Top 10 Things to do in Seoul

Top 10 Things to do in Seoul

There are so many things to do in Seoul and though we’ve done a lot and visited many places in our travel in the city twice, we think we just barely scratched the surface. But that doesn’t mean we can’t provide a list of the essential things to do especially to those traveling to Korea the first time.

This list only covers Seoul and not its neighboring provinces so you won’t see here amazing places like Nami Island, DMZ, Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village, Ski resorts, etc.

If you don’t have a S. Korean VISA yet, check our guide here!

For travel guides to South Korea, Check out our 2015 6D5N S. Korea Itinerary and Expenses here! and our 2016 7D6N Winter trip here! 

For more recommended accommodations in Seoul, click here or search for more hotels/hostels here.

10) Do local things; Noraebang and PC Bang


If you want some local things to do in Seoul, then you should definitely try Noraebang and PC Bang.

Noraebang is translated as song (norae) and room (bang) or simply, karaoke. Karaoke is one of our (Filipinos) favorite past times and so does the Koreans. Sing your hearts out with your friends and family and remember some karaoke etiquette, don’t be a mic hog! Some noraebangs even has costumes for you to dress up and some have transparent rooms where people can see you singing (if you’re not the shy type)!

Noraebang

Girls singing their hearts out!

PC Bang, on the other hand are for all gamers out there especially those who play multiplayer games! South Korea is known to be a country of gamers that they actually consider video games as sports (called e-sports)! PC Bangs are establishments where you can rent a PC (for an hourly fee) to play multiplayer games online or with friends and strangers in the same room. Game face on!

PC Bang Korea

Let’s Play!

9) Level up your knowledge at Korea’s Museums

I suggest you visit two important museums in Seoul, the National Museum of Korea and the War Memorial Museum. You’ll gain lots of knowledge about Korea’s culture and history at the National Museum while the War Memorial Museum focuses on Korea’s dark past, military conflicts with other countries and each other and how they are currently striving for peace between its borders.

And the best thing is, free entrance!

Admiral Yi Sun-Shin's Turtle Ship

Admiral Yi Sun-Shin’s Turtle Ship

How to get there:

National Museum of Korea – Ichon Station (Seoul Subway Line 4 & Jungang Line), Exit 2. 

War Memorial of Korea – Samgakji Station (Subway Lines 4, 6), Exit 12. It is 5 min walk from the station.

8) Travel back in time at Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is a village where traditional houses of Koreans called Hanok are built and preserved here reflecting 600 years of Seoul’s history. These houses were once inhabited by nobles and high ranking government officials but due to wars and disasters, the place is now occupied by common people. You can actually book a stay in one of the houses and experience how Koreans live in the past during the Joseon dynasty. Lots of photo ops as well! And if you want to take your photos to a different level, you can rent a Hanbok dress here and feel like a true Korean in the time of the Joseon dynasty.

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

How to get there: Line 3: Anguk Station – Exit 3, 10 min. away on foot

7) Get romantic at N Seoul Tower

You and your bae feels like both of you are meant to be together forever? Well, bring a padlock, write your names in it, lock and throw the key to declare your eternal love.

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

Putting a love lock in N Seoul Tower is just one of the things you can do there. At the tower, you can have a breath-taking view of the entire city of Seoul from above. I suggest you visit here just before the sun sets up to evening so you can see the wonderful city lights of Seoul.

Read this post for our visit to N Seoul Tower.

How to get there: Shuttle Bus No. 05 – Chungmuro Station (Exit 2, 4). Once you get out of either exit 2 or 4, you will most likely see a bunch of other people lining up for the bus as well!

Or

Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3. Use the road to the right of Pacific Hotel and walk 10 minutes up to Namsan cable car station. Then take the cable car to N Seoul Tower (3 minute cable car ride).

You can book your NSeoul tickets here.

6) Palace hopping

You should at least visit one palace especially if it’s your first time in Seoul. The most popular ones are Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung and Gyeonghuigung. My wife and I visited Gyeongbokgung (the largest one) and saw the changing of the guards ceremony at 10am. Changdeokgung is also nice and there’s a beautiful ‘secret’ garden inside.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Entrance to the Gyeongbokgung Palace

To best feel the experience inside the palace, you can wear a Hanbok dress and truly live like a Korean in the Joseon dynasty!

How to get there: Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3 – Exit 5). Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5 – Exit 2)


Klook.com

5) Temple Hopping

Besides the magnificent palaces in Seoul, you can also visit the beautiful and peaceful Korean Buddhist temples. We visited two of them – Bongeunsa and Jogyesa. Once you enter these temples, it’s like a whole new world will open to you. The place is so quiet and calming, perfect for finding that inner peace.

Walking around Bongeunsa temple

Walking around Bongeunsa temple

Stop for a while, reflect, meditate, take a slow stroll around the temple and admire its beauty. Talk to the monks and if you want, you can even register for a night’s stay.

Read this post for our temple hopping experience.

How to get there:

Bongeunsa – Bongeunsa Temple Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 1. Walk straight for 150 m.

Jogyesa – Subway Line 3, alight at Anguk Station Exit 6. Go straight then turn left at Ujeongguk-ro. Walk for a little more and the temple is on the right side of the road.

4) Take a lovely night cruise at Hangang river

The Han River is the 4th longest river and one of the main sources of water in Korea. Being one of the most scenic locations in Seoul, the Korean government constructed parks, walkways, bicycle paths, stadiums along the river for locals and tourists to enjoy and relax.

Hangang River Ferry Cruise Bridge

Passing a lovely bridge

One of the activities that you can do here is ride a ferry cruise along the majestic Han, see the old and new bridges and watch the colorful banpo bridge rainbow moonlight fountain show. The light show is amazingly beautiful and is one of the most fantastic things we’ve done in Seoul. The ambiance is very romantic because besides of the beauty of the Han River at night, there is an artist aboard the ferry playing love songs and instrumentals. Best if you’re with a significant someone but if not, that’s ok! Maybe you’ll find your forever there! 😛

Read this post for our cruise experience in Hangang river

How to get to Yeouido Dock: Yeouinaru Station (Subway Line 5), Exit 3. Yeouido Dock is 5min from the station.

How to get to Jamsil Quay (Dock)

  • Sincheon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 6 
  • Go 700 m straight out of the exit (north), under the highway, until you reach the Hangang River. 
  • The terminal will be about 200 m to your left.

Book your river cruise tickets here.

3) Shopping

I’m sure girls would put shopping as the #1 thing to do in Korea but since I’m a dude (and don’t like shopping), I’m just putting this on number 3 and this is just because my wife loves to do some “budget” shopping too but yeah, shopping in Seoul is a definite must thing to do!

Sinchon Shopping

Shop shop shop… while me, I look look look for a chair.

For cosmetics, branded clothes and accessories, go to Myeongdong and subways. For unbranded fashionable clothes but not the flea market type, go to Ewha and Sinchon area. For cheap and super-cheap ones, go to Dongdaemun, Namdaemun and Dongmyo flea market.

For grocery items, we shop at Lotte Mart. For electronics, you can try Yongsan Electronics Market.

2) Be amazed at Haneul Park

Haneul Park or ‘Sky park’ is one of the 5 parks in the area of the World Cup Park in Seoul. The park was once a landfill, full of garbage but was converted into a hill full of miscanthus grass (eulalia), sunflowers in summer and offers breathtaking views of Seoul city, Han River and Bukhansan mountain.

Han River Seoul

Beautiful view of the Han River and of course my beautiful wife too 😀

For us, Haneul park is an underrated destination in Seoul but one of the best places we’ve been to. When we went there, we were the only foreign tourists and you’ll see lots of locals strolling, having picnics and enjoying the scenic views of Seoul. What I also like is how they convert the garbage under it as source of energy for the residents. Plus there are windmills generating extra energy to power up the park. Great program by the Korean government to utilize renewable energy!

Read this post for our stroll in Haneul Park.

How to get there: Hapjeong station, go out at exit 9. Take bus 271 or 7733, get off at World Cup Park bus stop. Walk around 3-5 minutes to Haneul Park.

1) Food trip

This is the ultimate thing to do in Seoul… eat and enjoy Korean cuisine! Have it anywhere… restaurants, along the street, mom and pop eateries, in subways, bus stations… there’s no exact spot on where to find good food but as long as it looks good, then eat it and be adventurous.

Bibimbap

Bibimbap – 5k won

I know that some of you wants to focus your food trip in Myeongdong but I do suggest you try other places and a little bit away from the usual tourist spots. It’s usually cheaper in non-touristy areas and you get to try other dishes that are maybe not so popular but just as good.

If you want to know more, check out our food guides in Seoul in the links below:

You now have at least some idea where to go and what to do in Seoul, now where should you stay? Check out our compiled list of recommended accommodations in Seoul by travelers and die-hard Korea fanatics. Click link below to visit.

Top Seoul accommodations as recommended by travelers

Search for more hotels/hostels here.


Related:

VISA

Guides

Accommodations

Sights

Food

He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.