Essential South Korea

9 Days | The world of K-pop culture, Buddhist temples, high-tech gadgetry and green mountains is calling

4.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
AUD $2,206
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This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

Experience all the essential sights of South Korea on this nine-day journey through Seoul, Jeonju, Yeosu, Busan and more. From the thriving pop culture to the natural oasis of gleaming gardens, this place really does have it all. You’ll feast on Korean BBQ, noodles and street food, follow in the footsteps of popular K-pop group BTS at some scenic filming locations, take a few easy hikes through coastal beaches and rolling green mountain landscapes and hit the nightlife in your spare time (coin karaoke anyone?). Stay in a hanok (traditional Korean house), rub shoulders with the locals and enjoy loads of free time to choose your own adventure, whether that’s learning taekwondo or visiting the DMZ along the border of North Korea.

Trip overview

Map of Essential South Korea including Korea, Republic Of
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea
18 to 35s
South Korea
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities

Why you'll love this trip
  • Stay in a hanok (a traditional Korean house) and experience what it’s like to live day to day in Jeonju. Then, rub shoulders with the locals at Nambu Market, which recently provided free rent to young entrepreneurs to keep the market alive.
  • Feast on delicious local cuisine, with two included dinners where you might be able to try some traditional Korean noodles, Korean BBQ or fried chicken, and plenty of time to wander around street food markets and restaurants.
  • Discover popular hubs Seoul and Busan and all they have to offer, with free time to hit karaoke (or; noraebang, in Korean), go bar hopping with your local leader or visit the DMZ after your tour (the demilitarised zone along the border of North Korea).
  • Take a couple of short hikes at Oryukdo Beach and Webonsansung and experience the natural beauty of South Korea from the coast to the hills. Then, continue to get your blood pumping at an optional taekwondo class.
  • Immerse yourself in pop culture with visits to the WithMuu store, HiKR Ground and various popular filming, music and tv locations.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This tour includes accommodation in multi-share dormitories. This means travellers on the same booking may be split between rooms due to single-gender dormitories used.
  • A traditional Korean bed is a futon-like mattress placed on the floor, which may be folded and placed in the cupboard in the morning. This trip includes one night with Korean-style floor bedding in a hanok (traditional house) in Jeonju. Floor bedding can be firm compared to standard western mattresses.
  • South Korea is best explored on foot. In fact, most travellers are surprised at how much distance they end up covering! Make sure your shoes are comfy and you are fit enough to spend most of each day on your feet.
  • Although this trip starts and finishes in Seoul, we highly recommend you spend some extra time exploring this fascinating city and its neighbouring regions. Please consult your booking agent if you would like to book additional nights. If you are interested in visiting the DMZ following the tour, we recommend speaking to your leader in advance to ensure there is availability.


Map of Essential South Korea including Korea, Republic Of



2 dinners


Public Bus, Private Vehicle, Train, Metro


Hostel (Multi-share) (7 nights), Hanok (1 night)

  • Seoul - HiKR Ground
  • Jeonju - Orientation Walk
  • Jeonju - Hanok Village Tour
  • Jeonju - Palbok Art Factory
  • Wanju - Ahwon Gotack
  • Wanju - Webongsansung Hike
  • Yeosu - Hyangilam Temple
  • Busan - Gamcheon Art Village
  • Busan - Oryukdo Coastal Walk
  • Busan - Urban Smart Farm Visit
  • Seoul - Hongdae Yeonam Orientation Walk
Add on activities
  • Seoul - Painting Class - USD50
  • Seoul - Korean Class - USD30
  • Seoul - Gyungbokgung Palace - USD4
  • Seoul - Hanbok Hire - USD25
  • Jeonju - K-Pop Dance Class - USD50
  • Yeosu - Cable Car (Return) - USD18
  • Busan - Calligraphy Class - USD30
  • Busan - Baseball Game (Apr-Sep - prices from) - USD20
  • Busan - Spaland - USD20
  • Busan - Taekwondo Class (minimum 8 pax required) - USD50
  • Busan - Night cruise - USD40
  • Seoul - DMZ Tour - USD80

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is possible if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This tour includes accommodation in multi-share dormitories. This means travellers on the same booking may be split between rooms due to single-gender dormitories used.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Pascal · Traveled May 2024
Tour Guide was great! Keep up Yongsu!
Review submitted 16 May 2024

Diamantidis · Traveled May 2024
Nice Trip. We see a lot of things. We had also a perfect guide. Yongsu gave us many helpful tips and shared interesting knowledge about Korea. He Was also very Kind and funny. Thanks for that!
Review submitted 16 May 2024

Jake · Traveled April 2024
Diverse and fun activies! Great guide and great food. Would highly recommend
Review submitted 11 Apr 2024

Zoe · Traveled April 2024
This trip was amazing! Lots of walking and great food. The sites and views were amazing and we got to do lots of great activities.
Review submitted 11 Apr 2024

Grace · Traveled March 2024
This was a really great 'intro trip' into visiting South Korea and I highly recommend for solo travelers as a lot of the Korean culture is enjoying meals together so this can be a bit harder to appreciate dinning if you're travelling alone. The tour guide I had for this was Peter and he was fantastic!!! Peter was so knowledgeable and engaging and really cared about everyone having a good time and was always there to assist with anything.
Review submitted 18 Apr 2024
Essential South Korea
AUD $2,206