Ornate temple buildings and bridge on the coast with breaking waves

South Korea Highlights

Trip code
SKH001

If you’d like a trip that’s low on intensity but high on interest, this one’s for you – focusing on three exciting but contrasting destinations, it keeps travel time to a minimum. Though you’ll be taken to all the best sights, you’ll also have plenty of time in each place to simply do your own thing.

The three destinations in question are Seoul, where you’ll see the city’s fascinating historical, cultural and modern sides; Jeonju, where you’ll stay in a traditional wooden hanok house; and Busan, where you’ll have the chance to explore Korea’s best beaches.

Pricing

Price based on 3* accommodation
From
$3,000
pp
Price based on 4* accommodation
From
$3,300
pp
Price based on 5* accommodation
From
$4,700
pp

Key facts

7 nights/8 days  
Explore Hwaseong Fortress and try out some traditional Korean archery
Weave your way through the higgledy-piggledy streets of Gamcheon culture village, and stay overnight in a traditional hanok guesthouse in Jeonju
Enjoy three foodie experiences: an evening food tour of Seoul, a cooking class in Busan, and a visit to the famous Jagalchi fish market
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DAY 5-6 BUSAN DAY 1-3, 7-8 SEOUL DAY 4 JEONJU DAY 3 SUWON
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DAY 5-6 BUSAN DAY 1-3, 7-8 SEOUL DAY 4 JEONJU DAY 3 SUWON

Despite the length of the tour, travel time is minimised, since there are only three main destinations. Two of the connections are by high-speed KTX train, with the one remaining connection by private car (3–3.5 hours).

What's great

Explore a mix of traditional and modern culture as you soak up buzzing Seoul and Busan and stay in a traditional village in Jeonju

Gain an insight into Korean culture through food as you weave through markets, visit a barbecue restaurant, roll up your sleeves for cooking lessons, and embark on a street food experience

Take a step back in time and stay in a hanok guesthouse in a traditional Korean village in Jeonju, complete with ondol-heated floors

With only 3 main destinations, you can get an in-depth taste of what Korea has to offer without too much moving around

It's a relatively short trip, so you have time to add on potential extensions. Why not combine your itinerary with a tour to one of our other destinations, such as Jeju Island or Japan?

Things to consider

Although there’s a mix of destinations, they are all city-based, so there are no rural stop-offs or stays 

The destinations you'll see are deservedly popular and can be quite busy – though you’ll still feel a sense of peace and quiet during your hanok stay

You'll sleep on futon-style bedding at the hanok stay in Jeonju, with no option for a western-style bed (though if you require a bed, it's possible to stay at a hotel in Jeonju instead). If you want a hanok experience with a western bed, you may need to switch destination.

The experience

Day 1-3

Seoul

Massive and manic, but with a charming traditional side, Seoul is one of our favourite cities, and over the course of a few days here we’re sure you’ll feel the same. On the very first night you’ll sample its culinary delights at a street-food market and traditional barbecue restaurant. Temples and folk tradition – plus a walk around the “secret garden” of arresting Changdeokgung palace – are also on the menu on a jam-packed first full day. The next morning, you’ll head out of the city to Suwon’s World Heritage-listed Hwasong fortress, and perhaps try your hand at some traditional archery.

Looking directly up at Seoul Tower past fence with colourful padlocks

Highlights

Eat your way around downtown Seoul at a famous BBQ restaurant, and the country’s top street-food market

Stroll through Huwon “secret garden” at Changdeokgung palace

Visit Suwon’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Hwaseong Fortress

Ornate temple surrounded by trees

Day 4

Jeonju

After a high-speed train ride from Seoul, you’ll arrive in stately Jeonju, home to a neighbourhood of traditional wooden housing. Though the area looks like a movie set, it’s very real – and guess what? You’ll be staying in one of the “props”, a traditional hanok guesthouse. Here you’ll have a free day, during which you can get a handle on Korean folk traditions, wander the painted streets of a nearby cultural village, or eat what Koreans deem the best food in the country, including the city’s own sophisticated take on the national staple, bibimbap (“mixed rice”). After dark, the area looks absolutely spellbinding, its humble alleyways lit up with fairy lights.

Bowl of vegetables, meat and egg

Highlights

Spend the night in a traditional wooden house, in a charming hanok village

Explore the painted streets of Jaman Culture Village

Try the regional specialty, Jeonju bibimbap

Aerial view of ornate building in middle of roundabout

The finer detail

  • Breakfast every day 
  • One full-day experience: private city tour of Seoul including Changdeokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Gwangjang Market and Myeongdong  
  • Three half-day experiences: tour of Suwon including optional Korean archery, private Busan city tour, Korean cooking class
  • One evening experience: street-food tour of Seoul
  • All entrance fees to sights included in guided experiences 
  • All internal transport & accommodation
  • Private airport transfers
  • Wi-Fi device
  • Pre-loaded T-money transport card

Day 1: 

Car transfer from Incheon airport to Seoul (50 minutes) 

Day 3:

Car transfer from Seoul to Suwon (1 hour each way)

Day 4: 

High-speed train transfer from Seoul to Jeonju (2 hours) 

Day  5: 

Car transfer from Jeonju to Busan (3 hours) 

Day 7: 

High-speed train transfer from Busan to Seoul (2 hours 30 minutes) 

Day 8: 

Car transfer from hotel to Incheon airport (50 minutes) 

  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fees to any sites not included in guided experiences
  • Tips for guides & porters