Seoul is the heart of the country. It's the capital city and is home to about half of the entire population of Korea. The Han River winds through its center, offering areas for recreation from biking to boating. It features a world class public transportation system, making it possible to get anywhere in town quickly, cheaply, and reliably via subway, bus, or taxi. Its numerous neighborhoods include world-famous Gangnam, Westerner-filled Itaewon, and young-and-trendy Hongdae. With no shortage of restaurants, historical sites, entertainment, or people to meet, Seoul is a true global city.
Busan is the second largest city in Korea by population. It features any type of cuisine or entertainment one could want. It's a coastal city, located on the southeastern border of the peninsula. Famous for its beaches including Haeundae, what many consider to be the most beautiful in Korea, Busan has a distinctive charm which lures countless visitors throughout the year, particularly in summer. As to be expected in any major city in Korea, the public transportation is impeccable, featuring an expansive subway as well as buses which run to nearly every corner of the surrounding area. If you like living near the sea, yet still enjoy big city life, Busan is the right fit for you.
Daegu is the fourth largest city in Korea and is located in the southeast, about 50 miles from the coast. The city has a high number of both exchange students as well as English teachers, making it culturally diverse and youthful. It has a bustling downtown area, a subway system, plenty of museums, theaters, professional sports teams, and beautiful sights to be seen. While not as well known as some of the other large cities of Korea, people who move to Daegu almost always want to stay.
Famous for being home to the highest rated international airport in the world, Incheon is a booming coastal city located less than 30 kilometers away from Seoul. Incheon is a major metropolitan area, which includes the well-known, futuristic city, Songdo. Additionally, a line on the Seoul subway system runs through the city, making for easy access nearly anywhere nearby. It's also home to the largest Chinatown in Korea as well as a bustling pier popular with tourists.
Don't be fooled into thinking you have to live in one of the largest cities in Korea to have an incredible time. Slightly smaller and less well-known locations can offer all of the conveniences of larger cities, but often with added perks including less traffic, noise, and a closer foreigner community. Some highly desirable middle sized locations include Suwon, Jeonju, Ulsan, and Jeju.
Suwon is located less than an hour from Seoul via subway. It's also a historical city with a beautiful fortress cutting through the center of town. At night, there are multiple vibrant parts of town filled with local university students and English teachers at a multitude of restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops. Jeonju is famous for it's Hanok (traditional housing) Village, which draws tourists from around the country. Ulsan is a beautiful port city and major center of commerce, located adjacent to Busan in the southeast. Finally, Jeju is considered the Hawaii of Korea. It's a subtropical island south of the peninsula. It can be accessed from the mainland by plane or ferry and is one of the most popular vacation spots for Korean year-round. It features beautiful volcanic beaches, and lush scenery.