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Photo: Famous Wonders

South Korea is an incredible country to explore. This wonderful nation offers an engaging blend of modern and traditional tourist destinations that draw lots of travelers throughout the world to visit South Korea.

But, do you know what to do in South Korea? Or what are the best places to visit in South Korea?Here is a list of some of favorite places in South Korea.

1. Changdeokgung Palace

Of the five grand palaces built by the Joseon Dyantasy in the 15th century around Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace was always the preferred royal residence. It's where the king and royal family lived their daily lives.

It's not one building, it's a complex of buildings, and each served a different purpose. Some are accommodations, some are libraries, dining rooms, and meeting rooms, among other uses. Be sure to spend some time in the 78-acre Huwon, or palace garden, located behind the palace. It's filled with pathways, green spaces, pagodas, streams, and lakes.

2. Jeju Island

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Photo: vervemagazine

Jeju island is known as a popular honeymoon destination for Korean newlyweds. The island is a black volcanic rock with outstanding scenery. The island is known for its natural lava tubes originating from the Geomunoreum volcano.

The dormant volcano Hallasan is situated right in the middle of the island, and it dominates the island’s skyline.Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea and a UNESCO Biosphere reserve containing a crater lake, waterfalls, multi-shaped rock formations, and rich flora and fauna.Another UNESCO World Heritage site in Jeju is Manjanggul Lava Tube Cave. It is one of the finest lava tunnels in the world and one of the best places to visit in Jeju.

Be sure to visit Jungmun Beach to see the diving women. These are women who free dive hundreds of feet to catch different types of seafood. This tradition started centuries ago, when the local men were all out on the fishing boats.

3. Busan

The second largest city in the entire country is Busan. It’s also a major port, and it is known for boasting beautiful beaches as well as hot springs and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

There's a lot of culture and history here, too. Be sure to visit the Beomeosa Temple and the hillside village of Gamecheon. Busan’s Gamcheon Cultural Village, known as the Santorini of Korea, is a stunningly colorful hillside community overlooking the water.

Seafood lovers should be sure to visit Jagalchi Market, the country's largest commercial seafood market. Part of the market is open to consumers, and there are many small restaurants that will cook up your purchase, so you can eat it right here.

4. Seoul Tower

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Photo: Local Insider

Seoul’s landmark attraction is none other than Namsan Seoul Tower, located atop Namsan Mountain in the center of the city. The tower draws in visitors year-round, and is most famous for its nightscape view of the city. For hallyu fans, the tower is a must-visit attraction, having been featured in dramas like “My Love From the Star (2013)” and “Legend of the Blue Sea (2016).”

The tower is near the top of Mount Namsan, and the entire area is Namsan Park, which is run by the city. There are miles of hiking trails to explore, all within a few minutes of downtown Seoul. Namsan Seoul Tower is a great place to spend an enjoyable evening with friends or loved ones while taking in the beautiful nightscape over a cup of coffee.

5. Gyeongju

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Photo: MyLittleAdventure

Perched on the south-east coast, Gyeongju is one of the best places in South Korea to visit if you love history. Gyeongju is a city with a vast amount of historic sights. The city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Treasures.

The most popular sights in Gyeongju are Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto which houses a 1000-year-old Buddha. Tumuli Park is another unique landmark in Gyeongju. Its hilly terrain is not natural — those are burial grounds for Silla Kingdom’s elite ruling class.

6. National Museum of Korea

The National Museum of Korea houses a vast collection of over 220,000 artifacts from ancient times to the modern era in a wide range of topics, including art and culture. The museum houses a Children's Museum, where visitors can learn more about the nation's history through educational programs and experiences. The outdoor grounds feature pagodas and other stone artworks too large to be on display inside.

In addition to galleries with a wide array of national and international pieces, the National Museum of Korea is the stage for a number of cultural activities related to collection, preservation, research and analysis, social training, academic publications, intercultural exchange programs, concerts, and more.

7. Seoraksan National Park

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Photo: yeudulich.com

Seoraksan National Park is an iconic park in the entire Korean peninsula that attracts several national and international tourists to visit it. The park is known for its natural diversity, as it has over 1,500 different animal species and over 1,000 different kinds of plants. There are also two Buddhist temples inside the park, one known as the "Temple of a Hundred Pools" due to all the ponds around it fed by mountain streams.

When you get tired of walking, there's a cable car that will take you up Seoraksan Mountain for some incredible views of the mountains and valleys. It takes about four hours by bus or three hours by car to reach the park from Seoul.

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