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Classic Korea: Seoul, Gyeongju & Busan

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,504

FIRST-CLASS | PRIVATE-GUIDED: Enjoy a tour which includes the capital, Seoul, a city offering the old and new, Gyeongju with its ancient Shilla Kingdom history and relics and Busan, an interesting port and coastal city.


Korea is often referred to as the "Land of the Morning Calm”. This independent itinerary is perfect for those who are looking to experience true Korean culture as Korea has 5,000 years of unique cultural history.

Seoul , the capital of South Korea, is a city of contrasts where the new and the old co-exist in perfect harmony. Ancient palaces combine with modern cultural facilities and popular shopping districts. Seoul offers shoppers a wide variety of merchandise at large department stores, duty-free shops and at open air markets and arcades.

During your stay, visit Gyeongbokgung Palace which was rebuilt in 1868. Situated in its grounds is the largest museum in the country, the National Museum of Korea as well as the Korea NationalFolklore Museum. Also visit "Bukchon Hanok Village. This Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, that date back to the Joseon dynasty. Bukchon, which was the central residence of nobles and bureaucrats during the Joseon Dynasty, is a place called a city street museum because of its many historic sites, cultural assets, and folklore materials.. Then it is time for shopping at the open-air South Gate Market and the shopping street, Insa-dong, famous for its antique stores.

Leave for Gyeongju by morning train. For 1000 years until the 10th century, Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Dynasty. Now, almost 1000 years later, Gyeongju is an open-air museum with the remains of temples, tombs, shrines, palaces, gardens and castles. Start your sightseeing in the centre of town with RoyalTumuliPark, a huge walled area with 20 royal tombs. Nearby is Cheomseongdae, one of the oldest observatories in Eastern Asia. There will be time to go to the Gyeongju National Museum with its collection of mainly Silla relics and Anapji Pond, an artificial lake surrounded by buildings which were part of the palace complex of ancient Silla.

The next morning, see the finest example of Silla temple architecture, Bulguksa, a magnificent temple built on a series of stone terraces just outside Gyeongju. High above the temple, a seated Buddha gazes over Gyeongju from the Seokguram Grotto, also visited. This is followed by the Arts and Crafts Centre and the Silla Millenium Park, a theme park focusing on the Silla period.

Next stop is Busan reached by road, South Korea's largest port and second largest metropolis. En route there, stop at Korea’s largest temple, the impressive Tongdosa Temple. During your stay in Busan, take in the view from the BusanTower in Yongdusan Park and go to the Jagalchi Fish Market. Also visit Nampodong shopping street, one of the favourite haunts of the locals.

The following morning, visit Haeundae Beach, the Nurimaru APEC House, an imposing and beautiful meeting centre located on an island, the Busan Aquarium and the UN Memorial Cemetery located in a serene park which honours soldiers from 16 countries killed during the Korean War. Then one more stop at the unique YongungsaSeasideTemple.

The next day is farewell to this interesting part of Korea as you head back to Seoul by express train.

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,504

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Seoul

On arrival at Incheon International Airport, you will be met by an assistant in the arrival lobby after you exit the security zone. Then you will be escorted to your private vehicle to transfer to your hotel. The assistant will say goodbye once you board the vehicle. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a harmonious blend of ancient tradition and cutting-edge innovation. As a sprawling metropolis, it boasts historic palaces, bustling markets, futuristic architecture and a vibrant arts scene, making it a cultural, technological and historical hub in East Asia.

Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae

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    Mercure Ambassador Seoul Hongdae



    The hotel is located in Hongdae, which is very famous in Seoul for its urban art, indie music, clubs and shows. Hongdae's main attractions such as Hongdae Free Market, Must-Go Restaurant, Caf_ and Yeonnam-dong are minutes away from the hotel. The property is connected to …

    The hotel is located in Hongdae, which is very famous in Seoul for its urban art, indie music, clubs and shows. Hongdae's main attractions such as Hongdae Free Market, Must-Go Restaurant, Caf_ and Yeonnam-dong are minutes away from the hotel. The property is connected to Incheon International Airport and Gimpo International Airport by AREX, which is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Within walking distance of Hongik University Station, local markets, parks, art galleries, and shopping and entertainment districts. It has 270 modern rooms with flexible furniture, premium bed, free WIFI, IoT control system and Chromecast. Facilities include a bar and restaurant, gym, coin laundry and 2 meeting rooms.

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Day 2

Seoul

Get ready to live like a local today as you travel around the city by public transportation with your private guide. Travel to Gwanghwamun plaza where you'll find the statue of King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sun-Sin. Continue to Gwanghwamun gate, the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, through which the kings come. You'll have a chance to witness the guard changing ceremony there. This tradition has been performed for centuries in Korea and is a symbol of the nation's rich culture and history.

Continue your morning tour with a visit to the National Museum of Contemporary Korean History for insights into how Korea propelled itself from being an agricultural society to the modern economic powerhouse that it is today.

After lunch, proceed to Insadong Arts and Crafts Street, a highly renowned district in Seoul that serves as a vibrant hub for Korean traditional culture and craftsmanship. End your day at Gwangjang traditional market, one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in Korea. The most popular section of the market is the food street that caters to a wide range of menus like Gimbap, Mung Bean Pancake, Tteok-bokki and Eomuk. Walk around the market and sample some traditional Korean dishes.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3

Full Day DMZ Excursion

After breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide for a shared tour to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). This border barrier between South and North Korea is steeped in history and intrigue. Spend time exploring the various sites and exhibitions at the DMZ including Freedom Bridge, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Imjingak Park, the DMZ Museum and the Dora Observatory. Return to Seoul, where you will be dropped off at City Hall. Your guide can provide instructions or directions to return to your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Seoul to Andong to Gyeongju

This morning, transfer to the train station to take the high speed KTX train to Andong. The journey takes approximately 2 hours (no guide on the train). Andong is considered the spiritual and cultural heart of South Korea, known for its preservation of traditional Korean culture, customs, and architecture.

Upon arrival in Andong, meet your guide at the train station and begin your sightseeing tour with a visit to Hahoe Folk Village and the scenic Buyongdae Cliff that offers stunning views of Hahoe Village, the Nakdonggang River and surrounding mountains. The walk to the cliff takes about 30 minutes and is relatively easy. Then it's time to explore the village and surroundings. Hahoe Village is known for its well-preserved Joseon Dynasty architecture, including its thatched-roof houses and tile-roofed mansions. Continue to the Hahoe World Mask Museum which is home to a collection of over 800 masks from over 50 countries. The masks are displayed in five exhibition halls, each of which focuses on a different region or culture.

After lunch, continue sightseeing in Andong with a visit to Byeongsan-seowon Confucian Academy which was established in the mid-16th century during the Joseon Dynasty. The academy is renowned for its stunning architectural design and the harmony between the buildings and the natural landscape.

Then transfer by private vehicle to Gyeongju, a 2-hour overland journey. Gyeongju was once the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom, and is a historical treasure trove, brimming with palaces, temples, and tombs.

 

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Gyeongju

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Day 5

Gyeongju

After breakfast, visit Bulguksa Temple complex, one of the most famous and important Buddhist temples in Korea. The temple was first built during the Silla Dynasty and destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasions of Korea in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in the 17th century. Next stop is Seokguram Grotto located about 3 km away. The grotto is part of the Bulguksa temple complex and consists of a stone Buddha statue in a central chamber surrounded by a corridor.

This afternoon visit the Gyeongju National Museum, which houses a vast collection of artifacts, relics, and royal treasures. The museum features a comprehensive insight into the art, culture, and history of the Silla dynasty. Also visit the Daereungwon tomb complex (Tumuli Park) to take a stroll and pay respects to the Silla rulers. Take a closer look at the Cheonmachong Tomb which consists of a wooden coffin placed inside an underground chamber mounded with boulders and earth, characterized as a typical upper-class tomb of the Silla period.

This evening take a walk to Woljeong Bridge, and the historical "gateway" connecting the royal palaces of Silla to the south, on the Namcheon stream. End the walk at the Wolji pond, an artificial pond located in Gyeongju National Park that was part of the palace complex of ancient Silla.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 6

Gyeongju to Busan

The day begins with an approximately 1.5-hour drive from Gyeongju to Busan. On the way, you'll visit Tongdosa Temple, one of the five "Palace of the Jewel of Nirvana" temples in Korea, which enshrine the relics of the Buddha.

Upon arrival in Busan, transfer to the hotel to drop off your bags and then start your Busan journey with a visit to Haedong Yonggungsa Seaside Temple. It is located on the seaside and offers a stunning view of the ocean.

Continue to Dongbaekseom Island (island of Camellias) which is located at the right end of the popular Haeundae Beach. Take a scenic coastal trail on a raised wooden deck along the coastline around the island's forest.

Next, head towards Dalmaji Hill, a famous spot to catch the sunset and enjoy the panoramic views of Haeundae Beach. The walk takes about 30 minutes. You can see its artistic atmosphere and many galleries and boutiques along the way. Once you reach the top of Dalmaji Hill, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the ocean and the city.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Felix by STX Hotel and Suite

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    Felix by STX Hotel and Suite



    Felix by STX, the first hotel brand introduced by STX, aims to provide customers with a pleasant experience beyond a comfortable rest. Felix takes 'communicatio', 'diversity' and 'youth' as ​​its core values. Based on communication, differentiated service for maximizing customer satisfaction, diversity with urban sensibility …

    Felix by STX, the first hotel brand introduced by STX, aims to provide customers with a pleasant experience beyond a comfortable rest. Felix takes 'communicatio', 'diversity' and 'youth' as ​​its core values. Based on communication, differentiated service for maximizing customer satisfaction, diversity with urban sensibility and leisurely resort area, youthful lifestyle that transcends generations to seek. The fun begins at Felix, where the lively and dynamic Haeundae, leisurely relaxation and a vibrant youth culture coexist.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Fitness Centre
    • Restaurant

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Day 7

Busan

Start today with the colorful Gamcheon Cultural Village, known for the houses built in a tightly-knit fashion on the hillside, giving it a unique appearance. Next, head to The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan, a significant and poignant site commemorating the Korean War. Visiting the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan is not only a way to pay respects to the fallen soldiers but also an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the history.

Our next stop is Gukje Market, initially established by refugees and traders who settled in Busan after the war, making it one of the oldest markets in the city. The market played a crucial role in helping the local economy recover during difficult times. Just a short walk from Gukje Market is Jagalchi Fish Market, which is South Korea's largest seafood market. It's an excellent opportunity to experience the local seafood culture.

Then, it's time to sit back and relax on a cable car for a 1.62km journey (15-20 mins) across the ocean at a height of 86m. With the cable car traveling in the middle of the sea, enjoy panoramic views of Songdo Beach, Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, Namhangdaegyo Bridge, Songdo Coastal Dullegil Road and rock cliffs. Hop out of the cable car and follow the signs to Songdo Yonggung Suspension Bridge which connects Amnam Park to the small uninhabited island of Dongseom Island. Take in the 360-degree views of the ocean, cliffs and surrounding islands.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8

Busan Departure

Enjoy time at leisure until your hotel check out and transfer to the airport in Busan for your departure flight, your driver (no guide) will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport. You may have to fly to Seoul to connect with your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Meet and Greet and private arrival airport transfer in Seoul
  • 3 nights first-class accommodations in Seoul
  • 2 nights first-class accommodations in Gyeongju
  • 2 nights first-class accommodations in Busan
  • Private-guided tours in Seoul, Andong, Gyeongju and Busan as per itinerary
  • Local transportation for Seoul tour on Day 2 
  • Shared join-in group tour to the DMZ (max 40 passengers) 
  • Private overland vehicle travel from Andong to Gyeongju to Busan as per itinerary
  • KTX Express Train Ticket (2nd class) from Seoul to Andong 
  • All applicable entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1),4 Lunches

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Drinks unless specified
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB HOLIDAYSEO0322SG: EKF2 B
5 Dec 2025
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