These 8 Seoul Day Trips Show You the Best of South Korea
Updated: Jun 1
Seoul might be at the top of your list, or perhaps, the only item on your list, when it comes to travel in South Korea. With so much to see and do within Seoul's 233 square miles, it might seem like an additional feat to tack day trips onto your stay.
However, the capital city's extensive and cheap railway system makes it a great starting point for exploring the surrounding areas. From hiking in the mountains and soaking in hot springs, to exploring ancient temples and sampling local cuisine, there are plenty of day trip options from Seoul. These 8 day trips in Seoul offer something for every type of traveler.
Download the Right App For Your Seoul Day Trips
Before arriving in South Korea, make sure you download and familiarize yourself with Naver Maps, which is the preferred transportation app in Korea. However, there are some inherent differences:
The app operates in Korean (though there's now an English function).
While the app layout is similar to Google Maps, you may need to type addresses in Hangul (Korean).
That said, once you're familiar with the app, getting around will be so much easier. You can map out routes based on your preferred method of transportation, and save your favorite locations for easy access.
1. Gwangmyeong Cave
When telling my friend about this list of day trips, I told him I was planning to add Gwangmyeong Cave. "But that place is for kids!" he said.
Yes, this one is a bit more family-friendly (score if you have kids) with its cultural events, massive dragon sculpture, and LED lights, but I won't even lie. People of all ages can have fun while exploring a decommissioned gold mine.
Um, they also have a wine cave.
How to Get to Gwangmyeong Cave
Trains from Seoul Station take about fifteen minutes and cost approximately 5,000 KRW. Once you arrive at Gwangmyeong station, look for the #17 bus that will take you directly to the Gwnagmyeong Cave Stop.
Open daily from 9:00am - 6:00pm
Address: 142 Gahak-ro 85beon-gil, Gwangmyeong-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 광명시 가학로85번길 142 가학동)
Approximate total cost: 5,000 - 10,000 KRW
2. Yongjin Korean Folk Village
When you arrive at Incheon International Airport, you might catch the Walk of the Royal Family, where performers dress up in royal Korean attire, and parade through the airport. Korea has a rich heritage spanning thousands of years, so it's no surprise that people who live here are proud of their country.
Past and present Koreans have worked hard to preserve their country's history and the integrity of their traditions. The Yongjin folk village is one popular destination where artists show off traditional handcrafts, play musical instruments, and reenact significant aspects of Korean customs.
How to Get to Yongjin Folk Village
Take a KTX train from Seoul Station to Suwon Station (approximately 1 hour). Once you arrive, walk to the tourist center where you can buy a ticket for the day. The entrance fee for Yongjin Folk Village is 15,000 KRW.
Open daily from 10:00am - 6:30pm
Address: 90 Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 경기도 용인시 기흥구 민속촌로 90 보라동)
Approximate total cost: 17,000 - 32,000 KRW
3. Hwadam Forest, Gwangju
Calling all autumnal lovers: if your idea of natural beauty starts with foliage then make sure to put Hwadam Forest on your list. Book your visit in mid- to late-October for the best views of vibrant warm tones throughout this sprawling botanical garden.
In a truly organized fashion, the park is divided into 17 themes and boasts over 2,300 species of both native and exotic plants. For an immersive experience where you can travel through nature and get a bird's eye view of the park, book a ride on the monorail.
How to Get to Hwadam Forest
Take the 500-1 bus from Jamsil Station bus terminal to Gonjiam Station. The total transportation time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Open Tuesday through Sunday 9:00am - 6:00pm (Closed on Monday)
Address: 278-1, Docheogwit-ro, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 광주시 도척면 도척윗로 278-1)
Approximate total cost: 11,000 - 20,000 won
4. Byeokchoji Arboretum
If you're a K-drama fan, there's a chance you're already familiar with Byeokchoji Arboretum. Located in Paju, and only about an hour north of Seoul, this sprawling park is open year-round and features some of the most impressive landscaping in South Korea.
The entry gate of Byeokchoji Arboretum is a massive gate resembling the Great Wall of China. Once inside, you can spend hours walking among the 27 themed gardens designed in both Eastern and Western styles.
How to Get to Byeokchoji Arboretum
Take the Gyeongui Jungang (teal) line and get off at Geumchon Station. Then ride the Dongwon Transportation Village Bus No. 061 for about 30 minutes and get off at the Byeokcho Arboretum stop.
Opening times change by month and season:
December - February 10:00am - 5:00pm
March & November 9:30am - 6:00pm
April & September - October 9:00am - 7:00pm
May - August 9:00am - 7:30pm
Address: 242, Buheung-ro, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 파주시 광탄면 부흥로 242)
Approximate total cost: 6,000 - 15,000 KRW
5. Majang Lake Suspension Bridge
Also located in the city of Paju is one of the most popular (and easily accessible from Seoul) suspension bridges.
If you have a mental image of an Indiana Jones-style suspension bridge hung precariously over a deadly waterfall, I'm happy to report it isn't as death-defying, but those with a fear of heights may want to skip this one.
The Majang Lake Suspension Bridge takes you 721 feet across Majang Lake towards an observation deck where you can revel in your courageous trek.
While there are no admission or parking fees, you may want to plan for transportation costs. There are also plenty of cafes in the vicinity to choose from.
How to Get to Majang Lake Suspension Bridge
Take the 333 bus from Gupabal Station. The ride to your stop, Gisan 2-ri village is about 46 minutes.
Open all day and year round! Keep safety in mind if you arrive closer to sunset and avoid rainy seasons when the bridge might become slippery.
Address: 365 Gisan-ro Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기 파주시 광탄면 기산로 365)
Approximate total cost: 3,000-6,000 KRW
6. Paju Demilitarized Military Zone (DMZ)
Visiting the demilitarized border is a truly interesting experience and essential for those interested in Korean history. While there are a number of DMZ locations throughout the dividing northern border, Paju is one of the best if you're making a Seoul day trip.
Imjingak Park and Peace Center gives you the closest access to the actual DMZ line with a remarkable vantage point. On clear days, North Korea is visible using the observation deck binoculars. There is also the notable Freedom Bridge, a temporary suspension bridge built in 1953 to bring home prisoners of war.
Though, if you want to make a full-day experience out of the area, Imjingak Park is also a lovely place to bring a picnic or pay a visit to the theme park.
Likewise, you can go see the infamous third tunnel in Paju, which was discovered by Korean forces in 1978.
How to Get to Paju Demilitarized Military Zone (DMZ)
Get on the Gyeongui Jungang (teal) and ride until Munsan, the last stop. Walk out of the station from exit 1 and go across the street to the nearest bus stop, where you'll get onto bus #58. You'll want to get off at the Imjingak stop.
Open daily 10:00am - 6:00pm
Address: 177, Imjingak-ro, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 파주시 문산읍 임진각로 177)
Approximate total cost: 5,000 - 10,000 KRW
7. Paradise City
If you watched Singles Inferno on Netflix, you might've been charmed by the featured resort that pairs luxury, art, and entertainment. This resort is located conveniently next to Incheon International Airport, so you can kick off your trip to Seoul, Korea in style by spending a night (or two)!
Paradise City is great for a swanky long weekend. Bask in the pool during the warm, summer months, party all night in one of their clubs, meander through the various art installations, or do all three. The choice is yours!
The room rates start at about $170 USD per night, or you can make an excursion to visit the facilities for a day. Some of the most popular experiences at Paradise City include the art-immersive gardens featuring an installation from Yayoi Kusama, or the super relaxing spa with LED wall art.
How to Get to Paradise City
Take the AREX train, which goes between Seoul Station and Incheon Airport, and get off at the airport stop. From there, take the Maglev Train from Incheon Airport, or walk 15 minutes to the resort.
Open daily 10:00am - 8:00pm
Address: 186, Yeongjonghaeannam-ro 321beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon 인천광역시 중구 영종해안남로321번길 186
Approximate transportation cost: 3,000 - 8,000 KRW (other costs inside of Paradise City vary by activity)
Notably, this is one of the best day trips from Seoul for locals and tourists alike. Everland is a fantasy theme park located about 45 minutes from Seoul where visitors can walk through different eras and geographical pins based on the different themes. There's a European town full of Tudor-style homes, Magic Land, which is based on Aesop's fables, or the American Adventure, a whirlwind of 1950s rockabilly flare.
Start your day by renting school uniforms (a Korean theme park essential!), and picking your favorite character headband. Get up close to lions, giraffes, and bears in Everland's safari experience, or go brace yourself for the intense T Express roller coaster.
How to Get to Everland
Take the Bundang subway line to Giheung station and board the Everline, which will bring you directly to the park. Operating hours for the Everline subway is daily from 5:30am - 11:30pm.
It's quite difficult to get a cab from this area so plan your public transportation accordingly!
Open daily from 10:00am - 10:00pm
Address: 199, Everland-ro, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 용인시 처인구 포곡읍 에버랜드로 199 포곡읍)
Approximate total cost: 42,000 - 68,000 KRW