Top Trips to Take while Teaching in South Korea

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Teach In South Korea Program

Authored By:

Kyleah P.

South Korea is approximately 38,623 square miles compared to the U.S.’s size of approximately 3,119,885 square miles. You know what this means? It means accessible traveling for tourists and English teachers alike! 

Due to this fact, I have been fortunate enough to be able to explore multiple different equally well-known and unknown cities. Currently, I have explored Ulsan (where I currently live and work), Busan, Seoul, Daegu, Incheon, Gangneung, Yeosu, Jeonju, Gyeongju, Pohang, Daejeon, Suwon, and Geoje. And I plan to explore many more! 

Getting 13 cities down and explored in the span of a year and a half is a wild thought to me considering the USA is very vast making day trips almost impossible and weekend trips 12 hour drives. Aaaaannnnd gas is expensive… So, now I am glad that I live in a country where I can take advantage of each city's close proximity to one another. 

Now let’s get to the good part!  Each of these thirteen cities that I have visited had their own sparks and things that made them special or different from the last, but I am going to break the list down into my top 5 cities otherwise we would be here all day!


5. Yeosu

Here at number 5, we have the coastal city of Yeosu, South Korea. This city is in the southern part of Korea. It has beautiful ocean views and a famous black stone beach that you walk along and take aesthetic pictures. It also has many cafes with delicious desserts and excellently brewed coffee. Many of them are along the beaches or ocean so you can enjoy your coffee with a beautiful ocean view. 

In order to get to this city,  (the easiest way) you will have to take the intercity bus instead of the KTX. The trip from my city, Ulsan, was about 2 ½ hours from where I live. I traveled to Busan first in order to have a straight shot to Yeosu instead of transferring buses midway through. You can purchase intercity bus tickets online or in the app intercity bus global. Or you can visit your local intercity bus terminal and purchase it in person. The buses here do not sell out as quickly as the KTX train tickets so most of the time you should be okay to purchase same day tickets. But if you are a planner, like me, then I would suggest the app or going in person a couple days before your trip.    


4. Jeonju


At number 4 we have the more traditional city of Jeonju. Many places in South Korea have traditional temples, palaces, homes, etc. but I think that Jeonju was one of my favorites. While staying there for a weekend, my friends and I were able to stay in a hanok style accommodation. Hanok is traditional Korean architecture and interior layout. Here, you take your shoes off and leave them outside your door. You also sleep on a floor mattress. Our hanok had two floors with the top floor being a loft area. It was really interesting and beautiful. I highly recommend staying in a hanok style place at least once while here! You can find them on airbnb,,, or a simple google search! 


For the weekend, we had quite a filled itinerary. We made sure to explore the cultural town street’s shops, stop for Jeonju’s famous bibimbap for lunch(rice, vegetables and a red sauce mixture), go see a temple, eat some street food from the market down the street, and rent hanbok (Korean traditional wear). 


3. Seoul

seoul forest

Next, at number 3, we are the famous city of Seoul. This is the city in South Korea that everyone is always talking about and with good reason. Seoul has a lot to offer with it being the most populated city in South Korea and the place that everyone wants to be in or live. With a simple google search or TikTok scroll, you can find lists upon lists of what Seoul has to offer from cafes to art exhibitions and amusement parks to observatories. 

I have lived in South Korea for a year and a half now and each time I visit Seoul, I have always done or seen something new despite traveling to some of the same places. Seoul is an ever changing city that basically offers something new every month. During the day on my weekend trips to Seoul, I have enjoyed exhibitions (I have gone to the Groundseesaw in Myeongdong for Alice (PIC) in wonderland show), shopping (at department stores, underground shops, and local thrift stores), art galleries, the infamous Hongdae shopping Street, themed cafes (the most notable being the Harry Potter one (Cafe 943 in Hongdae) and Kiki’s delivery) , amusement parks (like Lotte World), foreign and food markets (like the large one in Myeongdong), etc. 

In the evening, you can also enjoy the nightlife Seoul has to offer if that’s your vibe! They have very nice bars/pubs in Hongdae and Itaewon. There are clubbing streets with places that play hip-hop and EDM music. However, when clubbing be prepared to be told no foreigners at some points. Korean establishments have the right to restrict access to their property due to there being no discrimination laws in South Korea. Some clubs in Seoul flip flop between allowing and not allowing foreigners inside. So, a place that let you in last weekend may not let you in another weekend due to something happening (usually fights breaking out or damages). If clubbing and drinking is not your style then you can still enjoy all the daytime activities during the night since South Korea as a whole is a night owl country. Places here are open quite late with a fair few being 24/7.  


2. Incheon

Disco Pang

Taking the number 2 spot on my list is the city of Incheon. Now, obviously most people know this city because this is the place most of us have or will fly into due to the airport being here. However, typically after people’s flights are over, they never think of visiting Incheon again until their own departure or other trips outside the country. Buuuuttt, Incheon has a lot to offer and I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting South Korea to explore it at least once. 

I stayed in Incheon for a weekend with one of my friends and we had done our research the week before and were set with an itinerary. It took us a while to get there since we had to take the KTX from Ulsan to Seoul for 2 ½ hours then transfer to the Incheon airport subway for another hour and 15 minutes to our accommodation. The place we stayed at was new and offered to hold our luggage on our check out day. It was also located right next to the water and the outdoor amusement park that we wanted to visit. So Friday night was full of settling in and enjoying some delicious food. Saturday we explored the outdoor amusement park and rode the Disco Pang Pang (a famous ride in Korea that spins you around and you have to simply hold on, the controller talks and cracks jokes to the riders and tries to make people fall. It is quite funny and enjoyable!) like 5 times. After the ride we explored the strip by the water, ate some food and went to an outdoor arcade. Sadly, we didn't win anything :(... But that's okay because Sunday made up for Saturday's losses. 

On Sunday, we went to Cimer Spa. If you watched Singles’ Inferno then you may recognize this place. It was one of the date ideas for an episode on the show and rightfully so. Cimer Spa has a lot to offer with you paying 50,000 won ($37) for 5-6 hours at the spa. They have a huge swimming pool on the first floor, a water slide, a sauna, multiple hot tubs and pools on the roof, a jimjilbang (Korean style sauna), and a digital pool room. This is honestly one of my favorite experiences in South Korea so far, so I highly recommend visiting with your friends!!



Aaaaannnndddddd in the TOP spot of my list, I have placed the city of Gangneung. Home of the filming locations for BTS and the kdrama: Goblin. Gangneung is a beautiful place on the coast in the Northeast. The beaches, in my opinion, are better than those of even Busan. The water is so clear and the ocean is never ending as you look out. Along the beaches you can find the BTS bus stop and take a picture inside. Meeting other ARMYs made the experience more enjoyable as well as the surprise visit from a Korean character who danced to BTS ‘Permission to Dance’.

In Gangneung you can also visit aesthetic cafes with a water view of Jumunjin Beach in front of the famous Goblin set. This is the perfect spot to just relax with friends and enjoy your time before heading out onto the town. My friends and I explored the nightlife a little and it was …lively! I recommend Gangneung if you are a kpop or kdrama fan, looking to relax, or looking to party. This city fits the vibe for all occasions!