Visit the Demilitarized Zone, an overgrown strip of land separating the two Koreas, to witness the uneasy standoff on these tours from Seoul.
The Demilitarized Zone (aka the DMZ) hosts one of the world’s best-known geopolitical standoffs. Hostility between the two brother nations, cruelly torn apart by a war that was actively fought between 1950-53, but which still hasn’t been formally ended, is a fact of life in Korea. While mostly out of sight in Seoul, tours to the DMZ are one of the country’s top experiences. See relics from a time when the war was more active and get tantalizing glimpses of the hermit kingdom on these top tours.
South Korea Demilitarized Zone half-day tour
Peer into North Korea through binoculars at the Dora Observatory, visit the Bridge of Freedom at Imjingak Park, and delve underground at the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, which was dug beneath the Demilitarized Zone by North Koreans and was discovered in 1978. This tour from Seoul provides a unique look at one of the world’s tensest and most symbolic strips of land. Pick-up is generally from a central location like Hongdae or Gangnam. Tours depart from Tue to Sun. From $69 per person.
Korean DMZ half-day tour from Seoul
This popular, long-running tour explores the key memorials to the Korean War before delving into some of the post-1953 intrigues at the DMZ. After a hotel pickup, the tour heads to Freedom Bridge at Imjingak Park, across which prisoners of war returned to the south when freed from the north. Later, spy on a village used by the north for propaganda, but which seems more like an eerie installation at a creepy theme park. The tour lasts roughly six hours and operates Tue to Sun. From $69 per person.
Korean DMZ full-day tour including the War Memorial of Korea
For a more immersive dive into all things demilitarized and warlike on the Korean peninsula, check out this nine-hour excursion. It couples the half-day tour’s itinerary with lunch (included in the tour price) and a trip to the War Memorial of Korea, in Seoul. Here, an important series of exhibitions, along with old weaponry from the war, add depth and insight to the conflict and help reframe the demilitarized zone’s sights you’ve visited earlier in the day. From $105 per person.