World ? Asia ? South Korea

South Korea: Suggested Itineraries

Seoul, Busan, Gyeongju, and even Jeju-do are fairly well traveled, and most tour companies that plan trips to South Korea will cover those areas. But South Korea is an exciting place to explore on your own, so I've provided a few itineraries, most of which don't stray too far from the major cities, to help you plan your trip.

Bear in mind that although South Korea is small in land mass, the hilly terrain and lack of major roads increase travel time between locations and attractions. Although you can rent a car, I don't suggest it unless you're planning to go well off the beaten path. The best ways to get around are by rail and by bus.

Trains in South Korea are cheap, reliable, and a comfortable way to travel. High-speed KTX trains will help you save time. Consider buying a KTX pass before you arrive, as it will save you money, too.

In general, trains will only take you to stations in major cities, but not too many temples and other remote locations. Luckily, the bus system is quite efficient and all cities and small towns have at least one local bus that goes to even the most remote locations. A combination of train and bus travel will probably be your best bet for seeing the country.

Unless you have a lot of time, I recommend taking a plane to Jeju-do and either renting a car there, or seeing the sights by bus. A flight to the island takes about an hour from Seoul, but it will take you nearly a day just to drive to a place where you can catch a Jeju-do-bound boat.

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