Explore South Korea and its influence on global music, film, and fashion with our luxury Korean Pop Culture Tour. This 11-night itinerary takes you on a journey of discovery through South Korea to experience firsthand the origins of the world’s obsession with Korean popular culture.
Luxury Korean Pop Culture Tour
Suggested Journey at a Glance: 12 days/11 nights traveling to Seoul, Nonsan, Busan, Gyeongju, and Jeju Island
This suggested luxury Korean Pop Culture Tour is just one way to experience the beauty and grandeur of South Korea. As always, our designers are at their best when crafting a journey unique to you. So contact us to start planning and read on to see one example of what’s possible on a handcrafted trip.
Begin your journey of discovery in Seoul. After an evening at leisure, enjoy a full-day orientation tour of Seoul with a private guide. Indeed, there are so many sites of note in Seoul alone that visitors could spend weeks trying to see everything. Your English-speaking guide will maximize your time allowing you to take in some of the most important sites. This includes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, and Insadong Arts and Antiques Street. In addition, stroll through Gwangjang Market to try out various street foods.
The following day, start your Korean Pop Culture deep dive with a private K-Pop makeover! Meet one of the best Korean makeup artists and hairstylists for a personalized makeover. Then enjoy a mini photo shoot so you can imagine being the next big K-Pop star. Afterwards, your guide will take you to Cheongdam Street, a celebrity hotspot, to shop at the high-end galleries and luxury brand boutiques.
On the third day, make the roughly three-hour drive to Sunshine Studio in Nonsan. While here, explore the filming locations of popular K-Drams Mr. Sunshine and King: Eternal Monarch. The studio park recreates early 1900s Seoul. As such, it is a lovely place to stroll the streets and see various types of traditional buildings, lovingly recreated by the studio’s artisans.
For your final full day in Seoul, your guide will take you to Jinkwansa Temple. While here, learn how to prepare the country’s famous Buddhist temple cuisine with Jinkwansa’s nuns. Later, visit SPA 1899 for a personalized spa treatment using their proprietary DONGINBI red ginseng-based skincare line. End the day with stunning views from the Seoul Sky Observatory deck of Lotte World Tower, the world’s fifth tallest building.
Busan and Gyeongju
Next, continue your luxury Korean Pop Culture Tour by heading to Busan on the KTX Bullet Train. On arrival, enjoy a guided half-day tour of the city. First, visit Gamcheon Cultural Village, the vibrant and colorful “Machu Picchu of Busan” – so named for its houses constructed in staircase-fashion on the foothills of a coastal mountain. Then stroll through Jagalchi Fish Market, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Learn about the history of the neighborhood after the country’s liberation in 1945. Finally, spend two hours at Spa Land in Shinsegae Centum City. This enormous jjimjilbang (Korean-style sauna/spa) boasts 22 spas, 13 distinctively-themed sauna rooms, and a beautiful open-air foot spa.
On the next morning, head out with your guide for a full-day tour of Gyeongju, the ancient capital. Here you will spend time exploring Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to seven of Korea’s national treasures. Afterwards, continue to Seokguram Grotto, another UNESCO site. See its famous stone Buddha and enjoy sweeping views from Mt. Tohamsan over the Sea of Japan.
The next day, fly to Jeju Island where you will have an afternoon to enjoy your hotel’s amenities at leisure. On your first full day on Jeju Island, enjoy a privately guided tour with stops at Manjanggul Cave, one of the largest lava tubes in the world; the Jeju Haenyeo Museum, dedicated to the island’s famed female free divers; Seongsan Ilchul Peak, whose silver grass fields have featured in a number of Korean dramas and films; and Seongeup Folk Village, home to numerous traditional structures built between 1410 and 1914.
On your second day in Jeju, head out with your guide to explore the Spirited Garden, home to hundreds of bonsai plants, botanical displays, and stonework made from Jeju’s volcanic rock. Then visit the O’Sulloc Tea Museum to learn about Korean tea and tea culture and how Korean green tea is used in beauty and skincare products all over the country. Finally, head to the harbor to board your private yacht for a stunning sunset cruise.
The following morning, you will transfer to the airport to fly back to Seoul for a final day at leisure, which can be spent doing last minute shopping or sightseeing in Seoul or having a relaxing afternoon in Incheon in preparation for your flight home.
Book a Luxury Korean Pop Culture Tour with Ker & Downey
Ready to experience South Korea for yourself? Contact a Ker & Downey destination specialist to customize your own itinerary, and read more about seasonality and pricing in East Asia at the Ker & Downey Difference. For even more inspiration, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.