12 Best Day Trips From Seoul & How to Get There

12 Best Day Trips From Seoul & How to Get There

Ancient fortresses, nature retreats, and more!

Seoul is an exciting metropolis with plenty of attractions to explore. However, visitors may need a break from the city’s hectic vibe after a few days. Taking an outing from Seoul can open your eyes to the natural and cultural wealth outside South Korea’s capital. If you’re wondering where to go, read on to discover day trips from Seoul that will blow you away. 

Also read: 15 Best Airbnbs & Vacation Rentals in Seoul for Every Budget

Top Seoul day trips you shouldn’t miss out on

1. Nami Island

best day trips seoul

Image credit: pigphoto via Canva Pro

Nami Island is a fairytale island along the Han River famed for its gorgeous forest trails. The scenery here is especially stunning in autumn, when firetruck red and golden leaves litter the pavement and fall onto crystal-clear ponds. 

day trips from seoul

General Nami’s Tomb | Image credit: steve46814

The island was named after General Nami, who led a force of 30,000 to quell an uprising in Northeast Korea in 1467. General Nami’s Tomb is located near the ferry terminal, making it an ideal first stop on your day tour. Other attractions you can visit include the picturesque Metasequoia Lane and filming sites from the K-drama, Winter Sonata

Fun fact: Nami Island is a micro-nation with its own flag and currency. You can exchange won for Nami coins at a miniature bank along Metasequoia Lane. 

How to get there: The easiest way to get from Seoul to Nami Island is to take an ITX train from Cheongnyangni Station or Yongsan Station to Gapyeong Station. Purchase a ticket for the Gapyeong City Tour Bus which will take you to Gapyeong Wharf. From there, ferries transport visitors to Nami Island every 10 to 30 minutes. You may purchase your ferry ticket at the wharf. 

2. Busan

day trips from seoul

Haeundae Beach | Image credit: NeoPhoto via Canva Pro

Boasting pristine beaches, fresh seafood, and eye-popping street art, Busan is one of the best day trips from Seoul. If you’re looking for a summer getaway, hop onto Haeundae Beach: a 1.5-kilometre stretch of white sand and sparkling waters. The shallow bay of this beach is perfect for a leisurely swim and the glittering city skyline in the background will make your photos pop. 

day trips from seoul

Gamcheon Culture Village | Image credit: pnsam via Canva Pro

To delve into Busan’s thriving arts scene, head to Gamcheon Culture Village. The former slum underwent a transformation in 2009 as the result of an initiative to turn the area into the “Machu Picchu of Korea.” Drop by to wander through Gamcheon’s rainbow streets and see murals painted by local artists. 

How to get there: Take a KTX train from Seoul Central Station to Busan Station. The journey takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Also read: 15 Useful South Korea Travel Tips if It’s Your First-Time

3. Everland 

Everland is a colossal theme park with flower gardens, a pair of giant pandas, and the country’s first wooden roller coaster. Due to its proximity to the city centre, it is one of the best day trips from Seoul. 

day trips from seoul

T-Express | Image credit: Jeremy Thompson

Unwind in nature at the park’s Rose Festival and Tulip Festival gardens, where you can find many flower-themed photo spots. Next, get an adrenaline rush on the T-Express, the fourth steepest wooden roller coaster in the world. Lastly, pay a visit to the park’s two giant pandas at Panda World. China gave Ai Bao and Le Bao to Korea celebrate the friendship between the two nations.

How to get there: Take a metro on Line 2 or the Shinbundang Line to Gangnam Station. Head to Exit 10 and ride bus 5002 to Jeondae Everland Station. The bus ride takes one hour. 

Also read: 15 South Korea Theme Parks & Amusement Parks Worth Visiting

4. Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress is a monument to filial piety, a deep-rooted value in Korean culture. The fortress was built by King Jeongjo from 1794 to 1796 to house his father’s tomb. Jeongjo’s grandfather, King Yeongjo, executed his father, Crown Prince Sado, by locking him in a wooden chest. After Jeongjo ascended the throne, he ordered the construction of Hwaseong Fortress to honour his father’s memory. 

day trips from seoul

Image credit: Domenico Convertini

The fortress is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular day trips from Seoul. Visitors can see the Haenggung, or enclosed palace, which was where King Jeongjo would stay while paying respects to his father’s tomb. Other things to do here include hiking the walls of the fortress and watching a martial arts performance. 

How to get there: From Seoul Station, take the ITX-Saemaeul train 1007 or 1009 to Suwon Station. The ITX train journey is 30 minutes. At Suwon Station, hop on bus 7770 and alight seven stops later at Jangan Park. This bus station is a two-minute walk from the fortress. 

Also read: 10 Must-Visit Royal Palaces and Fortresses in South Korea

5. The DMZ

day trips from seoul

Joint Security Area | Image credit: Travis Wise

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a four-kilometre-wide and 250-kilometre-long strip of land that divides South Korea from North Korea. It was established as a buffer zone under the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953. 

On the western edge of the DMZ, you will find the Joint Security Area (JSA), the only point where North and South Korean soldiers stand face-to-face. Also known as Panmunjom, the area serves as a site for diplomatic engagements between the two Koreas. Today, the JSA is staffed by unarmed security guards from both sides and functions primarily as a tourist attraction. 

peace park

Pyeonghwa-Nuri Peace Park | Image credit: Seongguk Jo via Canva Pro

Another landmark in the DMZ is Imjingak Resort, a memorial site built in 2005 to represent the Korean people’s hopes for unification. The resort contains the Pyeonghwa-Nuri Peace Park, which has 3,000 pinwheels spinning in the wind, symbolising the desire for peace. 

How to get there: Many areas in the DMZ are not open to individual tourists. It is best to book a package tour or ride the KORAIL DMZ Peace Train to make the most of your day trip to the DMZ from Seoul. 

Note: Visitors are required to bring a legitimate form of identification and/or passport when going to the DMZ. Check before taking photos as there are many restrictions on photography here. 

6. Bukhansan National Park

day trips from seoul

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If you’re aching for a nature escape, head to Bukhansan National Park, a hiking destination beloved by locals and foreigners alike. The park’s highest point is Baegundae Peak, which stands at 836.5 metres. Visitors can reach this via a four-kilometre trail from the Bukhansanseong Park Information Center. Those who persevere and make it to the top will get breathtaking views of the mountainous terrain and verdant forest. 

While hiking, you may spot some of the park’s wildlife such as foxes, eagles, boars, and deer. After a long walk, you can rest under pristine waterfalls or stop at one of the hillside Buddhist temples to rejuvenate your soul. 

How to get there: Take a metro train to Gupabal Station. From there, ride bus 34, 704, or 8772 and get off at Bukhansanseong (Fortress) bus stop. Bukhansanseong Park Information Center is seven minutes away on foot. 

Also read: 13 Magical Cabin Retreats in South Korea to Book on Airbnb

7. Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village is a living museum in Yongin City that takes visitors back in time. Comprising 270 traditional Korean houses or hanok, it recreates the atmosphere of Joseon Korea in impressive detail. These houses were relocated from other parts of the country and restored in the park. 

These houses aren’t just vacant buildings either: some of them are handicraft shops and others have become exhibition halls. Actors perform traditional Korean dances and play the part of ordinary people in the Joseon era.

This village is one of the best day trips from Seoul for K-drama fans. It was used as a filming site in many popular series including Moon Embracing the Sun (2012), Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010), and My Love from the Star (2013). 

How to get there: From Gangnam Station or Sinnonhyeon Station, take bus 5001-1 or 1560. There is also a free shuttle bus between Suwon Station and the Korean Folk Village. 

Also read: 20 Stunning Hanoks in South Korea You Can Book on Airbnb

8. Namhansanseong Fortress

day trips from seoul

Image credit: Republic of Korea

Namhansanseong Fortress is a fortress city built on top of Namhan Mountain (Namhansan). It was constructed in the 17th century to serve as a refuge for royalty in times of war. Within the fortress, there is an emergency palace containing the King’s Office & Living Quarters, the Local Administration Hall, the Royal Ancestral Shrine, and a Rear Garden

Like Hwaseong Fortress, Namhansanseong is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walk along the fortress walls to marvel at the sophisticated defences based on Chinese, Japanese, and Western influences. 

How to get there: From Sanseong Station (line 8), head to Exit 2 and walk to the bus stop 100m ahead. Take bus 9 or 9-1/52 and get off at Namhansanseong bus stop

9. Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World

Love skiing and snowboarding? Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World is the destination for you. This ski resort is one of the popular day trips from Seoul in winter. It offers 12 ski slopes of varying difficulties, 10 gondolas, and skiing classes. The resort also holds a winter theme park called Snowy Land where you can try sledding, snow racing, and a snowy roller coaster. 

How to get there: From Seoul’s Gangbyeon Station, you can catch a Sono Resorts shuttle bus to Daemyung Vivaldi Park. The bus journey takes 30 minutes. 

Also read: 7 Epic Winter Festivals in South Korea This Season for Fun Snow Activities, Winter Street Food & More!

10. Gyeongju


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Known as the “Museum Without Walls,” Gyeongju is one of the best historic day trips from Seoul. The city was the capital of the Silla Kingdom which ruled Korea for almost 1,000 years from 57 B.C. to the early 10th century. Evidence of Silla’s prosperity and cultural refinement can be found across the Gyeongju Historic Area, located in the city centre. 

Take a stroll through Donggung Palace to get a feel of Silla’s glory days. This was a secondary palace used by the crown prince. The palace holds the tranquil Wolji Pond, which has three islands in it and 12 landscape hills to its northeast. Donggung Palace is illuminated at night, forming a dreamy spot for photo taking. 


Woljeonggyo | Image credit: bryan…

Another landmark in Gyeongju is Woljyeonggyo, a bridge built to connect the Namsan and Wolseong districts. Constructed in 760 A.D., it was burnt down in the Joseon era. Based on historical research, the bridge was rebuilt from 2008 to 2018. Visitors come to admire the painstakingly restored bridge, which becomes even more beautiful in spring when cherry blossoms flower. 

How to get there: Take a KTX bullet train from Seoul Station and alight at Singyeongju Station in Gyeongju. The journey takes two hours. 

11. Pocheon

Pocheon is a hidden gem city you shouldn’t overlook while planning a Seoul day tour. Located a 1.5-hour bus ride from Seoul, it is the ideal destination for nature lovers. Here, you can find the Korea National Arboretum, a massive forest museum established to protect the centuries-old Gwangneung Forest. The arboretum holds 15 specialised forest zones, an exhibition hall, and a herbarium. 


Image credit (L-R): matthew willis, 하누리

If you love Korean sweets, head to Pocheon’s Hangwa Culture Museum. The museum showcases the history of Korean sweets or hangwa, and holds hands-on workshops where visitors can try their hand at making hangwa. On the second floor, there is a cafe serving seasonal hangwa and tea. 

How to get there: Get to Dong Seoul Bus Station (near Gangbyeon Station) and take bus 3000 or 3001 to Pocheon Bus Terminal. The journey takes 1.5 hours. 

Also read: 8 Hidden Wellness Gems in South Korea for a Therapeutic Escape From Your Busy Routine

12. Incheon

Incheon is a neighbouring city of Seoul and one of the easiest places for a Seoul day tour. The city is home to a vibrant Chinatown which started when Incheon opened its port in 1883. Chinese immigrants from the Qing Dynasty in Incheon Chinatown, turning it into the “Little China of Korea.” 

Incheon’s most iconic food is jajangmyeon. Immigrants from China’s Shandong region brought this black bean noodle dish to the city. There is a Jajangmyeon Museum in the Chinatown area where you can learn more about this fascinating piece of food heritage. The museum is housed in a building which used to be a jajangmyeon restaurant. 


Image credit: 張簡瑞璨

Another exciting attraction in Incheon is the Songwol Dong Fairytale Village. The village is a neighbourhood near Chinatown with many murals and sculptures of cartoon characters. Stroll along its brightly painted streets to take IG-worthy photos with Disney princesses, Pinocchio, Doraemon, and more. If you’re a K-drama fan, you might recognise the rainbow steps here from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim

How to get there: Incheon Station is on Subway Line 1, which runs from Seoul Station, Dongdaemun Station, and Yongsan Station among others. 

Also read: 10D9N in Incheon, Seoul, & Jeju: Rediscover Your Love for South Korea This Season

Venturing beyond Seoul may seem daunting but the planning will be all worth it in the end. These day trips will let you see a side of Korea that you won’t see in the capital, exposing you to the country’s rich history and natural heritage. 

Which of the above day trips from Seoul would you take? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page

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About Author

Joyce Lee
Joyce Lee

Joyce is an aspiring writer who lives on black coffee and Netflix. In her free time, she reads, goes for long walks at sunset, and dreams of faraway places.