3D2N tour of Jeju Island which will take you to all the best spots on the island by bus. Check prices and info here.

Where To Stay In Jeju

Check out the best places to stay in this Jeju accommodation blog post. There are 2 main cities on the Jeju Island, Jeju City and Seogwipo City. If only in Seoul for 2 or 3 days, then it is recommended to stay in Jeju City as it is close to the airport and has good bus connections to the main touristic sites.

3. Day 5: Seoul

At the end of day 4 or early day 5 fly back to Gimpo airport in Seoul and spend the rest of the day there before returning back home.

Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And National Parks Itinerary

If you are coming to South Korea to enjoy the beautiful national parks then you’re in for a treat! 70% of Korea exists out of mountains, so it is no surprise that the most loved weekend activity is hiking.

1. Day 1-2: Seoul

Start of by spending two days discovering Seoul and on your third day head to one of the many national parks.

Discover the historic center, including one of the 5 palaces, Bukchon hanok village, Insadong souvenir street, Myeongdong food area and much more. Seoul is surrounded by 4 mountains, consider hiking to the top of one of these mountains.

2. Day 3-4: Seoraksan

The best national parks to visit are Seoraksan Park, Jirisan, Taebaeksan or Songnisan. The best way to experience these mountains is by hiking and doing a temple stay at one of the temples in the national park.

The easiest park to reach from Seoul is Seoraksan. It can easily be reached by bus in 3 hours. Different trails are available and for people just looking to enjoy the views there is a cable cart to one of the peaks.

Where To Stay In Sokcho, Seoraksan

  • Story House – $ – The Story house is a very high rated guesthouse in located in central Sokcho, within walking distance of the port. Private and dorm rooms available. Barbecue and terrace open during the summer season.
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  • Pampas Resort – $$ – A 3 star luxurious but affordable hotel in the city center of Sokcho. Easily accessible from the bus terminal and buses going to Seoraksan national park. 
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3. Day 5: Seoul

At the end of day 4 or early day 5 make your way back to the capital and spend the last day there. Visit Hongdae, Dongdaemun area, Itaewon or Gangnam before making your way back to the Incheon airport.

Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Gyeongju Itinerary

SOUTH korea in 5 days

Combine visiting Seoul with the peaceful and beautiful Gyeongju in the south east of the country. The beautiful city is filled with touristic sites dating back to the Silla dynasty (1500 years ago). Gyeongju can easily reached by KTX or bus. The KTX is more expensive but is much faster than the bus.

1. Day 1-2: Seoul

Spend your first 2 days in central Seoul exploring the historic areas. Including the Gwanghwamun area, the palaces, Bukchon village, Myeongdong shopping area and Insadong.

2. Day 3-4: Gyeongju

At the end of day 2 or early day 3, make your way from Seoul to Gyeongju and spend the next two days discovering this stunning city. The best things to visit in Gyeongju are including Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, the Tumuli Park, Cheomseongdae Observatorie and Wolji Pond.

Where To Stay In Gyeongju

  • Blueboat Hostel Gyeongju – $ – The perfect guesthouse/hostel for budget travelers looking to stay in down town Gyeongju. Guests receive an English/Irish breakfast in the morning, which is the perfect start of a new day.
    Book Now | 
  • Happy Village Syeobul – $$ – A hanok stay is must do and there is no better place to experience this than in Gyeongju. One of the best Hanok stays in the country and in Gyeongju. Comes with an amazing breakfast and is withing walking distance of the main touristic sites.
    Book Now | 

5 Days Korea Tour Package

Looking for a hassle free way to discover the country? Then why not join a package tour around the country!

1. All Around South Korea

Join the K-Shuttle Bus Tour for a 5D4N tour around Korea. This all included (except lunch &dinner) trip takes you to the best places without having to worry about anything!

Departures are every Friday from the Donghwa Duty Free building at Gwanghwamun station. The itinerary is well packed but totally worth it if only in Korea for 5 days. Places on the trip include: Seoul, Gongju, Buyeo, Jeonju and Gwangju on day 1. Day 2 takes you to Boseong, Suncheon and Yeosu. Day 3 to Jinju, Busan and Gyeongju. Day 4 to Andong and Wonju. The final day is spend in Pyeongchang, Sokcho and Seoul.

Check more info and prices for this 5D4N Korea tour here.

Itinerary Summary
Day 1: Seoul, Gongju, Buyeo, Jeonju, Gwangju
Day 2: Boseong, Suncheon, Yeosu
Day 3: Jingju, Busan, Gyeongju
Day 4: Andong, Wonju
Day 5: Pyeongchang, Sokcho, Seoul

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much To Bring To Korea For 5 Days?

South Korea has 4 different seasons, make sure to check the temperatures of the period you’ll be visiting Korea. Check out this Korea packing list guide to prepare for your travels.

How Much To Spend In Korea For 5 Days?

The amount of money you should bring for a 5-day trip to Korea depends on your travel style and budget. Generally speaking, budget travelers can expect to spend around $50-$70 per day on accommodation, food, and transportation. This means that for a 5-day trip, you would need to bring around $250-$350.

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Have you been 5 days in South Korea? Any questions about this Korea 5D4N itinerary? Is there any information missing in this 5 day Korea itinerary? Let me know in the comment section below!

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