Best Day Trips From Seoul: 16 Terrific Trips Under 2 Hours Away - Updated 2021

best day trips from seoul

In recent years, the Korean wave has evolved into such a global phenomenon, that South Korea is quickly becoming a favourite Asian tourist destination. Travellers around the world are attracted to the country, with its scenic and dramatic locations, delicious food and unique culture.

If you’ve caught the Korean wave, you have probably already been to Seoul, at least once. Besides the vibrant capital’s exciting mix of modern skyscrapers and traditional cultural sites, there are many places that border Seoul, which make superb day trips. In this article, discover the five terrific day trips that are less than two hours away from Seoul!

Suwon, south of Seoul

As the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, Suwon is just about 30 kilometres (20 miles) away from Seoul. Getting to Suwon is quick and easy, either by Korail train, Seoul Subway or bus, in 32 to 62 minutes and tickets cost between 1,950 KRW (1.70 USD) to 2,700 KRW (2.40 USD). Read on for the top sights in the largest metropolis of Gyeonggi-do, so near to Seoul.

1. Hwaseong Fortress tour (from USD 71.0)

Designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in December 1997, Hwaseong Fortress (수원 화성) is undoubtedly Suwon’s top attraction. The magnificent fortress is representative of the 18th century’s Joseon Dynasty, constructed as a show of the king’s filial piety towards his father, and to build a new economically powerful pioneer city.

Start your climb of the fortress walls surrounding the city from its southern Paldalmun Gate (팔달문), designated National Treasure No. 402. Right smack in the middle of the vibrant city, Paldalmun Gate is detached from the three other gates of the fortress. Surrounded by modern shops and restaurants, the ancient crescent-shaped structure certainly makes an interesting spot for unique shots!

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Small-Group Morning Tour from Seoul

Duration: 4 hours

5 reviews

2. Hwaseong Haenggung (from USD 135.0)

Hwaseong Haenggung (화성행궁) is the biggest temporary palace, located outside of Seoul, during the Joseon Dynasty. Situated in the centre of Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress, this was where King Jeongjo used to stay when he paid respects at his father’s tomb or traveled during war times. Understand more about the second hometown of King Jeongjo through a guided tour (minimum 4 people) at Hwaseong Haenggung. It was featured in the classic Korean drama “Jewel In The Palace” and the Korean variety show “2 Days 1 Night”, so you will be able to find posters of the shows, on-site. Enjoy a game of traditional Korean archery, just like the king, at the archery site - Deukjungjeong (득중정) for a small fee of 2,000 KRW (1.75 USD).

Suwon Hwaseong and Folk Village from Seoul

Duration: 8 hours

2 reviews

3. Suwon Chicken Street

Yongsung Chicken
Source: Rachel G.

Koreans love to snack on fried chicken while enjoying beer with their family and friends. Follow what the locals do when you visit Suwon. Head to the famous Suwon Chicken Street (수원통닭거리) for a yummy treat, where you can find as many as 14 chicken restaurants that have been around for more than 40 years. For the best experience, head to Yongsung Chicken (용성통닭), located in the middle of the street, for a delightful chicken meal you won’t regret.

Read also: 5 Mouth-Watering Korean Food Not To Miss For Your Next Trip To Korea

Suwon Chicken Street (수원통닭거리) - Yongsung Chicken (용성통닭)

Address: 10-5 Paldallo 1(il)-ga, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Opening Hours: 11 am - 12.30 am. Closed every first and third Wednesday of each month.

Price: From 10,000 KRW (9 USD).

Access: 4-minute walk from Paldalmun Gate bus stop.

Contact: +82-31-242-8226

Yongin, to Seoul’s southeast

Located just east of Suwon, Yongin is a major city of Gyeonggi-do, almost as large as Seoul. The city’s urbanized districts are well-connected to downtown Seoul, within 40 minutes by car, subway and bus. Check out the many attractions in Yongin, for all to enjoy.

4. Korean Folk Village (from USD 106.0)

Created with the aim of presenting traditional Korean culture to visitors, all in one location, the Korean Folk Village (한국 민속촌) was established in 1974. Travel back in time as you enter the Joseon Dynasty village and its real houses, relocated and reconstructed from different parts of Korea. Gain insight into traditional Korean folk customs, through performances such as martial arts on horseback and tight-rope walking. The Korean Folk Village has also been featured in Korean variety shows, such as “Running Man” and the hit drama “My Love From The Star”.

Read also: Yongin Folk Village: A Cultural Heritage Site, South Korea

Seoul to Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village Tour

Duration: 8 hours

7 reviews

5. Everland Resort (from USD 82.0)

If you are into theme parks, make a stop at Everland Resort. Alongside its many thrilling rides, there are various themed festivals held in the park, all year round. Enjoy a scenic stroll through the beautiful gardens, amidst the differently themed architecture, even if you are not into rides. It is also home to the largest ecological safari world, where you can enjoy an amphibious car tour to see 150 animals, in the wild.

For water sports lovers, head to Caribbean Bay within the Everland Resort, where you can enjoy water amusement rides and swim and relax in hot spring waters. There is surely something for you in this world’s largest water park. Have fun at Everland Resort!

Admission to Everland Theme Park with Transport from Seoul

Duration: 6 hours

8 reviews

6. Bojeong-dong Café Street

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Cafes are everywhere in Seoul, but Yongin’s Bojeong-dong Cafe Street (보정동카페거리) stands out amidst the fierce competition. Lush greenery lines the street, filled with beautifully designed indie cafes, with diverse themes. Enjoy the greenery as you chill and relax over a cup of coffee or tea, at a cafe along Bojeong-dong Cafe Street.

Bojeong-dong Café Street (보정동카페거리)

Address: Bojeong-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

Access: Jukjeon Station, Seoul Subway Bundang line, Exit 1 - it is the street behind E-Mart.

7. Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley

Skiing at Yong Pyong Korea
Source: Photo by Flickr user Paul used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Many travellers visit Korea during winter, for a memorable ski experience. If you cannot afford to travel too far out of Seoul, Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley (양지파인리조트스키장), in Yongin, will be a perfect choice, for it is only an hour away from downtown Seoul.

Even if you have never skied before, don’t worry. There are different levels of ski slopes that cater to all visitors. You can also learn some useful tips from a professional instructor, through the ski lessons conducted in the resort. Have fun in the snow, at Yangji Pine Resort!

Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley (양지파인리조트스키장)

Address: 112, Nampyeong-ro, Yangji-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm, 6.30 pm - 11 pm from Monday to Saturday. Open from 8.30 am on Sunday and holidays.

Access: From Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Yongin via Yangji. Get off at Yangji Terminal, and take a shuttle bus or a taxi to Yangji Pine Resort.

Contact: +82-31-338-2001

Website: Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley

Paju, to the northwest of Seoul

Within an hour’s drive from Seoul is the charming cultural town of Paju, in Gyeonggi-do. The historical city may not be as populous as Suwon and Yongin in the south, but the diverse attractions that it offers certainly make it a great destination to visit, near Seoul.

8. Heyri Art Valley (from USD 48.0)

Heyri Art Valley (헤이리 예술마을) is a lovely cultural art village, where over 370 artistic professionals gather. Home to numerous boutique museums, art galleries, music halls and theatres, this is a fascinating place to visit for its quirky architecture and beautifully curated landscapes. Admire some of the finest works of modern art in Korea, at Heyri Art Valley, and soak in the pleasant bohemian air, away from the buzzing city life.

Provence Village, Paju Book City, & Heyri Art Valley Day Tour

Duration: 10 Hrs Duration

9 reviews

9. Imjingak Resort

Source: Photo by Flickr user Republic of Korea used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Witness the sharp change to a sombre mood at Imjingak Resort (임진각관광지), just a short distance away from Heyri Art Valley. Located 7 kilometres (4.3 miles) from the Military Demarcation Line, Imjingak Resort was built in 1972 with the hope that someday unification would be possible. This is the perfect place to experience a free and easy tour so close to the world’s most heavily militarized region without going through tight security checks.

Look out for the Freedom Bridge, which was used by returning South Korean soldiers, after the Korean War armistice was signed. On the bridge’s barbed wired fence are countless messages posted by families and friends of North Koreans, in hopes of the reunification of Korea. On a clear day, you can even spot North Korean mountains, near Kaesong, from the observatory deck.

Read also: Get A Peek At North Korea With A Visit To The DMZ

Imjingak Resort (임진각관광지)

Address: 148-53, Imjingak-ro, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Price: free admission. Fees vary by performance or exhibition.

Access: Transfer to the Gyeongui Line at Sangam DMC Station (Seoul Subway Line 6) or Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 4). Get off at Munsan Station. Get the tour train towards Dorasan Mountain and get off at Imjingang River stop.

Contact: +82-31-953-4744

Website: Imjingak Resort

10. Panmunjom Joint Security Area (from USD 159.0)

To experience a one-of-a-kind tour, where you will be the closest to North Korea without going through its customs, put Panmunjom Joint Security Area (판문점) on your itinerary. It is located in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), 50 kilometres (31.1 miles) north of Seoul and 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of the city of Gaeseong, in North Korea. Join a guided tour to this special area, most notably known for the peace talks that were held here on October 25, 1951, and on July 27, 1953, when the Armistice Agreement was signed.

Panmunjom and DMZ Join In Tour

Duration: 1 Day(s) Duration

125 reviews

Gapyeong, to Seoul’s northeast

Gapyeong is a small town, popular with travellers looking to enjoy a short break away from Seoul. If you are an avid Korean drama fan, you may already have been to Gapyeong to explore its appealing drama filming sites, without knowing that you have actually stepped foot in this lovely town!

11. Petite France (from USD 38.0)

Built in 2008, Petite France is a quaint French village, with a museum, workshops, restaurant, cafe and a guesthouse. It has been featured in many Korean dramas and variety shows, including Beethoven Virus, Secret Garden, Running Man and My Love From The Stars. Reenact your favourite drama scenes as you roam around the beautiful village. Fans of the classic French novel - Le Petit Prince will also be delighted to find the Little Prince theme park, alongside lovely murals illustrating characters from the novel.

Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, or Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour from Seoul by SA Tours

10938 reviews

12. Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park (from USD 63.0)

Also located in Gapyeong, is another theme park, the European-themed Edelweiss Swiss Theme Park (에델바이스 테마파크), where you can soak in the romantic Swiss atmosphere. Set in a picturesque location, overlooking the mountains, immerse yourself in the alluring Swiss ambiance, surrounded by gorgeous architecture, sculptures, and murals. Don’t forget to check out the various museums in the cultural village, such as the Swiss Chocolate Museum, Heidi Cheese Museum, and the Coffee Museum.

Edelweiss Swiss, Yangpyeong Dumulmeori, & Herb Island Lighting & Illumination Festival Tour

Duration: 11 Hrs Duration

111 reviews

Muuido Island, to Seoul’s west

Yearning for a great beach getaway when you are in Seoul? Muuido Island, to the west of Seoul, in Incheon province, makes an ideal destination in this case. Visible from Incheon International Airport, Muuido is a small but appealing island, popular with travellers seeking a convenient respite out of busy Seoul. Discover how to best enjoy this splendid island, less than two hours away from downtown Seoul!

13. Island hopping

Muuido | Silmi Beach
Source: Photo by Flickr user travel oriented used under CC BY-SA 2.0

There are two smaller islands, Silmido Island and Somuuido Island, near Muuido Island that you can hop to, for fabulous beaches and coastal scenery. Somuuido Island is connected to Muuido Island by a bridge. Admire the fabulous views of the East Sea, on Somuuuido Island.

For relaxing moments on a beautiful sandy beach, proceed to Silmi Beach (실미해수욕장). This is the perfect spot to hide away from the midday sun, as the pristine beach is stretched against the backdrop of a dense pine tree forest. At low tides, walk over to the uninhabited Silmido Island, for an interesting experience.

Muuido Island (무의도)

Address: 310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon

Opening Hours: Always open.

Price: Ferry ticket costs 2,000 KRW (1.75 USD) per adult, 1,400 KRW (1.25 USD) per child aged between 7 and 12. Free for children age 6 or below.

Access: From Incheon station or Dong-Incheon station (Seoul Subway Line 1), take city bus No. 306 bound for Eurwang-ri and get off at Geojampo. Walk 10 min to Jamjinnaru Ferry Terminal, Yeongjongdo Island, to take a ferry to Muuido Island.

Contact: +82-32-760-7114

14. Hiking on Muuido Island

Muuido Island from Ferry Dock
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ken Eckert used under CC BY-SA 4.0

There is more to Muuido Island than just beach related activities. Get on your feet with a two-hour hike up Horyonggoksan Mountain (호룡곡산), right outside the exit of Hanagae Beach. Be rewarded with stunning views overlooking the scenic island as you reach the peak of this 246-metre (807-foot) mountain.

Muuido Island (무의도)

Address: 310-11, Daemuui-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon

Opening Hours: Always open.

Price: Ferry ticket costs 2,000 KRW (1.75 USD) per adult, 1,400 KRW (1.25 USD) per child aged between 7 and 12. Free for children age 6 or below.

Access: From Incheon station or Dong-Incheon station (Seoul Subway Line 1), take city bus No. 306 bound for Eurwang-ri and get off at Geojampo. Walk 10 min to Jamjinnaru Ferry Terminal, Yeongjongdo Island, to take a ferry to Muuido Island.

Contact: +82-32-760-7114

Other destinations worth checking out

You will find numerous hidden gems within a day’s worth of travel around Seoul. Here are some places that are definitely worth checking out a car, fueling it up and heading out for!

15. Go on an Adventure at Bukhansan National Park (from USD 159.0)

An adventure as a side trip away from Seoul? Make you way to Bukhansan National Park! This area is located North of Seoul area and is easily accessible by means of the metro and a bus ride that will take visitors to the entrance of the park. Also known by the locals as Samgaksan, you will notice a lot of clear streams amidst mountainous views. There are also several Buddhist temples that you can visit in the area while taking a stroll. For hiking enthusiasts and beginners, there are quite a lot of trail options that can be finished in an average of 3 hours or more, depending on your pace. No matter the experience on hiking, all visitors will have the chance to enjoy the adventure. All the trails will take you to the top with a breathtaking view of Seoul! It is especially good to visit in autumn, when the leaves are transitioning from green to warm hues – and before winter finally comes in. What about costs? Visitors will only need to pay for their transportation since the mountain is free! As visitors, make sure to do your part on checking if this mountain is open and if the weather is suitable for a hike.

Hike and Explore the Wonder of Bukhansan National Park with hiking professional(including Lunch)

Duration: 6 hours

1 review

16. Experience Old Korea at Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village (from USD 179.0)

Have you ever wondered about what it would be like to travel back in time in Korea? Take a side trip to Gyeongju and visit the famous Gyochon Traditional Village! With Hanok houses still lining its streets, tourists can have an authentic cultural experience in this attraction. Visitors will learn about the famous and lavish lifestyle of the Choi clan while eating traditional Korean food which is sold in the stalls. Tea houses are open to serve those who might want to take a break from strolling. This attraction is also very near to Bulguksa Temple, another famous tourist spot found in Gyeongju. As for transportation, you have the option to take private tours from agencies or take a bus to Gyeongju from Seoul Express Bus Terminal. If you want to take a break from the big city, then this day trip is a good choice for all types of travelers!

Gyeongju UNESCO Sites Tour with Bulguk Temple and Seokguram

Duration: 8 hours

10 reviews

Fascinating day trips to look forward to

There is more to South Korea than just Seoul. Many interesting destinations in the surrounding Gyeonggi-do and Incheon are accessible in under two hours from downtown Seoul. Combine your Seoul trip by adding the above-mentioned destinations to your itinerary for an all-rounded Korea experience. Create wonderful travel memories without the need to travel long distances out of Seoul!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Rachel has forgotten when and exactly how she caught the travel bug. What she does remember is the triumphant feeling she enjoys when she sees the fascinating world out there with her own eyes. She...Read more

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