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.
- Things To Know When 5 Days In Korea
- Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Day Trips
- Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Busan Itinerary
- Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Jeju Itinerary
- Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And National Parks Itinerary
- Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Gyeongju Itinerary
- 5 Days Korea Tour Package
- Frequently Asked Questions
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 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.
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.
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 or more invasive treatmetns like plastic surgery (hair transplant, liposuction, rhinoplasty, LASIK eye correction, etc).
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 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.
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.
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.
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 – $$ – A 3 star luxurious but affordable hotel in the city center of Sokcho. Easily accessible from the bus terminal and buses going to Seoraksan national park.
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3. Day 5: Seoul
At the end of day 4 or early day 5 make your way back to the capital and spend the last day there. Visit Hongdae, Dongdaemun area, Itaewon or Gangnam before making your way back to the Incheon airport.
Korea 5 Day Itinerary: Seoul And Gyeongju Itinerary
Combine visiting Seoul with the peaceful and beautiful Gyeongju in the south east of the country. The beautiful city is filled with touristic sites dating back to the Silla dynasty (1500 years ago). Gyeongju can easily reached by KTX or bus. The KTX is more expensive but is much faster than the bus.
1. Day 1-2: Seoul
Spend your first 2 days in central Seoul exploring the historic areas. Including the Gwanghwamun area, the palaces, Bukchon village, Myeongdong shopping area and Insadong.
2. Day 3-4: Gyeongju
At the end of day 2 or early day 3, make your way from Seoul to Gyeongju and spend the next two days discovering this stunning city. The best things to visit in Gyeongju are including Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, the Tumuli Park, Cheomseongdae Observatorie and Wolji Pond.
Where To Stay In Gyeongju
- Blueboat Hostel Gyeongju – $ – The perfect guesthouse/hostel for budget travelers looking to stay in down town Gyeongju. Guests receive an English/Irish breakfast in the morning, which is the perfect start of a new day.
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- Happy Village Syeobul – $$ – 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.
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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.
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
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.
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.