One of the most densely populated countries in the world, South Korea is a surprising nation in East Asia known for its large, cosmopolitan cities and spectacular sightseeing opportunities.
Its colourful festivals, fantastic shopping options and delicious cuisine have made it an increasingly popular travel destination in recent years. Often overlooked in favour of a holiday in Japan, positive tales from travellers that have already been and a growing number of cheap flights to South Korea has helped the country's profile rise.
Most Korea tours start in Seoul, the capital of the republic and a vibrant cosmopolitan centre. A bustling city full of contrasts, Seoul offers impressive skyscrapers and modern shopping centres alongside beautiful old temples and narrow streets filled with vendors selling handicrafts.
See South Korea's Seoul
Visit the Seoul Tower for an incredible view over the sprawling city and admire Seoul's past at the city's gorgeous Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Food fanatics, don't miss the popular Noryangin Fish Market, a lively marketplace that is open 24 hours a day and offers the chance to sample some of South Korea's freshest seafood.
Popular trips from Seoul include Namhansanseong Provincial Park, where highlights include temples, archaeological remains and hiking trails; Suraksan, a large mountain located on the eastern side of the Bukhansan National Park; and Yeongjong Island, adored for its sunny beaches and famous hot springs.
For even more fantastic monuments, world-class museums, stunning architecture, quirky shopping and mouth-watering Korean food, check out the country's second largest city, Busan. A port city, Busan is known for its tasty pufferfish soup and long stretches of urban beach.
Indulge your senses in Busan
Also boasting hot springs and nature reserves, Busan is a laidback metropolitan which many South Koreans and tourists visit for spa treatments. Located nearby is Beomeosa, a gorgeous Buddhist temple that makes a perfect day trip from the city.
As far as deciding where to eat is concerned, check your South Korea travel guide for the best places to try the famous Korean kimchi (there's a long list), a typical delicacy made of fermented cabbage and chilli. There is even a kimchi museum in Seoul where you can learn the history of this important dish!
Don't leave Korea without also sampling a Korean barbecue, where you'll be able to try the country's famous grilled meat. Accompany your meal with Korean rice wine or for something lighter, try some cleansing green tea. The country's beer isn't bad either and is renowned for its clean and refreshing taste.