Explore South Korea's cultural highlights and natural wonders on this 10-day itinerary. The adventure begins in Seoul, where you'll explore the urban culture and street food scene. Visit the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) next before continuing to historic temples in Andong. Discover the beautiful coastline of Busan, then fly to Jeju Island to marvel at the spectacular scenery and take in views from the country's highest peak.


  • Visit Seoul Sky, the world's highest glass-floored observation deck
  • See the DMZ, one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world 
  • Ride a retro-style "sky capsule" above the coastline in Busan
  • Hike to the summit of Korea's highest peak, Hallasan

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Seoul, Explore Seoul
Day 2 Guided Gyeongbokgung Palace & Gwangjang Market Tour  Seoul
Day 3 Day Trip to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Hongdae Shopping Seoul
Day 4 Transfer to Andong, Hahoe Folk Village & Byeongsan Seowon Andong
Day 5 Transfer to Busan via Gyeongju National Museum & Bulguksa Temple Busan
Day 6 Tour Haedong Yonggungsa, Sky Capsule & Haeundae Traditional Market Busan
Day 7 Visit Gamcheon Culture Village, BIFF Square & Jagalchi Market, Fly to Jeju Island Jeju Island
Day 8 See Seongsan Ilchulbong & Dongmun Traditional Market Jeju Island
Day 9 Hike Mount Hallasan, Seogwang Tea Plantation & Spirited Garden Tour Jeju Island
Day 10 Depart Jeju Island  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Seoul, Explore

Seoul Arrival, Drive to Hotel
Explore the colorful streets of Seoul

Welcome to Seoul, the dynamic capital of South Korea! Your driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in a comfortable private vehicle. After a one-hour drive, arrive at your hotel. Take some time to relax in your hotel room to recover from jet lag before heading out to explore the city. The neighborhood of Insadong and its main thoroughfare, Insadong Street, lined with colorful art galleries, teahouses, shops, and restaurants, is the perfect place to start. Stop into the quirky Alive Museum, where you'll engage with over 100 interactive artworks across two floors, snapping unique photos as you become part of each masterpiece.

Other places you could explore today are Myeongdong, a paradise for Korean skincare and cosmetics fans, and Gwangjang Market, an excellent place to experience the city's street food culture. Take a selfie with Seoul's impressive skyline as the backdrop at Seoul Sky, the highest glass-floored observation deck in the world. Then head back to your hotel to get some rest before tomorrow's guided tour.

Day 2: Guided Gyeongbokgung Palace & Gwangjang Market Tour 

Full Day Seoul City Tour with Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village
Visit Gyeongbokgung palace on a guided tour

A full-day guided tour awaits today. Begin at Gyeongbokgung palace, built in 1395, where you'll learn about the ancient Joseon Dynasty. Witness a fascinating guard-changing ceremony, then continue to the National Palace Museum of Korea outside Heungnyemun Gate. Walk through the National Folk Museum nearby for an overview of the Korean Empire's culture and history.

The tour takes you next for a stroll through Bukchon Hanok Village, located on a hilltop between Gyeongbokgung palace, Changdeokgung palace, and the Jongmyo royal shrine. This wonderfully preserved traditional village allows you to imagine life in this urban environment more than 600 years ago. Wrap up your day with a delicious Korean dinner at Gwangjang Market before returning to your hotel.

Day 3: Day Trip to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Hongdae Shopping

Full Day Korean DMZ and Hongdae Shopping Street Tour
Entering the Korean Demilitarized Zone

On a guided tour, you'll learn about the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) today. This stretch of land extends across the Korean peninsula and is a buffer between North and South Korea. Originally the boundary between US and Soviet administration areas in World War II, it became the border between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in 1948. Today it's considered one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world.

You'll explore the Third Infiltration Tunnel, built by the North Korean Army, and the Dora Observatory, which offers a glimpse into North Korea. Visit Unification Village, where communication occurs between North and South Korea. Break for lunch, then marvel at the stunning views from one of Korea's longest suspension bridges before returning to Seoul. Spend the evening on the vibrant Hongdae Shopping Street, enjoying its trendy shops, cafés, and restaurants.

Day 4: Transfer to Andong, Hahoe Folk Village & Byeongsan Seowon

A quiet scene in Andong Hahoe Folk Village
Leave Seoul this morning and set off on a 2.5-hour drive to historic Andong. On arrival, you'll begin a half-day tour, starting with a visit to the UNESCO-honored Andong Hahoe Folk Village on the Nakdong River. Explore the village's narrow alleyways and the Mask Museum, with its displays of masks from all around the world. Then walk along a forest trail to the historic Confucian academy, Byeongsan Seowon, where you can learn more about South Korean history and admire the well-preserved architecture, including the Jondeoksa Shrine and Ipgyodang Lecture Hall. Check into your hotel in Andong and relax for the evening.

Day 5: Transfer to Busan via Gyeongju National Museum & Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple
Bulguksa Temple, a prime example of Buddhist architecture in the Silla kingdom
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After breakfast at your hotel in Andong, transfer to Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom (57 BCE to 935 CE). Today, it's nicknamed the "museum without walls." Begin today's explorations at Gyeongju National Museum to see an impressive collection of Silla-era relics. Next, visit Tumuli Park and the historic fifth-century Cheonmachong tomb, offering a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of a Silla king.

In the afternoon, visit Bulguksa Temple, another UNESCO-protected historic landmark. It's a fantastic example of Buddhist architecture from the Silla era. Continue to Seokguram Grotto to see a monumental seated Buddha statue. Then finish your day with an hour-long drive to Busan, where you'll check into your hotel and relax. You'll spend two nights here. 

Day 6: Tour Haedong Yonggungsa, Sky Capsule & Haeundae Traditional Market

Full Day Haedong Yonggungsa, Sky Capsule, and Traditional Market Tour
Ride the Sky Capsule at Haeundae Blueline Park

Discover Busan's highlights today. Begin at the stunning Haedong Yonggungsa Temple on Busan's rugged coastline, then relax with a cup of tea at the Wave On Café. Next, head to Haeundae Blueline Park for a ride on the Haeundae Sky Capsule. Each brightly colored capsule is a retro-style car that seats four, traveling on an elevated railway over the coastline. It's a memorable experience providing spectacular ocean, hills, and city views.

After lunch, stroll along scenic Haeundae Beach and explore Dongbaek Island, a wooded island with beautiful nature trails. Immerse yourself in local culture and pick up a few souvenirs at the Haeundae Traditional Market. You'll have the evening free to enjoy Busan.

Day 7: Visit Gamcheon Culture Village, BIFF Square & Jagalchi Market, Fly to Jeju Island

Half Day Gamcheon Village, BIFF Square and Jagalchi Market
Colorful buildings in the Gamcheon Culture Village 

Embark on a half-day tour of Busan today. You'll start with a visit to the vibrant Gamcheon Culture Village, where you'll admire colorful street art and indulge in sweet treats. Continue to the lively BIFF Square, sampling delicious street food like simmered rice cakes and mandu (dumplings). Finish with a stop at Jagalchi Fishery Market, discovering a vast array of fresh and dried seafood—an excellent spot for photos.

Later in the day, head to the airport for a short and scenic flight to Jeju Island. This volcanic island, celebrated for its natural beauty, unique cultural traditions, and temperate climate, will be your base for the rest of the trip. Check into your hotel and enjoy a free evening before guided sightseeing tomorrow.

Day 8: See Seongsan Ilchulbong & Dongmun Traditional Market

Full Day Seongsan Ilchulbong and Dongmun Traditional Market
Rock formations off the coast of Jeju Island

Wake up on Jeju Island, recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The island is home to Korea's highest peak, Hallasan, and the world's longest underground lava tube. Its vast stretches of protected forested areas and coastline make it a popular destination for outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts. 

Begin your day exploring the ancient Manjanggul Cave with its dramatic stalactites, stalagmites, and lava shelves. Next, head to Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) for beautiful ocean and sky views. Stop by the picturesque Seopjikoji coastline for more photo ops. Finish the day's adventure with a trip back in time at Seongeup Folk Village and souvenir hunting at Dongmun Traditional Market

Day 9: Hike Mount Hallasan, Seogwang Tea Plantation & Spirited Garden Tour

Discover South Korea's largest tea plantation in Seogwipo-si, Jeju

Today begins with a scenic hike up the Eoseungsaengak Trail to the Eoseungtaeng Summit on Hallasan mountain, taking in breathtaking views of the lush surroundings. Continue to the peaceful Seogwang Tea Plantation, where you'll learn how tea leaves are harvested. Participate in a tea demonstration and savor a freshly brewed cup before a lunch break.

In the afternoon, discover the Spirited Garden with its bonsai, volcanic cones, and water features. Then visit the Jusangjeoli Cliff to see unique rock formations. End your afternoon with a stroll through a tranquil forest to Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. The name translates to "sky connected with land." It's a gorgeous spot to wrap up the tour. Go out for one last Korean meal before flying out tomorrow.

Day 10: Depart Jeju Island 

Sunset on Jeju Island
Enjoy breakfast and the laid-back atmosphere of Jeju Island this morning. You'll catch a flight back to Seoul, then continue traveling or head home. Safe travels!

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Map of Best of South Korea: Seoul,  Andong, Busan & Jeju Island - 10 Days
Map of Best of South Korea: Seoul, Andong, Busan & Jeju Island - 10 Days
Written by Kelly Lu, updated Jun 20, 2023