The best day trips from Seoul offer something for everyone. South Korea is relatively small and it is easy to get to practically every corner of the country within a matter of hours.
Seoul is a wonderful city bursting with soul. Each district of this bustling megalopolis has its own personality and is like a small town in itself.
You could easily spend weeks in Seoul and still feel as though you have barely scratched beneath the surface. That said, there are occasions where you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
For those occasions, you can consider the day trips from Seoul that are suggested here. Whether you are interested in hiking and nature, or history and culture, you are sure to find something that interests you.
Day Trips from Seoul:
Do it Alone or Guided Tour?
Seoul has an excellent public transport network. The buses, metros, and trains that operate from Korea’s capital make it incredibly easy to get around South Korea independently. Services are frequent, announcements are made in English, and public transport is always on time.
Generally speaking, travelling independently is generally much cheaper than doing tours. That said, there are still occasions where tours are preferable.
Some places in South Korea are tricky to navigate without your own transport. For instance, Gapyeong County or Damyang.
Sometimes Tours May be the More Convenient Option
There are also day trips from Seoul in regions where you are not permitted to travel independently. For example, you cannot visit the border with North Korea unless you are on a government-authorised tour.
Sometimes, taking a tour just takes a lot of the hassle out of planning. Additionally, it enables you to meet other travellers.
This guide discusses the best day trips from Seoul and how to get to each place. It provides information on getting to each spot via a tour and via public transport so you can choose which option is best for you.
24 of the Best Day Trips from Seoul
The options for taking day trips from Seoul are plentiful. Some of the most popular daily excursions to consider if you are only in the city for a limited amount of time are:
- The Korean Border (DMZ)
- Hiking in Bukhansan National Park
- Day trip to Suwon and the Hwaseong Fortress
- The Garden of Morning Calm and Gapyeong
Revel in the Rural Ambiance of Paju
Paju is one of the northernmost points that you can reach from Seoul before arriving at the Korean border. It is often referred to as being Korea’s “book city”. This is on account of all of the publishing houses and literary companies located here.
Certain points across Paju provide you with a perfect view across to the mysterious hermit kingdom of North Korea. This makes Paju a nice alternative day trip from Seoul for those who prefer not to do a DMZ tour.
Notable Paju Attractions
Paju city and its surrounding areas are really quite beautiful. The region boasts a lot of opportunities by way of cultural immersion and exploration.
Venture to Paju’s Provence Village. This is a scenic area whose stores and cafes are painted in pastel shades and decorated with adorable murals.
There is also the Gyeonggi English Village which was created as a place for Korean students to learn English. The Gyeonggi English village is designed to look like a faux-London and definitely has its charm.
Getting to Paju
Paju can be reached easily from downtown Seoul. Just hop onboard bus 2200 from Hapjeong station.
The journey takes approximately 30 minutes in each direction. If you prefer to visit the area with a tour guide, this Paju and Imjingak two Koreas tour includes pick up from your accommodation in Seoul and takes you around Paju province and some of the settlements close to the North Korean border.
Try Your Hand at Creative Pursuits in the Pocheon Art Valley
The Pocheon Art Valley makes for a wonderful day trip from Seoul for those seeking something a little different. The valley is actually an old rock quarry that has been transformed into a beautiful park with an artistic flair.
The rocks of the quarry were blasted out to form a stunning man-made lake surrounded by dramatic, jagged rock formations. The lake itself is a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic.
Exhibits and Activities in Pocheon
As you wander around Pocheon Art Valley, you will find dozens of inspiring open exhibits and murals from local artists. There is also an arts and crafts workshop here. This allows travellers to take a more “hands-on” approach to unleash their creative spirit if they wish.
Various special events and performances are hosted throughout the year. On a more regular basis, classes and craft workshops such as soap making, pottery classes, and glass-blowing classes are available.
Enjoy Art and Wine at Gwangmyeong Cave
Gwangmyeong Cave is a cave complex that is situated on the southwestern outskirts of Seoul. During the Japanese occupation in Korea, the cave was a mining complex where Koreans were forced to work under the harsh instruction and management of the Japanese.
Today, the atmosphere here is much lighter and quirky. Modern Gwangmyeong is essentially an art and culture centre.
Many of the cave tunnels are decorated with art installations, light shows, and peculiar special effects. It is a great place for taking photos and can be a fun place to hang out if you have plenty of time to spare in Korea.
One area has been converted into an underground aquarium, and another is an underground winery. The latter boasts almost 200 variations of Korean wine – a great place to sample and learn about Korean alcohol!
Klook offers guided tours of Gwangmyeong cave. The excursion also includes a stop off at a Korean folk village along the way.
Sample Fresh Seafood Delicacies in Sokcho
Sokcho is a culturally rich fishing town situated close to the majestic Seoraksan national park. It is often missed from most Korean travel itineraries, despite having plenty to offer.
You can find an array of seafood restaurants clustered along the waterfront promenade here. They sell delicacies that are specific to this region and tricky to find elsewhere in Korea.
Most Sokcho delicacies are prepared using fish from the town’s nearby waters. However, Sundae (순대) and Dakgangjeong (닭강정) are also popular in this region.
Other Sokcho Highlights
From Sokcho, you can also ride a boat to Abai Village. This is a unique region that is home to those who fled from North Korea after the Korean war. In the spring and summer months, the town’s beach provides some nice respite from the heat and humidity.
Due to Sokcho’s proximity to Seoraksan National Park, a visit to the fishing town can act as a jumping-off point for hiking Mount Seorak and its surroundings.
Ascend the Breathtaking Peaks at Bukhansan
If there were a national sport in South Korea, hiking would be it. The mention of South Korea often conjures up images of Seoul as a bustling, skyscraper-filled megalopolis. However, the country actually consists of 70% mountain ranges.
Korea offers a seemingly infinite number of options for trekking and outdoor exploration. That said, not all hiking routes are created equal, and Bukhansan remains a local favourite.
Bukhansan Peaks and Trails
The tallest peak at Bukhansan is Baegundae. It stands tall at Standing tall at 836.5m.
Insubong peak (810.5m) and Mangyongdae Peak (799.5m) follow. The peaks offer phenomenal views over Bukhansan park, with Seoul glistening in the distance.
There are various entry points and trails at Bukhansan. It’s best to research the route that you want to take thoroughly before embarking on a hike.
Each route varies in duration and difficulty level. However, rest assured that even the less seasoned hikers will find a pleasant and suitable route at Bukhansan.
Getting to Bukhansan
Arguably the best way to see Bukhansan is to participate in a hiking tour. This Mount Bukhan hike and Korean spa day trip allows you to hike the tallest mountain in the Seoul region with the aid of an expert local guide.
The tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel so you don’t have to worry about navigating public transport networks. This is a particular relief when you are exhausted post-hike!
The tour includes a trip to a traditional Korean spa. You will enjoy a full body scrub, a facial and an oil massage all included in the tour package.
Uncover the Underrated Charm of Incheon
Most people hear Incheon and automatically think of Seoul’s Incheon airport. However, there is plenty to explore in Seoul’s sister city.
Sadly, it is often overlooked and presumed to have little to offer the world traveller. That couldn’t be farther from the truth though.
From mural art villages to beautiful parks and green spaces, Incheon has a little of everything. The best part? Seoul metro runs straight into Incheon so it could not be easier to get to!
Incheon Mural Villages
On arrival in Incheon, head over to Songwol-dong Fairy Tale Village. Songwol-dong is one of Korea’s numerous mural art villages. It is particularly unique as its focus is around Disney artwork and popular themes/characters from fairytale books.
The buildings and houses here were once crumbling and unsightly. Songwol-dong was a less than desirable district that was essentially a slum. Thanks to an initiative by the Korean government though, the district was given a new, bright pink lease of life!
Natural Highlights of Incheon
Nature lovers visiting Incheon for the first time can pack a picnic and stroll around Songdo Central Park. Meanwhile, those interested in the spiritual highlights can wander the beautiful grounds of Jeondeungsa Temple.
Incheon also makes a good starting point for excursions out to Baengnyeongdo Island. This is the northernmost island between North and South Korea and is home to ample scenic hiking routes.
Escape to the Tranquility of Daecheon Beach
Daecheon Beach is one of the largest stretches of coastline on the West Coast of South Korea. Daecheon is well-known for being the home of the annual “Boryeong Mud Festival”.
Sludgy fun aside, this is a nice spot to head for some sun, sand, and sea during the summer months. Daecheon can get a little crowded during the summer. However, the pristine sandy beach extends over 3.5km and so it is never overbearingly rammed.
Spend a Day in Yongin City
Yongin City is located just a stone’s throw away from Seoul. It is home to a number of fun-filled attractions.
Everland Theme Park, Yongin
You will find Everland here. This is South Korea’s largest theme park and is essentially the country’s answer to Six Flags.
Everything from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, to cutesy boat rides, can be found at Everland. During the winter months, the park also boasts some of the best ice-skating and sledging facilities in the country. You can purchase Everland tickets online here.
Folk Villages and Traditional Culture
Yongin City is also home to a traditional Korean Folk Village. Admittedly it is a little touristy, yet charming nonetheless. The village acts as a “living” museum to depict what life was like in Korea through the centuries.
Renovated houses here depict how a typical Korean homestead would have looked all those years ago. Traditional performances such as martial arts, wedding ceremonies, and dances/musical performances are scheduled throughout the day.
The Folk Village in Yongin features 260 traditional houses from the Joseon dynasty. Numerous K-dramas have been filmed here. Most notably, My Love from the Star and Jewel in the Palace.
Many guided tours like this one offer pick up from Seoul. They include a trip to the folk village with other attractions such as the Korean folk village.
Venture off the Beaten Track to Yeongjongdo Island
Yeongjongdo island is as off the beaten track as it gets as far as day trips from Seoul go. Seoul’s Incheon International Airport is located on this island and the airport’s departure lounge is pretty much all that most travellers will get to see of the island.
Yeongjongdo is more than just a gateway into Korea. The island also hosts some beautiful beaches.
Eurwangni beach and Wangsan beach are particularly scenic. Both of these are among the most easily accessible beaches from Seoul.
Experience Incredible Nature in Chuncheon
A visit to the Chuncheon region is without a doubt one of the best day trips that you can take from Seoul. This is particularly the case if you are someone who loves getting back to nature.
There are enough outdoorsy activities in Chuncheon to last you for an entire week. Chuncheon is home to Cheongpyeong lake.
This is a popular vacation spot for Koreans all year round. Not to mention, it is a lovely place to hike, camp, or simply enjoy some water sports.
Weird and Wonderful Accommodation in Chunchoen
You can find all manner of weird and wonderful Korean hotels and accommodations throughout South Korea. The Chuncheon region is particularly special for this.
Most of the pensions in this region follow particular themes. How about spending the night in a giant Soju bottle, or sleeping in a house that is designed to be a replica of Snow White’s cottage? Only in Chuncheon!
Peer into North Korea at the DMZ
The Korean demilitarized zone is actually Korea’s biggest tourist attraction. It may sound sketchy, but thousands of tourists venture along the border every single month!
Taking a tour here is perfectly safe for the most part. In fact, tours run from both the North and South Korean sides of the border every single day, although you do need to book a tour several weeks in advance.
DMZ Tour Options
There are a number of tour options available. It is advisable to opt for one which gives you the opportunity to visit the Joint Security Area.
This is the place where North and South Korean armed forces stand face to face constantly monitoring their enemy in an eerie silence. From the Dora observatory, you can peer through binoculars into North Korea.
Both sides blast propaganda across to the other side. From North Korea, it’s eerie propaganda messages that promise South Koreans a better life in the north. From South Korea, it’s k-pop!
A number of recommended DMZ tours are detailed below for your consideration. These include pickup from your hotel/accommodation in Seoul.
- South Korea demilitarized zone half and full day tour
- From Seoul: trip to DMZ, cable car and battleship park
- Imjinjak and Paju: two Koreas tour on the Korean border
- Half day demilitarized zone tour
Notable Sites at the Korean Border
Close to Dora Observatory and Imjingak, nearby you can tread the length of the North Korean infiltration tunnels. These were built by North Korea after the peace treaty was signed. They were intended to be used for carrying out a surprise attack on Seoul.
Depending on the specific tour you choose, expect to pay between $100 – $150 per person. The tours pick up travellers from a number of central Seoul hotels.
Stroll the Walls of the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress
Suwon is a small city situated 20 miles south of Seoul. Suwon’s main attraction is its fortified Hwaseong Fortress. This is one of Korea’s most famous UNESCO protected sights.
The structure was built by King Jeong-jo back in 1796. The King tried (unsuccessfully) to persuade everyone that Suwon should be the capital of Korea instead of Seoul.
Highlights of Suwon Hwaseong
The fortress is expansive. You could actually spend half a day traversing its grounds. Indeed, the forested walks it encapsulates are quite pleasant.
On certain days of the week, free traditional performances are held outside the Hwaseong Haenggung. This includes questionable Korean tightrope walking, farming music, and ancient dances.
Spend a day in Suwon
Suwon city itself is a very interesting city to visit. The fortress may be Suwon’s best-known attraction, however, it certainly isn’t the only point of interest.
There is a small mural art village close to the Paldalmun Gate entrance of Hwaseong. Here, locals have decorated their homes and communal areas with beautiful artwork.
There is also a traditional market nearby where you can try all of the classic Korean street foods, or stop into a restaurant to try grilled beef ribs (gal-bi 갈비) the local delicacy. There is also “Suwon fried chicken street”.
The latter is of course dedicated to fried chicken restaurants. If you have a little longer to spare in Suwon, hop on the subway once again and take the metro from Suwon station to Suwon City Hall. Head to Ingye-Ro (Ingyedong).
Ingyedong is a super fun street filled with noraebang (Korean karaoke bars) and tons of local bars and restaurants with great atmospheres. This area is almost like another Hongdae, just without the westerners.
The Mr Toilet House (Hae Woo Jae) is perhaps the strangest attraction in Suwon and arguably, all of Korea. It is the former home of Mr Sim Jae Duck – the former Mayor of Suwon City.
As South Korea prepared for the 2002 Olympics, Sim Jae Duck was tasked with beautifying the country’s public toilets. He took the project very seriously and enjoyed it so much that he actually knocked down his house and built a giant toilet house in its place.
The Suwon toilet museum is free to enter and worth a quick visit for the amusement factor. The gardens are filled with amusing and crude statues that appear to be struggling to go to the bathroom…
Getting to Suwon from Seoul
Suwon is easy to get to by metro. You can take the express metro line one from Seoul Station (Blue Line) and get off at Suwon. It costs around $2.50 and should take you around 30 minutes
Stuff Your Face at Ansan Multicultural Street
Ansan is the perfect day trip from Seoul for foodie travellers. Visitors to Seoul may assume that Itaewon is the city’s international district. However, the true flavours of world cuisine can be found in neighbouring Ansan.
Most of Korea’s international migrant population live in Ansan. Walking around Ansan, you can almost forget that you are in South Korea.
The city has a feel that is more reminiscent of Southeast Asia than Seoul. Street signs and storefronts are no longer in Korean and English, but in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian.
The chatter of Korean has been mostly replaced with Mandarin. Meanwhile, the grocery stalls have switched their kimchi and bean paste for Sichuan spices and oriental herbs and medicines.
Ansan’s Wongok-Dong district is the area directly adjacent to Ansan station. Here you can find row upon row of various street food vendors selling their wares. Not to mention, a seemingly infinite choice of restaurants serving various cuisines.
Embrace the Peace and Tranquility of Gapyeong County
Gapyeong county is home to some of the most beautiful nature in Korea. Its resident garden – the garden of the morning calm is the largest public garden in Korea. It has been featured in countless K-dramas and romantic movies.
The garden is comprised of themed sections that demonstrate traditional gardens from different oriental nations. Here you will find a Japanese bonsai garden, a traditional Korean garden, and a Chinese water garden.
The garden of the morning calm is truly breathtaking and every turn presents an incredible photo opportunity. At various points around the year, the trees and grounds of the garden are illuminated with magical lights and lanterns.
Nami Island and Petite France
Gapyeong is also home to Nami Island. This place is famous for being the filming location of the K-Drama Winter Sonata.
Nami island a great place to get back to nature and have a much-needed break from the big city vibes of Seoul. You can rent bikes and cycle through the forests, or stroll by the picturesque lake beneath the sequoias.
Petite France also awaits in Gapyeong. This is a European-themed artificial village designed to give Koreans a taste of Parisian life. It even has its own mini Eiffel Tower!
Getting to Nami Island and the Garden of Morning Calm
Getting to Nami island and the Garden of Morning Calm is pretty longwinded and stressful if you opt to take public transport. Your best option is to visit these places on an organized tour.
Yes, it is possible to travel by public transport. However, doing so requires multiple changes whether you travel by bus or train.
If you want to travel by train, you need to take the Gyeongchun Line metro from Sangbong metro station to Cheongpyeong. From there, take the ‘Gapyeong City Tour Bus to the garden.
If you prefer to travel to the area on a tour, a number of reputable choices are provided below. All include pick up from your accommodation in Seoul.
- Namiseom, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm & Rail Bike day tour from Seoul
- Strawberry picking, Nami island & Garden of Morning Calm tour
- Private, customizable tour to Nami island, Garden of Morning Calm and more
- Round trip shuttle service from Seoul to Nami island
Enjoy an Island Escape to Muuido Island
It gets incredibly hot and humid in Seoul during the summer months. However, the good news is that you don’t have to travel all the way down to Busan and Jeju to get a little R&R by the sea!
Simply hop on the ferry to Muuido at Jamjinnaru ferry terminal. The island’s Hanagae Beach is a little slice of paradise that oozes desert island vibes.
Beach huts and tropical greenery line the coast, while nearby restaurants offer ample opportunity to fill up on galbi and bulgogi dishes when you want a break from swimming. You can also hike to Horyonggoksan Mountain and Guksabong Peak from Hanagae.
Visit Jeonju, Korea’s Foodie City
Jeonju is Korea’s foodie capital and UNESCO city of gastronomy. It is situated just 90 minutes south of Seoul. This is a popular destination for a weekend break among foodie Koreans.
Here, you will find exquisite restaurants and unique Korean street food eats around every corner. So, it is easy to understand the appeal.
So far, this tasty city has escaped the radar of international visitors. If you have a little extra time in Korea then it’s worth staying overnight. Yet this trip can absolutely be done in one day.
Explore the winding streets of the hanok maul, enjoy the cinnamon-infused taste of spiced moju, and experiment with delicacies from across Asia at the Nambu night market. Jeonju and the surrounding Jeollabukdo province are steeped in history and culture.
Have Brunch at Jukjeon Cafe Street
For the young and trendy in Seoul, Jukjeon is the place to be. This is especially the case if you stop by for brunch during the day.
The tree-lined promenades here are complete with young Koreans sipping coffee outside beneath cabanas. Jukjeon has a sophisticated European feel to it that makes you almost forget that you are in the heart of Asia.
Western food is not so easy to come by in Seoul. There are a couple of brunch places near Gangnam station but expect to see lines of people queuing up all around the block for French toast and American pancakes.
Jukjeon is filled with cute quaint places serving up yummy brunches and sweet treats. This area is usually substantially less crowded than the central districts of downtown Seoul.
Uncover the Myths and History of Ganghwado Island
Ganghwa is an island steeped in history. The little island has been occupied since ancient times.
Ganghwado’s rural landscape provides a stark contrast to that of Seoul. Here you will find rolling green fields that extend as far as the eye can see, misty mountains, dense pine forests, and secret hidden temples.
Shrines and Spiritual Sites in Ganghwado
In the southern part of the island, you will find Mount Manisan. Here, at the top of the mountain, there is an altar dedicated to the mythical king Dangun. Dangun is said to have founded Korea in 2333 BC.
A scenic hiking trail runs to the top of the mountain. In October each year, an honorary sacrificial ritual is still performed.
Don’t miss Bomunsa temple with its huge Buddha carved into the rock face. Nearby, there is also an army of teeny tiny Buddhas that kind of look like the Korean answer to China’s terracotta warriors.
Ganghwa, like Paju, is very close to the Korean border. The island boasts an observatory from where you can peep through binoculars into North Korea. This could be a good alternative if you’re not sold on the idea of visiting the Korean border.
Fall in Love with Beautiful Busan
Busan is a little far from Seoul and it really deserves more of your time than to be crammed into one day. However, if your time in Korea is limited, it is possible. Just bear in mind that it takes approximately 3 hours each direction to get to Busan.
The coastal city of Busan provides a nice contrast to Seoul. There are plenty of things to do in Busan. Here you will find clifftop temples overlooking the sea, miles of golden sandy beaches and fascinating traditional food markets.
Recommended Busan Tours and Attractions
The clifftop temple of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is an absolute must-see while in Busan. Relax on the shores of Haeundae beach and when the sun starts to set, grab drinks in one of the eclectic cocktail bars in this area.
To really get beneath the surface of what Busan has to offer, it is worth exploring the city accompanied by a local. A handful of reputable Busan tours are detailed below for your consideration.
- Busan full-day city tour
- 90 minute afternoon sightseeing cruise
- Private Busan tour with a local
- Traditional Korean cooking class in Busan
- Oedo Island/Tongyeong day trip from Busan
- Busan pub crawl
Admire the Rural Beauty of Damyang
Damyang is a beautiful, picturesque part of Korea famous for its lush greenery. Located just a few hours south of Seoul, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway from the city.
The town itself is a quaint little resort town but the highlight of the region is its nature. Damyang is home to some of the most magnificent hiking trails in South Korea.
Observe Beautiful Traditions in Andong
Andong is a quaint village located in the centre of South Korea. It is the self-proclaimed “capital city of Korean spiritual culture”.
However, most of all, Andong is known for hosting the hahoe mask festival. This takes place every October and attracts crowds of locals and international tourists alike.
Hahoe Village is considered to be one of the best folk villages in Korea and has preserved a number of cultural traditions. These include a traditional Korean masked dance and local handmade fireworks.
The descendants of the families that first settled in Andong are still living here some 600 years later. Andong was also the place that Queen Elizabeth II decided to celebrate her 79th birthday. As such, you can expect to see tributes to Lizzie all around the village.
The exquisite Andong masks that are a long-standing local handicraft make for great souvenirs. They can can be picked up from gift shops in the area for between 20,000 – 40,000 won ($20-$40).
Take a Trip to Historic Gyeongju
Gyeongju is often lovingly referred to as being South Korea’s “museum without walls”. This is for good reason. There are so many fascinating historical sites scattered throughout this rural city that it feels as though you are in one big open-air museum!
As you wander around the city, you will notice huge mounds within the grassy landscapes. These are the Royal tombs of nobles who lived in Korea during the Silla period and they are everywhere!
Seokgurum and its grotto
Be sure to take a short bus ride from the centre of Gyeongju out to Seokgurum. This is an ancient Buddhist temple that sits atop a mountain.
The most interesting thing about Seokgurum is its grotto. Here you can find a huge granite statue of Buddha that dates back to 751. This is widely regarded as being one of the best Asian Buddhist sculptures in the world!
Gyeongju is a little far away from Seoul. For many, it may be considered a little too far to go and come back in a day. In that case, there are lots of wonderful traditional hank stays in Gyeongju where you can opt to stay overnight.
Visit Gangchon Rail Park
Gangchon Rail Park makes for a super fun day trip from Seoul. The park combines both nature and adrenaline-fueled activities. This is pretty off the beaten path, and you won’t find a ton of other tourists here.
At Gangchon, travellers can rent little rail bikes with their friends/partners. There are two different routes that you can follow, and the pathways twist and turn through the countryside to reveal some of Korea’s most majestic scenery.
Envisage cycling through woodlands filled with fragrant cherry blossoms, dashing through fields of wheat, and having fun against a backdrop of dramatic, craggy mountains.
When to Travel to Seoul and its Surroundings
It is possible to enjoy the Korean capital and day trips from Seoul all year round. You should note though, that Korea does experience some pretty extreme climates and weather conditions.
Korea sees hot, humid summers that bring monsoon-like rains, and icy winters that see temperatures drop well into the negatives.
It is important to take the weather into consideration somewhat when you plan your trip to Seoul, and the day trips from Seoul that you intend to take.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is one of the best times to visit Seoul and its surroundings. Like neighbouring Japan, Seoul also experiences a “cherry blossom season” in early spring.
During this time, the city comes alive with colour as beautiful fragrant pink cherry blossoms bloom along the Han River. Temperatures in the Seoul area in the spring months are warm and pleasant – think the mid to late twenties, in terms of degrees Celsius.
Spring in Seoul is also one of the most popular times for tourists to visit. As such, you should keep in mind that some destinations may be at their most crowded. Tours and accommodation should also be booked in advance if embarking on day trips from Seoul in this period.
Summer (June to August)
Summers in the Seoul area get incredibly hot and humid. June and the first half of July are hot enough.
However, the latter part of July and the majority of August are best avoided as this is monsoon season in South Korea. Temperatures during this time of year range from 30-40 degrees Celsius.
Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is a pleasant time to visit Seoul and its surroundings. Weather conditions during this period are similar to the spring. The summer rain subsides and the temperatures drop to the mid-twenties (in degrees Celsius).
If you are planning to visit Korea during the Autumn months, be mindful if your trip dates coincide with Chuseok. This is a Korean holiday that often sees many local stores and businesses close for a week.
Chuseok could be compared to the Korean version of Thanksgiving. Locals visit their families and much of the country becomes essentially a ghost town. Autumn in Korea is essentially the same as Spring just without the crowds.
Winter (December to February)
Winter in Korea means icy conditions and temperatures that dip well into the minuses. It is not uncommon for the temperature in Seoul to drop as low as minus 15 or minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Snowfall and blizzards in Seoul are relatively common occurrences during the winter months. Fortunately, Korean public transport is excellent and it is rare for trains and buses are cancelled due to the snow.
Some Seoul day trips become even more magical in the winter. For instance, the garden of morning calm covered in snow is quite a sight to behold!
However, National Parks and trekking routes become more treacherous and difficult in this adverse weather. Some tours may not operate if the weather is too bad.
Final thoughts on taking day trips from Seoul
I would be happy to help out with any concerns that you may have. Simply pop me a comment below.
Safe travels! Annyeonghaseyo, Melissa xo