Monday, December 13, 2010

10 free things to do in South Korea !

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South Korea is one of the developed countries in the world and I am no doubt about its living expenses are much higher by comparing to developing countries. Low budget visitors or visitor from developing country always think twice before plan to visit South Korea for their trip. However, I have to say it is still possible! I live in South Korea almost a year as a student and I have to say again that there are many free things that you can experience and get to know more about their culture and the country! As a student traveler in South Korea, I would like to share 10 free things that we can do in South Korea!

1. Hi Seoul Festival
Hi Seoul Festival
Hi Seoul Festival is a seasonal cultural festival that has been held four times a year in Seoul since 2003. It is also the biggest-scale festival in Seoul. It usually held in many places around the Seoul Plaza like Cheonggyecheon, Myeong-doing, Gwanghwamun, and the old palaces each year in May. This Festival became very popular due to its various exciting event programs prepared to show the culture, history and arts of Seoul! You can take part and experience in Children's day event and musical performance, global village events, traditional folk and games, Hi Seoul Parade and others activities! The most importantly is almost all the activities are free!! yes! Free! 

2. Ganghwamun plaza
Ganghwamun Plaza
Located in front of the main gate of Gyeongbokgung (Gyeongbok Palace). The history of this Gwanghwamun Plaza is more than 600 years ago. Gwanghwamun square was considered the venue for government building with six government building straddling the square. Officials from these buildings gathered at the royal palace to discuss national affairs with king during the Joseon Dynasty ( 1392-1910 ). Since then, this area was long considered the heart of Korean politics and it has witnessed important turning points in Korean History! From the far, you can see the water dance and spray around the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin ( South Korea worrier ) With no doubt, you can see the night as pretty as in the picture! Please visit my experience on the day of Ganghwamun Plaza launching ceremony

3. Free KimChi Making Lesson

Various kind of Kimchi 

Every year during the late fall season or when the weather starting to get colder, the KimChi Making Season is coming. Almost all Korean in the household will prepare the ingredients for Kimchi Making! If you have Korean friends, they will be more than happy to invite you to see how the kimchi is made and you can try to make it by your own! Or during that time you can go to Itaewon-Hannam Global Village Center to take some free lesson on Kimchi Making! Remember! It is an annual program where you can take the lesson during the fall season. 

4. Busan International Fireworks Festival

Busan Firework Festival
This international event takes place at Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge annually! So, the event actually will take place on the night and comprise nearly 80,000 fireworks in one amazing show! The 500minute multi-media display will feature high-tech laser lights, sounds and music to light up the sky over the beautiful Gwangan Bridge! Each fireworks demonstration is precisely-timed with music selections under the each year themes and may have as many as 50,000 explosions in each 15 minute performance! Take your chance to feel the excitement in late summer season.

5. Busan Sea Festival
Busan Sea Festival
The Busan Sea Festival is held at various beach location including Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach, Song-do Beach and Songjeong Beach and at various Places in the city of Busan! It is Korea's largest sea festival and is liaison of Busan International Rock Festival, Busan International Beach Dance Festival, Korean sea Literature Festival, Busan Beach Game Festival and more!! About 30 small to large festival are held during Busan Festival and visitors can pick and choose those most attractive to their personal interests! If you like sea and always wanted to experience the extreme crowded beach ever! This is the festival that you going to excited about!

6. Mud festival
Boryeong Mud Festival
Boryeong Mud Festival is one of the most famous attraction events in South Korea! The festival itself attracts the largest number of international visitor annually and it is free! It usually held in summer season at Daecheon Beach! During the festival period, tourists flock to the area to experience the beneficial properties of the Boryeong mud around the beach and also to have lots of fun! Fully immersed in the both the mud and the festival's great atmosphere, visitors can enjoy many activities like mud wrestling, mud sliding and even swimming in the mud mega tub!! You can take a look at 2010 Mud festival or visit my previous experience in Boryeong Mud Festival

7. Lotus Lantern Making Festival
Lotus Lantern Festival
The lantern has the meaning of brightening and praying for the world. You can experience the making of a eight-sided lantern and pray for your wishes. Lotus lantern making will be held next to the Buddhist Street Festival that will offer many, and many more cultural experiences! This festival is very interesting since you can experience the hand on work on making eight-sided lantern by your own and take it back as your gift for free! You only need to register yourself with the organizer, and that it! For more information, visit Lotus Lantern Making Festival.

8. International Hot Balloon Festival
Daejeon Hot Balloon Festival
International Balloon Festival in Daejeon (held in autumn season), is one of the grand festival that can fulfill with amazing experience as well as with the very attractive night scene with various colorful hot air balloon. It features a number of hot air balloon rides for free and aeronautical programs. If you seeking some sky high experience and flying on the sky with the colorful hot air balloon, then this is the event that you don't want to miss it out! Please visit my experience in International Balloon Festival!

9. Asia Song Festival
Asia Song Festival
Asia Song Festival is a prestigious music festival that usually held annually in summer season with all the Asian greatest starts and with the purpose to bring Asia together as a hub of cultural exchange. This festival is giving out free VIPs concert tickets to all foreigners who are stay in South Korea and visiting South Korea. Yeah! Free VIPs Tickets! That’s Right! For more information, please visit  2010 Asia Song Festival or experience in Asia Song Festival.

10. Ginseng Festival
Ginseng Wine 
The Geumsan Insam (Ginseng) Festival (held in every fall) in Geumsan County's leading festival located in Chungcheongnam-do province. The largest producer of ginseng in South Korea as well as medicinal herb market. This festival, which has been running for 30 years and is held to promote the beneficial effects of Geumsan ginseng! In the festival you can see various kind of ginseng products, try different kind of ginseng, ginseng sand feet massage, special massage with ginseng cream and so on. You can experience many program for free! You can visit my experience on Geumsan Insam Festival.  

If you have some free things to do in South Korea, please kindly leave comments here! I will be more than happy to discuss it here! 
( All the sources are base of my own experience and official traveling site. It might be change on time, if you have updated sources, please kindly leave comments, Thanks!)

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  1. hello there~!

    i will go to korea at the end of this year (28 dec-5 jan)
    do you have any suggestion where are the best places to visit during that time..?:)

  2. HI!

    You can visit Hi Seoul Winter festival!

    Or you can go to Seoul Land or Everland or Lotte Land! You can really see the winter celebration and special atmosphere there!

    Or if you are Kpop lover, why not have a chance to see RAIN live on the stage? ADIEU 2010 concert!

    Get tickets here! :)

    See you in Seoul!

  3. hi! great to know a bit about south korea. wht course do u take?

  4. nice photo......great job..
    thanks for sharing..
    i like it so much.... :)

  5. im planning to visit south korea next yr.what place would you suggest to stay for a backpacker?

  6. Hi Jane,

    Really glad to hear that you are planning to visit Korea :)

    Yeah! For backpacker hostels the more budget get way. if you want even budget you can try for Jim-Jil-Bang .

    Please email me, and we can discuss further.

    Thanks ^_^

  7. Very interesting things. Maybe some day I will need your tips and I know where to find helpful information :-)

  8. Hi! I'm going to travel to Seoul for the first time from 6th November to 13 November. Are there any festivals or concerts happening, during that time, that you are aware of?

    I'm very excited!

  9. Hi Ndenton,

    I am glad to hear that you will heading to Seoul soon!

    I will do my best to post another article :)

    Stay tune!

  10. I want to try Free KimChi Making Lesson. Sounds exciting.

  11. I would say Namdaemun is a GREAT place to check might end up spending a little money on stuff if you wanna shop, but it's pretty reasonably priced and you can bargain! Also, the cultural atmosphere of the place is an irreplaceable experience in itself!

    Check it out

  12. As soon as I read the word Free my eyes grew big. I like the sounds of the word free. It makes me go gaga even more.

  13. Thanks for sharing this great info. Great to know that so many things we can do in South Korea for free. Thumbs up!

  14. Dear Lex. Seoul or Busan? i live in manila philippines and can fly direct to either Seoul or Busan. but i have only about 4 days available for my trip so i want to visit only city. Which city would u recommend for the FIRST TIME traveller to Korea. I must admit Busan looks more culturally interesting. If u could recommend one city for a 4 day trip to Korea which would it be? Seoul or Busan?

  15. Great post! Seems like there are a lot of free activities in South Korea . Would love to check them out some time :)

  16. Hi I've lived in Daegu for 18 months and so far know about the following free things:

    Free bike rental at Jamsil station you can then ride around all day.

    Free entry to the War Memorial museum in Samgakji

    Samchong Dong and Bukchon - This is an area full to the brim of traditional houses and shops. It has a nice atmosphere and is great to wander around.

    Take a walk along the river han and take a break from hectic Seoul life to appreciate the beauty of the city.

    Walk up Namsan hill to take pictures of the city scape as the sun sets.

    In Daegu there are lots of free events in Duryu Park during the summer including a body painting festival!


  17. Hi Natalie,

    Great tips on free things to do in Korea!

    Another 7 free things to do in Korea!

    Thanks for your helpful information and I think readers will appreciated it so much! :)

    When you will be back to Korea then?


  18. There is a couple of free things I experienced in Seoul last April during my visit. Firstly, witnessing the changing of guards for free in front of Guanghuamun, free hanbok wearing experience for foreigners at myeongdong tourist information centre in M Plaza, free admission to Gyeonghuigung (palace) and free admission to Story of King Sejong underground of Guanghuamun Square (we had a free korean name writing there too).

  19. hi lex! where can I get cheap shopping deals at seoul?