12-day South Korea Tour
Explore South Korea’s unique history, natural beauty, rich culture and mouth-watering cuisine with our 12-day adventure tour.
From bustling, neon-lit metropolises to rolling countryside hills, long sandy beaches to temples in the mountains, and even a visit to the historic Demilitarized Zone, our adventure leaders will take you off-the-beaten-track and show you life like a local on this unforgettable South Korean experience. Eager to find out more? Use the chat on the right hand of your screen to speak to our experts or enquire below to book your incredible South Korea adventure!
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Day 1 – Seoul:
Get ready to start your South Korea adventure by meeting your guide at the hostel in the afternoon! Listen to a pre-departure brief as you find out everything you need to know about your trip. This is also an opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over dinner which is a feast of Korean barbecue food – enjoy!
After a delicious meal, make your way to the top of Namsan Mountain, where you can admire spectacular views of Seoul lit up at night. Recognised as the most popular location in Seoul for couples, wander through the “padlocks of love” locked at the base of Seoul N Tower, representing visitors’ endless love! If you want an even better view of the city, you can head to the top of the Seoul N Tower.
Later, hop on public transport back to the district of Hongdae where your accommodation is. Enjoy some time to stroll around and explore the hip area or get an early night ready for your first full day tomorrow!
Day 2 – Seoul:
Today, you will visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Climb aboard a bus, taking you an hour north of Seoul to Imjingak, where you’ll have the chance to grab some breakfast. Continue your journey to Dorasan Station, the northernmost train stop in South Korea that was once intended to connect the country with North Korea. While there, you can buy a commemorative train ticket!
Pay a visit to Dora Observatory where you can see the nearest North Korean villages through binoculars. If you’re lucky, you might even see some people in the streets. Next, descent into the 3rd Tunnel created by North Koreans, taking you as close as 170m to North Korea!
After, you will begin your journey back to Seoul and make the most of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk to a North Korean defector on the bus. Back in Seoul, why not hit up Myeongdong for a lunch with the rest of the group or explore the surrounding area with visits to the Myeongdong Cathedral or a quirky cat café?
Enjoy a free evening to explore the city as you please. For some evening entertainment, watch a traditional Nanta Show (a comedy cooking performance), explore Itaewon, best known for its endless restaurant and bar options, or head over to the ritzy Gangnam district.
Day 3 – Seoul:
Today, you’ll wake up nice and early for a day exploring the ancient side of Seoul. Hop on the metro to Gyeongbokgung Palace where you’ll have the chance to watch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony, before entering the palace groups itself.
After, make your way to Bukchon Hanok Village, stopping by the Blue House, which is the White House of South Korea, on the way. This is the official residence of the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in.
In Bukchon Hanok Village, you can change into hanbok, traditional Korean clothes, to walk around the historical village. After a jam-packed morning, enjoy a group lunch with your fellow travellers at Tongin Market, or grab something yourself from the nearby area.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city with a walk down the Cheonggyecheon stream, an area of tranquillity and relaxation restored during an urban renewal project. Afterwards, prepare to be inspired by the Insadong Art Street where you can take part in an optional Kimchi Tasting session at Museum Kimchikan.
In the evening, you will have some free time to explore Seoul further. Walk around Ikseon-dong Hanok Street, immerse yourself in local life with a group dinner at pojangmacha – soju or head back to Hongdae Street for a night out on a pub crawl!
Day 4 – Seoul & Sokcho:
Check out of your accommodation and depart for day-trip to Sokcho, in the north-eastern part of the country. Arrive at Seoraksan National Park in the late morning and pay a visit to Sinheungsa Temple. Embark on a hike to Ulsanbawi Rock for spectacular views over the national park. For those looking for a less challenging hike, you can hike the well-signed waterfall trail and board a cable car to another peak.
Refuel with some lunch back at the entrance of the park before taking the bus to Sokcho town. Here, you’ll travel on a gatbae to cross the river to Abai, a small village of North Korean refugees. Explore the historical village before climbing to the Lighthouse Observatory for incredible views of Seoraksan Mountain, the East Sea and Sokcho.
In the evening, enjoy a dinner with the rest of the group in and around the local fish markets. We’d recommend one of the most famous Korean fried chicken restaurants in the area, Manseok, known for its sticky sweet and sour boneless fried chicken. Head back to Seoul and check into your accommodation for the night, a jjimjilbang – a traditional Korean bath and sleeping house. Explore the multi-storey abode, with sex-segregated onsen baths, meditation rooms, saunas, ice rooms and even an entertainment floor!
Day 5 – Gyeongju:
After a night of relaxation and rejuvenation, check out of your accommodation and walk to Seoul station. Grab some breakfast before taking the train to Singyeongju Station near the city of Gyeongju.
After checking into your hostel, enjoy lunch at Seongdong Traditional Market or one of the many surrounding restaurants.
Get ready for an afternoon exploring Gyeongju by bike! First up, explore Cheonmachong Ancient Tombs, part of the Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Tumuli Park. Then, make your way to Cheomseongdae, the oldest existing astronomical observatory in East Asia. Head to Gyerim Forest and pay a visit to Hyanggyo Confucius School on the way. If you’re thirsty, stop for a cup of tea at a 300-year old tea house nearby.
Want to experience authentic Korean food? Have dinner at Dosol Maeul, a local restaurant serving traditional Korean set meals in an equally authentic environment! Later, why not take a stroll around to Anapji Pond for some amazing night time views of the palace? Be sure to pack your cameras because the lights are stunning.
Day 6 – Gyeongju:
Start the day early with a visit to Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Cultural Asset, or take the opportunity to have a lie-in. Grab a bite to eat for lunch in the city before transferring to Golgulsa Temple, where you’ll experience an overnight temple stay.
Upon arrival, check into the temple and start the day’s activities with a meditation class. Want an afternoon with more action? Why not take part in archery, horse riding or training classes. Afterwards, watch a breath-taking traditional arts performance and Sunmudo demonstration before lending a hand to the temple’s communal work.
Enjoy a simple Buddhist dinner of vegetables, rice and fruit with the other temple visitors. Take part in the evening chanting service and meditation before learning the basics of Sunmudo yourself!
Day 7 – Busan:
Wake up with the sunrise and take part in the morning chanting service and meditation, followed by starting the day right with a traditional breakfast. Next, enjoy a fantastic opportunity to talk to a Buddhist monk over tea, where you’ll have the chance to ask whatever you want!
After a relaxing morning, take part in your final Sunmudo training lesson to master your skills. Have a delicious lunch before taking the bus back to the city. Then, make your way to Gyeongju bus station where you’ll start your journey to Busan. Arrive in the late afternoon and head straight to your accommodation.
Check in and make yourself comfortable before heading out for dinner. Grab some amazing food at tables along the beachfront. Want to explore the thriving nightlight of Busan? Hit the town for a night out along the Haeundae beachfront!
Day 8 – Busan:
Head out for a day exploring Busan. First up, make your way to Jagalchi Market, the biggest seafood market in South Korea. Wander through the bright and colourful stalls showcasing a huge variety of the day’s fresh catch. Pick the best of the bunch for a tasty lunch before heading to Nampo-dong, the city’s famous movie district and home to the annual Busan International Film Festival.
Want to step into another dimension? Take part in a cutting-edge Virtual Reality gaming experience! Alternatively, spend the afternoon exploring the real world further. Treat your taste buds to Busan-style hotteok, a fried pancake filled with brown sugar and various seeds from a street food vendor.
Afterwards, head to Songdo Beach where you’ll hop on the Marine Cable Car and enjoy spectacular aerial views of the city in the distance. If you’re lucky, your car might have a glass floor! Follow a path along the cliffs back down to the beach or return by cable car.
Take the metro to Gwangan Beach and enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers. Try the Korean delicacy, jokbal, or hit up Slice of Life for the best New York-style pizza around. Once the sun sets, be sure to admire the light show on Gwangan Bridge.
Day 9 – Busan:
Enjoy a free morning to explore Busan.
Venture out on your own or take part in some of our suggested activities. For example, you can join a cooking class and learn to make the Korean dishes you’ve tried throughout your trip. Alternatively, visit Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a Buddhist temple nestled in the coastline’s cliffs, take a day trip to the colourful Gamcheon Culture Village, or embark on the Igidae Coastal Walk and Oryukdo Skywalk.
Feeling in need of some more rejuvenation? Head to Spa Land in Centum City, located in Busan’s largest shopping complex! Make the most of South Korea’s high-quality jjimjilbang while you’re here and treat yourself to saunas, cold rooms, jacuzzis and more.
Later, you will collect your belongings from the hostel and make your way to the port where you’ll catch an overnight ferry to Jeju Island. Catch a great view of the city from the top deck as you pull out of the port. Chill out with your fellow travellers in the lounge areas or head to bed ready for an early start in the morning.
Day 10 – Jeju Island:
Arrive in Jeju early in the morning after eating breakfast onboard the ferry. Head to a section of the coastline to take part in a Haenyeo Divers Experience, where you’ll have a fantastic opportunity to go out with the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage women divers of Jeju. Learn how to catch fish using just a knife while holding your breath!
Once back on dry land, have lunch before taking part in a traditional liquor making experience. You’ll learn how it’s made and get to sample different types. Later, hike to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a unique formation that was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions over 5,000 years ago!
On your way back to the hostel, witness a performance by the Haenyeo Divers by the beach in the shadow of the peak. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure. If you’re looking for an epic view this evening, head to Seopjikoji Viewpoint at sunset.
Day 11 – Jeju Island:
In the morning, depart by private transfer on a day trip to Jeongbang Waterfall. Start the day at the waterfall, the only one of its kind in Asia, which flows directly into the ocean. Then, embark on a day-long trek along the Jeju Olle Trail.
Take a break and refuel with lunch in Seogwipo city before continuing your trek to Oedolgae Rock. Take in the gorgeous natural scenery along the way, from the volcanic cliffs to the bright yellow fields of canola.
Return to the hostel in the early afternoon and enjoy some well-deserved rest time! Relax on the beach or chill in the hostel before your final night’s celebrations. If you’ve still got some energy, head out on to the water a try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding.
In the evening, kick back with a barbecue by the beach! Eat delicious food, watch the sun go down and if you want, party into the night by the seashore. Make the most of your time with your fellow travellers, as you’ll be saying goodbye in the morning.
Day 12 – Jeju Island:
You’ve reached the end of your Dragon Trip adventure through South Korea! Head back to Seoul, explore the wonders of Jeju Island further or continue with your travels elsewhere.
South Korea & Japan
Want to take your adventure further? Start your trip in Seoul, take our full South Korea tour and then fly to Tokyo to begin the Japan tour! Running from £2,925 – price including tour costs, extra accommodation and connecting flights. View itinerary.
A deposit is required to make a reservation on our South Korea tours, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £100 GBP / $150 USD / €150 EUR / $200 AUD. If you book on to our Japan tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
No bookings can be accepted within 40 days of a trip departure date.
Looking for assistance booking pre/post trip accommodation? Just let us know what you need!
All accommodation is in dorm rooms as standard. If you would like to upgrade your room, please let us know at the time of booking.
Our South Korea tour package price includes the following features:
- Bilingual Adventure Leaders
- Transport within South Korea
- Accommodation (including hostels, bath houses and temples!)
The following activities are included in the price:
- Welcome dinner of Korean barbeque (Seoul)
- Enjoy the great views of Seoul from Namsan Mountain (Seoul)
- Visit the Demilitarized Zone and have the chance to talk to a North Korean defector (Seoul)
- Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul)
- Walk around the historic Bukchon Hanok Village (Seoul)
- Pay a visit to Insadong art street (Seoul)
- Visit Seoroksan National Park, Sokcho town, Abai Village via a cable pulley boat, then walk to the Lighthouse Observatory for breathtaking views (Sokcho)
- Spend the night at Jjimjilbang the traditional bathhouses (Sokcho)
- Take a cycling tour of Gyeongju (Gyeongju)
- Overnight stay at Golgulsa Temple: take part in meditation and chanting services, traditional arts performance and Kunmudo lesson, drink tea with a Buddhist monk and enjoy traditional Buddhist meals (Gyeongju)
- Ride Busan’s Marine Cable Car (Busan)
- Take part in a Haenyeo Divers Experience (Jeju)
- Traditional Liquor Making Workshop (Jeju)
- Hike to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong (Jeju)
- Witness a Haenyeo Divers performance by the beach (Jeju)
- Day trek along the Jeju Olle Trail (Jeju)
- Enjoy a BBQ party by the beach (Jeju)
Upgrades & Extras
The tour will finish at the Jeju airport on day 12. If customers would like us to help them arrange a flight back to Seoul, the we can do so at the fixed price of £60.
The price of a single room upgrade for the trip is £290 and a double room upgrade is £145 per person.
Japan & South Korea
Want to take your adventure further? Start your trip in Tokyo, take our full Japan tour and then fly from Osaka to Seoul to enjoy our South Korean tour! Running from £2,895 – price including tour costs, extra accommodation and connecting flights. Contact us for further information.
The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.
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