Korea is a vibrant country with many interesting tourist destinations, relatively easy to go even for first-time travelers. My budget trip to Korea lasted 7 days (Korea itinerary 7 days) through 2 major cities: Seoul (The capital city) and Busan (The coastal city) 330km from Seoul, experience wearing Hanbok, Korean sauna (jjimjilbang), eating king crab, penis fish (Urechis unicinctus), spicy Korean fried chicken with cheese… but a total trip cost of only $550 for eating, drinking and playing in Korea including air tickets (excluding Visa). It may be even cheaper if you eat casual, take the local trains and not eager to try many things like me, hehe. Frankly, it is too cheap for a beautiful trip immersed in the golden autumn in the land of Kim Chi. Now, let’s check out my Seoul Busan itinerary blog with the detailed suggestions of 7 days Seoul Busan itinerary below.
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What is the best season to visit Korea?
It’s not an exaggeration, but every season here is beautiful in its own way. If you do not believe you can see the 4-season series of Korean films to verify: Autumn in My Heart – Winter Sonata – Summer Scent – Spring Waltz.
Tourists visit Korea the most in the spring with cherry blossoms from April to June and the autumn of yellow and red leaves from September to November (the most beautiful is from late October to early November) to enjoy the scenery, the average temperature is not too hot, not too cold, it is dry and sunny. You should avoid the biggest rainy months from the end of July and August every year, half of the rainfall in Korea will falls in these 2 months.
How to get to Korea?
1. Hanoi – Busan: At the time of ticket purchase, on the occasion of Vietjet Air’s promotion of $0, it cost only $112.58 (excluding the extra baggage allowance). If you can not hunt cheap tickets, you can buy tickets from Jeju Air, AirAsia, Asiana, Vietnam Airlines… the average price of $173 – $346/roundtrip, may be more expensive depending on the time.
2. Busan – Seoul: I take the KTX fast train that extremely smooth and clean, and the slow train is cheaper than 1/2 but takes longer and stops more stops.
3. Getting around Busan or Seoul: You can travel by Bus and subway by using T-Money card.
Korea itinerary 7 days: Where to stay?
Our group stay in the dorm room (dormitory), bunk beds for cheap and convenient for traveling. Average price $9–$13/bed/night. Here are 3 hostels in Busan – Seoul are high rated on Booking.com. 6 nights in Korea, I spent only $60.
Kimchee Downtown Guesthouse – Stay 4 nights in Seoul, right near the subway station, and near city center, convenient traveling to City Hall Station, Seoul Station. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Blue Backpackers Hostel in Busan on the last day. Although it is a bit messy, it has a nice location, located near the beach and Haeundae seafood market. (You can check rates, reviews and book on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
7 days Seoul Busan itinerary — Day 1
7AM, I arrive at Gimhae Airport, Busan, South Korea. Buy T-money cards to take the train to the hostel. 9AM arrive at Kimchee Busan Guest House, store my luggage and rest.
Korea’s largest seafood market Jagalchi Shijiang: Enjoy King Crab – King of all crabs.
Take the bus to Gamcheon cultural village: The place is known as the Santorini of Asia with colorful houses overlooking the sea.
7 days Seoul Busan itinerary — Day 2: From Busan takes the KTX fast train to Seoul
Morning: Visit Deoksugung Palace to see the Changing of the Royal Guard which taking place at 11am – 2pm – 3:30 pm daily. Each lasts for 30 minutes. If you wait until the end of the ceremony, you can also take photos with the guards in traditional costumes.
Afternoon: Visit Ewha Woman’s University – the largest university in the world for women.
Evening: Go to Hongdae Walking Street – The street is known as the capital of young people in Seoul.
Korean sauna: Sauna, eat boiled eggs and drink rice water according to Korean movies, open overnight and super fun.
Seoul Busan itinerary blog — Day 3
Gyeongbokgung Palace – Seoul’s largest palace
Gyeongbokgung royal palace is very large and also very crowded coming to take pictures. The day we arrived was the last 4th day of the cultural festival so we had to get free admission.
Changdeokgung Palace – Secret Garden
Bukchon Hanok Ancient Village: Wearing Hanbok
Afternoon: Watching the sunset at Namsan Tower, where the romantic love locks fence.
Seoul Busan itinerary blog — Day 4
Take the ferry to the island of Nami, 60km from Seoul. Details of the trip to the island I have a very details article here: Nami Island travel blog — The fullest Nami Island travel guide for a great trip to Nami Island for the first-timers.
Evening: Go to Myeongdong market. What to play in Myeongdong? Read more: Myeongdong food blog — Top 12 Myeongdong best food & Myeongdong street food you must eat.
Seoul Busan itinerary blog — Day 5
Morning: Go to Namdaemun traditional market
Gangnam Area – SM Town
Afternoon: Visiting Insadong Old Town: A place to sell souvenirs, galleries and visit the Ssamzie–gil area on this street – A vibrant place for young people with many Korean designer shops.
What to do in Old town of Insadong? Read more: Insadong blog — The fullest Insadong guide for what to do in Insadong & things to do in Insadong.
Evening: DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza) & Dongdaemun wholesale and retail market which opening overnight, shopping for my family.
7 days Seoul Busan itinerary — Day 6
Take the KTX train back from Seoul to Busan (1:55PM – 4:20PM)
Check in at Backpacker Hostel and store my luggage. Going to Haeudae beach to see fireworks at the Busan Firework Festival held every 2 years.
7 days Seoul Busan itinerary — Day 7
5:20AM take the earliest train ride to Gimhae International Airport, Busan
6AM arrive at the airport. 8AM flying from Busan to Hanoi is 11:05AM. Finish the trip.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in Seoul you can refer to:
- Private Incheon International Airport Transfers (ICN) for Seoul
- Private Incheon Airport Transfers (ICN) for Seoul
- Incheon International Airport (ICN) Limousine Bus Transfers for Seoul (Gangnam District)
- Klook Exclusive Seoul 5 Day Pass
- Discover Seoul Pass (BTS Edition Available)
- Seoul Private Car Charter
- Seoul Private Car Charter with Professional Online Guide
- Seoul Autumn Leaves Sightseeing Private Car Charter
- Private Incheon Airport (ICN) and Gimpo Airport (GMP) Transfers for Seoul by S.A Tour
- Everland Private Car Charter with Admission Ticket by Wondertrip
- KAL Limousine Bus Ticket for Seoul
- Incheon Day Trip from Seoul by Wondertrip
- Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour from Seoul
- Seoul Traditional Culture Course Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour (Open-Top)
- Seoul City Sightseeing Bus (Downtown Palace Namsan Course/Seoul Panorama Course)
- Seoul City Sightseeing Bus Tour (Gangnam Course & Night Course)