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HomeRoad TripsAsiaEast AsiaSouth Korea

Road Trips in South Korea

South Korea is a fascinating destination for a road trip, offering a unique blend of modern cityscapes, traditional culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, a road trip through South Korea is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

One of the best things about South Korea is the diversity of landscapes and attractions that you can explore on a road trip. From the bustling streets of Seoul to the tranquil beaches of Jeju Island, to the rugged mountains of the Seoraksan National Park, there's something for everyone in this beautiful country.

In addition to the natural beauty of South Korea, there's also a wealth of cultural attractions to discover. From ancient temples and palaces to traditional markets and villages, to the vibrant K-Pop and entertainment scene, there's no shortage of fascinating places to visit and things to see.

One of the best ways to experience the culture and cuisine of South Korea is through its street food scene. From crispy fried chicken and spicy tteokbokki to savory seafood pancakes and steaming bowls of bibimbap, there's no shortage of delicious and affordable options to sample on a road trip through the country.

Another great thing about South Korea is its well-developed road network, making it easy to navigate and explore the country by car. With efficient highways and well-maintained roads, you can easily cover a lot of ground and see many of the country's top attractions in a relatively short amount of time.

Overall, a road trip through South Korea is an excellent way to explore this vibrant and fascinating country. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and efficient road network, there's no better way to experience all that South Korea has to offer.

Expect on your itinerary

Urban life Urban life
Culture Culture
Nature Nature
Road conditions Road conditions
Shopping Shopping
Benefit-stress ratio Benefit-stress ratio
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Security Security

Best months to drive

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Discover Road Trips in South Korea

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Jeju Island Scenic Drive Jeju Island Scenic Drive

Jeju Island Scenic Drive

184 km 43 km/h 2 days scenic
South Korea Highlights Road Trip South Korea Highlights Road Trip

South Korea Highlights Road Trip

903 km 76 km/h 6 days roadtrip
Busan to Gwangju Road Trip Busan to Gwangju Road Trip

Busan to Gwangju Road Trip

309 km 73 km/h 2 days scenic
Baeksu Coastal Road Trip Baeksu Coastal Road Trip

Baeksu Coastal Road Trip

95 km 49 km/h 2 days scenic
South Korea Road Trip South Korea Road Trip

South Korea Road Trip

1,545 km 68 km/h 10 days roadtrip

Road Trip Highlights in South Korea

The capital of South Korea is all about the senses. It’s studded with small markets, street food venues, and plenty of souvenir shops. Seoul offers an interesting choice of highlights, including the ancestral shrine of Jongmyo, Deoksu Palace, Changdeok Palace, and Insadong.

South Korea offers the visiting travellers a number of natural attractions. For more active holidays, you should definitely head to Gangwon and Gyeonggi, where you’ll have a plethora of outdoor activities at your disposal. The northernmost provinces are ideal for trekking and hiking. It is also a region where you’ll find the idyllic towns of Incheon and Suwon, with a UNESCO-listed fort, and the little village of Panmunjeom, where you’ll learn more on the local culture and cuisine.

The heart of South Korea pulses in the Jeolla Province. It is a stunning showcase of South Korea’s flora at its best, with beautiful orchards, interesting flowers, and idyllic vistas. The Korean coast is also a place worth visiting if you enjoy spending your free times close to nature. 

Geomundo and Hongdo rank among the most popular holiday rivieras. For smaller settlements with unique character choose places such as Yeosu or Mokpo, whereas if you are into modern architecture and more lively semi-metropolises, travel to Gwangju. Many holidaymakers are also interested in a trip to Jeonju, where you can admire traditional housing.

Even though Chungcheon is one the least popular regions among travellers, it is a genuine treasure trove of attractions. It hides beautiful natural parks, rice terraces, and pristine islands. Traditional architecture can be found in Gongju and Buyeo, interesting bird species in the Songnisan National Park, and lakeside resort accommodation options in Danyang.

Suggested Road Trips in South Korea

All three of these road trips offer a unique and diverse glimpse into South Korea's rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you're interested in ancient temples, stunning landscapes, or modern cities, there's something for everyone on a road trip through South Korea.

Traffic regulations in South Korea: general information

South Korea follows right-hand traffic; thus, overtaking takes place on the left. The minimum driving age here is 18; however, if you’d like to rent a car, you’ll be required to be at least 21. 

Each motorist driving along South Korean roads should possess the following documents which are required by law: driver’s licence, International Driving Permit, insurance documents, registration documents, passport. It is advised to always carry your insurance documents along in South Korea.

When it comes to drinking and driving, the allowed blood alcohol level is 0.05% so even one larger drink may take you beyond this limit. It’s best to just abstain from drinking before driving. What’s more, it’s vital that all passengers wear seatbelts as the penalties for breaking this rule are pretty severe. You’ll have to pay as much as W 30,000 for not following the regulations.

There is a possibility to get an on-the-spot fine for the following offences: taking a bus lane, talking on the phone while driving, signal violation, and speeding. Bus lanes are market by blue lines.

Car Rentals in South Korea

If you would like to rent a vehicle, this option is available in all major South Korean cities and at international airports. The wide choice of interesting rental vehicles available at renowned car rental companies will cater to the needs of the most demanding tourists.

Speed limits on South Korean roads

The general rules concerning speed limits are the following: 30-80 km/h in built-up areas, 60-80 km/h in rural areas, and 80-120 km/h on motorways. 

South Korea: toll roads and speed cameras

There are a number of toll roads in South Korea. It is possible to pay at toll gates or use a special Hi-Pass system that allows you to drive through the gates without stopping. The amount to be paid is mostly dependent on the road type as well as the distance that you would like to cover. Toll roads are the best maintained roads in the country and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the great driving experience that they offer.

The most frequently encountered types of speed cameras in South Korea are fixed cameras and the speed enforcement system is pretty efficient across the country. Many of these devices record your average speed over a certain road section and use it as a basis to asses if you’ve exceeded the limit. What’s more, it’s illegal to use any devices that can warn you that you’re approaching a speed camera.

When taking a Road Trip in South Korea

When taking a road trip in South Korea, there are a few things to be aware of to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey:

Best Time for taking a Road Trip in South Korea

The best time to take a road trip in South Korea depends on your preferences and the places you plan to visit. Here's a breakdown of the different seasons:

Overall, the best time to take a road trip in South Korea is during the spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the scenery is stunning. However, each season has its own unique attractions and charm, so it's worth considering what you want to experience on your road trip and planning accordingly.

How expensive is a Road Trip in South Korea

The cost of a road trip in South Korea can vary depending on your travel style, accommodation preferences, and activities. Here's a breakdown of some of the main expenses you can expect:

Overall, a rough estimate for a road trip in South Korea would be around KRW 1,000,000-1,500,000 (USD 900-1,350) per person per week, including car rental, gasoline, accommodation, and food. Of course, the actual cost can vary depending on your travel style and preferences. It's also worth noting that public transportation in South Korea is efficient and affordable, so if you're traveling solo or on a budget, taking the train or bus may be a more cost-effective option.

Guidebooks and Road Maps for Road Trip in South Korea

If you're planning a road trip in South Korea, here are some guidebooks and road maps that can be helpful:

Overall, it's a good idea to have both a traditional road map and a guidebook or online resource for planning your road trip in South Korea. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you don't miss any must-see attractions or scenic routes.

Discover best Road Trips in East Asia