38 days in Russia, China & South Korea Itinerary

38 days in Russia, China & South Korea Itinerary

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Fly
1
Seoul, South Korea
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Sokcho, South Korea
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Busan, South Korea
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Jeju, South Korea
— 5 nights
Fly
5
Dalian, China
— 1 night
Fly
6
Harbin, China
— 1 night
Drive
7
Qiqihar, China
— 2 nights
Fly
8
Chita, Russia
— 1 night
Fly
9
Irkutsk, Russia
— 4 nights
Fly
10
Yekaterinburg, Russia
— 4 nights
Fly
11
Kazan, Russia
— 4 nights
Fly
12
Moscow, Russia
— 5 nights
Fly

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4
nights
Seoul, South Korea

One of east Asia's major cultural and financial centers, Seoul boasts five World Heritage Sites and a huge selection of museums, temples, shrines, palaces, parks, gardens, and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.
Escape the urban bustle at Cheonggyecheon Stream and Bukhansan National Park. Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace and Deoksugung for their historical value. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Changdeokgung Palace, take a stroll through Bukchon Hanok Village, get great views at N Seoul Tower, and explore the world behind art at National Folk Museum of Korea.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Seoul day trip tool.

Helsinki, Finland to Seoul is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Helsinki to Seoul is 7 hours. In July, Seoul is somewhat warmer than Helsinki - with highs of 34°C and lows of 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Sokcho.

Things to do in Seoul

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Neighborhoods

2
nights
Sokcho, South Korea

Tourism in Sokcho mostly revolves around the local national park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Seoraksan National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Sun): witness a stunning natural landmark at Cheoksan Foot Spa Park, then get outside with Osaek Jujeongol Valley, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Naksansa Temple.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Sokcho trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Seoul to Sokcho in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can drive to Busan.

Things to do in Sokcho

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

3
nights
Busan, South Korea

The country's second city, Busan has often been referred to as South Korea's summer capital.
Step out of the city life by going to Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach. The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Haedong Yonggung Temple, take in the views from Gwangandaegyo Bridge, take in the awesome beauty at Bongnaesan, and get outside with Gwangalli Beach.

To see maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Busan driving holiday website.

Drive from Sokcho to Busan in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus, train, and flight. In August, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Jeju.

Things to do in Busan

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

5
nights
Jeju, South Korea

Island of the Gods

The main town on the largest of Korea's islands, Jeju has a volcanic landscape protected by UNESCO.
Gwaneumsa Temple and Bulsari Tapsa Temple will appeal to history buffs. Visiting Nature & Wildlife Tours and Hamdeok Beach will get you outdoors. Take a break from Jeju with a short trip to Seongsan Ilchulbong in Seogwipo, about 1h 15 min away. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Geomunoreum, look for all kinds of wild species at Roe Deer Observation Center, Head underground at Manjanggul Cave, and take in the pleasant sights at Handam Coastal Trail.

For reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Jeju trip planner.

Fly from Busan to Jeju in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train, taxi, and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Dalian.

Things to do in Jeju

Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

1
night
Dalian, China

The large city of Dalian gets its history from its seaport, its modernity from its industry, and its visitors from the fact it largely keeps these things from view.
On the 10th (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Dalian Coast National Geological Park.

To see maps, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Dalian road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Jeju to Dalian takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry, train, and subway. Traveling from Jeju to Dalian, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In August, daily temperatures in Dalian can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Harbin.

Things to do in Dalian

Nature · Parks

1
night
Harbin, China

Ice City

The influence of neighboring Russia remains visible throughout much of Harbin, with the country's northernmost metropolis possessing an intoxicating eclecticism in its architecture, food, and art.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Wed): find something for the whole family at Harbin Ice and Snow World and then don't miss a visit to Zhongyang Pedestrian Street.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Harbin trip itinerary tool.

Traveling by flight from Dalian to Harbin takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In August, Harbin is a bit cooler than Dalian - with highs of 31°C and lows of 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Qiqihar.

Things to do in Harbin

Theme Parks

2
nights
Qiqihar, China

Qiqihar is one of the 13 Larger Municipalities in China, and the second largest city in the Heilongjiang province, China. On the 12th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dacheng Temple and then look for all kinds of wild species at Zhalong Nature Reserve.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Qiqihar sightseeing planner.

You can drive from Harbin to Qiqihar in 4 hours. In August, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Chita.

Things to do in Qiqihar

Wildlife · Historic Sites · Parks

1
night
Chita, Russia

Chita is a city and the administrative center of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia, located at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda Rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway, 900km east of Irkutsk. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Sat): take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God and then don't miss a visit to Chita Buddhist Temple.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Chita road trip planning site.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Qiqihar to Chita. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Qiqihar to Chita. In August, Chita is little chillier than Qiqihar - with highs of 27°C and lows of 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to travel to Irkutsk.

Things to do in Chita

Historic Sites

4
nights
Irkutsk, Russia

Paris of Siberia

The most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian railway, Irkutsk gained fame as the cultural center of Decembrist exiles.
Visiting Lake Baikal and Konny Island will get you outdoors. Get some historical perspective at Cathedral of The Epiphany and House Feinberg. Change things up with these side-trips from Irkutsk: Listvyanka (Memorable Sign A.V. Vampilov & Nerpinary). There's lots more to do: take a peaceful walk through Kaiskaya Forest, explore the striking landscape at Cape Skriper, admire the local landmark of Fontain Near Artist's House, and add some adventure to your tour with BaikalNature.

To find reviews, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read our Irkutsk day trip planning site.

Explore your travel options from Chita to Irkutsk with the Route module. The time zone changes from Yakutsk Standard Time to Irkutsk Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. August in Irkutsk sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Yekaterinburg.

Things to do in Irkutsk

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

4
nights
Yekaterinburg, Russia

Located at the meeting point of two continents, Yekaterinburg serves as the cultural capital of the Urals region.
Visit Church on the Blood and Church of the Nativity for their historical value. Visiting Ekaterinburg Guide Center and Forest Park of Foresters of Russia will get you outdoors. Step out of Yekaterinburg to go to Palkino and see Archaeological Monument Rock Tents, which is approximately 38 minutes away. There's lots more to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Weir on river Iset, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Church of Ascension, and take some stellar pictures from Visotsky Business Center Lookout.

For reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Yekaterinburg trip planner.

Fly from Irkutsk to Yekaterinburg in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. The time zone difference moving from Irkutsk Standard Time to Yekaterinburg Standard Time is minus 3 hours. In August in Yekaterinburg, expect temperatures between 26°C during the day and 13°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Kazan.

Things to do in Yekaterinburg

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Side Trip

4
nights
Kazan, Russia

Sports Capital of Russia

The heart of Tatar culture, Kazan carries the epithet of the "Third Capital of Russia" because of its rich history and thriving economy.
Kazan Kremlin and Annunciation Cathedral will appeal to history buffs. Get in touch with nature at Parusa and Raifa Lake. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Kazan: Raifa (Trinity Cathedral & Belfry With The Church in Honor of Archangel Michael). And it doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Kul Sharif Mosque, steep yourself in history at Cathedral of the Apostles Peter and Paul, pause for some serene contemplation at Church of the Holy Martyr Barbara, and explore the striking landscape at Blue Lakes.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Kazan trip builder tool.

You can fly from Yekaterinburg to Kazan in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Yekaterinburg to Kazan. Traveling from Yekaterinburg in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Kazan, with lows of 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Moscow.

Things to do in Kazan

Historic Sites · Wildlife · Outdoors · Transportation

Side Trip

5
nights
Moscow, Russia

Third Rome

Russia's political, economic, and cultural center, Moscow remains the most populous inland city in the world, famed for its colorful history and rich architectural heritage.
Red Square and Tserkov' Uspeniya Presvyatoy Bogoroditsy V Novodevich'yem Monastyre will appeal to history buffs. Get in touch with nature at Bird Park Vorobyi and Park Novodevichi Prudy. Explore Moscow's surroundings by going to Church of the Ascension (in Burtsevo) and Kislinskiy Waterfall (in Kremenki). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Moscow Kremlin, take an exotic tour of Easy Russia Tour Guide, examine the collection at Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum and Reserve, and make a trip to Osobnyak Arseniya Morozova.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Moscow vacation tool.

Traveling by flight from Kazan to Moscow takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In August in Moscow, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Moscow

Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

South Korea travel guide

4.2
Shopping · History Museums · Parks
Land of the Morning Calm
Though it boasts a history spanning thousands of years, South Korea ranks among the world's most urbanized and modernized countries, with nearly half of its population living in high-rises concentrated in the national capital. In this land of pristine mountain scenery, many South Korea vacations involve some form of winter sports--not surprising for the country that won the bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Curious travelers wishing to get to know South Korea's heart and soul spend only a small part of their holiday in big cities like Busan and Seoul, devoting much of their attention to the tranquil countryside that seems largely untouched by the 21st century.

China travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Observation Decks · History Museums
With well over 1.3 billion residents, China represents the most populous country in the world, considered by many the cradle of civilization thanks to its history spanning many millennia. While a single trip to China rarely satisfies curious travelers, a well-organized tour reveals a land of awe-inspiring natural scenery, ancient monuments, and giant cities, where the diverse population includes almost 60 different ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct languages. While many Westerners may know China mostly for its centuries-old tradition of martial arts, discerning travelers visit this vast nation for its outstanding cuisine, pristine landscapes, epic train journeys, and small towns of hardworking and genuinely hospitable people.

Russia travel guide

4.6
Specialty Museums · Churches · Monuments
Mother Russia
Feared and revered not long ago as the land "behind the Iron Curtain" and before that as "the land of the Tsars," Russia is a land of many contrasts. Spreading over two continents, it is also the largest country in the world and one of the most powerful. Founded by a group of East Slavs in the 10th century, it is home to over 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. They have all left their mark on the land, but the Slavic and Byzantine traditions hold a special place in Russia's rich historical and cultural legacy. The diverse natural beauty includes vast swathes of plains intersected with thousands of rivers, lakes, and dramatic mountain ranges along the southern borders. Arctic tundra, taiga, mixed forests, steppe, and desert-like areas successively carpet the land from the north to the south. Perfectly preserved ancient towns surrounded by mighty kremlins with colorful onion-domed churches attract tourists just as much as the nation's biggest metropolises, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.