Korea’s Top 10 Most Popular Tourist Attractions of 2018

Korea is a tourist haven. There are tons of places to go to which can actually be quite overwhelming for a first timer. Still, there are a few which stand out among tourists and the Korea Tourism Organization just released the 10 most searched tourist destinations in Korea for 2018! If you’re going to Korea for vacation, you might want to consider checking these places out.

10. The Garden of Morning Calm

432, Sumokwon-ro, Sang-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

The Garden of Morning Calm is a huge botanical garden, spanning 300,000 square meters. It is popular not only among photographers given its scenic views, but it also a spot for families and couples. If you have watched the drama “Love in the Moonlight” starring Park Bogum and Kim Yoojung then you probably have seen it.

9. Myeongdong

Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Perhaps the most known shopping and fashion district in Seoul, Myeongdong is lined with street food, cafes, restaurants, and department stores which makes it one of the most popular destinations of Seoul. And cosmetic shops are everywhere here!

8. Hongdae

Mapo-gu, Seoul

Hongdae is one of the hippest districts of Seoul which is not surprising given that it is a university area. Its name is actually a contraction of Hongik University. There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, clubs, bars, and even street food. It is known for its buskers and the district comes alive during the weekends!

7. Insadong

Jongno-gu, Seoul

It is a neighborhood of shops and stores (and cafes, too) but it is more popularly known for the traditional Korean cultural items you can get as souvenirs! In fact, it is also referred to as the “Street of Traditional Korean Culture.” And you might also want to check out Ssamzigil, a four-story retail center that cells fashion, art, and home items. TIP: There’s a highly interesting “poop” cafe at the fourth floor.

6. Changdeokgung and Huwon

99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

One of the palaces of Seoul, the Changdeokgung was built in the early Joseon period and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It originally served as a royal villa, constructed after the bigger Gyeongbokgung Palace. Parts of the palace complex were used for the popular Korean drama “Dae Jang Geum” (Jewel in the Palace).

5. Nami Island

Namiseom-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do

Nami Island is definitely one of the most popular island attractions in Korea. It shot to popularity after it was used in the Korean drama “Winter Sonata” in 2002. It is a moon-shaped island and is relatively small that tourists can tour in in half a day!

4. Bukchon Hanok Village

37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Known for its traditional atmosphere, the Bukchon Hanok Village is a six-centuries old neighborhood and was originally the residential area of high-ranking officials and nobility of the Joseon Period. If you want to go back in time and experience what a traditional Korean village feels like, Bukchon is the place!

3. Lotte World

240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul

Of course a tourist visit is not complete without an amusement park and Seoul offers one: Lotte World. Located in downtown Seoul, it is divided into two areas: the Adventure area which is indoors, and the Magic Island which is outdoor. It is open all year round so no worries about missing it!

2. Namsan Seoul Tower

105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

The Namsan Seoul Tower, often shortened to Namsan Tower, is considered to be Seoul’s landmark attraction. The tower is the best place to get a breathtaking panoramic view of the Seoul (you can actually see the Han River cut through the city). Also, if you think only Paris has the love locks ((although they have removed it actually), then wait until you get here! TIP: If you have fear of heights, you might want to reconsider because the way up the tower requires riding a rather steep inclined elevator and a cable car.

1. Gyeongbokgung

161, Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

The Gyeongbokgung was the main residence of the royal family of the Joseon Dynasty. It is majestic and imposing (and in fact can be quite intimidating given its size and grandeur). There are so much to see in the Gyeongbokgung complex, including the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony. Admission is cheap, just KRW 3,000 for adults and KRW 1,500 for teenagers and children. TIP: The palace closes quite early, between 3:00 to 4:00 PM depending on the season so it would be great if you come there early.

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