[UPDATED 26 Jan 2020]
Planning your Korea itinerary but don't know which cities to cover? Well, the obvious answer would be Seoul, Busan and Jeju of course! Not only are these cities packed full of amazing cultural sights, but they're also home to yummy, halal and Muslim-friendly Korean cuisine! ?
To make your planning easier, we've put together an awesome 10D9N Korea itinerary for you. All you have to do now is to pack your luggage and take the next flight out! ✈️Credit: giphy
Travelling to Seoul from Incheon
It’s pretty easy to get from Incheon airport to Seoul! If you’re travelling light, the subway is really convenient but if you’re dragging your luggage, the airport limousine bus is a good alternative that’s not crazy expensive. Check out their website for the bus routes and timings or just head to the information counter after you land!
Take it easy on your first day and scope out the shopping scene at everyone’s favourite shopping area in Seoul – Myeongdong! Even if you’re not a shopaholic, it’s fun to experience the atmosphere.
Shop till you drop at Myeongdong (4 hours)
- Explore the main shopping area of Myeongdong and shop for everything and anything from skincare products, cosmetics, fashion accessories, K-pop merchandise and more!
- Chill out with our favourite furballs at Cat’s Playground
- Feeling hungry? Then drop by Kampungku Restaurant for their yummy Korean fried chicken, stews and even Malaysian food! Once done, shop for halal Korean snacks and souvenirs at Kampungku Mart.
Visit the iconic N Seoul Tower (2 hours)
- Skip the cable car and hike up Namsan to head to N Seoul Tower or take a public bus.
- If you're going on foot, enjoy the serene atmosphere at Namsan Park - it is really beautiful in spring and autumn!
- Snap a shot at the iconic love locks.
- Head up the N Seoul Tower and get a bird's eye view of Seoul
Try yummy halal Korean food in Itaewon (3 hours)
- Trek up the hill and visit the Seoul Central Masjid
- After burning some calories, visit a halal Korean eatery and try authentic halal Korean food!
It’s time to put on your walking shoes and experience traditional Seoul (perhaps even try on a hanbok)!
Say hello to King Sejong (1 hour)
- Head over to Gwanghwamun Square and ‘meet’ the King who created the Korean alphabet (along with many other inventions), King Sejong the Great. (That's his statue all the way in the background!)
- Learn more about Korean history in the exhibition hall below the square.
Learn about Korean royalty at Gyeongbokgung (2.5 hours)
- Before visiting Gyeongbokgung, check out the changing of guards right in front of the palace. Remember to check the timings.
- Sign up for the free walking tour around Gyeongbukgung (2 hours). Trust us, it will make your experience a whole lot better when you learn about the history behind each of the different buildings and palaces!
Insadong (2.5 hours)
- Head to the traditional area of Seoul - Insadong and visit Ohsegyehyang, a Korean vegetarian eatery, for lunch. Make sure to get their Jajjangmyeon (bean paste noodles).
- Walk down the past-meets-modern street and shop for little trinkets
- Take some time to visit the traditional teahouses and try a cup of Korean tea with rice cakes
Step into the past at Bukchon Hanok Village (2 hours)
- Try on a hanbok at the Bukchon Hanok Homestay Information Center or check out how we rented our hanbok with Klook in our 5D4N Seoul itinerary!
- Go trigger happy with your camera at the various photo spots and pose for countless of photos with your travel buddies.
Walk down the streets of Samcheongdong (2 hours)
- Pop in the uniquely quaint shops and cafes in the traditional Korean houses
- End your day with dinner at Itaewon OR
Dongdaemun (2 hours / however long you think you can go)
- If you've got the stamina to keep going, check out the grilled fish alley in Dongdaemun and grab dinner there! Do note that as none of the stalls there are halal-certified, we recommend that you do your necessary checks and dine at your own discretion.
- Experience late-night shopping like never before as there are many shops and malls in Dongdaemun that operate 24h or open till late!
Experience Mother Nature in Nami Island (5-6 hours)
- Explore the island on a bike (it’ll take around an hour to cycle around the island) or hop on the electric tour car for a quick tour of Nami's hidden gems.
- Take a leisure stroll down the different walking paths lined with trees for all seasons. Our favourite is definitely spring and autumn!
- Go animal spotting
- Take your iconic Korean drama photos at the famous Winter Sonata photo spot
- Have lunch at DongmunAsian Family Restaurant and try their halal Korean food OR take a taxi from Gapyeong Ferry Terminal to Namisum Kko Kko Chuncheon Dakgalbi (남이섬꼬꼬춘천닭갈비) or Nami Ok to try halal dakgalbi(spicy stir-fried chicken).
- #HHWT Tip: Need to do your prayers while at Nami Island? Check out the prayer room on the 2nd floor of the Baplex.
Drop by Gangchon Rail Bike Park and Petite France (3 hours)
- To make your day out of Seoul more worth it, we recommend visiting Gangchon Rail Bike Park and Petite France!
- On our previous trip to Seoul, we booked a day tour of all 3 attractions on Klook (complete with halal food!) and enjoyed our time ?
- Gangchon Rail Bike Park used to be a functioning railway track but it now offers bike lovers 6km of trails and four themed tunnels to pedal on as you take in the gorgeous scenery.
- Fun fact: It was also the filming location for the Korean variety show, Running Man.
- If you're looking for someplace that's super IG-worthy, Petite France is perfect for you!
- Modelled after a French village, here’s where you can experience a little slice of Europe in Korea with bright and colourful houses making the perfect backdrop for photos ?
Snap an Instagrammable picture at the Starfield Library (1 hour)
- Start your morning right at the Starfield Library located in the Starfield COEX Mall. This picturesque library went viral when it opened 2 years ago due to its towering bookshelves.
- One of our favourite spots for photos is on this escalator with the backdrop of the famous bookshelf. Do note that you might have to wait a while before getting that unobstructed shot!
Get a taste of Europe at Garosugil (3 hours)
- Spend the rest of your day exploring the trendy Garosugil area!
- The area has become a cool hangout spot in recent years as many celebrities tend to frequent the area and introduce new places to their fans. So, many young Koreans actually come here for a chance to spot their favourite stars!
- Window shop at the quirky indie fashion shops in the area (Psst, for the shopaholics, there’s a gigantic Forever 21 outlet right at the start of the street!)
- Don’t miss a visit to the LINE Friends Store! You’ll be greeted with a huge figure of Brown and plenty of merchandise on the first floor, including BT21 items for BTS fans.
- Head up to the second floor and you’ll find plenty of photo spots with the LINE friends. Have as much fun as you want and snap lots of photos with your favourite characters ?
Gangnam / Apgujeong (2 hours)
- If you’re looking to get some luxury shopping done, check out the Galleria Department store in Apgujeong.
- Alternatively, you can visit Gangnam Shopping Street for your K-pop fix and some good quality shopping. Check out a mix of local and international brands like SPAO, 8 Seconds, Nike, UNIQLO and more. Don't forget to drop by the Kakao Friends and LINE Friends flagship stores too!
- End your day with a super yummy Korean BBQ dinner at Yang Good!
- It’s so hard to resist the smell of barbecued meat and the sizzling sound it makes. A dining experience here is definitely a must!
- Halal status: Halal meats and ingredients used. As alcohol is served to other customers, we advise you to dine at your own discretion.
Noryangjin Fish Market (1.5 hours)
- Experience the hustle and bustle of a Korean wet market at Noryangjin.
- Grab an early lunch at one of the many restaurants where you get to try fresh seafood.
- Do note that as none of the restaurants here are halal-certified, we strongly recommend that you do your necessary checks and dine at your own discretion.
Ehwa University - Edae (4 hours)
- Visit one of the most famous (and prettiest) university campuses in Seoul.
- Shopaholics alert, it's time to head over to the Ewha Fashion Street and commence another round of intense shopping!
- The fashion street caters to university students and you’ll definitely find cheaper prices here compared to the rest of Myeongdong.
Hongik University - Hongdae (3 hours)
- Another bustling shopping area nearby is Hongdae! Like Edae, Hongdae also has an affordable range of fashion and accessories with an even wider variety.
- If you’re visiting on the weekends, head to the playground and check out the Hongdae Free Market for handcrafted artworks and trinkets, and passionate performances from local dancers, singers, and buskers!
- Take in the artsy atmosphere at Hongdae and look out for quirky art installations.
- Hongdae comes alive at night, so keep a lookout for live music performances along the streets!
Fill your tummy with New York's yummiest kebab (1h)
- Feeling hungry after all that shopping and walking in Hongdae? You definitely need to head over to The Halal Guys, kebab store which originated from the streets of New York.
- Located right in front of the Hongik University subway station, their kebabs over rice platters, with tantalising red and white sauces, are to die for.
- Halal status: Halal ingredients used
Get your last-minute shopping fix at Myeongdong (3h)
- If you have some time left on your last day in Seoul, head to Myeongdong to get the stuff you've missed out on.
- You can also get your last-minute souvenirs here
- Try the street food along Myeongdong if you haven't had the chance to do so! (The egg bread is the perfect snack for any time of the day ?)
- Satisfied with your buys? Onwards to Busan!
- P.S. Spending more time Seoul? Check out our 6D5N Muslim-friendly Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do itinerary for more ideas!
Travelling to Busan from Seoul (3 hours)
- Take a train to Busan (preferably one without zombies ?) from Seoul Station. The KTX (high-speed train) takes about 2.5 hours and the tickets start from 59,800 won.
Have dinner, check into your accommodation and rest
- From Busan station, take the subway to Seomyeon Station (Line 1 Metro - Orange) and transfer to Line 2 Metro (Green) to get to Haeundae Station (45 mins)
- Treat yourself to some delicious halal kebabs and hummus at Hello India Al-Waha!
- Serving an unusual combination of Indian and Lebanese cuisine, feast on their Lebanese menu loaded with lamb and chicken kebabs, barbecued meat platters, hummus and fresh salads. Find out more Muslim-friendly eateries here!
- Once you've filled your tummy, check into one of these affordable accommodations in Busan and rest for the evening! We recommend staying around the Haeundae Beach area as you'll be near to Busan's most popular beach, with a wide range of amenities and cafes in the area.
Catch the sunrise at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (2-3 hours)
- Start your day early by making your way to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, one of the most impressive Buddhist temples in South Korea. The sunrise from the temple is a magical sight!
- From Haeundae Beach, you can take bus 100 or 139 to get to the temple. The journey takes almost an hour.
- Check out the intricately designed Buddhist shrines and stone monuments located all around the temple.
- It is truly a unique place of worship for its location by the sea. Take a stroll around the temple to enjoy the calm, ocean breeze.
Feast on seafood at Jagalchi Fish Market (1-2 hours)
- As Korea’s largest seafood market, you'll find a wide selection of seafood such as mackerel, sea squirts (ascidians), giant squids, whale meat and dried seafood here
- Place your order and head inside to fill your rumbling tummies with some of the freshest seafood; straight from the tank!
Chill out at Haeundae Beach (3-4 hours)
- Unleash your inner child! Go for a quick swim, build towering sandcastles or even fly a kite.
- If you're too tired from all the walking, just sit on the soft sand, relax and enjoy the cool sea breeze.
- Visiting Busan when it's cold? Then head over to one of the many cafes located around Haeundae Beach and just watch the world go by.
- #HHWT Tip: The beach is open 24 hours, so swing by whenever you want.
Explore Busan Tower and Yongdusan Park (2-3 hours)
- Start your morning with a visit to Busan Tower, one of Busan's major landmarks.
- The tower is located within Yongdusan Park, an open space with rich historical significance - it was previously used as a shelter for refugees from the Korean War.
- Today, it is a popular area to sit and hang out, with attractions such as the statue of Yi Sun-Sin (a 16th-century naval hero), a traditional bell, a flower clock, love locks and more!
- The Busan tower itself is 120m tall and sits 69m above sea level, offering amazing views of the city.
- #HHWT Tip: You can pick up some souvenirs at the shop located at the observatory deck!
Visit the Gamcheon Culture Village (3-4 hours)
- Wander along the streets of this colourful village and immerse yourself in its calm and peaceful atmosphere. Remember to wear comfy walking shoes!
- Take snapshots of the gorgeous, creatively drawn murals that fill the streets of Gamcheon.
- #HHWT Tip: Afraid of getting lost? Get yourself a map of the village at the information centre for 2,000 won. You can even participate in the stamp scavenger hunt – visit the 9 listed locations, stamp your own card at each location, and return your card at any shop in the village to get a free postcard!
Treat yourself to scrumptious seafood at Eobu (1-2h)
- No trip to Busan is complete without trying its delicious seafood, and Eobu is a great place to do so!
- This seafood restaurant is located near Haeundae beach and serves up delicious seafood dishes, including its specialty of seafood grilled over a charcoal fire.
- Halal status: Seafood-only restaurant. Please note that alcoholic beverages are served, we advise you to dine at your own discretion.
Fly your way to Jeju Island (55 Mins)
- Busan, you've been wonderful but it's time to catch your late flight to Jeju from Busan's Gimhae International Airport ✈️ (P.S. Spending more time in Busan? Our 4D3N Busan-Gyeongju itinerary will be perfect!)
- Check into Yeha Guesthouse before crashing for the night. The guesthouse even provides utensils for Muslim guests! Check out our guide to Jeju accommodations for more ideas and useful tips!
- Wake up, sleepyheads! It's time to venture out to the peaceful island of Jeju?
- #HHWT Tip: With Jeju being 3 times the size of Seoul, we'd recommend renting a car as a means of transportation or hiring a local driver. Read more about travel hacks in Jeju here!
Get your first taste of seafood by the sea at Bada Punggyeong (1h)
- Sipping on fresh seafood stews while admiring the stunning view of the sea? Count us in! Bada Punggyeong (바다풍경) specialises in a variety of fish stews and grilled fish.
- If there’s one thing you can’t miss here, it’s their Braised Mackerel Stew (from KRW29,000). But if stews aren’t your thing, get their Grilled Mackerel (KRW14,000) instead! The fish skin is grilled to a perfect crisp but the fish is still fresh and tasty ?
- #HHWT Tip: If you need to do your prayers, inform the staff and they’ll bring you up to the third floor where you’ll be praying in a room with a lovely view of the sea.
- Halal status: Only seafood dishes sold, no alcohol/meat used in the preparation of dishes. Alcohol is served in the establishment, so do dine at your own discretion. Prayer room in establishment.
P.S. Looking for more Muslim-friendly options in Jeju? We've rounded up 10 awesome restaurants you need to try!
Spend time frolicking in the seas of Hyeopjae Beach (3-4 hours)
- One beach day isn't enough! Take a dip in the calm waters; watch as the water changes colour from different shades of turquoise to blue.
- Make a sand angel in the pristine sands of the beach or take a long therapeutic stroll along the shore.
- #HHWT Tip: Be sure to watch out for the volcanic rocks!
ALTERNATIVE: Visit Hallasan National Park, the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Credit: 산드라 Sandra on Facebook
- This one’s for the adventurous souls! If you’re in Jeju and you love a little bit of a challenge, why not hike up Hallasan? At 1950 metres above sea level, it’s South Korea’s tallest mountain!
- You can climb the mountain all-year-round (even in winter!) but the weather in summer and autumn/spring is milder and it’s a more favourable climate to climb.
Credit: Jeju Tourism Organization on Facebook
- There are 5 hiking trails at Mt Halla but only 2 will take you to the summit - Seongpanak (9.7km) and Gwaneumsa (8.7km).
- While Seongpanak is longer, it’s also less steep and easier to climb. Plus, the start trail is better served by public transport. Gwaneumsa is a shorter route but it’s steeper and the view is more scenic, especially in autumn. The total time to climb up and down Hallasan is around 7-10 hours.
- But if you don't have enough time to spare, we recommend taking the Eorimok and Yeongsil trail instead - both should take you around 2-2.5 hours.
- #HHWT Tip: Do note that the park administration has a cut-off time for when you can start your climb as well as when you need to leave the summit. This is so that you won’t head back to base when night falls. Check out the Hallasan official website for more information and the opening times for the trails.
Climb up the Seongsan Illchulbong (2-3 hours)
- You can't say you've been to Jeju without heading to Seongsan Ilchulbong - one of Jeju's must-see destinations. The crater at the peak of Seongsan was formed after an undersea volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, making the place a scientific gem.
- It's also been called Seongsan Sunrise Peak but if you can't wake up for sunrise, fret not as the view from up there is still magnificent any time of the day!
- It takes around 20-30 minutes to hike up to the top. The hike seems daunting at first as there are a lot of steps but just keep going and you'll realise it's not that bad!
Make a worthwhile trip to Jungmun Daepo Coast Jusangjeolli Cliff (2-3 hours)
- Marvel at unique, volcanic rock formations along the Jungmun Daepo Coastline.
- Be hypnotized by the sights and sounds of crystal clear waves crashing below you.
- Maybe snap some Instagram-worthy shots while you're at it ??
Have a seafood hotpot as your last meal in Jeju (1-2 hours)
- Wrap up your last day in Jeju with haemul ttukbaegi (seafood hotpot) at Uribong Sikdang (우리봉 식당)! Get ready to feast on a pot full of piping hot mussels and crab stew, yum ?
- Take some time to digest your meal before flying back to Seoul (1h 5mins) and catching your flight home. In case you decide to extend your Jeju trip, check out our 5D4N Muslim-friendly Jeju itinerary!
- Halal status: Only seafood dishes sold, no alcohol/meat is used in preparation of dishes. Alcohol is served in the establishment, so do dine at your own discretion. Prayer facilities available.
10 days truly isn't enough to cover everything these 3 amazing Korean cities have to offer, so we hope our consolidated itinerary will suffice ? Time to start planning your trip to the land of kimchi!
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