Korea is famous for its modern technology, amazing cities, and skyscrapers. However, what many people aren’t aware of is that Korea also features stunning natural beauty!
The country is full of misty valleys, tall mountains, calm seas, and tranquillity. And if you like warm weather, summer is a fantastic time to visit South Korea!
If South Korea is on your travel bucket list, don’t forget to contact your TierOne Travel Consultant to discover your next dream holiday to South Korea. Read on to learn more about why we think South Korea is an exciting travel destination in the following blog…
Getting to South Korea
You can easily get to Seoul from most major cities in Canada, with direct flights departing daily from Toronto and Vancouver with Korea Air and Air Canada. These flights arrive in Seoul at the Incheon International Airport the largest airport in South Korea and one of the busiest airports in the world! Some of the other popular airports in Korea are Gimhae International Airport in the city of Busan, Jeju International Airport on Jeju Island in Jeju City
and Gimpo International Airport another airport in Seoul.
Entry Requirements for Canadians
It is easy to travel to Korea as a Canadian. Just make sure you bring your valid passport and a Korea Electronic Travel Authority (K-ETA).
Canadians must be in possession of a Korea Electronic Travel Authority (K-ETA) to visit South Korea. Ensure that you are traveling with the same passport used to apply for your K-ETA.
Travelers must register their biometrics (fingerprints and facial scans) at their port of entry (children younger than 17 are exempt).
All travelers must provide a Negative COVID-19 PCR Test Result Certificate from a PCR test taken 48 hours prior to their departure date.
All travelers are required to take a PCR test within 24 hours after arriving in Korea.
Visitors must take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on their 6th or 7th day in Korea. To perform a RAT, visitors can either use a self-test kit or visit a nearby medical clinic.
These requirements are as of June 2022.
Getting Around South Korea
When it comes to getting around in Korea, it couldn’t be easier! The country boasts a truly remarkable bus and train network that connects virtually every place you could hope to visit. Transit is a perfect, efficient and affordable way to travel around South Korea and it is some of the best in the world!
Subway systems in large cities are the most efficient and easiest way to get around. Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon all have their own transit systems. Make sure to download a metro app like Subway Korea, Seoul Subway, or Kakao Metro.
Taxis in South Korea are safe, clean, and relatively inexpensive.
Getting from city to city is also easy. With access to high-speed trains, intercity buses and domestic flights, there are tons of opportunities to get around quickly and effectively.
Summer Weather in South Korea
South Korean summers occur during the rainy season and last from July to August. Korea often has very hot and humid summers. Although the average temperature usually sits around 35 degrees celsius, it can get as hot as 40 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature.
This time of year is also when Jangma (monsoon season) occurs. Jangma begins in June or early July and lasts 2-6 weeks. Japan and China protect South Korea from most of the area’s typhoons, but one or two still manage to travel through to South Korea each year during the summer months.
Best Summer Activities in South Korea
Summer in South Korea brings unique opportunities, making it a perfect time to visit. All over the peninsula, summer activities and festivals are abundant. No matter where you are in South Korea, there is a fun festival or event that you can take part in! It’s also a good idea to have some activities planned so you can escape the summer heat.
Things to Do in South Korea:
Relax on a beautiful beach
Escape the hot Korean summer by taking a dip in the waters of the many beaches around Korea. From Seoul, the east-coast beaches can be accessed in a bit over an hour. Two of the best beaches are Sokcho and Yangyang they are also the most popular. You can also plan a day trip to some of the islands around Korea for a real tropical getaway!
Explore Korea’s Cafe Culture
South Korea has so many uniquely-themed cafes. They’re a must-visit for some unique desserts and drinks! Seoul has over 18,000 coffee shops so one is never far off!
The best way to experience Korea’s cafe culture is to find unique cafes like cat cafes, flower cafes, board game cafes, virtual reality cafes, and toy cafes, all of which are actually quite popular in Korea!
Foodies will Love Trying Unique Summer Cuisine
Korea has amazing food year-round! Must-tries are authentic Korean barbeque, kimchi, Bibimbap and red rice cakes just to name a few. But in summer there are specific dishes available that travelers should definitely try out when traveling to Korea in the summertime!
- Nangmyeong (ice-cold noodles)
- Bibmnangmyeong (cold noodles with vegetables)
- Bingsu (sweet shaved ice)
- Samgyetang (Korean chicken soup)
- Kimchi Gugsu (spicy cold noodles)
- Kalguksu (seafood noddles)
- Oimuchim (spicy cucumber)
- Jeon (savoury pancake)
Enjoy Incredible Themeparks
Lott World is the world’s largest indoor theme park! It includes an outdoor amusement park called “Magic Island”, an artificial island inside a lake linked by a monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, the Korean folk museum, a water park, and movie theatres. Lotte World is located in Seoul and is made up of two main sections, the outdoor amusement park Magic Island the outdoor section, and Adventure the indoor section. With boat rides, merry-go-rounds, rollercoasters, bumper cars, playgrounds and more. It’s a great way to spend a summer day in Seoul!
Everland is Korea’s largest amusement park and vacation resort, it is located in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. It has water parks, hostels, speedways, golf courses and museums. Everland has 5 unique-theme zones, Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, European Adventure and Zootopia. Everland has a great number of rides. Like rollercoasters, water rides, virtual reality games, safaris and more!
It is the perfect amusement park for all ages!
Swim in the crystal clear waters of Jeju Island
Korea is home to many different islands and Jeju Island is South Korea’s largest one! It is famous for its beautiful landscape scenery and outdoor activities like paragliding. It is considered to be the Hawaii of Korea since it is similarly surrounded by breathtaking beaches, rolling mountains, and even volcanoes!
Some of the top things to do while on Jeju Island are to hike up mountains or to waterfalls, scuba diving and snorkelling, visit Jeju Venice Land, a lovely theme park resembling Italian architecture and lifestyle, experience the unique Teddy Bear Museum, and of course, spend time relaxing on a beach.
Definitely worth a visit if you want to escape the cities and enjoy beaches and adventures.
Hike up Korean mountains.
Korea has a ton of mountains, and nearly every city has its own! Seoul itself has numerous, such as Bukhansan, Namsan and Naksan. There are hikes for everyone from easy quick hikes to more challenging treks that can take a whole day!
There are 22 national parks in South Korea, so there is plenty to explore. Such as the beautiful Dadohaehaesang (South Korea’s largest national park) or Seoraksan (the most popular national park) just to name a couple.
Hang out along the Han River in Seoul
The Han River flows right through the centre of the capital. Summer is the best time of the year to visit the Han River. There are many festivals that take place along the river. Walking or biking along the Han River is a wonderful experience. Bikes can be rented for less than $1 per hour.
Explore Temples and Palaces
If you’re looking for a traditional experience, visit some of the many palaces and temples located around Korea. The must-see palaces in Seoul are Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung Palace as well as over 900 Buddhist Temples around the country! Some of the must-see temples and palaces to see outside of Seoul are the Donghwasa Temple located in the city of Daegu and the Haedong Yonggung Temple in Busan, just to name a couple.
Visit The Pocheon Art Valley
A perfect day trip from Seoul, is the Pocheon Art Valley, a great place to spend the afternoon. The city of Pocheon has turned an old abandoned rock quarry into a park where you can wander around and enjoy the scenery and all that the park has to offer. Take a monorail (or walk) up the hill to the beautiful rock quarry that is now filled with spring and rain water. This is a perfect spot to have a picnic. There is also an outdoor stage on the water where there will sometimes be live performances. In this area, you can also, enjoy outdoor sculptures, a space museum, a cafe, and all the natural beauty that surrounds the area.
Summer Festivals in South Korea
Attending a summer festival is a great way to experience unique cultural activities. Here are some of the most popular festivals that happen during summer in Korea:
- Bucheon International Film Festival
- An international film festival is held annually in July in Bucheon, South Korea. The festival focuses on South Korean and international horror, thriller, mystery and fantasy films.
- Boryeong Mud Festival
- For two weeks every July the popular Boryeong Mud Festival occurs. With mud wrestling, mud sliding and mud swimming, this is the number one Korean festival to experience! Boryeong mud is high in minerals, which makes it beneficial for the skin which is how the festival came to be- to promote cosmetics made from the region’s mud. Other than the muddy activities make time to see fireworks displays and live performances!
- Busan Sea Festival
- The Busan Sea Festival happens at five beaches in Busan, Haeundae, Gwangalli, Dadaepo, Songdo, and Songjeong. Enjoy the festival by participating in different events each day like mini pools and water guns along with bands, EDM performances, and more!
- Pentaport Rock Festival
- The Pentaport Rock Festival is a rock festival which is held annually in Incheon, South Korea for three days at the end of July. It is one of the biggest live music events in South Korea!
- Pohang International Fireworks Festival
- The Pohang International Fireworks Festival is held at Yeongildae Beach in Pohang. The festival features a fireworks competition, a parade of lights, street performances, and a range of hands-on activities.
- Muju Firefly Festival
- The Muju Firefly Festival takes place at the end of August in the pure environment of Muju, a natural habitat for fireflies and the marsh snails the fireflies feed on. See fireflies, and learn about astronomy, the festival offers many other attractions and activities to learn more about the beautiful nature and creatures that live in it.
- The Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival
- The festival takes place every July during the summer’s peak when the lotus flowers bloom. The festival is based on a historical love story, with programs and performance events focused on story delivery. Enjoy fireworks, a canoe experience, air balloon rides and more!
Must-Do Activities in South Korea
Check out the Free Museums in Seoul
- National Folk Museum
- Located within the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Jongno-gu, Seoul. The National Fold Museum uses replicas of historical objects to illustrate the history of the traditional life of the Korean people.
- National Museum of Korean Contemporary History
- The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History is located in Gwanghwamun Square, a site of historic and symbolic importance. The Museum is a place to remember the modern and contemporary history of Korea.
- Agricultural Museum
- This museum chronicles the history of Korea’s agriculture. Learn about the history of making kimchi and even learn how to make it in one of the classes offered. Outside the museum, there are numerous examples of popular plants from around Korea, including a rice paddy.
- National Museum
- The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea. More than 12,044 pieces are always on display in the museum’s six permanent exhibitions.
Visit the DMZ
A popular thing for travelers to do in South Korea is to travel a 48km trip north of Seoul to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where evidence of the Cold War still resides. Once at the DMZ you can see into North Korea from a safe and secure location. The only way to get to the DMZ is through a tour! So get your TierOne Travel Consultant to book your tour to the DMZ while planning your South Korea trip.
Seoul is Korea’s largest city and the perfect place to start your Korean adventure since this is most likely where your flight will land. Travelers might as well stay here a few days to explore (or make it their home base for the entire trip!).
Seoul offers travellers a wide variety of activities from visiting Joseon Dynasty Palaces, traditional hanok villages (a Korean traditional village), museums, shopping markets, and seeing street artists perform on Insa Dong Street to present-day culture including K-Pop and filming locations of the ever-popular K-Drama Series. Visit one of Seoul’s night markets where the streets are lined with food stalls and the city is at its liveliest! Get your souvenirs at Myeong-dong, the go-to area for shopping and also one of the most popular shopping hubs in Seoul! Admire the lovely city views from the N Seoul Tower and visit the Gangnam District in the district people love to be fashionable and trendy. Seoul is a great place that all tourists should explore when traveling to Korea.
Go See a Baseball Game
Baseball is by far the most popular team sport in South Korea! Watch a game, take in the atmosphere, drink beer and eat game snack food! There are three professional baseball teams in Seoul. The LG Twins and Doosan Bears both share the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in southeast Seoul. The other baseball team in Seoul is the Nexen Heroes, they use the Mokdong Baseball Stadium in the west of Seoul. Game goers can easily get to the stadiums on the subway system. There are also baseball teams all throughout the country. The baseball season runs from March to September.
ENJOY K-Pop Concerts
Experience amazing choreographed dance routines, screaming fans, and catchy tunes and have a truly unforgettable night and a unique experience enjoying a K-pop concert. K-pop is super popular in South Korea! You could even go on tour all about K-pop, from practicing dances to learning about the culture and history behind K-pop, there’s more to K-pop than meets the eye!
Shop in One of the Many Convenience Stores
Convenience stores are essential in Korean culture. There are plenty of things you can do at the many Korean convenience stores, from grabbing a quick snack or having a full meal to quickly finding emergency necessities. Make sure to try all the Korean snacks that you can’t get anywhere else!
Learn Some of the Korean Language
Here are some basic phrases that will be helpful while traveling through Korea and will help you connect more with the locals. Try to learn even more words and phrases once you’re there!
- Yes – 네 (ne)
- No – 아니요 (a-ni-yo)
- Hello – 안녕하세요 (an-nyeong-ha-se-yo)
- Thank you – 고맙습니다 (go-map-seum-ni-da)
- You’re welcome – 천만에요 (cheon-man-e-yo)
- Excuse me – 실례합니다 (sill-ye-ham-ni-da)
- Ok – 괜찮아요 (gwaen-chan-a-yo)
- I don’t know – 몰라요 (mollayo)
- Sorry – 미안합니다 (mi-an-ham-ni-da)
- Goodbye – 안녕히 가세요 (an-nyeon-ghi ga-se-yo)
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO TRAVELING THE WORLD AGAIN?
We’ve got your back! When you’re ready to book your next getaway, contact one of our TierOne Travel agents. They will find the perfect place for your next vacation and will craft something incredible that is suited to your unique needs and will make sure your travel plans will be as stress-free as possible.
One call; endless experiences!
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