Islands near Seoul, South Korea


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or NamiImage adapted from (from top-left corner): @lda.gyoung, @suziesan, @wuckshin, @solecumom

When we think of islands in Korea, the first ones we’d think of are usually Jeju or Nami. Both of them are beautiful, but are full of the usual bustling tourist crowds.

What most of us didn’t know is that South Korea possesses over 3000 islands, and over 30 of them can be found near Incheon Port near Seoul. Here are some of the best ones to swing by on a day trip from the city – with a travel duration of no more than 2.5 hours.  

Read our other articles on Seoul here: 


1. Seonjaedo – secret sand path to an inaccessible island


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami seonjaedoImage credit: @o.o___babe_jo

There’s a certain magic about Seonjaedo. Head over during low tide – usually around 10AM and 10PM – and you’ll witness the waters gradually receding to reveal the sand path leading to Mokseom Island. It’s a tiny uninhabited island to the south that’s usually inaccessible, so this is your opportunity to explore before the tide comes back in. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami seonjaedo sand path
The sand path to Mokseom Island

Image credit: @parkjw64

Apart from the secret sand path, it also boasts views of sloping hills and thick forests. Stray further inland, and you’ll find rice fields and vineyards as far as the eye can see.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami seonjaedo scenery
Image credit: @ye_ggggg_ri

Directions: Take bus 790 from Oido Station (Seoul Subway Line 1)
Duration from Seoul: 1.5 hours


2. Wolmido – theme park with thrilling rides


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami wolmidoImage credit: @luv_luv_it

Wolmido’s a popular weekend destination for locals, and these days, it’s becoming increasingly popular among tourists as well. 

If you can’t get enough of amusement parks like Lotte World back in Seoul, drop by Wolmido Theme Park for that pseudo-Disneyland trip. And here’s the best thing – there’s no entrance fee! You’ll only need to purchase tickets for individual rides – prices start from ₩5000 (~SGD$5.79).

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami wolmido theme park
Image credit: @meteorluv

Rides include the two-storey Viking Ship and 115-metre Ferris Wheel – sure to get that adrenaline pumping. There are also bumper cars and carousels, for those who don’t enjoy thrill rides.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami wolmido gardenImage credit: @sophsoph05

Once you’re done, calm yourself down at Wolmi Traditional Park. Aside from the luscious gardens, you’ll also find serene ponds and a Bukchon house similar to the ones you’d find at the Bukchon Hanok Village.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami wolmido seafoodImage credit: @sadeulgangbaha

If all that sightseeing’s made you hungry, make your way over to the coast and prepare yourself for a seafood feast of crab, oysters, and squid at any of the restaurants along the shore. 

Directions: Take the subway from Seoul Station and alight at Incheon Station.
Duration from Seoul: 1 hour


3. Daebudo – sunset observatory


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami daebudoImage credit: @jeongyoonyoung

Daebudo’s known as the “Hawaii of Ansan” due to its beautiful scenery, and it’s well worth its nickname. Traverse across the Daebudo Haesolgil hiking trail, and you’ll be treated to views of beaches, mudflats, and the iconic five windmills of Daebudo.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami daebudo sunsetImage credit: @you_jong_wun_

For some sweet sunset views, grab your cameras and head up the Gubongdo Sunset Observatory. You’ll be greeted with skies painted with brilliant orange and yellow hues, a great backdrop for artistic photos at the compass-shaped art installation. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami daebudo sunset observatoryGubongdo Sunset Observatory
Image credit: @wuckshin

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami daebudoImage credit: @jin_h0513

Directions: Take the subway from Seoul Station and alight at Choji Station. Go out at exit 1 and take Bus 123 to the island.
Duration from Seoul: 1.5 to 2 hours


4. Jaraseom – annual Winter festival with sleigh rides


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami jaraseomImage credit: @120611_s2

The island of Jaraseom is just a stone’s throw away from the famous Nami Island. To visit, take the subway over to Gapyeong Station – you’ll walk for about 15 minutes before reaching the island, which will bring the journey’s duration up to an hour and fifteen minutes.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami winter festival jaraseom
Image credit:
Korea Tourism Organisation

The gentle hills and flower fields make it a huge hit amongst locals seeking a break from the daily grind. If you’re here during winter, pop by the Jaraseom Winter Festival for a slew of activities like sleigh-riding, ice fishing, and piping hot food like hotteok (Korean hot pancake) that would be especially delectable amidst the biting winter chill.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami flower fieldsFlower fields
Image credit: @solecumom

Directions: From Sangbong Station, transfer to Gyeongchun Line and get off at Gapyeong Station. Walk 15 minutes to reach Jaraseom Island.
Duration from Seoul: 1.5 to 2 hours


5. Muui-Do – pristine beaches with cabins for overnight stays


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami muuidoImage credit: @suziesan

If you’re longing for that lazy beach getaway, make a trip down to the idyllic island of Muui-do

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami hanagae beachImage credit: franc.__.i

It’s famous for the pristine beaches that line its shores, with the most notable one being Hanagae Beach. You can easily spend the whole day lounging on its powdery soft sands while listening to the rhythmic crashing of the waves ahead of you.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami muuido ziplineYou can also go ziplining here
Image credit: @annabboung

If you want to extend this day trip into a short 2D1N getaway, you can easily rent out one of the beach cabins there from ₩10,000 (~SGD$11.58). Rooms can host up to 4 people and come complete with a heated floor, blankets, and pillows. Do note that bookings are done based on a first-come-first-served basis, and with only 30 cabins available, spaces tend to run out fast!

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami cabinImage credit: @allquin

Directions: Take the subway from Seoul Station to Incheon Station, board Bus 222 straight to Jamjinnaru Ferry Terminal and hop on a 5-minute car ferry ride. 

Duration from Seoul: 1.5 to 2 hours


6. Deokjeokdo – hiking trail with coastal views


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami deokjeokdoImage credit: @limboyeong9

For a true break from the crowd of Seoul’s locals and tourists, head over to Deokjeokdo. It’s located just an hour away from Incheon – simply hop on a ferry from Incheon port, and you’ll be there in an hour. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami seopori beachImage credit: @travel_with_benoit

On the west side, you’ll come across the vast white sands of Seopori Beach, the island’s main attention-grabber. If you walk through the surrounding pine grove, you’ll come across a scenic hiking trail that’ll bless you with beautiful coastal views – the best kind of reward after sweating it out. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami beach deokjeokdoImage credit: @sujin._.chae

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami deokjeokdoImage credit: @pineapple_kimchi

Directions: Take the subway from Seoul Station and alight at Dongincheon Station. Walk out the Daehansorim Bookstore exit and hop on Bus 12 or 24 to the ferry port, where you can then cruise over to the island.
Duration from Seoul: 2 to 2.5 hours


7. Ganghwado – numerous photogenic cafes


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami ganghwadoImage credit: @paguasoo

Ganghwado’s calm waters, pristine beaches, and rolling hills are the picture of tranquility – a casual walk by the water’s shore will no doubt wash your stresses away.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami ganghwado cafe i'm fineImage credit: @yoonhee2967

It’s the fifth-largest island in South Korea, and houses a bunch of Insta-worthy cafes that you can hit up whenever you need a breather. One such example is I’m Fine Cafe, which promises cutesy pink decor, drool-worthy desserts like their Blueberry Cheesecake (₩6000, ~SGD$6.95) and stunning views of the sea.

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami mahogany cafeImage credit: @kim_buyong92

You can also swing by Mahogany Cafe for a cuppa. This sophisticated-looking cafe’s is set in a barn in a field of flowers, and is furnished with chandeliers and wooden tables. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami mahogany flower fieldImage credit: @kim_js_1115

Alternatively, you can simply drop by to stroll through the flowers. If you’re here during spring time, there are fields full of cute little daisies that are perfect for your next #OOTD. 

Directions: Take bus 3000 or 32000 from Sinchon Bus Terminal
Duration from Seoul: 1.5 hours


8. Yeongjongdo – stunning mountain views and intricate temple


8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami yeongjongdoImage credit: @e._.rii

Dubbed the “airport island”, Yeongjongdo’s where you’ll be jetting to and from when you embark on your trip. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami baekunsan mountainImage credit: @lda.gyoung

It’s also home to Baekunsan Mountain, where breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and seas await you on the incline up to the peak. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami yonggungsa beachImage credit: @sangkook_lee77

You’ll also find the ancient intricate-looking Yonggungsa Temple over here, where you’ll find a looming 36-foot Buddha statue within the vicinity. It’s a quiet and calming place, and a walk here is sure to clear your head. 

8 Korean Islands Near Seoul For Day Trips From Just 1h Away That Aren't Jeju or Nami yonggungsa templeYonggungsa Temple (Incheon)
Image credit: @nhannyan

Directions: From Incheon Airport, take Bus 302 or 306.
Duration from Incheon: 15 to 30 minutes


Islands in South Korea


Your next trip to Seoul needn’t always be limited to day trips to Nami Island or weekend stays in Jeju. These islands are easily accessible from Seoul and Incheon – so if you’re ever looking for alternative day trip ideas, or are just weary of the busy Seoul life, you know some other places to hit up.

For ideas on what to do in South Korea, check these articles out: