Visit South Korea: top 8 activities to do and visa information

 Visit South Korea: top 8 activities to do and visa information

Often confused and undermined with its neighbor North Korea, South Korea is becoming an increasingly popular vacation destination. The land of Matin Calme has established itself in the music industry with K-Pop, arousing curiosity and fascination on the part of many enthusiasts… It is also one of the destinations to be favored in September.

If you are planning to visit South Korea, then I think you should read this guide. The territory offers a contrasting landscape between mountains, architectural prowess, traditional and purist villages… It is also a country with immense creative power, always at the forefront of the latest technologies and trends in cosmetics…

Among the essential activities, you can explore Seoul, the capital, enjoy the port climate of Busan, immerse yourself in traditional Korean culture in the villages, or even explore Seoraksan National Park!

Discover the South Korean capital: Seoul

The South Korean capital is known to be home to a young and festive population. It is a perfect destination for holidays with friends or for studying at university. Seoul is also the economic and commercial cradle of the country.

It offers a number of monuments and sites to see such as the National Museum of Korea, the Gyeongbokgung Palace, or even the districts of Gangnam, Myeongdong, as well as Rodeo Street for shopping addicts. In summary, visiting Seoul is a must on your trip to South Korea!

Enjoy the sweet and fresh air of Busan

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul, then spend a few days visiting Busan, a port city with a peaceful atmosphere. This offers a particularly mild and pleasant climate, which is an advantage if you plan to go to Seoul as a family with children.

Festive evenings on the edge of the beach, shops for shopping or even restaurants on the terraces for tastings. Even better, go to the heights of the city for a walking excursion or head to Songjeong beach for a moment of idleness…

A wild and volcanic excursion on Jeju Island

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jeju Island is a small volcanic pearl marked by wild and well-preserved nature. This is mainly frequented by Koreans and newlyweds for their honeymoon. Moreover, be aware that the climate is particularly warm and pleasant for walking during the day, but beware of freezing nights!

The main activity to do on Jeju Island is hiking and inland excursions. It also houses a few museums such as the National Museum of Jeju and much more unusual, the museum of eroticism… Do not hesitate to stay a few nights on the island, you will have the opportunity to explore places such as the Gwaneum Temple, Whale Cave and Hallasan National Park.

Discovery of Korean traditions in Andong and Hahoe

For a little more authenticity, I recommend visiting Andong and the typical village of Hahoe. Ideally, plan two days during your stay to learn more about traditional Korean culture and to immerse yourself in the country’s historical heritage…

First, go to Andong. The city offers superb contrasts with a magnificent natural landscape well anchored in the north of the country. Then, prepare your visit to Hahoe, a small folk village in which you will want to get lost… Between the small narrow streets, the typical houses with Hanok architecture and the traditional masked dances, it is a place that is worth the detour. during your stay in South Korea!

Seoraksan National Park and its wild flora

Far from the hustle and bustle of cities, Seoraksan National Park is a true haven of peace, nestled between mountains and South Korean wild flora. If you feel the need to recharge your batteries, I recommend a walk through the site, it’s an ideal place for a holiday with the children!

Among the things not to be missed, a hike to the rock of Ulsanbawi, an impregnable spot for a panoramic and spectacular view. Moreover, remember to greet the bronze statue of Buddha located at the entrance to the park before exploring the temples and waterfalls…

Explore Gyeonggi Province

It is highly recommended to plan 3 to 4 days to take the time to visit Gyeonggi Province. Perfect for a road trip, this South Korean region is ideal for moments of escape while staying close to Seoul. Indeed, it encircles the capital and is home to magnificent places such as Mount Bukhansan National Park for hikers!

The ramparts of the Suwon fortress are also worth visiting, as is the Heyri Art Valley, with its surprising and daring architecture. For those discovering South Korea with children, the Everland amusement parks and the Korean Folk Village might be of interest to you. I advise you to book a rental car to go around Gyeonggi 😉

Hiking in the Gangwon Mountains

During your trip to South Korea, you will come across spectacular panoramas and to enjoy them, you have to go to the province of Gangwon! This one has splendid landscapes, between the sea and the mountains, and it keeps its charm over the seasons… Moreover, it is also the cradle of various cultures such as shamanism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

For hikers eager for excursions and walking, Mount Seoraksan should please you, especially with its breathtaking panoramas and scenery. If you like unusual sites, then discover the island of Nami Island and its crescent moon shape… Finally, museum and modern art enthusiasts will be happy to visit the Hasla Art World and its sculptures overlooking the sea. …

Korea’s oldest province: Jeolla

In general, Korean cuisine is renowned for being particularly hearty and rich in flavors. But the province of Jeolla, more particularly, has a wide variety of culinary specialties. Most of the dishes are refined and tasty, a legacy of the former royal families who lived there…

On the other hand, this region is known to be the oldest in South Korea. This is something you can notice in the architecture of the houses, very typical and picturesque, built in the Korean tradition. For moments of calm and escape, it is better to move away into the hinterland to discover immense spaces of greenery and beaches!

Going to South Korea, visa: how to prepare the trip?

Like most destinations, especially long haul, it is recommended to prepare the trip several weeks or even months in advance.

K-ETA electronic authorization

Access to Korean territory normally requires obtaining a visa. However, in 2021, a new electronic travel authorization, called K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization), has been implemented by the South Korean authorities. This allows citizens of eligible countries to enter Korea for visiting relatives, tourism or professional reasons. Obtaining the K-ETA for visa exempts for South Korea is however mandatory before taking a flight to this country. The authorization is somewhat similar to the American model since it is valid for 2 years from its issuance. On the other hand, the maximum duration of a stay in South Korea is 90 days, or 3 months.

For internal security reasons but also because of the coronavirus, the country has decided to strengthen border control by studying the profile of its travelers more closely.

How to get the K-ETA?

The process is very simple, all you have to do is submit your request online. Obtaining the travel authorization is quite fast, it takes between 1 and 3 working days! To avoid any problem related to a delay or file error, make your request at least 15 days in advance! 😉

As for prices, the K-ETA is not expensive, it only costs 8 €/person. Of course, if you go through an organization, this can amount to around forty euros!