Thanks to the rise of K-Pop and K-Drama, the world has never been more fascinated with South Korea! Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of months immersed in its fascinating culture, sampling the delicious cuisine, exploring the gorgeous countryside, and making the obligatory visit to the most heavily defended border in the world?

The best way to experience South Korea is to spend a few months immersed in the culture. Don’t have the time? Consider South Korea as a Workation destination. Many foreigners can travel visa-free as a tourist (and South Korea has announced a digital nomad visa) and the cost of living in South Korea is also much more affordable than most people imagine (estimated at 54% less than in the United States). Add how much there is to see and do, and South Korea is an ideal workation destination.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know to plan a workation in South Korea. We’ll share some South Korean essentials for visitors, plus the best cities and villages to call home while staying on a workation.


What is Workation?

If you are asking what a Workation is, it is when you agree with your employer or business partners to travel for a fixed time while continuing to work remotely, either full-time or with reduced responsibilities. It allows you to experience a new place without eating up your vacation time. The change in environment and new stimuli has also been shown to boost productivity, creativity, and work satisfaction. You can read our full, in-depth guide to what is a workation here.


Why South Korea?

When choosing a workation destination you ideally need a place with an affordable cost of living to make your dollars go further and appropriate infrastructure for you to work remotely, which usually means access to good internet and places to work, such as coworking spaces. Ideally, you also want a place where the things you want to see and do are close by, so you can enjoy yourself between work sessions and make the most of your weekends.

South Korea ticks all those boxes! Relatively affordable, it is a modern country with excellent facilities for digital workers. It is also a relatively small country and very well connected via a high-speed train network. This means that you can explore much of the country easily from a base in a vibrant city like Seoul or Busan.


South Korea Workation Essentials

Before we dive into where to spend your workation in South Korea, let’s look at a few workation essentials from language, to visas, to cost of living.


Language and Culture

In South Korea, which the locals call Korea or the Republic of Korea, the principal language is Korean, which is challenging to learn and uses a character-based script called Hangol. It is an “isolated” language, which means that it is not related to any other language currently spoken. However, Japanese, Mandarin, and English are also widely spoken. English speakers usually get by if they learn a few key phrases and a few symbols for their favorite foods.

Korea has been an independent country since it separated from North Korea in 1948. This led to the Korean War, and the border between the two countries is the most heavily guarded anywhere in the world. Despite North Korea’s looming threat, South Korea is considered an extremely safe country.

While South Korea has been heavily influenced by Western culture since independence, it is still a highly conservative country where politeness and gratitude are expected, and drawing unnecessary attention to yourself is considered negative.

South Korea is known as a work-hard-play-hard culture, with the average workday running from 9 am to 6 pm. But eateries and bars are open late, and it is common for friends to share several beers (try Cass, Kloud, or Hite) and bottles of sujo (rice and grain liquor). Must-eat dishes include kimchi, bibimbap (rice bowls), tteokbokki (red rice cakes), and jjigae (Korean stew).

You can also expect to find cutting-edge ICT infrastructure, some of the world’s fastest internet speeds, and locals using the latest apps and devices. It is a place where you can expect innovation in everything from technology to fashion.

Travel and Visas

It is simple to get to Korea with 15 airports and many major international airlines flying into Seoul. Once in the country, public transport, especially trains between cities and Metro systems in the major cities function extremely well.

Citizens of scores of countries can fly to South Korea as tourists without a visa. Most can stay for up to 90 days, though Canadians can stay for six months. The 90-day visa includes citizens from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, most of Europe, the United Kingdom, most of South America, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, and other countries.

As of January 1, 2024, the South Korean government also released what it is calling a Workation Visa, which allows remote workers to stay in Korea for up to one year and renew the visa if they continue to be eligible. There is a simple online application, and the minimum income is set at around 84.96 million won, which is about USD 65,500 per year.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in South Korea is much more affordable than many foreigners imagine, estimated to be about 54% less than in the United States. Numbeo estimates that a single person can get by on around USD 1,000 per month excluding rent.

While groceries tend to be moderately priced, eating out is very affordable, especially if you choose local restaurants and dishes. Getting around using public transport is also very affordable.

As a workation visitor, accommodation prices are expected to be more than for residents. While it is estimated that a single person might pay between USD 600-1000 per month for rent in Seoul, if you can find an Airbnb sublet, you might expect to pay around USD 1,500 per month.

The Korean currency is the won, and USD 1 bought around KRW 1,313 in January 2024.


Best Workation Cities in South Korea

When you plan a workation, ideally you are going to want a “home base”, or maybe a few different home bases if you choose to stay for longer and move every couple of weeks to a month. Having a home base allows you to maintain productive habits so you to meet your work commitments while enjoying your surroundings.

Ideal home base cities or villages are often vibrant places where there is plenty to see and do on your doorstep. That could mean museums, markets, and nightclubs, or relaxing beaches and remote walking trails, depending on what interests you. They should also be well connected to other cities and attractions so that you can make the most of weekends and days off to explore further afield.

South Korea has many cities and villages that fit the bill when it comes to workation home bases, but below are our top picks for the best urban and rural South Korean workation spots.


Urban Workation Spots in South Korea

Staying in one of Korea’s big cities is often your best option for reliable internet, the best coworking spaces, and transport links to other parts of the country. Plus, this is where you will see the life shown in popular K-dramas. In the cities, there is also always something going on. So, from the moment you log off, there are people and places to fascinate!


Seoul: Modernity Meets Creativity

Seoul is a packed city of more than 10 million inhabitants in the far north of the country. It is the business and cultural capital of the country, and a must be experienced to understand life in South Korea. Expect it to be very crowded!

You will find a mix of sleek modern business districts alongside urban streets packed with eateries and markets, and many parks and temples spotted around the city.

Seoul is the best place to find the most high-tech coworking spaces with the most interesting entrepreneurs, the best museums and cultural shows, and the best eateries for sampling kimchi, bibimbap, and the local liquor soju.

From Seoul, you can take day or weekend trips up to the border with North Korea, to the stunning Nami Island, to Everland, a colossal theme park and flower garden, to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hwanseoung Fortress, and almost anywhere else since all trains lead to Seoul. The Metro service in the city itself is also excellent.

Read our full digital nomads guide to Seoul here.


Best Coworking Spaces in Seoul

TEC Coworking Center – Hana Securities Building

Located in the Yeouido business district, this sleek establishment offers booth flexible office spaces and dynamic coworking spaces under one roof, for a more vibrant atmosphere for entrepreneurs. In addition to meeting rooms and high-speed internet, the space boasts an excellent gym and serviced barista bar. It is also just across the road from Yeouido Park.

Hoppin House Coworking

Hopping House Coworking is a much simpler space, but it is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so you can work according to your personal schedule. It mostly has hot desks and a few small meeting rooms, but also flexible pricing plans so you only pay for what you need. The philosophy of the space is to enable serendipitous encounters and innovation.


Best Accommodations in Seoul

If you are thinking of staying in South Korea for a month or longer, it is well worth looking at long-term Airbnb sublet options. There are a lot of good properties in Seoul, starting from around USD 1,500 per month. You should expect apartments to be small, but with good amenities.

The Connoisseur

If you prefer to stay in a hotel for at least part of your visit, consider The Connoisseur. Ideally located for both work and play, it also has facilities for a long-term stay, including laundry facilities in the room.

Hoppin House Coliving

If you are on a budget or prefer to be around other travelers in a similar situation, the Hoppin House Coliving will not disappoint. It is an intimate space, with just ten beds, divided between private and shared rooms, plus a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living room, and outdoor terrace area.


Busan: Korea’s Biggest Trading Port

Located near the southern tip of Korea, Busan is the country’s second largest country with around 3.5 million people. When densely populated like Seoul, it feels very different with its rich coastal culture. Mountains spotted with Buddhist temples look down over the port city, which boasts some pristine beaches with clear waters.

Busan shares Seoul’s street food culture, but with a much bigger focus on fresh seafood. Fish cakes and seafood scallion pancakes are among the most popular dishes in Busan. The nightlife is also vibrant, but with a more laidback edge than Seoul.

From Busan you can easily visit Daegu, with one of the most famous markets in Korea, Gyeongju, an ancient city that is now an open-air museum, the Boseong green tea plantations, and the Tongyeong evergreen forests.

Seoul to Busan by Train (KTX): Approximately 2.5 hours from Seoul Station to Busan Station.


Best Coworking Spaces in Busan

Busan Main Workation Center

As the name suggests, this is the most popular coworking space in Busan. It has a philosophy of Play, Work, Live, and is designed with convenience in mind so that workers can make the most of the rest of their lives. You can expect coworking spaces and meeting rooms complemented by high-speed Wi-Fi, plus extras like ocean views and a terrace lounge.


This is another modern coworking space with views out over the city and bay. There are many desk options from hot desks to quiet cubicles, to meeting rooms.


Best Accommodation in Busan

Like Seoul, Busan also has a very active Airbnb market, and if you look for long-term options, you can find apartments in the city from around USD 1,000 per month.


LaValse Hotel

If you are looking for hotel accommodation, the LaValse is highly recommended. You get great views wherever you are in the hotel, and even standard rooms have amenities such as a refrigerator and table and chairs. Hotel facilities include a sauna, fitness center, and laundry, plus there are several restaurants and cafes on the premises.


Hotel Adela

For something more budget friendly, consider Hotel Adela. The rooms still come with everything you need to feel comfortable, and the hotel has excellent facilities including a business center for workers. There is also a convenience store, fitness center, spa, and both terrace and rooftop gardens, plus plenty of dining option both in the restaurant and surrounding area.


Rural Workation Spots in South Korea

If you find Korea’s large cities too crowded, or you just want to experience a more traditional side of the country, then there are several smaller, rural destinations that have good facilities for digital workers and offer a gateway into a unique side of Korea.


Jeju Island: South Korea’s Largest Island with Natural Beauty

Seoul to Jeju by Flight: About 1 to 1.5 hours from Gimpo International Airport to Jeju International Airport.

Jeju is a large island off the south coast of Korea is considered one of the most relaxing vacation spots in the country due to its unique and beautiful environment. Volcanic lava tubes make up around 10% of the island and are considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are also forests, beaches, and waterfalls to explore, and an incredible “underground castle”, which is a system of 20 giant caves.

While there are lots of modern hotels, restaurants, and museums for visitors, but the locals also have a culture and language distinct from the rest of Korea. They also follow a distinct Shamanic religious tradition that is evident when walking around local fishing villages.


Best Coworking Spaces in Jeju

Sagye Fishing Village Co-Working Office

This is a stunning open plan workation space ideally located for exploring the island. The facilities are simple with desks, lounge, and good Wi-Fi, but it is a place you are sure to meet other also on Workation.


Jilgeurang Center

This work center has ocean views that are sure to provide moments of calm while dealing with a work storm. There are excellent facilities available including free parking, personal lockers, and an on-site café. You can also plug into a dual monitor to increase your productivity.

Best Accommodation in Jeju

If you are looking for long-stay Airbnb sublets, you can find options around the island starting from around USD 1,000 for the month. You can also find dedicated workspaces for rent on Airbnb.

Grand Mer Hotel

For hotel accommodation, the Grand Mer Hotel is a great choice with spacious modern rooms and sea views at an affordable price. Swimming on the quiet beach just in front of the hotel is a highlight, and the restaurant is excellent, but make sure to rent a car to access other facilities.

Playce Camp Jeju

This is a full-service hotel with luxurious rooms, multiple restaurants, laundry, convenience store, and much more. If you choose not to use a coworking space, you will feel comfortable working here, and you are just a few minutes’ walk from the beach and plenty of green walks.


Yangyang: South Korea’s Surfing Mecca

Seoul to Yangyang by Bus: Around 2 to 3 hours from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Yangyang Intercity Bus Terminal.

Yangyang is a coastal village on the northeast coast known for its spectacular sunrise views and excellent surf, especially at Surfyy Beach. There are laidback facilities to support the beach lifestyle where salmon is always the delicacy of the day. With lots of cafes and hippie market stalls, it is sometimes called the Bali of South Korea.

Great places to visit in the area include Huhuam Hermitage, the historical temple at Naksansa with its famous Buddha statues, of the mountains near Seoraksan.


Best Coworking Spaces in Yangyang

Desker Workation Center

Desker is a combined coworking and coliving space that embodies the energy of Yangyang. As well as logging into the office, you can join a yoga class, grab a coffee, or watch the sea from the deck. If you are using the coworking space, you can also access the hotel pool. And the hotel offers lots of great services including board hire and surf lessons.

Wave Works YangYang

A partner in the Desker group, both coworking spaces offer special week-long packages of accommodation and workspace, along with essential activities, for those who want to discover Yanyyang.

Best Accommodation in Yangyang

Again, if you are looking to stay for an extended period of time, it can be worth getting an Airbnb sublet. You will find options in the area starting from USD 1,000 per month.

Corallo by Chosun

This is a luxury boutique hotel hidden in Yangyang that always get good reviews thanks to its deluxe rooms, excellent dining, and wonderful pool area. Lots of perks are included in your booking including breakfast and refreshments so you can just relax and enjoy yourself. There are pet-friendly rooms available.


Karuna is a small but chic hotel with minimalist rooms, since the views of the mountains and beach do most of the work.


Yeosu: The Heart of Marine Tourism in South Korea

Seoul to Yeosu by Train (KTX), approximately 3.5 to 4 hours from Seoul Station to Yeocheon Station, by Flight, about 1 to 1.5 hours from Gimpo International Airport to Yeosu Airport.

Yeosu is on Korea’s south coast and is spread across 48 inhabited islands, and many more uninhabited ones. Previously a naval base, Yeosu is now a tourist destination with great beaches and parks and a bustling downtown with restaurants and cultural attractions.

Get an overview of the city from the maritime Cable Car, which will also take you to Dolsan Island for coastal hiking. Here you will also find tea plantation, Buddhist temples, the Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve and spectacular rural countryside.


Best Coworking Spaces in Yeosu

Darakhyu Yeosu Office

This is a capsule hotel that also offers coworking facilities including hot desks, lounging library, high-speed Wi-Fi, plus printing and copying facilities. You can use the space as a guest, or organize day access.

Yeosu Workation Center

This is one of the many Korean workation spaces in the Hyuil group that offer comfortable and well-planned coworking spaces. There are wonderful views of the water and both standard desks and relaxing lounges to work from.


Best Accommodation in Yeosu

This is another area where locals are leveraging services like Airbnb to enter the sharing economy. You can find monthly sublets starting from around USD 1,000 per month.

Walkerhill Darakhyu Yeosu Branch

The Darakhyu coworking space is nicely complimented by the hotel, which is minimalist, accordable, and very comfortable, and well located for exploring downtown.

Utop Marina Hotel & Resort

This is one of the nicest hotels in the area with stunning views, deluxe rooms, and excellent facilities including The Waven buffet restaurant, state of the art fitness center, and a stunning infinity pool.


Joining South Korea’s Digital Nomad Community

For those embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, South Korea is ready with communities and resources. Digital Nomads Korea, for example, offers tips, workation programs, and even visa advice. These communities provide a platform for like-minded individuals to connect, share experiences, and find support while exploring South Korea’s diverse landscapes and workation spots.



For more insights into South Korea’s urban and rural workation spots, and travel tips, explore the Digital Nomads Korea blog or visit the Korea Tourism Organization’s website, VISITKOREA – Imagine Your Korea.