Hidden Gems In South Korea

9 Hidden Gems In South Korea You Must Visit In 2024


Farah Fazanna •  Nov 27, 2023

South Korea has long been a captivating destination for travellers around the world, known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, and stunning landscapes. As Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 unfolds, it promises to showcase the nation's beauty and diversity like never before! This initiative, spearheaded by the Korea Tourism Organization, aims to celebrate the country's unique charm and invites visitors to explore hidden gems beyond the well-trodden paths. Let’s delve into 9 hidden gems of South Korea, making your trip an unforgettable adventure!

1. Busan


Nestled on the southeastern coast, Busan is South Korea's second-largest city and a melting pot of tradition and modernity. While renowned for its bustling beaches and the famous Jagalchi Fish Market, there's more to Busan than meets the eye. Explore Gamcheon Culture Village, a kaleidoscope of colourful houses built along the mountainside, offering breathtaking views of the city and the sea.

For a taste of tranquillity, visit Beomeosa Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple with a history dating back to the 7th century. Its serene atmosphere and stunning architecture provide a stark contrast to the energetic vibe of the city. Busan is also home to the Beomeo Museum, showcasing cultural relics and artifacts, and providing insight into the region's rich history.

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2. Andong


Credit: Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

If you're a history enthusiast, Andong is a must-visit destination. Located in the southeastern part of the Korean Peninsula, Andong is often referred to as the "capital of Korean spiritual culture." One of the city's highlights is the Andong Hahoe Folk Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This traditional village preserves the architectural styles of the Joseon Dynasty, offering visitors a step back in time.

Andong is also famous for its annual Andong Mask Dance Festival, where vibrant masks come to life in traditional performances. The city's historic sites, including Dosan Seowon and Bongjeongsa Temple, provide further insight into Korea's Confucian heritage.

3. Jeonju

As the birthplace of the beloved Korean dish bibimbap, Jeonju is a food lover's paradise. But beyond its culinary delights, this city in the southwestern part of the country is steeped in history and culture. The Hanok Village, lined with well-preserved traditional Korean houses, is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and a feast for the eyes.

Jeonju is also home to the Jeonju International Film Festival, attracting cinephiles from around the globe. Explore the Jeonju Crafts Exhibition Hall to witness the city's dedication to preserving and promoting traditional crafts. With its vibrant arts scene and delectable cuisine, Jeonju is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered!

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4. Mokpo

For a coastal escape, Mokpo beckons with its picturesque scenery and maritime charm. Situated on the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula, Mokpo boasts a waterfront lined with historic buildings and a lively fish market. Yudalsan Mountain, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea, is a popular hiking spot.

History buffs will appreciate a visit to Gatbawi Rock, an iconic landmark with a stone carving of the Buddha. The Mokpo Modern History Museum provides insights into the city's evolution over the years. And, soar over Mokpo's scenic wonders with the Mokpo Marine Cable Car. Unrivalled views, a thrilling ride, and unforgettable memories – a must-do experience for adventurers and nature lovers alike! Mokpo is not just a port city but a gateway to the natural beauty of the surrounding islands, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil coastal retreat.

5. Gangneung

Nestled on the east coast, Gangneung is a coastal city celebrated for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. Anmok Beach is a popular spot for a leisurely stroll along the shore, accompanied by the fragrance of coffee from the nearby Coffee Street. For cultural immersion, visit Ojukheon House, the birthplace of the famous Confucian scholar Yi I.

Gangneung also plays host to the vibrant Gangneung Danoje Festival, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage event. The festival showcases traditional rituals, performances, and crafts, providing a glimpse into Korea's rich cultural tapestry. With its blend of nature and culture, Gangneung offers a unique and enriching experience for travellers.

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6. Rest and relax at these healing spots

High Healing One

Credit: High Healing One

Discover tranquillity in the deep mountains of Yeongwol at High Healing One, a meticulously nurtured garden offering a unique wellness program. Immerse yourself in Cloud Meditation and Singing Bowl Therapy on the forest healing trail, or indulge in indoor programs like yoga and tea ceremonies. For a comprehensive experience, try the 2-day stay program at Supaeseo, featuring a healing device program for body analysis and aqua therapy. For a refreshing encounter with nature, explore Samcheokwalgi Healing Forest's diverse trails, ranging from easy to challenging, and let the soothing sounds of the stream dissolve your worries.

7. Hallyu Heaven


Credit: @ tvbbcakes

No exploration of South Korea is complete without diving into the world of Hallyu, the global phenomenon of Korean pop culture. K-Dramas, K-Pop, and K-Beauty have captured the hearts of millions worldwide. As part of Visit Korea Year 2023-2024, immerse yourself in the Hallyu experience!

Seoul, the vibrant capital, is a Hallyu hub with entertainment districts like Gangnam and Itaewon. Visit entertainment agencies, attend live K-Pop performances, and explore themed cafes dedicated to your favourite dramas. The Korean Wave isn't just entertainment; it's a cultural phenomenon that has become a significant aspect of South Korea's global identity.

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8. K-Culture Travel Events 100

K-Culture Travel Events 100

Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

As part of Visit Korea Year 2023-2024, the K-Culture Travel Events 100 promises a diverse array of experiences for travelers. From traditional performances to modern art exhibitions, this initiative showcases the depth and breadth of Korean culture. Some of the events that you can catch include the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, Gangwon Snow Festa, and the 25th Seogwipo Winter Sea International Penguin Swimming Festival.

Participate in Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) fashion shows, witness traditional mask dances, and attend workshops on Korean crafts. Explore contemporary art galleries, savour the flavours of regional cuisines, and join in the festivities of local festivals. The K-Culture Travel Events 100 is a curated journey through the heart and soul of South Korea, offering travellers an immersive cultural experience.

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9. Plan Your Journey with Visit Korea Year 2023-2024

Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic

Credit: Korea Tourism Organization

As you embark on your South Korean adventure, the Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 initiative serves as your guide to unlocking the nation's hidden gems. The official website provides a wealth of information, including travel itineraries, cultural events, and practical tips for a seamless journey. Whether you're a history buff, a food enthusiast, a nature lover, or a K-Pop fan, South Korea has something extraordinary to offer during this special year of celebration!

Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 invites you to go beyond the ordinary and discover the hidden gems that make South Korea a truly captivating destination. From the coastal tranquillity of Mokpo to the cultural richness of Ganwon, each destination unveils a different facet of the country's charm. Embrace the Hallyu wave, immerse yourself in the K-Culture Travel Events 100, and let the beauty of South Korea unfold before your eyes. As you explore these hidden gems, you'll not only witness the past and present but also become a part of the vibrant tapestry that is South Korea!

This article is brought to you by the Korea Tourism Organization.