Seoul, South Korea, is an awesome city with a lot of things to do. There is something in South Korea for everyone, whether you like history, mountains, parks, food, or shopping. Here are my top recommendations of amazing things to do in this great city.
- Gyeongbukgung Palace
One of the city’s most popular historical attractions and visited cities is the Gyeongbukgung Palace. Built in 1395, it also is known as the Northern Palace because of its location when compared to the Eastern and Western Palace. In my opinion, this is most beautiful of all the five palaces. You’ll quickly realize how the palace grounds are huge, and the gardens are beautiful and worth seeing.
Entrance fee: 3,000 Won
Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm from Wednesday – Monday, closed on Tuesdays
How to get there: Take the Subway to Gyeongbokgung Station and Exit #5
- Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is located right next to the Gyeongbukgung Palace, and I would recommend visiting both in the same day. The village is full of Korean traditional homes, and this will give you a better understanding of how the locals live. It is also an interesting collection of restaurants, cultural centers, museums, and tea houses.
Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: I’d recommend anywhere from 10 am to 6 pm because that’s when all the shops close and open.
How to get there: You can walk from Gyeongbukgung Palace or take exit Exit #1 or #2 from the subway to Anguk Station and walk 5 minutes north.
- War Memorial and Museum
Whether you’re obsessed with history like me or not, the War Memorial and Museum is one of the best places to visit in Seoul. The museum is in remembrance of South Korea’s wars and everything the country went through. There are pretty cool outdoor sections as well that showcases military equipment and machines. On your way out, there are free history books and guides that you can take to learn more about the country.
Entrance fees: Free
Opening hours: 9 am – 6 pm and closed on Monday
How to get there: Subway to Samgakji Station and then Exit #12
- Myeongdong Shopping Street
Myeongdong is by far one of the busiest parts of town. You will find everything in the area; clothing stores, street food stalls, cat cafes, the famous towering ice cream cones, restaurants, tea houses, and everything you can think of. I would suggest spending a whole day there because there is just so much to do and see there.
Entrance fees: Free
Opening Hours: Most stores are open from 11 am – 10 pm.
How to get there: Take the Subway from where you’re staying to Myeongdong Station.
Home to the famous Starbucks. If you’re looking for souvenirs to bring back home, this is the place to go to. I found the souvenirs to be a bit more expensive than other places in Seoul. It is worth visiting if you have enough time, and there are many restaurants and food stalls as well. Insadong can be visited on the same day with Gyeongbukgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village.
Opening Hours: Open 10 am – 6 pm or so
How to get there: Subway to Anguk Station and then Exit #6.
- Namdaemun Market
You are guaranteed to find everything you’re looking for in Namdaemun Market. This is the biggest traditional market in Seoul, and you will find everything from imported liqueur, clothing, electronics, street food, you’ll find it all there. Many shops have their factories and manufacture the products themselves. Most of them offer wholesale and retail prices which means you’ll find cheap prices there. An interesting fact about the market is that it is open all the time, except on Sundays.
Opening hours: Open 24 hrs and closed on Sunday, but I recommend going on Sunday.
How to get there: Subway to Hoehyeon Station and then Exit #5.
Seoul’s global melting pot, this is the place to go to if you’re looking for international restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. In the mood for some shawarma? There are some excellent choices in Itaewon. There are many street shops there as well.
How to get there: Take the subway from where you’re staying to Itaewon Station.
This is Seoul’s biggest partying and nightlife destinations. If you love partying, this is the best place to go to if you love partying. It isn’t all partying though. You will also find unique cafes, galleries, clothing stores, and restaurants. Special streets like Club Street, Picasso Street, and ateliers’ street are all must visit place if you want to experience the Hongdae neighborhood.
How to get there: Subway to Hongik University station
- Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon is an 11 km stream that runs throughout downtown Seoul. It was first created as part of an urban renewal plan and is a re-installation of the streams that was throughout the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The stream starts at Cheonggye Plaza, a well-known cultural arts venue, and then passes under 22 bridges before flowing into the Hangang (River).
Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: Throughout the day
How to get there: It is easy to walk to from different subway stations, it begins at City Hall Station.
- Noryangjin Fish Market
Noryangjin Fish Market is a display of the best and freshest seafood. You will notice that all the seafood is kept fresh in the water, and you can even choose your fish and have it cooked at the same time. After you finish browsing the fish market, I recommend going upstairs where there is restaurant selling seafood as well. It’s a bit expensive but worth it.
Opening hours: 24 hours, but best to go in the morning and afternoon.
How to Get There: Subway to Noryangjin Station and then take Exit #1
- Korean Barbecue
A visit to Seoul isn’t completely without Korean Barbeque. Seoul is a heaven for foodies, and Korean barbecue is an experience alone. You sit on a table with your grill in front of you, order meat, and then grill it yourself. Side dishes like salad, lettuce, and garlic are available as well.
This is the border between South and North Korea. This is a one in a lifetime experience and you should definitely visit the borders. You might get lucky and find North Korean soldiers on the other side.
South Korea is an awesome place to visit. I’ve been all over the world and is among my top 5 countries!