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The 20 Best Time Travel K-Dramas


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by extreme hd iptv

Snuggling up on the couch for a late night binge session of your favorite Korean drama is only the best feeling ever. And when those dramas involve an unique time travel premise combined with adventure, heartfelt romance, or mysteries spanning eras, it makes for the perfect escape.

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Korean dramas are no longer a novel experience for the global audience. The medium’s capacity to engage a wider audience with its compelling storytelling and gripping character drama is enormous, and the more genres it dives into, the more it stands out.

Among the many exciting tales told over decades, those surrounding time travel are particularly exhilarating thanks to how the subject seamlessly blends science fiction, history, and romance, and generates high re-watch value. Imagining what it might be like to travel back in time or see the future is endlessly entertaining, and the possibilities are endless.

While it’s impossible for humans to time travel (sort of), you can live vicariously through these incredible stories. We’ve brought together an intriguing list of 20 Korean dramas that incorporate time travel into their alluring stories about star-crossed lovers and brave protagonists willing to right historical wrongs — or just puzzled individuals displaced through time. Whatever time travel tale you’re in the mood for, this list has it.

20 Queen and I (2012)

When a time-traveling scholar named Kim Boong Do finds a magic talisman and travels from Joseon dynasty to modern-day Seoul, 300 years into the future, he has one goal — to find Queen In Hyun.

Apparently, when she was being deposed by the council, Boong Do was her only supporter. But upon arriving in the future, he realizes that she’s a mere character being played in a drama by up-and-coming actress Choi Hee Jin.

A Time-Traveling Scholar’s Accidental Love Story

Queen and I perfectly blends history, comedy and romance through the fish-out-of-water scenario where Boong Do has to not only adapt to the traditions of the modern world, but also find a way to travel back to the Joseon era.

Starring Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na, the drama features an unconventional partnership and blossoming romance against the backdrop of royal intrigue. Yoo In Na also won massive acclaim for her performance, making Queen and I a huge hit.

19 Splash Splash Love (2015)

The main protagonist of Splash Splash Love is Dan Bi, a high school student who hates math. On the day of her KSAT exam, she decides to run away and ends up on a playground in the middle of a freak rain which transports her to the Joseon kingdom.

She arrives hundreds of years in the past, in the middle of a drought. Dan Bi then meets King Lee Do, a man who yearns to be intellectual. Since Dan Bi’s high school level mathematics is still way ahead of Joseon’s teachings, she schools Lee Do and inspires him to bring change to the kingdom.

A Charming Tale of Transformation

The K-drama won hearts for its charming take on time travel and feel-good romance. For the most part, the episodes are heavy with emotion, balancing the more serious tone of the era with subtle glances and earnest dialogue. The leads, Kim Seul-gi and Yoon Doo-joon are extremely likable. Paired with the beautiful songs, the two-episode miniseries seems as breezy as it is breathtaking.

Stream Splash Splash Love on Kocowa

18 Rooftop Prince (2012)

In Rooftop Prince, Crown Prince Lee Gak finds himself mysteriously transported to modern-day Seoul along with his three retainers. There, he meets Hong Se Na, who is the spitting image of his beloved wife, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

It does not help that Lee Gak bears a striking resemblance to the grandson of the CEO of Se Na’s company. He tries to get close to her with the hopes that he’ll learn clues about the murder of the Crown Princess.

RELATED: 20 K-Dramas With No Boring Episodes

Crown Prince Finds Himself Out Of Place And Time

With Park Yoo-chun and Han Ji-min taking up the lead roles, it’s impossible for the drama to go wrong. What’s better is that Rooftop Prince has a multi-layered storyline that intertwines to reveal a greater plot, making the series more engaging episode after episode.

Seeing historical royals experience 21st century culture shock provides comic relief, and the time slip romance between Lee Gak and Se Na is simply marvelous.

Stream Rooftop Prince on Kocowa

17 Times (2021)

Times has a premise Hollywood has played with a number of times. Lee Jin Woo is an exceptionally talented reporter who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth about a case. When a mysterious phone call connects him to another hard-as-nails reporter named Seo Jung In, he’s shocked to discover that she’s speaking to him from five years in the future.

Jung In warns Jin Woo about the threat against her father, South Korea’s President, and together they work to find the culprit and break free of the strange time warp.

A Reporter’s Race Against Time

The drama is both a political thriller and a mind-bending time travel mystery. What makes it stand out is the intense performances from the lead actors, Lee Seo-jin and Lee Joo-young. Their chemistry with one another, especially when developed just over the phone, makes the show more endearing, and the suspenseful plot adds a gripping urgency to each episode.

Moreover, by charting away from a traditional time travel storyline, which often turns to be about romance, this innovative crime-solving drama subverts expectations.

Stream Times on Rakuten Viki

16 Hit the Top (2017)

As a member of a popular K-pop idol group, Yoo Hyun-Jae is nothing short of a star. Especially if you consider the ‘90s, when the group was at the height of its fame. However, when Hyun-Jae travels from 1993 to 2017, he finds out that he goes missing in the year 1994 and is presumed dead shortly after.

Determined to uncover the truth about his disappearance, he befriends Lee Ji Hoon and Choi Woo Seung, two aspiring young musicians.

Lighthearted, Feel-Good, But Complicated

We’re currently witnessing an evolution in the K-pop industry, with new talents emerging from the ground to become massive superstars. But it all started a bunch of years ago, and Hit the Top brings back the nostalgia and humor of the time.

Moreover, its predictable storyline never feels dull because of the upbeat soundtrack and dazzling performances. Definitely an underrated gem, Hit the Top is a must-watch in the genre.

15 Tomorrow, with You (2017)

Instead of going back centuries or traveling to the present day, Tomorrow, with You takes an innovative approach towards time travel and introduces us to Yoo So Joon, the CEO of a real estate company, who holds the power to decide when he wants to travel back in time.

Once, on a subway, he sees a future in which he’s unhappy and dissatisfied with life. To avoid facing it, he marries Song Ma Rin, a free-spirited photographer, unaware of her personal struggles.

A Bittersweet Romance

Taking the road less traveled, this brilliant Korean drama explores the complexities and sorrows of a loveless marriage through a time-travel premise.

Helped by outstanding performances from lead actors Shin Min-a (who you may know from Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha) and Lee Je-hoon, this poignant melodrama tugs at the heartstrings with its slow-burn romance. Overall, the touching story reminds us to cherish the present and appreciate the little things in life.

14 Signal (2016)

Much like Times, Signal features a mysterious time-travel phenomenon involving walkie-talkies and an unidentified serial killer. Park Hae Yeong, a criminal profiler and police officer, stumbles upon a walkie-talkie and connects with a detective from the past, Lee Jae Han.

He reminds Hae Yeong of a crime he witnessed as a child and encourages him to solve cold cases with him. Together, they work on several investigations and solve decades-old crimes.

A Detective Duo Communicating Across Time

What’s interesting about the drama is that it is inspired by real-life crime stories and a murder case. The way it blends procedural thrills and heartfelt character drama is immensely terrific.

Concept-wise, Signal is truly unique and consistently full of suspense, making it hard not to binge. The pacing is beautiful, the actors, including Cho Jin-woong and Lee Je-hoon, as well as the young cast, are phenomenal in their roles.

Stream Signal on Paramount+

13 Familiar Wife (2018)

Going back in time and changing certain regretful events always has consequences. Playing with the same idea, Familiar Wife introduces us to Cha Joo Hyuk, who has been married to his college sweetheart Seo Woo Jin. But he is dissatisfied with the decisions he’s made and the life he’s living.

When a car accident sends him into the past, he experiences a drastic shift in his destiny by doing tiny things differently. Joo Hyuk ends up causing more trouble than before, including with his first love, Lee Hee Won.

Related: Movies Where Time Travel Actually Made Sense

Underrated and Unforgettable

Familiar Wife probably has one of the most unique executions on time travel ever seen in Korean dramas. Even though the premise seems unoriginal, it is the series’ ability to reflect on relationships, provide meaningful lessons on self-growth, and deliver a truckload of emotions that makes it stand out from the rest. Not heavy on drama but still pretty intense on chemistry, the series leaves an indelible mark on viewers.

12 Go Back Couple (2017)

Adapted from the webtoon Do it One More Time, Go Back Couple is a fun, 12-episode drama that follows an unhappily married couple. Choi Ban Do and Ma Jin Joo were adorable sweethearts when they married, but growing up together took a toll on them and how they simply cannot stand each other.

When they find themselves traveling back to their college days, away from career responsibilities and their young son, the two vow to make different choices and rekindle the lost romance.

Second Chances and First Loves

Instead of throwing one person back in time, Go Back Couple sends two people back to when they weren’t dating. It also combines moving insights on relationships, the complications and pitfalls of marrying young, and the beauty of being in love, with an enormous amount of humor and top-notch writing. Son Ho Jun and Jang Na Ra are truly exceptional as a couple, sharing swoon-worthy moments with an effortless and natural dynamic.

Stream Go Back Couple on Rakuten Viki

11 The Light in Your Eyes (2019)

With a melancholic start and an all-consuming end, The Light in Your Eyes is a beautiful, albeit heartbreaking drama. It follows 25-year-old Kim Hye Ja, who is in possession of a mysterious watch that can turn back time. In a desperate attempt to save her father, Hye Ja turns the watch several times and ends up aging herself to seventy years old.

Grappling with her situation, and realizing everybody she knew no longer recognizes her, she finds solace in the company of Lee Joon Ha, the man she once loved.

A Tragic Time-Travel Romance

The 2019 drama soars high because of its heartbreaking portrayal of romance between two souls torn apart by tragedy. Starring One Spring Night’s Han Ji Min and Start-Up’s Nam Joo Hyuk, The Light in Your Eyes is filled with stunning cinematography and emotionally moving storytelling.

The contrast between decades as well as the parting lessons towards the finale leave few dry eyes. That said, the series has remained among the more underappreciated gems.

Stream The Light in Your Eyes on Netflix

10 My Perfect Stranger (2023)

Among the few recent time travel Korean dramas on this list is My Perfect Stranger. Just as the title promises, the series follows two strangers who end up traveling back to the same year, 1987, and discover the poignant bond they share.

On one hand, there is Yoon Hae Joon, a kindhearted journalist who wants to get to the bottom of a serial murder case. And on the other hand, Baek Yoon Young wants to stop her parents from marrying because her mother dies in the future.

Keeps You Guessing Till The Very End

Featuring a smooth genre blend, this compelling time travel story finds a spot among the best K-dramas because of its ability to absorb the viewers’ attention. The series explores heavy themes like grief, hope, and trauma, as well as the extraordinary lengths one is willing to go for the truth. Kim Dong-wook and Jin Ki-joo are absolutely stunning as two souls grappling with their realities.

Stream My Perfect Stranger on Rakuten Viki

9 Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

Despite being a flop in South Korea, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo has found a devoted fan base in the West for its storyline, which sees IU as an unassuming young girl named Go Ha Jin.

On the day of a total eclipse, she travels back to Goryeo-era Korea, where she wakes up in the body of the 16-year-old Hae Soo. Now entangled in kingdom politics, tragic losses, and power struggles, Ha Jin must rise above being a mere pawn and take control of the throne.

Sweeping Romance Set In An Ancient Land

With its epic production values and breathtaking costume design, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo captured the hearts of many viewers. Beyond the visual appeal, however, the drama also has a brilliant pacing and an intense aesthetic that keeps you hooked from start to finish. By moonlighting as a passionate romance, the series shocks you with its emotional depth and un-fairytale-like ending. However, the characters played by IU and Lee Joon-Gi resonate the most.

8 Tunnel (2017)

First set in 1986, Tunnel introduces us to a highly skilled and enthusiastic crime detective named Park Gwang Ho. Hot on the tail of a serial killer, he chases him through a tunnel which turns out to be a time portal. Gwang Ho is transported to present day, the year 2016, where the same serial killer is on a murder spree. Enter another elite detective, Kim Sun Jae. The two detectives form a partnership like no other, navigating uncharted territory of the criminal underground.

Related: 10 K-Dramas with the Best Plot Twists, Ranked

An Epic Crime-Solving Korean Fantasy Drama

Featuring a healthy dose of heart-pounding action and a gripping mystery, Tunnel is one of the most engaging thriller series out there. It breaks boundaries with the innovative plotlines and stunning cinematography. Addictive from start to finish, it also lets you revel in the feel-good bromance between Choi Jin-hyuk and Yoon Hyun-min.

Stream Tunnel on The Roku Channel

7 Chicago Typewriter (2017)

More of a fantasy than a drama, Chicago Typewriter is about three resistance fighters across two timelines, with one being set in the 1930s, the time of the Japanese occupation of Korea, and the second in the 21st century. As they work undercover, disguised as a book enthusiast, a ghostwriter, and a bestselling author respectively, dark secrets from their past continue to haunt them.

Reincarnated Friendships Haunted By A Past

At its core, Chicago Typewriter is a story about three people’s friendships across time. From failing to protect those they loved dearly to cherishing what’s left in a liberated, dreamlike modern world, their journey endures as a memorable work of art. Yoo Ah-in, Im Soo-jung, and Go Kyung-pyo are phenomenal as star-crossed souls anchoring the poignant and multi-layered drama.

6 A Time Called You (2023)

Adapted from the Taiwanese television series Someday or One Day, this recent Korean drama deserves a spot on the list for its charming leads and refreshing premise. It’s been a year, and Han Jun Hee is still devastated about losing her boyfriend.

When she’s mysteriously transported to the year 1998 and takes on the identity of a high school student named Kwon Min Joo, things begin falling into place. She meets Nam Si Heon, who bears a striking resemblance to her late boyfriend.

Absolute Delight For Ahn Hyo-Seop Fans

Released on Netflix in September 2023, A Time Called You charmed viewers with its fresh take on a time-crossed love story. For those who have already watched the original, the portrayal of timelines as well as character drama is equally soulful and moving. Along with its beautiful soundtrack and fantastic performances from Ahn Hyo-seop, Jeon Yeo-been, and Kang Hoon, the series sends you on a rollercoaster of emotions.

Stream A Time Called You on Netflix

5 Mr. Queen (2020)

Mr. Queen is an extremely intriguing and twisted historical Korean drama based on the Chinese web series Go Princess Go. In it, ambitious chef Jang Bong Hwan serves South Korea’s most elite residents and politicians.

When he gets into a freak accident, he finds himself waking up in the body of Kim So Yong in the Joseon dynasty. As he navigates the treacherous court politics, he uncovers dark secrets about the supposedly meek King Cheol Jong.

Fascinating Body-Swap Romance In A Monarchy

Offering endless emotions as the story explores a commoner experiencing a sudden royal life, Mr. Queen was nothing short of a masterpiece. With their career-best performances, Shin Hye-sun and Kim Jung-hyun became overnight stars and one of the major reasons for the show’s success. The sharp writing, jarring plot twists, comedic timing, and satisfying ending make the drama capture the essence of an era long gone.

Stream Mr. Queen on Netflix

4 The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)

In his quest to create a balance between two worlds and escape the wound inflicted upon him as a child, the Emperor of the Kingdom of Corea, Lee Gun, accidentally gets propelled into another universe. He’s surprised to learn that the strange new world — modern day Seoul — operates under the Republic of Korea, and not a Kingdom. Lee Gon teams up with Jeong Tae Eul, a detective, and together they work to stop an evil that plagues both worlds.

An Epic Combination of Fantasy and Romance

Back in 2020, The King: Eternal Monarch became the most popular Korean drama across the globe. It featured lavish production values, sweeping action, and spectacular performances from stars like Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-eun. But beyond the obvious reasons for its success, it was the series’ ambitious parallel universe premise and the epic combination of fantasy and romance that had an astonishing effect on the audience.

Stream The King: Eternal Monarch on Netflix

3 Live Up to Your Name (2017)

When a Joseon era doctor named Heo Im finds himself in modern-day Korea, almost 400 years into the future, he is stunned by the medical practices being followed currently. His unmatched traditional knowledge is suddenly dated.

Soon, he clashes with modern doctor Yeon Gyung and she mocks his invaluable medical know-how. Despite their differences, Yeon Gyung travels back with him to the Joseon era and realizes just how challenging ancient techniques can be.

Related: 10 Medical Drama TV Shows That Are Absolute Tearjerkers

Medical Drama Meets Time Travel

Finding its charm in the delicate examination of traditional Eastern medicine and Western practices, Live Up to Your Name is a humorous period drama. The development of clashes and eventual admiration between both protagonists makes the heart of the show, with the entertaining cast consisting of Kim Nam-gil and Kim Ah-joong. Every episode feels rich in Korean history and character development — no wonder it became such a fan favorite.

2 Life on Mars (2018)

Known to be the best in his profession, with the reputation of having solved the hardest of cases, detective Han Tae Joo is very close to rising up the ranks. However, while chasing a serial killer, he gets into an accident and finds himself transported back to 1988. Appointed as a rookie detective in a small city, Tae Joo must navigate the retro world of payphones and tape recorders. He soon realizes that he must solve a case of the past to get back to the future.

One Detective’s Surreal Journey To The Past

Life on Mars drew a lot of praise and applause for its creative blend of crime thriller, mystery, and comedy. The drama is based on the 2006 British series of the same name, and suffice it to say, it does not disappoint. Whether it is the nostalgia of its late-80s setting or the impressive production design, there are elements that keep you engaged and guessing till the very end. Plus, Jung Kyung-ho, who you may know from Netflix’s Crash Course in Romance, delivers a charming performance.

1 Marry My Husband (2024)

Despite only having four episodes premiered so far, Marry My Husband has shown great potential for becoming one of the best K-dramas of the year. The series starts off strong, with Kang Ji Won experiencing a troubled married life with her neglectful husband and abusive mother-in-law.

Things only get worse when she’s diagnosed with cancer. And then on a fateful afternoon, Ji Won witnesses her husband Park Min Hwan in bed with her best friend Jung Soo Min. The two end up murdering her, and Ji Won surprisingly wakes up 10 years into the past, determined to exact revenge on them.

Modern Woman’s Chaotic Attempts At Redoing The Past

Marry My Husband is based on the web novel of the same name written by Sung So-jak, and much like the source material, the series does a fantastic job at setting up the intrigue and tone by making us root for the protagonist.

Starring Park Min-young in an unabashedly endearing role, the series puts a more poignant spin on time travel tropes. Watching the protagonist moving past manipulation for genuine love and self-realized narrative has audiences eagerly waiting for another episode.

Stream Marry My Husband on Prime Video

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