Veiled in a history dating back five millenia, South Korea is a nation where classic meets contemporary, encasing an eclectic mix of culture, countryside and cuisine.
The high-tech yet historic capital city of Seoul offers a huge catalogue of sights, sharp design and a haven of green spaces. You’ll also find a fair share of K-Pop clubs and even coin-operated karaoke machines. Sightseers will be spoilt for choice, with a plethora of palaces, temples and shrines, and markets open until midnight.
Snaking hiking trails can be found inside the sleepless capital, and beautiful views can be taken in from any of the four guardian mountains. Outside the city, the volcanic island of Jeju makes for a dramatic excursion through Mount Halla, its highest peak at 1,950 m.
Korean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in many western nations, keen for a taste of tasty kimchi (fermented cabbage and chilli) or bibimbap (mixed rice). A wide range of international cuisine is also available, with Seoul’s Itaewon area renowned for its diverse offerings.
A huge number of hotels and guest houses can be found in all major cities, as well as hostels. A healthy selection of apartments and homestays are also available if you want an immersive stay.
The 12 best places to stay in South Korea: Top hotels, B&Bs, inns, and vacation rentals — Based on real reviews from real guests