15 Hidden Gems in South Korea You Should Not Miss Out

Traditional Houses in Minsokchon

Korea is a hot spot for amazing views and unique experiences. If you’re interested in going to Korea, you must already know some famous landmarks! But, it’s likely that places such as Lotte World or Jeju Island will be on everyone’s bucket list too.

Now hold on! What if we told you that you could enjoy Korea’s spectacular views without worrying about the crowds? You can experience an intimate connection with Korea’s landscape by visiting these hidden gems.

Keep reading if you want to know more about some of Korea’s most underrated travel spots!

1. Cheonggyesan Mountain

Cheonggyesan Mountain in Autumn

Spring flowers, historic temples and a fantastic view await you at Cheonggyesan Mountain. From the peak, you can see valleys and lush greenery as far as the eye can see. Moreover, the exciting hike will lead you to natural parks and interesting shops!

You can get here by taking a train to Yangjae Station and riding a bus to the Cheonggyesan bus stop. It’s best to visit the mountain during the spring (April to Early May). Around this time, pink azaleas and yellow forsythias will be in full bloom!

Azaleas in Cheonggyesan Mountain

Most of the time, only locals visit the well-cared for trails of the mountain. Foreign visitors may not even know such a gem exists! So, you can definitely avoid the crowds and enjoy a relaxing hike here.

2. Jangsado Sea Park

Bridge in Jangsado Island

You’ll definitely fall in love with the beauty of Jangsado in Tongyeong. The natural eco-park is home to different species of birds, plants, and trees.

Hydrangeas in Jangsado Sea Park

In the summer, you’ll see hydrangeas and evergreen trees enveloping the scenery. And in the winter, you can gaze at thousands of beautiful camellias in full bloom!

On top of that, the coastal views will not disappoint! You’re just a ferry away from Korea’s urban centers to visit this majestic place.

3. Hwangmaesan County Park

Flowers in Hwangmaesan County Park

This natural wonder in Hwangmaesan mountain boasts the most gorgeous field of flowers. Colorful azaleas fill the landscape with the most vivid colors. At sunrise, the view looks even more majestic as the changing sky shines over the flowers.

Historical Building in Hwangmaesan County Park

A sea of silver grass also stretches over the valley. When hit by the rays at sunset, the waves of grass look like shining gold!

You can get to the mountain by taking a bus from Hapcheon. The mountain also offers camping facilities if you want to stay the night. Just be sure to bring a flashlight to help you on your hike.

4. Jebudo Island

Jebudo Island Rocks

Jebudo Island is a literal hidden gem because it only opens up twice a day when the tides separate! Located in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do, this island makes for a unique coastal experience. To get there, you just need to ride a bus or even walk across the sea to enter on foot!

Road and Mud Flat in Jebudo Island

During high tide, you can splash around in the waves. In low tide, you can walk along the exposed coastline and even catch shellfish. But, the most interesting thing to do is watch how the sea parts before the island!

There are cultural attractions such as an art park built with shipping containers. There’s also a walking trail from the lighthouse to the Tapjaesan mountain. Here, you can see the seagulls flying about and appreciate the island in all its glory.

5. Gyejoksan Mountain Red Clay Trail

Gyejoksan Red Clay Mountain Trail

Ever wanted to go on a unique hiking adventure? Then, the Gyejoksan Mountain Trail is for you. To get the full experience, hikers should walk barefoot and feel the red clay ground directly!

It might seem uncomfortable, but the red clay will actually do wonders for your feet as you hike. Red clay helps cool your feet and soothes any aches caused by the long walk.

Red Clay Trail in Gyejoksan Mountain

Different exhibits on the benefits of red clay also line the trail path. Every May, there’s even a barefoot marathon held during the Gyejoksan Mountain Festival!

6. Windy Hill in Geoje Island

Windy Hill in Geoje Island

When you see a green hill with a vibrant, red windmill overlooking the coast, you know you’re in the right place. Windy Hill got its name from visitors who became huge fans of the place. And with good reason!

On top of the hill, you can also see fields of beautiful lallang. This serene spot is also perfect for watching the sunset. Here, you can see the golden rays mingle with the landscape, creating the most romantic scene ever!

View in Geoje Island

Fresh air, the view of the bright blue ocean, and lush greenery are some of the things you’ll love about this serene hill. It’s definitely one of the most picture-perfect spots in Korea. Afterwards, you can go to the Dojangpo Fishing Village nearby for fresh seafood.

7. Yongma Land

Attraction in Yongma Land

Found in Seoul, this abandoned park has become a giant urban attraction. The park’s unique aesthetic makes it perfect for taking cool pictures. Disconnected rollercoasters and other run-down rides add to the edginess of the place.

Carousel in Yongma Land

Yongma Land even appears in different K-Pop music videos, like that of TWICE and BEAST! The big, vintage carousel is the most well-known spot in the park. When lit up at night, it makes the park even more enchanting and mysterious.

To explore the amusement park, make sure you reach out to the owner first. If you’re up for it, you can test your courage and visit the park after the sun sets. The park is pretty secluded, so it can get quite creepy at night!

Read More: Best Hidden Gems In Seoul

8. Dongpirang Mural Village

Interesting Mural in Dongpirang

One of the more underrated mural villages in Korea is this village in Tongyeong-si. Eye-catching murals decorate the quirky neighborhood in every corner.

You’ll see every kind of art here! From comical designs to amazingly realistic art created with the most professional details. The cheerful atmosphere in the village makes it the perfect place to go for a relaxing stroll.

Colorful Mural in Dongpirang

Dongpirang’s bustling local scene is definitely worth exploring. Dessert stalls and quaint shops line the paths of the mural walls. You can reenergize yourself by grabbing some ice cream. You can also try the city’s signature honey bread called Kkulbang

9. Heyri Art Valley

Sculptural Bridge in Heyri Art Valley

Heyri Art Valley in Paju-si is a neighborhood of creativity and festivity. The whole complex is a living masterpiece, with artworks displayed along the streets. Walking through here would be like visiting a giant outdoor art museum.

Sculpture in Heyri Art Valley

But even when you’re in this quirky, modern valley, you can still enjoy the wonderful feats of nature! Overlooking hills and forest paths stand with pride near the center of the art valley. One of these is the “Barrier-Free Forest Trail”, where you can glimpse at North Korea beyond the river.

This artistic valley is a lively, cultural district with lots of things to do and explore! If you’re interested in either traditional or modern arts, this place is for you.

10. Namyangju Joan

Landscape in Namyangju

Joan-myeon in Namyangju is the first slow city in the region. Right inside the Seoul metropolitan area, you can find this rustic and traditional city. For those looking for a break from the busy city, Namyangju definitely has something for you.

Despite being so close to the metro, the city offers serene views of nature. Along their well-paved bike road, you can see vast green landscapes and lotus fields. The city also has a rich culture, with temples and traditional houses to visit.

Lotus Field in Namyangju

Various seasonal experiences are also available for travelers. You can join a dry straw crafting classroom, and bake organic cookies. Also, you can even pick your own fresh, organic strawberries from the field!

11. Namhansanseong Fortress

Autumn in Namhansanseong

Namhansanseong is definitely one of the best hidden gems in South Korea that you really should add to your itinerary!

It’s one of the most well-hidden, historic places to visit in Korea. Bright autumn trees and scenic views surround this historic fortress. Over 12 kilometers long, the fortress was even recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2014.

Path in Namhansanseong Fortress

Well-preserved castle walls line the hiking trail. You’ll encounter structures built all the way back during the Joseon dynasty. The palace built within the fortress served as a substitute palace for the royals in times of war.

Namhansanseong also doesn’t fall short in its scenery. Pine trees line the trails and from above the towering walls, you can see Gwangju-si from up high!

12. Osiria Coastal Trail

Rock Formations in Sirangdae

The Osiria coastline offers breathtaking sights that you can’t see from Busan’s urban area. This coastal walking trail connects the Haedong Yonggunsa seaside temple with Ananti Cove. As you journey through the trail, you’ll witness some magnificent views on land and out at sea.

Temple in Orangdae

There are a lot of hidden spots which you can only encounter on foot. From Sirangdae , you can walk along the rocky and marble white cliffs towering over the waves. Continuing on to Orangdae (오랑대), you’ll be able to see ​Yongwangdan, a temple for the Dragon King built on a large rock.

The Osiria Coastal Walk is an adventure you have to go on!

13. Han’Guk Minsokchon

Traditional Houses in Minsokchon

Stepping foot in this village will make you feel like you’ve traveled back to the Joseon period!   This Korean Folk Village has authentic hanoks and other traditional buildings. Here, you can admire the ancient architecture without worrying about the crowds.

Cultural Performers in Minsokchon

Timeless Korean folk dance performances make the place even more lively. If you’re a fan of historical K-dramas, then you will definitely love this place. The village even served as a filming location for a lot of different dramas!

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14. Taehwagang National Garden

Landscape of Taehwagang Park

Located near the Taehwagang River, this well-preserved garden is rich in natural wonders. The water here is so fresh that you can drink directly from the river! Within the garden, you can also find a bamboo forest beside canola and forage barley fields.

Bamboo Forest in Taehwagang Park

This large garden has plenty of sights to explore. You also don’t have to worry about crowds here as only locals visit the area most of the time. Taehwagang’s picturesque landscape is a must-see for any nature lover!

15. Oedo-Botania

Aerial view of Oedo Botania Main Garden

Found on an island in Hallyeohaesang, this exclusive garden features a romantic landscape. In spring, the flowers bloom beautifully, filling the garden with specks of color. The garden’s brilliant design and marble-like statues add elegance to the scenery.

Observatory in Oedo Botania

From the island café, you can also view the beauty of nearby islands and admire the glimmering blue waves. You can only reach the island via a ferry tour. If ever you’re in the area, you should definitely consider visiting this wonderful place!

That’s it for our list of the best hidden gems in South Korea!

Did this article make you want to explore the country even more? Thinking about visiting these places has us excited too! Let us know in the comments if you know more about some underrated travel spots in Korea.

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