Taking day trips from Seoul opens up South Korea in wondrous ways. While Seoul is a fantastic city with many of its own great sites, visiting outside of Seoul reveals a new world of attractions to explore. Whether you’re wanting to head for a hike at Bukhansan National Park, are looking to experience a piece of history outside of busy Seoul at Suwon City, or if you enjoy theme parks and wish to visit Everland Amusement Park, there is something for almost everyone on a day trip from Seoul.
1. Day trips from Seoul | Mingle traditional & modern attractions during a day tour in YONGIN
With a population of nearly 1 million people, Yongin City is a big city in the Gyeonggi Province in South Korea and features many great attractions. If you love theme parks, then make sure to visit Everland Amusement Park in Yongin City, which is the biggest amusement park in South Korea. Different themed areas in the park, including American Adventure, Caribbean Bay, and European Adventure, allow visitors to experience a little slice of different cultures from all around the world and, with food and great shopping available inside the park, you’re sure to have a great adventure here at Everland Amusement Park. Yongin City is also home to one of South Korea’s largest folk villages, the Korean Folk Village. Step into the past and take a tour through the nearly 260 reconstructed houses that mimic what life was like during the Joseon era. A day tour from Seoul to Yongin City can’t be missed!
Travel from Seoul to Yongin City:
- Take the bus from Seoul all the way to Yongin City. There is an express bus that runs from either the Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Seoul Station to the Yongin Bus Terminal and the trip will take approximately 40 minutes, one way. A coach ticket will be the most inexpensive option for the trip.
- Take the subway from Wangsimni Station in Seoul to Giheung Station. The subway ride will take approximately 1 hour and 27 minutes, one way.
- Take the subway from Gangnam Station to Suji (a city district in Yongin City). The subway ride will take approximately 30 minutes.
Check In to the Ramada Yongin Hotel
Step Out to Everland Amusement Park
2. Day trips from Seoul | Step into the past in SUWON
Suwon City is home to a gorgeously-preserved, late 18th century fortress, Hwaseong Fortress, and is a great location for architecture lovers and history buffs. The Suwon Landmark is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located about 19 miles away from Seoul, Suwon City is a great city to choose for a day tour from Seoul, so definitely add it to your Korea tours list!
While the modern city of Suwon is quite large, you are able to walk around the original heart of the city in about 3 to 4 hours. You can start at any of the area’s fortress gates, though most people start at the main gate which is situated near Paldalmun, which is the south entrance to the fortress. Once you are through the Paldalmun gate (there is a 1000 won entrance fee – about $0.90 USD), you can head to Hwaseong Fortress and enjoy the wooden pavilion and its gorgeous carvings and stonework. A visitor center is located on the western side of the fort, and maps for visitors are available there. After grabbing a map, follow the walking tour that travels along the fortress walls and, once you reach the hillside, take in the gorgeous view as you experience both old and new Suwon City.
Travel from Seoul to Suwon City:
- Take the subway from Seoul Station and get off at Suwon Station. The subway ride will take approximately 1 hour, one way.
- Take the Nooriro train from Seoul Station to Suwon Station. The train ride will take about 34 minutes, one way.
- If you are in a hurry, take the KTX (Korea Train Express) from Seoul Station to Suwon Station. This is the fastest way to get from Seoul to Suwon City and the train ride will take about 25 minutes, one way.
Check In to Landmark Hotel
Step Out to the Hwaseong Fortress
3. Day trips from Seoul | Climb to the top of scenic mountain range at BUKHANSAN NATIONAL PARK
Nature buffs and hikers won’t want to miss Bukhansan National Park which is perfect for a Seoul day trip as it’s located within Seoul itself. Head out of the busy city center and into nature as you enjoy this gorgeous park. Bukhansan National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the world and has around 5 million visitors yearly. Head out early during peak times of the year if you’re looking to avoid crowds.
Depending on the time of year, some of the park may be covered in snow, so dress appropriately. If you want, you can purchase slip-on snow ice crampons at the hiking shops that are near the entrance to Bukhansan National Park. Be aware that the hikes available at Bukhansan National Park may be challenging for some, so make sure to gauge your fitness level before striking out.
Don’t forget to visit the Bukhansangseon Fortress, which is located right inside the park. A fortress has existed at this site since 132 AD, it was expanded in 1711, and has remained much the same since then, except for some reconstruction after the Korean War.
Travel from Seoul to Bukhansan National Park:
- Take the subway from Seoul Station to Gireum Station (if you are looking to hike the Bogukmun Course). The ride will take about 25 minutes, one way.
- Take the subway from Seoul Station to Gupabal Station (if you are looking to reach the highest peak by hiking along the Bukhansanseong Course), and then a 20-minute bus ride which will take you to the proper location in the park.
Check In to Rich Diamond Hotel
Step Out to Bukhansan National Park
4. Day trips from Seoul | Get your adventure tourism fix at the KOREAN DEMILITARIZED ZONE (DMZ)
This day tour from Seoul isn’t for the faint of heart. The border between North and South Korea is one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world, which does nothing to dampen its appeal to visitors as the site sees more than 1.2 million visitors per year. After Bill Clinton visited in 1993, he called the DMZ “the scariest place on Earth,” so be sure that you are good and ready to visit this site as it’s no joke.
North and South Korea never officially ended the Korean war, so technically speaking, they are still at war so you are visiting a very significant place. In order to see the DMZ, you will need to book a tour with an official tour guide (Viator is available for guided tours in South Korea), otherwise, you won’t be able to see this site. Once you are inside, you will probably be guided through a few sites at the DMZ. Here are a few sites to expect during your visit:
- The Joint Security Area
- Infiltration Tunnels
- Odusan Unification Observatory
There is a strict dress code at the DMZ, so ripped jeans or inappropriate clothing will not be tolerated. Be sure to ask your guide if you have any questions prior to leaving on your trip to the DMZ.
Travel from Seoul to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ):
- Take the official DMZ train from Seoul Station to Dorasan Station, which is the closest station to the DMZ. The ride will take about 20 minutes, one way. Once you arrive at the border, you must transfer to one of the tour buses in order to be able to see the area for an additional cost.
- Alternatively, if you book a tour, your guide will probably arrange either bus or train transportation for your visit once you reach the DMZ.
Check In to Bukchonmaru Hanok Guesthouse
Step Out to Sungkyunkwan University
5. Day trips from Seoul | Lakes and mountain views abound in CHUNCHEON
Day trips from Seoul to Chuncheon are sure to thrill adventure seekers and nature lovers. Surrounded by lush mountains and with Cheongpyeong Lake at the center of it all, there’s lots of fun to be had in Chuncheon. If you are visiting the area during the winter, then winter activities at the Elysian Gangchon Resort will be a great option for you. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, this resort has runs for all skill levels and, in the summer, it also doubles as a golf course!
Cheongpyeong Lake is a manmade lake that draws in visitors all year long. With boating, water skiing, banana boats, and jet skis available for rental, you have your pick of entertainment options. If you’re more interested in views of Cheongpyeong Lake, then head over to the Cheongpyeong Recreational Forest and explore this gorgeous forest while you head to the observatory. If you like to cook outdoors, Cheongpyeong Lake even contains a picnic site.
Travel from Seoul to Chuncheon:
- Take the subway from Seoul Station to Hoegi Station and from there, take the subway all the way to Namchuncheon Station. The ride will take about 2 hours and 24 minutes, one way.
- If you’d like to save some time, take the high-speed, ITX train from Seoul Station to Cheongnyangni Station and from there, transfer and take the train from Cheongnyangni Station to Namchuncheon Station. The ride will take about 1 hour and 44 minutes, one way.
Check In to Elysian Gangchon Resort
Step Out to Cheongpyeong Lake
6. Day trips from Seoul | Admire traditional pottery or create your own at ICHEON
If you’re looking for day trips from Seoul that are a little quirky, then consider visiting Icheon, which is world-famous for its exquisite pottery. Icheon has been creating ceramic art since the Bronze Age and has even been designated the “City of Crafts and Folk Art” by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, making Icheon a very special place in the world.
If you are visiting during April and May, be sure that you check out the Icheon Ceramic Festival, which displays a variety of precious ceramic art creations – and entry is even free. If you love creating art with your hands or want to learn, there are a variety of pottery making classes that can be taken in Icheon. Many classes are offered, so choose one that most appeals to you (if they serve food or have pick up and drop off from your hotel, that’s a bonus). So, if you want to take a little piece of Icheon with you when you leave, book a class and get creating.
If you’re into outdoor sports, then hit the slopes at the Jisan Forest Ski Resort which is another great option for day trips from Seoul. With 5 lifts and 8 runs, you’re sure to find something for your skill level at Jisan Forest Ski Resort. If you visit the resort in the summer, the area also has a golf course for use and is also the site of the rock festival, Valley Rock. No matter what time of year you decide to visit Icheon, there’s lots to do and see in this remarkable area.
Travel from Seoul to Icheon:
- Take the subway from Gangnam Station in Seoul to the Pangyo Station and from there, take the subway to the Icheon Station. The subway ride will take about 1 hour, one way.
- Take the bus from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Icheon. The bus ride will take approximately 1 hour, one way.
Check In to Eden Paradise Hotel
Step Out to Jisan Forest Ski Resort
7. Day trips from Seoul | Take a trip back in time while visiting GYEONGJU
While travel time from Seoul is a little longer for this destination, if you head out early you can still have a great time visiting Gyeongju. Gyeongju is famous for its historical landmarks and for being the home of several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Seokguram Grotto, the Bulguksa Temple, and the Yangdong Folk Village. Seokguram Grotto is a sacred hermitage and is classified as a national treasure by the South Korean government and, with stunning views, amazing Buddhist sculptures, and brilliant architecture, it’s easy to see why. Considered a part of the Bulguksa Temple complex, it is more than worth your time to visit these stunning sites. Combined with the view and the sacred nature of the area, a visit to the Bulguksa Temple is sure to open your awareness and help you appreciate the beauty of the area and the world.
Yangdong Folk Village is South Korea’s largest traditional village and displays the traditional culture of the Joseon Dynasty – with the added bonus of being in a gorgeous area. Step into the village and back in time as you immerse yourself in history at the Yangdong Folk Village while exploring the nearly 160 old homes, some of which are over 200 years old. While visiting this area might be a better fit for a 2-day trip, you could absolutely squeeze this into a day trip from Seoul, but with so many great sites to see, you may wish to extend your visit once you start exploring.
Travel from Seoul to Gyeongju:
- Take the express train (KTX) from Seoul Station to Singyeongju Station. The train ride will take approximately 2 hours, one way.
- Take the train from Seoul Station to Gyeongju Station. The train ride will take approximately 3 hours, one way.
Check In to Gyeongju Tourist Hotel GG
Step Out to Yangdong Folk Village
8. Day trips from Seoul | Art and nature combine for a great afternoon at POCHEON ART VALLEY
Once an abandoned rock quarry, Pocheon Art Valley is now a fantastic outdoor art exhibition that features sculptures, as well as natural exhibits where the rock quarry once was. The top of the quarry has been filled with spring water and is now a gorgeous, tranquil place where visitors can sit and enjoy the simple beauty of the place. Be sure to bring a snack or two as it’s a great place to have a picnic – and there are even tables set up nearby for use. Consider purchasing the roundtrip monorail ticket at Pocheon Art Valley so you can focus on enjoying the exhibit without having to exert yourself too much. Or, if you like to exercise, the walk around Pocheon Art Valley is lovely as well (and, sometimes, the line for the monorail can take longer than the walk down from the quarry at the top). If you time your visit just right, you may even be able to see one of the live performances at the Pocheon Art Valley’s outdoor theatre.
Travel from Seoul to the Pocheon Art Valley:
- The fastest route to the Pocheon Art Valley would be with a taxi (about 40 minutes), though the cost will run you in excess of 60 USD. However, you can take a combination of subway and bus that will save you some money, though it will add at least an hour to your travel time. Take the subway from City Hall Station in Seoul to Jihaeng Station and from Jihaeng Station, take a taxi to the Pocheon Art Valley. This trip will take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes, one way.
- Consider renting a car to visit this location as it may be cheaper than taking a taxi to and from the Pocheon Art Valley and, that way, you can leave on your own schedule and won’t have to worry about catching buses or taking different routes.
Check In to Bluesky Pension
Step Out to Pocheon Art Valley
9. Day trips from Seoul | Have some fun in the sun at DAECHON BEACH
Your list of day trips from Seoul should definitely include a visit to Daecheon Beach as it is one of the few sandy beaches in South Korea. With beautiful views and the chance to enjoy the water, you can also go water skiing, rent banana boats, or go jet skiing while you’re visiting Daecheon Beach. The beach is open all year long though the water will be cooler in the fall and winter months. If you are visiting during the summer, then be sure to stop by one of the special events like the Mud Festival. During the Mud Festival, mud is taken from the Boryeong mud flats and used for attractions where visitors can cover themselves in the mineral-rich mud, which is said to be very good for your complexion. Join in on the fun and be one of the millions of people who cover themselves in mud to celebrate this festival. This event often attracts over 2 million visitors, so you definitely won’t be alone when you visit Daecheon Beach during this time! If you’re not looking to get covered in mud, or you’d prefer to visit when it’s not so busy, you can still purchase special cosmetics from local retailers that are infused with the mud – and you can enjoy a muddy mask from the comfort of your hotel room.
Travel from Seoul to Daecheon Beach:
- Take the train from Yongsan Station to Daecheon Station and then take the bus from Daecheon Station to Top Square. The train ride will take approximately 3 hours while the bus ride will take about 17 minutes.
- Take the bus from the Seoul Central City Bus Terminal to Boryeong and at Boryeong switch buses and travel to Top Square. The bus from Seoul will take about 2 hours and 23 minutes and the bus from Boryeong to Top Square will take about 17 minutes.
Check In to Hanwha Resort Daecheon Paros
Step Out to Daecheon Beach
10. Day trips from Seoul | Get back to nature in GAPYEONG
Gapyeong is located just northeast of Seoul and is famous for being the site where the Battle of Kapyong played out during the Korean War. This gorgeous, lush area is popular with visitors who love the outdoors and is one of the easiest day trips from Seoul. The Han River flows through the area and Gapyeong is also home to many resorts and calming nature reserves. Be sure to make time for The Garden of Morning Calm which has 26 different themed gardens over 30,000 square meters and features over 5,000 species of plants. Nami Island is also located nearby Gapyeong County and draws in visitors who wish to go on tours of the verdant forests. There is even a European-Style village called Petit France on the island that features European trinkets and foods. Take the Green bus (intra-city) from Gapyeong Wharf, which will take you to Nami Island, and the bus runs every 30 minutes. If you’re looking for even more excitement, opt to zip line into Nami Island and enjoy the views as you sail high over the river.
Travel from Seoul to Gapyeong:
- Take the subway line from Hoegi Station in to Gapyeong Station. The subway ride will take approximately 1 hour and 51 minutes, one way.
- Take the highspeed train from Cheongnyangni Station to Gapyeong Station. The train ride will take approximately 39 minutes, one way.