Winter is most definitely the off season for tourism to South Korea, as frigid temperatures can make outdoor attractions and activities uncomfortable if you’re not prepared.
One of the greatest things about Seoul as a tourist destination is that it caters to just about every taste, especially to shopaholics. The markets in South Korea’s capital sell just about everything under the sun, and you could easily spend days getting lost in their winding passages. If you’re ready to hit the pavement for some retail therapy, here’s your guide to Seoul’s best markets.
To the uninitiated, Korean cuisine might be largely a mystery — a culinary tradition often overlooked in Western countries in favor of Chinese, Japanese or Thai, or maybe just tucked in at the end of a menu somewhere. Any foodie who visits Seoul will quickly discover just how underrated Korean food actually is. If you’re feeling hungry in the Korean capital, here’s our food lover’s guide to Seoul.
The period from September through November is one of the most pleasant times to be in Seoul, the South Korean capital. Sandwiched between the oppressive heat and humidity of summer and the frigid temperatures of winter, autumn in Seoul often brings blue skies, perfect temperatures and colorful fall foliage.
Just off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula sits Jeju Island, Korea’s tropical paradise. This volcanic island is one of Asia’s most underrated destinations for foreign travelers, where life moves at a slow and relaxed pace and natural beauty still dominates. Known as the Island of the Gods or the Hawaii of South Korea, Jeju offers cultural insight, outdoor adventure and beautiful white sand beaches to anyone willing to make the trip.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a shopper’s paradise, with everything from jam packed street markets to up-market shopping malls, each with its own distinct flavor. If you have some extra cash burning a hole in your wallet, head to one of Seoul’s best shopping districts for a little retail therapy.
Residents of Seoul are lucky to have a national park within the borders of the city proper, and outdoor recreation has become a popular weekend activity for Koreans of all ages. Since Bukhansan National Park is located so conveniently to Seoul, it’s a great place to breathe in some fresh air and get a little exercise during your travels in South Korea. Here are a few ideas for things to do in Bukhansan National Park.
Korean cuisine is unlike any other in Asia, with a heavy emphasis on fermented vegetables, grilled meats and fiery flavors. While you’ll certainly have ample opportunity to try a variety of Korean dishes during your stay in Seoul, you can take the flavors home with you by learning to make some of the dishes yourself.
Spending one week in Korea barely lets you scratch the surface of this ancient culture, but it will give you a chance to tour the capital, relax on the beach and learn a little bit about the history and heritage of the country.