Discover the rich cultural heritage of South Korea—and the modern dynamism of its cities—on a journey to Seoul and Busan that includes day trips to important historic sites.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Itinerary or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
 Bukchon Hanok, a traditional village in the heart of Seoul
 The pilings of a destroyed bridge bear marks of past conflict in the DMZ.
 An observation tower in the DMZ
 Prayer ribbons festoon a fence in the DMZ
 The skyscrapers of Busan's business district
 Busan Tower
 A bustling street in Busan's Bupyeon market
 Traditional Korean dishes
 Painted face masks are used in traditional ceremonies and theater
 Donggung Palace in the ancient Silla capital of Gyeongju
 Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, South Korea
 Temple in Gyeongju, South Korea

South Korea Through the Ages: A Tailor-Made Journey

9 days from $3,800

Discover the rich cultural heritage of South Korea—and the modern dynamism of its cities—on a journey to Seoul and Busan that includes day trips to important historic sites.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

Overview

The following itinerary is a sampling of the experiences that we offer on a tailor-made journey to South Korea. Working with our country specialists, you can customize your itinerary to fit your timing, your budget, and your interests, including accommodations, activities, and the places you visit.

South Korea has emerged in recent years as a powerhouse of technology and modern culture, with its films and pop music earning international renown. Underneath this contemporary creativity lies a rich heritage that dates back many centuries. Discover the exciting interplay of old and new during a sojourn in the dynamic cities of Seoul and Busan. Delve into ancient history in the World Heritage site of Gyeongju, and explore 20th-century history—and current events—on a visit to the DMZ separating North and South Korea. Throughout your journey, sample delightful cuisine and enjoy free time to discover the region as you wish, whether that’s meandering through eclectic markets with the locals or visiting art galleries and museums.

Highlights:

  • Visit palaces, temples, and historic neighborhoods with a private guide on personalized tours of Seoul and Busan.
  • Venture to the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, for views into North Korea and insights into a conflict that dates back decades.
  • Encounter the rich legacy of the Silla Kingdom on a guided visit to the World Heritage site of Gyeongju, home to fascinating tombs and temples that have stood for more than a thousand years.
  • Sample delicious street food and get a glimpse of local life as you explore the lively markets of Seoul and Busan with your guide.

South Korea Through the Ages: A Tailor-Made Journey

Day 1 — Seoul, South Korea

Arrive in Seoul, South Korea’s dynamic capital. Meet your private driver for the transfer to your hotel, and take the rest of the day to settle in and get acquainted with the city.

Day 2 — Seoul

Meet your driver and guide for a full-day exploration of Seoul, discovering its exciting blend of old and new. Start out with a tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace, a sprawling complex of royal apartments, pavilions, and gardens that offers stunning examples of traditional Korean architecture. Meander among the colorful stalls of Namdaemun Market, stopping to sample street food for lunch. Step back in time in Bukchon Hanok, a typical Korean village set within the city limits, and take a walk past the tea houses, art galleries, and craft shops of the lively Insa-dong district.

Day 3 — DMZ/Seoul

A morning drive brings you to the infamous Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, a buffer zone that has separated North Korea and South Korea since the Korean War. Gain insight into the tumultuous history of the zone and the decades-long conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and take in views that span both countries from observation points. Return to Seoul this afternoon.  

Day 4 — Busan

Board the KTX bullet train and speed across the country to South Korea’s “second city,” Busan.  This bustling port city, set among mountains at the edge of the Sea of Japan, is a dynamic hub of history, culture, and cuisine—and home to Asia’s largest film festival. You’ll have the remainder of the day to discover Busan as you wish, perhaps with a walk on Haeundae Beach or a visit to some of the city’s art galleries.

Day 5 — Gyeongju/Busan

With your guide and driver, travel north to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla kingdom, which dates back to before the second century. Visit temples and the ancient tombs and burial mounds of Silla royalty, and examine artifacts that shed light on this long-lasting dynasty. Discover how Buddhism, Confucianism, and foreign cultures helped shape Korean society as you explore this “museum without walls,” designated a World Heritage site for its wealth of Korean Buddhist art.

Day 6 — Busan

Take in views of Busan’s striking skyline and the surrounding mountains and sea from the top of Busan Tower. Then delve into the city’s vibrant markets with your guide, experiencing the sights and sounds of everyday life in Busan. Witness the bustle and excitement of the Jagalchi fish market, where merchants sell all manner of freshly caught seafood, and explore Bupyeong market, tasting some of the delectable street food that has helped the city become the culinary capital of South Korea.

Day 7 — Busan

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Busan. We recommend a visit to Gamcheon Culture Village, made up of polychromatic houses spilling out onto the hills that surround the city. The steep, narrow lanes of the village are filled with street art and photogenic spots. This is also a good day to tour Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, perhaps Busan’s most famous temple, which is built into rocky cliffs right on the shores of the Sea of Japan.

Day 8 — Seoul

Ride the KTX bullet train back to Seoul for a final day at leisure in the city. Your might browse the shops in the buzzing Dongdaemun Market or stroll among the galleries of Hongdae, the city’s university district.  

Day 9 — Return home

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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