You are currently viewing How many cities in South Korea?

How many cities in South Korea?

  • Post category:Etc
  • Post comments:0 Comments

How many cities in South Korea?

How many cities in South Korea? South Korea, while not one of the most populous countries compared to the likes of the United States, China, India, or Japan, has a significant number of cities due to its high population density. Many of these cities have populations exceeding one million. Furthermore, several key urban centers in South Korea are designated as “광역시(Gwang Yeok-si, (=metropolitan cities)”

Let’s first explore South Korea’s major metropolitan cities in terms of culture, population, and economy.

cities in korea

How many cities in South Korea? Even those asking the question usually have one city in mind: Seoul.

Seoul (Population: Approx. 10 million)

As the capital of South Korea, Seoul holds a prominent position as the nation’s economic and cultural epicenter. Renowned for its modernity, historic palaces, and dynamic nightlife, Seoul offers a captivating blend of tradition and innovation.

  • Economic Powerhouse: Seoul stands as a global economic powerhouse, boasting a skyline adorned with towering skyscrapers housing multinational corporations. It serves as a hub for finance, technology, and commerce, contributing significantly to South Korea’s robust economy.
  • Cultural Richness: The city is steeped in history and culture, exemplified by its impressive historic palaces like Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Deoksugung. These majestic landmarks offer a glimpse into Korea’s royal heritage and architectural marvels.
  • Modern Metropolis: Seoul’s modernity is evident in its state-of-the-art infrastructure, efficient public transportation, and cutting-edge technology. The city seamlessly blends traditional palaces and temples with contemporary urban life.
  • Vibrant Nightlife: After dark, Seoul comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From trendy restaurants serving delectable Korean cuisine to pulsating nightclubs and bars, there’s something for every night owl.
  • Cultural Fusion: Seoul is a melting pot of cultures, attracting expatriates from around the world. This diversity is reflected in its international dining scene and numerous cultural festivals.
  • Shopping Paradise: Whether it’s high-end boutiques in Gangnam, bustling markets in Myeongdong, or traditional hanbok shops in Insadong, Seoul offers a shopping experience to suit all tastes.
  • Natural Beauty: Despite its urban sprawl, Seoul is surrounded by picturesque mountains like Bukhansan and Namsan, providing ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
The city that represents South Korea, Seoul.

In essence, Seoul is a captivating city where the past and future coexist harmoniously, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of rich history, modern innovation, and exciting urban experiences.

official site:

Gyeongbokgung Palace in autumn,Seoul, South Korea.

Busan (Population: Approx. 5 million)

Situated on the southeastern coast of South Korea, Busan is a prominent port city celebrated for its stunning beaches, abundant seafood, and bustling traditional markets. Here’s a closer look at Busan’s unique characteristics

  • Coastal Charm: Busan’s coastline is adorned with picturesque beaches, such as Haeundae Beach and Gwangalli Beach, making it a haven for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. The city offers a refreshing escape with its coastal beauty.
  • Seafood Paradise: Busan is renowned for its delectable seafood, with a wide variety of fresh catches available in its bustling fish markets. Jagalchi Fish Market is a must-visit, offering a vibrant seafood shopping and dining experience.
  • Cultural Festivals: Throughout the year, Busan hosts numerous cultural festivals and events, such as the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and the colorful Gamcheon Culture Village, known for its vibrant street art.
  • Natural Attractions: Beyond the cityscape, Busan boasts scenic natural attractions like the towering Busan Tower on Yongdusan Park, the scenic Taejongdae Park, and the lushly forested Geumjeongsan Mountain.
  • Historical Landmarks: Busan’s history is reflected in its historic landmarks, including Beomeosa Temple, a serene Buddhist temple, and the historic Gamcheon Culture Village, a colorful hillside community.
  • Maritime Heritage: As a major port city, Busan celebrates its maritime heritage. The Busan International Port and the Naval Port showcase the city’s strong connection to the sea.
  • Festive Atmosphere: Busan offers a festive atmosphere with bustling markets, street food stalls, and lively nightlife. The city comes alive after dark with a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment options.
  • Cultural Diversity: With a growing expatriate community, Busan is a melting pot of cultures, enhancing its culinary scene and cultural diversity.
Busan has something to offer every traveler.

coastal beauty, rich cultural scene, and delectable seafood make it a captivating destination that seamlessly combines tradition with modernity. Whether you seek relaxation on the beach, cultural exploration, or culinary adventures.

official site:


Incheon (Population: Approx. 3 million)

Incheon, boasting a population of approximately 2 million people, is a city with distinctive features, most notably its status as home to Incheon International Airport. This dynamic city is celebrated for its strategic significance as a crucial transportation hub, beautiful islands, and rich cultural heritage. Here’s a detailed look at Incheon.

  • Gateway to South Korea: Incheon International Airport is South Korea’s largest and busiest airport, serving as the primary gateway for international travelers. It is known for its efficiency, modern facilities, and accessibility to Seoul.
  • Scenic Islands: Incheon is renowned for its beautiful islands, including Yeongjongdo and Ganghwado. These islands offer tranquil escapes, picturesque beaches, and opportunities for exploring nature.
  • Cultural Heritage: The city features several cultural heritage sites, such as Wolmido Island, which boasts an amusement park and scenic boardwalks. It’s a popular destination for families and tourists alike.
  • China Town: Incheon’s China Town is one of the country’s largest and most vibrant. Visitors can explore Chinese architecture, indulge in Chinese cuisine, and experience a unique cultural fusion.
  • Historic Significance: Incheon holds historical importance as the site of the Incheon Landing Operation during the Korean War. Freedom Park and its memorials pay tribute to this pivotal event in Korean history.
  • Cultural Events: Incheon hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating traditional Korean culture and international influences.
  • Industrial Hub: The city’s industrial zones contribute significantly to South Korea’s economy. The Incheon Free Economic Zone is a bustling business district with a focus on technology and innovation.
  • Maritime Activities: Given its coastal location, Incheon offers maritime activities, including ferry rides, yacht clubs, and seafood dining experiences.
Incheon, Seoul’s satellite city.

Incheon’s unique blend of modernity, historical significance, and natural beauty makes it an intriguing destination for travelers arriving in South Korea through Incheon International Airport. Whether you’re interested in exploring cultural heritage, enjoying island getaways, or experiencing vibrant urban life, Incheon has much to offer.

official site :


Daegu (Population: Approx. 3 million)

Located in the northeastern part of South Korea, Daegu is a city known for its specialization in the textile and fashion industries, making it a hub for these sectors. Additionally, it has earned a reputation for its bustling traditional markets. Here’s a closer look at Daegu.

  • Textile and Fashion Hub: Daegu is often referred to as the “Textile Capital of South Korea.” The city is home to numerous textile companies, fashion boutiques, and manufacturers, contributing significantly to South Korea’s fashion industry.
  • Traditional Markets: Daegu boasts vibrant traditional markets like Seomun Market and Dongseongno Market, where visitors can explore a wide array of street food, clothing, textiles, and local products.
  • Cultural Attractions: The city is rich in cultural heritage, with attractions like Daegu Yangnyeongsi Herb Medicine Culture Museum and beautiful temples like Donghwasa Temple.
  • Hiking and Nature: Daegu is surrounded by picturesque mountains like Palgongsan and Apsan, offering excellent hiking opportunities and scenic beauty.
  • Medical Hub: Daegu is also known as a medical hub, with cutting-edge medical facilities and research institutions.
  • Festivals: The city hosts various festivals, including the Daegu Chimac (Chicken and Beer) Festival and Daegu International Body Painting Festival, showcasing its vibrant culture and art scene.

official site :


Daejeon (Population: Approx. 1.5 million)

Daejeon, with a population of around 1 million people, is a city where research institutions converge, earning it the nickname “Asia’s Silicon Valley.” It plays a central role in the fields of science and technology. Here’s an in-depth look at Daejeon.

  • Scientific Hub: Daejeon is home to several prominent research institutes, universities, and government agencies focused on research and development. This concentration of scientific and technological expertise makes it a hub for innovation.
  • Educational Excellence: The city’s universities, including KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), attract students and researchers from around the world, further bolstering its reputation as a center for cutting-edge knowledge.
  • Advanced Technology: Daejeon’s expertise extends to fields like information technology, biotechnology, and aerospace, making it a critical player in South Korea’s technological advancement.
  • Science Museums: Daejeon offers engaging science museums like the National Science Museum and Expo Science Park, making it an educational and entertaining destination for families.
  • Green Spaces: Despite its technological focus, Daejeon has lovely parks and green spaces, such as Daejeon World Cup Stadium Park and the serene Yuseong Hot Springs Park.
  • Cultural Events: The city hosts various cultural events, including the Daejeon International Wine & Spirits Festival and Daejeon International Food & Wine Festival.
The city located at the heart of South Korea, Daejeon.

Daejeon’s prominence in the fields of science and technology, along with its educational and cultural offerings, make it a city that seamlessly blends innovation and a high quality of life. It is a place where forward-thinking ideas and scientific breakthroughs take shape.

official site :

Colorful bridge and reflection Expo Bridge in Daejeon, South Korea.

Gwangju (Population: Approx. 1.5 million)

Gwangju, with a population of approximately 1 million, is a city celebrated as a hub of arts and culture in South Korea. It is known for its vibrant artistic activities, museums, and historical significance. Here’s a detailed look at Gwangju.

  • Artistic Vibrancy: Gwangju is often referred to as the “City of Arts” due to its thriving arts scene. The city hosts numerous art festivals, exhibitions, and performances throughout the year, attracting artists and art enthusiasts from around the country.
  • Museums and Galleries: Gwangju is home to various museums and galleries, including the Gwangju National Museum, showcasing an impressive collection of historical and artistic artifacts.
  • Historical Significance: Gwangju holds historical importance as the site of the May 18 Gwangju Uprising in 1980, a pro-democracy movement. The May 18 Memorial Park and Museum commemorate this significant event.
  • Culture and Tradition: Gwangju embraces its cultural heritage through events like the Gwangju Kimchi Festival, which celebrates the traditional Korean dish, and the Gwangju Biennale, a renowned contemporary art exhibition.
  • Green Spaces: The city offers beautiful parks and recreational areas, such as Uncheon Reservoir and Mudeungsan Mountain, providing opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.
  • Education: Gwangju is home to several universities and educational institutions, fostering intellectual growth and cultural diversity.
  • Culinary Delights: The city is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine, with local specialties like Gwangju-style bibimbap and street food in the bustling Yangdong Market.
  • Community Engagement: Gwangju’s residents actively participate in cultural and civic activities, fostering a sense of community and pride in the city’s cultural identity.
Especially the city with a history steeped in democracy, Gwangju.

Gwangju’s commitment to the arts, rich history, and cultural events make it a vibrant and engaging city for residents and visitors alike. It offers a unique blend of artistic expression, historical reflection, and contemporary cultural experiences in the heart of South Korea.

official site :


How many cities in South Korea? Excluding the cities mentioned above.

Additionally, there are cities like Ulsan, Suwon, Changwon, and more with populations exceeding one million. Ulsan is also designated as a metropolitan city. However, providing detailed descriptions for each of South Korea’s cities would make this text excessively lengthy. It’s up to you to explore further. Perhaps I’ll write about them in the future, but not right away. Did you recognize any cities among the ones mentioned above? Knowing these cities alone can already provide substantial insight into South Korea.

cities in korea

What’s your favorite city?

What’s your favorite city, or perhaps the city you’re most interested in? Is there one you’re curious about the most?

답글 남기기