Discover how to eat like a local in South Korea on this five-day food tour of Seoul and Busan. Touch down in the pulsing capital, Seoul, where you'll visit royal palaces and learn to make classic Korean dishes during a cooking class with a local chef. Continue to Busan for more food adventures, including a trip to Jagalchi, the country's largest fish market, where you'll shop for fresh seafood, followed by a street food tour of the famous BIFF Square.


  • Learn to make classic Korean dishes during a Seoul cooking class
  • Visit and shop for seafood at Jagalchi, South Korea's largest fish market
  • Sample Busan street food at the famous BIFF Square
  • Tour white-sand beaches and clifftop Buddhist temples in Busan

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Seoul Seoul
Day 2 Gyeongbokgung Palace & Cooking Class Tour Seoul
Day 3 Train to Busan, Jagalchi Fish Market & BIFF Square Food Tour Busan
Day 4 Haedong Yonggungsa Visit & Gwangalli Night Food Tour Busan
Day 5 Return to Seoul, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Seoul

Check into your hotel and head out to explore Seoul

Welcome to South Korea! Touch down in the dizzying capital, Seoul, where your driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Get your first glimpse of this futuristic metropolis, a sprawling mass of towering skyscrapers set against ancient Buddhist temples, landscaped sculpture parks, and mazelike street markets. Fashion, tech, and karaoke loom large in Seoul, alongside historical palaces and museums.

Settle in and then spend the rest of the day as you please; relax at your hotel or head out to explore the neon streets of the city. Insadong, with its plethora of souvenir shops, art galleries, and restaurants, is the perfect place to kick-start your Seoul discovery. To take in the impressive skyline, head to Seoul Sky, the highest glass-floored observation deck in the world.

Discover South Korea's culinary roots and take an optional food tour of the renowned Gwangjang Market. This century-old market sells everything from textiles and kitchenware to produce and authentic Korean dishes. Wander along the narrow walkways lined with restaurants and food stalls, snacking along the way. Highlights include eomukguk (fish cake soup), crunchy bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), and tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes).

Day 2: Gyeongbokgung Palace & Cooking Class Tour

Enjoy a private tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace
Plan your trip to South Korea
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today's private tour begins at Gyeongbokgung Palace, the residence of the Joseon Dynasty's royal family from the late 1300s to 1910. Watch the guard changing ceremony at the Gwanghwamun area, and stroll through the palace's ornate pavilions and halls. Continue to Bukchon Hanok Village. Featuring hanok (traditional Korean houses), the site is now home to numerous themed museums and galleries, stylish cafés, and teahouses.

Your guide will recommend a few local dishes for lunch. Bibimbap is a favorite, consisting of rice with raw or fried egg, sliced meat, veggies, and sauce on top. Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) is also a good choice for lunch. Savor the tender meat with a slightly bitter yet fragrant flavor created by the ginseng, dried jujubes, chestnuts, and garlic-stuffed chicken.

This afternoon is reserved for a fun cooking class. Here you'll get the chance to learn about some of the ingredients most commonly used in Korean cuisine, prepare them with the help of an instructor, and try your hand at making kimchi, pancakes, and other classic Korean food. Afterward, enjoy a free evening in the city before returning to your hotel.

Day 3: Train to Busan, Jagalchi Fish Market & BIFF Square Food Tour

Get a taste of Korean food with some tteokbokki

Say goodbye to Seoul today and take the KTX high-speed train to the coastal city of Busan. With its beautiful beaches, verdant mountains, and laid-back vibe, Busan is the top destination for seaside vacations. A driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the heart of the city, where you'll have time to settle in before heading out for a half-day food tour.

The adventure begins at Jagalchi Fish Market, the largest fish market in South Korea. Trawl through its treasures, split between indoor and outdoor areas, from dried sea products to freshly-caught seafood and a range of fish, prawns, shellfish, lobster, and squid. Weave through the alleyways lined by fish stalls, which are presided over by local women; choose your seafood and haggle with the stall owner with the help of your guide. Then you'll head to the market's second floor and pick a restaurant to cook your seafood in. Grilled fish, sashimi, and seafood pancakes are some of the most popular ways of enjoying your catch.

Afterward, head to BIFF Square, one of the best places in Busan, to sample the street food. The streets are lined with food stalls and vendors selling everything from tteokbokki and mandu (dumplings) to kimbap (bite-sized slices of rice, veggies, fish, and meat rolled in dried sheets of seaweed) and hotteok (pancake with brown sugar and nut filling). Full of delicious South Korean dishes, return to your hotel for the evening.

Day 4: Haedong Yonggungsa & Gwangalli Night Food Tour

Full Day Haedong Yonggungsa and Gwangalli Night Food Tour
Get your seafood fix on a Gwangalli night food tour

The morning begins with a trip to Haedong Yonggungsa, a Buddhist temple on a rugged coastline overlooking the ocean. Stop at the Wave On Café for coffee accompanied by ocean views before hopping on the colorful Sky Capsule to admire aerial views of the stunning seashore. 

At lunchtime, your local guide will recommend which Busan specialty to sample. The savory jangeo-gui (seasoned grilled eel) and bibim dangmyeon (boiled glass noodles enjoyed with pickled radish, fish cake, veggies, chili sauce, and sesame oil) are just two of the must-try dishes. In the afternoon, visit Haeundae Beach, an idyllic mile-long (1.5 km) stretch of white sand. This spot is especially popular with summer swimmers and surfers. Stroll along the beach to relish the refreshing breeze, laid-back atmosphere, and sweeping ocean views.

Tonight, you'll set off on a Gwangalli night food tour. Your guide will take you to a restaurant where you'll feast on typical Busan cuisine. Afterward, take a walk on Gwangalli Beach to experience the bustling nightlife, treat yourself to tasty Korean street food, and appreciate the spectacular night view of Busan with the dazzling Gwangan Bridge stretching across the water.

Day 5: Return to Seoul, Depart

Perhaps grab a quick bite to eat before your onward flight

Today your South Korean food adventure comes to an end. Head to Busan station for your express train to Seoul, where you'll transfer to Incheon International Airport for your onward flight. Safe travels!

More Great South Korea Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Korea? Check out these other South Korea itineraries, explore different ways to spend five days in South Korea, or discover the best time to visit South Korea.


Map of Eat Like a Local in South Korea: Seoul & Busan Food Tour - 5 Days
Map of Eat Like a Local in South Korea: Seoul & Busan Food Tour - 5 Days
Written by Kelly Lu, updated May 1, 2023