If you’re heading on a trip to South Korea but don’t feel like staying in Seoul throughout your entire holiday, why not do a day trip to a nearby city? There are lots to see and do for both parents and kiddos, and we’ve rounded up the ten best day trips that provide wholesome family fun! Some of these places are even exciting enough to keep the whole family entertained for more than a day.
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One of the most popular day trip destinations in South Korea is Busan. Just a three hour ride from Seoul via KTX, this seaside town is like a slightly quieter version of Seoul. There’s so much to do in Busan that you might need more than one day to complete everything, but it is possible to spend just one single day there. Attractions we’d suggest not skipping are the Gamcheon Culture Village (really pretty and colorful!) as well as Haeundae Beach. Beomeosa Temple is also quite a sight to behold, and is one of the biggest temples in Busan.
Jeonju is fairly close to Seoul, and it takes a little more than an hour via KTX. A must-see when you’re in Jeonju is their Hanok Village, an area filled with traditional houses, craft stores and restaurants. You can even rent traditional Korean outfits there and walk around pretending you’re from a period k-drama! Jaman Mural Village is nearby, a cluster of colorful houses featuring all sorts of different murals. It’s quite a sight, and looks amazing as a backdrop for your group photos. If you want to check out a local food market, head over to Nambu Market for some amazing street food!
Ready for a really chill sightseeing experience? At Gapyeong, you can take it slow, starting with a visit to the Garden of Morning Calm. It’s a really beautiful garden that showcases the country’s beautiful nature, and is home to thousands of plant species. Nami Island is also a pretty popular attraction at Gapyeong, and the area is filled with so many tall trees that it looks absolutely different each season. If you’re bringing your kids along, they’ll definitely enjoy Alpaca World, a huge farm where you’ll be able to get up close and personal with alpacas and other small animals.
The most popular activity that people visit Paju for is to visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Here, you’ll get to learn about Korea’s turbulent history, and about the war that tore the country into two parts: North Korea and South Korea. You’ll get to see firsthand the infiltration tunnel, an invasion route running from North to South, as well as get a glimpse of North Korea using binoculars. If you have enough time, you can also drop by the Paju Premium Outlets for some shopping— but do note that if you’re quite a shopaholic that this activity itself might take half a day!
Are you travelling with an adventurous group? Why not take a day trip out of Seoul to an amusement park! Everland is located in Yongin, about an hour away from central Seoul. The theme park is huge, so you’ll definitely be able to spend a whole day there without feeling bored. Besides thrilling roller coasters — they’ve got a wooden one that’s super fast — and your usual theme park rides, Everland also houses a mini safari world where you can get to enter lion and tiger enclosures while seated in a fully secure tour bus.
A little less than hour from Seoul, Incheon is a beautiful place to visit. There’s a Fairy Tale Village that’s perfect for kids, and the neighbourhood looks absolutely magical with their colorful fairytale-themed structures and murals. You can also take the family to Yeongjongdo Island where everyone can enjoy a rail bike experience; it’s not physically demanding at all so even kids are able to participate! End the day at Incheon’s Chinatown, a vibrant area with amazing Chinese food.
Want a bit of peace and tranquility? Head out of Seoul and to Gangneung, where it’s pretty laid-back and quiet. There are various beaches here if you’d like to dip your toes in the sea or simply walk barefoot on the sand while feeling the cool sea breeze. A must-see attraction is Haslla Art World, an enormous museum filled with unique exhibits and structures that’ll leave you in awe. They also make amazing backdrops for photos. For food, drop by the Chodang Sundubu Village where you’ll get to fill your tummies with piping hot and tasty tofu stew.
If you’re really into nature, take a day trip out to Sokcho. The must-see attraction in the area is definitely Seoraksan National Park. It’s Korea’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and an amazing place for scenic views. There are many different hiking trails at the national park for tourists who’d like to explore the place by foot. They also do have a cable car option for those who wish to check out the peak without hiking up. Before heading back to Seoul, fill your bellies with food at Sokcho Central Market, where you can find an array of seafood and street food.
One of the best attractions at Yangpyeong if you’re bringing along the kiddos is the Yangsu-ri Strawberry Farm Experience. There, the whole family can enjoy some time picking fresh strawberries together! You can also try their very own strawberry jam with bread. If you want to be immersed in nature, drop by Dumulmeori, Saneum Natural Recreation Forest or Korea Music Park. Tourists can also visit Yongmunsa Temple, which is located on Yongmunsan Mountain, and is quite a peaceful tourist attraction.
A seasonal day trip destination, Jisan Ski Resort is perfect during the winter season. It’s only a 40 minute drive away from Seoul, so it leaves you plenty of time for skiing during the day before heading back to Seoul at night. At the resort itself, they have beginner skiing and snowboarding courses for those who have never tried it before, so don’t worry if you have no prior experience on the slopes at all. Ski season at Jisan Ski Resort usually starts at the beginning of December and lasts until the start of March the following year.